Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

The progressive evolution of consciousness beginning with the stone stage culminates in man. The history of evolution is the history of a gradual development of consciousness. The fruit of evolution is full consciousness, which is characteristic of man. But even this full consciousness is like a mirror covered by dust.

Owing to the operation of sanskaras, it does not yield clear and true knowledge of the nature of the soul. Though fully developed, it yields not truth but imaginative construction, since its free functioning is hindered by the weight of the sanskaras. Moreover it cannot extend beyond the cage created by its desires, and therefore is limited in its scope.

The boundary in which consciousness can move is prescribed by the sanskaras, and the functioning of consciousness is also determined by the desires. As desires aim at self-satisfaction, the whole consciousness becomes self-centered and individualised. The individualisation of consciousness may in a sense be said to be the effect of the vortex of desires.

The soul gets enmeshed in the desires and cannot step out of the circumscribed individuality constituted by these desires. It imagines these barriers and becomes self-hypnotised. It looks upon itself as being limited and separate from other individuals. It gets entangled in individualistic existence and imagines a world of manifold separateness composed of many individuals with their respective minds and bodies.

When the rays of the sun are made to pass through a prism, they get dispersed and become separate owing to refraction. If each of these rays had consciousness, it would consider itself as being separate from the other rays, forgetting entirely that at the source and on the other side of the prism it had no separate existence. In the same way, the One Being descends into the domain of maya and assumes a multiplicity which does not in fact exist.

The separateness of individuals does not exist in reality but only in imagination.

The one Universal Soul imagines itself separate in itself, and out of this division there arises the thought of "I" and "mine" as opposed to "you" and "yours". Although the soul is in reality an undivided and absolute unity, it appears as being manifold and divided owing to the working of its own imagination. Imagination is not reality. Even in its highest flight, it is a departure from truth. It is anything but the truth.


DISCOURSES, 6th ed, vol 1, pp 36-37
1967 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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