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The reality of truth

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An idea is an reflection that develops in a person's mind. A where idea is an idea that corresponds to reality. Reality is physical (what we can perceive, the material) and metaphysical (the essence of the reality we perceive, the immaterial). Thus, an idea itself is metaphysical.

Truth is a true idea. But truth can also be true before it is an idea. An undiscovered idea. Where does this truth reside, if not (yet) in one's mind? In reality. Thus truth is first of all real, then an idea. An idea, then, is not born, but discovered. Not conceived, but found.

To believe truth is to retain it in the world of ideas. And to apply truth, is to let her be really (born). So I thought. But that is no more than a self-fulfilling prophecy. Truth is already real, and for that reason also idea. Not the other way around. Therefore it is not a letting it become real, but an already His. Discovery is an uncovering of the hidden, through which the light of truth shines in the darkness.


The world does not exist based on lawfulness, but lawfulness describes how the world exists. It does not dictate, but describes. Seeing natural laws as explanations is one of the greatest mistakes of his century, writes Wittgenstein. A natural law, then, is not a building block, but shows the logic, indeed, efficiency, of what we see. It shows the building structure, not the why of what it builds. And certainly not the why of the building structure yourself. To consider the world from such a deductive principle of explanation is scientism: Science as a new religion, law its prophet.

Therefore, a natural law is not a statement, but a description. In fact, it is not even a law that dictates, but a repetition of moves (Wittgenstein). It is, I think, for this reason that Chesterton writes: "It is possible that God says 'One more time' to the sun every morning and 'One more time' to the moon every evening. It may not be an automatic necessity that daisies look alike. It may be that God makes them separately but never tires of making them. It may be that He has the eternal eagerness of a child, for we have sinned and grown old and our Father is younger than we are."¹


Augustine asks the question, What is time? There is no past, there is no future, there is only present, passed present and future present. God's creative Word, spoken outside of time, resounds from beginning to present. God is not only creator, He is still creative. Truth is God's creative word which resonates in the present.

Truth is subjective, I hear someone say. Just like time, I say in turn. Time perception is different for everyone. Yet time rises above perception; it is reducible in its causality. It appears to be measurable. Similarly, truth is subjective and therefore relative, but only at the level of perception. Truth transcends perception. Time, however, is a law of which truth is the ground.

But truth resides in reality and is therefore time-bound, is it not? That is the difference between truth that creates and created truth. That is a difference as between the sun and its light. The sun is the image of the eternal, the time travel of the sun's rays as the spoken creative word which resonates through time, the light the image of created truth which shines in reality (but is not a part as such of it), the illuminated is what becomes perceptible in our reality.

Truth is already real beyond time, comes to appear within the reality of the present.


Into that truth we move, 'the truth by which all things are. ‘So old and so new'. 'Where I found truth, there I found God', writes Augustine. All our thoughts and emotions and memories change, but not God 'ye remain unchanged above all things'

Is that why Augustine writes 'I wish her to do, the truth, (...)'? For the truth is already present in all its power. Her believing does not make her more present, her following and doing does make her more visible In the present of reality. To know Her is the true joy.

"For the word of God is full of life and power. And it is sharper than the sharpest sword. It penetrates us so deeply that it can separate soul and spirit. It shows us what is in us, even though it is so deeply hidden. It brings to light our deepest hidden thoughts and plans. No one can hide from God. Everything we are and do is visible to God."³

  2. Confessions, Aurelius Augustine, excerpts from book X
  3. Hebrews 4: 12-13a


Erwin de Ruiter

"One man tries to express himself in books, another in boots; both are likely to fail." - G.K. Chesterton

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