What is Truth? It is absurd to attempt to define it, for when we say that S is P, rather than S is Q or S is R, we assume that we already know the meaning of Truth. This is really why all the discussions as to whether Truth depends on external correspondence, internal coherence, or what not, neither produce conviction, nor withstand analysis. Briefly, Truth is an idea of a supra-rational order, pertaining to Neschamah, not to Ruach. That all rational conceptions imply that we know Truth, and that Truth is in their propositions, only shows that these so-called rational ideas are not really rational at all. Truth is by no means the only idea that resists rational analysis. There are very many ideas that remain indefinable: all simple ideas do so. At the back of all our efforts is the dead wall that we must already know what we are pretending to find our. Consider the statement of the Angel in the 5th Aethyr in The Vision and the Voice:
…all the symbols are interchangeable, for each one containeth in itself its own opposite. And this is the great Mystery of the Supernals that are beyond the Abyss. For below the Abyss, contradiction is division; but above the Abyss, contradiction is Unity. And there could be nothing true except by virtue of the contradiction that is contained in itself.
When that was given to the Master Therion, how obscure a saying and hard that seemed to him! Yet in the light of the above paragraphs, how simply obvious the proposition has become, and how far short of—Truth!
What then can be meant by the title of this compilation: “Little Essays toward Truth”? Do we not all assume a perfectly illogical conception of Truth as an entity of “the supra-mundane order, whence a whirling flame and flying Light subsist?” Do we not instinctively assimilate these ideas of Truth and Light, though there is no rational nexus? Is it not clear, then, that we do understand each other perfectly, so far as we can understand each other at all, in a sphere such as Zoroaster calls “Intelligible,” which “subsisteth beyond Mind' but which we should “seek to grasp with the Flower of Mind”? Must we not then assent to that other Oracle, in which that Magus most sublime asserts:
For the King of all previously placed before the polymorphous World a Type, intellectual, incorruptible, the imprint of whose form is sent forth through the World, by which the Universe shone forth decked with Ideas all-various, of which the foundation is One, One and alone. From this the others rush forth, distributed and separated through the various bodies of the Universe, and are borne in swarms through its vast abysses, ever whirling forth in illimitable radiation.
They are intellectual conceptions from the Paternal Fountain partaking abundantly of the brilliance of Fire in the culmination of unresting Time.
But the primary self-perfect Fountain of the Father poured forth these primogenial Ideas.”
(It is to be remembered that the Oracles of Zoroaster continually proclaim in words of boundless brilliance the doctrine here set forth: these Essays are indeed a species of Commentary thereupon, and I may say that I only came to understand them as perfectly as I now do in the course of this writing.)
Now the same Truth, which is Light, which is implicit in each spark of the Intelligible; what is it but the Self of Everyman? It is this that informs his every motion, this that lies closest to his heart and soul, being indeed their mainspring and their dial, the principle of section and of measure.
Now Initiation is, by etymology, the journeying inwards; it is the Voyage of Discovery (oh Wonder-World!) of one's own Soul. And this is Truth that stands upon the prow, eternally alert; this is Truth that sits with one strong hand gripping the helm!
Truth is our Path, and Truth is our Goal; ay! there shall came to all a moment of great Light when the Path is seen to be itself the Goal; and in that hour every one of us shall exclaim:
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life!”
Yea, the Life also, Life eternal in Time and boundless in Space; for what is Life but the continual resolution of the antimony of the diverse by the spasm of Love under Will, that is, by the constantly explosive, the orgiastic, perception of Truth, the dissolution of dividuality in one radiant star of Truth that ever revolveth, and goeth, and filleth the Heavens with Light?
I beseech you earnestly, dear Brethren, to grapple manfully as mighty wrestlers with the ideas in these Little Essays: to understand them—
…with the extended flame of far-reaching Mind, measuring all things except that Intelligible. but it is requisite to understand this; for if thou inclinest thy Mind thou wilt understand it, not earnestly; but it is becoming to bring with thee a pure and inquiring sense, to extend the void mind of thy soul to that Intelligible, because it subsisteth beyond Mind.
For thus not only will you develop the spiritual intuition, the very Neschamah of your divine Being, but (in the degree of your Concentration of your power to slow down and finally to stop the irritable movements of your ratiocinative machinery) to transmute these Essays—the Prima Materia of your Great Work; passing through the stage of the Black Dragon, in which your rational ideas are wholly destroyed and putrefied, you will succeed in enflaming them in the fierce Furnace of your Creative Wills, until all things burn up together into one blazing mass of living, of relentless Light.
And thus come ye to Sammasamadhi—thus are ye free for ever of all the bonds that bound your Godhead!
A similar Fire flashingly extending through the rushings of Air, or a Fire formless whence cometh the Image of a Voice, or even a flashing Light abounding, revolving, whirling forth, crying aloud. Also there is the Vision of the fire-flashing Courser of Light, or else a Child, borne aloft on the shoulders of the Celestial Steed, fiery, or clothed with gold, or naked, or shooting with the bow shafts of Light, and standing on the shoulders of the horse; then if thy meditation prolongeth itself, thou shalt unite all these Symbols into the Form of a Lion.
Then shall ye understand what is Truth, for ye shall understand your Selves, and YE ARE TRUTH!