Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

On the interplay of souls and their resilient opposition, much has been said by scientists, psychologists, philosophers, moralists, spiritualists, mystics, saints and seers, as well as by Tom, Dick and Harry. They differ sharply in their appraisal of the significance of this trans-subjective relationship and certainly in their attitude towards it, but none of them has treated the inter-subjective life with indifference.

By man's heritage, from the initial whim from the eternal Beyond, his consciousness is constrained to move within the opposites of "I" and "you"; and this juxtaposition circumscribes the depths to which man may fall as well as the heights that he may scale.

That "you" is a sort of alter ego or another self within self. But the awareness of the "you" is of necessity a challenge to the enclosing of the self within itself. It is an effective check on the introversion or the inward withdrawal of consciousness into a subjective vacuity. There are many urges which draw the soul out powerfully and link it up with other souls in such a manner that it becomes impossible for the soul to take an uncompromisingly separatist stand.

Let us take a few examples. Jealousy keeps the mind-heart whirling on some other soul. Revenge also can clasp the soul-object in its arms with a gusto that safeguards against a possible relapse into a separatist subjective vacuity. And the capacity of fear to keep the mind-heart pinned upon the object causing fear is too well known to need special mention.

Felt duality, in its multitudinous aspects, holds the mind in the grip of a variegated interplay of souls. However, the oppressiveness of sex-tinged relationship is more subtle than all the rest. It pierces into the very being of the separatist soul, exploding it from within like a time bomb. But it always flies off at a tangent to the other soul and is stamped with a patent failure in soul alchemy.

Though sex consciousness clasps it opposite with an outgoing fervor, it augments duality instead of sublating it, and the soul continues to be arrested within the spell of the felt "other." The invincible other is a constant companion of sex-driven consciousness and is felt as the "other."

In deepest fulfillment, the sex-tinged opposition suddenly brings to the surface an equally deep frustration which is latent in itself. Even in its most refined and directed form, it does not succeed in sublating duality. In fact, despite appearances to the contrary, it is perhaps the most trenchant of the separatories which obtain in the confused psyche.

At all psychic levels, sex consciousness creates the sex opposites and their game of hide and seek, gain and loss, conquest and surrender, love and hate, frustration and fulfillment. At its best it may pierce the assertive separatism of the soul but it is never able to relieve it. Its rare moments of evanescent vanishment of separatism are always followed by its accentuation in a more formidable form.

What sublates all forms of duality is untethered love. Untethered love neither allows you to fall back into a subjective vacuity nor does it throw you at the mercy of the felt "other." It relieves you from the harassing interplay of the felt duality of "I" and "you." Among the psychic separatories which create and sustain the multicolored duality of "I" and "you," none is more formidable than that of sex drive. The sex opposites, which are its creations, find themselves helplessly caught up in the game of illusion, being unable to separate from each other or really to unite with each other.

The multicolored interplay of souls and the variegated opposition of "I" and "you" persist until through the grace of some enlightened one the soul get initiated into the untethered love which is free from every tinge of duality. Prior to this relieving fulfillment, every soul has to suffer the juxtaposition of "I" and "you" for countless lives.

By the logic of the situation, every soul is driven to gather experiences of both sexes, sometimes incarnating in the male form and sometimes in the female form. Sometimes tethered at one end of the trans-subjective opposition and sometimes at the other end, the soul dramatizes within its own psyche the interplay of soul opposites by whom it is confronted until it gets established in the relief of non-differentiating and untethered love.

Such love alone can understand the "I" as well as "you" as being its own illusory creations, rising from itself and disappearing within itself to find the ineffable fulfillment of the eternal Beyond.

1958 © Sufism Reoriented, Inc.


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