Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within, by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy — by one or more or all of these — and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.
CW: Vol.1, Raja-Yoga, Concentration - Its practice
Let us begin with a hypothesis. That the foundation of all existence is pure consciousness. The meaning of this hypothesis is that consciousness is the substratum — all knowledge and all matter are projections from this consciousness.
The implication of this hypothesis can be seen in both — the world outside (the world we encounter) and the world inside us.
When we see the world outside, we see that beneath the multiplicity of all forms, there is a unity called consciousness.
When we see the divine inside ourselves, then we see that beneath our physical body, our mind, our intellect, our energies, our thoughts and feelings, there is a substratum of infinite consciousness.
Thus, there is consciousness within and there is consciousness outside.
The challenge we face is to prove this hypothesis to ourselves — i.e., recognize, accept, or more important “see” and “encounter” the consciousness within or the consciousness outside.
The search for consciousness outside is called science. The search for consciousness within is called religion.
Thus the outcome of all pathways is the discovery and manifestation of consciousness.
What happens when this consciousness within is discovered and manifested?
First and foremost, the hypothesis stands proved. This means that all existence within and outside is seen in the light of Unity rather than diversity.
Second, the discovery of consciousness within, and our efforts at manifesting that consciousness, results in a radical change in ourselves — we are now in touch with an infinite ocean of Intelligence, Joy, Intrinsic Truth that fills our souls with a tremendous sense of fullness, openness, vastness; a tremendous sense of numerous potential possibilities waiting to reveal themselves. In other words, the discovery of consciousness within ourselves suddenly adds a profound dimension to an otherwise mundane and humdrum “material existence” — we are somehow freed from the sense of mortality that pervades us when we see ourselves as material bodies — subject to birth and death. The discovery of consciousness opens for us the pathway to freedom.
Third, the manifestation of consciousness within, means that the potentiality inherent in the ocean of consciousness is now accessible to us. The more consciousness manifests, the more we begin to unfold our full possibilities as human beings leading to great works in the world outside.
It is thus the discovery of consciousness and our subsequent efforts at manifesting this consciousness that leads to the experience of divinity within ourselves — divinity being a profound dimension to our otherwise mundane existence.
Now comes the discussion on how to discover and manifest this consciousness in a systematic manner.
- Firstly, one may do it by work — linking all material action to a non-material outcome called pure consciousness.
- Second, one may do it by worship – concentration and invoking consciousness in a form or deity – so that the mind is able to encounter consciousness first hand.
- Third, one may do it by psychic control – that is manipulating the inner architecture of our body-mind so that we are able to access this unified consciousness through multiple planes – each plane revealing a different layer of reality.
- Fourth, one may do it by philosophy – capturing all knowledge in higher and deeper abstractions – until consciousness is the singular abstraction.
This is the whole of religion – discovery and manifesting consciousness – through one or more or all of multiple methods – leading to unity, deep fulfillment, inner freedom, and a full manifestation of our infinite possibilities.