|Vol. 16||NOVEMBER, 1912.||No. 2|
|Copyright, 1912, by H. W. PERCIVAL.|
IN the organization called man, there is the germ of all of which it is possible for him to know or to become in any of the worlds manifested or unmanifested or in the cosmos as a whole. In this system of meditation it is not necessary that man should center his thought on any place or point in space outside his own organization in order to know anything in any of the worlds. Each of his bodies or principles is as a magic mirror into which he looks when he wills to know that which has happened or may happen and to know what is or what may be in the world of which that body or principle is the mirror.
The mind as a whole is one. It manifests in the four worlds in seven aspects as faculties in descending and ascending order of development. In the highest or spiritual world, the mind manifests the light and I-am faculty. In the next lower world, the mental world, it manifests the time faculty and the motive faculty. In the still lower world, the psychic world, the mind manifests the image faculty and the dark faculty. In the lowest of the four worlds, the physical world, the mind manifests the focus faculty. The terms high or low are not to be understood literally, as to place or position, but rather as to degree or state.
The light faculty is the source of enlightment on all subjects or things. From the I-am faculty comes identity and the knowledge of selfhood.
From the time faculty comes growth and change. In the motive faculty is judgment and choice, of direction or of right or wrong.
In the image faculty is the power of proportion, to give color and line. The dark faculty gives resistence and brings darkness; it develops strength and produces doubt.
The focus faculty separates, searches, balances and adjusts. These faculties of the mind and their interrelations were described in The Word, Vol. XI., Nos. 4-5, “Adepts Masters and Mahatmas.”
Not all of the faculties of the mind are incarnate. Only one of the faculties is in the physical body of man. The faculties of the mind which are not in the physical body act on that which is and that one acts for and is the representative of the other six. That faculty which is in and through the body is the focus faculty. It is man’s mind, his thinking principle.
To meditate intelligently man must find and realize this mind or faculty, the thinking principle, himself, in the body. He is the conscious light within the body. When man does perceive and realize himself in the body, he will know he is the conscious light within.
One faculty of the mind does not usually act without affecting or calling upon the other faculties. Each faculty of the mind has its special function in relation to the whole; the other faculties are induced or called upon through its subordinate functions, which are representative of them. Whenever man engages in what he calls thinking, it is his focus faculty, thinking principle, mind in the body, which he is trying to bring to bear on the subject or thing of which he thinks. But he will not arrive at a solution until he has it in focus, at which time the light faculty gives light on the subject and at that moment he says, “I see,” “I have it,” “I know.” The focus faculty or thinking principle is turned toward everything or subject which attracts man’s attention, but he is not enlightened until the light faculty acts in conjunction with his focus faculty or thinking principle. But of all of the things on which he has been enlightened man is not yet enlightened on his question: “Who am I?” When he is able to bring his thinking principle to bear and into proper focus on his question, “What am I?” or “Who am I?” the light faculty will act on the focus faculty, the I-am faculty will give identity to the light, and the focus faculty or thinking principle will know I am I, which is then the Self Conscious Light. When this is realized by man, he will be able to think and will need little instruction in how to meditate. He will find the way.
What is called thinking is not meditating. What is called thinking is the fitful, jerky, uncertain effort of the mind to turn and focus its light on the thing it wills to see. This is like the efforts of a near-sighted man with St. Vitus’s dance trying to follow a blind trail through the woods on a dark night, with the aid of a revolving flashlight.
Thinking is the steady holding of the mind’s light on a subject. Meditating is the holding of a subject in the mind’s light until the purpose for which this is done is accomplished.
The mind in the body, is like a monkey in a cage. It jumps nimbly about, but though it appears to be interested in everything and to examine things minutely, it has little purpose in its jumpings, and it does not understand anything on which it lights. Man, the conscious light in the body, should contemplate that light as different from that in which it is. This will help him to study himself and to be more orderly and consecutive in his thinking. As the mind becomes steadier, more orderly and less liable to fly about, it will be better able to examine itself and to turn toward its source.
At present the incarnate mind is unable to steady itself in any one of its centers in the body. Exterior conditions and influences act on the appetites, passions and instincts in the body. These act on the mind’s centers in the body and demand the mind to answer to their wants. So the mind flits about and is distributed through the body, answering to the calls and often identifying itself with the sensations or the emotions of the body. At present the mind throws off and wastes much of its light through the body. It allows its light to play through and be dissipated by the senses, which are the natural avenues of escape. The thinking outwardly is the passage of the mind’s light out of the body. As the mind continues to send out its light into the world, it is being constantly depleted and will be unable to localize or distinguish itself from the senses.
To find itself, the mind must not dissipate its light; it must conserve its light. To conserve its light it must not allow the light to run through the senses. To prevent his light from running through the senses, man should not attempt to shut off or cut off the senses, as has been advised in some systems of teaching; he should prevent his light from going out through the senses by centering it within. The light is centered within by thinking of himself within.
When what is called thinking is concerned with a subject or thing in or of the world and outside of the body, such thinking is the passage of man’s light through his senses; and, it will create and manifest that subject, or will preserve that thing in the world. When the thinking is concerned with a subject which must be considered interiorly, such as, “what is the conscious light within?” the senses do not have to be closed. They are closed, because the thinking principle is directed to an interior subject. When the mind holds a subject within and examines it in its own light, it increases in strength and power. With each such effort the mind becomes stronger and its light clearer.
Each of the worlds will be discovered and explored in meditation as the mind increases in strength. But it must be understood that each of the worlds must be discovered and explored within the mind, within the organization of man. In order to gain strength and confidence, it is best for a man to begin with the lowest world in which he is, the physical world, and to conduct his meditations from the physical to the other worlds. When man discovers himself as a conscious light in the body, he can meditate on the physical body in his light and learn the world as a whole and in its minute parts.
The mind is seated in the inner brain at the pituitary body and pineal gland, and extends as a thread of light by way of the nates, testes, arbor vitae, medulla oblongata, through the spinal column by way of the spinal cord and terminal filament, to the coccygeal gland at the extreme end of the spine. That is to say, there should be a thread of light from the head to the end of the spine; and that thread of light should be the path along which messengers as angels of light should ascend and descend to receive and execute the laws issued from the center of light in the head, the god in the body. But seldom is that path ever opened in a human body. It is almost invariably closed; and the messengers of the body do not travel in that path, as angels of light; they travel outside the path, and communicate and receive messages along the nerve currents as lurid flashes of sensation, or nervous shocks.
The mind does not see, but the sense of sight reaches out through the eye and the light of the mind follows it, and objects of the world are reflected back to its center. There the mind translates them as impressions, and the impressions are given certain values. Sounds pour into the ear and on to the auditory center, taste and smell travel along their nerves, and, with touch or feeling, all reach into the inner brain and there act as ambassadors from their particular kingdoms of sense. They ask honor or demand service at the center of light, according as the mind understands and has power to control or is deluded and overcome by them. Accompanying these sensations, the desires or emotions which they produce are refused or given audience in the heart. There usually is determined whether the demands of sense are honored or obeyed by the light in the brain. Seldom are they directed or suppressed; the demands of sense are usually honored and obeyed, and the force of the desires or emotions rise up into the cerebellum and thence into the cerebrum, along the convolutions of which the force is fashioned, given impetus by the mind’s light, and is sent out from the forehead as by a tongue of flame. This is called a thought and is a tribute from the mind to the physical world of sense. But it is not a thought which is a self-living thought, such as thoughts which move and rule the world. The thoughts so created are of four natures, corresponding to the four worlds, the physical, psychic, mental and spiritual, and are related to and act on the corresponding parts of man’s body: the part of sex, the navel and solar plexus, the breasts, and the head. In their regular cycles they surround man and produce his periods of sensuality, of exhilaration and depression, of sentiments or emotions, of ambitions or aspirations. When one attempts to meditate, these influences of his own creation, as well as other’s influences, crowd around him and interrupt or interfere with his efforts at meditation.
As man or the conscious light becomes steadier and is being centered in the body, its radiance through and around the body attracts stray creatures of the dark and inimical things, as well as those to which it has given being. These creatures of the dark, like pests and wild birds of the night, try to rush into the light, or like beasts of prey attracted by the light, prowl about to see what damage they can do. It is proper that the one who tries to meditate should know of these things with which he has to contend. But he should not be alarmed by or have fear of them. He must know of them, that he may treat them as they should be treated. Let him be thoroughly convinced that no extraneous influences can harm him if he will have no fear of them. By having fear of them he gives them power to disturb him.
In the beginning of his efforts to meditate, the meditator can learn how to and keep out these influences. As he grows stronger in light and has learned how to meditate, he must in this system of meditation redeem and transform all things of his creation and for which he is responsible. As he progresses he will do this as naturally as a true father will train and educate his children.
Here must be explained the difference between this system of meditation, which is of the mind, and systems which are of the senses. In this system the purpose is to train and develop the faculties of the mind, and to perfect them as one, and to do this without depending on the senses or on any physical practice. It is not a physical nor psychic work; it is strictly a mental and spiritual work. Systems of the senses also claim to suppress the senses, to deal with the mind, to overcome and control the mind, and to attain union with God. It is sometimes difficult to see what in those systems is meant by “mind,” by “God,” what it is that attains union with God, apart and as distinct from sensuous perceptions. Usually they try to control the mind by means of the senses and by certain physical practices.
All systems must be judged by their declarations of objects or principles, their work and methods, and the instruments employed. If the system is of the mind, what is said can be understood by the mind and will not need to be interpreted by the senses, though interpretations for the senses may follow; and the work advised, will be for and by the mind, and will need no psychic or physical practices, though psychic control and physical actions and results will follow. If the system is of the senses, what is said may be about or have to do with the mind, but it will be in terms of sense and interpreted by the senses; and the work advised will be with the mind, but carried on by the senses and will require no mental development independent of the senses, though mental development will follow as the result of control of mind by means of the senses.
In the system of the mind, the mind will know things independently of the senses and become freed from and independent of them, and will guide and control the senses. In a system of the senses, the mind will be trained to understand things in terms of the senses and will be linked with and made to serve them, though it may be taught to believe its development is spiritual and not of the physical because it may act in the psychic senses and in the psychic world and believe itself independent of the physical body.
It is easy to be deceived by systems of the senses claiming to be of the mind, and for teachers of such systems to be themselves deceived, when those systems say so much about the mind, and because the practices advised appear to be for the training and development of the mind. When a teacher or a system advises to begin with any physical practice, or any practice of sense development, that teacher or system is not of the mind.
Much has been taught about the control and development of the mind by controlling the breath. It is easy to be mistaken by this teaching because of the subtle connection existing between the physical breath and the mind. Certain physical breathings, as well as the suspension of physical breathing, do affect the mind and produce mental results. Sometimes teachers do not understand a system which they attempt to teach. In such cases they may say that it is of the mind, but they invariably represent it according to the senses. One who does this will not know what true meditation is.
One of the popular teachings called meditation is by regulation or suppression of the breath. It is said that by inhaling for a number of counts, holding the breath for a number of counts, exhaling for a number of counts, then inhaling again, and so continuing, at regular times of day or night together with other observances, that by these practices the functions of the mind will be suppressed, thoughts will stop, the mind will stop thinking, the self will become known and enlightenment on all subjects will follow. Those who are not in sympathy, who have not experimented with or been observant of such teachings, should not ridicule or make light of them. What is claimed is believed by practitioners, and results may follow which they think sufficient to warrant them in their claims. Those who are persistent and assiduous in the practice do get results.
The conscious light, the incarnate mind, focuses itself by means of breath. Those who earnestly practice their “regulation” or “suppression of the breath,” come eventually to find the mind’s light reflected by a body of their inner senses. This they often mistake for what they speak of as the “self.” They cannot know the mind itself while they count or think of their breath. The counting unsteadies the mind, or the physical breath relates the mind to or diffuses it through the physical body. To bring the breath to a mutual point between its coming and going, where there is a true balance, the mind or thinking principle should not be turned or focussed on breathing. It should be turned on itself toward the conscious light and on the question of its identity. When the thinking principle or focus faculty is trained on the question of the identity of its light, the focus faculty brings into balance the I-am faculty with the light faculty through the representatives of them in itself. When this is done, breathing stops. But in doing it the mind has not been concerned with breathing. If at this time the mind thinks of its breathing, by so thinking it throws itself out of focus from the light faculty and I-am faculty, and is centered on the physical breath. If the mind is centered on the physical breath and finally does throw the physical breath into balance, this balance of the breath, or rather suspension of breathing, as is the case with successful practitioners of suppression of the breath, in that moment is reflected the light of the mind. The functions of the mind appear or seem to stop. The uninformed mind then believes that what it sees is itself. This is not so. It sees only its reflection in the senses, the inner senses. It becomes enamored with the reflection of itself in the senses. It may continue to yearn for knowledge and freedom, but it will not attain to knowledge or have freedom.
With a view of living forever, let the one who enters in this system of meditation begin his efforts in the physical degree. But let it be understood that in the physical degree there shall be no physical exercises, such as gazing at objects, chanting of sounds, burning of incense, breathings, or postures. The physical degree consists in learning to train the focus faculty of the mind as the conscious light in the body, and to hold in its light the subject of the physical body, what it is as a whole, its functions and its parts. In speaking of the mind as the light in the body, it is of course to be understood that the light is not seen by the physical eyes or inner sense of sight, but it is a light perceived by the mind, and that is conscious.
The mind will learn how to meditate by first learning how to think. When the mind learns how to think it can engage in meditation. Thinking is not a straining of muscle and nerve and an increased blood supply in the brain. This straining is an alternate cramping or swelling of the brain, which prevents the mind from holding its light steadily on a subject. Thinking is the turning and steady holding of the mind’s light on a subject and the steady mental gazing in the light until that which is desired is clearly seen and known. The mind’s light may be likened to a searchlight in the dark. Only that is seen on which the light is turned. As the mind finds the particular subject of which it is in search, the light is focussed and held on that subject or thing until all about that subject or thing is revealed or known. So that thinking is not a hard, a laborious or violent struggle with the brain, in an effort to force the brain to reveal what one wishes to know. Thinking is rather an easy resting of the mind’s eye on that on which its light is turned, and the certain confidence in its power to see. It may take a long time to learn thus to think, but the results are sure. The end of thinking is knowledge of the subject of the thinking.
After learning how to train the mind’s light on a subject with the resultant knowledge, the mind may begin its meditation. In meditation the mind’s light is not turned on a subject. The subject is summoned within the mind’s light. There it rests as a question. Nothing is added to it, nothing is taken from it. It becomes quickened in the light where it remains until its time is complete, and then out of itself it evolves its true answer to the light. In this way the physical body and through it the physical world are summoned as subjects in the mind’s light, and there held until known.
It is necessary for one to understand how to prevent the inimical or disturbing influences before mentioned from interfering with his thinking. A physical example can be taken which will illustrate. A mosquito is to the body what a disturbing or inimical influence may be to the mind. A mosquito is known to be a pest, though its minute proportions give it an appearance of harmlessness. Magnify it to the size of an elephant and give it transparency; it becomes a hideous monster, of malignity and terror. Instead of seeming like a careless little thing of the air, chancing to light on some part of the body where it plays without purpose on the skin, it will be seen to be a huge beast of persistent purpose, which pursues and clutches its victim, bores into and sinks its shaft into a part selected, sucks the blood into its blood tank, and from its venom sack pumps poison back into its victim’s veins. If the one on whom a mosquito lights holds his breath, the mosquito cannot find entrance for its proboscis into the skin. The skin is pierced by a mosquito while that person breathes. If one holds his breath while a mosquito is sucking blood from his hand, its proboscis is imprisoned in the flesh from which the mosquito cannot pull it out. The mosquito may be turned about on its captor’s hand; it cannot escape while the breath is held. But with the flow of breath it can withdraw. Breathing keeps the skin open. When breathing stops the skin is closed and will then prevent the mosquito from coming in and going out.
Breathing has a somewhat similar effect on the mind, in allowing influences to enter. But it is as ill-advised for one to try to keep influences out of the mind by the suspension of his breath, as it would be to stop his breath to prevent mosquitos from entering his skin. One should keep extraneous influences from his mind by the strength and steadiness of the mind’s light. Like the dilation and contraction of a searchlight, the light of one who is trying to think, expands and contracts, in its effort to bring into focus and to focus its entire light on the subject it would know. Influences rush in to the light during its expansions and contractions. The light continues to expand and contract because the mental gaze unsteadies the focus as it turns toward the influence. Knowing this, the thinker should gaze steadily on the subject on which his light is turned, without heeding the disturbance in the light caused by their efforts to rush in. Influences are kept out of the light by refusing to take the mental gaze from the subject on which the light is turned, and by the mental attitude of confidence that no outside influence shall intrude. By refusing to heed or look at anything other than the subject in question, influences are prevented from entering. Like the skin when breathing stops, the mind’s light becomes impenetrable. No influence can come in, nothing can go out; its full force is focussed on the subject, and the subject reveals itself and is known.
Most persons who try are usually prevented from thinking by the disturbing influences and mental pests which disturb and vitiate their mind’s light. By turning the mental gaze to the intruder it is kept out of focus from its subject, and the pest pollutes the light. The thinker often tries to oust the intruder, but does not know how; and, even if it is chased, like the mosquito from its prey, it is not before it has left corruption in its place.
Not always must influences be kept out. There will come the time in one of the degrees of meditation when the evil influences of one’s creation are admitted or summoned into the light, where they will be tried, judged and transformed by the light. This should not be done until the aspirant knows how to think; not until he can focus his mind’s light on a subject where he wills.
Many years will have been taken up by the aspirant for living forever, in learning how to think. His efforts have been mental, but they have produced very practical results in his physical body and in his psychic nature. The unruliness of these have made his efforts difficult. But each mental determination has produced its corresponding effect in his psychic nature and in his physical body. Though he may not readily see differences in physical structure, and though his desires are strong and unruly, still, the fact that he can turn and hold his mind’s light on a subject at will, proves that he is bringing them under control. Of this he has assurance. He is ready to begin to bring about by meditation the cellular changes in his physical structure, the transmutation of the physical generative seed into the psychic germ and the physiological changes, the transmutation of the psychic germ and its raising into the life body, all necessary to living forever, as heretofore described in preceding numbers.
In the physical degree of meditation, the subjects for meditation are as seeds taken into the mind’s light, there to be quickened, developed and dealt with according to the knowledge which is the result of the meditation.
By holding in the mind the subject of the fecundation of the ovum and its development, it is known how the world is created and how the body is built. The subject of food in meditation will make known how the body is nourished, maintained and changed in its constituent parts, and what food is best suited in the purpose of living forever.
When the body as a whole and its organs and individual parts are known in meditation, and through them the bodies in space and their uses in the economy of nature is known, the psychic degree of meditation will begin. The psychic degree of meditation will make known the nature of desire, how it acts on and changes the physical structure; how it draws on the physical, how the generative seed is transmuted into the psychic germ, how the psychic body may be conceived and developed, and the power of desire over thought.
When desire is known, in its workings through the psychic nature and its correspondent forces and elements and animals active in the world, the mental degree of meditation will begin. In the mental degree is known what life is, how it enters into the formation of bodies, how it is directed by thought, what thought is, its relation to desire and its effect on the physical body, how thought brings about changes in the psychic and in the physical worlds, how thought raises the psychic germs into life and the mental world.
As these subjects are known in meditation they bring about the corresponding effects in the physical body, change the psychic nature, produce the different changes and the raising of the desires and substitution of the physical particles of the physical cells by the form body of the physical, as described in previous articles; and, finally, a life body is raised to perfection, with which the mind unites and lives forever.