The Loveliest Trick – Essay 3

Mihály Munkácsy, PD, Wikimedia Commons

If you read Essay 2 titled Prove It you might be thinking that I have nothing left to write about.  Is there much left to say once you go the “is there a God” route?  Actually, I believe the question of the existence of a higher power is the starting point in solving all problems.  It is the most debated yet simplest question man has ever asked.  You see, if you can not come to an answer to the question of God you have no foundation to balance any subsequent beliefs upon.  Literally, every answer to every question in our lives can eventually be broken down to this basic premise.  From there it branches out to the nature and personality of the creator as you see it, but at some point you have to decide rather or not you believe a higher power exists.

Belief in a creator takes many forms.  The obvious differences in these beliefs are outlined by the many religions of the world.  Within each religious system are many sects, divisions, and denominations filled with individuals holding unique personal opinions.  It is safe to say that there are no two people on the planet that share the same type of relationship with God.  That’s OK, as it allows each of us to take our own journey.  In spite of this, it is important to understand that real truth in life is not something unique to the individual.  Truth must be something considered, accepted, and submitted to – not something created.  When you understand that someone else made us and everything we see, you are able to relinquish control over the world around you.  This is remarked upon often by people of faith.  However, it is typically poorly communicated.  Many people that are unsure and looking for answers hear this and think it is hocus-pocus talk of getting out of the way and allowing God to perform a bunch of wonderful miracles in your life, and that once you believe in him and step aside everything will be made perfect.  I choose to see it as something a lot more scientific.  The Creator of our world and our universe put in place a specific order.  Physics, biology, mathematics; they are all a part of this order and can not be separated.  We all have the opportunity to embrace the beauty of this order or choose to disconnect ourselves from it.  Understanding that order is the product of a Creator allows one to humbly submit to becoming a part of the systematic design.

As I move forward in this series of essays, it is my intent to talk a great deal about issues of culture, government, and science.  There are many that say religion has no place being injected into these topics.  I can see their point.  However, when I talk about a Creator, His order in the universe, and our submission to that order, I am not talking about religion.  I am talking about truth.  It is as much truth to me as is 2+2=4.  To subtract the truths of the world from our discussions would be akin to placing a blindfold over your eyes as you get behind the wheel of a car.  We dismiss truth in this life at our own peril.  This is what people of the Judeo-Christian religions refer to as sin.  All sin can be traced back to a lie or the denial of truth.  This is why throughout history we seem to always have a specific movement that wants to argue that truth does not exist.  It is difficult to convince others that one has a right to act against truth.  It is a much easier proposition to deceive those around you by alleging that truth does not exist.  As Charles Baudelaire wrote,

“My dear brethren, do not ever forget, when you hear the progress of lights praised, that the loveliest trick of the Devil is to persuade you that he does not exist!”

To profess there is no truth is to believe there are no liars, which we all know is false.  Without truth there is no order.  It is said that truth can be a stubborn thing, and that is a description also fitting the lie.  Millions of people around the world seek the help of psychologists, counselors, and clergy to help them eliminate the lies from their lives and from their minds.  If you need evidence of the devastation caused in the absence of truth you need only look to the most infamous discussion of truth to have ever occurred.  It is written of in the Gospel of John Chapter 18, and takes place between Jesus and Pontius Pilate.

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

“What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again…

In my mind, the most important part of this conversation is that when asked by Pilate “What is Truth?”,  Jesus gives no response.  I suppose this could be interpreted any number of ways.  If you assume as I do that Pilate was asking the question mockingly, then Christ’s silent refusal speaks to the frustration that many of the rest of us have with those that deny truth’s existence.  Pilate did not want to know truth.  It was an exercise of his free will to remain obstinate to the truth.  Without truth there can be no order.  Without order there is no reality.  The absence of reality leads to madness.

Pontius Pilate is believed to have committed suicide three years after the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  Surely, not a coincidence.

Essay 4 Coming Soon!

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