"One should strive not to lie in the negative sense by remaining silent."

Leo Tolstoy


"Tis strange-but true; for truth is always strange; Stranger than fiction."

-Lord Byron (1788-1824)


"Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light."



"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."

-Winston Churchill



"Between truth and the search for truth, I opt for the second."

-Bernard Berenson



"If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people."

-Virginia Woolf



"The love of truth lies at the root of much humor."


"Good humor makes all things tolerable."

-Henry Ward Beecher



"What happens is fact, not truth. Truth is what we think about what happens."

-Robert McKee



"Sometimes truth comes riding into history on the back of error."

-Reinhold Niebuhr


"As one may bring himself to believe almost anything he is inclined to believe, it makes all the difference whether we begin or end with the inquiry," What is truth?"




"Things that are good are good, and if one is responding to that goodness one is in contact with a truth from which one is getting something."

-Thomas Merton


"There is absolutely no criterion for truth. For season, senses, ideas, or whatever else may exist are all deceptive."

-Carneades  214-129 B.C.  Greek Philosopher


"There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true."

-Soren Kierkegaard



"The enemies of the truth are always awfully nice."

-Christopher Morely (1890-1957)



"He who would distinguish the true from the false must have an adequate idea of what is true and false."





"Lies-there you have the religion of slaves and taskmasters. Truth is the god of the free man."

-Maksim Gorki



"There is no power on earth more formidable than the truth."

-M. Runbeck



"I will answer Pilate's question, What is truth? Truth is the free thought, the free idea, the free spirit."

-Max Stirner



"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie-deliberate, contrived, and dishonest-but the myth-persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic."

-John F. Kennedy



"Telling the Truth is a pretty hard thing"

Thomas Wolfe



"Living the truth is essentially relational, and our spiritual condition is inevitably revealed by our decisions, not by what we might merely profess to believe."

-John Parson



:"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

-Albert Einstein




"The monster , fanaticism, still exists, and whoever seeks after truth will run the risk of being persecuted."





"Truth: that long, clean, clear, simple, undeniable, unchallengeable, straight, and shining line, on one side of which is black and on the other of which is white."

-William Faulkner (1897-1962)




"Ye shall know the truth, and the Truth shall make you mad."

-Aldous Huxley




"Keep one thing forever in view-the truth; and if you do this, though it may seem to lead you away from the opinions of men, it will assuredly conduct you to the throne of God."

-Horace Mann



"Don't seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions."

-Zen saying




"Truth above all, even when it upsets and overwhelms us."

-Henri-Frederic Amiel




"You never find yourself until you face the truth."

-Pearl Bailey




"Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established, that unless we love the truth, we cannot know it."

Blaine Pascal




"The terrible thing about the quest for TRUTH is that you find it."

Remy de Gourmont (1858-1915)




"Truth, poor child, was nobody's daughter. She took off her clothes and jumped in the water."

Dorothy L. Sayers



"We would be a lot safer if the government would take its money out of science and put it into astrology and the reading of palms....Only in superstition is there hope. If you want to become a friend of civilization, then become an enemy of the truth and a fanatic for harmless balderdash."

Kurt Vonnegut




"My way of joking is to tell the truth. it's the funniest joke in the world."

-George Bernard Shaw'



"If, as Western ethics and theology purport, the existence of some creatures serves solely to benefit others, and honesty and altruism are always the best policy, how are we to explain the occurrence and ubiquitousness of selfishness and deception?"

-Emil Wenzel



"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."

Albert Einstein




"The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it."

-Nadine Gordimer

The Essential Gesture




"Not the truth in whose possession any man is, or thinks he is, but the honest efforts he has made to find out the truth, is what constitutes the worth of a man. For it is not through the possession but the inquiry after truth that his powers expand, and in this alone consists his ever-growing perfection."

-Gotthold Lessin 1778




"The truth is too simple: one must always get there by a complicated route."

-George Sand



"Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at the truth, to make truth laugh, because the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth."

-Umberto Eco

The Name of the Rose



   "It is a piece of idle sentimentality that truth, merely as truth, has any inherent power denied to error or prevailing against the dungeon and the stake. Men are not more zealous for truth than they often are for error....The real advantage which truth has consists in this, that when an opinion is true, it may be extinguished once, twice, or many times, but in the course of ages there will generally be found persons to rediscover it."

-John Stuart Mill




"Truth, in the great practical concerns of life, is so much a question of the reconciling and combining of opposites, that very few have minds sufficiently capacious and impartial to make the adjustment with an approach to correctness."

-John Stuart Mill




"A thrill passes through all men at the reception of a new truth...."




"The truth has never been of any real value to any human being-it is a symbol for mathematicians and philosophers to pursue. In human relations kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths."

-Graham Greene

Heart of the Matter



"There is no such source of error as the pursuit of absolute truth."

-Samuel Butler

Samuel Butler's Notebooks




"There is no 'the truth'-truth is not one thing, or even a system. It is an increasing complexity. The pattern of the carpet is a surface. When we look closely, or when we become weavers, we learn of the tiny multiple threads unseen in the overall pattern, the knots on the underside of the carpet."

Adrienne Rich




"To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies-all this is indispensably necessary."

-George Orwell




"The Truth which makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear."

-Herbert Sebastian Agar



   "All our progress is an unfolding, like the vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. It is vain to hurry it. By trusting it to the end, it shall ripen into truth and you shall know why you believe."





"Weaklings are those who know the truth, but maintain it only as far as it is in their interest to do so, and apart from that forsake it."

Blaine Pascal



"For in the depth of every serious doubt and every despair of truth, the passion for truth is still at work. Don't give in too quickly to those who want to alleviate your anxiety about truth. Don't be seduced into a truth which is not really your truth..."

Dr. Paul Tillich

The New Being




Truth is within ourselves....

There is an inmost center in us all,

Where Truth abides in fulness....and to know,

Rather consists in opening out a way

Whence the imprisoned splendor may escape....

Robert Browning  "Paracelsus



"It is at this moment of inner quietness, of newly revealed freedom, of heightened being, that something of a much more real nature makes its presence felt. Perhaps we have been seeking truth all our lives, or else asking to be led to it by some teacher whom we believe to know more than we do, but we have never succeeded in finding what we sought. And now at this quiet moment, because we are ready for truth, and have transcended that which has hitherto stood between truth and us-truth comes to us uninvited, coming in us also happiness with its magic touch."

Kenneth Walker

A Study of Gurdjieff's Teachings



"Never swallow anything whole. We live perforce by half-truths and get along fairly well as long as we do not mistake them for whole-truths, but when we do so mistake them, they raise the devil with us."

Alfred North Whitehead


"We possess the truth. I am as sure of it as fifteen years ago."

-Freud  (in a letter to Sandor Ferenczi, May 1913)



"Truth is unobtainable; humanity does not deserve it."

-Freud (in a letter to Arnold Zweig, May 31,1936)



"It is not….that some people do not know what to do with Truth when it is offered them, but the tragic fate is to reach, after years of patient search, a condition of mind-blindness, in which the Truth is not recognized, though it stares you in the face."

Sir William Osler

Counsels and Ideals



"Truth is the beginning of every good thing, both in Heaven and on earth; and he who would be blessed and happy should be from the first a partaker of truth, for then he can be trusted."




"Truth is contrary to our nature, not so error, and this for a very simple reason: truth demands that we should recognize ourselves as limited, error flatters us that, in one way or another, we are unlimited."





"   For the habitual truth-teller and truth-seeker, indeed, the world has very little liking. He is always unpopular, and no infrequently his unpopularity is so unpopular is so excessive that it endangers his life. Run your eye back over the list of martyrs, lay and clerical: nine-tenths of them, you will find, stood accused of nothing worse than honest efforts to find out and announce the truth. Even today, with the scientific passion become familiar in the world, the general view of such fellows is highly unfavorable. The typical scientist, the typical critic of institutions, the typical truth-seeker in every field is held under suspicion by the great majority of men, and variously beset by posses of relentless foes. if he tries to find out the truth about arteriosclerosis, or surgical shock, or cancer, he is denounced as a scoundrel by the Christian Scientists, the osteopaths and the anti-vivisectionists. If he tries to tell the truth about the government, its agents seek to silence and punish him. If he turns to fiction and endeavors to depict his fellow men accurately, he has the Comstocks on his hands. In no field can he count upon a friendly audience, and freedom from assault. Especially in the United States is his whole enterprise viewed with bilious eye. The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth. A Galileo could no more be elected President of the United States than he could be elected Pope of Rome. Both high posts are reserved for men favored by God with an extraordinary genius for swathing the bitter facts of life in bandages of soft illusion."

H.L. Mencken

(from the New York Evening Mail, 1918)




"We must clearly recognize that the way to truth and blessedness does not lie in creating anything that does not now exist, nor in acquiring anything that is not now at hand....we need only remove ignorance; insight into the truth then dawns."

Edwin A. Burtt

Man Seeks the Divine




"Not truth, but faith, is what keeps the world alive."

-Edna St. Vincent Millay




"The ultimate truth is so simple. It is nothing more than being in the pristine state. This is all need be said.

   All religions have come into existence because people want something elaborate and attractive and puzzling. Each religion is complex, and each sect in each religion has its own adherents and antagonists. For example, an ordinary Christian will not be satisfied unless he is told that God is somewhere in the far-off heavens, not to be reached by us unaided. Christ alone knew Him and Christ alone can guide us. Worship Christ and be saved. If he is told the simple truth, that "the kingdom of heaven is within you," he is not satisfied and will read complex and far-fetched meanings into such statements.

   Only mature minds can grasp the simple truth in all its nakedness."

Ramana Maharshi




"This is the truth.

It's all true.

Every word that anyone ever tells you is true.

If you could just open far enough,

make the effort to understand.

It is time to destroy the myth of the artist.

We are all artists.

We need to become better art appreciators.

There's plenty of great creation.

We need great listeners, great readers, great perceivers.

Great receptors.

It's all true: what's hard is not saying truth but

accepting truth.

That is greatness.

Open up."

-Paul Williams

Das Energi




"One should speak the truth and speak it pleasantly; one should not speak the truth in an unpleasant manner nor should one speak untruth because it is pleasing; this is the eternal law."

-Laws of Manu




"The essence of lying is in deception, not in words; a lie may be told in silence, by equivocation, by the accent on a syllable, by a glance of the eye attaching a peculiar significance to a sentence; but all of these kinds of lies are worse and baser by many degrees than a lie plainly worded."

-John Ruskin



"Once upon a time, in some out of the way corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever beasts invented knowing. It was the most arrogant and mendacious minute of world history, but nevertheless only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star cooled and solidified and the clever beasts had to die. The time had come too, for although they boasted of how much they had understood, in the end they discovered to their great annoyance that they had discovered everything falsely. They died and in dying they cursed truth. Such was the nature of these desperate beasts that had invented knowing."




"The will to truth which will tempt us to many a venture, that famous truthfulness of which all philosophers so far have spoken with respect-What strange, wicked, questionable questions! That is a long story even now- and yet it seems as if it had scarcely begun. Is it any wonder that we should finally become suspicious, lose patience, and turn away impatiently? That we should finally learn from this Sphinx to ask questions, too? Who is it that really puts questions to us here? What in us really wants "truth"?"


Beyond Good and Evil




"the only secure truth men have is that which they themselves create and dramatize: to live is to play at the meaning of life."

Harvey Cox




"If it be asked, 'But what did the nonscientific approach to man and the world give us?' the answer is: 'Meaning, purpose, and a vision in which everything coheres."

Huston Smith

Forgotten Truth




"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell fared we would become a captive audience. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared that we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate would ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us."

Neil Postman

Amusing ourselves to Death




   "The basic idea of traditionalism or the perennial philosophy is that behind all the exoteric forms of the major "orthodox" religious traditions there is a single, esoteric, metaphysical Truth, which is most explicitly expressed in the Advaita Vedanta doctrine of Hinduism. This Truth is known to be true by means of a superior mode of knowing, a form of mystical/intellectual intuition termed Intellect. All men have Intellect by virtue of their being human, but in the vast majority it is obscured by the passions of the empirical ego. It follows that the Truth of traditionalism is known to be true only by an Intellectual and moral elite, and anyone who denies its truth is thereby demonstrating his Intellectual and moral deficiency, which accounts for the arrogant and dogmatic tone of much traditionalist literature. This idea about the one Truth behind the many religions is combined with an almost pathological contempt for the modern world and all its works, which is regarded as the Dark Age, or Kali Yuga, the last of the four ages of the world before the final cataclysm that restores all things, an idea also derived from Hinduism, although it has its Western analogues. These ideas were first expressed in the works of the Frenchman Rene Guenon (1886-1951), but were taken up and given their fullest expression in the works of Frithjof Schuon (1907-1998)."

Ibn Al-Rawandi

Islamic Mysticism: A Secular Perspective


"The public in general is possessed of the fundamental error that there are certain answers, 'solutions,' or attitudes of mind which need only be uttered in order to spread the necessary light. But the best of truths is of no use-as history has shown a thousand times-unless it has become the individual's most personal inner experience. Every equivocal, so-called 'clear' answer mostly remains in the head and only finds its way down to the heart in the very rarest cases. Our need is not to 'know' the truth, but to experience it. The great problem is not to have an intellectual view of things, but to find the way to the inner, perhaps inexpressible, irrational experience. Nothing is more fruitless than to speak of how things must and should be, and nothing is more important than to find the way which leads to these far-off goals."

Carl Jung  Psychological Reflections




"Truth brings not only liberation, but undreamed of responsibilities to the Self. That which is realized becomes the absolute law of living. There can be no departure from inner-reality. Once man knows, he must do or else his knowledge will Torture him, Failure to think, to act, and to live that which is realized, or any effort on the part of the lower nature to compromise realization produces a desperate conflict with the life."

-Manly P. Hall



"There is nothing so powerful as truth-and often nothing so strange."

-Daniel Webster


"The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of Truth outweighs the world."

-Alexander Solzhenitsyn


"In America today and increasingly throughout the Western World, actual facts and true explanations have been relegated to the realm of Kookiness. Only people who believe lies are socially approved and accepted as patriotic citizens."

-Paul Craig Roberts



"And in the end, through the long ages of our quest for light, it will be found that truth is still mightier than the sword. For out of the welter of human carnage and human sorrow and human weal the indestructible thing that will always live is a sound idea."

-Gen. Douglas MacArthur




"Friedrich Nietzsche found the will to superficiality-an embrace of the trivial and an instinctive avoidance of anything troubling, profound, or anomalous-to be a healthy impulse and innate tendency in the ordinary human psyche. He believe that this instinct was also hidden beneath most of the confident postulates of science. "here and there we understand and laugh at the way in which precisely science at its best seems most to keep us in this simplified thoroughly artificial, suitably constructed and suitably falsified world-at the way in which, willy-nilly, it loves error, because being alive, it loves life," he wrote in Beyond Good and Evil. This instinct toward the false and the flighty protected against the chance "that one might get a hold of the truth too soon, before man has become strong enough, hard enough, artist enough" to handle it. Nietzsche proposed that the "seeker after knowledge," the opposite-man," was "secretly lured and pushed forward by his cruelty, by those dangerous thrills of cruelty turned against oneself." The insistence on truth was "a violation, a desire to hurt the basic will of the spirit which unceasingly strives for the apparent and superficial."

Daniel Pinchbeck

2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl



"....Man is wiser than his intellect.....his whole organism has a wisdom and purposiveness which goes well beyond his conscious thought.....I think men and women, individually and collectively are inwardly and organismically rejecting the view one one single culture-approved reality. i believe they are moving inevitably toward the acceptance of millions of separate, challenging exciting informative individual perceptions of reality. i regard it as possible that this view-like the simultaneous and separate discovery of the principles of quantum mechanics by scientists in different countries-may begin to come into effective existence in many parts of the world at once. if so, we would be living in a totally new universe, different from any in history."

-Carl Rogers




"I found out the truth could be said in whatever metaphor we need to communicate with one another."

-Ram Dass




"There are trivial truths, and the great truths.

The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false.

The opposite of a great truth is also true."

-Niels Bohr  New York Times, October 20, 1957




"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance. that principle is condemnation without investigation."

-William Paley (1743-1805)



"A "Conspiracy theory" no longer means an event explained by a conspiracy. Instead it now means any explanation, or even a fact, that is out of step with the governments' explanation and that of its media pimps."

-Paul Craig Roberts



Book: "Truth: A History and a Guide for the Perplexed" by Felipe Fernandez-Arnesto

Book: "Truth: A Guide" by Simon Blackbum

Book: "The Liar's Tale: A History of Falsehood" by Jeremy Campbell

Book: "Lies WE Live By: The Art of Self-Deception" by Eduardo Giannetti

Book: "The Post-Truth Era: Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life" by Ralph Keyes

Book: "Radical Honesty: How to Transform Your Life by telling the Truth." by Brad Blanton

© 2001



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