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The not-so-true truth

columns Updated: Jul 02, 2013 23:39 IST
PP Wangchuk

It seems, the more I ponder over truth, the more I get away from the truth. Has truth, like God, fallen a victim to subjective conjecture? What you call a lie maybe my truth, and your truth my lie.

For good or bad, this debate will never end because truth too, like any other thing on this planet, is dynamic and bound to change as and when the circumstances change.

Mahatma Gandhi’s book, My Experiments with Truth, was born out of the quest for truth. Is there really a way to realise the ultimate truth (not death, rebirth and nirvana). Except for death, the so-called truth of rebirth and nirvana is a highly challengeable concept. But then those who take these three “truths” as gospel truths are bound to have a closed mind, and they cease to seek any further truth on truth!

One wonders whether truth and lie are the two sides of the same coin: If there is no lie, there can’t be any truth; and if there is no truth, there can’t be any lie! And it is as truthful a saying as, if there is no day, there can’t be any night!

It was perhaps in such a moment that SE Hinton, in her book, The Outsiders, wrote: “I lie to myself all the time, but I never believe myself.” Napoleon Bonaparte too wondered, “Is truth a lot of lies agreed upon?”

I want to speak the truth all the time but don’t know for sure what my truth is. All that I say and write because of my belief and facts gathered from here and there may or may not be the truth.

When I recall Scott Westerfeld, “I guess sometime you have to lie to find the truth”, I get baffled all the more. Is it that truth is always hidden underneath a layer of lies? And, if truth is stranger than fiction, as Bob Dylan said, then I (me, not Dylan) may better get lost in the world of fiction!