Social Gatheka Number 10
There are two different stages in the human evolution.
And these two different stages may very well be called the
minor and the major stage. In the Hindu Puranic symbology
these two characters are called the younger and the elder
brother. Just as there is a stage of childhood, when the child
only knows what it wants, and is only happy when it gets
it, no matter what may be the consequence, the stage of
that minor state of the soul is when man in reality desires
only what he can see, hear, perceive, touch – beyond that
he does not care – only that is desirable to him – he does
not wish for anything else.
And the major state is that, when man has experienced
life more or less, has known pleasure and pain, enthusiasm
and disappointment, and he knows the variability of life,
only then has he reached the stage of majority. Minor or
major do not depend upon a certain age, nor do they depend
upon a particular education. No, they depend upon the inner
life. When one has gone into life as far as he could go
and when he as passed the limit of the minor state, then
he arrives at the major state. In the East there is a custom
that has become a kind of religious etiquette, viz. not
to wake a person who is asleep, but to let him sleep well;
if this is not done it is considered a crime. In other words,
you must treat the world according to nature and not to
go against nature. Do not force the man in the minor state
into the major; he must first sleep well before he can awake.
Now about progress specially for the spiritual path.
There are two different characters on the spiritual path.
The first is the man who says; 'Yes, I like to go on this
path, but where shall I arrive?' He wants to know all about
it before he travels on this path; if his friends are going
with him, and if they are not, he is not ready to go either,
because he is no sure of the way; he will not go alone and
wants to know when and where he will arrive, and if it is
safe to journey on that particular path. When he travels
on the path he looks back and tries to look forward, asking;
'Shall I reach the goal? Is it really the right path.' A
thousand times doubt comes, fear comes, he looks back forward,
around; if others could only tell him how far he has journeyed;
he is restless, he wants to know how far he is from the
goal. He therefore is a child still, although he has a desire
to journey. For him there are toys, the mystical hints for
mental research keep him busy that he may look at the map
of the journey to see where he goes.
Now to come to the conditions of the major state. About
his character the Bible says: 'Unless the soul be born again,
it cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.' In the first place,
if I were to say what the journey is and its object, would
be this; that the whole creation was purposed for this journey,
and if it were not for this purpose there would be no creation
And before a person takes this journey, he practices in some form or other in play how he will make this,
but he has not yet started in reality. For instance, a person
desires to be rich, and he devotes all his time, his energy,
his life, his thoughts to that object, and, so to speak,
he journeys to that goal. If he desires power, he makes
for that and gets it. If he wants position, he uses all
his strength to reach his goal, naturally in a playing way.
The proof of that is that every activity of which he is
in pursuit, to attain the thing desired, bring him to the
desire for something else. If he is rich, he wants to be
famous; if he is famous, he wants something else; if he
has one thing he strives for another and is never satisfied.
It shows, that man, externally busy in the pursuit of
worldly things, is not satisfied in his soul, but that he
has a constant yearning in his soul for something more,
which keeps him uneasy. A very good explanation is that which Rumi, a great Sufi
Teacher of Persia, gives us in his book, the Masnavi. There
he says, 'What is it in the reed flute that appeals to your
soul, that goes through you and pierces your heart?' And
the answer is. It is the crying of the flute, and the reason
for its crying is that it once belonged to a plant, from
which it was cut apart. Holes were made in the heart. It
longs to be united with its source, its origin. And so the
soul feels a longing for its origin. In another place in
his book Rumi says; 'So it is with every person who has
left his original country for a long time. He may roam about
and feel very pleased with all he sees, but there will come
a moment when a strong yearning is in his heart for the
place where he was born.
One sees that those in the world who have really suffered,
who have been disappointed, are broken hearted, do not wish
to tell anybody their experiences, don't want any company,
but wish to be alone. And it is then, as if there was some
one waiting with open arms, waiting for that soul to come
as a child comes to its mother. This shows that there is
somewhere a consoler, greater than any in the world, a friend
dearer than anyone in the world, a protector stronger than
any earthly one. Knowing that the world is not to be depended
upon, he looks for that great one in himself.
A friend who is a friend in life and after death, in
pleasure and pain, in riches and poverty, one on whom you
can always depend, who always guides aright, who gives the
best advice: that friend is hidden in your own heart. You
cannot find a better one. Who is this friend? Man's own
being, his true, inner being. That friend is the origin,
source, goal of all.
But the question arises. If that friend is one's own
being, why then call him a friend, why not call him oneself? The answer is that no doubt, in this friend is really
one's own being, but, when is compared with the present
realization, the greater self, one finds oneself smaller
than a drop in the ocean. Man cannot very well call that
friend himself, until man has forgotten himself, until he
is no more himself. Until, and unless one has arrived at
the state of perfection, he had better be quiet than insolent
about that which he has not yet become.
All occult schools, all over the world, prescribe as
the first lesson, quietude: no discussion, no dispute, nor
argument. The conditions for those on the path are altogether
different from those of the outer world. The true knowers
of life have kept their lips closed about that subject.
No method has been successful and profitable other than
the method of the prophets of all lands, who give man the
first lesson of love for God. Of course, religious authorities
of different times have kept humanity ignorant of the knowledge
of God, and only given it the belief in God.
Absence of knowledge has made the man of reason rebel
against that which he could not understand. There remained
no link between the two, and that is how the reign of materialism
came to the world, a reign which is still spreading around.
In such times of materialism there comes chaos in the world;
all is confusion, unrest. All wish to do good, but don't
know how. Such times Sri Krishna has called the decay of
Dharma, when spirit has gone, and form only remains. No
doubt, warning comes in time as intuition, to the soul,
but the intoxication of life, the mist, is so great, that
the message is not heard, not understood, not received
until the messenger has disappeared.
Now coming to the journey: What is the manner and the
method of it? We see that when a person rises above all
things of the world, as power, wealth, possessions, all
that gives pride and vanity, there comes a desire in his
heart, a remembrance of his origin, of the perfection of
love and peace. No one in the world can pretend to have
arrived at this stage, because every moment of his life
speaks louder of what he really is than what he says.
His first tendency towards humanity is a loving attitude,
a charitable attitude, to such an extent that forgiveness
leads every action of his life. He shows patience in his
actions, tolerance to humanity and considers that each one
has his own stage of evolution. He cannot expect a person
to act in a way better than his point of evolution permits.
He does not make his own law and want others to follow it;
he follows the law for all.
When a man's attitude is a loving attitude, a tendency
to serve, to forgive, to tolerate, a reverence for all (good
and bad, young and old) then he begins his journey. To explain what path this is: there is no better symbol
for it than the path of the cross. No one without courage,
without strength of will, and without patience, can go this
path. When a person has to live among people of all natures,
he must make his own character soft as a rose, make it finer,
so that no one can be hurt by the thorns. Two thorns cannot
harm each other. The thorns can hurt the rose, but the rose
cannot tear the thorns. The journey begins with a path of
thorns, and he must go barefoot. It is not easy to be tolerant,
always to be patient, to refrain from judging others and
to love one's enemy.
It is a dead man who walks on this path: one who has
drunk the bowl of poison. The beginning of each path is
always difficult and uninteresting, hard for everybody.
Ask the violinist, the first days when he practices in the
scales and he cannot even form the tones: often he has not
patience enough to go on, till he can play so well that
he is satisfied. The first part of the path is permanent
strife, a struggle with life, but as one approaches the
goal, the path gets easier: the distance seems larger, but
the path is easier, the difficulties less. The journey is
achieved first by realizing in oneself: what am I, am I
body, mind, or what else am I? Do I originate from earth
or from where else?
As soon as one has started on the journey, one's lower
nature rises up, all his follies and weaknesses want to
drag one down to earth and the struggle of breaking these
chains requires the strength of Samson. Then comes the struggle
between beauty in matter and spiritual beauty. Beauty in
forms is more realistic: spiritual beauty is hidden in mist,
until one comes to a stage that spiritual beauty becomes,
the beauty which is a shining light.
Another struggle is that when man has acquired knowledge,
power, magnetism: he is conscious of having a greater power
than others, of knowing more than others, if being able
to do more than others. To use those faculties rightly is
another struggle. He must not pride himself on those accomplishments.
There is an enemy who starts with him on the journey, and
never leaves him, his pride and spiritual egotism. He stays
with him as long as he is on his path.
Think of the temptation on having received inspiration
and power, when one can think: I can do, know, understand
more than you: That is a constant struggle till the end.
And every moment one falls and tumbles down. Only the steady
traveler will persist in rising up every time, as without
patience he may lose the path. Those who journey on this
path will get help. As Christ said: 'Seek Ye first the kingdom
of God and all things will be given to you.' The goal is
the important thing, and the right attitude of the soul
towards it, and not the things you meet on the path.
The inner cult of the Sufi School which is now presented
to the Western world, is meant as a guidance on this path. Nobody in the world can carry a person on this path.
The only thing is a little advice can be given by those
who have journeyed on the path, to those who really wish
to travel on it.