'Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.' - John 8:32'
Truth, Beauty and Goodness are the three Platonic virtues. Entire philosophies revolve around what may and may not be known of truth.
Truth is, in its fullest extent, as vast as the universe. To begin to approach the topic, we must discern different levels of truth, each relative to a context and a perceiver. While this is necessary in order to say anything about the subject, we do not have to see truth as relative or subjective.
There are various relative limits to knowledge at each level of existence. To take a mathematical example, Godel's incompleteness theorem states that no system may contain its own description. In order to describe this same system, a more powerful meta-system is required. By extension, the physical world cannot contain a complete description of its own state. Besides, quantum nondeterminism makes complete, exhaustive knowledge of the state of any physical system impossible. This is not to say that there could not be a 'meta-world' where the present observable world were embedded within which a complete description of the world were possible.
Such an argument leads to an infinite regression of worlds within worlds, where each of the enclosing worlds holds the state and laws of the enclosed world. Esoteric science, as expressed by tradition and modern channeled sources generally limits the levels to seven densities or cosmoses. At the root of creation is what is variously called Absolute I, the One or seventh density, which is the source of all else. Logically, this system would be its own meta-system. Within this 'mind of God' there would be no difference between signifier and signified, between thought and reality and all truth and all being would be encompassed therein. In other words, only God knows God, whereas creation from its diverse levels contemplates various facets of creation, names of God or branches of the Ray of Creation.
The truth, as can be represented at various levels is thus of necessity relative when compared to all of existence. From this does not follow that truth were relative when compared with propositions at its own level.
Truth, when seen from any level other than the ineffable divine, is by its very nature open-ended and expanding and inclusive. A lie on the other hand is an arbitrary limitation or exception or something which seeks to deny access to some part of actuality. When striving towards a more and more comprehensive knowledge of the universe, the seeker of truth embraces an ascending path which brings one face to face with higher perspectives needed to bridge between the more fragmentary knowledge of the specific and the oneness of higher perception. In this manner all study can be said to eventually lead to God.
Philosophical views on truth and criteria for knowing it vary. At one end, we have rationalism that states that only thought can be known to be real and may only be compared with itself using rules of logic. Descartes' famous ‘cogito' represents this direction. Empirism on the other hand maintains that only what is known through senses and repeatable physical experiment exists. Taken to the moral sphere both directions produce equally absurd but different extremes. Rationalism leads to solipsism and complete subjectivity and relativity or all values. Radical empirism leads to a completely mechanical view of man, such as Skinner's behaviorism with its attendant lack of any meaningful ethical dimension. Philosophers have variously navigated the edge between the primacy of thought vs the primacy of sense experience. Esoteric thought generally recognizes a separate sphere of applicability for either.
To have a workable metaphysics, one must generally posit a world with an objective existence, whose perception is shared between multiple observers, which observers are similar in structure and in principle capable of the same observations. Only on such a basis can we speak of shared truth, of observation, objectivity, of criteria of verification of knowledge and so forth. Even then, we need to take into account effects of observation on the system observed and the necessary inaccuracy of communication. The Cassiopaeans have said that when two beings both have no limits, they are precisely the same. This amounts to all potentially being one, but as long as beings are not infinite and all encompassing, there is bound to be some difference of perspective, however small. Hence, even theoretically, the complete truth concerning any phenomenon may only be asymptotically approached by a group of observers.
At the human level, truth is not self-evident, not as concerns the inner nature of man, nor as concerns the physical world and least of all as concerns the higher worlds. The knowledge may be more or less certain, more or less verified and more or less generally applicable. In this sense, all knowledge open to the human is of necessity contextual and relative. Still, we may speak of qualitatively different approaches to knowing the world: One seeks to know the truth to its fullest extent, for its own sake, whereas another may seek knowledge for serving some predefined agenda or system of values. The knowledge is largely the same but the attitude and approach to it differentiate between the STO and STS seeker. Likewise, the attitude to sharing this knowledge also differs between the two. It is typical of STS, even when not directly lying, to withhold information for future benefit and to operate on a need to know basis, hoarding information and giving it out selectively and with possible disinformation added.
STO-oriented parties also have constraints on sharing their knowledge but these constraints have a different source than the factors which make STS withhold information. In order to preserve free will and to promote individual learning and the attendant increase of being, knowledge cannot be given out without the seeker making commensurate efforts. Further, STO tends to respect people's free will to believe as they see fit and therefore does not force information on them by showing great signs or unquestionable proofs of spiritual or other unrequested knowledge. The principle of open sharing and networking fits best between participants of a similar level.
Truth and freedom are related. In order to speak of free will of any consequence, the exercise of free will must be based on an essentially true view of the world. Lies and ignorance are by definition limiting factors which seek to exclude things from the domain of free will.