Creating clarity about what is true for you, regardless of what someone else has told you, using your own eyes and inborn intelligence, is where your individuality will spring from. Does that mean that you never want to listen to what someone else has to say? Of course not. It does mean that you check with your own experience and with your own intelligence and find out what is true for you.
Not blindly accepting ideas just because people around you have. Not accepting ideas, dogma, and even religions as truths just because you grew up this way. Growing up means that you use your own eyes and your own intelligence, and that you have the courage to question what you are told. And truth is not afraid to be questioned, it can't lose out. Truth in fact becomes stronger and more self-evident in the process of being questioned and looked into.
Individuality means that you are your own authority. As long as you are not your own authority, you are a product of a society that you were born into, not yet a true individual. The process of creating clarity, exercising your individual perception and intelligence, develops your natural authority. You don't blindly follow orders, you don't simply accept someone's authority, you don't compromise your individual, living truth. You will use your direct perception, your awareness, and you will have the courage to question what you've been told by all kinds of authorities.
Clarity is always individual, you can't borrow it, it cannot be given to you and you can't buy it. Knowledge can be given to you, information can be transferred to you by books, or over the Internet. Understanding is radically different, it is never a copy. Information and concepts are usually not authentic. But true understanding always is. This is both the difficulty and the beauty of the phenomenon of understanding. Its beauty is that it is always authentic. We arrive at understanding by looking into life personally. We can't just accept someone else's answers, no matter how deeply we appreciate their wisdom.
Clarity means that you rely on your direct experience of a fact. You do not simply take someone else's word for it. Not relying on hearsay, you check it out yourself. Understanding is yours because it is authentic. If it is not authentic, it is not your understanding. Freedom needs authenticity, or it is utterly meaningless. You can't just buy into existing ideas and answers. As far as you can see, is it true? Can you see the truth of it?
Clarity is original vision. It is looking deep into your existence with your own eyes and without prejudice and assumptions about what you are going to find. Like a child, who discovers the world by his or her own experience, you do not rely on what you are being told. You don't blindly accept other people's ideas about things. You don't even accept what you thought were your own ideas about things. Instead, you determine what is true as far as you can make out with all of your inborn intelligence. For freedom you will have to look into life yourself, there is no other way.
This is where sincerity comes in. Without sincerity you will be satisfied with thoughts and concepts, and freedom will be a theory, not a reality. Talking about freedom is not living it, is not being it. Sincerity brings intensity to our questions, the intensity that enables one to get clear. Without sincerity some answers will easily satisfy you, and you will enquire no further. You stop before getting to the core and to the bottom of it. You stop, before you completely understand and all is clear.
At the age of 14 I realized that life is not a soap opera, not a story in a book. In other words, that it is not something we have thought up. Life is real, and it is not clear at all whether there is anyone who has all the answers. I realized that whatever life truly is, it is really happening. That moment deepened my sincerity, it just became inescapably clear that life is the real thing. I figured that there might not always be a tomorrow. I wanted to know what this was all about.
Sincerity is the toughest lesson to learn. Sincerity means that you actually mean it. That's one reason why love affairs are great, because they test our sincerity. There's a big, big difference between a loving touch and a touch. And there's a world of difference between loving for love's sake and loving for money or security. Love is not making promises, it is not a mere declaration of intent. Love needs to be made real. Co-existence is not peace and a living-agreement is not love.
You need complete sincerity to penetrate the core of your existence and find truth. It is the depth of your sincerity in your search for freedom that will finally determine the depths and heights of your realization. Truth is not cheap, if you are to find it, the price to pay is sincerity. Sincerity will bring you closer and closer to the truth.
About the author
About the book
Principles and Paradigms
» 1. Clarity
Answers are not the answer
Preconceptions and beliefs
- Individuality, Authenticity, Sincerity
The Naturally Essential
5. Alive Silence