Tom Stine: One of the great paradoxes

One of the great paradoxes of spirituality is that you will never know the Truth with the mind. You may experience the Truth, you may see Reality, you may “know” it in your being, you may even know that you ARE the very Truth of existence. But you will never know the Truth with the mind and thought.

And that is why, no matter how hard you try, you will NEVER reconcile the great spiritual teachings one with the other. It cannot be done. Each teaching is akin to the blind men describing an elephant: one is describing a trunk, the other a leg, another an ear. But none can describe the elephant itself. It simply cannot be done.

It is amazing, really, that more spiritual teachers, even some who are profoundly awake and abide fully as and in the Truth, have not realized this simple fact. Often, you will hear teachers making very absolute statements about enlightenment or life or the way things ARE. And yet, how can they know these things? The very nature of the world and thought and Truth makes this impossible.

Better to admit that almost everything is a mystery. None of it is fixed in stone. There is nothing that can be known with certainty. Save one thing:

I am.

– Tom Stine

And it’s perhaps not so surprising that some teachers and traditions sound more absolutist than what’s warranted. They may use it as a conscious strategy, even if it’s somewhat deceptive. The tradition they operate within may encourage it. Their own intellectual world may not allow them to look at things from a variety of perspectives and find the validity in each.

In our current western society, it’s easy to see that different perspectives each have validity and none of them offer any absolute or final truth. It’s easy/ier to value the different traditions and the strength – and limitations – of each. It’s easy/ier to be more relaxed about this. All because it’s part of our current culture and intellectual tradition. It’s part of the cultural ocean we swim within.

When Tom Stine says “I am” at the end, it could be said as “something is” or “awareness is” or “this field of experience is”. The “I” may be a little misleading, and yet not entirely wrong….!

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