Our Outer Reality 
is our Truth

 by Jef Bartow

This may not seem like a spiritual principle, but a commonsense orientation to normal life. What I believe makes it a spiritual principle is in truly understanding what Truth is, and how it applies to your life. So, the simplest place to begin here is to better understand Truth.

As a characteristic of Spirit, I have written an entire article on what Truth really is (available in our archives). As I do so in my book and article series, I begin by defining truth from Webster's Dictionary. "Truth suggests conformity with reality, either as an idealized abstraction or an actual application." The key in this definition relates to what reality is. According to Webster's, reality is simply "the quality or fact of being real; a person or thing that is real." Here real equates to "existing or happening as or in fact; authentic, genuine; existing objectively; anything that actually exists."

Implicit in each of these definitions is that truth and reality relate to something that is objective, tangible, observable and verifiable. Unfortunately, this excludes everything that is subjective including our Soul, our dreams, Heaven, and that half of our universe that exists as real and genuine and authentic in the Subjective. Therefore, we need a better definition of Truth. Most definitions of truth are two-sided. Mystically, ultimate truth is Nirvana, while Absolute Truth is Reality. Theologically, "truth dwells in the inner man."

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Psychologically, Jung defined two types of truth, one psychological and one metaphysical. Psychological truth is objective, while metaphysical truth is subjective. There is a "presentational concept" of truth, which is "experience for itself," and a metaphorical concept of truth, which is "reference to something undefined or ineffable, an experience that ‘points to’ this mysterious reality." Through extensive evaluation of many different perspectives, I finally came to the conclusion that Truth is objective reality (as we see and live it), and subjective "what is."

Here is where this spiritual principle reveals itself. Our outer reality is our Truth, while our inner existence (what is) is our subjective Truth. The key to this spiritual principle is that if we're not living our inner existence in the outer, our outer reality becomes our Truth. What does this mean, or how do we apply this?

A good place to begin is with our values. When asked, many people can easily express what their values are. But the vast majority of humans only live their values when convenient, demonstrating a different set of characteristics when life gets tough. A great spiritual exercise here is to sit down and define our values on paper. Then, evaluate every aspect of life regarding how we’re living these values in every day activities.

A good next place to apply this spiritual principle is in our relationships. Define what you consider to be spiritual characteristics in a relationship. Then examine your key relationships in life to see how you're living them. Most relationships are qualified by being loyal, steady, comfortable and secure. But these are not spiritual characteristics. Spiritual characteristics include being creative, compassionate, seeking new horizons, supportive of growth and unconditional love. Rarely do I find a relationship in which all these characteristics exist. Changing our orientation and behaviors in our key relationships are fundamental to spiritual growth. And frankly, you'll be amazed at what you’ll learn about yourself in the process.

I can also say the same thing about our work environment. Does it reflect the human characteristics described above, or some of the spiritual characteristics just defined. If our work life is about a steady paycheck; remaining loyal in order to feel secure; or just fulfilling survival needs of shelter, food and meeting our financial budget, then our work life has no spiritual purpose. Making changes in our work to support our growth, creativity and utilization of our talents and abilities is taking a step in spiritual growth. Here is how we can make our inner Truth our outer Reality. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that changing jobs in this economic climate is a challenge, especially if one has been entrenched in a job or career for quite a while. Unfortunately, spiritual growth is about change, challenge and internal transformation, not maintaining what is easy and safe.

Besides key relationships, it's also fairly easy to evaluate our social friendships, family and coworkers as to the real Reality. Questions to answer include: Does my social circle encourage, fortify and stimulate my freedom and growth? Or does it solidify a sense of position, esteem, subservience and ego-value? The answer is our Truth here. For myself, in the beginning I found being part of a wine tasting social circle to be very positive regarding my connecting to others, freely expressing who I am and letting them be who they are. After a number of years, what slowly came to the surface was that most every individual in the group continued this means of socialization in order to support their lack of growth, there emotional and self-esteem issues, and a desire to assert their ego without question.

A final major area to review relates to our spiritual orientation. When I talk to many individuals, they can fairly easily define the difference between a typical human orientation to life and what they consider a spiritual orientation. To summarize it, typical humans live an outer materialistic life qualified by getting what they want, satisfying material needs, and maintaining relationships that support and fortify who they are today. A spiritual orientation involves a focus on our inner life; connecting with a Being or principle that is considered spiritual in nature; and valuing an ideal altruistic lifestyle in which one "loves all humanity." Unfortunately again, when you examine the reality of their everyday life, you see they’re living both orientations in life. There is actually a separation of their inner spiritual orientation from their outer materialistic attitudes and behaviors. This is a normal characteristic of those who are just beginning their spiritual journey in life. When this separation of human and spiritual is not transformed, spiritual growth in this life ceases.

Measuring our spiritual versus human orientation can be as simple as determining what percentage of our day-to-day life is part of our spiritual growth and orientation, and how much is about fulfilling human needs. And here again, this measurement can be a very key indicator of what our true Reality is (Truth). 

The simplest way to change a human attitude for a spiritual orientation in Truth is to use another of our principle-centered spirituality principles explained in an earlier article. By using Qualification, we can transform most any activity from a human into a spiritual one. That's the beauty of Spirit. Only a part of a spiritual orientation is the actual behaviors involved. The greatest part is our attitude and orientation in the process. An excellent example here is human versus unconditional love. To love unconditionally is to generously give without "anything called for as a requirement" in the process. To give without restrictions, conditions, qualifications, factors or in order to receive something in return. Bringing that orientation to our loving is one of the most powerful spiritual practices that exists.

When we look at the major areas of our life, what we see objectively as our outer reality is our Truth. Bringing our highest inner spiritual ideals and aspirations into our everyday reality is how we make our life a spiritual one. And as I've mentioned before quite often, we don't have to do it alone. Spirit is always there to help us. Sometimes it brings us the obstacles to overcome, as well as the remedy to the situation. Other times, it requires that we see the darkness of the tunnel so we can appreciate the Light that follows. The only key that I've learned that Spirit expects in return is our gratitude and love.