The relative truth & ultimate truth are some of the most pofound yet paradoxical concepts on the spirirtual path, we can explore. The truths of these perceived realities are fundemental to each’s position, in relation to the perceiver. This is a key to unlocking the doors of perception.
Are you still following me?
Lets look first at relative truths in our experience. Relative truths as simply put, are known facts of the physical realm.. Time is a great example. We have a relative past to our present and our future. This is relatively true, yet we know that we only ever live in the now moment. Our entire lives live in and are always experiencing now. So past and future, although appear to have a linear truth to them, in absolute terms, all existence exists now.
As i bring up more examples, you may acknowledge that for every relative truth presented, there will be an ultimate truth to the expereince.
Another relative truth is, we each have and believe we are, a body called… Jim, Jane, John or Jess. This may be relatively true, yet the Ultimate truth of who you are is beyond physicality, beyond names. The ultimate truth of who you are is the container of all experience as well as the experiencer and everything being experienced.
On a more subtle level we can acknowledge the physical sensations as a relative truth. They rise and fall like the Sun. Filled with intensity. We can begin to bring our attention to the witness of the sensations. Who is tasting the apple? Who is feeling the feather across the skin? Who is hearing the free bird sing? We are the portal walking the invisible line of relative & ultimate truth.
Many of the great yogis of India walked this path wintessing first hand the relative World arising out of the Absolute. From the formless into form.. We are from this World but not of this World..
Other examples that specifically relate to relative truths are manifestations. We can perceieve to desire certain outcomes, that can and possibily will come “true”. These manifestations happen within a construction of consciousness. Take a chair. When you touch it and sit on it, it feels solid right? You are quite sure that the chair you are sitting on is firm and stable. Yet when we look at the material of the chair, down to its atoms and molecules, you will find that there is more space between atoms, than atoms themselves and that atoms are the only essence of material within anything.
Everything is a manifestation of consciousness.. This is a ultimate truth to the relative truth that matter is solid and tangible. Two adjectives that perfectly describe aspects of relativism.. what is tangible and what is solid.
Taking a closer look at the unobservable, non-tangible realm of the Ultimate truth now. Words can never truly do justice to the supreme consciousness, for everything arises out of the great mind. This higher truth, for want of a better word, is to me, like an umbrella that arches over the construct reality we are individually experiencing and that we are all from the One Great Mind. We are all One with the conscious field.
We realitively perceieve we are separate from each other, yet our subtle bodies are entangled. I have expereinced the relative truth of making love to a lover and a transcendance of that to a place where we became One energetically. There was still a sense of realitivity and being conscious to myself yet energetically i could not tell where i began and they ended.
To experience the ultimate truth is some what of an oxymoron, in that that ultimate truth is beyond experience. The Ultimate truth stripes away everything you thought you were, til there is no thing left in doubt as to the truth..
Its a big realization to potentially expereince yourself as the All That Is and to go beynd that place of experience, the unmanifest void… The ultimate truth being, you are all of it and no thing at the same time.
If your head is spinning with these mind shattering concepts, it maybe a god time to close the eyes.
Allow the energy to settle in the body whilst taking a few deep breaths in and out. As we become aware of the awareness listening to these words, we shift our attention away from the personal dialogue to a more subtle realm of our being. Where awareness goes, energy flows. Resting in the stillnes between inhalations and exhalations.. Here we find the place of detachment and surrender. Surrender to the experience whilst detaching from the mental labeling of it.
We can take the practice of Neti Neti, where One disassociates oneself from any arising sensations, experiences, or thoughts.. Cultivating the attitude of, I Am Not This, I Am not That.. Continually turning ever inwards towards that ultimate truth, which is beyond all sensations, thoughts and experiences.
You can at this point shift your awareness from the stillness within, to the physicality of the body and with one attentive breath bring yourself back to the inner space of stillness. In these brief moments we have shifted our awareness through relative experiences whilst reaching for the eneffible in the same moment.
Herein lies the secret.
This inquiry into the Relative & Ultimate Truth, has been written to be part of a tutorial series, that is part of an amazing meditation app called Souse Guru. Created with Martin Bone’s vision and guidance of meditation. I am honoured to be asked to contribute to this beautiful project, to spread this sacred art form we know as meditation.
You can download the app for free via this link which gives you access to the basic content. With monthly donations you gain access to a library of wisdom, including guided meditations, breath work, techniques, practices & podcasts.