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August 26, 2011 / Man in the Mirror

To Thine Own Self Be True

Biblical notions of truth are all founded on the experience of an encounter with God. But how do we know which voice or voices of God to listen to? Some find truth in Judaism, others are drawn to Christ, Buddha, or Mohammed; and increasingly many find truth in no religious affiliation at all. There are as many paths of truth as there are those who seek it, but for whatever your beliefs may be, here are three ways to find what’s true for you.
“Whatever Satisfies the Soul is Truth”
Walt Whitman once said, “Whatever Satisfies the Soul is Truth,” and I believe it. If you want to know the truth, experience is the most infallible guide. You know deep within your soul what feels truthful and what doesn’t ring true to you. We need to look inside our self to see what’s real for us. Be open-minded to others’ beliefs, but trust your inner vision of what’s true for you. Whatever satisfies your soul most deeply is your truth.
Whatever Inspires Compassion is Truth
The most divine voices of truth are those which inspire us to be compassionate and merciful, not hateful and judgmental.  If you close off your mind and judge others as wrong or sinful, your heart will be increasingly troubled by what you condemn. There is no truth in beliefs forced on others.  But if you keep your mind free from hating and judging, and accept all of humanity as divinely different, your heart will find peace in that divine truth. Compassion is the only path of truth fit for all humanity because it’s the only path that truly satisfies the soul.
Whatever Promotes Equality is Truth
Because we hold the truth to be self-evident, we are created equal and are called to revere equality as an inalienable right. Authoritative voices that abuse and demean us are not bearers of truth, nor are they voices that proclaim self-righteousness and infallibility. Truth can only be found on divine paths that treat one another lovingly as brother and sister. If you want to know truth, work for equality.
Until next week, think about this:  “Open yourself to the truth, then trust your natural responses, and everything will fall into place.” – Tao de Ching
Karol Jackowski, Ph.D., became a nun in 1964. She’s also been a college administrator, graduate of New York University, manager of a toy store, author of eight books, painter of religious folk art, and sister to everyone she meets. Please visit her website at


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