That Which Moves, Yet Does Not Move…

So after posting that crazy drunken squid post last night (I was sober as a judge when I wrote that – honest!), I slipped some PJ’s on, hopped into bed and cracked open the pages of my newest literary acquisition – “The Upanishads”.  It seems as though, in addition to Buddhism, I am being directed (thank you Universe) to the sacred wisdom of Hinduism as well. 

Ironically, as I write this, I am listening to BBC Radio 3 and interestingly enough, the program is highlighting music from the Golden Temple of Amritsar (revealing the devotional Hindu Bhajan style of music which sounds remarkably similar to Qawwal – made popular by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan).  How timely.  This music is emotional, captivating and lifts my soul this morning (which is not surprising, given that the intention of the genre is just that…to bring the listener closer to a Divine experience through release, meditation and captivation).  Now that I’ve piqued your interest, let’s explore a tiny snippet from this sacred hindu text…”The Upanishads”:

“That One, the True Self

Of Consciousness, Reality, Love,

Although still,

Is swifter than thought,

As a greyhound is to a tortoise.

The senses never know “That”.

Consciousness runs and overtakes them.

Without “That Self” there is no

Real Life, I assure you.

Consciousness

Moves and does not move,

It appears to be distant

Yet is near,

It animates all

And envelopes all,

Eternally.

Who sees “all being”

In his or her own Self

As Consciousness, Awareness,

Like his own Self,

Never suffers from fear.

When a man or woman

Understands and knows

That the Self of Consciousness

Reality, Love,

Has become all that exists,

What possible trouble or sorrow

Can affect

He or she who has seen

That seamless Unity?”

-The Isa Upanishad* (4-7) – [*This set of verses translates to provide information about “The Inner Ruler” and that Supreme being…be it Atman or Ish, that controls and moves the Universe]. 

As I listen to the music from the Golden Temple, and read these few lines, I feel as though I am brought closer to the Divine this morning.  The Upanishads are a compilation of sacred Hindu writings written some 5,000 to 10, 000 years ago and offered to the Rishis (Hindu sages or saints) of the Vedic Hindu tradition.  The word, “Upanishad” is translated from Sanskrit as meaning “sitting down beside” (as in, sitting down beside a guru and receiving ancient wisdom in the oral tradition).  The Upanishads are considered one of the most fundamental compilations of mystical and philosophical thought and are considered to provide a firm foundation for our understanding of religion and spirituality today (notice, I like to keep the terms spirituality and religion separate…).

I have only just begun my study of this Ancient text (and I do have a mere translation of it, mind you) and I cannot wait to reveal more of it’s mysteries as I read along.  “How am I interpreting the work thus far?” you might ask.  Being of Western background and theology, but of open and spiritual mind, I am finding the sense of spirituality in this piece quite Universal (I am most fascinated by the parallels to other various world theologies).  I’m not sure if I believe in a Supreme entity per se (as in, there must be a Divine god or specific entity controlling the Universe from a Cosmic Throne), but I do believe that the human consciousness collectively seeks to aspire to something far greater than itself – Truth, Purity, Love and Light…the All, the Unknowable, the Divine.  The Hindus would describe this as Brahman (a word translated to mean “to grow”; that which cannot be known…the Infinite, the Immanent), other religions refer to God.

Being the Seeker and Light Worker that I am (yes, I admit this…finally), I find that I am at a point in my life where I do welcome Ancient wisdom from various cultural and traditional sources.  I seems as though I am drawing this Ancient energy into my life one delectable bit at a time (just enough information at the most appropriate times to allow me to assimilate, appreciate, grow and share my interpretation and experiences as I travel along my Spiritual path).  However, as I travel along, collecting and interpreting these various facets of ancient thought and philosophy, I am reminded to be cautious, mindful and aware.  The caution is proper, humble interpretation of these texts and philosophies in combination with mindful self (and Universal) awareness.  These are simply attributes of good living in my opinion.  Good intentions, good thoughts…good actions and a blossoming life, full of meaning and substance.  This is my wish for myself, and my wish for all of humanity.  Call me an Idealist. 

This is my humble token of Appreciation for the Universe…my gratitude and love shared with you.

Namaste

-PM

http://www.eng.buffalo.edu/~gsingh/golden.jpg

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5 responses to “That Which Moves, Yet Does Not Move…

  1. ((( Seeker and Lightworker ))) 🙂 you are definitely both!

    It amazing…my first contact with Hinduism was in elementary school when I wrote a paper on it for our “world religions’ project. There’s something so..universal, as you say..and yet, it is not without power and passion and purpose as it draws us closer to the Source of all Life.

    You’re my kinda Mermaid…that’s for sure. Namaste, SweetThang

    Grace! My Phoenix! I tried logging onto your site today and couldn’t access it. I was upset because I couldn’t visit you…I will have to try again in a bit. Yes. Thank you for you comments. Hinduism is quite beautiful…I will share more as I continue to read….(((((((HUGS)))))))

  2. I’ve just started my exploration of Buddhism, first reading a general book about it, and am now reading Awakening to the Sacred by Lama Surya Das. I find his writing clear and very accessible – important to novices like myself! It appears I started my spiritual journey shortly before the end of my last (and final) marriage, when I turned away from the negative and consciously faced the light. Grace mentioned her Dark night of the Soul a couple of days ago and now I know what that means! The end of my marriage was mine.

    I will have to discover that book – “Awakening to the Sacred” as I am not familiar with it. I too am a relative novice to Buddhism myself. You are right – it is important to begin with clear and accurate interpretations of the various theologies. I also believe that everyone has different theologies and philosophies that speak to them too (at various times in their lives). Isn’t it interesting how we evolve consciousness as our life circumstances change (ie. relationships, ageing etc. etc.)? I am so glad that you were strong enough to turn and face the Light (it is difficult, wouldn’t you agree…it takes alot of courage to face your inner demons before you can move ahead and treat yourself to the universal love and understanding that you so deserve). I believe that touching on the darker aspects of something can trigger vital awareness before a spiritual journey is begun (sometimes it is a tragic event, disturbing event or NDE that can trigger a person’s propulsion along their spiritual path). The fact that we seek to learn and awaken ourselves is testimony to the vitality of our spirits and our own spiritual journeys. Funny thing too (being the analyst that I am), I always wondered if my “grazing” of the various sacred texts was acceptable. It is not my intention to just sip the cream from the proverbial milk can of various religious theologies, but when I found these lines today…from “The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda” and I felt a little better:

    “Books are infinite in number, and time is short; therefore the secret of knowledge is to take what is essential. Take that and try to live up to it. There is an old Indian legend that if you place a cup of milk and water before a Raja Hamsa (swan), he will take all the milk and leave the water. In that way we should take what is of value in knowledge, and leave the dross. Intellectual gymnastics are necessary at first. We must not go blindly into anything. The Yogi has passed the argumentative stage, and has come to a conclusion, which is, like the rock, immovable. The only thing he now seeks to do is to intensify that conclusion.”

    Then the passage goes on to discuss how one should not succomb to arguments when discussing beliefs, because they disturb the mind…Quite fascinating. I guess the most important bit is to remain discerning, judicious and humble and interpret the texts (or other spiritual teachings) appropriately and with an open mind. In any case, I feel as though my journey is bridging many religious philosophies and theologies…and I feel more connected as a result (as I am sure you are…because reading Eastern philosophy does enhance the mind). I don’t think it is necessary to use this approach (cross-cultural) to seek your spiritual truth (because every journey is as individual as every individual themselves…) – it is just how I like to view things. I guess I am a “big picture” sort of person. I enjoy making parallels and connections among cultures and religions. I enjoy symbolism and archetypes. I enjoy seeing order and patterns in the randomness of chaos.

    Call it an INTP Spiritual Quest…! (but, I’m having fun along the way…and each of my companions that visits this site has their own unique journey to share too…which makes for some interesting conversation!). Thanks for sharing that OB…Sorry for my long-winded reply, but I have been thinking alot about my path lately…

    Namaste

  3. Dang – didn’t finish that comment before I hit “Submit”

    The readings I’ve done this week have led me closer to a place of belonging and understanding, although the concepts have always been in my brain and are innate in all of us I believe. Anyway, it’s so cool that you’re being directed to Hinduism at this time, and I agree that you certainly are a seeker and a light-worker. You are one of the people who spoke to me (not so much directly, but through your site and your writing) about the ancient wisdom – and I finally heeded the voice. So glad I did!

    Darn it! I hate it when you hit submit and think “damn, there’s a spelling mistake” or “damn, I wish I had said that” or “damn, what the hell am I talking about!” Perhaps that would be a good post topic (thoughts when posting). Anyways, I would like to hear more about some of those readings that you speak of…and I would have to agree with you that some of these concepts are innate in all of us. I just believe that some of us are more receptive to tapping into that potential. Actually, I can’t take full credit for the Hinduism bit. I met a great friend some time ago now that introduced me to the concepts of Atman and Brahman. At the time he introduced me to these concepts, I don’t think I was quite ready to receive the message, but now…well…now I understand the significant of such wonders (and I must thank him for that at some point…he is a wise and endearing soul).

    And, thank you for seeing the seeker and light worker bit of me too. I “feel” and “own” this side of myself more than I advertise it. Does that make sense? I guess I am at a point in my life where I feel as though I just “am” – I no longer have that need to prove anything to myself or others (so labels really aren’t a part of my atomical construction anymore). I just try to integrate this philosophy and practise into daily living so that I can help myself and others. And, I am sooooo glad that you are here to walk with me along my journey OB. I really mean that. You and so many others have provided inspiration to me also – and everyone provides inspiration in their own unique ways. I am inspired by your courage, understanding and observation of life and the world around you. I think we all do a fairly good job of spelling each other off along the way. It is quite amazing what we share already in this small, but growing community of ours. I really feel as though a great Awakening is at hand. I am comforted by this and excited by it all at once.

    Namaste Sister. Love you!

  4. It’s a marvellous journey you’re on. I’m split two ways – a definite rationalist, but also I feel ‘spiritual’ in nature. Perhaps spirituality is a sense of bonding – of man to man, mankind to his environment, and environment to the universe.
    Regardless, much of my writing is on such subjects. I’m pleased you made a difference between spirituality and religion. To me, the former is an inner knowing, whereas the latter is a social codification of a particular system.
    I think we can all live in two worlds – the material and the spiritual. Religions seemed to have begun with this understanding in animism. The Upanishads seem, to me, to reflect the initial change from this tribal system to something more profound and human based.
    The senses seem to shut out the spiritual. They constantly feed outside information into the mind. The secret is to shut this off -allow yourself to explore the inner mind, and in doing so, a connection can be made. I’ve studied the mystics deeply.
    One thing I’ve noticed is that if you remove ‘culture’ from any religion, you seem to end up with the same basic fundamentals. It is as if all religion came from a single idea – what I call the ‘under-religion’, but had local cultural interpretations placed upon it – a kind of ‘over-mind’.
    I think if we all understood this, we could accept our important differences, but also realise we connect at a deeper, spiritual level.

    Hi Anthony! Thanks for stopping by. I am a rationalist and an analyst myself. Lately, however, I feel my spiritual journey is progressing through a plethora of scapes, and I am releasing myself to the unknown, the spiritual (a fantastic process of discovery that seems to flow in “fits” and “starts”). I am pleased to have met you, as I feel we may have much to discuss on some of these topics. I completely agree with your definition of spirituality (I believe that we can be dualists – ie. rational/scientific/logical and spiritual seekers). Interesting enough, I believe that some of the phenomenon and patterns that we see in the Universe can be explained with science and reason (of course, there are things that can’t be explained), but this does not make me less reverent along my journey (take the Fibonacci sequence or Divine Proportion for example). In fact, from what little I know of physics, there are associations with this phenomena (our crazy-haired friend, Mr. Einstein was onto something…and so was Tesla). I am interested to know that you separate the terms “religion” and “spirituality” too (and my definition would be identical to yours). From reading the Upanishads, I have gotten the sense that this sacred compilation of writings contain profound and human based concepts, as you mentioned. The Yoga Sutras also teach us that concentration also involves calming the mind, such that we might glimpse the essence of our souls at the bottom of that calm pool of water. I would also be interested in learning more about your idea of an “under-religion.” Funny enough, I had begun to think of that yesterday when I was reading…”What type of religion or spirituality would you have if someone was devoid or bereft of cultural influences?” If you could point me to some readings on that subject, I would be interested in following up on that.

    What a great way to start my Sunday morning! Thank you for your very thoughtful comments. Now, it’s off to the country for a waffle breakfast!

    Cheers!

  5. Hi PM,
    I’m glad we seem to agree on these issues. As for follow up reading, some of the best work here was done by mythologist Joseph Campbell, I think. Books such as the ‘Hero With a Thousand Faces’ (1948) were real ground-breakers.
    I touch on these matters on many of my posts linked to on my Religion page on Beyond the Blog.

    Anthony – Thanks for your comment. I am heading to AbeBooks as we speak to find that book…after reading a few “reviews” of it [‘Hero With a Thousand Faces’], my interest was certainly piqued. Thank you for the recommendation, and when I get a chance, I shall peruse your blogs archives for your interpretation of these and other concepts. I look forward to reading some of your thoughts!

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