The Idea of Truth

Dec 9, 2015 | | Say something

The physical world – clouds, mountains, humans – is wiggly. When you try to pick up a fish with your bare hands, it wiggles and slips out. What do you do? You use a net. And the net is the basic thing we have for getting hold of the wiggly world. And then somehow we think we understand when we have translated it into terms of straight lines and squares. But it doesn’t fit in nature.

~ Alan Watts


Much has been discussed by philosophers about Truth… the line between the true and the false. Anything and everything that exists must be true… by definition. Truth is all that is. The world, the universe, life… this is all Truth. This is not an idea, it is just a simple observation of what is. Even the word ‘truth’ is not necessary, because there is nothing else. All that is… is!

So what is falsehood? Falsehood cannot exist. If it did then it would BE… it would exist and therefore be true. When has 2+2 ever been equal to 5? When has an apple been a banana? Never… nor will it be. So how is it we can SAY something false… but in reality it cannot exist?

Truth is all encompassing… it is everything that is. But as soon as we give it a name and call it ‘truth’ then we separate it. We create the IDEA of truth… and simultaneously create its opposite, ‘non-truth’. If I say that something is true, then it implies there might be something that is not true. Truth has no equal and no opposite, but the idea of truth does… it is falsehood. The word ‘Truth’ is not the thing it represents. This is how ideas and concepts work… they are just proxies or substitutes for what is.

In Genesis 1:31, it is written: “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good”. Well of course it was good; but in hearing it so, the reader is led to believe that there also exists something that is not good. Without it even being explicitly stated, evil is ‘created’. This is the power of suggestion.

By making an idea of truth, we are also making something that is not-truth. But we have already said that falsehood by definition cannot exist. How do we reconcile this? We have seemingly created something from nothing. We have brought the dead to life, and brought not-truth into existence. Necromancy. Not-truth is not actually possible of course… and we are just telling a story, pretending. This realm of ideas is an illusory dimension… where one fiction can be replaced by another, giving the appearance of change.

But how can an idea, something imaginary, become a real force in our lives? The fact that it does is quite astonishing.

An idea can only ‘exist’ when there is a belief in it. And like a spirit the belief that sustains the idea does not possess physical form… however it does manifest observably as a force. Like any force, such as gravity, its identity remains unseen to the naked eye… while its effect upon the world is clear to see. So it is with falsehood: while it cannot exist, the belief in it manifests outwardly as chaos and disorder. How this is achieved presents a fascinating riddle.


Posted in: Favorite, Philosophy

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