Author: Daniel Howard Schmidt Publisher: Alt.religion.eckankar Publication date: 1996
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I want to go back to the home base now.
AVENUES OF EXPERIENCING THE DIVINE My Apologies Written by Daniel Howard Schmidt
I am here to make an apology to all the skeptics who have worked so hard to correct my errors in thinking. And, as someone who loves and adores Sai Baba I feel it is my obligation to apologize to you all, for the troubles that the one I love has caused you, but nevertheless keep in mind that the avenues of experiencing the divine have been mapped out over the centuries, ages perhaps, not only by myself... whereby the individual seekers; having experienced the need to taste the all inclusive nature of the inner reality, have made great successes. Then to make matters worse, having realized certain facets of that reality, they felt the need to provide a path to share this knowledge with others (often at the expense of their own lives), and to not simply horde this experience for themselves. Through this sacrifice, they have developed carefully laid out experiments and exercises to prove these realities to others. But, what is life but a sacrifice.
Nevertheless, the esoteric experience... the mystical or religious experience or experience of the inner mystery of life is unlimited. It is not bound up by objective considerations, of what it should and shouldn't be. To experience the vast, one must first break the bondage of the limited. To see beyond oneself, one has first got to remove the obstacles placed in the way of the view. A strict discipline of guarded personal behavior is a must. Such ideals as truth, righteousness, non-violence, love, and peace are not simply requisite behavior codes, but must become the natural way of life. I apologize for having been witness to many, many wonderful experiences resulting from my relationship with Sai Baba. Many people claiming knowledge of Sai Baba's inability to perform miracles, have never sat at his feet to examine... and yet they rant about the fact that Sai Baba has never been examined. Or, more ridiculous, that he is dangerous.
It's not that he hasn't been examined, the question is always the one of "By who?" The millions that come to see him every year...? No, they've examined, so it's not them. The millions that have been in the personal interview room? No, not them. Should I submit the thousands that have had the opportunity to work in his immediate proximity, they, like me, must have been all deaf, dumb and blind and must have been a lower class or just a little less knowledgeable, than the skeptic?
Whoops, no, that's right, the one's experiencing nearness were the rich... Whoops, no the powerful that were controlled by the rich... No, they were Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Yogis, the poor, beggars, superstars, politicians, engineers, doctors, scientists, layabouts, laborers, the sick, the lame, even a few of the dead brought back to life. I can never get them all straight. There were too many.
I apologize to all skeptics, again, because I've always felt that the first step was to make the proper inquiry, and not make statements based on lack of experience. The answers are always directly related to the question it seemed. And, ask the wrong question... get the wrong answer. But, if the wrong answer is viewed as the Truth, then who's to blame? Only the questioner...
For me, the admonishment of "Seek and ye shall find, ask and it will be given and knock and the door will be opened," just seemed like a good idea at the time. I'm sorry...
If one path is carved out that is trodden by the masses and everyone follows down that same path, the landscape for the environment this mass of persons live in, will all look the same. It's inevitable, but it's not necessarily the truth, no matter how proud one may be, in the knowledge of their environment, nor how many people agree with the mistaken opinion.
But, let one person come along that has taken another path and watch the fur fly.... Follow my mentality is the norm... This IS the way of experiment... this IS the way of science... and unfortunately this IS the way of educating. And, unfortunately the path has been to well laid out with jealousy, and competitiveness, where the results obtained by "follow-in-line inquiry" are held up as ones only means of knowing. I'm sorry I really and truly missed the class that day.
In some areas, scientific analysis has entered upon a path that I'm not sure it knows how to get off. How does it venture into that, which is beyond its instrumentation now, after the claims it has made over time. Some of the ideas and values that have existed over the centuries have turned to dust in the quest for competitive philosophies. Isaac Newton searched to uncover the universal methods of the divine. Moderns have taken only the building blocks and thrown away the rest. That honey was too sweet for those with the bitter taste.
I have known many people working in the professional and scientific fields, that have had the mystic experiences and followed esoteric paths... many that knew them to be true, knew them to be valid... examined and experimented upon themselves... but when facing down the scientific community in which they lived, played and worked, held back, for fear of academic reprisal...
What! The great thinking community that knows everything there is to know, doesn't know it's own limitations.
If you want brain surgery would you ask a physicist, a biologist or a chemist? But, if you want to know about the Self people always run to these guys for clarity. What's the point? I didn't and I apologize. I sought them out in their field for the things they best do and for the things that they know, not for the things the may not have known.
I've known many that claim, that there is no way to know the validity of the things, that the people that have experienced Sai know. And there are, thank god, the skeptics who are there to save us. The skeptics say "who can know these things from beyond the senses, that creep into the lives in the devotees that experience the super-mundane world. But, I say, beyond the super- mundane world Sai stretches into the completely unfathomable, and this I know... Sorry.
How does the skeptic know? Have they tried the exercises and experiments that develop the faculties... are they so far beyond myself in this regard, that they can know without examining the situation first hand? I'm confident the trickster can produce tricks, with props, lights, mirrors and diversions. Were they trained, or did they obtain these abilities without textbooks and without an education? This is what is claimed of Baba.
If he is such a great trickster, there are some tricks that these guys could spend a little time learning from Baba. Ones like being in multiple locations at one time... (OK so Baba must have a twin)... well how about the bringing of Walter Cowan back to life. As it was reported to me, he had an autopsy and the chest was split open to view the ruptured heart. When Baba called him out of the morgue there was no sign of any of that (to the Doctor's surprise), and he also cured his diabetes at the same time... It was nothing, the power relieved everything in it's path. But I'm sure these people have been interviewed. (Has anyone talked to Major General Taylor about his episode? Baba brought back to life his driver that died in an auto accident, when Taylor called on Baba in his thoughts from northern India and Baba was in the south.)
We live in the wonderful atmosphere of the world of western science. We have a wonderful cosmos by these standards... inert and dead... and filled with chance; created by something with an intelligence capability less than that of an idiot, and now, in the 20th century, man is in charge.
But what is the scientific experience really? Everything about it is second, third or fourth hand. Is anything created by man without an idea or a plan? But, this amazing phenomenon of life is considered a chance event. Science today digs up bones and assumes things just happen. Little "particles" bouncing off each other near the speed of light get together and create something without a plan, blind and dumb to any conception of the outcome, and ‘poof' a living thing is created. Sounds too simple. Can you mate odd species and create a new species? Nature abhors this. As Paracelsus pointed out, they come out unable to procreate. Look at the mule... look at the market filled with seedless fruit. Somehow, we've reached a stop gap. But, let the grants roll in.
So anyway, back to life... easy to create right? Has man ever created one living thing? Hmmm... No... Ok, so we make fine instruments...
Has man ever made one thing for the human body, that you would like to substitute for a real body part? Would you really want to remove a living organ and replace it with a man made piece of electronics? Would you in your confidence, pull out an eye and replace it with a mechanical one? We wouldn't even substitute our teeth and hair for the artificial ones if it wasn't necessary. It has nothing to do with vanity... they just don't work all that well. They're inadequate substitutes for the real thing.
But, when we experience the world, we are told not to allow ourselves to believe our experience, unless we can register it on a machine. Does this really make sense? Do you experience what the machine experiences? Does the machine even experience anything. And yet, these demands are made upon us every day in the name of logical argument.
We look at the machine and see a wiggle on the display or a digital number pattern that pops up and we act proud and serious. Did you experience anything? Think about it. It's about as logical as a blind man that wants to experience light, so we bring him a meter with a light sensor. Well he can't see the meter, so we hook a bell so that it goes "Ding-a-ling" whenever it senses light. Now the blind man hears the "ding-a-ling" and declares, "I have experienced light!"
To have experience, there is only one instrument alone that can offer it. Those faculties resident inside the person, be they body, mind or spirit... as the case may be. And, like the machines we build, you have to know how to use the human machine properly to get the results. There are some good instruction books, but reading the instructions doesn't get the job done. There is only one way to read the human instrument, and that is to do the work necessary to read with it... perform the proper steps, make the proper exercise... look in the proper directions and learn to see into the instrument of experience.
But, is it all necessary to experience Baba? No... Baba comes to you, at a level you can see, hear, feel, taste and smell. Then, is he Divine? I didn't say that. But, I apologize for thinking that. What I know to be true, I can't really share with you. I can tell you, but...
"Well, we live in a material universe..."
Really? Show me one thing material about it.
Everything smaller than a molecule is atomic or related to "particle" physics. Really? What is it a particle of? A charge? What is a charge? A wiggle in space... What's wiggling? Nothing... Really? Any doubts? Well yes, it's nothing, well maybe space wiggling very, very fast.
Why on earth did you call it a particle? Trying to hold on to the illusion? Trying to grasp at nothing? Motion, time, space... what a mysterious entity.
That monument to the liberation of the human being, the book called, "Vasistha's Yoga" a translation of the ancient philosophical text called the "Yoga Vasistha" by Swami Venkatesananda states, "In the supreme self shine substances known as Time, Space and Motion, which are conscious and pure intelligence... The self is considered to be of atomic nature because it is extremely subtle and intangible; yet since the self alone is, it is the infinite and it is the very root of the entire existence. It is formless though it appears in all forms. This world appearance is but the "flesh" in which the truth, which is pure consciousness, is clothed..."
What's wrong with our thinking? Sai Baba points out that, ‘we can awaken a person that is sleeping... we can arouse a person that is lying with their eyes closed, but not sleeping... but, you can't awaken anyone that is lying with their eyes closed, pretending to be asleep.'
Competitive battles amongst groups and various religious factions... universities or schools of thought, political parties or all the propaganda, marketing or PR storming the airwaves, cannot resolve the issue.
Sai Baba continuously reminds the teachers, students and professors at his schools and universities; the doctors and nurses at his hospitals and even the devotees in the world at large, of the parable of the old woman who lost her needle... The story goes like this...
"Several young men were walking along the road and saw an old woman searching under a street lamp for something she had lost. One asked if they could help her search and she submitted, that she had lost a needle and had been looking for it for a long time. So the young men earnestly search and search and finally exhausted one of them says, "Where exactly were you standing when you lost it?" The old woman said, "I was sitting in the evening in my hut sewing, when I dropped my needle. I searched and searched for it up and down, but the light was bad, and I couldn't see, so I thought I would come out here and search for it under the street lamp, where everything is bright."
It's obvious as to the moral, if someone loses their avenue of experience, loses their peace, loses their sense of worth, loses their ability to experience the divine, it is necessary to return to the place where it was lost. That place is inside themselves.
But wait! I should not explain anything... It would take too long anyway and I feel we who love and adore Baba should not waste the time of those who are beyond us. The skeptics would rather see us offer an apology for our bad behavior and this is what I will do.
I apologize for all the free schools, universities and trades schools that have been built and operate under Sai Baba's name. In a country where little money is available, these kids are able to succeed based on merit and not financial resources. (This includes room, board... everything.)
I apologize for the fact that an entire education system has been developed to integrate not only the academic skills, but the moral and ethical value systems of the students involved.
I apologize for the free hospitals and clinics that have been erected in Sai Baba's name. To provide free health care to anyone in need. (Including room and board.) I apologize for all the Service organizations worldwide that work in Sai's name to feed the poor and serve the less fortunate. I apologize for the fact that the Sai organizations in India have been working day and night to try and finish up the Water project, to bring fresh water to the local villages in India, that have had to suffer under the conditions of a government too poor to provide for the welfare of the unfortunate. I apologize for the inability of the skeptics to completely understand the magnitude of Sai, and the breadth of his involvement in the personal lives of devotees worldwide. I also understand that to undertake an investigation worldwide is a huge project; especially when the numbers affected are virtually uncountable. I apologize for the fact that men have to collect money over the Internet to try and get close to Sai Baba to expose him for my sake. I understand that to live on the ashram costs in the neighborhood of 50 cents a day, and that could really break into one's savings. I apologize for the many sick, and troubled that have been helped by prayers and calls to Sai Baba, not only on the ashram, but from all over the world. I apologize for Sai devotees, like myself, that have spent some time in their life deliberately improving their behavior, and learning how to find ways in which to serve their fellow man in ways that are not self-serving.
And, to all those who haven't taken the time to go, see, experience and spend a little unbiased time examining, I apologize for the need to have to explain all this to you.
Jai Sai Ram