THE GOOD BINDS AS MUCH AS THE EVIL
Identification with the bad is easier to deal with because, as soon as the bad is perceived as being bad, its grip on consciousness becomes less firm. The loosening of the grip of the good presents a more difficult problem, since the good carries a semblance of self-justification through favorable contrast with the bad. However, in the course of time the aspirant gets tired of his new prison house, and after this perception he surrenders his separative existence by transcending the duality of good and bad.
The ego exchanges the abode of identification with evil for the abode of identification with good because the latter gives it a greater sense of expansion. Sooner or later the aspirant perceives the new house to be no less of a limitation. Then he finds that the process of breaking through it is less difficult than the process of breaking through the former abode of identification with evil.
The difficulty concerning the abode of evil is not so much in perceiving that it is a limitation, but in actually dismantling it after arriving at such a perception. The difficulty concerning the abode of good is not so much in dismantling it as in perceiving that it is, in fact, a limitation. This difference arises because the animal sanskaras are more firmly rooted owing to their ancient origin and long-term accumulation.
It is important to note that the good binds as much as the evil, though the binding of the good can be more easily undone after it is perceived as being a limitation.
The ego lives either through bad sanskaras or through good sanskaras, or through a mixture of good and bad sanskaras. Therefore the emancipation of consciousness from all sanskaras can come either through the good sanskaras balancing and overlapping the bad; or through some good sanskaras balancing and overlapping the bad, and some bad sanskaras balancing and overlapping the good.
If a dish is dirty you may cleanse it by covering it with soap and washing it with water. This is like good sanskaras overlapping the bad. Now if the dish is full of grease, one way of getting rid of the grease is to cover it with ashes and then wash it with water. Ashes are one of the most greaseless things in the world and, in a sense, the opposite of grease; so that when ashes are applied to the dish soiled with grease, it is easy to cleanse it. This is like bad sanskaras overlapping good sanskaras.
When there is exact balancing and overlapping of good and bad sanskaras, they both disappear; with the result that what remains is a clean slate of mind on which nothing is written and which therefore reflects the Truth as it is without perversion.
Nothing is ever written on the soul. The sanskaras are deposited on the mind and not on the soul. The soul always remains untarnished, but it is only when the mind is a clean mirror that it can reflect the Truth. When the impressions of good and bad both disappear, the mind sees the Soul. This is Illumination.
The mind seeing the Soul, however, is not the same as the Soul knowing itself, for the Soul is not the mind but God, who is beyond the mind. Therefore, even after the mind has seen the Soul, it has to be merged in the Soul if the Soul is to know itself as Truth. This is Realization. In this state the mind itself with all its good and bad sanskaras has disappeared. It is a state beyond mind, and therefore it is also beyond the distinction of good and bad.
From the point of view of this state there is only one indivisible existence characterized by infinite love, peace, bliss, and knowledge. The perpetual strife between good and evil has disappeared because there is neither good nor evil, only the one inclusive and undivided life of God.
DISCOURSES, 7th ed, p. 65-66
1987 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust