If Truth Is Relative, What Is A Lie?
by "Moses" of Nashville, TN
If truth is something dictated by my perspective, and my perspective differs from yours then who is right? According to The Cassell Concise Dictionary, truth is conformity to fact or reality. Reality is defined as actual existence, being, or that which underlies appearances. When we accept the experience of our individual lives we discover in common a truth absolute. Truth is not relative, but is revealed when we are fully present in the act of living.
Whether we choose fact, governed by the laws of existence, or not, makes no difference to truth. But we do have a choice. If we desire to be factual, we must first accept that our perspective is constant only in motion. In other words, it is not fact that differs from one moment to the next, but our perspective. For me there is no denying the many convictions once held in confidence now abandoned. Choosing to live in reality when there are so many other options is, to say the least, a challenge; but, more than that, it is a life-long process. To conform to reality means to see beyond ourselves while not losing sight of ourselves. Though not entirely possible, striving to obtain this goal is the manifestation of truth in our lives.
Existing in the moment, allowing ourselves to go beyond the surface of our perception, we experience reality. Reality is not something we claim; at best, it is something we strive to understand. Recently on National Public Radio during a discussion on advances in the development of anti-matter, researchers stated "all we can do is wait": for many of the concepts presently believed about the creation and existence of matter might be disqualified. For scientists, one of the most exciting aspects of their work is when new understanding and truth "reveals itself", proving that their previously held beliefs were wrong. Our reality is a collective experience ever revealing itself.
There is a vulnerable place within each of us where ideals are held and truths maintained; to allow any idea that seems to contradict these sacred beliefs into that space, is often overwhelming to even consider. I once believed that true love was something that only existed when permeated by all consuming emotions, romantic ideas, or sensual desires. Now, as the result of an ongoing struggle, I understand true love to be something incorruptible by any base emotion, that it is something complete unto itself, and beyond my comprehension. As painful and difficult as it is to accept being wrong, it pales in comparison to the joy we feel, in common, when we believe in a truth beyond ourselves.
Truth is not relative, but is revealed when we are fully present in the act of living. Though our perspective may change, reality is constant. To truly exist we must always be willing to look outside ourselves, our position being a point of reference, as opposed to the beginning and ending of all things. Even modern science, which requires the process of final analyses and conclusion in all levels of research, is limited not by the answers it seeks, but by the process itself. When we accept that the only discerning eye is one willing to see, and that clarity is given when we choose to endure for the sake of others, truth is ever present. On the level of personal experience, absolute truth, that which is good and right, is revealed most clearly when we are willing to be wrong.