Have you ever asked yourself, “do I understand life”? Is life what I think it to be?
To start asking yourself about what you take for granted is the beginning of true understanding. This is the first step taken by any prophet, wise man, or a sage.
What triggered these questions in the hearts and minds of these great men? Life itself forced these questions. Worldly living and suffering brought these questions about. The simplicity and humility of these men in response to life allowed these questions to emerge.
Simplicity means that you are not sophisticated. Being sophisticated shows that one is worldly wise; one is well versed in the ways and methods of the world. Sophisticated shares the same root with the word sophistry, signifying something very plausible, but fallacious and misleading.
No one is born sophisticated. Sophistication is something that we learn. Children are born light and natural.
The prophets remain like children. They do not wish to become clever. Instead, they want to widen and deepen their understanding of life.
For the prophets and sages of old, the ways of the world, did not appeal to them and did not satisfy their hunger for a truer meaning to life. These great men were of this type, they were simple, they were direct in their understanding, and they did not allow sophistication and clever ways of the world to mislead them.
I finish with a quote from the Bible where Jesus makes the same point.
“Truly I say to you, Unless you turn around and become as young children, you will by no means enter into the kingdom of the heavens. Therefore, whoever will humble himself like this young child is the one that is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens.”
From the Author: My name is Mourad Rashad. I am 57 years old and live in Cairo, Egypt where I was born. I hold a PhD in Pathology from the Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt, where I am a Professor. I have a private practice as an internist specializing in geriatric medicine.
I am a Muslim, and have read all of the Quran as well as the Bible. I became exposed to Mysticism early in life, through my father who was an avid reader of the mystic masters, and who took me with him to attend spiritual gatherings in Cairo. I have read extensively in Zen, Sufism, Advita, Gnosticism, Taoism. I was a disciple of the late Padamanabhamenon (Gurudev), who is the son and successor of the late Atmananda (Gurunathn), who was a contemporary sage to Sri Ramana Maharishi.
I have written a book in collaboration with a fellow Egyptian mystic entitled “The Mysticism of Jesus Christ”, where we discussed and interpreted the sayings of Jesus Christ in the four canonical Gospels, and as well as in the Gospel of Thomas.