3 Stages of Truth

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Is any wonder that it can be hard to accept the truth when this reality holds sway. I would argue that there are four stages, with the first being that truth is ignored. The above quote is really directed at a society level, but all societies are collections of individuals and hence each individual must go through their own stages of denial/acceptance.

Why is it so difficult to accept the truth? It depends on many factors but a critical one is how big the gap is between the lie and the truth. If the lie is not far from the truth then it is easier to accept the truth but as the lie and the truth diverge, hence the bigger lie, then it becomes harder to believe the truth because one cannot accept that the lie is so large.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Joseph Goebbels

Let that sink in for a minute. Read it again. So then what does this mean? It means quite simply there are many BIG lies that exist today. Because if this works at the Government level, it certainly works at the corporate level and the personal level. It also means the truth is very dangerous to those who practice the art of deceit. And therefore by extension those who speak and reveal the truth put themselves as great risk. Since we live in an age of universal deceit then the truth has many many enemies.

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