Symbols of the world's religions



Questions sent in by readers are answered by disciples who have lived with Meher Baba

Question: When we say a man has knowledge, can we possibly conclude he has the right kind of knowledge? Do we understand what we know and can this "know" be applied in a practical way to our spiritual growth?

Answer: The history of civilization is a continuing tale of the discarding today of what had been confidently accepted yesterday as knowledge. But fortunately, what appears true of knowledge related to the external world, apparently is not necessarily true of the inner world of man himself. There is compelling evidence that, as highly motivated individuals dig deep within the world of inner experience, there is a progressive discarding and simplification which finally produces a one rock-stable result that is always identical. Equally throughout history, this final result of deepening inner knowledge has been termed God-realization or union with God. There is no way to term this state anything other than right knowledge. All knowledge up to that point is relative knowledge and liable to further modification, discard, deepened insight.

"Knowledge" is an ambiguous term in itself. Those who have apparently arrived at that one solid-rock state and have given us some description of it, all insist that it has nothing to do with mental or reasoned processes. Nor is it a collection of external observations codified and harmonized into a body of consistent facts. Moreover, they warn us repeatedly against confusing the "knowledge" of reason and even of the senses, with the inner knowledge which for them is the only knowledge.

Apparently we are all addicted through thousands and even hundreds of thousands of years of habit to identify knowledge with information recorded by the senses or produced by logic as extensions of data based on the senses. In fact, the great advance of technical civilization is based on carefully worked out principles for the handling of such sensory data. If the spectacular advances of science and industrial technology based on them have any validity, then why should these principles not be the base also of the most meaningful form of correct human knowledge? To deny that this is so is to risk denial of the very value of modern civilization.

Yet this is close to what the witness to inner knowledge does. While often warning us not to try to cut ourselves off from the external world and its forms of shifting knowledge, he usually gives us the impression that if it has value, it is more as a laboratory or a school which can be the needed environment for uncovering the absolute and unchanging knowledge or experience of the inner man.

Let us put the matter even more clearly in the direct and simple words of Meher Baba. He says that reality is infinite, eternal, indivisible God. All else is imagination, and even the very imagination is included in the infinitude of God. All of creation and all of its Apparent forms of knowledge are contained within the zero portion of God's infinitude and fulfil one end, which is to develop the innate consciousness of God's knowledge of His own Godhood. This is the rock-solid, unchanging knowledge to which each iota of creation comes. All human experience revolves around one central theme, and that is the disidentification of consciousness from materiality.

Put in other words, all human experience leads inexorably and inevitably to the conclusion that reality/truth/knowledge is not the external situation that we considered so important, nor our emotional complications nor even our greatest creative ideas. All of these fade gradually as does even the most beautiful evening sunset, and in their place is established the consciousness of the One, eternal, unchanging, all-encompassing as the only true Knowledge.

Meher Baba is very clear in telling us that such true Knowledge is achieved sooner or later by every drop-soul in creation. The only question is one of relative speed and complexity in achieving this realization. The fortunate one is he who, through love and loyalty to one more advanced in this process than himself (or, grace of graces; to one who has totally achieved the realization) goes ahead rapidly and on a straight course.


GLOW International, May 1982, Answers, ed. Naosherwan Anzar
1982 © Naosherwan Anzar


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