Many spiritual paths go to great lengths to lay claim to “the Truth.” But the reality is no one owns the truth. If anything, we are owned by it.
Yet somehow, people (individually or in specific spiritual traditions) claim to have it. They know it, and they can give it to you. That last part is often followed by an “if.” They can give it to you if you believe what they believe, do what they do, donate money, show up at a place regularly, have sex with them, or something else. They can give it to you if you earn the right to know the truth. They can give it to you if you are special enough, and of course, once you know it/have it, you’re now special.
Take a breath.
Can you see how loaded that little paragraph is? Can you feel how disempowering it is?
Perhaps some of it actually resonates too, but that kind of resonance is just a subconscious ego trigger telling you that you’re hearing something you’ve heard many, many times before. We get taught a lot of lies repeatedly by our society, and unresolved ego attachments make it easy for people to be manipulated by these “owners” of the truth.
The tangle of attachments and illusions around the truth disenfranchises many people about the spiritual path, and it hides the reality that spiritual truth is already here and now.
And no one owns it.
First and foremost, if you are going to be lead astray, you kinda have to want to be led astray. Let’s look at the specialness issue. It’s a REALLY BIG issue for people.
Human beings often want to be special. It’s a vague term, but usually associated with “specialness” is a sense of happiness and safety. If you are special in terms of culturally believed beauty standards, then you get stuff, money, and romantic partners. If you are special in terms of intellect, you get jobs and money. With money, you get access to all kinds of things and experiences. If you are special in terms of spiritual knowledge, people will do any and all kinds of things for you.
So specialness gets you stuff, and people who are considered to be special often have stuff. They may also feel “wanted.”
And lots of people want to have stuff and feel wanted, and so people are primed to want to be special. Spirituality and knowing spiritual truth are often considered to be highly “special things,” and the long hard fall into nonsense, confusion, and much more rarely, abuse can arise.
The Desire to be Fooled
You can’t be fooled easily if you don’t want to be fooled.
This immediately points to the fact that we want to be fooled. More accurately, we want our most basic beliefs about life and ourselves confirmed. We actually want to be confirmed even if we are unhappy. A person with a lot of self-worth issues is waiting to find out that they really are worthless. They don’t think this intentionally for the most part; they believe it deeply subconsciously. It’s a familiar misery issue whereas the unknown is deeply frightening to human beings.
So they’re easy prey for some religion to say, “Hey we have the truth. But you’re not worthy of it yet. You have to do all this stuff first to be worthy.” This plays into the psychology of a self-worth issue.
Conversely, I will say to someone with a self-worth issue, the truth is here now. You have equal access to it, but it doesn’t make you special or resolve your self-worth issue. The subconscious ego rejection is immediate to these statements. They aren’t ready to believe that their self-worth issue is made-up. They may subconsciously believe that things can’t be so easy because they aren’t worthy of things being easy. And these statements do not allow the person to bury their self-worth issue under a sense of specialness or to immediately feel better.
But these “owners” of truth almost always offer the truth tied to the promise of feeling good, happy, etc. So you see how alluring this can be, can you not?
So a person with a deep self-worth issue often rejects the spiritual path to freedom because they want to be fooled rather than resolving the self-worth issue.
Eventually on this path, you don’t want to be fooled anymore, and then you begin to see the foolishness of people claiming to own the truth.
The Truth Is Free to All
The truth is stuff like:
You are here now.
We are all one.
Duality and oneness co-exist.
There. You see? Freely given. No initiation or special technique was needed.
Furthermore, it doesn’t matter what you believe; these remain true. Truth is just like gravity; you can believe anything you want about gravity, and it will still do what it does.
Now “realizing” truth is a process because of how much we resist things, and complete realization is a heart-body-mind-spirit knowing; it’s not just an intellectual understanding. But none of this is out-of-reach to you. It’s all totally accessible all the time; realization is much more a function of letting go than trying to get somewhere and needing someone to help you get “there.”
You are already here.
However, truth gets a person nothing.
In this way, we find that not only does no one own the truth, but almost nobody wants it.
The Desire for Power
When any person or organization lays claim to the truth, you should hear in the background a desire for power. You should also understand that they aren’t pointing to the truth at all. Usually, they are pointing towards beliefs that they confuse as truth.
Belief requires constant energy. Relationships are a case in point. If in the next 2 seconds you forgot all your relationships, you wouldn’t have any idea what to do with all the people in your life. For those of you who are my students or regular readers, you would immediately forget that I exist. Poof! That illusory relationship is gone. It’s gone because it is all based on belief, and belief only has relevance in so long as we all agree that it is relevant and constantly give it energy
Thus, people and organizations who claim certain beliefs to be the truth need to constantly remind everyone that those beliefs are true because if people stop, those beliefs vanish. If those beliefs vanish, those people and organizations lose the power they have to get people to do whatever it is they want them to do.
Just a Sign Post Pointing at Something
You’ll notice that spiritual teachers who actually are talking about the truth often refer to themselves as sign posts. We point at something. We don’t give you truth.
We can’t withhold it either. It’s right here now, and you can realize it just like me or anyone else. You have no restriction in realizing it. It’s only your ego that gets in the way because it does not want the truth. It wants happiness, safety, and health/healing. Those basic desires are why spiritual and religious groups laying claim to the truth can manipulate people and why real spiritual truth is so often overlooked. Real spiritual truth offers nothing; it is what Is.
But these other people offer you something, and your ego and animal body very much want things. Those attachments are why people can be led to believe that someone owns the truth, and so it is by releasing those deepest attachments to safety, health/healing, and happiness that you will never again be misled by anyone claiming to have the truth.