I had lunch with a Christian friend today, and he said in passing
you are more concerned with experiences than truth
I replied that I am concerned with truth as well, and noticed there was something in what he said that caught my attention. In other words, there was a hook there and something for me to digest further.
On the train later in the day, I took time to look and feel into it further. Instead of skipping over what he said and gloss it over with a “I am concerned with truth as well”, I wanted to find what was more honest and true for me in what he said.
Can I find the truth in what he said? Yes, absolutely. I find that I am often more concerned with experiences than truth. I am often drawn to certain emotions and experiences, and try to avoid or push avoid other emotions and experiences. I have certainly been caught up in mystical experiences (states) rather than taking a closer look at the truth in it (no I in any state or experience).
And when I imagine what was behind it from his side, a nudge towards truth, I find I agree wholeheartedly. I want the same for myself.
When I do inquiry on and with another, I often find the same. I can find where I genuinely agree with the other person. And when the other person wants something for me, I often (always, so far) want the same for myself.
It is a beautiful process.
What I may take as criticism when I come from defensiveness (trying to defend an image of myself) now becomes support, a reminder and a guide, and pure innocence and kindness.
In writing this, I am reminded of the arrow/flower scene from the story of the historical Buddha.
(About 6-7 minutes into the clip.)
Of course, if someone is really trying to harm me in a conventional sense, I’ll do what I can to avoid harm in the usual pragmatic ways. And I’ll do the same if the person is trying to harm someone else.
Recognizing the innocence in the situation can easily co-exist with taking common-sense and pragmatic measures to prevent or reduce harm. That too is kindness.
- “you, who are more concerned with experiences than with truth”
- christian friend, i said “well, i am concerned with truth as well”
- later on, take it in, feel into it, find the truth in it
- a great support for myself, i can find the truth and validity in it
- and when i imagine what was behind it, a nudge towards truth, i find i agree wholeheartedly, i want the same for myself
- what we also discover when doing the work on and with each other, we want the same for each of us
– find the truth for myself in the view of the other of me
– often find i agree, and i want the same for myself