Truth, Reality, and All That

I wrote last time about Conscious Reflection and my thinking about my own life and the beliefs I have. Yesterday, something very interesting happened…

My Personal Truth

For the last few years, I’ve been on a quest of exploration to really determine what I believe about reality. I was raised LDS (Mormon), but in my early 30’s, I realized I only did it because it was an unconscious choice – other people, including my family, did it and so I followed. I’ve wrestled the last few years with my beliefs usually deciding that I just didn’t know what to believe.

Yesterday I determined, for the first time in a long while, what I actually believe. It is most closely tied to an “Omnist” point of view where I believe that all people and religions have discovered truths (but no one person or religion has all the answers), with an emphasis on taking the things that make sense and work from the LDS (Mormon) faith and applying those in my life and family, and especially my marriage with my wife, Heidi.

I believe much of what the LDS (Mormon) church teaches. Be kind to your neighbor, have compassion, meditate, be prepared, give back, and strive to have a family that if possible gets to live beyond this life. I take issue with some of the doctrinal teachings and narrowed view that each church service does each week. I don’t believe happiness is tied to living a good “Mormon” life. I won’t go into what doctrine’s I take issue with, but suffice it to say, about 80% of what the church teaches makes sense and is already in line with what I believe in my life.

Nevertheless I decide that I’ll still attend church on Sunday as even that narrowed view has some truth to it and it will bring me closer to my family and especially my wife Heidi. I made very clear my beliefs about Omnism and that I don’t believe the LDS (Mormon) church portrays wholly or even completely accurately what this life is for and what happens to us after this life. I do believe it has some truth though and it’s worth getting that perspective.

I’ve noticed a wide range of people, especially on the Internet with different view points on not just the LDS (Mormon) church, but all religions and other beliefs in life. I believe that were I to just limit myself to the narrow scope taught to me each Sunday at church and the scriptures and LDS (Mormon) church materials, that I would be missing out on undiscovered truths and experiences from my fellow human beings who have obviously done tremendous work through study and meditation, and who are also probably much smarter than I.

Reality for Us Humans

When I wrote my article yesterday about Conscious Reflection, I spoke from my point of view. Even this article is written from my point of view in what I have personally discovered and what makes sense to me. But isn’t it obvious that not everyone believes what I do? I consider myself an Omnist / New Order Mormon. For those interested in the official LDS website, it is here. I speak plainly that this is truth for me as I have discovered it from my perspective.

There are staunch members of the LDS (Mormon) church who would consider what I’m saying/doing damning to my soul. Others still would gasp at me saying that I believe there are inconsistencies and incorrect things said by general authorities of the church. And that doesn’t make them wrong or bad people. It just means they are human, just like all of us.

And yet there are others who would applaud what I’m doing saying it is courageous. And others still who are probably indifferent and couldn’t care less. Why is this? If you could stay with me for a moment, I’ll explain what truth and reality really are for us humans, and how each of us understanding that fact for each other can increase our level of awareness and advancement as a species.

Let me do a quick object lesson for you. I’ll take some pictures and as you view them, think about what each of them mean to you. I’ll list what some of the human meanings for these might be, along with what they mean to me.

Tomato

Tomato

  • A foul tasting food, if you can even call it a food.
  • Good fodder for a bad show.
  • Healthy food that will help me live longer.
  • Good tasting condiment for a sandwich.
  • Isn’t there a website called rotten tomatoes?

The tomato to me is simply a healthy food that will help me live longer. I used to hate them with a passion until I realized, by trying new things, that I liked them on sandwiches, toast, and with salsa.

Door

Door

  • A useful mechanism for creating access points in a home.
  • A nuisance to take down and put back in again.
  • A lethal weapon where fingers are concerned.
  • Loud and obnoxious, especially with children around.
  • A fun thing to paint.

A door to me is more of a lethal weapon and good blocker for children than anything else. As a young child, I had a finger slammed in a door causing my finger nail on my left hand pointer finger to have the cuticle be crooked.

Baby

Baby

  • A tiny, cute little thing.
  • Keeps me up at night and requires constant attention.
  • The miracle of life.
  • Loud and obnoxious.
  • Poop and diapers, ’nuff said.

I have two little girls right now, ages 5 and 2. A baby represents to me the beginning of life and the journey of humanity. They are very precious and should be cared for with great concern and effort.

LeBron James

LeBron James

  • The traitor who left the Cavaliers.
  • The man with no jump shot.
  • One of the greatest talents the game of basketball has ever seen.
  • He is way overpaid and has way too many tattoos.
  • Who’s this guy?

LeBron James to me is one of the greatest talents the game of basketball has ever seen. My life has root in the game of basketball and I’ve played thousands of games. The game is an emotional and nostalgic anchor for me. When I see LeBron play, I witness a marvel of talent on display who has worked very hard to perfect his game.

Cross

Cross

  • A religious symbol for Jesus Christ.
  • Death and the grave.
  • A way to keep vampires away.
  • A shield against evil.
  • A blessing given to another.

The cross to me is nothing more than a grave marker while at the same time I understand it as being recognized as a Christian symbol for Christ.

These are just a few examples that came to my mind – and I didn’t even cover all the meanings that humans could possibly have for them. This is just five objects with only a few meanings uncovered. When you look at the world as a whole with billions of humans and thousands upon thousands of different objects, along with the experiences each of those humans has with each other and those objects, “Humanistic Truth” emerges – this is the truth as humans have determined through their own meanings and conclusions.

As each of us gets older, we continue to form meanings about events and circumstances related to our lives and what we perceive from others. The very essence of what makes up someone is their culminated set of beliefs and meanings. I personally believe that the ability to examine one’s beliefs and meanings from the past and the one’s formed today creates an increased level of self awareness and ability to progress and advance to greater intelligence and ability.

Humanistic truth matters as we live in a world with billions of humans. To work and connect with each other requires us to recognize humanistic truth. To truly have empathy for another human being requires seeing the world from their point of view, feeling their pain, understanding their frustrations, and celebrating their happiness.

This is the definition of empathy to me, to truly put yourself in the place of another individual and see the world through their eyes. Then you will know their truth and in turn, that truth enhances your own truth, which then magnifies your own humanity and ability to connect with others.

I believe our advancement as a species can benefit from each of us recognizing the humanistic truth in each other and even embracing it. By connecting with each other in this way, I believe we are more apt to work together on the problems the world faces and advance in all fields of technology, science, etc… as we get energy from the connection from each other. After all, sure we can just tolerate each other and work together, but why not connect and embrace each other and then work together?

This article will not get into truth and reality independent of what humans perceive in this life. I’m not qualified to talk about that, but believe it is another interesting branch of study to see how it relates to Humanistic Truth.

Final Thoughts

I’ve discovered my own belief and that is an Omnist and New Order Mormon. I have hope that there is more after this life for us to discover and learn about and so I lean in that direction. Of course I don’t know for sure, but I accept that fact.

I believe an element of truth in our world is Humanistic truth. This is reality as each of us as humans have chosen to give meaning to our world and environment. This meaning comes from our own experiences and creates an element of truth for us. To continue to grow and be conscious is the ability to recognize the beliefs and meanings we have formed in the past and continue to form and question them as what we truly want.

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3 thoughts on “Truth, Reality, and All That

  1. Wow, I have never heard of the term Omnism. I have to say that out of everything I’ve read, this is closest to how I view religions. Even so I still remain cynical about religions — but more because of how people routinely abuse them and use them as an excuse to mistreat and kill people.

    I was laughing about the different meanings you had for the objects. As far as LeBron goes, I’m split between “who’s this guy” and “too overpaid.” LOL!

    Jokes aside, I think it’s great that you have been discovering and exploring what your beliefs are and what they mean to you. Even if someone still continues to have faith in one specific religion, it’s far better to do it consciously rather than do it just because that’s the way you’ve always done it. That, I respect a lot!

    I have to ask though, how does this change how you teach your children about religion? I would assume that they would continue to be raised LDS, but I am just curious. It is something I wonder about myself for when I have my own children — I have no idea how I would teach something like what I believe.

  2. Hey Valerie, I’d love to have a conversation with you about some of the thoughts and questions you have. I really appreciate you sharing your encouragement as always and the short answer for my kids is I will raise them LDS and as a parent be involved with their life and when the time comes as they get older and I perceive they are ready, I will share with them additional thoughts and beliefs about life and the LDS faith so that they truly know and understand what their father believes. And who knows, by that time I may have discovered something completely different and more true to me than what I currently understand.

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