Post your essay. Get expert feedback. For free.We're trying to help students improve their writing the hard way. Do you know students who want critical essay reviews from a professor of English Literature? Click like to share. Click here to sign up and post your own essay. We offer no paid services. All reviews are completely free.
Essay In Truth - Flagged
When we ask questions in search of spiritual truth, we’ll never find the answer that will satisfy our questions because:
1.) The need that we are trying to fulfill within ourselves by asking intellectual questions cannot be touched or filled in the least through intellectual knowledge, no matter how great or correct that knowledge may be. Knowledge cannot bridge the separation between oneself and the Ultimate Reality. That can only be bridged through the actual merging of one’s own being into the Ultimate Reality, which can only happen through personal experience. “You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life...but you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” (John 5:39-40). It must be experienced.
2.) We are taught through reason and logic that something is either true or else it is false, so we phrase our questions based on that reasoning to acquire an answer that must separate true from false or right from wrong. Therefore, all the questions we normally ask as to “Is this true?” or “Is this false?” or “Is this belief better than that belief?” are all wrong questions—or, better said, wrong logic. If we are to get an inkling of the truth, we must look deeper into the question and instead of asking whether something is right or wrong we must change our logic and ask the question, “What does it do?” And we need to feel “within” ourselves what takes place if we actually believe in and practice any particular concept, religious doctrine, or philosophy.
It is common sense that if people found the Truth in China, Japan the U.S., India, or any other place, that the truth they’d find would have to be the same. But their expression of that truth would very greatly, depending upon their cultural influences, language, and customs. This is to say that in fact every religious belief, concept, and philosophy is correct. Using our normal, everyday reason and logic, everyone would agree that this statement is absurd. How, for instance, could a religion believing that Christ is the Son of God and one not believing that Christ is the Son of God be equally true? Or how could one that believes in reincarnation as opposed to one that believes in Heaven and Hell also be equally true? Very simply: wrong logic. Although they’re all equally true, they’re also all equally false. The truth cannot be held in words. It must be experienced. Religious beliefs, concepts, philosophies, etc. are methods to lead a person to that inexpressible, experiential Truth. Once again, we must ask, “What does believing and practicing this make happen within me?” And here we find, below the surface, a commonality or sameness of all religious belief systems and an identical leading to that one Truth out of which these religions grew.
For example, if I were to believe in reincarnation (including karma in its simplest form), I’d know that no matter what took place in my life, I could live life after life until I got it right, so I wouldn’t be troubled so much in my present life situation. And if some calamity happens during my present life, the impact of that calamity (the worry and grief over the situation) would be slight because according to that belief, it would be a retribution of some previous negative action on my part that was being paid back. And through belief in karma, one can actually feel calm and grateful in negative situations. If I am Christian, I believe in Heaven and Hell, but because I would believe that Christ died for my sins, then I would be heaven-bound no matter what, and life’s experiences can be tolerated by my having faith in the hereafter. These are two examples of two completely different ideologies that produce the same effect, which is a reduction in fear and worry (i.e., a reduction in thought). If you look through all the different rituals (Buddhist meditation; Old Testament sacrifices; Christian prayer, communion, fasting or singing of hymns), you’ll find the same result occurs: reduction of thought.
Descartes said, “I think; therefore, I am.” To phrase this closer to the truth, one would have to alter it a bit and say, “I think; therefore, I appear to be.” To go a step further, the reverse is also true: “I don’t think; therefore, I am not.” The “I” in “I don’t think” is my normal, everyday self, and the “I am not” is God (or, better said, self-God realization). This means, then, “I cease thought; therefore, I experience God.” On that simple truth rests the validity of all religious beliefs and practices as methods to bring about a reduction in thought, which leads to spiritual experience. In looking a bit deeper into the statement “I don’t think; therefore, I experience God,” there is an important truth that becomes apparent. That truth is that what we are seeking is already present, and that what stands between spiritual experience and our present ignorance is simply the activity of our mind. When our mind ceases thought, we automatically awaken to our true nature and our life’s problems are ended. “...the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Now the problem: No matter what religious method or path we should choose to believe in and follow, the best that can be accomplished is only a reduction in thought. Any effort to cease thought entirely will fall short because it requires thought to make that effort. The only exceptions I’m aware of are extremely dangerous drugs or accidents where someone may momentarily “die” and be revived. You’ll hear them speak similarly of life as an illusion and the Utopia or Ocean of Love and Light that lives within. Anyway, by normal means, it is “humanly” impossible to see “God.”
The solution: The solution cannot be explained. It, too, must be experienced. That is, when thought is reduced sufficiently through meditation, prayer, or other religious methods, there is within us a power or energy that will rise and manifest itself within the space or room that exists in the absence of so many thoughts. “...out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water, but this spake He of the Spirit...” (John 7:38, 39). This “conscious contact” with the power within is experienced by most as a pressure or energy mass across the bridge of the nose, between the eyes or in their forehead. In the beginning, it may feel like a headache. This manifestation of power is called many different names by the various religions: Christians: Holy Spirit, Christ Within, Christ’s Name, or The Word; Jews: Light Within, Spirit of God (Rauch); Hindus: rising kundalini, Zen Buddhism, the ox; Chinese, Chi. Although the names differ, the pattern of development is the same, and that is: following a religion in which there occurs a reduction in thought brings about a conscious awareness of this manifestation of power and when cultivated or allowed to manifest, it will become strong enough to allow the activity of our normal thinking mind to rest securely within “it” and cease thought. In that no thought, the manifestation of power is the vehicle which carries us into “The Kingdom of God” or “Nirvana.” “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons/daughters of God...” (John 1:12).
Even though we are manifested and without thought, we still retain awareness, or a witnessing capability, and our Will; therefore, this is as much something that happens to us as it is something we permit and help to take place. And as we are lifted out (or, as Zen would say, “as we let our minds and bodies fall”), we will always be in awareness of what is happening but not aware of where it’s leading us. This moment is called a “leap of faith,” a leap that can be halted by us at anytime if we are not ready, due to our fear of the unknown or our clinging to our present life as we know it. This point brings to mind one of Christ’s teachings, which is, “Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25). Also, another: “You must be born again” (John 3:7). It goes almost without saying that to be born again, we are first talking about facing what seems to be our own death, which, to our normal mind, brings about a great deal of fear and apprehension. But to the “manifested mind,” we find our security not within our earthly existence but within the comfort and security of the manifestation itself.
The question that usually arises at this point is, “Will I be able to come back?” Once again, wrong logic. In truth, nothing actually changes; yet everything has changed for us. The death is not a dying but a complete breakaway from our limited mind into the truth of who and what we really are and always have been. The “death” is the death of ignorance. We have now become enlightened or awakened to our true nature and walk in the knowledge of what we are, of what life is, where we came from, and where we’re going. “The Comforter (Holy Spirit, Raised Power, or Manifestation) will teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance” (John 14:26).
So, to sum up what is important in seeking the truth: it has to be through one’s own personal experience or revelation, which is brought about by a contact and reliance upon that inner power or manifestation. The initial inner contact with that power is “not” brought about by increasing our knowledge, concepts, or beliefs, but by actually a reduction of thought or a surrender of our “self,” which is our thinking mind with all of its beliefs. As Christ said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). A “rich man” is rich in ideas, beliefs, attachments, thoughts, fears and desires. As Adam was expelled from the Garden of Eden because he ate of the tree of knowledge, so we must surrender our knowledge to re-enter the Garden of Eden and eat of the tree of eternal life (or, as said in Zen, “return to our original nature”). And all of this happens naturally, of its own accord, for anyone who desires it and raises the power within. “And he said to them all, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself (no thought), and take up his cross daily (raise the manifestation; power), and follow me (let go)” (Luke 9:23).
This essay has been flagged for deletion because it contains previously published material.