Throughout the centuries, we have asked ourselves the question of how to discern truth. Philosophers have provided clashing and circular reasonings over not only how one finds truth when truth has indeed been found, but what one does when they find truth. Yet for all their logical tinkering and the multitudes of pressed manuscripts, there has always been an exponentially greater number of individual people who may search their entire lives to find even one bit of the universe that is truth. For now, I ask you to keep an open mind. You may think that I am merely going to provide another way to try to find truth in any aspect of reality, but as I have often done, I prefer to ebb on the side of experience speaking for itself; I am here as the mere observer of my life thus far. Now, I ask you, based on your life and the contemplations of mine to answer this: Where does any person's perception of truth differ from the society's truth? How does a person come to seek truth?
All too often I have found that a person will look the other way from a supposed truth and try to prove their own thoughts to be right. A radical (note: radical) Creation Story believer might say that such things as 'evidence' of dinosaurs or the concepts of evolution are simply tests put on Earth by God to test our faith in The Bible. I do not know what goes through the minds of today's masses to push these people along the societal line from being 'devoutly faithful' to 'radical.' The inhabitants of the early Medieval Era would very well have tortured the greatest minds of academia were the society still present.
Then again, the same argument could be directed at the idea of science itself. Is it possible that the sciences of today are some kind of devil worship; that mankind is moving, step by step, to becoming the new masters of reality? What of such things as paranormal entities, which have yet to have clear explanation from the scientific community? Wouldn't the lure to the greatest mystery in life, the trajectory of the soul after death, be an absolute addiction to the knowledge-seeking mind, thus causing the greatest amount of research to go into it? I do not know.
I do, however, know that there is a mere hobby that science grew from. It allows us to create new tools for even the most simple tasks, and assures us as, at the very least, the masters of Earth: learning.
For the potentially avid scientist, the power of discovery and exploration is the foothold that drives people to extend their minds beyond the confines of the skull to expand the knowledge collected thus far from a few thousand years of tedious picking.
These two things, the stubborn faithful and the eternally unsatisfied questioner are the two ends of a spectrum, much like a person's political view can be liberal or conservative. However, I again remind you to ask how a person comes to seek truth.
For me, even though I am only nineteen years old, the quest for truth began a long, long time ago. It began early on as the mere act of trying to simulate possibilities in my mind based on the small world I had explored. I could sit with a Buzz Lightyear action figure as a toddler and puzzle out how a laser might work, or mentally criticize the lack of wingspan and the unbalanced mass of the suit. I think that I often lacked a more child-like curiosity, and instead of just asking an adult about how something worked, I would try to figure it out myself and then ask the adult only to further contemplate the answer in a broader spectrum; a very internal process. This marked me as a person of questions, and if you ask anyone who knew me from my earlier years of Junior High School, they are likely to say that I was the introvert.
I have changed in many ways from that initial point. Upon moving away from the act of just thinking, I began trying to find places where other people had supposedly already found truth. The Bible seems to have stood the test of time, but I parried with the fact that The Bible was physically written by men, and not God- no matter how much others assured me that the writings were guided by the divine being. Once I (temporarily) let go of that inhibition, I started to just trust. I began to let people who had been dead for ages sate my appetite for answers, even if the answers had flaws; I became naive. However, because of trust, I experienced a mutual first love. People also told me that the power of the truths set in The Bible coupled with my concrete and thick logic would make me an avid minister.
I remember beginning the process of asking again. I woke up one day and asked myself: How do I know?
My old mentality was quick to rise. Even to this day, I don't know. I couldn't explain it at the time, but I had a subtle fright at the fact that a little bit of logic had crossed through a barrier of emotion. Within not more than a few weeks of personally transitioning away from trust, I began to go by feeling; several internal sources firing a new intuition. The first love broke, my grades began to decline, my emotions began to shut down on me, and I couldn't think straight. It was confusing to have to feel at one instance obligated to remain committed to Holy Scripture, yet at the same time challenge it.
I am still very confused. Even more now than before because so many other huge things have happened. I've realized that maybe my family is getting too old for summer vacations together. I had been thrown into a large university and granted the freedoms therein.
I have just recently been given a partial diagnosis of an Auditory Processing Disorder, and I have pulled out of academia until I can resolve these things.
However, there is a flip side: I've learned that there is not a single answer for anything.
There is not one religion, and that there are even major flaws in my religion.
There is no way for me to be anything I might simply wish myself to be; I would not do well as a teacher or speaker at all.
There are too many things that I could expand upon, but I hope to give the slightest glimmer of hope for a wandering mind:
As an expression of just my pure self, I have done a lot of parkour. Through this expression form, I have found that hidden in the deep recesses of my heart, there is still something that is flowing inside of me all the time. There is something in parkour that I knew I had in me all along, but it was suppressed. I found that there was a place between my grieving heart, my questioning soul, and my logical mind that, every time I got closer to it, could make me feel like I was flying. One might call it an adrenaline high, but I disagree. I had experienced it even before parkour when I would do meditations. No, not the kind of meditation where I try to have a quiet moment talking to God. I would just sit, relax, and try to empty my mind and let everything in me resonate.
It was balance.
What is the moral of this huge story? What direction am I going in? What was the result of challenging your faith if it was not strengthened in this time of trial?
Interestingly enough, I remember from the time in my past when I was searching for places of truth that the Buddhists had nine levels of a meditative process, and that through my own personal, separate methods of meditative relaxation that I have discovered the first level, the first lesson in meditation, by myself: Trust in Life.
Eating: Chocolate Chips