What’s truth?



Books have been written about it and everyone seems to own it. So that’s pretty nice. Every individual in this world is the rightful owner of truth. It is our greatest asset and we guard this beautiful treasure like a dragon, in multiple ways.

Have you ever taken part in a discussion about a truth close to your heart ? The chance that this turned out to be frustration is almost one hundred percent. The other does not listen to your obvious insights and the more clearly you explain your point of view, the more unreasonable the other becomes. There is only one thing that we quickly forget. The experience across the discussion is exactly the same.

Truth is a reflection of our life experience. Perhaps we should better define truth as ‘the story that is currently working for us’. We adjust our feeling, thinking and acting to this story. When someone else tells us that he thinks we know it wrong, this person attacks us. He denies our entire pursuit.

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There are plenty of examples. Think of politics and religion, but also education or cooperation. Just switching from the left to the right political spectrum means that we declare our actions in this area null and void up to this point. Not to mention a shift from theism to atheism or vice versa.

Yet it is common for people to try out different truths about the course of a lifetime . However, that never happens ‘just like that’ without a fight and certainly not at the suggestion of someone else.

Truth is experience, our safe harbor and foothold. When an individual is eager to explore new horizons by reconsidering one of his firm beliefs, this is a very brave undertaking. In all likelihood, there will be a very sound emotional reason for this. So just trying to kick someone’s feet out from under someone’s foundation is downright rude and besides, does anyone ever really listen?

What fruit does this view bear?

First, rest.

As we explore this fact, it becomes clear that we are always listening to the truth when someone lays out their vision. Maybe not our truth, but an important life story nonetheless. If we dare to be very honest with ourselves, the struggle with such a truth stems mainly from arrogance. ‘Why does the other person think he knows differently than I do?! I certainly know better!’

We no longer need to struggle or understand from this perspective. We can then just relax and enjoy the view. Apparently this is one of the forms that ‘being’ is taking in front of us at the moment.

Second, a stepping stone toward self-realization.

Getting to know yourself has nothing to do with discovering the truth. However, everything with letting go of it. Truth is by definition an ego concept. One truth will always think itself better than another. They are dualistic concepts that are time and place bound and therefore have no relevance in infinite concepts.

As an example:

Consider an ‘I’ who was born in feudal Japan, one who was born in the Netherlands in 1850 and one who grew up in Syria today. It doesn’t take much imagination to think that these ‘I’s tell themselves completely different stories to get through the day. The story of a present-day western “me”-you is no different in that sense, nor is it better or more complete.

If you are lucky enough to have had an eventful life, you may recognize that you have had to let go of truths in the past. This letting go of your identification with a concept will probably have felt like a huge disappointment. This will have entailed a lot of suffering. Not something you just chose for fun.

Once you had recovered after a while, you were an illusion poorer and an experience richer. You were stronger and wiser thanks to this process.

Perhaps you could even imagine that it made you lighter and more spacious?

What stories are you currently exploring and defending?



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