Liberal Arts Blog — What’s Your Magic Word? What’s Your Trinity? What is the Truth?
Liberal Arts Blog — Tuesday is the Joy of Literature, Language, Culture, and Religion Day
Today’s Topic — What’s your magic word? What’s your trinity? What is the truth?
If you were to pick one word that captures your heart, mind, and soul, what would it be? Love, I think would be the most common answer for most of humanity most of the time. In one formulation or another. What if you were to break it down into three parts? Mine, as many of you already know, is the triad of gratitude, kindness, and truth. For me, these are the three faces of love. And gratitude, to me, comes first. The third question is, would an objective Martian observing your behavior be able to uncover these as the essential animating principles guiding it? Is your behavior aligned with your principles? What is the biggest gap? Just a few preliminary remarks before getting to the business of the day — selected quotes on the third word in my triad: truth. In my mind, something that seriously hurts much of the time. Especially the truth about myself. The truth about the gap between my principles and my practice. What are your favorite quotes related to your magic word? Or to one of the three words in your triad? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
IS TRUTH PART OF YOUR TRIAD?
1. “The ideals that have always shone before me and filled me with joy are goodness, beauty, and truth.” Albert Einstein, allegedly
2. “Let us open our eyes to see what is beautiful, let us open our minds to seek what is true, let us open our hearts to love one another.” (Unitarian message to children in some Sunday services)
3. Harvard once upon a time gave primacy to truth (in theory at least, you know, the Veritas thing.) I’m sticking with gratitude (for now at least). But I do believe that Gratitude, Kindness, and Truth are One and Inseparable.
NB: Gandhi once said “Truth is God….I am but a seeker after truth.”
THE PAIN OF TRUTH
1. “They are angry because the truth you speak contradicts the lie they live.”
2. “Truth may hurt for a little while, but a lie hurts forever. “
3. “Truth is like a surgery. It pains but cures. Lie is like a painkiller. It gives instant pain relief but has side effects forever.”
NB: “If you always tell the truth, you may lose your friends.” (Basque proverb, allegedly). Above a portrait of William Blake, a famous truth-teller, who pulled no punches and spoke both the yin and the yang of love — remember the “The Clod and the Pebble”? See the second link below.
TRUTHS, INTENTIONS, HALF-TRUTHS
1. “A truth that’s told with bad intent, beats all the lies you can invent.” (William Blake)
2. “The truth that is a half-truth is the biggest of lies.” (Tennyson, above)
3 “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time but it ain’t going away.” (attributed to Elvis Presley)
NB “Stupid is knowing the truth. Seeing the truth. But believing the lies.” “The eyes are useless if the mind is blind.” “The truth is still the truth even if no one believes it. A lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it.” Final word: “The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” Every day. Every hour of every day. Something to strive for.
How the courtroom got its oath.
Please share the coolest thing you learned this week related to words, language, literature, religion, culture. Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in your life related to Words, Language, Literature (eg. quotes, poetry, vocabulary) that you have not yet shared.
This is your chance to make someone else’s day. Or to cement in your own mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.