I recently had someone ask me about truth. Like, absolute truth. Do I think it exists? If so, where do I go to find it? Questions along those lines.
I used to point to the Bible as THE source of ultimate and absolute truth. There was no truth outside of it and every word could be relied upon to mean exactly what it literally says. These days, I still believe the Bible contains truth. Truth deeper than literal meaning, in fact. But I no longer believe that the Bible is the only place in which to find truth. After all, Christianity functioned for hundreds of years without the biblical canon being established and for over a thousand years before the Bible was made available for anyone beyond clergy to read. Beyond that, if the truth is really absolute then it must have existed before the Bible was penned. It must be true everywhere forever.
So what about absolute truth? Does it exist and if so, where can it be found? If I had to answer these questions directly, I suppose I would say yes, I do believe that absolute truth exists. I also believe that if it is absolute truth, that it should be able to be revealed in lots of places.
But I actually think the more interesting question is this: if you encountered absolute truth, would you be able to recognize it?
Would you be able to separate absolute truth from relative truth? Or from complete fiction? If so, what mechanism would you use to distinguish one from the other? I think that you can make an assertion that you have discovered absolute truth. I don’t think that you can make that assertion absolutely. In other words, I think absolute truth can be known, but I am not so sure that we can realize it.
I think that in order to maintain honest humility, you must allow space for what you do not understand. You must allow space for what you do not know. I must do the same. If you believe you have discovered absolute truth and its source, I must hold space for that to be the case. Even so, I may disagree with you, and you must hold space for my dissent.
So, you might be right. Me too.
And this is where we find ourselves. Always learning from each other. Always discovering. Because if the Divine is infinite then there is always more. We never have the full picture. How can we expect to know absolutely if we cannot also know completely?
"For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."
- I Corinthians 2:11