The Problems of Spiritual Life
by Swami Krishnananda

December 12, 1990 p.m.

Larry: Is it possible for you to visit Toronto?

SWAMIJI: There is nothing impossible in this world, but everything has its own time. It may be now, it may be tomorrow, it may be in far-off eternity; anything is possible. Or, I may come to Toronto in my universal sweep of consciousness. That is also one way of going to Toronto, in a different way. I will have an archetypal travel. Do you know what ‘archetypal’ is? The archetype is the original of a thing. The original is called the archetype and the shadow of it—the reflection, or image of it—is sometimes called the prototype. Often people consider the prototype as the original, but inasmuch as the archetype is to be considered as the original, you may regard the reflection of it as the prototype.

Suppose you see yourself in water. There are two persons there: one is yourself standing on the bank of the river of water, and something is seen reflected in the water. You are the archetype; you are the original. And that which is seen in the water is the shadowy duplicate. You are now here as a reflection of what you are really as an archetype in heaven. Your real nature is still in heaven only; it is not in this world. That is why you are pulled up every minute to something beyond yourself. Every minute you are unhappy; every second you are unhappy in this world. There is not a single moment when you can be wholly secure or entirely happy. The reason is that you are not in yourself here; you are in another place, and that locality (where you are really) pulls you with such intensity that you cannot have a moment’s rest here in this prototype existence, the shadow.

Plato is fond of this kind of analogy. The archetypal existence of all things, even of a little leaf in a tree, is in heaven. Or to make it more clear, you may give the analogy of the stone structure being formed of molecules, the molecule of atoms, the atom of electrons, or something finer. The invisible subtle inward power is the heaven of the stone. The stone is the earth, and the rarefied form of it inside (which appears as the stone, and which is its reality) is the archetype. There are realms of being to which you actually belong in different levels of association, by ascent and descent. You are not entirely here. You are now only a fragment of what you really are; and even that fragment is not a real one; it is a reflected fragment. Therefore, there is a dual defect in the human personality. One defect is that it is not the original. The original is somewhere else; therefore, it is restless. And even as a fragment it is not genuine, being a reflection.

You are not just a part of the real substance; if that were the case, you would be a little god in this world. People say that man is a part of God. It is not so, exactly. It is not so simple like that; otherwise, a man would be a little god moving in this world. He is not a little god; he is something totally different. He is a topsy-turvy reflection, as your reflection in the water is topsy-turvy. So many difficulties are there. Firstly, it is a reflection, and, therefore, there is no substance. Secondly, it is not even a correct reflection; it is topsy-turvy. You see the up as down and the down as up. That is why in this reflected condition you see the world as outside you though the world is not really outside. In my archetypal originality I may touch the Toronto existence also. Now in this prototype form, it may not be essential.

Larry: So, maybe we will bring Toronto here, then.

SWAMIJI: What you have said just now is not a joke. Even heaven can come inside this hall, just now. It is not impossible. Anything can be materialised at any place, since everything is everywhere. So, what you have said is a correct statement. You can have infinitude on your palm, in one second, if only you are convinced about it. A Zen master said, “You may enter the whole universe without opening your door.” You can enter into the cosmos without opening the shutters of your room. No need of travelling anywhere.