In a recent Facebook comment, you said, “…we tend to have an inflated view of our opinions, as though they were the Truth.” It was in response to a meme that I posted:
“Opinions enslave us, truths set us free.”
In The Fool card of the Tarot, we see a person about to step off a cliff. Only a fool would do that, right? Any worldly-minded rationalist would never step out on anything he could not see or validate by touch. He would thoroughly test his hypothetical next step with all the logic and experience he could bring to bear. Otherwise, it’s just too big a risk. And only a fool would bet the farm on something he could not substantiate ahead of time. That’s the way of the world.
The Fool is about to take a leap of faith, because he knows that part of the process of getting to the truth is “assumption.” We have to take on an idea and live as though it were true. We have to step out on it. Only then can we see if it will support our weight. It’s similar to the word “platform,” which we use to describe our political party’s position on a given issue—it’s where we stand.
A platform is also elevated—it’s an improved vantage point. By assuming that our best conception of the truth is, in fact, true, we raise ourselves above the conventional wisdom—what “everyone knows.” From our new vantage point, we can see more of the intellectual landscape—the higher our point of view gets, the farther we can see. We can see the next platform. But it’s only because we took a stand that we are now able to gain a greater perspective. If we had never stepped out on our assumption, we could never have grown beyond it.
We have to get used to the idea that we will never know the whole truth. It’s simply too big. There will always be the greater part of reality that we are simply not equipped to perceive.
But we must continually strive to know as much of the truth as we are able, or at least to know enough to make our lives the very best they can be—not only for ourselves but for the people we live with, and not only for now but for the indefinite future. What’s true for me, in the largest sense, must also be true for you. Otherwise, it’s not the truth. And if it’s only true for today but not tomorrow, then that’s not the truth either. It’s like gravity, or arithmetic, or anything else we have all agreed upon and now take for granted. Because, in the final analysis, truth is what works.
Our conceptual framework is always under construction. It is the “house” we live in. We have to be mindful of its foundation, that we build on solid rock, not on shifting sands. And given that we can never be entirely sure of what reality is, that solid rock can only be our knowing.
Knowing, in religious terms, is faith. But it’s not the faith that believes; it’s the faith that KNOWS. If you’re in a strange building and you come to a wall you have never seen before, and there aren’t any windows in the wall, you don’t think to yourself, “Well, I guess that’s the end of reality,” do you? No. Any sane person KNOWS that there is something on the other side of the wall, even if they don’t know what it is. They don’t believe it, they KNOW it. So it is with reality. We KNOW that there is always more to it than we can conceive. That’s the true meaning of “faith.”
Choose the highest conception of reality you can imagine, and then STAND on it. It’s the only way to grow. When you finally understand it, and you have reached the point where you have realized it (made it real in your life), then you will be able to transcend it. Then you can enter into the next phase of your ever-expanding view of the Universe.