O Lord, thou has searched me out and known me.
— Psalm 139
Relying on our intuition when reading the essay entitled Of Truth by Francis Bacon (1561-1626) we can make some significant connections between the principles that Bacon espoused and those of Simple Reality suggesting that Bacon was a bit of a mystic—but then aren’t we all?
Speaking of the “lie” (the illusion of P-B) Bacon correctly identifies the source of human suffering. “But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in and settleth in it, that doth the hurt … these things are thus in men’s depraved judgments and affections.”[i] The deep-seated belief that P-B is “real,” results in the hellish experiences which are all too common for the inhabitants of the global village.
Using Insight (Vipassana) Meditation to attain the Great Insight of Oneness or P-A establishes the worldview that begins our transformation, our attainment of a new identity. Bacon understood the importance of seeking a Higher Truth even though he did not know how to go about it. “[And] yet truth, which only doth judge itself, teacheth that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making or wooing of it [which leads to] the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it.”[ii] Bacon understood that the experience of being in the NOW or the experience of “feeling” is our natural state.
In his essay, Of Great Place, Bacon intuits how seeking the illusion of power can ironically leave us powerless. “It is a strange desire, to seek power and to lose liberty; or to seek power over others and to lose power over a man’s self.”[iii] In the same paragraph he adds another component of the human false self, the need for affection and esteem, as a source of suffering. “Certainly great persons had need to borrow other men’s opinions, to think themselves happy; for if they judge by their own feeling, they cannot find it; but if they think with themselves what other men think of them, and that other men would fain be as they are, then they are happy when perhaps they find the contrary within.”[iv] Indeed, it is that “sick” feeling within that sounds the alarm that all is not well with our outward behavior.
Having learned how to choose response over reaction in everyday life, we make our life a meditation, every day, all day, leading to the shift from P-B to P-A and final liberation. Embracing new beliefs, attitudes and values leads to replacing afflictive emotions with feeling, fear with compassion, “leading to the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it.”[v]
And this is the payoff of making the choice to stop fueling the fires of the false-self energy center, by refusing reaction, letting our habitual conditioning die leaving us free and at peace. Bacon was on the right track, and we have only to complete the process that he advocated.
[i] Lieder, Paul Robert. British Prose and Poetry, Volume I. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1950, page 449.
[iii] Ibid., page 454.
[v] Ibid., page 449.
Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry.