Searching for truth?
An important scene in the novel Heart of Darkness tells of Marlow in the living room of Kurtz’s fiancee. Did she really want the truth? What if she had received it? Would she be able to cope that Kurtz had no longer been thinking of her, and that he had set up a life for himself outside the City that lives forever.
The intended had set up her ideal relationship with Kurtz and made up a lie about his life, exaggerating his achievements and embellishing his importance.
“I knew it, I was sure” she said when told the lie that he had breathed her name at the last. It was the only logical conclusion in her mind. If she had been told the truth, that his last words had been “The Horror, The Horror”, it would have shattered all the illusions she had. Perhaps she would be tempted to even take her own life. For the past year, she had been grieving one whom she thought had cared deeply for her. With the lie exposed, she would know that her grieving had been in vain. There was nothing left for her to live for.
Are we seeking “Truth” or do we now seek meaning to life? Why are we here? What is our purpose for being and how do we achieve it? The truth is that happiness is not the meaning of life. The meaning of life is to live a life for others. To live a satisfied and fulfilled life, we need to do for others, especially for those who cannot do for themselves. Did you ever do something good for someone and then feel so good within yourself?
Some people think that there are conspiracies that the government hides from the people. Theorists seek to uncover the truth concerning many things; the existence of life on other planets, The JFK assassination, the moon landing. In my opinion there is truth on a lot of different levels. We give truth in moderation. There are some truths that the government and others do not tell us, because it does not benefit us to know. The truth about some things could cause riots or unrest. The truth would do more harm than good if it were exposed. These people don’t lie, but just omit to tell the truth.
Some people like to be absolutely honest in all things. These people are considered rude because they are so blunt. How would you answer your partner if he/she asked “Does my butt look big in this?” There is no right answer to that question. If we say yes, it does look big, then we are in trouble for being honest. If we say no, they wont believe you anyway… “You are just saying that to make me feel good”.
There are some places and circumstances in which absolute truth is needed and expected. In a court of Law for instance; if you tell a lie in there you could be sent to gaol for perjury. A member of Parliament is expected to tell the truth in the parliamentary chamber, regardless of what he/ she has said outside of that room. There are consequences for ministers who mislead parliament.
All’s quiet on the Western Front. Would I lie to you?