The other day I was reading a great post about how we should not force our beliefs on another. A valid thought, worth exploring.
But when I read the now familiar phrase, ‘…my truth, your truth…’, I stumbled.
Apparently, when we consider truth, there are two basic schools of thought.
One says that each individual has his or her own experiences and therefore each has his or her own version of the truth.
I suppose this is all well and good – however confusing it can be.
For how do we know which one really has (knows) the truth?
The other says that truth is what it is, regardless of our own individual views or beliefs.
I think it fair to apply the ‘my…your…’ rule to things like beliefs and theories, but not to truth – as follows:
“Something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.“
Therefore, saying “…my belief, your belief…” is correct in that what I believe can certainly be different from what you believe.
“a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.”
So when we say, “…my theory, your theory…” we are correct because individual theories will naturally be based upon personal experience and observation.
“The true (/browse/true) or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth. Conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.“
Here, when we say “…my truth, your truth…” we are incorrect because a fact is what it is, just as truth is what it is.
Truth is something that just is – almost as if it were an entity of its own (a very powerful one, which cannot be destroyed).
When we make truth out to be relative, we demean it. We distort it. We turn it into not-truth.
Many truths are self-evident – they do not need to be proven or disproven – they just are.
Need an example? OK…
Let’s, just for a moment, look at truth as if it were a diamond.
What do we see when it is held up and we look at it?
First of all, each of us sees the diamond from a different viewpoint (our perception).
Depending on the angle of light, we may see the diamond as a clear white gem, or one with red sparkles in it, or even one with blue sparkles in it.
Yet, regardless of what we think we see, there is a diamond there, and it will exist as a diamond no matter how we look at it or describe it.
The diamond is a truth.
Here’s a slightly different way of seeing truth…
Water is a truth.
Want to dispute water?
Would you care to prove it or disprove it?
We can see truth – clean water – dirty water
We can feel truth – clean water – dirty water
We can know truth – clean water nurtures (good) – dirty water does not nurture (not good)
We can do truth – clean water – dirty water
Why do I think this is so important?
Because I think if we discard ‘truth’, or make it somehow ‘relative’, then we discard a large portion of a fundamental foundation.
Kind of like sailing around on the ocean but disagreeing about the stars – my stars are not your stars.
Discarding the truth of the stars that guide us, we sail with no way of checking our direction/position – we get lost.
I think if we lose real, hard truth, we lose… and that is not good.
I think if we keep truth as truth and strive to understand it as best we can, then we hold the map in our hands… and that is good.