Thursday, January 5, 2012


     What is "the truth"? Who has the right to determine it? And is there one absolute truth, or is truth relative and dependent on different points of view? Perhaps the answer is "all of the above." If twenty people witness the same happening, each of them has a distinctive experience, and each of them relates the sequence of events in his or her own way. And yet, in each story, there will be certain "actions" that all twenty people can agree on. Are these "actions" then, the truth, and everything else interpretation?
     We impose personal meaning onto things that are effectively neutral. We translate action through our emotion and our own experience of life. A man who drops a book might be perceived to be careless by one person, but nervous by another, or maybe clumsy, or intentionally creating a distraction, or angry, or righteous, or extremely lacking in self-confidence. It all depends how the witness perceives the man. But is perception the truth? Maybe our perception is our own kind of personal truth, but we have to allow that the same thing may be perceived very differently by others.
     If there is one abiding truth that over-rides all of our personal perceptions, perhaps it has something to do with the spiritual principles of love and forgiveness, and with the understanding that two wrongs don't make a right, and what goes around comes around. These seem to be over-arching operating principles of the universe. And yet, what about the loving and innocent bright-eyed child that is killed in a hit and run accident, or harmed irrevocably by some other brutality? That doesn't seem an entirely fair return. How do we explain that event in a cause and effect kind of scenario? Maybe it's some kind of negative karma from a past life experience, or maybe a blessing in disguise?
     The truth is not as simple as it initially appears. I suppose there's nothing for it but to honor my own truth, and to honor the truth of others, and to understand that sometimes our truths may be in conflict, and sometimes they may not. Life is mysterious, and there is so much we don't know and can't make any sense of. Maybe that's the only real truth we can hold on to in the end.

I understand that truth has many angles, and that my own particular angle is always the one that makes the most sense to me. I am willing to honor your truth as well as my own, and allow for the possibility that even if we disagree, we may both somehow be right.