Lojong Slogan #20: Of the Two Witnesses, Hold the Principal One

There are at least two witnesses to our lives: there is ourself, and there are others. You might say that there is us and then there are all others outside of us, or you might say that there is our deepest level of consciousness about who we are, and there is our whirling, chattering mind. Either way, the external witnesses, be they others or our own monkey mind, are a reflection of our words and deeds in the world, and we often look to them for confirmation about who we think we are.

If that reflection shows us values and actions that we like, we will be happy. If the reflection is less complimentary we may tend to blame others. But ultimately, the reflection is colored by the thoughts and opinions of others about who they think you are. It becomes either an echo chamber or a hall of shame.

But in truth, only YOU know what you are doing at any given time, what your motives are, in whose interest you are acting. The opinions, approval, or disapproval of others is the reflection of a reflection. Instead, you should hold hold (or trust) the principal voice, which is ultimately the consciousness that lies beneath what you perceive as you, beneath your likes and dislikes, your preferences, quirks, obsessions and addictions…THAT is where the truth will be found. That is where you should seek counsel. Call it God, Buddhanature, our real Self, Atman, the observer, nature, the eternal. It doesn’t matter what you call it. You know when you are home. You know what’s real. Trust that.