… and intimate. How is it possible to argue with another about such a thing?
A belief is solidified in the mind to become subjective knowledge. That is why everyone’s beliefs are different in some facets. Our neural networks are linked up differently. Our synapses fire to different locations, connecting different pieces of information. Memory, education, experience differs, so how we interpret the same events is dependent utterly upon how we have wired our brains during the course of our lifetimes. That is why what we understand about something is never exactly the same as what someone else understands about it.
In the realm of spirituality this is exacerbated by the inherent unknowability of the process of gnosis. The intimate, personal experience of the inner world. This is why the best spiritual teachers teach in parables. People are thereby guided in the right direction but the destination is not defined succinctly. It is up to the Seeker to have the experience her or himself.
This is a cause of contention. This is a cause of conflict. This is a cause of drama. All of it unnecessary. Unnecessary because there is no ultimate description of spiritual attainment that can be encapsulated in words. How can you describe the indescribable?
For teaching purposes, those who have experienced certain states can employ tactics in order to impress upon students certain lessons that may lead the student in the right direction. The teacher does so from a place of understanding. He is playing upon the students emotions in order to bring about a desired result. If someone who has not experienced a certain state attempts to teach about it that person is not teaching from a place of knowing but instead a place of belief. Two different places. Incomparably so.
This is where conflict comes in and rightfully so. Listening to someone who barely has any idea of what they are talking about is a sure recipe for disaster. Such discussions must inevitably lead to conflict as the teacher is barely beyond the level of the student. When the Buddha was asked how people were supposed to know he was enlightened, he reached down and touched the ground with his fingers and answered, “The Earth is my witness”.
In a discussion with his disciples, Jesus told them that his Father’s house had many mansions. When Thomas expressed his doubts Jesus replied, “No one comes to the Father except through me”. Building upon his original metaphoric description of the path to spiritual salvation Jesus deepens it, his meaning clear. His life, his state of perception, outlook and actions were to be the template for others to follow. He led by example. But the common misperception of those verses to be literal in nature sadly obscure this deeper, gnostic truth. More argumentation.
Respecting the personal aspect of spirituality means that people must be allowed to be where they are at. We are all here as free will entities and to harangue and harass someone about their understanding of the world and their place in it is to totally misunderstand one’s own place in the world.
It is true that samsara is a place of confusion and illusion with the blind leading the blind. So in this world it is normal for such insane practices to be commonplace. It is normal for people to misunderstand. It is normal for people to argue and fight.
But as one comes to a greater understanding, but even more importantly, as one gains experience by accessing certain states of perception and attainment, it becomes easier to let other people be. To let them alone with their illusions. To listen to the “I’s” and “me’s” and “my’s” and “mines” and to understand what is really being said.
Experience trumps book knowledge all day every day. There’s an old saying that those who know don’t tell and those who tell don’t know.
There was a reason esoteric knowledge was kept secret for so long. A reason why the Church, the Mosque, the Temple were able to limit people’s knowledge for centuries. A reason why the secretive higher orders of the monotheistic religions held knowledge in thrall. Knowledge is power. And the reason why esoteric knowledge is so accessible now is indicative of the times and who you are who are seeking it. Even today, what the Seeker finds easily accessible on Internet remains inscrutable mystery to the masses.
Be thankful for your propitious situation and being born into a Time such as this to achieve a destiny such as yours. Now let everyone else walk the Path towards theirs in peace.