Wednesday, July 5, 2023

I Spent Years In Getting Enlightened Until Someone Told Me That I Was Born Enlightened

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 5 July 2023 “In my beginning is my end. In succession Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended, Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass. Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires, Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth Which is already flesh, fur and faeces, Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf. from "East Coker” ― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets Apni Azmat Ka Pata Mujhe Auron Se Mila Abdul Hameed ' Adam ' (My own greatness was often pointed out by others) "I spent years in getting enlightened until someone told me that I was born enlightened." "A road frequently taken Is often your own extension" Robert Frost, ' Apple-Pie ' One night Rabbi Isaac was told in his dream to go to far away Prague and there to dig for hidden treasure under a bridge that led to the palace of the king. He didn't take the dream seriously but when it recurred four or five times, he made up his mind to go in search of the treasure. When he got to the bridge, he discovered to his dismay that it was heavily guarded day and night by soldiers. All he could do was gaze at the bridge from a distance. But since he went there every morning, the captain of the guards came up to him one day to find out why. Rabbi Isaac, embarrassed as he was to tell his dream to another soul, told the captain everything for he liked the good-natured character of this Christian. The captain roared with laughter and said, "Good heavens! You a Rabbi and you take dreams so seriously? Why if I were stupid enough to act on my own dreams, I would be wandering around in Poland today. Let me tell you one that I had last night that keeps recurring frequently: A voice tells me to go to Cracow and dig for treasure in the corner of the kitchen of one Isaac, son of Ezekiel. Now wouldn't it be the most stupid thing in the world to search around in Cracow for a man called Isaac and another called Ezekiel when half the male population there probably has one name and the other half the other? " The Rabbi was stunned. He thanked the captain for his advice, hurried home, dug up the corner of his kitchen and found a treasure abundant enough to keep him in control till the day he died. The spiritual quest is a journey without distance. You travel from where you are right now to where you have always been. From ignorance to recognition, for all you do is see for the first time what you have always been looking at. Who ever heard of a path that brings you to yourself or a method that makes you what you have always been? Spirituality, after all, is only a matter of becoming what you really are. Spirituality, like yourself, is innately embedded in your consciousness. There's a revealing story of a monk living in the Egyptian desert who was so tormented by temptation that he could bear it no longer. So he decided to abandon his cell and go somewhere else. As he was putting on his sandals to carry out his resolve, he saw another monk not far from where he stood, who was also putting the sandals on. "Who are you?" he asked the stranger. "I'm your self." was the reply. "If it's on my account that you are leaving this place, I would have you know that no matter where you go I shall go with you." Said a despairing client to the psychiatrist, "No matter where I go I have to take myself along-and that spoils everything." BOTH WHAT YOU RUN AWAY FROM-AND WHAT YOU YEARN FOR-IS WITHIN YOU. But how many of us bother to look inward and realize that a moment of introspection can open sesame to the wealth hither to undreamt-of and unheard-of? Shakil Badayuni says, “Jahaan-E-Rang-O-Boo Mein Kyon Talash-e-Husn Ho Mujhko / Hazaron Jalwe Rakhshanda Hain Mere Dil Ke Aaine Mein." (Why should I look for beauty in this quotidian world? / Thousands of lights are glittering within me). We look for spirituality outside, whereas it's interwoven with our selves within our existence. In other words, it's in-built. Spirituality is mankind's ineluctable fate. ---- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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