The irony of Pilate’s throw away line, “What is truth?”, still lingers after two thousand years. It has, no doubt, been the subject of more serious discussion from the dawn of civilisation. For some it remains “a sacred cow”, only to be considered by scholars in the context of words uttered with finality at some time, to be locked away in miles of compactors to collect dust for ever after. Some argue of its transient nature, something to suit the convenience of time and place. Arguments go on ad nauseam among scholars.
There is another breed of thinkers that consider it in the context of the evolution of the cosmos. We humans are not the only species evolving, but are parts in a constant state of metamorphosis. All things are constantly evolving towards a goal on the far end of a receding horizon. They do not believe that human’s “superior” sense of consciousness makes them the only players in the mastery of creation. Evolution is an organic process permeating all things, great and small. In this sense we can believe that the Creator of all could demolish entire civilisations with a choice of brimstone, fire or flood. He could speak to humans through burning bushes, from clouds on mountains, and through His prophets. In my own tradition I believe that it is possible for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle, because Truth (himself) has said that it is possible, if difficult.
What then is the nature and function of Truth? It is part and parcel of our human consciousness that is evolving with the rest of the universe. If it were a constant factor, and if we had not challenged given situations, we may have remained as some sort of hunter-gatherers. Challenging things is as perennial as our motivations to work, to stop and to wonder. To challenge is to question. To question is to find new grounds of belief. Grounds of belief that are essential to our understanding. Understanding values human history, cherishes and learns from it. It is essential to our continuing march forward. Our goal is a state of perfection (however we see it). Truth like the Northern Star that guides and sustains us in all sorts of weather. It is not buried under a bushel in forms of do’s, don’ts, edicts or commandments. It is a natural part of our being, linking us with past experiences, it has been renewed and energised through Christ’s exhortations to question and refine. We do not need to be constantly looking back, nor should we use it as a tool of convenience in a game of relativity. It is the sanctity we carry forward as we progress (humans and creations) toward that goal of perfection.