Finding the truth is much like finding Nemo. The cartoon film revels in facts of life, seen as a fish tale, revealing truth through laughter. We are shown that the Self we hope to be, and truths we must comprehend are as much the work of imagination and intuition as they are of reality and hard work. Deep truths lie in the balancing and adventure of becoming. Truth, with a capitol T, is no longer the ‘the whole truth,’ if it ever was. Recognizing some of this depends on evolving from the burden of who we are supposed to be to embrace who we hope to be. *
This world has always been a magical place of truth and lies, tall tales, and dedicated honesty woven through a human matrix of confusion, bad memory, and desire. We work at defending who we think we should be, bolstering it with stories and warm, if not hot air. We rarely think the lie sits on our side of the table. Rather it is ‘the other’ who exaggerates out of all proportion. We are offended. We grow defended, and desiccated.
As our days become drive-by practices in everything from eating to meditating, learning anything new requires true dedication. I propose we spend ten minutes a day practicing the art of lying. This will engage under-used muscle that supports and builds understanding, and use of truth. It is the same with everything. How can we feel compassion if we haven’t been hurt, and hurtful? How do we know who we can be unless we’ve struggled with who we think we should be? When we only tell the truth, when we only work at ‘shoulds,’ when we are only nice, where is the balancing polarity to see and be otherwise?
There are fine and righteous things about telling a child to never lie, to always do the right thing, to wear clean underwear, and grow straight and narrow. There are also devastating consequences, if that is all they hear, if that is the sum of expectation. Having no room for lies, failure, or dark adventure makes us vulnerable as prey. We are babes for the plucking. We are self righteous in our truths. We easily move toward zealotry. We are too nice.
Truth is like finding Nemo. We go on a perilous adventure, we find friends, we are attacked by bad guys, we grow wisdom. In the end, we are more of who we are supposed to be, less of who we should be, and we have assimilated wisdom-layers of truth.
*Concept of being burdened by who we are supposed to be, rather than being who we hope to be- from E.J. Dionne Jr., in SF Chronicle, Jan. 21, 2013