Etymology: The origin of this symbol and spectrum
This symbol originally came about because I wanted some way to distinguish between when I was being honest with myself and when I was just fooling myself—when others were teasing or lying and when they were being truthful. The concept though, grew to encompass integrity—living in an honest way with yourself and others.
The n of deception helped me think about how I was deceiving myself, and also to warn me against others who might betray or lie to me. “N” was the first symbol to use the tangled loops to indicate deceit or something lurking below the surface of the line.
Then I wanted a way to depict higher truths—which could be sacred writings or truths about the universe.
Orthography: How to remember these symbols
The n of truth has an underscored line at the bottom, the straight line, as truth, like Occam’s Razor, is most often the simplest explanation. The other symbol that uses this straight line is u of understanding. As these two are often seen together (understate, sun, unending), they often form a parallel track—of honestly embracing the truth.
The tangled loops at the bottom of the “n” deception echo Shakespeare’s “Oh what tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to deceive.) The more loops at the end, the more serious and entangled the webs of deception have become. The other two symbols that use loops at the bottom ("c" unconventional and "u" incomprehension seem to me to be related concepts—they all turn what is expected around. It is hard to understand these tangles, and they take surprising turns. Deception here is not always bad—we need a certain amount of self-deception to live in this world of climate change and political unrest and and and…
The “n” of higher truth is a bit tongue in cheek, a tad ironic. I do not think that we can put a box around a higher truth, so I have this as an open box—where we think we are rushing into The Only Possible Truth, when in fact, this may well be a trap.
Philosophy: How I use these symbols to embrace life
I use the “n”’s of truth and deception to test my intuition. If I am listening to someone, I’ll draw the “n” and keep my pen on the paper at the edge of the “n.” Then take my attention away from my doodle. Did I then draw a straight line? If so, then I tend to trust and believe this person. Did I draw loops at the end? Then I may not be as trusting, and I may ask for more verification.
I use the “n” of honest truth to mark a goal, to reach for something beyond myself. I often write the box and then write another word inside of that box to see what I think about the higher truth regarding that other word, that other concept.