Speaking the truth is a noble quality. It is an essential element of a spirit based life. Yet there are times when we hesitate to speak the truth. It could be because the truth would be unkind or harsh and hurtful to another or because the truth could hurt the person speaking it. What then? What takes precedence? Is one justified in lying then? What determines this decision?
All through life this had been a burning question for me. Are there certain conditions under which lying is acceptable? Each time the answer came up as a No. Does that mean I do not lie? Not at all - I do - sometimes. What a terrible position to be in. Compromising with my own sense of values is painful. What kept me from always telling the truth is conflict. Confrontations made me uncomfortable. I felt being argumentative was dis-respectful. A value I learnt as a child. No one told me what was more important. Being disrespectful was a visible move away from a learnt value while lying could be hidden even if it was for a short time. Being driven by the approval of others made being deferent more important than being truthful. It was seemingly easier to compromise with myself than to be considered dis-respectful by others.
The guilt that consumed me after each lie I spoke has built up. The lie and the circumstance were forgotten soon after but there is a residual burden left behind that is unfathomable. Most of the lies have been evasive responses to questions whose answers may have proven to cause pain to or conflict with others. Over time I realized that it was not my lie or truth that caused conflict - it is the interpretation put on it by others that leads to conflict. Now that I have stopped depending on the approval of others, being completely truthful is proving to be a relief. I do not need to evade questions anymore. I do what I want when I want where I want how I want knowing fully well that I am being completely honest to myself and to others. It is not that the thought of being judged does not cross my mind - it is that the judgment does not matter anymore. I enjoy the freedom of being myself - faults and all - knowing fully well that I am perfect as I am.
There is a definite change in my mindset because of this new relationship that I have developed with Myself. I understand how infinite its power is just as I realize how finite is the power of the ego. I can see the line dividing Me from my ego. I can tell when my ego is raising itself and passing Me by. I can choose to stop the ego in its track whenever I want. The ego's journey is a very fragile one. It places me in a glass house that can be broken anytime. The ego is capable of highs and lows and goes through cycles of pleasure and pain, good and bad, wrong and right all the time. Without putting a label to whatever it encounters it cannot exist. The moment I refuse to let it label it loses its power over me. My senses relish all that it beholds when no labels exist. It is not the senses that derail me as much as my mind does. When I am vigilant and in total control of my mind my senses have no hold over me whatsoever. What I eat, what I read, what I hear, what I smell, what I feel is all beautiful when I behold these with my inner being. They all bring pleasure. Even the bitter gourd tastes perfect! It is meant to be bitter and enjoyed just so! It is when I try to avoid tasting its bitterness that it becomes unbearable! What is ugly? What is jarring? These are all my mind telling me what to choose as good and bad. By itself no sight is ugly no sound is jarring!
The curry last night looked different than expected and so did not taste so good! The movie was made by a romantic and so did not meet the standard of comedy! There are so many things that we choose not to enjoy simply because we have prejudged it or labeled it based on our expectation. To expect is one thing - to be attached to that expectation is what makes life painful. There is another reason we often do not enjoy the physical - our curiosity to know what something is as also our need to know everything about anything. These needs make it impossible for us to accept things the way they are. We are tasting a good dish and are bent on figuring out the recipe to enjoy it another time. Let go - enjoy the dish by being in the moment. So what if you never can repeat that taste? When we think about it and just let go of these expectations we find that the world takes on a different color and texture and that it is all pleasurable - no matter what it is that we experience. It is our ego that wants us to be attached to our memories and to good experiences since it is afraid it will lose its identity unless it stays attached! You see the ego does not possess an identity - it is a reflection and so non-existent. When the mirror on which it is reflected is gone it is gone. Letting it go voluntarily opens us up to the infinite. This infinite is eternal and blissful.
By becoming conscious of the ego I found myself. I realize that all I have done and experienced all through my life was necessary to bring me to where I am. I needed to separate my ego from Myself so I could know Me. It is possible to live in this world, enjoy the world of duality and still be unaffected by it. It is possible to love and to be indifferent at the same time - one is no different than the other. It is possible to have and relish things and be detached from them. It is possible to be compassionate and weep and still be logical and make good life decisions. All of this and more is possible simply by finding the true Entity that is I. We can choose to have a lasting relationship with our ego or our True Being. Telling a lie is not necessary because the only real conflict one can have is with oneself. Opening oneself to what is takes this conflict out. Conflict is the reflection of duality - when one sees through what appears as dualistic the real becomes apparent. Conflict is time bound - when one lives in the moment every thing appears perfect - as is.
The truth is my way and it has set me free. No fear, no evasions, no confrontations. There is only truth, love and peace within and without.