“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
The singular connection throughout the narratives of the ancient world was the search for truth. This universal appeal resonates throughout history. Establishing objective truth is difficult as times because it must pass through the lens of personal values. We want the truth, yet want it to be in compliance with our internal belief system.
Truth exacts a high price; that we relinquish our desire for security and opt for an uncertain, risk-filled existence. It is as Dumbledore said, In J.K. Rowling’s, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, “The truth…It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.” Our intrepid ancients accepted the challenge. Truth and knowledge were preferable to living within a society bound by superstition and controlled by myths and legends.
“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth,” was Henry David Thoreau’s entreaty in Walden. In the end, love, fame, and glory are all subordinate to truth. It is the genesis of hope, of progress, of moving forward.
“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.”