Are we foolish to believe in a ‘personal’ God?

Are we foolish to believe in a ‘personal’ God?

Here is the daily email for today – a short quote plus Eknath’s commentary – from the Eknath Easwaran site. Eknath was a wonderful interspiritual teacher long before the term was invented.

‘By love may He be gotten and holden, by thought never. – from THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING

The supreme, radiant Being that dwells in our own consciousness cannot be attained by any amount of reasoning, for this Being is one and indivisible, beyond all duality. But by loving Him “with all our heart, and all our soul, and all our strength,” we can come to live in Him completely. When we learn to love Her more than we love ourselves, our consciousness is unified.

It is all very well to talk about the Ultimate Reality, the Great Void, but we cannot love a Void. Here it is that we need God in an aspect we can love and understand – the Supreme Poet, the sustainer and protector of all, from whom we came into existence and to whom we shall return. We need a divine ideal like Sri Krishna, Jesus the Christ, the Compassionate Buddha, or the Divine Mother.

Loving the Lord means loving the innermost Self in all those around us. We need only somehow to increase our capacity to love – because we do not live in what we think; we live in what we love.’

A QUESTION ANSWERED: Eknath answers a question I’ve had for some time “Does it make sense in the 21stC to school yourself into a relationship with a personal version of God – given that the modern teachers e.g. Paul Tillich refer to Ultimate Being – and indeed that much earlier teachers refer to the void or the formless etc?” Yes it does.

God as infinite being may be unknowable but her/his love and knowledge flows via his Messengers – and through Creation as a whole. At least three of the major traditions refer to God having made (hu)man(ity) in His own image so the limits of that with which we can have a relationship are the Messengers – who perfectly reflect the heat of God’s love and the light of His knowledge. They were human as well as Divine.

They are like transformers that limit the infinite love and knowledge down to levels that we can bear – just as the transformer on your laptop reduces mains electricity to a few bolts. Without the transformer the laptop would blow up. We without the Messengers of God would either blow up or more likely remain in the grossest ignorance.

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The Thought for the Day is today’s entry from Eknath Easwaran’s Words to Live By.’ Get a brilliant quote each day from the Eknath Easwaran site – here – http://www.easwaran.org/thoughts-for-the-day-quotes.html

I try to have one email coming in each day for all of the Traditions from which we take our primary inspiration.

Eknath Easwaran: “The still mind is the instrument of observation” “Each of you can make your life a perfect work of art.”

“Each of you can make your life a perfect work of art. Just as others write beautiful poetry, you can make your life such a work of art that everyone who sees it will be inspired.” – Eknath Easwaran

This is from the Eknath Easwaran blog for young people – http://yameditation.org/blog

Easwaran’s books are here –
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eknath-Easwaran/e/B000APGY1O/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1458625092&sr=1-1

Easwaran’s website – http://www.easwaran.org/eknath-easwaran.html

Published on 13 Feb 2016
Easwaran summarizes the insights of the sages of ancient India, and, as he unfolds these glimpses of the supreme reality, he also shows how they can transform our daily life and our world. As the awareness of unity dawns in us through meditation, our consciousness gradually expands to embrace all of life.

In this extract Easwaran speaks of the great mystics’ journeys to reach the state of stillness of mind, where their vision of the world and the universe became clear, whole.

You can download the full video on our website at http://www.easwaran.org/video-downloads.html and you can subscribe to the monthly series at http://www.easwaran.org/easwarans-video-of-the-­month.html

Conquering the heart

If thou canst walk on water
Thou art no better than a straw.
If thou canst fly in the air
Thou art no better than a fly.
Conquer thy heart
That thou mayest become somebody.

– ANSARI

Get your daily quote from this wonderful inter-spiritual teacher HERE http://www.easwaran.org/

Eknath Easwaran was a dedicated to inter-spirituality long before Brother Wayne Teasdale invented the term

Very highly recommended: ‘Words to live by’ by Eknath Easwaran.

For those with an inter-spiritual heart I recommend very highly ‘Words to live by’ a book by Eknath Easwaran. You can get it here – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1586380494/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

EKNATH EASWARAN – http://www.easwaran.org/eknath-easwaran.html
Eknath Easwaran (1910 – 1999, given name Easwaran, family name Eknath) was born into an ancient matrilineal family in Kerala state, South India. He grew up under the close guidance of his mother’s mother, Eknath Chippu Kunchi Ammal, whom he honored throughout his life as his spiritual teacher. An unlettered village woman with a continuous awareness of God, she taught him through her example that spiritual practice is something to be lived out each day in the midst of family and community.
Growing up in British India, Easwaran first learned English in his village high school, where the doors were opened to the treasure-house of English literature. At sixteen, he left his village to attend a nearby Catholic college. There his passionate love of English literature intensified and he acquired a deep appreciation of the Christian tradition. Later, contact with the YMCA and close friendships within the Muslim and Christian communities enriched his sense of the universality of spiritual truths.

RP Eknath was an inter-spiritual teacher before the term was invented!

Here are some samples from the book . You can also get them sent to you on a one per day basis – here http://www.easwaran.org/thoughts-for-the-day-quotes.html

EXAMPLES

January 1

As an irrigator guides water to the fields, as an archer aims an arrow, as a carpenter carves wood, the wise shape their lives.
– The Buddha

The glory of the human being is our ability to remake ourselves. The Buddha is very rightly called the Compassionate One because he holds out hope for everybody. He doesn’t say our past has been dark, therefore our chances are dim. He says whatever our past, whatever our present, the sky is bright for us because we can remake ourselves.

The Buddha says, be a good woodworker. Consciousness is the wood, and you can make it take any shape you like. Just as a carpenter works the wood to build a house or a fine piece of furniture, similarly we can fashion the responses and attitudes we desire: love, wisdom, security, patience, loyalty, enthusiasm, cheerfulness.

January 20

You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; in just the same way, you learn to love by loving.
– Saint Francis de Sales

In learning to love, we start where we are – somewhat selfish, somewhat self-centered, but with a deep desire to relate lovingly to each other, to move closer and closer together. Love grows by practice; there is no other way. There will be setbacks as well as progress. But there is one immediate consolation: we don’t have to wait until our love is perfect to reap the benefits of it. Even with a little progress, everyone benefits – not only those we live with, but ourselves as well.

November 9

A human being is part of the whole, called by us “universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
– Albert Einstein

None of us see life as it is, the world as it is. We all see life as we are. We look at others through our own likes and dislikes, desires and interests. It is this separatist outlook that fragments life for us – man against woman, community against community, country against country. Yet the mystics of all religions assure us on the strength of their own experience, if only we throw away this fragmenting instrument of observation, we shall see all life as an indivisible whole.

December 30

On the one hand I felt the call of God; on the other, I continued to follow the world. All the things of God gave me great pleasure, but I was held captive by those of the world. I might have been said to be trying to reconcile these two extremes, to bring contraries together: the spiritual life on the one hand and worldly satisfactions, pleasures, and pastimes on the other.
– Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa of Avila was a remarkably spiritual woman. Even as a girl she could say passionately, “I want something that will last forever!” Yet this woman who was to become one of the world’s greatest mystics went through twenty years of doubt and struggle before becoming established in God. If Teresa took twenty years, can people like you and me think of doing it in less? Her words can inspire all of us, for everyone begins with doubts and conflicts. Little people like us are likely to be haunted by them – and to feel frequently disheartened for a long, long time.

When you have doubts about your capacity for spiritual progress, don’t be defeatist. Remember these words of Saint Teresa and keep striving, keep on trying. This is all we are expected to do.

Media Reviews and Endorsements

“[Eknath Easwaran’s] books offer timeless wisdom, a great reference for healing in our contemporary world.”
– Deepak Chopra

“One is utterly fascinated by his choice and . . . grateful for being reminded of thoughts of great minds, thoughts that will always stimulate, provoke and illuminate our minds, powerfully and endurably.”
– The Hindu

Slowliness is holiness – the elimination of non-essentials is even better

Slowliness is holiness – the elimination of non-essentials is even better

“Simplify your life so that you do not try to fill your time with more than you can do. Start by listing your activities. Then prune the list, striking out anything that is not truly necessary and anything that is not beneficial.” – Eknath Easwaran

Get your daily wisdom from Eknath HERE – http://www.easwaran.org/