What is Truth?

A very interesting evening at the gathering of the Authentic Freedom Contemplative Community last night.  The question was posed to the group about the nature of truth.  What is truth?  Is truth only relative?  Is there something we can consider to be “the absolute truth?”  AHHHHH…to ponder the unanswerable questions!    Ironically, I had originally planned a meditation using a segment of the soundtrack from the rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar where Pilate and Jesus explore these very same questions:

Pilate:   Then you’re a king?

Jesus:  It’s you that say I am.  I look for truth and find that I get damned.

Pilate:  But what is truth?  Is truth unchanging law?  We both have truths – are mine the same as yours?

 

In this dialogue, Jesus and Pilate play out the never-ending human quandary.  What is truth?  Is there an absolute truth?  Are my truths the same as yours? 

Now, I certainly cannot claim to have a monopoly on truth….neither do I have the arrogance to proclaim that I know any truth.  I leave that to the individual to discern.   Truth, I think, by its very nature may be something that we cannot define or put into a box.  Rather, I wonder if truth is something that can only be known.  And the knowing I’m referring to here is not intellectual knowing, of the head or of the mind, but a deeper knowing that exists in the depths of our being, perhaps in our heart.   As such, the pursuit of truth seems to exist within the world of mystery.  This is a mystery that seems to exist beyond our human desire to categorize, separate, define, limit, etc.   As such, this mystery we call truth resides beyond our religious beliefs or denominations, beyond our race, color, creeds, orientations, etc.   I might be tempted to call this truth “God”, but even that limits the mystery. 

Fortunately, I am not plagued by the desire for truth to be defined.  I am content to live within the mystery and allow the truth to be revealed to me in the ways that I am ready to receive it at the time that is in my highest good.  Living within the mystery allows me to be open to explore the world and our human experience in it from a place of awe-filled wonder.  I have also had the gift of not being deluded by institutions that claim to hold a monopoly on the truth.  “It is not the truth unless it is explicitely handed by the magesterium,” simply doesn’t work for me.  Again, this is the human in us trying to put truth/god in a box.  I am content to know that Jesus’ promise will be fulfilled in our searching:

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

So, for those who seek to know the truth, perhaps this is our guide:  What leads you to freedom?  What releases you from your inner prisons of fear, false perceptions, compulsions and ego attachments?  What brings you into an expansive life experience?  What gives you joy?  Love?  Peace?  Perhaps it is by these things that we shall know the truth.

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