Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Kaba of Your Heart

Caring for my soul, a stranger said, "Surely you don't believe the things that you say."

I said, "Surely you don't deny the truth of them. I can recite scripture as readily as you can. So instead, let's detach ourselves from our expectations of God, because we've made our expectations a partner with God, and this is idolatry. Cast the idols of your expectations from the Kaba of your heart and then recite, as Gabriel call out to Ahmad, there is no power nor might but God. In this there is belief and truth that eclipses all that you and I claim to know and believe."

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Bhagavad Gita Interpreted - Part 17

Arjuna said,

—O Krishna, what is the state of those who have faith but are not mindful of Your teaching? Of those three threads, are they governed by the light of goodness, or the fire of restless desire, or the darkness of ignorance and negligence?

Krishna said,

—Of light, fire, darkness—faith takes no other form than these three threads, without exception. And a man is whatever his faith is. In light, he sacrifices to the heavens. In fire, he sacrifices to the earth. In darkness, he sacrifices to his superstition. And those who seek to punish themselves, and Myself within, and who undergo terrible austerities to impress others, there is no sacrifice at all. Their strength is wasted, and desire enslaves them.

—You will know which faith they practice in what they consume, in how they make sacrifice. You will know them in their self-discipline and in their offerings. Hear My words that you may know them without doubt.

—Those governed by the light of goodness consume only what is mild, has flavor and substance, and is fulfilling. What they consume is health and vigor, joy and long life.

—Those governed by the fire of restless desire consume what is sour, bitter, burns the tongue. What they consume is pain, misery, and illess.

—Those governed by the darkness of ignorance and negligence consume what is burned, flavorless, and rotten. What they consume is worthless.

—Those disposed to the light of goodness sacrifice without expectation of reward, without attachment to the fruit of sacrifice, but because sacrifice is their duty and accords to My Law. Their sacrifice is pure.

—Those disposed to the fire of restless desire sacrifice only to satisfy their appetites and pride. Their sacrifice is tainted by attachment.

—Those disposed to the darkness of ignorance and negligence sacrifice improperly, without understanding, without obedience or faithfulness. Their sacrifice is barren.

—Self-discipline takes three forms, found in three places—in the body, in speech, and in the mind. In the body, it is obeisance to the heavens and to the wise; it is fidelity, restraint, and nonviolence. In speech, it is sincerity and good will; it is truthfulness, appealing and constructive; it is the recitation of learning. In the mind, it is composure and mildness; it is measured and reserved; it is purity.

—Those drawn to the light of goodness practice these three forms of self-discipline faithfully, without expectation of reward.

—Those drawn to the fire of restless desire practice these three forms to show off. The honor and reputation they enjoy turn to dust and come no more.

—Those drawn to the darkness of ignorance and negligence practice these three forms unsoundly, without understanding, or to injure another.

—Those radiant in the light of goodness bestow offerings to those in need, to those deserving at the right time, in the right place.

—Those burning in the fire of restless desire dispense offerings in repayment or to acquire something better in return.

—Those astray in the darkness of ignorance and negligence make offerings coldly and contemptuously to those who neither need nor deserve at the wrong time, in the wrong place.

—The Most High, the One, the Truth are each a name of God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Wise, the Scriptures, and the Sacrifice. Invoking the Most High, engage in sacrifice, offering, and self-discipline. Invoking the One, engage in these three practices to be free of attachment and reward. Invoking the Truth, engage in these three practices, or any praiseworthy act. But if sacrifice is made, offering bestowed, or self-discipline practiced faithlessly, they are barren and wasted, having neither substance nor meaning now or ever after.