What Matters ~ Truth
For an introduction to the 'Perspectives:' series, visit ~
What Matters ~ Truth
It's an interesting circumstance to be writing a piece titled 'Truth' as part of a series titled 'Perspectives:'. My initial interest to enlist this group of writers for an experiment in offering different perspectives on a common theme, was specifically to remind us all that there is a difference between what we think and feel about something and what that 'something' actually is . . . the very fact that we each own our own perspective demonstrates that there is truth, we couldn't have an apprehension, an understanding, a feeling about something if there wasn't a thing to have an apprehension, an understanding, a feeling about. Our perspective of a thing or an event, etc, is our view of it - the thing or event itself, is truth . . . we have subjective perspectives - there is an objective truth.
Now, the trick is, how do we recognize truth for the truth that it is when we necessarily and exclusively receive information through the means of our own sensory instruments (eyes, ears, touch, etc) and then process that information with our own cognitive instrument (brain)? Our eyes and ears, etc, can be easily deceived and our mind is affected by our experiences, our fears, our appetites, etc.
This is the underlying premise of the 'Perspectives:' series - everyone is the individual that they are because they perceive everything with their own eyes and ears and understand everything they see and hear with their own mind, from their own upbringing and relationships and hardships and desires, etc, etc. None of us see things as they actually are - we see things as our own private eyes and ears, etc, inform us of them and as our own minds process that information . . . everything we're confronted with is processed through our own particular set of instruments (eyes, ears, touch, etc) and is understood by our own capacity to utilize our experience and knowledge. Now, toss into that system, or procedure, each individual's emotional state (their fears and pride and doubts and wants, etc) and the truth, the real objective reality truth, is not so apparent or attainable as we all prefer to think. Nonetheless . . .
We wouldn't each have our own subjective perceptions of a thing if there wasn't a thing, an objective truth (reality) to perceive - there is an objective, real truth. So, how do we come out from under or behind our own perception to recognize truth? How do we minimize what is instantly apparent to us and consider and examine possible truth with as little contamination by our own senses and intellectual and emotional impediments? How do we hurdle over our own personal obstacles to see truth as the real truth that it is?
It seems to me that we must start at the beginning, the very beginning, with as little of 'us' (our sense of things) as possible. We need to strip away everything, all history and 'known' information, and consider our reality at it's most core, essential circumstance. To get there however, I think we need to first start directly with 'us' and with here and now. To get to the core and essential reality, we have recognize what we know about the complex, detailed reality we find ourselves in.
So, here's what we know; we exist, we are here right now considering these ideas (the 'I think therefore I am' equation). We have either always existed or we began to exist at some point in time - we have have not always existed but began at some point in time. We either created ourselves or were were created by someone else - we could not create ourselves before we existed but were created by someone else. We are either a unique and singular creation or we are one of many, part of a race or species - we come from a long line of beings like ourselves. That line of beings has either always existed or began at some point in time - just as we individually have not always existed, the line of beings I am part of had a beginning. This race or species of beings I belong to must have either created themselves or was created by another - just as we individually cannot create ourselves before we exist, so the line of beings like myself that I come form did not create themselves. Therefore, the reality that I exist in has not always existed but was created at some point in time . . . by someone.
Now, admittedly, asserting a 'someone' creator assumes that material reality does not generate itself out of nothing - however, this seems a abundantly sound assumption . . . we observe no matter spontaneously coming into existence in our reality, both reason and experience assure us that things just don't 'pop' into existence, such a circumstance is contrary to the nature of the reality we exist in. So, the exercise now, to consider truth with as minimal distraction and misinformation from ourselves (our sense of things - our senses and our experience and our emotions), is to consider our reality at it's most stripped down, at it's core, at it's beginning.
So, with no preconceptions, based on no suppositions formulated over centuries, what are we and where do we find ourselves? We are conscious, cognitive beings who have not always been here and did not create ourselves, we are members of a long line of beings like ourselves who, like us, have not always been here and did not create themselves . . . and where 'here' is is a sphere of rock, dirt, and vegetation hung in the middle of nothing. We exist on the surface of this large (compared to ourselves) ball in the midst of nothing. There are indeed other planets around us, and they are not nothing, they are something - but space, in which these planets, including our own, exist is by definition nothing. When we talk about space, the 'outer space' the universe exists in, I think we tend to count the whole thing (space and all the planets) as a thing - but in fact the planets are things and they all exist in the midst of nothing . . . space is the absence of material, a matter-less condition or circumstance. Space has matter in it, the planets, starts, comets, etc, but the actual space itself that these things exist in is the opposite of matter - it is exactly what no material being present is, it's empty void, it's space.
So, amidst this vast empty void, here-and-there in the nothingness of space, there are these various balls of rock, dirt, whatever, and we exist on the surface of one of them. Now, like ourselves on this planet, we can only reasonably surmise that this planet (and the variety of planets hanging in the nothingness of space) has either always been here or had a beginning . . . and, like ourselves, it is reasonable to deduce that it has not always been here and did not create itself, etc. It's only reasonable to conclude that, like ourselves, the planets that hang in the midst of the nothingness of space were created. The only alternative (if the planets and ourselves have not always been here and did not self-create) is that the planets and ourselves spontaneously 'popped' into being out of nothing or that we developed from something that 'popped' into being out of nothing - and again, both reason and experience inform us that this is an absurd assertion.
So, what matters, as in, what really matters as we walk around on the surface of this rock hung amidst the nothingness of space? To me, it seems that what really matters, at the onset, is the truth about who we are and why we are here? Why has this planet been placed in the midst of nothing and why have we been put on it? Of course, this is why religions and philosophies, and science, etc, exist and what they have all addressed and offered 'answers' to. Popular contemporary science tries to explain how we are here apart from any creator, it offers scenarios that, basically, assert that some manner of material (an amino acid, a hydrogen atom or it's rudiments, etc) did in fact just 'pop' into existence amidst nothing. And philosophies deal more with the 'who are we' than the 'what are we and how did we come to be'. Religions, of course, offer a stunningly wide range of assertions; from the notion that we're not hung amidst nothing but are resting on the back of a massive turtle that is resting on the back of an even more massive camel that is resting on an even much more massive elephant, etc, etc, to the idea that the earth itself is the creator or that there is a team of creators who themselves were actually created, etc. When we ask, still, 'so what is the truth?' it's interesting to consider this . . .
During the time of the most durable empire men had ever constructed on this ball of rock and dirt hung amidst the nothing of space, an uneducated carpenter from the outskirts of nowhere was brought before one of this empire's leading officials, and this Roman ruler asked Him this question that has come down to us through the centuries - "What is truth?". Why was he asking this man such a question, who was this man and what had transpired that this seeming no-account and forgettable person was set before this leader of Rome and asked "What is truth"?
This man, this carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth, had been going around announcing to everyone that He was in fact the creator, that it was Him who made this planet and hung it in space and put us all on it. The nation He was born to, eager for a hero to come and rally then against their Roman oppressors, had misunderstood His claim, they imagined He was announcing Himself the leader of a revolt they long hoped for, they imagined He had come to be their new king. When it became clear to them that this was not Jesus' message, that He spoke of deliverance from corruption and death itself and not from Rome, they arrested Him and demanded His execution - they accused Him of their own interests and false assumptions, telling Rome that He claimed to be the new king, and so, was guilty of treason against Rome and Caesar. An so Jesus was brought before Roman the governor, Pilate, who asked Him "What Is truth" . . . and, why would he ask Jesus this? Because when asked about the accusation against Him, when Pilate asked Him "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus answered him "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world — to bear witness to the truth."and Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
Now again, leaving all assumptions and experience and 'knowledge' aside, not considering what you think of the Christian religion or specific Christians you have known, etc - it's a compelling thing to consider that, on this ball hanging in space where we have built empire upon empire, that at one point one man asserted that He was the creator of all that exists and that He came here, to His creation, to reveal to us THE truth, and that because of that we killed Him . . . and then to consider that within a few short generations the empire that executed Him, the Roman Empire, became the Holy Roman Empire, and as the generations proceeded nearly all of the Middle east, Northern Africa, Asia Minor, and Europe began to assert this man was God, and then into darkest Africa, Asia, and the new world, and that today, Zeus is a cartoon character and Jesus is counted by millions upon millions as the creator of all that is.
What happened? What is it about this man and His message? Regardless what you believe about who we are and how we came to be on this planet, regardless of what you think about Jesus or Muhammad or Buddha, etc, it's a staggering thing, if looked at objectively, that this man Jesus of Nazareth asserted that He was the creator of all that exists and that He came here, to His creation, to reveal to us THE truth, and that because of that we killed Him, yet His message continues on centuries later. It kind of doesn't add-up.
Early on in this piece I said "we necessarily and exclusively receive information through the means of our own sensory instruments (eyes, ears, touch, etc) and then process that information with our own cognitive instrument (brain)?" . . . that is not accurate.When Pilate asked Jesus if He was the king of the Jews and Jesus answered "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world — to bear witness to the truth.", Jesus then continued "Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice”. A central teaching of the Bible, a concept that is behind the fact that so many can assert that it contradicts itself and makes no sense, etc, while so many others say there are no contradictions and it makes perfect sense, is that there is another why, another process by which we can receive information - studying history and science and ancient religions, etc, all supply me with ample and convincing evidence that historic Biblical Christianity is the truth, but beyond that, there is a spiritual reality wherein God reveals truth, it's not figured-out, it's not the fruit of intellect or research, it is simply imparted.
I know it offends some, seems silly to some, is patently anti-intellectual to some, etc, etc, but I know the truth because God has revealed it to me, as He has with all come to Him through Jesus the only mediator between God and man. What really matters as we find ourselves walking around the surface of this ball hanging in the midst of nothing, is truth . . . who we are and why we are here.
As it is my birth month, the theme for June is of course, 'Beauty' . . . if you would like to be a guest contributor in June and share your "perspective:' on 'Beauty', please contact MickeySr.