Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
-1 John 3:1
“Truth, purity, sweet thoughts and one-pointed attention are all qualities that make one suitable to see the true Self.”
-The Yoga Sutras
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
“Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free. ”
“What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.”
“Truth, like love and sleep, resents approaches that are too intense.”
-Wyston Hugh Auden
Without going to a dictionary, my definition of truth is the reality of that which actually is. Going to a dictionary, I found it uses the word itself in the first definition which I thought was something dictionaries were not suppose to do. Well, it says “true.”
The facts, the science, the math. I have long been absorbed and agitated and motivated by the idea of truth. They call people like me “seekers.” That was my goal from age 11-29. What’s the truth?
“All of this is just a game!” I told my dad when I was 17.
“We are all just so full of shit, I can’t do this, this game is so stupid!”
“Play the game, Abby! You’re perfect for it!” He told me, “at least go to church, people will respect you more. Just go to church.”
At 12 I went to church camp and came back certain that Jesus was the truth, and infected by our counselors fears, I was terrified of any of my peers being sent to eternal damnation. “I know he huffs paint and listens to Nirvana but he is a genius and a sweetheart and his childhood was not at all easy, how could Jesus, embodiment of love and compassion, possibly send him to hell if I wouldn’t even send him to hell?” Questions like that gave me reasonable, innocent and heartfelt doubt to the narrative I was being served. I read and read and read when I should have been socializing and absorbed in school drama. I flipped courses and found the kind of logical dogma of the likes of Niles Eldridge and Richard Dawkins and was convinced that that was the path to understanding truth. I did not at all make a good atheist. The outside world seemed so empty and my insides felt ill equipped to deal. I went to kill myself when I was 16, with resignation that on the other side, maybe I would finally see the truth… the reality of that which actually is. Instead, I tripped balls, embarrassed myself to the maximum degree and was thrust right back in to the world I was trying to escape. When we say God is Truth, those of faith are saying God is Reality. It just is. God is the facts, the data, the science, the whole thing that not one single person can ever fully get a grasp on, especially because biologically we are designed to push it away, for our own individual protection.
A W E AND R E V E R E N C E
That’s the only individual truth I can hope for, the only fun I can cling to. My faith is so strong now. I don’t need to defend it in the same way I don’t need to run around the streets of Kailua at night insisting and checking that everyone recognize the sun is going to rise tomorrow. My faith is strong and we still need each other to understand truth. I need to check with my humanist atheist friends and my Christian friends and my gun enthusiasts and my social justice warriors and my rape-apologist adrenaline junkies and my Grandma and most importantly, your kids.
la illah ila Allah
There is no god, but God is one of my favorite declarations of faith.