The expression ‘Inner Light’ is used by the followers of George Fox, but there is a slight difference between their interpretation and that which is being offered here.
Fox meant by inner light the faculty which interprets the biblical texts, independent of any authority, commentary or glossary. But we are using the term here to mean the faculty which apprehends the spiritual truth, the real meaning of the world. Each and every object has a secular meaning, and also serves as a symbol and also has a utilitarian meaning and also, finally, a spiritual meaning. This is true of each and every object in the world. Many of us know the utilitarian meaning, very few of us care to understand the symbolic interpretation.
Goethe has said in Faust that every object in the world is a symbol and that it is the ancient truth that is taught in the form of symbols. Above the symbolic meaning is the spiritual meaning attached to each and every object in the world. The realm of the spirit no clouds obscure— we are blind and do not see. To be physically blind is not sodo not see. To be physically blind is not so bad, but to be morally blind is worse, and to be spiritually blind is worst of all: and we are all spiritually blind unless we awaken in ns the faculty of universal love of the wisdom par excellence, of devoting and directing our love to the creative pursuit of freedom, happiness and profundity for us as well as for everybody else. This is the meaning of love, and this is what the inner faculty does for us.
I give a short meditation which helps to arouse this faculty if accompanied by the prerequisite discipline. Do not think that a mere meditation can work wonders. There are many cures which require a discipline: if you fulfil the disciplinary conditions they will help you, otherwise not.
The same is the case with the yogic affirmations, yogic knowledge and yogic meditations: you have to fulfil the disciplinary antecedent so that they may produce the desired effect. And the first item of the discipline is to have nothing against any living being at all. It may not be very easy to love each and everybody, but it is not very difficult to have nothing against anybody at all. If this one item of discipline is followed and kept in mind then the other items of discipline reveal themselves to the mind and we are able to know them. Peace depends on mental and moral discipline.
The meditation which I am going to give you is very helpful provided that we cut out from our heart aversion towards anybody at all. There are many people who say, “I want happiness, I do not want unhappiness”. But they forget that as long as they are in the world they will be sometimes happy and some- sometimes unhappy. Even the incarnations of God, Jesus, Rama and Krishna, have had moments of happiness and moments of extreme affliction.
Wisdom says, “Do not try to have one hundred per cent, happiness, do not try to eliminate unhappiness one hundred per cent. Cultivate freedom of mind, that neither happiness nor affliction may be able to penetrate your soul and that your soul may be focused in meditative devotion on inner light, God or Truth.”
It is much better to have this freedom of mind, which is highly spoken of in the Gita as one which the yogis cultivate and possess instead of being at the mercy of the events and circumstances of the world. And this can only be done when you meditate and cultivate devotion and discipline and try to give your blessings to everybody in the world. The abc of mysticism and spiritual life is to understand the people, not to condemn them, not to draw a distinction between goats and sheep, but just to understand them and by understanding them bless them, or at least not condemn them. This is an item of wisdom which we ought to cultivate in life, without which we cannot learn anything spiritual.
The meditation I give you is a kind of affirmation, and it is:
THERE IS NO LAND.
THERE IS NO WATER.
THERE IS NO SPACE.
THERE IS NO CAUSATION.
IT IS ALL I, I, I.
Now this is the text for meditation, and if it is combined with efforts towards discipline, the inner light in you begins to grow. The first thing is to create a right and persistent desire in your heart for something good—and nothing is as good as God. And then you must pursue it. The first thing is to ripen the desire and keep it persistently before the eye of your mind and to follow it. Such things as this meditation, the study of the Fourth Gospel, and also mental association with a saint of God, give us peace and freedom and delight.
Associationship does not necessarily mean physical companionship, but mental associationship. In psychology the law of associationship is a very important law, and if we cultivate associationship with a saint of God then we are on the way to be God ourselves one day. My friends, devote just a short time to this meditation now, and do it every day, along with your study, discipline, goodwill to all, and you will have blossoms of peace and serenity and light in your heart.
Peace, freedom, joy, conscious immortality are open to subjective experience. They are essential. According to a certain technical usage, they are known as knowledge. When, in connection with inner light, we use the word ‘knowledge’, it does not mean knowledge of an object or knowledge of the attributes of an object. It means:
- Inner and outer peace.
- Freedom to live a spiritual life.
- Joy which needs nothing external for its creation and maintenance.
- Conscious immortality.
If you have these experiences, then you have ‘knowledge’ in the technical sense of the term which we are expounding. Knowledge understood in this sense, and its four above-mentioned characteristics, is different from the knower and the known. It is knowledge in the sense we are here describing that makes the knower, the known and the act of knowing. The common term between the trio of knower, knowing and known is this knowledge, and this knowledge means peace, freedom, joy and conscious immortality—the subjective experience of these characteristics of knowledge. Not peace only to talk about; not freedom only for ourselves, but freedom for every living being; not joy only for ourselves, but joy for the whole universe; and conscious immortality. This is an important teaching: and if you note it down and think about it it will repay you very much in your daily life.