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Chapter 1: Beyond the Changing

The so-called spiritualists of the world go on trying to prove that the world is illusory so that they can prove that only spirit exists, the world does not exist - it is maya, it is illusory, it is untrue, it is made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. And the materialist goes on doing the same from the other polarity. He says there is no consciousness; consciousness is an epiphenomenon. Karl Marx says that consciousness is a byproduct of matter and nothing more; it has no substance of its own. Matter is real and consciousness is only a shadow. It is the same logic!

Berkeley says: consciousness is real and matter is only a shadow, a thought, nothing else but a dream. But their logic is the same: both are afraid of accepting both, both are choosing one. They live in the world of either/or.

But the true mystic, the Upanishadic mystic, accepts both; he does not even call them two - they are one appearing as two. These two are aspects of one reality: the inner and the outer, the material and the spiritual.

So to me there is no problem: you be scientific and religious, you be materialistic and spiritualistic. Live in the world and live joyously, but also remain centered in your consciousness. This is bringing the Upanishads back. It is a resurrection!

At the heart of this phenomenal world,
within all its changing forms,
dwells the unchanging Lord.

Everywhere God is present; all that is needed is the eyes to see. Then you will see him in the rocks and in the stars and in the birds and in the animals and in the people around you. But the first experience has to happen within you; only then you will be able to see him everywhere else.

So, go beyond the changing,
and, enjoying the inner,
cease to take for yourself
what to others are riches.

The unchanging is the God and the changing is the world.

.go beyond the changing.

Not against the changing, remember - beyond. Beyond is not against. “Beyond” means live in it, but live in such a way that you remain above it, like a lotus flower. It grows in the lake but goes beyond the lake. It lives in water, but the water cannot touch its velvety leaves. Even in the morning when dewdrops gather on the leaves or petals of the lotus they remain separate. The dewdrops are there on the leaves and you can see them, so beautiful in the morning sun, like pearls, but they are separate. The leaf remains absolutely dry; the dewdrops cannot make it wet.

That’s the way of a sannyasin, that’s the way of the Upanishads: living in the world and yet not being of it.

.go beyond the changing,
and, enjoying the inner.