Beyond your moods there is nothing to watch, but only silence. In that silence a great miracle happens. The energy that has been watching turns upon itself. Hence many old religions have used as a symbol the snake holding its own tail in its mouth. It is a circle…the mouth and the tail. It has been used in a very ancient school in Tibet, and Madame Blavatsky brought it from there and it became a symbol for the Theosophical movement.
I have met many Theosophists. In the city where I used to live there was a Theosophical lodge; it was one of their big centers. And just before the lodge was the snake taking his tail in his mouth.
The president, who had invited me to speak in their lodge, was taking me inside the lodge. I asked him, “Do you know the meaning of this snake?”
He said, “I have once or twice been puzzled myself – what is the meaning of this snake? And I have been asking all our Theosophist leaders – president of the world society, secretary of the world society – but nobody seems to know the meaning of it. And it is there on all the lodges. It seems everybody has forgotten the meaning.”
I said, “If you have forgotten the meaning of this simple symbol, then you have forgotten everything about theology, theosophy, or whatever name you give to it. You have forgotten everything about religion, because this snake represents the ultimate experience of watching. When the energy of watching, just like a snake, turns back to the source, creating a circle, one knows oneself, there is nothing else to know. That’s what Socrates was saying to his disciples: ‘Know thyself, because without knowing thyself you cannot be thyself.’”
Unconscious, you simply think you are. But you don’t know who you are, what you are, why you are. Your whole life is lived in unconsciousness.
Mrs. Pomeroy’s maid became so sick one afternoon that Mrs. Pomeroy said to her, “Please, let me put you in my bed until I can get our family doctor here to examine you.”
When the physician arrived, Mrs. Pomeroy showed him into the bedroom, then left him alone to examine the maid. “Doctor, I am not sick at all,” confessed the maid, “I am faking it. That old tightwad owes me three months back salary, and I am not getting out of her bed until she pays me.”
The doctor’s face suddenly brightened. “Hell,” he said, “she owes me for my past ten visits here.” He then popped a thermometer into his mouth and said to the maid, “Move over.”
But this is our whole life…almost living in a state of sleep.
When a sudden storm blew up at sea, a young woman leaning against the ship’s rail lost her balance and was thrown overboard. Immediately another figure plunged into the waves beside her, and held her up until a lifeboat rescued them.
To everyone’s astonishment, the hero was the oldest man on the voyage, ninety-two years old. That night a party was given in honor of his bravery. “Speech, speech!” cried the other passengers.