If there is one essential characteristic or element most needed to ensure the success of those who seek the immortal Self, it is self-honesty. Without true integrity—from the inside out—it is impossible for the aspirant to come into a conscious, living relationship with the Divinity within.
This is why when it comes to life, our relationships with others, and our relationship with ourselves, honesty is always the best policy. Unfortunately, it seems that more and more these days, honesty is out of vogue. In times of unchecked and socially glorified acts of selfishness, honesty is seen more as an impediment to one’s happiness than it is honored as the path to being a truly successful human being.
But what exactly is “honesty”? What does it mean, and what has it to do with honoring one’s deepest and highest aspirations in this life of ours?
In Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (circa 1828), we learn that honesty is “a moral rectitude of heart” or “upright conduct.”
Rectitude is defined as “literally straightness, but not to material things; exact conformity to truth, to the rules prescribed either by divine or human law.”
Of note here is that in every scripture worldwide you will find some statement along the same lines of this sentiment taken from Matthew in the New Testament: “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
And then there’s that old expression from days gone by where someone is asking to be told the truth of his situation: “Give it to me straight, doc!” In other words, “Tell me the reality of my situation; I need you to be real with me.”
The following may seem obvious, but apparently it’s not: the flattering images we have and hold about ourselves are not honest. Yes, they seem real enough to the dreamer within us. But this sleeping self exists only in the world of imagination; as such, it can never be transformed or transfigured in any meaningful way. Nothing real touches it, and it touches nothing other than the unceasing stream of thoughts that provide its false sense of life. Let’s look at an example to better understand this last idea.
Imagine a small stream-fed pond suddenly cut off from the body of life-giving waters that created it. For a while it teems with life, but its destiny—along with everything that has carved out a life within it—is to dry out and pass from existence. Were the little pond to remain connected to the flow of the stream, it would be continually refreshed and recharged by the rise and fall of those waters; changes within it would occur naturally, effortlessly, because it would be acted on by a source of life greater than itself.
In much the same way, we are intended to be made new; ours is the capacity for a conscious relationship with the celestial energies whose flow creates, reveals, replenishes, and sustains all that it touches. Think of self-honesty as one of the main ways we can align ourselves with these everlasting “waters.” Seeing ourselves as we are recharges our divine wish to be one with what is incorruptible—a wish that is strengthened each time we catch ourselves deliberately painting a picture of ourselves that we know is false, self-serving, or just plain misleading.
On the other hand, every time we refuse or otherwise deny the truth of ourselves—anytime we cover up what we see living within us—we effectively cut ourselves off from this ever-flowing stream of real life. It is our singular task and true purpose in life to stand in the light of these divine energies and welcome all that they reveal. They alone have the power to transfigure and set free the consciousness into which they pour.
Almost all of us know these timeless words: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Perhaps now we understand them a little better; let us learn to welcome that little light within us that would show us the straight and true way back home to our immortal Self.