Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, February 18, 2010

God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true.
The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by
stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a

Ramakrishna, Hindu/universal “saint”, born on this
date, 1836, in a rural village outside of Calcutta

“True”. It’s an elusive word. Can anyone really define “True”? I’ve thought about this for decades. Is there such a single thing as “true”, or is it something to be only approached, by various ways to the “roof”?

“Roof” is a powerful metaphor for “union with God”, and for “the unity with all existence”. (See Ramakrishna’s short biography at ) Ramakrishna said that he knew both. I’ve had that experience. It isn’t, I think, a big deal, something open only to a few. I remember standing on a huge rock that stuck out into “space” high up in the Los Padres National Forest one retreat day when I was at Mt. Calvary Monastery in Santa Barbara. The sun was warm. The air was scented with sage. My eyes were charmed with California poppies. The sea glittered and danced far below me. The warm wind was flowing past me – and I thought of, “you do not know where the wind comes from or where it is going; so it is with the Spirit”. I took off all my clothes, sat on the warm rock, closed my eyes – and felt myself become one with Existence, with “God”.

We are indeed beckoned to the roof. It’s our destiny. We can call it what we want: “union with God”, merging with Being, comfortable in the Universe, whatever.

No religion is “truth”. It only participates in Truth. Offers its own particular rope or stair. Some may speak to us, some not. It depends on many things, internal and external. I now believe it is the subtle work of Evil at work in the human mind and spirit that sets one religion in hate and arrogance and pride against another.

If our chosen path, however singular or eclectic, makes us see all things as part of ourselves and demands our honour, it is “true”.


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