Two kinds of truth

Raymond Chandler:

There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous.

From Wisdom Commons.

I think this works for heart and mind, emotional being and intellectual being, as well. My heart tells me my goals, and my mind tells me how to achieve them. Without my mind’s guidance, my heart would achieve nothing, and without my heart’s guidance, my mind would achieve misery. When I have driven one from consciousness, I have gone backwards so far that even I could not fail to see the need for it. When I have attempted to use one for the tasks of the other, I have failed, and the failure is a useful lesson. Heart and mind are the two wheels on my bicycle, and I am balancing better on it, the two engines on my plane, without which I would go in circles.

4 thoughts on “Two kinds of truth

    • I do not think what I said is original, even the expression of it owes something to others- and it does me good to state it as a way of confirming what I believe, before an audience. And I am glad it pleases you too. Yes. It is good to read these things, and good to express these things.


    • Welcome, Jadram. Wikiquote says it was in “The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler”. I got it from Wisdom Commons. Perhaps he was practising other styles of writing beyond “hard-boiled”.

      Oh, and, coming back to this: do you not find “down these mean streets a man must go who is not afraid” poetic? I find simplicity and elegance in his writing, and some wonderful choices of words.


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