Working on oneself is not so difficult as wishing to work, taking the decision. This is so because our centers have to agree among themselves, having realized that, if they are to do anything together, they have to submit to a common master. But it is difficult for them to agree because once there is a master, it will no longer be possible for any of them to order the others about and to do what they like. There is no master in ordinary man. And if there is no master, there is no soul.
A soul—this is the aim of all religions, of all schools. It is only an aim, a possibility; it is not a fact.
Ordinary man has no soul and no will. What is usually called will is merely the resultant of desires. If a man has a desire and at the same time there arises a contrary desire, that is, an unwillingness of greater strength than the first, the second will check the first and extinguish it. This is what in ordinary language is called will.
A child is never born with a soul. A soul can be acquired only in the course of life. Even then it is a great luxury and only for a few. Most people live all their lives without a soul, without a master, and for ordinary life a soul is quite unnecessary.
But a soul cannot be born from nothing.
Everything is material and so is the soul, only it consists of very fine matter. Consequently, in order to acquire a soul, it is first of all necessary to have the corresponding matter. Yet we do not have enough materials even for our everyday functions.
Consequently, in order to have the necessary matter or capital, we must begin to economize, so that something may remain over for the next day. For instance, if I am accustomed to eating one potato a day, I may eat only a half and put the other half aside, or I may fast altogether. And the reserve of substances which has to be accumulated must be large; otherwise what there is will soon be dissipated.
If we have some crystals of salt and put them into a glass of water, they will quickly dissolve. More can be added over and over again, and they will still dissolve. But there comes a moment when the solution is saturated. Then the salt no longer dissolves and the crystals remain whole at the bottom.
It is the same with the human organism. Even if materials which are required for the formation of a soul are being constantly produced in the organism, they are dispersed and dissolved in it. There must be a surfeit of such materials in the or- ganism; only then is crystallization possible. ~ G
Now consider the first sentence again: “Working on oneself is not so difficult as wishing to work, taking the decision.”