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Volume VIII - The Art of Being

The Privilege of Being Human

Chapter XVIII

Often one wonders what the word holy means. Sometimes people understand by it spiritual, pious, good, pure, religious. But none of these words can fully explain the meaning of the word holy. Holy is the next degree to pious. God-realizing is pious, self-realizing is holy. The first step to self-realization is God-realization; it is not by self-realization that man realizes God, it if by God-realization that man realizes self.

Holiness is a spark of divinity in man, and no soul must be considered as being deprived of this spark of divinity. This spark is light itself, which also exists in the form of life in the lower creation among animals and birds, in trees and in plants. In man this light has the opportunity to blaze into a flame, but at first this light is buried in the heart of man. From the moment this spark of divinity begins to sparkle from his heart, a man shows the sign of holiness. Therefore holiness is no human heritage, it is inherited by every soul from God. It manifests itself only when the heart is open and when out of that spark, which is divine in man, there rises a tongue of flame which illuminates the path of man in life's journey towards the spiritual goal.

It is lack of understanding of this subject which has made man accept one teacher in whom he, or his friends or ancestors, recognized divinity, and reject another with all his holiness. Holiness does not belong to a particular race, community, or family. It comes naturally in the life of some; in the life of others it requires digging. The fire is there, but it is buried, it wants to be brought to the surface, and sometimes blowing is needed to help the flame to rise.

Is holiness seen in action? Yes, it can be seen in action, but who can judge the action? When it is difficult for a wise man to judge the action of the worst sinner, who with any sense would be ready to judge a holy man? Can holiness be recognized in goodness? Yes, it is possible, and yet no one can fix a standard of goodness, for what is good for one is bad for another; something which is poison for one is a remedy for another, and the goodness of every person is peculiar to himself. The worst person in the world, if he wants to, can accuse the best person of lack of goodness. No man has ever proved, nor will any man ever prove, to be good to the satisfaction of every soul that demands goodness.

Holiness in itself is goodness, even if it is not in accordance with people's standard of goodness. Holiness is a continually rising fountain of light, it is a phenomenon in itself; it is illumination and illuminating. Light has no other proof than itself. Holiness needs no claim, no pleading, no publicity; it is its own claim, and it pleads for itself. Light itself is its own publicity.

Many in this world seem to be confused about false and true, but there comes a moment when one can see the difference between false and true without any difficulty, because false cannot stand longer than a moment all the tests that come from all sides. It is the real gold that stands all tests – so it is with true holiness. Holiness is enduring, knowing, forgiving, understanding, and yet it stands beyond all things, above all things. It is unbreakable, unshakable; it is beauty, it is power, and it is divinity when it reaches its perfection.


checked 27-nov-2015