Intensity is not truth

July 9, 2017

A friend of mine — who is a master of Kundalini yoga and meditation — once said this to me when we were having a conversation about mental health. While discussing what people find important in life, we explored how being passionate can influence our thoughts. Ever since, I have regularly returned to this statement and contemplated its implications.The truth is one of two options: based on facts or based on experiences.

Often, the most intense voices are the loudest… but this doesn’t mean that they are the most truthful. When we feel passionate about something, we tend to believe it is fact. This creates a biased experience. Emotions can be swayed in this way, too. When we feel love or anger or worry so strongly, we implicitly trust that it is authentic and valid. Because we feel it so deeply, it must be true. Again, I can affirm: an intense feeling does not make it real.

So, how do we learn to rationalize our thoughts to process them in a healthy manner? To start with, think of something you feel passionate about. What makes it so important to you? What are you hoping to achieve or obtain out of this passion? By asking yourself these questions and answering them honestly, you can start to ground yourself. Eventually, you will find the truth you are seeking in the purest sense.

Here are some daily life examples that might help you in this process:

•   At the early stages of a relationship, you feel a deep level of infatuation very quickly. Swept off your feet and enraptured by your object of desire, you conclude, “I must be in love with this person!” In these vulnerable days of a new relationship, you might mistakenly believe that you love your new companion. What you are feeling might actually be the intensity of the experience, sparked by passion, which hinders you from truthful thoughts.

•   You feel angry with your partner. You feel as if they don’t appreciate you. In the midst of an argument, you feel heated — and you know, inherently, that what you feel must be true simply because you feel it. You must pause to consider if what you are feeling is actually true or a fabrication based on bias. With this information, you can ask yourself what you are hoping to accomplish by confronting your partner. By being honest with yourself, you will have a clear mind to reach a rational conclusion.

•   Despite being in a long-term relationship, you find yourself making a connection with someone at work. You think, “Wow, this is much more fulfilling than what I have with my current partner.” Like a moth to a flame, you are drawn to this person. Similar to the first example, what you might actually be experiencing is the intensity of something new and different. It is not the other person you are attracted to; it is the excitement of something (in this case, someone) new in your life.

In order to reach your inner truth, it is vital to practice some exercises. You need to ground yourself by whatever means necessary before you are even able to ask yourself the questions mentioned above, let alone answer them truthfully. Simple acts like drinking water and walking on grass with bare feet are both good first steps, but I also implore you to meditate. This will help you to stabilize your mind, allowing you to connect with your soul-consciousness.

Here are a few great meditations that should guide you towards clarity:

•   Meditation for Protection and Projection
•   Meditation for Balance
•   Ganpati
•   8/8 Segmented Breathing

By practicing these meditations, you can start to learn about your own intensity and how it shapes your life. I encourage you to share how they worked for you and what you were able to discover about yourself.