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The Way I Operate


The Essays of Brother Anonymous
Spiritual Essays

There have been some interesting conversations offline which have me wish to share some comments. They will come out in a tumble.

I want to tell you that I’m not personally moved to express that which is only positive or negative. I’m moved to express that which is true.

I remember saying some months ago that, if we seek out that which is positive to the exclusion of that which is negative, we may miss the truth. And vice versa.

That may look strange at times because it will mean that one moment I’m supporting what looks like a “conspiracy theory” (say, 9/11 was an inside job) and the next moment I’m opposing what looks like another conspiracy theory. The question is not support or lack of support for conspiracy theories. The question is: What is the truth?

Someone was asking the other day why I didn’t finish my dissertation and why I didn’t want to teach at a university.

The answer is because the people I saw around me didn’t seem interested in the truth.

I’m not seeking a place in the faculty club or a cell in a monastery. There’s no guarantee of finding the truth in either place. If either secular or religious people were set against the truth, I would feel no draw to either setting.

And what about evaluating what is true?

In relative reality, I won’t always know what the truth of a situation is. I’ve been wrong more times than I care to recall.

If I seldom know the truth, then what do I steer by? I steer by what is credible – possible, plausible, probable. I steer by what is reasonable, congruent, knowable. I steer by what is corroborated and verifiable.

Not just in this paradigm of “empirical materialism” that dominates the school, university, hospital, and most other institutions. I don’t accept what I can see, hear and touch.

I accept the evidence of the spirit and of the galactics – if it is credible.

And when I communicate, I don’t refrain from telling you that what I accept is an article of faith or a belief, even though these are not “true,” so to speak.

Instead, what I concentrate on is to give you the status of my knowledge. “This is something I heard from Joe.” “This is something I believe to be true.” “This is what I feel.” “This is what I saw with my own eyes.”

What is true is the status of the statement made – a feeling, a thought, a belief, a certain knowing. What is true is the weight given to something – this thing is plausible, that thing probable, and this other one only possible.

I use these tools to guide me to decide whether to accept or reject something and how to communicate it to you. I cannot research every single thing I come across. But I can tell you that this is something that I’ve heard, whose truth value I do not know.

And I can tell you that this is something someone said to me several years ago, whose accuracy I cannot vouch for but which I have always found to be food for thought. I can tell you the status of my knowledge – hearsay, belief, article of faith.

This is what I aim for in what I let into my mind and what I let out of it. This is the way I operate.

Going forward in this way, I hope to protect my integrity and yours. I hope to remain as close to the truth as possible in this moment and, over time, to get closer and closer to it.




The Essays of Brother Anonymous
Spiritual Essays