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Namah Journal

Integral health

Living truly

James Anderson


Living truly is the need of the hour. It is the aim of all life. The reign of Truth is decreed. When we collaborate with it, ultimately only health can flourish.

The two most important moments of our life, I have heard, are when one is born and when one finds out why. As soon as we sincerely look for the answer, we begin to expand and grow. The aim of human life, in Indian thought, is to find one’s svadharma, our unique inner law and mission and to attain this goal depends on realisation of svabhāva, our own true nature. We all have a specific role to play in the cosmic work. It is not so much what we do as what we are. The aim of life is to be and live our Truth.

So anyone who learns to live truly will find the solution to this troubled human play. Living is always learning because there are so many obstructions that have to be cleared out of the way. It is a practice and an art. The Truth is our natural state, it is what we all are in essence, but conditioning makes it sometimes very difficult to recover. From the beginning of life, man dredges and absorbs every conceivable influence, both good and bad. These pressures arise through atavism, upbringing, education and a mass of other social constructs. By them and his attachment to the past his frontal personality is shaped and in this superficial environment, the human ego breeds and thrives. So much of what we do and what we are is borrowed. Initially, it is not easy to candidly look at ourselves and lay a finger on what is true and what is false. With the common attitude, negative influences translate into false habits which can erode health. Living our Truth, on the other hand, reverses the pattern, providing the key to happiness and total well-being. Surrendering to it provides the ultimate freedom. In the end, we find that superficial afflictions will only strengthen this poise. Ultimately, the Truth is inimical to any ill-health although illness can often become a shortcut to this supreme state. It depends how we use it. The Truth is constantly pointing to a greater harmony and higher perfection. This is why the Truth is the cornerstone of all Integral Health.

Experience has shown me that once one commits, a Higher Force gradually intervenes and takes control. Synchronicity unfolds as one edges closer to the goal. But, like a seed, the Truth needs to be protected, nourished and nurtured. It is essential to ring-fence it from false influences. It comes forward with our consciousness, care and attention. We find ourselves constantly clearing away the debris of our nature. With our collaboration, it makes our passage through lifetime one of sublime joy.

The first step is probably the most critical. One decides to find and unite with the Psychic Being. This is the individual embodiment of the Truth. It is the Divine Person, the evolving soul, implanted in the individual and located behind the heart centre. Rather than the superficial nature, it is essentially what makes each one of us unique. It is the personal generator behind our evolution. To open every part of our being to its influence is the work of yoga.

Like a seed, the Truth is actually implanted in every feature of terrestrial existence. The process of evolution is the sprouting and flowering of this seed into its endless forms. Evolution is prolonged alchemy. The process may take many incarnations, but each is offered the opportunity to realise the Truth in this very life.

Working with Truth

But what does this living truly actually entail? What does it mean to install the truth in one’s being? I give two examples but, as far as I’m concerned, the principle is always the same. It is only about turning wrong movements to right. It is a simple process of realignment. I say ‘simple’ because it’s easy to grasp but to practise it is a true work of art. First, let’s take a common happening which might occur many times in a day. These incidents have a way of burrowing at the very roots of our nature. One might, for instance, find oneself upset or irritated at another’s behaviour. Something in the being recoils from the conduct and instantaneously imbalance arises inside. It’s as if a whole chain reaction has been secretly invited. Perhaps something is working from behind the scene because the ‘offender’ is holding up a mirror and showing me what is going on inside.

The second example comes from the opposite side of the spectrum. A ray of light may descend; inspiration may dawn on the heart and mind. It is a divine movement. It brings a feeling of exultation. But something in the vital nature wants to ‘own’ this vibration. One feels chosen and very special. I have experienced this reaction time and again. There is impatience in its demands. It falsifies and distorts, leaving an ugly vibration in the body.

In both instances, what happens next depends on the state of consciousness. If a part of us is present, connected and alert, one tends to automatically respond in a true way. In fact it may never arise! One becomes conscious of the exact spot on the body where any disorder is rising. By being present in space and time, the vibration is ‘caught’ at the very moment it arises and can be offered to the Supreme. It becomes automatic. The vibration is given no chance to settle. One sees why the distortion has come: that is the cure. Simultaneously, the negativity disappears in a flash; it is caught in the ‘now’. All its power is expended.

With enquiry, we become aware of how these states of imbalance damage the body. Everything surfaces there, which is why the physical is such a good indicator to what is happening inside. Any mark will be recorded in its consciousness, leaving always an imprint of pain. It lays a platform for bitterness, distrust and fatigue; it ultimately makes our nature pallid and grey. The cumulative effect will erode our well-being. It is ego and it needs to be seen as such. The Truth is the safest armour as long as one is seated inside the psychic being. Truth resonates with knowledge: they both strive for harmony and order. They work together in a very dynamic way. When one is connected with one’s Truth, a gateway to knowledge opens. This is the foundation to all understanding. Knowledge is the executive force and everything it touches spontaneously heals:

“For knowledge, when it goes to the root of our troubles, has in itself a marvellous healing-power as it were. As soon as you touch the quick of the trouble, as soon as you, diving down and down, get at what really ails you, the pain disappears as though by a miracle (1).”

I feel this is a condition for living truly: being attentive and alive to anything that might transgress this vibration. It is not so easy; it necessitates a ‘round-the-clock’ awareness. It requires considerable practice and patience. We are only students. It is a powerful course for the ‘here and now’. This, for me, is what true practice or sādhanā is all about. That is why I pray that it can become automatic. This is yoga in action, infusing this unique vibration into all our being and living it. The only necessity is to observe.

If one wants to be whole, this Truth needs to be integrated over the entire being; there are no piecemeal solutions. Nature’s members choose their abode and some will be found closer to the soul than others. It is this separation from the soul which brings falsehood and falsehood in the body will invariably result in disease. Often we might notice the different sides of our nature in a state of friction but when we enquire through the eyes of the soul they become always one. This is only what they are in essence. Truth brings homogeneity and is what makes everything one. When the microcosm is one it lays a tiny platform for the manifestation to become one. The individual is the pathfinder of all evolution.

The need of the times

Truly, there is a unique spark which lies at the depths of all things. It waits for the right conditions to come forward. Right now, the eye of evolution is turning on matter. The body is the crucible of Truth and beneath a thick crust of inertia awaits its secret divinity. Living truly is the need of the times. Its blossoming upon terrestrial existence is decreed. The Truth is dynamic and governs every process unwinding in the universe. Anything false will one day be obliterated. When we resonate with the Truth we fulfil our dharma and collaborate with the Divine Work. We find a way to live in freedom and harmony. Surely there can be no greater health than this.


1. Sri Aurobindo. Birth Centenary Library, Volume 24. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust; 1970, p. 1374.

James Anderson is a member of SAIIIHR and coordinating editor of NAMAH.

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A ray of light