In the world of religions there are many faiths, beliefs and behaviors.
Typically 2 different paths have been embraced by the world. The first one is the monotheistic belief. That is, there is an all-powerful God to believe in. The second path is represented by Dharmic religions. Mainly Buddhism. For them, the question is not about knowing God, but on being illuminated, reaching self-realization.
Two different paths, we think.
In reality, it is the same thing just understood in two different ways.
Monotheistic religions have emphasized God as the ultimate goal. We cannot possess God. We can only become “like Him.”
Becoming “like Him” is the ultimate. Here is where plenty of interpretations have occurred in our perceptions: From asking God to help us, to worshipping God, to fighting for God, to praying to God for miracles, to loving God alone, to fearing God alone, to living for God alone, etc.
Very few have gotten to “being like Him.”
The question is:
What actually “being like Him” entails? 🙂
Simple. To be illuminated, self realized.
Two different paths leading to the same thing.
The Taoist verse below explains this paradox with greater elucidation:
“Do you wish to free yourself of mental and emotional knots and become one with the Tao? If so, there are two paths available to you. The first is the path of acceptance. Affirm everyone and everything. Freely extend your goodwill and virtue in every direction, regardless of circumstances. Embrace all things as part of the Harmonious Oneness, and then you will begin to perceive it. The second path is that of denial. Recognize that everything you see and think is a falsehood, an illusion, a veil over the truth. Peel all the veils away, and you will arrive at the Oneness. Though these paths are entirely different, they will deliver you to the same place: spontaneous awareness of the Great Oneness. Once you arrive there, remember: it isn’t necessary to struggle to maintain unity with it. All you have to do is participate in it. “
Hua Hu Ching CH 48
“(“Souls come down here to play a part. The part is of 84 births. You play all-round parts. This drama is predestined. Everyone has his own imperishable part within him that can never be erased. You will continue to experience 84 births.”) Sir what I understand from above lines is that in every ‘Yug’ whatever part or role we play is prefixed and we play this part or role according to our state of consciousness (soul conscious or body conscious state). For e.g. like when a director gives a role to an actor/actress, that actor plays it according to his own capability, strength & qualities….Does it mean that in Golden & silver age we are more of soul conscious & near to God (means Godlike) we play that role perfect but in Copper & Iron age we are more of body conscious this is why we are suffering so much? means we didn’t play that role perfectly and thus our karma became vikarm. Every time we played that fixed role it means our state of consciousness is also fixed??? Plz explain this i am confuse… 🙂 “
Thank you for your question!
To understand the above with greater depth, I hope that you realize that dualistic language will make things hard to grasp.
It is an experience. It has to happen in your awareness for you to see it, otherwise you will remain confused with only intellectual information, concepts, reasoning, logic, all of that.
Consciousness is not fixed. Consciousness is. There can be less or more consciousness accordingly in life. Those are called “roles” in life.
When avyakt7 says : “you,” he is not referring to you as part of existence, but you as a concept, something separated from the rest when there is truly no separation.
“You” as what you think that you are…. doesn’t exist.” It is an illusion, Maya.
Forget concepts, definitions… those will only increase that sense of “I.”
This eternal movie plays through “you” but “you” truly don’t exist. 🙂 You are part of that movie. There is just eternal consciousness, once “you” experience that, all your troubles about understanding beliefs and dualistic thought will be over.
Consciousness is the movie.
Descartes said:” I think therefore I am.” That just shows basic consciousness.
“I am, therefore; I am not;” has way more validity.
When you are consciously aware of yourself, that is when you observe yourself; (when you remember God alone in your belief system) then you will see that there is a consciousness of “I” appearing where there was none before. From that point, “I” against the world became alive. That is suffering. That “I” is known as ego.
In this movie of life, if your consciousness is able to discern that you are not the role being played through you, that is when the dreamer realizes that everything is just a dream. From that moment you will start enjoying the dream as something to experience. Then, you will be a “detached observer.” Then you will perform “neutral” karma, then you will be “soul conscious,” then you will be “illuminated,” then the “I” from ego will not bet there, so you will be “egoless,” then you will have “all relationships with the Father,” then you will be “equal to God.” You will be beyond duality.
Because “you” are not there. 🙂
At this point the concepts of predestination or free will, do not have any meaning. Concepts of time and “yugs” are meaningless.
If “you” are there, then you will experience duality and with that suffering and pleasure, because there is a center, this “I” which feels separated from everything else and rejects one side of duality to pursue the other.
The above is Brahma Kumaris knowledge in its depth. It is also Buddhism, Taoism and Zen in a nutshell.
Spiritual knowledge could be put into 3 “containers” in the human being:
1) The intellect: Reforming religions are in this group. It is about a philosophy behind it as “how to behave,” laws, commandments, etc are included. Their knowledge is meant to reform human beings. God is used as the source of that reformation. Examples: Christianity, Islam, Brahma Kumaris, Judaism.
Their views on “laws” are balanced with love for God. Without that love, their knowledge would be dry to digest. Notice that all of those religions have a philosophical eschatology (end of times) in their views. Even Buddhism could be considered here as pointed out by Wikipedia:
2) The heart: The above religions could also fit into the heart in a way. There is that love for God. Probably Sufism is one of the higher exponents of this love to a super natural entity called God; but the “pure” path of the heart is shown by Taoism. In Taoism, it is about Nature and that love is not related with philosophical ideas or intellectual knowledge, but by observation and relation with Nature. That on going relationship brings that love with practical knowledge based on that observation. Thus, there is no philosophy about the origin of times or the end of times, nor explanations about God. It is the path of the heart because of that union experienced with everything while relating in it.
For many, God is metaphysical experience and hard to relate to. Nature however is available for all, although, most are not sensible enough to relate with it in that love. That demonstrates that our sensibility to beauty and gratitude to life is not developed.
There may be other paths as well relating with the heart.
3) The mind: This is the path of perception and deep observation of the self. Even though there may be, a philosophical belief of end of times or beginnings; the emphasis is on the mind since the mind is the filter, the lens which will connect us to our “reality.” Without a study of the mind, our perception will be colored by beliefs only. Zen is probably the highest exponent of this path. Buddhism also has the study of the mind as a main teaching.
Therefore, we have those 3 paths. All of them bring different experiences in the self. As a matter of fact, those individuals who are balanced in those 3 aspects in whatever their religion may be, are realizing wisdom. Then that wisdom will automatically take them into the ultimate “container” of knowledge; that is our ELEVATED ACTIONS. In other words, the confluence of those 3 paths should take us into our plain activity in the world. Our actions will show our spiritual level based on having walked the path of the intellect, the heart and the mind to know ourselves.
The law of karma (cause-effect) demonstrates this, for an elevated activity brings an elevated return.