Freedom is absolute. Remain free and do not take anything I say as the truth or anything a spiritual teacher, guru or spiritual master says as the truth. Do not believe anything I say because I could be wrong. I could be lying to you. I could be trying to enslave you. Yet I also say to you do not reject anything I say too quickly without first observing for yourself, thinking for yourself, without first finding out for yourself if anything I have to share is of any value to you and useful to you in your life.
A believer is as far away from truth and the source of divine love as is the skeptic. Both are at the extremes running away from truth while telling themselves they have already found it.
A believer accepts everything he’s told without question. A believer just wants to be saved from himself. A believer wants spiritual laws to tell him what is right and wrong. A believer does not want to do his part of the work to save himself. A believer wants to be told what to do and what to believe. A believer just wants to be given the truth because he does not believe he has any truth within himself. A believer does not want to discover anything on his own but wants to be given salvation. A believer is too afraid and has given up on himself so he lies to himself in his own ignorant ways.
A skeptic accepts nothing and suspects everything as false or an attempt at deceiving him. A skeptic is a believer of himself and what he sees only and is sure he does not need any kind of salvation. A skeptic does not believe in spiritual laws like the believer to tell him how to live and therefore often believes only in human laws or scientific laws but always suspects them as corrupt or wrong. A skeptic believes he is already saved by simply not being a gullible believer. A skeptic does not like to be told what to believe or what to do. A skeptic already knows the truth of simply being on his own in life, alone in the universe. A skeptic rejects all notions of salvation of the type the believer embraces. A skeptic is too disappointed and resentful and will not be lied to again so he lies to himself in his own proud ways.
If you believe blindly in your concept of God, you will never experience God. If you do not believe in God, you will never experience God. On the other hand, if God really does NOT exist, your belief in God makes no difference because God does not exist. Yet if God really DOES exist, your skepticism and disbelief of God makes no difference because God really does exist.
The point is that your ideas of God makes no difference to God. Your ideas of God are like childish immature opinions about the Absolute, the omnipotent supreme self of the universe and the whole of creation and do not affect God one single little bit. Instead your limited self assured ideas of God keep you far away from experiencing God, living in separation, far away from Unity.
Do not be a believer. Do not be a skeptic. Instead, be like an intelligent sentient being, one who listens, thinks, observes, evaluates, tries out for himself and decides for himself if anything is gained in experience, wisdom and results though real persevering spiritual practice.
Maha Vajra offers the following example to beginners on the spiritual path. Imagine some local native in Africa totally isolated from the world and one who only knows his land and who has never seen snow or heard of it at all. Now imagine somebody who lives in the snow travels to Africa and meets this African native and begins to tell him about snow. He tells the native, “It’s white, wet, cold, fluffy, floats down from the sky and when it touches you it melts and turns into water.” No matter how much of a description you give the African native or even how much he accepts or rejects this description, he can never truly know what snow is until he actually experiences snow for himself.
In the same manner as the African native who can never know what snow is until he experiences it for himself, you can never know what God is or what enlightenment is or any other spiritual concept is until you experience it for yourself. This requires that you remain a free human being with a free mind. Nobody can own your mind if you hope to discover for yourself what the spiritual path has to offer you.
This also requires that you free yourself of your ideas and concepts that keep you either in a fantasy or in drama, out of reality. This requires that you ground yourself in your practice and in your experience to discover truth for yourself, to discover God for yourself, or as we say in Buddhism, your God essence. In this way you can discover everything as a real experience and not just some idea or belief in your mind. This requires that as you progress on your spiritual practice and path, you keep a grounded and objective mind about everything you discover and everything yet to be discovered.
This requires some courage because when we start out as beginners on the spiritual path, we are partially believers and partially skeptics. It requires courage to free yourself from the believer and the skeptic within yourself to make efficient progress on the path.
This is a basic Dharma in Mahajrya Buddhism and I offer it here not exactly as I received it but only as I remember it and now I combine it with some of my own perspective. I only wish to do it justice by transmitting the “essence” of the original teaching as I received it from Maha Vajra in one of his 9-day seminars many years ago.
May you find the courage to leave behind the believer and the skeptic and the courage to leave behind the shore of the known and navigate courageously toward the shore of the unknown (enlightenment) and Unity.
May you find the courage to embrace the Sangha, Dharma and Buddha.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
BASIC LEVEL DHARMA