Monday, October 26, 2015

A Network of Spiritual Travelers

It was six men of Hindustan,
to learning much inclined;
who went to see the elephant,
though all of them were blind.
That each by observation
might satisfy the mind.
(John Godfrey Saxe)

I have been traveling the Way for a while now and it seems clear that I have broken through to a new spiritual plane of being. What I can't say is whether I succeeded despite myself, whether I did a few things quite well, or whether it was divine intervention that got me here, I have certain powers just like every other spiritual traveler and I see patterns that some would perceive as randomness or hokus pokus. Yet, just like the five blind man of Hindustan, it is pretty clear that we all only capture a tiny part of the Way.

For those who don't know the story, one blind man touched a sturdy side that very much felt like a wall. One grabbed a tusk, just like a spear. The third felt the trunk, that swiveled like a snake. The fourth embraced the knee that felt like a tree. The fifth touched the ear, that appeared like a fan. And the last man seized the tail that felt like a robe. Thus concluded John Godfrey Saxe:

Though each was partly in the right,
and all were in the wrong!

All spiritual travelers are on one path, but they all eventually lead into an ocean of bliss and wisdom. Let's hold hands together, listen to each other's stories and compare travel notes. Hopefully we can thus distinguish separate idiosyncratic fallacies from the overriding spiritual themes and laws at work. A network of spiritual travelers is so much more potent than the sum of its parts. Perhaps you can take this note as an inspiration to join or create one.

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