About ‘The Rich Complexity of our Being’

A long and very interesting comment has just been posted about my recent article, ‘The Rich Complexity of Our Being’ (https://labofevolution.wordpress.com/2017/09/09/the-rich-complexity-of-our-being/).

It deserves an equally long, or even longer answer, as it is on various points that probably have been questions for other readers as well, so I’m bringing that long comment right here and will use it for this new post, which will be a kind of dialogue between that friend and me, through my answers (in italics) interwoven with the questions and other points he raised in his comment:

Bhaga,
Your quote from Shri Aurobindo was both clarifying and leading me to a further question.
As I’m learning more about Swedenborg’s ideas or interpreted journeys I see increasing similarities to Aurobindo’s ideas. Though granted it is presumptive to say anything about Aurobindo’s work as I know next to nothing just what I’ve glimmered in your blog.

I salute in passing the great Swedenborg, whom I may have indeed studied more long ago, as you do now, had I not have already a vision even vaster – truly all-encompassing – from the even more immense and multitudinous experience of  Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

2 of my guiding ideas.
1st, A wise man once told me, “there are no new truths”. (how could there be?) Beware of anyone who is selling such.

Of course there can be only one real Truth. But that Truth is not, as our mind, by its very nature divisive, makes us believe, one single point of view which makes all the other points of view necessarily false. The real Truth (the Supramental Truth, as Sri Aurobido and the Mother call it),  is the complete Reality of All There Is in its actually all encompassing wholeness, spherical so to say. It includes within Itself all those opposite points of view that to our mind seem to be contradicting each other. The mental truth constantly says “either this, or that”, while the Supramental Truth says “This, and that, and also that, and everything else too”. The best symbolic representation of this Truth as total Wholeness is the spherical shape of the Matrimandir, the central building of Auroville, itself founded as “a City at the service of Truth”:

img_0446

The problem of the Mental Consciousness is that its vision is by nature limited, and so, unable to see and comprehend the infinite Totality that the Truth is. So if it is correct that there can be no “new truths” as such, still our present perception of the total Truth may not be complete yet at all, and we may very well have still to discover new aspects of the complete Truth that we were not aware of before… and that might be called ‘new truths ‘ in that sense.

Moreover, not only is our mental perception terribly and inevitably limited, but that limited perception itself is also constantly altered  and modified by any mental beliefs each of us may happen to have: our beliefs will constantly add their own filter or coloration or twist to the perception in itself, turning it sometimes into the very opposite of what it really is. Our contemporary Science, for example, through its present materialistic belief system, is making itself blind to anything that may be quite real, but not acceptable as such within the parameters that Science still holds as those defining reality. With such a ‘reductionist’ outlook on everything, our Science misses some important aspects of the Total Truth that were already known to ancient cultures but are for this reason presently excluded of what is accepted as real by our Science. Those forgotten or rejected aspects of Truth will have then to be re-discovered gradually, again as if they were “new truths”.

2nd, God is everywhere always broadcasting to all unceasingly. Obvious when you think about it.

God may be indeed “everywhere always broadcasting to all unceasingly”, but the receivers are of all kinds and capacities in their individual uniqueness!….

But wait!… It seems this is exactly what you are saying too: you do put the question first, but then you yourself give the answer right away as well:

So, why the myriad churches, religions, prophets and saints and sages?
Up until very recently there hasn’t been a possibility of global communication. Because of all the different, times and lands, peoples, cultures, intelligences and customs on this planet this Unitive-intelligent-cosmic-being has had to appear throughout all these varying time places and peoples, in whatever way would be accessible to them. Something like the variety you hear in NDE stories.

Exactly, I would say!

For instance, the Old Testament stories happened for some tribes in an area of north Africa. Then the Christos came as a reformer. Look what some zealots and political maneuverings made of that.
This leads me to believe that there isn’t a best, much less an only way, or teaching.

How much I agree with you on that!…

And this is what Sri Aurobindo and the Mother themselves say too, mind you; even within the overall method of Integral Yoga they proposed, they advocated and used for each of their very different disciples an equally diverse way of guiding and helping them on their gradual discovery of what would become for each of them his or her unique way, similar to that of some others perhaps, but only to a certain extent.

Though because of ego’s need to somehow feel special

Do you mean ‘superior’? Because in truth, we are all special indeed, but that doesn’t mean in any way that we are superior to anyone else, as we all are an expression of the Divine, with each an equal potential to manifest our aspect of the Divine better and better…

the followers of each teacher and teaching need to assert theirs is the best or true way.

For sure there can be no “only true way”, as that is much too vague and universal a statement, making it a claim of absolute exclusivity of the Truth.

Nevertheless, if someone’s followers do say that theirs is the best way, but add immediately the specific spiritual goal or kind of spiritual achievement that the way they are following is best for, then they may be quite correct. The kind of training for running a marathon is not the same as for running a 100mts sprint, is it? And it is rather important to choose a coach who has experience and success with the kind of race you want to run, for s/he will be the best for that, obviously.

Or if you want to go to the Himalayas, obviously again you will choose a guide who has been there, and not one who has been instead to the Dead Sea. Both goals are equally valid in themselves, but depending on the one you are interested in, you will most certainly take the guide who has been there successfully, and so can lead you there too.

This reminds me of Krishna Das’s answer to what is the best practice? “The one you do”.

Quite a sensible fellow, this Krishna Das!…  But still, that statement too would need  the mention of your aim to be complete: if the practice you do is the wrong practice for what you are trying to achieve, that will not be of any help for you anyway, or it might even create in you obstacles and difficulties for reaching your real goal. Just one example to clarify this point: the kind of muscles you acquire through body-building will be rather a hindrance if you are trying to become a great swimmer…!

The same wise man said beware of ‘only solutions’.

If they smack of the usual mental exclusivism, your wise man is right; and yet, it is true also that one safety lock can only be opened by the key meant for it … and the equivalent can apply for spiritual goals too.

Which I, now say this as, ‘it doesn’t need to be either/or. It can be both/plus.

In general terms, yes, but again, for specific needs you may require specific means, employed either by you if you can, of better by the divine loving Wisdom that will take care of your evolutive process at every step if you entrust it to the care of what we can call the Divine as our Divine Mother.

Wisdom guides have specific work to do here and it will come thru them as specifically as a person of that time, place, talents or tendencies or strengths of the guide, saint Avatar or whatever.

Well, we do agree on that, it would seem!

It’s the devotees who don’t like ambiguity, who want to nail everything down. Being able to quote chapter and verse as is said about Christian Bible pundits.

This is quite true of those disciples (in any path) who tend, through a too rigid mind, to give more importance to the letter than to the spirit, and want everything codified and carved in stone, so as not to have to feel and apply at all the spirit behind the letter. But in the case of the evolutive, and so, all-inclusive path that the Integral Yoga is, there is often the necessity of identifying for example more precisely the various parts of our being, as Sri Aurobindo explained in the text I quoted in that previous article of mine we have been now commenting about together… I hope my answers  have been helpful!

Keep up the good work,
Silrak

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. donsalmon
    Sep 17, 2017 @ 12:18:35

    That’s interesting, I never heard that phrase applied to meditation. For many years, personal trainers have been asked what the best exercise is, and the answer has been “the one you do.” Probably the same for diets (the one you stick to), mantras, and much else!

    Though, there actually are some diets that are better than others, as with exercise, meditation practices, etc – but I’ve found that whatever I start with, personalizing it and making it my own (or letting Mother make it my own/Her own!) is usually the way it works out best.

    Fun inspiring column as usual, Bhaga, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Bhaga
      Sep 17, 2017 @ 12:55:31

      You say “I never heard that phrase applied to meditation”, but in this case it was applied to any kind of spiritual practice, I guess, not just meditation, nor even the kind Sri Aurobindo and Mother preferred to call ‘concentration,’…
      Regarding your own way of doing things, good that you mention it, as I can see that we do actually the very same thing!
      Cheers, and thanks for your appreciative comment too… 🙂

      Like

      Reply

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