What is the truth? Do we ever really come across it? Some things seem different to different people, and even to the same person at different times. What, then, is the truth?
Have you noticed that every fact generates in itself a version and this is told or perceived from a certain point of view?
The feeling of identification, belonging and the example of football
You know that shot that happens in a football match, when the striker kicks the ball, it hits the crossbar and comes back on the ground almost over the goalkeeper’s line? Those watching from behind already celebrate the goal, those watching from the side think that the ball has not entered, the commentator who watches from above is not sure, the opposing team immediately complains, the team that is about to score the goal already presses for the validation of the shot … finally, if the truth is only one, why so many versions and narratives of the same shot?
People have different consciences. We could say that everyone’s conscience is determined by their thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions, according to their experiences and livingness. So, the person who has an identification with a certain view, ends up biasing his perception a little to that side; in this case, it is common to say that there is a partial view of the fact. In our example, the fan of the team that kicked the ball has an identification with that, so invariably he/she has a vision that leans to his/her side, so the immediate and reactive scream of goal.
In football, they’ve recently found a simple way to get the truth for that kind of shot. A device has been placed on the ball, which in dubious throws shows whether or not it has entered the goal. There, problem solved. But in most life’s experiences, there’s no such thing as a device that tells you the truth. That’s why it’s common to come across several narratives of the same fact. In an era when information reaches the mountains at an incredible speed, we end up lost without knowing where to go. Sounds like a maze with no way out, doesn’t it?
Some scholars already classify this contemporary movement as post-truth. The sensation of narrative dispute is so intense, the truth itself becomes so distant and wrapped in so many versions, that nothing else matters. What defines truth or not for a person becomes their own personal perception, which we know to be partial and based on his/her own state of consciousness.
This movement is already perceived and used by several groups, who, aware of this moment, are not concerned with the fact itself, but with the narrative they want to pass on under their vision and, even more, under their intention. They determine and propagate a narrative that they believe is the one that best identifies people, and in this way, a supposed truth becomes accepted and defended as such narrative.
To make this clearer, let us return to our example of football. The story of the ball that hit practically over the line could gain a new narrative to generate identification, for example, with the fans of the opposing team. And that narrative doesn’t need to be coherent with reality, it just needs to generate identification, it would be something like talking about what people want to hear. It could be said that the opposing team was the one who paid for the installation of the device on the ball and therefore it validated a goal that did not exist, and with that, the match should be annulled and played again. That’s all the fans want to hear, whether it’s true or not. They buy this narrative, they grow to defend it and there comes another important element in this movement: belonging. They feel even more that they belong to the group, that they belong and are identified with a group that believes in the same narrative.
The crystal and its faces, the truth and its versions
It is already possible to see why so many old theories without foundations are reappearing in the world, and knowledge that we thought was sacramentally being retold with new versions and new supporters. These people feel that they belong to that group and, with that, we have an infinite cycle in which people come together according to a perception of personal identification of the narrative and, therefore, separate themselves from others who think differently each time more. They separate themselves not only from one another, but they separate themselves from the truth itself, in a downward spiral of separation so great that it closes in their own perception.
To men, the Truth is revealed according to their ability to understand and to receive. The One Truth has many faces: one person sees only one side, another sees another, and some see more than others, according to what he/she has been given. Notice this crystal: as one light manifests on twelve faces, yes four times twelve, and each face reflects a ray of light. And one person sees one face and another sees another, but it is only one crystal and one light that shines on all.
But to each man it is the Truth as his mind sees it, and in every time the highest Truth has been revealed in the same way: and to the soul who receives the highest Light, more Light will be given. In any case do not condemn others, lest you yourselves be condemned… Keep faith in the Light you have until higher light is given to you. Seek more light, and you shall have it in abundance, do not rest until you find it.
This excerpt from the book The Gospel of the Holy Twelve, written down and published by Rev. Gideon Ouseley in 1901, shows us that the way out of this labyrinth is not to cling to one side of the crystal or to a personal narrative, but to promote a spiral of knowledge, in which each revealed truth is followed by the search for another, even higher, truth. In a spiral that leaves separateness behind and heads towards the whole, driven by a constant search to know the truth, not as a given fact, but as a perception that is more and more neutral, more holistic and less and less partial. In this way, our old consciousness – that separates, classifies and judges according to its own perception – is becoming a consciousness that sees and unites more and more with the whole. As much as the crystal has several faces, it is a whole in itself, so we should not cling only to one side of it, but strive to see it in its entirety.
We cannot demand from people states of consciousness that they do not have. So let each one receive the truth according to his/her own state of life, according to his/her own understanding, and let us not persecute the one who interprets it in any other way. But let us fight so that we are all always seeking to see the totality – for change is a function of acting with consciousness and not the result of just wanting to change the narratives.