I would like to introduce one more complication in this simple description that I have given and that is the concept of individuality. Earlier we had said that the purpose of this game that we call the present world is to manifest the totality in the embodied individual; this is the general formula we had given. The true individual, we had said, is the jivatman and we had defined jivatman as the centration of the universal and transcendent Divine in a manifold movement of universe. This is the definition that we had given of the jivatman. The idea is that this centration should become embodied and in that embodied condition the transcendental and universal consciousness must fully manifest with specificity which that specific individual is designed to express. Until that happens in the embodied condition we are obliged to return to this physical world. This is the law of necessity.
Why is it that we are obliged to come back to this earth? Supposing after coming out of this body we go into the plane of the life, plane of the mind and plane of the psychic, why do we not remain there all the time? Why are we obliged to come back? The necessity arises out of the fact is that the purpose for which we have agreed to play this role, reach a point in this embodied condition the totality must be manifest specific individually. And since this cannot happen in one birth or many births, it is imposed upon us that we have to come back again and again. Or you might say that we have taken a decision to do so along with God Himself. We want to participate in this game and so it is with the self choice that we come back again on earth so that that particular aim is fulfilled. So the important point is in the individuality. In the individuality, Totality must become manifest.
In every evolutionary process here, the constant pressure is to develop individuality capable of manifesting Totality. This is the central drive in our life whether we realise it or not. Whatever we are doing in our life sharpens our individuality to such an extent that the Totality can manifest specifically through our individuality. And all that we are doing on this earth is a kind of work of a goldsmith. Our soul is very much compared with a goldsmith’s. The jivatman when it is embodied, it is embodied by its delegate called the soul. It is the soul that is the goldsmith which goes on shaping individuality of the body, life and mind and of itself.
A most important activity that is going on in our life is the formation of individuality. This formation is basically the task of Agni, Fire. All formation, even in the physical world if you want to form or weld something without fire it is not possible. You cannot make a form stable without welding and without the fire element. Same thing is also true of the subtle planes. It is the fire element which welds, which gives formations and the soul is really the Agni element as we have seen earlier.
This individuality is to be distinguished from ego formation. Ego formation is also a kind of individuality and most of us mistake our ego formation as the real individuality. We must be very clear about this distinction. Ego formation is the formation of individuality up to a certain point of development. But when we examine the ego consciousness, we find that ego consciousness has no substance behind it. This requires a little further explanation as to what this means.
If you examine ego consciousness you’ll find there are three elements in it. There is the sense of ‘I’ness. Secondly, this ‘I’ness is concentrated upon a small, finite formation. And thirdly, it believes that it is independent of all the rest of the whole world. With regard to the three things, the ‘I’ness is a verifiable experience. We all feel ‘I’ness. You do not need to prove it. We also find that it is always centered on a small, finite formation. I am this much you are different from me, so I distinguish myself from all the rest so it is centered on a finite formation. Thirdly, it believes it is independent of all the rest, it believes it is but it is never so. There is nothing corresponding to this independence. The egoistic consciousness believes itself to be independent of all the rest but in the scheme of the world, when you examine objectively you find that it is never independent of all the rest. It is constantly dependent upon all the rest. It is you might say a puppet in the hands of the universal dancer. The whole universe is a dancing girl as it were and it is that which is dancing and the ego is simply a fingertip of the dancer. How can the fingertip be independent of the universal dancer? There is no substance in it. It is a false belief and there is nothing corresponding to the belief. That is why egoistic consciousness is unreal in itself as there is nothing corresponding to it. It is a sense but corresponding to the sense there is no reality. There is no real entity independent of all the rest. But because of this wrong belief there is a striving in it to maintain its independence. But wherever it feels its independence is attacked it creates a shield around itself and constantly struggles to keep itself in a make belief. In contrast to the ego consciousness, the soul consciousness is quite different. That is why we must make a distinction between ego and the soul. And the individuality that is to be developed and that is intended to be developed is not the egoistic individuality but the soul individuality. What is intended to be brought out is the soul individuality.
What is the meaning of soul individuality? First of all, in regard to the composition of the soul itself, there is a speciality which must be understood. The composition of egoistic consciousness always consists of the physical, vital and mental energy. The consciousness upon which the ego concentrates and revolves around, that formation over which the ego sense is concentrated consists always of the physical, vital and mental energies. So there is a formation of physical, vital and mental energy over which a sense ‘I am’ is constantly vibrating. And this ‘I am’ is a sense also consisting of mental energy. So you might say mental energy vibrating over mental energy with a specific colour of it which says I am, I am, I am. This is constantly held by memory.