Integrity is a challenging word to define. The reason for this is that integrity is not something that can be understood through the mind, by means of thinking. However, that […]
Integrity is a challenging word to define. The reason for this is that integrity is not something that can be understood through the mind, by means of thinking. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t attempt to define it. Everything we do with the mind is an attempt at knowing. All of language is an attempt to grasp and communicate the world we see. We believe analysis (taking things apart) is equates to deep knowledge, and synthesis (putting things together) is creativity. In the case of integrity, the mind defines it as being something like wholeness, or completeness, and therefore appropriate functionality. For example, person could seem to have integrity if they have their life together in working order, have a job, are healthy, and enjoy life. Something that has integrity is whole, like a seed or an egg, and so, as a result, has all its working parts. If the whole misses any one of its parts, then integrity is lost and seed doesn’t germinate. This definition works quite well for the physical aspect of beings on the planet and in general constitutes an ideal towards which many people strive. However, it doesn’t work as well for any other aspects of being, such as the soul, higher energetic frequencies, or even quantum mechanics. How can we define integrity if what something is, isn’t at all what it appears to be? The only way to achieve the definition of integrity, and have any hope of attaining it, is to make sure that there are no questions about the nature of things, life, or ourselves. Otherwise, integrity becomes something more like a question, than an answer. Integrity then becomes a mystery.
Regardless of questions regarding our nature, or the nature of life, most people, after they are done philosophizing, continue to chase integrity or whatever they envision integrity to be. They are critical of themselves and others if they fail. They engage in wars and battles, and resentments, and kill and die for their integrity: what they believe has integrity for their own benefit, is what they believe they love and, so, must protect. Integrity is a sacred cow, a religion, a faith, a belief. as it were. You can see that integrity now looks like something called an “ideal” or a “fantasy”, depending on the nature of the person. Society encourages this: the “American dream”, “don’t give up on your dreams”, “find your bliss”, “seek what serves you”, etc. These all seem great. But they can be very harmful, depending on the level of consciousness in which these statements are created and motivated. Mostly, these dictums, mantras, exhortations, just create more hard work, more pain, more sense of being victimized and being constantly thwarted from one’s dreams. In fact, when many finally do get some of those dreams they thought they wanted, it often leads to the realization that those dreams do not satisfy, and, not only that, make them even more miserable than before. If you spend your life chasing an ideal or a dream, only to catch that dream and realize that it doesn’t fulfill or make you whole like you thought it would, the results are devastating. It is as if the love of your life, now in your arms, has melted away into nothingness. It as if you took a vaccine, but it still doesn’t protect you from disease. Rage seethes and boils and will get worse as time goes by. This is called becoming a human volcano: chasing lies and fantasies, all the while holding your true energetic force inside of you, or even giving it all away.
Integrity has nothing to do with ideals or what you think you know about yourself or life. Integrity is not hard work. It is not hard to be who you are. Integrity doesn’t create enemies. It grows and it flows, like the rest of nature grows and flows. It strives to live and to thrive, and and it accepts when it is time to let go.
Socrates is said to have stated: the only thing I know is that I know nothing at all. His entire philosophy is based on that assumption. While that is the principle of his philosophy, namely, ignorance. The active force of his life is the desire to know, in accordance with the Delphic oracular command, Know Thyself!. Life, for Socrates, if lived well, is the constant pursuit, not of idealism or the mind’s definition of integrity, but by the desire (eros) to know who one is. Could it be that integrity, for human beings, that is to say, to live with integrity, is to be able to live with one’s own ignorance? In other words, far from chasing an ideal or something you think you want to be, integrity is about feeling around in the dark places, the places that are not quite familiar, and to be grounded there like a seed in dark soil, allowing yourself the time and patience for time to show up, a great flower for the bees. There is no chasing in that instance. There is an experience of self, an acceptance of that self, and then, the cultivation of that self. This requires only the effort of letting go of everything that hampers your growth. There is no dreaming, no trying to convince or compare yourself to others. You are just being, growing, living, dying, as you are designed to, all the parts in accordance with the whole; and not trying to achieve some kind of integrity or ideal, follow some rules or guidelines, or follow societies ideas of how you should live your life.
Now, I am not advocating lawlessness here. A flower doesn’t need to rebel in order to grow from its seed. Being who you are is not a rebellious act. It is the flower of consciousness, at the level of being, whether your flower is contracting or expanding, whether you are now in a growth cycle or harvest cycle. It doesn’t matter. Rebellion is what you do to fight against something. Rebellion has no meaning without the thing it is rebelling against, and if you take away “the enemy”, the rebellion has no function. Living in being is where the consciousness connects to being, not through thought or idealism, but through what Plato called phronesis, which is a word without translation in English. phren-, in ancient Greek, means heart. The ending –esis, indicates a process, an indefinite participle, as it were. Phronesis is the activity of the heart space, where the heart knows, where the body knows, where the soul knows and guides. It doesn’t operate like thinking does, which projects a goal outside of itself and chases it, judges by means of that, and guides one towards that. Thinking uses rulers and measures to understand the world. Phronesis uses awareness and consciousness, in connection to all the parts, like the heart does, delivering and receiving blood for the entire body.
But the world we live in today has done everything it can to dissuade you from your natural capacity to live through the heart, to actively live as phronetic being, an autonomous, free human being that has enormous capacity to self-express and experience love. Instead, the modern world we live in, the consciousness we live inside of, is one that is derived from principles of scientific materialism. Most people believe they can understand the wholeness of anything, including themselves, through the analysis of the physical parts and workings of the whole. This means that if you understand human biology, you will understand life. This implies that if you analyze the workings of the mind, you will understand human beings. In scientific materialism, everything can be understood by breaking everything into its component parts, whether that is atoms, chemical compounds and elements, as well as applying assumed basic psychological motivations. So many people think they know so many things. Never before in history have so many people been influenced by the constant stream of data, information, and conceptual knowledge, to the point where most people don’t even know how to regulate their food intake, without a written diet, external guidance, etc. Very few modern people can say that they know what their body needs by listening to it. This is why there is so much distrust in their own bodies, which translates into complete dissociation of the soul and heart space, and deep reliance on government and media to provide them information and support, like toddlers in a play pen who have no idea how to do things for themselves. The mind has replaced their phronetic system, their ability to experience the conversation of their body and their soul, and express through that. This is called brainwashing, or mind control. Eventually, transhumanists would like to see the entire body replaced by machine.
In traditional Tarot cards, the Suit of Swords represents the activities of the mind. The mind, in these cards, is represented as something that cuts and divides. That is why it is regarded as the most challenging of all the suits.
Knives transform something that is whole into something that has many parts. Note also that the mind, when it cuts (analysis) the whole, cannot put back together. Its analysis (a breaking apart) can perform a synthesis, the pieces of cut bread could potentially be glued back together, but it won’t be the same whole it was originally. In addition, the integrity of the bread will have been damaged. The results of this are not necessarily immediate. If you take apart the pieces of the flower, stem and all, you can put it back together again, but it won’t be the same. It will die anyway. Why? Integrity is broken. The flower is dead when you originally pulled it apart. When integrity is broken, life is no longer able to thrive within that biological system. Integrity (wholeness) must be maintained while the mind applies its knife action. If it doesn’t, we have what we have today. Soul disassociation, compartmentalized thinking, the inability to integrate difference and opposites into a whole: all of these are symptoms of the modern human being. In the riddle of Humpty Dumpty, an egg shaped creature falls off the side of a wall. The egg represents life, wholeness, the integrity of being. When that egg falls off the wall, no one can put it back together again. That is what is happening to humanity now. We will not go back to the “old normal”. Some of us will remain shattered, like pieces scattered into the wind, to be used as fuel for some insect or being or other. Others, will find their integrity somewhere else, within the energetic field, through their soul, through their heart, and will find the soil in which they grow best.
There, they will plant themselves,
and enjoy the sun, the moon, and the rain.
They will smile as they grow,
and they will grow slowly.
The lady bug is silent
as she tip-toes upon the leaves,
and the wind whistles between them,
shaking what must come down
to the ground, gifts to the earth,
and messages of “all is well.”