Friday, April 8, 2016

The path to truth

It can be difficult for anyone, seemingly impossible perhaps, to accept certain ideas that are outside of our experience. If we have deeply held beliefs that are completely outside of some new information presented or an opposing perspective, we will be particularly resistant. It becomes a matter of cognitive dissonance. We won't alter our information folder structure. The information or perspective simply does not fit and we will not make room for it.
We see it time and time again with predictions of the end of the world or "second coming". Believers will lock onto a date, sometimes sell everything they own, and the time comes. The world does not end and the second coming has not happened. A few abandon the belief but most simply alter the belief somehow to fit the new reality. But the core belief will still be deeply held and the fact that it did not happen as predicted will be explained away.
We see it when minority populations begin to find a voice and express their experience. We see it when cultures begin to clash.
We need things to fit what we believe. Some of us are more in need of things fitting nicely and to fit directly with our personal experience and beliefs. Imagining another person's experience - being open to the notion that it may be different but is equally valid - takes a bit of work. It requires grace and humility. It requires self discipline, self confidence and a level of self containment.
The more we seek external validity to sustain our beliefs, the more difficult it is if our beliefs are challenged. The more we believe everyone must share our beliefs, the more we seek external validity.
Through grace we seek the divine and see the divine all around us - even in those who are different.  It drives us to act in kindness. It drives us to be gentle. It smooths our rough edges and calms us. We seek to be one with the divine that is all around us.
Humility helps us to see that we are not better than anyone else. We humbly accept our station in life as a gift. As my friend and mentor said while we were in remote regions of China "We could have been born here." Humility and grace may be best summed up in these words; "There but for the Grace of God, go I."
We need self discipline, self confidence and a level of self containment to avoid feeling threatened by opposing thoughts and beliefs. If we are walking in grace and humility, there is no need to feel threatened. There is no need to be angry. Speak truth in kindness. Be resolute. Be strong.
Never loose sight of grace. Never loose humility. They will lead our experience to more common understand and are the path to truth.

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