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THE CREATOR IN US

 
   

Cosmic Alarm
Deep Water
Creative void
Horizons
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The Way in

 

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THE INNER JUDGE

 
   

Big Brother
Radiance
Dark Night
The Mirror
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RESCUING GOD

 
   

Sparks
Power Perception
Deductions
The Search
Prayer
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THE MUSICIAN

 
   

God's Tent
God's Spirit
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11. The Way in to the Judge

Confronted with our present-day world Ghazali, Thomas Aquinas and other spiritual teachers might tell us: "Stand above unworthy desires. Commit yourself always to face the truth. Refine your sense of good and evil. Remain open to guidance. Cherish the light in your deepest Self." In plain language these suggestions might be translated as follows.

Make sure that you do not become the slave of petty likes and dislikes. Keep yourself free from unworthy desires. How will you be able to govern your life if you can't say "No" to yourself? If you regularly eat too much? If you drink, smoke, watch TV or do other things you know to be harmful beyond a certain limit? There is nothing wrong in enjoying such things at the proper time, in the proper place and within their proper purpose. There is much wrong with you if you cannot stop; if there are petty attachments that rule your conduct. Are you moody, lazy, spiteful or jealous?

Since wholesomeness of spirit and body is your ideal, decide to remain free. Exercise some self-discipline. Go without things for a while rather than allow them to chain you.

Our capacity for discontent
let me observe
is in proportion to our desires;
that is in proportion to the intensity
of our attachments to things of this world. (Thomas Mann)

As much as silence is needed to create space for awareness, so a healthy detachment provides a climate in which sensitivity can grow. You will love yourself more, feel healthier and have time for happier pursuits.

Reflect on the value of truth in your life. Observe that truth is truth whether you like it or not. Something remains true, the opposite false, even if you lie about it or try to deceive yourself. Admire this amazing permanence of truth. Notice that it acquires this property from its identity with "being". Remember Ghazali's insight in the matter: the quality of "teality", "being", "truth" in everything is Allah's face. Wherever you look, recognize that face.

If you continue to reflect on the nature of truth, your most remarkable discovery will be that your inner self cannot but admit the truth of truth. You carry God's face within you. Be happy about this. Rejoice about the face that you are committed to the truth. Make up your mind to support this commitment fully. Want to unmask the subtle strategies by which we at times have learnt to escape from facing the truth. Decide to be truthful when speaking to others, unless diplomacy is called for in exceptional circumstances. Your love of the truth prepares you for greater sensitivity.

Every person has in himself or herself a sense of right and wrong. Have you ever consciously examined this gift in yourself? Have you probed the depth of your conscience? Why is it that you know so clearly that cruelty, theft and urder are wrong; kindness, justice and honesty right? Is it not part of your nature to distinguish moral good from moral evil?

Cowardice asks, Is it safe?
Expediency, Will it bring me profit?
Vanity asks, Is it popular?
But conscience, Is it right? (William Morley Punshon)

If you study your conscience when it is at work, you will notice that it rests on two pillars: your feelings and your reason. Through your feelings you naturally empathize with other people. If carefully listened to, your feelings sharpen your sense of what is human, what is not. But the final umpire, the referee who really decides, is your mind. Your power of reasoning is "Allah's balance scale in your heart". Listen to your feelings but most of all to your common sense. Together they cannot fail.

Of course, you are not alone on earth. Others have faced the same problems you have, and it would be very shortsighted not to avail yourself of their experience and wisdom. Therefore, adopt an attitude of openness to guidance. This guidance may be contained in parental advice; in traditions and customs; in religious practices; in rules and regulations. Some of these rules are so important for society that they are enforced by public sanctions. Realize that there is a good reason for this in most cases. Allow yourself to be guided; though remembering all the time that your own judgement has the last word. Ultimately you are responsible yourself for what you decide to do.

Considering your ultimate responsibility will inevitably lead you to confront the mystery of your deepest Self. Light radiates from within you. Will you capture its rays, reflect them respectfully and focus their brilliance on your daily life?

Or will you choose to be "a child of darkness"? The more you become sensitive to the light, the more you discover it has a face. It shows itself to you at times as the Truth; then as the Absolute Good; then as the Ground for humanity and justice. Your power to assess, to judge and decide derives from God, who is the final judge of all.

Then, with D.H. Lawrence, we may
feel the presence of the living God
like a great reassurance,
a deep calm in the heart,
a presence
as of a master sitting at the board in his own and greater being,
in the house of life.

Next? Go to:

Sparks from the Mind's Furnace

The Way in to GOD

Creator in us

Inner Judge

Beyond thought

Love

CREDITS

This course is based upon the book God Within Us by John Wijngaards and published by Collins, Fount Paperbacks, London, 1988..

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