Allegory of Truth and Lies in Difficult Times

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Truth is constant and so is usually the first casualty in any crisis. Truth has its allure but is often difficult to abide by. When a man is known for saying the truth, he is always held in high esteem by society but also detested and despised for saying it as it is by many. Most of the times truth is always difficult to be accepted when it has come to alter a set of belief. Just like in “Allegory of the Cave” where a man who had witnessed the truth outside the cave was seized upon by the people in the cave who did not believe what he said.

The lie is usually clothed in fine apparels to deceive and always takes a turn in times of crisis. Nothing has linked more than lie and that is why in trying to cover the truth, you will need lots of lies:

We all know the story of the “Old man’s Eye.” It is the story of a hunter and the children. The hunter was unlucky for the day and did not kill any animal. He was in a predicament of how to take care of the family and later arrived at stealing a fowl into his hunting bag. This was near where the children were playing in the village. The day was an unfortunate day for the hunter and he was seen by the children who shouted and accused him of stealing. He lied and denied it. The children were threatening to stone him to death. The argument lingered. There was a man passing-by who came to ask what was happening. The children told him the story. The man asked the hunter if he stole any fowl. The hunter said no, but asked the man to use “Old Man’s Eye” to look into the hunting bag and know if there is a fowl. The man looked and indeed saw a fowl in the hunter’s bag but was asked to use the old man eye by the hunter. The man told the children there was no fowl in the bag. The hunter was set free by the children. But the reward for a lie is usually punishment.  Sisyphus in the Greek mythology was adept at lying and grand deception hence the punishment of rolling a boulder uphill while chained to it.

The truth they say is naked, and a Catholic Priest used a story in one of his Sunday Sermon to buttress the nakedness of truth, and the thin line between Truth and lie:

Truth and Lie were very good friends who shared all things in common. They even had striking semblance which made it difficult to differentiate them most times except for those very close to them. They were from the same village and clan. Owing to their closeness they alternated going to each other’s farm. Their friendship was stuff for the legend. They were so close that people often found it difficult to differentiate between them. As time went on, Truth saw a beautiful damsel that he desired to take for a wife.

 Truth didn’t know that Lie was interested in her too. Lie kept it to himself and pretended to be happy for Truth. He, however, had his plans well laid out. On the appointed day for the wedding, both friends decided to take their bath at the village stream from whence they would proceed to the wedding.

While taking their bath, Lie decided that they should play a game of diving after a coin which each person would throw into the stream alternately. Lie asked Truth to throw his coin first so he could dive after it, which he did. When it was the turn of Lie to throw his coin, he threw it into the deepest and farthest part. Before Truth could fetch it, Lie had taken their clothes and fled. When Truth emerged from the dive with the thrown coin, Lie was nowhere to be seen. He was left stark naked.

Lie got married to the beautiful damsel dressed in Truth’s apparel. Since they closely looked like each other, people could not decipher the deception.

Since Truth didn’t want anyone to see his nakedness he began to hide.  Since then to date, Truth has been naked and always difficult to see because he has always remained in hiding.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown that truth has remained very difficult to find. Many are saying the virus is a creation of the Chinese, while others have said it’s an opportunity by people who want to create a new world order to inscribe the 666 marks of the beast on humans.

The social media is awash with different versions of what the virus is and what it is not. What is, however, truth is that facts about the virus are not appealing. The lies about the virus are full of salacious stories which appeal to what people want to hear.

A survey by “Yours Truly” revealed that many of our citizens on the street doubt the existence of the virus while others believe it is a disease for the well-off in the society. To worsen matters, many of our elites who ought to know better have linked the virus to the 5G technology. They have cited the destruction of the mast in China and a part of Britain. People lapped on to the news as evidence of the cause of the virus. Truth is difficult to find and had made it difficult to carry out independent research even though we have been gifted with smartphones which have the ability to access the most recent of information. The Truth is just a click away but we hold on to old beliefs. We are held back by fear of the unknown by clinging on to the old and familiar.

Apart from COVID-19, truth and lies in the political sphere between the officeholder and the citizens are exemplified in the allegory of strange bedfellows in Shakespeare’s “the tempest”. Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. It is spoken by a man who has been shipwrecked and finds himself seeking shelter beside a sleeping monster. That unusual combination or political alliance.  Truth and lies besiege the officeholders and the citizens with thin lines separating them in varying interests.

Humans have passed through many historical epochs to get to this level. Writings of people like Thomas Hobbes, Galileo and a host of others were burnt by the church because they espoused ideas that were contrary to the existing body of knowledge. When vehicles that were mechanically propelled by engines were manufactured, many persons believed that it was being pulled by the devil because they were used to horse-drawn carriages. The minds could not fathom how a carriage could move without been drawn by a horse. They set about stoning the carriages and setting them ablaze. The owners were stoned. It’s obviously thus not new that people are behaving true to type. We are all humans. Our forebears have passed through some challenges.

The Allegory of the cave exemplified how humans react when they are faced with unfamiliar facts. The people in the cave who were chained to the ground behaved true to type. They murdered the man who had gone out of the cave and discovered that the movement of the shadow and sound of the drum were independent of each other.

Owing to the fact that Truth is naked and always in hiding, it will take time for us to see it. However, the truth always prevails at the end.