What does it mean to put the truth first and foremost in one’s life? And why should one even try to do this, when it’s so much easier to just continue doing what one wants to do for oneself before all else?
The answer is surprisingly simple: what we put first, the choices we make in life are a direct reflection of what we value. What this means is that our experience of life — for its pain or pleasure, darkness or brightness — is a perfect reflection of what we want most in that same moment. Prove this truth to yourself, and you will put yourself on the road to putting truth before all else.
For instance, we all have to drive places…work, market, school, what have you. We can drive “there” to get through the task, and (seemingly) so that we can get on to the next thing we must do; or, we can work to inwardly remember ourselves while we drive, to be present to ourselves regardless of what we must be doing physically; we can be where we are…while we are on the way to whatever place we must go. And yes, this is a surprisingly difficult interior task because most of the time there is no real awareness of the present moment (in us)…just the presence of some pressing desire that’s driving us along. This state of mind, this set of “values” represents quite the contradiction. Seen properly, it makes no sense. After all, who rushes to rest?
And what have these insights to do with putting truth first in one’s life?
If what we value is just getting through what we must do…so that we can go on to the next thing we must do…then what we receive for our values is a road through life that goes nowhere, and that ends where it began: with a level of self that cares only for where its going, and not for where — and what — it is.
But, should we start to see just what a dead end this life level represents — with all of its frustration, anger, and selfishness — then we can start to make another choice right in the middle of that misery:
We can ask to see this self in action rather than agree to continue being it.
And since this lower level of self, of consciousness, is always at work, this means that we can always be working to witness it. This special kind of mindfulness, this willingness to observe our self in action does two things at once: first, by putting the wish to watch ourselves in life before the act of trying to win what we want from it, we start to see that these wants are not the whole of our life; rather, they are but a small power that has overtaken our consciousness and become, for all intent and purposes, a heartless dictator dedicated to serving its own limited ends.
And secondly, for this grand realization, we begin awakening to see that who we really are…our original Self…is the part of us that knows this truth, and that won’t serve any power that compromises its right to be free. Hence the timeless axiom of all that seek the higher life: “Know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”