A walkthrough for Westeners

Like water that filters down through earth and comes out fresh and pure, important ideas passing down through the sands of time are eventually rubbed clean and emerge as pure truth. Although stated in different ways at different times by different peoples of the world, these truths have been known to humanity for centuries, for millennia. Though all races and eras may have their own conceptions of God, they all do have God, and Truth, and Goodness. All higher religions and philosophical systems are in nearly complete agreement with these basics.
That quote comes from Jack Hawley's introduction to his translation of the Bhagavad Gita, and my photos of contemporary murals depicting different conceptions of pure truth on the outer walls of the Ram Raja Temple in Orchha were taken during my recent visit to India. The second extract from the introduction below can be applied to listening to unfamiliar music as well as reading the Gita - there is a high magic in both reading and listening this way. Jack Hawley's translation is sub-titled A Walkthrough for Westerners. Read it or forever live in darkness.
You have to read the Gita through your heart. It is your mood while reading that smooths your way through this ancient scripture. Be as receptive as you possibly can. Toss uneasiness and skepticism on the shelf for a while. Try to suspend hasty judgments, and be more patient with unfamiliar usage of familiar words. Allow new conceptions of unity and Divinity to enter and expand you into new ways of thinking and being. Read it heedfully and be prepared to take contemplation breaks along the way. Let it sink in. There is a high magic in reading this way.

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