Saturday, November 22, 2003

the truth

tonight i'm watching the x-files as i massage amy to help her get to sleep. during commercials i'm switching over to the history channel to check out more of their series this week: the men who killed kennedy.

"ah, the truth is out there." i say with a self-satisfied sigh.

"no," amy points to my chest, "the truth is in here."

this resonates, like most everything my lovely wife has to say. it makes me think that i've been looking for truth outside of myself to avoid looking at myself. a common occurance, to be sure. it's a lot easier to consider the problems of the world or even the person next to you than it is to take a good hard look in the mirror.

jesus said, "physician, heal thyself". and so it is for all of us. we need to start with our own needs. we cannot help others until we help ourselves. without responsibility, we are lost. we have to want it.

all of my unhealthy habits and deadly sins have been acts of defiance. i know what's bad for me: physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. i feel as if i've always known. it's as if i've worked very hard to ignore and suppress this inner truth. of course, that's my choice. the fact is that i can believe whatever i want. there are always choices. sometimes it can seem like i'm choosing between the scylla and charybdis, when these rocks and hard places might only be the limits of my imagination. we create our own reality. there are no solutions, only choices.

i'm learning about reverance for all life and trying to contribute constructively rather than critically, in a "fault-finding" sense of the word. i've always considered myself a 'spiritual' person; but i see now that i've spent the last decade or so in denial. i've surrounded myself with friends and music and distractions. i spent a lot of time having fun and creating a sense of belonging.

the thing is that i've been so concerned with acceptance that i found it difficult to speak up about things that bother me. in recent milenia i've considered that political action would inject meaning into this circus of distraction; and it has to a certain degree. i've only recently considered that the negativity that comes with criticism and judging doesn't get you very far. it's the positivity and constructive regard for everyone that really connects on a deeper level. rather than get lost in cynicism and the bullshit that is the external, i've found that true freedom comes from honestly looking inward.

it can be difficult at times to face our inner demons. typically, the things that irritate us the most about other people are the very things that we hate about ourselves, if we even recognize them. for instance, i can't stand feeling judged or shamed; but i tend to do that very thing when i consider the consequences of other people's actions. the fact is that everyone has their own life to live and their own karma to work out. it's hard enough to figure out our own lives. i guess that's why it's so easy to focus on other people. we don't want to look into that deep, dark, truthful mirror.

so often spirituality is looked down on from the secular arenas of politics, business, and science; when that is exactly what these vocations so desperately need. powermongering fear so often trumps altruism and consideration. we're brought up comparing and competing for attention and affection. nice guys finish last so look out for number one. it's considered a weakness to even consider things from an emotional perspective. a balance between the secular and the spiritual is necessary.

of course, one man's trash is another man's treasure. what may be a simpleminded joke or opiate to one person can have a meaningful resonance for someone else. our beliefs can carry us through the most harrowing situations; but the right attitude is more important.

we all need to consider the consequences of our actions and attitudes. we can have the best intentions; but the worst people skills. you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar; but leading a horse to water and making him drink are two different things. the longest journey begins with a single step; yet people can only travel at their own pace.

often we tread the same ground over and over ignoring the lessons that keep coming as if we knew better than the universe. fear and love are the motivations that inform all human action. it's a conscious choice between positivity and negativity, between hope and despair.

beyond that, we act out what we see around us. our home life becomes the model for all of our interactions. we develop coping mechanisms and modes of behavior based on the examples of our family. everyone has issues to work out; but not everyone wants to see their shadow self.
the idea that we are all drawn to someone who will help us resolve these issues is the karmic tragicomedy. we seek out someone who will push those buttons and force us to confront the problems rooted in our childhood. or not. we can live in denial and freak out when we find ourselves with someone "just like mom" or whoever.

if we are souls that weave our karma out over several lifetimes trying to balance out the negativity somehow, then we should consider that we are born to certain parents and circumstances for reasons we may not completely understand.

i don't pretend to know all of the dynamics of your psyche or karma; but i do believe that you need to consider what you're putting out there. every action has a reaction or a consequence and, try as we might, we cannot avoid them. sometimes it seems like we put off payment of our karmic debts and have to live them out in another life. i don't doubt that much of the suffering of this world is of this nature.

our physical reality reflects this. landfills and profit margins are a kind of widespread cultural denial. rather than live responsibly with reverance for life, we see a malaise of the mind where people sell out our inherent interconnectiveness for material conveniences. whatever we put our energy into, that is what we will create. we create our own reality. it's like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

you might wonder, does anyone do everything right? i believe that karma shows up in physical suffering like deformities and abuse. i like to think that when someone dies very young that that was their last little bit that they needed. these types of things don't make sense; however, we need to look at the series of incarnations to understand how the dynamic is working.

truly, mankind was borne out of the primordial slime. that nasty soup that bred the brutish rule of power is the source of suffering and desire. we have the faculty to transcend survival of the fittest; yet we cannot make choices for others, only ourselves. each soul gets their chance. each of us has complete freedom to live in the light or the darkness. we can understand that we create our reality and our karma by simply seeing that how we choose to act determines how we will live. what we put out there will come back to us. there is no avoiding it. if we "get away with it" we will pay later: in another life or in another way.

it all comes down to love and fear. i have the image of one who tries to hoard something, be it money, coconuts, whatever. when you are so busy trying to keep other people from getting 'your' stuff, you are filled with fear. you can never be content that you'll have enough. you will never know peace. not like the person who shares. they are open and free and trusting that there will be enough. maybe they're secretly afraid (there's usually a little bit of each in the other) that there won't be; but that doesn't keep them from giving.

there's your metaphor. if you hold onto your emotions or repress them or just close up, you are going to suffocate. you need to open up and let it all go. it's like a breath of fresh air. holding onto our desires and expectations is like holding our negative karma tight to our chest. imagine someone trying to carry all of their emotional baggage with them wherever they go, even in the midst of a crisis. trying to squeeze it all through the eye of the needle when you can barely fit yourself. you can't take it with you. it'll hold you back.

there will always be consequences; and that knowledge should inform everything we do and, more importantly, how we do it. compassion is key. it's not so much out of fear; it's a law of the universe, like gravity. we have to learn it over and over until we get it.

the truth shall set us free; yet brutal truth is just that...brutal...unkind. i'm no zen master; but i like to think that i know the difference between helping and hurting. we don't need to get involved in someone's karmic ignorance. sometimes it seems that people are completely closed off to the things that they need to hear: the horse is not thirsty...yet. eventually, they will run off the highway into the mire. they will be brought low as a result of their actions. everyone has to learn for themselves.

it makes sense that the more i am able to free myself, the more i will be able to work for social freedom. my revolutionary ideals have given way to a more gradual change. people can only go so far so fast. the anger and sadness are still there; but i can channel that energy into more inspirational methods. rather than challenge and debate, i can seek to find common ground by appealing to the heart and the mind.

social ills are legion. yet, how can i change the world without addressing the problems within? i was filled with righteous anger, pointing my finger at evils 'out there' of which i was just as capable.

it has taken me a long time to come to grips with this reality. it has occured to me that i am just as bad as anyone else around. rather than get caught up in the back-and-forth black-and-white yin-yang polarity that exists in all of us, i can transcend it.

it takes a lot to not get tangled up in our emotional responses. we need to acknowledge and express our emotions; but we can channel and redirect the energy as well. we don't have to let them control us.

our actions and thoughts become more meaningful as we become more conscious of them. the patterns and animal urges lose their power over us as we recognize them. the truth lies within. we just need to be willing to see it.

what kind of reality do you want?

we can start a conspiracy...of hope.

i want to believe...


Blogger Mr. Burns said...

This is good. Very well said. I believe there is an inner truth that we all can share. The key is as you said: looking for it.

Well done. I'll be back.

12:57 PM  

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