The Virtue is Integrity
The Saboteur is Unscrupulous
Integrity is refusing to lie to oneself.
Living a life of integrity is a life where the truth is at the forefront of all decision making. Integrity is also about how you deliver the truth and how you live up to the truth. Wait, what is the truth? The Yogi’s tell us that absolute truth will never change, however, our perception of the truth is constantly changing. How do we reconcile this within ourselves? All we really need to remember is that as we grow in awareness, we begin to really understand how little we know. That’s perfectly fine because that little bit of knowledge is extremely valuable and will be treated with respect and dignity. That’s what integrity is all about, respecting and living in the truth.
We’ve all seen people shouting, ranting and raving that they know the truth and if we don’t follow them then we’re idiots. The truth can be a hard thing to bear and so it must be delivered with sincerity and kindness. If it is delivered with tones of superiority I would be skeptical of the source. When we use the truth to scare or cause harm we may be using the truth to persuade others. This isn’t truth, it’s unscrupulous behavior.
We all have a problem with the truth. We justify certain behaviors within ourselves while condemning similar behaviors in others. We deny we’re being unkind, we bend the truth for personal gain, we’e afraid, so we misspeak. We aspire to the truth because it is the jewel in our crown and integrity is vital to being able to attain that.
The spiritual life isn’t about reading books and attending seminars, although those things are quite good. The spiritual life is a life of integrity. It’s about realizing that kindness, commitment and goodness are words that represent the truth about us. As human beings we are naturally good to one another or we would never have made it this far. Our nature as human beings is inherently good, that is the truth.
Complacency, being disingenuous and maliciousness are the saboteurs of those aspects of truth. When kindness is left unguarded, it becomes complacency, when commitment is left unattended, it deteriorates into disingenuousness and when goodness is left out in the dark, malice will grow.
Integrity is our character meter. A person of integrity is who they say they are. A person who practices integrity realizes that truth doesn’t involve persuasion, coercion, or humiliation. The truth is, that truth needs to be served to one another with a sense of sacredness. Spirituality is the practice of a sacred life. This practice removes the layers of self doubts, arrogance and jealousy that are covering us. What we’re looking for lives deep under the surface. Scratching the surface of those layers of dirt is a good place to begin the practice of integrity.
The truth will always be love. That’s what we’re looking for, that’s where the spiritual journey is leading us. Integrity is the ability to bear the truth respectfully, to deliver the truth with heartfelt compassion and to practice living life with a greater sense of dignity than we had yesterday.