Mindfulness and Being Truthful

Jim:    Welcome to another episode of Fishing Without Bait where we attempt to assist people in living a life without definitive expectations.  As usual, I’m here with my good friend, producer, co-host, Mr. Mike.  Mr. Mike, are we on time today?  Tell me, what time is it?

Mike:    Right.  Well, we’re always on time because it’s always right now.

Jim:    It’s always right now.  And, I continue to ask you that for what reason?

Mike:    As a reminder so it becomes part of my mindset.

Jim:    Absolutely.  And perhaps – again, people in the audience, people who listen may wonder why we repeat some things over and over and over again.  When you were a child, Mike, how did your parents help you learn how to spell?

Mike:    Repetition.  Any of that – vocabulary, anything like that was repetition.  Trying the words, writing the words over and over again.

Jim:    So, the first time that you were able to spell baseball, did they keep going over it with you?  Did they keep asking you?

Mike:    Right.  Baseball.  Spell it again.

Jim:    When you were learning how to, let’s say multiply, or add.  When I was a little younger they used flash cards.  I’m not sure – how did you do it?

Mike:    Oh, we had flash cards as well.  We weren’t technically advanced yet.  We had that one computer with the green screen, so we were definitely in that zone.

Jim:    So, when you’re out there and a child – when they think of 3 + 3, I’m not too sure what they conceptualize – three dots, three dots, and then there’s six dots in their head, and they visualize that?  No.  When a child hears 3 +3, what do they visualize?  The number –

Mike:    The number 3.

Jim:    The number 6.

Mike:    The number 6!

Jim:    The number 6, right.  Of course.  Perhaps we should get you another set of flash cards.  

Mike:    I need a new abacus, apparently.

Jim:    Let’s imagine this, Mike.  If I told you that I didn’t have socks on, would you have to come over and check before you believed me?

Mike:    That depends on the smell.

Jim:    Would you have to check?  Would you believe me if I told you that?

Mike:    I would believe you.

Jim:    And, the reason for that would be?

Mike:    Because I consider you a trustworthy individual, and I have a relationship with you.

Jim:    Have I lied to you in the past?  Have I been untruthful with you in the past?  

Mike:    No.

Jim:    What reason would you think for me – to believe that I would be telling you an untruth?

Mike:    That prior experience.  

Jim:    Absolutely.  So, prior experience tells you that I’m a person who tells the truth.  That’s my personality.  That’s what you know about me.  So, what we’re talking about is a mindful life.  And, what the heck does truth have to do with being – with living a mindful life?  If you read philosophy – and there has been untold, probably greater than the number of stars there are in the universe than philosophers have written.  Philosophy basically boils down into two pursuits: What is truth.  And, how to be happy.  Most of them.  Mike, let me ask you this, is it important that you be told the truth?

Mike:    Yes.

Jim:    For what reason?

Mike:    So that I have all the information and accurate information to make decisions.

Jim:    How does it feel when someone does not tell you the truth?

Mike:    You feel betrayed.  

Jim:    Absolutely.  You feel betrayed.  You feel that they don’t – they place such little value in you that there’s no need to tell you the truth.

Mike:    You feel disrespected.

Jim:    So, tell me about some times that you were afraid to tell the truth, Mike.  If you can come up with anything.

Mike:    When I had bad news.

Jim:    When you had bad news?

Mike:    Right.  Or, if you had something that would hurt somebody’s feelings.

Jim:    Absolutely.  For sure.  What’s that all based in?  That’s all based in fear, is it not?

Mike:    Right.

Jim:    All based in fear.  So, sometimes it’s fear of being labelled as weird or stupid by saying something.  Or, offending someone as you just said, or perhaps not being with the crowd that you’re with.  You’ve heard the term “mob mentality,” have you not?

Mike:    Right.

Jim:    Generally, when one person gets it going, the other people get caught up in that wave and no one wants to disagree.  When we talk about some of the masks that we wear – we often talk about that.  When people get up in the morning and they get up, and then they put this face on for the world, that perhaps isn’t their truthful face.  Let me ask you this, Mike, have you ever been involved with or around or worked with a friend that was, let’s say, physically beautiful?  The world would view them as physically beautiful?

Mike:    Yeah.

Jim:    And, maybe this person was all dressed in the most current clothes, latest styles, all clean and nice.  And, you look at them and say oh my goodness, this person’s beautiful.  So, have you ever seen that person without, let’s say, their make-up on?  Dressed in, let’s say, shabby clothes.

Mike:    Some of them, yeah.  And, some of them, no.

Jim:    Sometimes when you see that person, your opinion changes a little bit?

Mike:    Yeah.  Kind of unconsciously, yes.

Jim:    For sure.  And, when you see that person without their make-up, without all these fancy clothes, without all the compliments, you kind of think what’s going on here?  What’s true?  Is it this person that I see here?  Or is it this person that I see today?

Mike:    Working in some of the stuff I do, some people that are performers – and I realize that I’ve always seen them with the full make-up on, and sometimes I’ll see them before the shows and not realize – to the point where I don’t realize it’s the same person.

Jim:    Indeed.  So, what is the truth?  We don’t know.  What the truth is, Mike, is when someone speaks from their heart.  Here’s a suggestion for everyone out there.  And, this is just a little bit of a practical tip.  When you start to talk to somebody, let’s say you want to tell something that you’re hesitant to tell, or maybe fear about it, one of the things I would suggest is put your hand over your heart.  Then speak.  That gives you a direct connection to your heart and lets you think am I speaking from my heart?  What did Native Americans often say about people who spoke with what type of a tongue when they lied?

Mike:    With a forked tongue?

Jim:    With a forked tongue.  What type of an animal has a forked tongue?

Mike:    A snake.

Jim:    And, what is generally the snake associated with in religion, with mythology?

Mike:    Usually with evil.

Jim:    With evil, right.  And, with evil comes associated the darkness.  Is there not?  So, would lying be associated with evil?

Mike:    Right.

Jim:    Absolutely.  So, in some parts of the world where there is a Satan, where there’s a darkness, this individual is also known as the father of lies – the deceiver.  That’s some of the names that are given to the darkness, given to the Devil, say Lucifer, whatever you want to put this person.  I’m not trying to make any connection, but this is the type of connection that lies have with evil.  What we want to do is we want to remove fear from our lives, do we not?  We want to remove fear.  We want to remove anxiety.  We want to remove pain from our lives.  So, quite often what happens is, is when people say – let’s say a good nutritionalist, or a good therapist, or a good doctor, a good friend.  Let’s say you come to me and I’m a nutritionalist.  You come to me.  And, the first thing I say is “Okay, Mike.  Give me a list of everything that you eat.”  And, you would be honest with me, and you tell me everything that you eat.  What I automatically do is start checking things off.  Okay, you can’t have this.  You can’t have this.  You can’t have this.  You can’t have this.  You can’t have this.  Is that going to work very well?

Mike:    No.  It takes something away from you.  There’s a void that leaves behind – and then you have to fill it with something. 

Jim:    Yes.  So, a good therapist, a good nutritionalist, a good doctor, a good friend will not ask you to give those things up.  However, what they will begin to do is add positives into your life.  So, when your heart is filled with darkness, when it’s full of fear – so what do we do?  We begin by adding truth.  We begin by adding good things into your life, and soon there won’t be any room for those unhealthy things, Mike.  So, if we begin to replace those things, there won’t even be a need for a void, will there?  

Mike:    No.

Jim:    As we bring the truth in, and quite often as I’ve said, telling the truth can be extremely difficult – as at times we get into a pattern of behavior where we lie to make conversation.  Have you ever lied when it was unnecessary, Mike?

Mike:    Yeah.  Sure.

Jim:    Mm-hmm.  Let’s say your wife.  Let’s say when she would call you and she would say, “Mike, when will you be home?”  And, all she wants to know is when – half an hour, an hour, two weeks, two months, never?  She just wants to know.  And, if you’re an hour away, sometimes what do we say?  20 minutes?  Or have you ever been called and someone says, “When will you be here?” and you say “I’m on my way,” and you haven’t even gotten out of bed.  That happens, does it not?  Is that being truthful?

Mike:    No.  Absolutely not.  

Jim:    Is there much of a difference between a white lie and a lie?  

Mike:    Not really.  We just look at a white lie and say well, that’s a lie that helps us.  

Jim:    So, that did not hurt, did it?

Mike:    Right.

Jim:    Oh, that didn’t hurt.  That was just a little white lie to cover things up.  So, remember, Mike, we’re like the surface of a mirror, okay.  To those with which we interact.  Remember, our behaviors, thoughts, and our speech – everyone’s a mirror.  Our behavior, thoughts, and our speech are reflected right back at us.  That’s a consideration.  And, here’s where the mindfulness comes in, Mike.  The mindfulness is where we step back and we be mindful of what we say as it could be in the future reflected back at us.  When we talk about the truth, quite often what we don’t discuss along with the truth is the value of silence.  How easy it is to engage into gossip, into scandal at the water cooler at work.  Did you know about so-and-so?  And, all these things that get caught up in the world.  A lot of noise, isn’t it?  Have you ever been at the checkout counter anywhere, and they’ve got what they call these gossip rags?  These things that they come out in these headlines and pictures and things that are obviously outrageously false.  People buy them.  They have great circulation.  Could you give me an answer for that, Mike?

Mike:    I think that it activates a part of your brain that makes you feel better.

Jim:    Absolutely.  So, what we want to do with all this is we don’t care whether it’s true or not, do we?  What we participate in is voyeurism into the world.  So, how do we begin to tell the truth?  That’s a little tough.

Mike:    A little bit at a time.  We talk about white lies.  How about a little white truth here and there?

Jim:    So, could you wish you told the truth?  Could you hope to tell the truth?  Could you wait for someday to tell the truth?  What it takes – and again and again what we talk about here, we talk about action and effort.  What the Buddha says, Mike, is there are only two mistakes one can make on the road to truth – not going all the way, and not starting.  Pretty simple stuff, isn’t it?  What we’re going to do is, we’re going to leave you today, and I’m going to give you some suggestions by a woman by the name of Natalie Edwards, and at the end of the podcast, we’ll give you the link to view it.  She’s a very excellent writer.  I enjoy her very much.  She thinks about – this is where the mindfulness comes in, before she says anything to anybody, before she speaks.  Is what I’m about to reply with true?  How often do you think about this, Mike?  Is what I’m going to say necessary?  Sometimes people get so uncomfortable with silence, do they not?  And, we feel that we need to fill it with words, or music, or sights, or sounds or images.  

Mike:    We feel like we need to fill the noise void, but we’re not worrying about the internal voice.  

Jim:    Absolutely.  That’s for sure.  So, be mindful about is what I’m going to say helpful?  Last, and most importantly, is it the truth?  If you like this podcast, if you found anything particularly meaningful, we invite – Mike and I invite comments, criticisms, anything you’d like to say – everything that you would care to talk about is very helpful to us, and we hope that we always tell the truth.  These are matters that we are going to continue to explore along our path in the present.  Until next time, Mike, once again, my friend, I shall see you soon.  

Please check out our website at FishingWithoutBait.com where you can listen to the show, comment on our discussions and find out where you can subscribe to our podcast.  Fishing Without Bait is a production of Namaste Holistic Counseling, P.C.