Intelligence nowhere appears directly, but it integrates the universe. Newton was aware – even Newton, in Newton’s time – he was aware that there were several different solutions to the way the planets, the orbits would end up, and that some would be unfavourable to life, and life would be impossible. And he concluded it was the finger of God, which determined that out of the various alternatives, this was the favourable one.
Well, in an almost identical form, we have this view today. There is an intelligence which is controlling. We can say, “Well, you get a thing like a terrific earthquake. How can you say there’s an intelligence controlling?” Well, all that means is, “I don’t agree with what’s happened.” Stalin’s camps. The wars. “How can you say there’s an intelligence controlling?” Yes, we can. The intelligence gives freedom. Every time we say we try to push off our own personal responsibility, when things go wrong in a city, when the young people take to crime – not because they’re in want – they’re throwing concrete bars onto a lorry passing through, for no reason, you think, “Where’s the intelligence? Controlling; they ought to stop that.” No, it gives the chance. Then they say, “Oh, society is responsible. Society. We’re all guilty really. We haven’t provided those young fellows with what they need.” No.
I’ve done vicious and spiteful things in my life, but you weren’t responsible. I did them. Not that society failed to give me the opportunities or the stimulus that I needed. No, I did them, and take responsibility for them. In the same way, the cosmic intelligence gives responsibility to us. We can say, “Oh, well, I’m against tyranny. If I were the cosmic intelligence, I would never permit tyranny.” You think, “No. I look at my own life. Perhaps I’ll find I’m exercising tyranny.”
I asked, once, one of the liberation theology people. He said, “No one can call himself a Christian who allows this to go on, what’s going on, the tyranny that’s going on, and doesn’t actively take part to change anything.” And I said to him, “What guarantee have you got that if you were in power, you would behave any better?” He said, “I’m absolutely against tyranny.” So I said to him, “So was Stalin. If you read his early speeches. Kim Il-sung; read his early speeches. Chairman Mao; read his early speeches. They’re all against tyranny. We don’t know what’s in our own heart.” When we look at the universe, it’s a reflection.
A man said to a teacher, “Why does God allow these terrible things to happen? All the suffering?” And the teacher said to him, “Do you yourself contribute to this suffering?” And he examined himself, and then he said, “Well, I’m ashamed to say yes, I have done things that did cause suffering to other people. I’m ashamed to say that, but I have done it.” So, the teacher said, “You are God. Why do you do these things?”
This is the beginning of a riddle. You are God. Why do you do these things? Well, we are coming to these… There’s a law of Karma, by which the actions we do will come back to us. And we can say, “Oh, no, you don’t see that.” One of the great sceptics – we always think, “Oh, well, of course, this is the age of scepticism. Before that there were ages of faith.” Quite untrue. There were many vigorous sceptics with large followings in the past; in the East too. And one of them said, “Yes, if you do good, good will come back to you. If you do evil, evil will return to you.” The divine intelligence will requite good with good and evil with evil. That’s what we teach. That’s what we teach the children. And it’s a very good doctrine, and it helps to control their behaviour. But it’s not what actually happens. We have to go, be able to experience beyond an individual life to know this. That there is this balancing of the good and the evil. And the aim of Yoga is to spring beyond that.
There is a big difference between the Christian ideal, as it’s generally held, and the ideal of Yoga and Buddhism. The ideal of the Christian doctrine as it’s generally understood is the good man. And the ideal of Buddhism and Yoga is the wise man. It’s not the same thing. There can be very good men who’ve done a tremendous lot of harm because they were not wise. And some United Nations teams – and I have known some of them – they save the lives of children when they’re born, in some primitive areas, undeveloped areas. Children which would have died. And then now they are saving those lives. But the land can’t support the extra. So those children whom they’ve saved die of starvation a little later.
And one of them, in considerable distress; he was telling me, he said, “We now we’re dong good; we’re saving lives. And yet, we’re not doing good.” We have to go deeper. If on my present standpoint I think I’ll do good, I can do harm. Or at least not the good that I expect to do. But if I go deeper, and we can find the currents of the cosmic intelligence, and follow as best we can with our instruments those currents, then we shall do lasting good. Good which will be fruitful, and not good which may quite soon turn and have the reverse effect. Then, beyond intelligence, he said, “Go deeper. We can have the view of God’s in his heaven; all’s right with the world. And provided things hold up pretty well, I can feel pretty cheerful. Things are alright with me, and it’s alright. But that doesn’t solve the problem.
Gluttony is a deadly sin. And I can remember how surprised I was when I first read that, when I was a kid. Because it seems, gluttony seems one of the most amiable of weaknesses, really. You think of a very jolly man; yes he likes tucking in, that’s all. Or one of those very fat, expansive, explosive, physically explosive women, who like entertaining people and putting on a tremendously good show and you can tell food is good by the way she’s very amiable. Why a deadly sin? Drunkenness is only a minor sin. Why a deadly sin?
Well, it was a deadly sin because outside, people were starving. That extra food that man was taking in was taken away from people who were starving, within a few hundred yards. This is how it’s explained to us. We have to go deeper. We can’t solve the problem by balancing, trying to balance things out with our intelligence. We can go a long way, and if we penetrate by meditation through to the cosmic intelligence, to the divine intelligence, then we begin to receive inspiration. It has to go deeper than that. We can receive momentary inspiration from meditation, but then that’ll pass. Or we can say, “Well, what are these inspirations?”
© Trevor Leggett
Titles in this series are:
Part 1 : Progressive Meditation The 5 Sheaths
Part 3 : Yogic meditation is to go deeper
Part 5 : The universe is bliss and light