More Via Richard Wilhelm: “The Secret of the Golden Flower”


Quote from Rabindrath Tagore: via “Sadhana”; “It is evident from this that the real desire of our soul is to get beyond all our possessions.  Surrounded by things she can touch and feel, she cries,  “I am weary of getting:  Ah, where is he who is never to be got?”


We see everywhere in the history of man that the spirit of renunciation is the deepest reality of the human soul.  When the soul says of anything,  “I do not want it, for I am above it,” she gives utterance to the highest trueth that is in her.  When a girl’s life outgrows her doll, when she realises that in every respect she is more than her doll is, then she throws it away.  By the very act of possession we know thatt we are greater than the things we possesss.  It is a perfect misery to be kept bound up with things lesser than ourselves.  This it is that Maitreyi felt when her husband gave her his property on the eve of leaving home.  She asked him,  “Would these material things help one ao attain the highest?—or, in other words,  “Are they more than my soul to me?”  When her husband answered,  “They will make you rich in worldly possessions,”  she said at once,  “then what am I to do with these?”  It is only when a man truley realises what his possessions are that he has no more illusions about them, then he knows his sould is far above thse things and he becomes free from their bondage.  Thus man’s progress in the path of eternal life is through a series of renunciations.


That we cannot absolutely possess the infinite being is not a mere intellectual proposition. It has to be experienced, and this experience is bliss.  The bird, while taking its flight in the sky, experiences at every beat of its wings that the sky is boundless, that its wings can never carry it beyond.  Therein lies its joy. In the cage the sky is limited; it may be quite enoughg for all the purposes of the bird’s life, only it is not more than is necessary. The bird cannot rejoice within the limits of the necessary.  It must feel that what it has is immeasurably more than it can ever want or comprehend, and then only can it be glad.


Thus our soul must soar in the infinite, and she must feel every moment that in the sense of not being able to come to the end of her attainment is her supreme joy, her final freedom.


Man’s abbiding happiness is not in getting anything but in giving himself up to what is greater than himself, to ideas which are larger than his individual life, the idea of his country, of humanity of God.  They make it easeier for him to part with all that he has, not expecting his life.  His existence is miserable and sordid til he finds some great idea which he can claim his all. When they bring forth their divine alms-bowl we feel we cannot help giving, and we find that in giving is our truest joy and liberation, for it is uniting ourselves to that extent with the infinite.
Man is not complete; he is yet to be. In what he is he is small, and if we could concieve him stopping there for eternity we should have an idea of the most awful hell that man can imagine. In his to be, he is infinite, there is his heaven his deliverance. His is, is occupied every moment with what it can get and have done with; his to be is hungering for something which is more than can be got, which he never can lose because he never has possessed.” end quote R.Tagor.

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