MY TRUTH, YOUR TRUTH, HITLER'S TRUTH,
by David Truman
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The smaller the world gets, the more tolerance we need to bridge the bewildering variety of beliefs. But while tolerance can be helpful, it is extremely dangerous in the long run to relativize truth -- and subjectivize it. Please understand this; it is crucial.
My truth, your truth
What does it mean to relativize and subjectivize truth? Listen:
People used to say, "I'm on the spiritual path." Recently, that's become, "I'm on my path." Likewise, people used to talk about spiritual Truth. Now, it's acceptable only to talk about "my truth" and "your truth" ("MT-YT") -- and all of these truths are considered equally valid.
When people refer to "your truth" and "my truth," the message is:
1. What's right for you and what's right for me are two different things: "your truth" is what's right for you, "my truth" is what's right for me.
And, consistent with that:
2. No one has the right to judge another person's "truth" -- their interpretation of their experience, their path, their choices. That would be terribly wrong, censorious, judgmental.
And beyond that,
3. Everyone's truth is ideal for them right now; there is no higher or better truth for them.
In this way of thinking, there's no such thing as an absolute, universal truth. Nor is there an order of rightness or importance in the various "truths."
I've even heard people say, recently, "There is no right or wrong." Oh yeah? Here's someone they might want to meet: Adolph Hitler.
His truth, as you know, was this: "This planet would be better off if there were no Jews." What's your truth about that? Probably, your truth is different. But even so, according to the My Truth-Your Truth philosophy, you must respect Hitler's truth. At the very least, you would have to say, "Adolph Hitler was following his own truth. And, it was right for him."
Dare I suggest that your truth in this instance is closer to The Truth? And isn't it obvious that if we take the alternative view -- that everyone has his or her own truth, and that all truth is equal -- we're in terrible trouble? Well, we are. And it's because equality of truth is ridiculous. When every way is considered equally valid, insanity rules.
Mr. Turtle and his sole mate
In the video clip below, Mr. Turtle is making love to a shoe. Obviously, he is convinced that the shoe is his mate. But is it really?
Mr. Turtle and his true love?
Now, under the MT-YT creed, a good liberal would have to say that Mr. Turtle is pursuing "his truth." How about you? Do you think Mr. Turtle's truth is True?
Let's face it: True bliss will not result from the love affair between any turtle and a shoe of any kind, lovable or otherwise. And neither will babies. That Fact or Truth will stand long after the mountains of MT-YT have crumbled into the sea. And that means, there is a Truth that is senior to the relative truth this turtle so passionately believes. In fact, his "truth" is bullshit. It is falsehood, plain and simple. And, are you ready for this: False, too, are most of the truths that people hold as their personal, subjective truths.
Different levels of truth
Granted, so-called subjective truth exists in people's minds. But there is an appreciable difference between the Truth we acknowledge as Higher Truth, and the so-called truth shared between, say, two Corvette Club members, two stamp collectors, two crystal enthusiasts, two skinheads, etc. Isn't there?
Nowadays, however, the idea of degrees of truth is politically incorrect. People are fully programmed to construe the idea of different levels of truth as censorious, malicious judgment. What do we do, then, about the fact that there are degrees of truth? And further, that there is actual truth, truth which is not at all subjective. And yes, there is untruth, illusion, delusion. In order not to get lost in total babble, we must be able to clearly distinguish all of those things.
Can we admit that there is much more to reality than what we have in mind, or what I believe is "real for me"? There is an objective reality -- a physical world that exists independent of the observer. There are facts in the physical world that do not depend on our belief. Likewise, there's a Spiritual Reality that doesn't depend upon our belief or our existence for Its existence, though we depend upon It for ours. There is Truth in and of Divinity.
There is Absolute Truth. And there are what I call "spiritual essentials" -- truths upon which all sane humans can rightly agree. In Higher Consciousness (perish the thought higher, of course!), Higher, non-subjective Truth is found. People don't like to admit that there is such truth, simply because it implicates them, morally. But it's there, and it doesn't go away just because people deny or ignore it. And what about a Higher Power? Is that politically incorrect? Is it now necessary to say, simply, "a power"?
How Truth got its undeserved bad reputation
Humanity has been encouraged to pursue "my personal path" by the observation that when it comes to spiritual practice, no one technique, path, or way works for everyone. Accordingly, MT-YT followers are turned off, and rightly so, to the concept of THE Truth as peddled in outrageous absolutist assertions of dogmatic religion. And that makes it easy -- almost necessary -- to collude with almost anyone, about almost anything. Hitler's truth, remember?
Even so, it is nonetheless tragic that the very possibility of absolute truth -- or even the possibility of a better or truer view, for that matter -- is something people tend to associate with dogma, dictatorship, intolerance, close-mindedness, etc. -- not with anything or anyone who could be good or true. Thus, the next Avatar, if he or she claimed to know and speak the Truth, would almost surely be laughed at, if not lynched. Don't you think that is unfortunate?
Collusion beats collision, evidently. Without a doubt, many have converted to MT-YT in an attempt to avoid painful strife between differing spiritual views, philosophies, and dogmas. All over the world, one finds collections of people from different paths of spiritual belief and practices, with differing viewpoints, making a sincere effort to transcend disagreement by saying, "All ways are equally valid," and, "Truth is subjective, therefore, all truths are equally true."
Some say there is a God; some say there is no God. Some say there is love; some say there is not. Some say a human being has a certain nature; some say it does not. The MT-YT followers look at this Tower of Babel and say all of it is equal, even while knowing, in their hidden hearts, that it is not. In a spirit of infinite tolerance, they are condoning what should not be condoned and calling it true -- "subjectively true." That, for the most part, represents infinite duplicity in the good name of infinite "tolerance" and "mature understanding."
For example, self-focus is bad, and bad for you -- that's an absolute truth. There's no questioning that in your heart, and your experience. But these days, practically everyone is ignoring their heart and their experience, and actively defending self-determination, self-focus, self-aggrandizement.
There is a truth in regard to all these matters; infinite repetitions of the MT-YT creed don't change that. But meanwhile, we're creating a dangerous problem: If, in the name of harmony, we respect everyone's relative conceptions of things as "truth," we are like the parent who is spoiling the child and creating a monster: we are validating the ego, and ignoring our own spiritual sensibilities. I say, for this we pay a high price, even if that payment seems to be delayed. When untruth is acknowledged as truth in order to achieve short-term harmony, the real cost is the eventual meltdown of harmony, entirely, into the utter and bitter conflict that characterizes ego.
There is no real harmony in colluding with ego -- only the appearance of harmony. Underlying discord remains, regardless of superficial tolerance, and regardless of any attempt to embrace the MT-YT philosophy. For there to be actual harmony, humanity must surrender to the Absolute Truth, the truth that is -- and not just insincerely respect, as truth, so much bullshit.
Friends tell friends the truth
The MT-YT view doesn't leave us much alternative to collusion. It claims, "Who are we to say that our friends should not pursue their dreams, their truth, their own chosen path?" To that excellent question, I would reply, "When my friend is making a hurtful choice, who's to say he is following his own path, his own truth, his own light? I don't believe he is. Is heroin right for him?"
Although it may be necessary and even wise, at times, to say, "Your truth is relative truth, or true for you," it is far better to do what you can to move consciousness toward absolute truth. Rather than coddling your friend's ego in the good name of harmony, you might say, "This egotism is problematical in our relationship, and it is problematical in your life. It will not do. And it is not true for you, or of you. This egotism is, in fact, the furthest thing from the truth of your Divine reality."
Ego doesn't want THE Truth
Admittedly, such honesty is not always welcome. If people really think their truth needs to be respected as if it were The Truth, there is no opening to accept reality. They can't adjust their truth, because they have such a solid, built-in, self-reinforcing "protection" system. That's a terrible trap! That system protects nothing so much as ego. Indeed, ego is the real proponent and beneficiary of relativism, subjectivism, and the meaningless life that results.
Ego wants to be absolutely independent, absolutely uncorrectable, absolutely prodigal. So it is hugely comforting to ego that "my truth" (meaning, whatever a given individual holds to be true) has been raised to the status of The Truth -- that my truth is The Truth for me, and your truth is The Truth for you. As long as people identify with ego, people don't want The real Truth. The real Truth rejects "my path," "my truth," and "my way" -- and substitutes "God's truth," "The truth," "God's way," "The Way" instead.
Beliefs (such as MT-YT) have purposes
People are attached to their own "truth," because they hold beliefs for specific purposes. In my observation, as long as people feel they need a certain belief for some cherished purpose, they won't give up that belief -- no, not even in the face of plenty of evidence against that belief.
Consider, for example, the belief, "If you love someone set them free." Obviously, the Spirit recognizes the truth that no one can or should try to exclusively possess or imprison another. However, the ego likes to use this belief to defend one's own right to be promiscuous or noncommittal.
Obviously, being noncommittal is an egoic strategy/purpose. Certainly, the True Self does not want to be noncommittal. The True Self wants to be responsible toward its beloveds, and dependable. But EGO wants freedom from the moral and emotional responsibilities inherent in loving another person. Thus, it twists the grand notion, "If you love someone set them free," to make it seem "loving" to enjoy non-commitment, and to give others permission to be non-committed to us.
See how convenient the MT-YT philosophy is? Whenever the ego wants to cling to a belief that supports one of its selfish purposes, no matter how insane and distorted the belief may be, ego can defend the belief with the assertion, "This is My Truth, so back off! Remember, my belief is True for me, and your belief is True for you!" Instantly, ego has protected a lower purpose by placing a bulletproof shield around the belief used to justify it. Now that the belief is unquestionable, the purpose it protects is safe.
Friends, step back and look at that big picture. Here's what you see:
If we say, "My belief is True for me and your belief is True for you,"
And that, friends, is no way to decide what's True.
If The Truth can be acknowledged, all lower purposes will ultimately come into question. But when "my truth is true for me," and absolute truth is out of fashion, then "my truth, your truth" becomes a smoke screen, a rationalization and justification for an immoral or unrighteous life. And that is just plain wrong. (Oh dear! I said the word "wrong" -- heresy!) Yes, wrong! It is wrong to let egoic purposes rule life and call it good. "It's all good," right? Like mass murder, for example? NOT!
True harmony lies only in truth
There is no peace, no harmony, in ego-directed living. True harmony is based only in Truth. To stand up for what is True and to not support illusions as Truth -- this is critical for the ultimate existence of this planet, and the ultimate harmony of the people.
If we are ever to achieve real harmony, we must transcend relativism and subjectivism. We must transcend omni-approval of all that is bullshit, and surrender to absolute Truth.
The Real Truth will take everyone in the end. It will take us body and soul. It will have us, because it is us.