Truth Is Water


Pearls From Pirsig

What is truth?

Who knows, really. It is defined as “the body of real things, events and facts” or something to that degree. I don’t think there’s a good definition to truth. Why?

I think it is whatever we want it to be. It changes every single day and is dependent on the person and context. My truth is not the same as anyone else’s truth nor is the same today as it was a week ago. It likely resembles many other people’s truths and my past versions of the truth but it’s not the same. Truth is fluid. Truth is like water. It’s always there but it changes with its environment. Put it in a bottle and it looks one way, put in a different bottle and it’s basically the same but is different. Put water in a pan and it looks different. Put it in a plastic bag and get yet another version. Take that same water and pour it onto a beach towel. Completely different. An infinite amount of options yield the same constant: the water, although there in theory, is never the same, it is always changing. And just when you think you got it figured out, it evaporates into thin air right before you.

Take the world of health. Here, truth is a thing of fiction. Health truths should be defined as whatever section of the library you visited, whatever Google search you did when trying to figure it out or what you been told by a health guru. Even our “experts” are limited by their experience, biases and journeys in determining the truth, which is really only their truth. In essence, they each hold truth in a unique container and it may or may not be the same as your truth. In health in particular, the truth is ever changing and the since even the experts can’t agree on what is true it shows you how watery the truth really is.

Take my journey, as an example. Just like water, my truth is fluid and continues to change shape. My truth today isn’t what it was a few years or even months ago. This is what I expect and what I want. Since I don’t believe in an absolute truth for everyone I want to be constantly evolving, changing and flowing like water. I want my truth to evolve. Water in one place for too long gets stagnant, dirty and can make you sick. Truths held onto for too long get stagnant and will make you sick just as easily.

What does this mean? It means don’t obsess over the truth. Don’t accept what you hear anywhere as the truth. Search for your truth but be flexible to change. Expect change. Truth is personal. It is a function of time and context. Truth is what you want it to be. Always keep that in mind and judge the things you hear through this lense.

Bruce Lee sums it up nicely in this clip…

Truth, like water, is a result of its container. Truth is, at its most simple, a reflection of its surroundings.

When you don’t expect, look for and depend upon an absolute truth your eyes are opened to the possibility of many truths, all of which can enrich your life and guide your way along this journey called life.

Thanks for reading, have a great fluid day!

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