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11-16-2012, 06:15 PM,


Every writer, I suspect, has a secret desire. Mine has always been to write a book about Truth. But I didn’t, because I realized that NO book could ever contain ALL that Truth IS. But the word must be important because it appears 228 times in the Bible.

So I decided to write an article about Truth, and the one feature that elevates Truth high above every word in the language. That unique feature is ELUSIVENESS, truth’s maddening propensity to be here, there, and everywhere at the same time.

After Jesus’ arrest, Pontius Pilate asked him: “What is Truth?” Jesus said nothing. Imagine, Pilate, the Governor of Rome not knowing the answer to that. Not surprising, none of us do either.

The elusive nature of Truth is evident in every courtroom. Bailiff: “Do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” Defendant: “I do.” Evoking the name of God may sound fitting under the circumstance, but I guarantee that neither the judge nor the jury will probably ever know for sure whether the defendant told the truth.

Truth is the summum bonum of all human virtues because it is the immutable reality of everything on this earth, indeed in the whole manifest universe. And if Truth does anything, it honors reality. Truth will always be a target of deception, prevarication, even subversion; but the very nature of Truth will make all opposing arguments transparent, hence vulnerable.

Truth, however, is also the most tantalizing word in the language. But how can this be if Truth is the reality of all things? Because in a world filled with human beings capable of dehumanizing thought and actions, as well as the highest level of virtue and integrity, Truth invariably hides and must be coaxed to reveal her immutable nature.

Truth’s bitter nemesis is nothing less than The Lie. And to triumph over the Lie, Truth must come out of the darkness with her light, and reveal the Lie for what it is: a subtle, devilish inversion of what is true.

A myriad of man’s inventions have been devised to try to get to the Truth. The lie detector is a misnomer because there is no sure way to know whether or not a person is really telling the truth.

Another “truth getter” is truth serum. There are a number of drugs used to induce a person to tell the truth. Given a truth serum, a person becomes uninhibited and talkative, but truth serums do not guarantee the veracity of the subject.

A third method of ferreting out the truth is the use of torture. The objection to torture—aside from the moral issue—is that it doesn’t work. Torture may get information, but its never reliable. Tortured victims will say anything just to stop the pain. Wouldn’t we all?

Truth not only honors reality, it reveals it at any time. For centuries, people believed our Earth was flat. Then, 2000 years before Columbus, Aristotle proved that the earth was round by watching the earth’s curved shadows on the moon. And millions of people learned a Truth about our planet.

For years, people thought that time and space were constant. Then the physics genius, Albert Einstein, told us the Truth: Time and distance are not absolute; they’re relative.

But we’re not so much interested in the Truth about time and space or about the shape of our planet, as we are about why the simple Truth about anyone or anything is often so hard to come by.

And so, we, as human beings, not knowing the Truth, keep hoping that the pain will disappear, that integrity will overcome dishonesty, that compassion will eliminate discrimination, that honesty will end corruption and greed, that a desire for peace will end wars.
But will it?

Of course it won’t, but we should keep right on searching, watching, expecting and praying anyway. What have we got to lose?

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