Part of a stained glass window with the Inka creed: Don’t be lazy, don’t lie, don’t steal, in Quechua
Can one read and study Flight of the Garuda and at the same time be a devout Christian, Moslim or Buddhist, or whatever?
The short argument is this: the Garuda is about the training of the mind, and religion is about believing. The one doesn’t cancel out the other.
Is is my view that after this training you will understand that the words of Jesus, namely that the Kingdom of Heaven is inside of you, are true. But also that Spinoza’s famous saying ‘God, this is, Nature’ (Deus sive Natura) is also true.
Flight of the Garuda does not show that religious dogma’s are true, but that the core of religions in general is. For me a devout Christian is not someone who fiercely defends church dogma, but someone who can look from the inside, and see that outside other religions and wisdom teachings have the same core, albeit they use different words. Thus, that he can appreciate the other’s religious play, and so can see and appreciate the relativity of his own play.
There is this beautiful image. As devout adherents of our faiths we all wander in the woods. Because it is a mountain range we want to go up, but there are obstacles, and to find the way up is difficult. When we encounter others often fights break out about the proper path. But once above the timber line we can see that all paths, however winding, in the end reach the summit. Only then we might appreciate the paths that others go, and find out that such other path may seem attractive. There are no short-cuts, the paths must be walked by oneself, but some paths are shorter than others, but also steeper.
I hope that this makes clear that an open mind is enough to read Flight of the Garuda.
The question that now will arise is, whether it is possible that on this road one can loose one’s faith. Of course one can, and churches are sometimes very reluctant, that is to say they often place on their Index literature that they find unsafe for their adherents. Although The Index does not exist anymore, there are other ways to advise against reading certain stuff. In my view this is insincerity of church leaders, who apparently have a feeble faith.
My option is to decide for yourself; to have some courage and faith in your own sense of discernment, whether the Garuda can be benefitting for you. Discussion does not make you weak! A devout person of any faith will experience that Zhabkar’s training will not weaken, but strenghten his faith. Not in the way to become fundamentalistic, but in the way of recognising the real core of his faith, and learning to have real compassion for his brethren.
A Spinozist might learn that feeling beyond thinking will realise thinking with feeling which is a step forwards. The same pertains for the agnost or atheist.
In my Utpoia, here and now, there is praise for the other and his religion or belief, and admiration for its genuine expression.