I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” (David in Psalm 16:3, New International Version (NIV))
“Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” (God speaking to Elijah in I Kings 19:18, NIV)
When Jesus heard this [from the Roman centurion], he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 8:10-11, NIV)
I say that those who find the road that leads to life, like nuggets of precious gold, are where you find them. I say those who find the true path come in all shapes, sizes and colors. I say there must be fifty ways for saints to become saints. I have only written of Christian saints up to now, as that is my faith tradition. But studying Steps to Knowledge is enlarging my opinions:
“Life is kind to you, for it offers not only the reward but the way to the reward. If it were left up to you, it would be cruel indeed, for you would have to attempt every single possibility that you could conceive of, and then you would have the possibilities that others have conceived of and even the opportunities to reach Knowledge that others have used successfully but which may not in fact work well for you. In your brief span of time in the world, how can you accomplish all of these and still maintain your vitality? How can you maintain your encouragement for Knowledge when so many ways will disappoint you?” (Steps to Knowledge, Step 38, “God knows the way to Knowledge.”)
I studied this particular step in September of 2011, and as I did, I heard a voice in my mind’s ear, asking “Aren’t there any Muslims who have reached Knowledge?” I thought there must be. While there is no official sainthood in Islam like there is in Catholicism, people such as Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, (author of the poem “The Animal Soul“) Shams Tabrizi (Rumi’s teacher and close friend), and Kabir (already introduced here, and whose presence hovers over this thread).
I have been impressed with Paramahansa Yogananda and his spiritual upline. I’m not literate with Buddhist saints, but I believe they’re out there. I say, and I say it again, those who find the road that leads to life, like nuggets of precious gold, are where you find them.
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