Perceptions

Universal Worship on 2020-11-08 by Barbara

HINDU SCRIPTURES
Having obtained real knowledge from a self-realized soul, you will never fall again into such illusions, for by this knowledge you will see that all living beings are but part of the Supreme, or, in other words, they are Mine.
DIVINE WISDOM


BUDDHIST SCRIPTURES
He is called just who discriminates between right and wrong.
A wise guardian of the law judges others not hastily.
DIVINE COMPASSION


ZOROASTRIAN SCRIPTURES
Available to read at Sufi Temple
DIVINE PURITY


HEBREW SCRIPTURES
The Lord your God loveth the stranger;
Love ye therefore the stranger,
For, ye were strangers.
DIVINE LAW


CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES
We are to hold by the truth, and by our love to grow up wholly
Instead of remaining immature, blown from our course
By every passing wind of doctrine,
By the adroitness of men who are dexterous in devising error.
DIVINE SELF-SACRIFICE


SCRIPTURES OF ISLAM
God bids you, when ye judge between men, to judge with justice.
DIVINE UNITY

SUFI TEACHINGS
The Limited being cannot claim the perception of the unlimited; thus, we cannot regard our own will as being the universal Will unless our will is in harmony with the will of God.
We should therefore practice harmonizing our will with that of our fellowmen, by tolerance, patience, endurance; because in this world every ego is working for itself, however near or dear another may be.
Everyone thinks, “What can I make another person do for me?” He wants everybody to be in harmony with his way of life.
That is why there is a world full of rebellion, like the thorns in the rosebush.
DIVINE TRUTH

Good morning everybody!
I wish to speak about Perceptions today, but before I do, let me put my pet ant on my finger. – Can everyone see him? No? Then you must get yourself other glasses. But all of us know what he looks like: he has big compound eyes at the side of his head, and a 180 degrees vision. I have wondered for long, whether he sees my pores on this piece of skin as potholes. From Mr. Google I learned that, although he has such big compound Eyes and such a range of vision, he can only see objects indistinctly. I now realise that he cannot make the connection between this piece of skin of mine and the blurry head and body he sees.
And because we ourselves have often such blurry vision I am starting off by bringing to our attention the differences between the perceptions of ourselves and other humans and of animals. If we can but humble ourselves instead of looking down on them or of feeling threatened by them and see things through their eyes, there is much we could learn from them.
Perceptions is a vast subject, and I can only nibble at it here. A kind fellow Sufi sent me all Hazrat Inayat Khan’s passages dealing with perceptions and I would gladly forward these passages to anyone interested. Here I just aim at getting everyone thinking about the subject.
My childhood and youth stretched across 4 different countries and I experienced the different layers of humanity in these countries. And of course, I was always the outsider and as such the enemy. As the outsider I was privileged to experience very different truths to those dished up and was encouraged to think for myself. I learned a lot from the other inhabitants of this planet and would like to share some of these insights with you.
In 1942, during the Second World War being fought in far off Europe, a terrible fire killed 11 little German speaking kindergarten kids in a camp of women and children at Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. Up till now the people of Salisbury had been very dissatisfied with the authorities for parking dangerous enemies in their midst. The fire changed all that. Forgotten was the scare about those dangerous German criminals housed in their midst. The Salisbury fire brigade was there almost immediately, the farmers lined up outside the camp gates to transport burned kiddies to the Salisbury hospital, the hospital staff saw poor little ones so like their own, their distracted mothers and a whole camp crying with them. Suddenly the ladies of Salisbury started asking questions and as a result by 1944 the married men from camps in South Africa were relocated to the Rhodesian camp and many children consciously saw their fathers for the first time.
I once mentioned to my one daughter-in-law that those poor children had not died in vain. She became quite angry with me and said I could talk, because I was not one of the burned children. I was rather surprised at her outburst. It was obvious that she had a different perception to me. – My perception? We humans are so readily caught up in politicians’ slander- it takes a calamity like this to show us our common humanity.
Actually, there is a beautiful tale to this dreadful story: Many years later my elder sister, who was now a nursing sister here in South Africa, went on a holiday to Southern Rhodesia. She also went to the cemetery, where she asked a black man, who was tending the graves, whether he knew where the little German children were buried. Very reverently he took her to the place where they were buried. Heidi took a photo of the beautifully tended grave site, the most precious picture in my autobiography, for this grave site had been beautifully tended all these years, no doubt by this black gentleman, but surely also encouraged by his seniors.
Here is another instance of perception: In Pretoria, the only piece of nature near us was a dry common with nothing but khaki grass growing on it. I flung myself down in order to be on a level with this dry grass. Suddenly I became aware that I was not the only living thing there. A tiny beetle was walking very determinately through the grass and not haphazardly but on a well-trodden little beetle path, like the hippo paths we use when walking through the veld, only in miniature. I watched him for a little while and then realised there was trouble ahead for my beetle, for there was a piece of broken grass right in its path. When it got there, it did not hesitate, but started climbing up and up and up the grass until it was stretched to the limit. The inevitable happened: it fell on its back. It struggled, flailing its little legs in the air, and in the process turning 180 degrees and suddenly it was on its feet again, turned around and again tackled Mount Everest until it again fell on its back. This went on for at least 15 minutes and I got quite frustrated with him. Could he not see that he could not climb over that mountain? And if only he had my vantage point, he could walk to the end of the broken piece of grass, go around it and back to his path – so simple and needing so much less energy, but of course he did not have my overview. Boy, was he stubborn! But suddenly, after umpteen falls and retries, his one foreleg just managed to stretch that little bit further and give him the hold he needed to accomplish the impossible. He climbed down the other side and went on his way. No wiping of the brow, no well-earned rest, as we humans would surely have given ourselves. What a waste of time and energy.
We can learn from this little beetle that our human intelligence often tells us “I can’t”, when more stubbornness would see us through and when we are faced with insurmountable problems, it is only because our human intelligence and perception are limited, when in fact, if we stood back a pace we might see the end of the grass.
The best, most wonderful instance of perception I kept for last: My mother’s Uncle came to visit us In Germany for a few days during the dreadful hunger years of 47 and 48. He was on his way to America and his ticket was a telescope he had built WITH REAL ZEISS GLASS. This at a time when there were no shops, no nothing. Surely Zeiss was also closed. What about all the other materials needed for building his telescope? Well, the one evening he brought his telescope to our place and took me and his telescope out onto our road. The village was totally bombed out. In our road only the House in which we were allocated 2 rooms and the house opposite that housed a family of 17, were still standing. Everybody else lived in the cellars under their houses. The air was beautifully clean, no petrol fumes, no cigarette smoke, no light pollution, neither in our village nor in the near-by town of Darmstadt, which had also been bombed out. Sutherland would have been jealous, for I believe the distant town of Worcester poses light pollution problems. Well my uncle showed me whatever he thought might interest a little girl of 10 and then he told me that those stars I saw were not really stars but suns, much bigger suns than ours which was a tiny dot and when I asked: yes they had earths revolving around them and yes these had moons revolving around them and that up there was the milky way, our galaxy and beyond all the stars I could see there were other galaxies and yet other galaxies. It was all so fascinating, and all that beauty shone above this ugly, bombed out, starving world! – Now during Covid lock down I think many of you will have seen a similar pristine starry sky.
When we came inside, the grown-ups could see I was tip toeing on stars. But there was one thing an oh so clever little girl did not tell them: You see! He can hear everything you think and see everything you do! Indeed! With all that huge firmament to look after and all the humans, animals, plants etc on this earth and, what’s the odds, of course there will be other life in that huge firmament, probably much nicer life than we horrid humans. He has not got time to worry about one little family, especially one that never goes to church!
Uncle left and our life settled back into hunger, deprivation, and unfriendly villagers.
One day we came back from school and our mother put our one big pot in front of us and said: children enjoy, it is all I can find anywhere. – Typically, the pot would have contained water, salt, a carrot or two or a potato or two floating around in it. We were always hungry, but I think even my 3 years younger sister knew what this meant
As my mother finished speaking, the postman knocked on the gate to tell us that there was a parcel for us at the post office – saved by the gong in the truest sense of the word!!! The food parcel, probably from my mother’s cousin in America, saved our life for a little longer. Then the whole scene repeated itself: We came back from school, my mother placed the pot in front of us and said, enjoy …As she finished speaking the postman knocked. I was amazed, but no one else seemed to see the sequence.
The whole thing happened a 3rd and a 4th time and a little girl understood! God must have been very amused at an oh so clever little girl that judged Him by our small human abilities.
Once my eyes were opened, I could see how The One is always in control and aware of all His creation big and small and He gives to each what he needs for his development.
I would like to encourage all my Sufi family to examine each of their perceptions and to ask themselves: In this instance is my perception a narrow human perception or is it a superhuman perception?
Following on from the above: I wonder whether you have thought about a very unscientific scientific law that has always been with us? The further away an object is the smaller it appears. Imagine if our sun rose in the East in its full size. I think it would still radiate the same amount of light and warmth to our planet, but just imagine the horrific size! It would be so oppressive and depressive and threatening as it virtually encloses the whole of our sky. Even our moon, so romantically small, if it were to wander across our sky in its true size, we would not make romantic poems about it, but feel oppressed by it. It is the false impression of these heavenly bodies that makes them manageable to our understanding and conquerable. How many of the twinkling stars of the Milky Way would be seeable by us, if they were their right size and what fraction of the Milky Way would we perceive? It is a wise and loving Mother that has installed this law.
How great is God Almighty that hath made all things well
In conclusion: Taught by the above
I contract the whole universe into a small space surrounded by The One. When I say: Towards The One, I look up into the blue beyond and if the sky is cloudy, try to find a crack in the clouds to allow me to see beyond. Like the storm clouds, life on this planet is often stormy and windy, but beyond it all is The One, who is in control of it all. When we try to melt into The One, we become part of the Love Harmony and Beauty that is above and beyond.
May we never lose sight of this perception!

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