When we are obscured by the veil of the ego, which is fundamentally dualistic in nature, we interpret the master’s words within our own paradigm and miss the pearls of wisdom. We use the words to justify and make a case, and to separate rather than using them to nurture inclusivity. Our spiritual masters give us clay, and we use it to build bricks and walls.
We see this play out in so many ways – the spiritual master’s words being misinterpreted and usurped. Take one of Jesus’ sayings, “I am the only way.” To the devout Christian, this is a definitive declaration that New Testament Christianity is the only true religion Jesus is the only true messenger of God. Depending on our own relative views, we immediately react to that notion, do we not? So we see our own ego flaring up to a statement made by that of another ego. These egoic reactions cut off any curiosity as to what is going on beneath the surface. To that devout Christian, the door to exploring Jesus’ words is closed because they have their conclusion. And the rest of us miss the clear signals that our own ego is far from under control and still operates compulsively to its own whims.
Can we allow Jesus’ words to fall onto fertile soil and see what blooms? Jesus wasn’t the only master who said, “I am the only way.” In India, many gurus have said the same thing. When we listen with our hearts, we realize the true meaning of these words. Their intent is to create the necessary urgency in the seeker to embrace this precious time with the master, and also to remove doubt. The master recognizes our tendency to find excuses and put off what needs to be done in the proper manner. The ego is so very good at suggesting alternatives that can then be grasped. So the master shakes us with his or her imperative: “I am the only way.”
If Jesus was to tell us that no, he is not the only way – there are so many other masters that can also point the way… who would take up the call? We would all form a line to the door because we would just dismiss the opportunity of grace in the moment for the promise of something else tomorrow, allowing us to continue in our comfortable compulsions today. Is that not the truth?
Today many seekers will try various spiritual paths and become frustrated at the lack of meaningful results after a short period. This is the nature of the mind, especially in today’s immediate gratification society. They dig many shallow wells and hit no water. To find water, you must dig one well, and go deep. Not finding water quickly brings doubt, especially after the hard work of digging and digging. The masters know that, so their message is, “I am the only way” – to remove doubt. Yes, this is the right spot for your well. Just do the work and you will find your water.
When the master says, “I am the only way,” this is not their egoic statement, nor is it a denial of other paths. This is just to give us the necessary focus and motivation to dig deep now.
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