Chapter 4: The Transformative Power of Idols
The huge stones on top of the pyramids could not have been placed there by any crane that we have today. It seems beyond the power of man to have put them there, but it is very unlikely that the people of that time had cranes. They must have known some technique, which we cannot even guess at, to lift those rocks.
The truths of life are multidimensional. The same work can be done by many different methods and many different techniques. Life is so vast that when we begin to work in one dimension, we forget all other dimensions.
Idols were created by very highly developed people. It is worth thinking about: An idol is a bridge connecting us with the cosmic force which surrounds us; so the people who developed the use of idols created a bridge towards understanding the ultimate mystery of life.
We say that we have discovered electricity. Certainly we are more advanced and sophisticated than earlier communities which knew nothing about electricity. We have discovered radio waves, and we can send a message from one country to another within a second; so we are definitely more advanced than people who depend only on the power of their own voice to communicate just a few hundred feet away, by shouting.
But compared to the people who were able to make a bridge towards contacting the supreme source of life, we are just children. Our electricity, our radio and similar discoveries are just toys. The art of being connected with the ultimate mystery of life was discovered by people who had worked very hard in that one direction.
As I told you earlier, one aspect of the idol is that which can be seen by man. But a window opens out beyond that form towards the formless. The window of a house must have a shape and a form, just as the house does; the window cannot be formless. But when you open the window and look at the sky, you enter the formless. If I say to someone who has never opened his window to see the sky, that by opening the window of my house I am able to see the formless, he will say that I am mad. How can one see the infinite from a small window? - at the most whatever can be seen from a window can only be as big as the window itself. He is being perfectly logical, and if he has never seen the sky through the window, it will be difficult to convince him that just a small window can open onto the infinite. The window does not set a limitation on that onto which it opens, nor does the idol set a limitation on the formless.
Those who think that an idol is an obstacle in understanding the unmanifest make a great mistake. And those who think that by breaking a window the sky can be broken have helped to create a lot of foolishness in the world. And those who think that by destroying an idol, a form, the formless can be destroyed are not less than mad. But people who do not understand the art and alchemy of worship may well think of destroying idols.