There is an irony in the mix, as I sit to contemplate the ramifications of this notion to not bear false witness. To be falsely accused is a heartache that has the potential to never go away; it creates strife often, as the one accused attempts to rectify their name and quite possibly clarify their aims and intents. I have learned at times to ignore it if this happens to me if possible, and then at other times to feel grief to be so sorely misunderstood because certainly a seed of doubt planted around one’s life has the capacity to cause others to stumble and see those accused in a false light, all dispersed within an illusion of a delusion, no doubt. That is a hard place to be found within surrounded in a cloud of uncertainty full of skepticism’s in the air. Certainly, I have allowed my own suspicions of others lead me to jump the gun and speculate they may be guilty of certain actions only to find out later that I was wrong. There is a bit of a difference in making a false accusation to someone directly, verses making false accusations and testimonies about someone to others, yet they can be related, if not rectified. For if someone espouses a belief, whether it is founded in religious directives, or just one’s own opinion of a belief these actions have the capacity to either be grounded in truth or fabrications, and either has a consequence.
The moral compass points within the Bible tell us to not bear false witness, and in the Upanishads, one is led to be mindful of the consequences of their actions where the notion of karma takes on this turn of meaning where our souls may be affected by both our good acts and our bad acts due to cause and affect. In Sufism, it is said to potentially escape the consequences of karma is to love God with all the fiber of one’s being. In Christianity, it is a part of seeking salvation to be forgiven and go and sin no more through repentance. I shall not delve into all the potential directives and meanings found in various systems of belief at present, but will just skim the surface of these matters. Is there a benefit or consequence to weigh on why we should not bear false witness.
You see by example let us examine several scenarios. If by chance, I listen to a man who claims to have wisdom, yet it would appear he has an air of pomposity as he teaches, it makes it almost hard to hear the message for the attitude present can take one by surprise, and in that process one could miss the message. The attitude could make one think such a person is espousing false beliefs and bearing false witness in the wisdom spoken just due to the nature of the delivery of the message. However if one explores deeper and has patience, one perchance will come to learn that the messages contain truth, and that the attitude mistaken for pomposity was true passion for the message in action.
Like Paul in the Bible who spoke boldly made concessions for his audience, somehow understanding they may get offended by his bold speech and could possibly think he was bearing false witness, yet in his kindness for understanding their untrained ear, urged them to consider that he was speaking to them to lift them up if they would only consider the message.
Even in pop psychology, Gestalt methods will use any aims to heal a patient, from being sensitive to harsh, to prick the depths of the patient to get them to think, in order to pull up the subconscious motives within the patient to get them to look deeper into their internal drives at the impetus of their actions, all in aims to get to the source within them that is causing them to act in certain ways they are seeking absolution from, or just basically freedom from. For if an individual operates at the subconscious level, not fully conscious they may err in being a false witness of their own self, and that has the potential to cause great harm, as chances are they not only see their own self falsely but could err in the messages they receive of others and give of their selves to others.
To discover awareness in one’s conscious self to stop allowing unconscious deep seated things buried in the psyche to no longer have power over one’s own actions is a meaning embodied within the message to not bear false witness. The wisdom lies inherit for the doctor to evaluate the needs of the patient and address the patient according to the needs of the patient.
So it could be said, it is that way in many teaching and student relationships as well. Sometimes a student will need a tough task master, a militant drill sergeant, a kick a boot in your ass type of coach to make you get up and practice actions with mind and thought, and purpose. Yet at other times a gentle hand that will hold you and listen to you weep, or approach your sensitivities kindly may be needed to guide one to see their truth of purpose. Harmonious consequences of one’s internal, external, worldly or spiritual purpose will not be found in bearing false witness or heeding a false witness.
Now, why perchance am I referencing limited considerations in these matters? I need to be mindful to take accountability if I falsely accuse someone to rectify my wrongs immediately, as I would tend to think we all should too, as to not be found guilty of bearing false witness of others. I tend to think we also need to be mindful to not believe that all manner of spiritual notions, or directives from those who appear wise, are prophetic truths, or are even grounded in universal truths, so we do not accept false witness accounts, and go on to perpetuate falsehoods. If we wrap our beliefs around false notions, we may be led into a realm where the testaments or accounts we give of ourselves or of others are not grounded in truth, and hence are blatantly false narratives. I tend to think we all could benefit by taking accountability for searching these matters that encompass so many day to day actions in our lives, so as to not be representing a false representation of ourselves, and if we find we err, we must consciously take steps to eradicate these false narratives.
Not only in a mindful process, of uncovering where truth resides from those around us as we peer beneath their veneer, we must be very careful we are not standing behind a facade ourselves. That is where we need to become our own tough task master, and coach to become diligent in our training of mind and thought. Our thought influences our actions and ultimately shapes our purpose.
If we reject wisdom, and fail to listen to the message contained in such wisdom to not bear false witness for these actions have consequences, we miss an opportunity to learn to be more authentic with our own selves. Some build up walls, and granted there are times there is a need to wear a suit of armor, as to not get caught up in the winds of all manner of doctrines, we must however not dismiss things blindly without thinking matters through, for that too could lead us to harden our hearts and our ears to the simple multiplicity of the message, and more importantly to our true selves, where within us we bear false witness to who we are within, we are meant to discover. In a process to make sure we are not creating a false doctrine of self! Even in the observation of those who bear false witness, there are lessons uncovered, and some times it very well could be the truth of our own selves we will recover. Can you see again with the innocent eyes of a child, your self, before you came to be who the world told you to be? Perchance you could then see a true witness of you.
I wrote Momentary Awareness, regarding the wearing of masks, and we all have done so. Even in Marketing analyses the notion of how to sell products takes into consideration the perceptions of the consumer’s real self, imagined self, and ideal self, for we all tell lies at some point or another in our lives to ourselves, and in that we bear a false witness to others of who we truly are. We must be brave enough to eradicate these blind spots from our consciousness, to become fully cognizant of taking responsibility and accountability of who we truly want to shape ourselves to be, so we truly can go forth and not present ourselves falsely in our affairs, and in that process by example we can show others how to do the same. Whether they take notice or not at a conscious level, their subconscious is taking it all in, and hopefully over time more and more individuals will learn to not bear false witness of others, and most importantly not of themselves to others as well.
Something so simple, yet in complexity to not take responsibility to not bear false witness could have the potential to affect the lives of us all. Be wise as serpents, yet gentle as a doves. For one must be aware of false prophets, and teachings, and doctrines, even the ones they create for themselves. I repeat this theme to drive the point to sink into waking awareness, for it is something to become extremely mindful of even in one’s sleep. Think about that!
The human experience is full of matters to consider, and often we seek answers outside of ourselves, especially in Western culture, yet in some cultures the young are taught to think, and meditate on thought. Yet in the West some say that is wrong, yet if one thinks, one will find the answers are always buried there somewhere within oneself, if one seeks the source of his being with all dedication of purpose and thought. Then as one matures and comes of reason, one can then begin to see the meanings behind the messages of the prophets, for verily it is said, you shall know a prophet if his words be true. Thus be true, in all you do. Do not accept false prophets, nor become one by accepting who the world tells you to be and what to think, when in the end you will have to stand to face who you are. Be not a false witness to yourself for that is the message to consider, all the while realizing too, one must consider the messages coming to us from all around us for we do not live in a vacuum, thus mindful we need to be, to seek the truth of what is before us with all due consideration of purpose.
Lastly, do not accept the things I say at face value, search them for yourself. For I am after all a human, prone to mistakes, yet ever searching and learning, may we all do the same. I hope to eradicate my own untruths, blind spots or whatever you want to call them, illusions of delusions in hopes to find the truth within me of who I am, and where the truth is around me, in hopes to find who I am to be, for in that is my purpose to become fully conscious and to not bear false witness of myself, or of others.
So, hence, I think it can all be summed up in this: When we bear false witness of others, we become a false witness ourselves! No matter which doctrine of thought leads us to this realization, it is the message that holds value for consideration.
Note: Why I put a picture of the history of religions, myth and mysticism, is due to the fact these histories have definitely shaped our human thought on implementing wisdom in our actions, and so many think these doctrines contain false narratives as they think the one doctrine they subscribe to holds the only valid truths.
It is interesting that we should be mindful in the world of today that current religions have similar and often the same root religions. In fact, scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr has many books quite interesting and extremely complex to read, where in one he asserts that the religious ideas of our forefathers were influenced by Ishraqui (Shi’ite) belief systems that led to doctrines of illumination-ism. He also asserts that even in Islamic belief systems ideas of mysticism flowed in and out between the two systems of Islamic thought where hermetic and perapatetic thought is woven throughout both but often elements of each are rejected by both ironically. I don’t say this for contention but only in consideration for this author’s opinion based on his research.
I have a few of his books, and the histories are complex, almost as if trying to understand the generations in the beginning of the Bible. Yet interesting in the New Testament, we are somewhat instructed to not get caught up with genealogies, yet we are told to look at the lineages as well. Could it be the message….that is the most important thing to consider, and sift for truth? Yet, should we also not be mindful of the history of “disciplined thought” that has shaped the tenets of so many belief systems to see where they have unified and repeated threads, for universal truths?