Oneness and Goodness…

The Path of Oneness

Oneness is the fundamental nature of the universe. Everything is connected to everything else. We cannot see it with our eyes. We cannot feel it with our skin. Only when we dwell in silence, in meditation, can we come to this ultimate realization. Our essential nature is One.

  • Buddhists call it Emptiness.
  • Hindus call it Brahman.
  • Christians call it God or the Holy Spirit.

Beyond the world of lights and shadows, beyond words and forms, beyond names and shapes, the mystics have unveiled this Oneness and declared it to be the unchanging truth. Oneness is not a philosophy but rather the numinous aspect of religion. It has been unveiled again and again to sincere seekers of every faith.

The firsthand realization of Oneness is not easily accessed. Veils, comprised of thoughts, emotions, energy, body, and external activities cloud our true nature and cause a perception of division. The path is introverted in nature. It seeks to explore the veils and detach from them until nothing is left except that which is always present.

The Path of Goodness

Alas, Oneness is not easily accessed and duality is a powerful veiling force. We feel separate, alone, at odds with each other. That is why all of the world’s religions have primarily focused on the dual path of Goodness through the cultivation of love, compassion, generosity, and kindness.

These are not easy to come by. Our animal nature is strong. As human beings, we are intensely sexual, possessive, and more prone to violence than any other species on Earth.

We need to cultivate Goodness. Each one of us is born with the seeds inside of us—but they are only seeds. They need to be nurtured and cared for, otherwise, the weeds of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, laziness, despair, pride, lust and gluttony will overtake our internal life. Strife on the inside will cause strife on the outside.

Religions of the world have asked us to be compassionate, fair, just, loving and giving. These attributes are not given. They must be nurtured and earned. Only when Goodness has reached a flourishing state can it be shared with the world. Only an overflowing cup of love can truly be shared with another. As Christ said, thou shalt “love thy neighbor as thyself.” If you do not love yourself, how can you love your neighbor?

Practiced Together or Separately

Most human beings have an inclination to practice one path over the other. Those who seek peace of mind are more likely to trek the Oneness path. Those who seek to be more loving, compassionate and relational are more likely to travel the Goodness path. Only a few have ever mastered both, but we call those who have prophets, gurus or exemplars.

Understanding and Acceptance

As I mentioned earlier, my Experifaith model seeks to show the experiential connection between religions and spiritual paths. For the longest time, I thought that all the world’s religions had the same goals, but when I unveiled these two paths during my studies, I realized that most theological conflicts, both internal and external, stem from an inability to discern between the two.

The paths exist side-by-side in all the major religions but they should not be conflated and seen as the same path. Neither path is wrong, because each path navigates a separate terrain. One is nondual in nature, the other dual. Therefore, both paths should be practiced and appreciated on their own terms.

Here is the main takeaway. Both paths are found in all the wisdom traditions. The Oneness path is usually reserved for the mystics while the Goodness path is preached to the general population. They each serve a purpose. We should respect them as such.

– Gudjon Bergmann

Source: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/interspirituality/2018/04/the-spiritual-paths-of-oneness-and-goodness/

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A rare conversation…

A rare conversation between Ramkrishna Paramahansa & Swami Vivekanand…

Swami Vivekanand:- I can’t find free time. Life has become hectic.
Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Activity gets you busy. But productivity gets you free.

Swami Vivekanand:- Why has life become complicated now?
Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Stop analyzing life.. It makes it complicated. Just live it.

Swami Vivekanand:- Why are we then constantly unhappy?
Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Worrying has become your habit. That’s why you are not happy.

Swami Vivekanand:- Why do good people always suffer?
Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Diamond cannot be polished without friction. Gold cannot be purified without fire. Good people go through trials, but don’t suffer. With that experience their life becomes better, not bitter.

Swami Vivekanand:- You mean to say such experience is useful?
Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Yes. In every term, Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first and the lessons afterwards.

Swami Vivekanand:- Because of so many problems, we don’t know where we are heading…
Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- If you look outside you will not know where you are heading. Look inside. Eyes provide sight. Heart provides the way.

Swami Vivekanand:- Does failure hurt more than moving in the right direction?
Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Success is a measure as decided by others. Satisfaction is a measure as decided by you.

Swami Vivekanand:- In tough times, how do you stay motivated?
Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Always look at how far you have come rather than how far you have to go. Always count your blessing, not what you are missing.

Swami Vivekanand:- What surprises you about people?
Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- When they suffer they ask, “why me?” When they prosper, they never ask “Why me?”

Swami Vivekanand:- How can I get the best out of life?
Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear.

Swami Vivekanand:- One last question. Sometimes I feel my prayers are not answered.
Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- There are no unanswered prayers. Keep the faith and drop the fear. Life is a mystery to solve, not a problem to resolve. Trust me. Life is wonderful if you know how to live.

Any Person can make you realize how wonderful the world is..!
But only few will make you realize how wonderful you are in the world..!

21 Rules to Live Your Life

In the final days of his life, the mythical Japanese samurai Musashi Miyamoto retreated to a cave called the Reigandō. (Spirit Rock Cave) In that cave he spent the final months of his life meditating and writing his views on the world. While secluded in the cave he wrote, “Dokkōdō”. The Dokkōdō contains his very own soul.

The Dokkōdō means “The Path of Aloneness” or “The Way to be Followed Alone” . Musashi wrote this work a week before his death. It is 21 lines long, each line containing a different idea one would live by.

21-rules-of-life

1. Accept Everything Just The Way It Is.

Beautiful advice. Rather than worry or fret about what’s going on around you, accept it.
Too often we struggle trying to change things that cannot be changed. When one accepts things as they are, they are free to pursue their true purpose as opposed to fighting against the unchangeable.The time you’ve spent dwelling on it is better spent improving yourself.

2. Do Not Seek Pleasure For It’s Own Sake.

Seeking out the pleasurable things in life quickly become a distraction from the overall goal. In time, the pursuit of pleasure may become the goal itself and all effort towards your true purpose is lost. Avoid constant pleasure if you would stay true to your path.

3. Do Not, Under Any Circumstances, Depend On A Partial Feeling.

You must be sure of where you put your foot before you step. The meaning here is not to get confused, to keep your head clear, and only act when you’re certain.

4. Think Lightly Of Yourself And Deeply Of The World.

Being humble. How are you to hear wisdom if you only hear yourself? If you only walk around with eyes for yourself, you’ll miss the details of the world around you. Paying attention to the world let’s you better appreciate the results of your actions, as well as giving you insight into things you would otherwise miss.

5. Be Detached From Desire Your Whole Lifelong.

If you spend your life chasing a dream you may be running forever. Live your life to be content, have goals but don’t let them rule you. Don’t dwell on what others have when you can make your own.

6. Do Not Regret What You Have Done.

Understand your actions. If you disprove of how you are, don’t constantly regret the past and be bitter. Work to understand yourself, put it past you, and live your life how you should.

7. Never Be Jealous.

It’s a waste of time. Spend your energy productively. All that time scheming could achieve a lot of other things.

8. Never Let Yourself Be Saddened By A Separation.

Just by living life people will come and go. It’s not the distance that matters but how you remember them. Keep them close to your heart and they are always living in your footsteps.

9. Resentment And Complaint Are Appropriate Neither For Oneself Nor Others.

Both happen because of an inability to accept and are a waste of time. It is far more efficient to change things without resentment or complaint and accepting what cannot be changed. Better to focus your energy on bettering yourself or them then causing useless grief.

10. Do Not Let Yourself Be Guided By The Feeling Of Lust Or Love.

Act with respect to yourself. If one studies the irrational behavior of humans it becomes prevalent that most of it is caused by love and lust. As wonderful as love can be, it can be equally as hurtful and distracting from one’s primary goal and, all to often, the same goal can even be forsaken. Lust will also become a bar to one’s path and will be no less of an obstruction as love. Never allow either to guide you.

11. In All Things Have No Preferences.

Have an open mind, be ready to try all things and desire none.If you always act a certain way you will never experience anything new.

12. Be Indifferent To Where You Live.

Living is living. If your unhappy with where you are, move, but in time you’ll realize it’s not where you live but how you live. A palace or a parking garage; be happy of shelter and warmth.

13. Do Not Pursue The Taste Of Good Food.

You can see this in evidence today. Eat for nourishment and eat to be full. Living the life of a ronin Mushashi learned the value of appreciating a full stomach. A taste for good food can be as harmful as any addiction.

14. Do Not Hold On To Possessions You No Longer Need.

Everything has its use, but eventually things run their course and become broken or unusable. If it no longer benefits with you, part with it freely. Give it to someone who can appreciate it. Let go of what is no longer useful and move forward. You’ll feel better for it.

15. Do Not Act Following Customary Beliefs.

Think and act for yourself. Act how you think you should act not how others say you should. You only have one chance to decide for yourself.

16. Do Not Collect Weapons Or Practice With Weapons Beyond What Is Useful.

A tribute to his time but apt advice depending on how you apply it. As with other possessions, it becomes burdensome to the Way when the desire for weapons becomes prominent. Keep what is useful and discard what is not.

17. Do Not Fear Death.

This may be the hardest one for some to do.  Everyone dies, Everyone comes to terms differently. Great deeds can never be accomplished so long as death holds sway over your decisions. A true warrior carries death in his heart daily and, when the time comes, fully embraces it.

18. Do Not Seek To Possess Either Goods Or Fiefs For Your Old Age.

What good will they do when you’re gone? Apt advice as well, Live usefully and collect what is useful. When you make plans for material possessions, you lose focus on what is truly important and do what you can to live and enjoy wealth. This can lead to cowardice and other loathsome actions that will further you from the Way.  Don’t waste your time when you can spend your time bettering yourself.

19. Respect Buddha And The Gods Without Counting On Their Help.

Count on yourself, Don’t count on luck or gods to pull you through. Tackle the endeavors you know are within your capabilities. If you pray to them for strength then they will put you in situations to find it.

20. You May Abandon Your Own Body But You Must Preserve Your Honor.

Don’t do anything you can’t live with for the rest of your life. Your actions make you. If you become old and weak, not far from the drink; live still with the actions and character that made men respect you.

21. Never Stray From The Way.

If you live a certain way, Either devote yourself wholly to it or cast it aside. If you can’t bring yourself to place complete conviction in your actions then why do them?

Source:

1. https://letterpile.com/books/Dokkodo
2. http://sorrowfulkain.tumblr.com/post/97518922984/prior-to-his-death-miyamoto-musashi-wrote-one