World Peace and Spiritual Psychology - East and West
"Remember Me, and I will remember you" (Qur`an)
Heaven on earth is the quest of every human being.
As a westerner growing up in a war-torn world but nevertheless self-centered enough to not get involved with anything that might threaten my pursuit of religious and spiritual knowledge, I have always wondered at the lack of a universally dominant healing philosophy by which all grievances are addressed, and all people happy, thriving and cooperative. This is clearly not the case, but why not?
And isn't it possible that there might be a universal truth by which all people will live as equals in a happy, thriving world? Does this need to be in the "afterlife"? Can we not have it now? The quest for the reality of this question is a form of spiritual selfishness that is so inherent within us that it cannot be reversed or destroyed.
This "heaven on earth" is the quest of every human being. It manifests in everything done. We have simply made an end of the means and forgotten our true goal.
The exotericists of religion tell me that this heaven is not for this world, but in an afterlife for people who do "good" in this life. But that leaves me with the need to clarify the meaning of "good". What is the "good" that I want to do in order to be accepted into the heaven that is in the "afterlife"? And does that heaven exist now? Can I, by virtue of some deed or deeds, live in that heaven now? It's obvious that children are heavenly, and that more and more of them are coming into the world. It's obvious that there is enough deep, heavenly peace in the world to go around to everyone. Are not sleeping children (at least, temporarily) in heaven? Why then are we in such a turmoil?
Fundamentalist Understanding and the Doctrine of
All Muslims claim their book to be the very healing that the world needs but most prefer others to understand it and explain it to them before they themselves will do it. An active majority lays claim to their understanding of the meaning and significance of the book through the auspices of state sponsored teachers who rely on the simple fundamentals of religion in order to teach. A closer investigation reveals a startling, even deliberate similarity in teaching methodology to simple Christianity, the theory being that it seems to work for them, so why shouldn't it work for us? But these simple fundamentals are predicated upon an intensely Roman Catholic premise, that of Original Sin.
The basic premise and motivational factor of the fundamentalists (in any religion) is to state that we (people) are bad, evil (or at least stupid) and surely destined for hell if we do not follow and support them and believe as they believe. Scratch the skin of any fundamentalist and you will find an unremitted terror. As long as Islam is being "preached" this way, i.e. without the fears of the people being addressed, the road to "salvation" will always be through the fires of war. Hence the origins of unwarranted militancy resulting in the actions of suicide and terrorism.
We do not know God as God deserves to be known. Because we do not trust in God as God deserves to be trusted. If we haven't tasted the true trust in God then we owe it to ourselves at least once in life. We've tasted everything else, why not the trust of which the gnostics sing?
Fear is not the right way to teach anything, let alone religion and especially Islam. These disturbed "teachers" dismiss the meaning of the truthful Islamic traditions that support the existence of a basic inherent innocence both in themselves and in others. "Ad-deen adab, kulluha - Our religion is all courtesy", "Islam ad-deen ul Fitrah - Surrender is the way of nature", "Children are born Muslims (i.e. in a state of Surrender)", "Allah (God) did not create to punish", "Do not become the slaves of religion", etc. And so many more. And if they do not throw them out they put such a twist upon them as to virtually nullify their original simple meaning.
We have now changed the religion of truth into a life of fearful denial "All else but me is wrong and bad, all this is bad and only good as I see it is good". Negating this and negating that. There is no affirmation except lip service to the active role of God in everything.
So my question is, what is the "good" that will guarantee my eternal life in heaven, and if I do it all in this life, will I be able to feel and live in that heaven even while still in this life?
Because if the answer to the second part of that question is yes, then that means that that heaven exist now, not later, and is merely on "another" but concurrent plane of existence. It also means that with the right amount and quality of effort, it can be perceived. Well, if it can be perceived, then I want to go there right now and make it my permanent residence, so what is this effort, the right amount and quality of which will allow me to perceive it? And is not that particular effort the very "good" that I am seeking to do?
say that surrender to God puts us in heaven.
to God right here and now is exactly the meaning of the word
So Surrender (Islam) puts us in the garden. So that's the answer to my
question, and that's what I want to do, Surrender. But surrender to
and surrender what? The first part seems easy, surrender to the
of God, but how do I know who God is? And as for "what" do I surrender,
I might start with my contentious ways. Letting go of my defenses and
be what may.
That means that the garden is our natural state, the state of peace and surrender. So what state is it that takes us out of the garden and puts us in jeopardy (harm's way) of the fire? Why the state of anger, of course. It is fear and concern for self, not true self-knowing, that is the beginning of separation and mistrusting God.