'Truth' Versus 'Understanding'

There is a line that is pushed in some philosophies and self-help movements that there is no such thing as truth. everything we know is a lie, so we may as well make up whatever set of understandings - whatever 'lies' - best suits us. Of course, if this is true, then this perspective itself is a lie! :-) but is it a useful one?

Personally speaking, I believe in truth... but I also believe 'true truth' is ineffable and lays beyond perception. So all we are left with is our perceptions, perspectives and understandings. Or as Arthur Eddington so elegantly put it:

“Reality is not only stranger than you think, it's stranger than you CAN think."

In the coaching and training that I do, I often encourage people to stop seeking truth and to instead start shaping understandings that serve. Not because there isn't 'truth', just that we can't know it and therefor modest understanding is all we have.

So what is the relationship between 'understanding' and 'truth'? I believe that the best in understanding points us to something of the ineffable truth. And that the most profound understandings are those that get us closest to the truth that lies beyond understanding.

So, I wouldn't get hung up on the truth... you can't know it. But explore life, take multiple perspective and create and shape understandings that serve you and others deeply and profoundly, and you will be individual getting very close to it!




Image Courtesy of Stuart Mills