One of the joys of writing this blog is the response I often receive from readers after the blog is posted. Yesterday, I had a very stimulating online conversation with someone who, after reading my post, engaged me in a question about the meaning of the word, "truth?" In essence, we explored together that age-old question, "Truth? What is truth?"
In our highly intellectualized society, the word "truth" often refers to statements and propositions about reality. True statements conform to what is "really" out there. Scientific principles and mathematical formulae are thought to be "true" descriptions of a real world.
Others use the word "truth" more abstractly. Psychological assertions about human beings- personality traits, internal dispositions, social trends, are all proposed as "truths" about what makes "people tick." In similar manner, theological statements about the nature and qualities of "God" are considered to be truths about what makes "God tick" - who God really is.
Of course the problem with assuming that scientific truths are really true lies in the fact that the world is a process- everything is a constant state of flux and change, much about the physical world is unsolved mystery, and so no formulae can ever actually capture what is really "true" about what is out there.
When it comes to human beings, psychological or sociological research is little more than an approximation about what may possibly be happening inside people.
And when it comes to truth about "God," how can anyone even dare to assert that their ideas about the nature of God actually describe who God is. "God" is the unnameable One, uncontrolled, wild and untamable mystery. It is pure arrogance to assert that doctrine and dogma are "truths" that describe or capture that which cannot even be named.
In this post-modern era, many people today say that there is no such thing as "Truth" - everything we hold as true is actually nothing more than the product of human thought and human explanation. Truth is the sum of the words we use to describe our experiences. Everything is interpreted - filtered through human perception and interpretation. The idea of an objective, stand-alone "Truth," applicable to all peoples in all times and in all cultures simply does not exist.
Yesterday I asked my online friend if he thought there was such a thing as "Truth," and if he did, could he articulate what "Truth" meant to him. His one-sentence response bowled me over, and will probably stick with me for the rest of my life. He said:
The other day I woke up from a dream, and I was one with the morning dawn.
Being one with the morning dawn -that is Truth.
There would have been a time in my life where I would have either failed to comprehend what he meant by this response, or more likely scoffed at it, thinking it was kind of "flakey." Yesterday, when I heard this definition of the "Truth," I instantly understood what he meant, and it deeply resonated with me.
"Being one with the morning dawn" - what a perfectly beautiful description of the "Truth."
"Truth" is never the product of an intellectual process -and is never a set of propositions or assertions. We can only experience "Truth," and only at a deep and even mystical level of awareness. And the "experience"of "Truth" is indeed universal to all people in all places and all times.
The experience of "Truth" is an experience of "at-one-ness" where the "ego" is exposed as a lie and an illusion, where we are deeply and profoundly aware of what really IS- everything and everyone is "flow" - all is relationship.
When I woke up this morning, I immediately thought about my conversation with my online friend. The dawn of day on this Sunday morning is hauntingly beautiful. There "truly" are no words or ideas to describe or analyze or contain this breathtaking beauty.
I am at one with the morning dawn. I know the Truth, and the Truth sets me free.