The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Communication 2--Honesty

Musashi Miyamoto, arguably the greatest swordsman in Japanese history, placed one maxim in life above all: "Do not think dishonestly."  Why would a killer, a man who basically lived his life in the shadow of a three-foot razor blade, consider honesty to be so important? Simple. Lying to others means lying to yourself.  And when you lie to yourself, your map of reality warps.  When your reality map warps, you literally don't know where you are anymore, and then all your education, all your intelligence, all your good intentions go for nothing. 
It is so easy to get lost in life.  High-performing human beings, especially, can have a hard time.  After all, they've managed to succeed at incredible levels in sports, or arts, or business, while being dysfunctional in relationships, or health, or substance abuse.  Why change?  Some even live under the illusion that their success is DEPENDANT upon their continuing neurosis.  That, of course, is the ego talking.  It does not want to die, and so will use your very intelligence against itself.  We are just exactly smart enough to screw ourselves up.  There is no positive relationship between intelligence and emotional health that I am aware of.  You can't trust intelligence for anything other than information gathering and correlation.  Your spirit must tell your mind what information to gather, and in what way to correlate it.
This, again, is where the concept of balance comes into its own.  It is entirely possible to succeed at the very highest levels and also be healthy physically and emotionally.  Yes, you can point to some famous artist, business people, and performers who wear their damage on their sleeves.  But  these are people whose wealth and success has protected them from having to face the truth about themselves.  And they are surrounded by people who need them to continue making mega-bucks, in whose interest it often is to remain co-dependant.  The work of healing is hard, hard, hard.  In the words of Billy Crystal, "it is better to look marvelous than to feel marvelous."  Image is everything.
Except...when you wake up in the middle of the night, staring at the ceiling, it doesn't matter how much you have in the bank.  When you realize you've just made love to someone whose name you won't remember in a week, it doesn't matter if your picture is on the cover of the Rolling Stone.  When you realize you have a thousand dollar a week (or a day!) coke habit, it doesn't matter than you are adored by millions.  In the secret chambers of the heart, we want to be loved for who we are, we want to dance for the joy of dancing, sing for the joy of singing, write for the joy of writing, love for the joy of loving.  Anything less than this is whoring yourself.  And as soon as that process begins, you are flirting with the death of the soul. 
The way out is:
1) balanced goals, and taking responsibility for your results.
2) Moving toward those goals at the rate of no more than 1% per week.
3) Having an excellent stress coping mechanism, like the FIVE MINUTE MIRACLE.
4) meditating or keeping a dream diary to strengthen the link between conscious and unconscious.

That's it.  That's what it takes to become increasingly honest with yourself.  Lie to yourself, and you are lost.  Strip away the lies, resolve the conflicts, dissolve the fear, and all that remains is love and joy.


1 comment:

Tiffany brooks said...

Another amazing blog! This has been my Journey during the past year more than ever. Thank you for your words. I must be needing them now!