“I worship God as Truth only. I have not yet found Him, but I am seeking after Him. I am prepared to sacrifice the things dearest to me in pursuit of this quest. Even if the sacrifice demanded my very life, I hope I may be prepared to give it.” Mohandas Gandhi
The God of alone, the God we do not know, is Truth, and nothing else.
Why Truth? Why a capital letter?
Truth, it seems to me, hides behind every value, ideal and search that we partake in – and it is the basis of every value, ideal and search.
If we look for love, we will never find it if we do not first know truth about love – its character. If a man stays with a woman for his entire life and then tells her on her death bed that he never loved her, then we can clearly see that truth is a basis for love.
If we look for peace, we will never find it until we see that the feeling of peace for the individual is not the fullest picture, and won’t satisfy us. But if we recognise that peace is about absence of war, communal understanding between people, and international relations, and much more besides – i.e. the greatest breadth of understanding of the word – we will see that the truth of peace is what we are striving for, not just the value or ideal itself.
Why the capital letter? Because Truth is hidden behind truth and truths. It is unknown, but desired.
It is Truth which is the vast ocean on which we cannot walk – not yet. It is unpatriotised, unconquered and is a fulfilment of wonder that we can’t encapsulate, but long for as our home.
It is, presently, merely truth and truths (with a small “t”) that we seek, like we seek love, grace, peace. Each of these is a state that fills up a continent – the commonwealth of love, the nation of grace, the republic of peace. None of them is granted, but is an ideal that we seek. Beyond that ideal is the continent with that one shared value – truth. Yet, beyond all the landmass of truth – all the practical, pragmatic steps we take – lies that great ocean named Truth.
Some deny the reality of Truth because they can’t, don’t or won’t believe that walking on it is a possibility, or they find that the grand scheme of the continent of truth and truths is enough for them. This, I would perhaps controversially conjecture, is enough. To not mince words, not believing in an objective Truth, or an objective God, does not mean you are in conflict with the universe or with reality. But, if you can stomach it, the appreciation of a grand, over-arching position on Truth gives, in my eyes, a principled reason for action – practical, concrete action in this world – and a greater sense of the potential for change than simply seeing a problem and wanting a solution.
Of course, the countries that we DO know, that we each strive for, to a greater or lesser extent, in our day to day living, are varied and essential to focus on.
Indeed, the small “t” of truth, the sovereign nation of truth, is the first to which I turn.
Where do we start to seek the truth today?