Starting The Contemplative Life (1/5)

The reason it makes no difference what their religion may be is, of course, that there is only one God, there is only one Spirit. That Spirit doesn’t know the difference between a Jew or a Gentile; it doesn’t know the difference between a Protestant or a Catholic, an Oriental or an Occidental, or an American Indian. As far as the Spirit is concerned, it is entirely without any religious beliefs, convictions, ceremonies, rights, creeds, or forms of worship. It is an absolutely free and independent Spirit that permeates us just the same as the life of nature permeates a blade of grass, or it permeates an orchid, or a daisy, a violet, and it really doesn’t know the difference. And it makes no difference to it, whether it is a mongrel dog or a full-blooded dog – the same Life animates it; the same Spirit animates it.

1960 Maui Work
Tape 368 Side 1
Starting The Contemplative Life
Part 1 of 5

Good evening . . .
We want to take up the subject of “spiritual illumination,” and the means of attaining it. As you know, in the Eastern countries, the Oriental countries, those who were interested in attaining spiritual illumination, spiritual Light, went to a teacher and as a rule lived with or near the teacher over a period of six or seven, eight years. And, by means of meditation, with and without the teacher, meditation with other students, and certain studies, they eventually attained their illumination, or what in Japan is called satori, which really means enlightenment, or that fourth dimensional consciousness.
In India, also, those who wanted the enlightenment, found their guru, teacher, and, as a rule, went to live with or near the teacher for anywhere from 6 to 10 years. And by virtue of that personal contact, constant meditation, study, achieved some measure of enlightenment.
But, of course, mankind as a whole is not geared for everyone to desire or to need or even to have the capacity for full enlightenment, as is proven by the fact that many of these students and disciples who lived with their teachers even for 6 or 8 or 10 years did not receive it, while others may have received it in two, three or four years.
The question, then, isn’t one of attaining at first that degree of illumination which would set one up as a spiritual teacher or spiritual healer, but how to attain sufficient illumination, enlightenment to be able to free one’s self from the discords, the inharmonies of human living, and build up within themselves a spiritual sense that would not only lift them above the world’s troubles – or even family troubles or community troubles – but would enable them to live their normal, human, family or business or professional lives and yet be inspired, fed, supported by an inner experience, an inner contact.
Now . . . we know that all people of any religious turn of mind – and it really makes no difference what their religion may be – of any religious turn of mind, will attain some measure of inner harmony, of inner peace and will find themselves in possession of an inner Grace that lives their lives for them.
The reason it makes no difference what their religion may be is, of course, that there is only one God, there is only one Spirit. That Spirit doesn’t know the difference between a Jew or a Gentile; it doesn’t know the difference between a Protestant or a Catholic, an Oriental or an Occidental, or an American Indian. As far as the Spirit is concerned, it is entirely without any religious beliefs, convictions, ceremonies, rights, creeds, or forms of worship. It is an absolutely free and independent Spirit that permeates us just the same as the life of nature permeates a blade of grass, or it permeates an orchid, or a daisy, a violet, and it really doesn’t know the difference. And it makes no difference to it, whether it is a mongrel dog or a full-blooded dog – the same Life animates it; the same Spirit animates it.
And so it is that we are told in Scripture that His rain falls on the just and the unjust; and also, that there is neither Greek nor Jew; there is neither bond nor free – as far as God is concerned. In fact, the Master made that very clear when he said, “Call no man on earth your father, for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”
Now of course, if he were personalizing, if he meant that only for the people who were listening to him, then, of course, according to that God is only the Father of the Jews because that’s who he was talking to. There weren’t any Christians in his day; there wasn’t any Christian church or any Christian sect – there were only Jews. And he was one of them, a rabbi in their midst. And speaking to them he said, “Call no man on earth your father.” So that, if we were to take him personally, then we would have to say, “Well I guess then the Jews are the only ones who have God as their Father.”
But as a matter of fact, we know from his teaching that he was not speaking to anyone; he was voicing truth – just as if he had said “two times two are four” while, perhaps, speaking of cabbages but not meaning that only two times two cabbages are four, but meaning two times two are four – whether applied to cabbages or kings.
So when he says, “Call no man on earth your father,” he is not addressing you who are sitting in this room, nor was he addressing those who were sitting before him listening to him. He was talking out into the world, proclaiming a message that was given to him of God – “Call no man on earth your father.”
As was proven later, when Paul carried that same message to the heathens, to the pagans, the Europeans, even the atheists, and always he was voicing a spiritual truth, which isn’t meant to apply to you separate and apart from you – or from you or from you – but a spiritual truth must always be a universal truth.
Therefore, it must be the truth about Greek or Jew, it must be the truth about you or me; must be the truth about white or black. There is but one Father; there is but one God, and nobody has Him – He has us! Universally, impersonally, impartially – God has us because we are his Children.
But we do not have Him – not any more than a child possesses its parents. The parents are the parents of the children. The children belong to them, but the parents don’t belong to the children. And so it is; God is universal Being.
Now, no person on the face of the globe can hope for spiritual enlightenment unless they can first of all recognize that there can only be one creative principle of this world. Whether it creates cabbages or kings, whether it creates the Greek or the Jew – there can only be one creative principle. And its location is neither in holy mountains, nor yet in the temples in Jerusalem. Its location is neither “lo here nor lo there,” but within you. It makes no difference who the “you” may be. It makes no difference if it is the “you” in a hospital, the “you” in prison, “you” in business, “you” in art or profession . . . “the Kingdom of God is within you!”

End Part 1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: