There are two words in Russian language addressing the same issue: Pravda and Istina. Pravda means the Truth. Istina- something more than just the Truth. It is the Truth at the Higher plane of existence.
Here are some examples:
- It is the truth that American war for Independence was not really a Revolution. It was a craftily designed colonial secession, orchestrated by a group of wealthy people frustrated with the fact that despite their wealth they were still treated as second-rate citizens by their British patrons. Yes, that's Pravda. But if you read the Declaration of Independence, if you find out about Saratoga, about Benjamin Franklin, about Nathan Hale, about all those thousands who fought in the Continental Army, about Lafayette and about Benedict Arnold you understand that in the process that war became something bigger than just a simple successful mutiny, that its cause became the good one, the cause of progress of Humanity. American war became an American Revolution, it earned the title fair and square. And that's Istina.
- It is the truth that October Revolution in 1917 in Russia was executed by a party which grew up from a terrorist organization. Yes, that's Pravda. It is the truth that that party took power illegitimately and then in order to win the Civil War unleashed the forces of terror much more horrible than any Jacobine in 1793 could possibly imagine. But if you look through that and "watch with an understanding eye' as one Russian poet sang, you will see the triumph and tragedy of the most glorious Russian nation, which survived that all, rose the country to enormous power, gained nuclear energy, sent the first person to space and in 1941-1945- saved Humanity from the Darkness. That's Istina- if there was no Russian Revolution, there would no be Free Russian people to fight and prevail over darkness.
3. It is the truth that 9/11 was a horrible crime. Those who did that, who rammed
the airplanes into the towers are beyond contempt. It is Pravda. But it is Istina that our ruling elite did everything possible to conceal the real set of events, to avoid the trial and due process and to use this crime to unleash the crimes of their own. It is Istina that the memory of those who were killed on 9/11 had been trampled upon by the wars afterwards which killed more, much more.
- It is the truth that those who ordered the nuclear bombardment of Hirosima and Nagasaki were good men. It is Pravda that they truly believed in the necessity of that act, that they were in fact saving American lives. But it is Istina that it was an act of murder, not self-defense. No explanations can help here, no distractions will do anything; murder it was and those who did that were murderers and those who explain it now are the accomplices in murder. Murdered were those people and we have to live with it.
"You do not argue with Istina,'- say the Russians. That means that Istina is the final say. All bets are off, all opinions counted, all explanations heard. Istina is the final judgment and the argument is over. Of course, you may not agree but you can take your disagreement and show it. It is over.
Pravda is something purely factual, something you can touch. Istina is what you do with it. Istina presumes the application of your mind. It requires a deep effort, the usage of all the knowledge you possess, all the learning, all the skills. Istina demands passion and responsibility, compassion and conscience. It is in fact a revelation.
The best example of the difference between Pravda and Istina is given in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In the scene where Huck decides on his own to not to turn Jim in he changes from a child to an adult. As a child an American boy should turn the runaway slave to the authorities and collect a reward. As an adult a man named Huckleberry Finn knows that his friend Jim is equal to him and he loves his friend and protects him. It is Pravda that he had to obey the law. It is Istina that a law was inhumane and any adult should oppose it. Pravda thus is for children. Istina is for adults.
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