The Atman as the background of nature, as the very substance and life of nature! This realised the rishis in hours of deep communion with silence. The atman is silence. And they who know the atman are silent about deeper mysteries.
They who talk much, know little. They who know, talk little. The great mysteries are unspeakable. You never see them until you go beyond the speech-centre. Beyond the chakra of “expression” is the self. And how beautiful the lives of the Rishis! Beautiful because simple and free!
Kant and Hegel, I regard as two of the great rishis of modern Europe. I bow to them in deep humility. Seers they were and, in a measure, simple too. Were they free? They depended on an absolute government. And their vision suffered. They glorified the state!
Among the sages and seers of Europe, the ones who come the nearest, perhaps, to the rishis of India is Spinoza. He would not accept a life-pension from a prince nor a chair of philosophy from a ruler on conditions which meant surrender of his freedom of thought and opinion.
To the free is the atman revealed. Not to those that are in bondage—in the maya of money or earthly honours. Indeed, satvic thinking is not possible until one is ready to live a life at once simple and free. Satvic thinking demands disinterestedness, periods of silence, and communion with the beautiful in nature and humanity. Therefore, satvic thinking does not tire; it rather refreshes and beautifies, enriches and strengthens the mind. What tires is the fever of interested over-activity. In so much of our thinking is brain-fatigue, nerve fatigue; for our thinking is not “pure” but selfish, separatist, combative, aggressive.
Pure thinking is self-dedication. Sciences of nature are sciences of observation and experimentation. Both these have value for the Science of the Soul. But something more is needed, self-dedication.
Stand up in thy true dignity, brother! Stand up and declare thy divinity!