Saturday, August 16, 2014

To Everyone His Own Path

"God has not bound man's salvation to any special mode.
Whatever has one mode has not another, but God has endowed all good ways with effectiveness and denied this to no good way. For one good does not conflict with another good. And so people should observe that they do wrong if they see or hear of a good man, and because he does not follow their way they consider it is all wasted. If they don't like people's ways they disregard their good way and good intent, which is not right. We should have more regard to other people's way, when they have true devotion, and not scorn anybody's way.
Let every man keep to his own good way and include all ways in it, and take up in his way all goodness and all ways. To change one's way makes for instability of mind as well as of way. Whatever you can get from one way you can also obtain from another if it is good and praiseworthy and mindful only of God: but not all men can follow one path." ............................Meister Eckhart, The Complete Mystical Works

A proclamation so potent and so radical that it begs a deeper look and contextual understanding given that the mysticism of Eckhart is in a time period of absolute intolerance to any dogmatic doctrinal deviation even by the slightest margin. The deep spirituality of Meister Eckhart is evident from his own inner experience from which there is an out pouring of this wisdom. He has undertaken a personal journey of inner discovery in which he comprehends human nature in all its raw vulnerabilities. The intricate structure of the human body, mind and soul matrix as a composite multidimensional structure which has infinite possibilities of comprehension and perception reflecting the very vastness and infinitude of the Universe.

The universal nature of goodness that is present in human nature, in its creation in the image of God, has to be grasped transcending the narrow domains of judgemental and self oriented reference plane. One's own grasping of truth is a personal  resource which is derived from one's own nature and nurture and cannot be applied as an universal standard. The fallacy of judgement results from a purely mental or intellectual mode of operation. The deep seated intelligence of the heart through which many mystics and sages where able to appreciate the infinitude of paths available to humanity to transcend the sensory world is needed in our journey of Self discovery.

As an old Sufi proverb says "There are as many paths to God as there are souls on earth."
The words of Jesus also reflects this underlying message. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." ................Matthew 5:8

The lone journey is always difficult for many as we are likely to be plagued by doubts arising from the mind and our rationalizing consciousness with the constant assault of imposed conformity to socio-political and religious norms needed for the worldly life. It is when one withdraws into his own inner self and uses the heart intelligence that we can shut out the clamour of distracting signals of the mind and plunge to the very depth of the fathomless well of spiritual wisdom and drink deeply the knowledge of universality through which the entire creation is woven with Divine nature.

This is the reason why Dr. Michio Kaku, the contemporary Cosmologist and a great teacher says: "With all the pious, party line mantras infiltrating public discourse, it's become harder to be a truly "critical" thinker by which is meant "a disinterested endeavour to learn and propagate the best that is known and thought in the world." Yes, defining "the best that is known and thought" is a fraught venture, but it's better to aim high than to submit to indoctrination."

There is a concerted effort in many temples of learning and institutions  to move towards an integral approach so that nothing given is accepted without a critical and intuitive analysis not only at the mental level but also at a deeper consciousness level.

As nothing is sacrosanct in the field of science and every theory and hypothesis is subjected to challenge and refutation, science made quantum jumps is advancing our knowledge of the cosmos. Through this process we have been able probe deeper material reality both at the macro and the micro scale. This very process can also be applied in matters dealing with Self realization. A slow process of conjectures and refutations. This process is open ended and there are no definitive diktats or dogmas.

Let me close with the wise words of the Buddha:
"O monks, do not accept my words out of reverence for me; but examine them on the touchstone of your reason in the same way as the goldsmith tests the purity of gold by putting it on fire"

Love to you all.

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