“Doubt is uncomfortable; certainty is ridiculous.” – Voltaire
I’m guessing that by now, if you’ve read ‘Your Greatest Gift is Truth’, you may have spent a good portion of your time taking a deep breath and fearlessly telling people your heartfelt truth?
How many times have you been shocked by the response?
It’s kind of like spending a great deal of time thinking about what someone would like for their birthday and then spending even more time carefully shopping for that ‘perfect’ gift – only to find when you give it to the person their response is something less than what you’d hoped for. Some part of you may feel cheated by their lack of gratitude. Some part of you may feel like explaining to them how much time and effort you put into the gift.
So, here is the paradox of truth and its inherent limitations. You see there is a difference between objective and subjective truth.
The great nagual Don Juan shares the sorcerer’s explanation in Carlos Castaneda’s book ‘Tales of Power’:
“We are inside a bubble. It is a bubble into which we are placed at the moment of our birth. At first the bubble is open, but then it begins to close until it has sealed us in. The bubble is our perception. We live inside that bubble all our lives. And what we witness on its round walls is our reflection. The thing reflected is our view of the world. That view is first a description which is given to us from the moment of our birth until all our attention is caught by it and the description becomes a view.”
In giving others our gift of truth we are in essence just giving a view, one that, nevertheless, we have spent our whole life creating and then reinforcing, one that is simply based on perception.
To let go of our fixed view of the world and embrace the mystery of life is one of the greatest challenges we can face but paradoxically one of the most rewarding.
“It’s the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.” [‘Arcadia’, Tom Stoppard]
As human beings we are growth seeking. We strive to expand on all levels – when we don’t we get stuck in the mire of the past and obsess about who is right and who is wrong. We go to war with others because they have different beliefs from us. We hang our hat on the hook of judgement and work hardest to protect what we have for fear of loss.
To ascend to a greater way of being requires us to open up our bubble.
Think about it from the past/present/future perspective. All of your stories about how the world works, who you are and your place in it are based on the past. When confronted by a conflicting view of the world you will instinctively point to all of the ‘evidence’ that has arisen from past events. You will naturally then come to the conclusion that you are right and ‘they’ are wrong. End of story. End of expansion.
A commitment to speak truth can be made from the perspective of, “I’m going to tell you my truth – fully expecting that you will then realise how completely WRONG you are and adopt my point of view instead.”
Or it can be made from the perspective of, “I’ve surrendered to the mystery of the Universe. I embrace the ideal of speaking my truth. However I accept that my viewpoint is just one of many and I am committed to expansive growth.”
See the difference?
Values, ideals, visions and dreams live in the future. We aspire to live them and, MOST importantly, we can’t get to them by striving to live in certainty.
Of course, here’s another paradox. You see we are hard-wired to seek certainty. Our brains are self-organising, patterning systems that perpetually try to make our lives easier by identifying patterns and then re-enacting stored behaviours.
Faced with a new piece of information (maybe even right now) your super computer of a brain switches into gear and starts madly searching its memory banks to find anything that it has seen, heard, read or experienced before that will help it to make sense of what it is experiencing now and place it in the correct box.
Naturally this limits us to a fixed view of the world based on past experience – which is EXACTLY what we don’t want when trying to be expansive.
Can we even see new possibilities then?
Scientists have experimented with kittens to see how their perception changes when inputs are limited early in life. They placed kittens in an environment where they were no horizontal lines. Months later the kittens were still unable to perceive horizontal lines in their environment even when exposed to them.
It is also well tested that the human brain fills in ‘blind spots’ by speculating and then projecting what it thinks should be perceived in those areas. Note that I say ‘it’ because it is not a conscious action.
(No the image is not moving… Your brain just thinks it is – see Akiyoshi’s Kitaoka’s other work http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/~akitaoka/index-e.html)
So, back to the weird and wonderful limitations of truth.
Yes – truth is the greatest gift you can give to another. However, you must have a commitment to emotional and spiritual expansion and an acceptance that your truth may not be the same as my truth.
You might also like to embrace the notion that the world is a mystery – one that we should never stop trying to understand, but a task that we should never expect to accomplish.
An open heart. An open mind. A willingness to listen. An absence of judgement. A spirit of adventure and exploration.
And the best bit is – you can’t work it out from where you are right now!
“Reality is just an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” [Albert Einstein]
What sort of amazing world can you imagine?
In peace and love always.
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