BEFORE ENLIGHTENMENT: Chopping wood and carrying water.
AFTER ENLIGHTENMENT: Chopping wood and carrying water. Zen proverb
LIGHT ON THE PATH
This page is devoted to spiritual values, our journey along the PATH of life, the big picture. After reading the article, you may want to read more about the "path", "realization" and the dialectical concept of "meeting", order essay and learn more about the components that interested you. Everyone has their own path, and while it turns out that we are all walking the same path, each of us is at a different place along it than those around them.
We each have different needs, different aspirations, but each of us is on the PATH, the same rocky path that traverses mountains, streams, and deserts. Along the way you will meet many other people as our paths wind around the mountains, cross rivers, swamps, and highways.
Because the path is a winding spiral -- others on the path who may seem ahead of you, are actually behind you. It is difficult to tell where each of us is on the path, and best not to concern yourself with these outward appearances.
But if you see someone struggling on the path, perhaps you can help them. We can help them by telling them what lies ahead of them, or warning them of where we tripped and fell. We are also given opportunities and tests (like Survivor!) opportunities to help others even though it may not seem to benefit us.
How did we get on this Path? There are many who believe that we chose our Path before we were born. Before? Yes.
Many people believe that they have a soul. An everlasting soul. Fine. But when did this soul come into being? At the moment of birth? Where was the soul before birth? If a soul is going to last all eternity, maybe it is possible that it has already been in existence for a billion years.
Some people believe that we choose the conditions of our birth prior to being born, we select the goals we need for our spiritual development, we select our parents, our friends, our culture, so that we may learn the lessons we need to.
Could that be?
Most holy books don't mention this. They don't say it is either right or wrong, just as they don't mention television, space travel, heart surgery, or computers. This is just something to consider. Don't accept it if does not fit your beliefs. Just look at it for a moment, and if it doesn't feel right, let it go. Maybe one day you will come back to it.
AN EXTRACT FROM "LIGHT ON THE PATH"
1. "The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour has no limit.
2. "The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard, or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
3. "Each man is his own absolute law-giver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
CAN GOD EXIST WITHOUT YOU?
Let's have a look at what we conceive as God (or the Yogi term, THE INFINITE or THE ABSOLUTE). There are some aspects that we could expect, or else God is not going to be believable.
1. THE INFINITE IS, and whatever "IS" must be the INFINITE. There cannot be two or more INFINITE Beings or Final Things. There can only be ONE INFINITE or Final Thing. Everything must be related or part of the INFINITE. There can be nothing OUTSIDE or APART from the INFINITE.
A Christian preacher once defined SIN as being "separation from God". Hardly, you can no more be separated from God than you can Fall out of the Universe. If God is Everything, than there is nothing outside of God. Anything that appears to be separate or not God is a mistaken judgment, an illusion, a distortion of reality.
2. THE INFINITE IS INFINITE. This statement is redundant, INFINITE carries with it the term Infinite. Unlimited, boundless by time or space, limitless.
3. THE INFINITE IS ETERNAL. Without beginning or ending, always existing. We cannot conceive of the INFINITE as having a beginning, if we do we can only think of it as coming from something else, thus making it relative.
4. THE INFINITE IS OMNIPOTENT. This means ALL powerful, it does not mean The MOST powerful, it means POSSESSING ALL POWER that there is in the universe. There is no room for any other power. Many people say they believe this when a manifestation of power is pleasing to them, they attribute it to God, but if it is displeasing they attribute it to the Devil or some other entity. But if God is ALL powerful there can be no other power. If there is a devil then that power too is part of God. Humans sometimes label things such as the weather "good" and "bad". These terms are relative to our existence. REMEMBER ALL POWER RESIDES IN THE INFINITE (GOD).
It makes no sense to say God is all powerful, but believe God is in conflict with any other force, for all power resides in God. There just is no other power, or else God is not ALL powerful just "the most powerful", or "one of the most powerful".
5. THE INFINITE IS OMNIPRESENT That means present everywhere at the same time. There can be no place outside of ALL. There can be no existence or presence except WITHIN THE ALL. The All must be everywhere. The INFINITE being must contain all that we call Space, time, matter, energy--these (and more things yet to be discovered) are manifestations of the INFINITE.
6. THE INFINITE IS OMNISCIENT That means All wise, All knowing, Having Infinite knowledge. This means that there is nothing not known by the INFINITE, past, present, or future. If there were one single thing not known or understood by the INFINITE then the whole concept would be absurd.
7. THE INFINITE IS INDIVISIBLE. The INFINITE is the ALL--the Whole Thing. It cannot be divided into parts because there is nothing to divide it with and nothing to "fill in the cracks". There can be no real partition, division or separation from the INFINITE. Every so-called "part" of the INFINITE is in touch with every other "part" of the Whole---All is One, undivided, indivisible.
8. THE INFINITE IN UNCHANGEABLE, CONSTANT AND PERMNENT. It cannot change because there is nothing into which it can change without losing itself, it contains everything right now. It must be the same today, yesterday, tomorrow. It is perfect and cannot be improved upon.
Consider this little poem:
"Thou great eternal Infinite, thou great unbounded Whole, Thy body is the Universe--thy spirit is the soul. If thou dost fill immensity; if thou art all in all; If thou wert here before I was, I am not here at all. How could I live outside of thee? Dost thou fill earth and air? There surely is no place for me outside of everywhere. If thou art God, and thou dost fill immensity of space, Then I'm of God, think as you will, or else I have no place. And if I have no place at all, or if I am not here, "Banished" I surely cannot be, for then I'd be somewhere. Then I must be a part of God, no matter if I'm small; And if I'm not a part of Him; there's no such God at all." Anonymous
Of course it is easy to see nature as God, but we sometimes need to remind ourselves that EVERYTHING is part of God -- the INFINITE -- even that which is ugly, or horrible. Let's go to extremes for a moment to make it clear: If a dog turd is not part of THE INFINITE, then there is no INFINITE. There can be nothing outside of THE INFINITE.
The yoga teaching is roughly like this:
All existence, conscious or unconscious, is an EMANATION of one Being. And they give the illustration that the Sun is the centre, each ray of light emanating is of the sun, and yet it is not the source. Each plant, person, thing is of God, but not God itself, simply a part, a ray of God.
Most of the above was paraphrased from: ADVANCED COURSE IN YOGI PHILOSOPHY AND ORIENTAL OCCULTISM, by YOGI RAMACHARAKA.
Does this way of looking at things make sense to you?
NO? Then put it aside, think about it later. YES? Then put it aside, think about it more.