Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Quest

I've been writing for some time now about something called the Quest. It started when I realized that even though I have a good job, great family, nice friends, and a pretty good sense of where I want my life to go, I still felt like there should be more. I am not just what I am outwardly, the places I go, the things I do. I want there to always be an inward growth and search for more. In the words of C. S. Lewis in his final book of the Chronicles of Narnia,The Last Battle, I want to go "further up, and further in."

Throughout my home-schooled education, my mom always emphasized worldview. Everybody has an understanding of what they believe the world to be, what our purpose is as humans, and what constitutes good and evil (or if those categories even exist). Nobody is unbiased; everyone has a worldview, religious and non-religious alike. It would be impossible to function or interact with others or make decisions if one did not have a worldview, a philosophy of life and the ethics and moral laws that they lived by.

One of the main ideas I discovered during my early teenage years was that if a person did not know (or could not clearly articulate) what their worldview was, then one of two things would happen (or both). Either: that person could be spoon-fed the worldview of somebody else, such as a teacher, and thereby not really have any opinion of their own, but blindly accept, follow, and defend thoughts that may not necessarily even be true; or that person would try to not even think about philosophy or what they believed to be true, and only concern themselves with present gratification, having only a shallow knowledge of anything beyond their current affairs.

So I've been on a search for truth. I'm almost ashamed to even write those words, though... I make so many mistakes. I think that the vast majority of my wrongdoings come from two areas: my selfish inclination to do what I want and what will "feel" good, and my stubborn, prideful disposition which prevents me from admitting when I am wrong and altering towards what is right. Mountains of errors stand in the way of my past pitiful attempts to find truth.

In spite of my flaws, though, I know that my search is not in vain. I have an unescapable thirst to find the water of life. Christ, the Living Water, is the answer; by His grace I know that I am forgiven of my faults and set free to change for the better, to be continuously hungry for truth. Here's the good part: I'm SUPPOSED to want to search for truth!

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
~ Philippians 4:8

Pursuit of truth is possible, it is encouraged, even commanded. It is a life-long journey. It will be a battle at times. Here's a quote I found that exemplifies this concept:

"The inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature"
~ Francis Bacon, Essay 1, 'Of truth'

Nobody seems to talk about "wooing" truth anymore. Even the idea of truth being something quantifiable or able to be discovered is taboo because of the logical implication that if someone is right about something, then someone else is wrong. Our culture of tolerance has turned into a culture of intolerance; we are so cautious about not accusing anybody of being incorrect that we are afraid to say that anybody is right. So we are silent.

I am trying to tear off all the outer clothes that mask truth's honest face. I am tired of walking on tiptoes to not offend people by standing up for what I know is true. I am tired of ignoring what I know to be true in favor of following my own selfish wants. I am tired of political, pseudo-religious, philosophical, nonsensical jargon that impedes truth.

I want to enjoy truth. To be a friend of truth.

"Truth indeed came once into the world with her divine Master, and was a perfect shape most glorious to look on: but... a wicked race of deceivers... took the virgin Truth, hewed her lovely form into a thousand pieces, and scattered them to the four winds. From that time ever since, the sad friends of Truth, such as durst appear, imitating the careful search that Isis made for the mangled body of Osiris, went up and down gathering up limb by limb, still as they could find them. We have not yet found them all... nor ever shall do, till her Master's second coming; he shall bring together every joint and member, and shall mould them into an immortal feature of loveliness and perfection."
~ Milton, 'Areopagitica'

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