Thursday, October 20, 2011

Truth - revisited...

Socrates taught us not accept our existing thoughts as true. Step back and reevaluate the truth and veracity of your opinions and beliefs. Seek to know your real self and seek truth.With this in mind I will here undertake a verbal/thought journey of self discovery by asking the question “What is a Truth?”
I won't be seeking to perform an intellectual exercise but rather to discover what my current beliefs are about truth and how my daily life is affected by those beliefs.

“What is a Truth? Is it a thing, separate and definable? Can it change?”
If I accept the premise that truth exists as something separate and definable, then I have to do something (focus) to experience it or stop doing something that stops me seeing it (e.g. having beliefs). Having put considerable effort into both, I have to date not been able to reveal an objective Truth.
Maybe “what is truth” should be “what is true”
Seeing what is “out there” that is an objective thing – truth is quite different to seeing what is inherently true in things!!
I can't hold a truth. It doesn't exist as an object. It is an impossible noun, but certainly exists as an adjective. The quality of trueness exists in things and situations and ideas.
What is a Quality of Trueness?”
I don't know, but I recognise it? When something resonates, it feels right. It's true for me.
But I have experienced knowing something as true, only to later know it to be not true.
Is there Truth in Knowledge ?”
Because I recognise the uniqueness of my sensory inputs and in particular the unique experiences that have brought me to who I am now, I know (believe in an intellectual way) that I know nothing. That I have no absolute knowledge.
I believe that nothing can be known with absolute certainty. Here is my logic;
In a dream I believe I am real. My belief is as strong the belief I have now that I am awake and typing this. But how do I know that I am not dreaming this.
I can only know that I am dreaming this after I wake up.
I can't know that I am NOT dreaming this.
When I was a kid I dreamt that I woke up and went to school, then my mum woke me up and told me to get ready for school.
Logic tells me that it is feasible that if that happened in a dream then I might have been dreaming that I had a dream.
So you see, it is impossible to actually know anything.
Do I know this ? Obviously if the above is true and complete I can only
believe this.
Even with this logic, it is always possible for somebody to come along and point out a flaw in this whole line of thinking.
So, on the assumption that I can't know anything, I can only talk from a position of believing...

Can you Know what you experience?”
My experience = my interpretation of my sense input, or rather, my interpretations of my reactions filtered through my beliefs.
How is my experience and my mind separate ?
Isn't my physical/emotional experience greatly influenced by my memory of my previous experience? Isn't my memory open to corruption from my beliefs about my self.
Isn't most of my experience largely the result of my expectations ?
I don't think that I can give any more credibility to my experience as being related to truth than I can my beliefs.
Is something a truth because I hold (believe) it to be truth? If a group of people hold it as truth? If science can measure it?”
Personal and consensual beliefs are often referred to as Truths, but investigation reveals them as convenient beliefs to oil the workings of society. Even scientific results are held as a temporary Truth until more is learned and a 'deeper' Truth is revealed.
Seeing what is true in things is a way of seeing ...
Seeing (as it is used here) is a metaphor for knowing.
This knowing transcends the thing. It transcends You. You (your sense of a separate person) becomes lost in Experiencing the thing. The idea of a thing becomes lost in the Experiencing.
You and It become the Experience. I believe it is here that Truth may be tangible, but certainly not separate.
I have a feeling that truth is there to be ‘known’ by looking with the right kind of eyes. I think it isn’t something separate or different but a way of seeing ‘what is’ without the coloration of opinion – not that I can disappear opinion, but if I am alert then I can see what coloration it causes (in myself)

To Summarise;
I can't know anything, I can only have beliefs.
In order to navigate through life I need to behave 'as if' certain of those beliefs are True.
This is my Truth.