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From Intellect to Intuition - Chapter One - Introductory Thoughts

Introductory Thoughts

"The scientific method - apart from a narrowly agnostic and pragmatist point of view - is therefore by itself incomplete and insufficient: it demands in order to make contact with reality the complement of some metaphysic or other."
- Joseph Maréchal, S. J. [3]

The present widespread interest in the subject of Meditation is an evidence of a world need which requires clear understanding. Where we find a popular trend in any particular direction, which is one-pointed and steady, it may be safe to assume that out of it will emerge that which the race needs in its onward march. That meditation is regarded, by those who define loosely, as a "mode of prayer" is, unfortunately, true. But it can be demonstrated that in the right understanding of the meditation process and in its right adaptation to the needs of our modern civilization will be found the solution of the present educational impasse and the method whereby the fact of the soul may be ascertained - that living something which we call the "Soul" for lack of a better term.

The purpose of this book is to deal with the nature and true significance of meditation, and with its use on a large scale in the West. It is suggested that it may eventually supplant the present methods of memory training, and prove a potent factor in modern educational procedure. It is a subject that has engrossed the attention of thinkers in the East [4] and in the West for thousands of years, and this uniformity of interest is in itself of importance. The next developments which will carry the race forward along the path of its unfolding consciousness must surely lie in the direction of synthesis. The growth of human knowledge must be brought about by the fusion of the Eastern and the Western techniques of mental training. This has already proceeded apace and thinkers in both hemispheres are realizing that this fusion is leading towards some most significant realization. Edward Carpenter says that:

"We seem to be arriving at a time when, with the circling of our knowledge of the globe, a great synthesis of all human thought... is quite naturally and inevitably taking place... Out of this meeting of elements is already arising the dim outline of a philosophy which must surely dominate human thought for a long period."
- Carpenter, Edward, The Art of Creation, page 7.

Herein lies the glory and hope of the race and the outstanding triumph of science. We are now one people. The heritage of any race lies open to another; the best thought of the centuries is available for all; and ancient techniques and modern methods must meet and interchange. Each will have to modify its mode of presentation and each will have to make an effort to understand the underlying spirit which has produced a peculiar phraseology and imagery, but when these concessions are made, a structure of truth will be found to emerge which will embody the spirit of the New Age. Modern thinkers are realizing this and Dr. Overstreet points out that: [5]

"Eastern philosophy, one suspects, has had small effect upon western thought chiefly because of its manner. But there is every reason to believe that as the influence of western thinking - particularly its experimental hard-headedness - is felt in the East, a new philosophic manner will be adopted, and the profound spirituality of eastern thought will be expressed in ways more acceptable to the western mind."
-  Overstreet, H.A., The Enduring Quest, page 271.

Both schools have hitherto tended to antagonize each other, yet the quest for truth has been one; the interest in that which is, and that which can be, is not confined to either group; and the factors with which each has had to work have been the same. Though the mind of the eastern thinker may run to creative imagery and that of the western worker to creative scientific achievement, yet the world into which they enter is curiously the same; the instrument of thought which they employ is called the  "mind " in the West and " mind-stuff " (chitta) in the East; both use the language of symbology to express their conclusions and both reach the point where words prove futile to embody the intuited possibilities.

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