Thursday, May 17, 2012
NO MORE GRAY
Years ago I found myself with a teacher who would ask “Did you….(fill in the blank…but for these purposes let’s say….) tell the truth in this situation?” I would normally begin fidgeting around and trying something like, “Well, I did the best I could,” or “Considering the circumstances, I thought it best if I….” At which point my teacher would quietly ask, “Did you or did you not…..(fill in the blank)?”
It didn’t matter how I tried to squirm around the issue or how many times I backed up and tried again, the question was just quietly put to me, “Did you or did you not?” Eventually (every single time) I was made to understand this was a “yes or no” question and no amount of explanation could alter the fact that the ultimate answer was either “yes” or “no”. (It’s a little like the pregnant issue – either you are or you are not.) As the years past, I kept trying to “get away” with not answering directly, but always quietly came, “Did you or did you not?”
At first I thought this was a lesson in telling the truth. Later I came to understand that telling the truth is the first step in absolute accountability, and without it any attempt to be “accountable” is just a farce.
For years it has been socially okay to “tell a little white lie” and say that things are not always black or white, but sometimes gray. As the collective consciousness is raising those times are no longer an option for the spiritual aspirant.
Upon examination it can be seen that the “need” to tell a little fib is really a defense mechanism of the ego hoping to escape examination. “But what about trying to spare someone’s feelings?” you ask. If one has stopped offering opinions without them having been solicited or from commenting on every topic of discussion, many so-called occasions can be avoided. Watch and see how many times no comment is needed at all! On the rare occasion when one is questioned directly it will be necessary to “tell the harsh truth, but not tell the truth harshly”. This can be most easily accomplished by beginning your statement with “It is only my opinion” or “My personal prejudice is” or “I am not qualified to judge (because you aren’t!)”.
As for areas of gray – they don’t exist. Everything is what it is – it isn’t “sort of this plus sort of that”. The question becomes, “Is it or isn’t it?” (A discussion about “labeling” will follow.)
And, obviously, the “Did you or did you not?” question is about being accountable for ones actions – thought, word and deed. There simply is no passing the buck on this one.