Quality Quotes #9

“To believe that our beliefs are permanent truths which encompass reality is a sad arrogance. To let go of that belief is to find safety.”
–Ursula K. LeGuin, gloss on chapter 2 of her interpretation of the Tao Te Ching

Last week, I complained publicly about the sad state of the truth in modern society.  A mere 2 days later, I was fortunate to encounter the above quote while reading.  LeGuin’s words alerted me to how snooty my previously-held belief about the truth was and simultaneously smoothed my growing anxiety and helped to lift me out of the red haze of anger and frustration I was spiraling into.  I’ll spare y’all the details, but now I’m feeling liberated and free as a breeze.

Speaking of breezes, if any of you are wondering, the family and I survived this morning’s Middle Tennessee tornadoes.  We suffered no loss but that of sleep due to the tornado sirens and of power for about 8 hours.  There are, however, many people in the area who lost a lot and are suffering a great deal, so please spare some good thoughts and, if you’re a praying person, some prayers for Nashville and the surrounding areas.  If you’re interested, you can learn more here.

What do y’all think about my Quality Quote for today?  Does it liberate you or cause you anxiety?  Holler at me in the Comments section!

Take care, be well, and happy blogging!



–Via Fandango’s One-Word Challenge for 3/3/20, “snooty”
–Via Ragtag Daily Prompt for 3/3/20, “smooth”
–Via Word of the Day Challenge for 3/3/20, “details”
–Via Your Daily Word Prompt for 3/3/20, “haze”

21 thoughts on “Quality Quotes #9

  1. It’s a sure thing that our thoughts can’t encompass reality. And we can always learn. Still, there is such thing as truth… whether any person is or many people are much aware or not. I’m glad that many people aren’t as rigid as they used to be. At the same time, young people (and many others) are more convinced of additional consideration for the less powerful than in the past — such as women and unconventional people. I think it’s important to value truth and yet not be hard-headed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, Marleen, we have to value truth and keep an open mind. What worries me most days is how easy it has become for nefarious agents to make complete falsehoods appear to be absolutely true and how willing so many are to accept them without question. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe. I’m working my way through Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga right now. In that series, they make frequent use of a super-effective truth serum called fast-penta. Under its influence, characters are giddy, drunk, and ridiculously forthcoming, so it makes for very funny reading.


  2. I get a general idea of what she’s saying: you may be wrong. You may think you know all the facts, but be missing some important ones, thus not get the complete picture.

    However, I’d say that to NOT believe that our beliefs are permanent truths which encompass reality is an invitation to confusion. There has to be solid ground on which to stand, a truth that can be known and accepted, someone to believe or some cause to believe in, to maintain our sanity.

    In some cases belief is practical: I believe the power of gravity will pull me down if I leap from a rooftop. I believe if I drain your bank account, there will be a punishment meted out for my crime. In some cases this involves belief in a person. If my husband says he loves me, should I constantly refuse to believe him because this may not be “a truth that encompasses reality”?

    And I have to find peace in trusting my own judgement. Be open to learn, yes, but constantly at sea, no.

    That’s what I think about this particular quote.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for commenting, Christine. I take her statement as saying that there’s peace in acknowledging that my justified belief isn’t necessarily truth. I don’t think she’s implying that I should necessarily not believe that ALL my beliefs are untrue.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, in that she’s right: it’s important to understand that we could be wrong, always willing to see more than we do now.

        Generally people will hold to their beliefs — and it is wise to do so — until something or someone comes along to prove that belief wrong. Maybe that the whole outlook has been off base, like the child who believes himself worthless, then discovers that he, too, has a valuable place to fill.
        Once we find ourselves proven wrong, we need a new truth, a place to land and stand secure.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The issue I have with the quote is the notion that beliefs are ever considered to be truths, whether permanent and transitory. Beliefs and truths are rarely, if ever, synonymous.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So glad that you and your family survived those tornadoes. Even though I had family in both Donelson and East Nashville, all were well.

    I love this quote, Denny. I had read about Ursula LeQuin’s ‘translation’ of the Tao de Ching. Being a LeQuin fan and a long-time reader of the Tao de Ching, I really should add this book to my library. Thanks for reminding me, Denny.

    Liked by 2 people

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