What is truth, anyway? Truth is not: ideals, ideas, anything that can be put into words, a set of beliefs, a series of historical events. Christ famously said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Using that as a touchstone, please consider:
Have you ever been set free by words, ideas, or a belief system? Have you ever been set free by one of your stories of suffering? Don’t these things actually just get you more bound up into never ending dramas that your brain cooks up? Don’t they separate you from others and cause drama, hatred, and fear?
Truth is a Knowing that comes from Experience
Truth may be experienced, and that will set you free. No words are needed for that. It cracks across your consciousness like lightning, and suddenly you just know. Frequently you laugh or cry when the truth comes to you. In Buddhism this experience is known as samadhi. Things are never the same after you know the truth.
Knowledge cannot bring truth to you. Study cannot bring truth to you. Only experience can bring truth to you. This does not mean to imply that words can never help you along the path to truth. If I thought that, I would not be writing this now. Yet, words can never be truth. And words can only serve as signposts on a path we are already walking. So, by all means, use words. Read books that draw your attention. Watch movies or documentaries if they seem helpful. Just don’t look to always find truth there.
You Can’t Understand What You Can’t Understand
You have to get to the place where the words have meaning before you understand their directions. Have you ever picked up a book and found you couldn’t understand it? Or, you found it boring, so you put the book away. Then, years later, you pick the book up and it is suddenly the most interesting thing in the world. Or perhaps you have found this to be the other way around; a book that used to fascinate you, now bores you and you don’t care for it anymore.
Your Map is not their Map
Have you ever shared something with a friend or family member, only to have them stare at you with complete incomprehension? They simply aren’t on the same path as you are, so your signpost gives them no direction. This is one reason why we cannot always give good advice to people and why we cannot fix people. What is clear help pointing us forward is meaningless to them. Sometime, trying to help others is like giving a map of China to someone in Peru.
The experience of truth feels like an inner shift. It feels as if the world has turned sideways, or everything has rotated one click at 90 degrees. When it happens, you see everything from a different perspective. Something changes in you and that change allows you to see more clearly. If you have ever had lenses prescribed by an optometrist, you can think of it the same way. He or she clicks some lenses in front of your eyes and things look fuzzy. They click again, things get clearer. Again and again the lenses shift, until you can see perfectly. Nothing in the room has changed, just the way you see it. it is fuzzier or clearer depending on what lenses are being clicked in front of your eyes. That’s how truth operates. Each experience of truth helps you to see more clearly.
Truth is Lived Every Day
You don’t need to believe in the truth. You know it. This is one reason religious beliefs can be so detrimental to people. They are encouraged to believe in truths they never get to experience. They are told to trust in the words—the writings of others— as if the experience of any human being is more valuable than that of others. Or, as if the experiences of a few are the definitive word on experiences, and anything that others later experience is completely invalid. This is nonsense. If you believe in a personal God that ever spoke to anyone, then God is still speaking to you.
What you experience as truth is not what anyone else hears. Their words may be a signpost to them, but they are not truth to you. If you believe in universal consciousness, then unless you’re tapping into it and experiencing it, all the writings of all the Masters throughout all of history are pointless. No matter what you believe, if you are not freshly experiencing life every day, you know no truth, no matter what degrees you hold, or churches or religions you belong to.
No one else can hold your truth or tell it to you.
This knowledge carries a great weight of responsibility. Many refuse to carry this weight and find comfort in allowing someone else to tell them what truth is. No one could find truth for you, define it, practice it for you. Truth cannot be cut and dried, or made into a system. This also, however, means great freedom. You live your truth. You belong to no system. You belong to no movement. You bear no label. Your only affiliation is with truth. No one can tell you what to think, feel, or do. You get to be you.
If you need a helping hand tapping into your truths, try Soul Search Cards
Another helpful tool for getting in touch with your most authentic self is Seven Soul Parts