(Printed in "The Mountain Path," a publication of Sri Ramana Maharshi, The Sage of Arunachala of Tiruvaamalai, India. There is no date included.)
Let us take the unfoldment of the Source, divine consciousness, infinite consciousness, as being the consciousness of the men and women of the past, present and future - going back 6,000 years and looking ahead 6,000 years to all the men and women who will appear on the surface of the earth.
Then remember that the infinite consciousness of all the spiritual lights, inventors, composers, and writers, is that same consciousness which is available to us on earth here and now. Remember that we, through our individual consciousness, have access to the infinite consciousness and that this includes not only spiritual wisdom, but all the wisdom of the ages - commercial, economic and artistic.
If you go back to the wisdom of Egypt 2,000 years B.C. and read of the discoveries in mathematics and science, and the principles of navigation, you will have to ask yourself,"Whence come this?"
You will then learn that these men, living in bare rooms or monastic cells, with a very limited amount of writing material, brought forth through their hours and weeks and months and years of inner searching, principles from which were derived the laws for the road building, the palaces, temples and pyramids which now exist in Egypt, India, China, Cambodia and South America.
Whence came this wisdom?
Out of the consciousness of men who had access to the infinite consciousness.
This means nothing unless it leads you to books or to other experiences that will send your mind all over the world searching out the great discoveries in science, invention, art, or music and cause you to pause and ponder: "Whence come? Whence come?"
The consciousness of individual man is absolutely infinite, and you can sit down individually, enter your consciousness, and bring forth infinity.
Then you can look around you and see what you have not acquired, or what you acquired and then lost, and laugh as if they were but grains of dust in comparison to the infinity to which you have access.
It is not necessary that you go anywhere, or meet "miracle people," or have your fortune told; all you need to do is turn within.
Those who do this are going to make startling discoveries, and so I caution you - do not discuss it with anyone. There is no easier way to lose it, because no one will believe you except those who have been there before you.
Due to the almost worldwide spread of The Infinite Way during this short time, we are receiving requests for the story of my life. Why? Because people think they will discover "the secret" in it. Yes, I could tell them when and where I was born and where I went to school but they would say "that does not account for the miracle of The Infinite Way."
Of course not! Imagine what could happen if I tried to tell it! Why?
Because, as many have recognized, The Infinite Way is constituted of the wisdom of the East and the West and the Near East. It is all there. Where did I get it, since I had no access to books, or schools through which I could discover it?
I received it from the original source of the wisdom of the East and the West and the Near East. Behind every individual who has ever received a spiritual truth, or an invention, or music, or art, there is one infinite consciousness which is its source. And when you tap that, you tap all of the branches that have gone out from the source.
My conscious oneness with God constitutes my oneness with all spiritual being and idea, and this cannot be limited to time, space or place.
Do you not see that all of this can take place only through introspection, cogitation, contemplation, meditation - anything that takes the attention away from the outside wold and draws it back to that center within yourself...to let "the imprisoned splendor" escape?
An activity of Grace leads you to this kingdom, this realm of consciousness within you, and then an activity of Grace starts the flow.
Enter the sanctuary, close the door of the five physical senses, and listen to Me:
Seek Me, infinite divine being,
and "I will make you fishers of men."
Jesus will not do it,
nor will Joel do it, but I will -
this I that is the I of your own being.
I will make you fishers of men.
I will lead you in a way.
I will go before you.
I will prepare mansions for you.
"I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."
Do you not see that you are led back to the realm of the I, and that this I is the manna - the bread, the meat, the wine and the water that flows by the same divine grace which populates the earth with men, animals, and which creates each and every thing unto a purpose?
The way in which this works is a mystery to us and, because it sometimes appears in such natural ways, we do not realize that it was actually prompted by a divine grace.
Do you not see that we, of ourselves, cannot know these things unless into our consciousness pour these ideas which became inventions? Individuals had to go within themselves to find these secrets. They were not in books; they had to be discovered within. The real consciousness of man is infinite and, the moment you stop limiting it to your education and your environment, infinity can flow.
When all of this is revealed, it makes an interesting philosophy, but it only becomes a way of life when an individual adopts it into his experience and determines to have specific periods day and night until meditation is an automatic process that continues even while sleeping. Great revelations are given during sleep when the human mind is still.
If you keep this principle secret and sacred among those who hear it or read it, and if you practice it conscientiously, such miracles will take place in your life as you, yourself, could not believe possible.
The reason is this: if you think of it in terms of God's Grace, you will see how infinite it can be. You will see that it is not limited to you - it is limited only to God's Grace and your receptivity.
Then by your example, by your light, the world would seek that light. And it would find it, because this is a universal truth. Therefore, the demonstration of infinity in your experience is measured by the extent to which you practice a principle of this nature - never revealing it, never speaking it, and never trying to teach it until you are so consciously one with it that it is already flowing.
One could become very popular teaching this principle to individuals, and allowing them to believe through ignorance that it was for their benefit and that it would do great things for them. But that would be misleading, because God's Grace cannot be limited to an individual.
This passage is therefore given to us: "The vine consumeth not its own grapes." In other words, we are the vine through which this message comes. It blesses us, but its major blessing is that others are led to us, and then it becomes a universal truth which blesses the entire universe.
Eventually, this causes a disruption in your life, when as a businessman you find less time for your home, and more and more you discover that you are being drawn into a universal scheme of things. The Master says - and I am not speaking of a man but of the spirit of God within you -
"Come and follow Me and I will make you fishers of men."
In the moment you prove that the infinite consciousness of this universe is YOUR individual consciousness, and that you have access to the consciousness which is, which ever has been and ever shall be - you are called out as a fisher of men and women to be a light unto the world.
Light does not go out looking for places in which to shine. As the sun stays fast in the heavens, a light shines and lets the rest of the world come to it.
And so as we, in some measure, become the light we hold what we have received sacredly and secretly until the world starts to come to our doorway for it. We may travel the world, not on a "save the world" basis, but only because the world has invited us.
The secret of the spiritual life is to know that you have access to infinity through your own consciousness, to go within sufficiently often to let the flow appear, to let the imprisoned splendor escape - and then to be careful not to personalize it and think you have become "spiritual."
Remember, you have become an instrument or transparency for an infinite, universal Grace. You choke it and shut it off immediately if you personalize it, but you can increase the flow by realizing it as an infinite Grace flowing universally.
Like the tree that is showing forth God's Grace, this does not glorify us. It lets us stand still and show forth God's glory. Anything else is catering to the ego and the ego must die completely as the tree that cannot say "I" and think it is something of itself.
And so it is that this reconciles us to God and thereby fulfills us.