Friday, February 21, 2014


I have been reading and re- reading a number of interesting books lately. One theme that I would like to reflect upon, enumerated in two excellent books The Open Path  and Emptiness Dancing is the importance of sincerity. It strikes me that indeed, that is very true, yet often overlooked. Sincerity is a wonderfully nuanced and complex word.  It packs a lot.  To me it evokes a humility and curiosity as well as an authenticity and devotion.  For  me there is a deep longing and yearning in sincerity.   Dictionary online defined sincere as free from deceit, hypocrisy, falseness.  These also ring accurate. Perhaps sincerity is our greatest yearning. The beauty of sincerity is that it is a process.  It is something which must be renewed time and again.  In the same way that authenticity is a process sincerity requires continuous renewal. One is not sincere and then done.  Sincerity is a quality of openness and discovery as one part of mystery encounters another part of mystery. When put that way it strikes me that it is synonymous with life itself, for what more is life than mystery meeting up with all of it of itself. To be sincere is to live in reality, is to see clearly, is to recognize all.    It is easy to overlook the mystery though. It is easy to let our jadedness and protective shells orient us to action. We forget our divinity. But really what could we even protect?  The lure of slumber is steadfast.  We believe it is easy to dull pain.  Sleep seems to beckon us.  It seems easier to avoid what we know deep down, to pull the wool over our own eyes; to live with our own hypocrisies,  to embrace the fallacious over the truthful.  But is it?  What is the cost to our own lives?  What is the cost to life itself?  What freedom is bought with any lie?  I think sometimes when I am less than relentless and ruthlessly truthful that its ok. It's better to tell a white lie than to hurt someone’ s feelings. Why would that be true?.  I think it could be a supreme failure to recognize who the other person ultimately is and it is an equal failure to see yourself. It is also exceptionally lazy (or more likely frightened way to approach relating). 

Relentless and ruthless in this instance do not mean that one is unskillful IF one needs to tell someone else something that one thinks may be hurtful.  We still approach it with three times the amount of compassion that it took to be "ruthless" about broaching it.  This is to say that if something is difficult to say to another I cannot avoid it but I say it from a place of wholeness.  The relentlessness and ruthlessness apply because my inclination is to circumvent those topics.   I do not like conflict.  Few do.  And those that seek conflict, look for power -- over.  We need to let Truth’s unrelenting power move through us.  If it is truth we will find the “right” words, if it is anything less we will simply have to "clean up" that which missed the missed the target. 

Parents often get anxious or concerned or angry with their kids when they lie to them.  We have seen it in countless movies. We may have experienced it in our own lives. Kids sneaking in late and lying about coming in before their curfew.  Kids lying about what they have had to drink or how they have behaved. Little ones lying about something that they have done or haven't done.  It is nearly cliche.  It strikes me that perhaps the most painful part about lying is that it severs our link with reality.  We knowingly choose something not real over something real.  Usually we do this in fear and sometimes we even try to convince others of this reality. This is the height of insanity though many do it often.  When we willingly sacrifice truth to lie we bind humanity.  We make it that much harder for the next person to feel the permission that always exists to surrender into freedom.  We make it that much harder for ourselves to recognize the freedom that always exists. We trade reality for fear of a consequence that may never happen.  We play a reproachful and bitter God.  It is no wonder we do not trust ourselves.  It is no wonder we do not trust each other.  It  is no wonder we are so dis-eased.  We wrestle with ghosts -- and lose when we lie, for ultimately the lie separates us from the very things we most need. To lie is to fail to accept the moment as it is, as such, it is perhaps the antithesis of enlightenment.

 I remember when my little one told a "lie". He was too young for the children's textbooks to actually call it a lie per se since the sense of self was not developed enough for the full recognition of a something to protect or of any kind of consequence from his actions.  At that point it was more like a creative exercise and arguably perhaps a primitive and rudimentary sense of trying to protect something.  Putting aside the motivation and challenges in childrens' lying, it is interesting to examine parents behavior.  It is interesting to remember my own sense of fear.  It is interesting how out of touch I became with the times I've lied or distorted the truth in my own life.   I was not alone in my internal freak out.  I suspect at one level it is about wanting to protect the child both from the behavior itself but that it is also  about a desire for genuine communication.  Lies stymie communication.  Every parent wants to believe they are trustworthy enough for their child to come to them with their problems and challenges. Not all are and certainly not at all times. They want to believe they make it safe enough for their children to be authentic and sincere.  Sadly, there is much that works to undermine that sense of safety in the world. 

What would it be like to truly be yourself with no fear of being judged?

What would it be like to truly be authentic and not worry about how you were perceived by others?

Does this change when you think of the reflections of those close to you?

Sincerity to me feels like a powerful driving force.  It feels like a force I can align "my life" with. It feels like it can propel and direct, guide and steer "this me" where it needs go.  It is both gentle and fierce at the same time.  It is gentle in that it is an ever open invitation to be in reality.  It is fierce because it never wanes and is always there whether we choose to befriend it or not. It is precious because it is the gravity that enables my heart's desire to live truth over and over again.


1 comment:

:Doreen said...

The first lie told is a movement away from matter how "small". The body of a child registers that first stern look coming from a parent or caregiver; the "look" from the parent that arises out of their own experience with pain and fear of having "the love", removed...perhaps, over and over again.

We live in fear of consequences that lack understanding/knowing of Our Love. Sincerity is Our natural state of being...that We "wake up to" or grow *with*.

Thanks for *knowing* this