Symbols of the world's religions



William Donkin

Standards of good and bad are established according to contemporary standards that may vary with time and circumstance. In spirituality, very often what is understood to be good by the masses is, from the spiritual point of view, bad; and what is understood as bad by the masses, is often good from the spiritual point of view.

For example, robbery is bad by general standards, but if one robs to help some starving mother who has just given birth to a child, it is good. Also, by general standards, beating others is bad, but if you beat someone with the motive of correcting his life, and do so without malice and without anger, this beating is a blessed virtue.

From general standards of society, religion, health, morality and so forth, cleanliness of body and mind are indispensable. It is, however, very easy to keep the body clean; but cleanliness of mind is very difficult indeed. The more one gets attached to body cleanliness for merely selfish reasons, the less are the chances of having a clean mind.

If, however, one is given up wholly to mental cleanliness, which means becoming free from low, selfish, impure desires and thoughts of lust, greed, anger, backbiting, etc., the less is one's mind attached to bodily needs and bodily cleanliness. All this applies to ordinary persons.

Now of the five types — God-merged, God-intoxicated, God-absorbed, God-communed and God-mad — the God-absorbed and God-communed can more or less keep their bodies clean. Their minds are almost automatically clean due to their being absorbed in God, or in communion with God. But the God-mad, the God-intoxicated and the God-merged all invariably have dirty bodies, live in dirty surroundings, and may have dirty physical habits.

A God-mad has a clean, pure mind. A God-intoxicated has a mind, but no thoughts, for his mind is simply enjoying the intoxicated state. A God-merged has no mind — he is fully merged in God. So in these three cases their mental cleanliness and purity cannot be questioned.

Now why should their bodies and environments be dirty? You will find that the majority of ordinary mad people have very little consciousness of their bodies. So if an ordinary mind, when mad, does not pay attention to bodily cleanliness, then the three types of God men, who unconsciously or consciously know all the universe to be zero, body to be a shadow, and whose minds are absolutely unattached to the body, cannot be expected to keep their bodies and surroundings clean.

THE WAYFARERS, pp. 33-34, William Donkin
1988 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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