I have been working on this rough draft for class and have not written on my blog this week, so I decided to just share it with you.
Various spiritual leaders are analyzed and quoted in the context of this text; to show the underlying paradigm of the high spiritual truths found in most religious text and through the Masters that explain their works. This piece of writing informs the reader that humanity can only achieve its’ highest potential together. All true religions have something to offer one another.
A Shift From Individual Opinion to Cosmic Opinion
17 November 2014
A Shift From Individual Opinion to Cosmic Opinion
“No one religious tradition should dare to monopolize the entirety of humankind’s ability to relate to his creator, sustainer, and intimate lover.” These words are written by, Emile J. Farge, in an article published in The Merton Annual. Some of the research for this paper was conducted through, Emile J. Farge’s, works on, Thomas Merton, and, Paramhansa Yogananda. Thomas Merton’s, followers established, The International Thomas Merton Society. Self-Realization Fellowship was founded by, Yogananda, and is growing today throughout five continents; their headquarters are in Los Angeles and hundreds of temples and centers for meditation groups can be found around the world. The purpose of this paper is to uncover the underlying paradigm of all true religions to each dear reader. The words of many great Masters will be used to share their similar message to all of humanity. We must push on, beyond organized religion, leaving separation by dogma in the dust of the past, to embrace a more peaceful existence and for optimum spiritual growth of people; yoga and meditation offers this to all regardless of ethnicity or societal beliefs.
The science of yoga and meditation coincide with all religious practices, enhances, and excels our understanding and spiritual growth. The article, On Spirituality and Organized Religion: Conversations with Yogi Raghu Ananthanarayanan, Raghu states, “Yoga is ultimately about the transformation of the mind-how can I see reality clearly, “as it is”?” Yogananda, describes yoga as the, “simple process of reversing the ordinary outward flow of energy and consciousness so that the mind becomes a dynamic center of direct perception no longer dependent upon the fallible senses but capable of actually experiencing Truth.” These eastern methods, free of dogma, teach us to seek truth inside of ourselves. In Luke 17, 20-21, Jesus saith, “the Kingdom of God within you,” pointing us in the same direction of our eastern brothers. Speaking of this, Jesus, was born in the middle east and performed his great works there. Jesus’s true teachings are parallel to Buddha, Ghandi, Yogananda, Patanjali, Dahli Lama, and Muhammad, to name some of the greats. When analyzing these great Masters (yogi who has reached breathlessness during meditation/yoga) they pave a spiritual path that with devotion, all can follow. This path involves love for everyone, purity of heart and mind, honesty, goodness in all action, and lots of compassion. Church and fellowship are often full of love and God’s beauty, it is when one segment of a religion feels their path is the only way or only their leader walks the right way and the effect causes humans to focus on our differences and conflicts arise. It is the way we live and what we bare in our hearts that matters; not the church we go to, the name we worship, or the label we give ourselves or a group. Spirituality is a way of life and encompasses all. I leave this paragraph with one more quote to ponder. “And it seems to me that when you get God and theologies and institutions out of the picture, and you focus on what people do, what they practice, especially their relationships to one another, there’s a lot in common. And I think what I’ve discovered is that yoga is an inter-religion. It’s spirituality that avoids the complications of institutionalized religions,” spoken by, Jim Morley, during conversation with Raghu Ananthanarayanan (provided in hyperlink).
If nations focus on the commonalities of humankind, our similar basic needs; there would be less conflict in this world. We are all on the same journey, just different paths and different expressions. Why fight against ourselves when we are all fighting the same ultimate battle? Raghu Ananthanarayanan, tells us that “out of the things we seek refuge in the worst is the idea of God, because it creates deep illusion and provokes violence. It is only when you give up these beliefs, and walk the path of understanding your sorrow directly, that you can touch and alter sorrow.” This idea comes from the Dhammapada, a book of statements from the Buddha. We all come from the same Creator, we just worship different aspects of Him/Her at times. It comes down to humans fighting delusion. Let’s merge our love together, seek and move onward in our purpose, all of humanity. We are all only searching for eternal happiness, we need to join together in the search of all searches. Thomas Merton, advises us to be open to change, “We have to gain new perspectives, and on this our spiritual and even our physical survival may depend.” As science has proved, this world as we know it, is infinite; so are we. “Merton and Yogananda agreed that the bliss of heaven is more available to us than the air we breathe, and that we delude ourselves into over-identifying with the material life, and that the intimate unity of God with humankind is much deeper, and that the Divine energy and essence is immediately available to those who prepare to receive it.” These beautiful words are written by, Emile J. Farge. Real spiritual growth goes beyond the little individual ego. The spiritual aspirant rises above the physical into the spirit. If we are attached to a religious group or leader we limit ourselves from true freedom. Ganapathi Sthapati, a traditional temple builder, shares this idea and practice with us, “the divine is constantly revealing him or herself through beauty. And every time we human beings discover beauty within ourselves, we touch divinity. You may touch divinity by discovering rhythm and order in words through poetry, in the body through dance, in sound through music, in form through sculpture, in space through architecture, and in thought through mathematics. These are the six paths for encountering the divine through rhythm and harmony. The offering you make is the temple of beauty, just plain beauty.” There are many ways to the divine, they do not involve money or belonging to a specific organization. “The purpose of organized religion is to protect the individual from ever having a sincerely religious experience.” (Carl Jung) Jim Morley, acknowledges “that Jung has some good one-liners” and included this quote in his conversation with Yogi Raghu. We all come from the same true home. We are all on our way home. The world needs everyone to join hands and help one another find their way back home. If we wipe away the changing outer layers of people and life we find the same essence left in all. Love is something we all share, we love with the same love and feel the same hurt and pain when we think love has left us. Brothers and sisters, may we seek the higher truths together.
“Self-Realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you, that God’s omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all you need to do is improve your knowing.” Yogananda’s, description of Self-Realization; the name of the fellowship he founded. True spiritual teachers guide the student to freedom and the student uses their own free will during the guidance. It is not the ritual that is of importance, but the devotion and love in the heart during the act. There is endless wisdom to be found in many cultures and countries, even our cosmos. How about we turn small individual opinions into gigantic cosmic opinions?
GOING EAST WITH MERTON
On Spirituality and Organized Religion: Conversations with Yogi Raghu Ananthanarayanan
The Decline of Organized Religion in Western Civilization