#2 Preface - Individual Truth

Submitted by Tom Last on Fri, 10/18/2013 - 12:14pm.


We live in the age of individuality.
Yet, many still flaunt their conformity.
Conformity in life and in truth.
Others strive to arrange their life in the way of the principles of individualism.
Individualists are free in life.
And individualists are also free in truth.
Individualists seek truth in the depths of human nature.

There are two well known paths to truth.
One way is to seek truth in the outer world.
The other way is to seek truth within.
It is inner truth that is most useful today.
Inner truth appears within.
Inner truth is individual truth.
Here are some principles that explain the value of individual Truth.

Today, if I am to be convinced of something, I must recognize it in my own inner life as truth.
A truth that comes from the outside brings uncertainty.
Only inner truth can give the individual the power of conviction.
One's talents are weakened when confused by riddles.
One's talents are weakened when tormented by doubts.
Inner truth gives the individual the certainty and clarity to set personal goals of action.
We no longer want to believe; we want to know.
Belief demands the acceptance of truths that we do not fully understand.
The only knowledge that satisfies springs from the inner life.
We want to act out of knowledge.
We do not want a knowledge bound in academic rules and preserved forever in reference books.
We have a right to start from our own experience, and from there advance to knowledge of the whole universe.
Each of us strives for knowledge in our own way.
Facts of knowledge should not be crammed into students.
The students capacities should be developed so they want to understand.

These are the principles of individual truth.
This is what freedom looks like.


0.1 Power Of Conviction
[3] Truth, too, will be sought in an age such as ours only in the depths of human nature. Of the following two well-known paths described by Schiller, it is the second which will today be found most useful:

Wahrheit suchen wir beide, du aussen im Leben, ich innen
In dem Herzen, und so findet sie jeder gewiss.
Ist das Auge gesund, so begegnet es aussen dem Schöpfer;
Ist es das Herz, dann gewiss spiegelt es innen die Welt.

Truth seek we both — Thou in the life without thee and around;
I in the heart within. By both can Truth alike be found.
The healthy eye can through the world the great creator track;
The healthy heart is but the glass which gives creation back.

A truth which comes to us from without bears ever the stamp of uncertainty. Conviction attaches only to what appears as truth to each of us in our own hearts.

0.2 Personal Goals
[4] Truth alone can give us confidence in developing our powers. He who is tortured by doubts finds his powers lamed. In a world of riddle of which baffles him, he can find no aim for his activity.

0.3 Understandable Truth
[5] We no longer want to believe; we want to know. Belief demands the acceptance of truths which we do not wholly comprehend. But the individuality which seeks to experience everything in the depths of its own being, is repelled by what it cannot understand. Only that knowledge will satisfy us which springs from the inner life of the personality, and submits itself to no external norm.

0.4 Self-Directed Learning
[6] Again, we do not want any knowledge that has encased itself once and for all in hide bound formulas, and which is preserved in Encyclopedias valid for all time. Each of us claims the right to start from the facts that lie nearest to hand, from his own immediate experiences, and thence to ascend to a knowledge of the whole universe. We strive after certainty in knowledge, but each in his own way.

0.5 Intellectual Curiosity
[7] Our scientific doctrines, too, are no longer to be formulated as if we were unconditionally compelled to accept them. None of us would wish to give a scientific work a title like Fichte's A Pellucid Account for the General Public concerning the Real Nature of the Newest Philosophy. An Attempt to Compel the Readers to Understand. Nowadays there is no attempt to compel anyone to understand. We claim no agreement with anyone whom a distinct individual need does not drive to a certain view. We do not seek nowadays to cram facts of knowledge even into the immature human being, the child. We seek rather to develop his faculties in such a way that his understanding may depend no longer on our compulsion, but on his will.