Let us ponder the question asked by more philosophers than any other question, “Do you want fries with that?” Uh, sorry…the second most asked question, “What is truth?”
Is truth divisible? In other words, does truth only exist in a single unit (a one), or can truth come as separate elements?
If truth can only come as a single unit, it would have to be comprehended in its entirety before it could be discussed or understood. This would probably put truth out of the grasp of men.
What are the implications of truth that comes in pieces? Can two truths be joined yet result in a falsehood? If the answer is no, then why all the bellyaching about context? If the answer is yes, then truth is subject to perspective, which would mean that truth is relative.
I think the problem we have finding an answer is due to our insistence upon pinning truth to facts, things and events. Algebra tells us:
If A = B,
and A = C,
then B = C.
In similar fashion:
If Christ is the word,
and Christ is truth,
then the word is truth.
Thus, everything that the word is can also be brought to bear on truth, therefore we can say, “Truth stands eternal in the heavens,” declaring truth to be an eternal reality. If you say, “The truth is that I had toast this morning,” you have stated that you were predestined before time to have toast that morning. This probably elevates your breakfast decisions to undeserved significance.
Rather, I think that in order to define truth we are better off turning to Huxley’s Doors of Perception. Let’s not think of truth as a fact, thing or event, but a door of perception, a vantage point, through which we view any fact, thing or event.
The scriptures tell us that a person is condemned not out of the mouth of one witness, but out of the mouth of two or three witnesses. The perception of a man is weak, and must be supported. God, omnipresent thus omniscient, has an infinite door of perception – the vantage point we call truth. This is why Christ calls himself both truth and the door. It is in and through him that we can see from God’s vantage point.
Ken Wilber mentions that people of different belief systems have wildly different stories to relate about occurrences during near death experiences. At one time I would have found this hard to swallow. Wouldn’t you know the truth if you caught a glimpse of life after death?
Christ states that it is in the proving of discipleship that one comes to know truth, and, furthermore, it is that truth which sets you free. Gaining God’s vantage point is opening the door of truth and entering liberty. Why should we think that those who have spurned the gift will ever be able to enter? This is a most fearsome thing – to forever look through a door of deception that opens upon bondage.
What a state of darkness we now endure! The eye of flesh still sees through the door of deception, and that eye is the window of our soul. For the most part we live a lie – “God is truth, but every man is a liar!” declares Paul – and yet are almost completely oblivious. Ever learning, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.