Recently, someone asked a question: “If peace and unconditional love are our natural state, why is it that we have forgotten? We have forgotten because we’ve been given the free will to forget. You are free to choose either way. Peace is our nature no doubt, but we have not realized it because our intellect and our ego are incorrectly identifying with the changes in the mind.

If you really feel that you are that peace, and that your True Nature is unconditional love, then you will not even ask this question. That means you are not correctly identifying with your peaceful Self. You have already forgotten that state, and when you ask the question, “Why have I forgotten?,” you are asking as a separate entity; you are talking as the mind.

You have forgotten because you are remembering so many other things. You are interested in many other things so you don’t have time to remember the Self. The mind has a natural tendency to go outward and cling onto things, possess things. Just as  your natural state is divine godliness, unconditional happiness, the natural tendency of the mind is to look for that happiness from outside things. That is the nature of the lower aspect in you.

Every individual has higher aspects and lower aspects. In the real sense, you are that higher individual; you are the Self. The Self is always there. The Self is the true you, but there is a duplicate image of you, which you call the reflection. If you stand in front of a moving mirror, it will appear that you are moving, is it not? But, you—as the original—is not doing anything. You are just standing still. You appear to be moving because of the mirror on which the original reflects. The movement is of the image and not of the original. In the same way, you are the original, and you are always unchanging, always still and permanently peaceful. You are that divinity.

It is the mind that asks, Why am I distorted, always changing? But this question will not arise once the mind becomes clear and still. When the mind becomes still, clean, unmoving, the reflected image is exactly similar to the original. You get the point? Then in that state, the original and the image are similar or alike. Then the mind can say, “ I have realized my Self. I am that. I am not different from that. I and the original are the same. Does that remind you of anything of any scripture?”

In the Bible you come across this: “I and my Father are One.” Who says that “I and my Father are One?” It is the clean and calm mind. So when the mind is cleaned, and calmed and the image falls on the mind, it can see its similarity. But still, as long the mind is there, you have both the original and the image. As long as the moving mirror is there, you will have reflection. But when you take away the mirror, there is no reflection. There is only you.

In the same way, as long as the mind exists, it will create an image. But what we do—through the Yoga practices—is to create a clear image, a true image of the original.

Once the true image of the original is seen, then somehow the mind gets absorbed in the original. That is what you call transcending the mind. And then, there is no more mind, no more of the little you, and there is nobody to ask this question. So to put it in a practical way: To see that divinity or Godliness and to feel the unconditional peace and love in our lives, we should have clean, still minds, without any disturbance. Then we will remember, or realize, our True Nature.

By Sri Swami Satchidananda