Can I be a Follower of All
One should recognize the
validity of all true spiritual paths, though only a part of what is
called religion is a spiritual path. There are a number of spiritual
paths which provide meditation practices that can, if applied with
the proper background and guidance, lead to union with the Divine or
the inner Self. Moreover, it is good to know something about a
number of the world's spiritual traditions in order to broaden one's
mental horizon, just as it is good to know something of the
different cultures and customs of various lands and peoples.
However, life is limited.
One does not have the time to follow out in depth the practices of
all teachings, which require a certain period to work properly. For
one's actual meditation practice one has to choose a certain line of
approach, and a connection with specific teachers, generally within
the same tradition.
We can compare this with any
field of learning. One can recognize the validity of all true
artistic approaches, but one cannot practice all techniques of art.
One cannot be simultaneously a sculptor, painter, musician and
dancer, in ancient, medieval and modern styles. In one's actual
practice one will have to make a choice and follow it out.
Moreover, the goal of a
spiritual practice is not to learn various traditions but to know
oneself, and for this the teaching is a guideline, not the end. To
be a true artist one does not need to study all forms of art but to
discover one's own creativity. If we spend our time exploring
different teachings and traditions, rather than looking into who we
really are, we have missed the point. The different teachings are
aids to Self-realization. The important thing is to reach the goal,
not to explore the different paths.