In this quote from The Chasm of Fire, Irina Tweedie explores the nature of love and how her understanding of it changed over time. But then she realises the consequences of the truth of that love:
’What is this stillness? Could it really be peace? Isn’t love the most peaceless state? I don’t remember having experienced such deep, uniform state of stillness and lasting so long.’
’I call it the natural state,’ he answered. ‘Why should I say that I am giving it to you? It is given; that’s all. And it is the natural state. But one does not always realise it. The soul is covered with so many sheaths, veiled by many curtains.’
’One curtain has been withdrawn?’ I suggested. He nodded. ‘But there is so little understanding left. I am puzzled…’ But he was in samadhi.
This morning I realised in a flash that love cannot increase in quantity. It is given from the beginning in the exact measure the Master wants to give, according to the size of the cup the shishya brings with him. If the cup is large, more love can be poured into it; some containers are larger, some smaller. The shishya learns to respond to it better and better, so it seems to him as if it is growing. Love at the beginning and at the end is the same. I was astonished at this piece of knowledge, for the mind cannot even think clearly.
The beginning and the end from the point of view of God is the same always; it is a complete circle. I know it from books. But now I experienced it as my very own flash of knowledge into a mind which is sterile … Strange, and wonderful. And my work will be the same as before. I had to work with people, trying to help them to come one step nearer to the Truth. When I leave this place, (may the day never come!) I will continue on the same lines as before, though the conditions will necessarily be different (or perhaps not). But the work itself will remain the same. We are given work according to our capacities.
He smiled when I was relating all this to him and when I asked how is it possible that any glimpse of knowledge can come to a brain that can hardly function and with the greatest difficulty can put thoughts together, he said:
’If the cup is empty it can be filled. It is the knowledge of the soul which comes through. It comes to the physical mind and then it becomes the real knowledge, the integral part of you. If I would tell you, and you would have faith enough and believe me, then the faith and the knowledge would be two things, is it not so? But like this nothing is told. You will realise it yourself. It becomes part of you. There is no duality. You see how it is done, how easy?’
Then he began to tell me how men and women are trained; the difference in the practices, the approach to the psychological make up of the trainee. How forces from the depth of the unconscious are gathered and channelled. And this is the work of the Teacher and each individual is treated differently. I listened, fascinated, hoping fervently to remember it all.
’From what you have told me just now I have to conclude that you wish me to guide people?’ I asked, feeling disturbed. ‘It is a great responsibility! Do you realise to what kind of life you are sending me out?’
He did not answer but gently looked down at his feet as if examining his sandals.
‘I hope, I hope that I will not go wrong; to have power is a terrible thing,’ I said, fear creeping from the very depth of my being into my heart.
‘I know,’ he said, half-audibly, with a still and serious expression.
‘Is it not too heavy a burden for the shoulders of an elderly woman? I will be accused of contradictions. If I have to live like you, I will have no habits. I am bound to do and say things which people cannot or will not understand. My words will be twisted, misinterpreted. There might be lawyers in the audience who will twist my words, accuse me of contradictions!’
He suddenly laughed. ‘Lawyers know of one thing; the transfer of property! The property, the power, the knowledge will be transferred; there is no question of being a woman or not. It makes no difference.’