” Too Good To Be True “

The title of this essay is a phrase that you’ve heard and read many times. It’s a cliché you pass on or pass over with little thought. I mean why should this night be different from others, eh…?

But consider it more closely. It is the equivalent of a sign hung on a barbed wire fence: ” Achtung Minen! “.  The wise soldier reads, marks, and inwardly digests the message of that one…and goes round the field contained within the boundary without pausing to poke any of the lumpy bits. The foolish soldier hops on a pogo stick and goes straight over the wire…

When someone tells you that something is too good to be true, believe this; it is neither. It is a story designed to pander to your prejudices or desires, and intended to get something from you. That might include belief, fealty, sex, money, or fear. Or any number of things that are your own affair. But whatever is said, it is a lie. A lie wrapped in half-truths but a lie at the core.

If you whirl the phrase the other way: ” Too true to be good “, you come to a closer understanding of the world. Most real truths take the skin off the back of your hands and if you are unlucky the peeling process doesn’t stop at the elbow. That is the way physics, chemistry, animal instinct, and a great deal of economics works. You get the truth, but you can’t handle it – or don’t want to. Odin saw clearly with one eye but he sacrificed the other to do it.

Is there a happier middle ground between true and false? Is there any wiggle room? Yes there is. You just have to remember to deal with things in the manner of a British magistrate’s court – only ask the questions that you wish to know the answer to – only answer the questions that are asked clearly and fairly. Do not make up or take up hear-say, innuendo, slander, libel, pontification, or specious argument. Just don’t.

You’ll have as much truth as you need with and as little pain in getting it as possible.

Judge yourself before others and never lie to the judge.

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