IV Whom The Way Calls
In common with every other perception, experience and knowledge, the way to truth surfaces within ourself. The witness in object–subject relatedness is forever between the fact in our eye, the meaning in our perception and the knowledge with ourself, including of our own self at the foundation of our subjectivity.
In setting ourselves up on the way to truth, we shall have to exclude much, nearly everything, and all ultimately. This work therefore does away with jargons common in religious texts, and most certainly their fervour and calls on faith, though not the values or knowledge they signify in a philosophical or spiritual discourse. This work is about us, our being as we are and as it resonates with us. If we are a creation, and only the vain or absolutely knowledgeable amongst us will aver that we are not, there is an urgent need to discover its universal matters of fact.
Each one of us is in a material environment, with a body that is wondrously formed – a marvelously organised physiological system. It works excellently without our intervention, very predictably if watered and fuelled timely, adequately and appropriately. It signals for its needs from time to time, for particular cares necessary on account of environmental factors, and warns us of its misuse, activating alarms when stretched too far and even scaring us into mending our abusive ways. And if we let it be, not deny it of rest and sleep, it diagnoses its problems to correct, undo, regrow and recover by itself.
But however dire, immediate and wholly intimate it feels, our body is only as it serves us to mutually survive and a mere means for adults to use it as they choose. Sure, we deliberately dress it up to impress or time its presence to surprise others, who look upon it as we are in their perception, what we mean and how they deem. All men and, as I hear, some women too, know how beautiful the fairer gender can seem. We all have a story or two to tell about the powerful impact of their inviting curves, mesmerising countenance or awesome proportion. But mostly it soon clarifies and we begin to look beyond the body before us, at the person behind or within it… at the one who is thinking and opining, emoting or touching, setting the deal or laying the trap for us !
Not everyone is a human soul; not yet, though every person has a line to one. Most of us are animals without their nakedness, which is both an advance and the first lie we tell ourselves, and project to others. The religion we subscribe to is for afterwards – to confess and feel awashed for a new day of lust and greed, apathy and lies. In Islam, the communal faith confers celestial merit and heavenly rewards for what, in the eyes of you and I, is inhuman behaviour and subhuman conduct. We are informed that it is growing the fastest ! Clearly, being with a normal human body, most of us are not wanting in intelligence; but it is through developing the intellect, equipping it with universal human values, that we characterise ourselves with humanity. Fostered in an environment of entrenched feudal power structures, equally common in rigorously instituted religious societies and in those with extreme Gini index, it is our intellectual blindness that arrests our spiritual evolution to universal values, individual liberty and creative freedom.
I really am not sure how far the truths laid out in these pages would resonate with the beast within us. But there are many who are prone to be content and happy, even if disadvantaged or less fortunate than those around. They might be hounded into moral fatigue or failure on occasions but, by nature, are courageous enough to follow their calls of conscience in utter honesty and truth. Their ethics is their life and covetousness has no place in it, though they might not be entirely free of envy. It is these individuals, I trust, who would have the patience, love and the pure drive for the quest of truth. Likely, I believe, they would have the richness of experience that living against our animal propensities invariably fetch us, and the internal instrument to intuit the facts of spirit, as opposed to those of matter. They would sense the sinister in propaganda, however socially acceptable, and self – promotion would be beyond the pale of their own instinctual priority. Though not ashamed, they would be aware of unhappy consequences of unchecked lustful impulses, and of those easy inner processes which lead us to greed. They would value facts, liberty and truth, and constantly initiate to add, examine, change or modify their own views and perspective. They would be happiest leading clean, honest lives, being monogamous in their affection, nurturing moral and ethical values in their progeny, extending their love to beings and having a ready regard for life everywhere.
It is for them that I have the pleasure of writing these essays. But that is only to give me a start. There is no one who cannot arise, raise himself here and now, and step up to gain from these truths I have availed from my glimpses of Vedanta.