Friday, December 4, 2015

Binding the faiths together

The name ‘Olbogmek’ means, ‘There are no different religions, there is only one God..’
—G. I. Gurdjieff, Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, p. 321

 In the midst of these desperate times, it becomes the responsibility of every thinking, feeling, and responsible Being to undertake the work of binding the faiths back together.

Our inner vision has become obscured by our egoism, and we are losing our capacity for self-examination and the instinctive love which intelligent beings ought to feel towards one another. This is taking place not just between ourselves, locally, but across the planet, everywhere. 

Instead of engaging in endless arguments about why it is happening — there are many reasons — we must become responsible for seeing it and taking an unshakable inner stance against it. 

The world's faiths can no longer afford to stand against one another. If we do not unite in brotherhood for the values that are good and to uphold the one God who created all things, everything will be lost. 

Gurdjieff summed this question up in a single sentence. The brotherhood Olbogmek may have existed many thousands of years ago, but the questions that it presents us with are today's questions. The ideas it represents are today's ideas. 

We can't wait until tomorrow to sort things out. We must do it today.

This requires us, individually and collectively, to stand firmly and speak out against those who preach hatred; to unequivocally state our support for all of our religious brothers and sisters, no matter what faith they represent, as long as it is not a faith of destruction; and to take intimate personal steps in our daily lives not just to speak about what we believe in, but to practice it as though, as Zen master Dogen would have put it, "our hair is on fire."

In my case, this will prove exceptionally difficult, because I have very little hair left, but I will not let it dissuade me from making the effort.

To bind the faiths together should become the work of every right-thinking religious person, no matter what religion they come from. We have the opportunity, should we wish to, to work  together from a sense of Being rooted in love, and find the common ground we all stand on in the midst of our humanity. 

To divide and to take from others is wrong. To unite and to give is right. How much clearer could this be?

 These are my thoughts this morning, which have been on my mind for some weeks now.


Lee van Laer is a senior editor at Parabola Magazine.

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