“A direct encounter with absolute truth appears to be impossible for normal non-mystical consciousness. We cannot know the reality, or even prove the existence, of the simplest object: through this is a limitation which few people realize acutely and most would deny. But there persists in the race a type of personality which does realize this limitation: and cannot be content with the sham realities that furnish the universe of normal men. It is necessary, as it seems, to the comfort of persons of this type to form for themselves some image of the Something or Nothing which is at the end of their telegraph lines: some ‘conception of being,’ some ‘theory of knowledge.’ They are tormented by the unknowable, ache for first principles, demand some background to the shadow show of things. In so far as man possesses this temperament, he hungers for reality, and must satisfy that hunger as best he can: staving off starvation, through he may not be filled.” ~Evelyn Underhill
Truth is truth most of us say. But there are really two kinds of truth. Actually three if you accept the philosophy of those who say that if you tell a lie enough times that most people accept it, it becomes truth. One type of truth is that on the level of matter only. These are the truths that are usually the result of scientific research. They are generally true within the limits of the material universe but ignore the other dimensions of reality. They are, therefore, a limited truth. Absolute truth is that which includes the spiritual dimensions of reality. The various dimensions are not entirely separate and do affect each other. If you look at only one or two, you get a view that is limited, partial. This results in inaccurate conclusions. The most glaring example of this is the “truth” that reality is made up of solids, liquids, and gases. That truth holds up only in a reality that is pure matter. No such reality exists. When you include the spiritual dimensions, you find that the solid, liquid, gas description of matter is too limited.
For starters, matter is an illusion. It really exists, but it isn’t what we think it is. So if we say that it is solid, liquid, and gas, it is true only on a surface level. There are other levels below that. Only when you are aware of all the levels can you know the absolute truth. Only when your soul has been awakened and is fully conscious can you know absolute truth with no questions, no doubts.
Underhill says that “normal men” are satisfied with sham realities. In other words, these are people who look no further for absolute truth than the surface layers of the material universe. That, in itself, is bad enough, but now it is even worse. We have many people who are perfectly willing to accept complete fantasies of their political leaders as absolute truth with no evidence to back them up. As long as they are being told what they want to here, they don’t question it. But eventually somebody lowers the curtain and the play is over. No matter how much you were into it, you know remember it was just a play.
Accepting sham realities is an easy way out. It means we don’t have to change anything. A better solution is to work to change the world around us to be more like we want it to be. But we have to be careful that what we want is what God wants. Trying to change things contrary to God’s will is very foolish.
Hunger for Reality
Among the masses who accept the sham realities, there are those who question, who seek more. As Underhill puts it, they hunger for reality. They are not satisfied with comfortable lies. Nor are they content to be chunks of driftwood floating on the tide with no self-control. They want to know the absolute truth even if it is not what they prefer to hear. They don’t sit idly wishing for it. They go out and seek absolute truth. Some of them find it quickly, others take a while. Absolute truth can be elusive. Yet seeking it is one of the most important and rewarding things we can do is to seek it. But in addition to seeking it, we must be willing to accept it when found. That usually means putting aside long-held, but not true, beliefs and opinions. But if we don’t seek it and find it, nothing else will satisfy that hunger for reality.