Let us look at what it means to be a Friend of Truth. This kind of Friendship makes all things possible. Without it, a Real Life is impossible. Well begin with some preliminary thinking toward the whole idea of friendship. What we are about to discover is that being friendly to everything that wants to befriend us is not always in our best interests. But lets not get too far ahead of ourselves. We must begin at the beginning.
Can we recall in younger days parental figures telling us that they did not want us spending time with a certain person or group of people? The idea behind their correction was that if we continued our current relationship with these people seen as being bad for us nothing good would come of it.
Most of our parents either did not, or could not, explain to us why they imposed these restrictions on our relationships. The truth is, apart from what was their general understanding that a bad apple ruins the whole barrel, our folks did not have much more insight into such things. Mom and Dad just knew that trouble follows those who keep bad company. And usually they were right.
In fact, now their conclusions seem more than obvious: sharks do not swim with dolphins; coyotes dont keep rabbits as pets. Life instructs us: lambs lay down with lambs. Its clear that all creatures have their circle of friends, and that outside of the wise tolerances these relationships will bear, we all tend to keep the company of what we are naturally comfortable having around us.
Of course, when it comes to relationships with others, who hasnt been attracted to certain types that we sensed may be harmful? Thankfully, our intuition usually prevailed, and we were spared the punishment of painful indiscretion. But these kinds of relationships in life and the mistakes made through them are not limited to just people and our choices concerning their company.
The truth is that when it comes to our friends, we cannot expect from them anything better any qualities higher than the inner company we keep with our own thoughts and feelings. Simply stated, it is the content of ones mind and heart that is not only attracted to certain kinds of people (and events), but that also serves as an attracting agent to those who want to be around us.
Its likely that most of us have never taken much time to think through how the nature of our thoughts and feelings directly determines the company we keep, but I assure you this is true. Speaking of which, here is another truth about our circle of friends that underscores the importance of keeping good inner company: The old adage goes, we resemble those with whom we assemble.
Simply put, this means that our character changes according to the company we keep. In other words, never a moment passes in which we are not each being acted upon by whatever we are in relationship with in that same moment. The implications of this are vast, and to see the truth of them is to realize the need for a continuing vigilance, both outwardly and inwardly. Here is why: Our life, our experience of living, is a ceaseless creation of the interaction of the infinite invisible forces active around and within us. In any given moment our consciousness is an expression of the sum of these invisible interior connections.
What this means to us is that the continual transformation (of self) is not just an idea. It is an eternal axis around which our life not only revolves, but through which our nature is ever-becoming for better or for worse more or less of what it is. The point is clear: What we become in this life is very much determined by the kind of interior company we keep.
Even if this idea of inner company is new to you, its reality becomes common sense once we learn to look in the right place. Within ourselves we live in perpetual relationship with our own thoughts and feelings. If it helps you to visualize this insight, think of these psychological forms and forces as your invisible circle of friends, for that is exactly what they are. Yet, they are more.
We know that all physical creations under the sun belong to certain orders of being. We also know that all these orders of being themselves stand in an order of being, and that they associate with one another according to their nature. Well, this same principle holds true when it comes to our own thoughts and feelings. These forces have their own families of a sort and we are their home.
So now we add to the idea that we resemble those with whom we assemble the additional insight that birds of a feather flock together and we should be able to see why, down through the ages, those who have sought the Awakened Life have been called the Friends of Truth.
These wise men and women understood in their time, as we must now in our own, that the more moments one spends living in the company of the Truth, the more the Life of what is True courses through him. Its friendship converts him; by Law its company transforms him. He is made newly conscious by the entrance of a new inhabitant. His life has become a home for Truth.
Which brings us to the ageless questions that seekers of all ages have been asking since the beginning of time: What does it mean to keep the company of Truth? What is the nature of this Truth that one can befriend? Can a mortal make friends with what is Immortal and, if possible, then how does one go about cultivating his or her relationship with this Eternal Higher Conscience?
The answer to all of these questions begins with one necessary insight one that we must reach by first recognizing how the Living Truth has always been present in our lives, even if we werent conscious of its kind and continuing presence all around us. Lets see if this is true.
Can we see how the real lessons in our life, those that actually strengthened us even as they helped make gentler our heart for (learning) them have always been due to the simultaneous onset and startling realization of some formerly unseen truth as it concerned ones self? And further how, all along until this moment of discovery, each of these truth-filled lessons had been an unknown need of ours, only we just couldnt see this secretly needful state of ourselves until certain other conditions had been fulfilled?
Now, if we can see this relationship between ourselves and Truth, and how its Light quietly awaits our embrace long before we suspect our need for its guidance, then we are ready for two key lessons that must be learned at once. First, we must discover what it is that is keeping us from this full friendship with Truth. Then, through this same realization, we will have before us the facts we need to deepen our friendship with it.
The answer to the first of these questions is simple to state, even if it can be difficult to see. Here it is: We have been keeping company with the wrong friends. What does this mean? Any thought or feeling that jumps up within us to explain to us why we are the way we are, that wants to help us justify ourselves after we catch a glimpse of something less than flattering about ourselves appears there within us for only one reason: It wants to pass itself off as our friend-in-need a feat it does by working to soften the blow of our having seen some formerly unsuspected truth about our present nature. This would-be friend is our secret enemy! Heres the proof of this truth: What is True never needs an agent of any kind to soft-pedal its presence. Truth is Living Light, and nothing is more gentle than that!
Learning to inwardly recognize who and what is not our True Friend is the first step in the deepening of our relationship with Truth. To this end we must see that our friendship with what is Whole and Timeless requires that we walk away from what is fragmenting and time-bound within ourselves. And there are many ways in which one can help oneself with this new kind of seeing.
Lets review a few of the ways that can help us open our inner eyes and become a better Friend of Truth: reading truth books, being by oneself, letting go (of whatever), taking nature walks, remembering ones God, helping others grow, refusing to waste, letting others win, respecting all forms of life, giving up negative states. All of these inner activities can have great value.
But like meditation, which is invaluable interior work for the sincere student of Truth, the above practices are only as valuable as is our understanding of their purpose. For instance, true meditation is not the path to some imagined awakening whereupon one discovers some new and improved version of his former self. Meditation is about being awake Now. In true meditation there is no seeker and neither is there anything being sought after. So it is with being a Friend of Truth: We must not want anything from Truth other than its companionship. So then, with this in mind, and knowing the ways in which our own acquisitive minds work, the question becomes: How does one keep the company of Truth?
Dont let the simplicity of the following insight keep you from exploring its secret depths: Keeping the company of Truth is as simple as always working inwardly to be as truthful with ourselves as it is possible for us to be. Said with a different slant, refuse to embrace the many false friends within us, or outside of us, each time they offer us their self-serving excuses for our pain.
This one conscious act of being truthful (with self) satisfies all conditions necessary for being a Friend of Truth. It places us in the Now, where Truth lives; it arms us with the Light of Truth that cannot be overcome by any darkness perceived; and it elevates us into its Eternal Kingdom by showing us that what it gives to us in the moment was ours from the beginning of time.
Remember your wish to be a Friend of Truth. Choose over and over again to live in the light of its company and watch how the crooked places in your life straighten out by themselves. Truth doesnt just go ahead of us to reveal the Higher Path; it is the Higher Path itself! Persist with your wish to be free and do the inner work your wish requires.