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Photo copyright Suresh gundappa 2006

Dr. Frank Rudolf spent his whole life with some primitive tribes of the Amazon doing research on a very strange phenomenon. I would like to tell you about it so that you can understand more easily what idol worship was meant for. Most primitive communities have known for a long time of a particular process. Rudolf studied this and reached surprising conclusions.

Certain primitive tribes believe that it is possible to make a person suffer from a particular disease through a look-alike clay idol which represents him. They believe that even death can be brought about in this way. For thirty years Dr. Rudolf tried to find out how it is possible to transmit disease and death through an earthen representation of someone. Rudolf approached the subject skeptically and scientifically, and hundreds of times he actually saw with his own eyes disease and death being transmitted, even if a person was a thousand miles away.

His long study convinced him of the truth of such happenings. There were three things which he came to know after experimenting on himself. Firstly, it was not necessary for the clay idol to exactly resemble the person in whom disease or death was to be invoked. It is difficult even for an expert sculptor to make a clay idol which is exactly like a particular person, but it is not necessary; what is important is to establish mentally the shape and form of the person on the earthen representation.
Rudolf wrote that what seemed unbelievable actually happened during his experiments.

Before his very eyes he saw some tribesmen compel a tree, through an earthen replica of it, to dry up and wither. The tree, which had been lush, green and healthy, withered, and its leaves became dry. In spite of being watered, within a month the tree became diseased and died. What happened to a tree could happen to a person.
I am talking about these findings of Rudolf because idol worship is a similar experiment but on a large scale. If we can transmit disease or death to a person there is no reason why we cannot establish or re-establish a relationship with those who are dead. It is possible that we can take a jump from the idol into that which is all-pervading and unmanifest.

Do you know why you close your eyes in prayer? You close your eyes during sex, during deep pain. During deep laughter and just when you feel totally tired. It’s not accident some of your best moments can be recalled by your closed eyes. In closed eyes you move from definite to indefinite. You move from form to formless. That’s why across the world irrespective of your religion your deepest prayer is same with closed eyes. Enlightened masters always maintained that God or Godliness is same, but it’s the interpretation which led to religions. I agree with them because I always feel like closing my eyes every time I entered a Mosque, church or temple. When I closed my eyes I always find eternal consciousness of nature.

That’s why child in women’s womb is remembered by closed eyes of the child. This position of womb is always formed in a deep sleep or by a hot milk at the late night.

Closing of eyes is really significant science. Every time you close your eyes your focus on definite item disappears. In other words you are focus less and formless. When you are formless and focus less your energy moves inwards. That’s why when you reach a prayer hall, be it temple or church or mosque or something else you feel like closing your eyes.
The whole basis of idol worship is the relationship between your mind and the cosmic mind. What is needed is just a bridge between the two, and that bridge can be made. The idol is an attempt to create that bridge. Only something which is manifest, like the form of an idol, can become the bridge — because it is not possible for you to establish a direct link with the formless.
Howsoever much one may talk about the formless and the unmanifest, it is mere talk and doesn’t convey anything to you. Whatever experiences your mind has are all experiences of some form and shape; you have no experience of the formless, and words cannot convey anything about that which hasn’t been experienced.

You will go on talking about the formless and continue to live with the form. So if you want to establish a relationship with the formless, you have to make something which on one side has a form and on the other is formless. That is the secret of the idol.
Put differently, we can say that worship is the art of making the idol disappear. It is the art of slowly dropping the manifest and entering into the unmanifest.

Love and lots of it dear ones


Credit: Osho