As we close 2022, I reflect on the meaning of Wisdom, Truth, and Love as preludes to offering a new approach to expanding joy and meaning in our lives.
Having previously covered wisdom, I turn this week to truth.
Facts may be accurate, but the ultimate truth lies beyond facts.
It is obvious from our divisive culture that the beliefs we hold become our truth. However, it is easy to check whether or not our beliefs are true. Truth brings us together. False ideology drives us apart. Ultimate truth lacks the certitude of ideology.
When we find our truth conflicts with a neighbor’s, it is a sign for each of us to pause and search for a more inclusive truth. Truth branches out like a tree. If what we say is true, it will trace back to a common root.
Differences often prevent us from tracing our individual truths to a shared truth. Ultimate truth is expanded in embrace. Conversations regarding truth should always begin with yes, and. Close-minded certainty is an enemy of truth and the womb of violence. Certainty is derived from boundaries that divide us. There is no room for ultimate truth in certainty.
The search for truth is universal, and when we find it, we stand firm, claiming it as ours. In doing so, we are like blindfolded people searching for an elephant already in our midst. One of us grabs the trunk, another the tail, and another an ear. Each of us claims we have found the truth rather than a truth. In doing so, we remain blind.
I stumbled around in the dark for many years in search of truth. If the truth I ultimately found differs from yours, perhaps we are touching different parts of the elephant? Yes, and invites us to examine our truth in light of another’s. If what we’ve found is true, there will be a connection waiting to be discovered. Ultimate truth is inclusive of all.
The 15th-century Indian mystic and saint Kabir wrote, “When the I, me, and the mine are dead, the work of the Lord is done.”
What then is the ultimate truth? What truth is large enough to include the world in all its diversity?
I believe it is unconditional love.
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