‘You Are The Light brings together Eastern and Western
spirituality. Brother Martin (he is a Camaldolese monk and a disciple of Bede
Griffiths) explores the fact that religion can be fixated on preserving power
and ensuring its own continuity. He suggests that Jesus came to liberate us
from the limitations of religion.
Truth, says Brother Martin, is not an absolute, but an ever-flowing river.
We can pick it up only moment by moment, and we must beware of taking a little
bit of truth or revelation and thinking that it is the whole river. If we
separate our small part of truth from the river, and if we try to set up our
own system based on that part, truth becomes distorted, and can lead to
judgementalism, even persecution. We are invited to be part of the river: the
spiritual journey is about flow.
I found this very helpful. I know the scariness of being in a place where I
had to let go of much that I thought I believed, and strip my faith system down
to the core. I have found myself at odds with institutional religion.
Brother Martin also talks about the difference between a nest and a cage.
The nest is nourishing, protective, a place of growth. A cage doesn’t allow the
bird to fly. He sees Jesus as freeing himself from the womb of Judaism, being
grateful for it, but moving beyond it. How has Jesus, who came to stop
division, become a source of it? The vision of Christ is compassionate and open
His antidote to fundamentalism, Islamic or Christian, is especially
important in the wake of 9/11. Although parts of the book resonate more
strongly with me than others, I found it a valuable contribution to the debate
about what it means to be a Christian in the 21st century.’
John Martin Sahajananda, You are the Light
, O Books, £9.99 (Church Times Bookshop £9), 1-903816-30-0