36. With the progress of the autumn season the moist earth and muddy places begin to dry up, and the green vegetation begins to fade. This drying up and fading resembles the gradual disappearance of the false sense of affinity and ego.
Progress in cultivating the human spirit entails the gradual disappearance of the materialistic ego. Covered by ignorance, passion, and so-called goodness, the spirit soul thinks himself all in all and is covered by a false sense of ego. Thus he falsely identifies the soul with the body, and his bodily relations with material things become the objects of his attraction. This false identification and attraction for matter gradually dry up and fade away by success in the cultivation of the human spirit. That is the effect of such higher cultivation. Progress in spiritual culture brings about the disintegration of false ego and material attraction.
The ultimate goal of cultivating the human spirit is God realization and surrender unto God with a full sense of His all-pervasive nature. When a liberated soul thus surrenders unto the lotus feet of the all-pervading Godhead, the ocean of nescience becomes as insignificant to him as the water in the small hoofprint of a calf. He at once becomes eligible to be promoted to the spiritual kingdom, and he has nothing to do with the miserable land of the material world.
Cultivation of the human spirit is not, therefore, mere adjustment of materialistic anomalies. It is the process for preparing oneself to be promoted to the spiritual kingdom. No one can adjust the sufferings of material existence, but by spiritual culture one can elevate himself from the effects of such miserable life. As an example one may cite the condition of a dry coconut. The dry coconut pulp automatically becomes separated from its outer skin. Similarly, the outer skin, or the gross and subtle material coverings of the soul, automatically separates from the spirit soul, and the spirit soul can then exist in spiritual existence, even though apparently within the dry skin. This freedom from the false sense of ego is called the liberation of the soul.