Thus the purification of the mind, from a moral point of view, should be learned in one's everyday life; by trying to consider things sympathetically, favorably, by looking at others as one looks at oneself, by putting oneself in their position instead of accusing others on seeing their infirmities. Souls on earth are born imperfect and show imperfection, and from this they develop naturally, coming to perfection. If all were perfect, there would have been no purpose in their creation. And manifestation has taken place so that every being here may rise from imperfection towards perfection. That is the object and joy of life and for that this world was created. And if we expected every person to be perfect and conditions to be perfect, then there would be no joy in living and no purpose in coming here.
Purification of the mind therefore means to purify it from all undesirable impressions; not only of the shortcomings of others, but one must arrive at that stage where one forgets one's own shortcomings. I have seen righteous people who have accused themselves of their errors until they became error themselves. Concentrating all the time on error means engraving the error upon the mind. The best principle is to forget others and to forget ourselves and to set our minds upon accumulating all that is good and beautiful.
There is a very significant occupation among the street boys in India. They take the earth from a certain place and they have a way of finding in that earth some metal such as gold or silver, and all day long their hands are in the dust. But looking for what? Looking for gold and silver.
When in this world of imperfection we seek for all that is good and beautiful, there are many chances of disappointment. But at the same time if we keep on looking for it, not looking at the dust but looking for the gold, we shall find it. And once we begin to find it we shall find more and more. There comes a time in the life of a man when he can see some good in the worst man in the world. And when he has reached that point, though the good were covered with a thousand covers, he would put his hand on what is good, because he looks for good and attracts what is good.
But the question arises, is the body not born with a mind? did the mind not exist before the body? Yes, it did exist;...
Was this accommodation formed on any special model or design? The first design is molded upon the impression that falls deeply upon the soul, the soul coming towards manifestation from the infinite Spirit. If we picture the infinite Spirit as the sun, the soul is like its ray. The nature of the soul is to gather on its way all that it can gather, and to make a mold out of it.
It is this impression that has helped to form the first mold of the mind. It manifests its original nature and character through the body with which it is connected and identified. The impression of the nature and character of the parents, of the ancestry, of the nation and race, follows after the first impression that the soul has taken on its way. If it happens to be the impression of one personality, falling upon the mind going towards manifestation the distinct characteristics of a certain personality who has lived in the past will show clearly in the life of that person. It is in this that the secret of the doctrine of reincarnation.
There are souls that come from the Infinite to the finite existence, and there are souls who return from the finite existence to the Infinite, and their meeting-ground is on the way. It may be one impression or it may be several impressions which help to mold , which, after it is once connected with the body, becomes the mind; for the mind is not complete until it is filled with the knowledge and experience the soul gains by the help of the physical body.
The soul during its journey towards manifestation, and during its stay in any plane, whether in the heaven of the angels, the sphere of the jinn, or the plane of human beings, feels drawn towards its source and goal. Some souls feel more drawn than others; but there is a conscious or unconscious inner attraction felt by every soul. It is the ignorant soul, ignorant of its source and goal, which fears leaving the spheres to which it has become attached.
It is the soul that knows not what is beyond which is afraid of being lifted up above the ground its feet are touching. Is the fish afraid of going to the depths of the sea? But, apart from fish, even men who are born on land and have been brought up on land, make a practice of swimming and diving deep into the sea, and bringing up the pearl shells from its depths. There are seamen who are happier on the sea than on the land; and their daring, to those unaccustomed to the phenomenon of water, is sometimes perfectly amazing.
Life is interesting in every phase; on the journey towards manifestation as well as on the soul's return towards the goal. Every moment of life has its particular experience, one better than the other, one more valuable than another. In short, life may be said to be full of interest. Sorrow is interesting as well as joy; there is beauty in every phase, if only one can learn to appreciate it. What dies? It is death that dies, not life. What then, is the soul? The soul is life, it never touches death.
Death is its illusion, its impression; death comes to something which the soul holds, not to the soul itself. The soul becomes accustomed to identify itself with the body it adopts, with the environment which surrounds it, with the names by which it is known; with its rank and possessions which are only the outward signs that belong to the world of illusion. The soul, absorbed in its child-like fancies, in things that it values and to which it gives importance, and in the beings to which it attaches itself, blinds itself by the veils of its enthusiasm. Thus it covers with a thousand veils its own truth from its own eyes.