"I am the way
And the truth
And the life.” John 14:6
“The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
"I have the answer for you." (Some false guru somewhere)
The. The is the most powerful word.
The way instead of a way.
The truth instead of a truth.
The path instead of a path.
This word is also a word, the word, that can take away from other words. Most of us use The way too much in our written word. (The) Use of the can make us lazy writers --- instead of describing something like sun on a lake, we may write: the sun sparkled on the lake. (Sun bounced off water like secrets).
In my spiritual and contemplative practices I am challenging the use of The (the way, the path, the truth). I see it more as a tool to manipulate spiritual seekers. I am diving into some historical context around use of the word the, as in The Way, The Truth, The Toa and as in, Jesus is The Way . . . . Plenty of psychological scams claim to be the way as well. And too many teachers and gurus consider themselves expression of the one and only way.
I am certain that something went amiss here in recording Jesus’s words. I imagine that either the recorders were convinced that this was the way (for them at least), and some were further convinced that claiming their truth as the truth would make for a more powerful and likely conversion experience. And, in the case of using this word to convince others that other ways are wrong, makes the use of this word a simple fear tactic.
So, I go about my writing and my living challenging the application of the. We shall see what I discover.
I will be off-grid starting tomorrow. I head into a meditation retreat at Kevala Retreat Center till Monday, taught by a most wonderful teacher, Santikaro. I will practice leaving my “the’s” behind.
And find a way for now.