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Beginning's End - Introduction

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Beginning's End
(Introduction and Chapter 1)

By: Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

Introduction

All of us are students of self-knowledge in varying degrees of commitment and intensity. Some of us are concerned with knowledge of physical and biological matters; others with subtler, inner realms of meaning. But whatever form our search takes, we are all seeking the ultimate knowledge that has brought about our individual destinies. Our present moment, our present situation, constitutes our momentary destiny. This momentary destiny is the result of the interaction between the laws that govern existence and our individual wills, an interaction that results in a balance of these factors. The moment is the only reality of which we can be totally certain, subjectively and objectively.

The truth of 'now' is what human beings share, and 'now' is beyond time. It is not subject to the moment just past or the one to come. It is simply now -- and the now that one experiences is the product of the past and the cause of the future. Now is both independent of and connected to past and future. This truth is the root of the dynamism of cause and effect and of the balance of duality in this existence.

Absolute, pure 'now' is that state of balance achieved when the pointer on the scale of duality is at the exact mid-point. When this occurs, each side is in total harmony and balance with its opposite. Duality is nullified and only pure, blissful 'now' exists.

We are born into this world in order to grow in experience and wisdom and to recognize the one unifying principle of Reality. We may recognize it in a limited way -- for example, when we see ecological harmony -- or we may know it in a more pervasive way when we experience the overwhelming presence of the Creator of all.

However we look at it, we must still ask, 'Having recognized the unifying principle of Reality, what comes next in our search for the purpose of existence?' After we have gained a measure of wisdom, wealth, harmony and security in this life, we then ask, 'Is there meaning beyond this? Is the recycling of the body to the earth from which it came the end of all experience?' The majority of us avoid this question, or try to rationalize it away, instead of confronting it totally and fearlessly.

Everything acts in accordance with its own nature. For example, steel belongs to the earth as iron oxide. Because of its strength, we use steel to construct bridges. But the moment a bridge is raised, the steel starts moving toward its destiny, back to dust; thus, it starts rusting. If we want to preserve the bridge, we have to balance the natural inclination of steel to return to its source with our human desire to keep the bridge from rusting. We cannot, however, pretend that the bridge will remain for ever. Steel belongs to the earth, and it will fulfill its destiny; man belongs to his Creator, and wherever he finds himself, whatever he does, his natural disposition will lead him toward the knowledge of his Creator.

Experience is the meeting of two opposites. This meeting point is the human heart, for in it we experience love and hate, hope and fear, peace and agitation, wakefulness and sleep, security and insecurity. The heart of man contains the entire spectrum of experience; whenever we appeal to the heart, we find a common denominator in humanity. Otherwise, our interaction becomes transactional or hypocritical, based on economics, politics and other man-made disciplines. Although these disciplines have their place, they are limited because they do not lead us to the awareness that whatever appears negative in existence is really in harmony and balance with the total ecology. Because we do not know this, we see incongruity, imbalance, confusion and division in life.

The philosophy of our spiritual model is based on the existence of a merciful Reality that transcends time, encompasses Its creation from beyond time and in time, and creates out of love in order that It may be discovered. Man's purpose is to discover the one and only all-pervading Reality that encompasses his existence. When we are mindful of our purpose, we find a common denominator in everyone's aspirations, hopes, disappointments and problems. All of our experiences -- positive and negative -- are part of the process of self-knowledge. The root of our behavior can be explained by viewing it through the binoculars of the divine unity of the one Creator.

This work is a collection of glimpses which reveal the unifying substructure that underlies diverse experiences and actions, which is, itself, the truth. It is presented in the hope of confirming to the sincere seeker that the ultimate discovery is that all creation, attributes and actions, stem from and are sustained by the one Source Whose nature is independent of creation. A taste of the vast ocean of the Oneness increases the thirst of the seeker. Ultimately, the boundary between the seeker and the sought, the questioner and the questioned, and the effect and the cause becomes so faint that one is immersed in the joyful intoxication of the complete beauty and absolute harmony where subject and object have merged.

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[ Beginning's End - Introduction ] Beginning's End - Chapter 1 ]