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“Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Soul Education

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    Profile photo of ModeratorTN
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    Theme for Contemplation: Soul Education

    “All true soul education is an unfoldment through worship and affection, and it is
    open to every human being to make all life a celebration of learning.” — Aquarian Almanac

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“Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Soul Education

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    April 22, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Soul Education
    See simplicity in the complicated. Achieve
    greatness in little things. — LAO TZU

    The kingdom of heaven is within you.
    Look inward, and see it, and be glad.
    — BUDDHA

    Two things draw me to reverence: the starry heaven
    above and the moral law within.
    — IMMANUEL KANT

    • Profile photo of Peter
      Peter
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      Profile photo of PeterPeter

      The kingdom of heaven is within you.
      Look inward, and see it, and be glad.
      — BUDDHA

      I’m wondering if that’s something the Buddha actually said or whether its a rendering of an original passage by someone from a christian background.

      Is there a reference for the quote?

      ~~

      • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
        ModeratorTN
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        Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

        No we do not have a reference but we suspect it might be from Sir Edwin Arnold’s “Light of Asia” and not a direct quote from the Buddha.

      • Profile photo of Jon Fergus
        Jon Fergus
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        Profile photo of Jon FergusJon Fergus

        It’s definitely not from Light of Asia. The earliest use of this quote I’ve found is from “Splendour Of Asia: The Story Of Teaching Of The Buddha” by
        L. Adams Beck (1994), and he gives no reference for the quote; it seems rather to be his paraphrase. I see the same quote used again in “Cultural and Religious Heritage of India: Buddhism” by Suresh K. Sharma, ‎Usha Sharma (2004). Here’s the full quote:

        “Do this, and little by little, as when a man climbs a mountain the earth unfolds beneath him, for yourselves you shall see and know, needing no testimony from another—No, not even from the ancient scriptures, the Vedas, the Vedanta or any Brahman nor another. For the kingdom of heaven is within you. Look inward, and see it, and be glad.”

        • Profile photo of Peter
          Peter
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          Profile photo of PeterPeter

          Thank you. Looking into it a little further: L. Adams Beck is a pseudonym for Elizabeth Louisa Moresby (1862 – 1931) who, in her later years became a prolific novelist and writer. Many of her novels were set in Asia. The passage above is from her rendering of the Buddha’s life in her book, ’The Splendour of Asia.’ (1926).

          As Jon says, this passage appears also in “Cultural and Religious Heritage of India: Buddhism” by Suresh K. Sharma, ‎Usha Sharma (2004) . The article in Sharma’s book containing this passage is a reprint of G.F. Maine’s Introduction to ‘The Life of the Buddha,’ (1939) which, in turn, is a reprint of ‘The Splendour of Asia’ with a new title. Hence the identical quote.

          Some more information on L. Beck (Moresby) here:
          http://www.abcbookworld.com/view_author.php?id=7186

          Sounds like she was a really interesting lady.

          ~~

          • Profile photo of Jon Fergus
            Jon Fergus
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            Profile photo of Jon FergusJon Fergus

            Thanks for tracking that down Peter. In regards to the substance of the quote, it strikes me as a quite poetic interpretation of Buddha’s message from the point of view of a westerner raised among Christian ideology. The “needing no testimony” idea is found in the Kalama Sutta and this quote here does seem to be a general paraphrase of that teaching (or perhaps of another sutta with the same message?); and Buddha did make a point repeatedly that the brahman teachers of his time were not 100% reliable sources (see for instance, the Tevigga Sutta among others).

            I would say the “kingdom of heaven” idea is clearly drawn from Christian thought (Tolstoy etc.), at least in terms of that phrasing, which is where I think we deviate from even a paraphrasing of Buddha. I’d suggest that the Buddha himself may have been quite hesitant to use phrasing like “the kingdom of heaven is within you“, given that he spent so much time and effort trying to combat the notion of “you” (if confronted with such a phrase Buddha may likely have pounced on the notion that heaven is within you by asking something like “what is the nature of this ‘you’ that you believe this ‘heaven’ to be within?” and then proceeding to lead the person who made the statement to break down the false notions surrounding that idea—at least, that seems to have generally been his strategy in conversations with questioners). “Look inward, and see it, and be glad” I suppose is one way of looking at the Buddha’s teaching of the path (paramitas and/or jhanas etc.) which in a certain sense is “inward”, and the idea that suffering is overcome by traversing that path… but again the sentiment seems more akin to Christian thought than a purely Buddhist approach. Still, a nice message overall.

            • Profile photo of Pierre Wouters
              Pierre Wouters
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              Profile photo of Pierre WoutersPierre Wouters

              The “inward” reminds me of the statement in the Voice of the Silence pp. 28-29

              “But within thy body—the shrine of thy sensations—seek in the Impersonal for the “eternal man”(1); and having sought him out, look inward: thou art Buddha.
              (1) The reincarnating EGO is called by the Northern Buddhists the “true man,” who becomes in union with his Higher Self a Buddha.”

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
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    April 23, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Soul Education
    And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
    Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
    Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
    — WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    April 24, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: The Egg

    And this is the true end set before the soul, to take that light, to see the Supreme
    by the Supreme and not by the light of any other principle — to see the Supreme
    which is also the means to the Vision; for that which illumines the soul is that
    which it is to see, just as it is by the sun’s own light that we see the sun.
    — PLOTINUS

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    April 25, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Soul Education

    Beauty is the depth of the soul. — Sufi Saying

    For every flower of love and charity he plants in his neighbour’s garden, a
    loathsome weed will disappear from his own, and so this garden of the gods —
    Humanity — shall blossom as a rose. — H. P. BLAVATSKY

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
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    April 26, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Soul Education

    Look to the essence of a thing, whether it be a point of doctrine,
    of practice or of interpretation. — MARCUS AURELIUS
    Freely we serve,
    Because we freely love, as in our will
    To love or not; in this we stand or fall.
    — JOHN MILTON

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
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    April 27, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Soul Education

    Wisdom comes through suffering. — AESCHYLUS

    Education has for its object the formation of character. — HERBERT SPENCER

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    April 28, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Soul Education

    A life of resolute good,
    Unalterable will, quenchless desire
    Of universal happiness, the heart
    That beats with it in unison, the brain
    Whose ever-wakeful wisdom toils to change
    Reason’s rich stores for its eternal weal.
    — PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

  • Profile photo of Kristan Stratos
    Kristan Stratos
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    Profile photo of Kristan StratosKristan Stratos

    Sufi Islam Master, Ibn al-Arabi, states in his Secret Doctrine, “Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya” (ﺍﻟﻔﺘﻮﺣﺎﺕ ﺍﳌﻜﻴﺔ) “The Meccan Revelations” the following regarding soul education;

    [ The one wearing that remained hidden, the Eternal, the producer of beings (mubdi’).] The One wearing the cloak only knows its inside- the state of union- while the cloak* molds itself to the shape wearing it. If you say ‘one’ you are speaking truthfully; if you say “two essences” you are also speaking truthfully, whether you see it with your eyes or through unveiling. He who composed the following lines, by God, was quite correct in saying:

    Subtle is the glass, subtle the wine;
    Similar is their form, and ambiguous.
    As if it were wine, but not a wine glass;
    A wine glass, but not wine.

    The outside of the cloak will never know the person wearing it; it will only know the inner facet of its own essence, which is its veil. Thus, only knowledge knows the True (al-Haqq), and only praise is truly capable of praising Him (It). You know Him (al-Haqq most likely) only through knowledge- your veil- as an intermediary. You contemplate only the knowledge that remains within you (al-‘ilm al’qâ’im bi-ka), even if that knowledge should be in prefect correspondence with its object. Your knowledge remains in you and is your object of contemplation and worship…. Knowledge and the Known are separated by unfathomable seas. The secret of the relationship between them, given the distance that separates the essential realities between them is a sea which is difficult to embark… Only personal unveiling can perceive it, through veils that are so numerous, so subtle, so imperceptible, and so fine that they cannot even be felt when they cover the eyes of inner vision…”

    —-
    *Cloak (arabic; ridâ)- symbol for- “the perfect servant, created in the divine form, bringing together the realities of the possible and of the divine, the most perfect manifestation that there is … since we are the grandeur of God before His Face and the veil contemplates the Veiled, God confirms that we will see Him. Al-Ash’arî is correct to cite these words of the Prophet, “You shall see your Lord at the same time as the words (spoken by God to Moses), ‘You will not see Me Q.7:143.” The cloak (robe) has an outer side and an inner side. It sees God, while with its outer face, it does not see Him, and supports the Mu’tazilite (who denies the possibility of such vision). The cloak is, of corse, one and the same entity…” (Futuhat.4.246)

© 2017 Universal Theosophy

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