Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Naked Truth

Watched the new movie Good Night, and Good Luck the other night, the film about Edward R. Murrow’s taking a stand against McCarthyism. In the DVD extras, there is a commentary filled with quotations from Murrow. I especially loved this one:

Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit.

--Edward R. Murrow

This resonated with me, given my recent wrestlings with Truth. To me, he’s talking about human truth, that is, the factual depiction of human events and ideas.

I suppose it’s really impossible to be 100% honest with each other, not because we withhold things but because there’s so much detail to report that we literally can’t tell everything.

And some things you just don’t want to speak about. You’re dealing with them in your own way but don’t necessarily want everyone to hear all the time about what’s top of mind. You’ve got to work it out before you can speak about it, if you ever do. So you may be cranky or exhausted and it may come out in irritation that has nothing to do with the events at hand but is because of what’s on your mind. Yet you still can’t really explain to those around you.

It seems to me that love in that case is giving each other the benefit of the doubt. Knowing that we’re all doing our best, and cutting each other some slack. We each have full and eventful lives, after all. Moment to moment, we have no idea what particular atom of activity is top of mind to our friends or colleagues. So to respond with equanimity no matter what is the generous response we can give each other.

This is all on the human level, of course. Where the human meets the divine, where the Christ influence makes a difference, is in how we invite Truth to the table.

Christ, Truth, tells the whole story. No detail is left out when we explore reality from a spiritual perspective. I can know, for example, that the person beside me is rooted and grounded in Love, is the expression of Mind, is filled with Spirit, is governed by Principle. I don’t have to know the details of their human experience to know the spiritual reality of their being. I can sit, and love them, even as they’re refraining from telling me what’s on their mind or acting distant or upset. I don’t have to force the issue of disclosure when I have Truth at my right hand.

This is a new thing for me, and it’s making me hold my tongue in instances when I would have pried until my fingers bled. But just being present with someone yesterday made a difference. Literally just sitting calmly beside them and knowing the Truth about them was the only course of action I could take, even though clearly there were many human details not being revealed and the ones that did come out exploded like cannon fire. Gradually it shifted though, to a more peaceful interaction and even some smiles.

I’m with Pilate these days in asking, “What is Truth?” I’m daily sorting it from honesty or physical fact. The Christ is answering me in surprising ways. I’m finding Truth in action. As Truth guides my actions, I’m gaining a startling new perspective. It’s lonely and exhilarating and feels like a crucible. But I know it won’t leave me comfortless.


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3 Comments:

At 3/22/2006 02:24:00 PM, Anonymous Emily said...

"And some things you just don’t want to speak about. You’re dealing with them in your own way but don’t necessarily want everyone to hear all the time about what’s top of mind."

I run into this a lot -- especially when I don't feel well. I don't want my colleagues' feelings to be hurt because I'm not participating in the usual banter, and I don't want my boss to think I'm wilfully underperforming that day, so it's tempting to say, "Hey, guys, I'm sorry I'm a little slow today, but I feel terrible." On the other hand, I don't want to talk about an illness and thus make it seem real ... especially when one of the girls in the office is VERY steeped in materia medica and will spend the entire day fussing over me if I mention I'm not feeling well. She means to be helpful, but her well-intentioned chatter makes it very hard to deal with the problem metaphysically, and I'm not sure how to explain that to her without confusing her or making her uncomfortable.

I've learned to be a little bit vague and a little bit inaccessible on days when things aren't going so well. She usually takes the hint and lets me be, but I still overhear her talking to people in the other offices about who's out sick, who's come to work sick, what might be wrong, and whether something might be going around. I'm learning to tune it out, but sometimes it's very difficult to hear Spirit over the roar of symptoms and idle gossip about illness.

 
At 3/23/2006 04:39:00 AM, Blogger Kiran Paranjape said...

Most of the followers of vedantic philosophy follow advait vedant which literally means non dualism. It says the conciousness in a human being decribed as "Chaitanya" is the manifestation of the supreme spiritual power of the universe described as "Brhma Chaitanya", in the human body. They are essentially one & same. It is the curtain of this physical mundane world, the "Maya" which separates our conciousness from the supreme conciousness. Breaking this curtain, the "Mayabheda", & realising the manifeastation of supreme spirit in our body is the ultimate goal of human life. When one realizes & harbours this whole & absolute truth in one's mind, the person achieves "Sat Chit Ananda", a state of eternal bliss & happiness. This is done by a practise of meditation which teaches our mind to shift its focus from unrealistic external physical world to more realistic & fulfilling internal world. On realizing this truth one elevates oneself to a whole new platform of super conciousness & the truth manifests itself. So this is "The Truth" which one should seek.
Let me know your view on this.

 
At 3/23/2006 08:07:00 AM, Blogger Laura said...

Hi, Kiran!

I think you're saying something in another way that is also a part of the teachings of Christian Science. This makes sense to me:

"This is done by a practise of meditation which teaches our mind to shift its focus from unrealistic external physical world to more realistic & fulfilling internal world. On realizing this truth one elevates oneself to a whole new platform of super conciousness & the truth manifests itself. So this is 'The Truth' which one should seek."

Christian Science teaches how to do this through prayer. To me, Truth is an actual Being, a conscious Creator, indeed God Himself. God is Truth. So when I'm finding out more about Truth, I'm finding out more about God. And that, in turn, allows me to find out more about myself as God's image and likeness.

Truth is also Love, Mind, Spirit. These concepts express the totality of God. Not an anthropomorphic being, but divine Spirit.

Does that make sense? Thanks so much for your comments!

Laura

 

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