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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Want to find spiritual truth?

Look to Yourself

...If you wish to have spiritual truth, you must investigate it this way: Do not, O Kalamas, be satisfied with hearsay or tradition, with legend or what is written in the great scriptures, with conjecture or logic, or with liking for a view or disliking it, or saying, 'This comes from a great master or teacher.' But look to yourselves...”
The Buddha

If you truly want to know truth, there is no substitute for the work of investigating for oneself. There is no ultimate truth, there is only your truth, and my truth, and the next person's truth. When we don't do the work of self-investigation, we are like lambs who can be easily rounded up and driven over a cliff. Just ask the folks in Germany during the Third Reich; they believed, they followed, and the results will live in infamy forever.

We all love a charismatic leader; someone who exudes confidence, charm and know-how. But the same charisma that draws us to that person, can turn dark and dangerous when they gain power over us. Think Jim Jones and the cyanide laced Kool-Aid, or Charlie Manson and his lethal tribe of girls.

In choosing what to believe is truth, we must cut out all the clatter of celebrity, and media moguls, and cultural trends and go within. We must ask and ask again, “What is my truth? What is true for me?” The further advice of the Buddha: “Only when you know in yourself when things are wholesome, blameless, commended by the wise, and when adopted and practiced lead to welfare and happiness, should you practice them. When they lead to virtue, honesty, loving-kindness, clarity, and freedom, then you must follow them.”

If you wish to lead a grace-filled life, seek your own truth; ask for guidance from within, and you will never be led astray.

                                                           In the Spirit,

1 comment:

Charles Kinnaird said...

thanks for the word today, Jane. It is serendipitous because I’m reading Karen King’s The Gospel of Mary of Magdala right now. Though only a fragment of that gospel remains, it has a fascinating point of view. One thing that is similar to your post here is the warning that is given about anyone who claims the Son of Man is coming to save them. The Gospel of Mary proclaims that “the Child of True Humanity” (which is how that “Son of Man" phrase is translated) is made known within you.

The traditional gospels have warnings saying don’t listen to anyone who says the Son of Man if here or there. THose passages are warning against false messiahs who will lead people astray, but the Gospel of Mary is even more radical than that. Mary advises the disciples to find the Child of True Humanity within themselves.