Living toward truth
Thursday, January 25, 2018
1:15 p.m. I was quite prepared to forego a conversation today. Speaking to Guidelines groups [as I did Wednesday night] often leaves me able to do little or nothing the next day. It takes a lot of energy, but of course it gives in return. A wonderful thing, thinking together for two or two and a half hours, or even longer. Only at TMI.
However, I’m ready if you are ready; if you think it would be better for me to go a day without, I can always go back to watch another episode of “The Crown,” which I am enjoying very much. But I’d sooner do this and then see another episode. So, what do you think?
We substituted a new analogy – neurons in a great brain – as a way of bringing you to new understandings. The closer you conceptualize the relationship, the easier you will be able to reconfigure accepted ideas that stand in the way of realizing a closer relationship in effect, that is, de facto.
Why have we begun exploring the concept of sin and virtue, the interaction of vast impersonal forces and what we might call mental structures, but to help you see deeper? You don’t want a bloodless metaphysics; you don’t want an ethereal religion that doesn’t compel [by virtue of the truth it contains] your belief and therefore your allegiance and support. You want truth, as much truth as you can comprehend, and perhaps a bit more. And you want it in order to live by it, no to admire it in a glass display case.
I have always wondered about the Bible verse; did it mean “Buy the truth and sell it not” in the sense of, “Once you have paid for it, keep it,” or did it mean, “Don’t buy it and don’t sell it”? One could wish the King James, though a masterpiece of stylistic prose, were a little less ambiguous sometimes.
Ambiguity, intended or not, has its uses. To get to truth (should we, perhaps say, toward truth, toward truer?) one does need to pay something. It is also true that truth cannot be obtained nor retained by bargaining of any kind.
What does one pay? It depends upon what the “you” is that you bring to the exchange. A proud man may need to sacrifice his pride, and come in a spirt of humility. A willful man, similarly, may have great difficulty in accepting implied rebukes innate in the unwelcome truth that comes to his reluctant eyes. A man wedded by habit and inclination to any of the seven cardinal errors may feel torn apart between the comfortable and familiar (even if also harmful and futile) and the allure of knowing, of being closer to his true course. We need hardly add that for “he” you may freely substitute “she.” The point is the same.
And, I get, truth is more than a matter of explanations and fact.
Truth is an imperative. It makes demands. It may comfort or it may afflict or it may do both at once or both alternately, but it will have its own imperative which will not be those of any human or all human wills together.
If that seems harsh to you, or strange, consider. How can truth be anything but universal? That is, what is true, is true. it does not depend upon the agreement or even the comprehension of the observer. You may say, “Obviously: I never expected to hear something that would be true for me alone.” No, you don’t. But probably you do expect something that will be true for humans, say. And what of rocks and trees and animals and ex-humans and unitary beings? The same truth exists for all, only of course different levels of being will respond to different aspects of the truth. The bacteria in your gut, the cells comprising the organs in your bodies, the atoms and molecules comprising your “inorganic” structures in the 3D world – these are all specific levels of consciousness, with consciousnesses appropriate to their particular position. The same truth must be true for all; and at the same time, it would not be possible for different levels of consciousness to apprehend or conceptualize things similarly. Or are trees now to read baseball scores, and angels to maintain crystalline structures?
What this amounts to is that necessarily a great part of the truth of things will always be beyond your comprehension even abstractly. You can’t expect to understand everything and you shouldn’t waste your time attempting to – except (important proviso!) insofar as you are inclined to. That is, you are free to try; that doesn’t mean any good will come of it. It may, who knows? But we confidently predict that anything that comes of it will be different from what you expect ahead of time.
That’s just common sense, after all. You don’t have maps before you do the exploring, so if you find only what you expect, maybe you haven’t been as venturesome as you’ve been thinking you are.
Well done; you’ve learned that lesson.
Yeah, it was a while ago, but I got it.
All right, so: truth. It isn’t just ideas, it is life. It is reality. But it isn’t obvious reality. It isn’t what your senses report, and what your senses report even when the reports of your intuition are added is still insufficient for you to obtain even a position report, let alone forge on.
You aren’t as much good to us – or to yourselves – if you are operating not from an instinct to truth but from an instinct for the comfortable, the attractive, the seemingly easy. The least common denominator, call it. The broad downhill slope.
Oh. So this is the strait and narrow versus the broad pathway to hell, so to speak?
It is a truth that the right thing to do in any conflict is always the more difficult path.
Sure, I learned that from John D. MacDonald. It’s one of Meyer’s laws.
It is also accurate psychology. If the easy and agreeable thing to do is also the right thing to do, where is there any conflict? So the existence of a conflict ought to alert you and at the same time act as a pretty good rule of thumb as to what you ought to do.
And you ask – what does this have to do with sin?
No, I see the relationship clearly enough. If sin is missing the mark, these habits or traits or decisions or whatever they are constitute obstructions in our living toward truth.
Of course they do. It has nothing to do with them being wrong because forbidden. They are wrong because they lead the wrong way.
Only maybe not everybody is going in the same direction, or wants to.
But, you see, that’s getting mixed up in words. If you wish to live toward truth, these are signposts saying “wrong way.” But signposts do not determine your destination, still less interfere with your right and ability to choose. They merely serve to tell you where you are. Those who want to go to hell (metaphorically speaking) will always find the way broad and unobstructed. They need only follow what is easiest in any conflict of inclinations. All the signposts in the world cannot deter anyone from doing anything. The best they can do is assure that what might have been unconscious is made conscious.
Where people can fight the awareness, because it is uncomfortable.
They can do that, or they can pull up with a shudder and say, “No, no, that isn’t what I intended to do with my life.” It’s always up to the person.
We can address specifics another time. You are restless and this is enough for now.
Thanks. It is. Next time.