From theory to practice

August 21st 2014
Truth is a philosophical problem but also a practical one, because so long as we remain on the level of the intellect and thought it is not complete. To be complete, truth has to be brought down to the level of feeling and, further still, to the level of action. It is easy for everyone to acknowledge a truth theoretically, intellectually; so long as it is only theory, it doesn’t commit them to much. But they should then accept this truth in their heart and eventually act on it to make it concrete. And that is what is so difficult! Take a very simple example. Theoretically, it is quite easy to acknowledge the truth that all humans are brothers and sisters. But it is much more difficult to have brotherly feelings for them all. As for behaving fraternally, whoever you are with and whatever the circumstances, that is the hardest thing in the world and, you must admit, the least successfully achieved. When you explain to people what is fair and kind, most will say, ‘I understand, I understand…’, but then they will behave contrary to all the laws of justice and goodness, because they are not aware that the heart must also have its say and that the will must be mobilized to put it into action. And yet every idea that is not brought to fruition is virtually useless. When we cherish a right thought, we must be able to love it sufficiently to want to act accordingly.