Meditations on Truth
‘Be a lamp to yourself. Be your own confidence. Hold on to the truth within yourself’- Buddha
‘The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.’ – Jim Morrison, singer
Truth is a difficult thing to convey through words alone. As Ralph Waldo Emerson explains ‘words cannot cover the dimensions of what is truth. They break, chop, and impoverish it.’
Definable static truth can be satisfactorily grasped through our left-brained analytical thinking as neat ‘facts’: either the ‘thing’ is true or false. Yet, if we over-exert our analytical perception of truth without adequately enriching it with a more experiential, intuited, relational and embodied perception of reality, we run the risk of abstracting truth from its lived-in environment, in-so-doing we filter out the subjective relationality of reality, and life becomes drained of its meaning, vitality, flow and purpose: enter the contagion of consumerism in our midst.
The ancient Greeks (as with all the ancient wisdom traditions the world over) perceived Truth as a transcendent yet immanent quality. An archetypal presence that is eternal yet manifests within our ephemeral experiences of life.
Plato understood that the great step we take towards wisdom is nothing more nor nothing less than a subtle shift in our attention; a shift away from being caught up in the superficiality of our ego whims and reactions – that so often obscure the Truth – towards a deeper knowing: a Gnosis, an embodied intuited kinaesthetic relational and rational experience that is felt as a deep knowing within the core of our being.
The more we allow ourselves to open up to our full selves, beyond our ego-masquerades, the more we allow ourselves to sense what is true for us and what isn’t.
It is through the quality of our attention that we allow for Truth to shine through us – we participate in the transcendence of Truth, aiding its manifestation within this world through our presence, our relationality, our listening, our thinking, our emotions, our conversations and undertakings.
The psychologist and philosopher, William James asserts that we and reality jointly ‘make’ truth – it is a co-creative act, we participate it the unfolding nature of Truth through the quality/authenticity of our intention and attention.
As the process theologian, Catherine Keller asks: ‘What if truth itself is a way not an endpoint? What if the way and its truth deliver no totalizing absolute – nor deliver us to the indifferent dissolute? What if we have here to find a third way?’
The ‘third way’ Keller points to is of truth as an ungraspable co-creative relational unfolding process, a progressive living journey rather than a static thing.
The campaigner and writer Satish Kumar observes, ‘Truth is not a ‘correct’ belief system. It is not a point of arrival: it is a continuous process, a continuous search and a continuous way of being.’
Truth: not a noun nor a verb but a participle; a dynamic, ever-unfolding way of being, a lived ‘becoming’. Truth, in its splendid feral dynamism, is beyond the controlling, artificiality of our rationalistic left-brained desire to grasp, categorise, box-up and abstract. Truth is, to use Keller’s words, an unfolding of ‘open-ended interactivity’; it ‘isn’t a neon revelation but a revealing illumination’.
Our Truth is personal to us. It is a lived exploration of our revealing illumination as we learn to become ever more authentic, ever more attentive to our Soul’s whispering, ever more attuned to our real Purpose in service of what Life continuously calls us to be/do/become.
We are living our life so as to reveal our Truth by becoming ever more transparent with the transcendence and ever more intimate with the immanence of this sacred and deeply wise world.
‘Truth is rarely writ in ink; it lives in Nature.’ – Martin H. Fischer
Truth illuminates our path as we learn to live more wisely, more in harmony with Life.
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