node created 2019/09/29
Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.
True words aren't charming,
Charming words aren't true.
People who know aren't learned,
Learned people don't know.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
The really frightening thing about totalitarianism is not that it commits 'atrocities' but that it attacks the concept of objective truth; it claims to control the past as well as the future.
The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.
[..]

The horseman serves the horse,
The neatherd serves the neat,
The merchant serves the purse, 
The eater serves his meat;
'T is the day of the chattel,
Web to weave, and corn to grind;
Things are in the saddle,
And ride mankind.

There are two laws discrete,
Not reconciled,--
Law for man, and law for thing;
The last builds town and fleet,
But it runs wild,
And doth the man unking.
'T is fit the forest fall,
The steep be graded,
The mountain tunnelled,
The sand shaded,
The orchard planted,
The glebe tilled,
The prairie granted,
The steamer built.

Let man serve law for man;
Live for friendship, live for love,
For truth's and harmony's behoof;
The state may follow how it can,
As Olympus follows Jove.

[..]
"Ode Inscribed to W. H. Channing"
Speak the truth even if your voice shakes.
Freedom is the right to say two plus two make four. If granted, all else follows.
Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.
Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
What is laid down, ordered, factual is never enough to embrace the whole truth: life always spills over the rim of every cup.
Tagstruth
Behind the technological veil, behind the political veil of democracy reality shows itself: the universal servitude, the loss of human dignity with prefabricated freedom of choice. And the power structure does not appear 'sublimated' anymore in the style of a liberalist culture, not even hypocritical (so that it at least retains the 'formality', the husk of dignity), but brutal, in that it abandons all claim to truth and justice.
"Konterrevolution & Revolte" (1973)
Words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details.
Truth is something so noble that if God could turn aside from it, I could keep the truth and let God go.
On truth's path, wise is mad, insane is wise.
In love's way, self and other are the same.
Having drunk the wine, my love, of being one with you,
I find the way to Mecca and Bodhgaya are the same.
There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.
When daily life requires turning a blind eye to the falsity of countless things we’re told, it weakens the power of language to sort truth from fiction.
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.
So, never be afraid. Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion, against injustice and lying and greed. If you, not just you in this room tonight, but in all the thousands of other rooms like this one about the world today and tomorrow and next week, will do this, not as a class or classes, but as individuals, men and women, you will change the earth; in one generation all the Napoleons and Hitlers and Caesars and Mussolinis and Stalins and all the other tyrants who want power and aggrandizement, and the simple politicians and time-servers who themselves are merely baffled or ignorant or afraid, who have used, or are using, or hope to use, man’s fear and greed for man’s enslavement, will have vanished from the face of it.
address to the the graduating class at University High School, Oxford, Mississippi on May 28, 1951