Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What Is "The Truth"?

We are once again in the middle of a Kentucky snowstorm. So far we've had one inch of snow with reports of snow drifts up to two inches in some places. It's not much but its still beautiful.

Yesterday I received an email from a young woman who I believe lives in Europe. She asked for an explanation of "truth". I believe she was interested in the spiritual or metaphysical understanding of what truth is. Wow! That's quite a question. I don't know if I am smart enough to answer her question. If I remember correctly, Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth"? and Jesus remained silent. I should probably do the same. I did respond to her, however, and my reply is below. My views may be upsetting to some of my fellow Christians but my mind and heart are open to truth in all of its manifestations.

I believe that God reveals truth in many ways and is not limited to any one method or religion. God, who is truth, is without limits. What is truth? What is "The Truth"? My philosophy background is a little weak so I do not know how Plato, Aristotle, or Socrates would answer this question. I don't know what "The Truth" is but it may be what God really is beyond what we think He/She is. Truth may be the reality that exists beyond all of our individual perceptions of reality. All religions think they have the "The Truth". If there is a God, and I believe there is, He/She is bigger than all religion. God does not belong to a particular religion. He/She doesn't care about theology or doctrine. The Dalai Lama says, "I don't think everyone should be a Buddhist but it works for me". Personally, I believe all legitimate religions, i.e., Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, etc, each have some truth in them. No one religion has a monopoly on truth. I have been a Roman Catholic since my birth but I find meaningful teachings in other religions as well. I love my spiritual heritage as a Roman Catholic but I am also very attracted to Buddhism and the mysticism of the Orthodox Church. I may also find meaningful truths in other traditions if I was exposed to them more. Some would accuse me of just picking and choosing the parts of each religion that I like and rejecting the parts that I don't like. There's probably some truth to that. My personal spirituality has elements of several belief systems. More than anything I think I like the simple statement of the Dalai Lama when he said, "My religion is kindness". I believe if you live a life of love and kindness and compassion, you will eventually understand what "The Truth" is. Perhaps "The Truth" is nothing more than the deep realization of the power of love and, if I am not mistaken, God is love. Of course, everything I say here, and everything I have ever said, are just my opinions or my understanding of things. I expect to be arrested by representatives of the Vatican as soon as these thoughts are circulated.

Yesterday a co-worker said, "You look like you've lost 30 pounds in the last week! What's different about you"? Well, first of all, I have all new clothes that actually fit. No one has noticed the new clothes. I have gone done four sizes in my pants. My hair is longer than usual and my beard is much shorter. Plus, I think my new navy blue sweater makes me look thinner. Dark colors do that for me. I've lost some weight but not 30 pounds in one week! If I lost 30 pounds per week I would completely disappear in approximately six or seven weeks. Since I am a diabetic I am always trying to manage my food habits and weight loss is a pleasant side effect. The rest is smoke and mirrors.

Zen chaser
Mystical seeker
I talk to the wind
It's just another day.

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