People often talk about something that is true is the same as something that is a truth. Are true and truth really the same thing? Something that is true makes you feel light, happy or smile. Something that is a truth is a point of view and may or may not make you feel light.
From a grammatical point of view, the ‘true’ is an adjective. While the word ‘truth’ is a noun. Clearly, even from this point of view, the words are different. Specifically, ‘truth’ means the quality or state of being true. While ‘true’ means in accordance with fact or reality, or accurate or exact. Its clear that truth refers to true but that’s not so important for this discussion.
Some examples about Truth
The Christian Bible is often referred to as truth. I have heard statements like “there is no greater truth than that is found in the bible” or “if you’re looking for the truth, look in the bible.” As was stated above, something that is considered a truth is a point of view. So, from this perspective, the bible is a point of view or, rather, a collection of points of view. Looking a people’s points of view about the bible, it is no wonder that there are many and varied versions of christianity.
As an aside, the Australian Constitution, at section 116, states that:
“The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.”
This was put into place because of differences between Catholicism and Protestantism at the time. Both were vying for their own point of view to be incorporated into the Constitution and it was seen as easier to simply remove the Commonwealth’s ability to legislate in respect of religion. Two major groups from the same religion having opposing points of view. Both groups saw that their point of view was the better one but, thankfully, our forefathers had the wisdom to remove the Commonwealth’s ability to legislate on the basis of religion.
Have you ever noticed that countries where religion is an intimate part of their constitution are always in strife?
Another example is that science is the search for the truth. However, there is a common effect known in science as the ‘observer-expectancy effect’. This is a form of reactivity in which a researcher’s cognitive bias causes them to unconsciously influence the participants of an experiment. Basically, if you know you’re being studied, you’re going to change your behaviour based on that knowing. Results can then be interpreted incorrectly – confirmation bias – and, thus, the outcome of the experiment is skewed. So, is this the search for truth or is it the confirmation of a point a view? Clearly, its to confirm a point of view.
So if both science and religion are truth, or the search for truth, what quality or state of being true are they referring too? Whose point of view is it that they are seeking out as true?
The tricky truth about what is true
This is where things get a bit tricky. As stated above, something that is true makes you feel light, happy or smile. In actual fact, the experience may be purely personal. You may not ‘feel’ light, happy or smiley. You may have an experience of what is true that is totally personal and that’s absolutely fine.
Taking a look a religion and religious experience, a person may feel extremely light or happy when they’re attending church, reading the bible or talking about their religion. This is not necessarily something that is actually ‘true’, it may be something that you have bought as true and that makes you feel light and happy. In effect, you have bought a truth, someone else’s point of view. Again, that’s absolutely fine.
As for science, you may have feel elated when you make a new discovery or observe something interesting. But, again, this is not necessarily something that is true. You may be experiencing the ‘observer-expectancy effect’ or something similar. You have taken a point of view, made a hypothesis about it, confirmed it and, thus, through your experimentation find that it is true. Remember, you have taken a point of view…
How do you know when something is actually true?
The first step to knowing when something is actually true is to ask a question. You could ask virtually any question. However, please be aware that not all questions are questions. Some questions are actually conclusions with a question mark attached. For instance, say your having a bad hair day with someone and you ask a question like “why does he always upset me?” This is a conclusion with a question mark attached. You have concluded that he always upsets you. Does he really? Or does he upset only at a particular time? A better question to ask would be “what point of view do I have creates this upset?” Perhaps you have the point of view that he is nasty and, consequently, he has no option but to create himself as nasty in your presence. If you feel light at this point, that is something that is actually true. If you don’t feel light at this point, perhaps you need to ask a different question and keep going until you actually get to the point of feeling light.
The second step to knowing when something is actually true is to be open to whatever the universe is going to show you. Ok, you know this guy upsets you and you ask a question. The universe shows you what is actually going on but you reject it because it is him that upsets you, you’re the innocent victim. Unfortunately, you have missed the point. You have concluded that you’re the victim and that it is he that is the problem. Uhm, sorry, no… This is not being open to whatever the universe is showing you.
The third step to knowing when something is actually true is to acknowledge it for what it is. Once you acknowledge it, then you have the capacity to change it. When you go, “no, no, its not me, its him”, that is not acknowledging it, its pure rejection and, thus, you have lost the ability to change it.
Ok, so you’ve asked a question, you’ve been open to whatever the universe is showing up and you’ve acknowledged it, what’s next? If you’ve done all of that, you’ve come to the fourth step, the capacity to change it. Ok, so you’ve realised that you have the point of view that he’s nasty. You’ve acknowledged that fact. Now what are your options? You can tell him that you think he’s nasty. What will that create? You can remove yourself whenever he’s around. What will that create? You can get over your point of view and actually see what else can show up. What will that create?
Your options are limitless here. The point is that only when you acknowledge that something is true for you, then and only then will you have the capacity to change it.
A couple of catches
This first catch is that something that is true for you may not be true for another. It may be true that your body likes to eat salmon and it makes you feel light and happy when you eat salmon. But another person’s body may not like salmon and may in fact make them feel ill. Making another eat salmon is actually imposing a truth upon another, your point of view.
The second catch is that something that is true for you today may not be true for you tomorrow. Be open, be aware and ask questions.
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