CHAPTER -2. THE REAL NATURE OF MAN : 3.
(Delivered in London)
Two positions remain to mankind.
One is to believe with the nihilists that all is nothing, that we know nothing, that we can never know anything either about the future, the past, or even the present. For we must remember that he who denies the past and the future and wants to stick to the present is simply a madman.
One may as well deny the father and mother and assert the child.
It would be equally logical.
To deny the past and future, the present must inevitably be denied also.
This is one position, that of the nihilists.
I have never seen a man who could really become a nihilist for one minute.
It is very easy to talk.
Then there is the other position — to seek for an explanation, to seek for the real, to discover in the midst of this eternally changing and evanescent world whatever is real.
In this body which is an aggregate of molecules of matter, is there anything which is real?
This has been the search throughout the history of the, human mind.
In the very oldest times, we often find glimpses of light coming into men's minds. We find man, even then, going a step beyond this body, finding something which is not this external body, although very much like it, much more complete, much more perfect, and which remains even when this body is dissolved.
We read in the hymns of the Rig-Veda, addressed to the God of Fire who is burning a dead body, "Carry him, O Fire, in your arms gently, give him a perfect body, a bright body, carry him where the fathers live, where there is no more sorrow, where there is no more death."
The same idea you will find present in every religion.
And we get another idea with it.
It is a significant fact that all religions, without one exception, hold that man is a degeneration of what he was, whether they clothe this in mythological words, or in the clear language of philosophy, or in the beautiful expressions of poetry.
This is the one fact that comes out of every scripture and of every mythology that the man that is, is a degeneration of what he was.
To be continued ...