An Upanishad by a western mystic for western people and now useful for the world. Osho suggested it for spiritual seekers of younger generation or student of psychology.
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Andrew Harvey, in the forward of 2010 edition of the book writes.
“It is one of the greatest strengths of Naimy’s vision that he fully understood how terrifying the transition to the new humanity must necessarily be.
As he writes: ‘To tear men free of their nets, their very flesh must needs be torn; their very bone must be crushed. And men themselves shall do the tearing and the crushing. When the lids are lifted – as surely they shall be – and when the pots give out whatever they contain – as surely they shall do – where would men hide their shame and wither would they flee? In that day the living shall have envy of the dead and the dead shall curse the living’.
As we, at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, experience the perfect storm of a series of interlinked crises – environmental, cultural, economic, political – and begin to understand what horrors may be in store for us, these words of Naimy’s have a chilling ring and we ignore their agonized prophetic warning at our peril.”
Naimy’s prophetic talent is clear from;
” ‘No fraction of Himself did God endow you with – for He is unfractionable; but with His Godhood entire, indivisible, unspeakable did He endow you all. What greater heritage can you aspire to have? And who, or what, can hinder you except your own timidity and blindness?’ It is this ‘timidity and blindness’ that are humanity’s greatest blocks to rising up to meet the challenge of our crisis. Naimy is clear that all those who risk the evolutionary adventure will have to endure sometimes atrocious difficulty. He writes ‘The prideridden and intoxicated world shall heap up injuries upon your heads and shall unleash on you the blood thirsty hounds of its tattered laws, its putrid creeds and moldy honors. It shall proclaim you enemies of order and agents of chaos and doom.’ Naimy also knew, however, that to those who risk embodying the divine, tremendous powers both of endurance and of unconditional compassion are given. As he writes, ‘Let not your hearts be faint. But like the sea be broad and deep, and give a blessing unto him that gives you but a curse. And like the earth be generous and calm, and turn impurities of men’s hearts into pure health and beauty. And like the air be supple and free. The sword that will wound you will finally tarnish and rust. The arm that would harm you will finally weary and halt. And Understanding shall carry the day’. It is with the hope grounded in this understanding that The Book of Mirdad can guide us and inspire us.” (from “The Book of Mirdad: The strange story of a monastery which was once called The Ark” by Mikhail Naimy)
Why it is an Upanishad too:
However no Upanishad is proprietary of any religion and any country as it is for every human being. Yes, through the journey of this book a willing and experimenting person is sure going to transform. Emotions run very high so crying, amazement etc are normal. You come face to face with your own reality. A little about from preface of the book, and it is essence of it too. Osho successfully established a place where people following ‘evolutionary mysticism’ can gather and help each other by their mere presence. From forward of the book:-
Orthodox religions follow ‘Transcendental Mysticism’ because it can co-exist effortlessly with hierarchy, inequality and injustice, because in its vision the world is seen and known as either inevitably flawed or as an illusion. ‘ evolutionary mysticism’, which honors the union with the transcendent but which stresses the birth of the divine in matter that can take place as its transforming grace.
Our evolutionary crisis is both a necessary death of all our collective fantasies of human uniqueness and our right to dominate and destroy nature, and also, simultaneously, a birth of a wholly new way of being and doing everything, far more humble and also far more powerful than anything we have yet lived or imagined, because it is aligned with divine will. The clue to knowing and understanding this lies in the pioneering testimony of the great evolutionary mystics who refused the consolations of purely transcendental mysticism and dared to plunge into the turbulent unfolding mystery of the divine birth in matter, with History as its wild midwife.
It is in the twentieth century that ‘evolutionary mysticism’ began to find its truest and most potent voice, as if in divinely inspired response to the growing barbarism and destructiveness of human action. Sri Aurobindo, Teilhard De Chardin and Father Bede Griffiths all proclaimed, in different terms but with one voice, that an unprecedented crisis was opening up an unprecedented opportunity, and that the growing ‘dark night’ of our species – obvious in war, genocide and environmental matricide –heralded potentially not extinction but transfiguration: a transfiguration by divine grace of the very terms of human nature. Each of these brave and wise pioneers knew that such a transfiguration was not inevitable (it would have to be earned through a concentrated intensity of devotion, passion, faith, discipline and sacredly inspired action) but was possible, because each of them was living its divinising mystery in the core of their hearts, souls, minds and bodies.
The Book of Mirdad is one of the masterpieces of ‘evolutionary mysticism’, inspired as it is by a radical and all-comprehensive vision both of the Divine and of a potentially divinized humanity. In forward Andrew Harvey further writes:
“Naimy also knew, however, that to those who risk embodying the divine, tremendous powers both of endurance and of unconditional compassion are given. As he writes, ‘Let not your hearts be faint. But like the sea be broad and deep, and give a blessing unto him that gives you but a curse. And like the earth be generous and calm, and turn impurities of men’s hearts into pure health and beauty. And like the air be supple and free. The sword that will wound you will finally tarnish and rust. The arm that would harm you will finally weary and halt. And Understanding shall carry the day.”
It was asked from Mikhail Naimy :
What is the meaning of the name Mirdad? And do the characters in the book of Mirdad have a name with a meaning that fits their nature?
In 1959 mr. C.G. Stratman asked these questions in a letter to Mikhail Naimy, author of the book of Mirdad that was published in English 1948. This Dutchman took care of the publications of the School of the golden rosycross at that time. In a letter of october 24, Naimy wrote to Stratman:
You are right in thinking that the names in the Book are not wirthout meanings charateristic of their beares. In concocting them I had a threefold piurpose in mind:
- to have them sonorous and easily pronounced in any language
- to give them a touch of antiquity without identifying wirth any particular era, or race
- to make each name characteristic of its bearer.
- MIRDAD is taken from an Arabic root that meas “to return”/ He is the man that comes back again and again. An avatar.
- SHAMADAM is compunded of two englisch words: Sham – Adam, the false man.
- MICAYON is constructed after the jewisch name Mi-kha-il, or Mi-cha-el. Me meaning He Who Is; cha, meaning Like; il, or el, meaning God – He who is Like God; Ayon, being a Poenician deity.
- MICASTER – the star-like.
- ZAMORA – from an Arabic root denoting blowing of a musical instrument.
- BENNOON – The sun of the Noon; noon being the letter of the Arabic alphabeth written in from a cresent with a dot inside. It fits a judge and a logician.
- HIMBAL – suggestive of BAAL, the ido, and idol worship.
- NARONDA – just a sonorous name suggestive of truth, honesty and devotion
- ABIMAR – also chosen for its melodiousness; MAR being suggestive of “marring” or distrust
Warmest greetings and sincerest wishes.
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(from “The Book of Mirdad: The strange story of a monastery which was once called The Ark” by Mikhail Naimy)