remember


There are practically no athiests among traditional farmers, even in England –a country whose main “intellectual” export right now is atheism. Also in a country like France, which is known for its secularism, where only 11% of people go to church and 40% of people are agnostics and atheists, if you were to go to the French countryside and talk to a farmer who produces that wonderful French cheese you eat for lunch, there are hardly any athiests among them. To do something that is close to God’s world is to participate in a sense in things which are natural, and thereby to circumvent the illusion of the absence of God which the modern world has created, an illusion upon which the modern world is based.

–Seyyed Hossein Nasr

The process of secularization of the microcosm resulted in one impoverishment after another of the human reality. First, the depletion of the angelic content of the microcosm helped transform the three dimensional traditional man into the two dimensional modern man. Since traditional psychology is closely related to angelology the transformation resulted in the disappearance of the idea of the soul from modern science wheras its reality at various ontological levels was affirmed in the traditional sciences. Not only that, the soul served as a key scientific concept in traditional sciences. For example, in Islamic science, we encounter the development of scientific concepts of plant, animal, rational and even universal souls. Second, the human reality became further reduced when two-dimensional man comprising body and mind was transformed into a living organism with a mechanistic body and mind largely determined by the brain. Mechanization of the human body was only one side of the coin of mechanization of the cosmos, the other being the better known mechanization of the macrocosm. The reduction of human reality reached its extreme end when every aspect and dimension of it, including consciousness, is visualized as being entirely determined by matter and physical processes.

–Osman Bakar (From secular science to sacred science: The need for a transformation, sacred web 33)

The traditional man is defined by its three essential components, namely body, soul and spirit. In the constitution of modern man the combined reality of soul and spirit has shrunk to what is called mind, a fused reality without a sacred meaning and significance.
image

If this metaphysical space is to be known,

such knowledge can be attained only by faith and grace,

not by ‘entering’ but by ‘being entered’

-this is so because the greater must reveal itself to the lesser.

Put differently, that which is immanently ‘Spirit’ can only be known receptively,

through its own intellective vision, and not any derivative faculty such as reason,

feeling or sensation. Reason can only discern conceptually,

at best reducing reality to a dualism of subject and object

(as in the case of Descartes) or catagorical postulate

(as in the case of Kant) or dialectic process

(as in the case of Hegel) – its ‘telos’ will tend to be utopian(as in the case of Marx),

fundamentalist( as in the cases of religious, political or secular dogmatism)

or anthropocentrically consencual (as in the case of Rousseau’s social contract);

while sensation or feeling even where elevated to

the level of empirical ‘science,’ can only discern reality as matter or as psyche,

quantitatively, thereby cutting it off from its transcendent

and qualitative roots, leading to an emphasis on hypertrophic subjectivism

(as in the case of Nietzsche), Psychologism(as in the case of Freud),

or reductive positivism(as in the cases of philosophical positivism and of scientism).

That which transcends us cannot be known reductively

but only by that transcendent faculty which is immanent in us-which in

Tradition is termed the ‘Intellect’

or the Self-knowing Spirit. To know is to discern BEING.

We must empty ourselves or our ‘self’ in order to know who we ARE.

We must return to the sacred emptiness of the space that is our

ontological core in order to know that which truly IS.

–M Ali Lakhani (the Distance between us, found in Sacred Web issue 31)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chewton_Mendip Church of St Mary Magdalene, Chewton Mendip

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chewton_Mendip
Church of St Mary Magdalene, Chewton Mendip

In the Western world, a strong belief in the objective truths of religion, which are viewed as incontrovertible, demonstrable facts, is regarded as essential to the life of faith. When asking if somebody is religious, peo- ple often inquire: “Does he or she believe?” as though accepting certain credal propositions was the prime religious activity. Indeed, faith is equated with belief, but this equation is of recent provenance. Origi- nally the meaning of the word faith was akin to trust, as when we say that we have faith in a friend or an ideal. Faith was not an intellectual position but a virtue: it was the careful cultivation, by means of the ritu- als and myths of religion, of the conviction that, despite all the dispirit- ing evidence to the contrary, life had some ultimate meaning and value. The Latin word credo (translated now as “I believe”) seems to have de- rived from the phrase cor dare: to give one’s heart. The Middle English word beleven meant to love. When Christians proclaimed: credo in unum Deum , they were not so much affirming their belief in the existence of a single deity as committing their lives to God. When St. Anselm of Can- terbury prayed in the eleventh century: credo ut intellagam (“I have faith in order that I may understand”), he was not blindly submitting to the doctrines of religion in the hope that one day these incredible asser- tions would make sense today, if he abdicated his critical intelligence. His prayer should really be translated: “I commit myself in order that I may understand.” The meaning of dogma would only be revealed when he lived a fully Christian life, embracing its mythology and rituals whole- heartedly. This attitude is foreign to modernity. Today people feel that before they live a religious life, they must first satisfy themselves intel- lectually of its metaphysical claims. This is sound scientific practice: first you must establish a principle before you can apply it. But it is not the way that religion has traditionally worked.

http://www.sacredweb.com/online_articles/sw4_armstrong.pdf
Karen ARmstrong (Faith an Modernity)

Sūn Wùkōng, Xuánzàng, Zhū Bājiè, and Shā Wùjìng. (Journey to the West)

The four heroes of the story, left to right: Sūn Wùkōng, Xuánzàng, Zhū Bājiè, and Shā Wùjìng. (Journey to the West)

I never did anything out of the blue, woh-o-oh
Want an axe to break the ice
Wanna come down right now

Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
We know major toms a junkie
Strung out in heavens high
Hitting an all-time low

My mother said to get things done
You’d better not mess with major tom

David Bowie

“When we seriously practice any authentic spiritual exercise, we sooner or later come to the recognition that we are not individuals seeking some exalted goal for ourselves, but are sparks of Oneness, the Only Being, aspects of the total embodiment of the Spirit of Guidance that leads all of creation back to the Source, the perfection of love, harmony, and beauty. In our motivation to attain the highest levels of awareness, we eventually release our personal identification and become completely connected with an inner guide, a metamagnetic urge that prods us at all times to let go into the Oneness.”

David A. Cooper (Invoking Angels forBlessings, Protection and Healing)

………………….

Striving to be absolutely right is a very common attitude among humans. When we are trying to prove to an adversary that he is totally wrong, we fantasize about a moment when the Heavens, the forces of the cosmos itself, will come to our aid. Like small children, we imagine being able to set fire to the blackboard, to call attention to an injustice on the playground. To our disappointment, the blackboard does not catch fire –or, even if it does, the reaction defies our expectations.

The reality of dissension is that when it is based on and legitimated by human experience, it is not built on right/wrong or hero/villain dichotomies. To be able to overcome it or continue in the name of Heaven, we must understand that Heaven has no power to resolve discord. This is because the dynamic of such discord is to produce something unknown to and not invented by the Heavens.

We are like children who wish that their parents would come to school one day to teach everyone, for once and for all, who we are. It is painful, but we know this is impossible. Communication can truly take place only within the reality of the school, its playground rules, its etiquette, and its own conventions. A parent’s presence in school breaks communication and prevents us from being our true selves.

It is very difficult to deal with the expectation that justice will be done. Justice does express itself, as the sages say, but in its own time. And even though time seems ungrateful, leaving many situations unresolved, these will persist for as long as they are issues for the sake of Heaven. We will always have the comfort of knowing they won’t see closure until they are resolved.

Discord that is not for the sake of Heaven will not last, and the energy spent proving who is right is wasteful, not at all constructive. Knowing when to invest in discord and when to avoid it is a question of economy and intelligence.

–Rabbi Nilton Bonder (The Kabbalah of Envy)

………………….

“Monkey,” the Bodhisattva said, “do you know who I am?” The Great Sage opened wide his fiery eyes with their golden pupils, nodded his head and shouted at the top of his voice, “Of course I recognize you. You, thank goodness, are the All−Compassionate. All−Merciful Deliverer from Suffering, the Bodhisattva Guanyin from Potaraka Island in the Southern Sea. You’re a very welcome visitor. Every day here seems like a year, and nobody I know has ever come to see me. Where have you come from?”

“I have received a mandate from the Buddha to go to the East and find the man who will fetch the scriptures,”

she replied, “and as I was passing this way I decided to come over and see you.”

“The Buddha fooled me and crushed me under this mountain−−I haven’t been able to stretch myself for five

hundred years. I desperately hope that you will be obliging enough to rescue me, Bodhisattva.”

“You wretch,” she replied, “you have such an appalling criminal record that I’m afraid you’d only make more

trouble if I got you out.”

“I have already repented,” he said, “and hope that you will show me the road I should follow. I want to

cultivate my conduct.” Indeed:

When an idea is born in a man’s mind

It is known throughout Heaven and Earth.

If good and evil are not rewarded and punished

The world is bound to go to the bad.

The Bodhisattva was delighted to hear what he had to say.

“The sacred scriptures say,” she replied, ‘”If one’s words are good, they will meet with a response from even a

thousand miles away; if they are bad, they will be opposed from the same distance.’ If this is your state of

mind, then wait while I go to the East to find the man who will fetch the scriptures; I’ll tell him to rescue you.

You can be his disciple, observe and uphold the faith, enter our Buddha’s religion, and cultivate good

retribution for yourself in the future. What do you say to that?”

“I’ll go, I’ll go,” the Great Sage repeated over and over again.

“As you have reformed,” she said, “I’ll give you a Buddhist name.”

“I’ve already got a name. It’s Sun Wukong.” The Bodhisattva, very pleased, said, “I made two converts earlier,

and their names both contained Wu (‘Awakened’). There’s no need to give you any further instructions, so I’ll

be off.” The Great Sage, now aware of his own Buddha−nature, was converted to the Buddha’s religion; and

the Bodhisattva devotedly continued her search for a saintly monk.

Journey to the West

http://www.chine-informations.com/fichiers/jourwest.pdf

The problem in my country is war and malnutrition. My parents and my brothers were killed in the war. I joined the forces when I was twelve because I was told I would have food and should take revenge on the death of my parents. Please don’t be afraid of me. I am not a soldier anymore. I am just a child. And what I want to say is that people fight because they think they can take revenge. But there is no revenge. You kill and you kill, but it will never stop. There is no such thing as revenge.

Ishmael Beah, Age 15 (Sierra Leone)

“It was raining and there was wind. I went out to the wagon shed. You could still see the hills in the distance, not too much rain for
that–many black clouds, low and torn, like smoke from a disaster, flying angrily over the wide open ruin of the old horsebarn, where I
love to walk alone.”

Thomas Merton

THANKSGIVING HOMILY 2008

Introduction to the Readings

As we hear God’s Word for Thanksgiving 2008 let me suggest some questions for each of us: How can we give Thanks in a year not of abundance but of scarcity? With so many problems with our economy and in our world today, is it realistic to think that we can honestly say “Thanks Be To God” on this Thanksgiving Feast?

Can we actually identify with the words of Sirach: “Bless the God of all who has done wondrous things on earth?” Can we find truth in Paul’s assertion that we have been “enriched in every way?’ Can we, like the cleansed leper, return thanks because we realize what God has done for us? I believe we can – but not easily. Hear God’s Word and wonder.

Homily

Did you hear the story about the woman who looked out of her kitchen window on Monday morning to notice her neighbor hanging out her laundry to dry? She noticed that the whites looked gray and the coloreds looked dull. “Such a shame that woman doesn’t know how to wash her clothes clean,” she said to husband. The same thing happened the next Monday. But the third Monday – oh my, what a change! The whites sparkled in the sunlight and the colored clothes were radiant. Finally, the woman thought to herself, that neighbor lady has discovered how laundry should be done. When she told her husband how much better the neighbor’s laundry looked, he said, “Well, it should. Last Tuesday I washed your kitchen window.”

So often the way we see things is conditioned by our own “dirty windows.” What seems to be a problem “out there” is actually a problem “in here” – in us – in the way we perceive the situation.

On this Thanksgiving Day 2008 there appears to be so much “dirty laundry” out there in our economy — in our world. And many are and will be suffering from the filth of untruth which has undergirded our economic ways. Everyone is calling for “a fix.”

But what can effectively “fix” the flaws in our capitalistic economy? Are bailouts merely putting bandaids on a corpse? Is the answer really in a stimulus package to get you and me to spend more money? On what? For what? Is this really just a gargantuan task for the Treasury Secretary? Or does it call for a major economic conversion for each of us?

Perhaps what is really called for is a window washing of our own consciouness – a different way of seeing — clearing the clutter of our own over-stuffed lifestyles. Only if we take a good clean look at the ways in which we honestly and credibly make money, spend money, save money and share money can we truly Give Thanks in this difficult year of increasing scarcity. I believe that we CAN say “thanks alot” if we hear this financial crisis as a wake-up call from our God – challenging us to reimagine our economy according to God’s economic plan.

The huge economic bubble has burst upon us all across the globe. I suggest this is due to the fact that, with our craving for more and more “stuff” to own and manipulate, we have failed to hear and heed my Dad’s homegrown wisdom: “Don’t Get Too Big For Your Britches.” Greed – living on credit beyond our means as persons, corporations and nations – that is what has done us in. The chickens have come home to roost. Our laundry looks pretty sad! For God does not long tolerate lived lies. The truth will always win in the end.

The United States Bishops recently addressed a letter to the current administration in Washington D.C. describing our diseased economy:

“The scandalous search for excessive economic rewards even to the point of dangerous speculation that exacerbates the pain and losses of the more vulnerable are egregious examples of an economic ethic that places economic gain above all other values. Sadly, greed, speculation, exploitation of vulnerable people and dishonest practices helped to bring about this serious situation.” (September 26, 2008 Letter of Bishop William Murphy, chair of the USCCB committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development)

How can we on this Thanksgiving Day wash the filth from the windows our own economic perceptions? We MUST reevaluate our economic visions and practices from a spiritual perspective. We need to see our economy with the clear vision of God’s eyes. And that vision allows us to see and to say: what is best for me, for us, is what is best for all.

In our economic trauma these days we are in a situation resembling that of the ten lepers in today’s Gospel. How so, you say?

In Jesus time, lepers were not allowed to live a normal social life in the community. They were pushed outside the normal way of living in community because their disease was contagious. And so too is our own consumerism and materialism contagious. Shopping more in NOT the answer. We live in what some call an economic totalitarianism. Everything depends upon and is measured by money and things. We are afflicted with the sores of over-extended credit, gas-guzzling vehicles and too much “stuff” in our cupboards. More and more folks are slipping into a leprous situation – tossed out of their homes and losing the security of their savings.

Like the lepers who met Jesus and asked for mercy, we need to do the same in humility. Jesus simply told them to do what the law required for persons in that diseased condition: “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” That ritual washing was required and their cleansing had to be certified by the sacred authorities before they could return to normal living with the rest of the community.

While we may not need to “show ourselves to the priests” to fulfill a rule of ritual purity, we do need today to place our diseased economy under a spiritual x-ray – a penetrating light which can cleanse the filth of our own selfishness and greed. Our economic woes are not just structural. They are also deeply spiritual. Why? Because private gain has prevailed over the common good. We’ve lost sight of what the common good is. We are driven by a self-interest and unregulated greed – primarily looking out for good old Number One. Now there is nothing wrong with self-interest and success as long as one does this in the context of what is good for all. Healthy self-interest will always be in the context of Other-Interest.

The priorities in our economy need to be revised – or perhaps better said, reversed. Whereas our normal way of seeing the economy give first place to profit – no matter how it is gained. But, if we wash the windows of our soul, our priorities would read like this: People, Planet and then Profit. Profit gained at the expense of persons and of the global village in which we live must be seen as “dirty laundry” – indeed, as immoral because it is dehumanizing. Money must be at the service of people and the planet – not the other way around.

Back to the story of the ten lepers: Only one leper came back to thank Jesus for the healing. For him more than his body had been healed. He realized that his very way of seeing and being in the world had been transformed by God’s grace. The other nine healed lepers seem to have returned to business-as-usual. They didn’t realize what had really happened to them. Their vision had not been transformed. They could not acknowledge the One who had worked that wondrous deed. Only the one Giving Thanks had the windows of his vision purified to see the source of his New Life and The Path Ahead. It is Thanksgiving that makes all the difference.

Our global economy must grow again but in ways that serve three P’s: People, Planet and only then Profit. That will call for us to allow God to wash the windows of our perception. That can convert our old ways of selfishness and greed toward a vision of seeing all in the light of the common good. It will be a way of graciously respecting nature and supporting a sufficiency for all. That’s in strong contrast to the model of the traditional economic powers which translates to efficiency for the few and deficiency for everyone else.

Economic growth according to God’s pattern will call for a whole new way of relating to money. We must cure the leprous type of profit-first, profit-only economic growth that we have unleashed. And this new way of thinking, seeing and acting must come from the bottom up – from each one of us changing our visions, our values and our behaviors. We cannot spend our way out of this crisis. We must transform the ways in which money is made, saved, shared and spent. That’s God’s economic bailout!

If that can happen within our own consciousness and in our own consciences, then these unsettling times will have proved to have been not just scarcity but a Gift of God opening our eyes toward a more just and equitable abundance for all. Then, with Sirach on this 2008 Thanksgiving we can honestly say: “”Bless the God of all who has done wondrous things on earth Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb, and fashions them according to his will.” (Sirach 50)

Fr. Patrick W. Collins, Ph.D

Then a ploughman said, “Speak to us of Work.”

And he answered, saying:

You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.

For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.

Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?

Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.

But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,

And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,

And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.

But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.

You have been told also life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.

And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,

And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,

And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,

And all work is empty save when there is love;

And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.

And what is it to work with love?

It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.

It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.

It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.

It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,

And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.

Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, “he who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is a nobler than he who ploughs the soil.

And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”

But I say, not in sleep but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;

And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.

Work is love made visible.

And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.

And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.

And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)

When the Buddha was asked how he knew he was enlightened, he touched the earth in this position and said “As the earth is my witness.”

buddha2.jpg

 

Question: “Can Rinpoche speak to the free-floating anger that Americans are experiencing due to current events. How can we overcome this?”

Answer: “The great anger felt by some
people, when there is some outrage like
this, is expressed in various ways. As
Buddhist practitioners, what we are
concerned with is looking beneath the
surface, and realizing that this anger we
feel, we have to understand that our
anger and hatred is consistent with the
anger and the hatred of those who
committed these horrible acts. That anger
and hatred is not different, because it is in
one person versus another person.
Whether it is in a human being, an
animal, or any other sentient being, anger
is anger. Anger harms the person who
harbors it, and harms anyone who is
exposed to it. The function of anger is to
harm. The karmic result is great suffering
for the person who expresses it .
Understanding these things, we can see
that the true enemy is not the body of the
person that has anger, it is not even the
mind, and it is the anger in the mind.
Anger is the true enemy. Therefore, we
cultivate compassion as the antidote to
our own anger. We know that we are all
connected, and because the nature of our
consciousness is the same as all others,
the nature of anger is the same .
Therefore, when terrible events like that
happen, which are based on anger, we
should spur ourselves onward to reduce
our anger, to meditate on compassion,
and if enough people do that, then the
level of anger in the world goes down.
This changes the minds of the enemies
who do these things. With less anger, and
less hatred in the world, the less there is
for everyone. It is beneficial to oneself; it
is beneficial to those people , and
beneficial to the world.”

–Garchen Rinpoche (Oral commentaries on the heart sutra in relation to Shamatha and Vipassana meditation and seven point mind training.

………………………………………………………

 

Many people receive empowerments, but few are ripened or matured through them. These days, the empowerments given seem to be a little different from the ones given in the old days. You may have heard stories about Tilopa and Naropa, great masters in the Kagyu lineage. Even prior to meeting his teacher Tilopa, Naropa was already quite an accomplished and realized person. However there still was something lacking. One day, he had a vision of his yidam who prophesied that he still needed to develop the full power of realization. In order to do so, he was to meet the siddha Tilopa who lived in a certain place.

Naropa left in search of Tilopa, went to the prescribed area and asked around. No one had ever heard of a siddha named Tilopa. They knew only the beggar
Tilopa. Naropa was directed to a ruin of a house from which smoke was coming.


He walked over and saw a dirty-looking beggar sitting with a tray of fish, some alive, some dead. He was taking the fish, one after the other, whether alive or
dead, tossing them into the fire, snapping his fingers, and then eating them.

At this moment, Naropa must have had some kind of experience, for otherwise Tilopa’s actions of killing animals and then eating them would have
been considered very evil. Naropa however felt great faith and asked, “Are you the siddha called Tilopa?” Tilopa replied, “I’m no siddha, just a beggar who does
evil things.” Nevertheless, Naropa prostrated and was accepted as Tilopa’s disciple. To kill sentient beings without accumulating negative karma, and to
actually benefit sentient beings instead, one must have the power to resurrect the dead, as well as the accomplishment of being able to guide them to liberation.
Having the faith that Tilopa was such an accomplished master, Naropa followed him. Tilopa gave him a very difficult time, putting him through twelve major and
twenty-four minor trials. You can read about them in Naropa’s biography.

One day when they were walking together they saw some field workers eating. Naropa, who had become Tilopa’s servant, begged a bowl of soup for Tilopa.

Tilopa ate the soup, pretending that it was the most delicious food he had ever eaten. Extremely pleased, Naropa thought, “I’ve been serving Tilopa for such a long time, but I have never been able to really please him before. I think I’ll go back and get him more of this soup.”

When he went back for the soup, there were no people around and Naropa thought, “If I wait for someone to come, I can’t be sure they’ll give me some. Maybe I should steal it.” As he was helping himself to the pot of soup someone of
course came by and said, “You’re no good! First, we give you some food out of kindness, but it wasn’t enough. Now, you come back to steal!” He was beaten nearly to death and lay there, broken, for several days before Tilopa happened by and asked, “Anything wrong? Are you having a hard time?” Naropa replied

,
“Having a hard time? I’m almost dead!” Tilopa blessed him and he became well immediately and they walked on. This wasn’t the last trial Naropa had to endure.

They continued in this way for many years, until finally one day Naropa asked Tilopa a question. In reply, Tilopa took off his sandal and smacked Naropa across

the forehead with it. Naropa blacked out for a short while and when he regained his senses, his realization was equal to Tilopa’s. That was a true empowerment.

These days, forget about a shoe! We get vases of gold and silver plating on our head for empowerment, but the realization doesn’t seem to take place in quite
the same way. A shoe might be better. In brief, many receive empowerment, but few are ripened.

 

Chokyi Rinpoche (Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen: A Commentary on The Quintessence of Spiritual Practice, The Direct Instructions of the Great Compassionate One)

 

……………………………………..

 

 

Although I have shown the means of liberation,

you must know that it depends upon you alone.

—THE BUDDHA

 

A siddha in Sanskrit means “one who is accomplished” and refers to perfected masters who according to Hindu belief have transcended the ahamkara (ego or I-maker), have subdued their minds to be subservient to their Awareness, and have transformed their bodies composed mainly of dense Rajo-tama gunas into a different kind of bodies dominated by sattva. This is usually accomplished only by persistent meditation over many lifetimes.

A siddha has also been defined to refer to one who has attained a siddhi. The siddhis as paranormal abilities are considered emergent abilities of an individual that is on the path to siddhahood, and do not define a siddha, who is established in the Pranav – the Aum, which is the spiritual substrate of creation. The siddhi in its pure form means “the attainment of flawless identity with Reality (Brahman); perfection of Spirit.”

The concept of siddhas is a prime notion in Jainism.

………………

In Vajrayana Buddhism, a Yidam (Tibetan) or Ishta-devata (Sanskrit) is a fully enlightened being who is the focus of personal meditation, during a retreat or for life. The term is often translated into English as meditational deity.

……………………

 

(34)

Jesus said,

“If a blind man leads a blind man,

they will both fall into a pit.”

 

Matthew 15: 12-14

Then the disciples came to him and said,

“Do you know that the Pharisees have taken

great offence at what you have been saying?”

He answered:

“Leave them alone; they are blind guides,

and if one blind man guides another

they will both fall into the ditch.”

 

Religious teachers who try to lead “sight-seekers”

to experience God, while they themselves

have closed their own eyes to the truth,

will lead all to false conclusions.

These “teachers” will cling to false doctrines,

professing to believe in things

that they know don’t ring true,

all because they are ruled by fear of an angry god.

 

The world’s major religions remind me of the ancient Indian fable, The Blind Men & The Elephant where all the blind seekers discover different

partial truths, extrapolate false conclusions,

then argue about who is correct!

The moral of that story is:

“Knowing in part may make a fine tale,

but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.”

 

quote from Seven Blind Mice

by Ed Young, 1992, Philomel books

 

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