[Consciousness] is shining everywhere, but is not perceived, without the eye. Therefore it is necessary to make the eye. [Consciousness’] eye of discrimination is made from one’s own religious conduct and by the worship of Bhagwan (The Divine).
Guru Dev, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati,
Life and Teachings
Enlightened men and women through the ages describe the world as light – consciousness – shining through all things, a world that is made of the light of consciousness – everyone and everything – that we are all of the light, and that our experience of darkness and suffering is an illusion.
We are told to seek this experience for ourselves, to look past illusion to truth, and bring ourselves to a life of joy and meaning.
If I’m not an enlightened master, how can I do this?
Guru Deva says that we must ‘make the eye’ that is able to see beyond apparent reality. We must learn to perceive differently than the ways we’ve learned. We must teach ourselves to see differently.
And he says we do this through our ‘religious conduct’ and our ‘worship of Bhagwan.’
Religious conduct can be understood as ‘doing the right thing.’ Following a code of conduct that keeps us aligned with nature, and aligned with ourselves. Keeping our attention on what is right and good in our lives, rather than on what is not. Paying attention to the still, small voice within. And by being, when we are on our own, the way we would want to be if our most respected mentor were looking over our shoulder.
And worship of Bhagwan? It’s said that what we worship is simply what we are keeping in mind. So we ask ourselves: what am I thinking throughout the day? Where am I placing my attention? Am I worrying? Am I thinking about money I don’t have? Am I thinking about a lover I must have or might lose? Am I paying attention only to sexuality? Am I trying to fill a hole inside myself with sensation or comfort food or alcohol or cigarettes? With gossip? With judgment? With self-hatred?
Or am I thinking of the Divine? Am I insisting on keeping my mind in present moment reality? Am I paying attention to the trees I pass on my walk, and wondering if they are in their own way paying attention to me? Am I in conversation with the clouds as they obscure the moon, then let it peek through, then cover it once again? Am I keeping thoughts of gratitude cycling through my mind as I walk or run or swim or spend time with loved ones, knowing that each of these activities is a gift, not a given, and that any of them could be gone tomorrow?
Am I paying attention to how extraordinary it is just to be alive, and teaching myself a little each day to see the truth of this more clearly?
Today I will remind myself that there is much more here in my world than meets the eye out of which I am looking. I will remind myself that the world is a world of light, and that if I look for it, I can begin to see it that way today.