What is Truth?


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The great name of theist is the only one that should be borne; the only book that should  be read is the great book of nature – Voltaire

I did not say this. I wish I had.

This is one of the many truths the Dominican Nuns at Ohio Dominican University taught me: truth is universal and timeless…and to appreciate Voltaire.

They also showed me that no one has all the authority over truth. I’m not sure that was a lesson they intended but it certainly made me appreciate the intellectual discipline of Catholicism in a way that still surprises me.

If I were to articulate my view on truth, spirituality and religion I would simply be parroting Voltaire, Emerson, Thoreau and Socrates.  Jiddu Krishnamurti, a 20th century teacher and writer, might have summarized my beliefs best:

I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally.
Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path. If you first understand that, then you will see how impossible it is to organize a belief.
A belief is purely an individual matter, and you cannot and must not organize it. If you do, it becomes dead, crystallized; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed on others. This is what everyone throughout the world is attempting to do.
Truth is narrowed down and made a plaything for those who are weak, for those who are only momentarily discontented. Truth cannot be brought down, rather the individual must make the effort to ascend to it. You cannot bring the mountain-top to the valley. If you would attain to the mountain-top you must pass through the valley, climb the steeps, unafraid of the dangerous precipices.

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