One of the things I’ve appreciated about Jainism is the freedom I get from it. If I wanted to I can strip naked and walk down Main Street without caring that people are seeing me in the raw. Of course, I’ll get arrested and placed on a sexual deviant list, but at least the embarrassment won’t bother me.
That was an extreme analogy about freedom, of course, but what I’m actually referring to are keeping and holding secrets like they were flawless diamonds. I’m learning to be transparent and not be tied down by secrets. Just watching what I have to say, and being careful to whom I speak those truths, will just make me feel like I’m going to burst into flames. Secrets feel like an additional weight around my ankles. They lock me in place and limits my movements to the point I’m purposelessly creating my own prison. Plus, in the end, it doesn’t matter how many secrets I harbor anyway. They won’t keep me from dying.
The second of the five Great Vow of Jainism is satya – truth. Speak the truth always unless to do so will harm someone or others. That’s a fairly tricky proposition to me because I don’t know what will harm someone or others. It’s not like truth is a knife although it cuts like one. But If I’m not bound by secrets I’ll sleep better, avoid needless ulcers, and according to Jainism, free myself of the karma that binds to ones soul that prevents the continuous cycle of life and death. Metaphysics aside, having no secrets is one less burden on my shoulders. I’d rather be free. I’d rather not be forced to look over my shoulder constantly or wonder what someone is thinking. I think I can be better than that.