The distance between truth and falsehood

The King one day asked his minister, “Can you tell me the distance between truth and falsehood? How far are they from one another?”

The minister replied, “It is the distance between the eye and the ear. What we see with the eye is the truth, and what we hear with the ear is all gossip, all falsehood. So the distance between truth and falsehood is about three inches.”

Spiritual comments

According to the minister, these two eyes see the truth, but these poor ears do not hear the truth. I wish to disagree, however. When we use our earthly eyes, we need not always be right. When we see something, we interpret it according to our human capacity. Again, if we hear something from others, that does not mean that it is all falsehood.

If a great artist has seen a painting and I, who am not an artist, have seen the same painting, his appraisal of it will be infinitely more correct than my own human judgement. I have used my eyes, but what do I know about painting? If a great artist sees a portrait and tells me about it, the truth I hear from him will be infinitely greater than the truth I get by using my eyes and my poor human judgement.

When we enter into the spiritual life we see that the vision of the physical eyes is very limited. We can see only a very short distance. We cannot see the past, we cannot see the future. We cannot see anything that is beyond the range of the physical eyes. But if we can open the third eye, then we can see far beyond ordinary human limits. With the third eye, past, present and future are at our command. We see everything.

With our human eyes sometimes we see a thing but we do not see it properly. We see it but we do not actually know what it is. But if we use the third eye, not only do we see the thing properly, but also we know immediately and exactly what it is.

With our human ears we hear things that are false and also things that are true. The outer ears receive everything: truth, falsehood, rumour, gossip, opinion and all kinds of useless or harmful information. But if we open our spiritual ear, then we will always hear the right things, divine things, fulfilling things. The inner, spiritual ear does not allow anything undivine, unprogressive or unfulfilling to enter into our being from the outside. It allows only messages of Truth, Light and Bliss to enter into the being. The spiritual ear listens only to the dictates of the soul. It hears only the message of Divinity from within us.

But ordinary people do not use their spiritual vision or hearing. When we see something with our eyes, we do not always give proper value to it. If we hear something with our ears, we may not give full importance to it. Why does this happen? It happens because we are trying all the time to perceive the world in our own way.

When we look at someone with our own eyes, we try to see that person in our own human way. If we see a beautiful person right in front of us, and if we have jealousy, even though we see that the person is beautiful our jealousy will tell us, “No, he is not beautiful. Far from it.” Although we know that he is beautiful, our inner jealousy will take away our sense of appreciation. And when we hear that somebody has stood first in running or jumping or that somebody has done something extraordinary, our jealousy will immediately try to diminish the importance of his achievement.

But jealousy will never actually be able to diminish a person’s beauty or the importance of his achievement. No matter how jealous we are, that person is not going to lose his supremacy. But our jealousy will immediately diminish our own power to know the truth. Even if we have the organs necessary to see properly and to hear properly, our internal jealousy will not allow us to see the truth in its own way, to hear the truth in its proper way.

Since this is the case, we have to use not the mind, not the vital, but the heart. The vital, out of jealousy, will try to destroy the truth. If the vital in us is jealous of somebody’s capacity, it will try to destroy that person so that he cannot achieve. “Let him break his legs so that he cannot run,” it will pray. The mind, out of jealousy, will simply say, “Let me close my eyes. If I do not see him run so fast, then no matter what anybody tells me, I don’t have to believe it.” The mind acts like a crow. A crow thinks that if its eyes are shut, then nobody in the whole world can see it. If it cannot see, how can others see? This is the intelligence that the crow has.

In the spiritual world also, if you keep your eyes shut, immediately you will think that nobody else can see either, that everybody is blind like you. With your eyes shut you find that the whole world is dark, and naturally, if others are also in your world of darkness, how can they do anything or be anything? But no! You have shut your eyes, and you have made your world dark; but the other fellow has kept his eyes wide open so he can run, and he will win the race.

See with the heart. The mind plays foolish tricks, and the vital tries to destroy. But the heart will immediately identify. The heart will immediately identify with a person who has accomplished something, or with an object that is embodying something. If there is a beautiful flower before us, when we see and feel with the heart, immediately we identify with the fragrance, beauty and essence of the flower. When we use the heart as our eye instead of the mind, we see the flower as all beauty, all purity. But when we receive the beauty of the flower with our mind and vital, jealousy and destruction come forward.

When we use the heart to receive the messages that others give, we will be the real winners. If somebody has won a prize or done something extraordinary, immediately that person’s joy enters into us. Our heart identifies with his joy and his joy, his achievement, becomes ours. If that person is proud of his success, our heart also becomes proud. The heart values the achievements of others because of its identification, its oneness.

When the son gets his Master’s degree, the mother is proud. The son has earned the degree, but the mother feels that it is her son, a part of herself that has received the degree, so she feels as proud as he does. She identifies fully with her son. The heart that enters into somebody else or allows somebody else to enter into it acts like a mother. The mother receives the honour, the prestige, the glory of the son simply because she has become one with him and accepted his accomplishments as her very own. The heart, too, can do this.