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What is Truth?

Burdened perhaps by a history of social, religious and class intolerance, we – as a society, appear to have lost our way on the certainty of the values of things. Long-held beliefs about God, Country, Society, Tribe, Truth or Falsehood are now regarded as either relative or treated with circumspection. Even love is perceived by many as some grand delusion or fuzzy hog-wash? Is it? In an apparent bid for political correctness or perhaps for fear of bigotry and insensibility, we appear to be over-compensating for our mistakes of the past? Are we throwing away the baby with the bathwater?
Can every idea and inferences of their truths simply be sublimed in relativism? If everything is relative, then what constitutes is the fate of truth? As a premise for exploring this further, let us agree - that beyond relativism and individualism, there are fundamental values we must hold true in order to relate with each other, and live together as a collective in tribes, societies, states, countries and the World. If we shy away from our values, what do we have to correct our mistakes? For example, can’t we safely agree - that racism - in any form, is basically and fundamentally ignorant, if not outright inanity. We also can surmise that a person driving against the traffic on a one-way street is in fact doing something unintelligent. I could go on, and on. Altogether, we can conclude that the only safe extension of the truth still lies within the limits of the context in which it is considered. We can live with the fact that within the context of addition in base 10, one plus one being two - is, and will always be true.

P/s: Please resist subliming this discourse into sheer sophistry and semantics.

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    Apr 26 2014: There's a story about an angel who was flying along, carrying the Mirror of Truth, but the angel flew just a bit too low, and the Mirror of Truth hit the top of a very tall mountain. The Mirror of Truth shattered into countless tiny pieces and was scattered across the World. Every so often, someone will come across one of these tiny pieces and hold it aloft, declaring "I have found the Truth. Follow me and believe."

    Saying "the Truth" - rather than saying "I have found a tiny bit of Truth. Who else has found such a bit of Truth, that we might unite our pieces in order to help us all see more of the Truth more clearly?"

    There is such a 'thing' as Truth - a.k.a. Real Truth, Objective Truth, Cosmic Truth, the Laws of Nature, etc. - and we find bits and pieces of it that are mixed in among our multitudes of subjective truths; our relative truths. But, because we are not ourselves able to be objective, we are unable to recognize the differences.

    Objective Truth is that which is always true, regardless of perspective, belief or agenda. Subjective truth depends mostly upon our moods, perspectives, beliefs and agendas; it changes as we ourselves change, as conditions and situations change; it differs between individuals. There is often a seed, a hint, a taste, a glimpse of Objective Truth hidden within our subjective truths, but we immediately distort these bits of Objective Truth to suit the desires and fears of our egos.

    Only through diminishing the ego, only though letting go of our fears and desires, and instead opening ourselves as completely as possible, will we be able to start seeing and knowing Objective Truth more clearly. Only by recognizing that we are all in this together, that we are intimately and inextricably interconnected and interdependent, only by opening to embrace each other in our great diversity, will we become able to share our clearer glimpses of Objective Truth and begin to build a larger vision of what Objective Truth really is.
    • Apr 26 2014: What a beautiful approach to explaining "truth", and what a great opening statement to follow your narrative.
    • Apr 27 2014: Agree with Dino, the distinction you made between objective and subjective truths really made sense to me. As an example, Objective=nature or reality, and subjective might be be man's awareness or knowledge of it.
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        Apr 27 2014: Thanks, Robert.

        Subjective truth is something that is real for me, from my limited perspective, based on my limited experience. Aspects of my perspective of reality may or may not be true for another, and they also may or may not be true from an objective view, and if they do correspond with Objective Truth/Reality, it's likely to be mere coincidence. Either way, I'm not really in a good position to judge because I live in my subjective world. Therefore, expecting others to share or even understand my limited, subjective truth is unreasonable because such sharing or understanding is unlikely. Furthermore, trying to impose my subjective reality/truth upon someone else is unfair and unjust and will always lead to conflict.

        Objective Truth, Objective Reality, is independent of the awareness, the views, the perceptions, the knowledge, the understanding of any individual or group. It is possible, however, that the collective vision of a group can recognize aspects of Objective Truth. It's also possible that an individual can recognize aspects of Objective Truth.

        In order for an individual to do so, that individual has to release any attachments that result in self-identification with anything outside of one's true self - outside of one's essential nature - and thereby become able to know what one's essential nature is. Knowing one's essential nature is itself a knowing of Objective Truth.

        The advantage a group may have over an individual is that members of a group may have different attachments and various freedoms from attachment, both of which can help individuals more easily see and learn to let go of their attachments. A potential disadvantage in any group is that the group identity can itself easily become an insurmountable barrier to anyone in the group when it is adopted as part of individual identity.

        Ultimately, however, becoming able to see and operate from the basis of Objective Truth is an individual journey. It is the essence of the spiritual journey.
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      Apr 29 2014: Carl, beautifully said .Thank you for your wisdom.
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    Apr 29 2014: There was a farmer who lived on his little farm where he, his wife and son tended to their few crops and animals, one of which was their only horse, a fine mare. One day the mare ran off. The neighbors offered their sympathy: "What terrible luck that your horse ran away." "Maybe so, maybe not; we'll see" said the farmer.

    A few days later, the mare returned with several wild horses following her. The neighbors were ecstatic: "What wonderful luck that your horse not only returned but also brought you more horses!" "Maybe so, maybe not; we'll see" said the farmer.

    A few days later, the farmer's son was working with one of the wild horses, trying to break it. The boy was thrown and his leg was broken. Again the neighbors offered their sympathy: "What terrible luck that your son's leg is broken. Now he will not be able to help you and he may be lame." "Maybe so, maybe not; we'll see" said the farmer.

    A few days later, the local war lord sent his men to the village to recruit all the able bodied young men to fight against another war lord. But the son with the broken leg, not being able bodied, was not taken away. The neighbors proclaimed: "How lucky you are that your son has a broken leg and did not have to go to fight and risk injury or death." "Maybe so, maybe not; we'll see" said the farmer...

    This story illustrates the Objective Truth that subjective truth is relative and therefor not constant. It is true (in the story) that all of the reported events happened. It is not absolutely true that any particular event was either "good" or "bad" - only that each one seemed to be "good" or "bad" in the moment, which is relative truth.

    It is absolutely true that moments change and that relative truth changes. The only constant is change, which is an Objective Truth, which may also seem to be a paradox.

    When we become attached to subjective/relative truth, we thereby try to resist the Objective Truth of constant change, and we create many difficulties for ourselves.
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    Apr 28 2014: It is maybe not that the best definition of truth, but, I believe that all of us are creating the truth based on our views.. so I'm supporting truth relativiity version.
    Mine truth is mine creation, based on mine view of situaion, on mine values and emotional participation in the situation. And it's true, that that is only mine. And every single participant of situation creates his version of truth.
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    Apr 27 2014: the truth lies within each of us. we generally call it opinion but in each person's head is their view of the world and society. for that person, in that moment, it is the truth. it is what they know.

    when a thinking person frequently measures what they know against what they observe, noting differences and reconciling them, they are learning, growing, changing, progressing, maturing, gaining experience, or whatever you want to call it.

    therefore, the truth is not only different for everyone, it is also often changing for many people.

    of course, there are people for whom it doesn't change because they do not examine their truths closely or compare them with what the observe around them. this is what manifests as ignorance or naivety.

    society, for what it's worth, is billions of individuals and the thousands of systems of governance they employ. there really is no "we", just a muddling through.
  • May 5 2014: And how does all of this effect Pinocchio?
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      May 5 2014: Nathaniel'

      It shrinks his nose back to size or makes it bigger.
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    Apr 28 2014: John 8:31-32 NIV
    [31] To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. [32] Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    :-)
    • Apr 29 2014: sad
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        Apr 29 2014: This man has transformed the lives of millions, nothing sad about that.

        :-)
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        May 1 2014: Why sad, Mr. Patel?
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      Apr 30 2014: Peter,

      I hope Christ was not just talking to the Jews that believed in him. To hold a teaching one must value the teaching. To be a disciple is to be disciplined in what is being taught. There are many teachings and teachers not all of them teach the way to Truth. With that I greatly respect your posts. Regards
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        Apr 30 2014: Hi Larry.
        I guess that on this occasion he was indeed speaking to believing Jews. However the offer is universal.
        1) Read what he has to say.
        2) Evaluate the information for yourself.
        3) Make a decision based on what you find.
        Nothing is more important than the prospect of eternal life, so I reckon a bit of investigation is worth anyone's time. I agree there are lots of Gurus out there; not so many rose from the dead. It is also worth remembering that counterfeiting is pretty pointless unless there exists a genuine article somewhere.

        :-)
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      May 1 2014: Hi Peter,

      What is the truth that Jesus is talking about here? (I'm guessing it is the truth of what we are).

      And what does it mean to KNOW that truth? (I'm guessing via personal experience).

      If my two assumptions above are right, do you reckon Jesus was in effect saying: 'know thyself fully and you will be freed from your incarnation(s) on planet earth-school?'
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        May 1 2014: Hi Joshua,
        Good question. I have no issues with your conclusions.
        The truth according to Jesus is that we are children of the Creator of the Universe. He loves us, and will look after our best interests. By this measure many of us are believing a lie. Living with exactly the wrong worldview.
        How do you know? You just do, we are surrounded by his handiwork, we are his handiwork. World history is unfolding as prophecied. He answers prayer, he directs our paths, he provides our needs. You just know. It's more a matter of knowing Him, rather than knowing thyself. Our destiny is to be like Him.

        :-)
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          May 2 2014: Hi Peter,

          I understand your viewpoint, from my church days a long time ago.

          You say "It's more a matter of knowing Him, rather than knowing thyself. Our destiny is to be like Him." In relation to this I would suggest the statement "I am as God created me".
          IE: are we not already like Him and always have been? It is a "destiny" that is already realised. Except that we just don't fully consciously realise that it is so. If we truly know ourselves, then we know God because we are created of the same "stuff", - in His likeness. So self-knowledge is the route to God-knowledge.

          It seems we are asleep, dreaming a nightmare of separation from God and we need to wake up to the truth that we always were, and still are, nurtured in the arms of God as His children and when we do wake up we will find it has always been so.
          And the nightmare of experiencing life AS IF we were separated will fade away and be forgotten, because this experience is/was enacted in the physical world of time & space, all of which will pass away because they are not eternal.
          When we start living from the higher laws of ultimate truth, this physical world and existence will gradually fade from view because it's purpose as a mirror-teacher will no longer be needed.

          The reason for raising all this is to try and understand if there is room in Christianity to accept that we have made an childish error which needs correction, rather than "done a sin" which needs punishment: ie: whether we are fundamentally innocent, or guilty.

          (Hope you can get your head around my "theology")
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          May 4 2014: Peter and Josh,

          A childish error, the tiny mad idea of "I wonder what it would be like to separate from God", well now I have come to know.

          Our destiny is to be like Him. "I am as God created me" and so the journey of mystery begins. I see the striking similarities of the ties that bind us to the Truth.

          You are both revered and I would like to leave a gift of relevance for my interruption.

          http://allen-watson.com/page135/page106/files/Song%20of%20Prayer.pdf
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        May 3 2014: Hi Joshua,
        My source for knowing God is the bible. This too is the source for your correct assertion that we are "made in his image". The bible is also clear that, judged by his perfect standards, we are inherently evil. My take is that we have attributes in common with god, but we are miles away from being anything like him. Our destiny is far from realised presently.
        The bible also shows us that god came to earth as Jesus Christ. He became just like us, but without the evil component. His death cancelled our evil deeds & earned our immortality. When he resurrected he had a superhuman body, which we will one day have also, assuming we put our trust in him.
        I would agree that we make childish errors, we are children after all. I would agree that god has us in the palm of his hand. We do however have a responsibility to acknowledge god, & accept his forgiveness. Very much like we discipline our own children, they can only move on if they are sorry. If they grow up & lead a life of crime, then we, as parents cannot save them from the consequences.
        I think I am mainline Christian. My authority is the bible. You seem to think that maybe we are not so bad after all. Where is your source for that?
        The bible pulls no punches; if we sin, we die. If we are sorry & ask dad for help, we move on. Quite intuitive really.

        :-)
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          May 4 2014: Hi Peter,

          Thank you for replying.

          I am not sure how to square that we are "made in his image" with simultaneously being "inherently evil"; it is non-logical. Hence my statement "I am (& remain) as God created me", therefore being eternally innocent and not either evil or guilty.

          That is not to say of course that the gift of Free Will has not been used in error. If you inform a child not to put their hand in the fire or it will get burnt (ie: it has consequences) but the child using its free will does so anyway, what does a loving parent do?
          Do they condemn the child as evil, or in any way inherently different from what they were before they put their hand in the fire? Personally I don't think so. Any loving parent immediately rushes to their aid and comforts them in their distress, takes measures to heal the wound and reassures them all is well. The child has made an error to be corrected, not a sin to be punished.

          I think it is the same with us and God. God as unconditional love does not see the error (forgiveness) but at the same time all free-willed actions have consequences. The consequences of having doubted that perfection is perfect, having thought that we could set up a better kingdom than God set up, are that we then experience ourselves as having committed some terrible crime against God - with resultant fear, guilt & shame etc.
          However, none of this has changed our status in the realm of God's love. We remain forever his innocent children as He created us; He remains forever our loving Father in whose arms we rest - but we are asleep, dreaming a nightmare that we have succeeded in separating ourselves from God. But it is impossible to be separated in truth from God because we are One, as like Him, created in His image.
          This is my sticking point with mainline christianity.

          My source is the Bible, "A Course in Miracles", the Nag Hammadi Scriptures (especially the Gospel of Thomas), and several decades reflection on these matters.

          With interest
          Josh
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        May 5 2014: Hi Josh
        Therein lies the problem, we have different bibles. The question then becomes, " Which one is correct ". This is probably beyond our scope here.

        :-)
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          May 5 2014: Hi Peter,
          Thanks for your reply.
          My immediate thought is that maybe it is possible for God to speak through more than one Holy Book (variously interpreted) - but I agree with you, it is probably beyond our scope.
          I wait with much anticipation for the day when all will be revealed to get everyone on the same page of whatever is the one-and-only Truth.
          Best regards,
          Josh
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    Apr 27 2014: Hi Musk,

    False is false, and what is true has never changed. The trouble is that most of us cannot distinguish between the two. We confuse absolute truth and relative truth.
    • Apr 29 2014: Joshua,

      Could you give me an example of an absolute truth?
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        May 1 2014: Hi Wayne,
        How about : "Everything in the universe is made of the same stuff" ?
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      Apr 29 2014: Joshua,

      Can't argue that one " False is false" that's the truth. What is real exists what doesn't, doesn't. Might be too simple for complicated minds. To stand the test of time something would have to be changeless. It's rather funny some believe in absolute truth and some don't, I wonder who's in denial? Regards
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        May 1 2014: Hi Larry,

        Thanks for your reply.

        I agree, I guess the first stage is whether one believes there is such a thing as 'absolute truth' in the first place (see my reply to Wayne above). Personally I do, but of course trying to describe it from the limited human perspective of perception (rather than ultimate knowledge) makes it difficult to discuss.

        As an added thought, can one deny something that doesn't exist - surely it must exist in order to deny it? (another conundrum).
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          May 1 2014: Josh,

          If I may call you that, in my view you do very well in expressing what is difficult to discuss.

          "Everything in the universe is made of the same stuff" To know that you must have followed the "stuff" and have an understanding of fragmentation. Some see the source as the "Big Bang, I like the term "The Grand Division of the Universe" that has given rise to all forms of "stuff".

          To deny something that that doesn't exist could be considered as "Wholesome use of denial" or Truth. Not everything found in my mind exists in Truth and so I deny that as having reality and existing. Strange how one would see what doesn't exist from a false belief. Have I wormed my way thru the conundrum? Regards
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        May 2 2014: Hi Larry,
        How about "I deny the denial of truth" as a starting point?
        Josh
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          May 2 2014: Josh,

          Why you would choose that as a starting point is perhaps best known to you. 'Deny the denial of Truth" is a mindless journey I have already embarked on. Had I known the amount of undoing I would face my choice would differ. The road home seemed like climbing Mt. Everest just to get to the Tiki Bar. Denial can run very deep, layer upon layer upon layer until trapped in an illusionary world and held captive by the same denial that got me there in the first place. Truth is the freedom from denial. Should I be in denial now may the Power that created me guide me with and to the Truth. Perhaps in knowing this the direction from the starting point would be toward the Truth. I can start by being honest with and about myself. Regards

          Colleen, Did not see a place to post so here it is. I did carefully read over and over his statement and responded "Why you would choose that as a starting point is perhaps best known to you." I was uncertain why he would start there and based on how I read it I trusted he had his reasons. Could I be in error of what he meant, yes. I don't recall telling him he was on a mindless journey, I did in fact express my encounter with a mindless journey of denial in the hope that some one else read and can say that's not for me. What I said did not contain a personal attack or was in the lest bit untruthful. I try to keep a running tab on my own personal inventory. When I am in error I'll admit it and thus find the truth within myself. What's in your wallet?

          Colleen,
          Best I can tell you find something unsettling with something I said. I am perplexed at what it might be. It would appear that there is not anything I can fix other than the thought I hold in mind. I simply refuse to let a you said, I said, he said, be the means and reason to cause a disassociation on my part. My ego mind can come up with a million reasons to say "I can't Love you". The Truth needs only One to say I can. Regards
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          May 2 2014: Well said Larry....."I can start by being honest with and about myself".

          When we are honest with and about our self, we tend to encourage others to be honest with and about him/herself as well.

          And yet.....you tell Joshua that what is honest for him is "a mindless journey"?
          Did you carefully consider his statement.... "I deny the denial of truth".

          Did you carefully consider YOUR statement?
          "I can start by being honest with and about myself".


          EDIT regarding edit above:
          Larry,

          You wrote..." I don't recall telling him he was on a mindless journey, I did in fact express my encounter with a mindless journey of denial in the hope that some one else read and can say that's not for me."

          You wrote..."Why you would choose that as a starting point is perhaps best known to you. 'Deny the denial of Truth" is a mindless journey I have already embarked on."

          Joshua did not suggest anything about a MINDLESS journey, and that could make all the difference in a journey of any kind. My impression of Joshua is that he is very MINDFUL with his explorations:>)

          Not much in my wallet at all, and that is the truth:>)
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        May 3 2014: Hi again Larry,

        Thank you for your insights. I understand well about the often tediousness of "undoing"; it took me 15+ years to "undo" evangelical christianity from my head.

        Maybe the "undoing" of error, false assumptions and beliefs is an essential part of our journey (albeit often tedious)? And indeed, maybe it ties in with the process of focussing on moving towards truth. I agree with you that "Truth is freedom from denial", and every step towards truth raises some choice-against-life that we have mistakenly taken. My approach is that we need to look at it, feel its full impact emotionally, and then we are ready to let go of that bit and prepare to take the next step.

        "I can start by being honest with and about myself." I agree entirely. Total self-honesty is a pre-requisite on our journey to heal and become whole. This includes admitting to and accepting all the bits of us we don't like, but knowing we are not it/them; we are "other", observing ourselves and our journey back to the original error (or denial) where maybe we thought we could improve upon perfection. And to know that in all this "stuff" and pain we go through and try to unravel, Truth loves us back home as innocent travellers towards experiencing the truth of us as always has been, unchanged.

        Have you ever read any of the Pathwork lectures?
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          May 3 2014: Hi Josh,

          I am Grateful for your deep understanding of denial and the undoing. I took a risk and it resulted in something. I have heard say " the first to be understood is the ego". The source of what is not true and deeply rooted from what I gather. Cunning, baffling and powerful beyond what a man can surmount with the power of his own will, for the ego uses the will. The ensuing denial assures the foothold. I know of but one way out, reaching out for the Truth. I will say again:

          'Deny the denial of Truth" is a mindless journey I have already embarked on."

          and being guided while moving I will add:

          'Deny the denial of Truth" is a mindful journey I have already embarked on."

          Both are true in a differing form. To be clear projected images directed at no one particular.

          I have not read Pathway lectures, yet. I did go to the website and skim the surface and titles of the lectures. I immediately fell in Love with the titles.

          "Truth Loves us back home, unchanged". Thank you
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        May 4 2014: Hi Larry,

        Thank you again for your insights.

        Having been kick-started into life via evangelical christianity (which I then chose to leave behind in my early 30s) I am slowly gathering my understanding of life and "how things work" from "A Course in Miracles", the Pathwork Lectures (it's Pathwork by the way, not Pathway. There are 258 lectures in total, {I'm up to no:195}) plus finally 5.5 decades of life experience.

        I like your addition of 'mindful' to 'mindless'. I guess that ties in with the old adage that 'an unexamined life is not worth living'. The clues are all there, whatever journey we take.

        My belief is that in the end we all get there together; and the three qualities I have found most essential are self-honesty, courage and perseverance. I am reminded of the old blues line "none of us is free if one of us is in chains" - and the 'together' aspect (since Truth is One) is the guarantee of our homecoming.

        best regards,
        Josh
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          May 9 2014: Hey Josh,

          Correct Pathwork, my typo error came after going to the correct site. I have not done a lecture as of yet due to time but look forward to it. I am 6.2 decades in time, been doing or am being done by ACIM for 2.5 of that and searched a lot of other stuff. Have been fortunate to have the same facilitator since beginning and find it to be the best thing I have ever involved myself with.

          Yes 'mindful' & 'mindless' is interesting dependent on the more or less of the stuff occupying the space. Regardless I would suggest using the term mindless as little as possible.

          Check this out our story in two minutes:

          http://marcbrecy.perso.neuf.fr/history.html

          See you further down the road. Best Regards, Larry

          Thanks to Musk for the continuing subject matter.
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        May 5 2014: Larry,
        Regarding your latest edit, which reads...
        "Colleen,
        Best I can tell you find something unsettling with something I said. I am perplexed at what it might be. It would appear that there is not anything I can fix other than the thought I hold in mind. I simply refuse to let a you said, I said, he said, be the means and reason to cause a disassociation on my part. My ego mind can come up with a million reasons to say "I can't Love you". The Truth needs only One to say I can. Regards".

        I am sorry you feel "perplexed" Larry. I think my statement is clear..."Joshua did not suggest anything about a MINDLESS journey, and that could make all the difference in a journey of any kind."

        I agree with Joshua regarding your addition of "mindful":>)
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        May 9 2014: Hi Larry,
        Many thanks for the video-link. Nice one.
        Can also recommend Cheri Huber's "There is nothing wrong with you" - helped me a lot.
        Best wishes,
        Josh
  • Apr 26 2014: Good morning......

    I stumbled onto this shortly after reading your thoughts:

    "Truth is that which lies in a dimension beyond the reach of thought.
    Whole-mind has no 'thoughts', thoughts are split-mind."

    -wei wu wei

    I've heard truth can be only approached by observing what truth is NOT.
    The truth of your identity can be approached this way. In truth, it's the only way, as far as thinking about it goes.
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      Apr 26 2014: It is often said that ...

      "That which can be spoken is not Truth."

      We can think about truth, but our thoughts (and words) are not Truth.
      We can feel the truth, but our feelings are not Truth.
      We can act in truth, but our actions are not Truth.

      Yet, what we think and say and feel and do
      can point us towards the truth
      if we are open to it.

      And we can inspire others to look beyond
      what we say and do in life
      so they, too, might
      learn to see
      Truth.

      We will only be able to
      really find Truth
      together.
  • Apr 25 2014: Interesting question.

    To me the truth means a fact, observation, relationship, conclusion or circumstance that a person believes to be accurate. This person may communicate this information, agree that it is accurate when he hears it or sees it, or perhaps base future thoughts or actions on the belief of baseline truth.

    Opinions about truth vary between people. We are not born knowing the truth, so we must spend our lives in pursuit of it. This pursuit involves learning directly and indirectly about nature, other people, philosophies, sciences, arts, etc. The quality of our pursuit, our ability to separate fact from fiction, and the breadth of our experiences all influence our belief of the truth.

    Now, because we are human we can also communicate something that is untrue, either intentionally or unintentionally. If it is intentional, then we are using the truth to manipulate or influence people. If it is unintentional, then it just reflects our position in the pursuit of truth in a particular area, or our ability to recount what we would agree to be the truth accurately.

    I looked at the Wiki for truth(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth) which seemed to indicate there were many opinions about the meaning of truth.
  • Apr 25 2014: Truth is reality. And so is sophistry. And semantics.
  • May 8 2014: Greetings...

    I have an almost automatic unfavorable reaction to the capitalization of the word truth, unless of course it begins a sentence.

    Broadly speaking I find there are two primary camps on truth, and all of the other squabbles are mere skirmishes in that greater dichotomy. Either the universe is subject to the will of a creator or master, or it is not. If the universe has a conscious master it has a moral component a priori. If, on the other hand, it is a natural occurrence, there is no innate morality. For the former Truth is often phrased in mystical and even poetic terms, often quite beautifully. While for the latter truth is a formulaic byproduct of existence. The things that happen are truth, all others are not.

    Millennia of learning have brought a perspective shift, by several orders of magnitude. Explorations of the very very large to the very very small have taught we are the center of nothing. Socrates himself feared that the physical theories of the Ionian physicists would undermine faith in the gods and thus the binding morality of society. This seems to be prescient, as the greatest professional association with atheism today is education.

    I would contend that it does not matter if the universe was created with a moral component, or evolved without one. We imbue that truth into it though perception and interaction, like it or no. We cannot separate ourselves from the limits of our perceptions and the relative truths they offer. We can however become aware of perspectival truths, which come when our relative truths are examined from other scales in time and space, or in masses of statistics.

    The only absolute truths seem to be natural laws, and everything else is open to interpretation. The universe as a whole is true, and all subsets are mere partial facts. Lots of people flog their own versions of the capital T, some even hang a man on it, but perspective teaches us that religion is a social construct, not truth.

    Regards
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      May 9 2014: Hi Ian,

      Here I am, the culprit, the worst of the worst of what you find unfavorable, a loose cannon on the deck of Life. Why would someone do such a thing? I will tell you why I do. I am dense, I am forgetful and by putting the things I value in my own face with the use of a cap or two or three or four, or five or six might serve as a gentle reminder of the Principles I try to maintain and hold close. If you find that as unfavorable you will probably find more of me that's seen as unfavorable. The spelling of my name w/o caps ever reminding me to decrease my arrogance. It could be All Good.

      Best Regards
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    May 7 2014: Colleen,

    Thank you for the clean post with a reply. I can see nothing in your current post as inaccurate or perplexing. In fact your statement "and that could make all the difference in a journey of any kind." I would like to add to, it could make all the difference in the world. Could be the difference between Life or death. I would not know the difference if not for others that showed me the difference in their experience.

    No reason to feel sorry that I was feeling perplexed, it's not my permanent residence.

    Let me ask you something, if there were something in me that I was not seeing in myself, and it was in my best interest to heal or amend what would that be?

    Best Regards
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      May 7 2014: You are welcome Larry, and I am glad to hear that "perplexed" is not your permanent residence:>)

      Your question...."if there were something in me that I was not seeing in myself, and it was in my best interest to heal or amend what would that be?"

      You are the only one who knows that Larry, as everyone is the only one who knows that for him/herself. That is why I commented on your suggestion that Joshua's journey might be mindless.

      He is the only one who knows for sure if his journey is mindless or mindful.....I am the only one who knows for sure if my journey is mindful or mindless....you are the only one who knows for sure if your journey is mindless or mindful.....on and on......you see?

      I agree.....it could make a difference in our world:>)
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        May 9 2014: Colleen,

        Yes I see and understand with the exception of "That is why I commented on your suggestion that Joshua's journey might be mindless" other than you have convinced yourself of something as I have convinced myself. You see it as you see it, I see it as I see it.

        The statement or starting point of " "I deny the denial of truth" offers no direction as I see it. The meaning is an assigned one by the one who perceives it. The thought that Josh was mind-less or mind -full never crossed my mind, as you say it is for him to express himself and he did.

        I must ask myself how can a thought not held in mind be true or real? It would be mind - less that thought.

        Perhaps the place to search would be in the mind that held the thought of "Joshua's journey might be mindless". That's not mine I won't own it and if I find differently I will make amends. Therein Peace
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          May 9 2014: I agree Larry...."you see it as you see it, I see it as I see it":>)

          I understand that the idea....."deny the denial of truth" offers no direction...as you see it, because that was YOUR personal experience and exploration of something.

          You stated in a previous comment...."'Deny the denial of Truth is a mindless journey I have already embarked on."

          I totally agree..."The meaning is an assigned one by the one who perceives it."...and...."Perhaps the place to search would be in the mind that held the thought".

          In another comment, you state..."I did in fact express my encounter with a mindless journey of denial in the hope that some one else read and can say that's not for me."
          You seem to assume that someone else's exploration of something might be mindless because YOUR exploration of the same idea was/is mindless.

          My only point Larry, is that we might take a similar journey to one another, and the results may be very different based on HOW we take the journey. It is not the journey that is mindless or mindful, but rather US.....HOW we experience and are engaged in the process of the journey can be very mindful.....or not....it is a choice:>)
  • May 2 2014: Truth cannot be defined with reference to individual or religion or race or creed or country. Truths should transcends all personification all tribalism.
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      May 2 2014: Raj,

      A true statement "Truth cannot be defined with reference to individual or religion or race or creed or country.

      Another true statement "Truth can be defined with reference to individual or religion or race or creed or country."

      Regards
      • May 2 2014: Larry:

        Of course.

        "Immaculate conception of Mary" can be truth withing Christian religion. However it is not truth in scientific discipline

        There are more mass killers in White community then Black community. It i true according to what we are told. But that may not be true in Africa.

        Often truth is in the eye of the beholder. I think truth should also be valid irrespective of discipline. I am engineer by education so I tend to look from scientific point of view. You seem to feel it is realm of metaphysics.

        I thank you for your repsonse
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    May 1 2014: Hi Musk, I think that there are two very distinct forms of truth. One would be the factual, undeniable, scientific truth - such as 2 + 2 = 4. But the truth that I believe that you are asking about is something that I refer to as personal truth. Each of us has our own unique personal truth which is based on all that we have learned, heard, read, seen, experienced and believe in. When I see, read or hear something that just doesn't sit right with me, or gives me a knot in my stomach or makes a "red flag" go up in my mind, then I feel that there is some truth missing somewhere. On the other hand, if I feel a sense of confidence and comfort and the subject at hand kind of "clicks" with me, then I feel much more assured that I am dealing with the truth.

    Now, the problem that I believe that many have with truth is that they don't question it as often as they should. This is particularly a dilemma that our senior citizens face, as they were raised in a much different time where there was a stronger respect and custom of being truthful, resulting in a higher level of trust between people. In this day and age, there are people that will take advantage of that trust and use countless methods of scamming these unsuspecting vulnerable kindhearted folks, seeing them as pushovers and then target their trusting nature by exploiting that trust and swindling them of their hard earned life savings.

    It all goes back to truth. When we have too much belief in it, we can be victimized. On the other hand, if we don't have enough faith in it, we can become suspicious, paranoid and detached. The trick is to find a place somewhere in the middle where you question what gives you that little knot in your stomach, but still have faith that people can be genuinely good and kind. My policy is to think twice when in doubt, and use the modern conveniences of the internet to verify information that may be misleading. I also use the good old fashioned method of calling my mother!.
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    Apr 30 2014: I see, relative Truth and objective Truth. What would the Truth become should I decide to see them as ONE? What will I become? Regards
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      May 1 2014: .
      Some relative truth is the same as Objective Truth.
      But that's often a chance coincidence.
      It's not up to you to decide.
      You can only notice
      when you are
      able to be
      objective.

      Objective Truth endures
      while
      subjective truth changes

      If
      you choose
      to see subjective as Objective
      when the actual truth is otherwise
      then you will become confused and deluded
      because Objective Truth is completely independent of you
      while you will very likely remain dependent upon your subjectivity.
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        May 1 2014: Hello Carl,

        The idea being atonement of subjective view to the objective view. An opposing direction to chaos, confusion, and conflict. Absolute Truth is as independent of me as the North Star or Southern Cross but I can still be guided. Best Regards
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  • Apr 29 2014: Truth is a big word of worship,it deserves us to spend our whole lives to keep searching,observing,thinking...it is an eternal miracle of things in this world.
  • Apr 29 2014: I have no truth, I only have models. All models are false, but some of them are temporarily useful.
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    Apr 29 2014: "truth, real truth, is seamless and indivisible" Cynthia Bougeualt
  • Apr 29 2014: Life exist because of survival mechanism, Everywhere in the Universe. All other things are for support.
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    Apr 28 2014: Yes, what is TRUTH? Perhaps if one lives ten lifetimes, he/she will come closer to the truth.
  • Apr 28 2014: Truth gets its importants from the fact that it is based on good. If we cannot define good, we'll have trouble defining truth. Their relationship is as 'substance' and 'form.'
    Just as good has three levels, so does truth, namely civil, moral and spiritual. A short quote from Swedenborg in "Heaven and Hell" #468.

    "The genuine rational consists of truths and not of falsities; whatever consists of falsities is not rational. There are three kinds of truths, civil, moral, and spiritual. Civil truths relate to matters of judgment and of government in kingdoms, and in general to what is just and equitable in them. Moral truths pertain to the matters of everyone’s life which have regard to companionships and social relations, in general to what is honest and right, and in particular to virtues of every kind. But spiritual truths relate to matters of heaven and of the Church, and in general to the good of love and the truth of faith."

    We can love a sport, but need to know the rules to play it. The rules make it work properly. However, what is more important, the rules (truth) or the love (good) for that sport?
    We can change the rules any way we want, based on our age, the 'equipment', time limits, etc, but it is the love that makes us work up a sweat :) , makes us enjoy and share the pleasure..

    As humans we have a will and an understanding. Our will makes us who we are, by what we love. But we can change all that by our understanding or intellect. Again, which is more important. Well, because of what we love, makes us what we are. We are not the truth we know. We may even be very intelligent, but still be in jail..

    This can all go way, way deeper, and for those that want to go there, enjoy
    http://swedenborg-philosophy.org/journal/article.php?page=1031&issue=106
    • Apr 29 2014: Truths should not be confused with values
      • Apr 29 2014: Absolutely Raj, they are totally different. One is like the 'material' the other the 'design.' Things don't work well without both.

        So the relationship between the two is very important. Which can (or should?) influence the other?


        Added..

        “To the extent that truth becomes the leader good becomes obscured; but to the extent that good becomes the leader truth is visible in its own light.”

        Arcana Coelestia #2407 Emanuel Swedenborg
        • Apr 29 2014: Adriaan:

          I thank you for your comment.

          You are right in your observation.

          Truth is more resilient to change than values. Acceptance of people of color as equal, gays, women have changed over the time, But they were and are humans has always been a truth,

          Your comment on mutual influence is correct.
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      Apr 29 2014: "Truth gets its importants from the fact that it is based on good. If we cannot define good, we'll have trouble defining truth. Their relationship is as 'substance' and 'form.'"

      Relative truth, subjective truth, is related to good (and bad), but subjective truth is not "based on good." Instead, "good" is a judgment that is based on subjective truth. It is not Objective Truth, which is universal, constant and neutral (not subject to judgment).

      The only "'substance' and 'form'" that "good" or "bad" might have, and that subjective truth might have, are the 'substance' and 'form' we choose to assign them. And subjective truth is easily and frequently changed according to circumstances and situations, so "good" and "bad" are constantly changing according to the perspective of the moment. Their 'substance' and 'form' derive from our continually changing thoughts, feelings and actions.

      "Civil truths" are relative truths, as are ethical truths. "Moral truths" are Objective Truth that arise through the Heart, rather than being products of the mind. Products of the mind are all relative. However, moral truth becomes quickly distorted by the ego into various forms of ethical truth, which is subjective. "Spiritual truths" are also Objective Truth that arise through the Heart, but they also quickly suffer the same fate as moral truths - which are really just a subset of spiritual truth - when they become encoded and ritualized as "religious truth" which is relative.

      Rules of sport are relative truth. They are constantly being revised for various reasons.

      Love of sport, whether playing or observing, is relative as long as it depends upon what one "gets out of doing it." As such, it's an exchange of 'this' for 'that'. Real Love is completely unconditional, without any attachment or expectation for personal gain of any sort and, as such, is an expression and experience of Objective Truth.
  • Apr 27 2014: Do paradoxes count as sophistry and semantics?

    "this sentence is false." 
    "I always lie, i never ever tell the truth"
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      Apr 27 2014: I have found that paradoxes are creations of our limited perspectives; in other words, they are only apparent from a limited point of view.

      From one point of view, one thing seems to be real or true. From another point of view, another thing seems to be real or true. We can shift back and forth between the different points of view and see things - truth, reality - differently, and as we carry a memory of the differing points of view and differing truths and realities back and forth with us, the result is confusion. Because of our limitations of vision and understanding, we tend to feel we must decide between one or the other - either this view is *right* or that one is, which then makes the other one *wrong*. Except! - we know that when viewing from the other perspective, that "other one" seems *right* to us. Confusion.

      A resolution to the conundrum rests in an expansion of one's view such that both of the separate points of view can be comfortably and harmoniously held simultaneously. This is very different from shifting back and forth, only being able to hold and see from one point of view at a time.

      Doing this requires a certain "letting go" - a detachment from being identified with one point of view or the other. If you think/feel "I am the one with this point of view and not that point of view," then there seems to be a confusing conundrum because your memory reminds you that you also thought/felt the same with the other point of view. If you realize that you are neither point of view, but rather a viewer without limitation, then you will be able to see more clearly. And this is even beyond thinking/feeling that "I am the one with both points of view," because that, too, is identification with something that can be self-limiting.
      • Apr 27 2014: You may wellbe right sir, definitely about the identification of one's self with a specific idea or viewpoint, something that by its very nature is both limited and limiting. I think that paradoxes, like the ones above really show the flexability of language(language as a tool) to express ideas, flexible to a point when we get trapped in loops of "non"sense. I think it also demonstrates the limitations of language. I think this is why philosophical searches are personal journeys. Even if one of us finds some "truth", or a piece of the mirror as you put it below, its most times impossible to express the full understanding we have found, because this understanding is so tied to our personal experiences, the lense through which we view the world, that words cant contain the full depth and breadth of what we have learned.
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          Apr 27 2014: A paradox is a mind game, often involving rules (games) of logic that express subjective truth but have little or nothing to do with Objective Truth. As such, the mind creates it's own traps/loops. The mind tends to view things in a yes-no, right-wrong, this-that, black-white manner, based on attachment that is exclusionary of any other possibilities. The mind gets confused with the grayness or maybe-ness of uncertainty.

          Intuition - which is often thought of as heart-based knowing - allows for expansion beyond such limitations and is thus very inclusive as well as comfortable with grayness and maybe-ness. It seems that the only way we can really know and understand Objective Truth is through intuition. Then the mind can also begin to understand.

          As I noted in another comment on this topic, it's often said that "That which can be spoken is not Truth." As you noted, "words can't contain the full depth and breadth of what we have learned" about truth, either subjective or objective. I like to think of words as pointers. They point towards something we've seen and possibly come to know and even understand. But if another person pays attention only to our words, they can parse and analyze them to death and still never see what we are pointing towards. One needs to look beyond the words and deeply into one's own experience where one might find some overlapping commonality with the other person's experience in order to begin to see what the words are pointing towards.

          There are different types of paradoxes. Many of them are based in limited, subjective/relative truth. Some are confounding because they mix the subjective on one hand with the Objective on the other, in which case the subjective ultimately "loses" out to the Objective, provided one recognizes what is Objective Truth. Some may involve only statements of Objective Truth, but due to our limitations of understanding Objective Truth, we also cannot understand how both might be simultaneously true.
  • Apr 26 2014: This passage is from "Plato at the Googleplex," from TED presenter, Rebecca Newberg Goldstein's book, page 52.

    The determining role of "the best reason" in making the world what it is is what the goodness in Truth-Beauty-Goodness consists in. Goodness is interwoven with truth because the explanation for the truth is that the truth is determined by the best reason, and the best reason works all on its own-- which is as good as it gets. The truth being determined by the best reason, is ultimately capable of explaining itself. This makes reality as intelligible as it could possible be. It's its very intelligibility that provides the reason for its existence.
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    Apr 26 2014: Hi musk,
    Truth is fact, not what we believe necessarily, but what things actually are. We all think we have truth, but the truth is that we are all different, so none of us can have the whole truth.
    We all reach our truth by different routes; indoctrination, peer pressure, study, experimentation, experience, brainwashing, etc,etc. Once we have our truth, many dig their heels in; others continue to examine what they believe.
    Many are content with a simple truth, like "The Simpsons are cool": while others ponder the origin of the universe.
    Looking around, this planet just screams for folks to study & question; but the truth seems to be that most have no interest. This is a pity, because the Truth is out there, and no amount of political correctness can change that.

    :-)
  • Apr 26 2014: Truth is what we hang our multicolored robes on. It exists for just that purpose. We may only need to use it on an as needed basis. Which my be to prove a theory, theorem, hypothesis, query, question, or provide an answer. Or we may use it all the time and stand stark naked for all the world to gaze. I am ignorant of the truth and it does not know me. I wear no multicolored robes so I do not have to hang one onto the truth. What am I.

    Knowledge.
  • Apr 26 2014: In the real world there is no real world. Even Einstein said it was an illusion.
    If a billion people think the world is flat does that mean the world is flat? Is it the truth because a billon people think it is the truth?
    "There are no facts, only interpretations"- Friedrich Nietzsche
    “Law is mind without reason”- Aristotle
    Who are you to try and define what truth is for me?
  • Apr 26 2014: Musk

    Are you looking to define 'truth' or are you looking to define a common understanding of social conduct. They are not the same, as a common understand of social conduct would, at best, be generational, enforced by law and not the 'Truth' you are looking for..
    A truth can be subjective ie. my favorite color or I believe in a god; a societal understanding enforced by law or objective, founded on scientific scrutiny, reason for the sake of reason without prejudice. You seem to be putting them all into one basket.
    I would be interested in how you would propose to arrive at a given truth and once arrived what would that mean?
    If you have ever read the novel '1984' truth is 2+2=5
    Truth, I think, as justice tends to be in the interest of the stronger--government.
    You forced me to go back and check my understanding of sophistry and I would suggest that before you place yourself in the position of judge, you might check your own words.