Literary Exploration Series: Sadhana, the Realisation of Life – Ch.2

Sadhana cover

Chapter 2: Soul Consciousness

Link to chapter: click here
Length of chapter reading: 36:50 minutes

I am so deeply touched, inspired, impassioned, released by the effortlessly meticulous way in which Tagore weaves words into golden strands of the most brilliant poetry. Poetry of truth, timeless understanding, gentle compassion. These words were written in the beginning of the 1900s yet still resonate the deepest of truths for us today. Tagore’s words perform a dance, frolicking to the tunes of the aged and wise, lacking any sign of tiredness or uncertainty. To reach such a point of clarity…would be divine…

 

“…a truth opens up a whole horizon. It leads us to the infinite. That is the reason why, when a man like Darwin discovers some simple general truth about biology, it does not stop there, but like a lamp shedding its light far beyond the object for which it was lighted, it illumines the whole region of human life and thought, transcending its original purpose. Thus we find that truth, while investing all facts, is not a mere aggregate of facts. It surpasses them on all sides and points to the infinite reality. As in the region of knowledge, so in that of consciousness, man must clearly realise some central truth which will give him an outlook over the widest possible field.”

Is it possible that we generally tend to overestimate the impact of the discovery of a fact in the short-term, and underestimate its impact over longer periods? Does this mean that the attainment of a wider field of view can only be attained after a process of discovery of truths, rather than in the instant of one discovery? If the All is within all of us, if it exists right now, why is there a need for time to discover it? Is the experience what we really seek?

 

“…our soul, when detached and imprisoned within the narrow limits of a ‘self’, looses its significance, for it’s very essence is unity. It can only find out its truth by unifying it’s ‘Self’ with others, and only then, it has its joy.”

Perhaps I am learning how to build words, and sentences, and ideas out of letters. Perhaps it is my time to make sense of the alphabet. Perhaps it is time for joy.

 

“The chick knows that when it breaks through the self-centered isolation of its egg, that the hard shell which covered it so long was not really a part of its life. That shell is a dead thing. It has no growth. It affords no glimpse whatever of the vast beyond that lies outside it. However pleasantly perfect and rounded it may be, it must be given a blow to, it must be burst through, and thereby the freedom of light and air can be one and the complete purpose of bird’s life be achieved.”

Much of my life has become virtual. Perhaps it is due to my travels and coupled with my personality for I have left many friends behind and seem to prefer maintaining relationships from a physical distance. For whatever reason, I find myself communicating through written word more than through any other form. I have found, through this practice of faceless/bodiless connection, that deeper truths and more fulfilling relationships can be cultivated – at least this has been my truth. The lack of physical interaction has opened the door to deeper spiritual contact.

Does this make sense to you? It is as if the virtual space has allowed me to forget about the shell, and connect with a greater vastness. Yet, I remind myself that I am still in physical form for a reason. What that reason is, I haven’t much of a clue. But because it is still a fact that on this plane of existence I have a body, there must be some purpose for the vehicle. So, as I write this, I am experiencing an intense period of caring for the vehicle. I am more intent then ever to nurture it, pay attention to what fuel I give it and what activity I perform with it – all this, in the name of devotion for the chick inside the shell. Perhaps this is my way of attempting to create balance between the virtual and the physical – trying to respect both equally through the discovery of the qualities that make both states divine. Can Spirit reveal more of itself through the virtual world?

 

“In his sermon to Sathu Simha, Buddha says, “It is true, Simha, that I denounce activities, but only the activities that lead to the evil in words, thoughts or deeds. It is true, Simha, that I preach extinction, but only the extinction of pride, lust, evil thought, and ignorance, not that of forgiveness, love, charity, and truth.”

How often does it occur that we consciously decide from which of these we will make our next choice? How often do we watch the moment from the perspective of an observer?

I once attended a talk in which the speaker reflected on some of the beliefs held within Raja Yoga. After her resonating talk, she walked around the room and shared a sweet biscuit with each person. She also held out a small container, in which there were pieces of paper, one for each of us to take. Each piece of paper had a message written on it. I still carry the message that came to me on that day. I am grateful each time it falls into my hand. I share it with you now:

I am an observer. Being able to observe enables me to be creative, productive and effective because I have made space for true and better understanding.

 

“Our pursuit of truth in the domain of nature, therefore is through analysis, and the gradual methods of science, but our apprehension of truth in our soul is immediate and through direct intuition. We cannot attain the Supreme Soul by successive additions of knowledge acquired bit by bit, even through all eternity, because He is One. He is not made up of parts. We can only know Him as Heart of our hearts and Soul of our soul. We can only know Him in the love and joy we feel when we give up ourself and stand before him, Face to face.”

Many have asked what the difference is between intuition and the ego – the little voice inside of us vs the loud scream that so often disguises itself as a whisper. Perhaps through the observation of the ways in which we pursue truth – that of nature and of the soul – we can distinguish the voice of the essence.

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