Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Unitive, Inclusive View of God and Man

God, Allah, Ahura Mazda - the Ground of Being, whatever its name - knows no differences. It is only those who profess their singular and exclusive view of religion that separate themselves off from the eternal. Those who are consciously possessed of this Divine Ground within and without themselves make no such distinctions and place no restrictions on their vision of God, as they know it is distinction itself that separates them from Wholeness.

Thus, "the Shakespeare of Mystics," Rumi can say:
"Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu,
Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion

or cultural system. I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the oceans or up

from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all. I do not exist,

am not an entity in this world or the next,
did not descend from Adam and Ever or any

origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul.

I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
worlds as one and that one call to and know,

first, last, outer, inner, only that
breath breathing human being.
"The biographies of the saints," writes Aldous Huxley, "testify unequivocally to the fact that spiritual training leads to a transcendence of personality, not merely in the special circumstances of battle, but in all circumstances and in relation to all creatures, so that the saint "loves his enemies' or, if he is a Buddhist, does not even recognized the existence of enemies, but treats all sentient beings, sub-human as well as human, with the same compassion and disinterested good."

"Those who win through to the unitive knowledge of God set out upon their course from the most diverse starting points," Huxley notes. "One is a man, another a woman; one a born active, another a born comtemplative. No two of them inherit the same temperament and physical constitution, and their lives are passed in material, moral and intellectual environments that are profoundly dissimilar."

"Nevertheless," he observes, "as far as they are saints, insofar as they possess the unitive knowledge that makes them "perfect as their Father which is in heaven is perfect," they are all astonishingly alike. Their actions are uniformly selfless and they are constantly recollected, so that at every moment they know who they are and what is their true relation to the universe and its spiritual ground."

Saints, mystics and sages, it seems, regardless of their formal path (or lack of a path), have an acceptive, unitive and inclusive view of God and man, for they have realized in the very essence of their Being that they are inseparably a part of the Ground of Being that encompasses all. It is the unsaintly, non-mystical, unsagacious common man who makes distinctions based on his or her God. And, in doing so, he or she falls short of realizing the essence of their Being.

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