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Volume XI - Philosophy, Psychology and Mysticism

Part I: Philosophy

Chapter IX

Deep thinkers in all ages have recognized the threefold aspect of nature. Teachers have called these three aspects by different names according to their religious terminology, and they gave them an interpretation that suited the time and the place. Tracing back this idea, we find that it already existed among the Hindus in very ancient times; they called it Trimutri, and they personified these three aspects by giving them characters such as Brahma, the Creator, Vishnu the Sustainer, and Mahesh or Shiva the Destroyer or Assimilator. This idea is not only applied to God, but everything in nature shows these three aspects: for instance there is fire, there is fuel which is its sustenance, and there is the air that can come and blow out the flame.

In all things and beings, in their actions and in their effects, these three aspects can be seen in every moment of the day. Every object shows them, though perhaps one aspect is more significant than another in a certain thing; and also every individual; in everything we do we can see these three aspects. Thinking is the creative action, remembering is the sustaining, and forgetting is the third action, assimilating. The assimilation of something is in a way its complete destruction; although it is turned into something, its name is different and it is not the same thing anymore.

Then there is the action of forgetting. Sometimes a person forgets something, but he has stored it in his subconscious mind. He says, 'I have forgotten it', but when he tries to remember, one day it springs up in his memory. This shows that it was not assimilated though it was forgotten. This is a light form of assimilating. Real assimilation is forgetting a thing altogether. It is not as easy as one might think. We say very easily, 'Forget it', but really to forget something is very difficult, especially something we want to forget.

One day a person came to see me and said, 'I have only one question to ask, do we really meet those again whom we have loved and lost?' I said, 'Certainly we meet those whom we have loved and those whom we have hated', and this person was very surprised. He was quite ready to see again those whom he had loved, but was not willing to see those whom he had hated. But it is a fact that we remember both those whom we like to remember and those whom we would like to forget.

Everyone is capable of these three actions although some may appear more inclined to one than the other. The skill of the bird in building its nest, the love of the hen that sustains its chicks, and the wrath of the lion in destroying lives, show us three aspects which are continually working in nature.

Others have seen these three aspects in a different light. They have seen them as the source of all things, as what He has created, and as what the object created by Him has become. In religious terms they have called the threefold aspect Trinity. Personifying it by calling it the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. These three aspects exist not only in all things but in every being. In every person there is the part that signifies the source, the goal of all things. Every person represents what he has made, and every person represents also what he has become. One can see these three things in everyone. Each person either shows the source to be more pronounced in his nature and character, or he shows what he was made to be, or he shows what he has become. These three aspects may be called God, man and divine Being.

And if we look at it from still another angle we shall see the three aspects of light at work in the action of seeing. The light that sees, the radiance of the object that shows itself, and the light of the sun which falls upon it, making it clear to our view. If we look at it from a mental point of view we can again distinguish three aspects: the knower, the knowledge, and the knowing faculty, it is these three which bring about the action of knowing. And when we look at it in the light of love we see it, as it has been said by the Sufis of all ages, as love, the lover, and the beloved.

The most interesting fact that emerges from studying these three aspects is that they exist in everything, every being, every condition, and that with out them nothing can exist. Only, if in studying these three aspects we continue to see them as three, then we have missed their secret. But if we learn to see them as one and the same, then we have profited by the observation of these three distinct aspects.

When we look at the dual aspect of nature we shall find this to be even more important. The dual aspect is also to be seen in all things and in every being. For instance, the two sides, the right and the left, the head and the feet, the top and the bottom, two points in one line, the two eyes which enable us to see, the necessity of the pairs of opposites. The dual aspect is manifest to our view when we see the sun and the moon, when we see the male and the female aspect in nature, and when we see good and not good. When we experience joy and sorrow, when we realize that there is birth and death, we know what is to be known about the dual aspect of nature. The earth and the water, above and below, everything in nature distinctly shows two opposite aspects.

Furthermore there are opposite qualities in every human being, call them male and female, call them positive and negative, call them fine and gross, no one can exist with out opposite qualities. Besides the more power one has in one quality, the greater capability one has for the opposite quality. In other words, the higher a person stands the deeper is the space before him to fall into.

There is a hidden quality, and there is a quality which is manifest. What is manifest we recognize; what is hidden we do not see. There is going forward and there is going backwards, there is success and there is failure, there is light and there is darkness, there is joy and there is sadness, there is birth and there is death. All things that we can know, feel and perceive have their opposites. It is the opposite quality which brings about balance. The world would not exist if there were not water and earth. Every thing and every being needs these two opposite qualities in order to exist, to act, and to fulfill the purpose of life; for each quality is incomplete without the other. No man has a complete personality if he does not have some little touch of the fineness that belongs to the female nature; woman is only complete in her character when there is some little touch of the male nature.

Now coming to the one and unique character of nature: by a deep insight into nature we discover that the creation is the same as the Creator, that the source is the same as the goal, and that the two only mean one. There are two ends to a line but the line is one, and this oneness is manifest in all things, though man seldom gives any thought to this subject. This amazing manifestation, this world of variety, keeps us so puzzled, so confused, and so absorbed in it that we hardly give ourselves any time to see this wonderful phenomenon: how the one and only Being shows Himself even in the world of variety. There are no two faces alike, there are no two leaves alike, there are no two fruits completely alike, there never are two flowers that are identical. If a man has keen insight he will find that even the objects that he makes differ in some respect. Each being has its own peculiarity and cannot be compared with another being, for each being is unique. If a man is good there is no other whose goodness is the same as his. If he is wicked, there is no other whose wickedness is exactly the same. He is unique, proving to those whose eyes are open that there is only one Being.

checked 02-Sep-2006