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From Intellect to Intuition - Chapter Five - Stages in Meditation
In A Treatise on Cosmic Fire the following words occur:

"The wise student regards all forms of expression as in the nature of symbols. A symbol has three interpretations; it is itself the expression of an idea, and that idea has behind it, in its turn, a purpose or impulse inconceivable as yet. The three interpretations of a symbol might be dealt with as follows:

  1. The exoteric interpretation of a symbol is based largely upon its objective utility, and upon the nature of the form. That which is exoteric and substantial serves two purposes: [114]
    1. To give some faint indications as to the idea and concept. This links the symbol... with the mental plane, but does not release it from the three worlds of human appreciation.
    2. To limit and confine and imprison the idea and so adapt it to the point in evolution which the man has reached. The true nature of the latent idea is ever more potent and complete than the form or symbol through which it seeks expression. Matter is a symbol of a central energy. Forms of all kinds in all the kingdoms of nature, and the manifested sheaths in their widest connotation and totality are but symbols of life - what that Life itself may be remains as yet a mystery.
  2. The subjective interpretation or meaning is the one which reveals the idea lying behind the objective manifestation. This idea, incorporeal in itself, becomes a concretion on the plane of objectivity... These ideas become apparent to the student after he has entered into Meditation, just as the exoteric form of the symbol is all that is seen by the man who is just beginning. As soon as a man begins consciously to use his mental apparatus and has made even a small contact with his soul three things occur:
    1. He reaches out beyond the form and seeks to account for it.
    2. He arrives in time at the soul which the [115] form veils, and this he does through the understanding of his own soul.
    3. He begins then to formulate ideas and to create and make manifest that soul-energy or substance which he finds he can manipulate.

To train people to work in mental matter is to train them to create; to teach people to know the nature of the soul is to put them in conscious touch with the subjective side of manifestation and to put into their hands the power to work with soul-energy; to enable people to unfold the potencies of the soul aspect is to put them en rapport with the forces and energies hidden in all the kingdoms of Nature.

A man can then - as his soul contact and his subjective perception is strengthened and developed - become a conscious creator, cooperating with the plans of evolution and of God. As he passes through the different stages, his ability so to work and his capacity to get at the thought lying behind all symbols and forms increases. He is no longer taken in by the appearance but knows it as the illusory form which is veiling, imprisoning and confining some thought.

  1. The spiritual meaning is that which lies behind the subjective sense and which is veiled by the idea or thought just as the idea is veiled by the form it assumes when in exoteric manifestation. This can be regarded as the purpose which prompted the idea and led to its emanation into the world of forms. It is the central [116] dynamic energy which is responsible for the subjective activity..."
    - Bailey, Alice, A Treatise on Comic Fire, pages 1233 et seq.

It is this process of arriving at the reality behind each and every form which is the result of meditation with seed. It involves the realization of these three aspects of the divine Life. This is why students are advised to take some specific words or a verse from some sacred book for their meditation so as to train them in their power to get behind the form of the words and so to arrive at the true meaning.

We have penetrated into the world of causes; we have to seek to apprehend the Plan as it exists in the mind of God and as it expresses itself through the love, emanating from the Heart of God. Is it possible for human minds to reach any further than the love and will of God? Right at this point, Divinity is contacted. The mind ceases to function, and the true student of meditation slips into a state of conscious identification with that spiritual reality we call the indwelling Christ, the divine Soul. Man, at this point, enters into God. [119]

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