The Tyrannical Twist of Truth

Why does insanity twist the great answers?
Because only tormented persons want truth.
Man is an animal like other animals, wants food and success and women, not truth.
Only if the mind Tortured by some interior tension has despaired of happiness:
then it hates its life-cage and seeks further
And finds, if it is powerful enough.
But instantly the private agony that made the search
Muddles the finding

…Theory of Truth, Robinson Jeffers

I found this poem in the most improbable of books that I would expect it to appear. Of course, in the book, it has significant context.

Needless to say, I had not heard of this poet, before I read this piece.

It is a loop of a poem, really, because I have known people who I have called insane and I have known people who have called me insane. We have then, perhaps, been able to see the tormented souls in each other. Insanity, perhaps, is a bond that brings truth-seekers together. In some form, at some time, at some place.

But I have found truth to be relative. It bears many a hue. Unlike a fact, truth is three-dimensional. Also, truth stands independent; a fact is available for inspection and is susceptible to be discarded, or, worse, even ignored. So how you look at truth is a factor of where you stand. You will have to see it from all possible angles, if you truly seek the whole truth. But we are content in the one vision that we behold; often, that angle that suits us.

I believe it is that private agony, that clouds all clarity. It is that same private agony that parts the truth-seekers. In some form, at some time, at some place.

In the book, Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals, John Gray introduced the poem above in a very interesting way:

In the struggle for life, a taste for truth is luxury – or else a disability.

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6 thoughts on “The Tyrannical Twist of Truth

  1. The poem makes me think of Nietzsche, for some reason…

    I like your distinction between mere “facts” and “truth”. Some people are liable to conflate the two and I think this leads to a lot of confusion about how to go about seeking truth. We tend to look for truth the way we look for facts.

    I think the most powerful experiences/forces in life are linked with insanity. Love, as well as the desire for truth, is a kind of madness.

    Like

  2. ==Georgete:
    Yes, insane people do have that quality about themselves; also seem to attract each other for the same reason! 🙂 Welcome back!

    ==Anjuli:
    Welcome to Gaizabonts!

    Thank you!

    ==IdeaSmith:
    Welcome back! Been a long while. Am doing well (or not, as the posts may tell). But I am doing well; trust you are too! Love the new look, btw!

    ==Baekho:
    You have to tell me why/how @ Nietzsche. 🙂

    I agree with what you have said; that is also a truth, isn’t it?

    ==Matthew:
    Welcome to Gaizabonts!

    I think you are right – there is not (an couldn’t be a single path to discover something so elusively real. Nature of poetry, well that’s a another truth altogether! 🙂

    Like

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