soul education Nov 28, 2018

There is an Arabic saying, ‘If you wish to know God, you must know yourself.’ How little man knows while he is in the intoxication of individualism! He thinks, ‘I am a separate being; you are another; there is no connection between you and me, and we all have our own joys and free will.’ Did man but know it, his life is dependent not only on the objects and things that keep the body alive, but also on the activity of a thousand minds in a day. Every time a man laughs it is the reflection of his mind, controlled by the power of another person’s mind. Why does he feel sometimes sad, sometimes glad, sometimes cheerful, sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes tired without reason, sometimes depressed and exhausted? We meet so many minds throughout the day and night which are reflected in our own mind; and so the thoughts are changed, seemingly without reason, yet the whole activity of life depends on these thoughts and is changed according to them.


Who then can say, ‘I am an individual, independent and free, I can think as I wish, and I can do what I wish?’ We are not doing what we wish; we are not thinking what we wish. There are various thoughts around us in the form of men and animals and entities which influence our mind and feeling and thought; we cannot escape them. No one can escape being affected by another person’s mind. There is always some person stronger than us, and always someone weaker than ourselves. We are connected with one another. Our lives are tied together, and there is a link in which we can see one current running through all. There are many globes and lamps, and yet one current is running through all. The mystic seeks to realize this constantly and to impress it on his mind in whatever he may see. What, for him, are the waves of the sea? Are they not the sea itself? Their individuality exists only in so far as one wave rises and falls. It rises and falls, but it merges into the sea. The new wave is a different wave altogether. What, for him, is the tree? There is one stem; the leaves spring from it, change their color, and drop off. But at the same time the life of the whole tree depends on the root and stem, and any damage done to either of these affects every branch and bough, every part of the tree. What, for him, is the body? Eyes, nose, head, which of them is his self? The hand has a separate name, the fingers have separate names; every part has a different name. Myriads of thoughts, myriads of imaginations, myriads of feelings! Can we ever number their variety? The different emotions, the different kinds of sorrows, the different grades of joy, can we ever distinguish them or classify them? Our being has so many aspects, but what is it after all that calls itself ‘I,’ ‘me?’ It is one, not many. It is simply that if we had no body or mind, we could not realize that we exist. Through all this variety one realizes, ‘I am one.’


The same ideas work further in the mind, until man finds that oneness which exists behind all these numerous names and forms, and in which he will unite with his Lord. This shows that the experience of individuals, the thoughts, feelings and knowledge of individuals and the experience of nations, of races, throughout all ages and periods of history, have not belonged only to individuals, not even to the multitude, to the nations, the races, but have always gone back till they came to that depth where they were assimilated with what is called the divine mind.


All the different minds are the different leaves of one tree. Some minds are branches, some are boughs of the tree, and there is only the one source to which all are attached. No object or life can exist without one central point in which everything meets and joins together; and that meeting-ground is the divine mind. The Brahmins therefore taught people to bathe at the place where rivers meet; the purification of life was symbolized by bathing at Sangam. Those who really understood knew that this pictured the divine mind, that in life purification lies in touching that depth of life’s sea in which the myriads of forms and names all join. The activity of all beings is directed from that center. The Quran says that no single atom moves independently of the hand of God. That is, no activity of any kind takes place, either here or in the starry space, without the impulse from within, from that depth of life where all minds and the effects of all activity unite.

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