I’ve been sitting here puzzling over the nature of “truth.” Someone who was at my presentation last night started talking about people living long ago being warlike. I asked “How do you know?” and he couldn’t really tell me. I find it fascinating that people can read something in a book, or hear someone say it, and take it for “truth.” When I do that, it’s because something resonates for me. I already have some ideas and this new notion fits in. If it doesn’t fit, I usually think something like “that’s an interesting story.” When I first read Eugene Gendler’s “Focusing”, I learned the technique of paying attention to my body to find the answers to personal questions. “Who gave me that book? Was it Sue? No. Was it John? Yes!” How do you know it was John? Pay attention next time. (For me, in my body, it’s a sensation of something socketing into place.) Martha Beck has another body-centered technique you can use to make a choice (or to find what your deep self had already decided.) She calls it “shackles on”, and “shackles off.” Doing Somatic Experiencing is another technique that can add a lot of detail to the felt sense.
That’s all well and good for personal truths. What about bigger truths, scientific truths, or religious truth?
I had a thought about “truth”, about learning “truth” from experience, rather than from reading or “figuring it out.” It’s a bit like there is no “correct” version of a folk dance, there is only the version that this group of people do at this time, in this place. On the other hand, there are versions that are more “true” to the way this dance has been done in other times and places. This makes “truth” more like a line of flow that you are more or less in alignment with. On the other hand, if I pay attention to my body it will tell me whether something is “right” or “wrong” for me.
Is there a “truth” that holds true throughout all time and space? I doubt it. On the other hand, I can read something like the values of hunter-gatherers, and feel a resonance inside me — yes, this is the way human beings were designed to live.
Niels Bohr, one of the great names in quantum physics, said “The opposite of a fact is a falsehood, the opposite of a profound truth is often another profound truth.”