I have been giving a lot of thought of late to truth and its impact on one’s life. Truth is such a nebulous concept with different meaning for different people, different contexts for different events, and different realities for anyone who even contemplates its meaning.
My own concept of what’s true is being tried and tested by current events in my life. I have been having long and serious reflections on what really qualifies as truth. Are my “truths” in any way relevant to the “truths” of others? Indeed, there are times when I wonder are my own truths even relevant to my own being. Such is my dilemma at this particular point in time. The question causing my struggle relates to what I believe to be true and what I am currently experiencing – is there any degree of reality in any of this.
I ponder, wonder, contemplate and think and still find my current experiences surreal, not real at all. But, there is no doubt of what I am experiencing, handling and with that which I have to cope. There are many times in my everyday life when I wonder is this all-real or is it just imaginary. I have been taught to believe that what is real is truth, in other words truth manifests itself in our experiences, thus our realities. I often wonder if, perhaps what I am experiencing is someone else’s truth and reality instead of my own.
But, when I reflect, I feel that my own life has been so intertwined with others, in my work, in my play and in my being that truth entails an entanglement and sharing with all those in the world. I have always felt a close affinity with others even those who are distant. Many of my personal experiences have related to those at a distance who were in need at a particular time in life. Maybe this is my dilemma; my truths are so entangled with those of others that it is difficult to fathom those that are my very own.
But, then if we really believe that in life there is at least one truth, that of life itself, why should it cause me concern. Indeed why should I even feel the need to contemplate this truth – that is life itself. Maybe its because others feel they have another truth, and rightly so, they should hold whatever truth that makes sense for them. While we all hold fast to the truths that we have accumulated, learned or had passed onto us there is a strand that runs through all of these which is truth itself. For if we believe that truth is life then to have life, to experience life, and to live life in any form suggests such commonality.
As I look around our own society and throughout the world I see this common element called truth (and life) as most fragile. Because we are unwilling or unable to recognize truth as a most basic of requirements for existence we treat it with little respect, with little value and with little hope.
Perhaps this is because we each wish our truth to be accepted by others and we wish our truth to be “the one”- that is the real truth. The fact is that every truth is the real truth because it is ours, it comes from within and it relates to our experiences – recent and long ago.
How then do we manifest all these truths? How do we rationalize their reality in the life that we live? How indeed do we come to some human consensus that there are elements within our own truths that are real and meaningful and others that are fanciful and illusionary and related more to need and desire than to actual necessity?
These are major contemplations for all of us these days as we live out our lives in dysfunctional societies. The dysfunctions relate to many things – they relate to our past as they do to our present. They certainly relate to our future as we struggle to become the person, the people or the society, which we feel we should become. Why we feel this compulsion, this need, and this necessity to “become” anything is a mystery of life and subsequently of truth.
There are those of us who “know” so we perpetrate our truths on others because we fundamentally believe these “truths”. There are many ways this happens in our societies, through education, religious belief or governance. There are as many extremes, some believe that life should just happen without education, religious belief or governance while others believe that without education, religious belief and governance life couldn’t exist (at least not for very long). Then there are even those who have given up believing.
Different scenarios are being played out each and every day in our own lives as we attempt to influence others with our truths. They are being played out societally as we witness so many different actors trying to influence, impose and even force their truths on others. Globally we witness the West, led by the United States attempting to convince the rest of the world that its truth is the best. Weren’t they the winners of the cold war and resultantly the owners of “right” within the world, which entitles them to push their truth on everyone else? The realty is that others don’t necessarily buy into any of this because their never just is one form of right just as there can never be only one proponent of truth.
Truth, though nebulous, is but an element of life itself, perhaps the most important element and but the most fragile. When we attempt to promote our own version of truth to others do we realize how fragile we make life for them? If fact, do we even contemplate this in our own daily living as we go about our lives – living the truths that we have come to understand, believe or have adopted. Truth truly is life’s most fragile element.
We have witnessed untold lives lost over the truths that people have fixated in their lives and we can anticipate more as people cling most tenuously to their truths as life’s turbulences cause shifts and changes.
How real are the truths that I have adopted as my own is a question that I have been contemplating more and more over the past few months. How effective are these truths in living my own life? More importantly, how destructive have they become to others as I continue to perpetrate them.
I consider my own life and its genuine fragility in terms of humanness and hope and wonder are my truths real or are they just outdated thoughts in a changing and different world. I do contemplate what I have come to believe as true. My current circumstances lead me to wonder whether there is any semblance of truth in what I have become, or is this truth like that of so many others, just a disguise to real humanness, real life and real truth.
In life one must reflect on its reality or how one experiences this reality and contemplate the truths that we are prone to accept. I treasure the fact I am able to examine truth, reflect on its nature and contemplate its real effect on my own life and that of others. For in this examination hopefully we find the truths that are required for us to continue onto the next phase of our lives.
Truth to me is fundamental to life itself, it necessarily provides challenges and it often provides difficulties. Truth in its finality will see one through these ups and downs, not false truth but truth as life itself. For without truth there is no life without life then there can be no truth. Truth itself is not mine alone, it belongs to a power much greater than any one individual, and it belongs to each and every one of us and more importantly it belongs to life itself.
To be free truly free one must live life in truth and with a truth that is meaningful. It requires that we accept the truths of others, even if at times these truths are detrimental to our own contemplation of truth. Life without truth is not life at all only a mere sham of existence and makes life itself that much more fragile.