Chapter 11: Listen to the Song of Life
4. Listen to the song of life.
Look for it and listen to it first in your own heart.
At first you may say: “It is not there;
when I search I find only discord.”
If again you are disappointed,
pause and look deeper again.
There is a natural melody, an obscure fount
in every human heart.
It may be hidden over
and utterly concealed and silenced -
but it is there.
At the very base of your nature
you will find faith, hope, and love.
He that chooses evil refuses to look within himself,
shuts his ears to the melody of his heart,
as he blinds his eyes to the light of his soul.
He does this because he finds it easier
to live in desires.
But underneath all life is the strong current
that cannot be checked;
the great waters are there in reality.
Find them and you will perceive that none,
not the most wretched of creatures,
but is a part of it,
however he blind himself to the fact
and build up for himself
a phantasmal outer form of horror.
In that sense it is that I say to you:
all those beings among whom you struggle on
are fragments of the divine.
And so deceptive is the illusion in which you live,
that it is hard to guess where you will first detect
the sweet voice in the hearts of others.
But know that it is certainly within yourself.
Look for it there and once having heard it,
you will more readily recognize it around you.
In all his experiences of life, man is simply hearing the echo of his own heart. What you find on the outside is nothing but your own inner projection. The outer is just the screen: what you see reflected on it are your own shadows. If you feel that life is a suffering and you see unhappiness casting its shadow all around, know that it is nothing but the projection of your own troubled heart. If you see only anguish in life, it is you who has projected despair onto life. What you see on the outside is nothing but an extension of your inner state.
Think of the world as a mirror and what you see in that mirror as nothing but a picture of yourself. But we think that what we see actually exists in the world, and then we become engaged in trying to get rid of it. This effort only shows our ignorance, and takes us into deeper suffering, because the origins of what we are trying to erase do not lie there. It is just as if you feel that a mirror is projecting an ugly image of you, and so you break the mirror. You can break it if you want to, but this will not change your ugly face. By breaking the mirror you may not be able to see your ugly face, but not seeing it does not mean that it does not exist.