"There are only two mistakes one can make on the road to truth... not starting, and not going all the way."
There’s one problem beleaguering mankind more fervently than any other – deception; the lie that bears the apparency of truth.
Deception need not come from without… often the greatest deceiver is the misinterpretation of our own perception. However, deception is a fragile foe… the difficulty in overcoming it is merely one of follow-through.
A trail of logic a mile long may seem perfectly valid – one point leading to another in tight procession – though all rooted upon a false premise. If one does not follow the trail all the way back to the very beginning, they will miss the error and be crippled by false belief.
Imagine a road leading from where you stand, progressing as far as the eye can see in a straight line. At the far end, beyond your view, there is a 90 degree turn to the right, which brings the road behind a tall mountain. Behind that mountain - out of sight - lies a glorious 20-foot tall bas relief carving of Woody Woodpecker.
Were I to tell you that said Woodpecker lie at the end of the road, you would think I was crazy. No amount of convincing would change your mind. You would encourage me to walk 10 paces and look again... ”See? Nothing!” We may then walk another 10 paces, then 20, then 50, then 100, and still, no Pecker could be seen. We could go 99% of the way down that road, and still have no evidence of the claim.
Most would tire before reaching the end of the road, but only by going all the way can the evidence be seen. Stopping anywhere short of the very final step around the bend would leave one utterly deceived, though convinced they were correct by a preponderance of the evidence.
This is where mental stamina and a willingness to follow a thread to the very root becomes immensely important. We must be willing to trace ideas back to the core principles upon which they are founded in order to discover truth. Once the truth is known, the very sight of the road will evoke the Woodpecker in one’s mind, and deception becomes impossible.
Be willing to go all the way in your own thinking, and in conversations with others. They will often flail and scream along the way, but I’m afraid we must insist; for to concede stopping short of the goal is to abide the evil of ignorance.
We cannot “agree to disagree” halfway down the path. Truth is not a matter of opinion.
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