Friday, April 2, 2010

Explorations in Truth

In a comparison between scientific and universal truths, universals are of a higher order. I believe this for two reasons. First scientific truths deal with facts while universal truths deal with meanings. Facts are concepts that come from that which can be measured and quantified. Although in our modern world we tend to value only what can be physically substantiated which we call facts but facts have a shadow side, which is the possibility of being false. It doesn't matter if these concepts are ever proven to be false but by the mere existence of a POSSIBILITY that they could be wrong shows their lower standing in comparison to universal truths. Universal truths are immutable one sided knowings experienced through meaning. Facts express very specific concepts that pertain to closed systems with limited conditions. However the vast majority of our existence lies outside our immediate closed physical system. Here is an example. We know what happens physiologically and chemically when our hair grows but we have no idea why it grows, what causes it to grow, where do these processes originate from? Similarly is the thought of where do ideas come from? We have thousands of ideas every day, some good, some bad, but where do they arise from? No one knows and we probably can’t know, at least not in our current state of existence. On the other hand universal truths evolve out of that which is meaningful in our lives. So what is meaning? Meaning is the spiritual part of your existence; it’s in your DNA but it’s not your DNA. Meaning is timeless and universal. Meaning shares the same problem of all things that exist outside our physical world, that being the word to describe what ‘it’ is can’t be said. I can tell you what it’s like, I can point you in the direction so you can look towards it but my mouth can’t form the words to say what it is. How does a musician write a moving piece of music, how does a poet form sentences, how did Einstein discover the general theory of relativity? Just like the farmer that plants and waters a crop doesn’t grow the plants, they grow themselves, he just provides the environment for the miracle to happen. Meaning arises from the miracle of our existence and universal truths are inherent in this meaning. One example of a universal truth is that the rising and the setting of the sun has meaning to conscious beings. Universal truths are also separate from scientific truths in how they are formed. Scientific truths are concepts of reason. We observe physical quantities and then using reason we conclude whether or not the facts support our hypothesis. If they do support the hypothesis now and over time we will call them truth. The concept of a scientific truth arises out of reason and exists in our mind. On the other hand, universal truths are deep knowings that exist not only in our minds but in our being, they are the world around us. We can recognize and acknowledge their existence with our minds but they don’t arise there, they aren’t thoughts.

Why does this matter? To me why this matters, beyond the millennia that philosophers have been trying to define truth, is because by knowing that facts although relevant aren’t all that matter in life. Facts can get us into a lot of trouble when we focus on them as if they are truths. Look inside yourself and you will discover the truth.

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