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8.     Our Basic Innocence

"Nothing is worth doing until you have founded yourself in truth."




To love ourselves... we should know ourselves.

In each of us is a natural desire
To know we are alive... to feel alive.
We want to say to the world, "Here I am!"
We want to participate in the life of the world.
We measure our life by our impact on the world.

Not all of us can be heroes...
Or find a place in history...
Or have our own fifteen minutes of fame.
Most of us live our lives quite simply and humbly
Doing what is our duty to do...
Managing our survival and the well-being of our families.

Most of us have no great beauty or remarkable intelligence...
And sometimes we are living with
Damaged bodies or some infirmity.
And so... loving one's life...
Isn't always the easiest thing to master.

Human beauty resides in our hearts.
Human beauty is gentleness,
Kindness, understanding, and mercy.
These are the things that we love in others... but...
Are these the things that we develop in ourselves...?
Are these the things that we protect in our world...?
Or, have we chosen to admire personality traits
And encourage degrading or demeaning attitudes
That really aren't true to our humanity...
And to our human intellect...?

Are we trying to be someone else...
Or to be something that isn't who we are...?

We can't be someone else...
We must find our own truth.
We must come to know ourselves.
We must take the time to really look at
Who it is that we are.

Loving ourselves...
Means that we've come to know ourselves
And to trust ourselves.
When we don't trust ourselves
We live as cowards or as children.

How can we live if we can't trust ourselves!
How can we trust our own feelings...
Trust our own choices...?
Our trust must be founded in what is true...
So then... how do we know our truth...?

Scripture speaks about truth in terms such as,
"He does truth" or "All whose works are truth"
Or "they abide not in truth" or "men of truth."

Honesty is not the point,
As being honest about hatred,
Using honesty to hurt others,
Betraying privacy or intimacy,
Or being honest about shameful things...
Hold no degree of rightness in them.

And, confessing is not the point.
What is the point... is knowing life...
Seeing things wholely and with clear eyes,
And knowing how to wield truth well.
It is what we do with truth
That is the measure of all we are.

You must begin your discovery of life
By discovering the truth within yourself...
To know yourself.

Your very soul... your truth...
Surely must consist of your physical characteristics
And how you wear those physical characteristics...
Your feelings, your energy, your choices,
And of course, all those things
Over which you had no choice.

Your every thought or act become a part of...
Your truth... your being... your soul.
For you... your whole truth is your childhood,
Your life, and your old age...
As well as your impact on the world.

You must be at peace with all of those parts of you.
You must be true to your hopes and dreams...
True to your choices in life...
And true to the old man you will become...
Who sees his life behind him.

You must come to terms with it all.
Your whole truth also includes your parents and the past,
As well as your children and the future...
Holding hands between them all... at peace with all.

You must be whole...
No matter what your wealth...
No matter what your successes or failures.
You must grasp your soul
In order to found yourself solidly in truth.

Nothing is worth doing
Until you have founded yourself in truth
And in peace.

You are distinct in many ways...
Discover them all.
Your life is a unique collection of experiences
That you have experienced in your way.

It should never be underestimated
That our health is part of our wholeness
And reflects on it.
Our mental hurdles
Influence our physical hurdles and vice versa.

If you will... understand that we were given...
From Genesis 1:29...
"every herb that bears seed which is upon the face of all the earth,
and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed;
to you it shall be for meat."

We need to eat these things... all of them...
For our best health.

Knowing one's truth is not so much
Passing judgment on yourself...
It is more pure truth than that.
It is just truth itself...
Without labels or categorizing...
Standing still and solid...
Without taking that extra step of judgment.

We cannot allow that idol of judgment
To take hold in our vision of who we are.
We must simply address imbalances in our health.

We are a living creature
Worthy of a full life,
With a right to be loved...
With our humanity respected.

Accepting all that you are,
And working towards
The most beautiful expression of what you are
Is not vanity...
It is wholeness...
And it often requires courage.
To master yourself
Will earn you your manhood or womanhood.

As creatures of intellect...
We are creatures of truth.
We need truth to survive...
We need to know our environment...
Know those things that affect our lives.

Even when we aren't conscious of it,
Our minds are working for us
Discerning the truths around us
In order to help us survive.
Without facts we are left without our dignity...
We are vulnerable.

Our minds are even more brilliant than we may realize.
Our minds do multitudes of calculations to gain the truth.
We cannot possibly be conscious of
All that our brain is registering.

Under hypnosis a person will remember details
Of his normal day that his conscious mind,
Or his working mind, never acknowledged...
Such as people walking past
Or the color of the ceiling in a room.
Our brain is subconsciously noticing
And assimilating lots of information.
This would explain intuition and instinct with some people.

And we do much of our living while on automatic.
Every clear thought or action
May be the result of hundreds of sweeping thoughts
That we draw on in order to form that thought or action.
We cannot possibly think about every action we make.
Our brains would grow exhausted
If we couldn't relegate many of our functions to automatic.

But we often are the ones who train that "automatic".
This automatic is developed through habit and choice
Until it becomes ingrained in us... natural to us.
It may well be formed
From the moment we're born into the world.

Anger can become a habit...
If as an infant, one was ignored regularly.
If one's young days are spent
Unable to trust the world around him...
The seeds of rebellion may have taken root.

And so, like it was a familiar homeplace
We revert to those familiar feelings
Because they are so basic to us.
In a sense... what our automatic really is...
Is our spirit.

If at some point we find that
We are doing harm to ourselves or others...
Which is the definition of immoral, sinful, or "unright"...
Our spirit is not healthy.

Doing harm to ourselves or others
Is just not good survival technique.
And this is not referring just to deliberate actions,
It also includes what you do while on automatic.
If your spirit betrays you
Or causes danger to you in any way...
It isn't healthy.
You must find your own way back to wholeness.

The only thing to do is to retrace your steps
To the place where you made that wrong choice...
Or where you began that habit of thinking...
Or where you adopted that unhealthy pattern.

And no one can do this but you.
Wholeness is everything...
You must see the whole of it all.

The goal is to achieve a true health
Of spirit and of life.
If you love yourself... you want the best for yourself...
You want true things in your life...
You want to have a beautiful life...
You want your life to be full and whole.

If you are having a battle inside...
If something is untrue to your marvelous intellect...
That "something" is working against your self-love
And your struggle can become apparent and obvious.
You may end up doing something
That forces the truth back into your life.
The truth nags at all you are...
Because you are a creature of light...
And truth is everything to survival.

We cannot disconnect ourselves from our humanity,
Nor from our shared humanity.
Our brilliant minds know what it feels like to be human
Even when we've blacked it out of our conscious minds.

Our brilliant minds cling to truth
Whether we want it to or not.
To suppress that sense of shared humanity...
To push it so far into the caves of our minds...
To try continually to extinguish it
So that one can become all-powerful
And gain respect by force from others...
Is no different than a worldly tyrant
Who reasons away other people's humanity.

When a human being has discarded
Their sense of shared humanity...
It is a form of insanity.

And so, we must be wise.
We must see that suppressing
Our sense of shared humanity
Can happen little by little...
In choices big and small...
In our business world and in our private lives.

Suppressing our sense of shared humanity
Can be given many labels...
Salesmanship... crowd control... tough love...
Discipline... peer pressure... competition...
Or survival of the fittest...
Many things we've accepted into our lives.

Discarding our shared humanity
Propogates its own illnesses...
And justifies all who discard their own sense of humanity
For more violent and anti-social reasons.

Surely we can structure our behavior so that
Victory is not conquest...
And success is not one-sided.
We do so like to consider ourselves adults do we not...?
Then why are we reasoning away
All that we regard as essential to a healthy society...?

For those who aim for a higher
Human wisdom and understanding...
For those who brave the truth...
For those who wish to stand nobly in this world...
There is much wonder to be discovered.

Human beings are incredible creatures
Of intellect and light of mind.
We have the capacity to understand true Light...
And we look for it.
That capacity longs to be filled.
Living without real Truth is hellish to us...
And we fill it with the best we can find
To explain the meaning of Life...
But it doesn't fill us up...
We keep finding ourselves
Divorced again and again
From that true Light.

We can almost feel that true Light awaiting us,
Somewhere in our strange intellects.
We can feel that certain Truth
Though we can never quite grasp it.
We know that... clear Truth exists
Somewhere in this world
And someday it may find us.

But, truly... we often run from it.
Our subconscious minds are afraid of it.
We want that true Light... but we know
That it will expose us for all we are.
So... we hide anywhere we can.

This sense of being shamed...
Is not the same as the shame of physical nakedness.
That shame is part of our dignity as intelligent creatures...
And we truly need some protection
Between ourselves and others.
Our world is too vast...
And can be too unpredictable.
We can never assume we are understood or respected.
As children, when we became aware
Of ourselves as individuals,
We needed to feel a sense of protection in the world...
A distinction from what is me and what is you.

That shame is an understanding
That others aren't able to know all there is to you.
Nakedness only expresses
That one doesn't care what anyone thinks about them...
Which is a distortion of wholeness and individuality.
Modesty is respect.

This need for respect, perspective, or distance
Is natural in our multi-faceted world.
We should always protect ourselves in a basic way.
We should never impose ourselves so strongly on others.
Respectful distance allows all to live as they will.

It isn't innocence to expose one's nakedness without thought.
Nakedness has nothing to do with innocence.
Covering ourselves portrays respect for ourselves...
And respect for others.
As long as there is free will in man...
We will need respectful distance from each other.

The shame that makes us run from true Light...
Is a different sort of shame.
It isn't about other people seeing...
It is about ourselves... seeing.
It is the fear that we are not true
To our own Beautiful humanity...
That we are... out of order... with life...
Or... distant from that "dream" that life is.

Of course, we often aren't conscious of this shame...
It is only part of our sense of survival.
We have always thought that truth
Was a judgment of what we are...
But the Light is not judgment...
Light is understanding.
They are different.

And so, we fear this judgment,
And run from the Light.
Discovering that we aren't basically beautiful
Is to our most deep mind like death itself.

To be nullified by the True Light...
Means we are false...
And we run from it for our lives.

We cover what we do with all manner of justification.
We hide behind anything...
To be detached from accountability.
We hide behind religion and we hide behind crime
To hold us firmly away from facing
Truths about all that we are...
That we feel we can never master.

We must be safe...
We must be justified... with something.
We... hide.

In the depth of our minds
We know what our most Beautiful Self is.
This Beauty...
Is not about our physical bodies that,
As in all nature, will express aberrations.
It is about our true human natures.

In Truth... we are beautiful and brilliant creatures.
We have the capacity for spiritual Beauty...
For a true humanity...
And for a brilliant understanding of life...
No matter what our appearance...
No matter what our education.

Our Truth... is our most Beautiful Self...
And we are not always that.
Anything else... is camouflage.
If we are not our "Most Beautiful Self"
Then we are... a lie.

Love is paramount to understanding truth.
Unless we love... we cannot know truth.
Love... has the patience to find truth...
The ability to accept the truth...
And the will to understand the truth.

There is no real truth unless there is love...
And there is no real love unless it includes truth.
If you have not love... you have not truth.

Knowing truth doesn't mean exercising judgment.
In fact, falseness betrays itself
In the very act of judgment.
The need to judge will take on a life of its own.

Those who seek Truth must understand
That only with a sense of equanimity
Will the mind be freed to discover
Whatever it is that is the Truth... even Holy Truths...
Without a tendency to distort it in order to label it.

Many things in life are unpleasant...
They exist nonetheless...
And are very much a part of the natural world.
We must accept all that is in life,
And practice equanimity,
Or even Holy Truths become unclean to us.

The capacity for Truth
Requires a higher mind than judgment,
Or the Truth of Life will flee from us.
Love is... equanimity... allowing life to happen.

We are all... longing to be born
Into that Beautiful Truth we know we are.
We long to be that Beautiful Dream of ourselves...
The best of all we are.

It is when we think we have lost all hope of it...
That we surrender to mere survival.
If we think we have lost all ability
To have Beauty in our lives...
We will surrender to the base.

But... we are always hoping
That we will find a way
To get that Beauty in life back.
The sadness of life and of death
Is to have never made the claim, "I am! I lived!
I know the Beautiful meaning of all that I am
!"

There is a wondrous order within us, as well...
Bursting... unfolding... emerging... reaching...
Breathing... embracing beauty... begetting...
Giving of life one to another...
Within each... a singular will...
A self... a force...
That carries it towards its own wholeness.

Wholeness... within wholeness...
Fulfillment of each... within fulfillment of all.
Like a great machine with many cylinders
Each working at its own pace
In order to make the engine work...
Each... joyously fulfills itself
And in that joy... wholeness.
Its mission and its joy...
Becoming one and the same.

But... we... we are creatures of light.
Our wholeness... our fulfillment...
Does not reside solely within our will.
Our will... the force within our life...
Guides us towards our wholeness...
But like masters of our own domain
We make choices... from all that is.


Chapter 9.   True Love




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