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Darshan with Swami Krishnananda during 1997
by Swami Krishnananda

28. Archetype and Prototype

(Darshan given on April 12th, 1997.)

A visitor: What is the meaning of 'archetype'?

Swamiji: You are a duplicate of your own self. Your original is in the high heavens. When you were born, you did not drop suddenly into the mother's womb. A cosmic activity was taking place as if a parliamentary act was passed that you have to be born. It is decided in the highest heaven. And then, just as in government, papers are released from a high office to a lower, lower, lower, lower, lower one. The orders are issued: This particular soul has to be born under such circumstances, in this area, for this reason, for such a length of time, etc. It is decided. Your constitution, the rules and regulations of your very existence, are framed even before you are born.

Then you descend gradually through the seven planes of existence. There are seven levels of existence. To reach this Earth you have crossed seven planes down, little by little. Firstly it was an ethereal, pervasive being. Then it became more and more concretised and more and more dense until it became a solid little individual as you are. So your original is somewhere else. You are the tip of the iceberg, as they say, and the ocean is somewhere else. Your real, original, ocean-like existence is on the top. That is pulling you every minute. You are summoned by your own self every minute by your original, which is somewhere else. That is why you feel restless. Nothing can satisfy you. No object in the world can please you. Anything that is given to you will be insufficient. Everywhere you will find finitude and littleness. Even if the whole Earth is given to you, you will not be satisfied because you want your own self, and that self is not to be found in this world. It is somewhere there. That is the archetype, the original, and all other things that come down little by little, they are called prototypes, like reflections. The original is reflected in the lower level. That second reflection is reflected once again in the third level. That third reflection is reflected in the fourth, so that when you come down it becomes so very diluted that your personality is a flimsy something. It has no value at all. You look like a miserable nothing.

Now your duty is to go back, turn your head back from this lowest level to the higher until your dimension is wider – high, high, high. Through seven stages you must rise until you reach the topmost original, which is something indescribable. Eternity is your archetype, temporality is your prototype, and the most miserable form of involvement in this time process is your present existence. You must retrace your steps.

The great mystic saint, Teresa of Avila, has written a book called 'Interior Castle'. In that you will find described the seven corridors – the first step, second step, third step, fourth step, to seven steps. When you reach there you will find your own self. The more you go interior to the substance of the cosmos, you will find yourself more and more, until you find that, in the last centre, you are everywhere. You are as much pervasive as the whole cosmos because eternity and all-pervasiveness are one and the same. That is the original archetype. And there are levels of prototypes, seven levels. This is the whole of yoga and meditation. The entire spirituality is only this much.

As you go higher and higher, it becomes more and more formless. As you come down, it becomes more and more formed. In the highest state there is no form because it is all pervading. You are not originally an individual. Originally you are cosmic only. That cosmic thing gets restricted little by little, little by little. It gets split into parts, and you become one of the little parts. Many parts have been cut off from that original whole, and you are one of them.

If you simply follow the technique of meditation, you will rise up to higher and higher, higher and higher levels until you experience your own universal Self. It is very difficult to explain all this. It is highly mystical, and very secret. A great secret it is. That subject cannot be explained in a lecture.

Another visitor: Swamiji, you talked about the seven inner planes of existence going towards the archetype. Can this only happen within the human birth?

Swamiji: It can happen in one birth if your meditation is strong enough.

Second visitor: Swamiji, if all this is just concepts, then…

Swamiji: No, it is not a concept. You should not use such words. 'Concept' is a psychological word. It is the nature of being, your own being. You are not thinking the archetype; you are the archetype. You are not thinking that you are yourself; you are yourself. Are you imagining that you are yourself, psychologically? It is being itself. Your existence itself is that. So in meditation there is no concept, there is no thinking, there is no psychological function. All functions melt into the being that you are. That state of being includes emotion, intellect, understanding, will – everything. Your existence is not conceptual. It is much more than that. You are not thinking and arguing that you are existing. It is intuitional and immediately appreciated: I am here. This conclusion does not come from thinking. It is intuition, direct intuition.

Visitor: Swamiji, if I had a dream last night that I was here in my dream, I wouldn't have been here in my dream.

Swamiji: In dream? Why are you bringing dream here?

Visitor: Because this is the same. It is not any different.

Swamiji: Dream is a conceptual process.

Visitor: This is the same as dream.

Swamiji: Are you existing or you are not existing?

Visitor: Only as much as I was in my dream.

Swamiji: Are you doubting that you are existing?

Visitor: The identification doesn't seem any different than in the dream.

Swamiji: This whole waking life also is dream only. So what is the problem now?

Visitor: So my question was, if all of this is a dream only, a concept only, an imagination only…

Swamiji: All the levels of being are dreams only, in greater levels. Only they are more and more real as you go higher and higher. Just as waking appears to be more real than dream, the higher still, next step, will be more real than waking, and again higher and higher and higher. Finally you will enter into the Eternal Being, and there you will not conceptualise. You will not be existing there at that time. You will simply melt into the cosmos. So there will be nobody to talk to you afterwards. Now you are an individual person, so you are thinking like that. Your mind is still working. As you go higher and higher, the mind will merge into the Self.

You must make a distinction between being and thinking. They are not identical. Your existence is not thought. It is direct intuition, just as you know it is waking time now. You are not arguing by syllogistic argument coming to the conclusion that it is daytime. You know it is daytime for reasons you know very well. You know who you are for reasons you know very well. You are not arguing and conceptualising and deducing by syllogism. It is just intuition, direct intuition. That is why I called it Pure Being.

Another visitor: I find it difficult to sit for meditation.

Swamiji: Doing work, walking, running, being immensely active is an easy thing, but keeping quiet one hour is not an easy thing. Doing is easy, but not doing is difficult. Can you understand this contradiction?

Visitor: Yes, Swamiji. It is very difficult not to work.

Swamiji: It shows the structure of the personality. It is agitated. Unless the personality is agitated, you would not like to do work. Of course, there are higher kinds of activity, that is different, but usually… That is why nobody can sit one hour quietly. Even in meditation, there are people who yawn in the middle, as if meditation is a fatigue. It'll take fifty years for a person to understand what is meditation. It is not a fatiguing exercise; it is a relaxing exercise. It is not an outgoing exercise; it is an inwardising exercise. It is not a grief-striking exercise; it is a joy-giving exercise. And the more you sit, the more you like to sit because the more you become yourself, the more you are happy. The more you become other than what you are, the less you are happy. Meditation is the art of becoming yourself. What can be more valuable than yourself? If that also is causing agony, then what can anyone say?

Even to be fond of one's own self is difficult. It is easy to be fond of something else, but we cannot be fond of ourselves. A serious psychological knot it is. Granthis they are called – Brahma-granthi, Rudra-granthi and Vishnu-granthi. Three kinds of knots are there, and these knots are not allowing the mind to be rested in itself. Very important matter. One day old age will come. At that time one walks with a hunched back, bending. Who will protect you? When the health is good in youth, everything looks okay, but that will not continue. Youth will fade like an evening flower, and all the beauty of the flower will droop. At that time no caretaker is there. The caretaker is yourself only. Meditation is very important. Meditation not as a religious exercise, but is an art of becoming one's own self.

This is not a matter to go on speaking about. Any amount of speaking will not make sense because it is something with which nobody is accustomed. People say even space and time do not exist. You can hear it a hundred times, but what sense are you making out of it? If space and time do not exist, the world also does not exist. If the world does not exist, you also do not exist. Then what exists? You can hear this many times; scientists speak it, but what sense comes out of it finally?

Visitor: It is only an intellectual understanding, Swamiji.

Swamiji: Even the intellect does not grasp it fully. But even if it is an intellectual understanding, it is not bad. If it is understood thoroughly, and its implications are appreciated and go deep into the feeling, that will work wonders. It should not be simply a kind of entertainment. That is not good.

We are our own friends, we are our own caretakers, and our destiny is in our hands. Knowing this, if you sit for meditation the mind will understand: This is a very serious matter for me.