If you have ever watched the X-files, you are familiar with that phrase. It is one of the most iconic phrases from the television show. It is also something that I have been thinking about quite a bit this week as I have had to face the truth several times. When I say I had to face the truth, I am talking about my truth. It is one of the more interesting questions that I ask myself sometimes.
What is the truth? I bet that is a question that you do not ask yourself very often, but it is something that everyone believes in. We all believe in truths. But how does one define the truth? Or in another words what is true?
Merriam-Webster defines true as “being in accordance with the actual state of affairs… conformable to an essential reality… fully realized or fulfilled… ideal, essential… being that which is the case rather than what is manifest or assumed… consistent.” It is pretty easy to agree that is the definition of true. That is a truth. There are a couple of ideas on how truth interacts though. There is absolute truth, relative truth, empirical truth, etc.
A lot of my work revolves around the concept of relativism which is the relative truth link that I have attached to the blog up above. Life would be easier if everything was absolute. If life was black and white, I would definitely be without a job. I could possibly give up my job and become a full time photographer. Unfortunately, life is not easy like that.
Once upon a time, I was working a job, and I had gotten information about a person that I was interviewing. They had told me that they had experienced a traumatic event in their life; however, when I spoke with a family member who was familiar with the person that I was interviewing, the family member stated: “That didn’t happen. I would know if it did.” How did I determine the truth? The reality is that I went with the person that I was interviewing.
I decided that the person was telling their “truth.” I had no way of knowing if it was the truth or not. I acted like it was though. I also decided that the family member couldn’t have possibly known what the truth was because that family member was not with this person 24/7/365 days of the year.
There have also been times where I have dealt with people who have fixed delusions. Where their delusions are so ingrained into their reality that it would be cruel to take the delusions away. Alzheimer’s/Dementia patients also have some of the same issues. They do not have short term memory or even access to some of the long term memories that they once had. They live in the past and not the present. Whether that means that they are looking for a car, a family member, or some other thing. They live in a different reality than our own.
Does it make their truth any less valid than say yours or mine? I don’t believe so. They live in their truth and their reality. Some might argue that someone who has delusions or hallucinations shouldn’t be allowed to remain in those hallucinations and delusions. I would agree with you; however, if the delusions or hallucination is fixed, and it cannot be removed… then why remove it? It seems like it would be unfair.
You might be wondering why any of this matters? Why does the truth matter? I believe that the truths we tell ourselves impact our quality of life. If you believe that you are a failure, you will continue to remain a failure. If you believe that your weight will never change, then more than likely your weight will not change. If you believe that you have reached the some of your existence, then you probably have.
We are blinded sometimes by the truths that we tell ourselves. I am guilty of this as well. I sometimes do not see reality as it is. I see the reality that I have made, and the reality that others have made around me. The latter delves into a thing called social contracts which I will not get into, but you may look into it yourself. But our truths guide our actions and what we can believe is possible.
Admittedly, this makes me sound like a very unstable person. There are a whole host of people who will think about medical issues that will impact what is possibility, and they will think that humans cannot fly without aid of a machine or device. This is true. But we do have cases of people who are paralyzed and have a prognosis of never walking again, and they walk. You can see them here, here, and here. Now you may notice that some of these were able to walk with assistance of science, but without believing that things could be different… where would these people be for the truth? You also have things like this.
The point in all of this is that we as humans are infinitely more powerful than what we allow ourselves to be. We tell ourselves a certain truth that we are limited. Is that a correct truth? Sometimes it is a truth that we tell ourselves. It is a relative truth. Does it always have to be this way? I don’t believe so. I think the truth is out there…