Know thyself – You must rise above Body Consciousness
7 November 1967
What is man's most important task? It is to know one's Self, to withdraw yourself from outside, from the outgoing faculties, by stilling the mind, and concentrating at the seat of the soul in the body, which is at the back of the eyes. This is where the soul recedes at the time of death. It is there that you will have self awareness, by rising above and forgetting the physical body. When you rise above body consciousness, you can know the Controlling Power within you. That is why all Masters enjoined that we must know ourselves first. Self knowledge precedes God knowledge. When you become self concentrated, the surat or attention will work wonders, wherever it may be directed. It is all a feat of the attention. If you first become attentive, concentrated within your own self by withdrawing from outside, you will be able to rise above the physical body and by rising still further, you will have Cosmic Consciousness.
The macrocosm is in the microcosm. We have got the physical body and must rise above it. We have also got the astral body in which we have to work in the higher self. Then still beyond there is a plane where we have to use our causal body. After rising above the physical body, you will have self awareness. When you rise above the astral and causal bodies, you will come into your true I-hood.
You will see that,
I and my Father are One.
The whole thing depends on the concentration of your attention within yourself. Then, whichever way you direct your attention, you will work wonders.
He who rises above the body is a true Hindu, a true Mohammedan, or a true Christian. There are many schools of thought existing, but we have to see how many students have reached that goal. That school is very creditable which turns out suchlike people. So remain in any formation, or school of thought, but the purpose for which you have joined that school should be before you. That is, to have God consciousness. You cannot have God consciousness unless you have got your own consciousness.
The best way to invert from outside is to have the practice from somebody who has got full attention or surat, who is fully concentrated. With a little thought of His, many people will sit down and their attention will be withdrawn from outside. You are to leave the physical body for a while and open the inner eye to see Him. When you see Him, then only does true love come from within yourself. We enjoy Him and that is why we can truly have love for Him. We have got love for the world because we see it. If we have not seen Him, how can true love be there? For that you must sit by somebody who can open your inner eye to see the Light of God-into-Expression. He is all love and you are also a drop of the Ocean of all love. Your love will flare up. When your inner eye is opened, you will see the Light of God within all, in these Temples of the body that we are carrying. God resides in every heart. You, too, are there. But our attention is diverted to outside things and we have become identified with them so much so that we have forgotten ourselves.
Unless we have self awareness by withdrawing from outside, and rising above the outgoing faculties to the seat of the soul, further way up cannot be had to the Overself.
That is why all Masters have said,
Without that you cannot know God, because God cannot be had by outward observation. The Kingdom of God is within you. You have to invert inside, to Tap inside, as Emerson put it.
God consciousness is the highest goal. Those schools of thought meant only for that purpose were guided by suchlike Masters who had that experience within themselves and who gave a demonstration of it to others. They were competent with a little thought of theirs to withdraw the attention of others from outside, make them rise above body consciousness and open their inner eye to see the Light of God. He Who can do that, truly speaking, is according to the Saints, a real Guru, Sadh or Sant. The true Guru is the God in Him. We respect the son of man in whose body God is manifest.
Remain where you are, in any school of thought. All schools of thought were meant for that purpose. We have to see how far we have advanced, whether we have succeeded in the purpose for which we have joined those schools of thought. If so, you have made the best use of your man-body. If not, you should wake up, it is getting late. You have already wasted half your life, so just make an effort to be on the Way.
The ABC will start when you rise above body consciousness. Where the worldly philosophies end, there true religion starts. This experience of rising above body consciousness is given by somebody who is competent. Before that you are, as it were, a blind man. You see all darkness. When you sit by Him, you see Light. If you have got a little capital of that to start with, then develop it from day to day. That is the Bread and Water of Life. On spiritual health depends the life of mind and body both. These teachings were given by almost all Masters who came in the past, and they left their golden treasures with us for guidance. But a true interpretation can only be given by suchlike people who see. Others at the level of the intellect will interpret in so many ways. The Masters see and are also able to give a demonstration of seeing, of opening the inner eye to see the Light of God, to others.