What is truth...
Truth is all in our perceptions. NickyJett has a wonderful post on this today. I also recommend ydurp, lionne, and Literature_Chick who have been posting on the topic of how our perceptions shape our reality. If that's not enough reading, there are the rich and varied comments at my earlier post on thoughts.
It is a truism to say that all we have is a perception of truth, nothing else. Whatever we see of the 'truth' is only a version of the truth among other versions. Now it's not that that version is untruthful because it is only a version, it's just not the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We will get caught shortly in a semantic net. Can't you see it coming?
If there is no ultimate truth but only verions of truth via our perceptions of a situation, a happening, an event, a person, a feeling, an insight how does a court of law operate?
Maybe something leans towards real 'truth' when more people agree that it happened a certain way?
But the mob doesn't rule either. Just because masses of people believe it, it doesn't mean it's true. The stark example that comes immediately to mind is how many people panicked in 1938 believing Martians were landing during the broadcast of George Orwell's War of the Worlds. Or the ideologies of Hitler's Germany. Or that the war in Iraq is justified because George W. Bush won the American election. The list is endless.
One could say that truth, legally or politically or historically, is merely an agreement among varying and sometimes contradictory perceptions.
Moving from the societal to the personal, I agree that perception is all you have, and based my unfinished novella on this premise. In it I am creating a portrait of a man I knew and loved that could only be unique to my perceptions and not like any other portrayal, and so played with versions of "truth" in their emotional complexity.
But as complex as the layers of truth that aren't true in an absolutist sense but are only vantages, or perceptions, that I've mentioned in this post, are, I also believe the world contains indissoluble truth.
The 'world' I am imagining is not just a place we inhabit but out of which we arose as conscious beings, as the consciousness of nature or the universe conscious of itself, its own beauty, its own pain, its own existential paradoxes.
As I write this, the image of 'what is true' that comes to mind is perhaps closest to Taoism. And of epiphanic moments in our lives. A flow of truth through all things, pooling like clear light, clear lenses, in moments of profound lucidity. When we feel and understand truth, I suspect, is a mystical vision of wholeness that leaves us forever changed and affirmed.
In the midst of this musing, then, I come to rest on the incandescent moment, its ephermerality as ultimate truth.
"Sketch for Self Portraits," coloured pencil on paper, 17"x13 1/2", 1997