Chapter 3: The Whole Universe Is a Temple
My beloved ones, a friend has asked:
The method that you have shown us for realizing the truth or the universal self is of negating everything and knowing oneself. Is the opposite of it not also possible: that we try to see the universal self in all, that we feel it in the whole?
It will be helpful to understand this.
One who cannot realize godliness within himself can never realize it in all. One who has not yet recognized godliness within himself can never recognize it in others. The self means that which is nearest to you; then anyone who is at a little distance from you will have to be considered as being farther away. And if you cannot see godliness in yourself, which is nearest you, you cannot possibly see it in those far from you. First you will have to know godliness in yourself; first the knower will have to know the divine - that is the nearest door.
But remember, it is very interesting that the individual who enters his self suddenly finds the entrance to all. The door to one’s self is the door to all. No sooner does a man enter his self than he finds he has entered all, because although we are outwardly different, inwardly we are not.
Outwardly, all leaves are different from each other. But if a person could penetrate just one leaf, he would reach to the source of the tree where all the leaves are in unison. Seen individually, each leaf is different - but once you have known a leaf in its interiority, you will have reached to the source from which all leaves emanate and into which all leaves dissolve. One who enters himself simultaneously enters all.
The distinction between “I” and “you” remains only so long as we have not entered within ourselves. The day we enter our I, the I disappears and so does the you - what remains then is all.
Actually, “all” does not mean the sum of I and you. “All” means where I and you have both disappeared, and what subsequently remains is all. If “I” has not yet dissolved, then one can certainly add I’s and you’s, but the sum will not equal truth. Even if one adds all the leaves, a tree does not come into being - even though it has had all the leaves added to it. A tree is more than the sum of all the leaves. In fact, it has nothing to do with addition; it is erroneous to add. Adding one leaf to another, we assume each one is separate. A tree is not made of separate leaves at all.