Excerpt taken from the May 23rd, 2021 Sunday Satsang talking about the need for radical honesty along the spiritual path of awakening, and the need to have your loyalty be to your direct experience not your conditioned ideas.
“It takes courage to give loyalty to truth not comfort.”
- I saw an article about a popular video platform (ahem… shall remain nameless) banning “medically unsubstantiated” content today… It’s not the first thing I’ve seen in recent weeks and months on various platforms that brings into question freedom of speech and censoring of content all in the name of trying to curb “misinformation” or “fake news”. Once upon a time misinformation or fake news would have been to call the earth round rather than flat. It would have been a heresy to suggest it even but science and understanding is a constantly evolving thing, a working hypothesis rather than an ‘Absolute Truth’.Lack of freedom of speech honestly terrifies me as a proposition for society. It’s not even the thin end of the wedge… I think we’re past that analogy. I understand the imperative need to work and pull together as a collective, especially right now but not in the name of shutting down exploration, not in the name of shutting down thinking outside of the box.To try and calcify and control life’s expressions and evolution is madness. And while I do see a lot of weird and opposing views and opinions out there, even those termed as ‘truth’, I think it’s up to each of us to use our brains, do some research best we can, and ultimately follow our intuition on what works for us rather than have the whole thing taken out of our hands and centrally controlled. When did we become children who have been put on the naughty step by our ‘parents’??? Is this really how this whole thing has to go?
A Tug of WarRight now I feel we’re in a tug of war between fear and love, Ego and Primordial Being, and this is one of the ways it’s showing up.I feel the censoring of speech is always based in fear because in love there is room and freedom for it all, room for the exploration of it all. Truth, if it’s truly true will win out. To shut down exploration in favour of maintaining the safety or security of the ‘norm’ and the protection of the current popular theories or understandings of life, is the death of inquiry, the death of growth – generally and spiritually speaking.To explore our assumptions and current working truths is to kick the tires and the strength of our lived reality. When did dissenting views become such an evil thing? I feel it’s never a bad thing, and it always leads to greater and greater clarity and understanding. Yes it may feel messy and uncomfortable, yes it may look polarising and argumentative or contrarian… but this is only amplified if we hold tightly to knowingness and rightness. Even those tightly held beliefs will not hold up as the cracks of exploration begin to widen.Love and truth are the ground by which all is held. Love shines into the heart of life, bursting open any untruth. The unexplored darkest corners of existence can be lit with a single tiny light so I say… let love win out over fear. Be that light, be that love. Fear is control, fear is lack of love, fear is lack of acceptance, fear is lack of playful and vigorous exploration of life. But fear is not a drop in comparison with the power of love.It saddens me when I see this world more and more devolving into fear, into control, into lack of questioning and lack of freedom to explore. I may not agree with what your view or current working truth is, but I will go to the ends of the earth to defend your right for genuine exploration and freedom to express that. Love doesn’t control, love honours and gives room to differences.Just think of all the beautiful and amazing evolutions of understanding that occur through people stepping outside of the conventional norms and daring to discover, daring to explore and daring to follow love not fear.
“Authenticity is about learning to hear your Self from the depths and innocence of your heart. Learning to stand up for that and boldly step into what you know to be true in this moment rather than trying to calculate gain or loss, shoulds or shouldn’ts in the mind. Authenticity is being okay with, or at least accepting that you may be misunderstood by others yet still knowing your Self, knowing your heart and following this wisdom.”
“That which is true was always true and that which is false has its wisdom too.”
“May all that you are not be burned in the light of truth.
May all concepts and all bindings be released
May you find the courage to let go of all that does not serve you.
May you know that which you are and stand as yourself,
naked and in the light of your own awareness.”
“With love there’s infinite space for truth, but without love the truth cannot be heard.”
“If it’s truly true no amount of questioning, poking or prodding will be of threat. It will only lead to more exploration, from different angles… and this is always welcome to truth.”
Make no mistake you will be judged and you will be misunderstood along your path of life.
The question is will you hold true to the discovery of YOUR truth, no another’s? Will you stand up for your direct experience rather than someone else’s ideals?
I was asked the other day how I deal with being around others, particularly when there’s a level of pretending or not speaking your truth that seems to be required of you.
I too know all too well this feeling of suffocation in the company of others. The subtle unsaid permissions of what you can say, which topics you can touch on and how deep that can go. The unsaid permissions that someone can’t give for fear of threatening their own sense of Self, views and place in the world that they hold so tightly so as to keep the facade of security and knowingness intact.
I think this is why the idea of Sanghas can be so enticing, a place to commune with others who were of like mind and place in their journey of unfoldment, of seeing. A place when you can find common ground and openness, common experience and views. Alas it’s not as easy as it sounds to find the ‘right’ sangha!
You are lucky if you can find this in a partner or in a close friend or two – this is what I have with Martyn and this is what I am eternally grateful for. Alone together and full permission and delight of me to be me and him to be him. The freedom to be as we are, the freedom to plumb the depths and go anywhere – no ‘sacred cows’ that are off-limits.
You asked how I deal with the difficulty of pretending with others. Firstly I take plenty of time to go into my aloneness, isolation and unknowingness and revel in the freedom to be. This place of ‘only don’t know’ is such a beautiful place to be. Beautiful and vulnerable. Delicate, embracing and loving but powerful and full of strength. It’s in this space that we can truly see ourselves and breath in the fullness of existence. Taking this time of solitude is incredibly important, especially for me being the hermit and introvert that I am.
But these days when I am with others I find myself laying it all out to bare, trusting in this process and letting the chips fall where they may. Standing in my truth, being open and honest and trusting. Trusting that even if I get push-back or hurt that I can handle it, that they can handle it too and the freedom to be me, the freedom for them to be them is much more important than any particular outcomes. It has meant the loosing and changing of many relationships, but it has also meant the discovery of those relationships that can withstand this vulnerable nakedness of openness and truth that I find myself standing in.
Then of course there are those relationships where masking and pretending is absolutely necessary. Practically speaking I try to minimise the amount of time spent in these types of interactions, that certainly helps. Making sure that I do have plenty of alone time and nourishing relationships where masking and pretending isn’t needed so that there is capacity for those relationships where it’s not possible. Also in those interactions to find as much openness and compassion as is available in any given moment. To not shame or blame the need to protect, defend or set unsaid boundaries, but honoring and accepting those boundaries where we find them. Understand that they are often there for a reason, even if it’s a reason I (or they) can’t see or understand.
From a broader view of this topic generally for me it was the attachments to outcomes and desires in terms of interactions and relationships that had to go. The attachment to the desire of people liking me, people seeing me, the desire to looking a certain way, to be loved or even liked. Even the attachment to the desire to connect deeply or in a certain way, to be understood and acknowledged.
The power in the lack of attachment has been enormous for me, scary but completely freeing. I have nothing to lose, I have no rights to certain outcomes of how I think things should go. I just am who I am in any moment, it’s raw and risky feeling but it’s real and honest. And so in this I’m eternally grateful for what I do have, for all that comes across my path, forget about ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
There is only so much that one can repress and suffocate themselves, the cracks begin to show. The holes start forming and things start to escape in more violent and unpredictable ways.
I encourage you to breath into the fullness of your experience, let the chips fall where they may and find those moments, those people, those spaces, those pages even, where you can freely be YOU.
The truth can not be broken so don’t be afraid.
Trust that life will take care of life.
Hold on to that even in the depths of fear.
What you are can never be lost.
The truth will win out.
Wow I feel like a lion has been unleashed. This brutal honesty in service of truth that cuts with the precision of a well known blade is quite a surprise to me. This sharp intellect that can spar and duel with words unknown to me, spilling out like nobodies business.
There’s still a tendency that’s been around all my life – that when confronted with an assertion by someone, to shy away, to back down without even looking, to assume that they must be right… “who am I after all? I know nothing.”
But I’m finding this tendency more and more untenable. There’s a nauseating energy, I guess we would call it adrenaline, that surges in me and so this hiding, this backing down from looking to my own experience doesn’t last. It’s like I cannot NOT look to see if what is being said is true – no matter how much the tendency to hide from that looking still shows up.
And so I find myself, for the first time in my life, facing full-faced to what life is showing me. Responding to the assertions of others, looking at the fabric of what they are saying. And… well then the lion roars.
It’s been quite a surprise to find that roar, at first (and still now if I’m honest) it didn’t feel like ‘my’ roar, it feels alien and new. But none-the-less there it is, and now I see that it does come from me-consciousness. In this roar I can be uncompromising and unsettling (well to the ego at least). It doesn’t win me any friends! And yet, somehow to me it seems like the most loving, compassionate action of “but how can I leave this untruth be in the light of what is seen.”
It’s like this lion in me is called to stand up to the truth of what is known. Was this lion always here, disguised as a kitten?
I stand in truth.
Can I accept that I may be judged,
I may be questioned,
I may be ridiculed?
Can I accept that,
can I be brave?
Can I stand in my own truth,
without qualification and explanation?
Can I stand sure,
knowing that it’s the right thing,
it’s the only thing?
Can I stand in truth,
unashamedly without reason,
and with no excuse?
Can I stand up for mySelf,
stand tall for the realisation of my very being?
Can I stand up for the truth of my own reality
that I know so well,
Can I live my life without the influence of shoulds and should nots?
Can I say to hell with it all and be as I am?
Can I stand in all my glory,
warts and all,
honest and vulnerable?
Can I accept all of it,
every aspect of me,
every aspect of life,
can I embrace it into my heart without exception?
So I stand in my truth
and in turn encourage others to stand in theirs.
For it’s the most loving thing I can do for myself and others.
Drop all the games,
all the masks,
all the pretences,
all the false concepts and notions,
drop it all.
Stand naked and open,
don’t hide your light.
Let reality, truth and honesty be the guiding movement of life.
Let the truth of your being shine through.
“Once the cracks in life begin to show the truth of reality can shine through.”