We have descended so low into the physical externality of our experience that the Atman, which is universal in its original status, has projected itself out of the senses and come out of the body, as it were; it is now looking back towards its own self as an object outside. It has completely lost itself in matter. To lose itself in matter is not so bad as to come out of it and then look upon it as an object of its own self. This is what the senses do. So in one sense we are far, far removed from reality, much more than even inorganic matter, because we have come out of the material body and then projected our consciousness backwards, as it were, looking to matter as an object of our own self.
The universal consciousness has been completely buried in the material content; and after getting buried, it comes out of it in a reflected form, becomes the jiva, and looks at its own body as an external something. So we can imagine why there is desire for objects. It is the desire of the Atman for its own self. It is not asking for anybody else; it is wanting its own self. It cannot get it. It has become mad completely, and is in the mental hospital now. The whole world is such a crazy house of delirious individuals. What has actually happened to us we cannot explain, and the less we say about it the better. Such a catastrophic event has taken place, which we regard as heaven itself. How happy we are in the world! We are very happy with a cool drink, with a fan or a refrigerator. Everything gives happiness to us, but we do not know that we are diseased to the core and we are trying to scratch the itch to some extent to see that it does not give us agony in an intensified manner. We are not going to cure the disease. No activity of ours in this world can be a cure of this disease of samsara, from the point of view of the magnitude of the suffering in which we are involved and the magnitude of the catastrophe that has taken place. It requires a herculean task to bring the consciousness back. Mere activity born of ignorance is not going to be an aid.
And how many of us are conscious of what we are doing? We are driven by impulse only. When we are feeling hot because of the atmosphere outside, we feel like mitigating it by a contrary activity. When we are hungry, we are doing something contrary to it. Everything that we do is a contrary activity in respect of the particular experience through which we are passing. We have no idea of the basic disease behind it or the ideal that is ahead of us.