Lierre Kieth, (author of The Vegetarian Myth), had a peek moment when she began critically examining mounting evidence against vegetarianism. Having been a vegan for 20 years, this was a radical change.
I was accumulating information that fit into my belief system about how life is. Every time I got information that didn’t fit in, I set that aside; so I ended up with gaps in my consciousness. … One of the things about being a vegan is it is not about what you eat, it’s about who you are, and that makes it really hard to examine new information… it is a threat to who you are…
Listening to her inspired me to critically look at how we decide what is true and how we regulate our lives by what we believe to be true. When we adopt a certain set of “truisms” we could call it a belief system, especially if a group of people hold the same opinions. One of the things about a belief system is that is puts a context in our mind about who we think we are. This can give a sense of identity, security, comfort and community in knowing we are correct in our thoughts and hopefully our actions.
The problem with this kind of comfortable arrangement is that it tends to deter some of us from examining other belief systems and new information. When these paradigms are different from what we believe to be true we may decide to discard it as not true and to ignore new information.
On the other hand, with more and more information and new thought we may wonder if what we believe is actually “the truth”. This may lead us to ask; can there be different truths depending on circumstances? This type of questioning can create in us a kind of spiritual crisis; in some cases it threatens who we believe we are. It may require that we make radical changes in our thinking and in turn how we are on our world in order to find that inner balance with our true self.
Should you consider these questions, you may start to recapitulate and examine how you think about things. You may ask yourself “How did I come to this assumption of what I believe to be true?”
As humans we naturally like to categorize things and store knowledge in a certain way, to form what we conceive to be true. We use already known facts to bring together and form new and innovative thought. Most of us can say that we have a memory and the ability to retrieve information; we can come to a synthesis of that information and build new concepts based on what we have learned.
What if the stored information was relevant at the time but it isn’t as relevant now. Could we say that the paradigm of our reality has shifted? Or to put it more clearly, “What was the context of our awareness when we decided that was true? How has it changed?”
For a specific random example;
I might ask myself, what point in my life was I at when I decided “Old women are useless and a drain on society”. Was I twenty and in my prime, raging hormones, intellectually sharp, beautiful and full of ambition? Was it when I was turning sixty-five feeling the effects of aging on the body, working in a world of younger people, not thinking quite so clearly and facing the prospect of retiring? You might also consider; has the view of society changed about this situation, has there been a general paradigm shift and why?
It seems that what we think to be true is influenced by our environment, social climate, ancestors, belief systems, the specific needs at that time and more.
What then is true? Is anything really true, or is truth constantly shifting and moving within our awareness paradigms. What I’m asking here is – “Is truth absolute and unmoving, a final conclusion so to speak or is it something that changes?
Jean Houston writes: YOU have to follow your heart now with all the courage and conviction of a hero, no matter how many dragons and enemies to your happiness you have to overcome along the way! Otherwise, somebody or something else might follow your heart for you, and pass you up in your own journey. Not staying true to yourself is akin to abandoning your own personal evolution to natural degradation and psychic entropy. The Feminine Paradigm
Jean Houston is saying that not being true to yourself is abandoning your own personal evolution it’s degrading your self-worth and creating an atrophy of the ability to be uncontrived and natural in the moment.
We know that as time moves on we have an accumulation of knowledge and a record of what happened. That record of what happened seems to be told differently in history, by the winners and by the losers, by cultural points of view and by the ability to communicate.
H.P. Blavatsky is quoted as saying; There is no religion higher than truth. Indeed this is the motto that has been adopted by the modern Theosophical movement.
What is truth? Can we talk about truth as facts and knowledge or is it something else?
Could it be that truth is actually the “sweet spot” that we hit on a moving target? Is it about coming to the moment with exactly the awareness and concentration required to “hit the right spot on the tennis swing”, or bring to the moment the exact response required at that point in time?