Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Law Beyond the Scriptures

The world of religion thrives on a judgemental mode of deliverance for its flock. The whole idea of good living is driven by what is right and what is wrong based on Vedic pronouncements, Manu Smriti, Moses Law, Islamic Shariat etc,.
Action is sequel to thought unless it is involuntary as when one faces danger. Involuntary actions are driven by our evolutionary consciousness such as survival instincts.
Thought again is conditioned by our nurturing to a large extent. This is where our morality and ethical behaviour takes root.
From early childhood we are conditioned by our parents and religious diktats as to what are perceived as right action.

A broader view was given by Buddha through his ‘Eightfold path’. Ethical conduct was prescribed through: right speech, right action and right livelihood. These three elements of conduct were preceded by right intention. This is where conditioning the mind to operate in the mode of empowerment rather than being judgemental becomes important. A robot can be programmed and controlled based on a set of instructions but man as a spiritual being needs empowerment to reach his higher potential. Each one needs an unique set of programmes based on one's own Karmic backdrop.

In the ‘Gospel of the Essenes’ an Apocryphal text, there is a beautiful saying of Jesus in response to the disciples asking him “We all do the laws of Moses, our lawgiver, even as they are written in the holy scriptures.”

And Jesus answers: "Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scripture is dead. I tell you truly, Moses received not his laws from God in writing, but through the living word. The law is living word of living God to living prophets for living men. In everything that is life is the law written. You find it in the grass, in the tree, in the river, in the mountain, in the birds of heaven, in the fishes of the sea; but seek it chiefly in yourselves. For I tell you truly, all living things are nearer to God than the scripture which is without life. God so made life and all living things that they might by the everlasting word teach the laws of the true God to man. God wrote not the laws in the pages of books, but in your heart and in your spirit. They are in your breath, your blood, your bone; in your flesh, your bowels, your eyes, your ears, and in every little part of your body. They are present in the air, in the water, in the earth, in the plants, in the sunbeams, in the depths and in the heights. They all speak to you that you may understand the tongue and the will of the living God. But you shut your eyes that you may not see, and you shut your ears that you may not hear. I tell you truly, that the scripture is the work of man, but life and all its hosts are the work of our God. Wherefore do you not listen to the words of God which are written in His works? And wherefore do you study the dead scriptures which are the work of the hands of men?"

This thought of Jesus is beautifully reflected in the words of Rumi.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I will meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other make no sense.”

………. Rumi, from The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Love to you all

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