By Kelly La Sha
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What is truth? Can it even be known? Is it vain to assume that we could grasp it with the limited capacities of our human consciousness? Is the endless quest for truth actually just an attempt to relieve our anxieties about our own insignificance, and our own suffering? Is the search for truth really about release from our existential pain, the pain of contradictions within our conflicted beliefs and between our “nature” and our abstract “idealizations” of what we think we should be? Has “truth” ended up becoming just a convenient term for our chosen belief system?
The popular assumption of truth is that it is a solid, static and unchanging foundation within or beneath all phenomena. If it changes it can’t be truth. If it can’t be repeated over and over in a laboratory it can’t be true. If it dies it can’t be true. If it does not endure in all domains and in all times, it is but illusion and unworthy to be called truth. Another attendant assumption and belief is that until this “truth” is discovered or known, no peace or true happiness can be known, which is why people search for it so desperately.
Truth has become a synonym for “God” to many in search of spiritual attainment. Truth is seen as the hard-sought answers to the unending mysteries of our universe to those in the scientific disciplines. Whatever the approach to the question, the answer seems to escape our grasp no matter how much we would like to think otherwise.
Most ideas of truth are created by groups of people; communities of culture, church, and state, as well as by institutions of higher learning. As groups are prone to reduce any chaotic or contradictory influences, they tend to create tenets of belief, doctrine and myth that ensure the cohesiveness and integrity of their created community. The beliefs doctrines, dogmas and such become the “truth” to its members, and life is socially functional within the group only as long as its members agree uniformly to its tenets. But, all in all, the general understanding is that truth is the primordial state of things, a static and unchanging foundation from which all temporal forms emerge. So, you could say that the search for truth has been a kind of treasure hunt for that part of life that is unchanging; yet from which all changing phenomena are created.
Upon examination, it becomes apparent that our view of truth has everything to do with our point of view. “Who” is looking and from where, pretty much determines and defines what it is. That is, until the “who” grows into a different “who” by his or her own life experiences, beliefs, initiative and imagination, or until he or she decides to change perspective. And if one’s quest is to know “absolute” truth, then any singular point of perspective is not going to get it done.
Maybe Truth is not a thing at all, but a living dialogue between all life’s parts and all of life’s hidden parts. Maybe it’s not a question to answer because that would imply an end to any original and emergent possibilities. Maybe it’s a continuous discovery, an unending and ever-flowering reach into the wild of the unknown. And all while constantly creating the unknown and eternally adding to what it is, in a joyful and dramatic motion. Maybe it doesn’t want to be known at all. Maybe it just wants to dance, to play hide and seek with itself, to forget, only to enjoy remembering. Could it be that Truth is not an answer to be found at all, but rather, a beautiful duet to be sung, a serenade to the beauty of endless sunsets?
Maybe truth is best known through our own eyes, mind, heart and soul, as they discover their alliance in one holistic self. Maybe truth is revealing itself in every direction that love calls us; our love for knowledge and peace, our love for creativity, our love for beauty and justice, our love for one another, and yes, our secret love for mystery. Actualizing self love through innocent and child-like self honesty, self awareness, and self acceptance, not only dissolves self contradiction and fear, but somehow dissolves the need to have one definitive answer to that nagging question. And if truth is God, and God is love, and we are living love; then we are the truth creating and discovering itself. And that may be as close to an answer as we will ever get.
If you believe that the heart of truth is Love and the separator from truth is fear, then religion, science and culture are the inadvertent perpetrators of the separation of people from that very “truth” written in their own hearts and souls. They say in effect, “You are unqualified to know the truth.” But, what if the truth is unique to each of us, a perfect and fitting match, an honored recognition of the beauty of our differences, with grateful appreciation of our individual and inimitable qualities. Maybe some abstract apprehension of the “absolute truth” isn’t really that useful to our individual work.
So, do we even need to crack the riddle of life to be at peace? Is there really an answer to the question, or would we be better served to accept that the mystery is not a problem to be solved. We would respectfully like to suggest that “truth” is in fact the “mystery” of you. And the engagement of that truth is the action of us rather than an answer to a question.