The fact that you are alive, conscious and reading this means that there is something within who is making it so. The body and mind are only the external and internal coating to that soul, that someone or something, who is the owner of the home.
That owner in all of us is an intelligent being who knows how to run this life. He knows how to perceive, how to react, think and feel. He knows how to be alive, and yet we can never get in touch with the owner.
“If this being is so powerful, why have you never felt its presence?”
The Windows looking outside
I was looking at the buildings in the night when I went to terrace. The internal lights of buildings shine only at night, when the outside is dark. Then I thought, the internal light of soul also works in a similar way. You can’t know the light within when the external world is lit.
The external world is always lit because of our senses. Everything that we see, hear, touch, taste or smell is always related to the outside. The senses are the windows which only make you look outside. When you are standing inside the room, it is impossible to look at the room through the window. And so, we are never in touch with the owner who is inside the room!
We can’t see the light of inside because our external world is always lit, full of noise and disturbance. Every bit of information taken through the senses is the unnecessary external light that covers the light within.
Imagine that if you had the power to turn off all of your senses. Just like when you close your eyes, the vision of the external world disappears. If you could turn off the sounds, smells taste, touch and all the senses that go outwards. What will remain then?
The Upanishads say,
“The self-existent created the senses outward going; for this reason man sees the external, but not the inner Atman (self). Some wise man, however, desiring immortality, with eyes turned away (from the external) sees the Atman within!”Katha Upanishad
Of course we can never turn off all our senses while we live. It is only an imagination. But the idea points to the fact that more we are absorbed with the outer concerns, further we are from the light within.
So how do we get in touch with the owner?
A few weeks back, I felt frustrated with the way life was going. The routine of work and home, maybe doing some activities that I like but what then?
I was not sad. I feel like I have forgotten sadness. I don’t remember last time when I was sad. Sadness and happiness are just tiny feelings. Sadness is weakness. It is you not knowing how to manage your emotions.
It was like a frustration that you feel when you are bound within something that you can’t get out of. A bondage of life situations which just doesn’t seem to end. So that evening I spent some time alone. I closed my eyes and simply focused on what was happening within. Just some moments later I was calm and peaceful again. Just observing a little bit of your own mind makes you realize how futile are our concerns and worries!
All I did was a simple observation of mind for a few minutes. It was enough to take the focus from the outer world and just get a glimpse of the infinite soul within. The silence behind the noise, the stillness behind the movement and the order behind the chaos of everyday world.
Turn the windows into the mirrors
If you look at the senses as mirrors instead of windows, you would see the reflection of your true self! How can that be done?
I have heard many people say, “cats are selfish“. But if you think for a moment, cats don’t have a concept of selfishness. It is the person who has the concept of selfishness within his/her own mind and when they see a cat behaving similar to that concept, they say that a cat is selfish.
In truth the cat is not selfish, it is only the selfishness of the person projecting and perceiving itself in a cat!
All your perceptions and judgement in this way are about you and not the world. In this way, your senses (and your mind) perceive things the way you are!
If you call someone a sinner, it is the sinner within you who is projecting itself. Whatever you perceive is only the reflection of your own mind! Thus, your senses can be seen to see your own reflection. When you contemplate on the way you see the world, you realize more of who you are!
For those who are content with worldly pleasure, sense are the windows and only a medium of gaining pleasure. For those who seek the light within, senses can become mirrors which reflect yourself in the outside world. Seeing the external world as a reflection will help you know your own mind better.
Not all of us can close our senses and get in touch with the light within! Very few saints like Buddha or Mahavira are able to concentrate in such a way that they forget their senses and get in direct touch with the spirit. The rest of us have to start looking only at the reflection of ourselves in the outer world, and slowly change the way we are towards a pure and divine being!