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Truthfulness

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

My experience has been that truthfulness, the habit you have of speaking and hearing truth, is a powerful factor in discovering and adhering to the dharma. When you have been truthful for a long time, even a small lie feels uncomfortable, and you begin to hear things that chime with what you understand of the truth within. It’s like an intuitive understanding develops within you, which rings a little bell of truthfulness when you come across some sentence that speaks to you.

Habitual lying damages this instinct. Lying for convenience, or in order to save face, are not major falsehoods, but they erode the sense of truthfulness within you. It is like your inner space has a certain purity, and lies pollute it. Of course this is also true for the mind, if you fill it with the things you feel are true your sense of the world is interrelated within itself.

Even lies of omission can be a gateway for unpleasantness. When you fail to acknowledge someone’s good work, you leave the door open for others to take credit. So it suits you to take an interest in these things, to be caring and careful of those around you. It doesn’t mean one should confess every wrongdoing, but it is good to live lovingly, in compassion for others.

It is the inner truthfulness that you would do well to guard. It will help you gain clarity when examining something within, when you are trying to use your inner resources to see what is important to you. But inner and outer truthfulness are linked, you cannot ignore one in favour of the other.

Just my 2c for today...

Namasté

AlexBunkslobstermarcitko

Comments

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    "There can be no Peace in your heart, if the things you say, are different to the things you do."

    Will have to look up who said this but in essence, it echoes your sentiment.... <3

    Alex
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    As some of you know, I have no integrity. I regularly post on truth but never speak it ... I believe that is impossible anyway ...

    However being a Mahayana advocate, I present myself as a bow or knot. Which means having to untangle to loose the arrow ...

    How then do we best allude to the unsaid? The Truth if you will ... ?

  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    @lobster said:
    As some of you know, I have no integrity. I regularly post on truth but never speak it ... I believe that is impossible anyway ...

    However being a Mahayana advocate, I present myself as a bow or knot. Which means having to untangle to loose the arrow ...

    How then do we best allude to the unsaid? The Truth if you will ... ?

    You Mahayana folk! Always speaking in riddles..... :)

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    As some of you know, I have no integrity. I regularly post on truth but never speak it ... I believe that is impossible anyway ...

    Your attempts to point at the moon are always appreciated ;)

    However being a Mahayana advocate, I present myself as a bow or knot. Which means having to untangle to loose the arrow ...

    Mahayana, hinayana, it doesn’t matter very much, as long as we get more enlightened beings in the world. We can only create a sea-change in the world mentality if there are enough...

    How then do we best allude to the unsaid? The Truth if you will ... ?

    The ineffable is sometimes best approached in a few small and simple steps. The leap to understanding is left to the student.

    lobster
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    "Speak your truth. Tell it like it is. There is no reason to do otherwise."

    Lama Surya Das, 'Awakening the Buddha Within".

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It’s tricky... everyone has something which they consider their truth, but does that mean that they have any kind of handle on the truth... and if everyone started speaking these things, we would no longer be able to see the trees for the forest. So it comes to a personal examination, is my truth any kind of a real truth at all? Can I serve everyone better by speaking or remaining silent?

    person
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    There are only 4 Truths that I have found to be indisputable. I would label these THE truths.
    Everything I believe to be correct is either 'a' or 'my' truth.
    The best thing about holding a fact as true for you, is that you should also be aware it can be a moveable feast. Personal rock-solid convictions are largely subjective; they are edifices built on shifting sands. Providing a person can understand that, then their stance is entirely valid, unless proven otherwise.
    Which is always possible.

    Unenlightened Beings cling to their versions of reality; Enlightened beings need no such tether.

    That's the subtle difference, between Our Truth, and theirs.

    lobsterAlexjohnathan
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Good post from @federica B)

    @Kerome is right about small steps, or a direction, which includes integrity but not rigidity which @federica mentions.

    In Tantra (a fantastical post Mahayana belief system), we create a raft of skilful means, only to abandon them. All in good time.

    We are in the truth/path of dharma not confined but relaxing in our ignorance, letting it exhaust itself and slip away ... In this sense we have to remain focussed on Truth as an Absolute, revealed like light that always shines but is obscured by selfies and zombie behaviour.

    This is why the Mahayana say everyone is enlightened, they just don't realise it ...
    Watch for the signs ... at least in yourself ...
    https://www.thedailymeditation.com/do-you-share-these-10-signs-of-an-enlightened-person

    top tip for the day:

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    I agree. I think honesty is the most important virtue because it is through being honest that we are able to truly grow emotionally, spiritually, etc. When we are open to being wrong, to making mistakes, to new ideas, etc., we gain knowledge, real knowledge. We learn more from our mistakes than we do from anything else. I hear that is why hospitals ask potential brain surgeons questions like "Have you ever made a mistake" and "If so, what would you do differently next time" to determine who would make a good surgeon and who would not. It is also through honesty that we can show the world our commitment to the truth, whether relative or ultimate. It is interesting to note that in all of the past-life stories of the Buddha, which are essentially morality tales that detail the Buddha's quest for enlightenment during preceding lives, the precept against lying is the only precept he never broke. In addition, he once said to his son, Rahula, "… when anyone feels no shame in telling a deliberate lie, there is no evil, I tell you, he will not do" (MN 61).

    Kerome
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited February 17

    @Jason said:
    I agree. I think honesty is the most important virtue because it is through being honest that we are able to truly grow emotionally, spiritually, etc. When we are open to being wrong, to making mistakes, to new ideas, etc., we gain knowledge, real knowledge. We learn more from our mistakes than we do from anything else. I hear that is why hospitals ask potential brain surgeons questions like "Have you ever made a mistake" and "If so, what would you do differently next time" to determine who would make a good surgeon and who would not. It is also through honesty that we can show the world our commitment to the truth, whether relative or ultimate. It is interesting to note that in all of the past-life stories of the Buddha, which are essentially morality tales that detail the Buddha's quest for enlightenment during preceding lives, the precept against lying is the only precept he never broke. In addition, he once said to his son, Rahula, "… when anyone feels no shame in telling a deliberate lie, there is no evil, I tell you, he will not do" (MN 61).

    Another reason I think it is so important is that dhamma itself is truth, "things as they actually are." And as Robert Trivers points out in the introduction to The Selfish Gene, deceit is arguably fundamental in animal communication, therefore "there must be strong selection to spot deception and this ought, in turn, to select for a degree of self-deception, rendering some facts and motives unconscious so as not to betray - by the subtle signs of self-knowledge - the deception being practiced." In essence, we have evolved to be good liars because it is advantageous for survival and the propagation of genes. So many times, we may be unaware of our true intentions and motives, therefore the Buddha's focus on contemplation and self-reflection and truthfulness takes on even more importance. At least some of our motivations, influenced by a subtle form of selfishness (original sin?), lay hidden within us. This is akin to the Buddhist teaching that many of our actions are conditioned/coloured by greed, aversion, and delusion (i.e., selfishness and self-deception); and one of the Buddha's insights was that we can master these mental processes of conditionality in such a way as to 'go against the stream' of craving (tahna, which here can be seen as the influence of genetic selfishness on human psychology) and ultimately transcend craving altogether. As Dawkins puts it, "Our brains have evolved to the point where we are capable of rebelling against our selfish genes;" and the Buddha was one of the greatest revolutionaries in this regard.

    Keromelobster
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