THE JOURNEY OF THE SOUL
There is no development; the soul is completely developed; there is just an unfolding. In this path of unfoldment, that goes from Silence to Silence: What is travelling? Have we travelled a path, or have we not travelled at all, and if it has been a journey: Who experiences this journey?
We know that the Spirit of the human being, or the Universal Spirit, is omnipresent. It has nowhere to go and nowhere from where to come. It just is. So, what journeys? Is it an experience, or is it an illusion? Even if it is an illusion, then how is illusion experienced? All illusion or delusion is just a counterpart of reality, as its own “non-existence” exists within that “It” that we call reality.
We come from nowhere, and we are going nowhere, but give a little space between the “w” and the “h”. You are “now-here” and that is the important factor to recognise in practical life. Nevertheless, the mind has a habit of inquiring.
The mind is conditioned through the process of evolution into going through various stages whereby it gains these experiences. Who gains the experiences? The mind gains the experiences.
A HUMAN BEING HAS THE CAPACITY TO EXPERIENCE THE ENTIRETY OF THE UNIVERSE; THE SPIRIT CANNOT
The experiences having been gained by the mind, of the mind, and from the mind bring us to a simple idea: There is nothing outside the mind. The human mind is as vast as the entire universe, and if you individualise it, it only means that you are viewing one bubble in a vast pond. That bubble has no separate existence from the pond. A human being has the capacity within himself to experience, with the mind, the entirety of the universe, while the Spirit remains aloof, for the Spirit cannot experience this journey. Therefore, we say, “From Silence, we proceed, and we return to Silence.” It means that the mind that has been manifested, as fragrance is from a flower, goes through this journey, be it illusion or not, and then finds itself at total “at-one-ment” with the Spirit. That is the journey, so in reality, there has been no journey.
But the mind assumes that this is a journey, that there is a journey. What are the reasons for this? The Spirit is, while the mind thinks it is travelling from here to there. From the beginning of this universe’s present cycle, there is a manifestation, wrongly called creation, because creation requires a will behind, while manifestation is just an emanation. It is the nature of the Manifestor to manifest like it is the nature of a flower to give off fragrance, but there is no will involved. The powers in the manifestation are known in Sanskrit as the three gunas: tamas, rajas and sattva. This interaction between darkness and light operates in the manifestation of this universe, which is also the Universal Mind.
THE MIND CREATES EXPERIENCE
The entire mind, or the universe, is nothing else but propulsion which seemingly goes forth in our concept of linear time and space. In the third dimension that we exist in, we find this movement proceeding from A to B, while beyond the mind, there is no space and no time. Like Blake said, “Eternity in an hour”, we would rather say, in a moment.
In this process put forth through manifestation in which the three gunas operate, the mind feels itself travelling. Why does it feel itself travelling; why does itself feel mixed up in the process of evolution? In this process of contraction and expansion generated by the three gunas, matter and its various atomic structures are always in motion. The mind enmeshed in this process of contraction and expansion thinks it is moving.
If you watch a wave in the ocean, you think the wave is coming from a distance and going to the shore. This is not so. There is a rhythm in the ocean created by currents where each wave is bobbing up and down where it is, then the next bobs up and down, and so forth, giving us the illusion that the wave is moving at that end to the shore. Likewise, there is the flux of the universe, the perpetual motion that perpetuates itself, within itself, by itself, because its nature is motion. We are trying to find that which is silent behind all the activity: because that which is motion cannot be silent, and that which is silent can have no motion. Very simple.
Because the mind can act and interact within its components, it becomes more and more complex, and it is this very complexity that adds to the motion of the mind. The mind creates the experience, and the mind itself is the experiencer, for the eternal Spirit within humanity is beyond all experience of motion or anything else. It just is. Here it is a question of a superimposition.
Heat rises from the sun. The sun does not intentionally create heat: it is the nature of the sun to give off heat. Similarly, that eternal energy, in its very silent form, first manifests itself as mind.
When the mind assumes this motion, it also finds a direction, and this direction is what we term as will, Divine Will. Because there was Divine Will, all this you observe, including our individual wills, has come about.
This is very true from the theological point of view and the philosophical point of view. But from the mystical point of view, this truth assumes a different approach: In the manifestation which one could call Divine Will, the will itself becomes the individual mind. Here there is no differentiation between mind and will. Ordinarily, it is the directed activity of an individual mind, which is self-created, that is called will.
IN THE PROCESS OF MANIFESTATION, THE DIVINE FORCE HAS TO GROSSIFY ITSELF
When manifestation occurs, this Divine Force has to grossify itself in the form of matter, or grosser energies in the process of manifestation. From the subtlest level of that silent energy, ever inaccessible like in limits in mathematics, this Divine Force assumes the form of activated energy. The more that energy is activated, the grosser and grosser it becomes. This is why science today can neither reach nor explain the entire structure of atoms. Scientists talk of subatomic matter and sub-sub atomic matter, but when it comes to experimental experience, it will be impossible to capture the nature of that energy, as the very test tube they are using is made of the same energy in which they are trying to trap it.
What can be proven is only that which has motion. Yet motion is such that at the moment you view it, it changes, and in its changing, the viewer cannot have an accurate picture of that motion at its subtlest level. That is why we know so little from laboratory experiments of the mind.
If the mind is empowered by what we are calling the right hemisphere, the intuitional level which has its roots in the cores of one’s personality, which we also call the Heart, then “me” and “mine” disappears, and it is “thee” and “thine.” Though outwardly seeming individualised, the core of the human personality also exists in its universalised form. So, what happens to a person is this: He can exist as an individual and yet at the same time be universal, for he has now realised, through his spiritual sadhana, how vast he is. When this happens, a person, being divine, recognises and experiences this Divinity.
GOD BECOMES A LIVING REALITY
You have got this big load you are carrying, this load of samskaras, all the experiences that you have been gathering up, gathering up, and gathering up in this journey. This bag of imprints through which you cognise existence form the bundle that you are carrying.
That is why Christianity says we are born in sin. There is great truth in that. We have brought with us all those samskaras which form our tendencies in life. Essentially the human being is divine, but he does come with this burden.
By doing meditation and spiritual practices, properly assigned by a spiritual teacher, you draw upon the Superconscious energies, the subtlest energies within the relative sphere of life, which flood the dirt away in the subconscious.
Modern psychology tries to probe and find causes for things, and they have their interpretations. Why analyse causes? There is a way whereby those subtle energies can be brought forth to clear away the dirt and muck. In this room, if there is a lot of dirt lying around, are you going to analyse the dirt? Or are you going to bring the broom? Which is better? What is the sense of saying this is sawdust, and this is what the wind blew in, and the baby made a wee there!
Bring the broom and sweep it out! That is why we say. Take the direct line. And a human being has this ability. God becomes a Living Reality.
That is the journey of which we speak. Man is eternally immortal. He is eternal, and only mind comes in between. Yet the mind can be so beautified that everything in life can be enjoyed.
TO LOVE AND TO BE LOVED
Mira, a great poetess of India, wrote a beautiful poem. In it she says: “Oh Lord, I do not want salvation. I do not want to merge away in Thee. But let me be born again and again to enjoy the joy of worshipping at Thy feet.” How beautiful! The process of life will eventually lead a person to this oneness, this Unity Consciousness. Brahman consciousness. It is inevitable. Everyone has to reach there. Every atom that has been propelled through so-called space since the time of the “big bang” will have to dissipate its energy, and this very dissipation is the returning back to Silence.
Even in duality, there is so much fun. Life is so filled with joy all the time, and what greater joy can there be than the experience of love? To love and to be loved: That is the activation of what we call God. Here God does not remain an abstract quality but becomes a living reality. That is what we want. The lover must truly love the beloved and not have an assumed love created by dependency.
THE MANIFESTOR EXISTS IN ALL ITS MANIFESTATION
The Bhagavad Gita says, to be so established in yourself that no insult can deflate you and no praise can inflate you. You do not need to go on living at the ends of the polarities of the mind but be centred in the centre. Then nothing can affect you; then you experience the joy. That is the journey.
In this whole flux of life, this contraction/expansion, the element of joy is always there. It is this very element of the Manifestor contained within all manifestation which is bliss and joy.
This flower that gives fragrance is giving off particles of itself. When you inhale the fragrance of the flower, you are taking within yourself particles of this flower. Like this the Manifestor exists in all its manifestation, for, to use theological terms, the Creator and the creation are but one. One cannot exist without the other. Illusion starts when we emphasise the wrong thing when we do not emphasise reality, which is the Manifestor, but we put it on the manifestation.
THE DREAM IS REAL WHILE DREAMING
That is the illusion. When people say, “Oh, everything is just a dream,” know that the dream, too, is real, while you are dreaming. Why call it unreal?
As you are dreaming, you are activating subtler energies. A dream is totally real. So many factors, through various experiences in this life or in other lifetimes, come together to create a story in the mind, which is real. Every thought you think, every word you say, is real. What we need to be concerned about is how is it going to rebound on us? That should be our concern. In simple words, you will reap what you sow. Do you see the deeper meaning behind these simple sayings?
ALL IS BEAUTY
If you throw a ball against an electronic wall, it will bounce back so hard that you will not have a chance to shift away. It will knock you out. But throw a ball against a cardboard wall, and it will bounce back slowly. Like that, may we direct all our actions and all our thoughts so that they do not bounce back upon us negatively but positively.
Whenever I pass a park and have some time, I stop, sit down, and watch the children play. It is so beautiful. There is even beauty in the child’s crying as well as in the laughter. All is beauty. For without the child experiencing the pain of falling down and bruising its knee, how will it ever experience the value of that which is the opposite?
So here we are enmeshed in all these opposites, and again that is the journey. When the realisation dawns that I have come from nowhere and I am going nowhere, “now-here”: then we begin to live. Not the living dead. We live!
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi