There is an old hymn that speaks of Truth being ever on the scaffold. It recognizes that there have always been two Meanings of truth, In a binary world truth is a conclusion that can be false or defective or subject to amendment. We are a universally fallible people. The truth is debased when falsely claimed. But there is a remedy. It is called continuity.

Remember when smoking was a matter of daily controversy? The truth was routinely claimed by forces protecting the tobacco industry from all assaults. Over time, the forces of veracity were victorious.

And yet we still see the conflict in the current back and forth over nicotine.

Lies all over

I well recall when at UNICEF I was tasked with writing a Q and A regarding harmful well water in Bangladesh. I noted that an Indian (from India) doctor deserved a medal as a voice that had consistently warned the world about the dangers of water from these wells. That observation was excerpted from my text. The reason was that UNICEF at the time was very skittish about its own role in allowing these wells to flourish.

Similar stories abound wherever there has been crime and catastrophe.

Beyond debasement

There is, however, the truth that is never on the scaffold. It is the truth that lies always in the future.

It is the truth which is more than ideal. It is ultimate and Universal. It is a reality. This truth is the fruit of our capacity to think and to imagine the world beyond outright lies. Such a world is envisioned virtually all who have a humanitarian bone in their body.

Beauty is truth

This is the truth that the poet John Keats identified with beauty.

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty." Those who have stood for the right and suffered for the good, know this is the case.

Binary thinking dominates our culture. Fortunately, it is not the only sort of thought.

Triadic thinking allows ethics and aesthetics to play a natural part in the composition of one's daily existence. Our minds, when alert to conscience and attuned to consciousness, gravitate toward the triadic. When we have a Donald Trump consistently debasing truth we are not witnessing the end of the world. We are simply confronting something we should respond to it with what is, by our best judgment, accurate.

No news outlet is presently without its sad purveyors of such falsehoods. In a partisan world, the writing or Orwell rises up as a warning.

Debased truth is what a verdict is when one pronounced guilty is eventually deemed innocent.

Time is the best friend of truth that shines brightly whether we acknowledge it or not.

As the NY Times reports today: