The Truth and Suffering

The truth road sign


Are you constantly searching for the truth to help you make better sense of the world? Maybe you should take a break. Here’s why.

So often in life, the truth is the obvious thing, but it is so obvious we can’t see it. So often too, we believe that knowing the truth will somehow change things, but it won’t. The truth is simply the truth.

Dennis Merzel tells the story of a man named Mullah Nasrudin who frequently crossed the Turkish to Hungarian border with only a donkey and pack on it’s back filled with hay. The guards at the border were sure the man was smuggling something, but they were never able to find a thing. Every time Mullah crossed the border, the guards searched more thoroughly. They sifted through the hay, looked down the donkey’s throat, but never found a thing.

One day one of the old border guards, who had by now retired, walked into a bar and there was Mullah drinking and having a good time, so he decided to find out the answer to the mystery.  He went up to Nasrudin and said, “For fifteen years you have had us bewildered. We know you have been smuggling. Now listen, I am no longer on the border patrol. I give you my word of honor that I will not turn you in, but for my peace of mind, you must tell me, what in the world were you smuggling?’ ‘Donkeys!’ Mullah replied.”

The truth is often so obvious if we simply quiet our mind, catch our breath, and observe. We search for truth sometimes for the wrong reasons –  in an attempt to understand why we are experiencing emotional pain. We consult coaches, psychologists, holy ones, and even psychics and astrologers to learn the truth in the present and to tell us about the future.

We want to know why our friends, lovers, family, workmates, and neighbors do what they do and not what we want them to do. Yes, why do people do what they do? But knowing the truth won’t change a thing.  Everything is just what it is. Mountains are mountains, birds are birds, and flowers are flowers. Mary is Mary and Tom is Tom. People are who they are and they’re not going to be anything else.

The truth is that we can accept what is and relax or conversely we can fight what is and make ourselves miserable. It’s your resistance to what is that causes your suffering. It’s your choice.



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