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From Intellect to Intuition - Chapter Nine - The Practice of Meditation
A third question arises at this point: What really happens to the aspirant, psychologically and physiologically, in meditation? The answer is: A great deal. Psychologically speaking, the mind becomes controlled, and passes under the domination of the soul; at the same time there is no negation of the ordinary mental faculties. They can be used more easily and the mind is keener than ever before. There is a capacity to think with clarity. The aspirant discovers that besides being able to record impressions from the phenomenal world, he is able to register also impressions from that of spirit. He is mental in two directions, and the mind becomes a cohering, unifying agency. The emotional nature, in [211] its turn is controlled by the mind, and is rendered still and untroubled, and, therefore, presents no barrier to the inflow of spiritual knowledge to the brain. When these two effects have been produced certain changes take place in the mechanism of thought and awareness in the human head - so the eastern knowers tell us, and so the evidence seems to indicate. Advanced thinkers in the West, as we have seen earlier in this book, place the higher mental faculties and the seat of the intuition in the higher brain, and the lower mental faculties and the higher emotional reactions in the lower brain. This is in line with the eastern teaching that the soul (with the higher knowledge and the faculty of intuitional perception) has its seat in a center of force in the region of the pineal gland, whereas the personality has its seat in a center of force in the region of the pituitary body.

The hypothesis upon which the newer school in the educational field will eventually proceed (if the theories propounded in this book have any basis in fact) might be expressed in the following propositions:

One: The center of energy through which the soul works is in the upper brain. During meditation, if effective, energy from the soul pours into the brain, and has a definite effect upon the nervous system. If, however, the mind is not controlled and the emotional nature dominates (as in the case of the pure mystic) the effect makes itself felt primarily in the feeling apparatus, the emotional states of being. [212] When the mind is the dominant factor, then the thought apparatus, in the higher brain, is swung into an organized activity. The man acquires a new capacity to think clearly, synthetically and potently as he discovers new realms of knowledge.

Two: In the region of the pituitary body, we have the seat of the lower faculties, when coordinated in the higher type of human being. Here they are coordinated and synthesized, and - as we have been told by certain reputable schools of psychologists and endocrinologists - here are to be found the emotions and the more concrete aspects of the mind (growing out of racial habits and inherited instincts, and, hence, calling for no exercise of the creative or higher mind). This was the theme of my earlier book, The Soul and Its Mechanism, and cannot be enlarged upon here.

Three: When the personality - the sumtotal of physical, emotional and mental states - is of a high order, then the pituitary body functions with increased efficiency, and the vibration of the center of energy in its neighborhood becomes very powerful. It should be noted that according to this theory, when the personality is of a low order, when the reactions are mainly instinctual and the mind is practically non-functioning, then the center of energy is in the neighborhood of the solar plexus, and the man is more animal in nature.

Four: The center in the region of the pineal gland, and the higher brain, are brought into activity through learning to focus the attentive consciousness [213] in the head. In the Oriental books this is called by the interesting term "right withdrawal" or "right abstraction." This means the development of the capacity to subjugate the outward-going tendencies of the five senses. So the aspirant is taught the right withdrawal or abstraction of the consciousness which is outgoing towards the world of phenomena, and must learn to center his consciousness in the great central station in the head from whence energy can be consciously distributed as he participates in the great work, from whence he can make a contact with the realm of the soul, and in which he can receive the messages and impressions which emanate from that realm. This is a definite stage of achievement and is not simply a symbolic way of expressing one-pointed interest.

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