But given even a relatively healthy prebirth environment, we are born eager for life in the world.
We want to learn, to know about things, to test what adults tell us is true. We are amazed at dust particles floating in a beam of sunlight, how water jumps up when we slap it, how we can make the dog growl when we pull its ear, how mud feels when we squeeze it between our fingers, how much fun it is to play with our food as we eat it. We like to drop things from our highchair and see the splat it makes. We aren’t being bad; we’re learning about gravity and the properties of substances.
Our natural state is innocence, selflessness, and wonder. This is also the natural state of the sage. What is the difference between a child and a sage? The sage has consciously reclaimed the natural state, whereas the child lives in it unconsciously.
Perhaps we have to go crazy before we know what sanity is. We have something to compare it to. We think: Wow, remember when I used to worry about what people thought about me? Remember when I used to measure my self-worth in dollars? How could I ever have done that? How could I ever have thought that my identity depended on prestige, class, or anything outside of my true identity as a natural free agent of consciousness?
The sage in the sage in the world says, “I’m in the world, but the world did not make me. I didn’t arise out of the mud. My vehicle did, but I am not my vehicle, no more than I am the clothes I wear.” This is what is meant by being in, but not of, the world. The sage knows where he comes from, what she is made out of: that which is beyond light.
Light is already a manifestation, a creation; it is primordial matter, the akasha. The natural self is beyond light; it is the source of light. It gave the word, “Let there be light.” The fundamental luminosity, the radiance, the subtle space (the true definition of “akasha”) out of which all form precipitates.
At core, what we are is beyond light; it is what manifests light, form, creation. It extends itself into form to smell the grass it has created, to see the stars it has made, to walk barefoot in the sand, to know relationship, joy and pain, love and loneliness, the whole range of emotions that compose a symphony, and the story plots that touch us deeply and build consciousness. It plays, experiments, and loses itself; it wonders, “What would it be like if I didn’t believe in myself?”
And at some point, it comes to; it wakes up in its dreams and remembers “Oh, it was a dream. But what a dream! I learned so much. Now I understand things I didn’t understand before. I experienced things I could not even have imagined before I experienced them. I created things I didn’t want, as well as many things I did want, which has added to my wisdom of what I now want to create and experience.”
Eventually, the sage overcomes the world. This means the sage knows what she is, what his powers are, and what the world is really made of, and what its nature is. Once the world is overcome, the sage is free to live in the natural state of curiosity, wonder, play, humor, and exploration within the many mansions of creation. Endless discovery and creativity!