In the world of spirituality and religion, it’s widely accepted that the heart holds the deepest truth of our existence. From ancient to contemporary times, some of the finest spiritual teachers have explored this idea and shared their insights with the world. In this article, we delve into the concept of the heart as the source of truth and examine some of the universal teachings that transcend time, language, culture, and religion.
The Elephant Parable:
One of the most significant illustrations of the universal reality is the elephant parable. In this story, different people touch different parts of an elephant to form an impression of the animal. The person who feels the elephant’s leg calls it a tree, while the one who touches the elephant’s tail calls it a rope. Each person’s experience of the elephant is unique, but all of them are incomplete. This analogy represents the different spiritual and religious traditions that humans have created to understand the world around them.
The idea of a universal reality that underpins all spiritual knowledge and teaching is known as the perennial philosophy. It’s the one teaching that repeats throughout history, taking the shape of the society in which it is realized. The concept of “Tat Tvam Asi” or “That Thou Art” expresses the perennial philosophy. It states that every human’s final goal is to learn that their inner self, the Atman, is one with the absolute principle of all existence, Brahman.
The Transcendent Reality:
All eternal religions believe in a union with something higher than ourselves, regardless of language or intellectual framework. The ultimate goal of these traditions is to help us realize the transcendent reality beyond our egoic consciousness. To achieve this, we must let go of all clinging and religious concepts and surrender to the mystery.
In ancient traditions, Samadhi was achieved by turning attention away from all known objects and towards consciousness itself. It’s the ego’s abyss, a state of transcending union, where all striving and doing ceases. The word Samadhi comes from Sanskrit and is used in various spiritual traditions, including Vedic yoga and Buddhism. It represents the cessation of the vortex or spiral of thought and the separation of consciousness from the mind’s matrix.
The Kingdom Within:
Christian mystics like Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Saint John of the Cross talk about a holy connection with God, the kingdom of God inside. Similarly, other spiritual traditions emphasize the importance of connecting with the divine, whether it’s through yoking, surrendering, or shepherding the soul to perfection.
In conclusion, the universal reality behind all spiritual traditions is a transcendent truth that goes beyond words and concepts. To realize this truth, we must let go of our conditioned structures and surrender to the mystery. Whether we call it Samadhi, union with the divine, or the kingdom within, the idea remains the same – to realize the truth of our existence and the oneness with the universe. By embracing the diversity of spiritual traditions and incorporating multiple sources, we can grow spiritually and evolve towards our ultimate goal of transcending the egoic consciousness.