The desire for truth is an intricate part of human nature and is essential to our human existence. Without believing in truth, we can never make decisions essential for our survival. We have a ingrained desire to believe that truth exists. The challenge in the modern era is determining truth. Our decisions on truth are normally a community process, deriving truth from all those who are in our relationship circles. People make truth decisions every day based on their perceptions of the world and their interactions with their relationshipss. Even scientists document truth by incrementally publishing papers that are actively reviewed by their peers.
The arise of social media and a constant barrage of information has fundamentally impacted our methods of evaluating truth. It has had impacted politics, religion, society, and even family relationships. We have broken into multiple social media based groups, with each group advocating a specific version of truth.
As the religion based groups have interacted with social media, the more fundamentalist of the groups have become even more entrenched and extreme, with their view of truth being reinforced by the news articles and postings by others in their closed social media circle. Their need to stand with their view of truth overrides even family relationships, with truth becoming even more important than the relationship of a parent with a son or daughter.
This became apparent recently when a high profile radio show personality and his wife publicly said their own daughter was going to hell because she has a theological difference with them on same sex attraction. A flurry of social media postings supported the phrase “Truth and love”, advocating that the parents were making the right decision. The parent’s social media based relationship circle maintained that their version of “Truth” was more important than the most sacred relationship between a parent and child.
As Christians practicing the contemplative life, however, we become aware that truth is much more abstract and mysterious. We see the mystery of the Trinity, the mystery of the Incarnation, and the mystery of the resurrection and return of Christ. We become aware of the mysterious hope of seeing the face of God. We see other mysteries, too numerous to list. We see that truth itself is a mystery.
I continue to fall for the trap of believing in the existence of truth, but my hope now is in the mysteries. I believe the mystery of communion with the Triune God and the mystery of communion with my fellow humans is more important than any truth. My hope and prayer is that in my life, and in all humankind, communion wins and becomes the real and final truth.