Truthiness

And the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on. ~Alan Watts

And the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on. ~Alan Watts

Faith. A confidence or trust or belief in a person or thing…not based on any proof, whatsoever.

Somewhat akin to faith could possibly be the word truthiness which Stephen Colbert, Arianna Huffington, the fine folks of the OED at Oxford University Press, and then some have had spirited debate over and its derivation. Wikipedia defines truthiness as a quality characterizing a “truth” that a person making an argument or assertion claims to know intuitively “from the gut” or because it “feels right” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.

I know…it’s a stretch based on how truthiness has been used in recent history, but humor me for a moment.

Don’t get me wrong. I like me some science. I like facts. I like proof. But there is a whole realm of things out there that happen that aren’t or can’t be proven in scientific fact. Even science remains open to understanding science differently than the way it’s always been understood. I mean, I grew up learning that Pluto was a planet. Then it wasn’t. Well…is it or isn’t it? As Neil deGrasse Tyson puts it, “Half of my library are old books because I like seeing how people thought about their world at their time. So that I don’t get bigheaded about something we just discovered and I can be humble about where we might go next.” The truth is (pun intended)…truth is an evolutionary process. What we think is truth today is not necessarily what we will know as truth tomorrow.

Where our individual truth (or truthiness) becomes a problem is when we think it is the only answer…the only way. Our practice is an opening to possibility and in that opening, there is transformation. Our job when we come to our mat or cushion is simply to notice…become aware. We notice when we are clinging to the thoughts, truths, or beliefs and then find that middle ground between attachment and aversion.

As I wrote this post, it seems others were having similar thoughts. I received an e-newsletter from Cyndi Lee where she states, “…the practice itself is also about becoming and being receptive. Creating the opening to recognize possibilities that arise organically…” Additionally, my brother Michael, on a recent facebook post, says, “Change, metanoia, transformation . . . is quite a different image than stuck, stagnant, heels dug in frame of reference.” Recognizing possibility allows us to become unstuck.

The world, at least my small part of it, seems primed for possibility, transformation, and a release of the clinging to beliefs.

Thich Nhat Hanh in the The Heart Sutra so beautifully puts it,

If we take something to be the truth, we may cling to it so much that even if the truth comes and knocks at our door, we won’t want to let it in. We have to be able to transcend our previous knowledge the way we climb up a ladder. If we are on the fifth rung and think that we are very high, there is no hope for us to step up to the sixth. We must learn to transcend our own views.

Find the ease in release.

Wishing you happiness, wishing you joy, wishing you freedom from suffering.

Dennis

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