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Things Fall Into Place

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Henk Bak (Dewdrop, Spring 2007 – Vol1, Issue 2)


On the land at Evera there are seven clusters of trees, planted at equal distance on the circumference of a circle. Within the circle they form a seven-pointed star. Walking from one cluster to the other along the lines of the star can be imagined as a meditative journey between the seven major religions in the world. It is also like moving in and out of the different stages of memory. Outside the circle is the site of four archetypal stones, which formed a centre piece in Shin’s Secret of Renewal Seminar, in January 2006. Through them the oldest indigenous or aboriginal cultures in the world used to remember and honour the Mother God, Father God, Divine Law and the Ancestors… That’s where I mostly begin my walk. From there I walk to the first cluster, to Hinduism with its temples, mantras and scriptures. Then follows Buddhism, which at its core is less concerned with images, focussing more on concepts that can be grasped by thinking—the 4 noble truths, the 8 fold path including ‘right memory’… From there I walk to the sacred gates of Shinto, leading from the world of earthly nature to the world of spirit and heaven. The next cluster is dedicated to Daoism, where nature itself is the teacher— continually in process, the way of nature as the way of wisdom…


With Judaeism and Islam we arrive in yet another world—they are known as the ‘religions of the book’. They still maintain those ancient marks of memory. Muslims all over the world pray whilst facing the sacred stone Kaaba in Mecca. Jewish people refer back to the stone Jacob erected to commemorate and honour his dream of the messengers—angels descending and ascending between Heaven and Earth, which the world still remembers as ‘Jacob’s Ladder’.


The history of Israel, as memorized and recorded in the Bible over many centuries in different kinds of books—chronicles, myths, legislation, novellas, poetry, philosophy—reads like the education of a people, fore-shadowing the notion of an ‘education of mankind’. The Koran, written at a particular point in time, reflects history like a multifaceted jewel—catching the light and darkness, the colours of its Arab, Jewish and Christian ancestry, brought together in prismatic concentration by Gabriel, the great angelic spirit who made Mohammed write it down.


The books of Christianity read like a continuation of Jewish history and bear witness to its transformative turning point for mankind. Walking the seven-star in the order of this quick sketch follows more or less the stages of development in consciousness, and even if Islam has been founded over six centuries later than Christianity, I still feel that Christianity is essentially the youngest. Yeshua’s ‘do this in memory of me’ ultimately addresses every single human being with the call to awaken to one’s own ‘I AM’. This makes every human being an inexhaustible source of renewal.
That— I think—is why Shin refers to the ‘Light Humanity of Christ’ as the sphere or level, where ‘all genuine religions and philosophic streams’ are ‘brotherly and sisterly received’ ( in his Worldwide Free Movement for Human Dignity). This walking meditation is just one of many ways Shin’s initiative can be followed up to start encounters and conversations between the religions. And memory is only one of the many themes to ponder over.


During our seminar last summer some participants walked the seven-star with me, and occasionally a visitor to Evera wants to accompany me. On those occasions there is a beginning of sharing. Each cluster seems to be taking on the character of the religion it has been connected with, and the one day I walked there in the snow, I was pleased to see a seven-star emerging from my steps.


For me it is early days. I gather material and try to distillate what is relevant for each religion in terms of insight, atmosphere, ritual, meditation, prayer. And especially how each religion—out of its original impulse—can help transform an economy that now treats human beings and nature as mere functions in its overpowering machinery. This may be a topic for a later issue.


The day, that began with revisiting the flowering wattle and remembering the image of human beings as radiating suns, ended with coming across a book entitled "A Thousand Splendid Suns": Women in Afghanistan whose strength, intelligence and love outshines its darkest hours. For me some things did fall into place…


References:
World History, Rudolf Steiner.
The Long Road turns To Joy/A Guide To Walking Meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh.
Free Movement for Human Dignity /Draft Statutes, Shin.

 

 

photo of golden wattle blossom

At the base and centre of the Daoist cluster...

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