Glass Barriers

by Rolf Witzsche



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The Light of India

A light from India's spiritual past shines through. It blends with modern Christian Science leading edge spiritual achievements and with the wide world of the challenges that remain yet to be mastered.  It speaks of a profound spiritual history in India that is still rooted in the hearts of many and continues to be celebrated in countless festivals and customs.

The chapter presented here is the 5th part of a series focused on the Universal Marriage of Mankind.


Transcript

 



    

      Near the end of our day of celebration, after the fancy foods on Chandni Chowk and the dancing followed by a quiet dinner, we let our festival come to a close where it began, on our balcony. We stood at the balcony railing on the 17th floor, above a sea of lights that trailed out into the smog-filled distance.

      "Welcome to India," said Indira.

      "Was our festival an introduction?" I asked. "Or was it a promise of things to come? Or was it perhaps..."

      She put her hand over my lips. "What does your heart want it to be?" she asked.
"You have come to a magical land. What is the magic that you desire?"

      "In this case, my wish would be that the magic never ends," I replied.

      She raised her hand and looked into the sky. "Abra Kadabra," she cried with a loud voice and then turned to me. "Your wish has been fulfilled, Peter."

      "Oh you fiend," I said and began to laugh. "I know what you are saying. You are saying that the real dimension of the universal marriage of mankind in which we are one with one-another is not a closed book but an open door with a threshold to infinity. You are saying that while we have made a profound breakthrough today, in real terms we haven't even begun. This means that we will never see the end of our celebration. The festival has just begun and will always be new."

      "Is my magic so transparent?" she said and began to grin. "Of course I should have known that you know that taking hold of the infinite never ends. It will go on for all times. And that is really the story of India, too. The story of India isn't a story of time, but a story of timeless infinity."

      "What is time anyway?" I answered. "Time is not a factor. It took us close to a dozen years at home to discover the Principle of the Universal Marriage of Mankind in Mary's pedagogical work and develop that idea to the point that we could understand it, while it took you virtually no time at all to latch onto it. The key is the development of the idea. The key is scientific development, not time."

      "History tells us that it takes both," said Indira. "It takes both time and scientific development. It takes time for scientific development to unfold. India is a perfect example. Our history goes back 8,000 years. It is now believed that the cradle of civilization was located in India. The earliest spark of civilization developed in India along the Indus River, predating the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. It is understood that at about 7,000 years ago some 300 advanced settlements had been built in the Indus valley. We are told that many of the great scientific discoveries originated in that region and in that early time. The discovery of the value of zero came from there, and so did the decimal numbering system and the value of pi. Even the famous Pythagorean Theorem originated here in India in that early age. The theorem was supposedly discovered in Greece at around 550-BC. Scholars now belief that the Pythagorean discovery was predated by a few centuries with an identical discovery made in India. We find the early discovery described in the Sanskrit texts of the Baudhayana Shulba Sutra. It appears conclusive that Baudhayana had worked out the equation long before Pytharoras did, or Euclid did. It is possible that the Greek have developed the theorem independently. It could also be that they heard about it from India. My point is that it took a long time for mankind to make these advances, and even a longer time before some of the great discoveries became useful to society. In fact, the Indian discovery of the value of zero did not find widespread acceptance until the 17th Century, 3,000 years after the discovery was made. Of course some of the great spiritual discoveries of India, especially those that draw together the human and the divine, have not found general acceptance in the world to the very day."

      "You may be right," I said to Indira. "My knowledge of India is far too limited for me to add anything."

      "What I am referring to is not really specific to India," said Indira. "It might be true that many of the great principles were discovered and developed here where civilization is deemed to have begun, but they are more specific to humanity as a whole than to any one country or region. And yes, some of those too are far from being acknowledged today, especially the spiritual ones."

      "And what might one of these be?" I interjected.

      "A lot of spiritual advances that were rooted in Hinduism became lost. Hinduism is the world's oldest spiritual force. It is a spiritual force more than a religion, a force that has stood the test of time for 8,500 years. It is a practical force. Hinduism simply teaches people to live in harmony with themselves, with one-another, and with their world and all life in nature. It values a person's service for the welfare of others as a great virtue. It values love, forgiveness, sacrifice, tolerance, and so on. They became recognized as the principles of civilization, the principles that made a civilization possible. The Hindu belief is that by living a perfect life people can be freed from the limitations of the material world and join with the eternal for a richer life right here on earth, a kind of blending that uplifts the material world with a human touch that is rooted in the spiritual. Of course it is no secret that the Hindu spiritual force, or religion if you want to call it that, has been perverted and sadly abused for 2,500 years during the Vedic and Brahmanic dark ages that arose out of the Aryan invasion of India 3,500 years ago. But the gentle Hinduism itself was never defeated. It lived on. It survived across the dark ages and flourished again in the early stages of the Islamic Renaissance that had also spread into India. But I belief it was the spiritual force of Hinduism by which the dark ages came to a close, and not the Islamic invasion as some people suggest. The spiritual revival of the heart of Hinduism created had created a bridge across the dark ages. The temples of Khajuraho were the result of that revival of the Hindu spiritual force. A religion can be perverted, but not a spiritual force. A spiritual force can be hidden and at the worst be smothered in the shadow of imperial tyranny. The Islamic invasion had that kind of effect. But the Hindu force survived. The latest great revival in the 19th Century is most profoundly exemplified, if not rooted in the famous journey of an eleven year old boy, a boy yogi, who undertook a journey across India in the search for knowledge to rediscover the secrets of the Hindu spiritual heritage that came alive again in India. He was a yogi. The practice of yoga goes all the way back to the very early civilization that began in the Indus valley and has remained a spiritual force ever since. The boy-yogi became a sage of this spiritual force. He started a journey of discovery that also unfolded an inner discovery. His journey would span 7 years and a 12,000 Km trail traveled on foot across a land that was still moved in the background by the Hindu spiritual force. He set out in 1792, close to a millennium after the first temples of Khajuraho were built. He set out to explore the light that had been lost over time but still existed thinly in some places. And that happened just in time before rising shadow of the Colonial Dark Age of the British Imperial Period would smother the spiritual scene once again. In this sense the great personal achievements of the boy-yogi constructed a bridge forward, a profound bridge that would bridge across the Imperial Dark Age in India to the modern period. He became a spiritual pioneer of great stature who is revered in India to the present day. But even now as his achievements are brought back to the foreground we are far from implementing the teachings that he based on his experiences. Nevertheless, I believe that these historic teachings in which the spark of another Hindu renaissance can be seen holds the key to India's contribution for a rich future for mankind, the kind of future that we must have in order to be able to survive on this planet. I also believe, Peter, that India's contribution has the potential to be far greater than what is generally acknowledged about it, or even we may realize. India is a country of 100 nations and cultures all rolled into one, comprising many religions. But there exists only one truth. We are a country that extends across a cultural landscape of 18 languages with 1600 dialects, with which people communicate and express this one truth in the most profound sense they are able. That's an incredibly rich background for spiritual development, isn't it?"

 

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from Chapter 5 of my novel:  Glass Barriers

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