This is another one of those Latin sayings that seems to have stuck around for a few thousand years. It means “there is truth in wine” or “in wine there is truth” and dates to the first century A.D. Guess there must be some truth in it – In Vino Veritas Veritas. We know what it says, but what does it mean?
People are seldom completely open with one another. That is not to say that all people are dishonest, it’s just that nearly everyone will put a facade between themselves and others except for those we are most intimate with. It is just a question of degrees. To be completely open is to be vulnerable and to be so with another person requires a great deal of trust that the other person will accept what they are presented with. To present oneself openly and suffer rejection could be devastating and so we are afraid to risk it. And as we are afraid to risk it, we hide behind a mask – sometimes just a little eyecovering, or for others it is a full suit of armor. We thus protect ourselves as we move about our daily lives, only shedding our disguises in moments of complete and guaranteed safety.
As the wine is sipped, the mask is slipped
Most likely from the time that fermentation and then distillation were first discovered, it was learned that the consumption of alcohol lowered inhibitions. And what is inhibition? It is a fear – fear of looking stupid, fear of being rejected, fear of being disliked. As the blood alocohol level rises we lose our fear, our fear of the truth. We can say what we want, be who we want and let the chips fall where they may. We sometimes regret it later, but while the wine is in charge it’s fine.
When we let our guard down we lose our fear of the truth. We’re not afraid to tell it and we’re not afraid to hear it.. In Viking cultures drunkeness was mandatory at civic meetings because they believed it was impossible to lie while under the influence. If only our current politics were so interesting.
Of all the fears that exist in the human condition, I find that the fear of the truth is the strangest. Perhaps it’s a fear of being rejected by reality. Or is it just a fear of Things As They Really Are?