There is a story about a poor woman who lived in a hut. One day, they found her outside searching on the ground. ‘What are you looking for?’ ‘I dropped my needle, and I am searching for it.’ ‘Where did you drop it?’ ‘In my hut.’ ‘Then why don’t you search the floor of your hut?’ ‘Well, the light out here is good and it is dark in my hut.’
According to the illumined sages, the jewel of perfect happiness and fulfilment is hidden in the mind itself, and is its very basis. This jewel is the immortal principle in us—the kingdom of heaven. But rather than turn within, we direct our attention outwards for bliss and peace. All the mystics, like St Augustine, say: ‘You were within me all the time, but I was outside myself.’ The secret of happiness is to be discovered in our own being. We must learn to enter the apparent darkness of the mind, and there search within for the self-luminous background of all our experience.
Subscribe to read more of this article and all of Self-Knowledge online