“Truth is singular.”
– Madame Vastra, Doctor Who
Season 7 Christmas Special, “The Snowmen”
I was looking for something a little more upbeat and hopeful to start off the new year, but this isn’t so bad either.
The exact circumstance around this quote is a bit intricate, involving Vastra giving Clara Oswald a test, partially on the Doctor’s behalf, wherein she is confined to one-word answers and questions. The first question out of her mouth is, “Why?” So Vastra explains with the above quote, and adds that lies require a lot of words. So, it weeds out deception, even self-deception, so that there is only truth.
But I find this quote to mean more than just that.
While everyone might have their own perspective on the truth, the truth itself is singular. It is one whole, complete thing, which does not alter itself to suit us. It may be distorted in our view, and one may even say something true and twist it into something false, yet the truth remains the truth nonetheless. Every lie, every half-truth, every twisting of it is a departure from it.
By the same token, however, every truth we grasp is part of the larger whole.
Whether it comes from science, religion, philosophy, archeology, literature, the arts, warfare, or the personal experiences of billions of humans as we live so many different lives, it is all the same. Each truth is a piece of the truth, pieces of truth are everywhere, and every piece we lay hold on can help us find the rest. It can be confusing at times, as two things which are true can appear to be at odds with each other, but that’s just because we haven’t yet found the truths that bridge them.
The pursuit of truth is the thirst for knowledge, and the pursuit of knowledge, in all its forms, is the quest for the singular truth.
…so, on with the quest! 😉