Man is a plural being. When we speak of ourselves ordinarily, we speak of ‘I.’ We say, ” ‘I’ did this,” ” ‘I’ think this,” ” ‘I’ want to do this”—but this is a mistake.
There is no such ‘I,’ or rather there are hundreds, thousands of little ‘I’s in every one of us. We are divided in ourselves but we cannot recognize the plurality of our being except by observation and study. At one moment it is one ‘I’ that acts, at the next moment it is another ‘I.’ It is because the ‘I’s’ in our- selves are contradictory that we do not function harmoniously.
We live ordinarily with only a very minute part of our functions and our strength, because we do not recognize that we are machines, and we do not know the nature and working of our mechanism. We are machines.
We are governed entirely by external circumstances. All our actions follow the line of least resistance to the pressure of outside circumstances.
Try for yourselves: can you govern your emotions? No. You may try to suppress them or cast out one emotion by another emotion. But you cannot control it. It controls you. Or you may decide to do something—your intellectual ‘I’ may make such a decision. But when the time comes to do it, you may find yourself doing just the opposite.
If circumstances are favorable to your decision you may do it, but if they are unfavorable you will do whatever they direct. You do not control your actions. You are a machine and external circumstances govern your actions irrespective of your desires.
I do not say nobody can control his actions. I say you can’t, because you are divided. There are two parts to you, a strong and a weak part. If your strength grows, your weakness will also grow, and will become negative strength unless you learn to stop it.
If we learn to control our actions, that will be different. When a certain level of being is reached we can really control every part of ourself—but, as we are now, we cannot even do what we decide to do.