The Humble Truth
The Truth matters to all of us. Indeed it is very difficult, if not impossible, to consciously lie to ourselves. We all like to think that we aspire towards truth and that it guides our most important actions. That is true also of those people who might come to mind who seem to value anything but truth. They too will deeply believe that their views and actions are in the service of a higher truth.
It is certainly easier to say what Truth is not than what it is. ‘Capital T’ Truth is usually not most things we think it is. When we can come into a field of wholeness, or balance, when we can move in one direction and then complete the circle back in the other, when we wait long enough to see all parts of a picture; when we feel at inner-peace, acceptance, and we can see others and the world suffused with the soft, gentle light of fundamental goodness – then we might be in a state of Truth. When we are neither pulled nor driven overly in one direction or another we might be with Truth. Truth might be more of a process or state of being than the ‘contents’ of our thoughts or beliefs.
Truth is not opinion, judgment or hurt, and nor is rightness, certainty, or ‘fact’. Amassing such ammunition against each other is a state of ‘war’ (inner and outer), and war is never a reflection of the highest Truth. Truth is ‘live and let live‘ and not crossing boundaries (though it might sometimes mean firmly holding a boundary for self or vulnerable others).
It matters that we become aware that thinking that ‘we know‘ is not always a good sign. Our part-truths and false certainties are actually the cause of our suffering. The stories attached to our hurts, judgments and opinions are the direct cause of our anger, pain and disappointment; the satisfaction, or redress we may feel or receive from living in these half-truths is only ever short-lived and partial.
The great teachings all describe that which is Ultimate (Love, Truth, Reality, Being etc.) as soft, allowing, and ‘easy-with’ things. When we can see each other from that place, rather than from one of division, rightness or wrongness, then we can trust that our words and actions could be unifying and healing.
Part-truths are not inherently ‘bad’. The ‘badness’ lies only in our mistaken belief that we have the whole truth. Our addiction to certainty blocks us from expanding our conscious vision of ourselves and each other – of the whole. Our fledgling part-truths are valid paths along the way that pull us with passion and desire towards ever more complex Truth. These pulls and passionate convictions are a part of being human and a vital part of our creative life force. But whenever our ‘truth’ is pulling us with too much passion, or pushing us with too much ‘righteousness’, we should suspect, by the degree of charge and intensity, that we are still in a state of some imbalance and that our ‘truth’ is still only a part of the whole.
At these times, what can help is to allow (don’t supress or disown) the feelings of passionate drive, desire, and intensity – and allow ourselves to truly stay with just feeling them in our bellies and our hearts. And then let them suffuse our whole field – out through all of our bodies and cells and then into the sphere around us. Practice this with any feeling of intensity and notice what it is like to allow it to fill your whole field – notice how it softens and becomes somehow more complete and yet less overwhelming. This of course requires the ongoing practice of grounding and emotional containment, the ongoing practice of being able to be-with our feelings and body in ever more real and simple ways. Above all else it requires that we try to keep the mind calm and watch out for its hijacking of any intense emotion into ‘stories’ about ourselves or others. If we can practice this, then we will be in a better state from which to act.
We will never acquire the whole of the Truth, though we can increasingly come to know more of our own truth. We cannot know another’s truth though we can try to open ourselves to understanding it (because we are all human, some of what we discover might be universal). When we can say to ourselves “I think ‘such and such'” – “but I can’t know for sure” then we can be freed from our mental prisons. “I don’t know” might be one of the most transformative statements there is. If we are committed to growing in Truth and Love we will experience moments or periods of its Grace. We can hold these in memory as a reminder to discern when we are off-balance, and try to move back towards that centre-point of allowing. We can all aim to live there more, we can all endeavour to lift ourselves higher, to go deeper, and to not settle for the truths that gratify the mind or ego and let us off the hook too easily in life. The truth will keep humbling us, because we will keep realising on this journey how little we have really understood. And that is a recipe for kindness and generosity towards each other.