The Truth Shall Set You Free

There is only one reality.

Whether we are dedicated to an increased, enhanced understanding of it is the chief determinant of our ability to grow and progress in life. To do so requires ultimate humility. It requires us to relinquish claims to having our own truth or our own reality. It means we must live in the same reality as everybody else around us.

It means we must subordinate our interpretations of reality to an ethic of uncertainty. Dedication to reality does not necessitate that we subordinate our dreams and desires to those of others, but it means we must craft them in a way where coexistence and community with others is possible. The ethic of uncertainty allows us to do this without doing unnecessary harm to our identities.

Whenever our identity is impermeable, however, we will do whatever it takes to preserve even the most absurd notions.

Truth sets us free from our absurdities. Truth sets us free from unrealistic expectations. Truth sets us free from all of the things that hold us back from love, peace, and self-actualization.

This is a paradox. We must first sacrifice our rigid identity in order to emerge into an authentic identity. Only when we have humbled ourselves can we actualize all of our possibilities. Like a fruit tree requires pruning, so do our egos.

We reach Truth through self-reflection, to be sure. But the more powerful and effective path to truth is friction with other people and in the cooperative sharing of our “maps” of reality with other people. Through friction and cooperation we are able to acquire better and better information about reality and our unique places in it.

Few people are truly open to this process. It is threatening. It means we must be vulnerable. It means we must disarm ourselves instead of engaging in an arms race of ego that prevent us from relating to other people and building community with them.

Don’t deprive yourself of the opportunity to see the world as it is. Don’t shrink from friction with other people. Embrace others, their differences and all.

Nobody else can do it for you.

  • Silvia

    Thank you!!! I truly needed to read this today!!! I’m getting closer and closer to reach my authentic self and getting rid of my ego. Thanks!!!

  • Andrew Dodson

    I haven’t checked out your writing in a long time. Hope you are well. Just today I was contemplating writing on the cost of epistemic humility. You write that the process is threatening. It certainly is. It requires we abandon our defenses, relinquish ourselves to a vulnerability that more accurately reflects our relationship to ultimate truth. It is not commonly acknowledged that the structure of our epistemology restrains our actions in significant ways. This is not necessarily a bad thing. But an unexamined epistemology leaves us shackled in ways difficult to underestimate. So often we cling to a dead belief structure merely out of self protection–an unwillingness to endure the feeling of nakedness that comes from relinquishing the ideological structure that defines us. I am coming to believe that an impoverished epistemology is the only path to true freedom. Paul writes to the Corinthians: I determined to know nothing among you but Christ and Him crucified. Paul chose to put himself under the power of no other knowledge but that which he knew was absolute. An impoverished epistemology frees us to see the deeper shades and brighter lights.