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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 1 - The Problem of Union
46. All this constitutes meditation with seed.

The last four sutras have dealt with those forms of concentration which have been built up around an object. That object may concern that which is subtle and intangible from the physical plane standpoint, nevertheless (from the stand point of the real or spiritual man) the fact of the not-self is involved. He is concerned with that which (in any of its aspects) may lead him into realms which are not primarily those of pure spirit. We need, however, to remember here that all these four stages are necessary and must precede any more spiritual realization. The mind of man is not in itself so constituted that it can apprehend the things of spirit. As he passes from one stage of "seeded" meditation to another, he ever approaches nearer to the seat of all knowledge, and will eventually contact that upon which [101] he is meditating. Then the nature of the thinker himself, as pure spirit, will be apprehended, and the steps, stages, objects, seeds, organs, forms (subtle or gross) will all be lost sight of and only spirit be known. Both feeling and mind will then be transcended and only God Himself be seen; the lower vibrations will no longer be sensed; color will no longer be seen; only light will be known; vision will be lost sight of, and the sound or word will alone be heard. The "eye of Shiva" will be left and with that the seer will identify himself.

In the above fourfold elimination, the stages of realization are hinted at - those stages which lead a man out of the world of form into the realm of the formless. Students will find it interesting to compare the four stages whereby "seeded meditation" progresses, with the four above. It might be pointed out also that in any meditation wherein consciousness is recognized, then an object is present; in any meditation wherein the perceiver is aware of that which is to be seen, then there is as yet a condition of form perception. Only when all forms and the field of knowledge itself are lost sight of, and the knower recognizes himself for what he essentially is (being lost in contemplation of his own pure spiritual nature), can ideal, formless, seedless, objectless meditation be arrived at. It is here that the language of the occultist and mystic both fail, for language deals with objectivity and its relation to spirit. Therefore this higher condition of meditation is likened to a sleep or trance condition, [102] but is the antithesis of physical sleep or the trance of the medium, for in it the spiritual man is fully awake on those planes which transcend definition. He is aware, in a full sense, of his direct Spiritual Identity.

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