Originally posted by karoly aczel
Aldous huxley has postulated that the spiritual way can take one of three major strands.
Depending on your disposition you may be suited to one or a combination of the three. they being:
1.the way of 'good works'(the christians seem to emphasize this one)
2.the way of devotion-as is practiced hard-core by the hare-krsnas
3.the way of knowledge-as ...[text shortened]... knowledge of all three needs to be adhered to if we are to blow away the covers of ignorance?
Yes. I would stress the “way of knowledge” as foundational (though, “in another lifetime”, so to speak, my disposition was toward the “way of devotion” and faith):
If one wants to do good works, one needs to have some idea what works (actions) are likely to result in “good”. One also has to have some ethical sense of what “goodness” entails.
If one follows the “way of devotion”—or of “faith”—one needs to know what one believes, and that those beliefs are coherent. If one cannot clearly and coherently define what they believe, they
might not even know what they’re talking about.
The “way of knowledge” requires constant questioning and testing—of one’s own beliefs and convictions. The presumption of infallibility is not an option. Dogmatism is not an option.
The “way of knowledge” is the way of inquiry and self-challenge, not the way of comfortable pseudo-certainties, or security-blanket acceptance of any unquestioned authority. That also means continual questioning of one’s efforts in the other two “ways”
. Without the “way of knowledge”, the other two can become nothing more than blind indulgence: “I must have been good, because I was trying to be good. I must have been right, because I had faith—or was rigorous and sincere in my devotion.”
I have practiced all three ways—poorly or well; sometimes poorly, at least sometimes (hopefully) well. I find the “way of knowledge” to be the most challenging, because it offers no security-blanket; one who cannot tolerate the risk of uncertainty cannot walk that path for long.
The absolute most that one can ever say is (to quote Monk): “I might be wrong; but I don’t think so.”