The Truth

The Truth

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Some people say there are as many truths as people. But this is a wrong use of language. The word “truth” originates from the root *deru- with the meaning “be firm, solid, steadfast.” Truth is something you can trust in. Therefore, there can only be one truth.

The Roman emperor (and philosopher) Marcus Aurelius put it straight:

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.
Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
(Marcus Aurelius)

People only have perspectives. Hence, there are as many perspectives as people: in religion, in science, in politics, you name it. Since truth is beyond perspectives, it cannot be communicated. You can’t find it in books, nor in articles; neither in lectures, nor in schools. You must find it yourself.

Finding the truth is a lot of work because you have to leave behind your own perspectives and interests and mentally look beyond all perspectives and interests. This work demands curiosity – and curiosity is the opposite of fear. If you are afraid, you can’t find the truth. You need both humbleness and courage: the humbleness to accept your perspective as a perspective; and the courage to let go the old and let in the new.

The more work you put into finding the truth, the closer you can get to it.

Ever since, those in power made themselves authorities of truth. They declared their interest-driven perspectives to be the truth and imposed them on their subjects. Dissenting opinions were punished. One of the most famous examples is Galileo Galilei. His teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun earned him lifelong house arrest and a prohibition of teaching. In todays terminology: he was censored and put into eternal quarantine.

image by DarkmoonArt_de on

In addition to the outer truth there is also the inner truth: The outer truth is the truth about the world around you. The inner truth is the truth about yourself – about what/who you truly are. I wrote about this in “The OTHER Story of the Eagle in the Chicken Coop.”

The inner truth is even more difficult to find than the outer truth. For this quest you are potentate and researcher in personal union, which is the greatest of all challenges. This makes finding the outer truth a good preparation for finding the inner truth.

Galileo Galilei showed how arduous the path of truth can be. The truth demands courageous people who stick to their guns and are prepared to make sacrifices. This applies to the quest for the outer truth as well as to the quest for the inner truth.

If you want to know the truth and persist, you will find it – both the outer truth and the inner truth. Truth prevails – such as light prevails over darkness.

And yet it moves.
(Galileo Galilei)