Getting to Know Ourself: Where is Untruth Hiding?

Part 2 (of 3)

The work of self-knowing involves uncovering aspects of ourselves we don’t yet know about. We can liken this work to prying open an old can of paint. We need to go all around the edges, slowly loosening and releasing every side, until the all the untruth we’re holding lets go and comes out.

Why should we bother? What’s in it for us? Simply put, we can always link untruth with disharmony. So if we want to live in peace, we must uncover untruth wherever it lies.

We must uncover untruth by looking within.

To do this kind of excavating, we will need to engage the use of our ego. For the ego is the part of ourselves we have direct access to. It decides which way to turn. And the first truth we must turn our ego’s attention to is this: Behind every outer disharmony in our lives, there is an untruth living inside us. And until we find it and unwind, it will continue to shake us from within.

Let’s hit a few of the high points of embarking on a journey to find our hidden untruths. For they hold the missing links that lay behind any and all unhappiness in our lives.

Untruth at the Level of the Ego

There are several places to go looking for untruth. One is at the level of the ego. The other is our layer of darkness or negativity, which we can call the Lower Self. Both parts—the ego and the Lower Self—are trapped in duality, and therefore hold an essential untruth. But untruth shows up differently in each.

When we see the whole truth, our whole self can relax.

For the ego, the problem is one of design. Simply put, the ego is not designed to be in charge. It does not have any depth of its own, lacking as it is in both inspiration and creativity. It also does not have a renewable source of energy, which is something only our Higher Self has access to. To live primarily from our ego, then, is to lack a connection with the source of all that is. And this is exhausting.

To be fair, the ego has many important jobs to do. But being able to identify truth from untruth is not one them. Indeed, the ego struggles to see the whole truth about any situation. Yet when we see the whole truth, our whole self can relax. For truth, as we all know, sets us free.

But truth is huge. Truth is big enough, in fact, to encompass both ends of every spectrum. To hold the whole truth about anything, then, requires the ability to hold opposites. And this the ego cannot do.

The ability to hold opposites rests in the domain of the Higher Self.

So for starters, the ego must wake up to this realization that it has limitations. Then the ego must let go of itself as being the center of the universe. At the same time, the ego must learn to align with the greater wisdom that resides at our center of our being. For that’s where our Higher Self lives, in our solar plexus. To let go of our ego and live from our Higher Self, then, is to surrender to the divine within.  

Our Egos Reside in Duality

Due to the limitations of our ego, when we’re living from this part of ourselves alone, we must split everything down the middle: It’s either good or bad, right or wrong, black or white, me or you. Then we attempt to live life from this single-sided vantage point. For example, from the position of the ego, “it’s either me or you, and I’m going to win.”

The ego is susceptible to untruths, especially if the untruths support a me-versus-them way of seeing the world.

As a result, the ego cannot comprehend that what I have doesn’t take anything away from you, and what you have doesn’t take anything away from me. It is only by letting go of our ego and living from our Higher Self that we can discover that there is another plane of existence on which the rules of either-or thinking don’t hold.

A Tell: One of the tells that we are living largely from our egos is that we must rely on outer rules. Rules are what allow societies to function, keeping everyone, more or less, on the road. For left to follow their own ego and Lower Self, many would drive their lives directly into a ditch.

Given all the people who still over-identify with their egos, if not their Lower Selves, rules act to keep us safe from each other, given that so many people are not able to discern the truth for themselves. As such, the ego is susceptible to untruths, especially if the untruths support a me-versus-them way of seeing the world.

Letting Go of the Ego

The work of waking up involves waking up to the realization that our ego is a limited part of ourselves. From there, we need to leverage our ego to find and live from our Higher Self, or inner divine self. But if we try to let go of our ego and live from our Higher Self before doing our self-healing work, we will run directly into our Lower Self.

To believe it’s possible to live only one half of any duality is to be caught in illusion.

When we are facing our Lower Self, one of the untruths we must surface is the fundamental notion we can avoid pain and only have pleasure. If this were true, we’d all be very happy. For every single person who experiences pain in childhood—ahem, all of us—tries to turn off those feelings of pain by freezing them.

What we failed to realize is that it’s not possible to avoid bad feelings and still get to enjoy good feelings. For life is made up of both the good and the bad. To believe it’s possible to live only one half of any duality is to be caught in illusion. As such, this may be a hard truth to accept: If we want to experience pleasure, we must become willing to feel pain.

What stops us from accepting this truth? Another untruth: the belief that pain will kill us. This erroneous understanding gets created in childhood. Because children are only able to see the world in duality. So pain is likened to death and pleasure to life. What we don’t yet realize as children is that both pain and pleasure are part of life.

Finding the Way Out

It was our inability to endure pain as children that understandably caused us to cut off painful feelings. As a result, those stuck feelings are now frozen blocks of energy in our system. Then, to avoid more pain, we formulated conclusions about life that we believed would keep us safe. But these wrong conclusions were created using the limited logic of a child, and therefore are not in truth.

By now, these untruths, or misunderstandings about life—what the Pathwork Guide calls “images”—have sunk into our unconscious where our conscious ego mind can longer see them. From there, they wreak havoc on our world. Because our hidden beliefs attract people and situations to us that are a match from them. Yet they’re not in truth, so they create conflict.

It’s our own layer of inner negativity that’s blocking the truth.

A Tell: We will know we are living from our Lower Self when we witness our immature behavior. We behave immaturely because our feelings weren’t allowed to grow up, and they are now stuck in our system. On top of that, there are buried untruthful beliefs associated with those wounds. Together, our stuck old feelings and our mistaken beliefs about life affect the way we behave. Yet we can’t see how we are contributing to our problems in life.

All this, we must unearth and unwind.  

The way out is for our ego to take an active role in listening to the truth that is resting at the center of our being. The problem is that we are not yet able to hear that truth. And it’s our own layer of inner negativity that’s blocking it.

How then do we go about clearing away what obstructs our inner truth? By getting to know what untruth we’re currently holding.

Healing is Natural, Yet We Often Need Help

Over time, the negativity in our psyche will eventually show up on the physical level in the form of sickness in our body. Illness, then, is often a sign pointing to something in us that is out of alignment with truth. So as always, to find the source of our troubles, that’s where we must look: inside ourselves.

Consider that when the body gets hurt, it immediately begins to try to heal itself. For example, if we damage our skin, our blood starts to clot and white blood cells travel to the area to start the healing process. Bones too automatically start to mend themselves. At the same time, we also typically reach out to people in the health care community to help us heal.

Healing is a natural process that isn’t going to go away because we ignore it.

Those who are healers—both medical doctors and nurses, as well as more holistic healthcare providers—must have training to identify our physical problems and offer remedies that can help us recover. All around the world, there are medical communities filled with people who are willing to try to help us.

Healing at the level of our psyche works much the same. Our hidden stuck feelings and mistaken beliefs will continually draw difficult situations to us so that we identify the true cause of the disturbance and heal it. As with the body, this is a natural process that isn’t going to go away because we ignore it.

So when there is a disturbance in our life, we must find the root cause of the problem. Because the source of our disharmonies always originates within us. If this weren’t true, we would have to fix the outer world in order to find peace. And changing the outside world is beyond our control. The good news is that we have it within our power to resolve all the problems in our world by looking within.

The bigger problem is that we can’t see what we’ve been hiding. We can’t see what we’ve been avoiding because we have been looking away from our negativity for so long. Blaming others and claiming to be a victim are classic go-to moves for avoiding looking at ourselves. But if we will turn and face our problems, we’ll find them to be giant arrows pointing to the inner trouble. We don’t yet know, however, how to interpret these signs.

This means we are going to need to ask others to help us.

Next time, we’ll look more closely at the role of a healer or Helper in guiding us. What do they have that we don’t?

–Jill Loree

Learn more (read chapters online with membership):

Read the Entire 3-Part Series

One | MINDING THE GAP: What Stops Us From Being Happy?
Two | GETTING TO KNOW OURSELF: Where is Untruth Hiding?
Three | HEALING BY OPENING UP: Why Do We Tell Stories?

Read Original Pathwork Lectures

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