Some Thoughts on Experimenting with Truth

Published originally in 1929, Gandhi called his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth. I like the association of truth with experimentation. It reminds me that we are finite human beings wholly incapable of understanding the universe and, therefore, what truth truly means. For a truth to be true it must be universal. How can we know if anything is true if our minds can not embrace the universe? Which means, as Gandhi said, we can only experiment with truth. The only truth we can comprehend is limited to our experience and imagination. This means that anything we think is the truth is not. It is a partial truth. We do not even know, on a scale from less than one to 99.9 per cent, to what extent the truth we believe to be true is truly true!

Our history is littered with people who thought they knew the truth. Some of them, mercifully, are benign with their sense of empowerment with knowing the truth. Others, sadly, are not. Human conceit, liquored up with religion or politics and often both, frequently and tragically lead to the use of force, violence and injury. Traveling the countless itineraries to truth are more important than arriving at the shining city on the hill called Truth.