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In the Name of God بسم الله

What Does Truth Feel Like?

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Ruq

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Salams,

Many times i hear/read people saying something 'feels true'. I got to thinking 'what does truth feel like?'. What felt like the most obvious answer to myself was 'no internal war', in the sense of, when something doesnt feel like war inside me and feels peaceful, it feels like i am the closest to 'knowing' something and closer to truth. In my experience, the process of getting closer to truth (self enquiry) can be very painful, it means challanging all the stories ive ever been told or tell myself about the world, but once youve made an honest enquiry you can feel very free, in the same way that complete honesty feels very free and peaceful.

I'd be interested in others thoughts on the question 'what does truth feel like?' - how do you experience it?

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I agree with you that the process of coming into a knowledge of truth can be painful, and that having a knowledge of truth can be peaceful. But I am hesitant to equate a feeling of peace with truth, because it can also be a false security. We can be lulled into believing we have found truth, when in fact we are deceiving ourselves.

When I hear people speak of "feeling" that something is true, they are speaking of their gut instinct rather than any sort of logic or evidence. It is a "gut feeling" rather than a studied conclusion. What does a gut feeling feel like? When I have a strong gut feeling, it is not usually a peaceful feeling. It is more of an edgy, speculative feeling. Like some unknown force is nudging at me, but I am distrustful of the feeling and distrustful of the answer. For myself, gut feelings are never ones of peace. I distrust anything that "feels true."

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I agree with you that the process of coming into a knowledge of truth can be painful, and that having a knowledge of truth can be peaceful. But I am hesitant to equate a feeling of peace with truth, because it can also be a false security. We can be lulled into believing we have found truth, when in fact we are deceiving ourselves.

When I hear people speak of "feeling" that something is true, they are speaking of their gut instinct rather than any sort of logic or evidence. It is a "gut feeling" rather than a studied conclusion. What does a gut feeling feel like? When I have a strong gut feeling, it is not usually a peaceful feeling. It is more of an edgy, speculative feeling. Like some unknown force is nudging at me, but I am distrustful of the feeling and distrustful of the answer. For myself, gut feelings are never ones of peace. I distrust anything that "feels true."

I understand where youre coming from, but as long as we have a conflict within us about something, can we say we have a sureness about it to be able to say we 'know' (as much as that is possible) it or believe it to be true? When we sre at peace with something there is an acceptance of its reality i find. And regarding our subconscious, i actually thonk thr subconscious is there to guide us, not disturb or fool us. The traditional view is that the subconscious is the cause of disturbance, but i think its the conscious that is confused and misguided, thesubconscious is trying to help us to get our consciousness's straight. I read an onteresting book about decisive moments and how ppl rely on thier subconscious storage of info in those moments when the conscious is at a loss. Its the subconscious that saves us with its uncountable observations all soaked up without us even realising. So i think the subconscious can be very important when ascertaining truth, but the more fallible, confused and delusional conscious fights it.

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I understand where youre coming from, but as long as we have a conflict within us about something, can we say we have a sureness about it to be able to say we 'know' (as much as that is possible) it or believe it to be true? When we sre at peace with something there is an acceptance of its reality i find. And regarding our subconscious, i actually thonk thr subconscious is there to guide us, not disturb or fool us. The traditional view is that the subconscious is the cause of disturbance, but i think its the conscious that is confused and misguided, thesubconscious is trying to help us to get our consciousness's straight. I read an onteresting book about decisive moments and how ppl rely on thier subconscious storage of info in those moments when the conscious is at a loss. Its the subconscious that saves us with its uncountable observations all soaked up without us even realising. So i think the subconscious can be very important when ascertaining truth, but the more fallible, confused and delusional conscious fights it.

I don't have a lot of time to respond this morning, but I wanted to comment on just the part that I bolded. Being at peace with something, or accepting the reality of something, is not the same as knowing truth or feeling truth. The realities that we accept are not always truth. One example, I know an individual who is completely at peace believing that this individual's atheist spouse will be in Jannah. The individual believes this to be absolutely true, has no doubts, and is at peace with this belief. But is it truth? I don't believe so. I return to my first post, that feeling peace can provide a false security.

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^ Yes i agree that an uninvestigated belief can be believed in as if its true and can feel peaceful and not necessarily be true. But an idea or concept that feels like conflict inside, even after investigation, cant (in my experience) be experienced as a truth, because a full acceptance of it can only come when it feels peaceful inside.

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I agree with the person who said truth feel peaceful. The absolute truth feel peaceful.

In the religious perspective, I personally don't believe that the absolute truth exist. It's mostly made up of dogmas that may be true or false, depending on how you choose to look at it and what your own biased position is.

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^ Yes i agree that an uninvestigated belief can be believed in as if its true and can feel peaceful and not necessarily be true. But an idea or concept that feels like conflict inside, even after investigation, cant (in my experience) be experienced as a truth, because a full acceptance of it can only come when it feels peaceful inside.

But there can also be peace and acceptance in recognizing that one does not know a truth and will not arrive at a truth.

When you state the belief that "an idea or concept that feel like a conflict inside, even after investigation, can't be experienced as a truth," are you then stating that those who claim that something "feels true" have not actually found truth, nor do they have an understanding of what truth feels really feels like? If the expression that something "feels true" is indicative of a gut feeling, and gut feelings are often associated with a feeling of unease, then what you are saying is that this is cannot be experienced as a truth. If truth is associated on some level with a peaceful feeling, then something that "feels true" would be ironic.

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^ Yes i agree that an uninvestigated belief can be believed in as if its true and can feel peaceful and not necessarily be true. But an idea or concept that feels like conflict inside, even after investigation, cant (in my experience) be experienced as a truth, because a full acceptance of it can only come when it feels peaceful inside.

Definitely a feeling of peace and security. It cant be a mere emotion or a gut feeling because it also carries a feeling of, surrender, sacrifice, putting yourself at the altar, letting go of what is false, and freedom.

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^ I dont asscoiate a 'gut feeling' with unease at all and the feeling of 'peace' inside im not equating with a guut feeling either necessarily. Its a feeling that you can come to through investigation, but it can also be a 'gut feeling'. Im a fan of investigation, whether youre feeling about a preposition is a 'good' one or not. But truth, for me, is experienced as an absense of conflict inside, through a knowing that is found through self enquiry using conscious and subconscious as your guide. The 'knowing' is not an absolute one of course, we're talking about degree's of certainty.

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In my experience with men with many different convictions (Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Pentacostals, Protestants proper, liberal self-styled Catholics, atheists, Jews) I have been preoccupied with this question because, I have found, most men make their decisions concerning religion based on feeling. What does truth feel like? Truth does not feel like anything. Emotions are only ever incidental and they vary from truth to truth. True. Men do speak of things "feeling true". But that is a mere expression and no more.

Truth (as known solely by unaided reason alone) is the correspondence of mind or statement to reality. So, if I say my cup is blue - that statement or belief is true if and only if my cup is in very fact blue. Otherwise I err. And this truth, my cup being blue, gives me very little emotional stimulation. No feeling to speak of really.

Unhappily most men think of truth as an experience (unless money or imprisonment are involved). It is not. And they moreover assume that the most pleasant experience, the one that pleases them, the one that best suits them is a priori the truth. Truth is not like trying on shoes. This is a principal reason contributing to why there is so much division among humanity when it comes to beliefs about things of higher stakes than colours of cups. I would go so far as to say that one of the milestones, one of the truest marks of the truth in the religious order, is that it does not at the very beginning "feel" good. It is not all just what you want to hear. If it is - you have yourself a preference, not the truth. What you want to hear seldom corresponds to what you actually see. It is a question of acknowledging it.

Truth in the religious order often involves many different emotions over time. Excitement at the beginning, when it is new to you. Then disquiet at that it is not what you had always believed heretofore. Anxiety at the magnitude of the changes to be carried through. Fear of the reaction of those you know, those nearest to you. Regret at what you now cannot embrace like and with others, all those things you know now ought not to be done. How many friendships lost because I could not conscionably do what those who were my friends were doing. Then there is the "dryness" or "numbness" some say they experience. When for some reason they just inexplicably do not feel fired any longer or are not moved by the truth. This does not undermine that it is true - such experiences occurred even in the death-camps; it seems to be the result of someone's not really wanting what they know to be true, to be true. And finally truth in the religious order, because it ought to be practical, frequently produces an immense tension between duty and desire. What I ought to do stands directly and painfully across from what I want to do.

Some experience none of these. They hear the truth, believe it and are all zeal and the world is not equal to them.

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(salam)

Sometimes you are told what is real on the inside from your "true self" / "heart". People might experience this differently either as a voice or as a strong feeling. But for most people this is often difficult to distinguish, especially between your ego / desires, and the whisperings of shayateen / jinn. For example:

"The Istikhara from the heart: Imam al-Sadiq (as) said "When any of you want something, you must seek council with Allah, your Lord (and act according to it). If He guides you to it, then perform the act; and if He does not guide you to it, then do not perform it. " A man questioned, "O' Master! And how will we know this? " The Imam replied, "Go into Sajdah after your wajib Salat, and say the following one hundred times: "O' Allah, grant me what is best. " Then, perform Tawassul to us (the Ahl al-Bayt) and send blessings upon us and take us as your intercessors. Then look at what is revealed (into your heart) and act according to it, and this is the seeking council with Him (Allah)." [Amali Tusi, Volume 1, Page 281 / Wasa'il ash‑Shi'a, Volume 8, Page 74, Hadith 10114]

I've read that at higher levels of spiritual awareness, a person can also "hear" this from everything around them and not only from their own heart. For example if someone lies to them they can "hear" that persons soul telling them that they are lying. Or they can "hear" from their environment what they should do in order to avoid calamities or somehow help a struggling person out.

But I guess for most people what "feels" true for them is a combination of what they know and understand, what they have learned from past experiences, and perhaps what their inner self tells them.

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Rumi's view:

'The interpretation of a sacred text is true

if it stirs you to hope, activity, and awe;

and if it makes you slacken your service,

know the real truth to be this:

it's a distortion of the sense of the saying,

not a true interpretation.

This saying has come down

to inspire you to serve—

that God may take the hands

of those who have lost hope.'

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I would go with Plato in something like truth beauty and goodness. For religious propositions we have a change in conscience and phenomenology when we believe them. Faith may not transfor the 'material' but it can transform experience. Certainly there seem to be two timelines for the believer and for the faithless. Saying that all else remains equal and the belief is in a causal vaccuum sounds partisan, tendentious. The only thing is we only have access to one world. So I test God belief by it's fruits, and I find that it beautifies phenomenology and is pleasing to conscience. So if beauty and goodness we might imply truth.

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