LAW AND SPIRITUALITY, 1929
Does life obey any law? That life which is absolutely free and unconditioned has no law within itself. In manifestation, which may be called the expression of life, there must be law, but there is none for that which manifests, for that which expresses itself.
And as all law is limitation, I maintain that life in freedom, which is spirituality in consummation, is above any limitation. To that which is free you cannot go with bound hands. You cannot attain the spiritual life by systems or regulations. It is an inner experience, which cannot be translated into the finite. It is so vast, so immense, that unless you experience it yourself it remains a mystery, a hidden secret.
How can there exist laws in spirituality? Truth is absolutely pathless, in spite of the well-established idea of a guru, a mediator, who will teach, who will lead you to higher and higher stages, who will encourage you and give you that innate quality of strength, of dignity and poise.
If there is no mediator, no guru, no system, no religion, then there must be constant awareness, constant self-recollectedness, which will establish the distinction between the real and the unreal. All ignorance is the intermingling of the real with the unreal. Ignorance has no beginning but it has an end. The end of ignorance is when, through awareness and constant self-recollectedness, you know for yourself what is real and what is false, what is essential and what is non-essential. It depends on yourself, not on external things, not on outward circumstances. It does not matter what these are -whether you are a millionaire or a poor man- the objective sense-world does not exist for a man who is seeking the absolute, unconditioned Truth. He is not dominated from outside; he is not controlled or encouraged or depressed by outside influences.
To arrive at that realm which is liberation and to which there is no path, no guru, no law, you must of necessity break away from this old well-seasoned tradition of mediators, of salvation from the outside. This cleavage with tradition also means that you must be free from relative good and bad, from relative right and wrong, from pain and pleasure and from worldly conventions. It does not mean that you should destroy all standards for others.
As I have said before, this is purely an individual realisation, and to arrive at that realisation for yourself there must be the withdrawal from all external right and wrong, from pain and pleasure, and conventionalities established by society. Truth is a pathless land and to arrive there you cannot have regulations. This does not mean that you should be licentious, that you should use your freedom to do exactly what you desire. Liberation is not that. If these external standards no longer exist for you, replace them by a standard based upon eternal values -a much more difficult thing to do. That true standard, that infallible value, cannot be questioned, cannot be judged; nor can it be weighed in the balance against any standard established from outside. Such a standard is dynamic; and, as it is dynamic, it is truly creative, because it is constantly varying with life, because it is life itself, whereas all your outer standards are static. When you have established such a standard you are free -free of all your gurus, your systems, your rites, your laws. That standard will not vary according to your personal whims, your likes and dislikes, according to your moods, but is a measure which will lead each individual to that liberation which is harmony, which is true creation.
Liberation is neither in the future nor in the past. It is not something to be attained in some distant future nor does it lie in the past under the control, under the domination of those who have already attained. I maintain that the now, the immediate now, holds the entire truth. The past is the ever-changing present, and to that past belong birth, renunciation, acquisition, and all the qualities that you have gained.
The past will not solve your problems nor establish harmony within yourself; so you look to future, which becomes for you the great mystery. The future is the mystery of the 'I', the unsolved 'I', because whatever you have solved of the 'I', of the self, is past, so whatever you have not solved is the future, and hence a mystery. The future will always remain a mystery because the more you enter the future, the more mysterious it becomes and the more you are held within it.
The establishment of inner harmony is to be attained neither in the past nor in the future, but where the past and the future meet, which is the now. When you have attained that point, neither future nor past, neither birth nor death, neither time nor space exist. It is that "now" which is liberation, which is perfect harmony, to which the men of the past and the men of future must come. You, who aim at bringing about that harmony in the future, must realise this eternal moment.
To me the future is not at all important, neither is the past. What is of the utmost importance is what we are in the now. Your ideas, your love, your whole being must live in the immediate, which means that you must put your theory into practice now. It matters what you are now, in what manner you live and treat other people, not what you are going to be in the future. Who cares what you are going to be? The seed that has life in it wants sunshine and rain immediately, not in some distant future -by then the seed may be dead.
That eternal moment is creation. I dislike the use of the words 'active' and 'inactive', 'dynamic' and 'static' -pass the words by and see in them something potent. If you do not live in that eternal moment, you are dead to the self, to the 'I', to the immensity of life. Unless you free yourself from all outside authorities, conventions, rights and wrongs, philosophies and religions, you can never come to that immediate now, which is creation.
To be liberated, to live in the realm of the eternal, to be conscious of that Truth, means to be beyond birth and death -because birth is of the past and death is in the future- beyond space, beyond past and present, and the delusion of time. The man who has attained such liberation knows that perfect harmony which is constant and eternally present; he lives unconditionally in that eternity which is now.
LAW AND SPIRITUALITY, 1929
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