This little book, Whispers from the Other Shore: A Spiritual Search – East and West, by Ravi Ravindra, came my way at exactly the right time. (Of course, is there any other way?!!!) Published in 1984 by the Theosophical Society in America, it has been around a long time, but had never come to my attention till now. I probably would not have paid it much heed if it had come my way much earlier!
The author, born in India, came to Canada to study, and subsequently taught at Canadian Universities. He has a wonderful perspective, having lived in both eastern and western cultures. Some of the book is devoted to comparing and contrasting the separate traditions, but the most delightful parts of this little book (115 pages) is the wisdom gleaned from both.
A representative quote:
What are we–we who are drawn by divinity and held down by our selfish concerns, we who hear the call from the other shore and betray it? The movement from this shore to the other is the spiritual pilgrimage. Our life touches both the shores, but out of ignorance and fear we cling to this shore which we imagine we know and where we feel secure and in control. We do not know what will become of us and what we might do if we let go of our usual worldly props. Lest we make fools of ourselves, we choose to stay in the familiar prison of our little egos, trying to strike bargains with the unknown, using coins of piety, good works, and learning. However, in spite of our great need for certainty, there just cannot be any guarantee of what will be revealed when we open ourselves and become vulnerable. (p18)
That closely represents where I am in my own spiritual pilgrimage. I am in that place of trying to let go of the known, and take the risk of making a fool of myself by letting go and opening myself to spirit and becoming vulnerable. “Spiritual life is not ultimately a matter of belief in something, although this may be relevant to it at some stage of development. It is a matter of living–searching, struggling, overcoming.” (p22). My own religious background has been important to me for most of my life. Now I find myself moving away from earlier beliefs into new, exciting, yet unknown places.
This book came my way at just the right time in my own process. Thank you Spirit, for sending it my way!!!