One of my favorite personal expressions is “I don’t know.” If someone asks me ‘is that really true?’ about almost anything, I will say ‘I don’t know.’
There is wisdom in ‘not knowing.’ In reality, what humans consider ‘knowledge’ is usually expressed in words. Words are a poor approximation of reality.
If I ask myself what someone is saying, thinking or doing right now, I have to answer ‘truthfully, I don’t know, unless they are with me in the same shared space, and they are telling me what they’re saying or thinking, or I’m watching what they’re doing.’ I might have some idea of what someone might be doing but, I don’t actually know.
If I read yet another speculative opinion piece in the information/entertainment (infotainment) industry about the future, I can be deluded into thinking the person who’s writing knows what’s going to happen. The real answer is ‘they don’t know, and neither do I.’ No one is able to accurately predict the future because of literally quadrillions of factors that go into creating every moment. Attempting future prediction is futile.
Even if I ask myself ‘is this true about me?’ I am likely to have to inquire deeply to find out. Do I have this quality (for instance sloth or laziness) and not its opposite (energy or industry)? Do I look the same as I did yesterday? Do I think, speak and act the same way I did 40 years ago? Is there actually any continuity to the ‘ego self?’ No, there isn’t. So, anything I can even say about myself may likely be false.
Religion used to speak only in certainties: this is true and this is false. However, it’s easy to question the foundations of any religion and find direct contradictions in doctrines and practice. Science speaks in certainties now, as if it were the New Religion of the world; however, it’s theories are theories and change as new discoveries are made. Is the anthropological record true? No, it is only an approximation of what might have happened. Is the archeological record true? No, again it is only an approximation. While scientists can be quite as close-minded and theory-bound as religious conformists, neither group is really speaking Absolute Truth. 100 years from now, all such truths will have changed again, sometimes many times. (If you doubt this, look at the science of nutrition and diets!)
There are as many arguments about what’s true in religion as there are about what’s true in science. We go to war, literally, over what’s true in religion. We go to war, figuratively, over what’s true in science. Other than an exercise in ego-supremacy, there is no purpose to these arguments. Even inventions can be created without claiming the ‘supreme truth’ of the theory behind the invention.
Finally, when it comes down to the realms of knowledge, all I can really say is ‘I don’t know what’s true.’ I can talk as if I do but, I’m lying to myself and others. Thus far, the only truths that I’ve been able to really know are ‘I Am’ and ‘perceiving happens.’