Summer is in full swing and for school teachers truth always seems within grasp during this glorious recess between school years. Being the envy of my typically employed friends is a burden I will have to carry. The break, though, does provide a great opportunity for reflection and I hope a clearer presentation of this week’s topic: truth is not a human creation. I mean this in a couple of ways.
First, our quest for truth is a real. That is, across time and place, humans have been searching for the truth of our existence. This desire to situate our reality inside of a larger context is natural, primal. It not a human creation, though, it is a uniquely human endeavor. Other animals do not seek truth; they do not ask deeper questions about their lives. They act as if the world they interact with is all there is, but we know the lives of animals are situated inside a much more complex universe. Knowing this, we would be foolish to believe that the world we interact with is all there is. There is more than our daily interactions, there is truth.
Second, truth is not found in what humans have created. That is to say, humans have created a lot over the centuries – cities, countries, empires, legal systems, economic systems, political systems, church hierarchies, the world wide web, to name a few. These creations have their own internal logic, but they have no truth. If we are going to search for truth, we have to look outside of what humanity has made, while living in the midst of it. All around us, there are still natural aspects of our lives – our relationships, meaningful work, connection to Jesus, responsibility for our neighbors – but these are increasingly being pushed out and mediated by the artificial realities we are creating. The point is that if we are going to look for truth, we should not waste our time focusing on human constructions, but should turn our gaze elsewhere.