The grand lie

“The Supreme Grand Master smiled in the depths of his robes. It was amazing, this mystic business. You tell them a lie, and then when you don’t need it any more you tell them another lie and tell them they’re progressing along the road to wisdom. Then instead of laughing, they follow you even more, hoping that at the heart of all the lies they’ll find the truth. And bit by bit they accept the unacceptable. Amazing.”

”Vimes had half expected the Scone to explode, or crumble, or flash red-hot. Which was stupid, said a dwindling part of himself – it was a fake, a nonsense, something made in Ankh-Morpork for money, something that had already cost lives. It was not, it could not be real.

But in the roaring air he knew that it was, for all who needed to believe, and in a belief so strong that truth was not the same as fact … he knew that for now, and yesterday, and tomorrow, both the thing, and the whole of the thing.”

Terry Pratchett (2000), “The Fifth Elephant”, London: Transworld Publishers, Corgi Books

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