...the Law of the Ladder. The ladder is here used as a symbol
to show that there should be a selective giving of goods, energy, or
help. The Law of the Ladder simply says that you should not reach below
the rung upon which you stand, except to the first rung below you - in
order to help people. If you reach down too low, your efforts will be
and you may be hurt. Or crucified.
A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.
[If someone can tell me which Dutch proverb this is a translation of, I would be very grateful. I sure don't recognize it.]
A battle has begun for some. It lies not on some distant shore, but within. The weapons are not of metal, but of emotions, desires and greed.
The Foe is not of man, but his ego supported by illusion. It is raging day and night, day after day. The Warrior travels not out, but within. 'Constantly bombarded by inprints planted throughout his lifetime in the form of samskaras, blinding the Warrior from his SELF, from that which we all are.
But fear not noble Warrior, your plight is not a lonely one. Your allies lie just beyond the veil of deception. There you will find your Strength, your Love and your Light.
Every moment Maya, like a seductive woman, temps you with her fruits. But have caution for her fruits are like chains that bind you from the SELF. Taste not this fruit noble warrior, for thou will fall victim to her illusions.
She bares beauty, passion, and she feeds the ego. She builds a fortress around the mind, holding you back from your True Self. But caution noble warrior, have not pride in your Quest, for this too is your foe.
Humility is your sword, kindness your shield, and discipline your strength. These are all the weapons you will need.
It is dangerous to put the mind into a state of dullness. Some people think that if they immerse themselves in an object and slide into a sort of doze, that is meditation, and because their mind is no longer scattered they think that they have stabilized it. But one does not stabilize one's mind by letting it get absorbed in this manner; on the contrary, it is the wrong approach to meditation because clarity and attentiveness of mind are lost in this practice. Sometimes, by sinking into this sort of drowsiness, after a period, people may achieve a kind of peacefulness or a pleasurable feeling of physical and mental well-being and relaxation. And if this state is maintained for a longer period, the breathing may even stop for some time and they may even think that they have reached the state of samadhi, but that is not so. If people are in such a doze that the attentiveness, alertness, active participation and clarity of mind are lost, concentration has no meaning or value. Moreover, the positive qualities of mind will be lost and it will become forgetful, inactive and lazy. We must, therefore, take every precaution, right from the beginning [of meditation-practice], that concentration on the object is accompanied by attentiveness, alertness, clarity, and the active force of a participating mind. When it is left unguarded, the mind behaves like a monkey. It never rests on one point, but constantly moves hither and thither. When the mind is steadied by concentration on one object this activity begins to subside. It is important that the energy of the mind should be channeled and directed to one object. During the process of concentration the mind should not be lost or scattered but watched to see that it does not move in different directions.
Preachers have fallen into the habit of treating the Parables of Jesus as literal historic narratives, those timed in the future being interpreted as prophetic descriptions of what will actually occur. The cumulative effect is to build up a conception of unreality about life which is fatal to the impressive character of the lessons to be taught. Many will say this is all nonsense, that everybody knows they are parables, and cannot make any mistake. But usually this is just where a very serious mistake is made, for they are applied to the outside world objectively, and not recognized as Parables of the Kingdom which is within us and subjective. I have heard hundreds of sermons in the last eighty years and am still hearing them on the radio in which the appeal is entirely objective without any attempt to indicate the subjective nature of the field of consciousness in which all real religion has its foundation. Children are very rarely instructed on this matter, and I have vivid recollections of sermons on the Parable of the Last Judgment when, as a child, I was on one occasion, so impressed with the elaborate detail and expansion of the spectacle that as far as I was concerned our eternal destiny was settled then and there. I was quite resigned being a Goat as I did not like the people who believed themselves to be Sheep. It was years before I began to understand that such preaching was all illusion, fabulous, or as we say today, Maya. The whole thing is in minds, the Goat temperament, the Sheep character, with all the habits, vices and virtues, growing together, under the judgment of the Master in our hearts, impartially deciding, as our will determines, what the desires we have cherished will produce. The Prodigal Son is in each one of us, and both the Elder Brother and the Fatted Calf, as well as the loving Father whom we scarcely ever fully recognize. We pray to our Father in Heaven, but he is nearer than the firmament. The man who had not on a wedding garment may be oneself in a business suit. The five foolish virgins are all within us, and the wise ones too, but we must elect which company we are going to keep if we expect to be at the marriage feast of the Son. The Priest and the Levite are going strong in us, especially when our help is needed, but the Good Samaritan is in us too, even if he be a bit slow sometimes in getting to the spot. These familiar stories are confined to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. St. John substitutes Miracles for the Parables and with the same intension of conveying spiritual truth in the only way that things spiritual can be given meaning in earthly terms; pictorially, or by example, dynamically. St. Paul, ever practical, treats the Old Testament as allegory, and in this way it becomes a golden lexicon by which the hidden things of the Eternal may be translated into the language of time.
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