There is a Koan that asks, ¨What is the sound of one hand clapping?¨ I don’t know if they are really looking for an answer to that question or not, but they are trying to get the student, or the one hearing the question, to meditate on the question and digest it. The hope of the questioner is that the student will find the answer from somewhere deep within and more than that learn how to explain his find, which is beyond words and the conscious mind, in words. This is very interesting.
Much of life, the important part anyway, seems to be created of thoughts, feelings and deep core beliefs and understandings that are beyond words. We pick up these beliefs here and there as we are being socialized. We use them as the materials with which to build our own belief systems about the world and then we think that we are free to think and build belief systems, because of the effort it takes to do so. This is true in some cases, but the building blocks that we have access to limit what we can build.
One cannot build a seven forty seven with only cinder blocks. One cannot build much of anything that is complex when one only has one type of material. That is why diversity is so important. When I speak of diversity I am not speaking of groups of people. We often see a group of people from various races, genders and ages representing various groups, but all of the people thing the same way. This is not the diversity of which I speak. I am speaking of internal diversity.
Internal diversity means that a group of people are allowed to express their belief systems and their opinions. Everyone can bring their ideas into the open and explore them fully. This involves struggle, discussion and debate. The outcome of such an exercise is the growth of the group, but more importantly, the growth of each individual.
All of the new thoughts, ideas and experiences–viewing the world and reality from various angles, will be spread out among the group and each person can construct their ideas and opinions about the world in a more authentic, more logical way. This type of diversity, however, though it may come from an external source is actually an internal struggle. Through meditation and prayer we can learn to accept apposing ideas and lesson the struggle. We can expand ourselves so that we are not uncomfortable when someone disagrees with us. We can learn to accept the parts of ideas that we don’t like that are good to us and to reject the rest. When we can do this we will have arrived. This type of behavior only comes from one source, however, our willingness to let go of the self and the ego and to just live in the present.
This means letting go of the need to always be right and the need to be sure, and going, sometimes with what our heart and our head tells us. It means letting go of control and trusting in the universe, or in the group, sometimes. When we can do this, we will bring peace to this trouble world. This internal work, though it may not seem like it, is the heart of Karmic Yoga. Hopefully everyone will become engaged in it, for it is the only thing that twill save the world. This Karmic Yoga must always accompany a life of service, or we may end up saving others and not making it ourselves.
Dr. John W. Gilmore. Writer of The Chronicles of Kera I, II, III. A Sci-Fi novel on the struggle of three men transplanted to a planet where sex roles are reversed. For more writings like this please check this ezine or our Free Practical Spirituality Journal at http://www.dswellness.com