On Truth

I just started a course with Coursera, Modern Poetry. I am loving it. We are starting with Dickinson and Whitman. Our second poem was this one:

Emily Dickinson


Tell All the Truth But Tell It Slant

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant—

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightening to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind—

Wonderful. There are many ways to participate in the class, from live web-casts to quizzes to writing assignments to forums. Here is a comment I placed in the forum:

“There is a difficulty that arises in the pursuit of truth with a capitol T. In order to actually realize or incorporate a new Truth into our lives, we must go through a process of disassembly of what we now hold as Truth in this area. We may come across this Truth many times before we are willing to see it. Perhaps we understand it with our intellect at first, or get a gut feeling or intuition about its truth. But for the Truth to become a part of us, to change how we perceive the world and ourselves, we have to peel away the old preconceptions. These can sometimes have many hooks in our thinking and emotions. It may take a deconstructing of a deep nature about who we are and what we are about. We can’t always do this all at once because to do so would cause a radical disorganization, a tearing down of the old understanding to make way for the new and we need a readiness for this. We can often be in a sort of “self-estrangement”, needing a groundwork of self awareness in place to have the skills needed to navigate the void between our old Truth and the new. It makes me think that is why so much of mythology tells of a journey or quest to describe transformation of the man.”