How Important Is the Truth?

by [Priest] Matthew Fox

To grasp what is happening in [the United States of ] America at this time, it might be good to first meditate on Truth.

*No matter how difficult and painful it may be, nothing sounds as good to the soul as the truth.” – Martha Beck

For many, Truth is another name for God.  In my recent book on Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God…Including the Unnameable God; Truth is one of those important names for divinity.  This means that when lies abound, God is banished, for God is truth.

To approach Truth is to approach God.  To seek truth is to seek God.  The pursuit of truth is a godly act; it is a prayer.  Study is a prayer provided that the goal is not ego-enhancement or fame or power but that a pure heart is brought to the project.  This means the study of anything—stars or birds, mathematics or engineering, psychology or the origins of life, the mystics or politics—all of it is a journey to the Divine.  Theologian David Bentley Hart writes: “In God lies at once the deepest truth of mind and the most universal truth of existence, and that for this reason the world can truly be known by us.”  We all seek truth and we are all capable of finding some.

*I don’t study to know more, but to ignore less.Juana Inés de la Cruz

Our yearning for truth is deeper than ethics, as Rumi observes: “They say you bring the word of God, Yet all I hear is talk of good and bad— Nothing of love or truth. “

God is a field of Truth, the field where we encounter truth and truth encounters us.  

The Bhagavad Gita declares that a world without truth is a world without God and in such a world desire alone will rule.

*Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come. – Ellen DeGeneres

Mahatma Gandhi, father of the nonviolent revolutions that liberated India from colonial rule and, through Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others, undergirded the civil rights movement, and was applied to South Africa by Nelson Mandala, had much to say about God as Truth.  

Here are some of his teachings, so worth our meditating on in this time of untruth in the media, politics, and many hearts and minds and souls.

There is no God higher than truth.

Truth is my God.

Truth is the substance of all morality.

Truth is God, and truth overrides all our plans.

Without truth and non-violence there can be nothing but destruction of humanity.

Truth is the first thing to be sought for, and Beauty and Goodness will then be added unto you.

There is no other God than truth.

*The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong. –Laura Ingalls Wilder

Saint Thomas Aquinas said that “the proper objects of the heart are truth and justice.”  Without truth and justice our hearts are starved.  Without truth, there is no justice.

Historian Timothy Snyder, in his valuable short study On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, lists Lesson Number Ten this way: “Believe in Truth.”  Why is this important?  “If nothing is true, then all is spectacle.  The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.”    

*Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.- Albert Einstein

Excerpt from Daily Meditations – January 10, 2021, Matthew Fox (b. 1940) is an internationally acclaimed spiritual theologian, Episcopal priest, and activist who was a member of the Dominican Order for 34 years. Fox founded the Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality that operated for seven years at Mundelein College in Chicago and twelve years at Holy Names College in Oakland. Fox has continued to bear witness to the abuses of the Vatican, most recently supporting the Indigenous nations of California in protesting the canonization of conquistador-priest Junipero Serra.

*Quotes added by Elizabeth (Liz) Pimentel-Gopal to balance the “male-only” quotes utilized in the original post; therefore, honoring the Truth which is that: non-male humans have wisdom and their voices are often ignored, and/or dismissed unknowingly do to deep-engrained biases. On January 11, 2021- this edited version was emailed to Matthew Fox with a gentle kind note.


About awakinOAK

Intentionally located in east Oakland -- to, on the one hand, overcome institutionalized violence and on the other hand, be showered by the multicultural love and wisdom from neighbors-- this small community strives for integral nonviolence and supports activities that foster fearlessness, courage, autonomy, unconditional love and compassion for all beings. Every Friday for the last 10 years, the anchors of Awakin Oakland, host "Wednesdays on Fridays", an open-house meditation night that was inspired by a family in Santa Clara who has been doing this for close to 23 years [2020] No teachers or gurus. No set agendas or proposed beliefs either. Just one strong principle -- when you change within, the world changes
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