Tell The Truth

A friend said the other day, that truth was becoming the most important thing in his life. (A quick note to my friend; sorry, but everything is ammo for the writers gun.) Anyway, it got me thinking. What is truth? You might think it’s obvious, but it’s not. Here’s a quote from an unremembered source: “We all see the world through our own eyes.” Think about that. Have you ever read “eyewitness accounts” from an event that has taken place? A car accident, perhaps? Several people can see the same accident and yet give differing accounts about what happened. Depending on where the observer was, what was on their mind at the time, what they were doing at the time, how much of the accident they were able to see, etc. And yet each person believes they gave a true account of what happened. When you go to court and you’re sworn in. “Do you swear to tell the truth…” what does that mean? You swear to tell your truth. But your truth can be vastly different from someone else’s truth. Does that make everyone else’s truth wrong, because you see yours as right?

Are there things that are true, that everyone can agree on? Like, “The Earth revolves around the Sun.” Does everyone agree? Science, we say, has proved this so there’s no argument, but there may be people who don’t believe it. Flat Earthers believe in a flat Earth even though most people don’t. You might look outside and notice that it’s cloudy and yet on the other side of town, only a few blocks away the sun is out. So when you say, “It’s cloudy today,” is it really cloudy? For you, at that moment, yes. But for someone else, only a few blocks away, it’s sunny. Which is true? Take politics. The Right and the Left see things very differently at times. One side is for immigration reform, the other side is not. Some support Israel while others support Palestine. Each make points supporting their cause that they believe are valid and true, and yet their opponents believe the opposite is true. So which is it? How do we discern what is true? Or can we?

Truth is subjective. Even that statement is subjective. So was that one. Truth can be and almost always is, different for each person. What you believe as truth today is subject to an entire lifetime of experiences, accumulated knowledge, beliefs, and opinions. And since no two people are alike, not even siblings, the truth is different for everyone. We might agree on many things and consider those things to be true but that is just an agreement. Don Miguel Ruiz, in his book, The Four Agreements, shows that we make multiple agreements everyday about what we think is true or false. That doesn’t make those things true or false, we just believe they are. So is there such a thing as truth? A Universal truth that no one can dispute? Some believe that religion, belief in a God is Universal truth. But considering that there have been about 3000 gods that people have believed in throughout human history, each with its own unique perspective, how can that be true? Some consider law to be the truth. The Constitution etc. Many would disagree. So how do we discover truth? How do we finally uncover what real truth is?

We don’t. And we do. What does that mean? As long as there are two people left on Earth who can think and reason, truth will be subjective. Truth will be based on the individual’s experiences, beliefs, opinions, etc. And there will be an argument about what truth is. Remove all people from the Earth and there will be no truth. Truth comes from your mind. I read a conversation on line where one person used a really obscure, strange word. The other person said, “That’s a made up word.” The first person replied, “All words are made up.” And that, was the truth.

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