I had made this walk before. This time, like every time, I noticed new things. The light was slanting through the trees and hitting things which were shaded last time. More leaves had come out, covering some objects that were in plain view last time. I saw deer tracks in the sand, from the size of them I’d say a baby deer. Last time I saw raccoon tracks.
I could carefully record my observations each time I walk. I could say, “This is the truth about this piece of forest.” And it would be. Someone else would have seen things differently, even if they were just a few inches shorter or taller than I. They would be looking for different things, too. They could say, “This is the truth about this forest.” And it would be. But it could be very different from my truth.
It would be absurd for us to argue and insist that the other was wrong, based on the fact that we saw different things. We both saw the truth, we know we are reporting the truth about the forest. That gives heat to our argument, we will not back down. We both saw part of the truth, and neither saw all the truth. In fact thousands could walk through the forest all day long for a year and none will see all the truth, because it’s too vast for any one person to grasp. Growing plants and insects and deer and raccoons and fungi and the cosmos in a drop of water in the pond-no one can grasp all of that truth. This does not mean that there is no truth to grasp! There most definitely is. We should just be very humble about announcing that we have it all.
It might be possible to list all the elements in the forest, maybe most of the chemical compounds. After this Herculean task, you will still not have all the truth about the forest, because something else is going on. Life is going on and though we can describe it, we cannot explain it. Life is going on; changeless and beyond time and it is a mystery. It is a truth about the forest, maybe the truth. Within that changeless Life, there is constant interchange.
Good article. This is true of most everything. Everyone’s truth is a least a little different.