What is the barometer of ‘truth’?

We continue here a series of articles arising out of an entry made on this page on January 3rd by a reader named Carol Bass. I found her entry wonderfully illustrative of the thoughts and feelings I hear expressed by many people during these days and times. I would like to re-print her entire Comment here, to catch you up on this exchange if you are just jumping in…

ON JAN. 3 CAROL BASS WROTE…

I don’t think I have ever had such a unsettled feeling about the future of humanity. At my age to feel so much fear and uncertainty is not a good place to be.  It seems that so many have turned their back on what is right and what is wrong.  The ten commandments according to the bible has become just another thing to cast off as just someone’s religious beliefs but not necessarily truth.

I am not a young person anymore and have lived allot of life but yet I seem more confused today about life, religion, morals, truth, than any other time in my life. I think it is perhaps that I try to be open minded and listen to all points of view and am always searching desparately for the truth and why we are here in the first place. It is so easy for anyone with talent for stating their views with eloquence, and the right choice of words to make a case for just about anything…But where does it all end? What do we use for our borometer for right and wrong?

I was taught as a Christian that it all goes back to the bible and the ten commandments. But not all of us are Christians. We live in such a diverse world with so many belief systems. But don’t all religions believe that good, love, peace should always prevail?  It just seems to me that evil would be despised by all people. We can not keep going on killing, hating, raping, abusing, ignoring the needs the weak without our spirits being broken. We must find a way to do better.

We only have control of ourselves but we can sure start there. We can and do have a influence on the people we love and the contacts we have in our lives. People do pay attention to how we live our lives.  I have started in my life by standing firm in my beliefs as a person of God. I will obey the commandments, I will live a honest God fearing life, and I will not tolerate deceit, lies, injustice, and behavior that is hateful without saying something to stop it. I will love my fellow man and be helpful when there is a need. I will encourage anyone that I may come in contact with that appears to be in some kind of struggle to turn to their God for guidance.  I will continue to pray for guidance myself and for the betterment of our humanity. I will always ask God to turn our heats back to Him where the truth is and always will be. That is my daily prayer.
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Now, from me in response…

AS YOU KNOW if you read our last entry here, I have done my best to address the question of “right” and “wrong”.  And there is more on this topic right now just above, in the copy element on this page labeled Excerpt from Conversations with God.  I do hope you read it, Carol…and I hope that the rest of you take a moment to read it, too. I found this exchange in the dialogue with God to be remarkably opening and helpful in allowing me to re-contextualize my understanding of “right” and “wrong.”

This article is Part VI of an ongoing series:
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR TOMORROW

Now, I would like to move to this Comment by Carol: It is so easy for anyone with talent for stating their views with eloquence, and the right choice of words to make a case for just about anything…But where does it all end? What do we use for our borometer for right and wrong?

That, it seems to me, is a very fair question. I, too, spent 50 years looking for that barometer, Carol. And I found it in Conversations with God. Does that mean that I had decided that CWG is “the truth”? No. Actually, just the opposite.

Listen to this dialogue that I had with God about just this topic, Carol. This is a direct lift, a word-for-word transcript, of a passage from the Conversations with God books…

GOD: Religion is also a manifestation of humankind’s instinctive awareness that rituals, traditions, ceremonies and customs have enormous value as markers that assert a peoples’ presence in the world, and as the adhesive that secures that presence by holding a peoples’ culture together.

Each culture has its beautiful and singular tradition honoring a beautiful and central truth: that there is something larger and more important in life than one’s own desires, or even one’s own needs; that life itself is a much more profound and far more meaningful experience than many people at first imagine; and that it is in love and mutual concern and forgiveness and creativity and playfulness and the joining of hands in a united effort to achieve a common goal wherein which will be found the deepest satisfactions and the most wondrous joys of the human encounter.

Take then, each of you, your own path to Me. Undertake your own journey home. Do not worry or render judgments about how others are taking theirs. You cannot fail to reach Me, and neither can they. Indeed, you will all meet again when you are together at Home, and you will wonder why you quibbled so.

NEALE: Oh, and we have argued, haven’t we? We have argued endlessly. We have quarreled and we have fought and we have killed and we have died because we have insisted that ours is the right way—in fact, that ours is the only way—to heaven.

GOD: Yes, you have.

NEALE: Yet now here you come to tell us that “no path is better than any other path.” And I must gently ask, how can I believe this? How can I know what to believe?

GOD: Whatever you do, do not believe what is said here.

NEALE: I’m sorry?

GOD: Do not believe a single thing I say. Listen to what I say, then believe what your heart tells you is true.

I ask only one thing.

NEALE: What is that?

GOD: Do not tell others that unless THEY believe what is in YOUR heart, I am going to condemn them. And whatever you do, do not condemn them yourself, on my behalf.

NEALE: We keep doing that. We don’t seem to know how to stop. And we’re putting ourselves through sheer hell.

GOD: Yet now here is the Good News: Humanity need not go through hell to get to heaven.

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So there you have it, Carol: the answer to your question. Your barometer for what is “right” and “wrong” is found in your own heart. Your heart is the bridge between your mind and your soul. Listen to what your heart tells you is “right” and “wrong” and live by that — just as your statement above indicates, Carol, that you have done. This is precisely what you have done, and God bless you for it. You need no other barometer than that. For it is as Shakespeare wrote:

This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

 

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The Carol Bass Dialogue continues in this space in entries ahead. You are invited to check back for the newest entry.

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  • mewabe

    When we look at the world superficially, we find many wrongs with it.

    Yet when we look at it a little deeper, we understand that everything is as it should, or rather CAN, be. Everything and everyone is acting in accordance with his or her place and understanding, nature and function.

    The world and humanity can only change from within. The goal of anyone who seeks to make the world a better place is not to coerce, not to force others to change according to one’s own beliefs, but to merely plant seeds. They may or may not grow.

    The problem with individuals and groups who follow certain specific ways, laws and commandments, is that because they believe these rules were given by God or by persons of superior intelligence and morality, the rest of the world must follow them as well.

    They think that the world problems stem from the fact the the rest of humanity does not believe as they do.

    If only they looked at the natural world, they would understand that harmony and balance are quite possible, and actually ONLY possible within the context of multiplicity and diversity. They would understand that creativity leads to peace, and coercion to conflict and chaos.

  • Laura Pringle

    Well said, mewabe, as always…:)<3

    It really does feel as if we are on the precipice of some giant leap- some subtle, yet ultimately major alteration in human understanding… (However, it's been feeling this way since the late 60's… my whole life…)

    Until then, we plant the seeds of hope for a fuller understanding of our ultimate truths… we live our individual truths…and we wait…. :)

  • mewabe

    Thank you Laura…yes, wee must plant seeds, lots of them, everywhere we go…throw them to the four winds!

    Like when planting a tree…it is a sort of legacy, not just saying that “we were here”, but that we cared, and that we loved life and humanity enough to want to participate in the massive task of attempting to relieve it of its misery.

    Perhaps when we are born again, if we choose to, in ten or twenty generations, we will see the harvest, we will recognize the seeds and appreciate the roots.

  • mewabe

    This comment belongs here (moved from another section):

    About “truth”.

    I have seen that many so-called “teachers” can be very confusing to their fans or followers, as they, like most of humanity, often say the opposite of what they feel, without even knowing it.

    For example, they will often believe and feel, deep inside, that their message hold the most important truth humanity needs to hear at this very moment, while giving a disclaimer, that theirs is only another way to look at things.

    But they will openly dismiss other “teachers” or writers or contributors whose message they believe or feel is off target or incomplete, or just different from theirs.

    I have clearly heard it, and seen it, and read it, and no one is immune from this problem. And this unfortunately prevents alliances and the creation of a larger world movement.

    It is one thing to be passionate about one’s own truth, it is another to dismiss other people’s truth as not quite as effective or important, especially when stating the exact opposite, that one’s truth is just another way.

    Some might say it is the ego…that’s possible. But we all have a personal stake in all our expressions…and the less we know ourselves, the less conscious we are, the more personal and tightly held the stake, as these personal expressions and creations are, for the self, vital symbolic manifestations of the content of some unconscious material, of some unresolved past issues, needs, wounds, etc…

    Public figure, and this includes teachers, unfortunately loose themselves in their fans, and allow themselves to thus largely remain unconscious, particularly when adored and revered.