One of the biggest fascinations of my life has been with the root of spiritual truth. I always wonder where the great spiritual traditions stemmed from, because they all seem to share a lot of similarities yet they seem very difficult to reconcile if we get into the fine details. Jesus said “I and the Father are One,” and this is the main idea in Hinduism, that we are all one with the Godhead, and that God is always creating, manifesting everything that we see in the world. A quote by Meister Eckhart expresses this same sentiment: “The eye with which I see God is the same with which God sees me. My eye and God’s eye is one eye, and one sight, and one knowledge, and one love.” Swami Vivekananda, who was one of the most important Hindu monks when it comes to bringing Hinduism to the USA and to North America in general. He said that when he started his journey as a monk the two books he had with him were the Bhagavad Gita and The Imitation of Christ. It makes sense that he would take the Gita with him since it’s a Hindu holy book, but why The Imitation of Christ? It’s because Vivekananda could see the same truth in Jesus’ words and life as he knew from his own life as a Hindu monk. That reminds me of another great quote by Meister Eckhart, “Theologians may quarrel but the mystics of the world speak the same language.” It seems to me that this is correct. If you study the mystical or esoteric side of most religions, there are a lot of concepts which are the same, and it makes me think that these are universal truths that will always remain true until the end of time, and which have been known since the beginning of time and passed down through the ages. One thing which always seems strange to me is how the Old and New Testament are considered two parts of the same book which make up a whole, but there are so many differences between the commandments of the Old Testament and what Jesus stood for and lived by. For example, in the Old Testament Jehovah orders Moses to stone people for all kinds of things, then Jesus comes up to a group of people who are about to stone an adulterous woman and tells them that only he who is free of sin should throw the first stone, obviously meaning that no stone should be thrown since we are all sinners. In another story Jesus tells some people that they should heal the sick even though it was the Sabbath, which I take to mean that people’s lives are more important than following some rule. So why are there these contradictions? Why is Jesus the second coming of the same God of the Old Testament? In a way it makes much more sense that he was a spiritual man who saw the evils of the society he lived in and decided to stand up for what he felt to be correct, things I’m pretty sure most of us would agree with him on, like how ridiculous it is to stone a person even because of something like adultery. Jesus was a rebel in my eyes, and if he was a man then that’s a huge inspiration for us to aspire to live in such a way. if he was God, on the other hand, the same God of the Hebrews from long ago, then why was he so different? There are many thoughts about the God of the Old Testament, the Gnositcs even went as far as to refer to it as the demiurge. Now, I haven’t gotten too deep into Gnosticism, so I have no opinion on that matter as of yet, but I know that things may not be as clear as Christianity makes them out to be. if Jesus was really a mystical man, a spiritual and philosophical person, then maybe the concepts he was learning and teaching about were those of the Kabbalah, which is the mystical tradition of Judaism. The crazy thing about the Kabbalah is that it refers to things such as reincarnation, which makes it more similar to Hinduism in that regard than to Christianity. The Kabbalistic concept of the big bang, or the tzim-tzum as they call it, is that of bread of shame. This concept basically means that, at the beginning of creation, all souls were one, and they all received constant energy from the Godhead, but somehow these souls, since they were all part of the Godhead and filled with its energy, became conscious enough to want to transmit energy themselves, rather than just receive. It’s as if you got something for free and so you feel shame about it, because you couldn’t get it on your own. God, or the supreme consciousness that was at the beginning of time, granted the wish and put all these souls into bodies, creating this physical world, a world where we could exercise our free will to give, not only to receive. The problem that arose was that, the souls felt that something was missing, since they were not fully receiving the divine energy which they were receiving at one point, and this created unlimited desires. Now we desire everything, and we desire things non-stop, and we are doomed to always feel desires we can never fully satisfy, until we finally come to understand that all of these desires are just masking the true desire within, the true desire of all humanity, which is to reconnect with the Godhead, to feel that completely satisfying energy once again. The Kabbalah has a concept of emanations, meaning that the divine energy is filtered many times before arriving at our world. I’m not an expert so I can’t go into the specifics of it, but the main idea is that there are many realms of reality, each more material then the next, and every dimension mirrors, in a way, the dimension above it. Things in the higher planes make things happen in the lower planes, and vice-versa. This seems very similar to the Hermetic concept of “As above, so below.” Hermeticism is another very deep science, and it is said that it comes from Ancient Egypt. Isn’t it strange that there is a very close connection between the Ancient Hebrews and the Ancient Egyptians? I wonder how exactly the wisdom of the Kabbalah and the wisdom of Hermeticism are interconnected. I wanted this to be a post about the main spiritual ideas and how they all seem to connect, in my eyes, but I see I’ve gotten to the thousand words and have only rambled randomly! I can’t help it though because these ideas bring up crazy trains of thought in my mind, and everything seems to connect in some form or another. At times I feel what Buddha meant when he said that he would rather focus on the practical aspects of spirituality rather than wondering about God or Gods. Anyway, I just have to keep learning, and I’ll probably continue these ideas in some future posts. Blessings to you all.
~ rebel eye