Friday, July 20, 2012

Phyllis, Hayley, and Ultimate Truth (conclusion)

Way back at the beginning of this article, I mentioned the common quote,

"What's true for me is not true for you." 

I said that this phrase was insufficient to glibly explain our differences away, and I mentioned that we are missing a key piece of information when we accept this saying. I also stated that in so doing, we keep ourselves in the dark and rob ourselves of the truly intellectually-satisfying experience of seeing all the puzzle pieces fitting together.

So what is that one key piece of information I was talking about?

It can be stated this way: The question we ought to be asking is not "Is it true for me or for them?" but rather,  "Whose version of "truth" actually matches up with reality?" There is an eternal, unchanging, perfect reality, which we call TRUTH. 

Although we have borrowed the word "truth" for use in the saying, "What's true for me is not true for you," the word does not mean the same thing as the eternal, unchanging Truth that is perfect. (In order to differentiate between the terms for this article, I will capitalize "Truth" when I mean the eternal, unchanging, perfect reality, and I will use lowercase "truth" when I refer to the current, popular use.) 

When we say, "What's true for me is not true for you," what we are really saying is, "My inner reality meter doesn't match your inner reality meter." Right. It's obvious that they don't match. The problem is, we have been duped into leaving it there, as if things were at an impasse, as if Truth was divided and one person had one piece and another person had another piece. What we should be saying is, "I don't really care if my inner reality meter matches yours or not--what I'm concerned about is, which one is closer to the way things really are?"  

Remember Phyllis and Hayley

You saw that Phyllis's inner reality meter was different from Hayley's inner reality meter. But you also saw quite clearly that one person was much closer to the Truth than the other. 

There is a way things really are. The closer we get to the way things really are (the Truth), the more accurate our inner reality meter will be. The more things will make sense to us. The less confusing things will be.

I don't doubt that all of my readers were able to recognize that Hayley's story matched with reality, while Phyllis's didn't. Details like the fact that Phyllis's mother had died more than 20 years earlier made it impossible for Phyllis's experience to be real. Did Phyllis have an experience? Yes. But her experience was nothing more than a vivid dream, while Hayley's experience was waking reality.

In the debate about religion or any other topic, it's evident that people have differing views. It's evident that all of us are varying distances from the Truth. But how is it that we stop at the non-solution "what's true for me is not true for you" as if we were at an impasse, instead of looking for the perfect, absolute reality called Truth, and then matching everything up with it to see which one comes the closest? 

People say this absolute reality called Truth doesn't exist. 

It does exist. 

And before we deteriorate into a "Does not! Does too! Does not! Does too!" shouting match, Phyllis and Hayley can illustrate this for us as well. 

Phyllis thought that they were outside in the middle of the day; Hayley thought that they were in bed in the middle of the night.

Either they were one place or another. There is an answer. Saying there is no absolute reality called Truth would be like visiting the bedroom to arbitrate in the middle of this saga and saying, "You both disagree, and that is proof that there is no right answer. Both of your stories are true." Hello! You're standing in the bedroom! You're looking at two women under the covers, with the clock in sight that tells you it's the middle of the night. There is a gravestone that you can visit--that everyone can visit--showing Phyllis's mother's date of death. There is a physician's diagnosis that explains why Phyllis is having trouble calibrating her inner reality meter with the facts. For you to say, "Both of your stories are true" would be to willfully suppress the Truth.

Knowing the Truth brings freedom, makes things make sense, and clears out the darkness so that we can
regain the truly intellectually-satisfying experience of seeing all the puzzle pieces fitting together. If Phyllis were able to suddenly align her thinking with the Truth (which often happens when you wake up from a dream), all her distress would have evaporated, and she and Hayley would have been able to go peacefully back to sleep. On the other hand, Hayley could not align her thinking with Phyllis's (even though she could commiserate with Phyllis), for nothing she could do could bring Phyllis's mama back from the dead or permit her to enter into Phyllis's dream.

It has been my hope to fix your mind on this topic in order to convince you of the fact that there is such a thing as Ultimate Truth and that you will benefit by aligning your life to it. Alter your own inner reality meter, wherever necessary, to conform to the Truth. Find this truth in the Word of God, and accept Jesus as the Word reveals Him to you.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32

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