“To display extraordinary or supernatural activities has a profound effect on people, yet it also has the capacity to delude, as it is much easier to be deceived this way. Using techniques like hypnosis or black magic, one can easily display extraordinary activities to affect and manipulate others. Or, learning about the secrets of matter, one can display, as the Indian paupers do, all sorts of powerful acts over matter. All of this will have profound effect on people who do not know themselves. But none of this can be a real indication to whether one has or hasn’t found the truth.
“As a matter of fact, some have asserted that real supremacy was to display mastery of knowledge rather than mastery over matter. The words of the Sufis ‘A true miracle is one of knowledge not one of matter’ allude to this truth.
“Those who have attained true knowledge and the right ‘state’ never abscond from answering questions – they will dive as deep as, and retrieve and share the pearls of wisdom as much as their subject is able to comprehend and carry. They will be powerful enough to answer all questions.”
“But earlier you had said that one who has attained the truth will have also attained extraordinary capabilities. So then, shouldn’t anyone who has these extraordinary capabilities also possess true knowledge?”
“Everyone who has attained the truth can possess extraordinary capabilities, but not everyone who manifests extraordinary capabilities is necessarily aware of the truth. An apprentice can learn a skill from his master and continue imitating his master, but this does not mean he has mastered that skill.
“The important thing is to know exactly why you are doing what you are doing. To just do something without really understanding it is no skill.
“A master, on the other hand, does not even have to physically manifest his skill; he may simply choose not to do anything. Doing something without a sound reason suggests an attempt to experience something, which indicates ‘doubt’ about his knowledge.
“For example, someone who knows with certainty that he is essentially an existence beyond matter, with the ability to maneuver matter as he likes, can most definitely walk on water if he likes. This is because his certainty of belief would have eliminated all forms of fear, doubt and suspicion from him. On the other hand, one who has the information but who lacks the conviction, will be hesitant in putting his knowledge into practice, and when he does, it will be a humanly experience with the ‘self’ in the center. As such, suspicion, fear and doubt will come about. These emotions will then impede in his success, rather than walking on water he will plunge into the water. In other words, walking on water, so to speak, should happen naturally and oblivious to his ‘self’ or ego, not by deliberate effort and thought.
“In short, one who hasn’t been able to free himself of the restraints of his bodily existence and conditionings, that is, the limiting belief that he is a material being, evidently hasn’t found his true self.”
“Can we not think of it in this way?”
“Say, for example, you found someone who has been enlightened and you submitted to him and believed he could make you do anything. One day you saw him walking on water and he asked you to join him... With the conviction and belief, and the trust and submission you have in him, you were able to walk on without any doubt... So through him, you too can walk on water…”
“Yes, this can happen, but that is all that will come of it and nothing further. If you learnt such a thing simply by blind submission to someone who hasn’t acquired the knowledge of the mysteries of the universe, say for example you learnt to walk on water, or hold fire in your hand, or even how to levitate, you will do all this deprived of the knowledge of who you are, what the world is, and the point of connection between you and the universe…”
“He will teach those, too!”
“That is nearly impossible. Once you acquire such skills, you will realize that it isn’t in fact ‘you’ who is doing them but an ‘I-ness’ who is beyond and free from all forms of ties and conditionings. An ‘I-ness’ who is powerful enough to do whatever it wishes. Who can teach this ‘I-ness’? If you can think that this ‘I-ness’ can learn then it can no longer be the ‘I-ness’, as you are mixing humanly emotions and conditions, resulting in a predicament.”
“So, what is the point?”