April 24, 2017

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Steve has been practicing "The May Fly" since my last entry, and now he can play it straight through with only a few mistakes. But put a microphone on it, and he freezes! As though an audience of thousands were listening--which, in fact, someday may be the case. But regardless, here is his new performance of same, with somewhat less editing than last time:

The May Fly

Now, in the last few days, Steve has tried to defend our work against two different people; one, an expert in Steve's field, whom he has always admired; and a friend whom Steve had had a falling out with several years hence. Both are similar people, in many ways--considerate, highly intelligent, and mildly skeptical. Both are subtly patronizing towards Steve; one, as Steve has pointed out, from supposedly superior scientific rigor; and the other on agnostic principles. Now, let me tell you this about agnosticism. Suppose--let us gear this toward the men--suppose someone has kidnapped your wife, and you pay the ransom, and a woman is returned to you--but while she looks exactly like your wife, she doesn't seem to actually be the same person. A lover of the Truth will desperately try to get to the bottom of it. An agnostic will say, "Oh, well, she's close enough, I'll just live with her and if she is the same person, she is; and if she isn't, she isn't."

There is no such thing as an agnostic, in a matter as important as God. The only agnostic is the person who doesn't particularly care so much--and that person has already, in his soul, decided there is no God. Otherwise, he would have to care, right?

Which simply means that unless such a person is actively (and desperately) seeking, he or she is an atheist making excuses for themselves.

Now, Steve had the feeling that I wanted to draw from a passage in Rumi's "Masnavi," the Sufi book of teaching stories. And let me tell you that all of Mathew's stories were really teaching stories, as were mine. And we want to teach you (forgive us for being so bold) about discernment, spiritual discernment. We go back lifetimes on this. Don't think we are just talking as Mathew and Abby. Not to brag, but we have the credentials to be doing this. But when Steve took the book off the shelf, he wasn't sure whether it was his idea to do this, or mine. So he opened it at random, to see if anything seemed relevant, i.e., he tried what is called divination. And on the right side of the page is something not entirely apropos, but on the left, is a positive statement about discernment, not the negative one (i.e., what to watch out for so as not to get fooled), that Steve had had in mind. This is the gist of the thing, the kernel of it.

You must learn to recognize the Thing In Itself; to smell it out the way the mother penguin knows which one is her baby, in that sea of babies at the rookery. Have you ever seen that depicted in a nature program? How does she know her own child? You mothers know what I mean. She knows, is all. So Rumi says; and we will not call it God, or Truth, or Higher Power, or the Christ within, or Buddha, or Jehovah, or Allah, or anything at all. We will simply quote the one who knows (meaning, Rumi, because Steve and I are still seekers). This is from the horse's mouth:

The Shaikh laughed, and said to him, "O friend,
This is the tree of knowledge, O knowing one;
Very high, very fine, very expansive,
The very water of life from the circumfluent ocean.
Thou hast run after form, O ill-informed one,
Wherefore thou lackest the fruit of the tree of substance.
Sometimes it is named tree, sometimes sun,
Sometimes lake, and sometimes cloud.
'Tis one, though it has thousands of manifestations;
Its least manifestation is eternal life!
Though 'tis one, it has a thousand manifestations,
The names that fit that one are countless.
That one is to thy personality a father,
In regard to another person He may be a son.
In relation to another He may be wrath and vengeance,
In relation to another, mercy and goodness.
He has thousands of names, yet is One,--
Answering to all of His descriptions, yet indescribable.
Every one who seeks names, if he is a man of credulity,
Like thee, remains hopeless and frustrated of his aim.
Why cleavest thou to this mere name of tree,
So that thou art utterly balked and disappointed?
Pass over names and look to qualities,
So that qualities may lead thee to essence!
The differences of sects arise from His names;
When they pierce to His essence they find His peace!"

Now, this goes deeper than we will take it. Understand this in its fullest depth, and you have no need of us! (But you may still visit us fondly from time-to-time, and we would be pleased to see you.) Do you have Truth within yourself, that you can recognize our work as proceeding from the True? Then you will recognize Steve's work, and my journal, and myself, as being real. If you do not have that within yourself, you will not recognize it, in us.

And that is my answer to the two challenges Steve most recently faced.

Love to each and all,
Abby