Where is Your Evolution?Jul 11, 2019
When we come to the evolution of the world according to the point of view of the mystic, we shall see that it is not man who has come from the plant, the animal and the rock. But man has taken his body, his physical instrument, from the rock, from the animal, from the plant. He himself has come direct from the spirit and is directly joined to the spirit. He is, and always will be, above this instrument which he has borrowed from the earth. In other words, man is not the product of the earth but man is the inhabitant of heavens. It is his body which he has borrowed from the earth. Because he has forgotten his origin, the origin of his soul, he has taken the earth for his origin, but this is only the origin of his body and not of his soul.
Now we come to the law of gravitation, of which many say that it is a theory which was not known to the ancients. I say that the law of gravitation was already explained thousands of years earlier, even by Buddha, and in the Quran we find a Sura saying that the soul has come from God and is bound for Him. What science tells today is that the body of clay which has come from the earth is attracted to the earth because of the law of gravitation: earth attracts earth. But prophets and mystics and seers and sages always knew and taught that the soul is attracted to the Spirit. In other words, by the law of gravitation the body is attracted to the earth and the soul to the Spirit. When a person is unaware of this he only knows of one attraction which is of the earth. Then he does not know of the other attraction, and that does not help to give release to the soul, for the soul is attracted to the Spirit.
If it were a virtue to be spiritual – if it were only a virtue – I would be the first person to refuse it. But it is the greatest necessity of the soul; we cannot help it. Very often people think, ‘Is it necessary to be spiritual? What do we gain by it?’ We do not need to gain anything by it, it is a natural attraction, we cannot help it! Those who are conscious of it begin to look for it. Those who are not conscious of it are unconsciously attracted to something which they do not know.
Spiritual unfoldment is the ultimate goal of every person. It comes at a moment when a man begins to be more thoughtful, when he begins to remember or to realize this yearning of the soul. Then consciously or unconsciously a feeling comes, ‘Is this all I have to do in my life: to earn money? Whether I have a high rank or a position, it is all a play. I have become tired of this play. I should think of something else. There is something else I have to attain’. This is the beginning; it is the first step on the spiritual path. As soon as a person has taken this first step his outlook has changed, the value of things becomes different and things to which he had attached great importance become of less importance; things with which he concerned himself so much he no longer concerns himself with. A kind of indifference comes. Nevertheless, a thoughtful person keeps to his duty just the same; he is even more conscientious and this brings about a greater harmony, because he begins to pity others.
When he goes another step forward there comes bewilderment. He begins to wonder, ‘What is it all? Much ado about nothing!’ It gave me much to think about when once I saw in India a sage whom I knew to be very deep, a man of high attainment, who was laughing at nothing. I wondered what he was laughing at. Then I stood there and looked around myself, thinking, ‘I must see from his point of view what makes him laugh so much’, and I saw persons hustling and bustling. For what? Was it not laughable? Every person thinking his particular point of view to be the most important, pushing others away because he finds his action the most important! Is it not the picture of life? It is the way of the evolved and the unevolved. And what do they reach? Nothingness! Empty-handed they leave this world; they come without anything, and they go without anything. It is this outlook which gives the soul bewilderment. He does not feel proud to laugh at others, but it is no doubt amusing. As much as he is amused at others, he is amused at himself.
When a person goes another step forward an understanding comes that changes his outlook and manner. Generally what happens is this: from morning till evening he reacts against every good and bad thing. But good he sees very rarely and bad things he always sees, or he meets someone who is nervous and excited, or dominant or selfish, and so all the time a continually jarring effect comes from everyone he meets. Then without knowing it his continual reaction is of despise, of hatred; the thought to get away is all the time before him. If he can say, ‘I don’t like’, ‘I dislike’, he can say it from morning till evening with everyone he meets, for there is rarely one person about whom he will not say such words. And this reaction he expresses in words or thought, by feeling or action.
When one reaches this third stage, the stage of understanding, one begins to understand instead of reacting. Then there is no reaction: understanding comes and suppresses it. It is just like a boat which is anchored; it produces tranquility, stillness, weight in the personality. It does not move with every wind that blows, but stays like a heavy ship on the water, while a light ship moves with every wave that comes. That stability a person reaches in this third stage of unfoldment; he is ready to tolerate, to understand both the wise and the foolish – all.
Is it not amusing to think that the foolish person disagrees more with others than the wise? One would think that he knows more than the wise one. The wise one agrees with both the foolish and the wise; he is ready to understand everybody’s point of view. It may not be his idea, his way of looking, but he is capable of looking at things from the point of view of others. It is not one eye that sees fully; to make the vision complete two eyes are needed, and so the wise one can see from two points of view. If we do not keep away our own thoughts and preconceived ideas, if we cannot be passive and desirous of seeing from the point of view of another, we make a great mistake. This third stage gives a tendency to understand every person we meet.
Then again there is a fourth stage of unfoldment. In this stage we not only understand, but sympathize; we cannot help but sympathize, for we can see that life in the world is nothing but limitation. Whether a person is rich, in a high position, or in a wretched condition – whatever condition he is in, or whatever he is – he has to experience this limitation and that itself is a great misery. Every person therefore has his problem before him, and when we begin to see that every person on this earth has a certain problem and weight to carry through life, we cannot help but sympathize.
When one goes a step further still, then a way is open to communicate. Just as there is a communication between persons who love each other very much, so the sympathy of a person whose soul has unfolded itself is so awakened that not only every person but even every object begins to reveal its nature, its character and secret. To him every man is a written letter.
We hear stories of saints and sages who talked with rocks and plants and trees. They are not only stories; it is reality. It is also told of the apostles that at the moment when the Spirit descended upon them they began to speak many languages. When they understood so many languages, they understood the language of every soul. It means that the illuminated soul understands the language of every soul. And every soul has its own language. It is that which is called revelation.
All the teachings that the great prophets and teachers have given are only interpretations of what they have seen. They have interpreted in their own language what they have read from the manuscript of nature: that trees and plants and rocks spoke to them. Did nature only speak to those in the past? No, the soul of man is always capable of that bliss if he only realized it. Once the eyes of the heart are open, man begins to read every leaf of the tree as a page of the sacred Book.
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