The word Truth (and trust) derives from Old Enlish treowe, meaning faithful. In valuing truth, I make a commitment to embracing reality as it is. I aim to speak from truth, and act from truth to the extent that I can ascertain what the reality of a situation might actually be. It’s often not easy to do this. My perception of reality might be distorted by my desire for it to be different (wishful thinking), or because my perspective is inherently biased, or because my understanding is woefully incomplete. I might be reliant upon unreliable or deceitful sources of information, and hence led astray from the truth.
Thus, sometimes, it’s not clear whether I am speaking a truth or an opinion, and when I realize this, the resulting uncertainty is discomforting. Yet, this can be a benefit because it opens space for questioning what I think is real or true and leads me to explore the matter more deeply.
One of the ancient Greek words for truth was aletheia, which had the meaning of not-hidden, or not-forgotten, or not-escaping-notice. I think of this definition of truth as being a call-to-presence. What is happening right here, right now? Within myself? With my relationships? With my actions? What is most real? What do I actually know? Have I the courage to discover the truths of my life as they are revealed? And to share these with others when it might be helpful?
For many reasons I usually don’t have this courage. It’s easier to be asleep than awake. But why is this? Why am I often rather wimpy when it comes to truth? Is it fear? Laziness? Shame?
Let’s discuss – what does truth, and being truthful, mean to you? What aspects of this come easily and what makes being truthful difficult? What are the rewards of being truthful? What is the relationship between truth, or non-truth, and suffering?