Truth Comes in Lots of Different Packages
Posted Friday, March 12th, 2010
A friend recently loaned me a copy of Remember Your Essence, a book published in 1987 by Paul Williams, and I’ve been using it as part of my morning devotionals (along with Unity’s Daily Word and a wonderful little book called Opening Doors Within by Eileen Caddy.)
When I’m reading passages from Remember Your Essence, I’m often struck by the similarity of its message to the writings in Lessons from the Source. They seem to be saying the same thing, and they both are easy for me to understand and integrate, yet the approaches they take are very different.
While I was contemplating that this morning, I remembered an experience I had last year while watching a series of interviews that Oprah did with Jill Bolte Taylor. http://www.oprah.com/oprahradio/Jill-Bolte-Taylor-on-Oprahs-Soul-Series-Webcast
(If you haven’t seen the video of Jill Bolte Taylor’s remarkable presentation to a nonprofit called TED, I strongly encourage you to check it out. It totally blew me away. Here’s the link: http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html.)
Anyway, at one point while I was watching the interviews with Oprah, I thought to myself “Wow, what Jill is saying is essentially the same as the stuff in Lessons from the Source, but she’s just expressing it differently.” And at that very moment (nothing happens by coincidence, you know), Oprah said something to the effect of “What you’re saying is almost the same as what Eckhart Tolle says in A New Earth, but you’re using different words.” (And that was another “blow me away” moment.)
Well all of that has gotten me thinking about the spiritual Truth that we’re all seeking, learning and applying in our lives. I believe there is only one Truth, but that it’s defined and expressed and interpreted in different ways by different books, teachers and religions.
I’ve often compared that to a huge diamond with an infinite number of facets. We each look through our own facet and get a slightly different perspective on the diamond, but it’s still the same diamond.
Now I’ll grant you that some religions and teachers have interpretations that are very hard for me to swallow, but I do believe that, somewhere in there, the basic Truth is at the center. And if a specific interpretation meets the needs of certain individuals, more power to them.
On a personal level, I’ve also found it fascinating that, though A Course in Miracles, Conversations with God and Lessons from the Source all were received through the same form of channeling known as Inner Dictation, their respective presentations of the same basic teachings are very different.
Here’s a confession for you: I’ve never been able to make head nor tail of ACIM. Yet it has transformed the lives of untold numbers of people all over the world for whom that particular presentation was perfect. Conversations with God is, in fact, a two-way converstion that covers a much wider range of topics than ACIM or Lessons (both of which are delivered by a single voice), and it, too, has touched the lives of millions. And the tone of the voice speaking through each of the books is dramatically different, one from the other.
So I’m guessing that Source probably selects folks who have differing perspectives on life, and different experiences and styles of communication, to allow Truth to be received and expressed through them in ways that will resonate with certain other people.
Sort of makes sense, doesn’t it? We all have specific kinds of music or art or travel (or whatever) that move us and motivate us more deeply than others. So it doesn’t seem surprising that the same thing would apply to spiritual teachings. Different strokes for different folks.
© Jack Armstrong 2010