Researched Author: Sir Godfrey Gregg GCO, ROMC
Aletheia, A More Comprehensive Understanding of Truth
We translate the Greek word Aletheia into English simply as “truth.” Unfortunately, this fails to convey the distinct nuances that make it so profound.
The first nuance means “to remember.” This suggests that truth is something we already know, but need to consciously recall. This is very important to moral tendencies that appear to be instinctive rather than learned, such as the dictates of conscience. We own them already. Because they are part of who we are, their development is essential to our growth and fulfilment. This amounts to a very subjective relationship with the moral truth that springs from our own cognitive functions.
The second means “to discover,” which well describes our relationship with experiential truth. We approach it objectively, with inquiry, logic, research and method, and form reasonable conclusions. This applies to a wide range of our everyday encounters and understanding of the world. The scientific method accounts for most of the comforts and benefits we associate with modernity and progress.
The third nuance, at first glance, seems completely unrelated to the others. It translates into English as “a not-death experience.” This suggests that the encounter with truth, whether it comes subjectively, objectively or both, is life-enhancing. On one hand, it is a common experience to feel more alive when we search for some truth that interests us. Excited. Energized. On the other hand, once we obtain a growing understanding of truth, especially in its depth, our conscious experience of everything becomes more expansive. We move away from what might be described as spiritual death, stagnation of the soul, atrophy of the mind. We become, instead, living conduits of truth, warriors of light dispelling the darkness of ignorance. The true hero is the one who makes this vital transition, not only for oneself but for humanity as well. this is the purpose of the quest.
Combining these three nuances, a more accurate translation of the word Aletheia would be more like this: “a subjective/objective relationship with the truth that brings life to our deeper selves.” It is a worthy goal, a spiritual enterprise worth contemplating, and therefore an ideal for which we should strive. When The Mystical Court speaks of truth, this is what we mean.
So, the truth has meaning for us that transcends the mere accumulation of fact. Truth is a primary requirement for the human condition. In a world swirling with illusions, the quest for truth allows us to develop as we should. When embraced, it adds to our personal evolution, elevating us to whole new vistas of awareness in the here and now. What we sometimes refer to as Grail Consciousness is the added allure of the quest for truth by confronting the mystery surrounding it. We will discuss that later.