Wednesday, May 21, 2003

I am allergic to dogma. I don't trust any idea that requires me to believe in it absolutely.
There are very few things about which I am totally certain.
The sweet stuff that quenches all of your longing is not far away in some other time and place.
It's right here and right now.
Earth is crammed with heaven. - Robert Breszny


Are you strong enough to live without answers: as a flaming inquiry into the truth?

The following passage is from an essay in praise of asking questions rather than hoarding answers.
It was written by A.H. Almaas, and is available in its entirety HERE

from "The Flame of The Search"
by A.H. Almaas

How do you know that the knowledge you get from others is the truth? How do you know that
your teachers, or even the great philosophers, have the answer that is appropriate for you?
Christ says to love your neighbor. Do you really know that that is what you need to do?
Buddha says that enlightenment is the best thing. How do you know that is what you need?

Some people say you have to learn to be yourself. It sounds good. Some people say you
should be free from your personality and develop your Essence. It sounds great.
How do you know it will resolve your situation? You don't really know whether any of these
ideas are relevant or true for you. You can't know with certainty until you have experimented
and learned from your own experience.

Until then your action is based on faith or belief If you assume unquestioningly that what someone
else says is the truth, your inner flame will be extinguished. You will believe that you have
answered questions when you haven't answered them; someone else has. And they haven't
answered them for you, but for themselves. We comfort ourselves by believing that others know,
and that we can use their knowledge. It's a very comforting thought; it encourages us to be lazy.
We comfort ourselves by saying to ourselves, "Somebody knows, and in time I'll get around to studying it.
It's already known and always available to me."

But do you, yourself, really know in your heart what is supposed to happen? Do you ever allow
yourself to question, to have a burning question--and not put out the flame quickly with the first
answer that you hear? You put out the flame so that you can
return to your sense of comfort and security.

Someone tells you that it's good to pay attention, to be aware. When you try it, it helps a little--but
you still don't know whether it's the answer. You don't know whether it will actually resolve your situation.
And if you believe you know, you're lying to yourself.

You need to keep the question alive while you investigate for yourself.