The possibility of finding truth beyond views, opinions, cultural and personal conditioning is what this path of meditation and mindfulness is offering us. But why go to such great lengths of study, contemplation and spiritual practice in order to find truth? Because truth sets us free – and in this article I am going to point at the mechanics of this process.
What Turns us into Seekers of Truth?
In order to find truth we have to understand what it is that’s obscuring it. But before we even go there we have to feel inclined towards this process. Why would we go down the proverbial rabbit hole? And what is it that makes people move towards the light of truth? In other words: What is at the root of all spiritual endeavors?
The answer is surprisingly short: It’s suffering that wakes up and tickles our innate ingenuity. We invent, play and toil to alleviate and overcome the experience of suffering which continuously appears to chase us. Not knowing where exactly suffering comes from and why it exists we see the cause of our infinite problems within the external environment. Thus we remain blinded by the play of physical and mental forms arising and passing within consciousness. It requires genuine humility to open our eyes and see our own self-made suffering clearly enough to feel intrigued.
At the beginning of any endeavor, spiritual or worldly in nature, is the search for an end of suffering. This is what turns us into seekers of truth. In the bible, the book of John, chapter 8, verse 32 Jesus says: “…you will know truth, and the truth will set you free.” Free from what? Free from suffering, ignorance, blindness or – as Jesus calls it – “sin”.
Did you know the original meaning of sin? The English Biblical terms translated as “sin” or “syn” from the Biblical Greek and Jewish terms sometimes originate from words in the latter languages denoting the act or state of missing the mark; the original sense of New Testament Greek ἁμαρτία hamartia “sin“, is failure, being in error, missing the mark… (Read here)
Truth Beyond Views and Dogmatic Stances
Those looking for truth, the seekers and practitioners of spiritual disciplines, often find themselves confronted by a vast set of literature and existing opinions. This can make it appear impossible or daunting for anyone setting out on a spiritual path. Almost every good teacher has various approaches, teaches different strategies and practices and comes with a huge background of tradition and lineage. There appear to be many different truths and you can find prominent teachers discussing and – sometimes even arguing – their various points.
Instead of bombarding you with dogmatic views, religious material or many different things to learn and read about we encourage you to open the eye of awareness and become conscious of what is. Instead of learning from theories we stress learning from direct experience. In a way we need to become open and spacious again – looking at the world through the eyes of a child.
To illustrate the need to let go of dogmatic views and opinions in order to enter exalted states I shall quote Jesus one more time: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.“ It is through the distorted lens of views and opinions that we can’t see the way things actually are. Instead we see them as we think they are. As we all continuously learn how to think through culture, education and media etc., it would be an error to say that our thinking is the truth. Instead it points to various forms of conditioning like the ones I mentioned in the previous sentence.
True Masters get Along Because they See
If you watch two masters having a truthful conversation you will see the absence of conflict. There is understanding, warmth and appreciation of the countless views and traditions existing since thousands of years. They don’t expect another person to believe them or project their version of reality onto others. Instead they often appear to be open, friendly and humorous.
It is when you have two people who are attached to philosophy, scripture or debate that conflict, righteousness and misunderstandings prevail. Those who truly practice have no regard for words, thoughts, views or opinions. They see them as fleeting, insubstantial fabrications, empty of true value or essence. They value inner silence and wakefulness above all words. Their hearts are wide open and luminous, accommodating this dual world and it’s natural play of opposing forces effortlessly.
Being caught up in thoughts, views and teachings we are unable to transcend our limited sense of self. Expansion and ascension of consciousness remain a far-away dream we read about in the ancient scriptures. Adhering to very rigid views of truth, the gates of heaven remain closed. The spiritual path remains a fairytale to those who don’t aim for what is real here and now. Bound up in views and thickets of thought we will continuously “miss the mark”.