Truth Alone Will Not
Truth, what does that mean to you? People will argue about it, fight over it, start wars and terror campaigns over it. Think of all the pain that has been cause throughout the ages because of the disparate perspectives of truth. You can’t touch it, but you can twist and turn it. You can’t see it, but there are still different sides to it. Truth is a concept with many different sides and facets to it, yet it emanates from the same central point of the subject in question. We each hold our own truths about a variety of subjects; politics, religion, culture, music, interests, work, etc.
What is truth?
Truth is the answer that each of us comes up with after asking ourselves a question. These questions could be related to anything, but could go something like this “Is there a God?”, “Who am I?”, “Who is responsible for helping the poor?”, “What football team is the best?”, etc. You will likely gravitate towards people who have come up similar answers to their own questions. The more people that collect around a particular answer, the more confirmation bias there is and the more validity those will feel in their righteousness, i.e., the stronger their conviction would be that their truth is the only “correct” truth.
However, have you ever asked yourself who gives you the answer to your question? Is it the pure essence of yourself or is it your Ego with all the programming and influences from your family, religion, community, culture, etc, that comes up with the answer? It is usually when you ask this question in particular that your life turns upside down and you start to question and revaluate everything, which is a very healthy pursuit, however challenging it is. If you are “straying from the herd” relying on your own inherit truth you could end up ostracised from your safety net and your community, but you still pursue your truth. This is how important truth is to some of us, we are willing to sacrifice our worldly securities for our integrity and truth.
Whether it be your religious/spiritual views, political views, cultural views or any other views that you hold as your truth, there is at least one more viewpoint to it that would be someone else’s truth. So if there are many aspects of truth around each subject matter, which truth is then the “ultimate” truth? If you are a religious person, what would happen if you questioned the truth propagated by your religious authority? What would happen if humanity questioned their truths all at once? Would we not come up with new truths in the new paradigm that we would find ourselves in? Hence, we would switch one truth for another, simply just gyrating around to another truth facet of the subject matter.
The Paradox of Truth
Because of the universal law of “cause and effect”, truth from the perspective of our human experience will always have a “good” and a “bad” effect. We tend to judge what is the truth based on the outcome where the weight is shifted towards “good”. However, what is good and bad is another paradoxical concept as it is judged by the observer, so my “good” could be your “bad”. Since we are all having a human experience, our truths will always be conceived from our human perspective with our experiences as a backdrop. If you’ve had an “awakening”, i.e. started questioning the truth in everything around you, you will start searching for a “new” truth. That new truth will then be viewed from the new experiences you’ve had on the journey of truth exploration you went on, plus all your previous experiences as well. You are simply viewing the truth from a different prism of the same subject as you were before.
As humans, having a human experience, we need “truths” to experience life through. It allows us to experience our full range of emotions because we have a benchmark from which we judge our experiences; our individual truths. Ultimately, as our search has reviewed enough truths, we ought to come to the conclusion that no or all truths must be valid, they all coexist in the paradoxes of truths. Our human minds cannot even begin to define “all that is”, so we have spent millennia coming up with a wide spectrum of variations of how we perceive the concept and thus have come up with a plethora of religions, myths, societal structures, etc.. Who is to say that any religion is correct, they might all be right, or might all be wrong at the same time. The truth of this and any other subject that is judged from the perspective of “truth”, are in paradoxes.
The catalyst for my own realisation of the truth as a paradox has been through the lens of Covid 19. I was in a discussion on Facebook arguing for the necessity to shut down society as much as possible to “flatten out the curve”, while others felt the economic and subsequent human cost would be to great, it would be better to take the human cost through Covid 19 early and be done with it. Going through the many assumptions of threats and risks in every conceivable scenario, I could only conclude that, “I don’t know”. Then I started to look at my political views, spiritual views, etc. and, hand on heart, I had to admit to myself at every turn, “I don’t know”. So, if I don’t know, who does? The only answer I came up with to that question was, “no one!”. Even when we examine previous experiences, we cannot know the truth as we cannot predict the outcome of the choices we didn’t make.
Coming to the realisation that truth is a paradox brought me a tremendous sense of relief. Understanding truth as a paradox set me, at least that part of me, free. It allowed me to further detach from the sufferings that one experiences in life. It also reveals space for me to consider any truth presented to me from the perspective of the paradox. This, in turn, allows to me fully embrace a compassionate and objective view propagating peace and understanding. Ask yourself, “What would happen if humanity as a whole viewed truth as a paradox?”.