What does it mean to live truthfully?
It means that one does not turn their back on the inner truth that constantly shines from within. It means that one has practiced embodying their inner truth so well that one becomes the living example of Truth in the world–they have forsaken all else. It is as if this light that shines from within were not inside of us, but outside–like the physical sun. We have a decision to make each moment to turn away from the sun and look out into the world–this is easier because we are not blinded by the light, we can see forms in their distinct and different characters, we can engage in all manner of complexity and chaos. Also, we see in front of us our own shadow–the dark reflection that the light throws down over our bodies, our outer form, the dense part of our being. Our shadow is an illusion created by the interplay of light and dark. We see it when our back is to the sun, when we are busying our minds in things of the physical world. It is cold in a shadow–things cannot be seen as clearly. Living truthfully is the decision to turn and face the sun– to face the sun in every moment, abandoning the need to see anything but the light which gives life to the world. When we face the sun, we cannot see our shadow. In the physical world, we can see more clearly with the light of the sun shining upon all forms. With our inner sun, the light which forms our being, we can see all things with clarity as well. Yes, there are moments when we look directly at the sun and we are temporarily blinded by the light. The outer sun stuns the physical eye so that all it can see is light–everywhere! It consumes the whole vision so that the outer world does not even exist for a few minutes. The inner sun does the same in moments when we look directly at it, maybe in meditation, prayer, music, maybe in moments of grace. The inner sun is so brilliant that it can consume all remembrance of the world–our thoughts, perceptions, our idea about what reality is. When we turn to face the inner sun, we are facing the light of Truth–we are choosing to ignore the shadows that lay on the other side of us–we live so devotedly to the light that these shadows do not exist. Faceing away from the inner sun we find our various perceptions about our selves and the world–the details and differences which divide us up from other rays of light, the judgements and justifications for all illusions, and the problems that fill our minds so much of the time. Instead of living in our small, shadowy perceptions and limited thoughts, we might decide one day to simply turn around–or put differently–to turn our vision inward instead of outward. Outward we see the shadow of our life; we see the bodily form that our spirit has gathered together and we mis-take it for our self. We see other forms and we mis-take them for not our self. We see circumstances and events in the world and we mis-take them for reality. Turning inward, toward our inner sun, we dispel these illusions and see so much more clearly. We see ourselves as we truly are. We see others as the very same thing. We see Reality has nothing to do with the physical world or any of its dramas–it is but a playground for children as they grow toward maturity.
So, seeing the truth is a choice to turn toward the light within one’s being–to choose the Reality of the inner light over the reality of the world. Moment to moment we make this choice, and it take practice everyday to remember that we have this choice. It takes dedication and committment and self-discipline to remind oneself that there exists this choice at all, and then to purposefully orient one’s self in the direction of the light. This is why spiritual practice is taken daily. Ideally, spiritual practice is done in every moment, or any moment that one thinks of it. It can be as simple as a shift in perception during a conversation, or a momentary awareness of love in the midst of an argument. The willingness to practice is all that is required. Become willing and little bursts of light will find their way to your eyes, helping you turn yourself around to face the glorious light of your being as sure as the sun rises each day.
The light of Truth is found within one’s being–it may be readily available in the ‘heart’ for some–the place where feeling and knowing intermingle. Once one is sufficiently practiced in turning toward the light, when one can spend a significant amount of time and energy seeing clearly through the shadows and illusions of the world all the while living among them, it is time to move forward. One moves in this way from seeing clearly and truthfully to thinking clearly and truthfully, from thinking clearly and truthfully to speaking clearly and truthfully, from speaking clearly and truthfully to acting clearly and truthfully, and finally from doing clear and truthful things in the world to becoming clarity and truth–to embodying Truth and Light itself. This is the place from which Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” and “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus embodied the Truth in a masterful way, and in his mastery, he invited all his brothers and sisters to follow in his footsteps, not by idolizing him or placing him of a pedestal above them, but by idealizing him–walking this path with him, by learning to embody the Truth in oneself. For when one practices deeply and sincerely, for however long it takes, one comes to know oneself as the One True Self which Is. One sees very clearly, speaks very clearly, acts very clearly, and is, very clearly, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Leaving all earthly impressions behind for the children of another day, one bravely sets their sights inward, toward the radiant Sun of their beings, the light which lights all life and which gives form to the world from which we think we’ve come. The light of the world is within us–the love of the word is about us–the meaning of the world is discovered only in the eyes of one who is set on knowing the Truth. It begins with a single thought, a single awareness, a single decision to turn and face the Light of Truth.
To live truthfully means to allow yourself to become blind to all fears, all divisions within your body, mind, heart, and all that separates you from others, and to see instead the harmony, the love, the unity of all life–the beauty of existence which destroys all fear with the power of eternal joy.