by Bernard LH Fernando
I lay no claim to anything new for one does not, after all, reinvent the Dhamma wheel. But I may attempt a different spin.
If you squeeze out the religiosity from the world’s major teachings of faith you may finally distil the essence of its spirituality and find yourself face to face with the nectar of Cosmic Reality. Using the attributes proposed by the astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson in his paper “The Cosmic Perspective,’ we find that…
· The cosmic perspective was shared by the Hindus, the Taoists, the Buddhists, the Jewish Kabbalah, the Christian Bible, the Islam Quran before the scientists claimed provenance to it.
· Humility in one’s consciousness is the sine qua non for understanding their teachings.
· Being spiritual rather than religious, it opens one’s perspective to a cosmic vision without the duality of large and small, black and white, or good and evil.
· Without demanding blind faith, the cosmic reality presents itself in actual experiences, like the Karmic jolt of payback tragedies, Noah’s flood, or the temple pillars crumbling as the earth shook after the crucifixion was consummated in Golgotha.
· The dance of Shiva, the wrath of Yahweh, or Dante’s hell stripped of morality presents the universe for what it is - moving by its own grand design.
· The earth is but a part of this grand design.
· Realizing that it moves by its own ineluctable design, the universe commands respect for its awesome beauty and majesty.
· Our puny primal needs – food, shelter, sex – viewed in its proper proportion would be lost in the primal processes of the universe.
· We may see ourselves as audacious outer space explorers but the Gautama Buddha sitting motionless under his bodhi tree has shown us our impuissance with mastery of our own inner space unless we can open our cosmic door in meditation and welcome the impermanence of all we hold dear.
· Only if we explore ourselves as an integral part of the cosmic whole may we finally connect with the whole universe. Nirvana is possible if the EGO is replaced by OM, or enlightenment if indifference is replaced by compassion. Throw out the Babel from the respective Towers of these teachings that we may reduce everything to a singular unified pillar of universal truth.
Neil de Grasse Tyson also proposed ways to think in a cosmic perspective. My apologies to Rainer Maria Rilke as I humbly offer my own cosmic reflections by paraphrasing my favourite lines from among his many cosmic verses:
How shall I hold my soul
That it may not be touching the universe?
How shall I lift it then to where other things are waiting?
Ah, gladly will I lodge it, all forgot,
On some remote and silent spot
That when the universe vibrates
Is not itself vibrating.
Ah, the Universe and my Soul,
All that brings us together, though,
Brings us together like a fiddle bow!