Truth doesn’t reside in facts, and it can’t be found in data or information. We have all seen and know by now, how skillfully facts and information can be manipulated, by anyone with a desire to do so. And yet, we still want to believe that pure information has the ability to give us truth, and that it is somehow insulated from the people involved in culling that information. This is why our so-called Information Age is actually an age of vast confusion. We are living in an age of bewilderment brought on by our trust in statistics and data, and by our hope in information which has become unhinged from the foundations which can make it useful and able to yield understanding and give direction in our lives.
Undergirding the level of information is the place of the heart, or the inner man. This is the place inside each of us where we find our center, our soul, and where we connect to the Spirit of God or to other spirits. Out of the heart springs forth all the issues of man, we are told in scripture. And so it is, that good and bad, right and wrong, love and unlove, all of these issue forth from our heart. From our heart spring forth the passions, the vices, and also virtues. And from these are the things which drive our use of information, and out of which we assert various ‘truths’.
A greedy man will seek and find information that supports his greed. A prideful man will support ‘proofs’ which explain why his pride is natural. Data which tells a lustful person why lust is good, will be used by that person to support their ‘truth’ and combat those of other persuasions. What we find then, as humans seeking truth, is not any objective truth in information, but simply information that supports the orientation of our individual heart. A chaste person will read the information they get through a lens of chastity, and the humble person will interpret the world and its facts by their humility. And in this way the prideful and the humble see different things, the greedy and the generous understand money differently, the lustful and the chaste interpret human sexuality differently. And so it is with all the vices and virtues which turn each person this way and that. Each of us using information to support our positions, and to reinforce the orientations of our heart.
It appears to me that many of us consider truth to be something that can be worked out, much like a math problem. I suppose some truth can be found this way, but I doubt any of it is truth as it relates to mankind and the complexities of our life. Truth for mankind is not figured out so much as it is discerned, and it is very much a matter of, and an act of faith. It flows out from the beliefs we hold in our heart. This is why Jesus Christ told us that He is the Truth. The real truth, the truth for humankind is to be found only in God, only in the foundation that is Christ. And the closer our relationship to Christ the clearer our vision of truth, and the deeper our understanding of what is real and what is true. Jesus tells us to seek Him first, and then He and the Spirit of God will come and dwell in our heart. This indwelling of God in our heart is how we can come to the knowledge of truth. Knowledge of God then will give us better discernment, and clearer understanding of the information and data that confronts us.
None of us can know the truth perfectly in this world. As St Paul says, we are all seeing things in this world as if through a glass darkly, and only partially perceiving the truth. And yet, any of us can know truth better, and can free ourselves from this Age of Confusion by seeking God, and by drawing closer to Christ, and desiring that He dwell within our heart. In this way the wellspring waters of our heart are clarified because He dwells in us, and as His Spirit transforms us, then out of our heart will flow clarity and discernment of what is true according to God, and by Jesus Christ, the foundation and embodiment of truth.