Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Being Truthful 366: What is Truth?

We tell lies when we are afraid...afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger. ~Tad Williams

I have only posted twice previously about my truth promise for the year, but my friend, Ganeida, left some comments that have given me with some things to think over. That is what my Ganeida does, after all she is my blog Muse.

She has suggested that there are different "sorts of truths." She wrote: There is the truth so far as we know it & then there is the truth as God knows it. There is the truth of the hearth & spirit & emotions as opposed to the truth of facts.

Then she referred to Pilate with his question: What is truth?

It seems that this is one time that Ganeida and I cross over to opposing sides between the realms of complexity and simplicity. Whereas, I tend to see complications and complexities, I believe that truth is simple, even pure, yet Ganeida seems to see complexities in truth. Perhaps we actually believe the same, but we would describe it differently; it would not be a first time for us.

I believe truth is not complicated or complex. It simply is what it is. It cannot be what it is not, or else it would be deceptive, a lie. I believe that being truthful is only complicated because of our struggle against it. We can have so many reasons, highly justifiable reasons, for wanting to hide the truth: We don't want to admit that we did not catch the biggest fish; we are protecting a loved one from harm; or we have a vice that would be embarrassing if others knew. Whatever the justifications, it all comes down to a singular, simple motivation: we want to hide the truth.

Now there are things we cannot know with certainty nor can we prove, yet there is truth regardless of our limitations in perception. Things that cannot be proven yet are believed are a matter of faith. There is a difference between faith and truth. If all truth were revealed, there would be no need for faith, yet we place our faith in things that seem to us to be true.

I have made a truth promise for this year. I do not know all truth, but I know I can be truthful. I may not wish to be truthful all the time and I have not been truthful all the time, but I can be truthful. It is a choice. There is no murky middle. Either I am truthful or I am not. It seems very simple to me.

What may be seen as a complication to truth is opinion. Opinion is based more on feeling than truth, or else we all would have the same opinion. I can be truthful in giving my opinion, explaining my thoughts and feelings, and yet my opinion can be flawed because emotions are not based in truth.

I think having relationship with truth is like having a relationship with God: I cannot define all that God is only my perspective of Him and so it is with truth. I can only control my offering of what I believe to be true, but that does not make what I say absolute from God's perspective or a profound truth...although both would be ideal and perhaps that is the way it should be for us in a perfect state.

Now that I am really thinking about this I believe that my honesty failures probably favor compassion, fear of being vulnerable, covering my wrongdoing, and just wanting things my way. But at the heart of it, I think my problem is that I am not living in Truth, seeking my Lord before I speak. It is so much easier to do that when I write, but in talking I can push God aside instead of being in a prayerful, seeking mindset accepting to what He is giving: the right words, His words. I am not surrendered to Him in such moments and surrendering each moment, each word, is the ideal state I wish to maintain.

At deeper examination of my list, perhaps truth is in selflessness...for it is in trying to save myself that I am not truthful. I say I do not want to hurt another person's feelings, but perhaps it is that I do not want to be the one to hurt his feelings and the hurt he would feel from the truth is secondary in my concerns. In truth, perhaps all lies are to save ourselves from any consequences of the truth we could give because we lack the faith that God will do take care of us according to His plan.

Could it be that in lying we are covering the truth about our own distrust in God?

What is truth?

I suppose I will have many ways to answer this question in the coming year, but today I would say that truth is the one thing that scares most people into lying, which harms them spiritually far worse than the truth could.

I must brave being be truthful to experience truth.

~ My Lord, give me courage in being truthful. ~

2 comments:

  1. I do not see it your way ~ obviously ~ but for your entertainment I skyped with the girl this morning & guess what devotions are on?! Yep! I shared some of your thoughts.

    I know certain things at a *gut level* but I can't prove them ~ which is what you get when you do an arts degree & truth is mallelable. lol Does that make them less true? I do not think so.

    Gallelio knew certain things about our universe as the truth but he couldn't convince the powers that be that it was the truth. Their *truth* was in fact a lie but it was true in so far as they were capable of understanding.

    I will stop. I have no access to caffeine & this is giving me a headache. I need caffeine to philosophise at this level. lol Enjoy. It would give me a migraine for a year I think.

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  2. Ganeida, I can see you are going to spur lots of interesting conversations on this subject. I started to write out a comment and realized it is another blog post so I will be working on this discussion later on. I have errands to do today.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.