The Gallery of Truth

I realize that this sounds naïve in our postmodern world, but I believe in the pursuit of truth with a capital “T”. I think I have a pretty decent grasp of the epistemological and linguistic problems that humanity faces in this pursuit, but nevertheless I think we must not abandon this enterprise. As I see it, the end result of this pursuit is not to construct a blueprint for reality, as I do not think that is how God has constituted us in relation to the Truth. Articulations about truth are analogical in nature and thus there is some similarity between the concepts of our mind and the reality they refer to. Through our articulations we are not holding up a mirror to reality, rather we are rendering paintings, which reveal as much about our perception, and our mastery of the tools we use, as it does the subject we seek to represent. The fact that this approach affirms a plurality of possibilities for representing the Truth, however, should not be seen as epistemologically nihilistic. The nature of analogy is one of resemblance, which implies a boundary within which all possibilities of representation must operate. To go beyond the boundary is to go into a place where resemblance ceases.

What all this implies is that we must be constantly open to how others are representing the Truth, not in a pluralistic free-for-all where all representations are considered equally valid, but rather in the awareness that there exists a variety of acceptable possibilities. To use an analogy, the medium of the mind is not light and reflected glass, but rather paint and an incredibly diverse palette. When you bring together multiple paintings on one subject, you have multiple interpretations, not fragments of a mirror. Thus the paintings give multiple options in approaching the same subject, but they can never work together to construct a mirror. In saying this I realize that some might object that my epistemology is to relativistic, but I want to point out that the interpretive element of representation does not undermine a genuine connection between the mind and Truth or Reality. In being open to others we must be critical to see if their representation, as differently interpreted as it may be, is within the proper boundary of the subject we seek to represent. Just as there are a variety of possibilities for interpreting the same reality, so it is possible that a person is interpreting a different reality. Discerning the difference is not easy as the boundaries are not always clear, but this does not mean they don’t exist. In the end, the pursuit of Truth requires humility, patience and a lot of hard work, but if we pursue it just think about the incredible gallery we would have.

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