My Truth, Your Truth…

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:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/belief
“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.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/theory
“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.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/truth
“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.
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.

But…
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.

M

 

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About SprinklinThoughts

Give good to the world & make sense of it... the world, not the good... well... OK, the good too. :-)
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7 Responses to My Truth, Your Truth…

  1. Denise Hisey says:

    This was a great post! I think some people align “Truth” and “Reality” as well. Your reality and my reality might be very different from each other (like perspective) but they could both be true. It gets pretty complicated!! 😉

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    • I think we (needlessly) make it complicated… you are you (perceptions, experiences, etc.) and I am I (perceptions, experiences, etc.) but the truth & reality exist outside of those – such as we both ‘are’ and we both exist on this earth (need food, water, air, shelter, etc.)… many will say I am over simplifying, but I believe that this is foundational to living around/with, loving, & respecting each other… so for example: the reality is that we all have a right to be here and to live freely – regardless of someone elses ‘truth’ that may suggest we exist to be enslaved (which, though a personal truth, is actually a non-truth).

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      • Denise Hisey says:

        Wow…I had to read that a couple of times to make sure I understand (hopefully) what you are saying.

        My definition of ‘reality’ was based on how we filter our experiences. This will always be colored by our prior life experiences.

        I believe there are some situations where it’s not about Truth per se (in a black & white form) as in today is Tuesday but there is room for interpretation of events, etc. (different than Truth = my belief is more important than yours.)

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        • Of course you are correct…
          my effort is/was to (hopefully) help bring more attention to the restoration of the balance as IMO we’re way too deep in the ‘my truth’ ‘your truth’ arena which (again IMO) helps to bring about our current ‘plight’… to put it another way, I think it would benefit us to spend a little more time & effort in finding (and living) ‘our’ (or ‘the’) truth.
          …just a thought

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  2. Love the analogies.
    However, with water, you say you can see whether it’s clean or dirty (and so if it’s true or not) but what about chemicals? Not all of them can be seen, the water may appear clean but in reality is ‘infested’ i.e. although something may seem true there could be doubts hiding.
    The diamond is better (in my opinion) but everyone is still viewing the same truth, just from different angles/perspectives. In a way you can argue religions fit into the diamond as there are one (or more) ‘almighty’ being(s) in each who advice/dictate a way of life (usually similar eg. thou shalt not kill etc.
    Sometimes ‘truths’ can be completely different. Evolution vs. Big Bang for instance. (though are they still diamond shaped – both different perspectives on how the world began? Just hardly recognisable as the same rock).
    Great post, thank you 😀

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    • Oh no, thank you. These are great comments. 🙂
      You’re right about the water & chemicals, but… ‘seeing’ the chemicals is part of the process (we ‘see’ with other than just our eyes, yes?), especially once we become aware they exist – a result of agreeing on the truth of clean water & exploring what that is. At least, that’s how/what I think – which thinking leads me to believe that any/all man-made additions to water are probably not good. The “doubts hiding” is one reason for my post – agree on a/the truth, investigate & explore, remove the dark spots/doubts.
      Religions, as the diamond, works (though some would argue these are ‘beliefs’ not truths) and I think can be looked at a couple of ways… all religions are one diamond (an interesting premise), or each is a separate one. But in this context, I would ask: what are we not perceiving here that may be important/of benefit? Similar to finding out that a diamond can cut glass.
      Curious you should mention evolution and the big bang as different. When I look at these two theories (not quite truths as yet) I actually think they might fit together as one… the evolved universe continues to expand until it eventually stops and begins to pull back into one giant black hole, which then implodes/explodes into another expanding & evolving universe. The big bang… “Let there be light”… the first thing coming out of the black hole would be the fastest traveling: light. So does that imply where you see two diamonds, I see one? Or maybe I’m just cross-eyed?
      Lots & lots to look at here… and I’m very happy you stopped to take a peek. Thank you.

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      • I’m glad you pointed out the distiction between beliefs and truths. If they are truly different then truth cannot be contested, everyone’s ‘truths’ are merely beliefs/theories. Some truths become beliefs and some beliefs become truths throught history as knowledge is contested, proved and expanded.
        Religion is very complex. It’s diamonds within diamonds, even within one ‘united’ religion there are severe disagreements.
        At first I saw two diamonds then as I was writing the comment it occured to me it could be one. But surely it’s diamonds within diamonds again. Different versions of evolution, big bang, big bounce etc In fact, I’ve heard it said (by my brother) that there are more scientists who do not believe in the big bang than those who do.
        I’ve really enjoyed this discussion, even though my brain can’t cope after a large meal 😀

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