Would you not like to experience that you are deathless? Then you would not have any fear. And about those whom you love you can think, No, even if they die they have not died. What a great consolation it would be to know that even if the body becomes old, you are not old. You might say, Well. I may say that, but I am old anyhow. No, it is said that you are as young as you feel; there is a great deal of truth in that. Of course, you can also understand it in a very stupid way: there are some old fools who behave like young fools. I do not mean it in that sense; I mean it in the sense of being unaffected by the conditions of the body and by the conditions of the mind that follow upon the decay of the body, in the sense that your perceptions remain unimpeded by bodily or mental conditions, in the sense that you become aware of something which is beyond the body and the mind. Don’t you think that kind of youthfulness, that kind of feeling would be very welcome? And you can have it.
Meanwhile, so many benefits can come just from practising this basic monism! For instance, if you are a devotee of God you could look at the face of God and say, I am one with You! Even though You might appear now a million miles distant, You are still bound up with me because You are the Soul of my soul; You cannot get away from me. Just imagine having that sort of thought! We have our hours of despair, our hours of failure, and if we give way to those things, they can create havoc in our spiritual life. If we get the idea that we have been forsaken by God, what terrible misery it would be! It is said that in his later life the English poet Cowper felt that he had been eternally forsaken by God, and he wrote a poem expressing that feeling. I read that poem long ago and felt the pathos of it. Well, some people feel like that. But monism will rescue them. Suppose a person has done all kinds of wrong things and now wants to follow the truth. What would he do? Sit in sackcloth and ashes and tear his hair and beat his breast? Repent? What good would that do him? Where would be the strength by which he could climb back? Monism gives him that strength. It is not a false strength; it is based on the recognition of facts.
The facts are these: If I am the Spirit, if body and mind are unreal, then whatever may have happened regarding them could not be real. Even in my utmost degradation I know I have the pristine purity of my nature, my divine nature. And if I remind myself of that fact, it will become my strength. When there is nothing to depend on in the outside world, when no strength is given by your body or by your mind, when no assurance comes from the gods or from God, there is still one source of strength, and that is your own Self. You can always count on that. You can say, No. In me is infinite strength, I am the infinite One, I am the eternal One. Let the whole stellar universe break down on my head, I will not be crushed by it!’ You can stand upon this, whatever might happen to you. Life is a burden. I am not saying that in a pessimistic sense; I am just recognizing it. Many are the burdens we have to carry, but if we know we have invincible strength, inexhaustible strength within us, we won’t be overwhelmed by these burdens. That’s the negative benefit of monism.
The positive benefit is this: We are all dreaming a beautiful dream of realizing wonderful things; that is what we are all about. We go to school, we marry, we beget children, we make friends, we earn money, we want to achieve name and fame. What for? Because there is somewhere a beautiful dream. We don’t know even the outlines of that dream, but there is a dream, and we are eager to realize it. But never can you realize it in the outside. Even if you were to realize it for a moment, the next moment everything would be broken up. It is as if you were writing on moving water. Before you can draw a line even a quarter of an inch long, it has disappeared. But there is one place where this dream can be realized, and that is in the Spirit, which you are, which I am, which everybody is.