The other day I was sitting in a coffee shop and couldn’t help overhearing an interesting and intense debate on the other side of the room. An older gentleman was trying his best to aid an inquisitive college student who had some hard-hitting questions. She asked about scripture, about authority and about the church. One question kept popping up: “What is the difference between truth for you, truth for me and truth with a capital T?”
In a culture supersaturated with information, overwrought and overstimulated by media, none of us is immune to the allure of truthiness. With our attention stretched thin and largely confined to the surface, we are forced back on our intuition, to some reflexive sense of what “feels true.” Enter The Da Vinci Code. With the benefit of hindsight we can say the novel got noticed because of able marketing, and because it played into the manic milieu of truthiness.
I was brought up in the Catholic religion by my Spanish mother, but I never stopped trying to be united with the tolerant and generous religion of my father and of my Hindu ancestors. This does not make me a cultural or religious “half-caste,” however. Christ was not half man and half God, but fully man and fully God. In the same way, I consider myself 100 percent Hindu and Indian, and 100 percent Catholic and Spanish. How is that possible? By living religion as an experience rather than as an ideology.