Words of Wisdom

The following is from Architectural theorist John Ruskin’s Seven lamps of Architecture, the Lamp of Truth:

We are too much in the habit of looking at falsehood in its darkest associations, and through the colour of its worse purposes. That indignation which we profess to feel at deceit absolute, is indeed only at deceit malicious. We resent calumny, hypocrisy, and treachery, because they harm us, not because they are untrue. Take the detraction and the mischief from the untruth, and we are little offended by it; turn it into praise, and we may be pleased with it. And yet it is not calumny nor treachery that do the largest sum of mischief in the world; they are continually crushed, and are felt only in being conquered. But it is the glistening and softly spoken lie; the amiable fallacy; the patriotic lie of the historian, the provident lie of the politician, the zealous lie of the partizan, the merciful lie of the friend, and the careless lie of each man to himself, that cast that black mystery over humanity, through which we thank any man who pierces, as we would thank one who dug a well in a desert; happy, that the thirst for truth still remains with us, even when we have willfully left the fountains of it.

John Ruskin

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