Friday, February 28, 2014

What's the nature of honesty?

In my life I had to deal a lot of times with people who were dishonest. This week, talking to a guest in one of our programs, I got a new insight of the character of honesty. I found that, maybe, I was totally wrong, or better to say not complete, in my inner belief of understanding honesty.

When I got the question: “What is the nature of honesty?” it took me a while to think about it. After the first thoughts and spontaneous commends this question touched me and I started to learn and discover something more about honesty. And again the Buddhist principles showed me an angle I did not recognize before. An eye-opener.

One of the main life “rules” in Buddhism is; “Life is about doing good things”. So do not harm yourself in the first place and do not harm the people around you. One of the deeper levels used in Karma (action).

Let’s first skip the ‘Machiavelli idea’ that people have the active intention to use lies so they can rule. This has nothing to do with soul-engagement in (love) relationships. It’s being totally aware of misusing other people in an active way to help to raise themselves one step ‘higher’. A kind of stealing, or criminal intent.

When you talk about honesty, the first thing to do is to be honest to yourself. And to be honest to yourself you only have the reverence of YOUR reality. It’s your base for karma, action (giving & receiving). This reality is the mirror for you how to receive messages from the world (relations) around you.

So when you get the feeling that people around you are dishonest, first look deeply in yourself. Ask yourself if this is really true. Can you be totally sure? Do you know the reality of the other ‘party’? Did you take the time to investigate his or her reality / background?

The fourth guideline in Buddhism is about avoiding false speech. With our speech we can cause harm and other people can harm us.

You can sometimes feel hurt by the, in your opinion, lies that other people tell or told. But people are human, they make mistakes, they may be under stress sometimes, they say a sharp word. When your heart is open this can sting it. But most of the time there is no real malice (there is no intention to speak false), nothing personal intended in that. It is just that people are fallible and in different situations they act hastily and make mistakes. They have the intention of truthfulness, sincerity and openness. Sometimes they only use the wrong words, tone, or melody in there explanation. Maybe they are not even aware, in the same way like you, that there can be other opinions, cultural backgrounds or inner believes.

It is really easy to turn oneself in somebody wronged…, thinking; “this always keeps happening to me…’, everybody is against me and / or lying to me”. Maybe, in a different way you can think or even better feel, they try to make you a success. It’s all a lesson to investigate things from different angles and positions before thinking and /or telling that what you heard was really a lie. It helps you to keep trust in a relationship. Without trust there is not a single soul-engagement.

When you are / stay in balance (equanimity) you can find a moment to discover more and to ask the other person(s) about the background of their answer or statement. I am sure, most of the times you will be surprised to look to yourself into their mirror. Maybe you even laugh. When you do… skip yourself a little wink and open up to forgiveness (Forgiveness = giving a new chance.). A topic on itself. Through meditation we can understand what it means. It teaches us that we need not feel graved and feel not retaliate when things turn against us.

Because actually everybody has his best interest and heart but some of the times they don’t show it. Some people are unfortunately so out of touch with compassion, love and wisdom, that they persistently and without even knowing do things that harm others. That’s  tragic but we should not lose heart when we notice that.  We have to know that there are people who are desperately confused and have yet to learn that the way to live is to abandon desires and cultivate kindness to all beings.

The Buddhism teaches that we are living this lifetime to learn.  Everybody is learning, changing and growing. Remembering this, that enables us to live unselfish, live for the good of all beings doing that with promotes openness, happiness and harmony.

Frans Captijn
Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.”