Friday, June 11, 2010

We believe what we know and know what we believe...experience is the crucial factor

Today we want to take a look at one of the core teachings of the eternal wisdom traditions. That teaching is: intellectual knowledge of various metaphysical truths (which amounts to a belief in concepts) has its place in the Divine Plan, but until such beliefs are supplemented by conscious experiences of various dimensions of reality that validate them, all are of limited value.

Their value while remaining on the level of mental agreement is essentially theoretical and generally of little if any immediate practical use.

Ultimately we are after an experience of deeper realities, not a belief or teaching.

We may be told by a sage for example that we are not our body, senses, mind, emotions or ego; that in our essence we are pure eternal spirit. And on that core level of our being we are beyond change, beyond birth and death, ever humble, loving and contented, filled with boundless joy and both a servant of and witness to the miracle of creation. That we are at our center both creation and its source, ever being and ever becoming, and yet simultaneously something even beyond these.

Well hearing of such higher realities is well and good. In fact hearing of them is essential at some point so we can realize that, according to some very wise people either currently living or who lived prior to our arrival on the planet, we all have the potential of unfolding, growing and ultimately achieving an infinitely more fulfilling and meaningful life, relative to the one we’re living now.

But the key insight we are trying to impart here is this: nothing is more important than an immediate conscious experience of “fact” or “value”.

Now in the eternal wisdom tradition “fact” or “value” means “living energy”. Such “facts” are relative truths. They are necessary and inevitable stepping stones that ultimately lead to absolute truth.

But for most of us absolute truth is still a fair ways off (until it is no longer a ways off, which happens when something clicks inside, when consciousness shifts or awakens and we realize absolute truth -- or something approaching it -- was ever available in every instance. But it is ever available only when we experience it as ever available; before this experience it’s a theoretical truth and seems to be a ways off. One of the paradoxes of the metaphysical journey).

To reiterate, mental knowledge and beliefs have their value, but it is the experience of the reality a concept points to that is of prime importance.

We are invited to experience such realities (which will unfold through a series of inner discoveries) through any avenue we are naturally drawn to; for many these will include: meditation, living with integrity and practicing spiritual techniques, through art and artistic expression, through scientific study leading to a deeper understanding of the unity of natural laws, through loving relationships and compassionate service to our fellow human beings, and through disciplines of realization.

Metaphysically we would say that if you are aware of the “facts” of a matter or realize the true value in a person, painting or song; in a tree or flower; a bird or butterfly, a planet or star, or in the laws of electrodynamics or gravity ... in all cases you have discovered in some measure on the basis of inner experience the living energy present in all forms and phenomena in both the human and natural world.

And further that ultimately it is the same energy in any of its infinite expressions, and that any sense of separation we experience or feel with regard to minerals, trees, furry things, stars or other people is the product of ego consciousness and indicates our identity is still derived from a fictional self within us.

What is our first step in dissolving or dis-identifying with the fictional self or ego? Cultivating Faith. Faith in a Divine Plan. Faith along with the practice of the disciplines of realization leads to the discovery of facts, of values (those principles that are of greatest importance in life), and ultimately to illumination.

Illumination is realization, the conscious participation in the truth that the universe is in its essence a great unity and in its surface expressions exactly as it should and must be at every instance.

In a world or universe founded on two coequal principles, Law and Love, it cannot be anything but. And all who are working on a human level for its apparent transformation from a mixture of good and evil to a state where all opposites are harmonized are doing exactly what they should and must be doing at every moment, confirmation that all is well and wisely set.

The eternal teachings tell us that knowable reality is an ever changing reality on the basis of a never changing ground state. The world changes as the individual changes, facts (living energies and living truths) emerge as we remove what is false, dysfunctional and immature in ourselves, there is no other way.

Faith (initially a conviction that Truth exists and that a quality of this unchanging principle is ever available to our intuition, providing each step of the way a measure of protection and guidance commensurate with our attunement) is crucial throughout our spiritual journey, especially at the beginning – processes of purification (transmuting our conditioned reflexes and soul traumas) and living with integrity must follow.

Living the disciplines to the best of our ability evolves the inner understanding necessary to an advancing practice. We are building a bridge seemingly from here to there out of the substance of the goal. Faith, confidence and a good hope will see us through.

Seek out the spiritual tools and techniques that you intuitively sense will help you access and unfold Faith as a living energy and your ultimate success is assured. Time, patience and discipline will also be required, until they aren’t … at which point you are the qualities necessary to the moment.

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