Tell The Truth

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind

Emily Dickinson


John Collier, “Lady Godiva”, 1897, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry, England

First, history. Lady Godiva (her Saxon name was Godgyfu) was the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, who died in 1057. Earl Leofric was one of the powerful lords who ruled England under the Danish King Canute. Lady Godiva seems to have been a rich landowner in her own right – one of her most valuable properties was Coventry. Both Leofric and Godiva were known for their generous donations to churches and monasteries – the only reliable records of her and her husband are found in the chronicles of various religious foundations and in charters, where their pious donations are named – unfortunately most of the treasures were afterwards stolen by the Norman invaders.

But despite her illustrious husband, renowned piety, and religious benefactions, without the tantalizing legend of her ride told below Lady Godiva would likely be completely forgotten.

Then, the legend, which first appears out of the blue in the 13th century in a not very reliable account. In the story Leofric has been made into a tyrant; but Lady Godiva felt pity for the people of Coventry, who were suffering grievously under her husband’s oppressive taxation. Again and again she appealed to her husband, but he obstinately refused to lower the taxes. When she kept entreating him, he grew so fed up that, either with playful raillery or in a spirit of bitter jesting, he told her that he would do what she wanted “if she would strip naked and ride through the streets of the town.” The real joke is, of course, that Lady Godiva took him at his word. She issued a proclamation that everyone should stay indoors and close the shutters before their windows, and then she rode through the town of Coventry, clothed only in her long hair and lovely tresses, which poured around her body like a veil. And thus the Lady Godiva, “with a downcast but not a shamefaced eye, looking towards the earth through her flowing locks, rode through the silent and deserted streets.” Her surprised husband kept his word and remitted the onerous taxes.

Regrettably, the story of Lady Godiva’s ride is almost certainly a myth. The earliest written record of it comes from one Roger of Wendover more than a century after Godiva’s death, a medieval scribe renowned for exaggeration and embellished stories. Historians have looked for the origin of this legend in both pagan fertility rituals and in medieval penitential processions.

Over the centuries, the tale became sentimentalized and more erotically charged, and the victimization of the Lady Godiva became paramount – she must be a virtuous victim, compelled by an unfeeling husband to perform a humiliating act. She became – literally – “the naked truth.”

Understanding Reality

“Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world. In our endeavor to understand reality we are somewhat like a man trying to understand the mechanism of a closed watch. He sees the face and the moving hands, even hears its ticking, but he has no way of opening the case. If he is ingenious he may form some picture of a mechanism which could be responsible for all the things he observes, but he may never be quite sure his picture is the only one which could explain his observations. He will never be able to compare his picture with the real mechanism and he cannot even imagine the possibility or the meaning of such a comparison. But he certainly believes that, as his knowledge increases, his picture of reality will become simpler and simpler and will explain a wider and wider range of his sensuous impressions. He may also believe in the existence of the ideal limit of knowledge and that it is approached by the human mind. He may call this ideal limit the objective truth.”

Albert Einstein, The Evolution of Physics, 1938, co-written with Leopold Infeld


Albert Einstein at the age of three, 1882

The Lotus Feet of the Guru

Abraham Maslow On Integrity, Spiritual Growth and Self-Actualization
Characteristics of the Self-Actualized Person:
Humility and respect

The Lotus Feet of the Guru

Self-actualized people are said to be humble. They are able to be friendly with anyone no matter what their background or beliefs are. They trust that even the worst person has redeeming features. These people enjoy learning from anybody. Recognize that they do not know all the answers or have all the skills and they are willing to learn these from others. Because of democratic, attitude they are often known to become more defensive.

“The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not till then, will he have a glimpse of truth.”

Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments With Truth


“We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers. Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong.”
Carl Sagan

Pearl, Vladimir Kush

Pearl, Vladimir Kush







Many of us experience a wide variety of uncomfortable states, feelings and thought patterns. We may feel depressed or lost, easily angered or in constant fear. Life may seem confusing and antagonistic, not as it should be or not meeting our needs. We may seem dependent on the attention and approval of others and often perceive ourselves as not good enough, always striving to do or be more.

These states are common and wide spread, yet not often acknowledged or spoken about. Often we need to address the wall that is in front of us, not what we think is on the other side. These burdens we each carry can be dropped, slowly and gradually over time, so that we no longer need to struggle under their weight.

The universe or truth is an undividable whole that is all-encompassing and indefinable. Thus everything fits in and nothing can be separate or apart, even the perspective that something is separate or apart. This is beyond the capacity of the mind to fully capture or describe because words create boundaries where none ultimately exist. Since words and thus the mind are limited, there can be no absolute authority on truth; no person, belief, approach or pathway that is more right or wrong. Knowing this allows us to drop more fully into our own experience and discover the truth for ourselves.