The Bitterness of Truth

A few months ago P. told me that the truth is bitter. We all know that and there is nothing remarkable about this saying. But sometimes, the oft-repeated clichés of folk wisdom come to us through so strange a route that their effect is enormously amplified. Such was the case with me. I am not going to narrate the circumstances of this saying and how it came into my life. But I will rather try to capture the emotions of fear and trembling produced in my heart by this saying.
It is almost one and a half months since I have been on a foreign land, the far west of the earth. Only yesterday I was talking to one of my friends named D. from Ludhiana, who is currently in Toronto. I was telling him that I’ve liked this part of the earth and I would like to spend the rest of my life here. But I was not sure because I had not seen the hardships of life here till then. Until today, I was enjoying the hospitality of my friends and acquaintances. But today, I have moved to my own room. So, I have started to live alone in a foreign country from this day on. That’s why I am getting ready to experience the bitterness of truth once more.
Whenever an immigrant lands into a new country and he comes out of the airport and rides past high rise buildings and over-bridges, arched houses and lush green parks, he experiences a strange kind of feeling:
He sees his coming as an event, a great event instead. He feels that his coming is going to change the history of that place forever, that this place belongs to him from this day on. This feeling makes him feel like Alexander the Great or Jhengis Khan. But gradually, when he confronts his own isolation and solitude, the bitterness of truth starts to haunt the poor fellow.
I don’t want to get stuck in the example. What I want to stress is the fact that everything new in life starts with a feeling of strength and well being. But gradually everything starts to wither away. That’s the case with most relationships also, though not all. But the threat of this bitterness always looms on our heads. How can we respond to this bitterness?

I would welcome your comments and I hope to further my speculations on the bitterness of truth with help from you all.


  1. As Hafiz says:

    Ala ya ayi ha al saki i'dar qasa o naval ha
    Ke Ishq asaan namood awwal wale uftad mushkil ha

    [Ho! O Saki, pass around and offer the bowl:
    For love at first appeared easy, but difficulties have occurred.]

  2. That's why it is said that one should not walk with head held high up in the sky coz when one falls, you fall with your face hitting the ground.

  3. May be it is good time to weigh the darkness and light within your own self. I am using my solitude just to examine if darkness and light balance equally within the spaces in my mind, body, and soul.

  4. hmmm I know it's a though situation and most of us go through it but thats just the start!!! welcome to foreign country...lolzzz I know that's the toughest part of your life when you have to survive and work hard to earn money and study at the same time....huh always remember God is wid you!!! may waheguru bless you and give you the spirit to fight the circumstances :) Gurfateh Veerji

  5. "Socrates....produced a wonderful hermeneutic disturbance--until Athens swatted him out, which is often the fate visited upon radical hermeneuts."

    - John D. Caputo, Introduction to Radical Hermeneutics

  6. Each new life experience requires one to draw upon one’s innate strength, courage and source of compassion. Although at times an experience may appear to be new, upon reflection one sees that it is interlinked with other experiences and only further strengthens the qualities that one already possesses. The only thing that may whither is one’s previous way of dealing with what one is confronted with. Relationships with others are mere reflections of relationships with ourselves. We may feel that relationships wither…….however, they too are lessons that one must receive to further know the self. Each person teaches one about something special that one may possess i.e. fear, love, anger, guilt. One can only become bitter if one internalizes these feelings and perceive them as being inflicted upon us. Numerous souls are engulfed in bodies and are dispersed throughout the world. Diverse personalities reside within these bodies, each being symbolic and representative of the various facets of God. Take away the bodies, and the soul remains…….. and can be seen as part of the ONE. Hence, once can see oneself as an individual in a foreign land or as a soul who has gone a step forward on the journey of self realization.

  7. This shell is a mere barrier between the realization of the self as a part of the one. Destinies are engraved upon our foreheads. Throughout our journey in life, he provides a guiding hand as we step forward, provides love as we tread upon thorns, embraces us as we fall, shows his light as he draws our souls closer to him.......

  8. “Blogging is a kind of beautiful narcissism.”
    “ A comment is like a savior who saves blogging from falling pray to its own narcissism.”
    It is a truth….
    But in these lines, Is here existing “The bitterness of truth.”
    I think…No…Not at all…
    When anonymous tries to post a comment on any blog, he/she itself disclosing his/her anonymity through his/her philosophical comments. Now it depends upon the realization of the Blogger. Blogger should concentrate on the ecstacy of the comment,not on the identity of the visitor. The relation of Blogger and Anonymous visitor is like…..Lots of butterflies are visitng on the flower and flower is giving his love without knowing anyone. This speechless creature is not interested in true identity of his visitors,but itself he knows their true identity.
    So for anonymous visitors…..
    “The blog is like a savior who saves the visitor from falling pray to its own narcissism.”
    So from the above,the real truth is SILENCE.
    But it is the most disadvantageous for a Blogger and also for a visitor.
    So the Truth..
    “When life does not find a singer to her heart she produces a Philosopher to speak her mind.”
    “idl dI qKqI ayuqy
    ieko hrP “AlP”dw iliKAw
    ieko aKr mOlw vwlw
    AsW murSd kolo isiKAw
    Ieho swfw pihlw AKr
    Ieho hrP AKIrI
    Ies qoM ibnW muriSd ny swnUM
    hor hrP nw disAw

    I am not a blogger, also not philosopher.
    So I donot know is it true or not?as speaking my you please do not mind for this.
    May Waheguru shower his blessings on whole humanity so that we all can sing by our hearts.


  9. We often know how mind is working or has been known to work but are not able to bear its working in an uncaring way, because of the simple fact that we may talk about the mind in an objective way like it is just another organ of the body but the experience is felt/had in the very core, in the self, in fact is felt not by the mind rather by us (to talk about mind objectively is nothing more than academic flirtation).
    Having said all this our simple experience also tells us that hope sustains life and the fact that we can get used to almost anything in life certainly holds out hope. One would get used to one's solitude one day. Or something would happen and solitude would be broken.Let us hope. yeps!

  10. Hi Nanbudh,

    Its very good to hear from you after so long a time.
    There is no doubt that we can't talk about mind in an objective manner.
    But we can meet our minds. WE can talk to our minds. For we are more than our minds. When we are alone, these are the most precious moments because only during these moments we can encounter what is called our mind.
    To live a life of solitude is to live in company of ourselves. When we live in the company of others too much, then our relationship to ourselves gets obscured.
    The weight of solitude is indeed hard to bear, but its fruits are the sweetest one when they become ripe.
    And hope is one of these fruits.
    Kindness another
    and Love yet another.

    Love in solitude.
    Thats the sweetest of all.

  11. Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa
    Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    It is probably really tough living alone, abd working and studying all the time. I go to school too and it is tough, but I try to live in chadhi-kala (contentment). These experiences,many good or bad all in one day, only last for a certian time and then they vanish, only a memory. Waheguru gives both good and bad times, but I try to look at it in a neutral point of view, that at least he is giving me something. I try thinking of all the amazing things he has given me and that gives me courage to face the day.

    P.S. I live 9 hours north of you.

  12. N Kaur ji,

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki Fateh

    Thanks for your encouraging comments.
    The point is that I don't want to avoid the tough and painful experiences. I know that its hard for me to make people understand what I am trying to say. You are right when you say that there experiences are short-lived.
    But the real truth is that inside every painful experience there is a blessing. Thats the way of God to shower His blessings.
    What I am trying to do is this:

    I am trying to live every painful event of my life in such a manner that moves me closer to Him.

    If you are a student, I would like to know what is your area of study?

    And if I am permitted to guess your location, it can either be P.G. or C.?
    Am I right?

  13. Its always refreshing to read your posts prabhsharan.
    solitude- -
    what i am given to believe these days is that solitude is good for digestion, repair and creation of things mental in nature(thoughts, memories, feelings, mental music/noise) but one needs company after that...i can very well imagine its iciness,of the solitude i mean. You are quite right about what u say about love.But Love again is relationship and relationship+solitude=memories and memories=less sleep and pining and sense of incompleteness. In other words, its tough but then again, as i said, one gets used to it.
    :-) I know one may correct me by saying love can be a higher-than-this experience and i would certainly not argue that :-).
    Internet is most certainly a wonderful anti-dote for solitude. Look at the way we are communicating. Near, yet not near; far, yet not far. Often people use technology without realising its power. Its wonderful.
    By the way prabhsharan, the pictures you have posted are beautiful, very beautiful.

  14. Hi Nanbudh,

    Solitude is a delicious recipe for the soul of sensible men, but it seems like a curse to those who are running after the materials things in life.
    But for the sensible man, it is also an agony. The agony which one must undergo in order to acieve self-realization. Whenever one succeeds in building a harmonious relationship with one's own self then only he starts to live in true spiritual realm.
    Religion is the journey of a soul dancing in its own music and trying to find that Who is at the same time music, instrument, sound, musician and the listener.

    People who live in solitude are always, knowingly or unknowingly, in search of that kind of music.

  15. truth is sometimes painful.


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