Nicely put, Neo.
Speaking of Zen, here’s an apt story:The Zen master Mu-nan had only one successor. His name was Shoju. After Shoju had completed his study of Zen, Mu-nan called him into his room. “I am getting old,” he said, "and as far as I know, Shoju, you are the only one who will carry on this teaching. Here is a book. It has been passed down from master to master for seven generations. The book is very valuable, and I am giving it to you to represent your successorship.”
“If the book is such an important thing, you had better keep it,” Shoju replied. “I received your Zen without writing, and am satisfied with it as it is.”
“Even so," said Mu-nan, "this book has been carried from master to master for seven generations, so keep it as a symbol of having received the teaching." With that, he handed the book to Shoju.
The two happened to be talking beside a wood stove. The instant Shoju felt the book in his hands, he thrust it into the flames.
Mu-nan yelled, “What are you doing!”
Shoju replied, “What are you saying!”
... I don't agree with your VERY BIG “IF a seeker is sincere “. I say that there is GOD and only GOD and the only place “we” can be is on the path, there is no where else to be
I agree with you.
That said, here’s what is becoming increasingly apparent to me: Despite the obvious appearances and experiences to the contrary, there is no such thing as a spiritual path.
If God is Infinite, as must be the case, otherwise God is not God, then It is all Divine – every thing and every one every where however defined without exception.
That reality does not seem to me to allow for the existence of a spiritual path or process which carries us from an “away from God” place toward and to an “at one with God” place. If it is all Divine, if it is all the
Divine, how can there exist an “away from God” place? Where would it be?
Increasingly, it seems to me that what we have is more like a spectrum (or rather, Spectrum) than a path, a Spectrum along which every point is Divine and “at one with God”, but along which there are points at which That Reality is apparent and other points at which That Reality is not apparent, and the difference between them is what some call the Veil or the Cloud of Unknowing or whatever label we like, which is itself Divine, even the Divine Himself, but which is not of our doing or of our undoing. And when the Veil is present, it is because the Divine Will (which, like everything else, is too the Divine Himself) wills it, and when it is not present, it is because the Divine Will wills it so.
In a word, as so many of the traditions suggest (when all the curlicues and frou-frou are brushed away and distilled out), our function – as “seekers” – is to do nothing but simply be ourselves with enthusiasm, do whatever it is we do, precisely because there is nothing else we can do. And the Divine takes care of all the rest.
There are many Teachers and Teachings which express this lesson, but nowhere that I am aware of is it said more clearly and succinctly than in the commandment, “Consider the lilies, and how they grow”.
The God revealed in Leviticus is simply not the God revealed in the New Testament.
Of course, I know what you mean, but actually, it is the same God, isn’t it, only described and related to differently by different people living at different times in different cultures reaching to make different points.
with the idea that "all roads lead to god" (they do) and that "all religions say the same thing” (they don't) ... What you'll find is not that they all say the same thing, but that they all are rooted in the same reality, and all reveal a single Mind at work revealing Itself/Himself to anyone who will take the time to listen.
Well, yes and no.
At the outset of my journey, it did not seem to me in the least that they were all saying the same thing. Quite the contrary. But more and more, it is clear to me that in fact they are identical in virtually every sense but the spelling. My expectation is that, for me, this phenomenon will become more pronounced and increasingly evident as I go on, to the point that everything written or spoken, wherever and whenever and by whomever, will be heard and seen to be saying the very same One Thing, there being nothing else to say.
The differences issue from language, culture, geography, history, social mores, legal values, and so on. It is very difficult to read past those in any written work, but especially in religious scriptures, so fraught are they with emotional and psychological memories and other baggage. What Muslim in Palestine can read today from the Torah without thinking of settlements on the Golan Heights? What Jew in Tel Aviv can read from the Qur’an without thinking of suicide bombers?
Maine’s state legislature is currently considering legalizing same-sex marriage. The discussion – or, I should say, the argument – has spilled into the newspapers, where every day there appear letters to the editor pro and con. Most of the letters seem to have been written by sensible, thinking persons, and virtually all of them quote scripture in support of their position.
Years ago, before I “left the world", an economist told me “You can prove anything with statistics. Tell me what you want proven, and I will manipulate the statistics to prove it”. The same is true of the scriptures of every religion.
In the end, I suppose it is a question of where are we standing (who or what we think we are) when we are looking. Eventually, I suspect we Realize that regardless of what we seem to be looking at, we are looking at ourselves.