The Truth is…..

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This entry is the last of the five Yamas- Satya, truth.  (the next two posts from John McAfee’s book ” The Secret of the Yamas” will delve a bit deeper into the guidelines of self-discipline).  Here is a quote from this chapter: “…Love eradicates all personal hatreds and jealousies, and where jealousy or possessiveness exits, love cannot.  Yet, we still insist  to ourselves and to others that we love.  But if we look deeply enough, we will find that the root of our supposed love is our individual need for security, contentment or pleasure,  or that it keeps fear or discomfort at bay.  We use the object of our love as a distraction against the unpleasant, or as a stimulus to pleasure.  Cruel words perhaps, but please don’t simply reject them out of hand.  Look into yourself, without judgement or condemnation, but with simple observation.  It is our condemnation that has originally created this inability to see the truth in ourselves…”

Thanks for taking the time to listen, read and be a part of this stream of consciousness.  Namaste

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124 responses »

  1. The truth is…
    This is an important concept; Satya- truthfulness. We should be truth to ourselves first in order to be truth to others. Being truthful is important for our wellbeing and for the people surrounding us. This involves saying the truth at all times, when we speak or explain any situation, and accurately communicating the truth without alternating any of the contexts. We have to speak the truth regardless of the harm it can cause us because lying is always worse. Lying arises from insecurities within us. When we lie, we make ourselves feel better momentarily, to hide our low self-esteem. However, these justifications do not allow us to become better; we feel greed or jealousy that does not let us be successful or happy with ourselves. In order to improve, we have to stay truth and give to others, switching out the hatred for love and forgiveness. The process of being truth comes from the background and observation of what has happened. Leaving out the cravings and desires, the past experiences of similar situations, to prevent judgement of what is happening. And this would allow us to be honest. We have to be truth in order to fundamentally in peace. We have to be conscious of our actions and knowing that certain situations put us in uncomfortable situations. However that does not gives us the right to lie or to hide ourselves. Lying is harmful, not only physically (when is led by violence and jealousy), but also emotionally and mentally because it can make us and others feel insecure and lower the self-esteem. All of our relationships and images that we have of other people should be real in order to have good energies surrounding us. On my personal experience, I feel humiliated when people lie to me because I feel as if they cannot trust me or see me as an ignorant person who wouldn’t be able to handle the truth. I prefer to be honest at all times, even if it can hurt others, instead of holding a two-faced relationship where the person is even more harmed.

  2. This reminds me of something my english teacher once asked me regarding nonfiction: Is it more true to tell a story exactly as it happened? Or is it more true to tell a story exactly as it felt? I’ve thought about that a lot. How subjective the truth can be. As McAfee says, the way in which we perceive the world, is subjective to begin with. Our experiences shape our perception of the world around us, and so it shapes what is true for us. If our perception is flawed, everything we take in could be considered a lie.
    I think its interesting when McAfee speaks of being truthful with ourselves. I think too often, people choose to ignore the faults of those they love as well as within themselves, as it is easy to want to perceive your own self or someone you hold in high regard as perfect. We tend to make excuses for our own behavior, while harshly passing judgement on others i.e. someone else who drives after drinking is reckless, a monster, but when you do it, its no big deal, you’re sure you’ll be safe and that you can remain in control of your vehicle.
    It is important to train yourself to recognize when you are covering up for your own flaws, or too harshly passing judgement on others. You can only be true to yourself when you realize that we are all human and all make mistakes, that it is to be expected for others to transgress, and you are not immune from wrongdoing yourself.

  3. I haven’t thought about how love can be. I just start to think about my life and the people I claim that I love. I get jealous and overprotective quick and I find my self getting disappointed at the end. After listening to this audio, everything that was said is so true. You can’t love someone if you’re jealous and overprotective. Love does not exist there. In the end, you hate yourself and you are so miserable to the point that you never leave your room and you start leaving your friends out. Lying is another thing that doesn’t make anything better just worse. Lying is just as worse as being jealous. It is very harmful to you and others. I prefer to be honest, even if it hurts. Its better for people to know the truth than going on living a lie.
    Lumi

  4. This audio was another reading from John McAfee’s book, “The Secret of the Yamas.” This chapter was about Satya, which is truthfulness. It is the last of the five yamas. When we think of truthfulness, we begin to define it by being real, genuine, and honest. We can further define it by stating that it is an accurate or complete account of telling the truth. However, the reading talks about if this extent of truthfulness could even be possible. Are we accurately giving a complete real account, or are we giving accurate account with a mix of our own thoughts, feelings, and intentions that twists the ultimate truth? Although I never really thought of it like that, but I agree that everything is filtered through our own background and conditioning in our heads first before we communicate it out. This makes sense because we all have our own opinions, beliefs, and conceptions. Our individual brains are programmed to already think of something a certain way. I like the example that was used about a fearful person walking into a bad neighborhood and a stranger approach. Because the fearful person is already scared in his head, he immediately assumes the stranger is dangerous and is a harmful threat. This is most definitely not being truthful. Another interesting part of this reading was when it discussed all of the ways we perceive ourselves. If we are envious or jealous, the filters in our brains merely portray us as being healthy competitors and having ambition. If we are acting as if we are superior than others, our brain filters make us look like we are just being leaders. Another aspect of this I found interesting was when it discussed love. We believe that love eradicates all personal hatreds and jealousies, yet oftentimes people still possess these negative qualities. Although it does seem quite harsh, love cannot coexist with such qualities. So, if we look deep into ourselves, are we really in love? Or is it just a cover to gain security, pleasure, or contentment. This is very powerful because it is an extremely hard thing to do but when it is done, we will really be true to ourselves. If one really wants to have love, they must exclude the qualities of possessiveness, hatred, and jealousy. In fact, all of the relations we keep with other people is that same portrayed image that went through the filters in our brains. It is all the images that we have constructed of others in our minds. This is not right. But how do we get rid of this? The only way to practice the true meaning of this Satya is to remove this veil of self-deception. We must open our eyes to the way we view people. We must destroy the pictures we have painted of others. Only then can we really be true to ourselves and practice this yama correctly.

  5. The last of the 5 yamas in Satya, truth. I think truth important, especially in our relationships and interactions with other people. However, I am not sure that always telling the truth is possible, specifically in the case of giving an accurate account of what has happened. I think that becomes a philosophical question. Each person’s mind interprets situations differently and our memories change every time we remember a memory. This book is saying that because our process of perception is filtered through our personalities, past experiences, our conditioning, that our perception is not truthful. But if everyone processes situations in the same way, each person will always have a different interpretation. I don’t think the difference in our brains leading to different interpretations can be considered a lack of ability to be truthful. If because of your background you interpret getting coffee with a friend a date and he interprets it as eating as friends, is one or both of you lying? I don’t think so–I think that scientifically we know next to nothing about the human brain and how it works, so we can’t make judgments on perception. Also, I do not consider a memory or interpretation to be untruthful if it is the interpretation that our brain convinces us happened. If everyone has a different perception, how would we tell which interpretation was truthful and which was not. It is definitely something to explore further and hopefully in the future we will have more knowledge of how our brain works with our perception and be able to discuss the argument of truthfulness on a deeper level.
    I found the chapter’s view on love very cynical. I am surprised that part of the truth yama involves the belief that the object of our love is a distraction against the unpleasant, or is just a stimulus to pleasure. I tried not to immediately reject this notion but after careful consideration I still strongly disagree with it. I have a few objects of love and I deeply care for them, not just as a distraction or stimulus. The chapter also mentioned that we construct an image of ourselves and similar ones of the people around us, including our children and relatives, that aren’t real but we treat them as real. If all of this is true, I would not want to live in a world like this.

  6. McAfee puts the Yama, Satya, in a good context for understanding. Today, everywhere you look there is something you are supposed to compare yourself to. For men and women of all races, there is a perfect figure. This causes people to scrutinize themselves, if they believe they are less then perfect. There are campaigns that are trying to get people to embrace themselves. I think that’s great, and a good step in trying to understand and embrace Satya. There is more to it though. You need to not only embrace your image, but also your thoughts and opinions, which is more difficult to observe. You can’t stand in front of a mirror and see your opinions. You need to be able to articulate your thoughts to yourself, and perceive all the layers that made your feelings. Then you have started to really understand Satya. I think its important not to think of things as right or wrong, or good or bad, because that causes bias, and you can’t have bias to be a part of this stream of consciousness.

    Katie Gilmartin

  7. The section of this chapter on Satya, or truthfulness, that discussed the way our perceptions influence how we see the world reminded me intensely of a discussion in my “Psychology of the Stereotype” class. We were discussing studies on people’s prejudice, and how prejudice can lead to discrimination. Stereotyping is thoughts, prejudice is feelings and discrimination is action.
    A woman was seated in a public park, soon after 9/11. Three Sikh men were seated nearby her. Because of her limited understanding of their religion, she immediately conflated them with Islamic extremists. She thought she heard them say that they were going to “take it down”, that these men were going to commit an act of terror. She called the police and the three men were called in for questioning. They were medical students and were planning on getting a car so they could “take it down” to a residency opportunity in Georgia. This woman’s paranoia and her prejudice caused her perception to create lies. She was positive she heard a plot of terror.
    I think we want the world around us to be simple and concrete. We think our perceptions are truth and this is not always correct. Reminding ourselves that not every single thing we believe is correct can be a way to more openness, interpersonally and toward larger issues of justice, love and acceptance.

  8. This listening on satya, or truthfulness, is a bit difficult to accept, although I think that may of us can recognize the truth in this writing. I’ve heard the expression, more in the context of criminal justice, “There’s two sides to every story, and then there’s the truth.” What we perceive to be the truth, according to psychological studies, may even change over time, as memories become more or less prominent in our minds, and as we reexamine the events that transpire in our lives. It’s a hard reality to face, because it makes us believe that perhaps we are not as rational or “honest” with ourselves as we believe. Even the way we label our feelings, McAfee says, may prove to be out of ignorance or deep-seated self-deception. We perceive the feeling of love, but this “love” is full of possessiveness, jealous, and anger. We perceive ourselves as ambitious people, but this “healthy sense of competition” is full of envy and hostility. All of this leads to the division of ourselves from others, and in turn, the interactions we have with others are simply the interactions between our own self-made images and the images others have created for themselves, as well. McAfee says that telling the truth to someone has little meaning until we remove the veil of self-deception, which perhaps begins with the question of where this self-deception came from. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this is a bit difficult for me to accept, despite the fact that I already see this behavior within myself and others. I find McAfee’s probing in the chapters to be helpful for me to begin reveal the causes for these behaviors in myself, and more broadly, humanity. As I dwell on the last question McAfee poses, I cannot imagine how this self-deception within us came to be. McAfee begins the chapter mentioning how our lives are essentially filtered into our mind — through our emotions, beliefs, and conditioning. These things hinder us, yet I’m not sure that they can be changed entirely. Perhaps this self-deception is something we cannot truly “escape,” but we can instead realize is a part of us, and try our best to recognize if and when these elements of our mind affect us.

  9. John McAfee’s outlines the accounts of truth telling and being honest with others, therefore being honest with yourself. Interpretations are based off of our predispositions, fears, and inner feelings. In this last part about constructing images of people brought me back to the idea of projection in psychology. Psychological projection, according to wikipedia is also known as blame shifting, it is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unpleasant impulses by denying their existence while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. However, there are many avenues of projection. Psychological projection is the phenomenon whereby one projects one’s own thoughts, motivations, desires, feelings, and so on onto someone else. Usually another person, but psychological projection onto animals, parents, children, neighbors, other drivers, political figures, racial groups, states and countries, can also occur. And how this usually stems from fears and insecurities within our own self. Projection ultimately concerns externalizing the issues that we need to deal with ourselves. Usually we project onto others issues and problems that we need to address within ourselves, or are unable to manage properly. Projection is irresponsible behavior as we dump our problem onto somebody else. We justify these projections by blaming someone or something outside for the emotions we do not want to feel. We project our disappointments and problems onto other people, it is somehow their fault, we become a blamer. There is really no gain in projection, only more confusion, and it’s that “inability to see truth within ourselves” like McAfee states. We justify who we are by our actions, but sometimes we are very blind.

    I am guilty of doing this on occasion, I am guilty of greed and telling myself I am doing what is best. I am guilty of it all. And accepting that we are wrong and our constructions of reality isn’t always right needs to be a step taken in a lot of egos, even mine. Being truthful with myself has always been hard. I have always enjoyed creating illusions to strangers I will never cross paths again, but growing up and in the realm of technology I have come to realise all paths cross, all circles overlap, and no matter if you are pretending to be an actor, practicing you’re acting skills, fibbing is costly, and creating an other world may only do harm to you. Stay honest and be honest always is what I am learning throughout my life, because it’s thyself who you are staying honest to.

  10. This chapter of the Secret of the Yamas focused on honesty. The excerpt obviously promoted always telling the truth but then described the trouble to do so that people encounter. It’s all about communication and how the information you are given filters through your own experiences and conditioning. It’s also about perception and how the ‘might be’ can disappear at times and result in the individual interpreting information as absolute when it isn’t.
    The most interesting part of this excerpt to me was when he talks about relationships. He describes them as being made between our projection of ourself and the projections we make of others, all in our mind. This is an important idea to think about. For instance your projection of somebody and their personal projection of themselves can be very different. And if they vary enough, that in and of itself can be a dishonest relationship that can lead to many problems.

  11. The final yama deals with Satya, or truthfulness. Of course, McAfee says, truthfulness isn’t simply “telling the truth” or not lying, although, of course, it is that, too. Telling 100% of the truth all of the time can be difficult. If someone gets a new hairstyle and asks if we like it, and we don’t, we lie and say we do in order to spare that person’s feelings. But satya goes deeper than these every day lies. McAffee says that the yama really means that we must first be truthful to ourselves. But seeing the “truth” outside of the lens of our own perceptions and world views is nearly impossible. We have to put aside our own perceptions, prejudices and even tastes in order to relay the complete truth to others. My “truth” and another person’s “truth” could be completely different based on the way we see the world. Also, McAfee tells us that if we feel love for a person, but also jealous or possessive of that person, then our love is not true, the negative feelings have overpowered the love; they cannot co-exist. What we perceive as love is really self-preservation; we are jealous because we are worried that our own heart will be broken if the object of our affection leaves us. As usual, McAfee instructs us to look deeply and seek to find the causes of our feelings before deciding if we are keeping true to the yamas or if we are lying to ourselves. It doesn’t matter if we are truthful to others if we are not truthful to ourselves.

  12. I am a huge advocate for honesty and truthfulness. I take pride in the fact that I am able to accurately and calmly convey to someone how I am feeling in a particularly tense situation or argument. I have worked on this a lot in recent years, and have increasingly noticed how others struggle with being open and honest when there is the consequential possibility of causing more tension or being vulnerable. When a disagreement takes place, or someone gets hurt, passiveness often causes people to “sweep things under the rug” and not address the issue because they are afraid of confronting it head on and admitting they are upset. Instead, they pretend that nothing is wrong. To me this is being dishonest, both with yourself and with others. Addressing and acknowledging emotions is the foundation to ultimate truthfulness. As far as the mutual exclusivity of jealousy and love, that is valid. I have realized that it is important to let go of hostility when trying to love, whether the relationship is a friendship or romantic partnership. Holding on to negative emotions and succumbing to possessiveness is no way to coexist with another person in a healthy manner. Abusive relationships often disguise too much control as being caring or loving. That is just an excuse. That is not true love. True love is only able to exist within the realm of positive energy.

    -Geena

  13. The final audio revolves around the necessary aspect of truth that McAfee would attempt to bring to surface. It’s interesting, actually, to follow the series of yamas spoken about within the reading and ending on Truth. The connections among each yama become intensely apparent and the viewer becomes truly involved in the interpretation and metamorphosis of these positive aspects of moving within a greater universe. The audio discusses aspects spoken about before – guilt, ourselves, our minds, and the idea of communication; love. We focus on these ideals outwardly yet must understand, as is highlighted, we must begin with the Truth in ourselves to attain positive connections with each other yama. Following this understanding, of course, we must understand the ability for the human to come to truth within themselves and put that energy outward. It seems difficult and perhaps impossible, yet entirely plausible; one must find the truth within themselves to find the truth in others and project that energy into the universe as they so choose. And through projecting this energy, the umbrella of the other yamas begins to close in – connecting each aspect and bringing the human into a further discussion with the universe and the positive aspects of life.

  14. This clip was very absolute in its scope about the wrongs of our behavior and its assertions about truth. I almost found the end of the clip to be a definitive, laundry-list type of conclusion about the evils that lack of self-discipline can cause…and I’m not sure there’s any room for definites in this discussion, even in the realm of consequence when it comes to living by way of “the truth.”

    For me, the word “truth” is both subjective and impossible, simply because my version of the truth is based on my own perceptions of reality, just as the person next to me’s version is based on theirs…now I know this piece was saying that this divide could be solved with more self-discipline, but I almost feel like even when we are as self-disciplined as we can be, the truth is still up for grabs.

    It’s funny as we get closer to graduation, I get more and more stressed with everything to be done, and my mom always tells me that this is a magical time in my life and I have to enjoy it, that I’ll never have this time again. So I wonder which is “true?” Her perception or mine? She is a college grad, so she’s basing that on her experience, but the truth for me is that all of the stuff I’m doing, and the growing feeling of it getting closer, makes my stress feeling very true…and so self-discipline is supposed to help me get to the truth? Which truth? Hers?

    This could also explain why the political world is so crazy – everyone thinks they know what is “true” and is trying to shove it down other people’s throats. I don’t think anything is true in some global way – even love. Love is also so subjective, and the quest for unconditional love of things or people can be just as harmful as the lack of self-discipline.

    So I guess that all I can do is address what self-discipline means, and think about that in relation to my own personal truth, and not hurt anyone in the making of it.

  15. Telling the truth is important in relationships, in its most unbiased form. However, the problem with the truth is that your personal truth of an event will always be different from my personal truth of an event. The author speaks to this notion when he touches on the ways in which we interpret the truth based on our own systems and experiences. Our truths and our perceptions are also based on our insecurities. An example used was people laughing and looking into our general direction, and depending on our relationship with those people we may feel as if they are laughing at us, maliciously. While it is true objectively, that the people were laughing, our insecurities made us feel that the only one truth is that they were laughing at us.
    It is a widely held belief across contemporary culture and media that with love comes jealousy and possessiveness. Essentially if you love something you need to protect it from everyone else. However, the author speaks in the ways that love and jealousy cannot exist together. I think this is incredibly true and interesting because to love is to trust, and I think jealousy is a means of not trusting. Jealousy is a form of fear and anger, and there is no space for genuine love within that.

  16. Whenever we have an assignment from The Secret of the Yamas, I always read the quote in the description to get a sense of what the recording will be about. However, upon reading the description, I was instantly a little thrown off by the Satya yama, and how love relates to truth, because it seemed so harsh. Yes, love does stem from our desire for security, but I feel like the idea that we use love as a distraction against the unpleasant is a false generalization. Relationships are formed so we can face the unpleasantness of the world together, and we form the ability to see the world’s cruelty in a more positive light, instead of viewing the world in this sense entirely. On the other hand, I am open to this statement because there is a chance that I am insisting a false ideal to myself and am not really seeing the truth. Love is a complex occurrence, and perhaps I will learn to view it for what it really is with the continuation of the Hatha yoga practice.
    I feel like our society is inherently self-righteous, and we are always searching for a way to better ourselves, and to get ahead, even at the expense of others. With that being said, I feel that the answer to John McAfee’s question, “Is truthfulness possible,” is ultimately negative. We rarely give accurate accounts of what occurred in different situations because we do not want blame placed on us, and so we filter our own statements and interpretations. However, from a sociological point of view, these interpretations are often social constructs because an idea in the United States may be very different from an ideal in Africa. Perceptions also differ from person to person, but even those who try and remain positive often experience negative perceptions, because, as John McAfee stated, we as people are bundles of nerves and fear. These emotions have the ability to flood into everyday activities, but with the attendance of the Hatha yoga practice, I have noticed a very clear difference in how I perceive the world.
    I have been in a long term relationship, and I believe that my perceptions of love and life have laudibly changed from the beginning of our relationship to now. I used to be a very possessive and jealous person, because I was so self-conscious, but I have slowly begun to move away from these negative emotions as love becomes stronger. With this idea out in the open, I have to disagree to a point with McAfee that, if negative emotions dwell in our bodies, we can only pretend to be something we’re not, such as a teacher. We are not the emotions we feel, because we have the power to change the image we project into the world and with different people. Yes, we all have a natural sense of self that no one can take away from us or change, and our perception of love is often affected by it, but we are not inherently our emotions. I do agree, however, that the only way we can truly change ourselves along with the image we project on the world, we must be honest about who we are and what we desire in the world.

    • So awesome how you have weighed the viewpoint offered in the audio file along with your personal perspective! Your Yoga Journals show seriously you explore these new concepts, Namaste

  17. I believe, that to a certain extent, love is what we live our lives for. To give it, to receive it; in ones personal life or in their career. Some mistake attention for love and others mistake love for obsession, but all in all, love is what drives our very being. When we become start to care for to another human being, an emotional attachment is formed that almost feels like a cord physically connected you both; it’s love. Love is immense and often, in budding romantic relationships, people aren’t sure when they truly feel it. But you will certainly know it when it comes. Honesty is a crucial part of what love is and in this reading, the Yama, Satya, represents the very sacred validity behind true words.
    Love without honesty is pain, confusion, and denial. Love is something sacred and should never be taken for granted, but it seems to happen as second nature for some people. There are some individuals who feel the need to warp and corrupt the emotions of those who show them love. Sometimes it happens instinctually, but most of the time it’s on purpose and those people are inherently going against what it means to love. Honesty and love go hand in hand, because without one, you can’t have the other. Truth telling should come inherently to a human being, but lying also comes naturally. Lying is somehow easier to do than simply saying what actually is. Genuine words are hard to come by nowadays because everyone thinks people want to hear otherwise or don’t want to be honest with themselves.
    With all of this hidden contemplation, people seldom find out what’s truly going on unless they’re mind readers and I’m fairly certain that isn’t possible. There is also dishonesty and misconstrued love that revolve around material objects as well. In that respect, Satya and Asetya (non stealing) go hand in hand. If we feel secure in ourselves then people continue living in a routine of dishonest habits. It blinds us in the midst of genuine nature. Adopting an honest and loving nature means becoming more in touch with the spiritual aspect of life and those around you. It’s unfortunate that honesty isn’t the norm.

  18. Matt Tuckerman
    Wow, very interesting listen. The last of the 5 yamas in Satya, truth. I think truth and honesty is very important, especially in our relationships and interactions with people. However, I am not sure that always telling the truth is possible, specifically in the case of giving an accurate account of what has happened. Sometimes, we fear telling the truth since we fear the outcome. We sometimes don’t want to hear the truth, but we continue to insist its okay. Talking about love, love is important. My favorite quote from this was “…Love eradicates all personal hatreds and jealousies, and where jealousy or possessiveness exits, love cannot.” Love triumphs all. One must learn to love themselves, before the love others…That is super important. One cannot love or trust another without trust themselves first. We also must be envious of our actions with other people, while being cautious of the image of ourselves.
    After being in a long term relationship, it’s really weird to see how much love and trust really intertwine with one another. We focus so much on the other person at hand, that sometimes we forget we have to trust ourselves and love ourselves before we can branch out.

  19. I think this reading is very important because I personally think that honesty is the best policy. I currently find myself not being able to be dishonest anymore. I think being honest with everyone including yourself is key to peace of mind. Lying just leads to more stress than what being honest would have resulted in. Being paranoid about the lie that was told is not worth being dishonest. I don’t see much reason to lying anymore because if we lie to others we are more prone to lying to ourselves. If we lie to ourselves we will find it harder to be happy with our lives. Confronting things directly is the best method of dealing with conflict. Truth will honestly set you free.

  20. Love is quick to be abused by others to fit their purposes. Love should not be focused on how it can benefit you but how you care for others. That being said your love for someone should not turn into jealously and possessiveness. These are negative, exaggerated versions of ambition and guidance. Our society tends to blur these lines, making it confusing to know which is which. Love is also so quick to change into these negative emotions so one must keep their eyes open to make sure they understand their feelings, actions and words.

  21. This chapter discusses truthfulness. Telling the truth is something that just about every person struggles with. It is almost impossible to tell the truth one hundred percent of the time. Not everyone tells massive lies, usually they are just little white lies, but it is not so much the magnitude of the lie rather than the fact that you are indeed lying. McAfee discusses being truthful with not only those around you, but being truthful with yourself. Being honest with yourself is extremely important in achieving peace within yourself. Once you are able to not lie to yourself about what you are feeling, not lying about how are you dealing with experiences, you will be able to help yourself process emotions and situations easier. I disagree with the quote from McAfee that says that love is a way to keep away insecurity and fear. Love seems to me to be something more than that and I do not like to see it reduced to an animalistic instinct. Perhaps it is, but it seems in poor taste to do so.

  22. One of the things that sticks out to me in this chapter is the line where McAfee says: “…If you watch the process of perception in yourself, you find that every experience at and sensation is filtered through the background of your own conditioning…”

    We are told from a young age to always be truthful to others, because it is hurtful to tell a lie. As you grow up, you choose to maintain this concept in your daily life or completely disregard it. It varies. But, no matter how truthful we are to others, I feel the hardest person to be truthful to is yourself.

    I find this to be very true to myself. In the formative years of life, you learn the hard way that not everyone is kind, and may not be kind to you. As a sensitive child, I was vulnerable and reactive to what people said and did. Some kids took advantage of that, and in turn left me insecure.

    To this day, based on past experiences, I still struggle to be truthful to myself when meeting others. I find myself having to shut out the second guessing and fear of not be accepted.

    This is also true in love, as McAfee discusses. If you don’t have a steady foundation of love towards yourself, you won’t be able to convey love to someone else.

    I”ll end with McAfee’s quote:

    “Look into yourself, without judgement or condemnation, but with simple observation.  It is our condemnation that has originally created this inability to see the truth in ourselves…”

  23. Madeline Bodendorf

    This chapter by McAfee also talks about possessiveness and love a bit, and like before, I was a little thrown off. Sure, possessiveness when it comes to a relationship is completely unhealthy and should be addressed but I don’t think that it is to a point where love can’t exist because of it. And I also don’t think that love is a sense of security. Love is love and shouldn’t be out of any sole reason other than love for the other person.
    I really listened to the part where McAfee talks on perception. We might see a friend give us a “dirty look” that wasn’t meant to be translated as such at all, and then we might think that that friend hates us or knows something about us. Perception is such an interesting topic because it is looked at differently by every single person and I find that fascinating. What I might see as wrong you might see as right.
    I do find value in McAfee saying that it is our own condemnation that makes us this way, and I think that is true.

  24. I have often wondered about the meaning of truthfulness. I understand the definition, which consists of many factors, but mainly states that to be truthful is to be honest and accurate about events one has seen, and/or perceived. Yet the word perceive catches me. How can we always be accurate if we we are constantly filtering what we see through our preconceived biases, opinions and experiences? This is what McAfee addresses in his Secret of the Yamas chapter on Satya, or truthfulness.

    We often misread situations. McAfee mentions the example of an individual walking into a room where people are laughing. If one or two of those people look at you while the laughter proceeds, one may think that they are the subject of the laughter. This has happened to just about everyone in some context or another. So what, therefore, is the truth of the situation? Even if they group was not laughing at you, does that fact matter if you perceived the truth to be that they were? McAfee goes on to talk about love and how it cannot coexist with jealousy or possessiveness. And yet we tell ourselves that when we act out in jealousy that we are actually acting out in love. Therefore, we are not being honest with ourselves.

    Our relationships are based between the image we create for ourselves and the image we construct for those around us. McAfee asks, can we detach ourselves from our illusions? If so, than we will live much more honestly. And if we live with love instead of possessiveness, we are on the path to fulfillment.

  25. Truth is love- the acceptance of our experience, We must confront it, honor it, and have gratitude for us as it carries us through reality, giving us lessons and love. I admit to manipulating scenarios in my life to maybe appear as I wanted them to be rather than they are. This is an internal experience.

    While trying to be optimistic, I fall into the crevices of dishonesty, romanticizing my relationships and activities to satisfy my inner voice that may be telling me “this is not worth your energy. In the past, dishonesty has simply proven to be a waste of time. This can only be further proven as John McAfee speaks of how dishonesty with ourself impairs our life, limiting us from pursuing our intended life.

    The quote shared on the post was funnily enough one which I wrote down while listening. I was fascinated by the sentence:  But if we look deeply enough, we will find that the root of our supposed love is our individual need for security, contentment or pleasure,  or that it keeps fear or discomfort at bay.  We use the object of our love as a distraction against the unpleasant, or as a stimulus to pleasure.

  26. Satya or truth is one of the most important virtues in almost every religion and culture. Yet, truth is one of the most difficult things that human beings suffer with. We want to tell the truth out of love, but we also lie out of love in order to try and protect someones feelings when we feel that it’s better that way. In some cases I can justify the latter statement, but I have always been a very honest person. People don’t always like or appreciate honesty though, and being as blunt as I often can be, it often comes as a shock. When we take a look at our society, not much of what we hear in the news, see online or hear from those who are supposed to govern us, seems like the truth much of the time. As citizens we are constantly searching for the truth, but it is often a biased truth that lets us feel both educated and comforted. Real truth isn’t always so, and today’s society is so warped because we are all just looking for our own individual truths instead of the larger picture.

    I feel that truth is always the best option, even if it can hurt someone. I never want to have a relationship in any form where it could be ruined because I wasn’t honest with the person, because not only do you cheat them but you cheat yourself by being unauthentic and insincere. We lie usually out of selfishness, to make ourselves feel better, to avoid consequences of our actions, and it goes on and on. You can always fall back on honesty and truth, even if it hurts another person, you will know that you said what you meant, and you were true to yourself. The only way to be at peace is to be honest with others and always with ourselves first. There is a line though, between being rude and being honest, and I think a lot of people cross that line and don’t realize that certain things are unnecessary to say. Lying is harmful, not only physically but also emotionally and mentally because it can make us and others feel insecure and lower self-esteem.

    I am guilty of lying both to myself and others, and I never feel good about it.I also hate being lied to because then I feel both insecure and unsure of how good of a relationship I have. Once that is thrown into question, then the relationship is disrupted. Honesty should always be a priority, because it is the only way we will find peace.

  27. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned the school I previously attended. I took a myriad of different classes, mostly tailored to my interests, especially toward the end. One of those classes was my Africana Religions and Beliefs class. In this class, we examined all major religions, including Buddhism and Hinduism. When going into the belief system of Buddhism, we of course tackled the concept of desire, or as my professor put it, non-attachment. She explained in a way that was very simple: our desires are what keep us unhappy. Now, this is very oversimplified, but I vividly remember the students reacting to the idea non-attachment. They felt threatened, as if their way of life was wrong, or that non-attachment wasn’t possible. We would always be attached to something, wouldn’t we?
    In the Western world, it is very hard to imagine. I didn’t have such a reaction, but I definitely saw where their concern was coming from. This wasn’t the first time I’d heard of this concept. When looked at with a objective eye, it can be said that this is a very valid thought. How many times has our “need” to have something led to us being unhappy with the outcome? For me, I was more than attached to the idea of being successful in school, living up to a single mother’s expectations, etc. One of the best words I’d ever received from a family friend was that the only way to defeat your struggles, was not to resist them. And perhaps this was why I wasn’t so bothered by the idea of non-attachment. I wasn’t good at practicing it, but I knew that for me, the only way I was going to succeed at not being so hard on myself was to not be attached to certain outcomes.
    I believe this is what the idea of non-attachment represents. Not necessarily giving up every single thing in your life that may represent something materialistic or emotional, but understanding that what happens or what you have is not what defines you. You make your own definition of who you are, and what you represent. Not being attached to things that will be gone in an instant is a hard lesson that I’m sure we’ve all have to become acquainted with at some point in our lives. You are not who loves you, you are not defined by what you wear, or what you have.

    When I was young, I grew up in a household with my grandmother, my aunts, my mother, and my cousin. My cousin and I are similar in age, and at that time we would fight constantly. You could even call it sibling rivalry, although we had different parents. Being the older one, I would often be more aggressive when he would irritate me, and he irritated me a lot. He was naggy, he would parrot my movements and my speech, and wake me up at odd hours. I remember touting many times, “I hate him!” That would be swiftly corrected by an elder saying, “You don’t mean that.”
    “Yes I do!”
    “I promise you don’t.”
    And I truly didn’t. He was, and still is, my best friend. Diatribe aside, I didn’t know what hate was as a child. I was always told that it was a “strong word,” and never to use it. I wasn’t until I became older that I realized the tsymbolic meanings of hate, which I take to be a very honest definition. Hate is strong like love it. Hate is what love once was. And while I realize that love, taken in the literary form requires no mention of love, I believe that when you find hate, you will also find love of some sort.
    That begs the question, doesn’t it? What even is love? Can it, and should it, be defined? Is it real? Upon listening to this entry, I was instantly reminded of a video that I’d seen a few years ago. I can’t remember the name of it, but the gist of the the video was that “love” as it is currently defined by our society is not truly love. We confuse it with attachment, and the love that we express is selfish at the heart of it. It was a rather harsh video, firmly commenting on how we have perpetuated a lie, almost. We depend on others for what we should be seeking inside ourselves.
    It’s a very hard stance, and I wish I could find that video to share. Not because I believe that everything stated is an absolute fact, but because it is a very interesting perspective. Interestingly enough, in my researching for the video, I came across a video on the topic by Sadhguru. His perspective is a little softer. It doesn’t necessarily point a finger to how we are currently doing things, but gives insight to the differences between, love, attachment, and hate. “Love is like a flower,” he says. “When you know you have that flower, you are not going to move your hand all around.” When speaking of attachment, he speaks of a plastic flower. “The plastic flower is not really a flower.” This perspective does such a fantastic job at summing up the difference. Like always, these perspectives exist to help us mold our own path, and shouldn’t be used to persuade you one way or another. Love is what you define, but being more mindful of how you love doesn’t hurt.

  28. The concept of love is something I take very seriously and often analyze. I tend to often think about the people I love. I also can be very jealous and overprotective of people I love. Love is a very positive force in my life but also has the potential to end in disappointment. After listening to this chapter, I found so many things that were said to be relateable and true. It is very hard to love someone if you’re jealous and overprotective. Love does not abide in these factors. These feelings of jealousy, anger, and worry for your loved ones eventually can cause you to hate yourself and can cause misery and hopelessnes to the point where it can affect your daily life and health. Lying is another factor that is useless and will eventually come back and bite you. Lying is just a bad thing as jealousy or being overly protective. I have learned from expirience it is extremely better for yourself and others to be honest, even if it seems at the time the most difficult thing in the world. It’s so much better to be true to yourself and others because living a lie is the most unhealthy thing for a person and has the potential to end up just snow-balling into other negative aspects in ones life.

  29. I’ll begin this response by quoting my mom “HONESTY IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS” though i’m pretty sure she didn’t originate it.

    The truth is…
    This reading was about Satya meaning truthfulness. In order for one to be fully truthful with others he most first be honest with himself . Being truthful is a great practice for ourselves and for those surrounding us. This means giving precise and accurate accounts on events or so, instead of twisting it around to make it appear more interesting. We must be honest even though the results may not be the best, dishonesty on the other hand will be worst.

  30. Truth is such an interesting concept. What we perceive to be the truth is frequently distorted and biased, sometimes so intrinsically that we become incapable of recognizing our own loss of truth. Our brains are hardwired to create coherent narratives and to process information in certain ways. We like to believe that we can access and use the truth of our experiences–for instance, in court, eyewitness testimony is considered a very important kind of evidence–but in reality our perception and filters are so strong and easily malleable that our experiences can be quite unreliable. How many times do we argue with a friend about what was said in a conversation that one person doesn’t remember, or the other remembers very differently? We like things to be black and white, and like a flower in a book, our brains press our experiences flat and distill them into what it perceives to be the most useful format.
    Recognizing the fallibility of our own brains is the first step to finding a peaceful way of living.

  31. I have noticed there is a constant willingness that comes with growth. We have to be willing to see the truth and it only arrives when we have made the decision to let it appear to us. It’s interesting how the truth can be so clear and right in front of our faces but we have to let go of what we think we know in order to experience it. The hardest thing about growing and changing is allowing ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones. People decide not to experience truth because it threatens their identity. What happens when our truths become lies? How do we cope with that? I believe our patience for ourselves must be parallel with our self-awareness. Patience combats the condemnation that swells up when we fully address ourselves.

    “Inherent in the understanding of truth we should not twist, alter or in any way transform the truth to fit our own purposes”.

    Our truth determines our relationship with ourselves and how we feel about ourselves determine our relationship with others. Sometimes what we think is love is disguised as possessiveness and the need to fill voids within ourselves. Sometimes we run away from our truths in order to be liked/loved by other people. Sometimes we are clouded by our perceptions and fall in love with our ideas of a person and not the actual person. We accept these toxic behaviors, because of the way we are conditioned to be in competition with each other and to be bound to each other. I choose not to stay embedded in self denial and take accountability for myself. I will remember to practice mindfulness consistently and to be patient.

  32. Saying your truth is not always being truthful.
    Me and my friend Emma were discussing yesterday how there is only two realities, your own and others. We were taken aback by the idea that we would never fully know how it is to perceive life through someone else’s eyes. Our truth is how our minds perceive a situation, so we can never fully be aware of what that truth actually is. The most truthful we can be is when we have loving hearts and refrain from viewing life through an ego ridden mind.
    McAfee has been building upon breaking your conditioned behavior in order to reach a more open mind and real self. If we let the past control how we are viewing current events we are not purely viewing the present. The only way to have pure truth is by BEING instead of bringing past baggage to view the present event.
    I have learned through this talk that I to become a conscious observer. I need to filter what is my reality to truly know the truth before I express what I believe the truth to be.

  33. Throughout my 4 years of studying photography at school, I’ve had a lot of trouble wrapping my head around the notion that a photograph can be completely “Truthful”. Although it seems to show you what is being depicted, so much context and content is left out of the frame and open to interpretation. With those thoughts of truthfulness constantly in my mind, this listening seemed to me to be quite reaffirming. I don’t believe there is any one truth, and I don’t know if an attempt to find one truth has any particular point, but I do believe that through honesty comes a kind of multifaceted truth, one that can only be defined by your own intention and will. Through honesty, you find a truth for yourself, and through that you can start to search for your truth in life.

  34. What interests me most in the readings about each of the yamas is that there is always an emphasis on some part of the yamas that I have never associated with that concept. I would not have thought of jealousy or possessiveness when presented with the concept of truth, but after listening to the reading it makes sense that this would be a necessary starting point for ever being absolutely truthful in your interactions with other people. There were many points in this reading that I felt were very strong and helped support the author’s message. I agree that we see our interpretation of any information we absorb as absolute universal truths because everything we have encountered previously shapes how we absorb and process new information. I believe the concept is called naive realism, and states that everyone feels like reality is exactly how they experience it, when everyone actually perceives reality differently. It is probably close to, if not impossible, to view anything absolutely objectively, because we are geared to use stored information to help us process new information. I certainly agree that someone from a safe community who walks through a dangerous neighborhood may inaccurately assess a well-meaning stranger who happens to be much larger as a potential threat, but the process of using stored knowledge to identify a potential threat, weigh the probability of that threat occurring, and explore possible solutions to avoid that threat is a vital survival skill.

    I do completely agree that love cannot coexist with jealousy and possessiveness, and that the latter two elements are likely to ruin a relationship of any kind. Because of this, I feel like the author is right in that telling the truth to someone has little meaning if we are not completely honest about who we are and who the people we interact with really are. We tend to glorify people we are in romantic relationships with and to convince ourselves that we know exactly who they are to feel secure that they are predictable and thus less likely to suddenly hurt us or leave us. We often feel anxious if we have not created a stable, predictable image of our loved ones because the unknown is frightening, but the image we create of others is not real because people are always changing and everyone is spontaneous to some degree. In order to have a really healthy and honest relationship, you have to work to see people as they are, and resist urges to sculpt them into what we want or perceive them to be.

    • Excellent, a thorough review of the topics in the post, comparison to other resources and your honest opinion all factor into your well written yoga journal, Namaste

  35. Owning owns truth is very important to come to terms with your path. COming to terms with your path is necessary if you want to grow and become a more concious being. Recently at the chapel of sacred mirrors (COSM) up in wappinger falls I learned a new mudra that directly correlates with the throat chakra- the chakra of truth. The mudra represents a conch shell, its name is Shankh. Visualizing clear blue waters and beaches can greatly improve the effect of this mudra. It, like the conch shell purifies and brings peace when utilized.

  36. This reading stuck out to me, especially how it classifies truth, and it’s importance. When we lie, it gives us momentary peace and comfort, but in the long run does nothing but cause harm to us and others mentally. When we lie, it is in order to hide our insecurities and fears, and only strengthens those fears and insecurities in the future. It also puts a strain on our relationships with others, as it makes it harder for those we lie to to trust us. Even when we lie to ourselves, it distances us from peace. When we lie to ourselves about our personalities, progress towards our goals, and relationships with others, we are making it harder for us to be at peace with ourselves, as we are refusing to come to terms with who we truly are. Once we are honest with ourselves, and acknowledge our flaws and take responsibility for our actions, we take the necessary steps towards inner peace, and mental health. Only through this can we learn to love ourselves.

  37. In this reading, John McAfee places the Yama of topic, Satya, in an understandable context. It is often that I and other like myself find ourselves having to compare ourselves to others due to social pressures. This occurs in people regardless of ethnicity, nationality, gender or orientation. There are campaigns that are trying to get people to embrace themselves. I think that’s great, and a good step in trying to understand and embrace Satya. There is more to it though. You need to not only embrace your image, but also your thoughts and opinions, which is more difficult to observe. It’s far too easy to fall into the pits of dishonesty, romanticizing our relationships and activities to satisfy your inner voice of justification. McAfee reading highlights this and gives me a reason to learn from it.

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