Musings on the Nature of Truth

Recently while bottling moon blessed water and contemplating the uses of Borage in response to a comment by a reader, I found myself sidetracked yet again by musing about exactly what truth is. I suppose the issue got kicked off by thinking about Borage and its uses as a courage herb, which then turned into contemplations about what sort of courage Borage brings, which makes it different from, for example, Yarrow, which is also a courage herb. This is where the ponderings about truth start to creep in, because what is true for me is not necessarily going to be true for someone else. Truth has many shadings – it is silvery grey, not black or white, never penned in by rigid lines, and impossible to define with words or the pen. It was never meant to be the sort of thing you thunder at your children ‘Tell the TRUTH!’, because, after all, what exactly is the truth? Everyone has their own version of events, each of which may be completely true to them, and yet we still have the odd idea that the world is a set, rigid, finite thing, and that ‘truth’, like ‘justice’, are forced, carefully defined entities within the world. Nothing could be further from this peculiar thing we call truth than that! Truth is fluid. It moves and flows with the telling, with the teller, with the listener. It changes colours depending on perspective. It paints a thousand pictures. For me, I suppose, truth and beauty tend to be closely linked, siblings even. I don’t think truth is something that can be used to describe a past action – it is a fluid, ‘doing’ sort of word.

4 thoughts on “Musings on the Nature of Truth

  1. Oooooh, Ali. You’ve obviously started on the slope towards enlightenment – scary times! It’s very challenging when you start to realise that concepts you’ve always considered as “fixed” actually have very blurred edges. Justice is the one which saddens me the most. There is no such “thing” and what I’ve noticed is that people who shout, “I demand justice” or that someone should be “brought to justice” in the loudest tone are actually individuals who feel the most dis-enfranchised in their present moment. Offering tools and support during those times can often be all they really need, but to turn around and tell them there is no such thing as justice (which is what I want to do but usually stop myself) could either destroy all their hope or increase their wrath. I think, as humans, we live our lives searching for others who share our own concepts of truth or who can cope with a level of acceptance. It does make life extremely fluid – but fascinating too in some cases. Food for thought.:)

    1. Ohh I’ve been on the slippery slope to enlightenment for quite some time now – I’m always surprised slightly by just how fluid everything really is. It is both more difficult and easier to deal with the world using a fluid framework, I think. I fully agree with you on the justice front as well – things are never as clear cut as the media would like for us to think! I suspect that we begin with a clear, black and white view of what is right and wrong because children are generally only about half tame – which is part of their charm! As they get older, they get more and more ‘civilised’, and when they’ve finally developed their own moral code, that is when they are able to realise that actually, there is no such thing as clear cut right and wrong!

  2. Interesting musings there 🙂

    For myself, I don’t tend to apply labels such as “truth” or “lie” to things I am told. I see that more as one side to a story, or perhaps simply a theory put forward.
    I believe more in what my senses tell me. So I think of “truth” as something that can be proven or demonstrated to be true.
    Maybe that’s a more scientific way of looking at it, but it usually works for me.

    I’m not sure if there’s a word for other things, like stories that may or may not be true, but still can’t be proven because they’re simply beyond our comprehension one way or another…
    For things like that, I don’t really try to analyse them as truth or lie. In fact I try not to look too closely at them at all. Some things are more intriguing when they’re left “undefinable”. 🙂

    Does that make sense? I’m not sure. Not everything I say makes sense to anyone else but me.
    Even as a writer, I feel that words are too limiting to express everything…

    1. What you said makes perfect sense to me! I must admit that part of the reason why I write poetry is because sometimes it is easier to put into words what is in my head when it is in the form of poetry instead of just writing. I fully agree that knowing ‘the truth’ of anything is actually very limiting – life is far richer and more colourful if we have to make our own minds up!

      Must admit these deep philosophical musings are a rather new thing for me… certainly food for thought! 😀

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