Uniting the Mystical Traditions of the East and West

Eastern mystical traditions emphasize the highest aspiration is reaching the Ultimate Reality that exists behind the veil of physical matter. Buddhism teaches of Nirvana. The Tao teaches of a return to the source from where all life springs. Hindu metaphysics teaches of attaining enlightenment and uniting with Brahman—the ocean of life. Yet in the Western mystical traditions, there is the emphasis on reaching God. The three great monotheistic religions and all they encompass—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—all emphasize God is the goal of life. As spiritual truth seekers, how do we incorporate these two universal perspectives in our soul growth?

One of the glories of the modern age is an understanding that the traditions of the East and the West are essentially different facets of the same precious jewel. By understanding the underlying unity of these traditions, we gain a deeper, more mature understanding of life, God, and our place in the divine scheme. 

Metaphysics teaches that everything in creation springs from life. Life itself is the Ultimate Reality. Life is not a mere concurrence of atoms designated only to organic material. Life is the essence of everything and is everywhere. While our body is born and eventually dies, the soul—the life within us—is eternal. Our souls are all part of an infinite Sea of Life. This Sea of Life is the root of everything; it is the cause of everything. It is infinitely plentiful. Yet it is infinitely precious. Life is divine by nature; it is inherently good. Every transcendent experience you will ever have is an expression of the infinite Sea of Life.

In our spiritual evolution, to aspire to the higher dimensions of life, we must become more aware of the divinity of life and to express that life more fully. To accomplish this, we turn to God. God is the Creator of all that has been, is and shall ever be. God is the ultimate expression of the infinite life. By drawing closer to God, we draw closer to the wellspring of life. Through the life of God, we become more alive; we become more creative and learn to experience the infinite life. It was God who ushered us from the Sea of Life to be born into the human experience and walk the spiritual path. It is God who is guiding us on the spiritual path upward, and one day, it will be God who will usher us back into the Sea of Life when our time in creation has come to its full completion.

It is the traditions of both the East and the West—the mystical aim of God and the Ultimate Reality—that together will unlock the potential of the soul and how we serve in the divine plan. Meditation and prayer are essential tools to better connect with God and the inner life. Then as you build awareness of God and the inner life that is already you, it becomes your job to bring that inner life into outer expression. You’ll contribute more, be more effective and energetic in your pursuits, as well as feel more joy and purpose in your heart.

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