The Truths at Hand

Every man during his life finds himself in regard to truth in the position of a man walking in the darkness with light thrown before him by the lantern he carries. He does not see what is not yet lighted up by the lantern; he does not see what he has passed which is hidden in the darkness; but at every stage of his journey he sees what is lighted up by the lantern, and he can always choose one side or the other of the road.

There are always unseen truths not yet revealed to the man’s intellectual vision, and there are other truths outlived, forgotten, and assimilated by him, and there are also certain truths that rise up before the light of his reason and require his recognition. And it is in the recognition or non-recognition of these truths that what we call his freedom is manifested.” – Leo Tolstoy

Contrary to longstanding popular opinion, man is not free to the degree that he accumulate material possessions. Neither is he free to the measure that he accumulates facts and figures in his mind. He is only free only to the extent that he recognizes and acknowledges truths being revealed to him in any given moment.

Liberty derives not from license, but from the accommodation and profession of truth. Truth is the ever-expanding word of creation, the logos, as it was once put. Each man must choose to acknowledge and coordinate his actions with the pattern of truth presently manifest, or he can ignore or dismiss it and labor against the progress of life.

All struggle proceeds from the failure to harmonize with the momentary convergence of truths. A horseman unaware of the constantly shifting patterns of truth relating to his balance, his mount’s balance and the interplay of the two shall invariably exacerbate the imbalances. A chef who refuses to acknowledge the principles of truth which govern taste, texture and aesthetic beauty shall forever be combining that which ought not to be, at the expense of those whom he serves. A leader who imposes his self-centered will upon those whom he leads and thus ignores the principles of truth at focus within his sphere of influence shall eventually be toppled.

The river of truth courses through all things. Move with it and the experience of life is flowing, peaceful, exhilarating and fulfilling. Movement contrariwise constrains only to frustration, disappointment and exhaustion.

Man is free to recognize or to rebuff the truths at hand, but he cannot choose the latter with impunity. No matter how hard he tries to busy his heart and mind with trifling externalities – what others are saying or doing, how pleasant or undesirable his circumstances may be at the moment, etc. – his fundamental duty and, incidentally, the true exercise of his highest authority, is to make this choice in each and every moment.

6 thoughts on “The Truths at Hand

  1. David R

    Love the dance of your words combined with Tolstoy’s – all providing an open door to adventure and creation. We can’t avoid making choices, and often enough the significance of those choices is hidden in the darkness of the future. Sometimes the sense of having made the wrong choices can be paralyzing, but the opportunity to make the right choices is always available. Rich considerations here!


  2. Coco

    Not to belabor Mr. Tolstoy’s light analogy but this is where the torch is passed to man. When the truth is at the point where it can be actualized on Earth through a person, the cycle of creation is continued. We are a part of a continuum and for any meaningful destiny we must play our part by chosing wisely.


  3. Joy

    How privileged are those of us who know we have a choice, how tragic to know and still to rebuff. Thank you Gregg, for your outstanding expression!


  4. Ricardo B.

    There is so much here, I hardly know where to start. Truth is the ultimate reality of things, and it shows itself, at least the way I visualize it, in the patterns of things. Patterns – sort of like a master chess player who by one quick look at the board can see the arrangement of the chess pieces as they are and intuitively grasp their associations without much thought and know the best next move. The truth of the move was revealed to him in the pattern before him. There was a pattern there that brought to the truth to him.

    So, taking this one step further, the web of reality lies in the patterns and bonds of what is called truth. Perceive them, intuit them, know them and you shall fare well. This is where I feel most free in my own discoveries, those aha moments in my personal and professional life. The glow of true inspiration lights the way. Perceive them not, reject them, rally against them in defiance, dismiss them in some casual inattention, and a stress of some kind will appear that will push the limits of some kind of intrinsic threshold that exists. You go too far with something, and the web must give.

    In these evolving thoughts of mine, and everyone please pardon any inconsistencies here for they are not fully fleshed out, which by the way is a cool thing about this venue/blog/forum here that one can explore with the lantern of inspiration and just describe what one sees without feeling you have to know what it means just yet necessarily, I find a great responsibility in helping to make the web of reality appear more clear, not so much for myself, but for what I fear to be the increasingly delicate state of the world and all creatures therein. Let not the darkness of men’s hearts engulf the world, but simply allow the light of truth to have its way, simply and naturally.


  5. Katherine

    There’s nothing more freeing than taking absolute responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings and actions. Although it might seem like you’d then have the weight of your world on your shoulders, it’s actually the most liberating experience and opens the doors to greater understanding, opportunities and influence.


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