The things of the world and its inhabitants are subject to change. They are combinations of elements that existed before, and all living creatures are what their past actions made them; for the law of cause and effect is uniform and without exceptions. But in the changing things there is a constancy of law, and when the law is seen there is truth, but only in good reason is there justice.
The truth lies hidden in samsara*, as the permanent in its changes. Truth desires to appear; truth longs to become conscious; truth strives to know itself.
There is truth in the stone, for the stone is here; and no power in the world, no god, no man, no demon, can destroy its existence. But the stone has no consciousness.
There is truth in the plant, and its life can expand; the plant grows and blossoms and bears fruit. Its beauty is marvellous, but it has no consciousness.
There is truth in the animal; it moves about and perceives its surroundings; it distinguishes and learns to choose. There is consciousness, but it is not yet the consciousness of truth. It is a consciousness of self only, and without reason.
The consciousness of self dims the eyes of the mind, and hides the truth. It is the origin of error, it is the source of illusion, it is the germ of evil. Self begets selfishness. There is no evil but what flows from self. There is no wrong but what is done by the assertion of self. Self is the beginning of all hatred, of iniquity and slander, of impudence and indecency, of theft and robbery, of oppression and bloodshed.
* the turbulences or upheavals of change