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From Intellect to Intuition - Chapter Seven - Intuition and Illumination
It seems, however, on investigation, that there is a good deal of meaning in this special terminology and these symbolic phrases. The uniformity of the language, the testimony of the many thousands of reputable witnesses and the similarity of the related occurrences seem to indicate something in the nature of a genuine phenomenal happening. Dr. Overstreet, in The Enduring Quest, mentions a large number of those great individuals for whom it is claimed that they were illumined, and points out that

"these men do not reason their way to conclusions, although reason - the search for truth - apparently played a [150] part in preparation for their final insight. In every case," he adds, "they experienced what, for want of a better term, we may call   'illumination'." He goes on to warn us also that "we may, to be sure, brush these experiences aside as aberrations..." But he says "these men do not act after the manner of men suffering from an aberration. Out of them has come a great portion of the spiritual wisdom of the race. They are, as it were, among the illuminati of mankind. If 'by their fruits we shall know them,' these men have shown fruits so far above the average as to make them spiritual leaders of mankind."
- Overstreet, H. A. The Enduring Quest, pages 238, 239, 240.

The trouble has been that with the average mystic, though not with the outstanding figures to whom Dr. Overstreet refers, there has usually been an inability to define or express clearly this state of illumination.

"The mystic," we are told in the Bampton Lectures for 1930, "cannot explain, but he knows that he has known and not merely felt, and often that knowledge remains an abiding possession which no criticism can touch... though the mystics seem to be unable to convey to others any body of truth which cannot be reached by more ordinary channels of experience and reasoning, it is nevertheless possible that the intensity of their special apprehension of reality may serve, as extreme cases serve to test the truth of some general geometrical theorem, to set our fundamental problem in a clearer light."
- Grensted, Rev. L.W., Psychology and God, pages 203-204. [151]

It is here that the East steps in and shows the system whereby illumination can be gained, and produces for our consideration an ordered process and method which carries man to the state of identification with the soul. It posits - as a result of that identification and its subsequent effects - an illuminated perception and an intuitive apprehension of Truth. It is, we are told in the eastern Scriptures, the mind that reflects the light and knowledge of the omniscient soul, and the brain that, in its turn, is illuminated. This is only possible when the interplay between the three factors of soul, mind and brain is complete. Patanjali tells us in his Yoga Sutras,

"The Lord of the mind, the perceiver, is ever aware of the constantly active mind stuff."
"Because it can be seen or cognized it is apparent that the mind is not the source of illumination."
"When the spiritual intelligence which stands alone and freed from objects, reflects itself in the mind stuff, then comes awareness of the Self."
"Then the mind stuff, reflecting both the knower and the knowable, becomes omniscient."
"The mind then tends towards discrimination and increasing illumination."
"When the means to union have been steadily practiced, and when impurity has been overcome, enlightenment takes place, leading up to full illumination."
"The knowledge (or illumination) achieved is sevenfold and is attained progressively."
- Bailey, Alice, The Light of the Soul, pages 408, 409, 415, 416, 422, 178, 172.

Patanjali goes on later to point out that, after proper concentration, meditation and contemplation, [152] "that which obscures the light is gradually removed, and he adds:

"When that which veils the light is done away with, then comes the state of being called discarnate (or disembodied) freed from the modification of the thinking principle. This is the state of illumination."
- Bailey, Alice, The Light of the Soul, pages 118, 240.

It is perhaps possible, therefore, that when Christ enjoined upon His disciples that they should "let their light shine," He was not speaking symbolically at all, but was urging upon them the necessity of arriving at a state of freedom from the body consciousness in order that the light of the soul could pour through the mind into the brain and produce that illumination which enables a man to say: "In that Light shall we see light."

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