Sir Godfrey Gregg OHPM, ROMC, D.Div
Seeing truth whole does not mean seeing the whole of Truth. None of us can do that. Truth itself is so much greater than those who look at it, who inspire towards it, and who try to reach and grasp it. The great thing is to be orientated towards truth, even though all we can grasp of it is a limited at any one moment in time by our capacity to understand and to interpret what we touch.
Wherever we may stand on the path of evolution we can have but very partial experience and limited appreciation indeed of what truth really is. Truth characterizes and is the ‘livingness’ or nature of ‘The One in Whom we live and move and have our Being.’ How indeed can we sense the real purpose of that great Being?
There is, however, value in attempting to ‘see truth whole’, for it is our minds, our backgrounds and our other limitations and colourings that offer the real obstacles to our sight and appreciation. The scientific, the philosophical, the financial and the economic are all attitudes to, and approaches to truth. In that a man is intelligent, sincere and unprejudiced in his approach and he has his heart in it, one might say what the colourful limitations of his mind? Yet it is in this concrete mind of ours that the real barriers appear.
Perhaps the most common of these barriers is the religious one. Most will agree that a ‘religious attitude’ is an attitude towards truth. Few yet agree that a scientific attitude is equally as important as a religious one. From this fundamental misconception arise many of the quarrels and arguments between science and religion. These should not exist for each is but part to truth which inevitably meets all the other paths where they converge at the Centre of all Truth.
As we proceed towards this centre along one of the particular spoke-like paths we get glimpses of the other converging paths. We begin to coin such words as ‘political economy’, ‘religious education’ and ‘psychological-medicine’ and so on, showing a trend towards integrative thinking as we approach the centre. Men will one day use, and freely use the world ‘spiritual’ to characterize such attitudes and approaches as the economic and the political ones, in much the same way as today they link the words ‘religious, and ‘spiritual’.
Seeing truth whole is question of seeing things in relation to each other. Because things do not happen to be of the same kind does not mean that therefore they should, or indeed logically can be, the subject of controversy and disagreement. In that a man is a stamp-collector he cannot, as such, have an argument and a disagreement with an amateur gardener, for stamp-collecting and gardening are not things of the same kind; they both coalesce or meet under the umbrella of, say, hobbies.
This natural unrelatedness of things not of the same kind is well understood by mathematicians. And this natural unrelatedness at horizontal level disappears as each of the approaches arrives at the centre. Therefore in that a man is approaching perfection as, say a scientist he can have but little disagreement with an economist who has gone the same distance towards truth along his own line.
Seeing truth whole therefore is a sort of visualization of a wheel of spokes all approaching the hub where truth lies. We may not be able to get within the hub, but we are all within the wheel of which it is the centre.