Truth cannot be found in doctrines

Never let the sun find you in bed.

They came about a half an hour earlier than arranged. I arose that morning 3 hours previous at 5 am to finish an essay. I was about to prepare some toast and marmalade and freshly brewed coffee when I heard the car on the gravel driveway outside.

They were an impeccable young couple in their early thirties and arrived in a luxury European car. Their clothes were probably designer label and her jewelry shone and sparkled in the early morning virgin sunlight.

After initial introductions, I showed the couple in and invited them to sit down. I poured the coffee (for three)and said cryptically, "Perhaps you might like to tell me who you are and why you are here."

"Actually it was I who wished to come - my wife agreed to came along for the ride. As I said, my name is Robert and my wife's name is Megan. I am a day trader on the markets - and I might add - quite successfully so. We have one son. So that makes me a father as well as a husband. Now let's see.... I am also a Rotarian ..... And we are both non-practicing Catholics....."

"Mmmm, I see - and how can I help you?"

"Mr. Goodwin," Megan spoke for the first time, "My husband can best be described as a seeker after truth. His real name is Roberto and his parents were born in Italy and came here as migrants. He has problems with his Catholic upbringing and the conflict it creates within his family."

"A seeker after truth - eloquently phrased," I replied smiling and then added pointedly. "Truth can only be realized by those whose minds are not conditioned by doctrines, dogmas, rituals and the like."

Robert listened with intent to the words I spoke before replying. "I understand you were also brought up as a Catholic - in your book you mentioned you ended up at the dis-used quarries after being sent out at high school for arguing with the priests."

"Quite so. That afternoon, I was stuck half way up the very steep quarry face. I could neither go up or down and, as I was alone I faced imminent death. Suddenly, I was lifted up to the top of the quarry by two angels. Quite an experience indeed. Now of course, I have long talks to priests who seek my counsel and my champagne, and we get along famously."

"So you see Charles - if you can't help me - who can?" asked Robert shrugging his shoulders.

"You ask who can? Why only You can." I replied slowly. "I can at best be a mirror reflecting your own inner teacher."

There was a few moments silence before Robert spoke. "Charles you stated, "Truth can only be realized by those whose minds are not conditioned by doctrines". Are you saying that the Bible and other sacred texts are a waste of time reading or learning?"

"No absolutely not - the Bible is a beautiful, profound and inspired collection of books, as is the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita and the Upanishads. However, you will not find either God or the Truth in the Bible or any other sacred text."

"I don't follow. If one wants to find God or the Truth and you say that God or Truth cannot be found in the Bible - it seems you are saying that scriptures are a waste of time for an earnest seeker. When we were young it was hammered into us that the Bible is the Word of God!"

"Mmmm, time for toast and marmalade perhaps. Please join me. The ladies next door on the adjoining acres make this beautiful marmalade. They drop me in a jar or two. I have the toast in the warming drawer - I won't be a moment."

My guest looked at each other in almost shock and horror. Surely I must be mad. They want to discuss God and the Truth and I ask to serve marmalade on toast. They politely remained silent but I could easily feel their embarrassment. I returned with the toast and marmalade.

"As I was saying - this marmalade is excellent and home made. Isn't the label quaint? Look it peels off so easily." I carefully buttered a piece of toast and neatly put the label onto the toast and served it to Robert. If my guests had any doubt as to my madness - such doubts had now disintegrated into the cosmos.

"Charles I don't understand!" stammered Robert. You've placed a piece of paper saying marmalade on my toast - with respect I......."

"No taste it - it's beautiful marmalade!" I interrupted. "Take just a small bite - go on try it".

Robert looked at his wife dumbfounded and gingerly put the toast to his mouth. He took a bite then immediately put it down. "Charles I can't - it tastes like paper with gum on it - I can't eat that!"

I feigned disappointment. "Oh how sad - I am so disillusioned with you."

I remained silent for a few moments. Megan turned to her shocked husband and spoke bluntly. "Robert, I think Mr. Goodwin is trying to illustrate or teach something to you. Perhaps it's not an early onset of senility on his part."

Robert looked up at me, his eyes pleading for me to explain.

"Let's start from the beginning. When you arrived, I asked that you tell me who you are and why you are here."

Robert nodded slowly.

"Now let's see. You told me you were Robert, a day trader, a father, a husband, a Rotarian and a non-practicing Catholic."

"Yes that's right - that's true."

"But they are all exterior jam labels are they not - I cannot taste them? As you have now discovered, the label is not the actual."

"But they describe me."

"Who is the "I" that they describe? I asked you "who you are" and you gave me many jam labels yet you doubted my sanity for giving you but one in return."

David was silent once again for a few moments. "That is the problem isn't it? I haven't a clue who I am and why I am on this earth and yet those were the first questions you threw at me."

"You seek God and Truth yet the God and Truth you seek, you are! God is all - totality - you are created in the image of God and also both in logic and fact, you are totality. All exterior images are at best reflections of light from the mirror of your totality or consciousness. All exterior sensations are mere jam labels. You are infinite potentiality."

"So you are saying also that the Bible is a jam label?" Megan asked acutely.

I smiled at the feminine black widowed entrapment of the question.

"Megan, now it's your turn. I want you to close your eyes, relax deeply and take a few deep slow breaths. ... That's right - now imagine the breath coming up through the soles of your feet - up through your body and out through the top of your head. Each time you expel, imagine your astral body and aura expanding out from the illusory confines of your body."

Megan did as requested and in my presence went quickly into meditation.

"Now I want you to imagine a perfect yellow rose. I want you to notice the sparkling dewdrops on the petals. Can you see the rose Megan?"

Megan nodded - still with eyes shut.

"Observe the petals of the rose Megan. Each subtle but perfect petal is integrated into the whole in the most exquisite form. - It is truly beautiful is it not?" Again Megan nodded and murmured the word "yes".

"Study the rose for a while and tell me what your first thought is of this rose Megan?"

"The beauty and perfection of nature.... of God."

"Thank you," I said gently. "Now open your eyes when you are ready."

"That was beautiful - so relaxing - the rose is still there in my imagination. Even though my eyes are open the rose is still there!"

"You see even imagining a rose can lead you to the contemplation and closeness to God. It is a technique that has been used by masters for centuries. So too the beauty created in consciousness from the words of the Bible can assist you to become closer to the Truth or God.

But the leap from the outer to the inner must be made. The words themselves, as words, are merely jam labels - however see them as guide posts to your inner being and they take on a magic and quality of their own."

Robert and Megan nodded in contemplation.

"There is a beautiful Indian Fable. When God created Man he knew of course man would give him no peace until enlightenment was obtained. God's perplexing problem was, "where could he hide Truth or his own essence so that only a few humans at a time could discover Truth. You see he didn't want to be inundated with enlightened souls en-mass - too hard to handle the accommodation in Heaven - even for God apparently.

His angels advised him to place Truth upon the top of Mount Everest, or perhaps in the depths of the ocean, or even upon the surface of the moon, or bury it deep within the earth. God knew that wherever he hid it man would soon aspire and discover Truth.

Suddenly he became aware of the perfect solution. "I will place it in man, less than a hairs breadth away from his very being. Humans will never look there." Thus he created man, so that unless we view the exterior world as a mere reflection or shadow of our interior being, we are destined to never see our own true reality. We cannot even see our own face without a reflection."

"Wow - you do blow one's mind - so much to consider," stammered David. The truth I seek is in me. I must always remember that all exterior truths are mere reflections."

"The truth you seek is your own nature - the word God in a book or on a piece of paper is not God, just a jam label. But the real "I" that knows the meaning of the word must in essence encompass the word itself or it would not recognize it as such."

We talked on for a while longer and my guests that day seemed to leave in a joyful disposition.

Truth can only be realized by those whose minds are not conditioned by doctrines, dogmas, rituals and the like. Masters, as signposts to the real, guide us and show us the way. Yet we create the dogmas and worship the signposts themselves rather than look to where the signs are pointing. The outer reflections appear so vast, so real - yet the inner reality is totality and bliss itself. Self knowing or Truth is not a commodity that one can find by searching here or there. Knowing is not knowledge. Such knowledge is only an acquired doctrine or belief system created by the mind ego. Such accumulated knowledge can only ever be "jam labels".


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