Archive for the ‘What's Relative’ Category

Our Struggle For Truth

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

The mind’s struggle in the search for truth is a universal one.  You hear it everywhere. Everyone thinks they know the truth.  But the truth is, not everyone really wants to know the truth. Many of us want to create our own comfortable little world of  “truth”.

I’m reminded of the words in the John Denver ballad, “What One Man Can Do”.  John expresses the reality of man’s struggle when he sings, “It’s hard to tell the truth when no one wants to listen, when no one really cares what’s going on.”  That’s the problem.  Most of us don’t really want to know what’s going on.  We don’t care. We just want to live in our own little castles of ideas without interference, whether those ideas are founded on reality or not.

Simon and Garfunkel express the same quandary in their song called “The Boxer”.  It’s a song about a poor young man trying to find comfort but is stuck in  meaningless misery.  He bemoans the fact that he has “squandered” his life because he has embraced “promises” that have turned out to be “all lies and jest”.  Then he admits, “Still a man hears what he wants to hear.”  We can’t blame anyone but ourselves if we believe lies instead of truth.  If we really want to know the truth we will find it.

Like John Denver says in another song, “But we both know the truth is hard to come by and if I told the truth that’s not quite true.”  We would like to hide behind cliches like “Truth is hard to come by” or “Truth is relative” but the honest in heart know “that’s not quite true”.  Anyone who is contemplative enough, like these poets and songwriters, knows that it’s a struggle in the mind of man to really want to know the truth about anything.  They also know that if one really wants to know the truth, one can.

What’s Relative

Monday, June 4th, 2007

One important thing that we must understand during our search for truth is that some truth may be beyond our ability to understand. If there is anything that is relative with respect to truth it would be our desire and capacity to discover it.

Just think of how our understanding of the universe has grown over the years. This increase is directly related to somebody’s desire and capacity to search. Think of how the Hubble telescope has improved our capacity to look into the universe. If there is only one truth to be learned here it’s that the universe is bigger and grander than we can even imagine. Without someone’s desire to know truth we wouldn’t know what little we do about the universe.

Go the other direction and look into the human body. Only two hundred years ago there was very little known about how the body systems worked. Just think of how somebody’s desire and then technology has helped us understand something like the immune system and the relationship of the cells and their components. Our discovery of the truth about our body is relative to our desire and capacity to study it.

As we search for the truth we have to ask ourselves; “What can I be certain of as truth and what is beyond my capacity to know?” When it comes to God, the universe, our world, our health, or our relationships, we want to know as much truth as we can, to achieve personal success. We want to increase our desire and capacity for knowing truth as much as we can because in the end our comprehension of truth is relative to our desire and capacity to search it out.