I believe in the truth, in knowing the truth, being the truth and living truthfully. Living truthfully implies living with integrity and self-transparency, so that we are not kidding ourselves, or living cut-off from the inner alignment of self with the outer world of reality, so that there is a clear relationship between what is "I" and what is "Not I," and the ability to judge accurately how to make life choices that balance appropriately the needs of the "I" and the requirements of the "Not I" in living successfully in the world of physical reality. This is as fundamental, as sound, as central, as necessary to life as breathing. And it is missing in too many of us. Jacob Bronowski said, "In order to know the truth, we have to live in certain ways." We have to live truthfully. With integrity and self-transparency, not kidding ourselves, in balancing our relationship with our original nature and our relationship with the demands of the context and circumstances of our life. No one can do that for us, or tell us how to do it. It comes from our ability to be aware of what is true within and what is true without, and making the relationship between the two "worlds" work for the good of both. Will Rogers is said to have said, "It is always the right time to shut-up." I amend that to read, "It is always the right time to sit down and shut-up." Sitting quietly and opening ourselves to the silence. Emptying ourselves of all judgment and opinion regarding what arises in the silence, just watching, just listening, just being aware-- like the Buddha under the Bo Tree-- enables the awareness that leads to reflection and realization that balances and harmonizes the two "worlds," makes for peace and enables us to live as one whole person within the time and place of our living-- with integrity and self-transparency. And everything falls into place around that.
Self-awareness and self-transparency lead the way in balancing inner and outer, consciousness and unconscious, physical and spiritual, ego/desire/fear/anger/duty and psyche/heart/soul/mind... Wholeness/oneness/integrity is a balancing act on a high wire with no safety net below, and not a steady state of being. It is a dance with mood/emotion/nutrition/hydration and the complexity of context and circumstance at play in each moment of every situation as it arises. We have a lot going on. To think we can pull it off without regular/routine returns to stillness/emptiness/silence is to be a kidnap victim of denial and arrogance. Returning to the silence (stillness and emptiness) is a return to the source, center, foundation, core of who we are and what we are to be about. Emptiness is about stepping away from judgment, opinion, desire/wanting and duty/ought/should/must, and being quietly aware of all that is crowding in upon us without being emotionally hooked, hijacked, reactive, controlled by any of it. Emptiness is the sine qua non of stillness and silence, allowing us to step away from the noise and complexity of life to perceive/sense/intuit what's what and what is called for in response in light of our balance and harmony and our ability to live as a whole, united, entity/person within the situation/circumstances at hand. Emptiness is my personal equivalent to prayer. Prayer for me is emptying myself of all the noise and complexity that interferes with my ability to be a whole person responding from my original nature to the here and now amid "the dust of the world" and the "ten thousand things." A life without prayer in this sense of the word, is a life that is swept away upon "the heaving waves of the wine-dark sea" into "the clashing rocks" and "the howling winds of the wasteland" and "the endless freefall of the Void" and a different kind of emptiness characterized by lostness, aloneness, hopelessness and despair. The right kind of emptiness is protection against, and a shelter from, the wrong kind of emptiness, and it is made possible by our trust in ourselves to have what we need to find what we need to deal with whatever comes our way-- and in our ability to bear the pain that must be borne in the meantime. There is no smooth, easy, pain-free path to bliss and nirvana. Balance and harmony, wholeness and integrity depend upon our being who we need to be in order to do what needs to be done here and now, moment to moment, through all the situations of life for as long as life is possible. And self-awareness and self-transparency lead the way.