“We live in an era when rapid change breeds fear, and fear too often congeals us into a rigidity which we mistake for stability.”
~ Lynn Townsend White
The world around us is growing more and more complex and the vast array of media outlets, commercial and social, are competing for eyeballs and ears, many of them all too willing to feed the fears of those who feel left behind by the growing complexity.
Trust is fading in our institutions and, all too often, in one another. Those on a spiritual path must double down on spiritual practices (LINK) and be open to the new while using discernment (LINK) in consuming information. And we must increase our ability to act with impeccable integrity toward ourselves and our fellow human beings.Jeffrey Epstein (LINK) this week gives a glimpse into this dynamic. We seem to be falling deeper into a hole of manipulation and “fake news.” Along with this resistance to complexity comes a rise in nationalism, which is essentially a fear-based desire to return to a more predictable time in the past. But evolution only goes in one direction, and we have to learn how to survive and thrive in more complex human societies. Our integrity and discernment are essential to this process. spiritual intelligence (LINK). This integrity, which needs constant tending, brings me to a place where I can be more honest with myself and others, yet also compassionate in my expressions. These qualities of integrity and discernment link to every area of life, as Osho points out in this quote:
“A mature person has the integrity to stand alone. And when a mature person gives love, he or she gives without any strings attached to it. When two mature persons are in love, one of the great paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone. They are together so much that they are almost one. Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. Only freedom and love.”
Integrity and compassion mean caring for others to the extent that you are willing to use truth in the most skillful way possible – even if it upsets others (or yourself). It is not just being nice – it is being real but holding oneself accountable for expressing as clearly and lovingly as possible. When we are living in our fear-based egoistic selves, we resist any attempt to change us or to challenge our beliefs. I often catch myself in defense when another points out something about me that is unflattering – and I have learned to make every effort to be open to such comments, take them under advisement, and explore their truth. Only then can I grow, but it isn’t easy – a glace at the comments sections in most social media sites will confirm how difficult it can be.
“You can’t make everyone happy. And someone shouting at you doesn’t mean you’re wrong. What matters is maintaining your integrity.”
~ Henry Cavill
Integrity means that I recognize, as much as possible, what others need to hear from me and see me do. It also means that I recognize my own agency, my own vulnerability, and be willing to be truthful even when it is difficult. This is true at work and in my organizations, as Frederic Laloux points out:
“Crashing through the woods is how we have learned to be together in organizations. All it takes to scare the soul away is to make a sarcastic comment or to roll the eyes in a meeting. If we are to invite all of who we are to show up, including the shy inner voice of the soul, we need to create safe and caring spaces… We must learn to discern and be mindful of the subtle ways our words and actions undermine safety and trust in a community.”
~ Frederic Laloux, Reinventing Organizations
“I am most proud of my integrity and least proud of my cynicism.”
~ Chloë Sevigny
When we fail to develop sufficiently, we need to use compassion in getting back on course and not fall into the trap of recrimination and spite. The world around us has no sympathy for our need to slow down – the rate of change is accelerating and we are called to adapt, seemingly continually. In order to do this, we must be in integrity. Compassion (LINK) the deep quality of seeing others as one with oneself, is essential in these times. Compassion is the surface action of inner integrity and discernment.
”Having compassion does not mean indiscriminately accepting or going along with other’s actions regardless of the consequences to ourselves or the world. It is about being able to say no where we need to without putting the other out of our hearts, without making the other less of a fellow human being. There is a difference between discerning & sometimes even opposing harmful behaviour and making the other wrong – less than we are, less a part of that presence that is greater than ourselves- in our own minds & hearts.”
~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer
“The world will be saved by individuals of integrity freely joining together.”
~ R. Buckminster Fuller
Oh, and as for the news and social media – if you can’t find any compassion in the message, be skeptical (not cynical), and find a way to add compassion to it before passing it along or responding to the author.
As always, your comments are welcomed!
Copyright 2019 – Jim Lockard
I am accepting a limited number of private students for a 9-month program in metaphysics and psychology beginning in September. There will also be an informational video call on 31 August for those seeking more information.
If you are interested, email me at JimLockardTravels@yahoo.com and I will send you more information and put you on the list to receive the link to participate in the video call.