To all seekers of the truth

So you are a seeker; you’re sure there’s one unified and beautiful secret behind all the diverse religions of man; a God, not a Religion. You’re sure faith and science are but two sides of the same coin, which is Existence, which is God, which is Love.

I have a question for you, my seeker friend… no, I probably shouldn’t call you a friend. False amity is not a good thing. Better to be courteous and cold than full of faked skull-grinning backslapping camaraderie. Let me be honest and direct; a seeker of the truth deserves more than platitudes.

My question to you is this: How do you know the truth when you find it?

This is not useless needling. I am a little bit scientifically inclined, and thus I know what doubt is. If you think science types are arrogant and certain, well, then you’ve not asked them carefully enough just how they believe what they do believe. We aren’t ever certain, you see; not in the philosophical sense. We can’t be. There’s no big manual of nature which would tell our answers are the right ones; all we know is they seem right so far. If we seem arrogant, it’s just because on that one subject we’ve looked everywhere and not yet found anything that’d indicate we’re wholly mistaken; because we’re fairly certain that after seeing so much confirmation for our guesses we must have something like the right idea.

So, seeker of the truth, how do you know what you find is the truth? How do you know it’s even close to a truth, even a fair approximation of the truth by all you know so far? What tests do you have? What criteria, what tools? What to make sure what you’ve found is a Truth, and not simply a meaningless platitude that’s struck your fancy? Or a glass bead of blinding charisma and dazzling rhetoric?

I’m just asking because we scientific types have been fairly paranoid about not believing things just because we’d like them to be true, fairly rabid in finding truths we can agree on, that are more than individual brain worms; and as a result, we have a fair amount less of night terrors and heartbreaking stonewalling mysteries. I wouldn’t presume to quote the comforts at you, the things that make our lives longer and more pleasant and free; but what of the clarity, the peace of mind, in knowing even a bit of how the universe works and turns round us? Knowing which really are still mysteries, and which have their own breathtakingly beautiful geometry we understand?

We too know looking for the truth is a journey that never ends, a journey full of doubt and uncertainty; but we, and you also, are willing to state a “best guesses so far” now and then. I just wonder if you have some compass to keep you from running round in circles, aiming instead at an ever-shrinking spiral towards the truth of things. If not, well, it’s a peculiar seeker’s journey if you have no way of knowing whether you’re a mile or a million away from something you say you’re looking for.

One Response to “To all seekers of the truth”

  1. macezra Says:

    Ah, that dirty word Truth. I’ve many of my own issues with it.

    I enjoyed this post and, as I’m wont to do, let it fire up my own ego and dug out an old diatribe of mine.

    Many thanks,
    MacEzra

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