Friday, May 3, 2013

The First Door.

i have noted, of late, an increasing discontent among those who pursue their belief system with apparent diligence and the complaint seems to be similar in all cases - nothing has changed.  

"i am doing everything required and yet nothing in my life has improved - i am stuck in the same place."

why would that be so ? i know if i train to run, slowly, over time, there is a definite improvement in stamina and distance. so why is it that when it comes to life, i am pretty much stagnant ? i relive the same torments, the same anxiety, the same frustration and anger .. what am i doing wrong ? what am i missing ?

perhaps it may be that we all feel we are smarter than we are.  it's like downloading a new game and not bothering to read the rules - the "i can figure it out as i play - how hard can it be ?" mentality.

any philosophy will have at its core, some basic tenants and while i use the word "basic", this does not mean easy.  in fact, as most will know, if you get the fundamentals wrong, you will never master your chosen sport or skill - you will forever be stuck in the "ok" arena ... even top sportsmen will sometime take a sabbatical and announce to the world that they are going back to work on their basics... it's importance can never be overemphasised !

so what are the essential basic qualifications of any spiritual growth that must be exercised and mastered?

1.  a keen sense of discrimination ( between what is Real and what merely appears to be so ).
2.  dispassion - a detachment based on a true understanding of the ephemeral nature of all mater bound by space and time.
3.  a cultivation of noble qualities enhanced by an continuous attendance of your head and your heart.
4.  a burning urge to reach the Goal - to be that which you seek.

the "how to" for the above is available under the guidelines for each faith but perfect these you must.

there is an ocean of difference between simply understanding and actual experience of that One great Infinite.  and if the Infinite is what you seek, you must first cultivate a love for all that the Infinite encompasses, which is pretty much everything.

a philosophy without love leads to the madness of regimentation 
love without a philosophy is mere superstition 

live well.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Form Vs Formless

the hindus have way to many gods !  possibly one for every aspect of creation ... whatever for ?  isn't one enough and if you happen to be one of those that does have faith in a god or supreme being or power, is a particular image even necessary ?

let's start with a presumption that we have some sort of faith and we want be evolve into the most noble expression of man as possible. for this, we need to be bigger than we are right now and to find inspiration to do this, we need to dedicate our activities to a higher cause than our immediate personal gratification.  there is no easier way to be selfless than to do something for the one you love. a mother for her child, the lover for his beloved, the patriot for his nation...

however, you cannot love that which you do not know - there can be respect for and even inspiration to a certain extent drawn from abstract ideals but to love to the point where you are willing to lose yourself... that comes only when you have a very intimate relationship with the object of your love.

and love comes naturally. so while one devotee may fall in love with the baby Jesus, another may be enchanted by an adorable Krishna and still a third by the ascetic Shiva. there is no choice in this ... love comes in many forms so let the believer choose at which altar to offer the garland of his devotion.

the consistent purifying of one's being through devotion and selfless work towards the greater good will gradually distill our personality and prepare us for the lofty heights to be scaled through contemplation and meditation. here, as we let the world of names and forms dissolve away, we experience a complete merger into the Essence of That which Is. in this Silence, there are no "others", no "me", not even "my god" ... here, Consciousness Alone Is.

this is a Fullness that encompasses and inhabits all with no division whatsoever.

when such a man of realisation acts in the world, he leads by example so that others may easily follow. he continues to offer his life as a dedication to the Lord of his heart and so it is that we have the great prophets and sages enraptured with love for their Divine Lord. with every breath he sings his Lord's glory and with every act, he serves his Lord's will.

this is ultimately a journey of love...

live well.