Saturday, October 10, 2009

THE Truth vs. A Truth. Part I

It is time to get something out of my system that has been festering a while. There are certain things that constantly run through my mind that seem to come up repeatedly like a cow’s cud for me to chew on a while and then save to chew on again later. Morsels of insight or confusion that starts blurry and as I cogitate on it more and more I can begin to define the edges and sometimes even some of the creamy filling.

Forgive me if I delve too deeply into gorge of my mind but I have been chewing on the concept of truth lately. It seems to me that people confuse the difference between THE truth and A truth. Let me try to explain what I mean. When I look back on my childhood I see a preponderance of happiness. Reason would tell me that every second of my childhood was NOT happy but even when I remember my dad pulling out his belt or my mom picking up a paddle to whack my undisciplined bottom it seems NOW that it was a pleasant memory. So when I talk of my happy childhood my brother or sister might say, “What are you crazy? Don’t you remember this or that! You are lying through your teeth!” Their experience MIGHT be totally different from mine and, in fact, could be totally opposite of mine. So which is the truth?

Am I lying when I say I had a happy childhood when evidence from my siblings supports the opposite? Are my siblings lying if they claim an abusive childhood? Where is the truth?

THE truth is somewhere in between the angelic happiness and abusive happenings. THE truth is an objective fact that only God can see in an untainted view. THE truth is not within our reach because everything we experience is tainted by our beliefs, worldview, and environment. We cannot reasonably say “THAT’S the truth” because we don’t really know if it is or not. We can say, “To the best of my knowledge, THAT’S the truth.” But that is the farthest we can go down the truth path.

But does that mean that truth is unavailable to us? What is the point of having truth if no one can reach it? In a world filled with falsehood and lies how do we have law and moral behavior?

While THE truth may be unavailable to us it doesn’t me that there is no truth out there that we can draw on. There is a truth out there that we can used to guide our life. I had a happy childhood where I had two parents who loved me, cared for me, disciplined me, and set me up to be a successful person to the BEST of their ability. THE truth may not be what I remember of my childhood but, really, does that matter? A truth that I draw from my childhood was one of happiness BECAUSE OF the love, care, and discipline I had growing up. A truth IS: Love, care, and discipline leads to a happy childhood. My particular childhood may not have THE truth of happiness but it certainly had A truth called happiness. This leads me to ... (next time).

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