One night a few months ago, I was sitting at a philosophical debate site in a virtual world. There were a few people discussing the possibility of an absolute and objective truth. I wasn’t paying too much attention at the time, as I have heard this seemingly circular argument time and time again.
Then a woman said “Well I suppose we will know as we understand “deeper truths”.
The idea of “deeper truths” hit me in a rather amusing way and I busted out laughing. The woman at first took offense as she thought I was laughing at her.
I apologized for this and told her, “I am not laughing at you but the idea of “deeper truths”. Of course she wanted to know what I meant by this so I proceeded to explain myself:
“The truth is not deep”, I chided. Neither is it complex.
The truth is quite simple, I remarked.
Confused, she asked, “Can you explain?” Sure I can, I answered.
Imagine a pile of clothes on the floor. Every day you come home from work and throw your clothes into a pile on the floor. The more clothes you throw on the floor, into this pile, the less you “see” and/ or realize the floor is even there. The more time that elapses between laundry days, you “forget” the floor exists, you may even come to deny its existence. She said, “Okay, but what does this have to do with “deeper truths”? So I asked, “What is “deep”, the floor or the pile of clothes”? She responded simply with, “WOW, I get it!” I laughed again and continued with, “Exactly”.
The floor is the truth and it has not changed at all. Totally unaffected by the pile of clothes, the floor remains where it has always been. The pile of clothes metaphorically represents all the experiences stored in your memory bank. They are what give the illusive idea of depth. They are what have hidden from your view, the absolute and objective truth. For if this truth, metaphorically understood as the floor or foundation, was not there and consistent in and of itself, neither could the pile you have chosen to disguise it.
Understanding what is meant by absolute gives a clear and beatific view of the ineffable truth. The best understanding we can get is indeed limited by our language. But on the other hand it is all we have to use. Therefore it is a good idea to have a thorough understanding available when considering the concepts of truth and its qualities. So let’s take a look:
Absolute is said to be viewed independently; not comparative or relative; ultimate; intrinsic; complete; and perfect.
Truth is also said to be fundamental reality apart from and transcending perceived experience; actual state of a matter. Some of truth’s synonyms are constancy, cause, fundamental, law, and axiom.
Objective is defined quite similar to truth also. It is stated to be existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality; having actual existence or reality; uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices.
All three words basically infer the same things; independent of anyone’s ideas concerning them. For example we all see a cup. But what we see of the cup is not the cup in and of itself. Axiomatically the cup is something totally other than how we experience the cup. Also there are many forms of cups. But each cup shares a similitude in its form, being fundamentally the substance of any and all cup forms that we experience, which is but an idea of a cup. So the physical cup is but a mere representation of a concept, understood as a cup; which transcends any and all cups.
Every single cup is in the image and likeness of the idea; regardless of the cups value, size, shape or material that it has been formed into. But the idea of cup itself is independent of all the cup forms a cup takes on and the cup itself is also independent of the eye that beholds any and all cup forms. Also we all have different tastes in cups so every experience of cup forms evidences value is not intrinsic in the cup itself.
But understand this also,; the concept that transcends all form “cups”; is also a form, as it has been distinguished from something baser than itself. This is where reality steps into play, as it is defined as something that exists independently of all other things and ideas concerning it and from which all other things and ideas derive.
Can you see the progress of chaos here? Each physical cup can be analogous to the pile of clothes on the floor. The concept “cup” which appears to be fundamental as it relates to the physical array of formed cups, could be analogous to a carpet or tile on the floor. These ideas, even in their intangible and abstract form are like a veil. They cover what is most fundamental, as in the floor itself. Also, if the floor itself was non-existent, neither would there be a possibility for the covering. So there appears to be an even baser level that transcends the potential thought form.
What amazes me is the backwards way of mans thought processes. Look at how the word chaos is defined and you will know exactly what I am inferring…
Chaos: a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order; the infinity of space or formless matter supposed to have preceded the existence of the ordered universe.
Mans idea of order is the world of form. But is it not in the multitude of form where choice becomes a possibility, a rather chaotic environment? This environment of choice is where contrast and opposition reign. There needs to be at least two things to have opposition. Therefore the more separate things become the more disorder occurs. The idea that chaos exists where there is nothing to oppose it, is insanity itself.
How can what is “ONE” be chaotic? In the state of oneness, which is absolute, objective, and true as reality, there is no contrast, no opposition, no needless and futile valuing that is all the cause of mans chaos and confusion. What is also quite amusing is that in all man’s pride, in his so-called technology and scientific discoveries; he has never in any way, shape, or form changed this fundamental reality. Reality is indeed apart from and transcending all his ideas and all his forms. Never recognizing the floor that has given him the ability to deceive himself it remains as it always is; immutably whole and consistently incontrovertible. As his eyes behold all things empirically his mind has been distracted from the fundamental, absolute, objective truth.
What is simple is one, what is beautiful is whole. This is the image and likeness of truth. In them is the peace that surpasses all understanding. Indeed faith must contain wisdom. As it is indeed understanding; that underneath the pile of clothes we treasure, the very things we claim as our comforts and joys, but blame as the cause of our woes, by the price we pay in attaining these comforts; there exists a place of rest that is simply one and wholly beautiful.
May you know the truth and in so doing may the truth set you free!