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From Intellect to Intuition - Chapter Four - The Objectives in Meditation
Meditation carries the work forward into the mental realm; desire gives place to the practical work of preparation for divine knowledge and the man who started his long career and life experience with desire as the basic quality and who reached the stage of adoration of the dimly seen divine Reality, passes now out of the mystical world into that of the intellect, of reason, and eventual realization. Prayer, plus disciplined unselfishness, produces the Mystic. Meditation, plus organized disciplined service, produces the Knower. The mystic, as we have earlier seen, senses divine realities, contacts (from the heights of his aspiration) the mystical vision, [68] and longs ceaselessly for the constant repetition of the ecstatic state to which his prayer, adoration and worship have raised him. He is usually quite unable to repeat this initiation at will. Père Poulain in Des Grâces d'Oraison holds that no state is mystical unless the seer is unable to produce it himself. In meditation, the reverse is the case, and through knowledge and understanding, the illuminated man is able to enter at will into the kingdom of the soul, and to participate intelligently in its life and states of consciousness. One method involves the emotional nature and is based on belief in a God who can give. The other involves the mental nature and is based on belief in the divinity of man himself, though it does not negate the mystical premises of the other group.

It will be found, however, that the words mystic and mystical are very loosely used and cover not only the pure mystic, with his visions and sensory reactions, but also those who are transiting into the realm of pure knowledge and of certainty. They cover those states which are unexpected and intangible, being based on pure aspiration and devotion, and also those which are the outcome of an ordered intelligent approach to Reality, and which are susceptible of repetition under the laws which the knower has learnt. Bertrand Russell deals with these two groups in a most interesting way, though he uses the one term Mystic in both relations. His words form a most fascinating prelude to our theme. [69]

"Mystical philosophy, in all ages and in all parts of the world, is characterized by certain beliefs which are illustrated by the doctrines we have been considering."

"There is, first, the belief in insight as against discursive analytic knowledge; the belief in a way of wisdom, sudden, penetrating, coercive, which is contrasted with the slow and fallible study of outward appearance by a science relying wholly upon the senses..."

"The mystic insight begins with the sense of a mystery unveiled, of a hidden wisdom now suddenly become certain beyond the possibility of a doubt. The sense of certainty and revelation comes earlier than any definite belief. The definite beliefs at which mystics arrive are the result of reflection upon the inarticulate experience gained in the moment of insight..."

"The first and most direct outcome of the moment of illumination is belief in the possibility of a way of knowledge which may be called revelation or insight or intuition, as contrasted with sense, reason and analysis, which are regarded as blind guides leading to the morass of illusion. Closely connected with this belief is the conception of a Reality behind the world of appearance and utterly different from it. This Reality is regarded with an admiration often amounting to worship; it is felt to be always and everywhere close at hand, thinly veiled by the shows of sense, ready, for the receptive mind, to shine in its glory even through the apparent folly and wickedness of Man. The poet, the artist, and the lover are seekers after that glory: the haunting beauty that they pursue is the faint reflection of its sun. But the mystic lives in the full light of the vision: what others dimly seek he knows, with a knowledge beside which all other knowledge is ignorance."

"The second characteristic of mysticism is its belief in unity, and its refusal to admit opposition or division anywhere..."

"A third mark of almost all mystical metaphysics is the [70] denial of the reality of Time. This is an outcome of the denial of division; if all is one, the distinction of past and future must be illusory..."

"The last of the doctrines of mysticism which we have to consider is its belief that all evil is mere appearance, an illusion produced by the divisions and oppositions of the analytic intellect. Mysticism does not maintain that such things as cruelty, for example, are good, but it denies that they are real: they belong to that lower world of phantoms from which we are to be liberated by the insight of the vision..."
- Russell, Bertrand, Mysticism and Logic, pages 8, 9, 10, 11.

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