(… continued from ‘Prarabdha karma wears thin’)
… “This is you and here’s the spiritual truth, and the spiritual truth is being poured into you. It goes into your head, and leaks away through your heels almost at once. That’s not the way to fill a sieve with water. However much you pour, you keep on pouring. The way to fill the sieve with water [is to immerse it in the water]. Now it’s full of water.
“While you think that you’re ladling the spiritual truth into yourself with your study, and your meditations, and listening to discourses, yes, it goes in, and then it goes out again. You have to not bring the spiritual truth into yourself, but you have to throw yourself into the spiritual truth, then you’ll be full.”
Our teacher told us that this is possible. He didn’t use this example, but it’s possible to throw oneself into the spiritual truth because the spiritual truth corresponds and is something which is at the basis of our being. So, we can throw ourselves, so we’re in an ocean of light. We’ve got a little rock of our egoism and separateness, and we stand on that rock. If I stand on that rock and try and ladle the water into the sieve [it’s lost]. But if I dive off the rock into that sea, then we fill with the sea of life. Our teacher gives this example sometimes.
He quotes his teacher, Shri Dada, for instance (in this book) – it’s a well-known Indian example: there’s a doll, a cloth doll, and you can dip it in the water and it’s wet; but then you bring it out and you put it on the rock, and it soon dries under the sun. Then you can dip it in a bit longer but still, when you take it out, it’ll dry. But if the doll is made of salt, you throw it into the water, then it’ll be dissolved in the water. Well, in the same way, he said, the isolated, selfish elements of the personality, if they’re thrown into the spiritual truth, they’ll begin to dissolve until there’s [just] the spiritual truth and not something that is trying to manipulate everything to its own advantage.
There’s a universe of light – some of the experiences are mentioned by Shri Dada. We think, “Well, it can’t be so, the universe can’t consist of light. We know there are things here [like the table]. Light?” Well, if we read the books of present-day physics, we would find that their view is the famous electromagnetic flashes that was the phrase that Eddington used to use about 40 years ago. And now they’re speaking of the wave particle duality, which is a paradox. But it’s certainly not this hard matter [of the table] which my senses tell me it consists of.
It’s largely space full of stresses. But the yoga experiments are quite different. Yoga’s not a question of looking at scientific experiments and saying, “Ah, yes, and that leads to a yoga conclusion.” No, they have their own experiments from which they draw their conclusion. We are told to practice meditation, and then you will begin to find light – not creating light – you will begin to find light in yourself and in the outside world.
Now, our teacher used to give modern examples as well as the ancient ones, and Shankara, in his day, used to give many examples from village life, Indian village life. His examples are not taken from the sophisticated cities of India at a time when India was the richest country in the world. The Roman historian estimated that a million gold pieces went out every year from the Roman Empire into India for the wonderful artefacts and the cloths and silks. Even today, hoards are sometimes found of these gold pieces on the south and west coasts of India outside the former trading centres. The cities were enormously rich, enormously sophisticated, and they were very keen on the extravert way of life. His examples are taken from very simple village life. He thought that the village people had a much more direct outlook than these very highly abstract and aesthetic sophisticates in the city.
But our teacher used to give modern examples. Now, for instance, that the world is light. We think, “Well, how can it be light?” Well, supposing we’re sitting here and each one of us is asked by someone, “Describe the scene, describe what you see.” Well, it would take some time, but we could describe the walls and the ceiling and the people, and even what they’re wearing, and the arrangement of the chairs, and all the time, we’d say, “Oh, no, there’s something more.”
Well, finally, we’ve got to the really fine detail. “No, there’s something more. No, no, I’ve described everything.” There’s one thing that’s been left out. They haven’t described light. But everything you see, in fact, is light. This is all light. We know this, our physics will tell us that this is all light. These are all light rays. I call them people, chairs, walls, ceiling, but they’re all light rays. The whole world, the visual world, consists of light.
© Trevor Leggett
(Continued in ‘We are seeing shapes of light’)
Titles in this series are:
Part 1: Extraverts & Introverts 2
Part 2: Prarabdha karma wears thin
Part 4: We are seeing shapes of light
Part 5: Seeds of truth
Part 6: Practices are directed inwardly