The Greatest Luxury
Then the second part is purification. When the desire has arisen, then you have to be purified, because to reach the ultimate truth you will have to drop much unnecessary weight, much luggage that you have always carried. You carried it because you thought it was very valuable. Your system has to be purified of all the toxic things that you have absorbed on the way. And we have been drinking poison, many kinds of poison. One is Hindu, another is Mohammedan, another is Christian – these are all poisons, prejudices. They keep you tethered to society, to the conditionings of society.
Purification means one has to drop all conditionings, all ideologies, all prejudices, all concepts, all philosophies that have been taught to you by others. One has to become a clean slate – a tabula rasa – one has to become utterly clean. Only when you are utterly clean, when nothing is written on you, can existence write something. Only when you are utterly silent and all words given by society have disappeared can existence speak to you. Truth can whisper its mysteries into your ears only when you are absolutely empty.
Emptiness is purity.
Purification is the purgative part. Man has to drop many things. In fact, truth is not far away – you have just accumulated many things around yourself. You have grown many layers around yourself, many personalities around yourself. You are wearing many masks; hence you cannot see your original face. All those masks have to be dropped. You have to become authentic: truly as you are, utterly naked as you are. Purification means: Stop hiding! Stop lying! Stop being phony!
And the third is perfection. When you have stopped being phony, when you have dropped all the poisons that you have gathered on the way, when the dust is cleaned off the mirror, then perfection starts happening of its own accord. Perfection is the unitive part: unio mystica.
First the desire, intense desire, a total desire, because only if you are totally desirous of truth will you then be ready to go through the pains of purification. If the desire is lukewarm you will not be ready to go through the pains of purification.
It is painful to be purified. It is like taking pus out of your body; it hurts, although it is good in the long run. If the pus is out, the poison is out and you will heal soon, but it hurts. To take out the pus is painful. But to leave it inside is to help it to grow; it will spread all over your body.
One can only be ready to go through purification if the desire is so total that one is ready even to die for it, if that is needed. And it is a kind of death, because the personality that you have always thought you are will have to die. You will have to drop all that you are identified with and that has been your ego. You will have to surrender all that you have been claiming up to now and bragging about up to now; all that has been precious to you has to be dropped as utter rubbish. It is painful. It feels as if you are losing your kingdom and you are becoming a beggar.
Unless the desire is total you will not be ready to do it. And when purification has happened, when you have dropped all that is non-essential; then the essential perfects itself. You need not become perfect. You have only to create the space in which perfection grows, happens. Perfection is a happening.
Excerpted From Philosophia Perennis, Vol. 1 CH: 1