What exactly did Jesus mean when he (purportedly) said that “the truth will set us free?” I guess we’d have to ask him! But since he’s not around to discuss the matter, I thought I would offer up an inquiry as a kind of doorway into one interpretation of what those words might be pointing to. Here it is:
Look experientially at and see how your descriptions, definitions, beliefs, interpretations and conceptualizations ABOUT experience diverge from the actuality or felt sense of those same experiences. Take the word, “fear.” We use that label to categorize, convey, encapsulate, and communicate about a particular phenomena that is undoubtedly experienced. However, the question I’m posing here is whether the experience of what we call “fear” actually corresponds directly to what we THINK or imagine that experience to be.
To be sure, the definitions of everything we see, taste, touch, smell, hear or otherwise experience capture something of the nature and essence of things. But look right now at what is arising experientially and see that there is, within every moment of experiencing, an untold, inconceivable number of diverse dimensions, textures, qualities and characteristics that simply cannot be held within the confines of any single definition or linguistic framework.
That the actuality of experience is forever beyond our definitions and descriptions of it is the truth that sets everything free for ALL things—including each one of us—radically transcend (i.e., are free from) the myriad ways human beings characterize or imagine them to be.