Sunday, January 26, 2014

Truth? What is Truth?

"Sunday Dawning"

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. 






8 comments:

  1. Truth in my opinion is the state on mind. Somr have conscious truth and some have subconscious truth. It is the perspective of the beholder which defines a statement into true or false. What is right to me can be wrong to you and vice versa. Same things from the other side of the table are always different. One becomes true and the other false. So isn't it really the state of mind.

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    1. This would be a terrible thing if this were true what you say. Truth is eternal, undividable; it is present in every rock, in every animal – and in you. Truth is not negotiable – if it were there would be no existence of the one supreme which is in all of us. The Tao states: The Tao is older than God. This sentence sounds easier than it is. Read it again, and you will understand that it is not about some local God, or local truth. To understand this 'truth' you have to transcend the ordinary state of your consciousness – which has only a limited view of this thing we call truth. The transcended mind knows what the totality knows – because it has returned to its source of oneness with THAT which is and always was.

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  2. Alok, I personally don't think "truth"(as I am using the word) has anything to so with the mind or the intellect. As I see it, Intellectual propositions are different from truth. Truth is an experience of oneness-available to everyone (universally).

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  3. Truth in other words is something which is definite and the only definite thing in the world is death. Everyone knows that and experiences that. But how many are able to accept that. In spirituality the ultimate truth is 'nirvana'. That is finding oneself in oneness with God. But has the God been found. God is there for all but can everyone say that they have felt his presence. It is only a universal sounding board which people turn to whenever they need to. If things happen the way you want to you say its God's will, if they don't you say it's God's will. Acceptance to the circumstance is a work of mind. Hence truth can vary from the state of mind. It can be or can be not. True or false.

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    1. Alok, I mean truth as something outside opinions and situations - the objective truth which stays untouched by what you and I think of it. The truth of God - if you want to call it - not our private, subjective truth. You can feel and experience God as you want, that has no influence on the truth. People once believed that the earth was flat - does this mean there was no objective truth to this believe? All people, at any time in history thought they had figured it out - to know the ultimate truth. This goes on to this very day, and every time they are surprised to see - that it isn't really the case.

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    2. Alen, very insightful. The instance that anyone feels they have "arrived"-figured it out, the one thing you can be sure of is that they have not!

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  4. Thank you Paul, I'm glad that I was able to choose the right words - it's not really easy to talk about that.

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  5. amen. beautifully written. thanks.

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