The search for truth is something which I have been engaged in all my life. It is also something which has led me to study science, history, scriptures, and all manner of things, that I might be able to put together an idea in my mind of what is truth. I believe that all truth emerges from a common, perfect source and that all truth can eventually be reconciled with all other truth. I know that truth can suffer from the limitations of bias, but that there can be truthful experiences that have no bias to them in their purity and clarity.
I know that there is a God. I can’t prove that to anyone else. All my proofs are internal experiences, but they are proofs nonetheless. From that knowledge, I arrange all the rest of my learning and experiences around that pillar, hoping for further light and knowledge needed to fill in the gaps, to remove the biases, and to reconcile with what I think to be true with what I know to be true.
There is what I wish, in my limited, mortal folly, to be true. There is what, if it were true, would make for fewer struggles in my life. But truth is not a matter of wishing or convenience. When I discover a truth, I must change my life to conform to that knowledge, for I do not want to deny truth with my thoughts, actions, or beliefs.
In that, the search for truth is, at the same time, a process of self-purification. I have to be tolerant in my process. When I see things in others that prick my heart and remind me of my own struggles in that respect, I have to be patient and allow that, for them, wherever they may be in their search for truth – if even they are actively looking – they have not yet decided to be as I wish to be. My struggles are not necessarily their struggles, and I have to be tolerant and patient, especially if I am called upon to explain why I do this or why I do not do that.
My search is not a static one. At no point can I say, “Here is all truth and in knowing this, I need seek after no more learning.” I have my own manner of approaching God, but I can learn from others who have their own manners of approaching God. I am, at heart, a pluralist. I believe that I am on the right path, but I allow that I can still receive navigation signals to guide me further.
There are, to be sure, signals that deliberately try to mislead me. Discerning between those and the signals of truth is a massive, internal struggle. Yet, I must be patient and tolerant. I must forgive those that, in their incomplete knowledge and error, have decided that worldly gain is the greatest thing to attain in this life and that dishonesty is justified in the getting of that gain. I must forgive them because one of the truths that I have learned is that I cannot continue on my search for truth if I have not forgiven all.
Like forgiveness, there are many things that I must get right in my life if I expect to be able to continue successfully to search for truth. I don’t have to get them all right all at once, but the more right I have them, the better order I have in my life, the more efficiently I make progress towards my goal of finding that complete, wonderful truth.
I have always invited all I know to join me in my search, even if they do not walk exactly in the path that I have taken. While I am saddened when I see my invitation to go unanswered, I delight when I see someone show progress in living the kind of tolerant, patient, forgiving, faithful, disciplined, and compassionate life that is necessary in order to be able to best search for and find truth.