From childhood we are taught to tell the truth, that honesty is the best policy, and that truth always triumphs. We all know this but can we actually be completely truthful in relation to ourselves and others? Is it always a good thing to be absolutely open and truthful or does it land us in all sorts of trouble?
Firstly, truth seems to be different for different people. Truth is not what is – truth seems to be what we make of it, how we see it, how we interpret or understand it, how we rationalize or justify it and how we mould and twist it for our convenience. The truths of existence – sea water is salty, the night is dark, the sun is bright and hot, ice is cold, fire is hot – these are the gold standards by which we should measure our truth, where there is no room for denial or dispute. Hunger, thirst, sleep, sexual desire, filth, squalor, poverty, disease, birth and death, beauty, simplicity, humility, mystery, love and compassion – these truths exist in life, whether we accept or deny them.
The truthfulness with which we relate to others in this world, should ideally be as uncompromising and clear, as the above-mentioned truths.
Nevertheless, we are rarely truthful, to ourselves or to others. We want one thing but say something else. We carry on this farce all our lives, living as two individuals – the thinker and the actor. When there is a disconnect in our minds between what we want to do and what we actually do, the mind is not at peace. However, due to various conditionings, our cultural background, our indoctrinations, the pressures of society, and our need to project ourselves as good-natured, tolerant individuals – we tend to act in an artificial manner. This creates constant conflict in the mind and robs us of peace and balance, and is likely to make us act in ways that lack common sense.
We have our reasons for this. The moment you speak the absolute truth, a majority of those who are close to you will become antagonistic towards you, will start disliking you and will develop a poor opinion of you. This is because all those who were close to you were so, because you chose to speak euphemistically or diplomatically and made them feel good about themselves. There is a possibility that if we were to become honest from today, if we decided to speak only what we thought was true (subjective truth), a lot of our close ones would feel hurt. However, those people who are close, who really love and cherish us, might actually welcome our openness, and such relationships might become strengthened. When we do become open and speak our minds, a lot depends on how the other person reacts.
The results could be unpredictable; something that we should be prepared for. Lies don’t satisfy your innermost core, your being, or soul.
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