The senses through which we perceive the objects give us an imperfect vision of reality. There is reality hidden in every unreality; there is truth hidden as the basis of every lie; there is health hidden in all ill-health; there is peace hidden in every discord, in every eruption of the emotions if we know how to extract it. Then we see through our eyes, we hear through our ears, and so forth. All these senses present to us an imperfect vision of reality.
The soul of man wants reality, that is, the full vision of reality, not an imperfect vision. This is the real conflict in the personality of man. The instruments of perception are not fitted to present a full vision of reality. Now under the circumstances, what happens ? A conflict is formed in our soul, and this conflict is the basis of many mental, physical and social troubles. If you can resolve this conflict, then you can keep yourself in peace, order and harmony on the material, mental and spiritual planes.
There are root reforms and there are branch reforms. The branch reforms are the reforms in the social structure which are achieved bit by bit. Today you reform and tomorrow those reforms are swept away. Those who make the root reforms are the real reformers and this means, begin the reform in yourself. It is easier for man to reform himself before reforming society or the world. To reform one’s own self means to resolve this conflict.
The senses give an imperfect vision of reality, the soul wants a perfect vision of reality, and therefore without a full view of reality the soul is restless like a hungry man, restless like a fish out of water. Then man takes refuge in drink, pleasure, conquest, power over others, hatred of the Jew. All these are eruptions of a deep- seated malady in the spirit of man and the way to resolve it is the way called Yoga. When this conflict is not resolved, then we suffer from pride, conceit, love of power, love of pleasure. These are the symptoms of a half-blind soul. Man does not become great by living in large houses. When you are master of yourself you are master of the great world. This is the most important factor which the holy Yoga brings to your notice.
You may go on having communion, you may go on having a fast, it will do you no good at all unless you make the inner reform and in the place of ignorance and duality you install the Lord in the form of unity in your soul. Start doing it straight away.
The senses, deriving their power from an untutored mind, are imperfect telescopes which cannot locate the one great star which the soul wants to find in the firmament of knowledge. You need a perfect telescope to find a star of the twelfth magnitude which is surrounded by a million universes, giving them light. You need a perfect telescope, not a toy telescope. Our university degrees, our acquisition of wealth, are toy telescopes; the star we want to locate in the firmament of our soul is called God, unity, cosmic consciousness, Truth Absolute. You can see it only through the right telescope, and that telescope is called Yoga, that is, uplifting the mind from the realm of duality and nescience into the realm of perpetual light and consciousness of pure ‘I am’. All the books of philosophy which have been written are interpretations of these two words. Take them and the whole fabric of the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, of William James and others, falls to the ground. Read the book of ‘I am’ in tranquillity; find out the nature of ‘I’ and ‘am’; find out the point at which they unite and the point at which they part.
We are psychologically and spiritually ill if we have pride, conceit, racial prejudice, and therefore let us practise unity, universal light. If we do not do so we will go from one despair to another and from one phase of unrest to another.
There are several ways of reaching the reality. Our empirical life and consciousness are in fact trying to find God. What we apply are the wrong ways. The Yogic assumption is that all life is divine fife. If we five consciously, in the true way, freely, a fife untrammelled by narrowness, egoity and ignorance, then we know reality. The Yoga is the way of the supra-mental life. The life of the senses and the mind is very well known, but there is something beyond the mind.
There is a consciousness above the mind, and that is called the spiritual consciousness. I ask you one question: what is that consciousness under which you see a dream, what is that consciousness under which you experience dreamless sleep? Surely it is not mental. The ninth Symphony of Beethoven or many of the passages in Faust are only produced when the mind is negated. When the mind ceases to work there is a force higher than the mind which gives rise to the truth.
The greatest songs are sung when the singer is not singing, the greatest thoughts are thought when the thinker is merged in some higher entity. Establish contact with reality, and your soul will then have a vision that plurality abides in unity and unity abides in your’ I’, your Self. This is the right vision. Those whose eyes are limited only to plurality, they see only one-hundredth part. Know that the senses have to be educated. When a toddler learns how to run he is educating his feet. When a lisping little darling remembers his first nursery rhyme he is educating his speech.
Let us learn how to transcend the mind by devotion to God, and then a veil in us will be lifted and we will see peace and bliss, unbroken, lasting from eternity to eternity. We teach Self and nothing else, and Self is undeniable and self-evident. The mind must be purified, dedicated to the higher good and passed into transcendence. Purification of the mind means that no unworthy desires cross our mind.
In the second part of Faust Goethe discloses the doctrine of the universality and divinity of the spirit of man, and it is very true. Shall we fall short of living the life of infinite light, infinite grace? Let us be on guard that our mind does not conceive any desire against anybody in the world. Then our mind will conceive the desire to know truth, our all-in-all. This is called the purification of the mind. Then mind should be dedicated to the highest good, and that is achievement of universal illumination called the Kingdom of Heaven and Nirvana. And that also has to be transcended, and when we do that we come to a new dawn of consciousness and this consciousness is called samadhi or ecstasy, and if you once attain it you have attained it for ever. It is never lost
We all want liberty; the more I see of political liberty, the more I dislike it. There is no crime which is not committed in the name of political liberty. Spiritual liberty means creating in us identity consciousness. Remember the words ‘identity consciousness’.
From object let your mind proceed to subject, and from subject to the Absolute, the unrelated, the unconditional, the imperishable, your real Self. From the relative consciousness to the supra-mental consciousness that is the Self, freedom, bliss and real knowledge. This is found only when the mind lifts itself from object to subject, then through meditation from the subject to the Absolute, and there it is merged. Then what follows no words can describe, but it can be said it is real bliss, real knowledge, real freedom.
The fife-force stands for continuity. Life never dies, it fives, it is continuous, but there is something more than that. It stands for something beyond itself. It is an idea of freedom, it is spiritual, it is the highest value, it is self-sacrifice and leads to the Kingdom of Heaven.
What is evil? Arresting the progress of the mind and the soul towards the infinity of knowledge and freedom and applying it to narrowness, duality, pursuit of ephemeral pleasures of the senses and so forth, is called evil, and it is bom of nescience, ignorance. “All feet are included in the foot of an elephant”. If the elephant makes an impression with his foot on the sands, then all the feet of all the other animals are included in it. Therefore the idea of real freedom, of the highest good, that is the Self of man, includes all the freedoms you can think of.
Briefly, to know reality and be free, the following methods have to be employed: the mind has to be tutored in what is real and what is not real, the intellect has to be set at rest, the passions have to be pacified, devotion given to God, brotherly love to each and every human being and daily meditation on ‘I’, the real ‘I’, the cosmic ‘I’, the spiritual ‘I’. If we pursue this course for a long time, then the grace of God comes, our inner eye is opened, we see reality and we are free.