What is Born must Die
Is the witness-consciousness permanent or not?
It is not permanent. The knower rises and sets with the known. That
in which both the
and the known arise and set, is beyond time. The words permanent or
eternal do not apply.
In sleep there is neither the known, nor the knower. What keeps the
body sensitive and
Surely you cannot say the knower was absent. The experience of
things and thoughts was not
that is all. But the absence of experience too is experience. It is
like entering a dark room and
'I see nothing'. A man blind from birth knows not what darkness
means. Similarly, only the
knows that he does not know. Sleep is merely a lapse in memory. Life
And what is death?
It is the change in the living process of a particular body.
Integration ends and disintegration
But what about the knower. With the disappearance of the body, does
the knower disappear?
Just as the knower of the body appears at birth, so he disappears at
And nothing remains?
Life remains. Consciousness needs a vehicle and an instrument for
its manifestation. When life
another body, another knower comes into being,
Is there a causal link between the successive body-knowers, or
Yes, there is something that may be called the memory body, or
causal body, a record of all that
thought, wanted and done. It is like a cloud of images held
What is this sense of a separate existence?
It is a reflection in a separate body of the one reality. In this
reflection the unlimited and the
are confused and taken to be the same. To undo this confusion is the
purpose of Yoga.
Does not death undo this confusion?
In death only the body dies. Life does not, consciousness does not,
reality does not. And the life
never so alive as after death.
But does one get reborn?
What was born must die. Only the unborn is deathless. Find what is
it that never sleeps and
wakes, and whose pale reflection is our sense of 'I'.
How am I to go about this finding out?
How do you go about finding anything? By keeping your mind and heart
in it. Interest there must
and steady remembrance. To remember what needs to be remembered is
the secret of success.
come to it through earnestness.
Do you mean to say that mere wanting to find out is enough? Surely,
both qualifications and
These will come with earnestness. What is supremely important is to
be free from contradictions:
goal and the way must not be on different levels; life and light
must not quarrel; behaviour
must not betray belief. Call it honesty, integrity, wholeness; you
must not go back, undo, uproot,
abandon the conquered ground. Tenacity of purpose and honesty in
pursuit will bring you to
Tenacity and honesty are endowments, surely! Not a trace of them I
All will come as you go on. Take the first step first. All blessings
come from within. Turn within. 'l
you know. Be with it all the time you can spare, until you revert to
it spontaneously. There is no
and easier way.