What is a tree today will become a human being at some other time. And all the trees that you see here are not at the same level of growth. In their individuality also there are differences: some of them are dull and foolish trees and others are intelligent trees. The intelligent trees are moving quickly towards going beyond being trees; they are more ready to enter into the higher dimensions of life.
With human beings also, all are not the same. There are many idiots who are stuck where they are: they are clinging to the periphery believing it to be the only reality. There are also wise people who are trying to enter into the higher dimensions of life and who are leaving behind the boundaries of the periphery.
If we take not only the individual forms but the whole existence into consideration, then the periphery is called maya, illusion, or samsara, appearance. “The world” is the name given to the periphery. But hidden at the deepest core of samsara is the center, the brahman, the ultimate reality.
We go on living in a delusion, hypnotized by the many forms and shapes. The Upanishads call a person a brahmin, the highest Hindu caste, when he has entered into the search for the formless that is hidden in all forms. No one is a brahmin just by birth. If someone thinks that he is a brahmin by virtue of his being born in a brahmin family, he is mad. To become a brahmin is the achievement of a constant spiritual discipline. Everybody is a shudra by birth, which is the lowest Hindu caste. From all these shudras only a very few transform themselves into brahmins; the rest remain shudras.
The one who leaves the circumference in search of the center, breaking through the many layers of illusion, the one who is in search of the brahman, the ultimate reality, becomes a brahmin. Then he is not interested in the visible. He is interested in the invisible reality which the eyes cannot see, which can only be seen with the eyes of awareness, with in-sight.
Now let us enter into the sutras. They are, in many ways, very valuable.
“The divine, which is hidden within all living beings as the self, is invisible. It can be seen only by one with the sharpest and highest intelligence, by one whose sight has become subtle.”
It is easy to misunderstand the meaning of “sharp and subtle intelligence”. By this the Upanishads do not mean an ordinary sharp intellect as you normally understand it. Ordinarily, you call an intelligence “sharp” and “subtle” when it is skilled in logic and mathematics, skilled in argument and in analysis of the smallest details.