«Our celestial spirit
is free to Eternity,
To attempt in words an interpretation of Nirvana is useless, for those whose spiritual eyes are opened know, and therefore need no explanation, and by the majority, who make of every living truth a dead fact, its real meaning will always be misunderstood.
The conception that man should ever lose his individuality is so unacceptable to the ordinary mind that it cannot imagine such a thing to be possible, and generally what is beyond man's understanding he does not wish to believe. The teaching embodied in the Ancient Mystic Philosophy that, at the end of manifestation all beings are absorbed into The One, from whom they came forth, and no individuality remaineth, is inconceivable and unattractive to such thinkers. So much so that it has been responsible for a school of thought which teaches the imperishable individuality of man. In reality both these teachings are right from one point of view.
«Children, not Sages,
speak of the Sânkhya and the Yoga as different;
The difficulty lies in man's ignorance of the true conception of man. A human soul as man, cannot retain an individuality, for man is an expression, or manifestation, of the soul, for a limited time and for a special purpose ; when the hour strikes and the purpose is accomplished, the soul travels far beyond the limitation of man.
Ice cannot retain its individuality as ice; water becomes ice for a time and for a purpose, but can never lose its identification with water. When « The dewdrop slips into the shining sea,) it is one with the consciousness of the ocean, and indistinguishable from it. Although from the ocean innumerable dewdrops may arise and fall, they are dewdrops only during the time of separation from their source. When they return again to “That” from which they went forth, their dewdrop individuality is absorbed; but there is no loss by such a merging, the real loss is during the limitation as a separate drop.
Man is sometimes repelled by the teaching of annihilation, but this is only while he is ignorant of its real meaning. It is true that the Path ends in annihilation; but, annihilation of what? Not of life, not of being, not of consciousness, all these are increased a thousandfold, for the perfection of all is reached, but annihilation of the separated self, which the Mystic voluntarily seeks because he has been face to face with it, has seen with the eye of the spirit, and therefore understands its true worth and use.
The mystery of self must be uncovered by each one with his own hand, ere the light, which is behind all illusion, rill show him the inner truth of his being.
“The self of matter and
the self of spirit can never meet.
« Voice of the Silence.»
The man who resenting the mystic's ideal of losing the small self in the Divine Self, desires to retain his own individuality after the death of the body, need have no fear, he rill certainly see the fulfilment of his desire, so long as he desires it; but sooner or later that desire rill change, for the burden of himself rill become more than he can bear. Who would have courage to face, with open vision, an Eternal Life shut in with one's own individuality, never to be free from the prison-house of memories, from one's own ideas, from the shadow of one's life's mistakes and shortcomings ?
The greatest joy it is possible for a human being to experience, is found, not in possession, but in surrender ; for in the supreme act of self-giving he becomes no longer a bond-slave, but a free man.
So long as man holds that which he cannot lay down, he remains with his possession, held by it as securely as a prisoner is held by the chains with which he is bound, but in ignorance of this truth man binds himself ever more securely with the fetters of false identification, crying out in his bondage, “Who rill deliver me from the body of this death?” blaming God or fate, or his fellow-men for their failure to release him. There is, however, no power on earth, in Heaven, nor in Hell which can release a man from himself, other than the surrender of his own thoughts about himself. So long as he thinks, I am a separate individual, apart from, and independent of, either God, or my fellow-men, he will remain a prisoner of self. Alas, man is blinded by the great shadow of his own importance ; if he could but realize the soul's true origin and destiny as part of a mighty Whole, and by surrender partake of the consciousness of this Whole, instead of being aware only of the infinitesimal part, he would find, not only freedom, but the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory.