The Gift of Greek Culture
The Factors that Dominate Europe
Self-Knowledge, the Aim of the Evolution of Consciousness in Man - the Greatness of the East in this Direction
The Nature of the Self and the Meaning of Its Realisation
The Greek World Failed to Abide by the Splendid Spirit of Enduring Life its Wisdom Perceived
The Real Self is the "I am that I am" in Every Man
The Science of the Self is the Supreme Science, the Science of all Sciences
All Sciences are Partial - They Deal with Effects and Do not Know the Nature of Intrinsic Causes
Know the Cause, and you Know the Effects; Know the Creator, and you Know all Creation
Only by Self-knowledge do we Obtain Dominion over Everything
We Need the Supreme, Eternal, Infallible Science
The Grand Mission of our Life on this Field of Growth and Evolution, the Earth
Dynamic Methods for the Fulfilment of our Life in the World
The Self and the Mental Activities
The Self is not the Mental Phenomenon
The Self is not the Emotional Being
The Self is not the Body
The Greatest Men are those that Know Themselves, are Aware of, and Express, Their Inner Creative Infinite Consciousness
Your True Blessedness
Further Light on the Nature of the Self
Our Approach to the Self, or God, should be Many-sided
Self-Knowledge is the Basis of Real Love, Real Service, Real Purity, Real Power
Our Rare Privilege and the Blessedness of our Life
Comment: The Design between each chapter leads back to the index.
KNOW THYSELF! -inscription on the temple at Delphi
The Gift of Greek Culture
The greatest message that the ancient Greek culture has given to the Western world is, "Know Thyself!" However, it was not in the Western world but in the India of the Eastern world, that we find arising, in those ancient times, a number of men of Self-knowledge and Self-experience.
The Factors that Dominate Europe
Europe has absorbed the finest forces of the Greek and Roman cultures; but it could not live by the great wisdom and the light of the Grecian culture that is embodied in the Delphic injunction, "Know Thyself". Europe was governed and guided by instincts for external happiness and perfection. It allowed itself to be led by the superficial reason and was driven by the logic of its knowledge to pursue activities bound up with the building of an earthly paradise.
Self-Knowledge, the Aim of the Evolution
of Consciousness in Man - the Greatness
of the East in this Direction
In the Eastern world, Self-knowledge has been the very genius of the life in spiritual India. Self-experience has always been the highest and the all-embracing goal of all aspirations, thought and activity.
Self-knowledge, Self-experience, Self-realisation, constitute the ultimate aim and fulfilment of human life here on earth. We are the Infinite functionally tied to the finite. We are the Absolute functionally trapped in the individual.
The finite, the individual, shall be battered and baffled until it has a dynamic and governing knowledge of its own essential Infinity-Absoluteness. Since we have structural relations with the timeless world, a life that is, in its aim, program and pursuits, restricted merely to this changing, perishable time-space world, is exposed to dangers, and is deprived of all its fundamental significance, value, richness and fulfilment.
The Nature of the Self and
the Meaning of Its Realisation
What is this Self? This Self that we are asked by the Grecian culture to know, and the Indian culture to realise, is not the petty outer physical self, not the emotional or the mental self, not our psychological personality, not a finite, sinning, erring, blundering human individuality. This Self is the infinite Consciousness, the immortal Principle, the Kingdom of Heaven. It is the Truth of all truths, the God in us, the supreme Being and ultimate Reality. Therefore, by Self-knowledge, or Self-realisation, we mean the knowledge, or the realisation, of that highest and greatest Reality in us which is God. Any person who knows this divine Self knows God, and who realises the Self realises God.
The Greek World Failed to Abide
by the Splendid Spirit of Enduring
Life its Wisdom Perceived
Self-realisation, when seen from the standpoint of spiritual experience, is identical with the attainment of the perfection of the Father in Heaven. It consists in our intimate and dynamic oneness with the supreme Reality that God is. Therefore, Socrates was persuaded by his own great wisdom to make this Self-knowledge the leading principle of his conscious life, striving and unfoldment. He was one of the sanest men of ancient times, who pronounced words of final wisdom. However, unfortunately, the psychic being in the Western world, in those and later centuries, could not receive the light of the wisdom that he sought to impart.
The Greek world, with all its passionate love for the beautiful, the splendours of culture that it did create, and the many philosophical systems that it has built up, was itself not ready for living by the light of this grand wisdom, "Know Thyself!" How, then, could we expect the Europeans, of those and later times, to assimilate into themselves something of the wisdom embodied in this great injunction, "Know Thyself", - and much less find them make Self-knowledge the central objective of their everyday living?
The Real Self is the "I am that I am" in Every Man
The ever-the-same, unchanging, indescribably marvellous inner Reality, is the Self. It is not the psychological, the emotional, the weak-willed, petty, personal self that is subject to the experience of pain and pleasure, praise or blame, good and bad. It is not the little ego, but the Godhead in us. It is the awe-inspiring "I AM", the self-identical and all-conscient Being, in the flux of our experiences.
Questioned, "What are you, or what is your name?" the Self answers, "I am that I am". Asked when it was born, or formed, it replies that it was before Abraham, and will be when all creation is no more. It was, is, and will always be. It is formless, timeless, spaceless, eternal, self-knowing and all-knowing, self-witnessing and all-witnessing. It is the pure, self-luminous, self-contained, immortal Principle in us. It is the all-perfect Kingdom of Heaven within us. Therefore, anyone who is seeking for an experience of God, is also asking for an experience of the Self. Because, the Self is God, and God is the Self.
The Science of the Self is the Supreme
Science, the Science of all Sciences
Any science, any knowledge, that has this Self, this supreme Reality, this infinite Being that is in, and above, all finite life and manifestation, for its central theme, is the real science, the real knowledge. Because we are children of God, because God has formed us in His own indestructible Image, breathed into us His own Breath, and lodged all of His Power, His Beauty, His Consciousness, His Life, His indescribable Nature, His illimitable Power, in the Kingdom within each of us, there can be no science, no system of knowledge, or philosophy, or ethics, or social action greater than the one which concerns itself with this central principle of this divine Self in each of us. This science of sciences is the system of supreme knowledge.
This is real knowledge. It is this that should be the subject of our pursuit, inquiry, study. It is the only science in which we can find the real meaning, significance, value and joy of life. It is this science that has inspired dozens of great world-philosophies, schools of higher thought, and religious systems.
All other sciences in the world concern themselves with external things, with things as they appear, as they present themselves to our limited senses and instruments of knowledge. The science of the Self, the wisdom of God, alone concerns itself with the things-in-themselves, with things as they essentially, intrinsically are; with the Reality in things, the sustaining Truth behind appearances and affects; with the Kingdom of Heaven that is our real Breath, with That which was, is and will always be.
All Sciences are Partial - They Deal
with Effects and Do not Know the
Nature of Intrinsic Causes
Modern science concerns itself exclusively with the observation and study of the external universe. Biology restricts its attention to the physical and external understanding of the phenomena of life. Psychology is confined in its activity to dealing with the human behaviour, and something which it terms "mind", but of whose essential ground and source it holds no knowledge.
We have yet to come across any one of the great men in the world of the scientists, who could explain to us the sources of the universal Energy. The all-important background always eludes the grasp of the geniuses and the great thinkers; for, it is not a subject for the mind or the limited intellect. That in us which is of the very nature of that background, can alone understand and know it.
Can any one of the world"s most outstanding biologists grant us a real insight into the real nature of the phenomenon of Life?
Though we read all kinds of standard books in the field of psychology, we do not find any helpful and universally valid knowledge in them, concerning the essential nature of the mind and consciousness.
Parapsychology is newborn and imprisoned in the study of certain paranormal powers of the human mind. It lacks the knowledge of the wondrous richness of the higher Consciousness indwelling the human individual.
Occultism concerns itself with certain extraordinary, occult powers our inner psychic being bears, and is cut off from the marvels that there are in the Infinity of the Self, the Kingdom of endless Peace, Joy, Beauty, within each of us. The knowledge of this Self which is divine, immortal, eternal, all-powerful, all-perfect, is outside the field of its specialised study, practice and aim. In this manner, every science in the world concerns itself with one aspect or the other of the phenomenon that is external to the eternal Reality, from which are derived, in varying degrees of subtlety of substance and function, Matter, Life, Mind.
I have not only explored the parapsychological and occult fields, both of the East and the West, but have myself gone through special and less-known exercises by which we could develop our extrasensory perceptions and occult powers. Therefore, I feel constrained to pronounce the judgement that there is little in the world of the occult and the parapsychological that could be intrinsically valuable for the inner spiritual unfoldment and the attainment of the supra-occult divine perfection, the perfection of the Father in Heaven.
Occult and parapsychological discipline and knowledge is very essential for correcting the limitations of the psychological field, and to extend our vision beyond what is disclosed to our dull senses. Occultism has its own distinctive role to play in dispelling the illusions of the minds that are dominated by, and obsessed with, the purely material and physical world.
It is not necessary for us to read the thoughts of Miss Felicia; it is better to ask her what she is thinking. It is not necessary to walk over water; it is better to take a boat by paying a few centimes to the boatman. There is no wisdom in attempting to fly through air, when we can take an aeroplane and fly to distant countries. Whatever may be the nature of the extraordinary powers we seek to make manifest, we are, by that fact, in no way close to Self-knowledge, Self-realisation and Self-experience. What is most essential for us, is to know the Self by which we know everything else, have that Power without which no power has any subsistence or value.
Know the Cause, and you Know
the Effects; Know the Creator, and
you Know all Creation
Know God the Creator, and you will know everything about creation. The more you progress in the fields of physics, or chemistry, or biology, or psychology, or sociology, or in all of them, the more you would be convinced of the fact that there is no possibility, merely through them, of your touching the ultimate Principle, which could explain every other principle in life. Such a possibility resides in that which is the foundation of our conscious striving, the Cause behind.
The real masters of life, the real conquerors of the world, are not scientists, not psychologists, not occultists, not spiritists, not politicians, not sociologists, not educationists, not even philosophers, but only the men of Self-realisation, or of the infinite God-experience.
Their all-comprehending wisdom obtained through their experience of the infinite God, includes and transcends the knowledge in every field of human life and thought. Hold in your experience the Power of powers which God is. Realise that Principle which is the parent of all that is made manifest. Know the supreme supra-psychological, supra-occult Reality.
Only by Self-knowledge do we
Obtain Dominion over Everything
Know the Self in you, the Self in all, the Self in the universe, the immanent and the transcendent Self that is the supreme Godhead. By such a knowledge and experience alone, would you be given, in accord with the Biblical promise, dominion over the earth and the heavens. By that Self-knowledge and Self-experience alone, you become immortal, indestructible, and supreme in your power.
However much men of the genius of Einstein might struggle purely through empirical methods, for an increasing extension of the knowledge of the cosmos, they will never bring us true insights into That which alone can resolve the riddles of the cosmic manifestation, much less grant us that happiness and peace which are the aim of all our conscious striving. They cannot aid us to truly master the cosmic environment, and attain immortality. The Unmanifest sustains the manifest. The knowledge of the manifest, however wonderfully useful, is never intrinsically valuable, and is not unoften dangerous, without a knowledge of that which manifested it. We can never know the Unmanifest by the intellectual, rational or empirical processes it has manifested. The knowledge of the Unmanifest can be had only by the operations of such faculties that are inherent in the Unmanifest, through, or even without, the instrumentality of the intellectual or rational processes. We know the Truth, by the Truth, and not truly by that which it has made manifest. We know the lesser by the greater, the lower by the higher, and not the greater by the lesser and the higher by the lower. We know the Self by something within the Self. We truly experience God only by transforming and rendering our inner consciousness into the Nature of God.
Darkness never can know light, unless it ceases to be darkness, by rising into the light. Truth alone sees Truth. Love knows Love. God knows Himself, by being God. The Absolute is not measured by the individual. The individual can know the Absolute by ceasing to be the individual, and becoming one with the Absolute. The Infinite cannot be understood or explained, or experienced, by the finite, unless the finite breaks up its own finitude and becomes identical with the Infinite. The truths of the Spirit can never be the truths of Matter. The truths of Matter can never understand the truths of the Spirit. The truths of the Spirit understand all about the truths of Matter because the latter are created by the former.
Science deals with known facts and physical realities. True philosophy or spiritual knowledge deals with greater facts, and the ensouling causes of, and substance in, physical realities. These greater facts are known as yet only to those with special inner equipment. We have the knowledge of the visible facts through the physical senses, and of the facts invisible, through the finer senses of the developed intelligence and the faculties of the Consciousness within. Our science helps us in a splendid manner to construct a Sputnik and a Satellite; but by that there is no chance, no possibility for us to command the true delight of existence. By that there is no possibility of the real enjoyment of life. By that we cannot conquer death and diseases, dismiss misfortune, create harmony, express beauty, speak wisdom, love all, enrich the earth, conquer time and space, enjoy true power. All this is possible for us only by obtaining Self-knowledge and Self-experience.
We live by the Imperishable; we are shattered when we build our lives on the quicksands of the perishable. The effects are perishable; the Cause is indestructible and ever creative. We know by That which is the All-knowing. However extensive our knowledge be, we are ignorant until we recover our conscious and living links with the all-knowing Being.
It can also be said that this Self is the Christ in us, or the Father in the Heaven within us. If we are consciously in the Christ, or in the Father, or in the Self, we are immortal. Since this Christ-Consciousness, or the Divine Consciousness, or the Self, is illimitable, infinite and immortal, the moment we are consciously one with it in all our inner being, we are ourselves indestructible, timeless, spaceless, all-pervading, all-perfect. We cannot see these great truths unless we shift our attention, at least for a while, from the fleeting and turn to the Eternal. You cannot at the same time look into your own face in the mirror and stare into your friend"s face. A better knowledge of the face of your friend can be had only by turning your gaze onto him, from your own face in the mirror.
In one of his most blessed moments, a dynamic awareness and realisation of this Self, or Christ, made St. Paul say words to the effect that he is everything in Christ, and in Christ he could do anything. It was possible for St. Paul to overcome his own little self in Christ-Consciousness, and rise to that beautiful experience where he could say, "I Live, yet not I, but Christ!"
St. Paul turned away from himself, in order to turn to the Christ, with the result Christ displaced the little self of Paul by His own divine Self. In such a condition who can distinguish Paul from Christ, and Christ from Paul? The death of the one, the limited, has brought in the Life of the other, the Unlimited. The imperishable Light in the limited has become one with the Light of the imperishable, unlimited Being. The two became the One. Mathematics, the basic science of all sciences, is shy and jealous of such a fact. Metaphysics is proud and eloquent over it. The Infinite has its own mathematics and its own logic, and makes a terrible disorder in the mathematics and the logic of the rational individual, though the Infinite itself is the source, support and fulfilment of man-made mathematics and logic.
A housewife of the ancient Vedic times, Lopamudra, has, several thousands of years before the dawn of the Christian era, realised the Divine Being, experienced the Self, and, in the ecstasy of her perfect inner realisation and experience, poured out in inspiring and immortal poetry these words, "I am the Timeless; it is by my Power that the sun, the moon and the stars are shining. It is I who am the sustainer of the universe. I was before all gods. I am the Supreme. I am the Immortal Existence. I am the source and centre of infinite Consciousness and Beauty. I am the Cause and the Sustainer of all Life. It is by me alone that all minds think and all hearts feel."
This is difficult of understanding for modern men. But when they exalt their knowledge a little higher, it is possible for them to comprehend such extraordinary statements made from the states of inner experience of the identity with the supreme Godhead. That housewife was completely absorbed in God-Consciousness. While yet living in the physical body, her whole inner consciousness became one with the infinite Father. Her mind was dissolved in the infinite Light and Knowledge of the supreme Reality. Her inner being obtained oneness with the illimitable, absolute Love. The drop of a finite human being that she was, dissolved itself into the illimitable ocean of God-Consciousness. Once dissolved in that ocean of illimitable, timeless, immortal, eternal, supreme Consciousness, she could no more be conscious of her individuality, yet her infinitude found its splendid self-expressions through the daily life of that individuality which is totally deprived of its delimiting and distorting egoistic self-consciousness. Death, disease, limitations of any kind, were unknown to her. The life in her was a Song of God, composed and sung by God Himself.
When we take a glass of water and throw that water into the ocean, does it not become one with the entire ocean? Has not that water all the properties of the ocean? Even so, this housewife, by having poured her consciousness into the oceanic Consciousness of the Infinite, could feel like God, live like God, move like God, and could say what God would Himself say, through the revelations He grants to the prophets, or the intuitions He bestows on the great in mind or heart. There is nothing fantastic, nothing irrational, in her assertion that she was before all gods, sustains all the universes, is the supreme Creator, beyond time and space, a Power raised over all powers, an infinity of joy, peace and beauty, and that she is everywhere, at all times. In her, we find the heights of divine experience to which Self-realisation could lead the purified, illuminated, all-peaceful and blessed individual.
We Need the Supreme,
Eternal, Infallible Science
Any system of knowledge, any science which concerns itself with a deeper penetration into the nature of the divine Self in the human individual, is a truly great science. It equips men with a saving Knowledge, and makes of them Gods, that is, divine in nature, character, knowledge, power, peace and perfection. Such a system of knowledge, such a science alone could be in harmony with the central teachings of the Bible, and of the great and imperishable works of revelation and highest spiritual experience in the world.
What was that great power which enlivened the personality of Jesus Christ? It was not education, not high culture, not high attainments, not any type of special science, not great aristocracy, nothing that we value on earth, but a continued consciousness and experience of the Father in Himself and everywhere, and expression of the Love and the Wisdom of that Father that make mankind adore Him as the Light of the World, the Saviour and the Redeemer. In Him, we find the most shining instance of Self-realisation or the experience of God, taken to such a consummation where He could say, "I and the Father are one". Jesus Christ is the conscious manifestation of God whose mission on earth lay in the redemption of man from his human limitation, and the liberation of the divine Spirit or the Self in him into the Perfection of the Father in Heaven. In His compassion, He has called all of us to partake of all the treasures and splendours of the Kingdom of Heaven. He has not only conditioned His life to acts of supreme service and sacrifice, but also by the word of His own wisdom, taught us to be as perfect as the Father in Heaven. He has given us afresh, and confirmed, the ultimate in human wisdom, when He stated, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all else shall be added unto you."
How is all else added unto us? Only when we seek the supreme Reality that God is. When we choose or gain the Ocean, all that is in the ocean is added unto us. When we choose or obtain the creation, all that is in the creation is added unto us. When we choose the Creator, the entire creation which is in Him, and million other wonderful things that are in Him, are added unto us. Instead of choosing a flower here, or a plant there, if we choose the garden, all the flowers, fruits, plants, trees, and whatever is valuable or wonderful in it, is added unto us. Instead of choosing any pleasure of the Heaven, if we choose the Heaven itself, all else that is in it is added unto us. Mind is only one of the million possibilities that the all-wonderful Kingdom of the divine Self or Consciousness makes manifest. Mind can make a little heaven or a big hell, whereas the divine Self within, being the infinitude in Light, Love, Peace, Joy, creative Beauty, Life, makes the whole of the all-perfect Kingdom of Heaven. If we have it, we have all the Genius, all the Powers, all the Truth, all the Knowledge, all that is infinitely valuable. How could that housewife of ancient India have achieved supreme mastery over everything created? Only by her intimate and dynamic communion, identity, and oneness with the Supreme Father, the supra-mental, supra-cosmic Self, the one indivisible and all-containing absolute Being.
The Grand Mission of our Life on this
Field of Growth and Evolution, the Earth
Know the Self! Seek the Kingdom of Heaven! Be as perfect as the Father in Heaven! Realise the Divine within yourself and everywhere! That is to say, possess the Power of all powers. Realise that Life which is the Life of all life! Know that Truth which is the Truth of all truths! Experience the Light that illuminates the sun, the moon, and the stars, the Light that is Eternal, the Light which is behind the energy to which the modern science reduces the phenomenal universe!
What is the background, the substance, the sustaining force behind the electrical, or any form of energy, in the universe? It is the all-sustaining infinite Existence, the all-producing infinite Consciousness-Power. It is the Self that is the real Energy behind all energies. It is the invisible Light behind all visible lights.
What is that source of all these phenomena? What is that universal Principle which is behind all that our senses experience? What is that supreme, inconceivable, ineffable Power which created the millions of the universes? What is this marvellous thing called the human mind which works such wonders, and is yet a petty power in comparison with that which is behind it? What is its source? Who is its creator? To know That, or to Know Him, is to know the Self. If we know Him, we know the mind, the world, energy, life, cosmos, everything. In the realm of this divine Consciousness, knowing is being, being is having. To know is to have. If we know the Kingdom of Heaven, we have it; if we have it, then all else is at once added unto us, with it.
If we have the central Power with, by, and in which everything in the creation is made, we are the real owners of all this that is made. Therefore, the Bible is emphatic in its exhortation, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all else shall be added unto you!"
Dynamic Methods for the Fulfilment
of our Life in the World
By the upliftment and ecstasy of our unlimited love, by our unusual and persistent efforts at increasing our knowledge, by our all-transforming devotion to the supreme creative Intelligence and Divinity, let us rise to such exalted states of inner evolution, unfoldment and experience, in which we become one with the all-perfect Creator. The moment we are one in all our conscious knowing and being, with the Self, with the all-powerful Divinity, we obtain total suzerainty over all that it has manifested, all that it has created, all that it has brought into existence in time and space.
In and by the unlimited Consciousness, we overcome all that is not Consciousness, all that has come from it, all that is creaturely. This is made possible only by the knowledge and experience of the infinite Self, by becoming one with the Soul, the Love, the Light and the Life of everything that is manifest. Therefore, these two words, "Know Thyself", embody the most remarkable advice and the ultimate spiritual guidance of the world.
There are many methods for Self-realisation. Down through the centuries, men of great intelligence, deep love, and intense longing for divine perfection, have struggled hard, and have left us a number of spiritual exercises by which they obtained Self-realisation. If these spiritual exercises are employed wisely, and pursued earnestly, by us, Self-realisation will be obtained. But, like all sciences, this science of Self-realisation also demands preliminary equipment, or the fulfilment of certain preparatory conditions.
No aeroplane can land anywhere the pilot likes. The ground has to be prepared. We also have to prepare the ground whereon the plane of Divine Grace would descend.
Grass which is covered all over by snow, and wet, cannot catch fire. Nothing on earth can make us catch the fire of Self-realisation, until everything in us is cleared of the snow and made dry. This preliminary activity consists in the purification of our nature. We have to throw out all snow and ice, the snow and ice of crude, lower human nature, of misleading urges and passions, perverting motives and tendencies, weaknesses, limitations and shortcomings. The grass of human limitations in us has to be exposed to the warmth and heat of fiery aspiration for divine Perfection, the restless quest for the wisdom of the Self, for the knowledge and the experience of God, and in other words, for Self-realisation. Having exposed the grass of human imperfections and limitations to this warmth and this heat, and thus rendered it dry and ready for being burnt, our next act would be to kindle it with the fire of meditation. It is then that we have the right circumstance for gaining Self-realisation.
The Self and the Mental Activities
The Self in us is something different and distinct from everything we understand in general by the word "self". It is the Breath of God, the Image of God. It is not the mind. Mind can be observed by the inner consciousness in us. It can be controlled, changed and transformed by us, whereas the Self in us is not subject to any such control. It is infinite Freedom, and is the controller and ruler of everything. The mind can be purified and perfected. The Self cannot be purified; it is eternally all-pure. It cannot be perfected; it is eternally all-perfect. It is the Godhead in the immediacy of our inner experience. It is the all-seeing Light of God in us.
The Self sees the mind, but the mind cannot see the Self. It can do so only by ceasing to be itself, and by becoming the Self, by an inner identity with the Self. A person sees his own shadow; but, the shadow does not see the person, and vanishes when the person moves into full illumination.
The Self is not the Mental Phenomenon
The Self in us is not involved in mental activities and the mental phenomenon. It stands back from them, and observes them. It is behind, above, and beyond the mind, something distinct and different from the mind. The Self in us is, therefore, not the thought-phenomenon. It is the unobserved Observer in us. It is the Observer even of our observing consciousness. It is the Witnessing Consciousness, and the Ground of all our knowledge and experience.
The Self is not the Emotional Being
Is the Self in us, the name for a group of emotions and feelings? No. The feelings and emotions are also external to the Self. That consciousness in us which being apart from, and above, the feelings, observes the feelings rise and fall, appear and disappear, and which the feelings cannot sense, is the Self. The feelings have a beginning and an end, a birth and a death, whereas the divine Self, the divine Principle in us is birthless and deathless.
The Self is not the Body
If the Self is neither the mind, nor the emotional being, what is it? Is it our body? No. It is something different and distinct from the body. Body was born a few decades ago, and will die a few decades later. It is subject to growth and age, disease and death, whereas the Self in us is ageless, timeless, diseaseless, deathless, endless, all-perfect, all-beautiful, all-powerful.
Our inner being can withdraw itself from the body. In dream, we are dissociated from the physical body, and assume the dream-body. There are statuses of the consciousness in which we become distinctly aware of the fact that we are not the body, not the mind, not the feelings. Let us imagine that our body is dead. There is a Consciousness in us that witnesses the death of the body, and watches the body being taken to the graveyard. What is that observing and witnessing Consciousness, that subjective Consciousness, that "I"-Principle, which is absolutely unaffected by the death of the physical body? It is the Self in us. It is the Divine Being in us. This Self has to be known, experienced, realised. It is immortal, eternal, and infinite.
The Greatest Men are those that Know
Themselves, are Aware of, and Express,
Their Inner Creative Infinite Consciousness
The wisest and blessed persons are those who are deeply conscious of this imperishable divine Self within themselves, and are seeking to establish dynamic relations with its Peace, its Power, its Beauty, its Perfection. Such persons stay above disease, sorrow, conditions, and smile at death. Having obtained an all-governing knowledge of the Self, they partake of the illimitable Delight of the Supreme Father in the Heaven within their own inner Self. Such persons alone are the supreme masters of life and nature. At this stage of their evolution, one becomes an embodiment of love and acquires endless divine powers.
The greatest conquerors, like Alexander the Great, the finest writers, like Shakespeare and Goethe, the great philosophers and scientists of the world, like Kant and Einstein, cannot for long remain unassaulted by the hand of time. Not having conquered themselves, that is, not having conquered the fundamental ignorance of the all-luminous divine Self enshrined in their own inner beings, not having obtained that Light of God-experience which dissolves the little human selfhood, ego, individuality, and makes one a true lover, benefactor, liberator of mankind, - they could not conquer the world, for all time to come, inherit the earth, and have all else added unto them by virtue of having obtained the Kingdom of Heaven.
The real conquerors, the immortal ones, the truly great, are those who have realised the Self, become in their inner divine Consciousness as perfect as the Father in Heaven, and, therefore, constantly express all-embracing love and all-encompassing wisdom.
Your True Blessedness
Blessed are you all, for you carry in yourselves the Kingdom of Heaven, and also all those capacities by which you can gain a living experience of that Kingdom, in daily life. Jesus the Christ has addressed all of you as the salt of the earth, as the light of the world, as the bearers of the Kingdom of Heaven, and admonished you to be as perfect as the Father in Heaven. Your aspiration after, and your potentiality for attaining, the Perfection of the Father in Heaven - this constitutes your true blessedness in life. Therefore each of you could be called a potential owner of illimitable Joy, Peace, Beauty, Perfection. This fact persuades me to say that there awaits each of you the grand divine Destiny and immortal Glory.
Further Light on the Nature of the Self
We have seen that behind our mind, our thoughts, our feelings, there is the indestructible, self-luminous, all-perfect Light of the Self, God. Is this Self in us alone? No, It is in everyone, everything and everywhere. All Nature is vibrant with its Presence. Every phenomenon conceals in itself the Presence of the noumenal Self. This divine Self, or Being, is the Creative Principle that has brought into existence all the universes and all the contents in them. Having brought all things into existence, it is resident in each of them, with all its Perfections. It is the All in all. It is the One in the many, and the many are in It.
When we realise the Self, or God, in ourselves, we would realise also the Self, or God, in all beings, in all humanity, in all Nature. Not only in our own inner being, but in all that is manifest, we have to experience God. It is the same Self in us and in everything. If we experience it in ourselves, we experience it in everyone, or if we experience it in anyone or in anything, we experience it in ourselves, too.
Our Approach to the Self, or
God, should be Many-sided
Many-sided must be our approach to God. Would we be victims of fears and anxieties, and can there be any play of hatred in our hearts, when we behold the same all-seeing, all-loving God in all beings? When a person is conscious of his own inner divine Self as present in the hearts of all, will he not find it extremely easy to love his neighbours as his own Self? It is here that we have the right key for a better understanding of the Biblical injunction, "Love thy neighbour as thyself".
Self-Knowledge is the Basis of
Real Love, Real Service,
Real Purity, Real Power
Nobody can claim really to love the neighbour as himself, unless he has Self-Knowledge and Self-Realisation. If we do not have an experience of the immortal, eternal and infinite Light, or the Self, in the inner essence of all beings, let us move towards an attainment of it.
There is no greater darkness than the ignorance of our relation with our Father. All our problems, sufferings, sorrows emerge from the lack in us of the knowledge of this omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient Divinity. All our misfortunes and limitations are attributable to our great ignorance concerning the timeless and all-peaceful Consciousness of the Divinity within us. Let us not allow this ignorance to sway us, and to submit us to pain, sorrow, suffering, limitations. With utmost zeal, let us move forward to an experience of this Divinity, this Truth, this Beauty, this Source of inexhaustible Light, Love, Life.
Our Rare Privilege and the Blessedness of our Life
To walk in the illimitable and infinite Peace of the Godhead, to be one with God, while we are yet here on earth - this is our destiny, our privilege, and our glory. To be one with the Divinity in all Nature, and rule Nature from the heart of Nature - this is our prerogative and our blessing from God.
In Self-realisation, in God-consciousness, in the living, dynamic and all-absorbing experience of the Divinity, we have that knowledge which explains and illuminates everything, that peace which passeth all forms of understanding, that life which is everlasting, that perfection which is illimitable. In the transcendental experience of the divine Self, we have an oceanic creative power; we grow conscious of our immortality, eternity, timelessness; we have that delight which is independent and unconditioned.
In order to arrive at this Self-realisation, let us be restlessly searching for more and more of divine knowledge, for a greater knowledge of the spiritual laws, truths, verities. Let us cultivate large feelings, broad views. Let us exalt our thoughts beyond the petty needs of the physical body. Instead of being the fretting, fuming, troubled and troublesome creatures on earth, let us be a source of strength, inspiration, peace, joy to ourselves and to others. Let us cultivate a spirit of endurance which triumphs over the difficulties of life.
By that wisdom which is superior to the often self-defeating human wisdom, let us live! In that goodness which is more than the harassed moral goodness, let us grow! In that love which is unaffected by any self-interest or selfishness, unspoiled by temporary and violent impulses, and that remains itself, in its own persisting power and unfailing light, let us evolve. In the horizonless divine knowledge, let us expand our consciousness! Into the luminous worlds presented by the higher reason, by intuitions, and by the illuminating words of the men of Self-knowledge and God-experience, let us elevate our minds and lives.
Let us seek to develop our powers of discrimination, and fully know what is right and what is wrong, what is real and what is unreal, what is valuable and what is valueless, what is God and what is not God, what is the Self and what is not the Self. Let the development of our discrimination, and the growth of our dispassion, be simultaneous. It is then that the Grace of God is granted to us, in abundance.
Never rest satisfied with any knowledge you acquire, and any state of development you arrive at. Constantly seek to grow, evolve, become greater in knowledge, in experience, in purity, in goodness, in godliness, and therefore greater than the outer conditions and circumstances. Move from wisdom to greater wisdom, from perfection to greater perfection. Demonstrate the powers and the excellences of the divine Consciousness within you. Why should you live below your capacities, abilities, possibilities, potentialities? Should an Ocean shut itself in the idea that it is a pond, and thus become a problem and a sorrow to itself, and to others? Should the Sun think itself to be a candle, and deny itself the majesty of illimitable luminosity, and also deny light and life to all creation? Shine in the fullness of the Light the Image of God in you bears. Rise to the full stature of the wonderful Consciousness within you.