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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Many Paths

Chris and I have a subscription to the wonderful magazine, Parabola. I actually look forward to additionally getting any e-mails from them, because their web newsletter often contains wonderful quotes or passages, and it's no secret that I love quotes and passages that make me think.

Recently, this beautiful-to-me passage was in Parabola's e-newletter:

"God has made different religions to suit different aspirations, times, and countries. All doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no means God Himself. Indeed, one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with wholehearted devotion…

As one can ascend to the top of a house by means of a ladder or a bamboo or a staircase or a rope, so diverse are the ways and means to approach God, and every religion in the world shows one of these ways. … People partition off their lands by means of boundaries, but no one can partition off the all-embracing sky overhead. The indivisible sky surrounds all and includes all. … When a heart is illumined by true knowledge, it knows that above all these wars of sects and sectarians presides the one indivisible, eternal, all-knowing bliss.” ~ Ramakrishna, a 19th-century Hindu saint

Parabola's most recent magazine issue, Winter 2011, has articles all dealing with the theme of "Many Paths, One Truth." It's no wonder the above passage appeared in their e-newsletter, supporting this same theme.

The moment I read Ramakrishna's words, I flashed back to when I was about 7 years old. Raised Catholic and enrolled in a Catholic grade school, I distinctly remember one (and knowing me, no doubt more than one) night, tossing and turning over how at least some of what we were taught at school (and from my Ma at home) could not have been correct. I must admit that even as a small child, I firmly believed that God loved ALL folks who were good, kind, loving people, no matter what religion or not they were. And I somehow KNEW that God didn't care which path folks took because all the good spiritual and/or religious paths led to Spirit/Source/Father God/Mother God/etc. Perhaps this is not what all 7 year old's ponder about, but there you have it...these were the kinds of things I've had on my mind during much of my life.

A past post, hell, also addressed these issues. Obviously they're something that I feel strongly and deeply about, considering here they've surfaced once again on the blog, this time near the end of '11.

'course I had to keep my mouth zipped shut over these 'revelations' back in the 60's, lest my very Catholic Ma and the nuns at school get wind of what was really going on in my mind. Now I'm not nearly so careful to keep my mouth shut tight...hopefully for the

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