Chapter 5: From Emptiness toward Truth
Look at the sky above. You see the star; but perhaps you do not know that the star is not where it appears to be! The star has moved further on, but because its rays take a long time to reach the earth it appears to be there where the rays first started. If the rays of a star take, say, sixty years to reach the earth, the star will have long moved out from that position by the time these rays reach the earth and we see it. It could also be possible that that star may have disintegrated by then. Yet its light is visible to us and will be visible to us for another sixty years. Thus all the skies are illusory and so false. The stars are not where you see them and you cannot see them where they are.
Life is very, very strange. This matter that we see does not exist. This body that appears so compact is also a mere synthesis of atoms, and that which is of the greatest significance, lies hidden within. That is consciousness on which depends all play of life. The more you try to find this consciousness, the more elusive it becomes.
In these three days we have talked on some suggestions, some hints, and some rules in the quest of this truth. That which is invisible is of great importance and hence the need to talk on it. When this body falls, as it is sure to one day, only that remains which is invisible, hence it is very useful and very necessary to talk about it and to find ways and means of attaining it. Those that stagnate in the visible world are unfortunate.
One friend asks:
Are you against restraint and continence?
Definitely so, I am against all restraint, especially the restraints that are brought about by force and pressure. I am in favor of that moderation which comes as a result of right understanding. Both these statements should be rightly understood. There is one moderation that man forces upon himself. He is one person without, but quite a different person within. The majority of people who bring moderation upon themselves are like this.
Outwardly, this man practices nonviolence: he strains the water he drinks; he forgoes food at night; he takes all kinds of precautions not to commit violence and feels proud of his self-restraint; but all the while violence smolders within.
Sex rages within and he practices celibacy from without. He is filled with wrath within, but his face is all smiles. He implants all virtues from outside, while his within is filled with just the opposite of these virtues. Such self-restraint is very dangerous. It is like sitting on a volcano.
There lived in a village a very hot-tempered man. In a fit of rage one day, he pushed his wife into the well. She died, and this filled him with remorse - as is the way with all people of violent temperament. This repentance, however, does not help, for such people soon become the same as before. He was very unhappy and refused to be consoled by those around him. Then a sannyasin happened to come to that village. His friends took the man to see him with the hope that the sannyasin may be able to soothe his spirit. The wave of penitence was as yet very high when he stood before the muni and he confesses his guilt. He begged him to show him the way to conquer anger.