Werner Erhard used to say that the truth plus a buck and a half would buy you a cup of coffee. His point was that the truth, in our society, is little valued. It’s not good for some material end. You can’t take the truth, sell it and make money on it. Besides, it changes from minute to minute.
Yesterday’s truth is not today’s truth. And the minute you believe it, well, that’s not it either. No matter from what vantage point, the truth is not a hot, profitable, cool, sexy, or much-sought-after commodity. In fact it isn’t even a commodity at all.
But it has one aspect to it that makes it of the highest value for those who know the truth of the truth, so to speak. And that’s this:
The truth will set you free.
Now there is a big truth to that and a little truth.
The big truth is that the ultimate truth of life – the Truth – will set us free from the round of physical birth and death, will have us complete the business of life, will get us Home and past “Go,” and Owner of the Board and board game.
God designed the game of life so that God could meet God in a moment of enlightenment. Viewed from our angle, the purpose of life is enlightenment. Enlightenment about what? Enlightenment about our true identity – as God.
God put a mask on himself (herself, itself) and then made himself legion. Countless, countless Gods – some walking the planet, some waving their branches to the sky, some nesting in the branches, All little Gods, learning, learning, learning, until one day they realize their true nature as God, the mask having fallen off, and for them the play is over.
The value of the big truth is that it sets us free from the game of life.
Well, while we’re waiting for the big truth, the little truth has a lot of value too.
Because the little truth – the truth of the moment, your truth – will set you free from what ails you. OK, OK, not everything that ails you perhaps, but some things.
Tell the truth about an upset and the upset disappears. The truth has set you free.
Tell the truth about a way you’re feeling and the feeling disappears. The truth has set you free.
Tell the truth about a mood you’re in and the mood lifts. The truth has set you free.
Lie about it and the condition persists. No release for you.
Stop short of the truth, make something up about it, refuse to cough it up, and the condition persists. No release for you.
So the value of the little truth is that it releases us from tension, stress, upset, aching muscles, depression, feeling bad, and all kinds of emotional and mental circumstances that are caused by us refusing to cough up the truth.
So the value of the big truth and the little truth is, as Jesus said, the truth will set you free. When I really got that, it made the truth a whole lot more interesting than all the strategies and acts, means and methods of looking good and being right. It took all the fun out of looking good and being right because those were manipulations of reality and just led to more tension and distress and no release.
But the truth leads to release. That’s how we know we just told the truth. Being set free is the result of telling the truth and the sign that truth was told.
That condition of release and relief, whether big or small, is the value of the truth.