The nature of illumined souls
Devotees would often ask Sri Ramakrishna about the nature of illumined souls. Sri Ramakrishna would answer their question using a beautiful analogy. He would say, “Ignorant beings are like houses with no windows, like clay walls which reveal nothing and illumined souls are like people living in houses made with glass walls.” For a person with superficial thinking, the analogy would appear somewhat strange. It might even mean that people who live in houses made with glass walls should be very careful of what they do since their activities will be visible to the world outside. Actually, this analogy implies that illumined ones have nothing to hide and in fact everything to reveal and transmit. This might mean even something deeper going beyond the consideration of good and bad or revealed and hidden. The glass walls of the houses of the illumined represent the ability to see into the infinity. While the clay walls of the houses of the worldly or ignorant persons symbolize the lack of that deep insight and vision. Everything remains obscure or hidden in the life of such unfortunate ones because they are temporarily bereft of their inherent spirituality. But, the illumined, though encased in the body, live a life which is not bound or restricted. Their minds, which are open to divine reality, see deeply into the recesses of the spirit within and are able to observe the entire cosmic reality. To them the entire universe becomes transparent like glass and the blessed souls see nothing but the light of pure consciousness. In their lives awareness shines through all their actions. Their individual life becomes like an open book and is absolutely pure and transparent. They have nothing to fear or hide. They go beyond a life conditioned by sense enjoyment. They live a life of pure and unalloyed bliss. They become like a beacon of light for others to be illumined.