Someone asked me the other day what the most significant shift has been on earth in my lifetime. I thought it was a beautiful question and volunteered after a few minutes of thought that the most significant change I could see was that truth used to matter more.
What is truth?
Nowadays it seems that most confuse truth with the so-called facts of the matter. “Ain’t that the truth,” they say, while agreeing about some limitation in a person or circumstance. Or they say “the truth of the matter is…” while offering some juicy tidbit that everyone else is missing in their “humble” opinion.
Universal, objective truth sits above human perception and opinion. The truth in this sense is true, regardless of what human beings think or feel about it. In this sense, there is no “your” truth or “my” truth. The truth is always true and cannot be made to bend to human fancy or popular opinion.
Why does truth matter and why should we pursue it?
Truth matters because it is the framework of the larger pattern in which we are contained. Among other things, truth is composed of the principles and laws that govern all creative activity, not just here on earth, but in the universe at large. Truth in this sense is a guide, an invisible template for creation.
As a human being, you create. You give voice, expression, and form to the invisible. Your thoughts and feelings take shape through your words and actions. If you create without respect to the truth, you are likely to destroy more than you create. Destruction amplifies chaos in the world; fulfillment is found when you create order out of chaos.
How do I find the truth?
The truth is always at hand. To see truth more clearly, you have to be willing to suspend your opinions, or at least allow for the possibility that you might be seeing things in a limited way. For example, most people see conversations—particularly heated ones—as an opportunity to make a point or prove a point. Rather than going into conversations with a “winner takes all” mindset, consider entering into them in the spirit of “let us commune, that we may find wholeness together.”
Wholeness is a recognition of oneness, not sameness. Just because we share an opinion with another doesn’t make us whole. We are made whole to the degree that we find alignment in truth, individually and collectively. There is always a point of truth above any two or more who seek agreement on earth. Think of it like a triangle, with a line between you and another with whom you converse, and a line from each of you that stretches up to a common point. You can find that point with people who seem vastly different from you if you both seek it.
Is truth a lost cause?
Some argue these days for the dissolution of the state where objective truth matters. This idea or agenda is spreading through our intellectual elite in universities as well as in politics. It takes many forms, yet at its root is the idea that perception matters more than reality, that feelings about matter more than truth. In one sense we needn’t worry because truth is truth and all is well, regardless of how many people believe in a nonsensical falsehood, but in another we must care deeply about this matter because it affects our individual liberties.
Only truth can make you free. Some reject this statement because they think it means that you have to subscribe to a set of religious opinions to enjoy freedom, but truth sits above human opinion, whether such opinions were formed in a church or anywhere else for that matter. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” was not a mandate that originated with the Christian Church. When it was spoken, Christianity as an organized religion had not yet come into being.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” was a brilliant, succinct, and timeless description of the reality of being. It is not a lost cause…far from it. The truth is alive and well and shall remain as such regardless of what others might tell you in their well-crafted messages of justice, equality, inclusion, and fairness.
For the truth to matter to you, you must take responsibility for seeking it and living according to it. Do so and you shall be made whole, be made free. Fail to do so and you will live in a prison that you have participated in making.
The choice is yours, but you won’t see that unless truth truly matters to you.
Photo by Michael Carruth on Unsplash