Truth Versus Personal Truth
Updated: Jul 25
In recent years I have found myself in situations where a person felt it has been important for them to express what they describe as their personal truth. Sometimes this has been in convivial conversation about their personal insights, while at others it’s been in a more confrontational situation, where the person has a need to stand up for their personal truth in some way. At times I’ve been an observer and at others such provocation has been spoken to me directly. These moments have always stimulated me to think about what truth is. I think the rise in this way of thinking of truth being personal, has two main causes. Firstly we live in a post-modernist view of the world where truth doesn’t really exist, where there is essentially no right or wrong because it’s all relative to the individual viewpoint. Its a deathly way to look at the magnificence of reality in my view as it has lead us to nihilism, drowning us in meaninglessness. Part of what ails most of us in the modern world, is confusion over whether life has purpose or if its random and by extension that anything we do is mostly pointless. In a world view that excuses everything as merely relative, then truth in any shared way is heresy.
Secondly the modernised interpretation of the chakra system and the new age teachings that have emerged have tended to highlight throat chakra issues as ‘a need to speak one’s truth’. The notion of personal truth has appeal, because many of us simply haven’t been listened to much as children, and our individuality is largely ignored in a post industrial world that needs its workers to conform. Nevertheless it’s not a good idea to absorb ideas without thinking deeply about them first, no matter how persuasively they are delivered. I think it is perfectly valid to stand up for who you are, but questions arise when I see people standing for their personal truth somewhat oblivious of the consequences, while showing little or no openness to truth itself. Inevitably things don’t always go as expected in these cases; there is a natural cause and effect, and as I see it, it may be they will learn to get the balance right the harder way. Now you might think from what I’ve said so far that I’m dead against personal truth per se, but that wouldn’t be quite true. And by saying this I get to the next question, which is about truth itself; is there such a thing as truth? I think there is, but lets define it as 'universal truth', which we might also describe as timeless truth. This means that truth can be shared, and in the common experience of it, it becomes something we are all bound by and as such it has significant meaning to all of us; truth is particularly powerful when it is a collective experience.Conflict resolution relies on this sense of shared truth. Rupert Sheldrake a biologist best known for his theory of morphic fields and morphic resonance, suggested in a recent talk he did in England that what we call natural laws or timeless truths, could be viewed as universal habits, implying that even they are not static and may over long stretches of time change. Thus the idea of truth from the human practical perspective must refer to factors that remain more or less the same over very long periods of time, such that we all share in them. So is the idea of personal truth really a misnomer?
If truth really does exist, then personal truth is much more about personal beliefs about what is true or more accurately personal opinion; something that is significantly different from truth itself. We all have a personal truth in the sense of a network of thoughts and images that we believe to be true. But lets be wary about brandishing personal truth as a weapon of defiance or control, and the next time we find ourselves speaking from the perspective of our personal truth, it behoves us to remember that it might in fact prove to be untrue at some later point in time, and therefore let’s make Truth the real goal and stay open to new information especially during those times when we feel we need to make a stand for what we believe.
In today's highly polarised society, with a strong emphasis on political correctness, the freedom to think and express ideas is endangered. We need more than ever to reach for truth tempered with wisdom in order to make sense of this time of transition where it has become unclear to everyone what is exactly happening on our planet. The quest for Truth with a capital T, is a vital key to any form of self-realisation process; without the ability to be honest with ourself, to penetrate personal illusions, no progress can be made. During self-realisation mentoring sessions, truth is the holy grail through which deep effortless change can occur; through gentle containment and positive mirroring illusions and hard won beliefs gently dissolve revealing the bright light within.