Subjective vs. Objective Truths: Spiritual Perspective to a Healthy Mind
When we are on a spiritual journey we begin the process of awakening to our true selves, our true nature. But these are murky waters that we tread when we even dare to speak of truth. There are layers to awakening, and more often then not it's difficult to tell just what is true, real and useful, and what is untrue and therefore not useful. This article is about telling the difference.
Subjective truths are those truths that are the result of our false perceptions and judgments that stem from our fears. For example: "I don't like my neighbor, she always gives me 'snide' look when I leave for work in the morning. I know she thinks that I'm a bad mother because I have to work." Objective truths are those false perceptions shone in the light of the awakened and therefore compassionate mind, for example: "My issue is not with my neighbor, but is really about my guilt over working and my fears of being an inadequate parent." Eventually I would be able to connect these feelings of fear and inadequacy to different scenarios, i.e., I am not spending enough time with my family, and/or I do not honor myself by setting acceptable limits, and/or I really do not love myself enough to set limits because I don't feel like I deserve it, and so on.
Our thoughts have weight, meaning, and substance. This is a basic metaphysical presupposition, that thoughts create one's reality. This is step one in spiritual growth, pay attention to your thoughts. Watch them closely and then relate them to your life. Do you like your spouse, your children, your job? Do your negative or positive thoughts help to define the chaos or serenity, respectively, that is around you?
I can hardly convince you of the weight and substance of your thoughts through this simple and straightforward article, so I put forth this challenge: For the next few weeks pay attention to your thoughts. I know you'll be surprised at how often you are "zoned out," just going through the motions. And you'll be even more shocked at the not so pleasant thoughts that arise, not only about others but yourself (we're always cruelest to ourselves). Again, this is step one in spiritual growth, in reclaiming your birth right as an intuitive being.
Another objective truth is that nothing exists outside ourselves that is not already present. This is a difficult truth to consider, especially for those of us in the west. We are taught that everything exists beyond wealth, abundance, God, and us. We are individualists, constantly striving, moving forward, never truly enjoying the moment as everything is cruelly just beyond our reach. We are taught that we are not an integral part of the beauty that is the creative force that supports all that exists.
Thus, the fears and false perceptions that stem from those fears are merely a doorway to deeper truths or objective truths. Unfortunately, we spend much of our time wanting to forget about our personal fears and false perceptions because they seem sinister. Let's call this sinister aspect of fear the dark side or shadow side of ourselves.
In the east, the concept of yin/yang, dark and light respectively, is that one cannot exist without the other. In the west we call this the concept of relativity. This concept seems to be lacking in popular metaphysical teachings, which either make too much or too light of our shadow side. Without accepting and understanding the shadow side of ourselves can lead to a kind of schizophrenia. Not in a medical sense, but in a divisive sense. We cannot live fully without accepting that part of ourselves that is sometimes hidden.
Bringing it (the shadow) into the light, or to the forefront of our consciousness, we can see it clearly for what it is. When we hide, those things that are hidden become perverse and distorted in the dark of the conscious or subconscious mind. Again these distortions are the real illusions. Not this life, not our fears, but the distortions that our fears create. We cannot exist without the shadows. To paraphrase Gary Zukav, it is these fears that are true blessings because they point us to areas of real growth. So let the light in. Bring those things that are hidden into the light, and bless them for the lessons of compassion and wisdom that they are teaching.
By Krista Magidson
Note: The concept of the dark side or shadow side can be difficult to consider. If this article resonates with you in any way, there may be something in your life that you need to re-examine. Know that I am not a therapist. This article is a reflection of my own life experiences. Please know also, that you are not alone. If at any time you feel overwhelmed by the shadow side, or if you feel like something isn't right but you can't put your finger on what it is, then it is your duty and obligation to find a friend, spouse, therapist or minister to talk to. We are all here to support and nurture each other. Lean on someone, and when it is your turn to be the "rock" you'll have much more understanding, wisdom and compassion.