|Vol. 17||APRIL, 1913.||No. 1|
|Copyright, 1913, by H. W. PERCIVAL.|
MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL INTOXICATIONS
THE mind is repelled from or attracted to or indifferent to the objects and subjects to which it is turned. This is true in every period of life, from the first memories of childhood to the going out of the flame of the candle of life. Rarely, if ever, is there a time when man can see clearly and judge without prepossession, twist or sentiment, any question affecting him. His judgment on certain questions will be different at successive periods, though the things and questions remain the same. He is bewildered when a child, has expectations and confidence as a youth, In manhood he has his responsibilities, and in old age doubts, indifference, uncertainties and hopes.
The changes of the body produce impressions on the incarnate portion of the mind; reactions follow, and the mind changes its attitude toward the without and the within. Elation follows depression, joy sorrow, and the shadow of fear fades when the star of hope rises. So is the action of the mind in each period of bodily change affected by glamour, and the reaction from the glamour. The glamour attracts, charms, bewilders, intoxicates; its reaction brings pain; but both always disorder.
Intoxication of the mind and reaction ever follow each other in life, and from life to life. The mind cannot know happiness nor do its true work with intelligence until it becomes no more intoxicated. The cessation of its intoxications can be brought about by the mind only when it refuses to be attracted by or attach itself to things outside itself. It does this by turning its thought and attention to and learning to use and control its actions within. Thereby an attempt is made to bring the inert and yet undeveloped matter of the faculty or faculties thus brought into action under control, and to develop and coordinate them. By turning his attention to the actions of the mind within, one learns how the mind operates without, and knows how to control its operations.
Mental intoxication is caused by the fermentations of the undeveloped matter of the mind in its processes of development. In the measure one sees the actions of the mind within and understands the motives which prompt action, the glamour without is dispelled. Then there is yet the glamour of the mind within, after the mind has lost interest in the world and the things of the world and is taken up with its own processes and workings only.
Man, giving attention to the mind’s activities within, sees that the things outside him are the outer reflection of the inner forms and workings of the mind. The reflections of the mind in the things without exerts an intoxicating influence on the mind within. Even though not yet freed from mental intoxication from without, he sees at least the cause of it and knows glamour to be glamour. This knowledge begins to dispel the glamour, conquers intoxication. He masters exterior mental intoxication to the degree he first discovers and then controls the inner workings of the mind and its intoxications. Then he knows the realities which are within. Intoxication of the mind is failure to know a reality. Realities are within; what appears outside, objectively, is a reflection from within.
The prizes which the world holds out are love, wealth, fame and power, and mankind strives for these. The world offers them as rewards. During the adventures, battles, pilgrimages, in his long line of incarnations, there are moments when man seems to have won one or more of the prizes; but this seems so for a moment only. As soon as they are within his grasp he cannot hold them. They slip away or shrivel into nothingness and are gone. Whether he falters or pursues, or is vexed, broken or in stupor, life rouses and drives him, and makes him struggle on. All things he desires are included in these four prizes. For the prize on which his mind’s eye is fixed, he strives with as much strength as he has or can keep at his disposal. Sometimes two of the prizes attract him equally, and if he does not give up one for the other, but strives for both, he is at war with himself, and his efforts feeble.
In his present male and female body, man wants to give up love as little as a drunkard wants to abandon drink. Man can not give up love while he continues as he is.
Love and sex are so close, intimate, that man instinctively sees and thinks of love from the standpoint of his sex. It is nearly impossible to live in a normal body and think of love without the thought of male or female. Unless he knows himself a conscious being, not form, within and distinct from the body of sex in which he is, he cannot have love without the tincture of sex. He must learn and know the essence of love before he can love truly and without injury to himself and the one he loves. Knowledge—and in a sense above the ordinary knowledge—must precede love and direct it steadily if love is not to result in mental intoxication.
The thought of love relates one to the being he loves. The thought of mother, father, sister, brother, friend, wife, child or relative, is of character and sex. Love extends beyond the physical to angels, to God—and the thought of man is that they are either masculine or feminine—a fact which is noticed plainly, especially in ecstatic worship.
Love must be inherent before it can be sensed; it must be sensed before it can be thought of; it must be thought of before it can be known. Love is inherent in the mind; it is sensed in every human body in varying degrees, from infancy to old age; it is thought about by the mind as the mind matures and strives to know itself; its mystery is known at full maturity of the mind. That which prompts and is within love is not approached until man seeks to realize the divine. That which stands within love is relationship. Love is to teach man his relation to all things. While under love intoxication man cannot think of nor know his true relationship to the bodies and things he loves. So love holds him to sex and to sense until he is willing and ready to think and to know. When man thinks of until he knows his relation to that which he loves, love ceases to be an intoxicant of the mind, it serves its purpose. It reveals and relates the parts of the mind to the whole. It shows the indissoluble relationship of each mind to all and all minds to each other.
Love cannot give up its secret to those who delight in its burning arrows, nor to those who groan from its inflicted wounds, nor to those who coldly analyze the empty word. Love yields its secret only to those who will dispel its glamour. To do this one must examine and know, within, the objects of love which are without. Husband, wife, child or other person, are objects of love without. What is it that is loved? If it is the character, the mind, the soul, in that person that he loves, then death of that person, or the thought of death or parting, will cause no pang of loss, because the character or mind or soul cannot be lost; it lives in thought, and is ever with the one who thinks of it. When one loves a person, it is usually not the character or mind or soul that is loved; it is the person. Looking at the form without subjects one to its glamour. While looking at the outer form, that within to which it is related cannot be seen. One dispels the outer glamour by looking within and asking what is affected by the personal form without. As the incarnate mind, the conscious light within the body, continues in its search, it finds that love is not for the person without, but for something within, which is aroused and reflected by that person. As one wants mirrors not for the sake of mirrors but because he may be gratified when he looks into them, so he wants near him those whom he thinks he loves, because of the sentiment or sensation in him which they arouse or reflect. When one looks steadily in his light within, he finds there that which is or was reflected in the form without. When he finds this he is cured of his love intoxication for the form without. Its glamour is dispelled.
He now loves that within, without need of its reflection from without. Forms within which cause sensations of love, should be held steadily in the light within until they are seen through. As each is seen through it will disappear, and will show the organ and the nerve center to which it is related, and the thought that called its matter into form.
The forms disappear when the thoughts to which they are related are perceived. When the thought of love is perceived without the inner forms of love, then that which is love should be summoned in the conscious light within. Then the focus faculty of the mind will focus the subject in the light within, and it will be known that that which is love is one’s own identity and very self. One’s own self is love. When this love is known, the thoughts of love should again be summoned within the light; then the will should be to find the identity of self in each of the thoughts; and then it is known that the self in each is the same as in one’s own self; that in love is the relation of sameness within each of the selves.
One who thus knows the secret of the relation of love has unlimited capacity to love. Love intoxications have no power. His love is in the self in all beings.
One who knows the relation and whose love is in the self in all beings, masters wealth and fame and power intoxications without great difficulty. The method of overcoming love intoxication should also be applied in conquering other forms of mental and spiritual intoxication.
Wealth intoxication begins with the thought of wealth. Desire to have, induces the mind to think of getting and having. Thinking develops the thought of getting and having. The thoughts of getting and having call into action the strength in the undeveloped matter of the mind which strives for the possessions it conceives as wealth. This striving with the undeveloped matter of the mind, by the faculties which deal with wealth, keeps the mind in a state of wealth intoxication. Wealth intoxication continues until that matter is developed and controlled.
A sense of security, the notion of being important, the valuation which men put on wealth, the credit which others give, their estimate of him as “his being worth so much,” his belief in his importance, are forms which his wealth intoxication takes.
One who would overcome wealth intoxication may begin by asking himself, what of all his possessions he can take with him after death. Only that is his which he can take with him. When the method of conquering love intoxication is applied to wealth intoxication, one sees his insignificance and loses the notion of his importance. His worth diminishes as his possessions disappear when examined by the light of the mind. When possessions fade and vanish by the light of the mind, it is as though burdens are removed, and there comes a feeling of freedom. As the valuation which the world places on his worth is reduced by the light of his mind, his true valuation appears. Wealth gives place to worthiness, which is the standard of valuation of himself and of things. Worthiness is that for which he works.
Fame intoxication is the will to do something which will make one live in the thoughts of men. To do this the soldier fights, the sculptor chisels, the artist paints, the poet sings, the philanthropist spends; all try to do something by which they will live, to which time will add lustre. Ever are they led on by this thought, which they project into the world.
Fame intoxication is overcome by searching for that which projects the thought of fame. It will be found that fame is a mental shadow, projected by the mind from the thought of its immortality. The mental intoxication of fame lies in seeking this shadow, a name rather than his self. Fame intoxication ceases when he finds and follows that in him which is immortal. Then he is not intoxicated, but sheds a light which illumines and dispels his illusive thought. He ceases to think of fame, to work for fame. He thinks and works for immortality, the state of being continuously conscious in whatever form or condition he may be.
Spiritual intoxication is the working of the faculties of the mind to have what it conceives to be power. Its intoxication is continued by the thought of itself before all else, and by the will that it should have reverence and worship from other beings. Power intoxication blinds the mind to the rights of others, and exaggerates its own greatness. It uses its power to compel homage and worship. Its intoxication is increased by the acclamations, praise, reverence, of others, and by the thought of its own greatness. Power intoxication makes of man a menace to himself and to the world.
Power intoxication is overcome by holding power in the mind’s light and seeing within it. In time knowledge will be found within power. Power is a form in which knowledge acts and is the expression of knowledge. When knowledge is found the self is known. Love then shows the way and knowledge identifies the love in one’s self and knows it in all others. Then power intoxication is at an end. Knowledge is power, which is used to increase knowledge in others, not to demand their praise or worship. One’s self is known in relation to others, not apart from them. Knowledge is for the use of all.