Sometimes, it can seem that life is conspiring to keep us from seeing more clearly what is already more true for us, but the reversal holds as well…
Life is always and everywhere inviting us to see what is already more true for us.
When I hold onto a belief, I make a story with only a relative truth appear as an absolute.
And life invites us to see what is already more true for us in several ways.
Dissonance between what is already more true for me, and the belief
First, through the dissonance between what is already more true for me, and what I try to make appear true through the belief.
What is already more true for me is what is, without the beliefs. This field of awake emptiness and its content, which is no other than the awake emptiness itself. (It is far simpler and more familiar to us than what these words convey.)
And what is already more true for me, is the grain of truth in all the reversals of the story I try to make into an absolute truth. Somewhere, I know that these too hold a relative truth, just as the one I picked out to somehow be more true.
Life showing up outside of the boundaries of my beliefs
Then, through life showing up outside of the boundaries created for it by the belief. The story I believe in says the world is or should be a certain way, and that I am or should be a certain way, and life & I show up differently. Again, there is a dissonance.
Life presenting me with the reversals of my initial story, and their grain of truth
And finally, through life presenting me with all the reversals of my initial story, and the grain of truth in each of them. And these reversals may come up through others, or even from myself.
Dissonance as an invitation
In each of these cases there is a dissonance, and this is the invitation for me to see what is already more true for me.
There is the dissonance between what is alive in immediate awareness and the belief. There is a dissonance when life shows up outside of the boundaries defined by my belief. And there is a dissonance when life presents me with the reversals of the initial story, and the grain of truth in each of them.
This dissonance, which can be experienced as stress or even suffering, is – as Byron Katie says – an alarm clock telling me that it is time to take a look at my beliefs.
When we take it that way, the dissonance becomes a trusted friend, our most reliable and unfailing teacher. It becomes the greatest gift.
If we don’t take it that way. If we stubbornly continue to cling to our beliefs, trying to avoid dissonance through changing our circumstances, it just prolongs and deepens the suffering.
Life as our greatest friend (or not)
In that sense, life as it is is our greatest friend, and also our tormentor when we don’t notice the invitation (or don’t know what to do with it.)
Of course, it is really we who are our own greatest friend… when we respond to the invitation, and it is we who are our own greatest tormentor… when we don’t.
And going one step further, there is just the one field containing both.