Truth, Love and a Hindu Story

” Once upon a time, in spring, when the leaves were a tender green and the air was sweet with the scent of blossoms, all the butterflies in the valley gathered in the cool shade of a tree. They were having a conversation about light; some said it was like this, others like that, until one butterfly declared himself ready to go and find out what light really was. They all waited patiently for his return. When he came back, he said that the light was much too strong to allow anyone near it. But the butterflies weren’t satisfied with this answer and desired to know more. A second butterfly set forth and, when he got back, he told them that he had not been able to get near the light, it was so powerful and blinding. This statement was also found unsatisfactory, and a third butterfly flew off on the same quest. He returned wounded and explained to them that the light was so hot that he had been burned. At length a fourth departed, never to return; truth, which is light, had consumed him utterly. ”

Krisnamurti, “Krishnamurti in Greece”, 1998.

We are all these four different butterflies at different stages of our lives. Sometimes we are so eager and determined to go to the light no matter the cost and other times we are not ready for it, we hesitate, we wait, we get prepared.

The story actually doesn’t tell us what really happened to the fourth butterfly. We know that it never returned to our world but we don’t know what that means. It is also a perfect analogy to death as a form of total consumption of the life force that sustains us. Again, we don’t know what happens after death.

Your truth is your own truth. Your truth is different than mine. Your truth set you free and all individual truths set humanity free. We can seek advice, training, expertise to become the fourth butterfly.  But truth is absolute and is to be discovered by each one according to his/her wisdom and experience; it cannot be mediated by another. No one has access to your truth but you. 

Krisnamurti, who narrated this Hindu story, also emphasized that life is fulfilled only through experiences which do not step down the truth. Absolute truth is the truth that is in harmony with life. Life in all its variations, with all its complications and complexities, he added.

In my view, the story doesn’t tell us that on the other side of the valley the light was hoping that one day a butterfly would go through the illusion of the fear of destruction and would reach to it. The story doesn’t tell us that the light too was longing to be seen, to be experienced by the butterfly in its true nature, in its truth, and how much it wanted to utterly give itself to the butterfly.

The story doesn’t tell us that this is the story of the meeting of two lovers. A love story.

The movement to your truth is the love story of your life.

From the human experience, the great love stories tend to be complicated with emotions, desires, boundaries, traumas, and all the other ingredients of the variations, the complications and the complexities of life.

And despite this being for a lot of us the main struggle in our life, a most desired lover that we are not sure how to romance, it is actually more challenging.

Truth does not create human connection.

When we hear the truth, unless we have been trained diligently to express and receive truth, the first movement is a step back. We want to take more space, because we feel a slight disappointment with what we are confronted and we need space and energy to face it. And notice that our system is instantly thinking of facing instead of staying with it, looking at it.

We like the idea we have for ourselves, that of being better or being worse from all the others. It gives us an inner reference and a stability in daily tasks. Of course, it is not sustainable unless it is part or the truth package of our lives, the one that is in harmony with the force of living.

For all the instances that it is not, we do not really want to hear it or see it. Since it is an alive energy, it breaths and circulates freely and eventually there will be times when we will meet.

If someone comes and tell me that I am fat or not good at my work, or that I have been difficult or even if they say they find me amazing and breathtaking, my first reaction is to retract back to myself, to my stable inner reference and smile awkwardly to the comment that I have just received, not knowing exactly what to do with this hot potato.

And after years of practicing, I still cannot always say if the person in front of me is genuinely meaning that as an act of sincere human interaction or if it is more of a strategic gesture before me or whatever else.

Noticing how uncomfortable I feel when somebody is throwing at my face something that he/she believes has to be said about me, I realize that I step back, I do not want to be present, discuss more or be in a relationship with that person. Unless, I know that I have actually asked for an opening to a deeper level having established a good background with that person.

Reversing the roles, I was trying to understand why, in my opinion, people dislike me so much, when I give them my truth. I was triggered after having an argument with my dentist for the twentieth time, a man that I find has a great ego but also a big heart. Being in pain and having a lot of complications with my teeth, mainly because of former doctor’s negligence, having changed a lot of dentists, I knew that I had to be more patient and not leave this guy that everybody recommended and who also treated a family member with no complications.

But I am the kind of person that if you ask me I will give you the highest form of the answer I could reach at that day, having in my heart the intention of being useful with my answer to you. And I can sometimes go very deep very soon with someone, and people with big ego’s and talent give me so much working space to do it.

Seeing my doctor for a period of almost two years and having great good and great bad days with him, I was confronted again with my issue of, in my opinion, not being liked by people I would have liked to be liked.

He was kind enough to offer me some private time after the treatment to discuss a couple of questions I had, after which I came to an important understanding. It is not me that people don’t like, it is this energy that I bring to the world, an energy that when asked I give the truth that I see and I do not cover it strategically, because I am concerned of going to the light more instead of staying here and being liked.

And since we are not trained to tell or accept the truth, in most cases, especially when we are not in a closer or intimate relationship, his reaction was to step back and bear with me. I was so thankful that he didn’t throw me out of his practice, as he could have done because we were fighting a lot and that he listened to the things was saying to the point he offered me his truthful opinion too.

Some heavy phrases that he threw back at me have to do with his personal story, and of course I was caring all the negativity and distrust upon dentists because of former treatments and I was laying that in his office every time I was there even if I was not talking at all. That’s life, you cannot avoid being interfered with people’s baggage even if you are not responsible for them.

But after so many unpleasant visits, with strong energy confrontations, physical and emotional anxiety, waves of inflammatory pain in my mouth and in a way in my mind too, and after two honest and courageous conversations from both sides, I comprehended that truth does not connect people.

Truth reestablishes the space between the respective parties at first. We take a step back, the other takes a step back, and so now a new space has been defined, new movements are at this stage a quantum possibility. And if we use any of the possibilities that are not producing exclusion, even if the best we could use is tolerance by circumstantial necessity, like medical necessity, we are flying closer to the light, we can see what is coming.

In this redefined new space, initially there is no connection. The truth that is outspoken though and is supported by staying with all the feelings and thoughts that are coming out of it, invites respect and integrity in. And these are a very good base for any kind of human relationship. The individual rhythms of communication and interaction follow. A new story or a new version of two people’s story opens to the floor, the beginning of a wonderful friendship, Louis?  Well, every story is a different story and there are so many stories to be lived.

This is a about living the love story of truth and love, this is about a wisdom story in your life.