The truth, indeed, is something that mankind, for some mysterious reason, instinctively dislikes. Every man who tries to tell it is unpopular, and even when, by the sheer strength of his case, he prevails, he is put down as a scoundrel.
—H. L. Mencken
What is the price of Experience? Do men buy it for a song?
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children.
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy,
And in the wither’d field where the farmer plows for bread in vain.
—William Blake, Vala: Night the Second
The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.
—(There is much debate about who first said this. A web search brings up at least four or five seemingly credible possibilities. So this maxim itself could be considered a good example of how hard it is sometimes to find the truth.)
Truth is a pathless land.
To understand truth one must have a very sharp, precise, clear mind; not a cunning mind, but a mind that is capable of looking without any distortion, a mind innocent and vulnerable. Only such a mind can see what truth is. Nor can a mind that is filled with knowledge perceive what truth is; only a mind that is completely capable of learning can do that.
We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.
It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts.
Truth is beauty.
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
—Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda under Adolph Hitler