Chapter 4: Alight with the Inner Fire
Thus, in this world, two things are happening: people are seeing things which are not there, and missing things which are really there. This is the first point to be understood.
If you are not able to perceive the divine it simply shows that there is no thirst for the divine within you. Otherwise, only the divine exists. And on the day the thirst happens within you all things will start receding and will become transparent and the divine will be visible within them. A tree will be visible then, but only as a form of the divine. There will still be clouds floating in the sky, but only as forms of the divine. There will still be people all around - wives, husbands, children, friends - but all will be but reflections of the splendor of the divine. The divine will become the center and all else will become its shadow, its reflection. Only the divine will be and all else will go on becoming secondary, more and more irrelevant.
To describe this phenomenon, enlightened people like Shankara have called this world maya, illusion. On the day that the divine becomes real, the world becomes unreal, illusory, maya. But as long as the world seems real to you the divine will seem to be unreal. People who consider this world to be very real ask, “Where is the divine?” They have no idea that their way of seeing, of living, of thinking, their very gestalt, is such that the divine cannot become real for them.
A new school of psychology, Gestalt Psychology, has emerged in Germany based on this concept. It is worth understanding. For example, people look at the floating clouds in the sky and then imagine that they are seeing things in the clouds - but there is nothing in the clouds. Someone might see Lord Krishna playing on his flute: this is a gestalt. It is within the person and it is being projected onto the clouds. Someone else might see a movie actress in the clouds, but there are only clouds. Children can see horses or elephants or fighting demons or fairies flying. Each person will see different things in the same clouds, and everybody is projecting from within. The clouds are functioning as a screen and everybody is projecting his own imagination on them.
You have spread this projection of your imagination all around you. A person may look beautiful to you and nobody else agrees that that person is beautiful - but for you that person is beautiful. You may feel that somebody is very disgusting but he may be very lovely for someone else. So you are not living in the world of facts, you are living in the world of imagination. You are creating your own individual subjective worlds around you out of your imagination. It continuously surrounds you: you think, sit, stand and walk according to this subjective world. And people surrounded by these individual, subjective worlds ask, “Where is the divine?” but there is no longing within them to experience the divine.