Monday, November 26, 2012

PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE OF THEM ALL

When I was an undergraduate Arts/Law student at the University of Sydney in the 1970s---a wonderful time to be alive---I spent probably more time in the now gone Adyar Bookshop, in Sydney, run by the Theosophical Society, than I did in the university library.

It was during those years that I ‘discovered’ the great debunker and iconoclast
J. Krishnamurti (pictured right), and I have been in love with his teachings, and the man himself, ever since.

I still have in my possession a bookmark which I was given when I purchased a book from the Adyar Bookshop sometime in the early 1970s. I don’t remember the book I bought at the time---it may or may not have been a book written by Krishnamurti---although I am sure I would still have the book somewhere on my bookshelves here at home. (I never throw anything away---something I have to work on!) Now, on the bookmark there was a quotation from the writings of J. Krishnamurti---‘In the acknowledgement of what is, there is the cessation of all conflict.’

For years and years thereafter I couldn’t comprehend the meaning of those few words of Krishnamurti. It took several traumatic life experiences, and some more reading of Krishnamurti, for the truth of those words to manifest in my consciousness. You see, it is not what happens to us that makes or breaks us, it is how we react---or rather respond---to what happens to us that determines who and what we are and will become. There’s more to it, still. If we can ‘acknowledge’---that is, observe, note, notice, but not judge, analyze, criticize or condemn---what happens in and as our life experience from one moment to the next, that is, if we can accept what is as what is, there will be no resistance, conflict or inner turmoil. Then, and only then, can we know peace and have serenity.

Another spiritual principle which says more-or-less the same thing, but comes at the truth from the other ‘end,’ so to speak is this one---‘What we resist, persists.’

We don’t have to ‘like’ what happens to us in order for there to be an ‘acknowledgement.’ That will often not be possible or appropriate. More importantly, forming a ‘liking,’ or a ‘disliking’ for that matter, is an act of judgment, and once we judge something, we are attached to it. The result? Conflict. Resistance. Positive or negative. Just look, observe, note, and notice. But don’t judge or analyze. That is so important.

The Apostle Paul understood the truth of this most important spiritual principle. It is written that he said. ‘I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances’ (Phil 4: 11 [NIV]). He said ‘content,’ not happy. Contentment implies acknowledgment and a calm acceptance of whatever is---for whatever is, is best. Whatever the circumstances!



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