Truth and Perspective

Truth and Perspective

For as long as we have had records, we have sought to discover the ultimate truth. The basic facts on which everything else is based.

Over the ages, the most commonly held fundamental truths have varied widely. Today we consider ideas of a flat earth at the center of creation laughable. Science seeks the holy grail of physics, a single theory that covers all of the known laws, Unified Field.

The only problem is, they are leaving out huge hunks of our experience, such as the simple experience of who we are. How can a theory be ultimate truth if it does not allow for all experience?

What we have failed to recognize is that truth is relative. Truth is based on our degree of mind functioning. Put another way, our level or degree of consciousness. As Maharishi puts it, “Knowledge is structured in consciousness”. As consciousness changes, so too does knowledge.

Its quite easy to illustrate this. We just have to look at basic human development. How a child grows into adulthood. At first, they see themselves as one with the mother. Then gradually, a baby begins to experience separateness, then reaches for that separateness to become an individual. They begin to associate with a family group, then a peer group outside the family, and so forth into adulthood.

At each of these stages, what is “true” changes. Who you see yourself to be changes.

We tend to have this idea that once you reach maturity, our perspective stabilizes and thus our truth becomes constant. For some people, this can be relatively true. But if you have any exposure to other cultures, other social strata, or even the opposite sex, you soon discover that there is a wide range of perspectives within any community.

Further, we do not generally keep a stable worldview over time but rather it evolves with life experiences. You can talk to any senior about their youth and the changes in the world they have witnessed. Or look at some advertising from within many of our lifetimes: the roles of women, cigarettes, computers, and so on.

Knowledge and the resulting truth thus becomes relative. No wonder people feel insecure and hold to sometimes irrational ideas!

I have found however that if we study the human growth and development cycles and records of human potential from many cultures, we find basic commonalities and a pattern. A series of “realities” we tend to step up through, each with their own basic truths.

Trying to live truths that are not our experience just creates a disconnect with ourselves. Pretending we are “one” when it is not your experience, for example, simply cultures mental illusions rather than truth within our perspective.

Life becomes easier and more comfortable if we are able to be easy with the truths of where we are, yet have a sense of where we are going, what are the next highest truths.

The ideas of the recent film “The Secret” lit a fire under many people as it gave them a vision of the “next steps”, of simple ways they could adjust their thinking that would move them out of a sense of being a victim of circumstances and become self-empowered.

As is the cyclic nature of growth though, many have found that once they get a handle on the principles around how their thinking affects their lives, they soon discover a still bigger picture. A picture that many in the west are unfamiliar with.

There is an ultimate truth. But it is quite simply beyond the range of us to grasp. And that is simply because it is beyond mind, so beyond words and conceptions. It can only be experienced to know it. It has a direct relationship with who we are. A lot of people have never stopped to ask that question, let alone find an answer. An answer that can turn your previous understanding on its head.

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  1. Superbrill


    “Truth” is the means by which we assess the correctness, exactness and factuality of our every day activities and judgements. As such the TRUTH cannot be analysed or applied to what a person believes and it is not the sole prerogative of the Church or religious fraternity. Truth is the spiritual faculty of a human being, that’s why the greatest mystic said, “The Truth is within you” and also “hold fast to the Truth”.

    We use our innate attribute of Truth to make corrections and judgements of every kind; in our work as Engineers, Electricians, Builders, Drivers, Cooks and Farmers and so on and most important of all, in our communications with others; unless of course we are out to deliberately deceive.

    Truth matters most of all in everything we do, we cannot even communicate or do any job correctly, including the job of living and surviving without knowing the truth. Without the truth we are ignorant and in danger of disastrous consequences. However people will use the term bad-luck to excuse their ignorance or lack of understanding, which is indicative of the fact that the truth was not in them. Knowing the truth is not just about whether there is a god or not but whether we know correctly what we are and what we are doing.

    The Oxford Dictionary gives the following definition; “Quality, state of being true; loyalty, honesty, accuracy, integrity; what is true, true statement, reality; fact.” This means that what is true cannot be false or erroneous and is that which can be verified and substantiated as being absolutely correct. True and truth are words that have an absolute and precise meaning. There are no shades of grey and no half-truths. Truth is one thing, beliefs, suppositions and theories are another. You can perhaps have a statement that is true in various parts but the danger here is that one can be fooled into believing that every aspect of the statement is true. This is psychologically deceiving or misleading and if intentional, tantamount to a confidence trick.

    Another trick is to get you to say, “I believe” out of a sense of faith that is totally blind. If you say, ‘I believe’, that is a form of self-hypnosis or self-deception. You are trying to convince yourself of something that is only an illusion or at most a theory or supposition. Having faith in one’s own abilities and believing in one’s self, believing that one is capable of doing this, that and the other, is a totally different matter altogether. In fact it is something to be encouraged because it helps to make one self-reliant. However, if you are not certain of the facts and tend to rely on what you have been told by other people or if you put your faith in anything other than yourself you are taking a gamble. One might say that life is one big gamble; this is probably true if we know nothing about it. In the same way that knowing the truth about our car enables us to survive, so it is with the truth about life. If you have no reliable proof as to what is what or you have no verifiable evidence to substantiate your beliefs, then it is better to be honest and say that you don’t know rather than say, ‘I believe’ and act upon those beliefs. The chances are that what you believe is incorrect and there will be consequences and repercussions that will be troublesome and detrimental to you in your life.

    A belief can in fact be a stumbling block or a barrier to the truth. I am not saying that a leap of faith can never be justified, obviously if one knows a number of true facts, as we do about ourselves and our trade or occupation, having succeeded in doing one thing we are confident that we can do something else, even though we may never have done it before. This we do intuitively, by logically collating all our known facts and experiences and then from them we can deduce that something that we do not know or have not done before will prove to be true.

    In order for us to survive we need to know the absolute truth. For example, if you have three identical jars, all containing white crystals, you need to know for a fact which contains the sugar, which the salt and which the arsenic before you make your cake. It is imperative that you know the truth regarding the contents of all three jars. So in order to establish the absolute truth you experiment; you test; you taste and establish the true facts before you make your cake. Your findings can easily be verified and you can be certain that they will be accepted by every other cook.

    If we use this analogy and instead of three identical jars we say three identical clergymen, their ingredients would not be so easy to determine, in fact one would be at a loss to make anything, cake or otherwise.

    David Mawer 14/09/2007

  2. David

    Thanks David for your very thoughtful comment. However, you are illustrating my point. What is true is true in the circumstances but truth changes over time.

    I agree that truth is not based on an outside prerogative. But it is however based on the sum of our experiences and our resulting beliefs about the world. Truth is always founded in belief. Like it or not.

    As a person who is obviously scientifically oriented, you fall into the trap of thinking that science is objective and thus the truths it discovers are correct and absolute. You fail to recognize the history of science. Within many of our lives, for example, quantum mechanics has found that our beliefs, and thus our science, are mostly based on false assumptions (beliefs). What we have perceived to be solid objects turn out to be mostly empty space. Reality comes and goes at every moment in virtual fluctuations of the vacuum state. And so forth.

    If science is to be truly objective, it must understand the role of the subject. Who it is that is observing the results of experiments. Again, quantum mechanics has found that the very act of observing changes the results, changes what is “true”.

    The mind is a powerful tool for judging and analysis. But if we let the mind manage our beliefs, we will be lead astray. Because the mind has an insecure need to be right, so it is prone to see facts that confirm its beliefs and to filter out ones that do not. As long as you fail to recognize that habit of mind, you will be prone to be lead astray by it. History is full of examples of the “blind leading the blind”.

    In your post, you mention the definition of truth according to Websters but fail to note that this is a list of DIFFERENT meanings. In other words, the meaning of the word “truth” can be a simple fact (which is always relative), it can be a state (also relative), and it can be a quality. None of these are absolutes. And yet you imply facts are absolute. And yet you suggest testing facts before you make cake – a wise idea.

    There are absolute truths, but none of them are facts about the world. The world of experience is all relative. Thats a fact. But it may not be a truth for you. If you really want to understand truth, you have to understand what its relative to. Otherwise, you are walking on quicksand. The truth is indeed within you, because truth is founded in who you are. But that has nothing to do with your mind and its thoughts and ideas. They are as changeable as the wind. Your own life is a testament to that.

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