The Emperor’s Clothes – Abandon Desire and find Truth

Do we Hide the Truth from Ourselves?

Abandon Deisire, Find TruthThink of the childhood story of the emperor and his new clothes. Those tailors saw his need to be “special” and used it to sell him a lie. They told him their magical clothing would make him special.

Like that emperor, you bought a similar lie, the one that tells you that you are incomplete, and because you did buy it, you feel a hunger. Needing, then, became a fundamental belief. It became so sacred that even the suggestion that it is an addiction brings out your fear and defensiveness.

What is wrong with needing love, needing attention, you ask? What is bad about needing to feel special? Who would deprive others of such pleasures.  We love the famous for needing big dollops of it, the rich for hording it, and the gifted for their inheritance of it.

Abandon Disire, Find TruthYet what a trap such needing is. It never occurs to you that the belief is wrong. Like the Chinese finger puzzle it ensnares you the more you resist it. Thus the belief that you do want and do crave and do feel lack, is reinforced the more you look for it.

How do you make sense of such a fairy tale? It is quite simple. Those tailors represent that inner voice telling you that you are not whole, not complete. It is the voice that says you need love, attention, approval. It constantly tells you that you do not have enough of anything. Its voice keeps urging you to search in the world in order to fulfill those needs. It is a false belief that love, acceptance, approval, agreement, companionship, security, and all the other forms of addictive pleasures, can be sated by the world.

So with a bit of observation, you can see that the liars are the beliefs you hold – beliefs you spin into protective outerwear. They represent the invisible cloth of your life. When the emperor in you walks down the street, proud of its “specialness,” you feel momentarily sated and agree with the lie.

By wearing such wondrous robes, you tell yourself your specialness is assured. The lie and your collusion only becomes obvious when you begin to practice watching your thoughts, meditating, or sorting through the beliefs that you once held to be true. When you do, doubt rises up about your dear and beloved beliefs. The outer world begins to make you feel a little chilly, whereas the inner begins to reveal your completion.

Discover your personal elite tailors spinning their magical cloth.

I found many in my life. Perhaps your “special cloth” is made of such things as money, status, your body’s abilities or its intelligence, your popularity, your challenging past, or survival of some grave illness or event. Perhaps like the emperor in the fable, you too look for acceptance and love from the world. Yet where is your security when change happens? How will it protect you when your savings vanish, your beloveds die, natural disasters occur, or you become ill? Where is your peace, your joy, your power, your love truly found?

The great innocent Teachers who stride across time to point at your nakedness, can see the truth of who you are. Unlike your mistaken inner emperor, they do not laugh at you, rather they shine a light on the folly. It takes the unfettered mind of the child to see through the farce. The practice of “Watching the Mind,”* frees you of the illusions. It will teach you to take nourishment from within.

It takes the innocent, unattached acceptance of “what is” to meet, examine, and realize that this is the truth. Those who look within and know wholeness can only see wholeness in you. You are supremely naked to them. They know the truth of you.

Consider beginning to free yourself by taking up the practice of watching your thoughts. Consider befriending “what is.” Such stances offer a razor sharp focus. They slice through any ruse you hold. They slice away the illusion of neediness. They help you wake up and become self-honest. What should be, what you want to be, and that which you resist, dissolve in your mind’s clear light.

“What is” draws you inward to where your true satiation resides. It shines out as ever unfolding, ever fulfilling, ever reflecting wholeness. This is the stance that spirals you naturally to the pinnacle of freedom. Silence the tailors, educate the emperor and discover your innocence.

Peace to you.

*(“Watching the Mind” is a meditation exercise in my book At Your Heart’s Pace.)

About ellen

Ellen Sutherland shares her work through her sites:, and her book: "At Your Heart's Pace",
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