Written for those who seek the truth within the world and do so without being able to see the clarification through the fog of the fetters that bind our mortal selves to this world.
Written by: Rennali A. Sunwhisper, Bishop-Emeritus
The world around us can often be confusing. With many languages, many cultures and many perceptions all blending together in our mosaic of life; words, concepts and ideals can become misinterpreted and confusing.
The one truth of the world is this: the Light (regardless of name) is all-eternal, all-knowing and all-encompassing. The Light lives, breathes and resides within all of us. As the Grand Anchorite expresses in Shattrath City - the Light within us is what gives us the ability to comprehend good and evil; right from wrong.
Although there are many who would dispute the Light's miracles and its philosophies; much of the dispute can be attributed to varied orthodoxies and traditions that have been passed down.
This book is to help consumate the various praises and truths that make the Divine more than simply a "god" or a pantheon of gods - but a feeling derived from the heart, soul and blood of the people who worship its benevolence.
The Light is a living, breathing entity for it graced us with life and with generous gifts. At the same time, the Light is an omnipotent and omnipresent force which is involved in all that we do.
The Divine TruthsEdit
What are the "divine truths?"
The divine truths are simply truths by which we mortals live by in the understanding that just short of divine intervention - these things cannot be changed by our mortal means.
Suffering, love, death, faith, belief, hate and serenity are designs by which the Light has gifted unto the mortal coil and things that cannot be erased from the ebb and flow of life.
The Divine Truths
1. Life as we know it ultimately is or leads to suffering/uneasiness in one way or another.
While such a premise is not viewed as being the generalized "life is beautiful" saying taught, it goes without saying that regardless of what we do - some form of suffering is inevitable.
To deny suffering's existence is to deny something that is natural. We cannot deny a person who has blonde hair, nor a person who is tall - then it goes to reason that we cannot deny that which is natural in our world.
2. Suffering is caused by craving. This is often expressed as a deluded clinging to a certain sense of existence, to selfhood, or to the things or phenomena that we consider the cause of happiness or unhappiness. Craving also has its negative aspect, i.e. one craves that a certain state of affairs not exist.
To become obssessed with something (i.e., materialistic or otherwise), is to incite more suffering in one's life. While we do not deny the existence of the self, we cannot embrace the self to the point of destruction.
3. Suffering ends when craving ends. This is achieved by eliminating delusion, thereby reaching a liberated state of Enlightenment.
While suffering is inevitable in the mortal existence - there is no reason to believe that it cannot be transcended to achieve a serenity.
The delusion that we carry is one that forces us to believe that by wanting for the self - we are inherently creating a paradise on earth. Once we have released the concept of selfish need, we can learn to transcend it.
The Divine Prayer
"I bow to Light" as the supreme reality, the consciousness that dwells within, the inner self which is the form of Light within you (Light: also known as Elune, A'dal, Divine Consciousness, Source Energy or by whatever you call its name). Sing this mantra with the feeling of bowing to yourself, feel the very vibration in your mouth, let it resonate throughout every part of your body / your being on all levels, and know that you are merging with the source energy; the Light.
The intention of the "divine prayer" is to encompass that which resides in all of us: the Light.
Regardless of how we entitle it or what we should name it, the blessings and intentions are all relatively the same.
As it was spoken by the Grand Anchorite in his sermon, the Light inherently resides in all of us. Due to our given free-will, we can choose to enhance our connectivity to the Light by embracing it within us or we can choose to diminish our connectivity to it by refusing to acknowledge its voice and presence within us.
Many can argue that the "divine prayer" suggests that we are praying to ourselves as Gods. In some regard, we are ourselves gods as we are keepers of our own destinies. However, this is not the purpose of the divine prayer.
The purpose stems from recognizing that the Light is not simply a distant entity who places their will in our lives at its choosing but rather is in every aspect of who we are.
It allows us to reflect upon the fact that our bodies are our temporary temples and should be treated as such.
The First Precept
The wisdom that purifies the mind, allowing it to attain spiritual insight into the true nature of all things. It includes:
- viewing reality as it is, not just as it appears to be.
- intention of renunciation, freedom and harmlessness.
The Second Precept
The ethics or morality, or abstention from unwholesome deeds. It includes:
- speaking in a truthful and non-hurtful way
- acting in a non-harmful way
- a non-harmful livelihood
The Third Precept
The mental discipline required to develop mastery over one's own mind. This is done through the practice of various contemplative and meditative practices, and includes:
- making an effort to improve
- awareness to see things for what they are with clear consciousness, being aware of the present reality within oneself, without any craving or aversion
- correct meditation or concentration
To refrain from taking life (non-violence towards sentient life forms)
To refrain from taking that which is not given (not committing theft)
To refrain from sensual (including sexual) misconduct
To refrain from lying (speaking truth always)
To refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness
To refrain from taking food at an unseasonable time, that is after the mid-day meal
To refrain from dancing, music, singing and unseemly shows
To refrain from the use of garlands, perfumes, ointments, and from things that tend to beautify and adorn (the person)
To refrain from (using) high and luxurious seats (and beds)
To refrain from accepting gold and silver
The Worldly FettersEdit
What is a "worldy fetter?"
Fetters are accurately described as wolrdly chains or bonds that prevent us from transcending into the enlightenment that is the Light. While we maintain these chains (some may refer to these as "sins," but be advised that a sin is invariably different from a fetter), we are unable to truly embrace nor understand the Light's deeper meaning.
How is a "sin" different from a fetter? A sin is something that we do intentionally to harm others or harm ourselves.
For one to commit a sin, they must first commit themselves to the knowledge that what they are doing is going to harm the person. For one to be bound by a fetter, it is to allow themselves to succumb to the evils of the world - be it intentionally or unintentionally.
A fetter - unlike a sin - needs no confessional in order to be relieved of it. Rather, it deserves a recognition of its presence - for it is written: One cannot truly transcend and overcome their problem without first recognizing that it exists.
The First Fetter
"The belief in the self."
While this fetter is written vaguely, the meaning behind it is to understand that the obsession with the self is ultimately what binds us to suffering.
Much too often, people are drawn to believing that what is needed and what is wanted is inherently the same thing. When we learn to accept that the self exists and overcome our selfish desires for worldly possessions can we transcend this fetter.
The Second Fetter
"Doubt or uncertainty, especially about the teachings."
When one questions the teacher because they believe that their ideals are the only "right" ones, then they will not listen to that which is being taught.
We must not doubt the tenets or the words of the Light. In doing so, we open our hearts to doubt in other areas where darkness may fester. In order to prevent this, we must keep an open mind and not stray from the positive messages.
The Third Fetter
"Attachment to rites and rituals"
When we become obsessed with orthodoxy to the point that we disregard the natural decision of right and wrong, then we cause suffering in others - and in turn - cause suffering in ourselves.
Traditions and rituals are what unify us in fellowship; however, when we attach ouselves to the motions more than the meaning behind them, we are not truly worshipping the Light but rather simply going through meaningless motions that do not draw us closer to anything.
The Fourth Fetter
As the first fetter, this is written vaguely for self interpretation. Where many would choose the path of celibacy in order to remain pious or "pure," the layman definition regards this to mean that when one places carnal relation above their relation to the Light - or their fellow man - they are causing suffering for others and themselves.
A man who takes a wife in lust is not a man who ought marry but rather reflect upon that which resides in himself.
The Fifth Fetter
The desire to want to bode ill upon someone directly causes them suffering. When we desire vengeance toward our enemies without first regarding the will of the Light - then we are only fooling ourselves to think that it is the Light's will.
When vengenace consumes our being, we draw away from the truth of the Light for our hearts close off to all else and begin to only heed the word of the darkness that festers where once the Light had been in abundance.
The Sixth Fetter
"Lust for material existence, lust for material rebirth"
To lust for worldly possessions is faulty. When we desire the objects around us, we often do not heed the will of the Light but rather sink deeper into our own wants.
As it was said earlier in the text, needs and wants are different and should be recognized as such. What we want is natural - but we must recognize the level of desire that we are applying and realize that the Light will always provide what is needed.
The Seventh Fetter
"Lust for immaterial existence, lust for rebirth in a formless realm"
In many ways, it is good to worship the Light and to give your heart and soul unto its good word. However, in doing so; one should not be so consumed with what they want in the afterlife that they ar eessentially bartering their time and efforts in the mortal world to gain eternal glory in the Light later on.
When we desire the end more than the meaning, we draw further away from the truth of the Light and cause suffering unto ourselves in the process.
The Eighth Fetter
Conceit is defined as favorable opinion; especially : excessive appreciation of one's own worth or virtue. This ties into the first fetter of obsession of the self.
When we regard our own opinion above that of our teachers or more importantly, those of the Light and its will, we close ourselves off to the truth of peace and are unable to transcend into serenity. We are mortal and we are faliable by natural composition. When we release our personal thoughts, we open up to the divine truths.
The Ninth Fetter
A soul that is not at rest has not yet understood the path to true serenity. The many negative emotions that cloud this world - while many can be beneficial - can impair one's tue judgement. When the spirit is consumed by their own suffering and focuses only upon such - they inherently become restless and are unable to comprehend the serenity found within the Light or its teachings.
The Tenth Fetter
Ignorance can come in many forms. For some, it is the refusal to accept that while suffering is inevitable - it is not fatal and can be transcended. Ignorance can come from the unwillingness to understand the philosophies of the Light.
When one willingly refuses to understand and recognize that which is and always will be - the eternal Light - then they are refusing to comprehend how to transcend from their mortal sufferage. In such, they accept suffering and deny serenity.
The Light's Indomitable TruthsEdit
The Three Virtues
Throughout this text, one might have been asking: "where is the usual composition on the three virtues of the Light?"
Respect, Tenacity and Compassion are three virtues that are all interchangeable for they all represent the balance of Life.
Respect is to respect not only one's self but to respect and acknowledge the naturally occurring presence of the Light within and around us. We must understand that we are just as much a connection in the ebb and flow of life as the rocks, trees, animals or other sentient beings.
To be tenacious - one must first be able to adequately understand and apply respect to themselves and thoes around them. Even in the face of adversity, one should not simply release their understanding of the tenets - or adjust them - for doing such detracts from the wholesome meaning.
Compassion is not the last tenet nor should it be regarded as the first. Like the other two, compassion is necessary in order to find balance within one's self. Compassion is in knowing your enemy exists and understanding their desires and attempting to appeal to their better nature in all ways possible.
But compassion in such a regard should not be simply outfitted for one's enemies in battle but also for ones that perhaps we come across and find disagreeable. We must respect their position and tenaciously remind ourselves that by showing compassion for their plight - we are drawing ourselves closer to the Light's graces.
The tenets essentially work in harmony with one another - a flow of truth and diligence that allows our spirits to transcend the mortal sufferage and find ourselves enveloped in the grace of the Light that is eternal.