“Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate’er you may believe.
There is an inmost center in us all,
Where truth abides in fullness.” ~
Robert Browning (exceprt from Paracelsus) …
What is truth? For many of us, it is knowledge and understanding that has been taught us from others–parents, relatives and siblings, professors and teachers, religious leaders, mentors, and our peers and friends. But here we are told that truth “takes no rise from outward things,” and thus can only come from within us; and it is important that we recognize this or we might spend countless days of our lives seeking it outside of ourselves and never truly find it.
Most of us have never really taken the time to visit within ourselves long enough to discover our own truths, much less live by them. And if we were to do so, those truths may frighten or worry us, for there is a good chance that the truths we have adopted from our exposure to outward things–the ones most of us have come to depend on for security, assurance, confidence, and comfort–are really not valid at all. We might instead discover that the truths within us are much more compassionate, kind, caring, forgiving, understanding, loving, and purposeful. For instance, many of us who have been hurt by others in the past, have put up walls to prevent others from getting close to us and to keep us safe. And while we may believe we are safe, the truth is quite the opposite: our isolation actually increases our hurt, sadness, loneliness, misery, and suffering. As Robert points out, “There is an inmost center in us all.” But sadly, it is all too often a forgotten place; a place that many of us simply do not choose to visit or explore, and some may never go there at all. And that is truly a shame, for it is there where love abides; and in love, truly unconditional love, we have more authentic truth available to us than in any other aspect of our lives, for in it there is no concern with outward things.
What we believe to be the truth, and what is actually is the truth, are not necessarily connected. For instance, I used to feel that life was a competition–society had impressed upon me the belief that we are in a constant struggle with one another for wealth and possessions, acceptance and love, recognition and glory, power and influence, and so on down the line. And yet through the years I have come to discover that life is not about competition, but cooperation, and that this is how we find the fullness of life, this is how we practice love and spread it throughout the world.
Take some time to search for your truths in life.
Questions to consider:
Why do most of us consider our truths to be the ideas and ideals that lie in the outward things of our lives?
What would be the benefit of uncovering our truths rather than continuing to depend on our beliefs?
Why do most of us not take the time to go inside and actually try to uncover the truths that lie there, waiting for us to find them?
For further thought:
“There is no path to truth. Truth must be discovered, but there is no formula for its discovery. What is formulated is not true. You must set out on the uncharted sea, and the uncharted sea is yourself. You must set out to discover yourself, but not according to any plan or pattern, for then there is no discovery. Discovery brings joy–not the remembered, comparative joy, but joy that is ever new. Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom in whose tranquillity and silence there is the immeasurable.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living