Forgotten Truth: The Common Vision of the World's Religions by Huston Smith

By Huston Smith

This vintage better half to The World's Religions articulates the extraordinary harmony that underlies the world's non secular traditions

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Extra resources for Forgotten Truth: The Common Vision of the World's Religions

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This time they bound him with ropes and fastened the ends to the bedposts. The abbott, still immobile, continued his conjurations in a metallic voice, his eyes never leaving the body. With unutterable horror, we saw that it began to swell visibly. On and on the dreadful process continued until he became a grotesque balloon of a man. "Leave him! " cried the monk concentrating still harder. Convulsion shook the monstrous swollen body. It seemed that all the apertures of the body were opened by the unseen powers hiding in it and streams of malodorous excreta and effluvia THE LEVELS OF REALITY / 45 flowed on to the ground in incredible profusion.

Literally "nonaction," the word does not require that actions cease. Superfluous and egoaggrandizing activity must be stilled, but the stilling of such activity clears the way for pure effectiveness-action that is powered by force that is concentrated and energy assembled. Fa-r from rendering it ineffectual, the tendency of this second kind of action to "fit in" and avoid calling attention to itself augments its power. "By his simplicity, the absolutely simple man sways all beings. . Nothing opposes him in the six regions of space, nothing is hostile to ~im, and fire and water do not harm him" (Tao Te Ching, II).

Pare such a horizontal mandala to its essential geometry of two lines that intersect at right angles and mount this horizontal cross on a vertical, Christian cross to make one having six arms like the "pickup jacks" that children play with; the vertical cross should be of Eastern Orthodox design so the six arms can be of equal length and the center truly central. The result is a three-dimensional cross, the most adequate model of reality that space can provide. Let us begin with its vertical axis.

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