Thought as the enemy of Moksha

Contrary to the Book of Common Prayer, the world can give us peace but not if we are busy. Analysis and thought are the very antithesis of the sort of behavior likely to lead to lasting peace.

Over 30 years ago I asked a young curate whether his god had spoken to him; the answer was ambivalent and I was disappointed.  I had assumed all clerics received regular pep talks from the divine and lived in the ethereal most of the time.

Later I learnt that transcendence was the realm of the mystic.  I wonder whether the priest is too caught up in interpreting the words of his holy book to see the metaphysical. Perhaps he unwittingly pays too much homage to the words of an ancient desert tribe; perhaps he is mistaking the finger for the moon, the reflection for the reality.

Silence is the friend of moksha. I know that even though I have only caught fleeting glimpses of it; have only ever peered blearily through the smallest of cracks in the doors of perception.

I know that for many years, the endless acquisition of knowledge has not of itself thrown the doors wide open.  I know that the holy books of the west and those of the orient are also mere fingers, pointers, vague guides.  I know that the holy books are sometimes blatantly wrong and represent the very opposite of the way I would like to lead life.

Philosophy is little better.  No wonder Wittgenstein kicked away his ladder and became a gardener.

Certainly the 10,000 things will not show you eternity.  The world is mere noise.

There is a place for study, for analysis but let it dominate your life and it will overwhelm you.

I have chased rainbows for many years only to discover that the rainbow’s end is a reality which has to seek you out and only when you are ready for it. Silence, non binding awareness, watching the world pass you by. These are the things which seem to offer a tantalizing glimpse of that peace which the Book of Common prayer reserves exclusively for the hereafter.






  1. I certainly claim no expertise. I am sure that a practicing Christian has a greater right than I to interpret that prayer in the correct way. I love the book of common prayer very deeply for its language and its beauty even if I can not subscribe to its doctrine.


  2. Coming from across the pond, I try not to let doctrine get in the way. As a member of the Episcopal Church I am allowed to think for myself, to wrestle with doubt and the questions of faith, and to arrive at conclusions which may very well be different than those of other members within the church, or even my own parish.


    1. A wise branch of Christianity indeed. the sort even I could put up with. The hard right, the fundamentalists, the evangelicals I can not put up with. I am an ardent supporter of the historical Jesus and his beatitudes. As I am of all similar philosophies. If I had to chose another system I relate very strongly to it would be the teachings of Buddhism.


      1. Most interesting. Just the other day I commented on Margaret Lossl’s blog ( that truth lies neither in the total affirmation nor in the total denial of either side, but precisely in the tug of war between the two. I too find the Gospel according to Jesus and the teachings of Buddha remarkably similar. Who is to say that during the “lost years,” Jesus was not at Paro Taktsang, as either a student, or a lecturer?


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