The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you offJoe Klaas
In light of the ongoing pandemic, it’s hard to differentiate between what’s fact and what’s fiction. There are a lot of view points flying around out there with no shortage of passionate supporters. However, just because someone is willing to stake their life on something doesn’t make it true.
It is in these times that Satya becomes so important. This yama is about restraining from presenting distorted truths in our speech, thoughts, and actions. It is about presenting the unchangeable pure essence of reality to ourselves and others.
How do we go about discovering the truth? Through experts, observation, and patience. Some facts are quick to digest and others are so fibrous that it takes some time. For example, the area of a square is s2, where s is the length of a side. Do you have the same mercurial confidence that the area of a circle is πr2, where r is the radius of the circle? I certainly don’t, and that’s why I rely on the attestation of experts.
“But,” you protest, “there are no experts for my emotions!” Perhaps – but you are capable of becoming that expert through observation and self-awareness. Until then, the truth will be stretched by our emotions. Don’t the following sound familiar to you?
- “He didn’t text me because he’s mad at me.”
- “I’m less attractive now because I have wrinkles.”
- “She smiled at me so she must want my number.”
Reality often proves us wrong time and time again. He simply forgot his phone at home. Your smile lines make you even more attractive. And, she’s just a happy person. All it takes is some additional observation while you suppress your primal judgement. Yet, sometimes a part of us refuses to believe these explanations. There is no way my gut instincts are wrong! And that’s where patience comes in.
If the truth truly is unchanging, then consistency can be a strong indicator of the truth. And, those things that continuously waver are falsehoods. After all, isn’t spotting inconsistencies the easiest way to find a liar?