All One

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All One

Post by Speculum »

Over the past few months I have been re-reading the Text volume of A Course in Miracles (ACIM), and I have to say I am once again very impressed by it. I first undertook A Course in Miracles in July of 1977, which was two years after its publication. Anna and I had read about it in Psychic magazine (later renamed New Realities, and now out of business, I believe). I have written elsewhere in this forum and on TZF generally about my experience with ACIM, so here I will leave it at that.

What is impressing me about this current exposure to ACIM is a re-confirmation of the realization that all Teachings of Truth are fundamentally identical; even more than “fundamentally identical”, they are thoroughly identical.

Years ago, when I was first exposed to the various traditions that crossed my path as a seeker… Zen, the Gospels, Hinduism, Islam, Sufism, Buddhism, and so on, besides ACIM … I perceived a lot of differences among them, although even then the similarities seemed glaringly apparent to me. I remember thinking over the years as I read one or another of the many books that have come our way, “Haven’t I read this same idea somewhere else?” But still, back then it was easier to perceive the differences among traditions than the similarities. Now, just the reverse is true. The similarities are glaring; the differences, one has to search for, even almost generate oneself.

And the differences that do emerge or that are imagined or forced, are easily recognized as cultural or historical, and so, from a seeker’s point of view, really little more than curlicues with no substantive import, and easily distilled out.

Thus, reading today from ACIM is like reading from Nisargadatta, Ramakrishna, Rumi, the Gospels, the Chistian mystics, the Gita, the Tanakh, Ibn ‘Arabi, and so on. The experience, the lesson, is one and the same.

It is all one Text, all about the Same One Thing, all Teaching the Same One Lesson, all pointing in the Same One Direction, all Presented by the Same One Teacher.


After posting this item, I read a few pages in Ramesh S. Balsekar's excellent consideration of Nisargadatta's Teaching titled Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj. There, he writes that when he asked Nisargadatta for approval to publish the book he had written, the Teacher agreed, noting, "I know that you are aware that all writing originates with consciousness, that there is writing but no authors".

Writing but no authors. Nice.

As to what Nisargadatta means by consciousness, here's what Balkesar writes elsewhere in the book: "there is no power on earth that is greater than this consciousness, this sense of presence -- I am, to which the illusory individual must direct all his prayers; and then this very consciousness will provide the illusory liberation for the illusory bondage of the illusory individual by revealing its true nature -- which is none other than the seeker himself, but not as an individual!"

Or, in Ibn 'Arabi's words, "thou art not thou, thou art He without thou". Or, in the Gospel's language, "where I am going you cannot come".
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Post by Gulliver »

little more than curlicues
You must be correct, but when I hear Christians and Muslims and others shout at one another Our way or no way it does not sound like mere curlicues to me.
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Post by W4TVQ »

I like that ... "You must be correct, but when I hear Christians and Muslims and others shout at one another Our way or no way it does not sound like mere curlicues to me."

The analogy that occurs to me immediately is that of a swamp right after the rain. Millions of little frogs are to be heard, each one peeping "I am here, I am right, notice me." I came only recently out of that swamp of denominationalism (which obligates me to avoid passing judgment on those who believe according to the evangelical or denominational way).

Here's a bit of a parable that passed into and through my mind as my time in the evangelical fold began to wane:

Lucifer’s Favorite Tool

Lucifer spread out a display for a class of newly-recruited demons-in-training. It consisted of all of the tools he had found effective over the centuries against both man and God.

There was a black, mean-looking object with a smoking wick, inscribed with the name, “Anger.” There was a bottle of foul-smelling slime, bearing the label “Lust.” There was a glittering, bright cloth, shaped like a shroud, embroidered with the word “Greed.” And there were may other such objects, each of which he explained carefully to the class. “This one,” he would say, “works on this type of person; this one here, on a different type of person. You must know the nature of your victim well to know which tool to use.”

In the center of the display was a glassed-in case, surrounded by protective guard rails, brightly lit with a spotlight. In it lay a very small wedge-shaped object.

“This is my finest tool,” he told them. “This is the only one that works on absolutely everyone. I have used it innumerable times since Creation, when no other tool would work.

“I have used it to set nation against nation, and religion against religion, political party against political party, and home against home. And I have used it since then to fragment the enemy camp further and further, setting brother against brother and sister against sister, doctrine against doctrine, bringing about wars and martyrdoms beyond even my own wildest ambitions. When all else fails, come and get this tool; it will accomplish your purpose.

“”But be warned: the Enemy is not unaware of this tool, and He has plans to subvert its power. We need to use it quickly, before He takes control of the situation and renders it useless.”

The class crowded around, to see this amazing tool. Just a small, drab wedge. Inscribed on it were these words:



I cannot tell you how hard I tried to accept the idea that "we Christians are right, and evryone else is lost." For many, that is the way that they must follow in this life, and I would not for all the world try to derail their journey on the way that they have chosen. I was on that way myself as long as I needed it. But I had to finally see that I had a very small God, whom I could fit into my agenda and found conformable to my thought patterns. Reading into some contemporary science woke me up, so to speak. And, as the Master said, "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." How right he was.

"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley
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Post by Gulliver »

"I AM RIGHT" = small, drab wedge. Yes indeed.