Search for Truth (part one)

Many people sense that something important is missing, a feeling that there is something they should already know. It seems that there occurs for some an awakening desire to break free from the mental constraints that separate them from what is real. There is something that we want to know and we want to rejoice that we understand and possess the big Truth, so we can share it with others. We might experience a desire to search for personal truth from time to time but give it up as being too complicated. And so there must is something about the search itself that needs to be examined in order for us to have a quality result. Rather than trying to find the truth immediately, let us first explore how we go about our search for truth. You know, this subject can be quite romantic, isn't that so? It has feelings of extreme importance, and feelings of gripping determination, "I will not budge from this spot until I know the truth!"

To begin, we look at the criteria that we might use to establish whether something is true or not. It is very good to think about what parameters quality people such as Socrates might have used, or what some foolish people might be using for standards so we do not emulate them, but the actual question is what criteria are we using.

The criteria used to establish whether something is true or not, can also include what others teach by either example or education. We might use what others are telling us is correct in order to establish whether something else is true or not. This is how we are presented learning opportunities. For example, in school, if your teacher says the world is round, you believe him or her because there is a heightened value of the position your teacher holds. So, you agree with the teacher without questioning as a fact and use that premise so that you can build upon it to learn other things. This is a valuable and classic method for us to learn what is true and what is not true without examining. If we had to examine every statement, we would not finish inquiry to actually learn.

However, to simply accept what others are saying is true can also have unfortunate consequences. For example, what if somebody is gossiping but you admire him or her because they are an expert in, for example, astronomy. They know a good deal about astronomy, and perhaps something about the third party, but you erroneously believe the gossip because they are good at astronomy!

There are also ways to determine if something is true or not by relying on the senses, sight, hearing, touch or taste. However, it is quite well proven that the senses can be deceived, and yet, it is one of the important methods we use to establish truth. Even if something is true in one sense for example, hearing, sensory data may be faulty in another sense such as eyesight and not give you validation and you become confused. This would be like hearing someone calling you but there is no one there.

How we search for truth also includes cultural parameters but these can also literally prevent you from seeing something that is right in front of your eyes due to cultural conditioning. An example is a study done on Inuit people of Alaska before electricity or televisions came to their communities back in the 1970s. I understand they were shown a TV show for the first time, but they could not see anything on the television set. They could see moving shapes, but could not relate it to human figures. This and other studies seem to indicate that there is subtle pressure on members of a culture to create a blind spot to what is obvious in other cultures. Western culture is known for its cultural taboos to not be able to see energy forces that other cultures perceive as real.

This becomes more obvious in inner development as the individual becomes more sensitive in spiritual awareness. The gradual awakening and preparation for enlightenment causes the practitioner to lose confidence in assuming what others say is real and true and begins to rely on inner sources. Since ordinary people are not able to see interior reality, which is the next step in the evolutionary development of becoming, they continue to rely on human agreement of what is truth that acts as blinders to the one that wishes to search for truth. To be continued…

Comments

  1. As far as I can see ,the human mind is limited in many ways ,and any interpretation of truth is thus limited ,however useful. This is true for 'enlightened' people ,as much as 'unenlightened' folk. The main difference is that those who have studied themselves openmindedly know these limitations ,and are more or less free from ideas of 'knowing the truth','being wise' ,etc .Therefore they know that ,even though there is a deep sense of confidence, and a clarity to the depths below the thought strata that most people are addicted to ,any expression is limited by their form ,and form is neccessary for expression .

    ReplyDelete
  2. And the point of the last comment ,is that even 'enlightened' people need a peer group to give feedback ,in case they are indulging a blind spot ,which is a common failing in spiritual leaders . Humility is perhaps the most important aspect of wisdom ,as it defends both the individual and those they teach or interact with from various problems .
    The idea of the perfect Guru ,is still a delusion ,the pattern of Wise/Ignorant ,or Teacher/pupil, which probably originates with Parent/child, and is used at some risk to help free people from this deep set idea that can even bring down some of the most brilliant teachers and leaders.
    A symptom of such a problem is excessive praise or submission on the one hand ,and a lack of acknowledgement of limitations on the other .
    - Simon Barton.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I appreciate your comments- find a minute or two to share your views

Popular posts from this blog

Endurance: The Final Frontier

Politics, Logic and other Buddhist musings....

Becoming Liberated and other Buddhist musings....