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One Reality, One Truth, One Wisdom

April 17, 2012

More metaphysical musing.  In what follows I use capitalisation (reality vs Reality) to discern our own personal realities from a greater Reality in which we inhabit.

In one sense, there is no One True Reality: we all inhabit, without exception, our own little worlds which encompass the totality of our experience, but nothing more.  But consider how, living in our own little worlds as we do, how we interact.  The reality we share, with which and through which we interact, but which we cannot directly perceive, is a greater reality.  Considered in its totality, this is the One Reality of which this post speaks.  Merel’s interpolation of the Dao De Jing opens with this rendition of chapter 1:

The Way that can be experienced is not true;
the world that can be constructed is not real.

Our own ‘worlds’ are precisely these non-real constructed worlds: constructed by our minds to allow us to consciously understand and interact with the real but imperceptible world we share.  Thus there is One Reality, and indeed One Way in which it flows: from the same chapter 1 of Merel’s version

Beyond the gate of experience flows the Way,
which is even greater and more subtle than the world.

In this reality, as in our own little worlds, there is a notion of truth.  The truth of the One Reality is the One Truth, the real Truth, God’s truth if you will, of which our notions of truth are only ever an approximation.  It is this truth that the great spiritual traditions to their own extent try to communicate.  It is this Truth that fascinates me and draws in my mind.  With this Reality, there are wise ways to be and to follow, and foolish ones.  These ways, ways of wisdom, form the Wisdom of the greater Reality we inhabit.

To follow these ways of Wisdom takes care, for they are not defined by rigid or simple rules (in general at least) and can only be appreciated intuitively and followed approximately.  In consequence, none of us is or can be perfectly wise, but perfect Wisdom is that way of understanding to which the wise tend and at which they aim.  To finish with a quote from Rahula’s book on Buddhism (p8):

Truth needs no label: it is neither Buddhist, Christian, Hindu nor Moslem.  It is not the monopoly of anybody.  Sectarian labels are a hindrance to the independent understanding of Truth, and they produce harmful prejudices in men’s minds.

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