Symbols of the world's religions



Jean Adriel

There are those who say that Baba is dangerous, and they are right. He is spiritual dynamite in the soul of anyone who comes under his influence. He catapults him out of his protective shell; he demolishes carefully erected intrenchments of pride and self-complacency; he explodes pet prejudices and opinions; he shocks one out of one's virtues just as surely as he reveals one's innermost sins; not a comfortable procedure by any means, but one which ultimately lifts the personality from its self-imposed serfdom into the untrammeled life of the heaven-born. In the Master's words: "You, yourself, are the cause of your separation from the beloved. Annihilate what is called your 'self' and you will thereby gain union with Him — the true Self."

Illustrative of the loose-rope method which he advocates for his followers was his reply to a questioner who thought that belief was something which could be coerced: "Always do what you feel like doing; if today you feel like believing in me — in God — do so; and if tomorrow you feel the reverse — don't believe."

To the critic who passes judgment upon the unconventional outlook and life of the truly great Teachers who cut through the enclosure of man's artificial standards of conduct he says:

"Many conventions express and embody illusory values, since they have come into existence as a result of the working of the mass mind which is spiritually ignorant . . . . The freedom from convention which often appears in the life of the spiritual aspirant or Master, is due, not to any willful rebellion against conventional standards or superficial approach to life, but to the exercise of discriminating thought. Those who would transcend the level of conformity to an external code of morals and conduct and experience the inner world of Reality must develop the capacity to distinguish between false and true values, irrespective of man-made conventions. Though such intelligent discrimination is of utmost importance, the newly-perceived values become fruitful only when they are lived out in daily, practical life."

They must be acted upon — made creative. It is not theory but practice which counts in the spiritual life.

Such precepts and practice would naturally subject Baba to the criticism that he and his teaching are dangerous. "The deeper secrets of the spiritual life," he declares, "are unveiled to those who take risks and who make bold experiments with life. They are not intended for the weak-kneed who seek guarantees for every step. He, who, from the shore, speculates about the ocean, shall know only its surface; if he would know the depths of the ocean, he must be willing to plunge into it."

If this is dangerous, it is also profound wisdom and leads to that state of consciousness in which the lover loses himself in the being of the Beloved and knows that he is one with the infinite.

AVATAR, pp. 276-278
1947 © Jean Adriel


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