PAXnorth

Truth Secular or Sacred?

Is there any truth that is secular or is all truth sacred? As a person engages philosophy, this a question that continually encroaches into the conversation. Can we see truth in the natural world? Can we hear truth in the words of those who have not encountered spiritual truth? Can we understand the deeper truth from the world that surrounds us or are we only able to encounter this depth of truth in the sacred? Can we find truth that brings true meaning in the secular?
I once heard a speaker describe the search for truth in culture as a guy stranded on an Island in the middle of the ocean. The guy is searching for answers to life and why his world is as it is. He finds a cache of bottles and begins to write his questions, answers and impressions on little pieces of paper. Sticks them in the bottle, seals the top and sets them out to sea. Bottle after bottle, impression after impression, question after question, some in pain, loneliness and some in joy and celebration he exhausts the amount of bottles he has but not the questions. A week or so goes by and the man sees on the horizon a bottle making its way on the surf towards his little Island. He sits and waits, and follows the progress of the little bottle. With excitement and anticipation for answers he wades out, and swims against the currents to reach out for the little bottle. Then battles back to his little island with a great deal of effort and with the promise of hope breaks the seal on the bottle. He dumps out the little note inside. With his hands shaking he reads the writing on the paper only to realize that it is his own question, his own answer.
Generation after generation seeks to know the answers to life or at the very least to describe those elements of life that give deeper meaning to one’s existence. The 21st century is no exception.
“All the creatures, on the beaches
Makin’ waves in the motion picture
Won’t you keep this, in between us
Search and seizure, wake up venus
The dollar bill will
Return the ill pill
Mom and Dad take your ‘dont be sad’ pill
Turn the screw and twist my language
Don’t forsake me I’m contagious!
There’s a reason for the twenty-first century…
Not too sure but I know that its meant to be
And that it’s meant to be
It’s my favorite combination
Comin’ down with the favored nations
Deep rotation, mutilation
Learn to give and take dictation
Oh, oh, oh, oh-oh
Like the Cain and Able
Oh, oh, oh, oh-oh
Time to run this table
There’s a reason for the 21st Century
Not too sure but I know that’s it’s meant to be
And that it’s meant to be
Read me your scripture and
Read me your scripture
Read me your scripture and I will twist it
Show me your wrist and I
Show me your wrist and
Show me your wrist and I’ll
Kiss it kiss it
Oh, oh, oh, oh-oh
Like the Cain and Able
Oh, oh, oh, oh-oh
It’s time to run this table
Simple Soldier, hand it over
Stop and read what you just told her
Strangulation , altercation
Of all the sex and good vibrations
There’s a reason for the 21st Century
Not to sure but I know that’s it’s meant to be
And that it’s meant to be yeah
There’s a reason for the 21st Century
Not to sure but I know that’s it’s meant to be
And that it’s meant to be
– Red Hot Chili Peppers
Secular poet after secular poet; Secular prophet after secular prophet (don’t get me started on quoting Matrix type movies); secular priest after secular priest (from Sophists, New Agers, to effeminate metro-sexual politically correct postmodern spin doctors) each tell us there is a way to discover true happiness, and world contentment, that is uniquely satisfying to each individual. Through love songs, social restructure, getting in touch with our inner child, seeking for the greater essence of global harmony, and complete tolerance of everybody’s embodiment of ‘truth’ we can find the answers. Or are we just writing questions and impressions to ourselves with little hope of discovering the greater irreducible truths? The truth that humanity can only find its true dignity, value and worth from out of the foundations of Imago Dei, having been created in the image of God.