THE SHOW HAS NOT BEEN SEEN IN VAIN
He is not affected by its fortunes or misfortunes, any more than a painter who knows himself to be different from his own paintings. The painter knows all the incomplete and apparently meaningless and uninviting phases through which it has grown, before it assumed its last form. But now the scribbled lines have all been taken up in an entirely new and significant picture of eternal beauty.
As long as he was identifying himself with the false and perishing form through delusion, he could not escape the devastating impact of environment. He did actually enjoy and suffer vicariously for his own reflection or picture, through false identification. But now he knows that it was not really he as the Self who went through all this travail. It was not he as the Self who descended to the stone-state or ascended to the man-state. It was not he as the Self who incarnated in numberless lives to taste the bitter-sweet fruit of duality, or enjoyed the pleasures of heaven or the sufferings of hell, or inch by inch toiled up the Path through the six planes of spiritual ascent. The Self remains what it ever was from the very beginning, the one immutable Reality, infinite in existence, knowledge, bliss and power.
What has gone through all this illusion is the limited and evolving individuality, which the Self now knows to be different from itself. The evolving individuality is now, in fact, known to be fictitious and unreal. It is at once the creation of illusion and its victim. The Self has not travelled the Path downwards or upwards. The Path has, as it were, travelled past the Self. And during that process, the Self, through false identification, took upon itself all the multitudinous vicissitudes that befell the evolving and limited individuality.
The Self is like a spectator of the cinema-film, identifying itself with the hero of the film story. The spectator enjoys and suffers with the hero in each incident depicted on the screen in complete self-forgetfulness of his own true being. Then coming to himself at the close of the whole film-show, he finds that nothing has really happened to him. All the Self took upon itself through deluding identification really happened as part of the story of creation, of which the Self, in fact, was witness.
But the show has not been seen in vain. It has played its part in the eternal life of the immutable Self, which now knows and enjoys its own fullness and infinite divinity as it never did before. The Self now knows itself to be beyond all the cosmic cycles of creation. It remains untouched by anything that can happen in the illusion of the time-process. It knows itself to be that immortality and eternity which always itself remains unaffected by anything.
The game which the Self has witnessed is over; and it is in no way the worse for it. In fact, it was the Self itself that willed to enact and see the game. It was its will to get temporarily lost in the game through illusory identification; and it was its will to come back to itself, with the sigh of relief and the feeling of fulfilment.
SPARKS OF THE TRUTH, pp. 74-75, C. D. Deshmukh
1971 © Universal Spiritual League in America, Inc.