Truth—Is not an Easy Matter

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.           Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642)

      Truth and humanity has a very interesting relationship, where both were challenging with each other for many years. It is also fascinating to see how they have interacted in these long years of their existence, one opposing the other, one rectifying the other, and one fighting the other.  Even though they share same reality, for both are relative in terms of their nature and evolution, both have undergone many changes and faced many challenges before they reached what we call “maturity”.

      We find the following words in the Hebrew saying You recognize the truth by its own sound, which is a very hard argument to understand, for it is difficult to recognize abstract phenomenon with something physical and tangible reality.  No one has found the right tone or melody of what we all call “The Truth”, but all believe or think that we are passing through a stage of what we mean by “search for truth”, which is a life time process, that has different layers in which we may not be able to clearly describe to ourselves as to where these search ends or leads us, but with the hope that our belief assure us, trusting our feelings and destiny, we all go in the path that we feel appropriate and correct.  And this makes our search for truth so interesting and full of suspense that we walk in the path of surprises and unpredictable events, adding flavours to our life and tasting, and enjoying them as well.

The Danish say Truth is always homeless, which one agrees and practically experiences and feels.   As we all know truth has no specific group or class for it manifests itself in different forms and contents that what we call true for one place and time, may be not for other or irrelevant for the nature of this world is constantly changing and shifting from one need to another, evolving from one structure to the other and transforming from one element to the other.  Every thing changes and transforms from one element to the other, and what we assume true for one thing may not be appropriate for the other.  We cannot say if the sun comes out from the west, it is not, for the reality of the sun is not a place or direction, but its qualities, which are heat and light.

         It is such a fascinating ideal to observe how or what we call “truth” passes in different stages, especially those sciences or theories that we assume today as so normal and simple to understand, when they were originally invented, it was not such a simple task, for they have undergone many processes and challenges, but today we superficially understand, and accept them as simple facts.  It is indeed very challenging to come up with a new concept, and get recognition from the public, who has no knowledge and awareness of to what one has originally devised, in which many thinkers had sacrificed their lives in the past.  It is not a simple path to find something what we call “truth”, especially if it is something like an “alien”, and convince what we call the scholars, if they do not have adequate information about to what one has invented.  They want to weigh with the standards and knowledge they have, which does not mean that what one has come about is wrong.  They judge with the knowledge and capacity they already acquired, which in cases may be inadequate to testify the validity or truth of any reality.  Galileo had sacrificed his life for he said, the earth is always in motion, but these days it is a simple truth to all of us since we are learnt this in the elementary school.  But he sacrificed his life that we may know the truth but the people in his time were against his theory. That is why the Greek says A truth spoken before its time is dangerous.

The Hebrew saying, The truth is a heavy burden that few care to carry, is an important factor to describe what we all witness and testify that “Truth” is not something an easy and simple job but rather it is the most hard and formidable task on earth, first to find the truth, and then to promulgate and be steadfast to it.  As a human being we all have two duties, one is to find “the Truth” and then to share it to others what we assumed as “Truth”, for man as a social animal, we need to interact with each other, and this is one of the best ways of helping with each other, otherwise “our Truth” will be futile if we keep it to ourselves, which is the sign of selfishness, and contradicts with what we have originally assumed and found as “Truth”, whose very nature is something to be shared.

As many people can agree that every truth passes three stages. First, it is ridiculed.  Second, it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident.  But there may be other Truths, which may not necessarily pass these three stages, and can be easily accepted by a society.  But, if “The Truth” is powerful and changes the way society lives and thinks before, it will not be an easy phenomena to accept, and undergoes difficulties and challenges which cannot be compared to any of the hardship that anything may face, for people first oppose and doubt it before they realize it.  The truth of great thinkers and personages of humanity faced hardships and tests, since they can see the future and reality, while others cannot see even their neighbours.
If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.

Rene Descartes (1596 - 1650)

 

 Written by Dereje Amera


The views reflected in the above article  are solely of the author and are not necessarily shared by Meskot.  You may contact Dereje Amera  for comments at dderseh@bwc.org .

 

 

 

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