“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Life is a process of accumulating and discarding, of gathering and setting aside. What you gather you reject, and the more you reject the nearer you are to liberation. By setting aside what you have gained, you acquire the knowledge which will give you strength to shape your purpose, which will give you power ultimately to reach the Kingdom of Happiness which each one of you seeks.
As there is sap in the tree which brings forth foliage for the glory of its being, so in each man there is the spark of divinity which through sorrow, through ecstasy, through struggle, through all the processes of life, grows to perfection, to that state of eternal happiness which is the goal for all, which is the truest spirituality – the greatest gift that anyone can give to another.
In what way can you attain this goal and hold this happiness eternally in your heart? If you are thoughtful person, you will recognize that in everyone there are three different beings – the mind, the emotions and the body. And if you observe you will find that each of these beings has a separate existence of its own and tries to create and to act independently of the other, thus causing disharmony. Absolute happiness comes from the establishment of harmony between these three. If you are driving three horses – each desiring to run independently of the other two – unless you are able to control them and drive them all together, you will not reach your destination.
The mind must have a goal of its own, but it must be a goal created by you yourself; otherwise it will lead to superstition.
What is the ultimate goal for the mind?
It is the purification of the self, which means the development of individual uniqueness.
As the seed is forced by the life within it to break through the heavy earth and come into light, so if you are urged by the desire to find freedom, you will break through all limitations which bind you. To gain freedom, great desire is needed. People are afraid of desire, thinking that it is something evil which must be destroyed. But this is a mistaken attitude. Desire is the motive power behind all action. If you would light a great fire to warm and comfort you, you must give fuel to it – feed it with great logs of wood. So if you would fulfil life you must have great desires, for desire brings experience and experience leads to knowledge.
If a man knows how to use desire, it will bring him to the freedom for which he longs. If desire is killed or suppressed, there is no possibility of freedom. Most people in the world have intense, burning, vital desires, but instead of utilizing them and training them, their either suppress them or are controlled by them.
If desire gives life it should be encouraged. If desire creates sorrow, through understanding that sorrow must be overcome. Because man does not want to be free, he kills his desires; because he does not want to attain true liberation, he is making of himself a machine. Use desire as stepping-stone to kindle greater desires, to awaken greater delight and longing.
But intelligence is necessary in order to develop your individual uniqueness, to purify your desires, to realize that self which is the self of all – to realize that absolute union with all things which brings to an end the sense of separation. It is necessary for the mind to be simple, but simplicity does not mean crudeness. We should not turn our back upon the results of progress and evolution, but on the contrary we should utilize them.
A mind that is simple will understand perfection because it is part of perfection itself. A mind that is crooked cannot understand the Truth. A mind that is complicated, that is full of the knowledge of books, though they have their value, is apt to become crystallized. In all great architecture, painting and sculpture, in all the greatest forms of beauty, there is simplicity and there is restraint. Simplicity of the mind is the greatest and most difficult thing to acquire, but in order to be simple you must have had great experience. Simplicity of the truest kind is the highest form of spirituality.
What is the ultimate goal for the emotions? It is affectionate detachment. To be able to love and yet be not attached to anyone or anything is the absolute perfection of emotion.
As a barren tree in winter without leaf or flower to give scent to the morning air, so is a man without love. Those who would attain to Truth, must cultivate, as the gardener cultivates his garden, this flower of affection, which is to give delight, which is to be a source of comfort in disappointment and sorrow. Love – however envious, jealous, tyrannical, selfish it may be at first – is a bud that will grow into great glory and give the scent of its perfection to every passer-by. Without love man is as a desert of dry sand, as the river in the summer time, without water to nourish its banks. Those who would attain the perfection of happiness, the beauty that is hidden from the human eye, must cultivate this quality of love. You must love all and yet be detached from all, for love is necessary to the unfoldment of life. To cultivate it you must learn to observe, you must gather experience – vicariously, or through your own treading of the sorrowful paths of experience. It is through experience that you know sympathy, that you are able to give affection to those who desire it, for if you have never experienced sorrow, then your heart it incapable of sympathy and understanding.