I’m reading a book at the moment called Simple Abundance by Sara Ban Breathnach. It’s a beautiful book, it has 366 simple messages for each day of the year, including the leap year. It’s inspiring and uplifting, and it has obviously touched the lives of millions of people (mostly women, it is written for women and has a pink cover) as it is still selling a decade after fist publishing. I have been reading sections of this book out loud in my class, reading the entry for that day. Guests seem to like it and are responding to the messages.
I started thinking about how many people I know who would find the book ridiculous. They would think it to be nothing but drivel, a mere stepping stone from gossip magazines and just as single minded. I know so many people would judge it as mush, who wouldn’t even read the back they would be so sure it to be a waste of their time.
But I find it special.
I know there is room enough in this world for everyone and their opinions, and I thinking about whether I am judging their judging, and if so, isn’t that exactly the same thing? If I appear to my own accord to be taking the higher ground – a path of self-enquiry, am I not still judging, as I am still supposing my way is better. Can I really accept that for some people, this more cynical and perhaps what I might judge as a path of denial is actually just as right and just as appropriate?
I find peace in the knowledge that there are others that share my same spiritual inclinations, longings and beliefs. I feel connections of energies with people and it further reassures me that my path is right and true. The universe unfolds and my kin and I watch it through the same rose-coloured glasses. But by that token, there is a tenfold mass that also see their perspective through their own unique tinted glass, and they too make up a substantial percentage of all the energies around.
Yet I never, for one single second, try to see life as they do. Instead I feel hard-done that those closest to me might laugh a suggestion that they read that book. Um.
I never doubt. I don’t know if I can. What if it is fear stopping me from trying? What if I am afraid of having TRUTH exposed, whatever the truth may be. That must be closing my mind? Meanwhile I perceive my mind to be open! Perhaps it is only into the particular spiritual doctrine that I know, that I resonate with, that I am comfortable.
So how can I really open? – I need to lose the fear. If I open fully, open to the suggestion that everything I know might be wrong and different and not as it appears. Even if the truth is that the naysayers are right, that we are no more than the sum of our atomic make up. Whether I am still standing on this side of the line, or if I cross over to theirs, don’t I still need to accept the possibilities of a truth I know not?
Something my Swami said to us at the Ashram in India comes to mind. Just because we are all experiencing the same thing, does not make it real.
Whether I am attached to my own laws of non-attachment, spiritual consciousness and open-minded enquiry, or whether I sit happily and assuredly in my life of duality, ignoring the hocus-pocus, hippy bullshit and focusing on mental intellect, history and fact, neither is necessarily correct, and not especially by the virtue that others share the same sentiment. Certainly not just because of that.
My head hurts because of this, this is a matter of the brain and the mind, and my beliefs, or so I have always imagined, have come from my heart and my gut. But maybe they were put there by my head, and maybe my head is also just as responsible for these ‘instincts’ of mine, as the high IQ of my atheist friends’ mind is for his conviction that God doesn’t exist.
Maybe the truth, is not found in any of those areas. Maybe the truth can only be known when it is experienced. And maybe it can only be experienced, when we let go of all our ideas of what is or isn’t out there, be it open-minded and some might argue ‘blind faith’ or having no faith at all.
What if the only way we can know the answers, and from those answers experience real peace, is by trusting, letting go and with eyes closed jump off that cliff and dive head first into the blind unknown.
A story comes to mind. It is the tale of the student who approaches his master teacher and tells him he needs to know the truth. The master takes the young boy out to the water’s edge and together they wade out to their waists. The master takes the boys head and pushes it under the water. At the first the boy is still, acquiescing to his master but after some seconds he starts to worry. As further time passes he starts to struggle against his masters strong grip and not before long he is kicking and flailing, and thrashing forcefully against his masters strength. Just when he is about to give up, his master pulls him out of the water and says ‘when you need the truth in just in the same way you needed that air, you come to me’.