In this world we are attached to the body, to the mind, to the vital and to the heart. Why? Because we want to possess. But unfortunately we forget that there is nothing on earth that we can possess forever, or even for a long time. Take, for example, the body. At every moment we say, "My body, my body." But the body lasts for fifty, sixty or seventy years and then it leaves us. There is nothing on earth we can possess forever if we are in the physical and crying for the physical. For if we live in the soul, then we are in the Eternal and for the Eternal. At that time, we can claim Infinity, Immortality and Eternity as our very own.
Our first Indian avatar, Ramachandra, had a spiritual teacher named Vashishtha. He said to Rama that the cause of attachment is unhappiness. When we are unhappy we do not want to expand ourselves. We want to enter into a cave. We say that various things are the causes of attachment but Vashishtha said that the only cause of attachment is unhappiness. If you are unhappy, then you are going to be attached to something. The malady of this century, of this world, is unhappiness. This unhappiness can only be removed by love, the divine love, not human love. Human love will bind — but divine love will transform and expand your consciousness.
In order to be freed from attachment we have to go through seven successive stages. To start with we have to study the scriptures and spiritual books written by spiritual Masters. This is the first step. Then we have to mix with spiritual aspirants who have already studied books and are now either crying for real light or who have gotten some insignificant or considerable light in their life of aspiration. Next we have to see and feel that all around us is temptation. At every moment we are subject to temptation, which we have to conquer. Then we have to take our mind away from the body. Right now our mind is constantly in the physical, but we want to transcend the physical mind and enter into the calm, intuitive mind, the higher mind. Next we have to enter into the world of conscious expansion. Since our outer desire-life is binding and obstructing us, we have to enter into the world of aspiration, where we feel the necessity of a goal. Finally, we need the guidance of our Inner Pilot to attain to that goal. No soul on earth can realise God without the guidance of the Inner Pilot.
God and the Inner Pilot are one. At the same time, the Inner Pilot is the conscious representative of God. The Inner Pilot can be God Himself or He can take human form as a spiritual Master who has attained to spiritual perfection. So a spiritual Master who in his highest transcendental consciousness is one with God can be your Inner Pilot. And if you don’t have a spiritual Master, you have to enter into the inmost recesses of your own consciousness and get a glimpse of the Inner Pilot, God.
The great philosopher Socrates said, "Marry, by all means. If you get a nice wife, you are happy; and if you get a bad wife, you become a philosopher." Unfortunately he got a bad wife. Xantippe tortured him and he became a philosopher. Now, what do we learn from this? Ignorance we very often see when we accept the world. Again, we play the part of ignorance when we reject the world. “World” here invariably means the mother aspect, the feminine aspect of the world.
We have to accept Mother Earth. If we do not accept Mother Earth as she is, then we can never be happy. She has to bless, guide and mould us and show us all her concern. Then if Mother Earth fails us in our attempts to achieve our highest goal or if we fail to inspire her to achieve the highest goal, at that time we have to become indifferent to the pleasures of earth and to the achievements of earth. A real philosopher is he who has a vision of truth. Once he has a vision of truth he can really be indifferent to pleasure, to joy and sorrow. He can be indifferent to success and failure as well.
This indifference does not mean not helping the world or not being helped by the world. It means only not being attached to the one whom we are helping, or to the one who is going to help us. If we are attached, then we are bound. But if we help the world and if the world helps us, then we are fulfilled. If we fail to help the world and if the world fails to help us, then we have made a mistake at the dawn of our journey. Either we did not care to allow God to help the world through us, or we did not care to see God’s existence in the world when the world was trying to help us. But if we can feel that it is God’s Light operating in and through the world, then only can we be fulfilled. If I am not the doer and the world is not the doer, who can possess whom? The only doer is God, the indwelling deity in us. God is working in and through us, so God can possess the world and God can possess us.
In the world of attachment we see temptation. Temptation is something that we want. Temptation is the difference between what we want to possess and what we have right now. From temptation, frustration comes immediately. What is frustration? Frustration is the difference between what we perceive or think of ourselves and what we really are.
Then comes destruction. What is destruction? Destruction is the difference between what we don't want to be and what we unfortunately are now. Attachment does not diminish as we grow older. If we think that our attachment will diminish with age we are mistaken. Through aspiration only can we conquer attachment.
We are all aspirants here. If in physical terms we are old, in spiritual terms we are children of God, eternal children playing in His eternal garden: When we say “old” in the spiritual life, we have to feel that advancement is the change from light to more light. An aspirant, when he starts, is trying to get an iota of light. He becomes advanced after he has been walking along the path of spirituality for many years or even centuries. When we see that some souls are advanced, we have to feel that these souls have invoked a little light, or I should say, considerable light in their inner being. And this light they are able to bring to the fore. But being on the verge of realisation is something which is far more important than the so-called advanced stage.
Our constant necessity of exercising power is constantly taking away light from us. Each person has power — physical power, vital power, mental power and psychic power. When we misuse this power, as we are doing all the time, we are constantly violating the cosmic laws and we are binding ourselves. It has been said that nothing is more gratifying to the mind of man than power or dominion. Each person feels that either in the physical or in the vital or in the mental or in the spiritual, he is superior to somebody else. But is he using this power to help the one who he feels is inferior? No! On the contrary, he is using his power only to show his supremacy and to draw appreciation and admiration. On very rare occasions we offer our power-light to kindle the flame of aspiration or to show humanity what is right.
When we want to see the Light in totality, in its infinite plenitude and all its magnificence and brilliance, we have to see the Light through a higher soul than ours, through perfectly illumined eyes. If an aspirant cries for infinite Light and eventually sees it, he will not know whether it is real Light; he will not know what Light can do or what Light has already done. But when this aspirant sees the Light through the eye of the Master, then he sees what the Light is, what the Light is going to do and what the Light has already done for him. Here is an example. I am in front of some big, huge electric machines. If I am with an engineer, if I am identified with his consciousness, he will be able to tell me how the machines are operating and what they are able to do. But if I am not identified with him, then I know nothing; I will only see the machines in front of me. So, too, in the spiritual world, if the aspirant sees through the Light of the Master, then only can he see the real Light as it is. Otherwise, he may see the Light, but what the Light is going to do, what it has done, or what it has the capacity to do, he won't know.