“What is truth?” asked Pilate. This question posed by the Roman officiate who held in his hands the fate of Jesus still haunts us today. A Showtime series put this question on the table again in the context of marital infidelity, as reported in this WaPo story: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/step-1-to-start-loving-the-affair-admit-theres-no-such-thing-as-truth/2015/10/01/71b98422-65fa-11e5-9223-70cb36460919_story.html
Truth, in my youth, was pretty cut and dried. And what made it so certain was living in a very narrow, conservative world of Arkansas fundamentalist Christianity. But I remember it with a certain degree of fondness, that qualification “certain degree” explaining why I don’t live there anymore. If I’d have been a “True Believer” (See Eric Hoffer) I would still be there today but thanks to the infinite grace of God…and I mean that sincerely…I am not there and thus am left with the insecurity and doubt which I see as an essential dimension of faith.
But, nevertheless, Pilate’s historical and archetypal query, resonates with me profoundly. I do so firmly believe in Truth even as I have so little doubt in my ability to quantify, define, and own it. But I do firmly believe that Truth is present, even in my obscure little life, and in the absurdity of our collective endeavor. Or, as my brother in Spirit, Billy Shakespeare, noted with his observations, “There is a method to our madness” and, “A Divinity doeth shape our ends, rough hew them how we may.”
But Pilate’s question is still on the table, in this instance with reference to marital faithfulness, but also to very relevant questions of my culture—abortion, gun control, evolution, and more fundamentally the notion of the old Superman tv series bromide, “Truth, justice, and the American Way.” Is there anything “firm” and therefore “real”…or “Real”…out there? My vote is a firm “yes.” Truth is there, and “here,” but “woe is me” if I ever venture into the arrogance of thinking that I own it.