Go Back

A Light To Yourself



  It is the result of inherited ideas, of accumulated experiences, of fears, inspirations, motives, beliefs, hopes, and innumerable other influences. All that is what we are. We may divide ourselves into the `I' and the `not-I', into the `lower self' and the `higher self', but this whole field of consciousness, you will find, is made up of reactions, of the past, of conditioned thinking, and is therefore obviously limited.  



  What is this centre of thinking, the 'I'? Or rather, I won't call it the `I', the ego, the higher self or the lower self. There is only the centre. This centre is a mechanism of thinking based on tradition, and it obviously reacts to any challenge in terms of its own conditioning, which is based on security, fear, greed, envy, and all the rest of it.  



  So you have seen that prayer - which involves conditioning, demand, petition, fear, and so on - is not meditation. Nor is there meditation when one part of the mind which you call the lower self, is dominated by another part of the mind which you call the higher self, or the Atman. This contradiction in the mind is caused by the fact that one desire is controlling another, and that is obviously not meditation.  



  If you are not aware of your response to every challenge in life, there is no self-knowledge. You can know yourself as you are only in relation to something, in relation to people, to ideas and to things. If you assume anything about yourself, if you postulate that you are the Atman, or the higher self, for example, and start from that, which is obviously a form of conclusion, your mind is incapable of learning.