--> Skip to main content

Infinite Expansion Of Ego Into Universal Consciousness

The world of our experience consists at all times of two parts, an objective and a subjective part, of which the former may be incalculably more extensive than the latter, and yet the latter can never be omitted or suppressed. The objective part is the sum total of whatsoever at any given time we may be thinking of, the subjective part is the inner state in which the thinking comes to pass. Yet the cosmic objects, so far as the experience yields them, are but ideal pictures of something whose existence we do not inwardly possess but only point at outwardly, while the inner state is our very experience itself.

Religion is no trivial, ephemeral thing to take or leave as man goes on his way through life, gathering up the aggregate of human experience, but a direct influence upon the development of both the individual and the race. It is the relation between the soul and God. The basis of all knowledge is divine, the process of all true education is from that source. It may be always relied upon for inspiration with a surety that when its truths are absorbed into the soul, and thus have spread their mighty vitalities into the ultimate of being, its possessor will be a really peaceful man; the world pain dies out of his heart, and his destiny is in his own hands. A man’s life is only narrowed and limited by himself; the difference between being happy and unhappy is mainly dependent upon the mental atmosphere generated by his own thoughts.

The ultimate for which we should labor while here on earth is that we should become living souls. It is necessary to give a vigorous direction to the cultivation of our inner resources as a defense against
the assaults of the world. Man is capable of infinite progress, and when he begins to build his life on a nobler pattern he develops a receptivity of mind to admit intuitively enlightenment, and conceives of a higher self, a living thinking reality, one that is master rather than servant. He comes into self-knowledge and finds out that beyond each man there exists a higher power which is larger and more god-like than his conscious self; that existence means an educing, a drawing forth of what is fundamentally within, which leads to pure and heroic action. The object of life is to learn the laws of spiritual progress. It is a grand thing to know the value of life, to be born into a universe with boundless possibilities, with the germ of infinite perfection, and with a hunger and thirst after righteousness.

We have been brought up in a world of limiting adjuncts where our senses perceive nothing but plurality. We are encompassed by sights and sounds which make us see that duality is the prevailing law of the universe. It is the thick and palpable clouds of ignorance that overshadow the mind, and it is only the light of knowledge that can dispel the darkness, the one fading into the other, and finally the shadow diminishes to a point where it vanishes. The body, mind and world are only broken reflections of the one Light. As the rays of the sun are to the sun itself, so are the individual souls to the Divine Being. They are phenomenally distinct but substantially One. With the recovery of this sense of the essential Unity will come a larger love for all mankind, until unison blends into unison and ultimately union merges into the perfect Oneness. Nirvana or Moksha is not the annihilation of the ego but its infinite expansion into the Universal Consciousness — into the Reality of our being, which is ever pure, ever perfect, ever blissful. And the aim of the Advaita Vedantin is to realize this substantial Unity.

Source – Excerpts from Chasing the Shadows: Published in the January 1909 edition of Prabuddha Bharata Magazine.