Written before reading Matthew’s Sept. 3, 2020 message.
When we see things through a filter – Democrat or Republican, good or evil, it doesn’t matter what – immediately, we’ve put a serious limit on what of the truth we can take in, in my view.
The problem with my saying that is that we need to see certain things through a filter.
Imagine I’m the pilot of a jumbo jet. While on the job, I need to see everything through that filter. I need to focus. I need to limit the amount I’m taking in. A minute distracted from my job and we could be plunging to the ground.
Some filters are necessary.
(And some are fun!)
The larger problem still behind my saying that is that what I said is true but from the Absolute level (or closer to it than we are). We live on the relative plane and Absolute answers may not prove appropriate here as my pilot example illustrates.
It’s no comfort to the passengers that the pilot chants “Om!” if an engine is on fire. They want to know that she knows how to get the plane on the ground.
Please accept that I don’t mean us to become yogis in caves.
No, we’re lightworkers with work to do. (1) We’d be walking into lampposts if we ditched the idea of filters altogether. Their prudent, discerning use, I think, is more to the point.
But again that very example points to what I’m talking about. “Prudent” or “discerning” use. “Moderate” or “considered” use.
We don’t live in a “Yes” or “No” universe. It isn’t either/or, as Michael would say. It isn’t go left or go right. We have to consider what we do.
The truth lies in the center, in the middle, where moderation and balance are to be found. They’re more relevant skills to fulfill life’s purpose than extreme words and behavior.
And we’ve seen extreme words and behavior win out again and again so our belief in the strength of the center may be limited.
The purpose of life from our vantage point is to know who we are. The purpose of life from God’s vantage point is that God meets God in a moment of our enlightenment. (2)
To accomplish that, we want to still the mind. Moderation and balance bring us closer and closer to stillness of the mind.
Something else that stills the mind is purification, which to me means letting go of old baggage, resentments, withholds/secrets, core issues, vasanas.
The development of discernment happens to be, I’m led to believe, what physical life is all about. Says Krishna:
Be angry, and you confuse the mind;
Confuse your mind, you forget the lesson of experience;
Forget experience, you lose discrimination;
Lose discrimination, and you miss life’s only purpose. (3)
The Upanishads say what that purpose is:
“He who lacks discrimination, whose mind is unsteady and whose heart is impure, never reaches the goal, but is born again and again. But he who has discrimination, whose mind is steady and whose heart is pure, reaches the goal, and having reached it is born no more.” (4)
To be born no more is to enter a higher dimension that does not feature birth and death; i.e., Ascension.
To the ancients, Ascension was immortality. To them, “immortality” meant no longer needing to be reborn into a physical body; to us that ground is covered by the term, “Ascension.”
The last act of our individual life is an act of discernment: “I am God.” And, if deeply enough realized, I am born no more. (5)
For me the difference between a filter and discernment is that the former is fixed and the latter is fluid; the former is imposed and the latter evolves; the former can excite mindless passions in which crimes may be committed while the latter works against it.
Discernment is the alternative to filters.
The filters are like a rope tying a boat to the dock. Discernment is the pilot’s skill in navigating the boat once it’s in the open water. Filters serve a purpose but you can’t sail the seas tied to the wharf.
If we want to sail the seas, we may need to let go of our filters. We may then need to rely on our discernment.
(1) Right now that work is purification for us, accountability for the wider society.
(2) See “What is the Purpose of Life?” February 24, 2020, at https://goldenageofgaia.com/2020/02/24/306794/
(3) Sri Krishna in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944, 42.
(4) Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester, trans., The Upanishads. Breath of the Eternal. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1957; c1948, 19.
(5) Provided that realization comes in Sahaja Samadhi. Brahmajnana also sees us knowing that we are God, but not at a level that results in liberation from the wheel of birth and death; i.e., Ascension.