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The One and the Many

Ultimate wisdom, in the spiritual sense of gnosis (the knowing), is the unwavering realization of the one Self as absolute reality.

This wisdom is experienced in awakened individuals as conscious awareness (awareness that is aware of itself -- as: I Am).

It isn't that the wise think they have this infinite, eternal, alive Awareness -- they say they have come to know by direct experiene that they essentially are this all pervading Awareness or Consciousness!

Since this realization transcends time, it is eternal or timeless. Since absolute reality is one and indivisible, beyond name and form, not limited by space and time, and unchangeable, it is experienced as the same by all; for there is nothing to distinguish it.

While realization of timeless wisdom has been relatively rare among individuals living at any particular time, many over the course of history, and many in our own time, have reported on this realization and those called to teach have given pointers about how to find it within oneself.

This testimony, teaching and practice has ever constituted humanity's Timeless Nondual Wisdom Traditon, whose goal is the necessarily the same as its source; for absolute reality is one and indivisible.

Wisdom Sub-Traditions

Our great Wisdom Tradition embraces wisdom wherever it may be found and we recognise that it has manifested in a wide variety of sub-traditions.

The aim of this Web site is to assist any who are spiritually inclined to discover and explore the core wisdom that underlies all spiritual traditions.

In the words of a great wisdom text, Rig Veda, 1.164.46, "Truth is one; the wise speak of it differently."

Significant differences do exist in the various expressions of the universal teaching; not only may the expression vary, but also the substance.

For instance, spiritual teachers observe the time-honored principle: "Right time, right place, right people, right circumstances." Therefore, the universal teaching is not always given out in the same way.

For example, while the goal is always the same, different means may be appropriate for different times, places, and people.

Moreover, the substance of a master's teaching is often not imparted publicly or even openly. It is restricted to those who are ripe to receive it, and it is only imparted in confidence.

As a result, exoteric teaching may seem to differ significantly from esoteric. The exoteric teaching is usually considered normative, whereas the esoteric teaching is often dismissed as being gnostic, mystical or New Age.

On one hand, normative or so-called orthodox religion takes the norms of doctrine, ritual and observance as central, and sees wisdom teachings and practice as peripheral.

On the other hand, the wise know that in reality the wisdom or knowing is central, while it is the normative that is peripheral.

The wise generally do not rock the boat, however, for they realize that most people need ripening before they become ready to receive the deeper teaching.

In addition, a wisdom teacher's different students may not only receive different teachings depending on their needs, they may hear the same teaching in different ways on account of their different levels of consciousness.

These different students or disciples give rise to different lineages. Consequently, over time, different schools grow up within a single sub-tradition (such as Zen), which may even be at odds with each other.

Finally, the further the teaching gets from the fully awakened wisdom teacher in time and context, the more skewed its interpretations becomes, until the original intent is lost to view. Then the once vibrant teaching passes from venerable sub-tradition to mere convention, awaiting renewal.

This happens when lesser lights comment upon scripture and interpret the teachings of the truly wise on the basis of their own limited light.

Thus, as Christianity bears witness, even within a single sub-tradition, many denominations may arise (30,000 to-date in this case) and many sects within each denomination.

In addition, popular conceptions, which tend to be simplistic and literal, diverge even further from the original intent.

So, even though all religions and spiritual traditions are rooted in the same eternal truth, it would not be correct to assert that all they say the same thing.

While Timeless Wisdom can be found at the heart of all the principal spiritual traditions in the mystical testimony on which they are based, significant differences do exist also and they must be acknowledged.

We do not seek to deny, avoid or stifle debate on such issues as may arise in the course of our mutual pursuit of truth. While we do our best to focus on what unites rather than on what divides, denial of the obvious is never salutary for the pursuit of truth.

Clear differences do exist not only among spiritual sub-traditions, but also among different schools in a single sub-tradition and also among different teachers.

They also can seem to exist in the teaching of a single individual, for every teaching is imparted in accordance with the needs of those to whom it is given.

Therefore, we agree to disagree on such points as may arise that cannot be resolved through the dialectical pursuit of truth with companions.

Where we ultimately find agreement is in our love for truth that inspires our common pursuit of it, despite intellectual differences about this truth which any may entertain intellectually.

The ocean of truth cannot be contained any number of buckets, let alone in a single bucket. Truth must be realized, and neither language nor symbols can fully express that realization.

For this reason the Chinese sage, Lao Tzu, famously wrote in the Tao Te Ching, 56, "Those who know don't say; those who say don't know."

Live Unity, Celebrate Diversity

Timeless wisdom can be practiced either in terms of one of its expressions, through a combination of them, or by using all of them. It can also be practiced in its essence, independently of any of spiritual sub-tradition.

Clearsight provides an opportunity for putting the universal teaching of spirituality into practice in company with others dedicated to the pursuit of truth in the context of our great Nondual Wisdom Tradition.

Clearsight encourages awakening friends to explore the underlying similarities and differences in the testimony of the mystics and teaching of the masters by studying comparable wisdom passages from different sub-traditions set side by side.

Such comparisons have already been put together and presented, for example, by Mircea Eliade, René Guenon, Frithjof Schuon, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Titus Burckhardt, Marco Pallis, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Martin Lings, Joseph Campbell, Houston Smith, and Aldous Huxley.

An online comparison set out under various headings can be found on the Headless Way site.

An excellent anthology for this study is Whitall Perry's A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom.

World Scripture Another valuable resource is World Scripture, A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts, edited by Andrew Wilson.

This project of the International Religious Foundation is dedicated to the promotion of world peace through inter-religious dialogue and cooperation. This highly recommended volume reflects the emerging confluence of religious traditions on the basis of inter-religious, interdisciplinary, and intercultural exchanges.

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