True enough that some New Age belief systems do little more than dabble in devotion, backing off quickly whenever spiritual decipline becomes too incompatible with one’s lifestyle. One cannot really be a part-time Buddhist any more than a self-described Christian can purchase salvation with one hour a week in church. But the irrefutable truth is that heart of each of the great religious traditions are three small words:
God is One!
The Buddha’s prescription for pain was deceptively simple: One must free oneself from desire and persue “right consciousness” through meditation and an awareness of the “oneless” of the creation. Some have speculated that Jesus “teaching were influenced by Buddhist thoughts, though expressed in the less abstract language of Dudaism. India ultimately foreswore Buddhism on the grounds that its austere language made no room for the transcendent God, but this very fact has increased its appeal to those Wasterners soured on organized religion and has made its tenets compatible with new physics.
Chinese philosophy anticipated the Big Bang theory by insisting that everything sprang from emptiness, or the void. Creation occurs from nothing. As difficult as this is to conceive, the observations of modern science bear out the words written by Lama Anagarika Govinda in his foundations of Tibetan Mysticism:”The relationship of form and emptiness cannot be conceived as a state of mutually exclusive opposites,but only as two aspects of the same reality that co-exist and are in continual cooperation.
Einstein remarked that science grew out of the refinement of our daily thinking. In its infancy,science was a close cousin of philosophy. Newton’s Principia,considered to be the first great scientific text, bears the title, the Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, but ever since relativity theory and quantum physics described a reality strikingly at odds with our perception, physics increasingly has become the provinence of mathematicians. This is because math furnishes the only vocabulary capable of precisely describing this reality. Naturally, this has driven even many highly educated people away from science.
If may offer one aide for navigating in the remarkable “space” we are about to enter,it is this: While you’re here,try to relax your mental fix on the image of God that has been most familier to you since childhood. Let it sleep to the back of your mind; you can always reclaim it later (and that is perfectly all right). It isn’t required that you do this, but it will help, and you may be surprised by what new visions come bubbing up from inside.