What is Truth?

Posted: May 7, 2012 in LifeBlog
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Every one of us in on a journey to find Truth. Many seek it passively, letting the experiences and lessons of life be their teachers. Theirs is a long and winding trek, but it still will end at the same ultimate Attainment that is the destiny of all human beings. A few pursue the quest more actively and imperatively, going beyond the conventions of ordinary existence. Theirs is a speedier route, but strewn with formidable barricades and high hurdles of sundry types.

The simple fact that there is only one Truth and many religions is in itself a cause of a serious pause. How has this happened? What does it mean? We may quickly explain that while there is only one Truth, there are a thousand and one ways of getting to it. But even given this, the reasonable man will still want to find out which of the many ways is best. And to know this, there must be a standard for reckoning which way is best. Just like in our daily life, we may notice that many stores make the identical declarations that their goods are the best. But there is a prescribed set of criteria by which the said stores and their goods are tested to establish which one among them is really the best. Likewise, many religions and doctrines assert that theirs is the best path to Truth, if not the ONLY path. But these claims must also be tested against a certain standard to determine which one among them speaks truly.

What is this standard? It is personal and spiritual experience. At the same time, this standard is also the test for Truth itself. Truth is known through the personal experience of it. It is not something that is merely heard, read, understood, accepted or passed on to one’s forebears like some legacy. Instead, it is something that is experienced in order to be known by a person.

Thus, we do not say that the rightful religion—in the true meaning of the word—is Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, etc. We do not even claim that it is mysticism. Rather, we say that the true religion, in the sense that it leads to the Truth, is one that leads to a personal experience of it.

The good that the formal religions have done is undeniable. Throughout the long stretch of mankind’s history, they have instilled in us an ideal of goodness, righteousness and truth. But it is lamentable when religion degenerates into blind dogmas and maintains its following through the sheer power of fear or emotion. It is sad when religious truisms are blindly upheld despite having been proven untrue, inconsistent, or even harmful. It is also wrong when religion becomes divisive of men, causing them to turn against each other instead of uniting them as children of the same one God. And it is evil when religion becomes the instrument of certain minds to control or rule their fellow human beings.

As we see it, there is a need for religion and religious to be scientific. What do we mean by this? Instead of preaching unproven doctrines and exhorting people to blindly believe in them, all religions should be like school of experimental application of spiritual as well as natural or physical laws. That this can be done is beyond dispute. For example up to this time, in existence are true spiritual Masters who maintain isolated retreats wherein spiritual laws are studied and applied, and the effects of which are tested in the lives of dedicated students. These venerable Teachers operate without any religious identification. They also do so privately, within the confines of their hermitages, not wishing to attract their attraction or interest from the merely curious. In a like manner, there are Schools which, under no religious affiliation, dispense spiritual canons and formulas which are to be practiced by their students and accepted as true only when proven by them to be so.

In these so called “scientific religions,” superstition, ignorance, and dogmatism have no place. And while they submit that there is only one, universal Truth, they are able to “teach” it not as some abstract and apathetic theory, but as an individually personal, unique experience known and lived by the seeker.

Furthermore, scientific religions do not debate with one another or with other schools of thought about the genuineness of their own tenets. Instead, they are open to everyone else’s potential contribution to finding answers to basic questions such as “What is the meaning of life? And “Who or What is God?” If all religious were like this, the discovery of a universal standard of the art of living that leads to individual Self-Realization and the upliftment of humanity as a whole should not be too far away.

Also, if present churches were scientific religions, their monies would not be spent primarily on erecting elaborate churches and buildings, nor on holding pompous ceremonies. Instead, they would be used to contribute to the research by their foremost scientist on applicable techniques for making the human body and mind sound, strong, healthy – an immaculate expression of the perfect soul that dwells within.

One venerable Master asserted that there is no need for a new religion with new , radical ideas. What is imperative is the coming together, the joining of forces of the various existing religions. They should share their own wealth of knowledge and agree to test them by actual experience, in order to scientifically find out Truth. Each religion does a certain amount of good, but each one can do better by accepting one another and working conjointly universal bonds of brotherhood and oneness of mission.

For all these to actually happen may seem like an impossible dream, but we seekers can begin the process of change with ourselves. An inspiring thought is that the process of making religious scientific begins with individual person, not right away with whole systems of faith or schools of thought. Again, according to the same Master, if a person loved all religions the same, then he shall come face-to-face with God.

R+C

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