"I often say to people 'Thank God you're you.' And they look at me real funny, like, 'Why thank God I'm me? I'm so ugly, so terrible…' No, no. YOU are not ugly or terrible -- YOU are perfect, beautiful, divine. The subjective part of you that is changing may be expressing some things that seem ugly or terrible, but that's not YOU..." - John-Roger
This article by John-Roger was first published in the Movement Newspaper, October 1981.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the old saying, “the truth will set you free.” Yet, there are so many different interpretations of truth that it seems that every body has a different “truth”, and you find it difficult to know who to believe. So you find yourself involved in a quest for the “truth” in your life.
Involvement in that quest for truth may lead you to the idea of sacrifice. You find that the “truth” that was so for you on Monday may have to be sacrificed on Wednesday because you’ve found out some new information and the “truth” has changed. This can happen a lot between one time in your life and another. Maybe when you were young, you were totally convinced of your “truth,” but as the years go on, you gain experience, compassion, understanding and wisdom — and you find that the “truth” you were so sure of takes on a different perspective. The “truth” may change quite drastically.
You might be able to look at it in terms of “what works” and “what doesn’t work.” It’s sometimes a little easier to say, “This doesn’t work for me anymore,” than to say, “I don’t believe in this anymore.” When you are more flexible with these ideas, then you can develop a greater sense of creativity as you move through life and create beautiful things for yourself along the way.
Sometimes you’ll come up with a really workable idea that everyone can readily accept. When a lot of people agree that something is working, that thing often gets labeled as “the truth.” And as long as that works, it’s great. When people are given an idea or concept that works for them, they find that very easy to follow.
It’s easy to follow the truth, yet it can be difficult to discern the truth. Another way to say that is: it’s easy to follow a wise man, but a wise man is hard to find. When you do find someone who appears to be wise, check out his ideas and his teachings. If they work for you, follow them. If they don’t, let them go. And you can let them go by just recognizing that they don’t work for you at that time, not that they are necessarily wrong or bad or evil, just that they don’t work for you. There’s a big difference in the two approaches.
Short of the reality and truth of God, all truth is going to have some boundaries on it and will exist in terms of some limitation or dimension. So you always have to be careful in your approach. If a “truth” exists in one dimension, someone living outside of that dimension may look at it and say, “That’s not true,” or maybe, “That’s not entirely true.” We see this a lot, even with cultural differences between countries and nations.
Many of the phenomena that the spiritual men of India perform, quite as routine, are considered impossible by the Western mind, which will watch the phenomena and say that it’s a trick. It’s not a trick. They have a different perspective of the truth. Their truth is as valid to them as ours is to us. One thing, however, that almost everyone living on the earth agrees upon is gravity. It’s a “truth” that applies all over this world. Even gravity, however, takes on a different “truth” if you travel into space or if you have learned psychic methods to overcome it.
So we see that truth can become a very relative commodity. The quest becomes to discern what is so for you, what is your truth. To learn that, you may take several approaches. You may study. You may read history. You may read philosophy. You may listen to scholars debate the issues. You may go to school, or go to church, or become involved in dialogues as you attempt to discern your truth. Sometimes you become aware of a particular philosophy, and you say, “I don’t believe that at all,” because it just doesn’t fit with your experience. And yet, someone wrote that down as their experience and an avenue of their truth and expression.
Sometimes people don’t want to study philosophy or history because they find that it confuses them and distracts them from the discovery of their own truth. But there are a lot of truths: the truth of the mind, the truth of empirical knowledge, the truth of the emotions, the truth of Spirit, the truth of physical manifestation. You can really get strung out mentally, just trying to keep them all straight.
Your quest for truth really becomes your quest to perceive your environment clearly. It becomes the quest to bypass your own hang ups and prejudices and see the world for what it is. The quest becomes the search inside yourself for your ability to discern reality from your interpretation of reality. And that discernment begins to have an impact on how you relate to your environment. Do you resist what goes on in your life? Do you try to bend your reality to how you think it should be? Do you try to get others in your life to fit into the way you see them? Or do you let your world be what it is and live within that?
These ideas relate to the concept of free will. I’ve never believed that people have free will once they are in physical embodiment on the earth plane. We have free will in the spiritual realms before embodiment; once we are here we have free choices. You have a lot of free choices. And you can make that process of choices very useful to you in your life, by choosing as wisely as you can and by learning from your choices that are not so wise. If you try to force your will and make things go your way, that false process of will power will most probably backfire on you and create monsters in your mind and emotions. When you are not flowing within the reality of your life, you are outside the “truth”, and you will be creating difficulties for yourself.
Sometimes you fight so hard to get your way on a particular issue, and you are so involved in the struggle, that you aren’t really clearly considering all the ramifications. Finally everyone gives in and you get your way. And then you find out that there are all sorts of consequences that go along with that choice. Then you say, “Oh, God, what do I do now? Why was I so willful? It’s all fallen on my head.”
You’ve heard the point of view, “Your will, Lord, not mine.” It is related to the concept we use in MSIA of “for the highest good of all concerned.” When you can give up your point of view, recognize that you may not have all the information, and realize that the greater Spirit of which you are a part may know more than you do from the level of your human mentality, then you can more readily give over to the greater good and let God’s plan be worked out through you.
Life can be a whole lot easier that way, and that doesn’t mean that you don’t use your intelligence to make choices in your life. That’s how you learn discernment and gain wisdom. It does mean that you don’t fight what is so.
Your will can be very useful to you if you devote yourself to discovering conscious ways of locating the truth inside of you, and then be willing to sacrifice that truth when you discover a larger truth working in your life. When you can blend your will with the Father’s will and say, “Lord, I am here to help and be helped, to share with all those around me and to do your will,” you’ll find your life flowing in much greater patterns of freedom and joy. You don’t have to be all things to all people. You don’t even have to attempt that. All you have to do is be you with you. And sometimes that can be your greatest challenge.
I often say to people “Thank God you’re you.” And they look at me real funny, like, “Why thank God I’m me? I’m so ugly, so terrible…” No, no. YOU are not ugly or terrible — YOU are perfect, beautiful, divine. The subjective part of you that is changing may be expressing some things that seem ugly or terrible, but that’s not YOU; and those subjective parts will all be sacrificed at some point when you move on to greater truths. The “truth” of this physical level isn’t going to carry over into the higher spiritual levels. If you can catch the vision of your spiritual beauty and perfection, you’ll be able to keep going through all of this down here.
A lot of times, you might not want to catch that vision of your perfection and beauty, because then you feel you can’t live up to it and maintain that, so you enter into confusion and negativity and doubt. For every time that you enter into negativity, turn around one more time and reach up into the positive expression and experience of Spirit. For every time that you fall, get up one more time. That’s really all that’s necessary. If you’re willing to do that — just get up one more time than you fall — you’ll make it into Spirit, into Soul, into the Heart of God. All that’s really needed is your willingness to do that.
When you become devoted to yourself and your spiritual progression, many things in your life will come into line. You start being devoted to your job, to your family, to your loved ones. Then you automatically start disciplining yourself, in a loving way, so that you fulfill your commitments. Then you start becoming devoted to your spiritual life and to the Light and to God. One follows the other quite naturally. You don’t really have to do anything. Loving yourself and loving those around you creates a path of self-direction and self-discipline. The truth starts appearing in you automatically. And when you discover the truth inside of you, you are discovering God.