Are we living in a post-truth era?
Sometimes it can seem as if facts take a back seat to opinion or emotion. But getting to know God as infinite, pure Truth itself is a powerful basis for finding clarity, harmony, and mental as well as physical healing.
Rumor has it that we’re living in a post-truth era. “Post-truth” is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief” (lexico.com). While this may be an apt description of what appears to be going on within the current political arena, “post-truth” is not a term I would use to describe the world in which we actually live. And here’s why:
As a Christian Scientist, I’ve come to appreciate Truth – with a capital T – not as an all-too-often-subjective representation of fact, but as a synonym for God – infallible and invariable, entirely good, completely pure; as something I can depend on; as that which, even when resisted, finds a way to make its presence known in my life.
So when I hear the term “post-truth” (which I translate as “post-Truth”), I tend to hear “post-God,” and that just doesn’t sync with my experience.
This doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been the odd occasion when I’ve been fooled into believing otherwise. In fact, last November, a couple of days before the presidential election in the United States, I faced just such a situation. My stomach became so painful that it was all I could do to lie down and send a text message to a friend to ask for his prayerful support. As I waited for his response, I opened my Bible – completely randomly – and read, “What aileth thee?” (Isaiah 22:1).
At first I thought, “What do you mean, ‘What aileth thee?’ My stomach aileth me!” But then I realized what a great question it was. And I had to admit that at that moment, what was ailing me most was the notion that I was living in a post-Truth world – a world where the God I had come to know as infinitely good couldn’t be trusted, a world where I couldn’t trust others, a world that seemed to be drowning in a sea of mistrust and fear.
Glancing again at my Bible, I read, “A grievous vision is declared unto me; ... Therefore are my loins filled with pain” (Isaiah 21:2, 3).
I couldn’t have said it better myself!
This connection between what we allow into our thought and our physical well-being is fundamental to the practice of Christian Science. The key, however, isn’t thinking positive thoughts, but rather allowing our thoughts to be governed by God, divine Mind and Love.
“To be immortal, we must forsake the mortal sense of things, turn from the lie of false belief to Truth, and gather the facts of being from the divine Mind,” writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (p. 370).
By turning to Truth with a capital T, we’re turning to God, not just some abstract idea of truth, subject to the whims of personal interpretation. We’re appealing to that which presents and perpetuates itself in such qualities as honesty and integrity. And when we persistently affirm the all-presence and all-power of Truth, we’re able to relieve ourselves of the discouraging and sometimes debilitating belief of living in a world, or living a life, that is devoid of Truth, devoid of God, devoid of universally and divinely bestowed mental and physical harmony.
So what do we do when we’re bombarded with what seems to be anything but the truth? When we find it next to impossible to have a conversation with someone whose take on truth isn’t in line with our own?
First and foremost, we need to call upon our innate ability to see in ourselves and others the God-given integrity that Christ Jesus saw in everyone. “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world,” said Jesus, “that I should bear witness unto the truth” (John 18:37). This is a reminder of the importance of distinguishing between what is and isn’t true about God and God’s beloved creation, and of recognizing that we each reflect the purity and consistency of Truth itself. When we do this, healing happens.
Praying with these ideas brought me a greater confidence that I could trust God to be God; trust others to be what God created them to be; and understand that Truth’s presence and power make no allowance for fear.
Physically speaking, my situation improved immediately. Within a short time, I was completely free of pain. Even better, though, was the realization that followed: that divine Truth continues to reign supreme.
Adapted from an article published on sentinel.christianscience.com, Aug. 12, 2021.