Usually we manage to navigate through our interactions with others via casually (if not unconsciously) accepted collective truths (and definitions of reality). These come in the form of the explicit and/or implicit belief systems, laws or conventions of our country, culture, online communities, workplace, or group of friends and family. We accept the consequential confines of our experience and do our best (most times unknowingly) to ensure that others do so as well. We speak of these truths as guidelines to a more harmonious society or a common ground from which to relate.
Despite the benefits of passively accepted—as opposed to purposely chosen—belief systems and realities, there are often-unrecognized repercussions. We are rarely aware of the restrictions this creedal contract has imposed on us. In the fine print, we may have given up our wings, merely for the guarantee that we would never fall from the skies. Another possible problem is that these tacit conventions give us some distance from the responsibility of our actions performed in compliance. Where would it leave us if we were to find that we are not actually complying with objective truths and realities, but rather using these precepts as a convenient alibi or excuse?
From my perspective, ones beliefs are merely a symbolic focal point for our actions. Such a belief system does not dictate or define our actions, but we often use it as an explanation or justification, sometimes even when we intuitively recognize that our deeds are either dubious or we know our choices could be more compatible to our higher self. The best of our behaviors do not require dogma to validate them. It does not require a divine mandate to warrant kindness to another; such an action stands on its own. We are also inherently equipped with the definition of kindness as an action that simultaneously gladdens both the heart of another and our own.
Even with our best active choices focused as much as we are able on our higher nature, our actions sometimes fall into areas that our conscious minds find to be uncomfortably gray—and not surprisingly. We occasionally find ourselves trying to understand our position or choice with one foot in either world of the rational and the divine ethic.
How can this be so? In the mind of the Absolute, every truth is true, false, both true and false simultaneously, neither true nor false, all and none of the above at the very same time. In an understanding so vast as to be able to create the expansive and varied beauty of nature, I do not believe one could dare imagine the working of that intelligence to be limited to an 'either/or' definition. It is in the human mind that these concepts of conflict are manifest and divided into subjective categories like truth and non-truth. Such distinctions can only be validated by the individual and the context of their experience and need at any given time, for the division does not exist outside human perception.
Now, on a practical mode, I most certainly chose between what I consider to be desired and undesired in what I support, the company I keep, the actions I will partake--or support others taking. However, I know any of these choices are only justifiable as being compatible to my egoic self at this time. Today's "right" might be tomorrow’s wrong. As a result of my belief in this variable nature of truth, the one thing that I seek to avoid is to ever imagine that what I do or chose is because that choice is inherently right for me--and definitely not for anyone else-- in any sense of the eternal, sacred, or objective reality. Things like good and evil are subjective, not eternal constants.
Does accepting my perception make my commitment to any of my allied beliefs any less? No. In fact, I would say that my dedication to the choices I make are all the stronger. For I know they are completely my own choice, not something that I had imposed on me from the outside myself. In that, some might consider this full responsibility of personal choice to be a downside of my perspective, since I cannot offer myself the luxury of being merely complicit or divinely directed. I have no excuse for myself for previously having chosen something that is no longer right for me.
This responsibility makes me fully consider my choices. True, I will have become a different person if I later find my choice today unfathomable tomorrow. But in this world I will still have to live with the consequences of that past choice, not because of an undeniable truth but because of a collective agreement including myself at a higher level.
I try not to be too harsh when I realize that I have been using a truth that has now turned false on me. Truth is not a rigid eternal thing but rather it is an ever-progressing horizon. With each step forward we are afforded a view one step further beyond that which we saw a moment before. My truths today could not come into being, except by the preceding perspectives that they have replaced.
Despite knowing that, I usually can’t help deluding myself with the idea of being more prescient next time. I know that it is very likely that I will find my perceived reality outpacing today’s truth, sooner or later. In the same sense, I must offer that kindness also to those I encounter whose choices have now fallen from their favor or proven itself unworthy of them.
copyright 2009 CG Walters
Words do not contain truth, but may reflect the truth that you hold within.
This is my truth. Only you can determine if there is any value in it for you.
C.G. Walters’s current novel, Sacred Vow is a metaphysical novel about a man who responds to the mysterious call of a woman, opening the way to redefinition of both himself and his understanding of the world around him…Highly recommended. —Midwest Book Review.