What is truth”?


Pilot asked “what is truth”?
he didn’t expect an answer
today I ask, “what is truth”? and …
I do want an answer, but …

where does truth reside
within the cold, hard shell of facts, or …
within the shifting gaze of time?
will once I have the “truth” in my hand
will tomorrow it slip away with the birth of a new reality?

truth will not hold still
for me, for you , for anyone
truth will grow  and change with who I will be,
who you will be, with each new discovery
each new reality

does that still make truth true?
truth shifts to meet the new dawn
as reality changes, as beings grow
God, who is truth, will be
reveled in new ways

layers of truth live to be discovered
old truth, new truth, yet to be found truth
all are truth,
facts cold and hard
butterfly wings of truth
all reveal reality

those with ears, listen
those with eyes, see
those with heart, feel

 (C) Ruth Jewell, April 24, 2010

I’ve been working on a paper for a hermeneutics class and was drawn into Pilots question of Jesus, “what is truth”.  I’ve been asking that question for years but in the last 3 years it has taken on new meaning.  Just like every one else I’ve been told the “truth”, but I feel all of that is shifting beneath my feet now.  Truth is way trickier than you’d think and has many colors and shapes.  Fr. Mike says truth can be facts, cold and hard and those are important for grounding ourselves, but real truth is reveling, it revels our reality, our way of being …  G-d.  And to my great amazement there is no ultimate truth!  Truth will shift as our reality shifts, so that what is true today may not be true tomorrow, because tomorrow I will not be the same, you will not be the same, reality will not be the same.  That is both wonderful and … scary, but it is …  the truth!

(C) Ruth Jewell, April 24, 2010

5 thoughts on “What is truth”?

  1. Is there no ultimate truth? Or is there no way to perceive ultimate truth? That is what I wrestle with. I totally think there is no way to perceive ultimate truth. But does that mean ultimate truth does not exist?


    1. You may have something there, but our perception of truth is limited to what we experience as finite beings. Yes, I think there might be ultimate truth but I don’t think the being I am in this finite world will ever find it. We are beings that change and grow with each new experience and if that is the case then it seems to me that ultimate truth will always be one step ahead of me.

      G-d as truth is my grounding, but does G-d never change and grow? If you look at how God is perceived from age to age I’m not sure I can say G-d is totaly unchanging. Granted that is my finite perception but I cannot perceive G-d in any other way. My honest answer is I believe that G-d is the only ultimate truth, but I have no way of giving a reason except … FAITH.


  2. Ruth, this is utterly lovely. I have struggled so long with this question. Truth is so very fundamental and important and real, yet at the same time slippery and ephemeral and Brigadoon. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings here. *hugs*


  3. Your journey and your struggle and how you express it is all beautiful. I gently disagree though with your premise that truth shifts. Truth by nature does not change. Jesus answered Pilot’s question in his words, “I am, the way, the truth, the life”; declarative, absolute statements about objective reality. If God is not pure love, pure truth, pure life he/she is not God. Truth is not relative, though, as another commentator above put it, our perception of truth may be so. If Jesus very person is not objective truth, he is not God and if he is not God I have been living a lie for over three decades. I do not believe I have and yes, I happily concede that’s where faith comes in. God bless you in the journey. [- Owen; long time friend online of Caedmon]


    1. Owen, you have a point and maybe it isn’t truth that shifts as we grow maybe it is our perception of truth. I believe that Jesus is truth, G-d is truth, the Holy Spirit is truth but what we’ve been taught as truth has shifted over the years. We no longer believe in the “truth” that slavery is a way to faithfully to act if we are to be true to G-d, but for thousands of years slavery was not only accepted but written into the laws of Moses. There are those who believe that G-d handed all of the laws down to Moses but I am not one of those. Those laws were common laws of the region and day, many days actually. So are the truth or were they the truth for the time that kept order in a chaotic world. Has the truth shifted or has our perception of the truth changed.

      A shifting perception of what is true may be closer to what I was getting at than actually shifting truth. After all it has been 3 years since I wrote that piece and my perception of what I see as truth has had time to mature and grow. In short I agree that truth is truth, but how we perceive may change as we become more spiritually grown up.

      Thank you for commenting on this as I haven’t thought about it for a while.



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