The old monk faced the wall of his cave for 10 years, meditating on truth. What we lack in today’s life is long span of silence and solitude. It is considered abnormal and unnatural, if at all available. If you are not working you are supposed to spend time with your family. If you are not married you are supposed to be dating. If you can’t find a date you are supposed to hang out with your friends. Strangers and acquaintances look at you as a weirdo when they hear you just want to be alone. Parents and friends worry about you. Few understand the needs of individuals for long enough spans of silence and solitude. Yet this is essential for us to grow to full human beings. Only with fully-grown human beings can true society come to existence. What we have now is a bunch of intellectual and emotional cripples depending on each other. If nobody is self-contained and self-reliant, there can be no true relationship. Independence must come before interdependence. Unless you are a true individual, you should not attempt to enter into any relationship on equal terms.
What society is developing is in the opposite direction. Social media networking websites make it possible for individuals to stay connected, while the connections grow extremely diluted and superficial. The individual receives endless stimuli from his connections, never needs to face himself. The short and easy exchange makes the telling of deep inside stories impossible. The many updates make one’s attention span very short. No thinking can be done. No deep conversion and thorough exchange of life experience take place. I don’t use Facebook much. If my friends need me, they will write me long meaningful emails. Meantime I don’t need to know the superficial side of their lives. They all appear to be happy and healthy on these media. What they truly want to reveal, they will only reveal to me, and they will find time to do so.
If we want nothing but truth, we shall have no fear or concern, for all paths lead to truth, should we just try less hard to self-deceive. Things are what they are, as stars shine no matter if you look at them or not. We may see partial truth, but more truth will be revealed to us in due time, provided we do not resist.
If what we want is gain or benefit, whatever it may be, then we have a reason to fear, a motive to deceive our originally truthful mental eye. It is from here a thousand complexes spring, a thousand knots multiply, a thousand conflicts emerge, and we are forever at war with ourselves, subject to all kinds of mental disorders.
As a living being we have needs and wants. Therefore the reason to be afraid and the motive to deceive our own mind are always there. For example, in order to survive in a society and civilization, you have to adapt to the dominant orthodox beliefs of your society, also to the many little norms of your civilization. Society and civilization, as systems developed for collective survival and goal-achieving, have an intrinsic tendency to manipulate individuals. Therefore their doctrines and values are often not genuine. This is only a small example. The human mind has many reasons to temporarily or permanently deceive itself to be able to survive, collectively or individually.
All monks try, all philosophers try, all scientists try, to overcome this natural tendency of self-deception, to eliminate this ever-persistent end-gaining mindset, to come to truth, complete truth. To be able to do so is to get beyond the limitation of one single living organism, to have a share of eternity and the infinite universe.