Greetings of Peace. This blog contains selections from my correspondence and other sources on a variety of subjects related to religion, philosophy, and spirituality. I hope that they may be of benefit to the interested reader. Concerning the title of the blog, read this entry.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Sincerity and Curiousity

You raise some very important questions and I would like to answer this one. It seems to be a question of the difference between sincerity and curiosity, though this does not necessarily have to imply an idle curiosity. Curiosity pertains to the situation of seeking an experience for its own sake. In both the religious and occult realms of discourse, this is commonly referred to as dabbling. If someone, naturally curious, seeks to reproduce the experience of a phenomena that they may have read about in any number of books and takes up the practice of a particular spiritual discipline haphazardly so as to obtain it, this is an instance of dabbling, whether it pertains to the Kabbalah, Sufism, Hesychasm, or any other esoteric tradition. It is necessarily haphazard, because a particular technique in and of itself is only a small part of an all-encompassing Way. Sincerity demands of us a fidelity to all of the conditions set forth in and by that Way, not only those which we desire or feel are necessary for us based upon a limited understanding. It also demands of us proper motivation. In my opinion, the only legitimate reason to pursue esoterism is to become closer to God in love or knowledge, not to pursue a particular mystical experience or phenomena. A vision or other phenomena may legitimately occur during the course of the Way, but to set this up as the goal a priori is to seek phenomena over God or otherwise to place conditions upon the manner in which God may reveal himself to us. The former condition is insincere, the latter impossible.

If a person legitimately seeks to become closer to God, this necessarily precludes the wish to experience Kabbalah for its own sake. If God is the priority, then the possibilities that God has provided within the context of that person’s religious tradition will naturally take precedence over any tendency arising through curiosity. Now, it may very well be the case that someone is sincerely drawn to the practice of Kabbalah and does not lack proper motivations. In order to maintain that sincerity, that person would have to give themselves totally to God and abide by the conditions set forth in that Way, not to the arbitrary and isolated practice of one aspect only, or what is worse to a superficial eclecticism.

Absolute Reality is One, subjectively and objectively. At the metaphysical level which transcends formal distinctions, realization of Absolute Reality partakes of this unicity such that there is a consonance and underlying universality amidst all theoretical and doctrinal expressions of metaphysics. It is therefore possible and I think helpful to study and benefit from certain of the various expressions of theoretical metaphysics within the different traditions. An elementary examination and theoretical understanding of some of these expressions may also serve to reveal the great similarity that exists between the various esoteric traditions and dispel any notion that any one particular Way lacks anything essential such that it must be compensated by borrowing something from another, which is impossible in any case owing to the fact that the domain of practice is also the domain of form and so necessitates the formal conditions of the tradition in question.

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