The twelfth sutra:
Inquire of the inmost, the One, of its final secrets which it holds for you through the ages. The great and difficult victory, the conquering of the desires of the individual soul, is a work of ages; therefore, expect not to obtain its reward until ages of experience have been accumulated. When the time of learning this rule is reached, man is on the threshold of becoming more than man.
The knowledge which is now yours is only yours because your soul has become one with all pure souls and with the inmost. It is a trust vested in you by the most high. Betray it, misuse your knowledge, or neglect it, and it is possible even now for you to fall from the high estate you have attained. Great ones fall back, even from the threshold, unable to sustain the weight of their responsibility, unable to pass on. Therefore, look forward always with awe and trembling to this moment, and be prepared for the battle.
Inquire of the inmost, the one, of its final secret, which it holds for you through the ages. Only on the periphery are we many; only on the circumference does the multiplicity exist. The more we move toward the center, the more we move toward the one. On the center we are one.
On the periphery we exist as many. Your personality is different from the personality of your neighbor. Your individuality is different from anyone else. But your innermost center is not different. Your innermost center is the innermost center of all. When you reach the innermost, you reach to the one.
The whole world is just the circumference. The center – you may call it God, or you may call it the supreme soul or whatsoever you like – but when you reach your own innermost center, you have reached the innermost center of all. And there, all secrets are hidden, in that one. And there, all the mysteries can be revealed to you.
You cannot know them beforehand. Unless you enter the innermost temple of the One, mysteries will remain mysteries. You can create many theories about them and many philosophies, but it is of no use, futile, meaningless. You can philosophize much, but nothing can be concluded. It has happened for ages. Centuries have passed and men have been philosophizing, creating thousands and thousands of philosophies, theories and systems with no result. You can create them, but it is mental. You don’t know.
You can imagine. You can create a very coherent system of thoughts, but it is only in your thoughts, in your dreams. Philosophers are creative, but creative of dreams, fantasies. They create logical systems, they argue for them, but the truth cannot be created through logical systems; the truth cannot be reached through arguments. Whatsoever you reach will just be a hypothesis. The truth can be reached only through experience.
That is the difference between philosophy and religion. Religion says that the truth is not known, because you are not capable of knowing it. Unless you are transformed totally – unless you become a different one, unless your perspective changes, your outlook changes, your eyes change, your heart changes – you will not know truth. Truth cannot be known through contemplation; it can only be known through your inner transformation.
Contemplation is possible, but you remain the same; you just go on thinking in your head. You can create many things in the head. You can believe in them, but you know they are your creations. Truth is not a creation; you cannot create it. You can only discover it, uncover it – it is hidden. No arguments will help. Only a real travelling inward will be of any use.
Religion is anti-philosophical. It says that philosophy is of no use; it is just intellectual gymnastics. You can enjoy it, it is a game of words, logic, arguments, but it will not give you anything; you will not reach anywhere. You are just sitting in your easy chair with closed eyes, thinking and thinking and thinking. You can go on thinking for ages. You can think coherently, consistently, but you will still not come any nearer to the truth.
You may even go farther away, because truth is not a mental construct. It is already there; it is not a mental construct. On the contrary, because of your mentation, because there is too much activity in your mind, it is hidden. Your mind creates the clouds. You go on moving in the clouds and the sky is hidden. Disperse the clouds, disperse thoughts, disperse arguments, logic, philosophies, and suddenly it is revealed. It has always been there; it is already the case.
You do not have to do anything to create it. You simply have to be yielding, surrendering to it, thoughtless, alert, aware, and it is there. It has always been there. The truth is hidden within you, so you need not go anywhere else. No need to go to the Himalayas. The only need is to go within.
This sutra says Inquire of the inmost, the One, of its final secrets which it holds for you through the ages. But only through non-thinking can you inquire. This seems contradictory, because whenever we inquire, we use thinking. Our ordinary method of inquiry means thinking and more thinking. But this inquiry, the inquiry of religion, is not thinking. The inquiry of religion can be done only when you are alert and non-thinking.
Remember this: I emphasize non-thinking alertness because in non-thinking you may go to sleep if you are not alert. Then it is of no use. You are alert when you are thinking but that is of no use, because thinking creates the clouds. Or you can be non-thinking and asleep. That too is of no use because the sky is there but you are asleep so you cannot see it. So two things are needed: non-thinking and alertness. No-thought consciousness. No-mind awareness. If you can create this phenomenon within you (no mind on the one hand and awareness on the other hand), this is what meditation is; this is what I call dhyana.
In this situation, truth becomes revealed. And that truth is one, the most inner one. It is not yours. That center is the center of the whole existence.
You exist only on the periphery, the circumference. The more inward you move, the less and less you become. When you reach to the innermost center, you are no more. In a sense, you are no more; the old man is dead. But in another sense, for the first time you are, because now the innermost reality is revealed to you, the eternal is revealed to you. Now you have reached that which never changes.
The great and difficult victory, the conquering of the desires of the individual soul, is a work of ages; therefore, expect not to obtain its reward until ages of experience have been accumulated. When at the time of learning this rule is reached, man is on the threshold of becoming more than man.
When you enter within, toward the one, you are reaching a new state of existence and being. You are becoming more than man; you are becoming superman. You have reached higher than humanity; the human animal is transcended.
The human animal lives in sleep, deep sleep, unconsciousness. You go on doing things while you are deeply asleep. You move on the street, and you are asleep. You eat your food, and you are asleep. You listen to me, and you are asleep. You are not alert; you are not aware. The mind goes on weaving things within, dreams continue.
You may be here physically. Psychologically, you may not be here at all. Then you are asleep. In your mind you may have moved somewhere else. If you have moved somewhere else then you are not here with consciousness. Only your physical body is here.
Remember this: whatsoever you are doing, do it so alertly, with full awareness, that your consciousness is there; it is not allowed to move. Then only will you come to know what awareness is. Moment to moment, move in the present. Don’t go away from the present or you will have gone into dreams.
This awareness makes you totally different from ordinary humanity. You are alert. You have become more than man.
The knowledge which is now yours is only yours because your soul has become one with all pure souls and with the inmost. So don’t get egoistic about it in any way, don’t think that you have now gained a superhuman state because you are alert.
You are alert only, you are aware only, you have transcended humanity only, because now you are becoming one with all the great souls. You are becoming one with existence itself. Don’t get egoistic about it, because if you get egoistic the journey stops. You can fall back. Egoism is the last point from where sleep can enter again. Egoism is the point from where unconsciousness can again come to you. You can again fall back in the trap; you can again start dreaming.
It is a trust vested in you by the most high. This awareness is a trust vested in you by the Most High, the innermost one. Betray it . . . You can betray it still; you can fall back again. You are still fluid; you have still not crystallized. The old state has gone, the new is still forming – it is in a fluid state. You can go back; you can fall back. The transformation has not happened in its totality. Only in part are you different. Part of you is still the old.
It is a trust. Betray it, misuse your knowledge . . . You can betray it. If you become egoistic – if you say, “This is my knowledge,” if you say, “I have come to know. I have realized. I have known God. I have become this and that,” – if you claim, you have betrayed. The claim shows that the ego still persists in you; the ego is there behind it. You have fallen into the trap again. The one who has known will not claim that he has known. There is no need to claim. Any claim comes from the ego; claim means ego. If you claim, you are betraying it.
. . . misuse your knowledge . . . You can misuse it. You can use it to exploit others, you can use it to dominate others, you can use it for ends which are not spiritual, but then you will fall back. Knowledge is dangerous because knowledge is power, and if you use it for ends which are not right, you will lose the grip; you will fall back. That which has been given to you can be taken back. No one takes it back from you – you, yourself, lose it.
. . . or neglect it . . . You can neglect it. If you neglect it, it will stop growing. And remember, if something is not growing you are going backwards. In existence, nothing is static. Either you grow or you fall back; either you move forward, or you are moving backward. You cannot remain at rest. Eddington has said somewhere that the word ’rest’ is the most fallacious word. Nothing like rest exists in the world. Either things are going forward or going backward. Either you are increasing in something or decreasing. There is nothing like rest; you cannot rest no matter where you are, no. If you are trying to rest, you will fall back. Even if you want to rest at the point where you are, you have to grow more. Only through growing can you rest. Otherwise, you will fall back.
. . . neglect it . . .
You can neglect it . . .
. . . and it is possible even now for you to fall back from the high estate you have attained. Great ones fall back, even from the threshold, unable to sustain the weight of their responsibility, unable to pass on. Therefore, look forward always with awe and trembling to this moment, and be prepared for the battle.
Even from the very threshold of the temple of the divine, you can go away. Just a knock and the door would have opened, but without knocking you can move away. The nearer you are, the more possibility there is to move away, because you become more confident that you have reached. This is even more dangerous. Unless you have reached and become one with the flame, do not be too confident. You can lose it at any moment. Confidence can be dangerous.
It always happens that when you have come nearer to the goal you feel more tired. You want to rest. Now you know that the temple is right nearby, and you can reach at any moment; there is no difficulty. “I can relax a little, I can rest a little.” Then you can lose the very thing that was near. It may go far away.
Relaxing near the goal is dangerous because the moment you relax you can fall back. And when you become aware again, you will find that the temple has disappeared.
When the goal is near, don’t relax your effort. Rather, now bring your total energy to it; become totally absorbed in it. This is the moment that the sutra is talking about when it says: . . . look forward always with awe and trembling to this moment. Don’t relax. There is no relaxation unless you have become one with God. Before that, no relaxation is possible.
From The New Alchemy: To Turn You On, Discourse #16
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