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Quotations about Truth

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The small truth has words that are clear; the great truth has great silence. ~Rabindranath Tagore

We shall advance when we have learned humility; when we have learned to seek truth, to reveal it and publish it; when we care more for that than for the privilege of arguing about ideas in a fog of uncertainty. ~Walter Lippmann, c.1917

Love truth, but pardon error. ~Voltaire

Error is not always the result of a want of education, but often a lack of power to comprehend the truth. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

Fortunately there have always been men whose larger minds could adapt themselves to the truth instead of narrowing the truth to them. ~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, "The Sympathy of Religions," an address delivered at Horticultural Hall, Boston, 1870 February 6th

God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please — you can never have both. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. ~Aldous Huxley

It is a sad regret to have searched for the truth and settled for an answer. ~Robert Brault,

The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths. ~William James

The trouble about man is twofold. He cannot learn truths which are too complicated; he forgets truths which are too simple. ~Rebecca West

Error is sometimes so nearly allied to truth, that it blends with it as imperceptibly as the colours of the rainbow fade into each other. ~William Benton Clulow, Horæ Otiosæ, 1833

Truth, like milk, arrives in the dark
But even so, wise dogs don't bark.
Only mongrels make it hard
For the milkman to come up the yard.
~Christopher Morley, Dogs Don't Bark at the Milkman

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. ~Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia

I never dreamed of being Shakespeare or Goethe, and I never expected to hold the great mirror of truth up before the world; I dreamed only of being a little pocket mirror, the sort that a woman can carry in her purse; one that reflects small blemishes, and some great beauties, when held close enough to the heart. ~Peter Altenberg

Men ardently pursue truth, assuming it will be angels' bread when found. ~W. MacNeile Dixon

"Gentle truth" will at last cease to be gentle and crush him who rejects her. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

There is no god higher than truth. ~Mahatma Gandhi

Truth is the daughter of Time. ~Aulus Gellius

It will never be possible by pure reason to arrive at some absolute truth. ~Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy

Truth is rarely writ in ink; it lives in nature. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

When I tell any truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do. ~William Blake

Truth only reveals itself when one gives up all preconceived ideas. ~Shoseki

Without faith there is no truth, for that is all the truth is or ever was. ~Robert Brault,

Truth is light of foot like a fawn, not heavy like lead. It is young with the spirit of youth, but we bend it with weight in its still young years. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: VII," A Soul's Faring, 1921

If there be no God, then what is truth but the average of all lies. ~Robert Brault,

There is no Truth. There is only the truth within each moment. ~Ramana Maharshi, attributed

Truth is after all a moving target
Hairs to split,
And pieces that don't fit
How can anybody be enlightened?
Truth is after all so poorly lit.
~Neil Peart, Turn the Page
(Thank you, Ryan)

Theories are private property, but truth is common stock. ~Charles Caleb Colton

By sooth-saying it is quite possible to make a living in the world, but not by truth-saying. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908

It is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. ~Oscar Wilde

My truths do not last long in me. Not as long as those that are not mine. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Truth breeds hatred. ~Bias of Priene, Maxims

Truth never hides; yet how hard to find! ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it? ~Dōgen Zenji

Seek truth and you will find a path. ~Frank Slaughter

One of life's regrets is that you didn't always tell the truth, and now it's too late, because the truth has changed. ~Robert Brault,

A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth. ~Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried

As change is the order of Nature,
And beauty springs from decay,
So in its destined season
The false for the true makes way.
~Alice Carey, "The Time to Be," c.1847

Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch, nay, you may kick it all about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Professor at the Breakfast Table

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold. ~Leo Tolstoy

People always think something's all true. ~J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, 1951

Truth is the breath of life to human society. It is the food of the immortal spirit. Yet a single word of it may kill a man as suddenly as a drop of prussic acid. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Alas! In vain historians pry and probe:
      The same wind blows, and in the same live robe
      Truth bends her head to fingers curved cupwise;
And with a woman's smile and a child's care
      Examines something she is holding there
      Concealed by her own shoulder from our eyes.
~Vladimir Nabokov, The Gift, 1963, translated from Russian by Michael Scammell

Truth bends abashed, and answers not. ~Thomas Hardy, "An Impromptu to the Editor," The Cornhill Magazine, January 1910 (fifty years jubilee edition)

Every truth bends and reshapes itself or is reshaped by other forces. ~Leslie Woolf Hedley

I am the fellow citizen of every being that thinks; my country is Truth. ~Alphonse de Lamartine, "Marseillaise of Peace," 1841

Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth. ~Jean-Paul Sartre

For men in earnest have no time to waste
In patching fig-leaves for the naked truth.
~James Russell Lowell, "A Glance Behind the Curtain"

Don't keep searching for the truth, just let go of your opinions. ~Author Unknown

There are more martyrs to nonsense than truth, truth preferring missionaries. ~Robert Brault,

Truth is a great flirt. ~Franz Liszt

I am of the Buddhists. The great Teacher comes periodically. He is followed by pupils who corrupt the texts and then a new Buddha must be born to reëstablish the truth. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter. ~Denis Diderot

Truth has very few friends and those few are suicides. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

All great truths begin as blasphemies. ~George Bernard Shaw, Annajanska, 1919

...Science and mathematics
Run parallel to reality, they symbolize it, they squint at it,
They never touch it: consider what an explosion
Would rock the bones of men into little white fragments and unsky the world
If any mind for a moment touch truth.
~Robinson Jeffers, "The Silent Shepherds," The Beginning & the End

Do not mistake probability for truth, for it is a notorious liar. ~Robert Brault,

The greatest truths are the simplest: so likewise are the greatest men. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Nothing possesses greater magnetism than the simple truth well spoken. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth — and truth rewarded me. ~Simone de Beauvoir

Man has always sacrificed truth to his vanity, comfort and advantage. He lives... by make-believe. ~W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, 1938

When one has one's hand full of truth it is not always wise to open it. ~French Proverb

Once an absurdity is accepted as truth, it will seem truer the more absurd it is shown to be. ~Robert Brault,

Truth is no Doctoresse, she takes no degrees at Paris or Oxford... but oftentimes to such an one as myself, an Idiota or common person, no great things, melancholizing in woods where waters are, quiet places by rivers, fountains, whereas the silly man expecting no such matter, thinketh only how best to delectate and refresh his mynde continually with Natura her pleasaunt scenes, woods, water-falls, or Art her statelie gardens, parks, terraces, Belvideres, on a sudden the goddesse herself Truth has appeared, with a shyning lyghte, and a sparklyng countenance, so as yee may not be able lightly to resist her. ~Charles Lamb

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. ~Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable. ~Attributed to James A. Garfield

Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self-evident. ~Arthur Schopenhauer

There is no truth. There is only perception. ~Gustave Flaubert

If a thousand old beliefs were ruined in our march to truth we must still march on. ~Stopford Brooke

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