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From Intellect to Intuition - Chapter Six - Stages in Meditation
In the average man, the soul is occupied (as the Perceiver) with the three worlds of human endeavor, and looks out, therefore, upon the physical, emotional and mental states of being. The soul identifies Itself for aeons with the forms through which contact has to be made if those lower states of consciousness are to be known. Later, when a man has gained control of the mind and can offer it to the soul as a transmitting agent, then a vast region of spiritual awareness can unfold itself. The soul itself can then become a transmitting agent, and can pass on, via the mind and from thence to the physical brain, some of the realizations and concepts of the Spirit aspect. Students would do well to remember the words in The Secret Doctrine.

"Matter is the Vehicle for the manifestation of Soul on this plane of existence, and Soul is the Vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of Spirit, and these three are a Trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all."
- Blavatsky, H. P., The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, page 80.

This, in the academic language of occultism, is the realization of the mystic. Cardinal Richelieu [139] calls contemplation that state "in which man sees and knows God without using the imagination and without discursive reasoning, and Tauler expresses it thus:

"God desires to dwell in the superior faculties - the memory, the intellect, and the will, and to operate in these after a divine manner. This is His true abode, His field of action; it is there that He finds His likeness. It is there that we must seek Him if we desire to find Him and by the shortest way. Then the spirit is transported high above all the faculties into a void of immense solitude whereof no mortal can adequately speak... When, afterwards, these persons come to themselves again, they find themselves possessed of a distinct knowledge of things, more luminous and more perfect than that of others."
- Quoted by Poulain, R. P., S. J., Graces of Interior Prayer, page 272.

Contemplation has been described, as a psychic gateway, leading from one state of consciousness to another. Jeremy Taylor calls it the

"transition from intense meditation to that contemplation which attains to the vision of the wonders of God, as the human soul enters the realm of the divine light."
- Puglisi, Mario, Prayer, page 181.

Francois Malaval, who lived and wrote in the 17th century puts it most beautifully. He says:

"This act (contemplation) is also more perfect than reasoning because in reasoning the soul speaks, whilst in this act it enjoys. Reasoning... convinces the soul by its principles, but here the soul is rather illumined than convinced, it sees rather than examines. Reasoning occupies itself in the consideration of a word, a proposition, or a discourse; but this simple sight of God, supposing all [140] reasoning as things passed and known, contemplates its object in God Himself..."
- Malaval, F., A Simple Method of Raising the Soul to Contemplation, page 102.

Through this gateway of vision the man passes and finds himself to be the soul. From the vantage of the soul, he realizes himself to be the Perceiver, who can perceive equally the world of spiritual realities and the world of daily experience; he can look, if he so chooses, in either direction.

The problem is to acquire an equal facility in the work of perception on spiritual levels as we have learned on worldly levels, and one of the important points to remember is that in both cases the triplicity of soul, mind, and brain must play their part, but with a differing orientation and attention. It becomes simply a question of focus. The brain is active in practically a subconscious manner towards the instincts and habits which guide our physical plane life and appetites. Through right education, it learns to be receptive towards impressions emanating from the mind, and instead of being only a sensory register or recorder, it learns to respond to thought impressions. The mind in its turn has an instinctive tendency to record all outer information, but can be trained to be receptive towards the soul, and to register information coming from that higher source. In time we can acquire facility and practice in utilizing either brain or mind actively or passively, and eventually bringing about a perfect interplay between them and finally between the soul, the mind [141] and the brain. We can sum up all that has happened during the three stages we have considered in the words of Patanjali -

"The gradual conquest of the mind's tendency to flit from one object to another (that is, concentration) and the power of one-pointedness (that is, meditation) make the development of contemplation."
- Bailey, Alice, The Light of the Soul, III, 11.

and when these three are simultaneously performed we are told that "this threefold power of attention, meditation and contemplation is more interior than the means of growth previously described." It is interesting to note that Malaval in his second Treatise, Dialogue III, makes the same point, linking faith, meditation and contemplation together as a synthetic act. The knowers in both the East and the West think alike.

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