Rosicrucian Writings Online
A One Minute Essay
[From The Rosicrucian Digest February 1934]
What is truth? Truth and knowledge are not synonymous, for what is perceived today and realized as knowledge may subsequently be rejected as false opinion. On the other hand, all knowledge is not opinion, although opinion may be the equivalent of knowledge. An opinion is merely a supposition founded upon antecedent experiences, not directly related to that which is considered, from which inferences are drawn. Knowledge is a conclusion, the result of syllogistical reasoning upon experiences had, which experiences directly pertain to the object of knowledge. Both knowledge and opinion depend on human reason and perception. They cannot exist apart from it. Their accuracy is relative. With the change of reason and perception knowledge and opinion either endure longer or are rejected. As the illusions of the senses and imperfection of reason persist with time, so does that which is now considered knowledge and which eventually will be found false.
That upon which knowledge and opinion are founded is truth, for it has existence apart from either of the former. That which exists in its own right does not intentionally deceive and therefore it is always of its own nature, either to be known rightly or not. All that which is the cause of man's perception and that which causes him to form conceptions, is truth, but the perception and conception are not truth unless they be the exact portrayal of their cause. Truth is absolute reality, but the human consciousness is not capable of embracing in its entirety an absolute reality. Truth to man is therefore a relative and arbitrary conception of an absolute reality.
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