Live Unity,Celebrate Diversity

I saw my Lord with the eye of my heart, and I said: who art Thou? He said: Thou.

Mansur al Hallaj (1)

Soul and Godhead are one: there the soul finds that she is the kingdom of God.

Meister Eckhart (2)

I [the Supreme Person] am seated in the heart of all.

Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, 15:15 (3)

Om mani [the jewel of enlightenment] padme [in the lotus of the heart] hum.

Mantra of Avalokiteshvara (4)

Timeless truth is hidden in everyone's heart — a priceless pearl waiting to be discovered.

Turn to thy heart, and thy heart will find its Savior, its God, within itself.

William Law(5)

DISCIPLE: Sri Bhagavan speaks of the Heart as the seat of Consciousness and as identical with the Self. What does the Heart exactly signify?
MAHARSHI: .... Call it by any name, God, Self, the Heart, or the Seat of Consciousness, it is all the same. The point to be grasped is this, that Heart means the very core of one's being, the center, without which where would be nothing whatever.
DISCIPLE: Sri Bhagavan has specified a particular place of the Heart within the physical body, that it is in the chest, two digits to the right from the median.
MAHARSHI: Yes, that is the center of spiritual experience according to the testimony of the Sages. This spiritual Heart-center is quite different from the blood-propelling, muscular organ known by the same name. The spiritual Heart-center is not an organ of the body....

Ramana Maharshi(6)

This inner wisdom guides each of us toward realizing the truth of our essential nature.

When one's own mind is known in its nakedness, this doctrine of seeing-the-mind-naked, this self-liberation, is seen to be exceedingly profound. Seek, therefore, thine own wisdom within thee. It is the vast deep.

Padmasambhava, The Seeing of Realty (7)

This search for truth is always going on, whether consciously or not. For everyone's destiny is to realize the truth about oneself that lies within.

The Higher Self that dwells in the hearts of all silently beckons us through love and intuition. It also creates a divine discontent that forces us to look ever further for abiding fulfillment. This prevents anyone from wandering off track for too long or getting stuck in a comfort zone, even those who harden their hearts and resist the pull of destiny.

What Is Core Spirituality?

Core spirituality is the primordial wisdom within each and everyone one of us that impels us to know who we really are, beneath the outer veils of body, mind, personality, self-image, and ego. The fundamental question it makes us ask is: Who am I, really, underneath the armor and the masks?

Jesus said: If any say to you, See, the kingdom is in the heavens, then the birds will precede you. If they say to you, It is in the deep, then the fish will precede you. But the kingdom is of the inner and of the outer. If you will come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know who you are, you are in poverty and you are that poverty.

The Gospel of Thomas, Saying 3 (8)

The ultimate answer to the question, Who am I? is neither intellectual, nor emotional, nor perceptual. Words, symbols, and pictures cannot capture it, and it cannot be represented through any form. It can be neither conceived nor imagined. It can only be realized as transcendental wisdom.

The Self cannot be attained by the study of the Vedas, not by intelligence nor by much hearing. Only by him who seeks to know the Self can It be attained. To him the Self reveals Its own nature.

Katha Upanishad, 1.2.23 (9)

This is the meaning of the precepts of the great traditions that bid us to look within:

Know thyself.

Inscribed at entrance to the Oracle at Delphi

Those who are intelligent know others; those who are wise know themselves.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, 33

Lo, the kingdom of God is within you.

Jesus, Luke 17:21 (KJV)

God is as near to you as your jugular vein.

Holy Qur'an, 50:16

Be still and know, I am God.

Holy Bible, Psalm 46:10

Look within; you are the Buddha.

Attributed to Gautama Buddha

I am the Self stationed within all beings.

Krishna, Bhagavad Gita 10:20

He alone is insane, who does not know himself. When one knows oneself, then one knows the One God.

Guru Nanak, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Raag Bilaaval, 855

I realized You, Wise God (Mazda Ahura), when I was enveloped by enlightenment through Good Mind and it asked: Who are you? To whom do you belong?

Zoroaster, Ushtavaiti Gatha, Song 8:7 (Yasna 43)

Perennial Wisdom

Perennial wisdom, also called the perennial philosophy, is found in the testimony of mystics and the teaching of masters about the path and goal. This testimony and these teachings are found worldwide and across the ages, lying at the core of all spiritual traditions and religions.

The masters of perennial wisdom teach that existence is one and indivisible, while its forms and expressions appear as many. Mystics report realizing this oneness in the nondual state of consciousness, in which the duality of subject and object is transcended. The goal of life is to realize fully and permanently the truth about the absolute unity of ultimate reality that underlies the dizzying diversity of appearances.

What is this singular truth? Only One exists.

I am That.
Thou, O Lord, art That.
All this universe is That.
That is all there is.

However, the reality of this cannot be grasped by understanding, feeling, reasoning or imagining. Its truth can only be realized in becoming one with absolute existence through infinite consciousness. Realizing this requires transcending all limitations and finite boundaries.

Thus, perennial wisdom about core spirituality is concerned with progressively transcending limitations and boundaries of the mind, including the ultimate boundary of limited self. Therefore, the Way is the way of self-effacement that leads to infinity and eternity.

God is nearer to you than anything else, yet because of egoism you cannot see Him.

Sri Ramakrishna (10)

This primordial wisdom lies within everyone, waiting to be discovered. Finding it is the real object of all desire; for this alone can give complete and permanent satisfaction. Those who find this hidden treasure become the spiritual masters entrusted with imparting spiritual knowledge to others.

While the goal is one, the means are many.

Truth is one; the wise speak of it in many ways.

Rig Veda, 1. 164.46(11)

The wise teach about the same truth in various ways, appropriate to the needs they are addressing. So the teachings of the masters may appear to be different, but such differences are only superficial.

Moreover, everyone's path to truth is unique to that individual. Even a single precept can be followed in many ways, given individual differences and differences in conditions.

There is no general rule or method applicable to all who aspire to realize God. Every man must work out his own salvation, and must choose his own method, although his choice is mostly determined by the total effect of the mind impressions (sanskaras) acquired in previous lives. He should be guided by the creed of his conscience, and follow the method that best suits his spiritual tendency, his physical aptitude and his external circumstances. Truth is One, but the approach to it is essentially individual. The Sufis say, There are as many ways to God as there are souls of men.

Meher Baba, God Speaks (12)

Accordingly, we celebrate diversity of forms and expression as we strive to live the underlying unity of conscious existence — self-knowing knowingness — the ground of the apparent multiplicity of transient phenomena flickering across this unitary background of pure awareness that alone subsists. In order to do this, one must identify with that self-knowing knowingness of pure consciousness. This requires transcending all limitations and boundaries through complete self-effacement, in order to realize one's true nature as unlimited.

The Ancient Religion of Humankind

This universal spirituality is both the primordial wisdom and the ancient religion of humankind. It is the trunk of the Tree of Life, and all religions and wisdom traditions are its myriad branches. We appreciate every teaching as a fruit of this tree of universal spirituality, each making its unique contribution to expressing the limitless richness of the one, eternal, universal truth of life.

I have meditated on the different religions, endeavouring to understand them, and I have found that they stem from a single principle with numerous ramifications. Do not therefore ask a man to adopt a particular religion (rather than another), for this would separate him from the fundamental principle; it is this principle itself which must come to seek him; in it are all the heights and all the meanings elucidated; then he will understand them.

Mansur al Hallaj, Divan: Muqatta'at L(13)

Being universal, mystical, and primordial, the ancient religion has no name and no form. It is meta-denominational, non-creedal, and non-institutional. Everyone belongs to it and it to everyone. For everyone and everything are ever treading the path toward realization, guided from within, whether knowingly or not.

The Purpose of Life

The first purpose of life is to discover the purpose of life and how best to meet it. Plato famously reported Socrates saying: The unexamined life is not worth living. (Apology 38a).

In the Nichomachean Ethics Aristotle observed that every agent acts for a purpose and all rational agents act for a good. The general good that all human beings pursue is happiness, but people disagree about what gives happiness.

Aristotle concluded that only a lasting good that is in accordance with one's nature can yield the fulfillment that one seeks. This he called excellence — development of full potential. Real happiness is the byproduct of progressively unfolding excellence in life. The defining characteristic of being human is intelligence capable of apprehending universality. Thus, human excellence involves becoming universal.

Everyone's search for happiness tests various apparent goods like fame, fortune, power and pleasure, and finds them wanting. Through disappointment after disappointment divine discontent leads one to discover that nothing that is limited or changing can yield the abiding fulfillment that one seeks.

Admitting this, one is in a position to find that the way lies through an ever deeper realization of unity in diversity until full integration dawns. Then the question, Who am I? is answered by I alone am — the universal individual.

The ultimate purpose of life is to unfold this primordial wisdom in oneself. The inner pull to fulfill one's life-purpose eventually sets each and all on the spiritual quest for abiding fulfillment by taking one step at a time. This inner pull on the strings of the heart is the call of the Higher Self.

The heart as spiritual center is the higher mind. Intuition and insight are the eyes of the heart, and discernment is higher reason. In order to be guided from within, each must enter the cave of the heart to find and follow one's unique path as an individual. The whisper of the Master is heard in the inner ear as the voice of intuition. By following intuition, one's insight and discernment grow stronger and play an increasingly more significant role in one's life.

The whole purpose of life is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen.

St. Augustine of Hippo (14)

God is One. We are in Him, and one with Him; and we have to experience This. That is the purpose of creation.

Meher Baba(15)

Spiritual Companionship on the Way

Although each must tread his or her unique path, we all travel in caravans, in fellowship and togetherness. While spirituality is intimately personal, most of us trek the path in the company of our companions. For relatively few are called to the reclusive life. The path of the vast majority involves being in the world, but not of it.

Perennial wisdom teaches that for most pilgrims of the path good company is not only a great boon, but also indispensable, along with grace and guidance. On this spiritual quest, we are mirrors for each other. Through our companionship we can reflect this unity in diversity together through love, harmony and cooperation.

Love is the great unifier, for love is the manifestation of unity in diversity. Hence, love is the most powerful force for self-transcendence, along with the transcendental experience of pure consciousness.

Freedom of thought and expression in the pursuit of truth and the primacy of love on the path are key fundamentals on this shared quest, on which companions voluntary cooperate for mutual benefit. All are cordially invited to explore this open circle founded on freedom. truth, and love.

Our Goals

There is no creature which is not destined for the supreme goal, as there is no river which is not winding its way towards the sea. But only in the human form is consciousness so developed that it is capable of expressing the perfection of its own true self, which is the Self of all.

However, even in the human form the soul is prevented from realizing its birthright of joy and fulfillment because of the burden of sanskaras which it has accumulated as a by-product of its arduous development of consciousness. Like the dust that accumulates on the shoes of a traveler on foot, these sanskaras are gathered by the pilgrim as he treads the evolutionary path.

In the human form, which is the crowning product of evolution, the divine life is enmeshed in the sanskaric deposits of the mind. The expression of the divine life is therefore curtailed and distorted by the distractions of the sanskaras, which weld consciousness instead to the fascinations of the false-phenomenal.

One by one the many-colored attachments to the false must be relinquished. Bit by bit the sanskaric tinder feeding the deceptive flames of the separative ego must be replaced by the imperative evidence of the unquenchable flame of truth. Only in this manner can man ascend to the height of divine attainment; the endless beginning of life eternal.

The life in eternity knows no bondage, decay or sorrow. It is the everlasting and ever renewing self-affirmation of conscious, illimitable divinity. My mission is to help you inherit this hidden treasure of the Self.

Meher Baba, Listen Humanity, The Theme (16)

1. Cited in René Guenon, Aperçus sur l'Initiation. Paris: Éditions Traditionalles, 1946, p. 219, quoted in Whitall N. Perry, A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986, p. 816.

2. Franz Pfeiffer, Meister Eckhart (1857), translated by C. de B. Evans. London: John M. Watkins, 1924, I, 367, quoted in Whitall N. Perry, A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom.San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986, p. 821.

3. Rendered by Thomas James Hickey, PhD. In this context, Krishna is speaking as the Supreme Person (Sanskrit: purushottama).

4. The Sanskrit term mani signifies a jewel, and padme means "in the lotus." The jewel represents awakening, and the lotus symbolizes the heart. It is said that all the teachings of the Buddha are contained in this mantra. (Om Mani Padme Hum: The Meaning of the Mantra in Tibetan Buddhism) The origin of the mantra is obscure. See Studholme, Alexander The Origins of Om Manipadme Hum: A Study of the Karandavyuha Sutra Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002.

5. Selected Writings of William Law. Edited by Stephen Hobhouse. London: Rockliff, 1938-1949, p. 81, quoted in Whitall N. Perry, A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986, p.491.

6. The Spiritual Teaching of Sri Ramana Maharshi. Boston: Shambhala, 1988 (1972), p. 91.

7. Translated by Lama Karma Sumdhon Paul and Lama Lobzang Mingyur Dorje in W. Y. Evans-Wentz, The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation. London: Oxford University Press, 1954, p. 238, quoted in in Whitall N. Perry, A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986, p. 864.

8. Rendered by Thomas James Hickey, PhD. "Poverty" signifies the spiritual ignorance or delusion that separates from one's birthright and inheritance as a child of God, i.e., a spiritual being. The scholars of the Jesus Seminar voted that the first half of this saying is improbably attributed to Jesus, while the last half seems inauthentic. Regardless of whether Jesus actually said these words, which is now impossible to determine, this gospel was used by an early sect of the Jesus tradition and reflects the view of that community, ostensibly associated with Thomas the Apostle or influenced by his teaching.

9. Translated by Vidyavachaspati V. Panoli.

10. The Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna, compiled by Swami Abhedananda New York: The Vedanta Society, 1903, as presented in The Bible of the World, edited by Robert O. Ballou. New York: Viking Press, 1939, p. 169, quoted in Whitall N. Perry, A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986, p. 802.

11. Rendered by Thomas James Hickey, PhD.

12. Meher Baba, God Speaks: The Theme of Creation and Its Purpose. Walnut Creek, CA: Sufism Reoriented, 1973, 2nd Edition, Supl. 2, p. 206.

13. Cited in Frithjof Schuon, Comprendre l'Islam. Paris: Gallimard, 1961, p. 196, n. 3, quoted in Whitall N. Perry, A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986, p. 802.

14. Serm. de Script. N.T. LXXXVIII: An Augustine Synthesis, arranged by Erich Pryzwara, S. J. New York: Sheed & Ward, 1945, no. 929, quoted in Whitall N. Perry, A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986, p. 819.

15. Meher Baba, in Bhau Kalchuri, Lord Meher. Asheville, NC: MANifestion, vol. 11, p. 3919.

16. Meher Baba, Listen Humanity. Denver: In Company With Meher Baba, 1985, xiv.

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