Chapter 8: Attainment of the Way
Look for the flower to bloom
in the silence that follows the storm;
not till then.
It shall grow, it will shoot up,
it will make branches and leaves and form buds,
while the storm continues,
while the battle lasts.
But not till the whole personality of the man
is dissolved and melted -
not until it is held by the divine fragment
which has created it, as a mere subject
for grave experiment and experience -
not until the whole nature has yielded
and become subject unto its higher self,
can the bloom open.
Then will come a calm
such as comes in a tropical country
after the heavy rain.
And in the deep silence
the mysterious event will occur
which will prove that the way has been found.
The opening of the bloom
is the glorious moment when perception awakes; with it comes confidence, knowledge, certainty.
When the disciple is ready to learn,
then he is accepted, acknowledged, recognized.
It must be so, for he has lit his lamp,
and it cannot be hidden.
These written above
are the first of the rules which are written
on the walls of the hall of learning.
Those that ask shall have.
Those that desire to read shall read.
Those who desire to learn shall learn.
Peace be with you.
People ask: If everyone’s nature is godliness then what is the need for the world? And if everyone already has a soul then how do we become involved in this ignorance? Why are there such complications? If everything within is so natural and truthful, then why is there so much trouble without? And if we are to achieve that which we already have, then all these wanderings in between, this journey in the middle, does not seem to have a meaning. If brahman is everyone’s nature, then why does the world exist?
Many attempts have been made to answer this question, but almost all of them have been near-failures, because no matter what the explanation, the fundamental question remains untouched. Someone says that you are wandering because of your past lives. But this answer is very childish, because even if we say that the wandering of your present life is because of your previous lives, then what could be the reason for going astray in your very first life? So there are some people who, to avoid the flaw in this answer, say that there is no first birth and that you have been wandering for an infinite length of time.
This is also the viewpoint of the Jainas; that you have been wandering forever, since eternity. But even with this understanding the question remains: why has the soul been wandering since eternity? Why is the soul homeless? What is the reason for this eternal wandering?