Question: "There are so many things in the world. Do they all have intrinsic properties? For example, stones are hard, while water is soft and diffusive. Have scientists observed and studied them all?" Answer: When the molecules or atoms are under mutual influence and can only vibrate slightly around their own position of equilibrium, the substance appears in a solid state (like a stone). When the molecule or atoms vibrate more freely, so that there is no fixed equilibrium position, and yet they do not disperse, it appears in a liquid state (like water). If the molecules or atoms not only have no equilibrium position, but cannot sustain a constant distance, the substance appears in a gaseous state. Since the intrinsic properties accurately determine the physical appearance of the material, there is no need to study the material itself.
Question: "How is this related to the truth, particularly the truth as used in society?" Answer: "This itself is the standard of truth; it is what people in society rely on as the truth. The standard of truth is just the objective reality."
Question: "There are so many objective realities. For example, aren't eating, sleeping, stealing, and so forth, objective realities? Are these all considered the truth?"
Answer: "By 'objective' we mean it is not subjective; by `reality' we mean it is not a falsehood. In particular, what makes it the truth is the unity of the intrinsic and extrinsic; that supplements the abstract concept of truth, in which form and substance are not essential. The truth fundamentally has no right and wrong, crooked and straight, good and bad, proper and evil. If someone is accused of robbing a bank at eight o'clock, and he can prove that at eight he was eating in a restaurant, then the case is settled. When he was arrested on the charge of stealing and put under investigation, the truth and reality were considered.
The truth refers to facts and reality, to the correspondence of what is inside and outside, and to the actual motion of all things. Anything which is not real is not the truth, and is opposed to the truth. If we think carefully, all cases in which the truth is opposed or the laws are violated, come about because of falsity. That is why objective reality is taken to be the standard of truth. Anything which disagrees with objective reality must be wrong or unreasonable. This principle is profound, and only Buddhists understand it thoroughly. They uphold the precept which prohibits lying, and are not allowed to utter even one false statement, how much the less other untrue things!
B. The function of the Truth. Truth is the base which directs movement/actions of myriad things and affairs, and including people. To speak concretly, the development of world peace, the strength and wealth of a country, the prosperity of a society, the progress in all work fields, like technology and agriculture, and the unity in a neighborhood, the harmony and compliance of a family, the fulfillment of one's wish are all the results of the function of a truth. Take a further look at the planes in the sky, the ships in the ocean, the vehicles on land and buildings, palaces and pavilions, of all material and civilization are the inventions derive from the Truth. The relation between Man and Truth is like fish and water. Man cannot separate from Truth and the level of people's mastery of Truth is different, so are their contributions to the society.
To be continued