There is a quote (and I can’t for the life of me find it) that says something like, “If a child speaks the truth accept it immediately. If even a great teacher proclaims a falsehood, reject it at once.”
Before this week I really wanted to follow someone blindly. I really wanted to be shrouded in ignorance and let someone else discern the truth for me. I wanted to be led and not have to worry about anything. I wanted someone else to know all the answers and to just tell them to me.
As a child the people I followed blindly were my parents. It was painful when I learned my parents are indeed human and thus make mistakes. After I learned I couldn’t follow my parents blindly I turned to spiritual teachers. Spiritual teachers must know everything and thus I can accept whatever they say, right? Except the spiritual teachers who encourage blind faith, who encourage their followers to never question anything, have a tendency to be the drink-the-Kool-aid variety. Yet, a part of me really wanted that. Really wanted someone else to come along and fill my brain so I didn’t have to think at all.
I don’t know for sure why people join cults but I think it might be so they don’t have to discern anything for themselves. It’s so tempting to surround one’s self with someone who speaks with conviction and confidence. Someone who claims to know all the answers. Someone who talks about the future and seems to know things. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of, “So and so said” to give authority to a statement. “Well if so and so said it, it must be true!” I think most people long for an ultimate authority, an ultimate truth, and that’s why Christians quote Bible verses and Jews the Torah and Muslims the Qua’ran. People are looking for a lasting and inarguable Truth. A truth above all other Truths.
I am no different. But this week I painfully learned no person speaks the Truth for all people at all times. The guiding principle I must rely on is my own higher self. The divinity within me. The only voice I must listen to is my intuition. If I think something is wrong, then it’s wrong for me. No one else has all the answers because everybody is just trying to figure out things for themselves. Beside the fact, as far as I know, all spiritual faiths say divinity resides within. We don’t need to go outside ourselves looking for answers. How can I truly honor that notion if I think someone else will be able to tell me how to run my life? Or that someone else knows better than I do what’s in my best interest?
The entire point of the spiritual path is to find God within me, and that means looking to myself for answers. Tapping into my higher power to learn my own Truth. It means living awake, it means discerning for myself what is in my best interest and what is not. It means trusting myself.
And so while learning the lesson of self-discernment was painful, I see now I am walking toward enlightenment. And enlightenment means knowing truth resides within me.
I dream of a world where we honor the God within us. Where we trust in ourselves and our intuitive ability. Where we seek within for the answers to our questions. Where we become self-discerning and autonomous knowing the truth within us is authority enough. I dream of a world where we allow for multiple truths, realizing the truth looks different from person to person. I dream of a world where we wake up our minds and bring our God-hood to the surface.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.