I said, “If godliness can be lost by not practicing for just twelve hours, then what you saw was not godliness – it was merely a consequence of your regular practice.” It is similar to when a person repeats something incessantly and creates an illusion. No, godliness has not to be seen in a rock; rather, one needs to reach a state in which there is nothing left to be seen in a rock except godliness. These are two different things.
Through your efforts to see it there, you will begin to see godliness in a rock, but that godliness will be no more than a mental projection. That will be a godliness superimposed by you on to the rock; it will be the work of your imagination. That godliness will be purely your creation; a complete figment of your imagination. Such godliness is nothing more than your dream – a dream which you have consolidated by reinforcing it again and again. There is no problem seeing godliness like this, but it is living in an illusion, it is not entering truth.
One day, of course, it happens that the individual himself disappears and, consequently, he sees nothing but godliness. Then one doesn’t feel that godliness is in the rock; then the feeling is, “Where is the rock? Only godliness is!” Do you follow the distinction I am making? Then one doesn’t feel that godliness exists in the plant or that it exists in the rock; that the plant exists and, in the plant, so does godliness – no, nothing of the kind. What one comes to feel is, “Where is the plant? Where is the rock? Where is the mountain?”…because all around, whatever is seen, whatever exists is only godliness. Then seeing godliness does not depend upon your exercise, it depends upon your experience.
The greatest danger in the realm of spiritual practice is the danger of imagination. We can fantasize truths which must otherwise become our own experience. There is a difference between experiencing and fantasizing. A person who has been hungry the whole day eats at night in his dream and feels greatly satisfied. Perhaps he does not find as much joy in eating when he is awake as he does when he is dreaming – in the dream he can eat any dish he wants. Nevertheless, his stomach still remains empty in the morning, and the food he has consumed in his dream gives him no nourishment. If a man decides to stay alive on the food he eats in dreams, then he is sure to die soon. No matter how satisfying the food eaten in the dream may be, in reality it is not food. It can neither become part of your blood, nor your flesh, nor your bones or marrow. A dream can only cause deception.
Not only are meals made of dreams, godliness is also made of dreams. And so is moksha, liberation, made of dreams. There is a silence made of dreams, and there are truths made of dreams. The greatest capacity of the human mind is the capacity to deceive itself. However, by falling into this kind of deception, no one can attain bliss and liberation.