The truth about truth
Hi. I am Joshua, and these are my letters. They are a summary of findings from my journey to discover and comprehend the truth about life’s great questions. Although these questions are the base subject matter of the world’s great disciplines: Religion; Philosophy; Cosmology; Physics; Astrophysics; Quantum Mechanics; etc., I will state for the record that I am not formally schooled in any of them. Thus, I realize the footing that I am on as I set off to publish these letters, for in them I plan to be the first to present the truth regarding our existence and life’s great questions. However, in doing so, I do not wish to boast or even draw attention if I can avoid it. Rather, I present these things simply because I have waited long enough for someone else to present them and yet, as far as I can tell, no one has. I also want to present these things to give others the opportunity to consider what I have discovered, for I find it to have incredible potential to be of benefit. So let’s get started.
I stated above that the purpose of my journey was to discover and comprehend the truth and these things (discovery and comprehension) are quite different. Thus, I want to cover them separately before proceeding with my findings in order to form a foundation to base them upon.
Let’s start with discovery. In order to discover the truth with any sort of confidence, we need a solid definition of what it is. Thus, let’s go to the dictionary for a definition: “Truth - Reality. Things that are fact”. Well, that is simple, but what does it mean? What is reality? What is fact? Let’s look those things up as well: “Reality - The world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them”; “Fact - A thing that is indisputably the case”. Now, let’s combine these definitions and see what we get: “Truth – The world or the state of things as they actually, indisputably exist. Not necessarily the way that we think they are”. Pretty straight forward wouldn’t you say? However, I’d like to add another definition of truth that I stumbled across years ago that I find very interesting, I suppose because of its context. It is written in Mormon literature (yes, I’ve searched many a resource in my journey so sorry if you don’t like them) in a book called ‘Doctrine and Covenants’. The context is that of God himself providing the definition of truth (calm down, we’ll discuss if God exists later), and who would better know what truth is than God. The definition is found in the 93rd Chapter and is as follows: “Truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come”.
I like this definition because it is so simple and yet so complete, covering past, present and future. It also strikes a chord upon my deepest desire - to have knowledge, accurate knowledge of things are they really are, as they actually have been and as they truly will be. I want to know the truth.
Anyway, now that we have a definition of truth, we need an accurate means of identifying it so that we will know when we have found it and when we have not. Truth is interesting stuff by its very nature in that it is singular while falsehood on the other hand has infinite possibilities. Thus, truth ends up being a proverbial needle in a haystack. Without an accurate means of identifying it, we have a better chance of winning the Powerball Lottery than we do of finding it. Also, there is another facet of truth that combined with its singularity makes it even more elusive (as evidenced by the fact that to date, no one has found it). Along with being singular, truth is also connected with itself in a loop, with one truth leading to and being interwoven with another, which continues on until the full circle is completed and the whole truth revealed. In other words, something that is true can stand against all tests and challenges because no matter how deep you dig; all of the other surrounding truths will support it. Thus, truth is like a close knit and exclusive family. Only worthy members get in, there’s no way to fool them, and once in, you are in forever and have the full support of every other member of the family.
However, the big problem that these facets bring us to is the obvious question they inspire, “How does one complete the circle of truth so as to arrive at a sure knowledge of - things as they are, as they have been and as they will be”? Well, sorry about the ensuing answer but… you don’t, for doing such would require the knowledge of all things, for anything less leaves the possibility that something undiscovered will arise and disprove what you thought was true. Thus, I did not even make it to the end of my first letter before taking the air out of my claim to be the first to present the “truth” regarding our existence and life’s great questions. This of course cannot be the case because I don’t know everything and neither does anyone else.
The bright side however is that truth cannot change. A truth that changes wasn’t a truth in the first place. If this facet of truth did not exist, then there would be no way to arrive at the truth for it would be a moving target that would render useless any success in finding it, for one could not thereafter rely on it remaining true. Fortunately, truth does not change and what I will present in these letters, although it cannot be the entire truth, is unique and something that I think you will find well supported in the circle of truth as far as we know it.
In the next letter, we will discuss comprehension.