Fearlessness in Divergence - Beyond the Safety of the "Masters"

Ahimsananda's picture

Average: 5 (2 votes)
35 Crayons.jpg

One of the earliest 'philosophical" ideas came when I was no more than 8 or 9 years old. It occurred to me that just because I and my friend both called the same color crayon "red", did not mean that we both "saw" the same color. His view of red might be what I see as green, just as his perception of green might be what I perceive as red. But we both use the same color "names", so we assume we both see the same color. And more perplexing still, we will never know the answer, as we can not "see" for each other. No outside person can tell us, as they too live in a world of their own color perception.

This is much like it is on the "search". We all "seek" in a way that works for us. If we try to follow a "path", it must be our own. We would be unwise to ignore the paths that have gone before, but we must not try to imitate or "re-live" lives past.

As a Christian seeking monastic formation, one follows rules. First, rules of the Church, then rules of an order, and immediately, the rules and instructions of your superior. These include instructions from what to clean to how to contemplate. Some are good and some are not, but the institution requires they be followed.

The "belief" system also requires following dogma. How to pray, how to "envision" the Trinity, how to think of heaven and hell, and all the rest of it. This is where I broke down. I reached a point where I no longer believed in the part of the Creed that calls Christ "Our only mediator and advocate." I saw infinite possibilities. It was here I found Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj and Advaita.

One of the things I have felt called to do is try to break the fear that causes seekers not to go on beyond the confines of what they know, or feel they should. Christians fear Hell if they fail to see Jesus as "Lord". Fundamentalists feel they must find some approval in the words of the Bible. They will go to the extreme of doubting Darwin, or trying to find Noah's Ark rather than simply look for themselves at what is in front of them.

I find "fundamentalists" in Advaita as well. Not just the "Neo-Advaitins", but many who follow a "stricter", more traditional path.

I recently used a word in a blog that is not the usual word used for describing the indescribable. I was told "the 'realized' use a different word as a reference." This is a way of appealing to authority. This reference to the "realized" is no different than referring to The Roman Catholic Church's Magisterium, or referencing the Bible itself. It is fine to read and learn, and the Masters from Buddha, Christ, Sankara, to Ramana and Nisargadatta, have much to teach, and it is "do as I do", not just follow words. All the above, from Buddha to Nisargadatta, were different. Different from society, and different from each other. They all had a slightly different message, resulting in the same Awareness.

Each Master, each one of us, has an ongoing "connection" to the ultimate reality. Most of us have a "hallway" full of "junk" in our spiritual house that blocks the view, but it's there. Only we can clean our hallway. It's our junk. Sometimes someone comes along to "help" in the cleaning. Not in the cleaning itself, but in the "organization" of the effort. Some will find Christ is the one to sort out the situation. Others will not like his methods, and turn to Buddha, or Ramana. The sheep know the shepherd, and the shepherd knows the sheep. The important point here is that each "realized" being interprets the message differently. Each has his references, and his body/mind's conditioning, so different words will be used, different concepts employed. So we must be very careful in quoting "the realized", just as we should things from the Bible, or any text.

But really, the important thing is openness. If we restrict our "path" to Awareness only to those things, ideas, experiences, and practices recommended by others, we may miss our "salvation".

There is a story I heard long ago, about a man who was sure he could trust God. He know that God would create a miracle, if only he needed one. One day, while crossing a high bridge over a bay, the man fell in. The water was swift, and the man was immediately in trouble. The man went into deep prayer, "only God can save me now", he thought. Just then, he was spotted by a ship passing by. But he was lost in prayer and deep meditation, and the ship could not reach him without his cooperation.

An airplane spotted him next, and tried to contact him, but by this time, he was lost in prayer and beseeching, and he heard nothing. Next a helicopter flew over, and even let down a net, but even though he saw it this time, he was going to leave it to "trust" in the lord to save him. He drowned.

Upon arriving in Heaven, and being introduced to God, the man asked God why he had not saved him. God scratched his head, and said, "I don't know what happened, didn't you see the ship, plane and helicopter I sent?

We don't want to miss something because someone, no matter who, disagrees. We all "arrive" at Awareness in a unique way. Christ in his, Ramana in his. "Yours" too, will be unique.

This is where trust, and what Nisargadatta calls absolute fearlessness, come into play. Being bound by the restraints of a church doctrine, a Bible or the writings of the Masters will not let us find Awareness in our "selves". While the writings and words of the Masters are our guides, we may be given a different path, and their words may prove stumbling blocks in it's way.

To step beyond the teaching, beyond the gate of fear and the comfortable, allows you to BE the teaching.

B-friend's picture


Heck, I'll give you a 5 on that one. The "red crayon metaphor" was one of my epiphanies too.

B-friend | Sun, 07/11/2010 - 23:50
genep's picture

Step ON, not beyond.

“To step beyond the teaching, beyond the gate of fear and the comfortable, allows you to BE the teaching.”
to "step beyond" is often more or less impossible: because everything learned forces the Observer to observe ONLY what society, academics, theology, philosophy and science allows the Observer to observe.

What can turn the dualistic-table over very quickly, and easily, however, is to walk all over ALL the DUALITIES that society/religion/science values … this applies especially for the biggest roadblock to "Awakening": GOD ( and even the guru if he/she/it dares get in the way).

Sooner or later funny things start to happen as dualities START to vanish slowly at first but then faster and faster ... as wisdom turns into stupidity,...
and with a swift-kick
god turns around
just long enough
to vanish as a demon or devil.

... in the ruthless but comical process of walking on ALL values … heads can spin on how easy it is to find one-self in a “Spirituality”
looking into a black-hole called “reality”
that society/science/religion
gurus and especially god needs
to look, sound and feel safe and secure inside.

– really, Really, REALLY

genep | Mon, 07/12/2010 - 20:44