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John Galsworthy

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Is not the training of an artist a training in the due relation of one thing with another, and in the faculty of expressing that relation clearly; and, even more, a training in the faculty of disengaging from self the very essence of self — and passing that essence into other selves by so delicate means that none shall see how it is done, yet be insensibly unified? Is not the artist, of all men, foe and nullifier of partisanship and parochialism, of distortions and extravagance, the discoverer of that jack-o'-lantern — Truth; for, if Truth be not Spiritual Proportion I know not what it is. Truth it seems to me — is no absolute thing, but always relative, the essential symmetry in the varying relationships of life; and the most perfect truth is but the concrete expression of the most penetrating vision. Life seen throughout as a countless show of the finest works of Art; Life shaped, and purged of the irrelevant, the gross, and the extravagant; Life, as it were, spiritually selected — that is Truth; a thing as multiple, and changing, as subtle, and strange, as Life itself, and as little to be bound by dogma. Truth admits but the one rule: No deficiency, and no excess! Disobedient to that rule — nothing attains full vitality. And secretly fettered by that rule is Art, whose business is the creation of vital things.

 
John Galsworthy

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'The truth about the world about us.' 'Truth' is a word used in many different ways - 'You’re not telling the truth.' 'The truth about conditions in Russia.' 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty.' I want to use it here in the sense of what lies behind and outward show. I.et me hasten to explain by giving an example. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. That is what we see; that is the ‘outward show'. In the past the outward show was regarded as the truth. But then a scientist came along to question it and then to announce that the truth was quite different from the appearance: the truth was that the earth revolved and the sun remained still -the outward show was telling a lie. The curious thing about scientific truths like this is that they often seem so useless. It makes no difference to the average man whether the sun moves or the earth moves. He still has to rise at dawn and stop work at dusk. But because a thing is useless it does not mean that it is valueless. Scientists still think it worthwhile to pursue truth. They do not expect that laws of gravitation and relativity are going to make much difference to everyday life, but they think it is a valuable activity to ask their eternal questions about the universe. And so we say that truth - the thing they are looking for—is a value.

 
Anthony Burgess
 

To search for truth should be the main goal in one's life. This is a very difficult task. Let us begin by asking what is truth? What is untruth? To make this decision itself is difficult. Once the decision has been made, it is even more difficult to understand the limitations possible even in truth: elements of doubt and illusion. The Ultimate Truth is still far away, even if we are anywhere near relative truth, it should be deemed a great achievement. Those who live by truth sometimes become so dogged in their pursuit that even their truth seems a lie. Without control over passions and practicing neutrality, purity and straightforwardness, do we have a right to seek the truth?

 
Acharya Mahapragya
 

Only the truth and its expression can establish that new public opinion which will reform the ancient obsolete and pernicious order of life; and yet we not only do not express the truth we know, but often even distinctly give expression to what we ourselves regard as false.
If only free men would not rely on that which has no power, and is always fettered — upon external aids; but would trust in that which is always powerful and free — the truth and its expression!

 
Leo Tolstoy
 

Writing not long ago to my oldest literary friend, I expressed in a moment of heedless sentiment the wish that we might have again one of our talks of long-past days, over the purposes and methods of our art. And my friend, wiser than I, as he has always been, replied with this doubting phrase "Could we recapture the zest of that old time?"
I would not like to believe that our faith in the value of imaginative art has diminished, that we think it less worth while to struggle for glimpses of truth and for the words which may pass them on to other eyes; or that we can no longer discern the star we tried to follow; but I do fear, with him, that half a lifetime of endeavour has dulled the exuberance which kept one up till morning discussing the ways and means of aesthetic achievement. We have discovered, perhaps with a certain finality, that by no talk can a writer add a cubit to his stature, or change the temperament which moulds and colours the vision of life he sets before the few who will pause to look at it. And so — the rest is silence, and what of work we may still do will be done in that dogged muteness which is the lot of advancing years.
Other times, other men and modes, but not other truth. Truth, though essentially relative, like Einstein's theory, will never lose its ever-new and unique quality — perfect proportion; for Truth, to the human consciousness at least, is but that vitally just relation of part to whole which is the very condition of life itself. And the task before the imaginative writer, whether at the end of the last century or all these aeons later, is the presentation of a vision which to eye and ear and mind has the implicit proportions of Truth.

 
John Galsworthy
 

Occultism and mysticism – these creepy things there may be great truths in them, but they have nearly destroyed us and here is the test of truth – anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject as poison, there is no life in it, it cannot be true. Truth is strengthening. Truth is purity, truth is all-knowledge. These mysticisms, in spite of some grains of truth in them, are generally weakening. And beware of superstition. I would rather see everyone of you rank atheists than superstitious fools, for the atheist is alive, and you can make something of him. But if superstition enters, the brain is gone, the brain is softening, degradation has seized upon the life. Mystery-mongering and superstition are always signs of weakness.

 
Swami Vivekananda
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