The Three Phases of Truth

Truth passes through three phases:

First it is ridiculed.
Second it is fiercely and violently opposed.
Third, it becomes self-evident.
— Arthur Schopenhauer

When a new way is suggested, people often criticize it as strange, outlandish, or even at odds with how the laws of the universe. It is lambasted and laughed at.

When momentum begins to build for change, ridicule gives way to concerted opposition. The forces that benefit from the way things are currently arranged feel affronted. They defend the status quo with whatever means necessary.

When this momentum builds into an undeniable force, it creates an incentive for the power-holders to move off their adamant position. Now the impossible is not only possible, it becomes the new standard. It becomes self-evident.

This three-part progression does not happen, however, automatically or magically. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, duration is not enough: the mere passage of time does not create change. It requires ordinary people envisioning, acting and constructing the future.

Each of us can help bring this progression into being – often, in part, by being “phase three” people in a “phase one and phase two” world.

“No one has a right to sit down and feel helpless, there”s too much to do.”
-- Dorothy Day

“The world will change because of your smile… to sit, to smile, to look at things and really see them”
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

“One cannot level one's moral lance at every evil in the universe. There are just too many of them. But you can do something, and the difference between doing something and doing nothing is everything.”
-- Daniel Berrigan

“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.”
-- Theodore Roosevelt, on April 19, 1906

“As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems, maintaining my convictions that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But, they asked, and rightly so, what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn”t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their question hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against violence on the oppressed in the ghettos without first having spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - our own government.”
-- Martin Luther King, Jr. NYC April 4, 1967

A journey of A thousand miles must begin with A single step.
-- Lao Tzu

“It may well be that the greatest tragedy of this period of social change is not the glaring noisiness of the so-called bad people, but the silence of the so-called good people.”
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

“One is called to live nonviolently, even if the change one works for seems impossible. It may or may not be possible to turn the US around through nonviolent revolution. But one thing favors such an attempt: the total inability of violence to change anything for the better.”
-- Daniel Berrigan

“There must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.”
-- Frederick Douglas 1857

“If you see injustice and say nothing, you have taken the side of the oppressor.”
-- Desmund Tutu

* Original material here.

No comments:

Post a Comment