Where the love takes you
As I have mentioned before, the most important reason anyone would become involved with any of the Metaphysical sciences is that it offers perhaps a way to learn more about yourself (perhaps I should say "your Self") and what it means to be alive. In fact, while those timeless questions are viewed by many people as clichés (who am I?, why am I here?, what am I?, etc.), those of us who have the good fortune to be saddled with this quest for knowing, may come to find a reality that will stay with us until our last breath. And I mean this literally.
When I was a child growing up in Amsterdam, my family was not involved with any religion or philosophy in any way. I remember asking my dad if he believed in God. His answer was that if God existed, and He allowed a man like Hitler to cause so much death and destruction, than my dad did not want to have anything to do with Him. And that was the extend of my religious education. Yet, I also remember roaming the streets of Amsterdam when I was 11 or 12 and looking at people walking by, wondering how they could just go about their business when it seemed obvious to me that we, human beings, were partaking in some unbelievable complex and strange magic. Here we all were; breathing, eating, inventing things. There was a sky and a sun and all kinds of strange stuff and I, for the life of me, could not figure out what had made all this into existence. This was just really, really, weird. So I started reading books. Lots of them.
I had access to a pretty good library that included works of Kierkegaard, Sartre, Camus, Simone de Beauvoir, and others. And the more I read, the more confused I became. It seemed to me that these very smart people who had obviously done a lot of serious thinking, didn't have a clue either. Not a single one of them had a clue. They were banging away at a detail here and a detail there, sometimes cranking out a make-believe reality that was promptly squashed by the next author. So I started looking into religions. And my God, are there religions out there! As a novice I had a lot of choices.
There were things I really liked, about love and caring and brotherhood and so forth. Especially within Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism. Growing up in Europe learning European history, Christianity, whether Catholic or Protestant or any of their many variations, becomes very unappetizing. The Inquisition, the centuries of torture and killing, even today's judgmental and hateful attitudes from organized religion are a major turn-off to anyone who has not been spoon fed one of those religions since childhood. So off I went, in search of the Holy Grail. I hitchhiked through Europe, on through Turkey and Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and finally India (this was 1970 and 1971- I was 21 years old), where I ran out of money and found myself living on the streets of Old Delhi and Bombay. I survived a bout of dysentery while staying under the Indian Gate monument in Bombay and begging for rupees in front of the Taj Mahal hotel (recently bombed by religious extremists).
But I also met a lot of interesting people; Saddhus, Gurus, Holy Men. I hitchhiked to Benaris and Allahabad, and wondered along the Ganges all in a search of something I couldn't even pronounce. And here is what I learned on my little walk-about. There is wisdom to be found everywhere if you look for it. Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, it is all there. Everyone of those religions centers around a golden kernel of Truth. The trouble is that this kernel is very, very small and very well hidden under a pyramid of dogmas and concepts; the usual excrement of the mind. And yet, that little kernel of Truth is more than worth the efforts of your search because it always starts with a Master who comes and opens the eyes of those human beings who come to him with a sincere heart. He takes them under his wing until one day he shows them their reality within; the immortal current that resides within every one of us.
Then, inevitably, that Master passes on, leaving behind witnesses of the most incredible magic you can imagine. And those witnesses do what all witnesses do, they tell their stories. And many generations later those stories find their way into a book, or more than one. But as all stories do, after so many tellings, they have been altered into something barely related to the reality of the experiences of those people who were actually there; those fortunate few who received the gift of knowing. And on and on the stories go. How many Masters have roamed this planet I have no idea. But I will tell you this, I am not interested in stories. I don't want other people's stories. I don't want to believe in anything. Believe is just that; a belief. I need to know. My thirst to know has been the force that pushed me on and on all my life as long as I can remember.
And the gratitude I feel, to have been inflicted with this intense desire to find my Holy Grail, is huge. It is my foundation. Because I know this to be a fact, that as long as there is even one single human being alive on this planet who is sincere in his or her desire to know, a Master is here to gently turn that person's attention inside and say: "See there, do you feel the current that exists within you, do you feel the energy that moves the breath in and out of you? That, my child, is who you really are."
Finding that, your reality within, is where your love can take you.