Thursday, March 8, 2012

"The Wise (Wo)Man Beholds All Beings in the Self..,

... and the Self in all beings;
For that reason he does not hate anyone..."
It is my constant focus and goal to live up to this adage found the the holy Vedas.  I'm unsure that any one individual can live up to it entirely...including the sages and holy men of all ages.

There are indications in the faiths and scriptures of all religions and philosophies that those who are left behind to write of these great predecessors gloss over historical events, "facts" if you may, and biographical events.  While I think this should always be kept in mind, I've often considered that this is as it should be.     

Of those religions claiming to be monotheistic or monist we see an odd phenomenon, that most of us are aware of, but we somehow choose to gloss ourselves.   The historical evidence for almost every so called monotheistic religion, betrays their idealism...not to say that the ideal isn't an honorable and appropriate goal and portrayal...much as I mentioned in another post, we often forget that we stand on the shoulders of giants...I'll explain...

If one examines the language of monotheism, particularly that of Judaism, it is clear that this concept (monotheism) developed out of henotheism.  YHVH clearly says to the Moshe and the Hebrews "Thou shalt worship no other Gods 'before myself.'  This is just one example, but in both Judaism, and Islam one sees this phenomenon over and over again.  It begs the question, "  what other Gods is He referring to? "  Simply put, the concept of henotheism is that "OUR" God is the One God referred to, not yours."  In the Tanach, or body of cannonical Jewish scripture, you have Micah the prophet even saying that "the Gods of the Nations are demons."  (Yet, still here he acknowledges their existence.)

In the holy Vedas, the ancient scriptures of Sanatan Dharma, or what today is called "Hindu-ism" (term created not by their own religion, actually by Islam) one of the earliest concepts is that "There is only One God, and the wise call it by many names."  I've often thought to question those individuals that ask me if I've accepted "_____" (their God) as the one, my "savior" etc...and I find that very concept a betrayal of an all and mighty God.  It causes me to think (I try not to actually always say this verbally to them) in response, "is their/your God so weak and so impotent, that he/she/it cannot speak the language(s) of all men, women and creatures, so powerless that it is confined in how it expresses itself to its own "creation."

A more "kinder and gentler approach might be spoken and approached in this manner:

Imagine...you and I, (and everyone else) is in art gallery, and a Van Gogh is on the wall...

I'm standing directly in front of it, a bit to the left, you are across the room, on the other side, someone else, perhaps is facing sideways looking at another wall, and sees this Van Gogh in their peripheral vision...I ask you, are we not observing the same painting, from differing point of views?  Not to mention, you might see his furniture as brown, I might see it as orange, another red...but who is right?  We all are, and are not.

Due to various upbringings, cultural difference, emotional and psychological makeup, the very same thing is described in different ways...are any of us so entirely arrogant that we think our way is the only "correct" way of perceiving his masterpiece?
Perhaps there is another way of understanding this.  A metaphor often used by various religions and cultures of the East:

The Universe is a mirror of the One that Is.  Yet, in our imperfect vision, and our dualistic way of thinking the mirror that reflects that one God is shattered into many pieces.  Much like a hologram, each piece still reflects only the  image available to it (God, Truth, Reality.) No matter which piece, it only reflects this truth, yet in an incomplete fashion, without which the union of the other pieces it remains incomplete. 

You might ask why, on a blog about AgCC and disability I would even bring this up...I'll tell you:

Since I was a very young child, I knew that "spirituality" (for what its worth) would someday hold the key for my growth, maturity, evolution and happiness.  Yet, as is typical with the thinking patterns of AgCC children and adults we tend to think very black and white, very rigid, and have difficulty with ideas patterned after concepts that take quite a bit of inference to really understand.  Hence, while we appear to perhaps believe the same thing, often our knowledge is very "surface", very "rote" and not contemplated from an inclusive more intellectual view.

We often will embrace dogmatism, if not religious or political, we'll do so about our own lives...I spent many, many, years in this fashion.  Along the road, I (deeply) studied Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism... to name just a few.  Over and over, I would convince myself I "finally had the right view", only to have it supplanted by something else later on.

A few years ago, I came to the realization of The Golden Thread...you may have heard one or another version of this...All Roads Lead to Rome....the fact is, I still do not believe this, as it isn't my experience...but if you can follow me, "All roads may not lead to Rome, but they do in fact lead to Italy."  I don't need to explain this (for myself) but it is certainly worth pondering if it initially puzzles you.

Embracing the Golden Thread, or man's insatiable need to Understand...not understand "this" or "that", or "the other thing"...simply to Understand.  This Thread has woven itself wondrously throughout human history and beyond.  Native Americans have a name for it that I dearly love, the Great Mystery.  So did Lautzu, "the Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao."

Embracing the unspoken and indescribably essence of the Golden Thread, I now see, ever clearly how it is woven, not just into all religions, but in absolutely every human endeavor to Know (something) beyond what is "seen and tangible."  It is This that kindles within me and within all beings the thrill of being alive...

Much like a child, prior to social, religious, political, even family indoctrination...running through a meadow with the Sun on his face, grass under his feet, in absolutely wordless wonder and excitement.  This is the One that I know and that I worship.  My only prayer is that each and every "other" one discovers (their own understanding) of this selfsame truth...and for each one, each piece of the mirror, it is both glorious, unique, uplifting, fulfilling and filled with profound peace beyond measure.
~Just Joe 

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~joseph