In all the world, there’s nothing in existence more important and more sacred than “The Knowledge.” This Knowledge of the true Self, to which I refer, is the crowning glory, It is “The Knowledge” that makes all knowing, perception and life itself meaningful and most worthwhile.
Without this Knowledge, the average person is lost in any number of roles and never learns to differentiate between him or herself and these roles.
Today we find ourselves in a world full of recorded thoughts left for us by the preceding generations. Every child begins from the beginning but progress in thinking depends upon the ways he or she is exposed to the collective thoughts of humanity.
We all begin with an alphabet slate and story books, but our level of thinking usually depends upon the depth of the thoughts or ideas we are exposed to. We begin with tiny footsteps but whether those feet touch the earth, shoes, cycle pedals, motor cycles, cars, luxury cars, ship or plane, depends largely on the thoughts we gather and understand.
There are two different levels on which mental investigation can be undertaken. One is in the familiar ‘concrete’ world of things and the other is in the inner immaterial world of the thinker, the “I”. The investigation into the objective world can be never-ending due to its vast number of forms. The investigation into the nature of “I”, the subject, ends in the discovery of the Self, which is ever the same — eternal, changeless, all-pervasive and never subject to any growth or loss.
Today people enjoy unprecedented comfort and prosperity because of discoveries made in the objective world. We can also gain enormously by discovering the full potential of our inner subjective world. When the levels of gross and subtle consciousness are recognized, we are then able to discern “That” within us which is beyond all imagining and description.
When we remain at the level of the physical world, we become almost like a helpless animal — more exploited than really living. Even if we function up to the level of conditioned thoughts and emotions, without wisdom and spiritual insight, we still tend to live far below the level of happiness and fulfillment that was intended for us.
Hence we must never stop at the level of conditioned thinking which binds the “I” to different notions, including religious dogma and secular expediency. While travelling from the known to the (knowable) unknown, we have to progress through the gross physical level of consciousness, past our misconception of the mind-made self, past all our false beliefs and concepts to the highest consciousness of all which is the true Self or infinite “I”.
Hence Self-knowledge, the Knowledge of the “I”, the ultimate absolute meaning, becomes the crowning glory as the “I” is released from the hold of conditioned thinking and ignorance whch melts in silent, sacred Awareness.
The younger generation students will be inclined to learn, only if the teachers and elders understand this — the most important thing of all is to find “ultimate meaning” in their own being. When this happens, they willl be able to see everything as it truly is in its own place and not be afraid of anything.
So let us determine by all means to see ourselves as we really are — in our own “Self” or “Being” or “Truth” — as that nameless, formless, invisible expanse that fills up and embraces all names and forms. Let us see It, and be It — here and now!
~ by Swamiji. Abridged from: Self Knowledge Magazine Sep. 2003.