by Caroline Myss: Stand in the power of this prayer…
“How will you come to me, Lord? How will I know you? How will I recognize you? I know you will come for me. You will slip into my being, perhaps in the middle of the night while I sleep. Maybe You will come for me when I am not looking for You, when I am distracted, staring into an oncoming storm, fearing my immortality.
Or maybe You will come to me in the midst of a lie that pours out of my mouth effortlessly. You will let me know You are listening as I listen to myself say something that is not true as easily as if I were giving the time of day. I tell myself that my lies are insignificant, that they don’t matter. How do I know what matters, what is significant? What if I am being tested? Observed? Did you know I put my conscience to sleep years ago? Maybe that’s how You will come to me – You will awaken my conscience like a sleeping dragon, one day, when I am weakened by disease, or fear, or loneliness, and I will be forced to face the truth that I fear You. I fear Truth. You are Truth itself, and I feel that power rumble like an earthquake through my being each time my eyes look into the eyes of another human being.
One word of Truth exchanged through the eyes of another is enough to bond two human beings for eternity, the power of a sacred union. No wonder we fear Truth. No wonder we fear You. How will you come to me, Lord? You will come through Truth. You will make me need You and I will come searching. You will make me shed my skin, my illusions, my weaknesses, like boils ready to burst on my burning flesh. And then, when I am broken, too weak to deceive even myself, there You will be, already resurrecting my soul. Somehow, Lord, I found this Truth already lodged in my heart. You’ve already come for me.”
This prayer embodies an exquisite description of the Divine. Yet, paradoxically, it also reflects the essential conflict we have with the power that is Truth. I have more than wondered about why we struggle with truth. I can recall many discussions about the subject in Theology classes, for instance, in which human nature was dissected like an organ in a lab, looking for that one piece within us that would illuminate the mystery that forms the core of our being. We are blinded by Truth; we are compelled to seek Truth; we are driven from our lands when we speak the Truth as prophets; we must excavate the hidden Truth from within our cell tissue to heal our diseases. No matter the path, in the end we find that the Truth does indeed set us free.
For all of the many ways that I have seen, read, and heard the Divine described, I have personally found that the essence of the nature of God is ultimately Truth and one expression of that Truth is found within the constancy of the mystical laws that govern the unseen world, the parallel universe that hovers above us and surrounds us, and somehow penetrates into every micro-electrical spark generated by our thoughts. Within the vast mystical corridors of these laws, the Divine reveals Itself as an “ever-present obvious,” the organizing force of Nature, the laws governing cause and effect, yin and yang, action and reaction.
The Divine is the Truth of the Tao, a force of balance. If a person enters into cycles of deceit, spinning a spider’s web of lies and false-truths, big or small, personal or business, one day the Tao will come for them. One day, the balance of power within that person’s life will reach a breaking point because it has swung too far into the dark weighty matter of deceit. The person will feel a force begin to rock the entrails of his life, rupturing the weave of relationships held together by half truths, half lies. The pull of the pendulum of the Tao, making its way back into the light of Truth, inevitably shatters the spider’s web a person so carefully has woven together through years of fear, good intentions gone bad, well-meaning efforts to protect others and avoid conflicts. The Tao cares nothing about one’s personal intentions. It cares about the balance of Truth, the impersonal, unyielding, eternal, constant, and ever-present force that is the soul of life itself.
The human mind is no match for the power of Truth and perhaps that is why we fear it so much. Its power is more baffling than anything we can imagine – and even our imagination cannot break through the barriers of its mystical chambers. What’s a human to do? A few weeks ago, Nightline, a news show on ABC, interviewed me on the subject of Near Death Experiences. As expected, many of the questions about NDE’s, as they are called, were aimed in the direction of explaining the unexplainable. During the course of the interview, the interviewer told me about a series of “scientific” experiments that were set up to see if people could duplicate the NDE; that is, could people force their consciousness to leave their body, float into another room, spot the “data” taped to the wall, and then report that data once they were back in a state of normal consciousness. To them, this was an acceptable scientific experiment. To me, it was such nonsense that I almost had to gag myself in order to maintain a professional posture.
I asked them why they roped a scientist into what essentially was a mystical quest in the first place? The search to understand the Truth about what happens to the soul after death is a mystical question, one that requires someone equipped with an open mind, not a frightened one. I posed this question, “If a scientist was doing research on whether aspirin really did activate certain brain activities, would you ask a Theologian for her opinion as well?” Silence.
After the interview (scheduled to air, by the way, at the end of July/early August), I thought about the entire tenor of all the questions asked: But how can you explain an NDE? Couldn’t people just be imagining these experiences? (I pointed out that indeed one could posture that an NDE is the product of a person’s imagination, which suggests that “imagination” means fake, by the way. However, authentic NDE’s tend to inspire profound transformations in people that are life changing and permanent. One’s imagination – especially if one comes from the arcane school of thought that suggests that “imagination” means the “unreal” – lacks the capacity to illuminate a higher Truth within a person. NDEer’s, as they are called, frequently report encountering a Light that is not just “conscious,” but radiant and loving as well. This Light seems to communicate to the NDEer that it is Divinity Itself, and in that communication, an overwhelming sense of intimacy is communicated to the individual, as if this Light is saying, “You are my creation. I know you. I know your every thought, your every action, your every breath. You are one with Me.”
As I said to the woman who interviewed me, we should be baffled by experiences such as these. Mystical experiences are profoundly transforming precisely because they are NOT intellectual. They are NOT logical. They are mystical and as such, they are experiences in which an individual is given direct exposure to a Higher Truth that the mind alone is incapable of comprehending. A mystical truth is one that can only be experienced in order to be even slightly comprehended in terms of its magnitude. From such experiences, great souls have arisen and changed the world – Francis of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola, Thomas Merton, Albert Einstein, Gandhi, and countless nameless others who in the privacy of their quiet time slipped through the barrier of the five-sensory world and were given an encounter with cosmic, eternal Truth.
We fear Truth because like those who already know its power to transform the ordinary mortal into the extraordinary, should it find its way into our lives, should it awaken us and shake us from the deep spell of narcissism we live under, we would see with unmistakable clarity that we truly are connected to each other. We would grasp a profound understanding that, “What is in One, is in the Whole.” To experience that Truth is to realize the you are One with the Whole of all of life. That all of life somehow, in some way, resonates to every breath and every action you set into motion, each second you are alive. A Truth that enormous just does not fit into the mind, this instrument of logic, order, and reason. How could every breath you take affect the whole, enormous Universe? The mind cannot bear to be baffled and stifled and above all else, mystified, for too long. It simply has to conclude: Nonsense. It’s impossible to be connected to all things. No Truth can stretch itself that wide and that deep.
But be still for a moment or two and quiet that mind of yours. Turn off all the noise around you and walk away from your distractions. And then, when you have cleared the decks, get your attention right here in the present moment. And let’s think about you and Truth and your comfort zone with Truth in general.
- What is Truth for you? Do you think about “truth” as something that is just the “opposite of lying,” or does Truth for you also have cosmic, mystical proportions?
- Do you struggle with speaking the truth? Do you allow yourself to lie? A little? A lot? Daily? And let me make this easy for you: A lie means you are not telling the TRUTH. There’s no qualifier here.
- Do you assume people lie? We live in a society in which lying is more acceptable than speaking the truth. For example, we assume that our politicians are liars, that financial and corporate cartels are liars – and guess what? We don’t care! We have grown so accustomed to a culture of lies that we have grown numb to it. So the question is, “Why have YOU personally chosen to become numb to this culture of lies?” And the more significant question, “How much influence has this dark culture of lies had upon the breakdown of your personal integrity?” Mind you, it may not have had any influence or it may have inspired you to become a Whistleblower, a person sick to death of all the lies in this society. Or you may have just caved in and drunk the kool-aid, deciding that if everyone else is doing it, saying things that aren’t true and getting away with it, what the hell.
- When people call me for help because their health or their life is in crisis, they never, ever bring up Truth as their core point of crisis. But it always is. What Truths are you personally wrestling with? Asked differently, “What secrets have become too painful or heavy to carry?”
As I look this particular newsletter over, it occurs to me that Truth is probably an odd topic for a newsletter. But as I listen to the news, dripping with deceit and liars, Murdock’s and politicians, I see a world that will only change if we change. We are the change agents of this world. This toxic society just didn’t come upon us like a plague of locusts – though I would much rather face that than this upcoming election, and that’s the Truth. Rather, as the individuals within a society lose touch with values, ethics, morals – as they cease to play hardball with themselves on the serious matters in life, then the society around them slowly starts to crumble. We ease off on telling the truth here and there, there and here. No one just gives their “word” in a business deal anymore. We must have lawyers and contracts and signatures – and threats of lawsuits. Why? Because Truth has somehow fallen in short supply. What is it we don’t trust? The other person? Or ourselves? The truth is, only each one of us can answer that question.
Of all the many things in life you may doubt, never doubt that Truth is a relentless force. It is the breath of the Divine pulsating inside your psyche, your soul, your conscience. Truth does set us free, and it sets our souls on fire, and it heals our mind and our body from the suffering of heavy secrets. If someone asked me about the nature of God, all I would suggest to that person, just as I am suggesting to you, is to select but one Truth – Change is Constant, for example – and step into that Truth. Live in and with the wisdom of that Truth. Live in and with the Truth: “Change is Constant, and thus, I will no longer make my decisions in such a way as to fight change . . . I will cooperate with change . . . the Truth is I cannot stop Change . . . I will suffer if I try . . . even if I do not want the Changes . . . the Truth is, I cannot stop the inevitable.”
Live in a Truth – any higher, mystical Truth – and you discover the breath of God pulsating in your soul.