This principle of the subtle body is very, very closely related to the doctrine of karma because the actions that we perform are not performed with the physical body. Here you will have to change your entire world scheme. You cannot go into yoga and meditative philosophy unless you change your entire world picture. And as you go into yoga experiences, your picture changes automatically anyway, slowly it changes. You begin to find inside you what you were looking for and what you are experiencing outside - take, for example, sex. So the subtle body is the source of all your activity because all of your actions begin with the mind. And then the mind looks for things, not outside your body, it looks for things first inside. When you are searching for something, you should search right where you are, in the place closest to you.
Going back to the subtle body and reincarnation, we understand by now that the human personality is an envelope for the spiritual life-force. The force does not change; the envelopes change. Therefore, I was never born. I shall never die. What will happen is that I will come into a fresh body; incarnate, into flesh. I'll put on a new envelope of flesh again, re-in-carnation. But I was never born. I shall never die. I cannot imagine a time when I was not. I cannot imagine a time when I shall cease to be. I came into a tiny something of sperm and ova, and they became fertilized. I remained there, so they grew. I lent them my life, radiating it throughout their bodies. So it became a fetus; it became a child; it became a woman; it became a man, remained a woman or a man. I shall go my way. This body will be dead. It will be cremated. It will be buried. It will be disposed of, but I shall remain. Now I have put on an envelope of mental personality. That mental personality rests in my subtle body. We understand by now what the subtle body is. It is not a body shaped like this. It is a composition of various forces around my being. My eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, my pranas, my mind, my faculty of intelligence and discrimination, all of these are finer than the physical body, but grosser than the pure Spirit.
Sacred activism is not loud. Sacred activism is not composed of shouting slogans in the street. Sacred activism does not include confrontation – because what you will achieve by confrontation today will be canceled by a future confrontation. It [sacred activism] is not a path of conflict. What you will achieve be coming into conflict will be destroyed by the conflict. This is the Gandhian message. This is the message of Martin Luther King, or of Nelson Mandela, and all the others who have found the meaning of sacred activism.
Compassion is not a passive quality or a passive attitude, but an attitude that implies some act. Compassion is not pity, which comes from a superiority complex. Compassion is not sympathy. In sympathy, you see someone crying – you also cry; in compassion, when you see someone crying, you give him your joy. In sympathy, you take someone’s sorrow; in compassion you give someone your joy. The great beings, the incarnate beings, the great avataras (the Buddhas and the Christs) and the masters are not sympathetic beings, but compassionate beings. As I said, the word karuṇā implies doing something. When they feel that compassion, they go out and do something to remove that suffering.
When we are energized, we have endurance; we have strength; we can carry weight – physical or mental. Things that before made us quit, now seem as nothing. We can carry through and enjoy doing so. Energy is creativity. Without energy, we do not have the inspiration to create. Without energy, we do not have the initiative to begin the creation nor to carry it through, nor to complete it, nor to perfect it. This is true whether it is carrying a physical weight, entertaining guests, becoming a great musician, or in serving others. We need to find sources of energy for ourselves.
Meditation makes time for itself by suspending the sense of movement on which time depends. The existence of time depends entirely on the sense of movement in space. We experience space only because we move through it or observe objects moving through it. In meditation total stillness occurs. Where total stillness occurs, our relationship with space changes. As our relationship with space changes, the need for movement of the body is suspended. When the need for movement of the body is suspended, time stands still.
The answer is silence of the mind — clearing your emotions – clearing your emotions so that they do not become obstacles in the way of your spiritual experience. My idea of spiritual experience is . . . total stillness — stillness of body, stillness of breath, stillness of mind, quietness of speech. Not “armchair loving.” You know, just like some people do “armchair traveling, some people do “armchair loving.” They sit there and send out loving thoughts to the universe – and they have not loved their near-and-dear ones yet.
Whenever you are passing through a transition, the transition is never from one changeable state to another changeable state. The transition from one breath to the next breath is not direct. The transition from moment to moment is not from the moment to the moment. Between each breath the suṣhumna comes through. There is a micro-moment of absolute balance. If you can find that micro-moment, your “left and right” will cease, your dualities and dichotomies [dvandas] will vanish. In that micro-moment between the moments there is no moment – which is eternity –between each breath, between each exhalation and between each inhalation you touch the eternity that your suṣhumna stream also touches. The moments do not pass from one succeeding moment to the next succeeding moment. Like iḍā and pingalā (the left and right nostril breaths) arising as the ebb and flow from one single stream of the evenly balanced suṣhumna, each moment arises directly from infinity, directly from eternity.
Gurus look for disciples. And they take them up to the point that the disciple wants to go at that given time. Beyond that, you have to make yourself felt. Not by pestering. Not by writing six-page letters. There are certain things that you have to do, and then slowly that knowledge will open to you. You do your end. It is for you to figure out what.