Does the truth set you free? But what if the truth is different for each person. Being an immigrant I had to rethink the whole concept of truth.
When you come to a new country you suddenly learn that they do things differently and have different values. Your truths are shaken.
When you grow up you learn values and knowledge from your parents, teachers, society. Did you test it if it was true. No you just took it on. If you challenged "the truth" you were sometimes told of. Most people learned to take everything on face value.
In ancient Greece, Socrates encouraged people to think for themselves and let them question their dogma's and beliefs. I think this is a healthy thing to do. Even the scientists don't know it all. I have done a psychology diploma. I remember that I sometimes found opposing research and than choose the one which fitted most with my own experience. This makes the flowing quote true for me:
"Man is the measure of all things: of things which are, how they are, and of things which are not, how they are not" Protagoras
So truth is a matter of perception. Our knowledge is filtered by experience, culture, education, our genetic inclination etc. I have worked with children with learning disabilities. They quickly tell you that they can't do anything. If you get to know them you know that is not true. Some things which are simple for most people are very difficult for people with LD. Therefore they are often told that they are stupid and can't do anything right. They start to believe this and get anxious when they are asked to do something and subsequently do it wrong, which fits their believe.
So people see an aspect of the truth and think it is the whole truth and therefore make it into a believe. Other people who have different believes are by some thought to be ignorant or evil by distorting the truth. I think people are often afraid that their truth and therefore their being gets challenged and that they might loose part of themselves if they admit that others ideas are be true. Their ego might get a punch. Often though all people are partly right and all have it wrong as the gorgeous poem underneath explains.
Blind Men and the Elephant
John Godfrey Saxe
It was six men of Indostan,
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The First approach'd the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -"Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear,
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"
The Third approach'd the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," -quoth he- "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"
The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee:
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," -quoth he,- "
'Tis clear enough the Elephant Is very like a tree!"
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said- "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant Is very like a fan!"
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," -quoth he,- "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
Evaluate your truth and that of others carefully and realise that we often don't know the whole truth.
We do have some truth's where most of us agree upon for example around the values what is good and what is bad. I think that we instinctively know that, if we are honest to ourselves. Being aware of all this could take us on the road to free ourself.