Delivered on Monday, April 4, 1904
“………..People who believe that thoughts are real say that idealism is a reality and they have much proof on their side. For instance how could the wall be perceived without the perceiver? They say there is no reality in the wall, but that the thought created the wall, that if a person were hypnotized in another direction, he would see it as something else, or if he were hypnotized in another direction, he would see it as still Something else. If I should say to a person whom I had hypnotized that this floor was a lake, he would immediately begin to fish in it. But here comes the realist and says that the wall is quite real, independent of your thought. You see it, you feel it, you can hear it, and if your sense of smell were acute you could smell it, and if you should eat it, your stomach would tell you that it was a reality sure enough. So you see he too has plenty of argument on his side. But I want to say to you that it takes both the object and the thought to make the thing. Granted that it is something different to the hypnotized person from a wall, still I must have some object there to suggest to him, even if I call it a horse or lake or what not. It takes the two, subject and object.
Once two men in India were quarrelling. They were called dervishes. One went by the name of Mr. Wood and the other by the name of Mr. Axe. Mr. Axe was enraged and said to Mr. Wood, ‘ I will slash you to pieces.’ Mr. Wood replied, ‘ But, my dear sir, you must have me behind you, otherwise you can do nothing.’ You see the handle of the axe is made of wood, and so it is that idealism and realism go hand in hand, they are interdependent.
I strike a match on sand – paper and a flame is produced. Now the flame was not in the match, nor was it in the sand – paper, but the coming together of the two produced the flame I strike my hands together and a sound is produced. The sound is not in the right hand nor the left, but is the result of the two coming together. The SELF is the same in both hands. Here I want to tell you about the crow. It is said that the crow has two eye sockets but only one eye ball and that when he looks to the right, he turns the eye to that socket, and when he looks to the left, he turns the eye to that socket. Now it is the identical eye, but it is turned in different places. Two great waves come together and we have a white crest, the water is the same in the wave on the right and the wave on the left, and when they come together, we have what is called the white crest. A child is not born of one parent, but of the mother and father.
Now let us call the subjective the perceiver and the objective the perceived, and we see all through that it is these two which are interdependent and which thus brought together produce the phenomena which we witness. Neither of itself produces it, and thus it is clear that the idealist and realist must come together to account for the phenomena, for neither can possibly do it alone.
In India Some houses have many mirrors, in fact the walls and ceilings are covered with mirrors. Once a dog entered such a house and on all sides of himself he saw hundreds of dogs. When he looked up, he saw them on the top of him and thus being very much frightened he began to jump, and immediately all the hundreds of dogs began to jump also; then he barked and scampered about and they too scampered and opened their mouths. He behaved in this way until he became so tired that he lay down and gave up the chase, gave up the body, and the owner of the house came in and removed the remains of the one dog. Now a handsome young prince entered this room and admired himself very much in all the mirrors, first he admired his hair, then his mouth and other features, then his dress, and so on. He was very happy with all these pictures and knew that these many hundred people were himself. It is only when we know that there is only one self and that all the shapes and forms we see under the various names are really our self that there is rest; otherwise it is like the case of the dog. We are afraid this one is going to deceive us; that one is going to harm us; the other one is going to take something from us, and there is a continual struggle r against the forms which we imagine to be different, but ONCE WE REALIZE THE TRUTH and sit quietly as did the prince, we know that nothing can deceive THE SELF, FOR IT IS IMMUTABLE AND FREE. While we jump about as the dog did, we merely live on the surface, but when WE REALIZE THE SELF, we dive below the surface into the realms of ABSOLUTE TRUTH.
Suppose the subject in a dream were to climb mountains and meet a lion which tore him to pieces, or he were to fall into bogs which he could hardly escape from, or the Ganges were to overtake him. Now if the subject was true and real, he would realize that the things of the dream were nothing and he would feel no pain. He would not weep and cry out with pain when being torn to pieces by the lion, nor would he fear the depths of the bog, but we see it is only a thought and is not truth. Now suppose the objects of this dream to be the truth. If that were the case, the water would flood the bed in which the subject was sleeping, the lion would actually destroy the subject, and so on. But we see this is not so, the object is not real either. The two combined make up the dream, but neither is a reality.
Table = Qt + X
Board = Qb + X
Rose = Qr + X
The qualities of the table plus the unknown = the table.
The qualities of the board plus the unknown = the board.
The qualities of the rose plus the unknown = the rose.
The rose is red, has petals etc., and plus the unknown = the rose. The unknown is the same in all, and it is the Self which is the reality of them.
Here we have two isosceles triangles and a rectangle.
Now by putting these figures together] we have a hexagon, which is like neither of the figures we put together. In the isosceles triangles and in the rectangle all the sides were not equal, but all the sides of the hexagon are equal.
Here we have put together figures which produce an entirely new figure in every respect.
Similarly we have ELO. Now it is easy to breathe oxygen and hydrogen, but put together, they produce water, H20, which is entirely different. Hydrogen and oxygen are combustible, but this is not true of water.
This explains the phenomenon which is apparent and also shows that neither the subject nor the object is real.
The Vedanta says all this is a mere play on words? What is the use of fighting over words? There is in reality only the one Self which we are, nothing besides it, and since there is nothing besides the self, you cannot consistently say that you are a part. But it must follow that you are the self entire. There is no division in truth. You are the truth now.