It’s a nebulous, subjective word. True. It’s an adjective related to the word “truth”.
Truth is sticky too. Almost everyone has their own take on the truth. The truth is a noun, more solid, apparently less nebulous than the word “true”. The two words seem very similar at first glance. But they’re actually quite different from each other.
Truth is something taken as an obvious fact. Most of us think of truth as a dogma such as a religious truth from some holy book like the Bible, the Koran, the Baghavad Gita. We believe if the phrase is from one of them, it must be the truth. An actual thing that you can almost grab.
Truth can also be a legalistic concept. “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” This could be related to a jury trial where a witness to a crime must tell her full account of the incident. You might have even asked yourself to tell the truth to yourself during an introspective “dark night of the soul” period of your life, as you mull over your own personal transgressions. Are you giving yourself a full account? Are you leaving something out? Are you being too strict in your judgement? Is time coloring your take on the truth?
Sometimes the truth is an opinion about another person or group. You hear it in some conversations as, “If the truth be told”. In this case, the truth takes on more of a quality of belief.
To be true is not a thing but is a quality. It describes a concept or a person. In that way, true is more personal. Whereas “the truth” is something apart from someone, to be true comes from within the person or is an inherant part of a thing. Note the subtle difference in the two statements: “The truth of the matter is that I love you.” “When we’re together, I feel true love.”
What is the difference? What are the implications of the two statements? Which of the two statements would you rather hear your lover say to you?
What is the difference between a person who lives according to some particular religious or philosophical truth and a person who lives his life according to his true nature? There might be some intersection of the two types of living, but one is restricted, the other is free.
Does living according to some arbitrary or religiously mandated truth seem comforting or frightening to you? Or does living a good life from the core of your true being and innate sense of ethics seem to be the best fit or does such a life path scare you?
Is life to be lived according to set rules and standards? Or are you really much more comfortable with ambiguity? Do you prefer the truth? Do you prefer to be true? Do the two intersect in your world or not? Does following one or the other resonate with the best ethical behavior for you.
Which one, the truth or being true puts you most at peace in your life?
The Blue Jay of Happiness asks whether the truth or being true brings you the most joy and happiness. The answer to this is a big clue to your life questions.