Is reality and truth the same?
When someone says “I am telling you the truth trust me” what is the first thing that comes to our mind? “Yeah sure! I trust you”. Someone once said “In God we trust, for everything else give me proof.” But then “what is proof?” That which we trust? Hasn’t it got us back to our original problem that we need to trust something to be true? What can be a proof of truth?
Let’s take the innumerable violent attacks that are taking place across the world. If someone said “I saw it happen, two gunmen entered the pub and started shooting.” would you believe it to be true? What now if a second person claims “I saw only one gunman enter the pub and start shooting?” So, what did actually occur? Can we know it at all? Possibly if we have a recording of the event. Yet that again varies based on which angle the recording was done from and who is seeing the video. We over and over again find that experience varies by our ability to perceive an event as a third person. We find every person’s experience is different of the same event. Hence we end up with a number of descriptions of the same event. We can piece these descriptions together to form a hazy view of what actually occurred but it is an intelligence applied and depends on the person who is applying the intelligence.
Let’s take another eg., of lighting and thunder. Now the explanation for the occurrences is electric ion discharge between two heavily water laden clouds. But we perceive only lighting and thunder. We do not perceive in any manner the electric ion discharge that is occurring. We can only infer it as happening because of a deduction based on seeing lighting and hearing thunder and having studied it as the cause for the lighting and thunder. It may or may not be the true cause of the perception. It is quite possible that the electric discharge was due to a electric discharge at a power transformer. Nothing to distinguish it unless we can see the transformer which is a another perception dimension that needs to be added for intelligence. We find that reality in fact is just multi-dimensional perception of an event which is strung together by the intelligence of the brain. Perceivable parameters interpreted by the brain, judged by the heart and reacted to by the brain and acted upon by the body. Can this be the truth then? What is the underlying truth that is perceived by the brain? Can we even attempt to understand it using our brains?
Another e.g.., we see a leaf as green. What it basically means is that the wave frequency related to green was received by our retinas, sent as signals to our brain and our brain translated it to green. What if it translated it to “red”, which is what happens for colour blind people. So, again we are dependant on the perception and translation of the signals by our brains for the information. The Dakshinamurthy sthothram says exactly this:
Vishvam Darpanna-Drshyamaana-Nagari-Tulyam Nija-Antargatam Pashyann-Aatmani Maayayaa Bahir-vo bhuutam Yathaa Nidrayaa Yah Saakssaat-Kurute Prabodha-Samaye Sva-atmaanam-Eva-Advayam Tasmai Shrii-Guru-Muurtaye Nama Idam Shrii-Dakssinnaamuurtaye
The World is a reflection of the truth on the mind’s mirror as if the self is watching its own projection into the outer world just as a dream during sleep.
I salute that Dakshinamurthy who by virtue of action let’s the self become aware of time and experience duality with only one’s own self.
This does raise a very good question what is this Dakshinamurthy which is preventing me from seeing the truth? The only answer to this can be that this is the intelligence applied by the mind to the electrical signals received from the various sense organs. But then again when we realise this we have to start asking ourselves, can we really trust our brains anymore? All of us have experienced optical illusions where the brains duplicity has been laid bare. So, what is the truth?
Can we anymore claim that truth and reality are same?