Friday, October 16, 2009

How to Find Truth--a Survey

Back, so long ago;-) when I was a teenager, I listened to radio call-in shows. What is your favorite new song, band, type of music? Surf City;-) The Yardbirds? Classical?

While I am finishing up on my blogs on Heaven and Hell, I would like to invite all you blog readers out there to "call in" and give us your view in the comment box on how humans can come to the Truth.

Here are some of the traditional answers:

The Councils?

The Creeds?

The Popes?

The Bible?

The Holy Spirit?

The Faith Community?

Human Experience?

Intuition?

Reason?

Science?

Do you trust in one or more of these?
Why?

If not, where do you look for the actuation of Eternal Truth?

Or is Eternal Truth an illusion or delusion as nontheists assert?

If so, then by what method do you seek to live your life beyond
the instinctual, cultural, and national levels of existing?

This questionnaire/survey is designed from a western theistic framework,
however, we are deeply interested in other perspectives as well--Buddhist,
Hindu, Islamic...

Please call in and win the latest virtual prize;-)

Daniel

13 comments:

Hystery said...

It seems that all of the potential sources of truth you name are, as I see it, not sources of truth as much as they are interpretive tools. Many may be more properly called sources of authority rather than sources of truth. Mott would remind us to take "Truth for authority and not authority for truth." Still, this does not answer your question does it? To me this remains a great mystery and I almost feel, although perhaps there is not much sensible in the feeling, that if indeed there is a Truth out there- an Ultimate Source if you will, we might actually not be able to fully comprehend it in its totality within the context of our temporally and physically located human personalities. This is why although I think our mission on this sphere is to strive forever to learn as much as we can and to share our learning with each other and with posterity, we cannot expect to ever grasp the ultimate answer. Indeed, I believe that to identify our sources of authority for Truth and to hold our own human answers up and say, "Aha! This then is the Ultimate Truth!" is a serious form of idolatry.

Daniel Wilcox said...

Hi Hystery,

Excellent point! Shows I was in too much of a hurry when writing the blog post.

By the way I love that Mott quote. I think I read it in the biography.

As for "if indeed there is a Truth out there as Ultimate Source," this is where we deeply differ.

I am convinced (though not without intellectual doubts) that Jesus is the "window" (or to use N.T. language, the "image") of the invisible God.

I don't think that is idolatry but revelation:-)

I guess that is why I am a small-c christ-one, while you are a Pagan. We differ on Jesus.

Also, I've had transforming mystical experiences with the Ultimate Source, so I am moved to trust I've found God, the Center, as Kelly used to say.

Thanks for stopping by:-)

Daniel

forrest said...

It isn't so much that we need to "come to Truth;" the Truth knows how to come to us. We want to get rid of the obstacles hampering that-- what the Buddhists call "afflictions" and Christians typically call "sin"-- so far as we can-- not because they can keep us from Truth, but because the usual process for removing such obstacles is what we call "suffering".

"Meditation"--working to get ourselves out of the way, to open ourselves to God's hints and nudges, can accomplish the same thing. It's like the two ways of roasting a pig: putting him in an oven vs burning the house down. But we have tremendous resistance to letting God lead, and so some stumbling in this dance is simply to be expected.

TLink said...

Stop looking and Be!

Daniel Wilcox said...

Hi Forrest,

Thanks for commenting.

I think the spiritual journey is a combination--God first seeks us (for God so loved us) and Jesus' statement that we are to "seek and find" God.

And yes, there is our self-will where we resist the Holy Spirit/the Light as it says in the book of John, yet there is the other side of the relationship, where Scripture says we will find God when we search for God with all of our heart.

In the Light,

Daniel

Daniel Wilcox said...

Hi Tlink,

Thanks for stopping by.

I am not so much interested in "being" as in "becoming" all that God creates me to become.

In the Light,

Daniel

broschultz said...

Honesty with yourself is the best way to find the truth. Asking God, the inner light, the Holy Ghost or Spirit, what you want to know and then telling him what you believe and wheather or not you "can handle the truth" is where you start. It's like any relationship. It requires truth to grow. God isn't going to trust you with the truth if deep down inside you don't want to hear it. And God isn't limited in how he answers your question but from my experience you will know it's him or her when it's revealed to you. And further proof that it's the truth will be that most people will not believe you when you tell it to them. That's the way it's always been.

Norea from NTF said...

"Or is Eternal Truth an illusion or delusion as nontheists assert?"

As a nontheist, I take (good-humoured, rest assured) exception to this generalization. Fundie atheists will surely attest that belief in god, gods, or some kind of external entity is illusion or delusion.

Nontheists are, I believe, a bit more circumspect than that. (Hence different nomenclature for both.) Nontheists are, I think, for most part willing to listen to what theists have to say about their own individual truths; but for the most part, do not believe there is an overarching "Truth", or that such, if it exists, manifests in a testable, provable way in the reality we are aware of.

Speaking for myself only, apart from the nontheism, Gnostics are very much tied into the idea of an Eternal Ineffable Source/Idea/Emanation. Which is where the Gnostics and I part ways.

One core Gnostic tenet that I think meets your question, is the idea that an anthropomorphization of the Ineffable IS illusion (not delusion, rather illusion), on the part of the human psyche that has not yet developed the ability to foster its own spiritual growth and understanding, without an intermediary deity of some kind.

Men create gods, as the Gospel of
Philip opined, long before the Abrahamic religions really took hold and shaped the realities of so many living in the world today.

Daniel Wilcox said...

Hi broshultz,

Thanks for leaving a comment. I agree that honesty is the best first start in responding to God.

Hello Norea,

Thanks for sharing.

We have a different understanding of the term "truth." I don't think there are any "own individual truths," but only what is true for everyone.

I would agree that humans create "gods' of their own illusionary making, but would state that there is one ultimate true God in whom we all live and move and have our being.

In the Light,

Daniel

broschultz said...

Wanted to add a thught to my previous comment. Truth is like the light. The more truth, like the more light, and you can see things as they really are. Paul said it when he said that now we see as if through a glass darkly but we will see things as they are. That's why God's direction is so important in our lives. Our perspective is clouded by our senses and desires. God's perspective is clear and He guides us like the good shepherd that He is.

Hystery said...

For me, the Truth is magnificently beyond individual comprehension. The metaphor I've used to understand how we approach it is that we view it through a tremendous veil. I imagine it as covering all time and space and of all of us, across that time and space, drawing close to it and each of us, from our own position on this side of the vast veil, poking a hole in it and peering at it. We can only punch a tiny little hole in it so we can only see a little of what is beyond so none of us, by ourselves, can say we see the Divine in fullness.

This is like the old elephant/blind man metaphor but with a difference. While each of us can only describe the Truth from our own vantage point, each attempt to breach the veil pours in more Light for everyone else. Additionally, though we must share imperfectly, it is through the sharing itself, through love for each other, that our understanding of the Divine grows over time. To me, this is the nature of continuing revelation. This is the nature of a community of believers- not that they share one single vision of the truth but they revel in the multiplicity of visions their love for each other makes possible.

If we are foolish enough to believe that the tiny hole through which we view the Divine is the entirety of Truth, then we limit our Vision. If, however, we realize that we were given not just our own eyes, but the eyes of our brothers and sisters to see God's glory, then we are blessed by overwhelming Light.

Katya5 said...

Hello, Daniel.
Ultimate Truth... Sounds just as elusive as Ultimate Wisdom. How can one know the Truth of something one cannot know fully? How can one possess Ultimate Wisdom - know fully - something that always changes?
In search for Truth I would first of all trust my own intuition, and then - intuition of my friends, people I trust. Still, it does not mean that I would ever be able to find it - not that it's not there, but it's something that takes a person a lifetime or longer to grasp and see.
That's just the beginning of a potentially long discussion.
Joe has his own input on the Ultimate Truth. He says, "Ultimate Truth is - don't eat yellow snow!"
:)
Hope to see you around some time so we can continue this discussion.
Joe says hello.

Daniel Wilcox said...

Hello broschultz, Hystery, and Katya5,

Thanks for stopping by and adding comments.

Daniel