HIK on Light
The soul is light, the mind is light, and the body is light – light of different grades; and it is this relation which connects man with the planets and the stars.
Light has three principal aspects: the source of all light, the perpetual light, and light in the ordinary sense of the word. The first kind is the light which we perceive as intelligence, the next is the light that we see as the sun, and the third kind of light is what we use in our daily life, the light of a candle, an electric lamp, or any such light. Science today considers intelligence to be an outcome of this manifestation, gradually developing through a process of which man is the culmination, man who compared with all other living beings shows intelligence in its fullest. As we understand the word intelligence, it does not convey to us the meaning, ‘the source of light’, except in a very limited form. Intelligence in its original condition is something quite different from what we ordinarily understand by that word.
Intelligence can be divided again into three different aspects: intelligence in its original state, intelligence in the process of development, and intelligence in the sense in which we mostly use it, as a knowing faculty of man.
In the first or principal aspect intelligence is the knowing Being, the only Being. In the next aspect it is not knowing, but knowledge, the knowledge of being. In the third aspect it becomes limited because it shows itself through a capacity, and that capacity is in the heart of man. To put it plainly, the first aspect may be called unawakened intelligence, the second the wakened intelligence, and the third divided and limited intelligence.
In all those three aspects intelligence is one and the same. In the first aspect it is the only Being, in the next aspect it is omniscient, and in the third aspect it is the mind or what the mind contains. One may be called the intelligence of God, the next heavenly intelligence, and the third human intelligence. The origin of intelligence is pure intelligence, the intelligence of God, but that intelligence is not intelligent, it becomes intelligent. That is to say it begins to feel its existence. It is just like a man who is intelligent, but when he is asleep his intelligence is not intelligent. It is only when he is awake that he knows of his existence. That is another aspect of intelligence.
The next aspect of light, which is the light of the sun, is made of the dense part of the vibrating intelligence, which has centralized in one spot. Its nature of being in perpetual motion makes it bright. It is this light which manifests through all things as heat and light. In the light of the sun all things show themselves and in the absence of the sun we do not see them properly. Also, it is the light of the sun, which functions in the moon and is the same light, which the stars reflect. If it were not for the moon the whole of manifestation would be burnt to ashes, the sun would be so strong.
Very often a capacity is made for something that is expressive, something that has a strong action, and if there were no such capacity then it would destroy all that is around it until it destroyed itself. The moon therefore is the capacity in which the strongest light of the sun functions. That is why it is so cooling to be in the moonlight, because the moon takes the light of the sun upon itself and burns itself and by doing so it allows the horizon, the spheres, to be lighted while at the same time it is cool. It is just like a talkative person, someone who is very fond of speaking, who will go mad if he has no one near to listen to him.
The third aspect is the light of all things. Each thing, every object, has its own light, all differing in degree. It is this difference that we distinguish as different colours. And every substance such as iron or gold shows its light through radiation. It also partakes the light of the sun, and in accordance with its faculty of partaking of the light of the sun it shines.
When we consider the question of light in our own lives, we can again divide it into three aspects. First there is the light which shows us an object, the light of the sun or some other form of light such as the light of a candle or an electric bulb. The next aspect is the capability of our organ of sight, our eyes, which see the object. The third aspect is the radiance belonging to the substance, which shows itself, such as phosphorus or radium. Many other elements or chemicals which do not need other light but show themselves through there own radiance if they are kept in the dark.
Both the light from the sun or light from another source helps the object to be seen, because the object reflects the light that shows it up. It is also true that an object has a light of its own. Therefore if an object is visible it is not only because the other light shows it up, but also because it has a light of its own.
One can look at this question from another point of view, and that is that every person has a certain amount of intelligence and that every person that sees him or speaks to him adds something to his intelligence or deducts something from it. He either gives it to him or he takes it away from him. And a third aspect is that in the light of the intelligence of some people one can see life more clearly. This is not a passing light, it shines on just as the light of the sun shining on the earth is not any way diminished by it.
The one who adds to a person’s intelligence does this in two different ways. One way is that for the moment his presence enlightens the other persons heart and the second way is that his intelligence kindles the others intelligence. But neither is done intentionally, it is done automatically. An intelligent person brings light to another as a matter of course, if not always then sometimes. By saying something by the power of his glance, or by the very magnetism of his presence he kindles to a certain extent the light, if there is any, of the other. One day a lady said to me, ‘My husband has changed altogether since he came to see you.’ I said, ‘I am very glad. ‘But then some time after I had left that place I received a letter saying,’ He is just the same as before!’
We also sometimes hear people say, ‘He has confused my mind.’ ‘He has driven me crazy.’ ‘He has made me more puzzled than I was before.’ This happens because there are people who bring with them shades or clouds, which keep the light from falling directly upon our mind. That is why the presence of foolish people is often stupefying.
Vol XI, Part I: Philosophy, ch VI
From Awakening of the Soul
Then there is a further awakening which is a continuation of what I have called the awakening of the soul. The sign of it is that the awakened person throws a light, the light of his soul, upon every person and every object and sees that object, that condition in this light. It is his own soul which becomes a torch in his hand, it is his own light that illuminates his path. It is just like throwing a searchlight upon dark corners which one did not see before, and the corners become clear and illuminated again. It is like throwing light upon problems that one did not understand at first; it is like seeing with x-rays persons who were a riddle before.
Vol XIV Pt 1 ch19
Jesus: The Spirit of Christ
The belief in Christ is in the Church, the book of Christ is with the clergy, the spirit of Christ is in the illuminated soul. The spirit of Christ can be traced in Christ’s own words where he said, ‘I am Alpha and Omega,’ I am first and last. By this he meant, ‘I was before Jesus was born, and I shall be after Jesus has gone.’
‘I am Christ’ means ‘I am now, and I shall be till the end.’ In this the Master identifies himself with that light of which we read in the Vedanta, and which existed thousands of years before Christ, the divine light which is recognized by the Sufis as the Spirit of Guidance, and which is also mentioned in the Quran. This light of Christ is symbolized by the lantern in the story of Aladdin, in the Thousand and One Nights. And it is this same light which the Hindu legend speaks of when it says that there exists a cobra with a light in its head, and when it searches for food it takes that light in its mouth and by its illumination it can go about in the forest. It is the light of life of all men and all beings, seen and unseen. In reality it is the essence of light.
Where is this light to be found? It is to be found in the sun and in the higher intelligence; but this phenomenon of light occurs in all different forms. Even the spark that comes from the heart of the stone when it is struck represents the same light. Also the light that manifests in the blossoming of plants, in the ripening of fruit, in the light that we see on a moonlit night, and in the rising and the setting of the sun, it is all one and the same light manifesting from the unseen to the seen, yet existing in the unseen to a much greater extent than can be seen with our eyes.
One might ask why, if God is all-sufficient, should He have made the Christ Spirit? An example will explain this. A farmer wanted to go to a place, which was at a great distance from his farm. And he thought how during dark nights with storms and winds and fogs one very often loses the way. Therefore he made a lantern to light him in case there should be a dark night, so that it could guide him on the path. It was his creation; he made, he prepared the lantern for himself in order to be guided by it.
This creation is nothing but the manifestation of God, and man is the culmination of that manifestation. God did not make man as a carpenter makes a chair, for the carpenter uses wood, something different from himself, in order to make the chair. But God made man out of Himself; in other words God manifested as man, and in His manifestation the One has become many, the unity has become variety and has become a puzzle. Thus life on earth for man is in the first place a puzzle: he does not know where to go and where not to go, he does not know what to do and what not to do. From the beginning till the end he is puzzled as to what is right and what is wrong. The wiser a man becomes the more difficulties there are. This shows that there are storms and winds, mists and fogs on this life’s path which his eyes do not see but which the soul experiences. And in order to make these difficult times easier, a lantern is given which is God’s own spirit, and which He made for His creation in order that man may take this lantern to guide him on his path.
Not only human beings have this lantern, even beasts and birds have it. In herds of animals there is always one that guides them. In flocks of birds there is one that guides and sees from which way the wind blows. The one that leads knows which way to go and the other birds follow him. In India a beautiful story is told about elephants by those who live in the forest. They say that in a herd of elephants there is one which is the leader and takes the branch of a tree in its trunk and goes ahead examining the ground where it walks in order that those which follow may not fall into a ditch. It is also alert to the sound of gun and arrow, and detects any atmosphere, which may be unwholesome for elephants. But sometimes there is an unwilling elephant. It goes astray and is lost, and in order to catch it men dig pits in the ground so that when this lost elephant goes near one it may fall into it, and after two or three days they come and capture him.
This is a beautiful picture of the work of the Christ spirit. When one understands this one cannot blame those who say, ‘Christ is our Savior,’ or, ‘Christ is our God.’ They may not see what the Spirit of God is in our interpretation, but there is nothing wrong about it except that they do not know themselves what they are saying. If one sees divinity in Christ, there is nothing wrong about it. If divinity does not manifest through man, then where is it to be found? Is divinity to be found in the heavens alone? And if on the other hand someone else calls Christ man, he only raises the standard of man to the highest point; and in this there is truth also. Only, the two do not understand each other’s meaning, and they each say that the other is wrong; and this arises because they do not believe that he who is often called Christ, the Savior, is in reality the savior spirit. With elephants that savior spirit is the one that guides the herd; and a loving mother, a kind father, an innocent child, a helpful friend, and an inspiring teacher, all represent to a greater or lesser degree that savior spirit. The one who saves a man’s life by jumping into the water does not do such a great work as the one who saves a soul who was groping in the darkness.
But then, one might say, what about the whole world, the whole of humanity? Each soul is connected with the other, and there is not one soul, which does not undergo the influence of the whole cosmos, consciously or unconsciously. Every cell sooner or later has an effect upon the whole body. Therefore, if one looks at it rightly, there is no exaggeration in calling a liberated soul the Savior of the world; but if one only holds it as a belief, one does not know what it really means.
Naturally the liberated soul is like the living drop of blood. Scientists have discovered that blood transfusions can give new life. A soul who has risen to great illumination can inspire and invigorate the whole of humanity, just as one powerful man can influence a whole nation. He is then called the man of the day, and he may have an influence, which can raise man to the height of heaven. If a material man can do this to the whole nation, why then should not a spiritual man have such an influence upon the whole world? Whether we recognize it or not, it does not matter. But there are souls in the world whose influence is greater than that of the so-called man of the day about whom so much is written in the newspapers.
If Christ existed before he was known as Christ, what was he? And if Christ will be after he has been known as Christ, what will he be? We are too limited as human beings to determine this; to try to do so would be nothing but folly. But at the same time, have we not known inspirers of humanity before Jesus? Have there not been prophets like Moses and Abraham and Zarathushtra, inspirers like Krishna and Buddha, whose influence has been felt all over the world? What were they? If truth is one, if wisdom is one, if human personality is one, if God is one, then what are they if not the same spirit? Those who saw them have called them Buddha or Krishna; but they were all one and the same, the same lantern, the same light although in different globes.
After they have gone the light comes in another form to illuminate humanity. Does not that light work in our everyday life? In our deepest distress, in our greatest confusion, a friend, a relation, or a teacher comes and tells us something he himself does not know to be the message of wisdom. And sometimes it comes in such a queer way; perhaps in the form of a change, and we do not understand from whence it comes, so that we do not even believe it. But at the same time the inner guidance comes just at the moment when we have need of it. It comes perhaps from an innocent child, the word that is the message of God. For the light is hidden.
Those who say that after Jesus Christ they have not seen the light being kindled any more, limit Christ. Those who see the Christ spirit in all the various globes which are the light, they are the ones who really see Christ.
Christ identified himself with the Spirit of Guidance instead of with the personality, which was known as Jesus. And people have limited that divine wisdom, that Spirit of Guidance, to the personality, which came as Jesus. And they forgot that he himself said, ‘I am Alpha and Omega,’ which means all the prophets and seers who came before Jesus whether it were Abraham or Zarathushtra or Buddha or Krishna. He identified himself with them. That is why he said he had not come to give a new law, but to fulfill the law, by which he also indicated that the guidance would continue afterwards. It was really a declaration of that identity in which Jesus lived, but not that in which the people recognized him.
Jesus Christ also said to some, ‘I will come,’ and to others, ‘The son of man will come.’ It was one answer to two mentalities: to the souls who could recognize his identity he said, ‘I will come,’ and to those who could not realize his real identity he said ‘Someone else will come; whenever wisdom is lost, Christ will come.’ The real meaning of this is, ‘I will come in another form, which is myself just the same.’ It is a puzzle of words only for those who want to puzzle themselves. For those who wish to get out of the maze it is easy and simple. But human nature enjoys complexities and prefers to make the truth as difficult as possible.
Vol IX Pt 4: Jesus
Every being has a definite vocation, and his vocation is the light which illuminates his life. The man who disregards his vocation is a lamp unlit. He who sincerely seeks his real purpose in life is himself sought by that purpose. As he concentrates on that search a light begins to clear his confusion, call it revelation, call it inspiration, call it what you will. It is mistrust that misleads. Sincerity leads straight to the goal.
Each one has his circle of influence, large or small; within his sphere so many souls and minds are involved; with his rise, they rise; with his fall, they fall. The size of a man’s sphere corresponds with the extent of his sympathy, or we may say, with the size of his heart. His sympathy holds his sphere together. As his heart grows, his sphere grows; as his sympathy is withdrawn or lessened, so his sphere breaks up and scatters. If he harms those who live and move within his sphere, those dependent upon him or upon his affection, he of necessity harms himself. His house or his palace or his cottage, his satisfaction or his disgust in his environment is the creation of his own thought. Acting upon his thoughts, and also part of his own thoughts, are the thoughts of those near to him; others depress him and destroy him, or they encourage and support him, in proportion as he repels those around him by his coldness, or attracts them by his sympathy.
Each individual composes the music of his own life. If he injures another, he brings disharmony. When his sphere is disturbed, he is disturbed himself, and there is a discord in the melody of his life. If he can quicken the feeling of another to joy or to gratitude, by that much he adds to his own life; he becomes himself by that much more alive. Whether conscious of it or not, his thought is affected for the better by the joy or gratitude of another, and his power and vitality increase thereby, and the music of his life grows more in harmony.
Vol I Section I Pt II Some Aspects of Sufism