Truth & Delusion

Can you remember a time when you whole-heartedly believed what later turned out to be ….  a “Lie”? A Lie, and I mean a really good Lie, must have some aspect of verifiable Truth woven into it, so that it speaks to our core values. When my core values are reflected within an ideal, my heart opens with a sense of immediate connection followed by a sense of liberation. I lean in for more. What is often overlooked while this is happening, is the ability to maintain enough clarity to truly examine and carefully scrutinize what I’m hearing – Truth or Lie?

The Late Dr. James Cone, a Founder of Black Liberation Theology Philosophy and Professor at Union Theological Seminary, New York once shared this perspective: “If we cannot recognize the Truth, then that Truth is unable to Liberate us.” Though you may feel protected from the effects of the widening chasm of division and misinformation in this time, we all must humbly remember that greed, hatred and delusion can blind any one of us to the Truth under the right conditions. Dr. James Cone’s words indicate that there is a great possibility that you and I can be immersed in Truth and not recognize it. The corollary is that there is an ever-present possibility for us to experience Liberation by knowing how to recognize what is True. Is there a way to consistently and systematically determine what is True?

I’ve found these four criteria can sharpen my discernment as I examine experience:  Congruence, Consistency, Coherence, and Usefulness.

Congruency: Something that is True fits the Facts of a situation, experience or idea.
Consistency: Something that is True does not contradict itself.
Coherency: Something that is True, is coherent with everything else I know to be True.
Usefulness: Something that is True can be usefully applied to direct me towards compassionate Understanding and genuine Mastery.

Truth is Sobering…Lies are Intoxicating.
Truth is Humbling…Lies promote Pride and Heedlessness.
Truth is Patient…Lies often promote immediate Justification and Gratification.
Truth is Healing…Lies deceive us into Harmful experiences.
Truth is Enduring…and Lies simply Fade.

This year Tibetan New Year, Losar, is celebrated from today, Friday to Sunday, Valentine’s Day – Losar Tashi Delek! Chinese New Year begins today, too – 祝你牛年吉祥!

 May we honor Truth, Liberation, and Love in the New Year