Chapter 12: Thou Art That
Parabrahman, the supreme reality which can never be destroyed, is even more subtle than the most subtle; it is the source of all cause and effect; it is the soul in all living beings - that art thou, thou art that.
Brahman is the nucleus of all worldly activities in the waking, dream and sleep states. I am this brahman: knowing this, one is freed from bondage.
There are two phases of spiritual discipline. In fact, all endeavors have two phases. In the first, all that is non-essential has to be dropped, renounced, disidentified from. The second phase is when you identify with the essential and become one with it. The first phase is that of negation, the second phase is that of affirmation.
You will have to know the unreal as unreal: only then will you be able to know the real as real. To know light, you will first have to know darkness - only then can you know it. If you want to recognize life, you will first have to recognize death; only then can you understand it. Because to reach that understanding, the opposite of whatsoever we come to understand also needs to be in our sight. When the night is dark, the stars shine more brightly. The stars are there even in daylight, but you can’t see them. You can’t even see them, what to say about if they are shining? Right now there are stars in the sky. Those stars don’t go anywhere. It is not that when the morning comes the stars go away, but it is impossible to see those stars in the sunlight. To see them, the darkness of the night is needed, and the deeper the darkness, the more clearly they can be seen. Recognition lies in there being opposites.
Another very interesting point, then we will enter the sutras: what we call opposites become complementaries because of their very opposition. An inner connection exists between them. The darkness of the night is not an enemy to the stars; it is a friend because without darkness you cannot see the stars.
Death is not an enemy of life, it is a friend. Life would not happen without death. Looked at in this way, it becomes clear that what you think of as an enemy is based on your own misunderstanding. When you say that a thing is bad, it is nothing but your misunderstanding.
In the depths, all opposites are complementaries. Without a Ravana, a Rama would not be possible; without a Rama, a Ravana would not be possible. To understand Rama you will have to understand what Ravana is, because what Ravana is, Rama is not.
Up to this point in the sutras the focus has been on negation, on what man’s inner being, his inner reality, is not: it is not the waking state, it is not the dream state, it is not the sleep state; it is also not the ordinary affairs of your daily life. Up to now we have only talked about what it is not. With this sutra begins the positive aspect - what it is.