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#4658 - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee

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  • Gloria Lee
    #4658 - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee The Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/ The Truth About Truth The dangers of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 19, 2012

      #4658 - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
      The Truth About Truth
      The dangers of literalism
      by Rita M. Gross
      One of our most urgent tasks as modern dharma practitioners is to
      learn how to take traditional stories seriously without taking them
      literally. That is to say, we need to learn how to live in the frameworks
      of both the European Enlightenment and Buddhism, without one
      negating or subjugating the other. One of the wisest statements about
      history and story that I have ever encountered was spoken by Black
      Elk, a holy man of the Lakota nation during the 19th and 20th
      centuries. In Black Elk Speaks, he narrates one of the Lakota’s most
      important stories, a story about how the sacred pipe first came to the
      people. This story is filled with events that are difficult to take
      literally, such as women turning into buffaloes. At the story’s
      conclusion, Black Elk said, “This they tell and whether it happened so
      or not, I do not know; but if you think about it you can see that it is
      The main point made in this simple statement is that, contrary to
      literalist suppositions, truth is not always about observable facts or
      events. Truth can also reveal itself in deep contemplation of stories
      and symbols. The truth of a story does not depend on whether it could
      have been captured by a camcorder. Its truth is found in realms of
      imagination and contemplation, in its symbolic meanings. Even though
      much of his spiritual life is based on the symbolism and rituals
      associated with the sacred pipe, Black Elk himself is skeptical about
      his narrative as a factual account of its origins. Thus the same story
      can be regarded as both true and false: false as a factual account of
      an empirical event and true as the symbolic charter for one’s
      spirituality. But in the wake of the European Enlightenment, with its
      according of sole prestige and validity to facts, people have come to
      see things otherwise.

      photo by Alan Larus
      The poet lives and writes at the frontier between deep internal
      experience and the revelations of the outer world. There is no
      going back for the poet once this frontier has been reached; a
      new territory is visible and what has been said cannot be unsaid.
      The discipline of poetry is in overhearing yourself say difficult
      truths from which it is impossible to retreat. Poetry is a break
      for freedom. ...In a sense all poems are good; all poems are an
      emblem of courage and the attempt to say the unsayable; but only
      a few are able to speak to something universal yet personal and
      distinct at the same time; to create a door through which others
      can walk into what previously seemed unobtainable realms, in the
      passage of a few short lines.
      ~David Whyte
      via Rashani Réa on Facebook

      There is nothing in this world which does not speak.
      Every thing and every being is continually calling out its nature, its character, its secret;
      the more the inner sense is open, the more capable it becomes of hearing the voice of all things.
      If the soul were awakened to feel what the birds feel when singing in the forest at dawn,
      man would know that their prayer is even more exalting than his own, for it is more natural.
      There is nothing in the world which is not the instrument of God.
      Sound is the sign of life; in the temples of gods and goddesses,
      in Hindu churches, bells ringing show life even in the silence.
      Sound is hidden under words, and words are hidden under sound.
      When one perceives the words, one does not perceive the sound underneath,
      and when one perceives sound, one does not perceive the words underneath.
      When the poet perceives words, the musician perceives sound underneath.
      The mystic perceives even in that sound a Word which was God.
      Tone continues, time expires.
      Tone lives on time, time assimilates tone.
      God is not in time. Therefore He is in the silence.
      Sound is part of the world of time.
      Rhythm cannot exist without tone, nor tone without rhythm.
      They are interdependent for their existence, and it is the same with time and space.
      Noisiness comes from restlessness, and restlessness is the destructive rhythm.
      Man's atmosphere explains the condition of his soul.
      The further we go, so the more our disputes and arguments cease.
      They fade away until there is no color left in them; and when all the color has gone,
      the white light comes which is the light of God.
      Nirvana means no color. What is color? Right or wrong, sin or virtue - all this is color,
      and in the realm of truth they fade away, as every color fades in the brightness of light.
      He who has realized this has entered nirvana.
      A Sufi must always recognize in God the source of all things and the origin of all beings.
      A Sufi must observe in the continual unfoldment of the spirit the birth of the soul.
      ~ Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan
      photos by Alan Larus
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