Character is the foundation of a human being's actions. Character is what determines the course of our life, and it is also why the world wobbles the way it does, because this planet is filled with human beings who believe that making others believe we have character is the same as having it. Where we go, what we do, all of the things that we treasure are all connected with this idea that has nothing to do with real character but with forwarding what we think our character is.
What kind of character do you have? Part of character is being willing to hold up the mirror to ourselves and really take a look. But we don't want to look at ourselves because if we look in the mirror and it shows us something we don't want to see -- everything that we are, all that we have, all that we've done -- what's it going to mean? So rather than look to see what is true, we'll put the mirror aside and look instead at a thousand pictures of the way we want to see ourselves.
The essence of character is what a human being is in relationship with. Constancy for example is a quality of character. Constancy means doing one thing all the way. The man or woman without character is a creature of circumstance -- the object of whatever thought or feeling passes through them. Look honestly at yourself: Do you have a constant character, or does every circumstance determine what you are? Is what you think about determined by what other people think about?
The measure of what a person is in relationship with is that they are able to put principle before person. What are you putting first all the time? What is your principal concern? Is it to be self-loving, self-interested, self-serving? Do you care nothing for what you are in relationship with as long as it satisfies?
We are meant to go through a transfiguration on this earth, a change internally that leaves our character like nothing it was before. We are meant to rise above this present character of "me first." To do so, we must learn to put principle before person. This means putting Truth first and ourselves last. Currently we put Truth first as long as it serves us to do so. There is no character, just the search for comfort. So our new intention is to go in a straight line, to be constant to the principle of Truth instead of to ourselves.
If you want to become a different order of human being, you have inside of you a true character that yearns to break out. You aren't supposed to spend your day thinking about money or worrying about what other people are worrying about. You're not supposed to spend your days serving yourself. You are intended to spend your days sacrificing that self for the higher principle called Character or Consciousness. That means regardless of how you feel about any situation, you put the Truth first instead of yourself.
Are you willing to learn about Real Life? Are you willing to call into question everything about yourself? Are you willing to doubt your present character? Are you willing to stand upon what you see when you're willing to look at your character? Are you willing to do without what you must if you see certain things that tell you that what you are embracing is destroying everything, including your chance to be a true human being? These are the things you have to ask yourself. It isn't hard to do. What's harder is to remain a human being without character.
Your life is being frittered away. Do you want to squander it? Then put principle before person! Understand as often as you can that you need to have one first, and that first is not something determined by your self that's created in any condition of the moment. How can you put Truth first? If nothing else, every day, at least make a new aim to watch yourself, to hold up the mirror and work. Do what you can do so Truth can do what it's meant to do for you... and it will.
This article is adapted from a classroom talk.