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Former Monk Looks Beyond Buddhism-An
Interview with Alan Clements
Direct Path: Immanence and Transcendence: SocialActivism in a WorldSaturated
with Divinity An Interview
with Andrew Harvey
of Flame Poems of the Spiritual Journey
of Kindness, Love and Grace
Marijuana: Its a Long Way to the Pharmacy
Time in Timelessness The Yoga of Prison
|(The Direct Path Immanence and Transcendence . . . p3)|
But that isnt enough because the kind of action that can really transform our world must be what I call mystical action. For action to be effective, it must be baptized by mystical awareness, and spring from a profound understanding of interdependence, on all levelsinterde-pendence with nature, with each other, and with the whole of creation. And when that mystical knowledge is born in beings, from it a much wiser, more all-encompassing, braver and more loving action is born. It enables the divine energy to use us as transparent vehicles to enter the world. This is the future.
What we then find is what Jesus came to teach, and what Aurobindo certainly was teachinga mystical activism that expresses itself in the most passionate, skillful action for justice and transforma-tion in all the levels of society, in all the arenas of the world. This, in fact, is the equivalent, in mystical terms, of the creation of the atomic bomb because what this vision brings together is what has traditionally been kept apartthe sacred and the profane, heaven and earth, prayer and action, mysticism and politics. This vision, which marries the masculine and the feminine sides of the brain, brings together the Jesus, the Einstein, and the Karl Marx in us. It brings together the different faculties for progress within us, divine and human.
What this makes accessible to the human race is a wholly new level of energy, of wisdom, and of awakened, just action. This is the clue to the transformation of the planet. In fact, I believe that we, as a species, have come to the moment where we must either choose this new vision or die out.
Teilhard de Chardin says humanity has been given the choice between suicide and adoration. I would amend that to say that humanity has been given the choice between suicide and action born out of adoration. We are called to action to save the forests, to preserve the dignity of the poor, to transform the economic systems that govern the world so that, instead of reflecting human greed, they reflect human compassion. To do all of that will demand a huge effort from all of us. The effort will meet many obstacles, will necessitate many sacrifices, will be dogged by darkness and suffering. We will only be able to make that effort if we allow ourselves to be inspired by the divine so that we can go through what is necessary to transform ourselves, then to transform our world.
MT: This means to begin to think, become, and act from the perspective of the world rather than from the perspective of the individual.
AH: Exactly. It is a tremendous shift, but we have enduring models of it in the great mystics and in many people around us. Such examples are signs that its possible. You have to wear down, or burn down, the veils between you and others. The way to do that is through spiritual practice. Each time you pray sincerely, each time you sit down to meditate with true earnestness, each time you visualize yourself as another being and another being as yourself with true sincerity, a part of that veil is worn away until one day, through the agency of the divine, you will see what every mystic sees. That revelation will then baptize you slowly into this completely new universe. Out of that will be born a global vision which has no prejudices against gays or blacks, no racism or sexism, only what we, as a human race together, inspired by the divine, could create here.
There is no final enlightenment on this path, only endless evolution. This means losing our fantasies, losing our illusions, not only about the material philosophies but also about mystical philosophies.
Im convinced that there are many people out there who really want to take this path now. Its very inspiring to me. For the last fifteen years I have been in a profound spiritual depression about the limitations of whats going on. Now, for reasons I cant completely explain, I am absolutely convinced that there has been a significant turning in the core of the consciousness of humanity. The extent of this problem is becoming very clear and with that the necessity of a wholly new kind of spiritual activism. And I think many, many people are waking up to this simultaneously. I am convinced that it is the purpose of the divine.
Even the U.S. Government has now officially recognized global warming. Five years ago when I was talking about the danger to the environment I was called a doom prophet and an apocalyptic. Now what I was saying seems tame compared to the facts that even the most conservative scientists pronounce.w