We all very much need to know the truth as a function of living in the real world. Cold makes snow; water makes rain, and wind makes tornadoes. These simple truths we know as facts.
But when dealing with the myriad other aspects of a human life, we can very often forget how very badly we need to tell the truth. It is not possible for a person to be in harmony with a truth that he does not yet possess.
So it seems that we must be true inside, with our self, before we can know a truth that is outside us. We make ourselves true when we manifest what we see.
Sincerity is still something to admire, be it in ignorance, humor, understanding or joy. Yet many times, upon meeting with truth, we refuse it, crucifying that which is before our own eyes. Transformed into a grotesque caricature of its former self, sincere truth, now stripped of harmony, wreaks vengeance. It seems the need for truth is inescapable. I deeply need to know wherein to place my confidence, my joy.
The whole package of truth consists in the trite phrase of “talk the talk, walk the walk.” There is a sort of homage to the world which we pay by truth.
Without this, there is left the specter of mental instability or chaos in the form of illness. The classic feature of psychosis is the inability to distinguish reality from fantastic pretense.
Despite this potentiality, men seem often consumed in idle gossip, scurrilous malignment and scandalous calumnies. There is, in their actions contempt, a lack of respect for reality. Some say the base of this issue rests in the will.
We refuse many times to conform with what we know true. We refuse it, fight it; our will plunges into false values, false views. The restless wagging of our tongues is evidence of this state.
Does a spring send out both sweet water to drink, and poison from the exact same source? Can unquiet evil be tamed, filled full, with its own poison?
We are still, despite it all, free in our will to value what we know to be true, or not. And to speak the truth in sincerity is more than frankness. It is a manifestation of a spirit to be simple, to be real, to observe an obligation to the truth about one self.
When we rake the truth, it is our soul we make foul. Heaped with dirt until we recognize it no more. So without a personal commitment to honest self-justice, lying and double dealing become unavoidable. Fear is possibly the greatest obstacle to candor. Others have no authority to demand that I be other than I rightly am.
And when they arrested and beat me, they could not take me down. It was a test of love. When fully myself, my life becomes its own fulfillment and completion.
So in the end, while a surge of pride may devour and destroy, sincerity remains a question of love. In love a person may see the true, and offer love for beauty in its own soul.
'Truth makes us real', as Merton said.