The more I think about the nature of the truth, the more I become convinced that it is not a «thing» which can be put in a tidy box of a certain formula. We already said that the truth is that which is real. But reality is not fixed: it is transient and fluid. The only constant in our world is change. We are slow to recognize this fact only because of our limited perception.
For instance, changes at the cosmic level are too slow, and changes at subatomic levels are too fast for us to detect them. Only the development of science in recent centuries gave us some glimpses of this universal fluidity. So, the truth we seek is not something fixed as well. Although we talk about the universal laws which we study and apply, it is essential to recognize that these laws aren’t final truths, but only approximations. We always discover more inclusive laws and new dimensions of the same reality.
To know the truth, therefore, is not to arrive at some point and to «abide» there. Knowledge of the truth is a never-ending quest. In the process of this search, we cannot afford ourselves to be complacent or dogmatic. As Rabbi Tzvi Freeman wisely said,
You don’t learn by having faith. You learn by questioning, by challenging, by re-examining everything you’ve ever believed. And yet, all this is a matter of faith – the faith that there is a truth to be found. It is another paradox: To truly question, you must truly have faith.
This is a scientific approach to reality. To practice it, we don’t actually have to become scientists. We don’t even need to have a lot of formal education. Education is helpful in many ways, but to some people it brings confusions rather than clarity. Instead of becoming searchers, these individuals turn into collectors of facts and opinions of others, or dogmatic believers in some scientific theory. But dogmatic science is just as misleading as a dogmatic religion.
As we seek, we will find. As we continue to seek, we will continue to find. That is about the most important thing we need to have in our minds. No one will ever know our inner world and the truth which concerns our life, save ourselves. All we need to realize will be readily revealed to us directly, no matter what language we may adopt to describe these revelations.
As we study our inner processes, let us not to label and not to suppress them. Let us not try to change certain things before we understand their meaning and purpose. This might be different from what we were taught to do: to call things either “good” or “bad”, and then to eradicate that which is “bad”. However, this is not what a scientific approach is about.
When we struggle and fight against some thing, it makes us naturally biased. It becomes almost impossible for is to be objective and to know the truth of that thing, especially if it isn’t evident.
Let us become quiet, watchful, and observant. Let us try to understand what causes us to think and to respond in certain ways. Why do we react the way we react? Why do we think there is only one way to respond to certain stimulus, such as to be offended when we hear unkind words, to rejoice when someone compliments us, to be confused when we encounter something unknown, and to be afraid when something seem to overpower us?
Even if we are accustomed to some course of action, that doesn’t mean that a habitual reaction is the only possible one. That doesn’t mean that it is predetermined. As we become observant, we will notice that there is always a point when we make a decision. We are not angry or joyful or fearful because we have to, but because we choose to be that way. And when we fully understand this, we are highly likely to make alternative choices – because we would not want to feel victims of circumstances. We will move on to true self-mastery and freedom.