Do you think that truth exists with a capital T, that there is some truth that cannot possibly be an untruth?
This is a question that has baffled philosophers since the beginning of time. The pages of history are loaded with truths, about the world and the human condition, that have been claimed or proven by people at one time or another.
For instance, it was once thought that the earth was flat, that if we went to the edge of the world as far as could be seen with the eyes, we would literally fall off into space. It was once thought that the only way to appease the Gods was through human sacrifice and many a young virgin was thrown into a bubbling volcano. It was once thought that a woman’s womb could travel up into the head or down into the toes, with many interesting and painful cures put forth for this so-called wandering womb. People once believed that we could not, nor would we ever, fly in the sky like birds. It was once believed that people could be witches who were seen as evil and the only way to vanquish them was to burn them alive. People used to think that blacks were born to be slaves, that if they tried to run away from their masters it was because they had some disease of the mind, of which they could be painfully cured.
In comparatively more recent times, it has been said that all the world’s continents were once joined together in one giant mass of land, which they have called Gaia. It has been said that it’s all relative, that e=mc2, that religion is the opiate of the masses, that God is dead, there is life on other planets, that the sun is a big ball of fire, that the universe in which we find ourselves came to be because of a big bang somewhere, and the planet we live on is the only one able to sustain human life, which is the apex of human evolution, having come to be because one day a little amoeba decided to split.
It was once thought that native people had no religion, no idols and no god. It is now thought that native people are spiritual people who can talk with the animals. It has been said that the Jewish people are the chosen ones, that God made a new covenant with the Christians, that Mohammed was the final prophet, that beings are in a continuous cycle of reincarnation, and that there is no soul and no god (and that this realization can lead to Nirvana).
Today some people will claim some of these statements and beliefs to be the truth with a capital T, to be fact and right, the other statements are therefore wrong, false, not truth. They can present ’proof’ in the form of data, texts and other tangible items. The whole concept of looking for truth and understanding things as truth have evolved, and continue to evolve, from the answers to four basic questions. Who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going? And, how do I get there? The answers become a world view.
Those who don’t follow the truths that come in the form of guidelines as proclaimed as world views, introduce chaos into the general order of things. This is evident by the words associated with truth: untruth, lie, wrong, unproven, chaotic, and primitive.
Yet if we take into account that all cultures developed pretty much independently of each other with their own languages and we know that the English language is fallible when looking at a foreign culture, we can’t help but be presented with not only varying ways of expressing truth, but also different truths.
Just as beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, truth too is subjective. Life can be compared to a huge puzzle and once given this gift, our goal is to determine what each piece is and where it belongs so that one day we will produce a picture that makes sense. Once we see the picture, we have a clearer idea of who we are, where we came from, where we are going and how to get there. Truths thus provide the building blocks for life.
In the Western world, our lives our influenced by truths that have been expounded through the various social and religious institutions, like the government, media and schools, without us even knowing where or how the truths were determined. We most often do not even realize that we have accepted what is told to us as true, as Truth. We accept it because of where the truth comes from, or because of the proof presented to us -they come from an authority figure, learned scholars or experts, the results of numerous studies and careful observation. It is said to be fact, to be real and true. In many cases, facts, in whatever form, make up that which we take as truth. We have some to accept that what is fact is something tangible, in that it can be experienced or measured in some way by an individual.
However, it is no secret that people lie. It’s a human instinct that we learn as we get older to protect ourselves, to take advantage of situations, to basically get what we want. It is also no secret that with today’s technology, facts can easily be fabricated, even visual ones.
So the next time you read or hear something and someone is claiming it as Truth, just remember that you can’t believe half of what you hear and even less of what you see. Sometimes we just need to experiment with truth, take it for a personal spin, and see what results.
Essences and spirits and the feeling of God (or call it what you will) inside are not things that can be measured, and most often are those individual personal things that remind us of the Truth, with a capital T.