What is true?
This question has been fomenting inside me these past few years, as every day seems to suggest with more noise and volume that there is no objective, shared truth. We each are free to believe whatever we want, and what we believe, we believe IS true. We self-select our sources of information to comport with what we believe. And anyone who disagrees with our “truth” is living in a world of make-believe and delusion.
I confess, I plunge into this rabbit hole as much as anyone.
But truth CAN’T be that malleable, can it? Isn’t there some objective truth that is not subject to argument, or choice? Is truth merely whatever a person decides it is?
I am taking an online course with Caroline Myss called “Pebbles in the Well,” and she helped me better understand this cognitive dilemma. What is true, and what is “Truth” with a capital “T” are distinctly different concepts.
According to Myss, what is true for you may not be true for me. And even what is true for me (or you) today may not be true for you (or me) tomorrow. These truths are what we decide to believe in, based on our understanding of life at any given moment. As beliefs change, as we grow and evolve, what is true for us also may change, in fact often does.
What is Truth with a capital “T,” is a Universal Truth. This truth is like the Law of Gravity. It is not debatable. It is not controllable. It does not recognize individual beliefs or care about the zeitgeist of the times. It cannot be argued for or against. It cannot be manipulated. It doesn’t reward some people and castigate others. It is what it is. Period.
Today, with so many competing sources of information and misinformation, people align with what resonates for them in the moment and feel compelled to assert their “truth,” defend it vociferously, and dismiss as idiots anyone who challenges their narrative. We seem to be in a constant state of conflict, clashing values, each side believing with absolute certainty that they are right, and the other is wrong. And it feels so destructive.
I am craving Truth! Truth with a capital “T.” Truth that is immutable, undeniable, collectively understood and accepted.
Am I the only one?
How do we find objective truth as the gaslighting of America rages on?
Despite what many may purport, I do not think science is Truth. Scientific knowledge changes over time. It is constantly evolving. Remember when the earth was flat? When the sun revolved around the earth? No one believes that today. So, the science of today may be dispelled and replaced by the science of tomorrow.
Many of us believe God is Truth. But this belief cannot be proven. We can experience God through faith and devotion. But, like our views on science, our understanding of God is subject to change as we grow and evolve. Because there are myriad individual interpretations of God, no human definition can be Universal Truth. [I personally believe God is Truth, but for this inquiry I seek a Truth that everyone can recognize and accept as such, irrespective of personal belief].
Can we look to Nature to reveal Truth?
Every human being is created with the same biology, the same pieces and parts, the same systems, blood, organs, and so forth. The same requirement for oxygen, food, and water to survive.
What about our beautiful planet Earth? Our understanding of her laws may change, but the actual laws of nature do not. These laws simply exist, and they are not partisan. The sun does not shine solely on the righteous. The rain does not fall solely on the wicked. The bees depend on flowers to make honey, the plants depend on soil to grow. Nature is interdependent, and She does not value one part over another. All of Nature’s parts and pieces are essential, of equal value, and they work together as one unified whole. Every living creature depends on Mother Nature for life itself.
This is incontrovertible and not controversial.
If Nature is this way, why aren’t we?
What made humans decide that our superficial differences define our value (or lack thereof) to society? Is a Monarch butterfly more worthy or beautiful than a Swallowtail? They are simply butterflies. Couldn’t it be that their variations in appearance were created simply to delight us with the wondrous splendor of creation?
Why do we enjoy and accept the magnificent variations in Nature, but not in each other?
Can we glean from the nature of Nature that we human beings are interdependent; that one is not of more value than another. All of Nature’s parts and pieces are essential, of equal value, and they work together for the good of the whole?
Nature IS Truth. But for some inexplicable reason, we choose to ignore and deny that fact, self-destructively choosing our current chaos, disorder, and dysfunction.
I am struggling to understand why.