Personal Integrity… update

Last week I posted a blog where I questioned what the difference was between personal integrity and trying to get along with my family when I knew things they wouldn’t or couldn’t acknowledge. I continued to question that for several days after posting that blog.

Last Friday evening I had a light-bulb moment, which was quickly confirmed by an email I found that Anita had sent shortly after my blog posted.

Basically, there isn’t just one truth. There are different truths for every person walking the planet. Personal integrity is all about YOU remaining true to your own view of the truth. But, it does not mean that everyone else isn’t also doing their own best to do the same thing – remaining true to THEIR own view of the truth. Every person on the planet wants nothing more than to be right – which is why peer pressure is such an effective means of social control. How many times in your life have you done something you thought was crazy or silly just because “everyone else is doing it”?

Where we venture into the realm of social peace and global stability is when we acknowledge these truths and grant others their own point of view without trying to force ours on them. We can all be right, even when we disagree.

The Price of Personal Integrity . . .

After my post yesterday, Anita sent me an email with a graphic she valued as almost a personal mantra. What she shared was that a two word phrase was the key to defusing conflicts. That phrase was “You’re Right”. Supposedly, my saying that to my family would be the end to our troubles, but only if I not only said it to them, but actually mean it when I say it.

The problem is, I have done the research, and in the cases of trouble within our family I have lived through the incidents. I know that historical evidence proves they are NOT right. To say “you’re right” to any member of my family, and actually mean it, is to deny FACTS. I fully understand why it is important to acknowledge another person’s point of view, but to deny documented facts goes against everything I’ve ever been taught to believe – even what my parents taught me.

So, the question becomes, “at what point is family harmony worth more than the truth?”

As it is right now, I can’t sacrifice my own integrity to restore harmony in my biological family. It would kill me as a spiritual being who is striving to reach the next level of enlightenment. I feel that I must honor what my own experience says is true, even if it leaves them behind.

Layers of an onion . . .

There is a truth that I have known most of my adult life. I first encountered it in the late 1970’s as a teaching by The Way International – yes, I am a graduate of their Foundational course. However, as I’ve said many times in this blog – real truth is universal, and anyone who claims to have a monopoly on the truth is a fraud.

The particular truth that I’m talking about now is about how to study. The Way International stressed a distraction-free environment, and the use of dictionaries to ensure you understood the material properly. When I was active in the Church of Scientology, I again encountered these ideas, but they were enhanced by the use of drills to make the concepts more real. In reading the book, “The Voice of Knowledge” by Don Miguel Ruiz, I’ve found that even the ancient Toltec people understood these truths. Ruiz himself actually discusses using multiple readings of the same material to uncover deeper layers of truth – something that Scientology study technology called, “Number of times over equals certainty and results.”

I’ve VERY recently had a reinforcement of that concept. In my 3rd reading of the Ruiz book, I found a passage that revealed a major life-long lie of mine. I probably inherited it from one of my parents, though I can not remember either of them explicitly saying it. It’s also something that is probably true as a lie most humans believe.

“I don’t deserve it.” Either love, success, health, or whatever would make your life more whole – if you can’t ever seem to achieve it, it is probably because somewhere deep inside you don’t believe you deserve it. However, I will state my firm belief that, if you acquire a copy of Don Miguel Ruiz’s book and read it – many times – you will peel away the layers of untruth that prevent you from being the best version of yourself. Don’t expect the process to be easy, but do expect it to be worth the effort!

Saturday Posts . . .

Just a few hours ago, I was binge watching the tubi show I’ve posted about before, when I heard a loud sound that made me think of a car accident. I grabbed my cane and phone, and headed for the porch in time to see a vehicle’s tail lights heading south from an impact with the “stoplight signal ahead” sign just south of our house. I called the police to report it, and for the next 20 minutes there was a lot of activity outside. I gave a statement to the police, along with several other people who are neighbors and gave similar reports, but I also helped the 1st officer on the scene locate evidence that might possibly lead to identifying the vehicle. It was a very rewarding experience, to me.

Honestly, I may have missed my calling. I have the awareness and attention to detail to be a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI).

Opens the door . . .

I recently posted about a book that my dear friend and spiritual sister Anita suggested I read. Last night my wife asked me to help write the review the seller asked us to write from the website where we bought the book. The last line of the book review was, “Opens the door to the greatest challenge of your life.”

Well, that may not be true for everyone, but it is certainly true for me. I completely believe that the Toltec wisdom was on to something profound, but for me it presents a major challenge.

Until I was about 11 years old, I do not remember having any internal voice in my head. The book I’m reading (now for the 2nd time) calls that voice by a few different names, including “The Voice of Knowledge” and “The Prince of Lies”. Both are accurate – but as I was saying, I never heard that voice until I was about 11 years old. That was about the time I learned that I could use memory to replay music in my head without hearing it on a stereo or radio.

That was, for me, 48 years ago. Since then, that voice has progressed from being a jukebox to being an ever present companion. It is so constant that I never feel I’ve slept anymore. That voice presents dreams, illusions, fantasies, and evaluations of current events in my head during the hours I am trying to sleep. It never stops, and I never arise from trying to sleep feeling well rested. Plus, now that I’ve read this book, I have to ask myself one question – “How do I know the difference between truth and lies?”

Some things, with the help of the book, are almost easy. If a decision is based on fear or hate, it is based in a lie. However, there are other things that I consider that are harder to quantify. For example, I’ve seen X-ray and other evidence to support that my body’s bone tumor caused permanent damage. Is that true only because I believed the “medical professionals” who said it did that? What about the arthritis? The migraine headaches? Lies in our “Voice of Knowledge” can be inherited from others – so where do I draw the line? How do I go about proving what is real from what isn’t?

I’m starting to regret telling my wife to end the book review with the line, “Opens the door to the greatest challenge of your life.” It’s beginning to feel like a vast understatement.

Universal Truth . . .

Ever since my parents divorced, in a very acrimonious action, when I was 16 years old, I’ve been searching for something beyond what they tried to teach me. Over the years, I’ve come to call it the “Universal Truth” – a point where all religion and philosophy agreed.

This Universal Truth has eluded me. It always felt that I was just on the verge of discovering it, but somehow was just out of reach. I’ve studied Sigmund Freud, Emanuel Khant, every major religion extant on the earth, and the teachings of any extinct religion I could find. My studies included Richard Bach, Jed McKenna, Dr. Zhi Ghan Sha, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Michael Talbot, and Dan Millman – just to name a few.

Never did I feel I’d come close to what I sought, until my dear friend and spiritual sister Anita suggested that I read one particular book. That book is titled “The Voice of Knowledge” by don Miguel Ruiz. His book is based on the ancient wisdom of the Toltecs, but unlike any of the other books I’ve read, it is written so simply, so clearly, that a grade-school student with a good vocabulary and the understanding of using a dictionary could comprehend it.

I read half of the book in one evening. While I was doing so, I quickly came to the realization that I would not only recommend it to others (which I’m doing now), but that I will definitely read it many more times. This is spiritual GOLD. If you haven’t read it, and have any interest in personal self-improvement, this book is a MUST.