Aletheia and the Wondrous Search: Seeking Truth Amidst the Lies Part 1
Updated: Jun 15, 2020
As you read the title of this week's blog, where did your mind go?
Did you gravitate towards all of the unknowns in our current pandemic? Did you think about politicians or laws? Maybe society and societal expectations came to your mind? Did you suddenly have an image of Hollywood, reporters, paparazzi, or Tiger King? Or did you think about yourself and your inner truth?
As I've mentioned in the previous weeks, I've been digging a lot around archetypes. Here's a quick explanation of archetypes from a previous blogpost on archetypes: "Archetypes are universal aspects of human nature that often extend far beyond culture, race, upbringing, etc. They are characters, places, ideas, and experiences that are universally understood and accepted by human beings."
This past week, I've been thinking on the archetype of Aletheia (or Truth). I first read about Aletheia as an archetype from Kim Krans' work on archetypes. On first glance, I thought, "Well, this should be an easy archetype to work with or think on. I'm a pretty truthful individual."
Like many parents, my mom and dad worked to instill qualities of honesty, truth, and integrity into my life. And while I certainly cannot claim to have been always been honest (I think anyone even claiming that would probably be considered dishonest!), I do feel like life has gradually brought more and more truth into my viewpoint.
So this archetype should certainly be a breeze to grasp, right?
The funny thing about Truth is that it's not nearly as black-and-white as what we would like to think, and it's not as easy to find and spot as we might like. Some quick Google searches around Aletheia will lead you down a rabbit-hole of connections with the Roman goddess Veritas. Wikipedia refers to Veritas as an elusive goddess who was said to be hidden in the bottom of a holy well.
Hm... Maybe truth is not as easy to discover as what we would like to think?
And while this could be applied to the latest TV show or President Trump's latest tweets or the CDC's statistics or gossip between friends-- that's not my goal here. My goal here is to discuss how the truth within yourself is often hidden deep within a dark well of the soul, much like Veritas.
In a previous blogpost, I had discussed honoring true self with the activities in which we engage. Working with the Aletheia archetype certainly brings to mind self-expression again. And yet, I also feel like it's much deeper. It's about the truths and the lies that we tell ourselves. It's about concealing and openness, acceptance and avoidance, genuineness and masquerading.
Ask yourself: how truthful am I with myself? How much do I honor my inner truth? How truthful am I (to myself) about how I am currently doing mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually?
Notice where I placed the emphasis of this post. It's not about being truthful to those around us (which is ultimately self-expression and another blogpost in and of itself). It's about honoring the truth in yourself.
I'm not talking about a late-night confession to your partner. I'm referring to a never-ending confession to your self. Because Truth is a constant process; not a single act.
We constantly have to be on guard of lying to ourselves. Whether it is to hide from who we truly are or to avoid responsibility--- the option to lie is often more appealing than the process of telling the truth. Why? Because it gets us out of responsibility. Because it keeps us oblivious. Because it protects us from the hurtful Truth.
Digging in that deep, dark well for Truth is not always a pleasant process. But for self-growth and awareness, it is necessary. And the rewards are far-reaching. The rewards are worth it.
Digging for Truth can be as simple as actively taking care of yourself and your needs. Maybe it's admitting that going for a jog is something that you truly need amidst all of this social isolation and sheltering-at-home. Sure, it can be easier to believe the lie and let go of the responsibility. To just opt to binge on one more Netflix show or bury yourself in social media. But then you miss out on the rewards.
Or digging for Truth can be as complex as a pre-verbal knowing and honoring that. It can be listening to your intuition about the path you need to take in life. Or trusting your instincts about a toxic individual, as your internal truth screams for you to stay away from the person. Allowing yourself to feel that Truth and then honor it. Again, it might be easier to continue believing the lies. Stay in the toxic friendship. Stay on the expected, safe, easy path your life has been on for years. But again--- you miss out on the rewards.
As you can imagine, the rewards are as varied as the lies that we try to tell ourselves. In the case of going for a jog, maybe the reward is physical health or emotional health. In the case of following your true path, maybe your reward for honoring Truth is a satisfying career in a new city. In the case of a toxic relationship, the reward for honoring Truth is clearing out drama from your life and opening yourself up to a friendship that is more in alignment with what you need.
Maybe your reward will be clarity. Maybe peace. Sanity. Satisfaction. Joy. Gratitude. The life you wanted.
But the ultimate reward is the process itself: Truth.
To have truth. To know truth. To know self.