"I am the Sun that shines upon all creatures from within-- gazest thou upon me, thou shalt be filled with joy eternal."
Yes, this great sun is there, always shining, but most of the time it is hidden from us by the clouds of which I have spoken, and we fail to see it. We complain of being out in the cold; and in the cold, for the time being, no doubt we are; but our return to the warmth and the light has now become possible.
Thus at last the Ego, the mortal immortal self--disclosed at first in darkness and fear and ignorance in the growing babe --FINDS ITS TRUE IDENTITY. For a long period it is baffled in trying to understand what it is. It goes through a vast experience. It is tormented by the sense of separation and alienation--alienation from other people, and persecution by all the great powers and forces of the universe; and it is pursued by a sense of its own doom. Its doom truly is irrevocable. The hour of fulfilment approaches, the veil lifts, and the soul beholds at last ITS OWN TRUE BEING.
We are accustomed to think of the external world around us as a nasty tiresome old thing of which all we can say for certain is that it works by a "law of cussedness"--so that, whichever way we want to go, that way seems always barred, and we only bump against blind walls without making any progress. But that uncomfortable state of affairs arises from ourselves. Once we have passed a certain barrier, which at present looks so frowning and impossible, but which fades into nothing immediately we have passed it--once we have found the open secret of identity--then the way is indeed open in every direction.
The world in which we live--the world into which we are tumbled as children at the first onset of self-consciousness-- denies this great fact of unity. It is a world in which the principle of separation rules. Instead of a common life and union with each other, the contrary principle (especially in the later civilizations) has been the one recognized--and to such an extent that always there prevails the obsession of separation, and the conviction that each person is an isolated unit. The whole of our modern society has been founded on this delusive idea, WHICH IS FALSE. You go into the markets, and every man's hand is against the others--that is the ruling principle. You go into the Law Courts where justice is, or should be, administered, and you find that the principle which denies unity is the one that prevails. The criminal (whose actions have really been determined by the society around him) is cast out, disacknowledged, and condemned to further isolation in a prison cell. 'Property' again is the principle which rules and determines our modern civilization--namely that which is proper to, or can be appropriated by, each person, as AGAINST the others.
In the moral world the doom of separation comes to us in the shape of the sense of sin. For sin is separation. Sin is actually (and that is its only real meaning) the separation from others, and the non-acknowledgment of unity. And so it has come about that during all this civilization-period the sense of sin has ruled and ranged to such an extraordinary degree. Society has been built on a false base, not true to fact or life--and has had a dim uneasy consciousness of its falseness. Meanwhile at the heart of it all--and within all the frantic external strife and warfare--there is all the time this real great life brooding. The kingdom of Heaven, as we said before, is still within.
The word Democracy indicates something of the kind--the rule of the Demos, that is of the common life. The coming of that will transform, not only our Markets and our Law Courts and our sense of Property, and other institutions, into something really great and glorious instead of the dismal masses of rubbish which they at present are; but it will transform our sense of Morality.
Our Morality at present consists in the idea of self-goodness --one of the most pernicious and disgusting ideas which has ever infested the human brain. If any one should follow and assimilate what I have just said about the true nature of the Self he will realize that it will never again be possible for him to congratulate himself on his own goodness or morality or superiority; for the moment he does so he will separate himself from the universal life, and proclaim the sin of his own separation. I agree that this conclusion is for some people a most sad and disheartening one--but it cannot be helped! A man may truly be 'good' and 'moral' in some real sense; but only on the condition that he is not aware of it. He can only BE good when not thinking about the matter; to be conscious of one's own goodness is already to have fallen!
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