The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Red and white

Red and white

I used to think truth was something simple.

Something one felt.  Something essential.  Something easily revealed.

After years of meditation–and the practice of blogging–it becomes more and more apparent that, yes, Truth is very simple.  But it’s extremely complicated to convey it to oneself or another person.

Most of the time we humans tell half-truths to each other.  We pick and choose what to tell.  We announce we think or believe something, conveniently leaving out the actual experience in our lives where we did the opposite.

Red ore dock reflections

Red ore dock reflections

An example, you request?

Let’s say we share that we’re a generous person (either by using descriptive words or announcing how we donated to Amnesty International or the Red Cross.)  We’re defining ourselves in a very giving light, aren’t we?  Yet we’re forgetting our stingy moments, the times we withheld information or goods, the way we ate all the chocolate mousse and refused to save a bite for our husband.

The only real truth is that we’re generous sometimes and we’re not generous other times.  We’re both.  It depends on which way we or others decide to discern about us.

Do we think we know who she is?

Do we think we know who she is?

When we type our blogs or gossip with the neighbor, we’re almost always consciously (or unconsciously) illuminating certain aspects of our lives and downplaying others.  We’re choosing to do this for many reasons.  Sometimes we’re not even aware of why we’re blogging or sharing.  Perhaps our ego needs a boost.  Perhaps we’re attempting to teach, or share about a locale or skill.

A person reading sometimes fathoms something about what’s being shared.  But we rarely, truly, know where another person is coming from.  We think we know.  We tell ourselves we know.  But, in truth, another person is a very complicated creature filled with desires and cross-desires. If we tell ourselves we know about another person–we’re usually telling ourselves a story filled with shades of truth and untruth.

Could we ever fathom another person, except through our story of who we think they are?

Could we ever fathom another person, except through our story of who we think they are?

Our stories about other people are usually reflections of ourselves.  We’re mostly seeing the other person through a veil of our own beliefs and opinions.

Human minds attempt to discern, judge, and reduce to the simplest possible explanation.  They do that for many reasons including insuring survival, prioritization  and seeking pleasure.

Yet, by reducing everything to a tiny explanation, a tiny sliver of truth, we do great injustice to ourselves, others and the world.

The world–and every person you meet (including yourself) is a mystery which can never ever be revealed.



I am having great troubles lately telling the truth.  A sentence pops out of the mouth or from the typing fingers and it’s immediately seen that it’s such a half-truth.  It could almost be a lie of omission.  It’s only half the story.  It’s not the moon.  It’s the finger pointing to the moon.

We all do this constantly.  It’s part of the Ego’s job description.  You shall reduce Reality to its Least Common Denominator, sayeth the Creator as Ego incarnates.

Trying to express a slippery truth.

Trying to express a slippery truth.

Having typed all of this, may I now repeat:  Truth is really something simple.  Not complicated.  Something we feel with our heart.  A direction we know we must turn, if we can see through the brambles of thoughts which obscure our path.

It’s those darn brambles (our conditioning, our thoughts with their corresponding feelings) which mess us up so much at times.

Wanting so strongly to rest in the feeling of truth, the simplicity of it.  To allow that truth changes every moment, that it flows, it dances, it sings.  It’s alive within us.

To be strong and tender and flexible enough to change as Truth changes, to let Truth live through me…

The way truth feels as it dances

The way truth feels as it dances





About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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21 Responses to The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

  1. Maybe we need to accept that while truth is simple, it is also multi-layered and ever changing. I think the best we can do is write or tell the truth as we know it in the moment, and hope that we aren’t lying to ourselves. ❤

  2. Kerry Dwyer says:

    This is very deep Kathy.
    On my philosophy course we looked at truth. It is not as simple as you think it is. Truth can vary from person to person from day to day from culture to culture. If we all saw the same thing as truth there would be no war and no arguments. How nice would that be?

  3. Katie says:

    Truth, to me, isn’t so simple. It used to be. Recently, I’m faced with a parent who does not speak the truth. I know because I was there at the “event” she is telling falsehoods about. Except, when normally I would scowl and think she’s a jerk face liar, I’m thinking something else might be going on. It may be truth to her. She may be missing something, or misunderstanding something. Her perception may be all strange. Or, quel nightmare, maybe it is me with the perception issues. Nah, she’s probably just a jerk face liar.

  4. Elisa says:

    One thought, perhaps truth is like the concept of justice, or likened to it, in the mind, a great leveler where I or you, wins and is right, thus being justified and holding a feeling of justice, when, I do not believe there is ever any. (justice not truth) Does truth require evidence? proof? I have to have tea and ponder now. This concept carries into the new writing I started to do, and then stopped, already. I think.

  5. Heather says:

    I think I mostly agree with this. Trying to express the truth is the hard part – one does not have the time usually, so one often focuses on the easiest/quickest explanation of the truth. And sometimes even that is probably hidden for some. Still, I suspect it’s there, just waiting to be uncovered.

  6. “To be strong and tender and flexible enough to change as Truth changes, to let Truth live through me…”

    Namaste’ Kathy

  7. Brenda Hardie says:

    I love this Kathy, “To allow that truth changes every moment, that it flows, it dances, it sings. It’s alive within us.”—-Isn’t this part of what makes life so amazingly beautiful and always new? Living our truths, and yes, half truths and even untruths, makes life so rich. May we all possess the ability to see the half truths and untruths in ourselves so that we can polish them into complete truth and let our souls shine.

  8. lisaspiral says:

    I believe in truth (which is never the whole truth but only the truth in the moment from the perspective of the speaker) and Truth. The thing about Truth is that it can’t be told. As you have said it is something felt with the heart. I actually find it most frequently in fiction. We know that what is being told is made up, inherently not true. Still what the story illuminates is often an opening up of Truth. It’s a sacred mystery, we love those!

  9. I do love your reflections, Kathy. Truth is often a fluid concept — as truth is sometimes affected by or through perception — it does not make it a lie, but simply different versions of the truth, depending on the perception or perspective as the case may be.

  10. dorannrule says:

    There may be true beauty (and dancing nymphs) in truth, but “if truth be told” it can also cause great pain and anguish and may not be so beautiful after all. How is it Kathy that you always make me ponder the validity of my own perceptions? Thank you for this insightful and disarming post!

  11. I’m reminded of the elephant and the blind men story. (It’s a paintbrush! No, it’s a tree stump!)

    Maybe Truth just sits still in the middle and everything else spins around it.

  12. sybil says:

    Oh Kathy, you prompt such interesting dialogues. Truth. Hmmm. Nothing witty to say today …

  13. Tammy says:

    I really appreciate what Lisa said. Truths can and do change – not all of them.

  14. Val says:

    Try renaming ‘Truth’ to ‘Fragment, instead. Then just let the fragments join up over a long period of time. I don’t think that ‘truth’ is even the right word to use, just that we need to see ourselves in the light of being imperfect. Much easier to accept ourselves and each other, then.

  15. Wonderful blog 🙂 Thanks for sharing

  16. lucindalines says:

    Kathy have you ever thought, I bet you have, that writing takes on its own truth, its own being. I find that not all of what we put on our blogs is non-fiction. Some of it is just writing, and sometimes writing becomes a story that could be. Hope this makes sense.

  17. Hola Kathy, I just nominated you for an award, you have a delightful blog:

  18. Colleen says:

    Kathy, tears rise as I read your words and sense in this moment the mystery we all are. Truth lives through you my friend and it is beautiful. Love Colleen

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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