by David Truman

Click here for a Quick Key (abbreviated version) of this article.

The heart is searching for terra firma—a place to be, a place to stand, something to have, something reliable. One can’t stand in bullshit, one can’t stand in fakery. One can’t stand the usual cocktail party where people exchange appropriate pleasantries: "How are you?" "Have a nice day." Etc, etc. The heart can sense fakery or dishonesty a mile away. You are keenly aware, in every exchange with anyone, whether you have something real enough to stand on, to have faith in, to trust.

Every day you go through it. You have people around you being fake; you have people who are being more real. You seek the real with your every breath. The heart knows what it can trust, and it can't trust fake. Honesty, reality is what people want and need as human souls. They need terra firma.

Honesty is fidelity to what the heart sees and knows and feels at every moment. When you're honest, you have something you can share, something you can wholeheartedly agree on, something you can build on, even if it's sorrow or regret. For example, if you make passionate love, and it is heavenly, and then you try to recreate that heavenliness as fakery—"to keep the continuity of love alive," as you see it—the whole thing would become hollow. It would ring untrue. Whereas, what if you sat there and said, "Man! I miss the way it was last night." You still have terra firma—a relationship of true intimacy which is continuing now and now and now.

When people experience something beautiful together, they inevitably want to recreate that high, and that can easily lead to the kind of fakery in which you're trying to reconstruct or simulate the feelings you had before but you don't have now. But in that attempt, we throw away the true relationship.

The continuity of love and intimacy depends on honesty, not on mood. In this shifting world where moods and circumstances change all the time, the only possible terra firma is honesty. Honesty is the only thing that you could ever stand on. If you try to base a relationship on a constancy of mood, believing that it should always be hearts and flowers, that it should always be wonderful, you'll soon find that you've taken a wrong turn. You've moved from what was real to what is now fake.

What was once fantastic and beautiful will become sickening and disappointing to the heart as soon as it is no longer true. But truthfulness can make hell beautiful. Truthfulness will make even disappointment part of all that is reliable.

How honesty uplevels life

Truthfulness is the great rectifier of life; it parses out the untrue from the true, the beautiful from the ugly. It makes those crucial distinctions upon which heart satisfaction depends. It purifies.

Truthfulness comes from the heart. The heart is true, the heart is seeing, the heart is discerning; it knows what it loves, it knows what it hates. If one would steer one's ship by that, then there would be terra firma, and people would have confidence—confidence in themselves and in the relationship through high and low, thick and thin, up and down, you name it. What is a great couple except an honest couple? What is a great human being but one who is ongoingly truthful? Truthful about the high, the middle, and the low. This is constancy, fidelity.

A well-motivated scream is much better than a badly-motivated kiss. Even when your lover or friend is angry with you and telling you that you messed up, you feel a colossal sense of relief that, "Well, this sucks, but it is excellently real." The honesty you're being given is relieving to you, because it's parsing away all the things you hate: the phoniness, the fakeness, the bullshit, the sense of separation that's created when we fail to be honest with each other.

Your heart is honest and it senses untruth. It rejects it and it hates it. It looks for honesty, and it is relieved when it finds it, even in apparently negative forms. Even a diatribe, if it is truthful and well-intended, is liberating, and you feel a million times better because what you personally know about yourself has been seen and acknowledged. You're validated when someone says, "You're being fake," and you go, "Whoa! You saw it. That's good! Thank God somebody noticed. I didn't want to be doing that anyway. I was just wondering when somebody was gonna see it and call a spade a spade. Because I'm looking for friends, you know, and I know what friends are for. Friends are for telling you the truth, and liberating you from all the bullshit by doing it!"

So, while the ego quakes and shakes in front of an honest person, the heart revels and delights in honesty because it realizes: know the truth and the truth will set you free.

If you're willing to be honest, and to accept honesty from others, you have the opportunity to parse off all the bullshit and go on without the baggage of what your heart hates. Go on better, lighter, brighter because of it, with terra firma beneath your feet.

Honesty is an upward spiral

Honesty is an upward spiral toward a truly beautiful life. The reason most people doubt that is because so often, a meeting will start out honest but lose the trail somewhere in the middle. Someone got defensive. Someone got offensive. And so you walk away from what was supposed to be a truthful meeting shaking your head because it became a mess right in the middle, and broke your heart. The truthful meeting became deeply untruthful.

But no truthful person would bawl you out without also loving you. No truthful person would ever say or believe that you are all bad and wrong. Honesty would also recognize the beauty in you, and bring it out. The very process of engaging in a truthful exchange is always liberating, always refining, always improving, ever spiraling upward by the very fact of true discernment between the real and the unreal. That's what it does. That's why they say, "Know the truth and the truth will set you free."

The specter of honesty makes the ego quake because the ego is a faker. It wants to fake everything so that it doesn't have to give its heart, doesn't have to be real or emotionally responsible. Also, ego believes that "I am bad and wrong," and that relationship is hopeless. Therefore, it believes fakery is the only way to extend relationship, and it tends to create forms of interaction in relationship that have so much fakeness in them, and so little reality, that no one can have faith in the resulting product. No heart can make its home there.

If you want a place to stand, then the only way is continuing fidelity, the constancy of truthfulness and honesty. Honesty brings relief to the heart and soul. If you want a secure and true relationship, the only way is truthfulness and honesty. It relieves you when someone tells you a truthful word, and it will relieve you to be able to tell them the truth, too. And it will relieve you both to realize that you have woken up in a true world for a change, and now you have something on which you can depend because it's true. It's true about blue. It's true about white. It's true about black. It's true about everything. You can rely on that. You have something, at last.

The truth will set you free

So we can be as phony as we want, and everybody else can be too, but then we go through our days feeling unexpressed, unlived, and feeling that nothing in our sphere is reliable. If we want ballast, if we want constancy, the only thing that we can look to is fidelity to truth.

That means, as you go through your day, be there honestly and authentically, say the truth about each moment of what happens. If you do that, you will continue to cut away from your life everything that your heart hates. You will be on an upward spiraling journey. This is what happens when people are true to their hearts—it always parses off the messed up parts and leaves the beauty standing. It continues to discriminate. So be honest, be consistent in that, and the truth will set you free.

article list   •   contact us   •   e-mail to a friend   •   subscribe


printable version   •   close   •   e-mail to a friend