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Our Highest Truths

By A. J. Balfour

Our highest truths are but half truths.
Think not to settle down in any truth.
Make use of it as a tent in which to pass a summer night,
But build no house on it, or it will be your tomb.

When first you have an inkling of its insufficiency
and begin to descry a counter-truth looming up beyond,
then weep not but give thanks.
It is the Lord’s voice whispering,
“Take up thy bed and walk.”


Well, I see this is as a way to stay aware of what is actually occurring in one’s life, discern what is true, that is happening in this moment. And helpful as steady beliefs can be, none remain steadfast in the flow of life. Life is not human, humans participate in life, beyond any human’s perception of any truth. This, if clinched to, it becomes your tomb. Follows no belief. Life happens and at best beliefs happen to face what is more certain, that everything cahanges.

An anonymous visitor, 5th August 2017

Steadfast belief in this quote leaves one with no set-point. For, just as one begins to rely on a “truth”, presumably because it has demonstrated reliability in prediction or insight, it must be abandoned because there is always a “counter-truth”, however weakly based it might be. So one is left to lurch through life from one evanescent “truth” to another, with the result, at the end of life, of having learned or having been able to contribute nothing substantial at all. A sadly doomed voyage, all in all.

Desert Red, 17th February 2013

Tim Surtell
Website Developer and Archivist

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