I heard this beautiful metaphor the other day for spiritual teachings; Absolute Truth is like a multifaceted jewel and different teachings point to different facets of the jewel.
Where we fall down in our spiritual journey is when we hold on to the teaching and forget that the teaching is just a tool.
Like a teacher pointing to the moon, we are so fixated on the finger pointing, we don't experience the moon.
Imagine living in a mansion with hundreds of windows and looking out of only one them, thinking that what we are seeing is the complete view. That is what we do when we take one facet of this jewel of absolute truth and take it to be the whole story.
Absolute truth must be experienced to be fully grasped and we all catch glimpses of it from time to time. Those moments in nature that take our breath away, witnessing the birth of a child, hearing the lyrics of a song that resonate with the song in our own heart, a deep awakening during meditation or yoga practice....these are all universal moments of sublime love and compassion when we feel our hearts open and we feel connected with all that is.
When we hold onto specific teachings, we risk becoming dogmatic or fundamental in our approach. This creates separation and war. Perhaps a more holistic approach would be to stand back, soften our gaze and let go of the seductive teachings that zero in on one facet of this beautiful jewel. Empty our cups and start the day with beginner's mind, with not knowing. As hard as this journey can be sometimes, I am so thankful to be on it, I wouldn't have it any other way.