For several weeks now, I have had a persistent, nagging thought: “Truth is more than what comes out of someone else’s mouth.” And then I think how wonderful it would be if everyone felt this way.
The evolution of American culture in the third decade of the third millennium has really started to get to folks. It’s getting to where it’s hard to tell what to believe anymore. That, fueled with the popular acceptance that if something isn’t 100% true, it must be 100% false, and people in positions of influence spreading what has come to be known as “fake news,” it’s even harder to discern the truth from fiction.
Honestly, it seems like we have gotten to the point where if someone tells a lie enough times, it somehow becomes true. That is disturbing to me.
I met with a group of like-minded folks a couple of weeks ago, and we got into a discussion about what “truth” really is. It’s not like truth comes with an official Certificate of Authenticity that we can verify. We still might not trust it, even if it did!
Some might say that “truth” is what we believe. And on some level, this might be accurate, because what we believe becomes “true” to us. Yet it’s easy to believe things that aren’t true, especially if we heard it from a source we trust.
To me, there is only one truth: that which is. Truth is governed by the natural laws of the universe and cannot be changed. Part of our journey in this earthly life is to discover that truth.
Some people say that Earth is school. Our spirit comes here to learn everything it can in a body whose slate has pretty much been wiped clean at birth. Then we start filling up on knowledge and experience, which leads to an understanding of truth.
I tend to think it’s the other way around. I think we learn the concepts of everything there is to know before we ever get here, and then our earthly life is spent seeking understanding of those concepts. Kind of like when you graduate from high school or college. You’ve learned a lot, but you don’t necessarily know how to use it. To me, our earthly purpose is to gain practical experience. And that helps us understand the truth we already know deep within our soul.
But how do we find truth, especially when there seem to be so many versions of it around us? One of my teachers had it boiled down to one word: discernment. As we grow and experience things in life, we gain discernment – the ability to separate the wheat from the chaffe, so to speak. Taking time to understand what is going on and why, and then using the power of reasoning and intuition to distinguish what is real from what is hype, so we can focus our energies in the most productive ways.
We discern things all the time. Sometimes our patterns of reasoning need a little work, but we do it. More often, we don’t. We just trust.
It is said that science is a quest for the truth. Some would say religion is, too. I would argue that science takes assumptions and tests them. Religion tends to take tests and makes assumptions about them, but the process is similar, and they complement each other. We need to examine what we experience, and find meaning for ourselves. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. But we also have to trust that we will make it through, even if we don’t figure it out. Ultimately, we’ll get there one way or another, in this life or the next!
Meanwhile, don’t get too wrapped up in the idea of what truth really is, because it just is, whether we believe it or not. Take time to contemplate on life, on a regular basis. Ask yourself, and the higher power that expresses in, around, and through you, what is for your highest good – not what you want, but what is best for you. And for your family. And for your community. And for your country. And for your world.
Former vice president Al Gore produced a movie a few years ago called, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Truth is rarely convenient. That doesn’t mean we can’t work with it. The more we’re willing to work with truth, the less we’ll find ourselves fighting against it. And each other!