The definition of Relative Truth: Truth that is true at only one time and at one place. It’s true to some people and not to others. It’s true now but it may not have been true in the past and it may not be again in the future, it’s always subject to change.
The definition of Absolute Truth: Whatever is true at one time and at one place is true at all times and at all places. What is true for one person is true for all people. Truth is true whether we believe it or not. Truth is discovered or it is revealed, it is not invented by a culture or by religious men. It will also be consistent within its own system and with reality.
Example of Absolutes – We all need air to breathe, to live we all need food and water. This is true for all people everywhere at all times. So there are absolutes we all share that are essential to our existence.
Logically one cannot go forward and backward at the same time. One cannot be dry and wet at the same time, nor physically in two places at the same time.
The Two Truths of Buddhism
The two truths of Buddhism are relative truth and absolute truth. There are important distinctions between the two in order to gain clarity and shed delusions of mind. Thus, allowing for your progression of awakening.
This truth is easy to understand as it seems that all things are relative to other things. Big is relative to small. Neat is relative to messy. Yin is relative to yang. Fullness is relative to emptiness.
This truth has a slightly different ring to it. Absolute in itself means something that is perfect or complete. An absolute truth would be ‘yin and yang’. In other words, these two conditions exist together. Or, even though the earth itself is comprised of a multitude of relative existences or realities. The absolute truth is that it exists with all these realities as a ‘whole’.
In terms of life we often fail to see these truths. We think of suffering as something we must get rid of. We think of happiness as something we must attain. They are relative -‘sadness and happiness’, or ‘ease and unease’, or ‘suffering and freedom from suffering’, and so on.
Can you think of suffering in absolute terms? That is, that suffering and freedom from suffering exist together. This is life. This is what the Buddha taught in the first noble truth when he said, “life is suffering”. He went on to say there are things like sickness, disease, and the various difficulties of life that create the conditions of suffering. There are also things that create the conditions of joy. Can you allow your consciousness to understand how these two sets of conditions exist together?
This is absolute truth. It is understanding that the conditions that create suffering exists for all. That there is good and bad in the world. This relative truth becomes an absolute truth when thought of in this way. Depending on how you accept this determines whether or not you experience the affects of suffering.
The point is that understanding the two truths brings clarity to your life. It allows for a better understanding of anything you may encounter in your life. As a result your enlightenment is gradually increased.
Our spiritual growth is continually asking us to define our spiritual truths. The spirituality information that we bring forth to serve us in this quest takes us to two aspects of “truth.” There is Absolute Truth and there is Relative Truth. Which of these “truths” serves us in being the best person we can be?
How can we “be what serves us” if we don’t know what serves us? We live in a universe of relativity that allows us to compare a concept against something a concept is not and thereby experience it. We can only experience the concept of hot by viewing it in relation to something that hot is not. Something we call cold. Hot and cold are the polar opposites of a spectrum that we know of as temperature.
We define everything in the physical universe as being somewhere in the spectrum of polar opposites. In other words, somewhere in the spectrum of Relative Truths.
In the realm of the absolute, God is the all of everything and love is what God is. So in the realm of the absolute, love is all there is. That is Absolute Truth.
The only love that God knows in the realm of the absolute is unconditional love. That is pure love and it is an omnipresent love. When God created the physical universe of relativity, he understood that in order for God to experience unconditional love he would have to bring into being its polar opposite. The opposite of love is fear.
So love and fear are the dominating polar opposites of everything in the physical universe of relativity. This dominating duo affects every aspect of life in the physical universe because these two dominating forces are what influence every thought that we ever have. Every thought that comes to us and every thought that leaves us is either a thought based in love or a thought based in fear.
It is critical for the awakening person to understand this fundamental truth: Every thought that goes through our heads is either a love-based thought or a fear-based thought.
Now the absolute ultimate truth is that every thought is based in love because, just like God, love is all there is. But this is an absolute truth and we are not talking about the absolute here, we are talking about the relative truth of the physical universe. The relative truth tells us that we cannot know the absolute truth without comparing it to the opposite of the absolute truth. Once again, the opposite of the all-pervasive love of all that is, is fear.
One day you may reach a level of being where you choose to drop all fear-based thinking and live your life totally within a belief system of love. If this were your choice you would experience life in an entirely different manner than the manner in which most people experience life in the world we live in today.
Your life, and the world we live in, would be the antithesis of everything we have come to accept in life as normal. Your physical appearance and the physical nature of your environment would not change, but your perception of how you view the world would change completely.
You would begin to see your own life change dramatically as you begin the process of dropping your fear-based thinking. As you start to evolve into a love based paradigm of life you begin to notice the beauty and awesomeness of nature that surrounds you and has always surrounded you. Your observation of nature is entirely different when viewed from a love-based existence rather than from a fear based existence. Fear based living allows you to keep adding the obscuring filters of fear that eventually get to a point where you become blinded to the beauty that is intrinsic to your nature.
What we begin to see here is that life is a process. We are on an endless journey to create an eternity of experiences that allow us to view love from all of its different perspectives. That, my friends, is the absolute truth.
All of life is a process of viewing Unconditional Love from all of its infinite perspectives.