Now follow the traits of seekers of the second stage,
called the stage of thought.
He lives in the care of learned men who explain best what
listening, remembering, right conduct, contemplation –
dharana – and meditation are. Having acquired knowledge of such scriptures as are worth listening to, he efficiently discriminates between what is duty and what is not, and he knows well the division between a word and the thing it symbolizes.
His mind does not suffer from an excess of conceit, pride, greed and attachment, although externally they are apparent to some extent.
He gives up his external impurities as a snake casts off its slough.
Such a seeker acquires the actual
knowledge of all these things with the grace of the scriptures,
the guru, and the sages.
The first stage for the seeker is to create a milieu around himself of the feeling that the ocean is real and waves are just superficial surface phenomena. To live in that oceanic feeling is the first stage. This becomes the soil. Unless this milieu is there, there is no possibility of any growth into the higher realms of being. So remember this: you must be aware more and more of the center, less and less of the surface; more and more aware of the depth, and less and less aware of the circumference. The focus must change from the periphery to the innermost core.
If you continue being involved with the surface you cannot penetrate to the ultimate being, because the ultimate being, Brahman – or you may call it the truth or God or whatsoever you like – the ultimate being is the center of existence. And we exist on the periphery.
This is natural in a way, because whenever you come in contact with something, you come in contact with the periphery, the outermost. This is natural. But don’t remain there – move ahead, move further. Leave the periphery be-hind and go deep. With everything – with a rock, with a man, with a tree, with whatsoever – always remember that the surface is the outermost body, and this is not the whole. The whole illusion consists of thinking of the surface as the whole.
The surface belongs to the whole, there is nothing wrong in it; but when you get this impression, this identity that the surface is the whole, then there is no possibility of inner growth because then you have to stay with the surface – the surface has become the whole. Don’t allow the surface to become the whole. This is not something which is going against the surface; this is simply going with the truth, with the reality.
The surface will be there. When you have conceived the whole, the surface will be there, but in its right place. Nothing is to be eliminated, only a greater perspective is needed. And when your perspective has become total, everything will be there. This world will be there; whatsoever you have will be there, but in a new harmony, in a new gestalt.