My definition of truth is as follows: something is true if it transforms me and aligns me with Source; and something is ultimate truth if it transforms me radically and aligns me permanently with Source. Thus, whatever creates fear, anger, anxiety is NOT truth. Truth and fact must not be confused. Something can be true but not factual e.g., the message of the Good Samaritan; while something can be factual but not true e.g., I’m writing this today at 9:02 PM with a black ballpoint pen – hardly a life-changing piece of information for you.
In an oppressive society, there are very few “truths” outside of the consensual reality. It then becomes very difficult to experience that which the culture tells you does not exist. On the other hand, in an evolving society, people are free, even encouraged, to think and explore outside the box. One function of the prophet is to break open the boxes, the constricting reality models, the small “truths” and deficient cosmologies, in order to invite us to wonder and venture more deeply into the awesome mystery of God.
The Ultimate Reality, of course, is the God-perspective. If Truth is transformation, then Reality is alignment with Love in one of its many manifestations. If, on the other hand, a reality model leads to me into fear, in one of its many manifestations, while it may be true and real, it most certainly is not True or Real.
Where truth is in the judgment, and reality is in the composite amalgam of the truths, cosmology is the explanatory model that pulls it all together and offers a satisfactory, solid basis for life. However, for the vast majority of us, this entire process, especially the cosmology piece, is acquired unconsciously and, in any particular situation, is accessed unconsciously. Ask somebody, “Why did you say that?” and they will likely reply, “Because it was the appropriate thing to say.” Or “Why did you do that?” will evoke, “Because it was the right thing to do.” What made it appropriate or right? The unconsciously acquired and unconsciously accessed cosmology. So, the sages would advise, “Know thyself”, “The unexamined life is not worth living”, “I am Buddha (awake)” or “If the householder knew when the thief was going to break in and steal, he would not have gone to sleep.”
In synopsis, there are personal, consensual and ultimate (God-like) levels to truth, reality and cosmology. It’s up to us to choose consciously. And choose wisely.
f. News Fast
By your addiction to the daily ‘news’ you are voting with your remote control, saying ‘yes’ to having some talking head manipulate your reality. Watching the Main Stream Media is the equivalent of mainlining anxiety and anger. What passes for compassion is 90% addiction to turmoil and conflict.
How can you dissolve your fear, quiet your anger and arrive at a solution while you allow the slurry pit of the nightly news into your sitting room and into your mind? It’s the equivalent of the city’s septic system backing up into your home. You don’t have to ignore what is happening – once you find out what that really is – but you don’t have to marinate in it.
C. The Art of Communication
In working, as a psychologist, with couples, I’ve developed “Ten Tips for Good Communication”; and I designed a paper-and-pencil test in which each person grades themselves and their partners on the ten tips. This allows them to identify their individual weaknesses, so that we can create a plan to improve them. For the purposes of this essay, I will just focus on five of them; and my objective is to show how these can be applied as we engage with others in political discussions.
Tip #1 is to “Show Up.” If people or parties are not willing to sit down together with the objective of having a respectful, intelligent dialog, then no situation can ever be resolved.
Tip #2 is “Pay Attention” and this has four identifiers. When a couple comes to my office, I am initially paying attention to four qualities. First, their body language. Where and how do they sit in the chairs/couches: together, apart, facing towards each other or away from each other. Second, are they using what Buddhism calls ‘soft gaze’ (embracing each other with their eyes) or ‘harsh gaze’ (spearing each other with their eyes.) Third, do they interrupt each other or not. And, fourthly, when one has finished speaking, does the partner respond to everything the other one just said, or just to the part they disagree on.
Tip #4 is “Detach from the outcome.” Be prepared to learn something new. The dialog will benefit much more if you are willing to walk in the other’s moccasins for a while. You don’t have to wear them for the rest of your life, but until you’ve tried them on, there is no way you can appreciate the other person’s perspective.
Tip #5 is “Do not interpret what the other person is thinking or saying or doing.” Check it out. Ask real questions like, “Sorry, can you explain to me what you meant when you…?” And this must be a genuine request for clarification, not another form of accusation. Nobody has the right to ascribe motive or motivation to another in the absence of mutually-agreed, incontrovertible evidence.
I am unaware of any of these tips being employed by the current crop of politicians or the ‘talking heads’ – make that ‘shouting heads’ – of TV.
D. Are You Willing to be Disturbed?
If you find that you are waking up to a new way of seeing and being, know that it will be difficult. In the Gospel of Thomas, the teaching “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened” is widened significantly to “Those who seek will find, and when they find they will be disturbed, and when they are disturbed they will marvel, and when they marvel they will rule and when they rule they will rest.” So, there are six stages, and the third one is “being disturbed.” But here’s the clincher. Thomas does not mean that you’ll be disturbed by the situation or by the behavior of the other party, but by the realization that you, too, have been living in an illusion.
If your work on your cosmology doesn’t disturb you, you are most probably not growing but, rather,are settling for the security of old sectarian thinking. The temptation, on first becoming disturbed is to go right back to sleep. Please don’t. The world needs you to be awake and responsive to the Spirit. So how do you know whether you are awake or asleep? You are asleep to the extent that you operate in fear, despair, anger, or unforgiveness. You are awake to the extent that you
– recognize the divine in yourself, in others, and in the “enemy.”
– are willing to listen to the perspectives, beliefs, fears of the opposition,
– can stretch beyond the confines of both positions to synthesis,
– realize that there are no longer good/bad guys but only God’s guys trying to make sense of incarnation
– are ready to laugh at the illusion of reality fed you by society
E. Want Another Chance?
Imagine you have just died, shuffled off this mortal coil and even let go of the etheric body. You’re with the heavenly mentors who prepared you for the incarnation just ended, and they begin your life review in which every event and relationship of your life is immediately and simultaneously available to you in 360-degree wrap-around Dolby sound, vision and emotion. This is not a judgment, they simply want you to evaluate how closely aligned were your performance and your pre-incarnated game plan.
Realizing that you had chosen the era, the family and even the body you were born with, and that you had fervently planned to respond to all situations with love, compassion and forgiveness in an effort to shift the very planet into Christ Consciousness, you thump the heel of your fist against your (astral) forehead and exclaim, “Oi vey! I can’t believe I forgot! Damn, I was so convinced that this time I would stay awake and remember while I was still alive. Damn, damn, damn. I wish I had another chance.”
And the mentors, with infinite compassion, smiled and said, “OK, we’ll give you another chance. You can go back.” And you did. That’s why you’re here now.
What are you waiting for?!