The Story of the Deluded Man
There is a man who is under the spell of delusion.
He was born in the desert and grew up in the desert.
A deluded notion arose in him. "I am born of space, I am space, the space is mine, I should therefore protect that space."
Having thus decided, he built a house to protect space.
Seeing the space safely enclosed in the house, he was happy. But in course of time, the house crumbled.
He wept aloud "O my space. Where have you gone? Alas it is lost!"
Then he dug a well and felt that the space in it was protected.
It too was lost in time. One after the other, he built a pot, a pit and also a small grove. Each of them perished after a time, leaving the deluded man unhappy.
Listen to the meaning of this story O Rama...
The man fashioned by delusion is the ego-sense.
It rises as motion arises in wind. Its reality is Brahman (awareness).
Not knowing this, the ego-sense looks upon space around it as itself and its posession.
Thus it identifies
itself with the body,
which it wishes to protect. The body, etc exist and perish after some time. On account of this delusion, the ego-sense grieves repeatedly, thinking that the Self is lost and dead.
When the pot, etc are lost, space remains unaffected.
Even so, when the bodies are lost, the Self remains unaffected.
The Self is
consciousness, subtler than even space O Rama. It is never destroyed.
It is unborn. It does not perish.
And it is the infinite Brahman (consciousness) alone that shines as this world appearance. Knowing this, be happy forever.
The whole universe is pure consciousness, but as an object it is inert appearance
(or rather is perceived as such).
including you and I, though alive is dead.
Abandon the world-idea
in the world, and the I-you idea
in ourselves, and engage yourself in appropriate action.
The Concise Yoga Vasistha - pg 384 to 385. ISBN 0-87395-954-X.
World's 2nd longest poem (20'000 verses), a treatsie on consciousness.