The Consciousness of Truth

One free man will say with truth what he thinks and feels amongst thousands of men who by their acts and words attest exactly the opposite. It would seem that he who sincerely expressed his thought must remain alone, whereas it generally happens that every one else, or the majority at least, have been thinking and feeling the same things but without expressing them. And that which yesterday was the novel opinion of one man, today becomes the general opinion of the majority. And as soon as this opinion is established, immediately by imperceptible degrees, but beyond power of frustration, the conduct of mankind begins to alter.

Whereas at present, every man, even, if free, asks himself, ‘What can I do alone against all this ocean of evil and deceit which overwhelms us? Why should I express my opinion? Why indeed possess one? It is better not to reflect on these misty and involved questions. Perhaps these contradictions are an inevitable condition of our existence. And why should I struggle alone with all the evil in the world? Is it not better to go with the stream which carries me along? If anything can be done, it must be done not alone but in company with others.’

And leaving the most powerful of weapons — thought and its expression — which move the world, each man employs the weapon of social activity, not noticing that every social activity is based on the very foundations against which he is bound to fight, and that upon entering the social activity which exists in our world every man is obliged, if only in part, to deviate from the truth and to make concessions which destroy the force of the powerful weapon which should assist him in the struggle. It is as if a man, who was given a blade so marvelously keen that it would sever anything, should use its edge for driving in nails.

We all complain of the senseless order of life, which is at variance with our being, and yet we refuse to use the unique and powerful weapon within our hands — the consciousness of truth and its expression; but on the contrary, under the pretext of struggling with evil, we destroy the weapon, and sacrifice it to the exigencies of an imaginary conflict.” – Leo Tolstoy

Whenever and wherever you struggle with evil you dull your ability to cut through the more intractable questions you will inevitably face in life. Good and evil, like light and darkness are not, in truth, opposites. Evil, like darkness, is simply the absence of light — in this case, the light of truth.

To resist evil is therefore to struggle with the unreal. This is an important recognition when you also realize that struggle with indicates subjection to. As history shows, true happiness and lasting fulfillment are rarely, if ever occur as a result of subjection to the unreal.

It is hard to overlook the fact that the overwhelming majority of man-made institutions are built upon the premise of resisting evil. Which government or church, for instance, has not been caught up in the effort to defend all that they judge to be “good,” while rallying against what they deem to be “evil?” Wars on evils like terror, crime, drugs, poverty and fights against cancer, heathens, whaling, Monsanto and the devil ensue on this basis as generation after generation of well-intentioned people resist evil — often with force — using the very tactics they denounce their enemies for having used.

Evil cannot be overcome by evil. There is no end to this approach; it is circular. The only way out is lit by the light of truth. Do the ends justify the means? I say not.

The truth, in abstract, is of no use. Likewise, misconceptions and half-truths bind man to this imaginary struggle. The only way out is through the cultivation of a deep and clear personal relationship with truth. As history shows us, it takes more than earnestness, diligence and passion to develop a consciousness of truth.

That said, it is easier to cultivate this relationship than you might think, provided you begin the process correctly. So where must anyone desirous of knowing the truth begin? The first step is as obvious as it is overlooked. Your consciousness of truth widens and deepens as soon as you stop resisting evil.

Why is it that children and sages are possessed of the same quality of innocence? In innocence there is no struggle, no internal conflict. Innocence is an aspect of the radiant glow of being; being is the evidence of the union of inner truth and outer expression.

The first quality of being lost in struggling with evil is innocence. So, to return to innocence, to restore or expand your consciousness of truth, you must resist not evil. Stop resisting evil and you will soon bring sanity to the senseless order of life. Resist not evil and your awareness of truth will blossom in all its fullness.

7 thoughts on “The Consciousness of Truth

  1. Evil-or-an evolving state, needs no assistance, to reach its end.
    Our focus should be on our current consciousness of truth and allowing that to expand….without distraction. Easier said than done….I think not.
    For as mentioned earlier, Truth is the lens through which Love is known, and the slightest glimpse draws one, irresistibly up.
    Let each one, who’s heart yearns for Truth, bask in it’s light, and forever be drawn out of being tempted by evil.


  2. Coco

    Excellent post, thank you! Resisting evil is the primary endeavor that squanders our lives and leaves us questioning to the end what was the point. The one small step of not judging, a thousand times a day, sets the heart in the position to receive the truth. Lack of judgment has been viewed as naive which has often been confused with innocence. The first often lacks experience or perhaps even wisdom; while the latter lacks corruption.


  3. Lucy Cera

    It is the paradoxical nature of our being that we as one person can make a difference on earth. Thank you (and Tolstoy) for this post of perfect starting points to put to right use the capacities we already possess.


  4. Zach

    This is the only path through which fulfillment, true fulfillment, is possible. The very process of struggling with evil introduces micro-cracks into the “marvelously keen blade”, or the supreme power of the truth that we are all blessed to utilize. It might seem like it works at first, but when progress is made in whatever “fight” you are engaging in, the pressure will come on and the cracks will be exploited.
    If evil is the absence of the light of Truth, then rather than fighting absence with absence, the only rational solution is to become more radiant.


  5. Donna

    The anchor of truth resides within. If the bulk of our focus is outward, we are swimming in the black hole Ricardo mentions above. 🙂 Deeply anchoring inward allows us to witness the outer happenings with innocence, seeing the fitness of things through the eyes of truth. We are then in position to make a positive difference.


  6. Ricardo B.

    This just makes so much sense to me. It’s as if part of evil’s ploy is to entice one to rally against it in order to spread its germs and propagate its emptiness, luring the well-intentioned but unconscious one to relinquish his substance, all wrapped up in a farce costume of justice. That is just weird! It’s like being attracted to a black hole and suddenly if you get close enough, you get sucked in and down you go.

    I understand more clearly now those things I was confused about in my youth. Having spent many years abroad earlier in my life, moving back and forth between the US and South America many times, there were always political/social rallies going on and I had a feeling that all that anger and the many student demonstrations against social injustice were just a waste. I mean, nothing ever came out of it, just people getting hurt. No wonder radical groups target university students and the youth, for they have tons of energy yet are very impressionable to feelings of injustice. I don’t know how I would have acted if I grew up the whole time over there, maybe I would have gotten caught up in all of that who knows. Still, many of my friends just protested because it was the agreed upon thing to do, days in the calendar particularly reserved for that, and they didn’t even feel strongly about it. Strange. Of course, being caught up with that leaves you with little emotional energy to get caught up with its antithesis, the subject of this discussion.

    The more meaningful way is to take each day and declare your allegiance by supporting love and supporting truth – how you do that will depend on what you’ve got going on, but in principle you will refuse to condemn or judge – you won’t take the bait – and you will have reserves of forgiveness to keep your heart clear of entanglements, to express at a moment’s notice. These are some of the things I’ve personally discovered to be pinnacle game-changers for me, no question about it.

    Tremendous stuff here, thanks for writing clearly about it.


    1. Steve V

      Great realizations here Ricardo thanks for your words also. It is good to know further what it takes to return to innocence and personal radiance. There is a living matrix we all are a part of that really can breathe life and health into this world as we each play our parts.


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