That which is truth, knowing, infinity and bliss,
and which is unchanging through the mediums of time,
space and matter is tat, that,
or paramatma, the universal self.
That which is separate from thou and that,
is subtle like the sky, its sole nature is just being;
this we call the param brahman, the ultimate reality.
Those who are bound to the I, the ego, find it very difficult to reach up to thou, the divine. How can anyone who is surrounded by the I go to the feet of thou? Surrendering will be very difficult.
That is why the sage says to make thou the center and I the periphery. He also says that pure, conscious existence has the nature of thou. It is a great leap from I to thou; perhaps no other leap is greater than this. To leave your I is so difficult – it is not like taking off your clothes, it is more like peeling off your skin. To drop the I or to discard it is very difficult because in this very attempt the I raises its head again and again.
And who is it who will drop this I? Whosoever drops the I, is the I. So how to drop the I? Whatever device is used, it is still in the hands of the I. But that which appears to be nearly impossible becomes possible if you have courage. Try to understand this courage, then you will be able to understand this jump.
Whosoever endeavors to eliminate the I will be in trouble, because to eliminate it is also a doing, and every doing strengthens the doer. Whosoever desires to drop the I will be in trouble, because in that very effort to drop it you are acknowledging its existence. Whatever you desire to drop, you are also accepting that it is more powerful than you are. You only avoid that of which you are afraid.
So neither can you eliminate the I because elimination is a doing, nor can you avoid the I because where can you escape to in order to avoid it? Whatever you avoid always chases you. Whatever you are afraid of you run away from and it becomes a continuous shadow.
Then what to do with the I so that the jump towards thou becomes possible? The only way is neither to run away, nor to try to eliminate, nor to try to avoid it but to watch it, to recognize it, to know it and to get acquainted with it.
There is only one way to destroy a shadow; a sword cannot cut a shadow – or can it? A sword will break, but still the shadow cannot be destroyed. If it had really existed it could have been removed but it is nonexistent, it only appears to exist. Can you escape from your shadow by running away from it? The faster you run the faster the shadow follows you because it is your shadow – where will you escape to, where will you run to?
There is only one way to get rid of the shadow and that is to know the shadow for what it is, then you can be free. Neither removing it nor escaping from it is needed, because as soon as you know the shadow to be a shadow no fear remains, no concern to eliminate it remains. In knowing the shadow you know that it does not exist, it only appears to exist.