There are tons of *Big Questions* out there, but one of the bigger ones is “What is Truth?” A friend and I got into a discussion about this on my Facebook page this week, and I found it really interesting. No one else joined in, of course. People tend to be afraid of discussing Big Questions. As a society, we just aren’t very good at it anymore, if we ever were!
How we approach the idea of Truth (note the capital ‘T’) tells a lot about how we approach life, I think. Is it all about absolutes? Do you think you know what Truth is? Can you recognize it when you see it? I think we would all like to think we do … but we don’t all see it the same way, so what does that mean? What does it mean that we can’t agree on what truth or Truth is? Obviously, this has a huge impact on the world as a whole, since wars are fought over my truth versus your truth every day.
Whether it is with regards to religion, philosophy or politics, my vision of truth is what drives me. I suspect that yours drives you. I think we are afraid to discuss them, because we might have to admit that our truth isn’t the only one out there. I believe this is something we all sense deep inside, else we wouldn’t be so afraid that it might start a fight to share our opinions. If there is a truth we can all agree on, perhaps it is that one!
I remember talking with a friend many years ago and describing Truth / God as a humongous faceted diamond. None of sees exactly the same facets. Each of us finds it beautiful and awe-inspiring, but when we try to describe it, our best efforts don’t match up. It doesn’t matter how hard we try, there will always be differences in our descriptions. None of us is trying to be deceitful about it. We simply have unique perspectives. We each see a different set of facets! If I try to believe and follow your vision of this amazing Truth, I will not be living from my own. This is the essence of the gnostic belief system from the time of Christ. We each have our own inner knowing (gnosis) and, if we are spiritually honest, that is what we have to live from.
Perhaps that explains why it seems that, in general, people associate who they are with their version of the truth. I think I tend to do this too, mind you. When someone questions the validity of my version of the truth, it feels like they are attacking me, personally. It takes conscious effort to remember that these two things are not one and the same. We truly can have different opinions about the nature of reality and manage not to hate or fear each other … if we are willing to let go of ego.
I have heard ego described with the acronym, Edging God Out. I believe that Truth, with that capital ‘T’ is actually just another of the many names of the Divine. So, as soon as I start letting my ego get into the conversation, I have Edged God Out – and I have lost my vision of Truth …. Likely, I don’t have so good a grip on lower-case “t” truth either! This is why I truly do believe that we all let our point of view color our capacity to understand any kind of truth. It is how we are wired! Objectivity is not our strong suit as a species, and to really get a grip on the truth, we would have to have such a wide view of the world, it is beyond our capacity even to contemplate.
Does this mean it is all relative? I don’t think so. If I can’t see the whole truth, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. As a spiritual person, I believe it is my fool’s journey to learn to trust the Divine Truth, not my puny human interpretation of it. To honestly let go of ego and trust Truth even close to 100% of the time takes the faith and the capacity to surrender of a Jesus, a Buddha or a Gandhi. I am not saying it can’t be done. I am saying that I am not there yet. I am working on it. I try to listen within for the still, small voice before I open my mouth, or move my feet, or start typing. It is hard to remember that it doesn’t matter if I am right. I don’t need to be in control to be happy. As a matter of fact, if my ego is in control, the Divine isn’t! So, I try to remember to let go of that pesky ego, and keep focused on what really matters: letting Spirit speak through me without any hindrance from me, letting Spirit use my gifts to be of service to others without my trying to inject what I think is best into the mix.
It is a practice though, and I have a very long way to go.