Sunday, July 31, 2011

Total Understanding (TRUTH) is Acceptance

Many seekers of truth, as they think of themselves, are searching for what they call enlightenment/truth or what can be called complete understanding or knowing. This may seem to be a path for the pretentious. Some would say, "One who seeks for truth thinks of themselves as better then others". Therefore, the path to enlightenment/truth or total understanding is given a bad rap. I'd like to offer you another way of thinking about understanding and the path to enlightenment(total understanding), not as a positive accumulation of knowledge or information, but as a passive accepting forgiveness which allows one to fully grasp something in its totality.

So, how can forgiveness lead to understanding?. Well, the bad-ass freelance philosopher/writer Alan Watts once said "To understand all is to forgive all.". The value of this statement didn't dawn on me at first. I had to think it over. I asked myself how could understanding which is a knowing of information be connected with pardoning something. This was not clear at all.

What does it mean to forgive? Some one does something hurtful to us. We feel resentment for them. Yet there are times we withdraw our negative feelings and put them aside. For example a baby knocks over a glass cup at a table. Most would not get mad at the baby. That is because they UNDERSTAND that the baby has no sense of judgement yet (hopefully).

So now this idea of forgiveness as understanding was clear to me. But being the intellectual manic that I am, I pushed this idea to its logical extreme. To illustrate, your eating at a mall food court and a man sits next to you to eat because the place is crowded. After the two of you eat for a few minuets his legs jolt and smack the table causing your tray of food to land on you lap ruining the food. You not KNOWING the person would get mad without hesitation. Yet if you KNEW his history of severe restless leg syndrome you would of withheld your negativity.

Then I started to think maybe if you knew everything about a person you would always be able to forgive them, because you would be able to understand their history and what circumstance brought him or her there to that point. We all know (hopefully) that virtually all of who/what we are is a result of our environment, and we have no control over that.

So, if one would to forgive all that happens, he/she is attempting to understand it all. If one accomplishes this then they will be in acceptance of all that is because they will fully pardon all of its misgivings and welcome its pleasures. From there understanding takes place- because with a clear and open mind the person could learn from the world unfettered by his fears or cultural/social/personal history biases. This state of openness is the hallmark of religious and mystic practice.

This (mind state of openness) is enlightenment through the understanding by means of forgiveness and acceptance; the path to enlightenment/truth is not selfish retaining of knowledge but full acceptance of all that is.