Compass Newsletter Winter 2016 No.33

What is Truth?
Human Family (Maya Angelou)

There is Truth, waiting for us to experience it. We feel we want it, need it, so why can’t we have it, experience it? We try, as best we can, as best we are able, to live a good life, to do the right things and still we don’t get it. A bit more too complex perhaps than just wanting it and following a set of rules or instructions (although these instructions will prove invaluable to us). As with most things, it’s down to what we do ourselves within the ability we have. Each of us is different, there can be no ‘one size fits all’ approach to reaching Truth. Maybe on the way to reaching Truth we pass through truths, each one as True to us as the ultimate Truth itself. In an article by H. P. Blavatsky printed in the magazine Lucifer (February,1888) she comments as follows.

“… There is no room for absolute truth upon any subject whatsoever, in a world as finite and conditioned as man is himself. But there are relative truths, and we have to make the best we can of them. In every age there have been Sages who had mastered the absolute and yet could teach but relative truths…for every one of us has to find that (to him) final knowledge in himself. As no two minds can be absolutely alike, each has to receive the supreme illumination through itself, according to its capacity, and from no human light. The greatest adept living can reveal of the Universal Truth only so much as the mind he is impressing it upon can assimilate, and no more… (Ibid)

So, it cannot be given to us but we are told, further in the article, “on the physical plane we may use our mental polariscope: and, analysing the properties of each ray (of Truth), choose the purest. On the plane of spirituality, to reach the Sun of Truth we must work in dead earnest for the development of our higher nature. We know that by paralysing gradually within ourselves the appetites of the lower personality, and thereby deadening the voice of the purely physiological mind – that mind which depends upon and is inseparable from…the organic brain – the animal man in us may make room for the spiritual : …(Ibid)

“… And who loves truth in this age for its own sake? How many of us are prepared to search for, accept, and carry it out, in the midst of a society in which anything that would achieve success has to be built on appearances, not on reality, on self-assertion, not on intrinsic value? … (Ibid)

… Selfishness, the first-born of Ignorance, and the fruit of teaching which asserts that for every newly-born infant a new soul, separate and distinct from the Universal Soul, is “created” – this Selfishness is the impassable wall between the personal Self and Truth…” (Ibid)

So, not as easy as we think (if we ever thought it was easy!). Where do we start, and how? ‘Man, know thyself’ the Delphic oracle said to the enquirer. So maybe this is where and how to start. The work is ours to do! We turn to William Quan Judge. In his commentary on The Mundaka Upanishad in The Path (May, July, 1886, March, 1891) which he explained as the “shaving” one. Through effort, shaving away error, and as we ‘shave’ away error, knowledge, ‘true for certain stages of development’, becomes error when we rise up into higher planes and desire to know the true.

Not easy to achieve but perhaps easy to try, and no effort is wasted. Judge tells us there are two kinds knowledge to be known, the lower and the higher. Some need one or the other (lower and higher) or a mixture of both and the balance shifts as the higher illuminates and replaces the lower. As we are not all the same this process is different for each individual, but Nature, in her wisdom, is patient for us who are in need of such patience. Those who have progressed further do not judge the slower. They understand the bigger picture and the need for some to stay longer in the lower until they can embrace the higher. This, is universal brotherhood.
So in a relative world we, as relative entities, can only know relative truth. Truth, however, reveals more of its facets as we move from the lower knowledge to the higher knowledge. It remains unchanged awaiting our change in the perception of it. It’s never to late to start and we have all the required makeup to begin in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. Let’s get started!

Human Family (Maya Angelou)

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

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