The issue of “truth” has become a deeply significant issue in our country during the Trump presidency and its aftermath. I take counsel from Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962) in his poem “Advice to Pilgrims.” I share them with you not as being the definitive word on the subject but as containing some helpful suggestions. Most importantly I suggest that you regularly attempt to catch your intuition “clean and stark naked.”
Advice to Pilgrims
That our senses lie and our minds trick us is true, but in general
They are honest rustics; trust them a little;
The senses more than the mind, and your own mind more than another man’s.
As to the mind’s plot, intuition—
Catch him clean and stark naked, he is first of truth-tellers; dream-clothed, or dirty
With fears and wishes, he is prince of liars.
The first fear is of death: trust no immortalist. The first desire
Is to be loved: trust no mother’s son.
Finally I say let demagogues and world-redeemers babble their emptiness
To empty ears; twice duped is too much.
Walk on gaunt shores and avoid the people; rock and wave are good prophets;
Wise are the wings of the gull, pleasant her song.
– Robin Jeffers (1887-1962)