Truth From All Angles

A lot of spiritual journeys are seen as a quest for the truth, of the reality of why we are here and what it all means. But, what is truth? Can there be lots of different truths, or is there one huge truth that we all have to buy into? I'm going to start my answer to this by creating a picture - I feel like being creative today. Anyway, picture a man, sitting in his car, on a clear single lane road, on a hot humid day. He has no air con, so the only way he can cool down is by moving - and the bus in front of him has stopped. All he can see is the back end of a big red double decker bus, that is chugging out fumes in his direction and making things even more uncomfortable. He has been there for a while and he starts beeping his horn, trying to get the bus to move. He can't actually see why the bus has stopped; all he knows is that his marriage is going through a bad patch and he needs to get home because he promised his wife that he would be home for dinner and she won't understand if he says he is held up - again. Let's move to the front of the bus. There is an old woman who was trying to cross the road while it was clear, but who fell ill halfway across the road and is having difficulty getting back up. The bus driver has stopped his bus so he could get out and help her, which is why the bus has stopped and why the man behind is stuck. The bus driver realises he is holding up the man in his car, but he is trying to keep her calm so she doesn't get more distressed while they call for an ambulance. The mad tooting on the car horn behind is not helping here. Then there's me (I had to be here somewhere). I'm sitting in the top deck of the bus, looking down. If I go to the front of the bus I can see why we have stopped. If I go to the back of the bus I can see the man getting irate. From my view, I see the whole picture. But from the views of the man, the bus driver and the lady, they only see half of the problem. Their half. The bit that is important to them. Right here, where is the truth? Each person knows their situation and why things are as they are. But they only see part of the truth, really. There are whole other sections that they will miss, unless they join me on the top deck and see everything pieced together. When we talk about truth, we have to make sure initially that we are not talking about this kind of specific truth. If we look at this and work out how to change things, what we will do is make sure that OUR problem is solved - but that doesn't necessarily mean that anyone else involved will be better off also. In order to function well with all of humanity, we have to try and see that bigger truth, the bigger picture. This way we know for sure that what we are focussing on is much more likely to encompass what everyone wants as an outcome and not just us. If the man had seen the lady in the road, would he have understood more about why he couldn't get the bus to move? Of course. If the bus driver and the lady had known that the man stood to lose a great deal by being would they have understood why he was getting anxious? Absolutely. If they had met somewhere in the middle and explained their various positions, then they might have worked out a better solution that meant all of them got what they want. This example is what coaches call the Third Position - that birds' eye view that allows you to lose your subjective reaction to a situation and be more objective about what needs to be done. We would take clients here who have trouble seeing another's point of view and try to put them in that place. It usually works quite well, as (if nothing else) they get a clearer picture of why that person feels the way they do. There are huge, gigantic truths out there that each of us need to plug into if we are ever going to work out why we are here, at this time and in this place. And exploring this is amazing and wonderful and awesome (in the true sense of those words). But we also have a reality, a truth of what our life is like right now and we can't lose sight of that. As much as we would love to meditate all day and reach the higher levels of consciousness (believe me, when you get there, its fabulous) we have physical, earthly lives to lead - paying bills, eating, drinking, working, watching repeats on TV. This is a truth that we can't avoid. While it is great to be able to see that bigger picture, we then need to bring it down to our own truth and to a level that works in our lives. In our example, the man in the car, once he knows the bigger situation, might offer to take the lady to the hospital; he might call his wife and explain what has happened. She may see a kinder, more compassionate side to him that she has been missing and it might be that that helps them repair their marriage. So what am I saying in this post? Have I answered the question? I hope so. What it boils down to eventually is that we need to know the whole situation and it might be tempting to stay there. But its real value is when we can then take that back to our own subjective lives and use it to be a better person. The truth is out there - do you know yours?