Any quest for wisdom, sooner or later, has to address truth, a concept which seems rather elusive in our modern society. It seems funny to me how we think about truth in the “information” age. Our pop culture sends us many mixed messages, messages that mutate with every new “cool” thing or errant thought, giving us the impression that truth is mutable, a relative notion, an ever changing moving target, evolving over time into what we want it to be.
What is truth and how do we come to it? The Merriam-Webster’s defines truth as: the real facts about something: the things that are true. The noun form of the word true, it means agreeing with the facts, not false, real or genuine. In actuality, truth is the real facts, and as such, the whole truth is all the facts, while half-truths are just certain facts.
When we say things like “that might be true for you, but it’s not true for me,” we are really saying that the facts aren’t realities for us. The facts are the facts, and if we say they aren’t valid for us, we are simply saying that we cannot accept the truth, we are deceiving ourselves. Likewise when someone says, “the truth lies somewhere in the middle, ” it presupposes that neither party is in possession of all the facts, therefore all parties are lying, and it occurs to me that only a liar would presume everyone is lying as a way to muddy the waters, to deflect guilt, to convince others to share in their lie. And, when we say “there are many paths up the mountain” in an effort to accept all ideologies as equal, we delude ourselves with a half-truth. For while it is, indeed, true that there are many paths which can taken, not all paths lead in the same direction, nor do they all lead to the summit, and most are frankly dead-ends.
The X-Files had it right – the truth is out there, and it is our job to seek it out diligently, consciously, setting our delusional and corrupt egos aside so that we may hear the voice of Truth, recognize it, and as difficult as it may be, accept it, willingly, fully and without adulteration. The whole truth is easy to find, but hard to come by. It’s not relative or variable, it isn’t good for some, but not for others, it doesn’t lead down wayward paths, and it does not change – it is what it is. We are what changes, not the truth; we change in regards to how we see it, how we react to it, how we understand and accept it.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32