The Path of Truth
This is a guest post by Jacob Akindele
The quality of being genuine derives from a life based on a foundation of truth. When Horatius Bonar said: ‘’Be what thou seem-est; live thy creed,” he defined not only what our aspiration must be, but expressed the demand that creed be based on truth. And truth is never wanting in logic, clarity and simplicity.
The call to be earnest becomes necessary because of the nature of man on earth. His real self, the inner part, is shielded by the body; making it possible for him to feel one way inside, yet evince a different substance on the surface. Many have gone so far in misapplication of this attribute of man as to have come to extol the ability of being duplicitous, as exemplified by the distortion of the concept of diplomacy.
A life based on truth translates into words and deeds. For our speaking, guidance has been given that we should let our conversation be definite. We should tell others what we know. And we must declare with certainty when we do not know. we must not say we are sure when we’re merely guessing or speculating. The world would be spared much rubbish that has been printed if all could obey this simple demand of a life based on truth.
However, having arrogated to himself the right to an ‘’opinion’’ on any subject the man of today has submerged that ability, within him, with which he can perceive correctly. That inner intuition functions ever more sharply on the clear soil which has been left clean by that individual who has not indulged in filling himself with the falsehoods from ignorance and an unbridled imagination There by no resistance to the flow of information-giving currents from the origin of all Truth.
Liberation from error is easy for a genuine human being; for with the same fervor with which he had applied himself to that which he later discovers to be incorrect, he will drop the particular error and accept the truth, with his freewill. In this way, emancipation for many takes place already in this world. On the other hand, for others, the arduous process of liberation will take place in the hereafter. Sadly, this latter group is predominant mainly in the area of earthly religion, in which the faithful apply their intrinsic devoutness most zealously to doctrines which may contain some errors, or some wrong interpretations of a spiritual truth which might have been taken in too earthly a manner. In his path of development, man must lean to distinguish between doctrine and truth.
Genuineness also encompasses sincerity and naturalness. In each human being is the urge to test and investigate, to ask questions and seek understanding. It is a comprehending faculty, in man, which can also recognize truth. The application of these abilities will prevent him from being caught in a web of the distortions and errors of wrong opinions and attitudes.
In the path of truth, our attitudes will be based on facts. Our behavior and social habits will be based on truth. We will speak only what is true, we will not bear false witness, and we will make no assumptions. This demands an ability to handle uncertainty, so that we do not fill the vacuum of the present lack of knowledge with ideas from our imagination. Our knowledge of life will be based on truth. Above all, our worship of God will be based on truth; for it has been given to mankind in mediated knowledge that he desires to be worshiped in spirit and in truth.
It is in the practice of being genuine that the individual can empathize with his fellow man, and thus become considerate. We must begin to cultivate the quality of being genuine in all we do. We are in this world not to figure out, but to find out. In a life dedicated to truth, we must seek what we need to know, so that we can grow in knowledge and understanding. When we endeavor to be truthful in all our ways, and also apply the principle of saying only what is beneficial and necessary, we apply the ultimate test: the demand of the law of love, which stipulates that we must ensure that all we do is done out of love.