This sentence fascinated me since I was very young and it has moved me to seek and walk through many pathways and methods to get closer to this thing call “Truth”. It did not cross my mind during that time that if I really want to know what Truth is, I had to at least, know through logical reasoning, what Truth is before I could aim for it. I guess there was already a deep yearning within me, developed from past experiences that compelled me to complete the finishing line. I remember when I was a kid, probably around five years of age, I used to ask forlornly why we need to die. What’s the point coming to life with death as its end? It doesn’t seem to make sense having to come here just to die. It is like walking up a tall building where I am meant to jump down from it – just to fulfill the criteria for death. That was how I put it during that time.
It was indeed a long journey – from that moment when I started to question life and the thirst for answers that carried me to seek from one meaning to another. Since then the desire for Truth has led me to many unnecessary pathways which, upon looking back, is also part of the necessary journey for me to realize what is and what is not the direction. It was that awareness that made me realize that there is imitation in the spiritual path. I coined it as spiritual ego where the end of the journey has an inflated self rather than the meaninglessness of self.
And that comes back to the statement veritas vos liberabit – truth will set you, or rather, me free. If I were to be set free, what am I being set free from? Logically speaking, the opposite of freedom is bondage and thus it is being free from bondage. But what bondage? It is paradoxical and kind of a chicken and egg situation. If I didn’t even know there was bondage to begin with how could I expect to seek for Truth, or rather I wouldn’t even have known there is this thing call Truth!
Obviously there must be a meaning of bondage in my system that makes me look for the doorway out. And the first experience that I’ve got which makes me see bondage real is, when I came to a clear realization that impermanent nature is beyond my charge. In other words, if everything is changing rapidly, perishing the moment it arises, beyond the possible perception of the naked eyes, why am I subjected to this for no apparent reason and not get myself out from it? It is like sitting in a car moving aimlessly, forever, without me having a say in it and yet unable to get out from the car. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? And yet that is what the truth of nature is. Though I seem to be able to take charge of my day to day activities, but in reality when I come to the micro part of the system, I am being lied to thinking I could or even can be in control in the macro view.
That led me to seek a way of getting out from this crazy system of uncontrollable change, which includes “me”. I am beyond the ability to control the change in me – the whole entire body system is functioning well beyond my awareness, irrelevant whether I need to pay attention to it or not. I am not even aware of the blood flowing in my system – imagine that! And coming to the mind, I can’t even anticipate what emotion is coming up for me except to try planning for it – but could I? Can I control what thought is coming up next for me. Can I stop judging, except only to know it when it has already arisen?
So I am going to be free from that when I come to the Truth – free from the bondage of mind and body. But who is this “I” after the mind and body is being released? Would there still be an “I”? Is there a need for an “I”? Or is this “I” the one that makes me thinks that I need to be free? Is it another imitation spiritual journey, a spiritual ego in disguise? Then it dawned upon me….
Truth will set the “me” free. Not exactly me, as referring to myself, but rather the meaning of me or “I” attached to “myself”. When the meaning of “I” is being stripped from me, “I” do not exist anymore. And in that space, “something” comes into being, which the ego can never, never comprehend. It is like the analogy of the Light trying to understand what Darkness is, except to extinguish itself. “We” are “that” – beyond self.