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Truth? August 24, 2006 Thursday


I was in a conversation with a yogini who talked about duality of existence...and all that zen-jazz. It was a favorite topic during my high school days when questioning existence was soup du jour. To a lay person who hasn't been exposed to such philosophical thinking, such radical way of looking at things could have been epiphany...a divine truth that was slowly revealed before him. Or is it?

Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth
If you look at all the radical thinking that came before, from Socrates to Nietzsche, to our modern day thinkers, you'd notice they all have compelling arguments about what absolute truth is. It adds up, at least when you apply their logic. However, and perhaps more importantly, you'd also notice they don't agree amongst themselves. Not only that, they actually refute and debunk each other and invalidate each other's hypothesis of what truth is.

A Truth Mosaic
The Empiricists claim that sense-experience (including introspection) rather than reason or intuition as the basis for truth. The Stoics are convinced that truth is nature. That truth doesn't lie in thinking, but in feeling. However, the Existentialists argue that truth is that which one chooses to act upon. The Skeptics simply maintain that it's absurd to even search for the truth.

Ending Thoughts
Take into perspective that these are the greatest thinkers in all of man's history....and they can't agree on what truth is. What does that lead me to conclude? That perhaps absolute truth is unknowable, unfathomable, unattainable, and cannot be proven. What are we left then? Relative truth...lessons of life as it unfolds through our daily existence. It's probably the only thing we can hang on to. As flawed as it is, it's our own truth based on our own life experience. Every person takes ownership of his own truth which is invariably different from the next guy. Anarchy? No...think Minestrone! Eclectic pieces amalgamating into a single magnificent stew.

--- TheLoneRider

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