The truth doesn't need words to be known, only your attention. There is nothing hidden in the Universe.
Words help us express ourselves. They also lead to confusion and even suffering. They can uplift and bring great sorrow. They often are used to describe the truth, yet almost never do. How can they? They are nothing but distant echoes of experiences, reverberating in our minds.
The truth is always ready for your discovery. The truth is rarely the same from day to day, or moment to moment. This is why words often fail to tell the story of the truth. Words and stories are thoughts locked in time. They exist in our minds, whereas the truth, what is true for you, only exists in your present experience.
What is the truth of this moment? It is your experience of it. Pause for a to observe your environment, then observe your sensations, and finally your thoughts. This is your truth–right now.
People try to change the world through words. Their goal is to influence those around them, which often works, but it is not the world that is changed, only people’s minds. If you allow people to influence you through words, your thinking will change with theirs. This is always an option for you and it’s your choice. You are free to adopt any version of the truth that is presented to you. All you have to do is believe the words of others without questioning or verification. This is very easy to do and it’s what most people in the world do every day of their lives.
There is another way to know the truth, which is to be grounded in your own experiences. No one else can do this for you. No one else has your unique experience of the world. This is the way of mindfulness and the enlightening path, moving away from words and stories into your own authentic experience.
People will tell you that the world is fast-paced, crazy, and even dangerous. Is it? Take a moment to observe your life situation right now and see if this is true for you? Yes, it might be true for some people who are, in this moment, experiencing some great challenge, but is it true for you in this moment?
Some people say that one goal of meditation is to move away from what’s referred to as “Monkey Mind,” a restless, unsettled, and sometimes confused mental condition. Ask yourself: “Is my mind unsettled or just active? What is the natural state of the human mind? If you have observed your own mind for any length of time, you’ve likely noticed that it is very busy, very creative, and often working to solve puzzles. This state seems to be normal for the human mind. In fact, many people seem to experience great satisfaction when feeding their minds extra puzzles! They even spend money on books of puzzles and games to feed their hungry problem-solving minds.
Why then, should it be any surprise that our minds are conditioned to be active, to be busy, and to try to constantly solve puzzles? It’s normal for your mind to look for puzzles to solve. When there is no obvious puzzle available, it continues looking. It asks, “What about this? What about that? Could I solve those problems? What if I created some new problems to solve or borrowed some problems that other people have?
Your mind is looking for problems to solve–and words, because they are abstractions, are a great resource. “What did she mean by that? What does this or that mean? What did those people mean when they wrote those stories?
You have a choice when it comes to how you use your mind’s creativity. You can listen to your own self-talk, as if it were the truth, or you can observe your mind’s activity as if it were your enthusiastic helper who is always working to solve your problems. You can allow your mind to churn out thoughts, while you quickly scan them for anything useful. You can think to yourself, “These are all interesting ideas, but most of them are solutions looking for problems. They are a reflection of my beautiful, creative, human mind.”
Just as the words of others require verification before action is taken, so does your own self-talk. Your mind will offer you different scenarios until you decide to accept one, but even then, remember that you are accepting a story - words in lieu of experience.
Is it important to agree on a universal truth or can we live our lives accepting that every individual has his or her own truth, based on his or her experiences?
Does is help to try to correct other people's version of the truth? Does it help to tell someone who believes they are right, they are wrong?
Whose version of the truth is valid?
The answer is clear–yours. You are responsible for your truth. You are the only person who experiences truth the way you do. The way you experience the world is unique. The way other people experience the world is also unique. Are you able to accept this?
If you cannot, then you will likely experience tension between yourself and others, as you argue for different versions of the truth.
If you can accept that every person experiences a unique truth, then you can focus on developing relationships with people that are based on common experiences, where mutual support can be forged and acceptance can be gained.
Allowing others to have their truth, without feeling the need to correct or debate it, leaves more time and space in your life to enjoy the things you value - and to deepen your authentic experiences through active attention to this eternal moment.
This episode includes music by Azam Ali, Layne Redmond, and Greg Ellis. Cover Artwork by Cameron Grey.
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