Monday, September 16, 2013
Real I and the truth, part III
I think of lying as coming from words and outer misrepresentations of truth; indeed, all of this takes place, but in myself I don't see that this is relative lying, that is, lying that positions me against the world, and which measures various ideas against one another, choosing one and favoring it over another, and so on. I find myself pulled in various directions by ego and, wishing to serve it (for I am inevitably its slave) I do this, that and the other thing, picking from all the relative lies I have at my disposal to select the ones that best serve the ends of ego.
This kind of lying is one thing; and it certainly conceals my true intentions, which lie at the heart of what I am and, as Swedenborg points out, ultimately determine the truth of the matter as to whether I dwell in heaven or in hell—both temporally and spiritually. Hell, after all, consists fundamentally of selfishness and, on this level, a dishonesty that attempts to conceal that. (If I truly begin to see how mechanically and awfully selfish most of my actions are, I'll see them at work all day long.)
But the kind of lying that produces the inner tension that blocks the inward flow of the Divine is not relative lying. It isn't based on a set of argued premises or disguised behaviors; it absolutely lies. And when I finally see something in me which absolutely lies, perhaps I have finally seen something real. Until then, what I see is lies about lies. Every one of them gets adjusted to make it more palatable, to rationalize it.
When Gurdjieff spoke of lying I feel certain he spoke of this lying at the root of Being, not the lies that arise and are prosecuted by the associative center which are, after all, just accessories to the inner crime.
The inner crime, as I refer to it here, is my essential distrust of myself, and my unwillingness to look at it. Within myself, I always turn away; and this is because of the great discomfort it produces to engage in an inner confrontation. This inner confrontation isn't some grand battle on the scale of the Mahabarata; it's the simple act of using the attention to look, and to see how I am.
Ah! How I squirm in order to avoid this. I'd have to be honest with myself in order to undertake this simple action, that is, allow all of the untruths that I begin with to be exposed. And, speaking strictly from a personal and intimate experience about this matter, I struggle with this every day. It is just not any fun to have to see how I am inside. It raises questions; and it highlights how distant my ordinary self, this "wonderful me" I inhabit and supposedly cherish, is from any real sense of self, and from God.
Jeanne de Salzmann spoke often about this inner confrontation, because it is so necessary. And she graciously reminds us over and over that out physical tension is a clear and present evidence of our condition. Inner lying, absolute lying, is present in the initial stress of the body. If the conscious mind allows and instructs so that even the superficial tensions (which is all I have command over) can be temporarily suspended (and, again, this much alone is the best I can do) are let go, already the groundwork is laid for the inflow to begin: and even a trickle of it can help to open the Being to a truth that erases the nonsense: the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.
It's always interesting to me to come to this moment and see the physical tension; it's so immediate, and once one meets it, it is so obvious that it blocks. Some may suggest this isn't lying; but in my own experience, the connection between this condition and all my lies seems evident enough.
It raises a question at the beginning of all inner activity that must be confronted.
May your soul be filled with light.