I want, if I can, to put before you certain ideas, which you should cultivate, and which would give you a definite and intelligent conception of true spiritual life. I think all of you realize that to create, as you must create if you would live, there must be struggle and discontent; and in guiding these to their fruition, you must cultivate your own point of view, your own tendencies, your own abilities; and for this I desire to arouse in each that Voice, that Tyrant, the only true guide that will help you to create. Most of you prefer -it is a much easier way- to copy. Most of you like to follow. Most of you find it much easier not to cultivate your own tendencies, your own qualities, your own natures, but rather to follow blindly. And I think you will agree with me that it is fatal for the development of the Voice. The noblest guide each of us has is this Voice, this Tyrant, this Intuition; and it is in cultivating, in ennobling, and in perfecting this, that we arrive at the goal -our own goal.
In cultivating this Voice till it becomes the one Tyrant, the one Voice, which we obey, we must find out our goal and work unceasingly for its attainment. Now what is this goal? To me it is this: I want to attain the Ultimate Truth. I want to reach a state where I know for myself that I have conquered, that I have attained, that I am the embodiment of that Truth, so that all the little struggles, the little turmoils, the little disturbances of life -though they have their value- do not upset me, do not cloud the vision of the Truth. And in attaining this Truth I attain at the same time what I desire -the peace, the perfect tranquillity of mind and of emotions. This is the goal for me. The first essential is the strengthening of this Voice, in each of us, which asserts itself from time to time. And in cultivating and in ennobling the Intuition we must learn to think and act for ourselves. The cultivation of this voice of intuition means a life according to its edicts.
Imitation has nothing to do with the beautiful; art consists not in the copy of Nature as it is but in the nobleness of the symbol of that Nature which it represents. So each one of us has to be an artist, an artist who creates for himself, because he has been thrilled by a glimpse of the Vision. You will find that true and great artists, true and great teachers, have not the sense of exclusiveness; they embody all things, are part of all things. We must be varied in order to produce the perfect thing. A garden full of roses, however beautiful, becomes monotonous. You may have the most perfect roses of many types and colours, but if they are all roses, the garden lacks a sense of beauty. There is a tendency in each one of us to become like the others. We all desire to conform to a certain type and make ourselves fit into moulds not of our own making. This is fatal to the development of perfect intuition. And yet we must never forget that we shall all meet in the Kingdom of Happiness.
We have a tendency all through our nationalism, our forms of worship, to think that we are different from other people; we treat the world as outside of us and we become exclusive in our outlook. We shall be destroying instead of creating if we have such a limited vision, such narrow ideas. I want, if I can, to rouse in each one of you this Voice, that shall guide you along the line you want to follow, that is your own life, the path of your own making. And as long as you obey that Voice, that Intuition, you cannot err; it is in trying to follow the orders, the ideas, and the visions of others that you go wrong. I can point out my ideal of Truth, of perfect peace, of loving-kindness, but you must struggle and arrive at it for yourselves. I can lay down the principles of Truth, but through your own Voice, through the obeying of that Voice, you must develop your own intuition, your own ideas, and so you will come to the goal where we shall all meet.
This is for me the big thing in life. I do not want to obey anybody, it does not matter who he is, so long as I do not feel he is right. I do not want to hide behind the screen which veils the Truth. I do not want to have beliefs to which I cannot respond and to which I cannot give my soul and my heart and my whole being. Instead of being the ordinary and the mediocre, you will listen to this Voice, cultivate this Intuition, and so discover new avenues of life instead of being swept aimlessly along the path of another.
In realizing this ideal, as I said, you must develop your Intuition. A perfect harmony of emotions and of mind is essential, so that intuition, the voice of your true self, can express itself. Intuition is the whisper of the soul; Intuition is the guiding word in our life. The more we harmonize our strong feelings and keen mind by perfecting and purifying them, the more likely are we to hear that Voice, the Intuition which is common to all, the Intuition which is of humanity and not of one particular individual. You must have strong feelings, whether of love, of intense happiness, of real kindness. A person who has no feelings at all is useless; whereas if he has strong feelings, even if they be of the wrong kind, he can always train them to become refined and perfect. It is the person who is hard and indifferent that cannot create, destroy, or construct. You will find that a great destroyer is never a small person -there is something wonderful about him; a great lover is never mediocre or small. The more feelings you have, the better; but at the same time you must learn control, because emotions are like weeds, and unless you restrain them, they will spoil the garden. If you have weak emotions, but give them nourishment day by day, they will strengthen and grow. The idea that we should have no feelings and emotions is absurd and unspiritual. The more you are bubbling over with feelings, the better; but you will find you have to control them, and if you do not, you suffer. If you do not control them you are going farther away from your Intuition, you are wandering away on the bypaths instead of walking on the main road towards your goal. Have tremendous feelings. Sport yourselves with them.
Do not be negative, but go out and be adventurous. I feel this so strongly, because we all tend to become of one type; we all want to think along the same lines, we all want to flock around the same person, we all fear that if we do not belong to this movement or to that we shall not advance. What is advancement? It is your own happiness -advancement is only a word. I would rather be happy than gain all the petty satisfaction that the world can give. What does it matter to which religion you belong, what glories you bear, so long as you feel really happy and can keep your goal absolutely clear and undimmed? Imagine for the moment the Lord Buddha and His disciples. They were the great exceptions of their Age. They all had one Master, one goal, one ideal, and that was He. And yet they had, every one of them, the spark of genius; they were not mediocre, because they followed Him who was the exception, the flower of humanity, and such examples must we all become.
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