Freedom From Our Own Opinions
"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.
Everything we see is perspective, not the truth."
Everybody has an opinion about everything these days, and most people you meet actually think that their opinions are the gospel truth. These are people who are sure that they know exactly what you should do with your life, how you should think politically, how you should act, how you should behave, and even what you should eat. Filled with their ideas about the way the world should unfold, their lives become one big moral judgment about everyone they meet and everything that happens. If by chance you disagree with one of their cherished assumptions about reality, they will gladly try and 'educate' you on the facts of their opinion; usually recommending books, articles and arguments written or expounded by people who have the same exact beliefs that they do. Come join our club, they say, cause we have it right!
And yet, if inner freedom is what we truly want in our lives, we must come to the space where we see that all opinions, especially our own, are nothing more than our minds attempt to frame reality in a way that fits comfortably with our own pre-conceived notions about the way life 'should' be unfolding. In other words, we must see that our cherished opinions are not, nor will they ever be the truth, and in fact, can keep us from actually seeing the simple truth that is right in front of our noses. After all, the Truth is beyond our opinions and beliefs about it, and always lands us right in the lap of reality, where things are the way they are, and are not the way they are not. Really nothing to argue with there, is there?
Yet the mind (the voice in our head) will insist that it can't be that simple, and begin to argue that what it believes to be 'true' must be the truth for everyone and for every circumstance it encounters. Yet, is that true? Do you actually know what is best for another human being? Do you really know the way they 'should' live? Are you God? Is anything the mind think's actually the Truth or is it just another opinion that separates us from others?
Of course the answer to those questions may reveal a lot more about us rather than about the people we judge with our opinions and beliefs. If freedom is what we want, we must be willing to see clearly that our opinions are just that; opinions, and not the Truth. A great practice can be to apply the simple question, 'Can I know this is absolutely true', to any opinion that arises. This will immediately put us in contact with the truth that is beyond all opinions. Of course, this takes great courage, and we must be ready to lay down every opinion that takes us out of the simplicity of this present moment; where everything is as it is, and isn't as it isn't.