Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Weakness of Spiritual Teachings

Those who could profit most from spiritual teaching have no chance to grasp them, and those who no longer need the teachings, are the only ones who fully comprehend their message. If you have never seen a forest, or a plant, it is impossible to make sense of the green parts on the map. You can stare at them for hours on end, and yet, you will only delude yourself while trying to understand them.

We have all been invited to the greatest party of all, but it seems the Host wrote encrypted invitation cards, and has only delivered the key to a lucky few. Most of us have no clue as to where or when the party is held. Now how do we get hold of this code key?

Can we trust those who claim to have it? Can, yes, but I wouldn't recommend it. Walk instead into that silent meadow, where the Manor of our Host is situated, and sit down upon the grass before His doorstep, and wait patiently. If He doesn't open the door, come back again, and do so regularly until you receive it. Don't shout, demand nothing, and expect nothing, because He can't stand ungrateful guests. Just remain perfectly still, and as silent as you possibly can. With some luck, He will allow your presence, and He can't hide in that House of His forever, can he?

When it comes to pass, that you make out His silhouette through the window by the door, something will happen inside of you that you cannot explain, and going back to that card of invitation, it will suddenly make sense to you. Though the words looked like real words even before, you will now see that though you could read them, you missed out on their meaning. You may now read them for the first time, and they will tell you what you already know. Because in that brief glance of the Host, something utterly silent was communicated, and in you the full invitation is now made visible - written on your very being. Reading the card will pull these words from your innermost self and into your mind, so that they may make sense also on that level. Welcome to the party!

On these issues Paul writes very well:

"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)

"Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly--mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it..." (1 Corinthians 3:2)

A 14th century Zen Buddhist Master puts it this way:

Even if, for example, one were to read a thousand sutras and ten thousand sastas, if the Dharma eye has not been opened, this Buddha wisdom would not be clear. One who has not clearly penetrated Buddha wisdom will not understand even one line of sutra.
(Zen Mater Bassui. “Know Your Inherit Nature Before Studying the Scriptures.” Mud & Water. Wisdom Publications, Boston, Revised and expanded edition. 2002 Arthur Braverman. p.89)

If, before this experience, you find something intriguing, exciting, slightly attractive, or mysterious, in spiritual scripture or teachings, stay with them, but keep them open, and keep yourself open. Don't make up your mind about them, and don't let anyone else make up your mind for you. Accept that you do not know, and seek the Lord primarily in Life rather than in Scripture. A straw of grass, on the lawn outside the Church building, has more Truth and substance than the entire Bible. Touch the hand of another human being once, and you will have come closer to the Truth than you will through a lifetime of lofty ideas and thinking.

No book in the world can affect The Lord's presence and infinite being. If we'd rather read a tourist guide to Mount Everest than climbing the Mountain, we can do so, but though very importantly, it can direct us to the tracks most suitable for climbing, it does a poor job with replacing the experience of the Mountain, which, we have to understand, doesn't come or go with books or words.

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