In the town, where i was born, lived a man, who sailed to sea…
and he told us of his life, in the land of submarines…
No, this has nothing to do with The Beatles. I was born in Sewagram. This is where Gandhi (the original one) lived for a substantial part of his life. And he did sail to sea, albeit not as a sailor; but as a student once and as a guru later. And he did tell us of his life in the land … well not of submarines, but of just marines. More interestingly, he told us of what he did on those trips. In the first one, he experimented… With truth. The most elusive substance on earth, and may be beyond. And somehow, we Indians, and especially the ancient Indians have been obsessed with this thing called truth.
Recently, i have been introduced to a new paradigm of experimenting with truth. It says that truth is not a substance, its a method, or may be an act… Like sex. It says that, don’t seek the truth, rather “do” the truth. Though grammatically awkward, it seems to work – while interacting with clients, co-workers, families and friends – “doing” the truth works. So how do you do it?
by just responding to the tiniest reality in front of you.
Here’s an example. One of your coworkers lied to you, yesterday, on an email. By the time you reach office today, you can conjure up a huge conspiracy theory of why he has lied to you, and who else might be involved in the conspiracy, on how this is going to affect your promotion to the post of CEO in 2029, and how the next increment may be affected and your wife might feel bad about not buying the second car you could have bought with the increased EMI capacity, and if you are not married how silly you would look to the blue-eyed girl CCed on that untruthful email.
you don’t think about the lie at all. You just go to the office – read what has been written – and respond to that line – just that line. And forget about it after you press send. If he replies with another lie (chances are, he wont; but in case he does), its a new experiment to respond then, tackle it afresh. Each response to the tiniest reality in front – is an experiment with truth.
I was advised to do something like this by a colleague recently. And he helped me do it – it was nice. Hope it works.
And, if we lack the temperament it takes to stick to this practice, consult the Buddha.