Among my many guilty pleasures is a love for documentaries. I often binge-watch them on DocumentaryHeaven.com or Youtube, and most recently on Netflix which is a website I actually joined for the sole purpose of watching Scandal (another guilty pleasure). Today, I found an amazing documentary called “With One Voice” which seeks to articulate the nature of the mystical experience. It features spiritual teachers from the world’s major religions, including Fr. Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk and influential Christian author. It also taps the wisdom of some of the world’s more unknown spiritual paths.
While listening to the parallel perspectives of these teachers on very abstract concepts such as love, peace and the nature of God, I was reminded of a quote by Meister Eckhart who said:
“Theologians may quarrel, but the mystics of the world speak the same language.”
I went to Google to find out where I could buy a copy of the video and discovered that it’s available in full on Youtube. I’m sharing it here because I’m sure that quite a few of you will enjoy it as much as I did. Please leave a comment with your reactions if you choose to watch the film.
(Note: The Youtube version of this film is interrupted several times by commercials. I recommend that you watch it on Netflix if you have a membership.)
My favorite quotes from the film:
“What are most people doing? They’re worshiping the teapot instead of drinking the tea.” — Wu Wei Wu
“I don’t hate him. He hates, and look what that has done to us.” — The sister of Osama bin Laden
“There’s no Chinese anger, and there’s no American greed and there’s no Indian love. These are universal qualities of mind and they work in the same ways with all people. And so the nature of consciousness– the nature of knowing these things– is also the same in all people.”
“I know that we want enlightened leaders, but I don’t think we can wait for enlightened leaders. We as ordinary people can take responsibility for finding where we are at war, and being willing to stop that war, and recognizing the capacity for peace.”
“We should approach other spiritual traditions with a sense of openness and receptivity. We shouldn’t argue [with] them; we shouldn’t try to justify our own and find them ‘wrong’. All of those traditions have arose because of circumstances– because of time, place, position and degree… Judaism was attempting to address problems of its day, and the reason it survives today is that it works… Catholicism, it works… Protestantism, it works… Buddhism, it works…”
“Some of my [Jewish] students have been cooking during Ramadan so that people who fast during the day shouldn’t have to cook while they’re hungry. These are the kinds of things that only happen when we appreciate each-other’s calendar and say, not that the others are bad like we said in the medieval period, but [instead] say that everybody in this whole world has something to contribute.”
“Not that we should try and put ourselves into a mish-mash of religions… No, each religion has an integrity of its own…”