Where do we find our personal truths? They come to use through the Listening process, but from where?
To me, the bottom line is it’s all a mystery and the answers to the above questions don’t matter. But as an embodied human being, some more details just help us wrap our heads around things a little better. In my experience, there are three main sources of truth:
- Knowledge and Experience
- This is the most obvious source and the way most people think of learning of their truths. Something you read, nonfiction or even fiction, strikes you as deeply significant. Some experience in your day to day life teaches you a lesson that you will carry on your bones.
- Connecting to this source of truth involves paying attention. As you go about daily life, notice when that feeling of resonance seeps in. Pause, ponder, absorb. If the moment to do so doesn’t present itself, write a quick note somewhere and return to it later when you have time.
- Intuition and Body
- We are the products of thousands of years of evolution. Our brains developed complex logic and reasoning, but our more primitive brain functions remain, tied into the rest of our bodies. Instinct and intuition are subtle voices that speak a language that our higher-functioning brain can’t always interpret.
- Tuning in to the wisdom of our bodies will take practice. Shift your attention to different locations in your body. Turn your attention to the vault of your ribcage, to your heart. What do you hear? Turn your attention to the bowl of your pelvis, the “pit of your stomach,” your gut. What do you hear?
- Spirit and Soul
- One of my truths is that there is Something Greater than me out there. Many traditions call This by many names. To me, those names always seem to only capture a portion of the Mystery. I usually call it Spirit. And because I have a serious pantheistic leaning, I call the part of Spirit that inhabits an individual its soul.
- Many religious and spiritual traditions have practices for connecting with Spirit and your own soul. These form the body of the Listening practice and will be discussed at length in future posts. However, as we explore these techniques, it’s important to remember to value these quietest of whispers and sit with them in discernment. Spirit and soul often say things we resist hearing and are eager to set aside, the hard truths and the inconvenient ones. They might even seem fantastical and prompt reactions of incredulity. Discredit nothing automatically, but consider all things deeply as we continue on the Listening path.
It’s a lovely spring Sunday here in West Virginia. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, caretakers, stewards, and the First Mother, the Earth!