To know those things in life which will be detrimental to spiritual growth is part of the training in the childhood stage of spirituality.
Most religions will put it simply as knowing what is good and what is evil. Nevertheless, according to the path that one follows, there will be discrepancies even into what is “good,” that is simply because there are different paths for different individuals. We are not equal in our capacity, understanding and life experiences. We are numberwise.
This obviously creates something beyond the first stage of spirituality, something beyond the limited understanding of “good and bad.”
The image that comes to mind is the TV program “Kung Fu.” (one of the most inspiring TV programs ever created from my view.) It was a series originally created in the 1970’s relating the life story and adventures of Kwai Chang Caine, a half American, half Chinese Taoist monk, who later became a Shaolin priest.
While living in the Shaolin temple, Kwai Chang learned and acquired different spiritual abilities. Later, he went through his “test,” to graduate as a master. After successfully completing this test, it was expected that the “new” master will leave the Shaolin temple and live as a Shaolin priest among the regular people. Here is where the bulk of his adventures will take place as he remembered the teachings that his masters back in the Shaolin temple taught him.
Leaving the temple and being by ourselves is part of the growth process in spiritual life. Here is the “field” where the game takes place. Nevertheless, this is not for everyone. Not everyone becomes a Shaolin master. The connection between being a monk and then a shaolin master hasn’t been disrupted when leaving the temple, but rather it is the “next step.”
“To live life is to prepare to die,” mentioned Socrates. In spirituality, there is death at every moment, for change is unavoidable. The issue is when we want to hold on to our “old” self rather than embracing and accepting the “new.”
All religions will speak about this “final moment,” the way every religion deals with this will be different: Some will ask you to pray to God, others will merely ask you to believe in Jesus and to repent at the end; while others will speak about shedding your body as a “snake does with its old skin,” in the final moments. That is, to be able to feel at ease with the new body-less experience.
Evidently this task, takes more work than just a belief in salvation at the last moment. However, a due respect for all beliefs is in place.
Let me recall one of the most important teachings taught to me by BapDada ( A.M 3/16/86) “The paper of the final result will be only a few seconds or a few minutes. However, you will receive a number on the basis of your remaining unshakable in an atmosphere of upheaval over a long time, then what will be the result at the end? Therefore, practice the exercise of spiritual drill. You should be able to stabilize your mind wherever you want for as long as you want. The final paper is very easy. And you have been told in advance what paper you are going to get, but the number will be given in a very short space of time. Your stage should also be powerful.”
That is it. Stability of the mind while in an atmosphere of upheaval over a long period of time. That is a “powerful” stage.
It isn’t about living in the monastery where there is peace already, but to be where there is not. To be there in the “real world,” but with a new attitude and conscience brought through the childhood stage of spirituality. Again, this is not for everyone, unless ready.
Zen Buddhism and other religious practices will go into the importance of the stability of the mind. That is their teaching.
To be “absorbed in the love of the Father ,” is a method to maintain the mind stable and many other religions such as Sufism will teach this. That is what they practice to get to the same goal.
However, once the experience is there, the method must be abandoned for newness to appear. To have this openness, this faith in our own acquired skills to face life and live harmoniously in it, is part of the stage beyond childhood; where the doors are wide open and life is there to be experienced under a new vision.