Articles & Newsletters
There Is Nothing Other Than Yourself
Actions and reactions, and thought and action, are not separate. They are directly interrelated. You cannot say, 'I fooled them'. You have only fooled yourself. There is nothing other than yourself. Thousands of people throughout the ages, people of self-knowledge, have reached the same conclusion. And until one reaches that conclusion, one is baffled by the world outside.
Pure Consciousness / Awareness
Try and attain a total peace for five seconds. Try and sit completely and utterly tranquil with not a single thought in the mind. One may be aware of peace, silence or tranquility, but this is not what we are talking about. We are talking about pure consciousness that admits no awareness of itself; that is total, absolute peace. One may be aware of something nice, that is very tranquil, but that is agitation. One may also be aware of awareness, and also aware of the awareness of one's awareness. Two mirrors opposite each other illustrate well this condition. But can one be purely, simply, totally just awareness itself? Pure awareness.
The Basis of All Religions
Quietening the mind is achieved only by discipline and proper behaviour, by living according to proper laws that govern all interactions. This is what is called shari'ah. So far, what we have been talking about is haqiqah, the inner reality: the individual and the secret of beingness and unity. In order to contain and conserve energy, the individual must move within certain boundaries, be governed by certain basic laws. The source of this knowledge is imprinted in the chromosomes of the individual. 'Don't do to others what you don't want done to yourself.' This is the basic of all moral conduct - the basis of all religions before they became tarnished and adapted, and all sorts of superimpositions were put onto them. It is the absolute code of behaviour. Unless we have correct outward behaviour, we cannot change inwardly.
Virtues and Vices and the Importance of Interaction
The importance of virtue to self-development can be seen after defining what is meant by virtue. We define virtue as behaviour occurring at the centre of two extremes, both of which are unvirtuous. The virtuous value which is at the centre is not affected by the unvirtuous values around it unless it moves towards one or the other extremes, away from the centre. When it happens, the virtue takes on the colour of that particular vice. For example, the virtue of generosity is the midpoint between two vices – meanness at one extreme, and indiscriminate giving, or wastefulness, at the other extreme.