Sunday, June 29, 2014
In the story of the beggar and the king, because of their respective attachments to their beggar and king forms, two souls are destined to exchange their roles over many lifetimes, until they lose all attachments and pride connected to these two forms. It is like a pendulum that keeps swinging from one extreme to the other, like a ride at an amusement park in which the riders cannot get off until the ride stops moving.
The process of reincarnation consists of many pendulums—pendulums of duality—that have to come to a state of equilibrium before the soul achieves enlightenment—realization. There are many powerful pendulums, pendulums of rich and poor, bad and good, male and female, smart and dull, etc. and of course, the powerful pendulum of believer and non-believer.
Followers of religion doctrines and followers of the doctrines of atheism—appear to be worlds apart, but are they not both riding on the same pendulum kept moving by their pride and attachment to their respective beliefs?
What is belief? The basic definition is a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true. Both the atheist and the believer have a feeling of being sure that something or someone does or does not exist and pride connected to their beliefs further fuel the swing of the pendulum.
But feelings are not facts; as Kabir once said, “If you haven’t experienced it, it is not true.” And the Perfect Masters are all quite clear on this point, it is not about belief or conviction, it is all about the experience. Belief and non-belief in themselves do not stand in the way of experience, but attachment and pride connected to belief and non-belief do. So-called religious wars, with all of their atrocities, are not fought because of beliefs and non-beliefs, but because pride and attachment connected to the beliefs.
How many times have you observed people arguing about their beliefs, talking at, not to, each other, often getting angrier and angrier, shouting louder and louder…? It happens in the streets, at the dining room table, even in the temples and the mosques.
A. is a Christian; B. is a Jew; C. is a Muslim; they all take pride in their respective beliefs, they feel that they are right, not only right, but superior, yet, all have, in various lifetimes, been what the others are now—the Christian a Muslim, the Muslim a Jew, the Jew a Christian. The beliefs are not bad, but the pride and attachment connected to them because the pride and attachment are an impediment to the ultimate experience of Oneness.
A Tibetan monk once said: “Truth is like the hub of a wheel. From the hub are spokes that move away from the hub to the circumference of the wheel. Notice how at the center, the spokes are close together but as they travel further away from the center, which is truth, they appear to be further and further apart.”
I am a follower of Meher Baba; a Baptist preacher once told me I was doomed to hell unless I repented and began to follow his religion and Jesus Christ. He had his beliefs and I had mine and so I said to him, “I’ll make you deal, you pray for my soul to Jesus and I’ll pray for your soul to Meher Baba. I’m sure, that if we are somehow both right, the Lord would not mind a little redundancy, and if one of us is right and the other is wrong, we will still both be saved, but if both of us are wrong, then I don’t believe any harm would be done by us praying for each other.
“All souls (atmas) were, are and will be in the Over-Soul (Paramatma).
“Souls (atmas) are all One.
“All souls are infinite and eternal. They are formless.
“All souls are One; there is no difference in souls or their being and existence as souls.
“There is a difference in the consciousness of souls;
“There is a difference in the planes of consciousness of souls;
“There is difference in the experience of souls, and thus there is a difference in the state of souls.” – Meher Baba, God Speaks
Tolerance, impartiality, and a feeling of oneness are the antidote to attachment and pride to any of the illusory states of consciousness that precedes the direct experience that all souls were, are, and will be One.