Code of Dharma
By Phil Morimitsu
The Tibetan Lama and I started walking up the beach together. We have never parted.
I lay the book on my desk with reverence, even though it was just a book. No, it was more. It was a passageway to a wonderful kingdom of fantastic cities, sights, and experiences. The book was The Tiger's Fang by Paul Twitchell. I had read it a number of times before, but it never lost its chargeits wonder. I had never met Paul Twitchell in the physical, but I had seen pictures of him and had read his books; so, in a way, I felt I did know him. When I listened to his talks on audiocassette tape and closed my eyes, I'd imagine myself in the auditorium with him listening, as if I were right there in front of him.
I thought of his life and the times he lived in and the controversies that surrounded his whole life. It wasn't so long ago, in the 1960s. I thought of the immensity of his mission and the great work he poured out to his students.
I went over to my cassette library and selected one of the early seminars in which Paul spoke. I looked at my stereo and, after a moment of consideration, chose my little, personal tape playerthe kind you wear with earphones and hook onto your belt while you jog. As I popped the tape in and sat deeply into my easy chair, I heard the tape hiss with static. Then came some crowd noises, like it was in a large hall, and finally the voice of Paul Twitchell. He greeted everyone and joked about something in that slow, Southern drawl of his.
I closed my eyes and propped my feet up on my desk and settled down for some serious listening.
For some reason, I became very sleepy, although before I put the tape on, I hadn't been tired at all. As I dropped off, I could still hear his voice talking to me. The hissing of the poor tape quality was no longer noticeable, nor did I remember that I was listening to a tape at all. I felt my body jerk, as it sometimes does when I fall asleep too fast. Only this time when I jerked, I landed in a seat in the auditorium where he was speaking. My initial concern was that someone would notice that I had jerked so violently in my chair, but no one seemed to pay any attention. They were all riveted to what Paul was saying onstage. Something told me to look to my right, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Wah Z* sitting next to me with an ever-so-slight grin on his face. He was wearing a powder blue shirt, with short sleeves, and a pair of dark blue pants. He was sitting unnoticed by the rest of the crowd, which probably numbered about 150 to 200. From the brassy red interior and carpeting, I guessed we were in some hotel ballroom. The stage was small and had some red fringe cloth that went to the floor covering the bottom. It was only about two feet high, but still high enough so all in the auditorium could see clearly.
Paul was wearing a dark bluish purple suit that looked slightly outdated, even for then. He was also wearing a powder blue shirt and had on one of those dark, skinny ties that were popular in the sixties and have come back in style since. He was sitting on a high chair, swiveling it as he talked, playing with the microphone cord with one hand while he held the microphone with the other. By now I was accustomed to the place and was able to listen to his lecture.
"Now one of the things I want to cover in this talk, is dharma. That's spelled D-A- . . . , excuse me, that's D-H-A-R-M-A. Dharma. Now what this means is simply this: It means a code of conduct by the initiate of ECK, that holds him to the doing of rightness. Now by this I do not mean just doing what society believes is right nor morality passed on from his ancestors or any of this sort of thing. What I mean is that this rightness, this code of rightness, comes from within; and since it comes from within, it is the highest code of ethics that can come about for the individual. And it will vary from individual to individual. Not only will it vary from individual, but it will change from moment to moment, and will get more ethical and of the spiritual nature as the student, or chela, unfolds to greater heights. Now an interesting thing happens while one is partaking of this code of dharma. As you continue doing the Spiritual Exercises of ECK, what happens is that you, yourselves, become more and more like this Sound Current, the ECK. You start to take on Its very characteristics. And as you do this, you become the messenger of Sugmad. You express the properties of Divine Spirit . . . like love, compassion, uh, not in the emotional sense, but you begin to understand and relate better to all of mankind because you become the knower of life.
"And this is the main thing that I want to get across to you people, that this knowingness is a quality of Soul and has nothing to do with the mind. The mind doesn't know anything, not anymore than a book on a bookself knows anything. It's Soul of Itself that knows. And the ECK, which is that force, is all-knowing and contains the very seeds of this knowingness. And so the chela, as he follows what he knows to be the right thing for his spiritual unfoldment, will find that he develops a discrimination of what is right for him to do to take the next step in his unfoldment. And in doing so, he finds that he is benefiting the wholeall those around him, all his family, if he has a family, all his fellow workers on the job, all his neighbors. They will all benefit from his following this code of dharma. They may not notice anything obvious, but they will notice subtle changes that go on within you.
"So we see that, in the end, the following of the code of dharma is nothing more than following the ECK; and in doing so, this is, of itself, the highest code of ethics man can have. It goes beyond morality, because morality is nothing more than a series of behavioral actions dictated by someone else, an authority figure. And when this happens, the individual may or may not know the reasons for doing these actions. But the code of dharma means doing things, things of the highest ethical nature, because it stems from out of this knowingness we've talked about. And once you're able to follow this code of dharma, that you yourself and only yourself will discover, then you will become the knower of life and there will be no secrets in life that can be held from you. That is all for tonight. Thank you, and may the blessings be!"
He waved his right hand to the crowd and started down from his chair, taking care not to trip over the microphone cord. As he did this, the crowd started to clap.
*The spiritual name of Sri Harold Klemp.
Excerpted from In the Company of ECK Masters, copyright © 1987 Phil Morimitsu. Published by ECKANKAR. All rights reserved.