Date: January 15, 2011 05:56PM
Buddha taught as one of the four eternal truths that “life is suffering”. But it is through that suffering that we grow and develop. We escape the traditions and dogma of our parents and their parents by virtue of that growth. It is through this process that we create our own unique spirituality.
The real answers to life do not come from a pulpit or from between two blue book covers. We are all born originals; unfortunately, too many of us die copies. We tend towards the path of least resistance.
If we are truly wise (and none of us are) we will welcome problems and work for the solution and in the process we will become more than we were. Most of us spend our time just avoiding the problems.
It is the nature of most people to decide the truth of all things at a very young age. From then on, life becomes a struggle to support and strengthen those “truths”. The paradigm must be preserved at all cost. Supporting evidence is exaggerated, detracting evidence is belittled, discounted or ignored. It is painful to shift a paradigm. It causes personal discomfort, even sometimes suffering, to redraw the map that guides our lives. It is even harder to disappoint those we love should they choose to not go with us on that journey of personal and painful growth.
It is a shattering and devastating event to alter core beliefs. For many of us our religion was not just a way of life, but a set of core defining values taught to us from our earliest memories. We have fought for our beliefs, and sacrificed greatly of our time, talents and money. We’ve put our families in second place as we devoted our all to the building up of a fantasy. We’ve followed leaders with the strength of conviction, only to find out they don’t really speak for deity, in fact they lie in the name of Jesus Christ.
Now a choice of integrity vs. personal comfort must be made. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, together with its doctrine, dogma and origins are exposed as fraudulent, modified and untrue. It’s hard to believe at first, and even harder to accept. As the clandestine search for truth begins the searcher is skeptical. Heretical thoughts are dismissed at first, then apologized for later. We do what we can to protect our paradigm, our life map, our personal definition of how we see the world. Then the evidence becomes overwhelming, factual and without need of interpretation. Things are what they are. A choice is made. Some bury their new knowledge in a panic and return to their life as usual. They reject the invitation to personal growth and pain. They follow the path of least resistance and the search for truth is over, buried, never to be reexamined. Others, dedicated to personal integrity and truth also must make a choice. Do they make their new knowledge known, do they keep it to themselves, how will they alter their lives? How will they alter the lives of those they love? These are personal and deeply difficult choices. There is no right pattern, we must not look to others for answers. We must search deep inside ourselves, weigh all consequences, then decide on a course of action that balances wisdom, pain, and integrity.
Common is the person who faced with that evidence will dismiss it. It is just too hard to face. Common is the person who will scorn, blame, ridicule and deride the truth. The truth to that person is an inconvenience. He or she would rather go on in his or her fantasy than face the hardship of truth. Anyone who would discount that hardship only need read the stories of those that have traveled that road.
Rare is the person who will look that monster in the face and say “I will change my life, my paradigm, my life map”. “I’ll admit I was wrong all those years and I’ll face the consequences of those that will scorn and ridicule me”.
Rare is that person.