Unknown year, July talk, Serial 00638

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.



AI Suggested Keywords:


Year Talk 2/2

AI Summary: 





...of growth, it's a field, it's a seed, we're not living in a field. And perhaps we can interpret it rather by saying that the field is the human being. It's not so much that one group of human beings divided against another. Each one of us is that field, and in every field there are the wheat and there are the weeds. And the temptation is to try to root out the weeds. And there's a long tradition of asceticism in the church and other religions where you set about purifying yourself, trying to get rid of all your vices, all your sins, all your weaknesses. And the great danger of that is you root out the wheat as well. You harm your human nature. And I think today we realize this more and more, that you become less than human if you're not careful. You're purifying yourself so much, you purify half the goodness of your nature as well.


And today I think more and more we see that you have to accept yourself. You have to accept your limitations, your sins, your weaknesses, your failures. And when we fully accept them and surrender it to God, then the grace of God works in us and He destroys the sins. He gets rid of all these weeds in our nature. We can't do it ourselves. We have to allow the grace of God to work. And that grace of God is very mysterious. It's like this grain of mustard seed, a little tiny thing where all our ordinary human powers and so on dominate us. But behind them all there's this little tiny seed of divine light in all of us. And if we allow that to grow, then it becomes a great tree. It transforms our whole nature. And same with the leaven in the dough. You see the dough is all nasty, the reality around us and so on. And there's this hidden power in the yeast. There is this hidden power which can transform the whole of that dough.


It is quite hidden and it's quite invisible. You can't see the leaven of the yeast. You can only see how it affects the dough, how it makes the bread. So that's the mystery in which we live, you see. There is this outer world, this outer self, and all these good and evil is always mixed. All human beings, all human life, good and evil are always mixed. You can't separate them in this world. You have to learn to live with them. But you can learn to see that good, that grace which is in you, is allowed to grow. And it's a process of growth. You can't make it grow. You have to allow it to grow and it takes time. You have to be patient with yourself and you have to be patient with others. They're all very impatient with evil. And if you look at it, you see nearly all the great evil of the world is done by people who are impatient for the good. They want to change the world. There are many people today who want to change the world. And they set about it deliberately with all their power and they produce disaster.


Take all the great revolutions, the French Revolution, liberty, equality, fraternity, magnificent ideal. And they set about it and they were killing all the people who wouldn't accept their view. And you get the terrible disaster which followed. And then the Russian Revolution. Marx had this wonderful ideal of the freedom of the proletariat, set humanity free, release you from your chains. And so he organized the Communist Party and they set about it. Saint-Saƫns had said 60 million people were liquidated in concentration camps in Russia. In 50 years, 60 million people. Because they want to make a pure communist state, the new Soviet man who would be a perfect person. Get rid of all these inferior people. And Hitler does the same thing, you see, to have a pure Aryan race. Get rid of all the Jews, get rid of all the bad people and then you'll have a wonderful German life and so on.


So each one, it's an ideal to get your perfect state, your perfect organization, and get rid of all the weeds and the tares, get rid of all these bad people. That's the danger, you see. And we have to learn to live with all this evil in ourselves and the world around us and be patient with it and realize that there is a hidden mystery of grace. This tiny little grain of mustard seed, this 11 in the dough, which is working through the world. And that has the power to change and transform. If you try to change the world by yourself, you only make things worse. If you allow the grace of God to work in you and the world around you, that hidden transformation takes place. We don't see it fully realized, we see it in faith. If we have that faith that God is working in the world through all the evil and he is building up this kingdom and after this life we shall see the fullness, we shall see how that kingdom of God is really established,


how it overcomes, and then all the evil will be taken away. But not by our own doing, by this power of God. The Holy Spirit runs within us. And perhaps we could just refer to that letter of St. Paul where the Holy is the work of the Spirit, you see. As long as we try to do it with our own efforts, our own powers, we achieve nothing. And when we realize this mystery of the Spirit in us, he is working in us, he is interceding for us, he is the power that can change the world, then and then we are able to fulfill what we are seeking. So we all ask his grace to realize the great mystery in which we live and how we have to surrender to it and allow the grace of God to work in us and the world around us. Let's celebrate this profession, a monastic profession, a commitment to God, in the monastic life.


And there are many ways of serving God, many ways of following Christ. The monastic calling, the calling of an ashram ninja, is a very special way and one which is perhaps not much understood. When we think of seeking God, following Christ, we feel we can go out into the world. God is everywhere. We can find God wherever we are. And if we want to follow Christ, Christ gives us a model on great preaching everywhere, sharing with others, teaching, healing the sick, caring for all in need. And for most people that is the call of the gospel. But there is also another call which is not so much recognized, that is to follow Christ in his way to the Father. Jesus came from the Father and he returned to the Father. And he returned to him in love. And the Holy Spirit is that love in which and through which Jesus returns to the Father.


And he communicates that Holy Spirit to us. And a special call of an ashram, a monastery, is to follow Jesus in his return to the Father in the Holy Spirit. And it's to have that experience of God in the Spirit. And here in India particularly, people have sought God in this way from the earliest times. Find that hidden mystery of God, a total self-surrender. Surrender yourself to God and find God in you. That is the calling. And it's a very special one. As I say, most people find God outside. They find him in the world around them. They find him in their brothers and sisters. Find him in service and so on. All these are normal ways of finding and serving God. But there's another way. And it's always been present in India. It's always been present in the Church. That is the interior way. Find God within. God dwelling in the heart. In all the messages of the Upanishad and all the Bhagavad Gita which we've been reading,


it's always hard to find that indwelling presence of God in the heart. And those who are called to the monastic life, to an ashram, are called to experience this mystery of the indwelling presence. Find God in the heart. And what's in the heart is love. It's this experience of love which we share with God in Christ, and which we share with others. It's an inner light and life which is communicated to us and which we have to communicate to others, or rather which communicates itself to others. We don't have to do it. We have to surrender to it, to allow that love to enter into us, to take possession, and then it flows out. And that's the function of an ashram, not to be going out to serve people in a various way, but to be a place where God is present, where the love of God is present, and people can experience that love, giving guidance in their lives.


So we ask for these two brothers, if they may enter into this mystery. It's a great mystery, and we're not doing it, but simply are opening ourselves to the grace of God, and allow it to work in us, to be a channel for that love, for that grace to come through us to others. So we ask for this grace for them, and as I say, it's a grace for the community, if your member is a process of growth, which God is calling, and God is making the plant grow. He says the seed makes it grow, and gradually it develops into something, into a tree, into a living thing, which has this power to share with others. So now we have the ceremony of their confession. Questioner 2 This gospel reveals us more than just brethren, and we dispute who these brethren are.


I think in India we realize that most of Asia always had this extended family. People refer to quite historical cousins as their brothers and sisters, so there's no need to dispute over that. But the main point is, this is going beyond all these family ties, and I think it's very important, you see, that people are bound by their family ties. It's a tremendous power. You grow up in it from childhood, and your whole life is in your family, and having your daughters married and so on, the whole thing centers around the family, and very easily you become separated, and even hostile to other families. And then across from the family it goes to the caste, it goes to the race, it goes to the nation, it goes to all these divisions of humanity, which we experience today. And here in India we have the whole problem of communism. It's everywhere.


People are bound by these ties of caste, and of language particularly, and of religion. And Jesus surely was trying to break through these limitations, to open people to this universality. And today it's an urgent need, and perhaps we are more aware of it today, because we know more of all the different peoples of the world, and brought together by means of transport and so on. So we're much more aware of the one world. And yet, of course, we are more divided perhaps than we've ever been. And so that is a great problem. And there is a problem here which we have to think of, and that is when you go beyond your family, or your tribe, or your caste, or religion, you don't reject it, you see. It isn't you simply reject your family, reject your country, your people, but you transcend, and actually you learn a deeper love. You see, when you go beyond your family,


you learn to love them in the right way, and it's a deeper love. And so when you go beyond your race or your caste, you have a deeper love, you realize that love, but you realize it's limited relative character. And this is a great problem. You see, there are values, not to be Tamil, for instance, which is a Tamil culture, and it's got a unique character, and people don't want to give that up. And you don't have to give it up, but you have to see Tamil culture in relation to Indian culture as a whole, and you have to see Indian culture in relation to the universal human culture. So that's the real problem today, how to preserve these values. See, families, tribes, castes, religions, races, all have their unique character, and we don't want to lose them, but each has to see how it relates to the other. And particularly religion today, you see, we tend to be divided, Christians and Jews and Muslims and Hindus and so on, and nobody wants to give up his religion,


but we each have to see that religion in relation to others. That's what we try to do in the church today. We don't deny the unique values of Christian religion, but we try to see them in relation to Hinduism, to Buddhism, to Islam, to Zoroastrianism, Jainism. All the different religions have their own values, and when we learn to appreciate them, then we can see the unity of humanity. And don't reject your own faith and your own religion, but you see beyond it how God is at work in other religions and other peoples. So I think it's a real challenge today to be faithful to one's own family, one's own caste, one's own race, one's own people, and one's own religion, but at the same time to recognize the values of others and to share with them, and to realize that together we make up one humanity. With all its diversity, this is one humanity.


And there's a beautiful phrase of St. Paul where he says that Jesus came to break down the wall of separation, making the two one man. And the wall of separation was the wall of the temple in Jerusalem, and no Gentile could cross that wall. If he did, he would be killed. The Jews from one side, the Gentiles from the other. It's the wall of separation. And Jesus broke down the wall of separation and made one new man. And so came these divisions of humanity and made one man. And we're all this one man who unites all men, all women. That's another division, of course. We have the division of men and women, and that goes through all humanity, and people are very much aware of it today. We live in a patriarchal society where men have prominence and women are in the background. And we're trying to discover, again, it's not losing the values of masculine and feminine.


Each has its own value, but they have to be seen as complementary and coming together to form a typical human being. Everybody has discovered this marriage of the male and the female to become one human being. And unfortunately, of course, we use the word man to include women, and women object to it very much. And it has its great dangers because we tend to identify humanity with men, rather than men and women. And we remind ourselves, it's very important, in the first chapter of Genesis it is said, in the beginning God created man, in the image of God created he them, male and female created he them. So it's not man as male in the image of God, it's man and woman, and man and woman are this complementary whole which make up humanity. So at every level you have to discover, you have to go beyond the limits of male and female, but going beyond we unite them,


we discover the unity which is behind all the differences. So this is the challenge, to recognize the differences and then to see how to reconcile them in that unity of humanity, unity of creation. And Jesus comes to create this new man, this new humanity, which men and women, and people of all races and religions have brought together, discover that in a unity. So we need to pray. Jesus showed himself after the resurrection, before anybody else, to this woman who had been a sinner, become his disciple. First of all she was a woman, not a man. Revelation was made first to the woman, not to the man. And secondly, she was a sinner who turned to him and found great salvation in him. And she had this very intimate relation with him,


but it was still a very human one. And she thinks that she has lost him. She says to the gardener, or to the man she mistakes for the gardener, they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have made him. She identified him with this body which was there and didn't realize that some great change had taken place. And then Jesus reveals himself and he says to her, do not touch me, do not cling to me. And I think there's a great lesson in this, that we all tend to cling to the earthly Christ. St. Paul said, if we knew Christ according to the flesh, we know him so no longer. Because the resurrection is the real meaning of the gospel. It's not Jesus appearing on earth, but Jesus appearing on earth and going beyond, taking us beyond to the new life of the resurrection.


And many people think he'd been with him on earth, it would have been so wonderful, and now he's gone away. But that's really the reverse of the truth. When he was on earth, he was limited by his human nature. He was a Jew, he lived as a Jew, he spoke as a Jew, he thought as a Jew. He was a limited human being. Only in the resurrection did he transcend all those human limitations and became one with the Father, in the unity of the Trinity. And that is the whole direction of the gospel. It's beyond the present world, the present limitation, to that transcendent state where we all transcend our limitations, discover the hidden mystery of who we are, our reality. And so I think we all need to discover this direction, because so much of Christian piety has gone the opposite way. We think of Jesus on earth, and even with the blessed sacrament, we think he's present here among us now. But it's really the opposite.


Jesus is present in the sacrament of the resurrection. The bread and the wine signify and make present the risen body, the body transcending this world, the whole mystery of the divinity is present there. So it's to take us beyond this world. It's not to center us here. There's a great tendency today to see everything in terms of this world. And of course, God, Christ, is present in this world. The resurrection transcends space and time, and therefore can be present in space and time. So he's present to us. He's present in all the world, all the people we meet, in all the work we do. But it's present there in order to go beyond. This isn't the end. This is only the passage, the journey, through this world, through the transcendent mystery, through the truth, the reality. And I think we all need to reflect on this truth, this reality. The reality of Jesus is not simply the human nature which appeared on earth. It is that divine mystery which is manifesting in him


and is now present. You see, Jesus said, it is expedient for you that I go. If I do not go, the spirit will not come. Jesus leaves us in the flesh and is present in the spirit. He's present among us. He's more real now. Then he was hidden by his humanity. They couldn't recognize him. They just took him for a human being. But now he's transcended that limitation. He's present in the spirit, in the fullness of reality. The spirit is the real. We think the flesh is real. Anything we can touch and see, that is real. It's the opposite, of course. All the sense phenomena are simply passing phenomena which are disappearing all the time. The reality is the spirit which manifests in the flesh, in the senses. And Jesus now is present in the fullness of reality, in the spirit. So what we encounter in the Eucharist, in the signs of the bread and wine, is precisely the mystery of the divine presence under those signs, the mystery of the Godhead itself present in Jesus,


communicating itself to us. So we ask that, very mentally, we may have this vision of reality, we may realize Christ. We are still going by now. Maybe I think we can offer this mass for Brother Antony and Brother Martin, for their intentions, because... The nation of the parable was told by the church. Jesus didn't normally explain his parables. He spoke of his symbols, and he let people to understand and then the church interpreted it in this way. And we can also interpret it in our own way. We needn't think simply of different people receiving in different ways, and that is one aspect of it. Also how each person receives it in different ways. We all of us react in different ways. This word comes to us in all different ways, not only the word of the gospel which we read in church, it's the word of God which comes into our lives


with the people we meet, the things that happen to us. And we can respond in all these different ways. And sometimes we can respond like those sewn on rocky ground. He hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, but has no root in himself. And so we can respond to a word from God, maybe a word of friendship, of love, of compassion, and so many ways in which we are called, and we can respond, and then we give up. We respond for the time, but with no root in it, and therefore we forget about it and go on our own way. And then he speaks of those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and delight in riches choke the word. And again we can receive this word and be responding,


but then the problem of the world today is extreme in that sense. There's tremendous pressure of society, and everything you hear and see in the newspapers, television, whatever, is impressing a particular view of the world on you, a very materialistic view, and you lose sight of the truth which you've received, and you get overwhelmed with that. And still more, perhaps, is delight in riches. Not really riches, but money in any form. People are obsessed with the need to get a living, first of all, and then when you've got the basic living you want a bit more, and when you've got more you want more than that, and this love of riches grows and grows and grows, and when you become a millionaire you're still wanting more. And so you get obsessed with this, and that's another of the problems, this overwhelming desire for riches, for money, for position, and so on. So that's another way. And then there is also the way when the word comes, and when we really receive it into the heart,


and allow it to change us. And it is, as I say, this word is coming in all different situations. It's the call of love, of truth, of goodness, of compassion, of faith, all these are different ways in which we're being called, and we're all sometimes responding and sometimes we're failing. And we all have to ask for that grace to be responsive, and it's always something that has to be received. It's not something we're doing, it's something which we're learning to receive, to be open to that word. And as I say, it can come from all situations. It can come from somebody who preaches the gospel, that's rather rare. But it can come from somebody who's simply a friend who needs us in some way, or it can come from a poor person who's asking for some help, it can come from a sick person, and so on. There are all different ways in which the word of God is calling us, and in which we're either accepting or rejecting. And rejection can be quite unconscious.


We simply become closed in on ourselves, and we don't hear the word anymore. There's no question of responding, because we don't simply hear it. And this capacity to see the presence of God, the action of God, in the normal events of life, that is the real problem. God is coming to us in everything, everything we see and hear and do. There's a presence of God, and nine times out of ten we're just closed to it. It's like the rocky ground which one can't perceive. And then at other times we do respond to some extent, but again we close in on ourselves like we have among the poor. We close in and then we forget about it. And to be able really to be receptive day by day, hour by hour, to respond to this presence of God, that is the real calling. So we have to ask for that grace, for that response to the word, to the truth, to the love, to the grace, which has been offered us day by day, hour by hour.


The teaching of Jesus centred around this mystery of the kingdom of heaven, and like many of these symbols it has many, many meanings, and it's inexhaustible in its way. But obviously one of the central meanings is it's this transcendent mystery which surrounds us in this world. He compares it to this, first of all, to the man who finds his treasure in a field, and to a merchant in search of pearls. And we're all in search, we say, of happiness. The human being is searching for happiness, and people go in all directions in search of happiness, and then sometimes they find this real happiness, this treasure, this pearl of great price. And when you find that, then you have to be prepared to sell everything you have, to give up everything else, and go in search of that treasure,


because you've found it, but still it's got to be continually rediscovered, because it's a dynamic process, it's not something you find, it's not really like a pearl or a treasure or something static, it's a dynamic process, and you awake at a certain stage in your life, you awake to something beyond the material world, something beyond merely human values, and you discover this hidden mystery which is worth all the world. And then you have to be prepared to give up everything. That doesn't mean you have to renounce necessarily your family or the work you're doing, but everything becomes totally subordinate to that, that is the meaning of life. And I think today, everywhere, people are searching for that. Many people have discovered, have found all that they want in this world, all that they need, and yet something is missing. And also don't forget that others, many in India, who've not got what they need, and yet who've discovered this, very poor person, also sometimes discover


this deeper reality in life, the deeper meaning, and they get a contentment, a happiness, which the rich are totally deprived of. So that's the real purpose of life, to discover this hidden mystery, this love, this truth, this grace, whatever word you use, which transcends everything in this world. Once we discover that, then we're ready to give up everything and just find that, and live for that. And then the third parable, hit the field, compare it to a net thrown into a field, and in that sense, you see, this mystery is thrown out into the world. It's everywhere, hidden in the world. And some people respond to it and receive it, and others are unable to respond. And the judgment comes at the end, and perhaps one can take it rather not so much that some people are saved and some are lost, as that in all of us, there's something which responds to that kingdom, that grace,


and goes after it, and there's something in us which resists it. This mystery of the kingdom of God is very profound, very complex. It really begins from the time of David. David is promised to have a son, and that son shall reign over the kingdom of Israel. Not his kingdom, there will be no end. It was perhaps an exaggeration. He often spoke of, may the king live forever. But the idea grew up that this kingdom of Israel would be the kingdom of God. God would reign through his king, and we read in the psalm, You are my son, this day have I forgotten thee, and you shall be a king over my people Israel. So that was the expectation in the time of Jesus. The Messiah is the anointed one, the king who is to come and reign over Israel. And that was the great expectation, and people expected Jesus to be a king,


and to reign in triumph, and for his disciples to sit at his right hand, and his left in his kingdom. And of course he saw it in a totally different way, he saw this kingdom not as something external, it's still there something in the tribe of Israel, but interior mystery. And he uses these parables to try to awaken people to the interior mystery. And he uses this example of a grain of mustard seed, the smallest of seeds. It has this power to grow, like all seeds, it has an extraordinary power. It always amazes me, if you take a coconut and you put this thing in the ground, and this huge tree grows up and puts out its branches and has its fruit. It's a miracle you could think, because of the extraordinary power which is in it. But the same with the kingdom of God, it's this tiny little seed which is sown in the human soul, and that power of growth, of transformation, gradually expands and grows and transforms.


And the other example of this is the never within the dough. And that's even more interesting in a way, because you can't see it, you can't see the never, and the dough is there, and it's a solid mass, and it just rises and is transformed, this extraordinary power to transform the dough, the heavy dough into this light bread. So that's the mystery we live, you see. This hidden mystery is there in the world all the time, behind all the outer world, the dough, is this hidden power. And the same is similarly used in the Upanishads, the famous story where the master says to his son, go and get me a fruit from that tree. And he brings him the fruit, and he says, break it open, what do you see? He says, I see a lot of seeds. He says, break one of them open, what do you see? He said, I see nothing. And then he says, in that nothing which you see, you don't see, lies the power which produces the whole of that tree. So it comes from that little seed, the power in it which you can't see.


And so he says, from all this creation comes from this hidden power, and that power is in you, and thou art not in chaos like that. That's one of the great revelations of the Upanishads, that there is a hidden power in the universe, like the power of a seed, which produces the whole universe, and the same power is in each human being, and it has the power to move from you to full realization. You can discover that the power in the universe is also in you. And that is the secret, that there is a power within each one of us, which is the power of God, and it's hidden, like a little tiny seed, and that is never, and if we open ourselves to it, it can transform us. If we close ourselves, we just remain ignorant. Most people have no idea that that power is in them. They're running after money, or power, or whatever, and they have no idea that this power within, which is beyond the whole creation,


which can totally transform them. And that's the mystery of the kingdom of God, and that's what we have to discover, within each one of us, this hidden mystery, with infinite power in it, and yet, of course, to open ourselves to it, to allow it to work in us. You see, we can't produce it, and in fact, the great obstacle is grief, is the I. We think we are the person, you see, and that we've got to manage our lives, and then the power just remains hidden. When we let ourselves go, we die to ourselves, and that's the meaning of the crucifixion, death to ourself, then the hidden power comes forth, and begins to grow, and to transform, and to change the world. So we all have to ask for the grace to free ourselves from the ego, from the selfish person who hides this, you know, the other story is, the man who had this gift, he went and buried it, and left it there. We all tend to bury this power, the kingdom of God within, but once we open up to it,


it comes, grows, transforms us, and transforms the world, you see, it has the power to change the whole creation. In this explanation of the parable of the sower, they said, the good seed means the sons of the kingdom, the weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed it is the devil. So we need to reflect on who the evil one is, the devil, and what is the source of evil, and we believe that God is good, and the world is created as good, everything that God creates is good, and evil is a defect of good, it has no substance in itself, it's a defect, a lack of being, a privation of being,


and when God creates the world, he creates the material world, he creates the spiritual world, the world of the angels, or the cosmic powers, and these cosmic powers, the angels or the gods, the devas in Hinduism, are these spiritual powers which order the universe, see, the universe is material, but it's ordered by these cosmic powers, he's what Aristotle and the Arabian philosophers called the intelligences. The modern science imagines that there's only a material world, and we try to understand how it works, but we've lost sight of the other aspect of the spiritual world, the world of intelligences, which orders the material world, and these angels' powers are, of course, essentially good, God creates the angels' powers to organize the universe, but every intelligent being


has also freedom, see, once you have intelligence to know, you also have freedom to act, and decide, and judge, and so it's always possible for an intelligent being to misuse his power, his freedom, and to fail to respond to the truth of reality, and the angel is created to be guided by the spirit of God. The spirit of God orders the whole universe, the angels, the spirits, are his instruments, his angels in ordering the universe, but instead of acting in response to the spirit, they can assume the authority to themselves, they become self-centered, and become self-centered is the essence of sin, instead of opening to the spirit, to truth, to God, you center on yourself, and you become a source then of conflict, you've separated yourself from the cosmic order,


and you create a little center of conflict, and that is what a demon is, an evil is, you notice this spiritual power which is separated from the divine cosmos, the order of the universe, and has made a separate center, it's separated, the separation is sin, and so you have these conflicting powers, all through the universe, that are destructive powers, powers of disintegration, of violence, of conflict, and so we live in the world with these conflicting powers, these evil forces, and then when human beings come into the scene, they also, you see, have this power from God, they have this freedom, they have the intelligence to order their lives, but also to disorder their lives, and so we also have to choose, and we can respond to the spirit of God, open ourselves to divine guidance,


and then we create harmony and order, and equally we can separate from the spirit, and center on ourselves, and then we become subject to these cosmic powers, the power of evil, and that is our human situation, we're separated from the divine order, centered on ourselves, and subject to the cosmic powers, the harmonic forces in the universe, and all the evil, the disorder, the violence, the hatred in the world, is due to this, first the angels, the spiritual powers, separating from the divine order, then human beings coming into that world, separating themselves from the divine, becoming exposed to the evil powers, and then of course redemption is when God enters this disordered universe, and reintegrates, enables human beings and angels to return to the cosmic order,


to open themselves to God, to the divine spirit, and to create harmony, to create a new creation, a new order of being, so that is our human situation, every human being has his inner freedom, and everyone consents to, first of all, everyone centers on themselves, we make a separate persona, separate akamkara, an ego, and then that separated ego becomes in conflict with other people, and with the universe around, so we live in this world of conflict, but equally, every human being has the capacity to turn away from the ego itself, to open to God, to the spirit, and to become a source of harmony, of re-creation, of reintegration, and that is really our calling, when we read the Bhagavad Gita, we see how exactly the calling to yoga is harmony, so yoga is turning away


from the self-centered ego, opening ourselves to divine order, and then becoming a center of harmony, of order in the universe, so that's always the choice, and we're all divided, and of course we're subject to these demonic forces, you see, in the unconscious, we're all exposed to demonic forces, forces beyond our control, and once we give way to our ego, to our self-centeredness, we become under the power of the evil forces, and we create destruction, and the evil around us everywhere, but equally, of course, once we turn back to the spirit, and our own spirit to guide us, we become, we can overcome these demonic forces, you see, no demon, no devil, no evil power has any power over a person who is guided by the Holy Spirit, who is so strong in all these powers, but the moment we let go of the spirit, center of ourselves, we're subject to all these forces of destruction, and that's what we see around us,


you see, in Sri Lanka, you see, people are simply being guided by demonic forces, the Tamils have their demon, they want to have their separate state, it is totally separate, and so they want to kill the Singhalese, and the Singhalese want to have their state, they don't want the Tamils interfering, and so they kill each other, and they're both being driven by demonic forces, which mean the collective unconscious, you see, we have a personal unconscious, where we're subject to these forces, and then we create a creativity, a human being, Tamils, or Singhalese, or Muslims, or Christians, or whatever, we create these creativities, and then we become subject to collective forces of the unconscious, which are even more violent, and more destructive, so we're all exposed to all these terrible evils, and yet, within it all, there is redemption, there is the grace of God, which is working against all these forces, bringing us back into harmony, into unity, into love,


you see, love is this feeling of creation, all creation is made by love, and for love, and still there is this pain of love, it's the falling away from love into a separated ego, and when we return, then love re-creates this fear of love, so pain which raises the question, I told you yesterday, in the sense of love, who, where, perhaps, is best thrown into the sea, between good and bad fish, the good are put in the vessels, the bad are thrown away, and it's that human destiny that some are saved, and others are thrown away, and burned, and we must remember that Jesus is speaking within the context of the Hebrew understanding of life, and the popular language, these parables, and the popular language addressed to people to try to awaken them to the realities of life, that we have to translate these images and symbols


of nets, and fish, and car, and so on, into a more contemporary language, and perhaps we could reflect on it in this way, that a human being has a three-fold character, body, soul, and spirit, we have a physical organism, part of the physical organism of the universe, and then we have a psychological organism, the psyche, which is part of the psychological cosmos in human order, but thirdly, and very few recognize this, beyond the body and the soul there is the spirit, the numa in Sanskrit, and actually, the life of the body and the soul entirely depends on the spirit, the spirit is the point where the human is in touch with the divine, with the transcendent, and all life, and all life, and all being comes from that transcendent spirit, and it's present in each one of us


in our spirit, and the spirit gives life to the body and the soul, and the body and the soul give an individual character to the spirit, so we all have this structure of our being, and the aim of life is that the body and the soul should respond to the spirit, so the spirit is active in each one of us, and day by day we are challenged to go beyond our body and soul, and the body and soul are centered in the ego, the jiva, mandi, akamkara, the eye maker, and as long as we remain centered around this body, soul, and the eye, we remain imprisoned, this is the bondage of sin, and when the ego, the self, opens it to the spirit, to the transcendent, then we're liberated, then we're enlightened, and we are set free, and so that is the drama of life,


whether we live within the body and soul, the world as we know it, and are dominated by it, or whether we open to the spirit and gain this freedom of the spirit, and the majority of people probably do remain imprisoned in the body, soul, and yet that light of the spirit, that little spark is present in every human being, and our destiny depends on that little spark of the spirit. At the moment of death, the body disintegrates, goes back to the physical organism, and then also the soul, so far as it depends on the body, and all our thinking, our actions, and so on, depend on the body, that soul also ceases to function, and what you name is the spirit in there, and at that moment, you see the spirit in us encounters the spirit of God, it's always there, the spirit of God is in my spirit, but we don't recognize it


because we're absorbed in the light of the body and the light of the soul. The moment of death, that all drops away, and the spirit of man in each one of us encounters the spirit of God, and then two things can happen. One is our spirit responds to the spirit of God, and we open ourselves, we enter into the divine life of the spirit, and that is liberation, that is salvation, but equally, the spirit may have got so absorbed into the body, soul, into the ego, that it can't face the spirit at that point, and that is where our destiny is decided, and that is the judgment, when the spirit in us can sense the spirit of God naked, we're no longer hiding behind the body, soul, we're naked before God in our reality, and there are two ways


of looking at it. In the Hindu, the Buddhist tradition, you have this doctrine of rebirth, you have many opportunities, birth after birth, you go on until you reach the point where you are free, your spirit opens to the spirit of God, and you're set free. The Christian tradition is rather different, it's based on the view that humanity is one, it is an organic whole, the whole of human nature, human existence, is an organic whole, Saint Thomas Aquinas said, omnes homines unus homo, all men are one man, this one man is like a vast organism, like little cells, each human being is a cell in that body of humanity, and so when we come to die, we don't come as an isolated individual, we come as a member of this humanity, which is both fallen and redeemed, all humanity is fallen into this life of the body, soul, we've fallen from the spirit into this subservience


to the body, soul, but equally, humanity is redeemed, and the power of grace has entered into humanity so that in spite of our clinging to our body, soul, to our ego, the grace of God is present to us, opening us to the life of the spirit, and as long as there's a spark in any human being of openness to the spirit, then it is set free in spite of its sins, in spite of its bondage, at the moment of death, the grace of God comes to open it to the transcendent, and as a member of that redeemed humanity, it enters into the life of the spirit, so there's hope for every human being, there's always a little spark, you see, of truth, of goodness, of love, of grace, of whatever you like, as long as that is there, then the grace of God can enable it to respond and to enter into the life of the spirit, but it is possible, at least I think we have to allow,


for the person to be so enclosed in the body, soul, and the ego, that it can't open to the spirit, you see, you can become so selfish, so self-centered, that you're incapable of love, and that's where love is the test, you see, love is going beyond yourself, keeping yourself around God, and seeing it's closing in on yourself, and refusing love, and there are some people who really go on refusing love day after day, so they're totally closing on themselves, and presumably such a person is lost, and the loss is this, you see, that your real life is in the spirit, the body and the soul are the vessel, what St. Paul calls the earthen vessel, you see, in which the spirit is living and acting, and at the moment of death, as I say, that vessel is shattered, and the spirit remains, and it is possible, you see,


for you to get closed in to your ego, and simply ignore the spirit altogether, and at that point you can refuse to accept the spirit, and there you go into an illusion, you see, the body and soul without the spirit have no reality at all, they never appear like a shadow, it's the spirit which lies to the body, the spirit which lies to the soul, but you imagine your body is real, it has an existence of itself, and your soul is real, it has an existence of itself, and that is the illusion, that is the Maya, the Aditya, in which most people live, this body is real by itself, this soul, this mind, mind with all its scientific knowledge, this is real, but that is an illusion, you see, the life of the body and the life of the soul is entirely dependent on the spirit, and if you close yourself into your body, soul, your ego, you appear to an illusion, it's a shadow which you've mistaken for reality, and if at the moment of death you can't get out of that,


if you're totally sensitive to that, you simply, you disappear, you are an illusion, you're a total unreality, so the reality is open to the spirit, the spirit is the reality, and as long as you're open to that reality, then you're safe, but if you choose to reject it, you live a life of a shadow, you see, and simply you disintegrate, there's nothing there, you've become a true illusion. There's a very interesting book, The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis, some of you may know, which describes the three states of hell, purgatory, and heaven, and in the course of various, not very theological, various souls come from hell into this purgatory, and they see the heavenly city beyond, and various angels and saints come and speak with them to try to help them to get out, and hell is simply a self-centered person, you see, totally self-centered by itself, and they try to help them,


and one of the scenes, there is a man, a very little man, and he's changed to a big man, and the big man is very tall, and the big man does all the talking, and this angel comes, or a spirit comes, and tries to help this little man, but when it talks to the little man, the big man always answers, and that is your ego, you see, you've got this big ego which is always talking and defending itself, and as the big man grows, the little gets smaller and smaller, so your real self gets smaller and smaller, and this ego goes on talking and talking and pretending, you see, and that is the mask, the persona, which people wear, so the point can come when your ego has got so tall that your little self simply collapses, there's nothing left of you at all, you're just a vast illusion, and that is the danger of becoming a pure illusion, a pure shadow, you see, a statement of reality. So maybe,


if we reflect on things in this way, I think it's so important to see this, the spirit in man is your real being, it's not your body, it's not your soul, your spirit is the reality, and the moment of death you face the supreme spirit in your spirit, and that is when your destiny is decided, and it's decided by our choices in this world, whether we're open to God, to truth, to love, to grace, whatever word you give, or whether we're cozying in on ourselves, separating from God, from truth, from reality, and living in this total illusion, this real death, that is your final judgment. This gospel tells us how Jesus went to Nazareth, his home country, and people there wouldn't accept him, and first of all we have this, they say,


it's not this, the carpenter's son, and then they say, no, not all his brothers and sisters with us, and we know there's been a dispute about this, the Catholics generally hold that Jesus was the only son of Mary, and I think in India we were accustomed to the extended family, and I think through all the East the extended family is the norm, there was no reason to suppose that these were strictly brothers and sisters, they were cousins, and as we have in India all these close, these fairly distant relatives are all called brothers and sisters, but the main point, of course, is that they can't recognize him, they see him as one of themselves, how did he get all this, they can't accept that he's really a prophet and something more than they see in him, and this is a great problem, you see, that we don't recognize truth when it comes, because we're all conditioned, and I think we all have to recognize this conditioning, first of all,


this heredity, we're all born into a certain tradition, whether a religion, or a race, or a caste, or whatever it may be, we're all conditioned from infancy, or from the womb, you see, there is a psychic conditioning, we all know we're physically conditioned by our genes and so on, but there's also a psychic conditioning, we're not born a blank at all, we're born with all the inheritance of the past, and it's said every human being inherits from the past of humanity, the fathers used to say Adam is in all men, this Adam, this humanity, you see, is in every human being, we all recapitulate the past, I remember one Jungian analyst saying that he thought that every human being in the world recapitulates the history of humanity, we've all got the past of humanity in us, we're like leaves on a tree, you see,


and the leaf is connected with the branch, and the branch with the trunk, and the trunk with the roots, we're all humanity as one, so we've all got this psychic inheritance, and of course it comes down to us in a particular channel, as I say, religious, we may have born a Hindu, or a Jew, or a Christian, or a Muslim, it's simply an inheritance, so we inherit as attitudes of mind already, the womb, and then of course in infancy, from age one to the age of five, the child is entirely conditioned by its family situation, and that conditioning remains, you can't get out of your first five years, they all say you're more or less fixed by the end of the time you're five years old, you're conditioned by your family background, your class, and your community, and your language, of course, and your culture, all these things are bred into you, you see, and then developed during these first five years,


and then of course it goes on for the next ten years or so, you're still conditioned by your school, by your companions, by your family group, and so on, so we all grow up in this conditioning, and we see truth, there's a desire for truth in every human being, but we always see it under these limiting conditions, and we realize today how language conditions you, and so you learn a language when you're a child, and that language has only a certain limited range, some languages are very limited, you can't get beyond, others like English, or a new international language has a much wider sphere, but all languages are conditioned, you can't express the truth itself, and we never express the truth, we never know the truth, we always know the truth under certain limiting conditions, we say the Bible, for instance, is the word of God, but it's the word of God under the limiting conditions of the Hebrew people with their language and with their customs


and traditions and their symbols and their modes of thinking and acting, it's the word of God conditioned by Israel, and even Jesus himself comes into Israel and his language, his thinking, his mode of speech and thought is all conditioned by the traditions of Israel, belongs to that Semitic culture, that Jewish religion, and the word of God comes to us in him and through him through that conditioning, and that's why we all have to go beyond these conditions, and so we receive the truth under these conditions, and yet there's a search always to go beyond, you see, we're conditioned by our childhood, by our education, by our social surroundings, but there's something in us which is not conditioned. You know, the Buddha said that everything here is conditioned, is born, is made, is compounded, but there is something which is not born, not made, not conditioned,


not compounded, and that's what he discovered. Nirvana is a state which is not conditioned, not compounded, and that is where you find the truth. So we all have an instinct in us, first of all, we're all conditioned, right?