3. thirst of truth

Posted in new, truth by martalorenza on August 24, 2009


We resent calumny, hypocrisy and treachery, because they harm us, not because they are untrue. Take the detraction and the mischief from the untruth, and we are little offended by it; turn it into praise, and we may be pleased with it. And yet it is not calumny nor treachery that does the largest sum of mischief in the world; they are continually crushed, and are felt only in being conquered. But it is the glistening and softly spoken lie; the amiable fallacy; the patriotic lie of the historian, the provident lie of the politician, the zealous lie of the partizan, the merciful lie of the friend, and the careless lie of each man to himself, that cast that black mystery over humanity, through which any man who pierces, we thank as we would thank one who dug a well in a desert; happy in that the thirst for truth still remains with us, even when we have wilfully left the fountains of it.

Ruskin, The seven lamps of architecture

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2. thirst of truth

Posted in new, truth by martalorenza on August 24, 2009


There is a marked likeness between the virtue of man and the enlightenment of the globe he inhabits – the same diminishing gradation in vigor up to the limits of their domains, the same essential separation from their contraries – the same twilight at the meeting of the two: a something wider belt than the line where the world rolls into night, that strange twilight of the virtues; that dusky debateable land, wherein zeal becomes impatience, and temperance becomes severity, and justice becomes cruelty, and faith superstition, and each and all vanish into gloom.

 …But for one, the line of the horizon is irregular and undefined; and this, too, the very equator and girdle of them all – Truth; that only one of which there are no degrees, but breaks and rents continually; that pillar of the earth, yet a cloudy pillar ; that golden and narrow line, which the very powers and virtues that lean upon it bend, which policy and prudence conceal, which kindness and courtesy modify, which courage overshadows with his shield, imagination covers with her wings, and charity dims with her tears. How difficult must the maintenance of that authority be, which, while it has to restrain the hostility of all the worst principles of man, has also to restrain the disorders of his best – which is continually assaulted by the one and betrayed by the other.


Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture

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