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Author Topic: Religious truth  (Read 186 times)

EclecticWheel

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Religious truth
« on: April 14, 2018, 09:28:44 pm »
I'm curious how others here perceive the nature of truth in the spiritual realm.  Do you think it's something exclusive?  There is one God or many or none, but all these statements exclude the others.  I know there are nuanced possibilities to include a less hard and fast take on that matter, but hopefully I am still getting my thought across.

Or maybe in the spiritual realm there are somehow diverse truths that coexist in tension.  Perhaps there is a realm where the Abrahamic God is the only God, but another in which there are many gods, and people tap into different realms depending upon beliefs or other factors.

Or perhaps the spiritual realms are just projections of our own imaginative thinking and feelings, sort of like a collective set of stories we tell to ponder and make sense of things.

I'm sort of babbling right now, but maybe you get the idea.  How do you think truth works in the spiritual realm(s)?  Do you think it is different from how truth works in the physical realm?

EclecticWheel

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Re: Religious truth
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2018, 09:31:35 pm »
I'm curious how others here perceive the nature of truth in the spiritual realm.  Do you think it's something exclusive?  There is one God or many or none, but all these statements exclude the others.  I know there are nuanced possibilities to include a less hard and fast take on that matter, but hopefully I am still getting my thought across.

Or maybe in the spiritual realm there are somehow diverse truths that coexist in tension.  Perhaps there is a realm where the Abrahamic God is the only God, but another in which there are many gods, and people tap into different realms depending upon beliefs or other factors.

Or perhaps the spiritual realms are just projections of our own imaginative thinking and feelings, sort of like a collective set of stories we tell to ponder and make sense of things.

I'm sort of babbling right now, but maybe you get the idea.  How do you think truth works in the spiritual realm(s)?  Do you think it is different from how truth works in the physical realm?

Note: I meant to relabel this post "Spiritual Truth"

Castus

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Re: Religious truth
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2018, 11:02:49 pm »
I'm curious how others here perceive the nature of truth in the spiritual realm.  Do you think it's something exclusive?  There is one God or many or none, but all these statements exclude the others.  I know there are nuanced possibilities to include a less hard and fast take on that matter, but hopefully I am still getting my thought across.

Or maybe in the spiritual realm there are somehow diverse truths that coexist in tension.  Perhaps there is a realm where the Abrahamic God is the only God, but another in which there are many gods, and people tap into different realms depending upon beliefs or other factors.

Or perhaps the spiritual realms are just projections of our own imaginative thinking and feelings, sort of like a collective set of stories we tell to ponder and make sense of things.

I'm sort of babbling right now, but maybe you get the idea.  How do you think truth works in the spiritual realm(s)?  Do you think it is different from how truth works in the physical realm?

I firmly oppose any notion of subjective truth or reality, in that I believe that there is indeed one, single truth. Multiple things cannot be true, therefore only one thing is true. But, and this is the kicker, at this point I have no goddamn idea what The Truth religiously is and have just been rolling the dice for a couple years now.
“Imperialism is a spirit, an attitude of mind, an unconquerable hope. You can phrase it in a thousand ways without exhausting its content. It is a sense of the destiny of England.”

-- the Lord Tweedsmuir,
15th Governor-General of Canada

Darkhawk

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Re: Religious truth
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2018, 03:56:24 pm »
I'm sort of babbling right now, but maybe you get the idea.  How do you think truth works in the spiritual realm(s)?  Do you think it is different from how truth works in the physical realm?

There is only one cosmos.  Vivisecting it into "physical realm" and "spiritual realm(s)" kills it dead.

Truth is a statement about meaning.  It's about the construction, the interrelationship between subjective understanding and the rest of the world.  Truth is intrinsically a liminal concept, a creature of interstitial and numinous spaces.

To be simplistic:

What does red mean?  What is the truth in red?  Is red about danger, blood, love, evil, life, fire, anger, lust, heroism, sacrifice, luck, beauty, hatred, death, power, mourning, sin, happiness, divine presence, weddings, physicality, action, protection?

Yes.  That is some of what red means.

Which meanings come to a person's mind depend on their culture of origin, their spiritual understandings of the world, their symbological preferences, their individual quirks.  There is no truth without reference to some standpoint; truth is kaleidoscopic, fractal, intimate.  Without an interpreting brain it cannot exist; given the existence of seven billion or so human brains (not speaking to other entities with the power of interpretations) consensus is largely implausible.  Especially since some of them are red-green colourblind.

Facts are just things, out there, they offer no meaning, no insight, no way forward.

Truth is all in what people try to do with things.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

tzikanti

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Re: Religious truth
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 04:58:44 pm »
I'm curious how others here perceive the nature of truth in the spiritual realm.  Do you think it's something exclusive?  There is one God or many or none, but all these statements exclude the others.  I know there are nuanced possibilities to include a less hard and fast take on that matter, but hopefully I am still getting my thought across.

Or maybe in the spiritual realm there are somehow diverse truths that coexist in tension.  Perhaps there is a realm where the Abrahamic God is the only God, but another in which there are many gods, and people tap into different realms depending upon beliefs or other factors.

Or perhaps the spiritual realms are just projections of our own imaginative thinking and feelings, sort of like a collective set of stories we tell to ponder and make sense of things.

I'm sort of babbling right now, but maybe you get the idea.  How do you think truth works in the spiritual realm(s)?  Do you think it is different from how truth works in the physical realm?

What you are delving into is Epistemology, the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of knowledge. It is very complicated, and I have little education in that area, or any formal philosophy for that matter, so I won't try to go into it very deeply, but it may be something you'll be interested in learning more about.

Regardless of whether truth is constructed in people's minds, or is somehow some reality that exists outside of those perceiving it is a matter of some contention, but I'd rather talk about how we can be sure we know something. Unless you subscribe very firmly to brain in a jar or simulated universe theories, probably the most reliable way of knowing "truth" is the scientific method- through observation and experimentation scientists are able to construct theories that allow us to be very confident about certain facts of our physical reality. Even if one is not a scientist, one can be reasonably certain that bacteria and viruses cause diseases, life evolved through millions of years of natural selection, and light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Fields like history, sociology, and economics are less certain, because it deals with conceptual frameworks that exist in our minds; nevertheless they still rely on evidence. Spirituality and religion is an entirely different animal, and deals with entirely different notions of "truth." Spiritual encounters happen within one's individual subjective experiences, within the mind. They cannot be proven or disproven, and are filtered through our own thoughts, feelings, and limited perspectives. They are not quantifiable. Frankly, spiritual experiences are often vague, and difficult to interpret! Perhaps one day scientists will be able to put a God under a microscope, as it were, but I wouldn't hold my breath for it.

The point is, it's impossible to know for certain, empirically and objectively what spiritual truth even is, so I don't really worry myself about trying to arrive at certainty. My experiences and those of others are persuasive and convincing, so I do put in the effort to interpret and understand them as best as I can, and what their place is in my life. And I do like to speculate about what the Divine is, what They want, and so on. But it's necessarily not something to be nailed down. And for many people, the doubt of what was an authentic experience, and what was "in my head" will remain. Inevitably, I think all spiritual experiences will pick up some of our own thoughts and feelings.

For my part, though, I tend to believe that several contradictory spiritual ideas are "true" in that they represent different approaches, views, and ways of interpreting spiritual experiences. I'm polytheist and reasonably hard,  but I don't think monotheism or the stronger forms of monism are wrong, so much as it's a matter of whether one looks at the forest or the trees. YMMV.

Jainarayan

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Re: Religious truth
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 10:26:56 am »
I'm curious how others here perceive the nature of truth in the spiritual realm.  Do you think it's something exclusive?  There is one God or many or none, but all these statements exclude the others.  ...

How do you think truth works in the spiritual realm(s)?  Do you think it is different from how truth works in the physical realm?

There's a verse from the Rig Veda that translates as "One Truth the sages call by many names". I think the issue is that we don't know the nature of that Truth. We won't know it until we shake off being clouded by the material and physical world. I don't like the word "illusion", because the world is indeed very real (ask any woman in labor how real it is  ;)) but it's like a veil that prevents us from seeing beyond it. The rishis (sages), teachers, gurus, saints, wrote extensively on how to break through, but it's very difficult because this world is so tempting and misleading.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

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