By | October 6, 2017

What is Truth?

We have a world that is confounding and disturbing at times. That may lead one to ask the question, ‘What is truth?” The dictionary is no help, “the quality or state of being true”.  Great; helpful. Our elders and mentors can offer opinions but they aren’t much more help.

I don’t know a way to distill such a question into a simple answer.  Knowing truth is like knowing you’re in love. Balls to bones (thank you, Oracle from the Matrix). If you aren’t sure, you don’t understand the truth. Facts are a component of truth. Much ‘truth’ is misunderstood but accepted from lack of introspection and interrogation of our beliefs.

I do know some simple truths that are ignored all too often. (ignored based on emotions/reactions toward others who are part of ‘teams’, ‘causes’ or ‘outrage’ that differs from our current understanding). I would encourage you to explore ones you know and put them to the test.

  1. Ultimately, we are one.
  2. Any differences had from person to person make us unique.
  3. Any differences between us are minor in comparison to what we share.
  4. Words are actions; they can harm and bring harmony. No different would bullies be if they physically assaulted their subjects of verbal attacks.
  5. We all suffer. No one escapes. From our birth to death, life is struggle.
  6. We all deal with suffering. How shapes our personalities and experience.
  7. The meaning of life is love and happiness, based on intangible relationships. We may purchase goods to ‘feel good’ temporarily or experience short term meaning by standing against something. True meaning is found from within.
  8. Fear, worry, denial, regret and anger are most frequently the product of misunderstanding or ignorance to what is. Everyone does it; anyone can stop doing it (mostly).
  9. Entropy and transience are ultimately at the core of our experience. Nothing ever remains the same and without another force, order will succumb to disorder.
  10. My role in this life is to help others; ‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.’ (Jim Elliot)

There are no answers. There are no ‘finished’ people. We all have room to grow; even revered persons such as Tenzin Gyatso (the 14th Dalai Lama) would never claim to have all the answers. Humility in the face of the great unknown is my greatest driving force; the older I get, the less I know.  Of course, this statement is an idea; in youth, we believe we know everything.  As we age, many people come to realize the truth that we can never know everything and much of what we thought we knew has been shown to be inaccurate. What I thought was meaningful has turned into a mist of steam that just as quickly evaporates into nothing.

I do not attempt to explain the way of the world.  Am I HAPPY? Does my spirit give and receive ‘Love’? Am I on the Bodhisattva path?  Yep; I will attempt to do them all to the utmost. 

The more we understand that truth is elusive, the more time and care we must take to treat those truths with care and take the time to deeply understand our own beliefs so those truths are beautiful, meaningful, precious and fragile if not honored.