Last night, we invoked the quality of truth. Did you take this in? Did you understand it?
Truth cannot be understood or defined in words. To understand it is to be in its presence and experience the state that arises.
Truth is not a more accurate set of facts or a better theory of reality. Truth is the absence of falsehood. Truth is an all-pervasive clarity which excludes nothing. John 8:32 says “the truth shall set you free.” All the partiality and cleverness is swept away. There is such relief in the wordless contemplation of truth.
Truth does not argue its case. How then is it to be known? What effect can it have if it does not engage in debate? By its very presence, truth shames cleverness and falsehood. It humbles bias. The constructions of the mind fall away, unworthy of consideration.
Dr. Majid Ali tells this story:
There was a ferocious captain in Genghis Khan’s army during the invasion of India. He killed people with his sword at the least provocation and often without any provocation at all. His reputation preceded him where ever he went. On this occasion, after he entered a town, he demanded from his lieutenants to know if there was anyone left alive.
“No one, sir! No one except for this spiritual man,” a lieutenant answered.
“Aha! A spiritual fool!” he thundered. “Take me to the fool,” he ordered.
His lieutenant led him to an ancient small temple with a broken wooden door. The captain ordered the door smashed down. Within moments, his soldiers smashed it. The captain entered the tiny courtyard. A thin man in a loincloth and wooden sandals stood quietly in the middle of the courtyard. The captain contemptuously looked at the man and roared,
“Do you know who I am?”
“No, I don’t,” he man answered.
“You don’t know who I am?” the captain asked, shaking with rage.
“No, I don’t,” the man repeated his words calmly.
The captain pulled his sword from its sheath and flashed it with his full might. “I can slice through your body and not blink an eye,” he thundered again.
Everyone standing behind the captain froze, their eyes fixed on the little man. Time seemed to stop. The man stood silently, looking back at the captain with quiet eyes. Then he asked, in a whisper, “Do you know who I am, sir?”
“Who are you?” the captain roared again, thrusting his sword forward until it nearly touched the man’s abdomen.
“I am the one who your sword can slice through and not blink an eye,” he answered.
The captain trembled and left without a word.