Literary Exploration Series: Sadhana, the Realisation of Life – Ch.5

Sadhana cover

CHAPTER 5: Realisation In Love

Link to chapter: click here
Length of chapter reading: 42:28 minutes

Duality is not an expression of separation. It is an invitation to embody unconditional love and acceptance for all, no matter whether our minds can make sense of it, no matter whether our beliefs are in line with it, no matter whether our desires are fulfilled by it. Duality is the ultimate union of opposites representing the possibility of wholeness disguised in contradiction. When there is little evidence, where we do not believe that there is enough proof, we can ask ourselves what we do have. This is when we open ourselves to the realisation that through free will, we have the power to choose to see things differently.

 

“In learning a language, when from mere words we reach the laws of words, we have gained a great deal. But if we stop at that point and concern ourselves only with the marvels of the formation of a language, seeking the hidden reason of all its apparent caprices, we do not reach that end, for grammar is not literature; prosity is not a poem. When we come to literature, we find that, though it conforms to the rules of grammar, it is yet a thing of joy; it is freedom itself. The beauty of a poem is bound by strict laws, yet it transcends them. The laws are its wings. They do not keep it weighed down. They carry it to freedom. Its form is in law, but its spirit is in beauty. Law is the first step toward freedom, and beauty is the complete liberation which stands on the pedestal of law. Beauty harmonises in itself the limit and the beyond – the law and the liberty.”

Why is it that so often, we reach ‘a’ point and conclude that we have reached the final step in our journey?

“I have found love! My search is over.”
“I have completed a degree. I no longer have to be a student.”

As with the learning of a language, there are many facets to our understanding. We eventually discover that the more we know, the less we understand. The complexity of the universal truth is so intricate and vast that we can easily become entangled in its details. The human mind was not made to grasp all the facts, calculate all the figures and make sense of all the outcomes. It is in the simplicity where we can truly make sense of all in our lives. It is in the silence where we can truly find clarity. If we relate this to the learning of a language, it is when we transcend the words of a poem and feel the essence of the poet that we have come to a point of greater understanding.

 

“If we happen to be awake then, we question him.”

If we happen to be awake…

 

“The question is, in what manner do we accept this world, which is a perfect gift of joy? Have we been able to receive it in our heart, where we keep enshrined things that are of deathless value to us? We are frantically busy making use of the forces of the Universe to gain more and more power. We feed and we cloth ourselves from its stores. We scramble for its riches and it becomes for us a field of fierce competition. But were we born for this?
To extend our proprietary rights over this world and make of it a marketable commodity? When our whole mind is spent only upon making use of this world, it looses for us its true value. We make is cheap by our sordid desires, and thus, to the end of our days, we only try to feed upon it, and miss its truth. Just like the greedy child who tears the leaves from a precious book and tries to swallow them.”

Where do you see yourself fitting in the picture Tagore paints in the words above? I used to be one of the frantic. There was a time when I was watching others trying to swallow the leaves and wondering if I should join in. But for some reason, I don’t see a place to fit in anymore. I am disconnected from the traffic, unplugged from much of the noise, and find myself wondering…where do I fit in? Do I try to change the world? Do I try to remind people what they seem to have forgotten? Or do I disconnect even further and ignore the pain and the chaos?

I don’t mean to sound self-righteous at all here. I am sorry if I appear to be. In truth, I feel like an alien, living amongst a people with whom I don’t know how to relate. When I am in the company of others, I often seem to say things that silence the room, but I don’t know what that means. When I am physically alone, I find myself able to reach such heights of mental expansion and seem to be able to best translate and share those moments through technology. I heard somewhere recently that the longer we spend disassociated with the rest, the more others seem unrecognisable. Is my experience a product of the times or a consequence of something else?

 

“…we can never have a true view of man unless we have a love for him… Man foolishly tries to prove his superiority by imagining his radical separateness from what he calls his physical world, which in his blind fanaticism, he sometimes goes to the extent of ignoring all together, holding it as his direst enemy. Yet the more his knowledge progresses, the more it becomes difficult for man to establish this separateness and all the imaginary boundaries he had setup around himself vanish, one after the other. Every time we loose some of our badges of absolute distinction by which we conferred upon humanity the right to hold itself apart from its surroundings, it gives us a shock of humiliation. But we have to submit to this if we setup our pride on the path of self-realisation to create divisions and disunion, then it must sooner or later come under the wheels of truth and be ground to dust.”

But what if I understand a tree better then I understand man? Or perhaps I should ask why I feel more comfortable with it. And then I’m reminded that when we ask ‘why’, we do not truly see the picture in front of us. So I try to step back to see a bit more of this picture, and then I meet the hermit that resides within. The part of me that identifies more with that which is unseen, with that which is unspoken by most.

In all my wondering and trying to relate, I have realised that this physical world inevitably requires action. Building up the courage to act is a process of facing ones fears, seeing them for the self-imposed illusions that they are, and detaching from that which sells the sense of separateness. “…we can never have a true view of man unless we have a love for him…” And here I am drawn back to myself. Do I love myself? How can I realise the true view of man if I do not see it in myself first?

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