Why Truth Escapes Us, Part 1

Mount McKinley or Denali (as you may prefer) Symbol of the power of truth.Every moment of every day every living creature searches for truth. It is the single, most frequent activity of all life. In a real sense, even plants and worms seek out the truth they need. They can do it without a brain because it is the natural thing – to seek out what is needed.

For us humans, this constant activity is the central thread of our thoughts. It is so common and natural we are almost never aware of it, in spite of the fact that it is our most habitual mental activity.

When you need to put on your socks you need truth before you can do it. You need to know where they are and maybe what color you need to wear. When the car starts making unusual noises your mind and heart bolt for truth. And so it goes, moment by moment, day in, year out, on and on.

And why do we do this? Because we know that truth makes us free from all kinds of problems and discomforts. It’s pretty simple: first, we have to find it and then go where it leads.

The Truth Falls Victim to Our Instincts

So that is the reason for this post:  I hope that it may bring a deeper understanding of this instinctive search for truth and that a deeper understanding will give us greater hope and that greater hope will help us be more honest with ourselves so we can find hidden truth. And there is the rub.

Sometimes we learn things we didn't want to know, and that can be very upsetting and painful. You can ignore the truth, but it will not ignore you. It will hunt you down and string you up unless you seek for more truth.Click To Tweet

Mascot owl wondering about truth.We have this saying: “Truth will win in the end.” That applies to everything – every part of our lives. When we learn something we didn’t want to know, it is too late to un-know it so the best we can do is search for more truth. That way we can understand the situation completely and get a correct perspective of it all. We can choose to seek for more understanding or we can become a “stick in the mud” and just rot there. Progress demands change and movement. A time of trouble is not a good time to stop and enjoy the pain.

Now let’s put all this into one teacup.

We have a strong instinct to seek truth but we also have a survival instinct to avoid truth that might intrude on our comfort zone. We have deep instincts at cross purposes here.Click To Tweet

What To Do

So how do we deal with these instincts that struggle against each other? Well, we just finished the first phase – getting the truth of the matter clearly in mind. We have a little war going on in our hearts and minds and we have to decide which side of the war we are going to assist. Pursuing truth along a path that we fear may lead us somewhere we don’t want to go requires some courage and persistence – normal ingredients for progress. It amounts to a kind of deep, personal honesty.

Three symbols of truth: Declaration of Independence, flag, and eagle.In fact, your personal character is largely determined by which side of this war you help the most. You will need to nourish the knowledge that truth will always win in the end. You will need to believe in it. You will need to neutralize that fear of losing your comforts.

The ability to take courage and examine one’s own heart and mind is key here. You will need this kind of courage and honesty if you want to be the happiest person you can be. It’s one of those things you get by working at it a little every day.

You will also need courage and honesty to be the best citizen you can be. And this blog is about being a good citizen in every way. After all, happy citizens make a happy nation. And this blog is about having a happy nation. Yeah, both – they go together.


Jackson Pemberton
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