Sincerity on the spiritual path

 

Professor Broom: In medieval stories, there is often a young knight who is inexperienced, but pure of heart.
John Myers: Oh, come on. I am not pure of heart.
Abe Sapien(who’s psychic) Yes, you are.
Professor Broom: Rasputin is back for him. What I’m asking of you is to have the courage to stand by him when I am gone. He was born a demon; we can’t change that. But you will help him, in essence, to become a man.

– from Hellboy (2004), quoted in Wikipedia

One of the most valuable qualities on a healing and spiritual path is sincerity, a pure heart. As Broom says, this is a recurrent theme in some of the traditional legends and perhaps most famously the grail legend (Perceval).

Sincerity allows us to be more honest with ourselves, and that’s essential for emotional healing, awakening, and embodiment.

Is also essential for having a meaningful and juicy relationship with ourselves and others, one that allows for authenticity, growth, and surprises.

If we have some sincerity, it doesn’t matter so much if we are young or inexperienced on the path we are on. Sincerity is gold, and we can always learn tools and we will gain experience.

Is sincerity something we can learn or develop? Perhaps not. But I can notice when I am not sincere and I can then shift into sincerity.

Sometimes, it’s not so easy. We may be caught in fear of a situation or something coming up in us and retreat into defensiveness to try to stay safe. That’s OK. Again, it helps to notice. I can be honest with myself about what happened. And that, in itself, is sincerity.

It also helps to notice what in me takes me away from sincerity. What is the fear about? What is the fearful story? What beliefs do I find? Identifications? And then explore it further, befriend it (find healing for my relationship to it), and perhaps find healing for the issue itself.

As I wrote the second paragraph (“Sincerity allows us….”), I noticed a synchronicity in the lyrics of the song I was listening to:

There are times when a man needs to brave his reflection,
And face what he sees without fear,
It takes a man to accept his mortality,
Or be surprised by the presence of a tear.

– Sting and Rob Mathes, I love her but she loves someone else

Image: The Achievement of the Grail by British Artist Sir Edward Burn-Jones design, William Morris execution and John Henry Dearle flowers and decorations, from the Holy Grail tapestries 1891-94, Museum and Art Gallery of Birmingham, wool and silk on cotton warp.

Sting: Practical Arrangement

 

When I listen to this song, I am struck by two things:

First, that it’s an antidote to my own (more romantic, idealized) view. Can I hold both, and find the validity in both? How would it be to live from that?

Then, how much love there is in this song and the views that are expressed. There is a deep love for himself and for the woman and what they can have together. A thought may say this is devoid of love, and that may be true in terms of traditional romantic love. And yet, there is a deep and different love here.

I am also reminded of a few things about love. (a) It’s always here. It’s what we are (although sometimes covered up by beliefs). (b) Liking and preferences is another thing, and I can find love for someone even if I don’t like him or her, or want to spend my life – or much time at all – with that person. (c) Romantic love is again something different, and it tends to fade. And (d) there is also a deep sense of soul level love that may or may not be there, and is more about resonance and recognition at a deep level. And this too can look any number of ways in outward appearance (friend, lover, not in contact etc.).

In my life, so far, I have already experienced a number of combinations of these. I have experienced love and not liking someone. I have experienced and liking someone. I have experienced romantic love with and without the soul love. And I have experienced the soul love as friends, lovers, and in the absence of contact.