CHAPTER-4. Maya and the Evolution of the Conception of God-9.
(Delivered in London, 20th October 1896)
With the advance of ethical ideas came the fight.
There arose a certain sense in man, called in different languages and nations by different names.
Call it the voice of God, or the result of past education, or whatever else you like, but the effect was this that it had a checking power upon the natural impulses of man.
There is one impulse in our minds which says, do.
Behind it rises another voice which says, do not. There is one set of ideas in our mind which is always struggling to get outside through the channels of the senses, and behind that, although it may be thin and weak, there is an infinitely small voice which says, do not go outside.
The two beautiful Sanskrit words for these phenomena are Pravritti and Nivritti, "circling forward" and "circling inward".
It is the circling forward which usually governs our actions. Religion begins with this circling inward. Religion begins with this "do not". Spirituality begins with this "do not".
When the "do not" is not there, religion has not begun. And this "do not" came, causing men's ideas to grow, despite the fighting gods which they had worshipped.
To be continued ...