Many questions are before me. One friend has asked:
If the soul cannot be seen, then why is so much importance given to something invisible? Why do you also talk about this same unseen atman?
The trees are visible, not so the roots that lie hidden in the ground beneath. That does not mean that they are of less significance. Rather, the visible tree is entirely dependent on the invisible roots for its existence. If we tend the tree and neglect the roots, the tree is sure to die. No longer will it give out flowers and fruits, for its very life-breath lies hidden in the roots. Whatever is of consequence in life, is always hidden from view. What is manifest is the outer cover, what remains unmanifest is the soul within. The body can be seen for it is the outer covering; that which is within the body, is not open to view. This does not decrease its value however. Its quest becomes all the more necessary because it is invisible.
May it not happen, that we go through life mistaking the apparent manifestations of life as the be-all and end-all of existence. May it not happen that we live through life taking the apparent world as real and of consequence. That also exists which is imperceptible and invisible – in the sense that it cannot be seen with the ordinary eye. But he who develops his insight and cultivates his understanding and power of discretion, soon begins to see that which is.
There is a continuous movement of thoughts within us, but if the skull is opened up for dissection there is no sign of them within. The scientist will declare that, technically speaking, thoughts do not exist; but we all know that thoughts are very much there, for we experience them. If thoughts cannot be proved in a laboratory, it only means that the apparatus used is too coarse to detect the subtle element of thought. Some experiments have been conducted of late, however, and very soon we shall be able to develop the method of detecting thoughts.
One university in America has carried out a test in this connection. A man was made to sit before a very sensitive camera and he was asked to concentrate with all his energy on a single thought. The camera was loaded with an extra sensitive film and it was hoped that if a thought was projected with full concentration, this film might be able to catch its reflection. The man fixed his mind on a knife, with one pointed attention, and to the wonder of all, the film showed the picture of a knife. The camera was successful in catching the subtle waves of the mind. This was the first time that thought was ever photographed.