How to discover the truth

How do we find reality or the truth? In a world full of religions, philosophies and mystery schools, there seem to be numerous opinions on what reality is. How can we know which of these is the right one? How can we discover truth for ourselves?

All schools offer some insight

Each of the religions, philosophies and mystery schools offer valuable lessons if you study them thoroughly. Lessons, that help you be a genuine person, that help you to answer some of the very questions of life. Nowadays however it seems like many of the original teachings have been lost and have been replaced by some of the practitioners perspectives.

That’s why most of these schools provide you with somewhat distorted answers. What they teach as the ultimate truth is in fact but a perspective. And although each of them claim to be so different from the others, they do talk about the same thing – unity.

Go beyond and find out for yourself

It is easy to follow these concepts, for they provide you with answers and free you of the burden of search. But if you are earnestly seeking, you have to go beyond that and find out for yourself.

It is reasonable to be a healthy sceptic about the concepts introduced to you and to reflect upon them based on your own experience. You still want to remain open though, to let in some of the new knowledge, which in its essence is still there. But you shouldn’t just follow blindly.

Your heart can be a good indicator in feeling what might be true and what not, or what might be true and beneficial for your individual path.

The Vedic way

In the quest of gaining a deeper understanding, I found the Vedic way, which to me offers a very practical approach. The Veda is a compendium of ancient texts stemming from the Indus Valley Culture, describing life itself. It is magnificently structured in that it explains the whole creation in just a letter “A” and then unfolds itself into various books and branches (one of them being Ayurveda).

In the Veda the approach to discover reality consists of three different aspects: direct experience, understanding and validation. Each of these steps are crucial in finding reality.

Most of the schools of thoughts can provide us with understanding and validation. They explain to you what man is and how the world came to be. The Christian teachings might be more appealing to you than the muslim teachings or vice versa. Each of them have reasonable perspectives, that can help you in the quest of gaining a deeper understanding. In your study you may also find many overlaps, pinpointing to a common foundation that predates each of the current religions.

They can also provide you with a sort of validation, stemming from holy scriptures and from the experiences of saints, prophets and the illumined.

But in most of these schools there is one thing missing, which might be the most important of these three. It is the direct experience. Only the direct experience will provide you with a knowingness, that something actually exists.

They can tell you all day long about the God, the universe or the transcendent, the field of underlying unity in all the diversity. But words can never begin to describe what these are. They are beyond intellectual understanding. Only direct experience can show it to you. Until you have had that experience, everything will remain a concept, just words. They might be plausible and appealing words, but they remain words.

Direct experience, understanding and validation will lead you

Whatever school of thought you find appealing, you should find a way to validate their teachings for yourself. They should come along with rituals or techniques, that allow a direct experience. If they cannot provide you with that, you may want to try something else.

Once you have these direct experiences, combined with an understanding and a validation of what happened, you have gained a tool that allows you to discover reality for yourself, irrespective of what others tell you. This is the way to “the truth”.

Demystification of life

We live in a world overemphasising the rational aspect of things. Everything needs to be scientifically proven in order to be accepted by western society as factual reality.

Yet there is much to discover that cannot be explained. Mystical aspects of life, that fascinate and attracts us. Especially in a time of complete rationalism it serves as a welcome contrast. It awakens the child within us and makes us wonder.

Both perspectives, the one of the believer and that of the scientist, offer benefits. Currently our society over-emphasises the rational perspective, leading to a broad demystification.

How did we get here?

A milestone is this development happened in 1859 when Charles Darwin published “The Origin of Species”. In his work he argued, that the modern man was shaped through a process of evolution and directly descended from the apes.

He came to this conclusion through observation and keen study of his environment and reflected upon his observations based on his beliefs and constructs. It is therefore a valid conclusion. However it is only one possible perspective, not the ultimate truth.

Even Darwin himself knew of the flaws of his theory: “the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [must] be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain ; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.”

Despite these flaws the theory remains widely accepted.

With his scientific approach of describing the world he dawned the age of science and rationalism. An age which brought tremendous achievements for humankind, in areas of economics, gross physical medicine and our understanding of our surroundings.

But it also led to the demystification of our world. Things that were formerly described to stem from god, or created by higher forces, were suddenly rejected as being unscientific by a growing amount of people in the society.

There is more than the naked eye can see

Despite the achievements of science there still is a lot which cannot be explained by it (or only by using rather unscientific assumptions to somehow fill in the gaps). Nowadays, many are of the belief, that what is not proven scientifically cannot be existent. So in order for something to be proven scientifically it needs to be perceptive through the senses, or at least through the help of a measuring tool serving as an extension of these senses.

One thing is for sure. Only because something has not been proven scientifically, which might as well be simply the result of a missing instrument of measurement, does not mean it is not existent. In fact there is a whole universe of phenomena (subtle bodies, psychic phenomena, subtler levels of nature…) to discover that goes beyond what we chose to accept to this day.

Throughout history, there have been thousands of first hand reports from people actually experiencing these extra-sensual phenomena. The scriptures of ancient cultures are full of “stories” about angels, higher forces and technology. How can that be? Are all the stories false and the experiences people make just pure imagination?

Certainly not. There is more to it. We may just not have the right tools yet, to affirm specific phenomena or we may simply have not refined our own senses to an extent, allowing us to perceive things beyond what is called “normal”.

The moderate way

Being open to these subtle aspects can bring deep insights, if accompanied by the mind. After all why shouldn’t we use all the capacities that are given to us. Both heart and mind offer different perspectives that lead to a comprehensive understanding.

The purely scientific approach might limit and block us from gaining insights, because certain aspects have not been proven. Whereas the purely believing aspect might lead us to believe everything we hear, creating a world of pure imagination, far away from any factual reality.

Instead we should enjoy the benefits of both these approaches. Both represent extremes of the same thing. They seem to be opposite, but are in fact two sides of the same coin, just different in degree. They can therefore be reconciled and balanced, to gain the best out of both these approaches:

Demystification in explaining things rather objectively and irrespective of the personal background, allowing to credibly introduce the idea to others, who have not made the experience themselves.

The believing aspect, in experiencing that knowingness of a higher force, in the curiosity and the fascination for that what seems to be unexplainable.

Let in the mystical

The way to go is the balanced path. A healthy scepticism as well as a childish curiosity for the wonders of the world. Let in a bit of the mystic! It opens up new perspectives which in the end can only lead to a deeper understanding of specific aspects and most and foremost of the bigger picture behind the specifics, of life itself.

And isn’t it so much more interesting to grow up and live in a world where things are unsolved and still need to be discovered, rather than having everything in a predetermined box already? A world full of mystics and questions. Isn’t it so much more intriguing to investigate and explore deeper and deeper again?