Chapter 2: From Delusion toward Truth
Perhaps you know the story of Alexander - that when he died his hands were kept dangling outside of his bier. People began to wonder at this gross oversight on the part of his ministers, for Alexander was a mighty emperor. But no one seemed to take note of this omission, though great kings and soldiers were taking turns to shoulder his bier! By evening things became clear. Before he died, Alexander had asked his friends and ministers to keep his hands outside the shroud, for he wished the world to know that even the mighty Alexander, the conqueror of the world, left empty handed. A whole life time was spent in seeking and striving in the outside world all in vain.
We too will go empty handed, for nothing is ever attained outside of ourselves. But we live always in the hope of attaining from the outside world. Life comes to a close, and hope changes into despair. Not a single man on the face of this earth has been able to claim that he achieved what he sought outside; and not a single one who sought within, has ever said that he searched within but did not find.
Therefore I call religion the ultimate science. The meaning of science is, knowledge without exceptions. And though we may find exceptions in science - in the realm of religion, there has not been a single contradiction. All those who searched outside, without a single exception, attained nothing; and all those who searched within, without exception, attained everything.
Therefore I wish to lay stress on the second rule - that the treasures of truth are not outside of you. The truth of life is within. Once this becomes clearly evident, the journey within begins. But we are so outside oriented - the vast expanse of the world without and all that it contains - That somewhere within us, we feel that everything is outside, and what could possibly be within?
The within seems so small and insignificant compared to the magnitude of the world that spreads beyond the horizon infinite! Within? There seems to be nothing. It appears too small and insignificant for our attention when viewed against the vast outside world. But the question is not of great or small, and besides, we have not traveled within to know what it is like. It is only when we go within that we realize that the inside is capable of holding infinite worlds within itself. It is limitless.
Go within and you shall know; delve within and you shall find. It is the experience that will prove the validity of the statement. Things outside have their boundary, but the within is limitless. However, there is no other way of finding this out except by going into one’s own self. There are things in life which can only be known by experience. If there is a pain in my arm, I cannot explain the quality of the pain, no matter how much I try; nor can I show to you by any means that “Here is the pain.” Even if the arm is dissected, the pain cannot be drawn out for inspection.
The mind thinks incessantly, but on opening the skull we shall find the brain and the nerves but no thoughts. Thoughts have never been seen, but if we insist on a concrete proof of their existence we shall have to state that there is nothing like thoughts. We all, however, know that thoughts are. We all know that love is, though it is impossible to point it out physically anywhere in the heart, for this is no gross matter that can be presented to view. Thus, though these things like love and pain cannot be displayed, we still know for certain that they exist within us.