I can define truth as facts yet facts are items of information or data. How we see that data depends on the perceiver. Similarly, truth can be defined as a proposition or idea that is accepted as true. We might call this shared truth. But again, this is relative to the perceivers. We once considered it true that the world was flat and that the sun revolved around us.
In a deeper sense, and the way I use the word here, truth is a “transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality.” But even there, what we recognize as truth is relative to our stage of development.
At one stage, the world is real. In another stage, only pure consciousness or being is real. In another stage everything is That. Each of these are very true for the perceiver at the time.
However, any remnants of ego will have a tendency to try to take ownership of our “truth.” There has to be vigilance to ensure it comes from clarity and is not co-opted.
The Yoga Sutra 2:36 tells us:
When truthfulness is established, activity and its fruit [consequence] are closely connected.
There is little lag between action and result. Karma can complete and does not follow up. But it also means we’re hammered by mistakes immediately. Yet if truth is not established and we mislead ourselves, consequences seem unfair and unrelated.
We could say that truth is relative to the perceiver and that it has layers. There is one reality and an evolving way of appreciating and understanding it.
In a recent email, Lorne and Lucia Hoff shared a perspective I thought very valuable. With permission:
“The residue of a small self (which we all have to some degree) can still color the pure clarity of Being at no matter what ‘state’ of Consciousness. What we do from our side is to make sure we are coming from pure Truth. Pure Truth is not an “I’m right and you’re wrong” type of truth. [It is not a relative truth.] Pure Truth is a compassionate pure Divine Truth that clearly sees everything as it actually is from the most innocent and expanded perspective, and it knows exactly where the “I and the other” are coming from. It is not just pure Awareness. It is the compassionate light of pure Divinity. If the ‘other’ is unclear, unstressing, or colored by the remains of karma and ego, pure Truth sees that and can only feel a deepening compassion for the limitation that may still be there. If it is coming from our side, the light of pure Truth can cut through that and allow us to see, and admit to, our own limitations, in spite of any resistance from the remains of the mind/ego. Be with the clear compassionate Divine Truth, and eventually whatever restrictions are still there, on all levels, will evaporate like water in the noonday sun. The Divine Light of Pure Truth is not a truth that the mind, self, Self or the SELF, knows — It is the pure Divine Truth that remains when all that disappears.”
This is a very high and rare standard of truth, only possible in an established ParaBrahman stage. And yet it is well within our natural potential. Whatever value of that we can live from, this is the degree we radiate the truth of Divinity into the world.