I remember before I was married, when I was a young guy going to college, I came across this girl that I fell head over heels for and I really wanted her to be the one. As we seemed to get closer – one day a very strong spiritual feeling just hit me that I was not supposed to marry her. It was very strong and it was there and then it was gone and I thought well this is a heck of a feeling because I really like her. So I tried to put that out of mind because I really wanted it to be true that she would eventually be my wife and as I wanted it to be true.
As I continued dating her I thought well maybe it was just my imagination and then it hit me for the second time. I thought, darn, and then I put that idea in the back of mind again and I started feeling warmer and warmer towards her and I thought maybe that was an anomaly and maybe this feeling that I have right now is it, and then it happened a third time. I still was trying to ignore it because I wanted it to be true that she was the one for me.
Then I had a date with her and she had a real somber look on her face and said, “Do you know what happened to me?” She said, “I prayed last night to God and asked if you were the one for me and He said that you were not.”
JJ: It didn’t work when God tried to tell me so He had to tell her! Laughing!
JJ: I said to her that I guess you were right because I was getting the same message and I have just been trying to ignore it because I did not want it to be true. But one thing I did discover was it was probably important that I not marry her because somebody was trying to tell me and I was not listening and she listened more than I did at the time. In hindsight she was totally wrong for me to marry her at the time. I learned an important lesson that the truth is often not what you want. It was reinforced to me over the next 5 to 6 years where I had some very painful experiences that were much more painful to me than that was. Drilling into my heart and the soul that the truth is often not what I want but when the truth is revealed and I finally accept it, it will produce much more joy than I ever dreamed of.
So the important lesson is this, never be afraid of what is true because the truth will set you free, as Jesus said, and when the truth sets you free you are free indeed. You are free to pursue the true path to reality, because until the truth sets us free we are on a path of illusion we are just the dreamer in the dream that cannot wake up from the dream. But when the truth sets us free then we are awakened and it is interesting when truth sinks into people it is often associated with the word awakening. It’s like when people say, I awoke to what was real or she woke me up with what she said or something like this.
The first step is to overcome our attachment to what we believe. The way I look at things now is I am happy with what I believe but if I find out that everything is not correct and I have got a lot of things upside down because I have learned my lessons I may have a tough time, but if I accept the new truth I will have peace. If you embrace truth and reality as it is, that is going to increase your consciousness and increase to joy and happiness. There is nothing to fear.
I was thinking what truth could I find out that would make me unhappy and about the only truth I can think of that would make me unhappy is if we died and that was the end. (Actually if this were the truth we’d never know about it.) That would not make me a happy camper. Fortunately that is not the case, we are eternal beings and continue to exist in one form or another for all eternity. This is a great belief to have.
I have had so many belief systems shattered in my life that any more would just be kind of fun now. The first few times my belief system was shattered were quite painful, I remember when I was a good Mormon when I was young and I was looking into the future and wondering what I would be like 20 years from now, what would be the most devastating thing for me to see, and I thought well the most devastating thing for me at the time was if was not a good Mormon anymore.
JJ: So here I am, I do not go to any church and I would go to one if I thought they could teach you anything. So I am now what I thought was the worst thing that I could possibly be when I was a young man in my twenties and thank God that image was shattered and I have accepted a different belief system now.
So the first step to embracing truth is overcoming desire and the second step is self-examination. Overcoming desire is a really tough one and what this takes is some very painful experiences and this is what it took for me. It is very painful when you are attached to truth and it is replaced with another truth and sometimes when this happens to people they are devastated for the rest of their lives. Like for instance when some people go through a divorce they pine over that person for the rest of their life and they are never happy one more day. Or perhaps they lose that job or they discover something that is true and they thought it was true. When something that they are attached to shatters it sometimes will cripple a person for their entire life. Other people accept it and move on to greater things and have more pain and accept it and then move and then eventually you will reach a point where nothing will bring you pain anymore.
You may have your belief system completely shattered and then you think well this just means that it is going to be replaced by something better so you are not in a state of pain anymore. If your wife leaves you then you just think well I am just going to find someone better. (JJ looks toward his wife, Artie) Now don’t leave me dear, I do not want to find anybody better.
Audience: Laughing! Nice recovery!
JJ: So we go through this process of having pain and it gets a little less each time truth is discovered and once we get to the point where the pain of attachment does not bother us so much then we go through self examination. We have to examine ourselves and our lives and ask why do we think the way we do. So we are going through the problem of glamour and attachment and once we work through the pain involved in solving these things – we move on to illusion and illusion is solved by self-examination.
Socrates said, “A life unexamined is not worth living.” There is basically some truth to this statement and it may not be exactly true but as I said there is some truth in that statement. We need to examine our lives to find out why we believe what we believe. When we do this eventually we come to what I call our core of beliefs. We have certain core beliefs that we have carried with us since we were young and many of these core beliefs we have carried with us for a number of lifetimes. When you die you take your basic belief structure with you into the next life. If you believe a certain thing strongly at death the tendency to that belief will carry with you over into the next life. Finding your core beliefs is very difficult because some of it can be traced to this life but some of it is even before this life. To find it takes a lot of self-examination of the most basic beliefs and then they need to be examined with logic, wisdom and the intuition.
Copyright by J J Dewey