Today is Friday, the most important day to offer prayers in the Islamic religion, and as we drove into Marrakech, there were many cars and trucks parked outside some of the roadside mosques.
In Islam, devotees pray five times per day.
It is considered the second most important of Islam’s five pillars, after remembering not to worship idols or other gods, but that God is ONE and that the Prophet Mohammed is believed to be God’s messenger.
Each prayer includes a series of movements, supplications, and recitations from the Quran, Islam’s holy book, in its original Arabic.
The praying ritual includes standing, bending and prostrating, lowering the forehead into the carpet in humility.
When you walk through busy Medinas in Morocco, it is easy to spot those who pray often… They usually have a dark mark on their foreheads, from constantly pressing their foreheads into the floor during prayers.
In this essay, I do not wish to criticize religious beliefs.
My intentions are NOT to create separation among people, nor to bring a sense of superiority, for BOTH are impossible in Truth.
People are all ONE and cannot be separated by their embracing of different religious beliefs.
And NO one is better, more worthy or more precious than another, because his understanding of the Truth is greater than another.
But still I wish to shed some light on how and why we seek for the comfort of the concept of God in religions, and how we bind ourselves into wrong and illusory traps by doing so.
The search for God and for understanding Reality, is a natural yearning in the human’s soul.
We yearn to remember who we are, and we yearn to understand our unity with God.
And so people organize themselves into separate groups of religions, of nationalities, of ideologies, each believing that what they stand for is the real thing.
Internally knowing that the Truth is ONE and all encompassing, they argue with one another and try to “prove” that their religion is MORE true….. And when wrangling cannot solve the problem they butcher one another.
Now is there ANY Truth in that?”
Organized dogma with its rituals, recitation of prayers, repeating mantras, quoting the Gita or the Bible, does NOT point the way…..
By calling yourself a teacher of Truth, a Buddhist, a Christian, a Hindu, a Jew, or by following any ritual, can you find the Ultimate Truth?…… Or are you merely following in the footsteps of others and accepting automatic unexamined rituals instead of Truth?….
By embracing ANY religion, people are caught up in a whole system of authorities, priests, Rabi, and ‘gurus’.
You do not understand yourself,
You do not know who you ARE and you spend virtually NO TIME in REALITY.
You are only living in imaginary constructions that your mind constantly make up.
You are merely accepting, not inquiring.
Because you identify yourself with your experiences, and you think that your body is part of your identity, you are fearful.
Your body is so small and fragile and finite…. It needs constant feeding, cleaning, and care.
You virtually spend ALL of your time here in earth caring for your body and are constantly concerned about its well being.
Because you wrongly identify yourself with your body, you are fearful.
You think that what can harm your body can end your life.
Because you are fearful, you become dependent.
You seek for concepts and beliefs that will give your body and mind COMFORT, and you become dependent on them.
Because you are dependent on concepts, you become incapable of finding out what is false – and when you do not know what is false you cannot know what is true.
You may talk about God and about the Truth, read inspiring books, attend lectures, and repeat God’s name a thousand times, but this will NOT reveal the Truth.
The Truth will be hidden from you because you are full of your own ideas, your own preferences and your own prejudices,…… your own likes and dislikes…. Your own fears.
The ignorance of man of Himself, is the reason for the existence of all the organized religion, whether it is in the East or the West.
It is because people are confused, that they want authority.
It is because they are lazy and busy and unwilling to think for themselves, and fearful of experimenting and of making mistakes.
Because of their fears, people follow willingly into the religious systems.
Most people make themselves impotent, by not even believing in the fact that they are entitled to search and to find the Truth for themselves, and so they follow Mohammed, Jesus, the Buddha or Moses, into empty stories, made hallow by the fact that they describe concepts that most people do NOT understand nor really accept…..
So having created the authority to rule and guide, whether political or religious, people follow its direction in the hope of finding the Truth.
What they know about Reality, through the words and authority of another person, is NOT the Truth.
But they do not know this, for they do not realize that the masters were describing their OWN experiences.
When you seek an authority, you have lost confidence in yourself because by following authority, you declare that you are merely a follower…..an imitator.
It is because you have lost confidence in yourself, that you create leaders, religion or otherwise.
You read all the holy books you can find.
You pursue different ideas which create many contradiction in your mind.
The more imitative you are, the less confidence you have in yourself, and you merely making your life into a copybook.
From childhood, you have been told what to read, what to believe, what to think, how to behave and what to do.
You were not allowed to think for yourself.
You were expected go be and behave in a manner that will make you friendly, easy to get along with and compliance.
You followed these rules, because you wanted to be loved and were afraid of being punished and abandoned.
To find out the cause of your confusion you must have confidence in yourself, you must have a deep inward certainty of what is false and what is true….. You MUST learn to listen to your intuition and inner wisdom.
But you do not even listen to yourself, preferring to be guided from books or from others.
You do not KNOW much, because you have never truly searched or inquired about HOW did you acquire the beliefs and ideas that you have.
Because you are confused, you seek for clarity and you think that you can find the Truth by reading the Upanishads, the Gita, the Bible, the Tibetan ancient Scriptures or any other spiritual book.
Do you think that you are capable of reading the Truth and understanding ANY of it when you yourself are confused?
You will merely translate what you read according to your confusion, your likes, your dislikes, your prejudices, and your conditioning.
You are afraid because you do not understand.
So you want a guide, you want a belief, that will help settle the fear in your gut……
But ideas only covers up your fear while you still do not understand yourself.
When you understand your fear, you are freed from your fear, then your conflict will disappear in the light of understanding.
ALL of your ideals and your fears are made up in YOUR MIND, and what is made up in your mind is UNREAL, so both your ideal and your fears have no foundation in Truth.
The Truth is revealed when you understand yourself.
When you can see your prejudices,
When you examine your ideas, and challenge your beliefs.
The Truth – comes to you.
You do not have to go to “get” the Truth.
The Truth is!
You do not create it.
When you think you are remembering God, and focusing on the Truth, you are merely projecting your own ideas.
Then your attempts becomes a process of self-hypnosis which is what organized religion is.
When you have freed yourself from all your mental formulations you will find that which is NOT a mental formulation.
The mind must cease to formulate before you can find what IS REAL.
There is no need to belong to any organized religion, neither to condemn nor criticize any religion.
Nor is it necessary to become an atheist, for that is yet another form of a system and yet another belief to burden and organized the mind with.
Seek not to burden your mind with “knowledge” of the Truth, but seek instead to come empty handed and be filled with wisdom and love.
There IS help that is available to you.
You will be put in touch with infinite wisdom according to your open channels.
Your wise unseen helpers, which will help and guide you out of this maze of wrong concepts that your ego and belief in individuality has created.
It may sound like a paradox….
On one hand, you CANNOT find your way out of this maze, for YOU created it.
On top of this, it is ONLY by your own choice, and lack of understanding, that you are still trapped in it…….
But on the other hand, without offering yourself totally to the Truth, and fully welcoming it into you, you will not know it, and will not allow the help that is available to you to come to you.
You do not develop the Real- the Real will develop YOU.
Therefore, remember to Be HERE Now!
For you are Real only in the Now, not in the past nor in the future.
Recognize that EVERYTHING you dwell upon and think about all day, is a creation of your mind.
You virtually spend NO TIME in REALITY as it truly IS…
You think about things, then you generate emotions, you fantasize about ideas, you daydream, you desire and hope for thing…. You analyze things that seem to happen to you and you mostly live inside your mind.
Even when you are engage in doing what you want, your mind is busy with other things.
When the mind is freed from its own formulations, its beliefs, its ideas, there comes a silence beyond time.
In this silence, you become conscious of the Reality of your True Being.
In this freedom is the releasing of the REAL Creative Energy, with a conscious Directive Power that is unknown to the ordinary man.
You can start by examining your mind, your relationship with people, ideas and things.
If there is within you outrage, (even over “good causes”) antagonism, if there is fear, if there is craving, prejudice or if you are holding on to grievances, then your mind is in conflict.
Your mind is blaming, resisting, condemning, and your are NOT free to allow in greater understanding.
It is obvious you must not condemn if you want to understand, and you must not hold grievances towards another, if you want inner peace.
When you see the false you will know it.
Similarly, when you hear the Truth, and when the what is REAL comes into your being, you will KNOW it and become ONE with it, for that is what you are.
Beyond your ego and your cherished personality and individuality, YOU ARE what is Real, Eternal and ever-present…. And you are ONE with GOD.
What is TRUE- is ETERNAL.
What was created will have an end- and it is NOT real.
What is REAL- can NOT be threatened.
And ONLY what is REAL – EXIST.
The rest is an illusion….
You ARE REAL, and your True Identity exist in the present moment and it is never changing.
It is only your mind that is constantly changing from one idea to another.
When you understand and KNOW what a belief is,…
What an idea is,….
Then the mind will be free by itself,….
and in that freedom there IS what is Real.
Do NOT be lax about it.
It is paramount that you understand that your mind is made dull by your grievances, by your condemning, blaming, avoidance, by being a follower, by acceptance of unexamined ideas and through resistance.
You CANNOT seek for who you truly ARE, by avoiding the world, for you ARE the world.
You must seek and find yourself in your relationships, and by examining your mind, and ridding it of all wrong concepts.
Only in your relationship, freed from all your conditioning will you be able to find freedom, and in this freedom there is peace, and in peace there is Love.
Love is ALL THERE IS…..
Isn’t it time to find it and EXPERIENCE it for YOURSELF?…..