Column by Nicky Ferry.

What is the difference between opinion and truth?

We are living in a world that is flooded with news and opinions (and yes I see the irony in that I’m writing an opinion piece for a newspaper) and as a result, is becoming increasingly polarised - Are you for or against vaccination? Do you vote for this or that political party? Do you agree or disagree with selective censorship?

In fact, pretty much everything, from climate change and our response to Covid-19 to what we think about Meghan and Harry and the latest developments within football, seems to demand an opinion.

And in this plethora of opinions, wherein lies the truth?

Do we believe our governments, our media outlets, pharmaceutical companies, health experts are telling us the truth?

How do we decide what to believe? Perhaps we believe elements in what we are being told, or in certain organisations or individuals.

It can feel reassuring to be certain in our opinions. Yet any expert in pretty much any field will tell you that once you delve more deeply into a given subject, there are a multitude of variables at play. Below the surface, we are in fact living in a vast sea of unknowns. The human mind tends to like to ‘know’ and be certain. But I wonder what would happen to us personally, culturally and politically if we were allowed to reside more in the not knowing?

Anyone who has explored the human psyche deeply will tell you that if you can be in a more unknown state, your mind can open up significantly. Not only that, but in this state, you are able to come into contact with a far greater intelligence and one that is innate.

This is significant. By turning our attention inward, behind the chatter of superficial thought and opinion - which is counter to how we are educated and encouraged to think - we can experience our own natural intelligence, knowing and instinct. Somehow I find when someone speaks from this state of natural intelligence, it just feels true and right, and has a different quality to an opinion.