It Takes an Honest Heart to See
The Mystery of Universal Wisdom
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
Illusion depends on mental habits.
The level of accuracy in one’s view of any particular fact is inseparable from the degree of exactitude we have in looking at every other aspect of reality.
If, therefore, one blocks from himself an accurate view of something, the door is opened to subconscious delusion in other areas of life. All the ways we look at life are interdependent. We may deny a fact because it is emotionally painful, or because we are attached to some sort of imaginary pleasure or sense of security which the fact will erase: it does not matter. One lie brings another. One illusion produces two or three more.
And each true vision produces another. As we look honestly at one fact, we look at ten others.
Entire waves of illusion relating to all kinds of interconnected facts can get unmasked in the same second. When this experience is wide and deep enough, it is called “enlightenment”. And when the lights are turned on, all kinds of things get visible - the beautiful ones and the ugly -; and then truth and ethics gradually prevail.
One’s discernment will certainly be tested all the time in self-renewing and unexpected ways. Some tools can help us not to be trapped in collective karma situations where illusion dominates. Let us see two practical examples.
When you see a fierce debate, examine how people use words. Who is ascribing negative feelings to whom, in an intense way perhaps, and with no proof or evidence?
Check the facts. Identify those who speak with honesty while the discussion goes on. Examine the varying degrees of respect for truth and consideration for each other.
Only he who respects himself is able to have due regard for the facts. To say falsehoods - even while being carried away by emotion - expresses a lack of self-knowledge, for the knowledge of oneself makes self-control possible. In a war of words, truth is often the first victim. It is worthwhile observing who uses falsehoods as a weapon, and who does not; who acts as a false friend of whom, and who is loyal in words and deeds.
The Criterion of Sincerity
The harmony between words and deeds is an effective criterion. If an individual praises something but will not defend the thing praised when it is unjustly attacked, then there was no praise: there was instead flattery, a blunt form of falsehood. Many an insincere person unmasks himself or herself in this way.
Similarly, as one adopts a philosophy, one must be able after some time to defend its point of view and teaching. If one purports to adopt a teaching and will not defend it, one has adopted nothing. He or she just made an opportunistic approach to the teaching, and tried to take lower forms of benefit from it. This is a self-defeating kind of effort. For selfishness prevents any real benefits in the approach of a philosophy whose basis is altruistic.
The mysteries of universal wisdom are not sealed off mainly through secret codes. They are established in the territory of Ethics and Discernment: only an honest heart will be able to read them. However, a friend of truth must be ready to tread a thorny road. Any deep form of honesty looks like an unforgivable sin for hypocrites. If sincerity is strong enough not to be seen as a form of weakness or naiveté, then it sounds like a personal insult for those who decided to lie to themselves; and they get angry at it, even if they try to conceal the anger.
Renewed Waves of Facts
Karma unfolds in waves of events, and not through isolated facts.
In order to develop a higher accuracy in his view of life, the pilgrim must face the renewing waves of facts that life sends him as a result of his trying his best in the science of right action.
The first approach to any difficulties is “a patience that nothing can disturb”. Only self-restraint allows us to calmly see when to wait, when to act like a lightning bolt, and when to choose a gradual approach. Obstacles and opportunities come together. Continuous observation will pave the way to a deeper understanding.
Rejecting mistakes is a decisive tenet on the road to wisdom. Justice and accuracy are inseparable: one’s sense of right and wrong must be confirmed by practical decisions, so as to protect the exactitude of one’s views. The subconscious distortion of facts is the gravest form of blindness.
A living combination of time and effort produces accumulated experience. Then one’s understanding improves, positive potentialities are seen, and the occasions to take initiative multiply.
The above article was first published at the March 2016 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pp. 11-12. It had no indication as to the name of the author.