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Chapter 5: From Emptiness toward Truth

And you ask the worth of such a self? That alone is existence; that alone is immortal; that alone is truth. The body holds as much value as a house; but the owner who stays within cannot be evaluated with the same measure. But there are fools, who sell the owner to save the house, who take the body to be everything and forget the self.

As Swami Ram was passing through the streets of Tokyo, he saw a big mansion in flames. He waited with the crowd to watch this great disaster. The owner of the house stood outside on the road as his servants brought out the valuables from within the house. When they thought everything of value had been removed, they came to ask if anything else was left behind. “My son!” cried out the owner of the house. “Where is my son?”

Just then, two men brought out the dead body of the son, the owner and the inheritor of all his wealth. The man was beside himself with grief. “What shall I do with all this wealth, when the one for whom it was, is no more!”

“Swami Ram writes in his diary: “I witnessed a strange happening today, but very true. Today I saw the owner of a house burned to death, while everyone was busy saving his belongings from the flames. I have also, this day, come to the conclusion, that this is what is happening all over the world.”

Each man is busy saving the house and letting the owner perish - because the house is visible, while the owner is not. But we forget that. That which cannot be seen exists all the same, and that which is seen exists because of it. The foundation is invisible on which the visible house stands. This seems converse, that that which cannot be seen is authentic, for we take the apparent world as real. Life is a big riddle; here everything is topsy-turvy; and from these inverse rules, all things are made.

You pick up a stone and examine it. Does it ever occur to you that it is made up of invisible things? Ask a scientist: he will say that it is made up of atoms. But atoms are invisible. Similarly, all that is visible is a synthesis of invisible components.

You must have seen little children revolving burning torches, round and round at the festival of Holi. The flame forms a circle. The circle appears to exist, whereas actually it does not, for in fact it is the burning torch that goes round and round and the speed covers up the interim space.

The scientists say that the atoms revolve so fast that they cannot be seen. Therefore we can “see” the stone and everything else in this world. This is a miracle. Matter is that which can be seen, but those who know - and now the scientists also agree - say that there is nothing like matter.

Nietzsche said about eighty years ago: “God is dead!” God is not dead, but matter is dead. Matter does not exist. There is nothing like matter, and whatever appears so is an illusion. But we will not agree. How can that which is so plainly visible, be an illusion?

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