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Being a Description of the World

By Eli Siegel


Truth is the having of a thing as it is, in mind.


      Mind is always meeting things. Two things happen when mind meets an object. Something of the object becomes the mind, or becomes of it, or is in it. When a thing is in a mind, that thing is of the mind too, and is the mind.

      And then the mind, while meeting a thing and getting it as truth in it, also goes towards it or away from it, is at one with it or not; that is, it has pleasure or pain from it. When the truth aspect of mind is at one with the pleasure or pain aspect, mind is going well.

      Whenever a mind meets something, there is relation between the mind as thing and the thing mind meets. Were the relation complete, there would be identity.

      As much as the thing in a mind standing for a thing outside the mind, is not it, and the mind doesn't know it, truth is not had; the mind is going against truth.

      Before a mind can have the truth of a thing, it must know the wholeness of the thing; at least, must not be against this knowing. For a thing is what it is considered alone; and also all its relations. Without a thing's relations, it could not be; and since a thing, seen as a whole, is what it could not be without, its relations are the thing, too.

      There is a specific relation between mind as a thing and other things, which is not between things that are not mind and other things. There is a relation between clothespin and sun, in that they both can be thought about and both can give pleasure and pain; but unless clothespin and sun are thought of as having mind, they are not thought of as being felt by each other, giving pain or pleasure to each other.

      Mind, however, in its relation to the sun, can know its size and also be made comfortable or uncomfortable by its heat. Mind, then, has a truth and untruth relation to the sun, and also a pleasure and pain relation. Further, because mind can have the truth of its pain or pleasure relation to the sun, the pain or pleasure situation can also be a truth situation.

      Mind also is in a truth and untruth situation and a pleasure and pain situation as to other minds. This means we can get the truth about other people's having truth, and we can get pain about other people's having pain; and we can get the truth about the pain we get from other people's having pain. In every instance, truth is the having in mind of a thing as it is; and with mind, this can be itself.


© 1945 by Eli Siegel


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