Is Truth 'Real'?


What is real is not always true and what is true is not always real.

Real — is a dependent variable contingent on an experiencer interacting with some event.

True — is an independent variable devoid of any experiencer, only requiring some event.

To explore this concept even further, let’s take perhaps the most trite philosophical musing the majority of us have undoubtedly heard as kids, “if a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, did it really happen?”

Though somewhat comical and seemingly paradoxical, the question makes complete and logical sense when what is real and what is true are defined separately and not interwoven into a singular stream of understanding.

Did the tree fall? Yes. This is true.

Did the tree fall? No. It was not real to you.

It depends on what you're looking for here...

This distinct, yet subtle difference between real and true is what separates complete understanding from a merely superficial one. Often times, when regarding any myriad of terms or situations, one can quickly become locked into the superficial understanding of that term or situation, without allowing for any further reasoning by looking into its context.

What do I mean?

When interpreting things at face value, we can often see them as being relatively simplistic (relying more on mental heuristics than any actual critical thinking skill). However, when delving deeper into the subtler “realities” of a given idea or situation, we can begin to uncover what might actually be going on.

Take, for example, interacting with a "rude" cashier at your local grocery store. “That will be $18.95,” they say to you with a sigh. “What a rude individual,” you think to yourself. Rude? In your reality, yes; in theirs, they might just be having a bad day. Look less at the superficial and delve more into the context of life. Maybe they're behind on their bills, had their bag stolen on their way to work, or are thinking about having to visit their sick grandmother in the hospital after their shift. Context, not concept, is king.

What is real is not always true and what is true is not always real.

Did you just see that plane flying by as you read this article? Simply because you didn’t really see something, doesn’t mean it didn’t truly happen.

think about it.