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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 3 - Union achieved and its Results
17. The Sound (or word), that which it denotes (the object) and the embodied spiritual essence (or idea) are usually confused in the mind of the perceiver. By concentrated meditation on these three aspects comes an (intuitive) comprehension of the sound uttered by all forms of life.

This is one of the most important sutras in the book, and holds the key to the object of the entire meditation process. This is to reveal or to unveil to the perceiver or spiritual man, the true nature of the self, the second aspect, and the correspondence to the second aspect in all forms of subhuman life, as well as to put him en rapport with the second aspect in all superhuman forms. Thus it concerns the subjective side of all manifestation and deals with those forces which in every form constitute the consciousness aspect, which concern the Christ or buddhic principle and which are the direct cause of objective manifestation and the revelation of spirit through the medium of form.

This is the AUM. First the breath, then the word and all that is, appeared.

Just as long as the great Existence who is the sum total of all forms and of all states of consciousness continues to sound the cosmic AUM, just so long will the objective tangible solar system persist.

The following synonyms in connection with this sutra must be borne in mind if clarity of thought is to be achieved: [272]

 
I. Spiritual Essence II. The Sound or Word III. The Object
1. Spirit 1. The Soul. 1. Body
2. Pneuma 2. The Psyche. 2. Form.
3. The Father. Shiva 3. The Son. Vishnu. 3. The Holy Spirit. Brahma.
4. The Monad. The One. 4. The cosmic Christ. 4. The vehicle of life and of incarnation.
5. The eternal Will or Purpose. 5. Eternal Love-Wisdom. 5. Eternal activity and intelligence.
6. The great Breath. 6. The AUM. 6. The Worlds.
7. Life. 7. Consciousness Aspect. 7. Activity Aspect.
8. Synthesizing Energy. 8. Attractive Force. 8. Matter.
9. First Aspect. 9. Second Aspect. 9. Third Aspect.
 
In the mind of man these three aspects are confused and that which is outward and objective is usually recognized as reality. This is the great maya or illusion and can only be dissipated when the perceiver can distinguish the three great aspects in every form, his own included. When the second aspect, the soul, the middle or mediating principle is known, the nature of the form is also known, and the essential nature of spirit can be inferred. The immediate field of knowledge, however, which the yogi has to master is that of the second aspect. He must arrive at the Sound or Word which brought every form into manifestation, and which is the result of the breath, the essence or spirit.

"In the beginning was the Word and the Word [273] was with God and the Word was God. All things were made by Him..." (John I, 1, 2.)

Here, in the Christian Bible, is the substance of the entire teaching, and in the significance of the three letters of the Sacred Word, AUM, lies the clue to the entire cosmic process. The meditation process when duly and correctly carried out reveals therefore the second or soul aspect, and the Sound, or Word (the Voice of the Silence) can then be heard.

Once heard and the work carried steadily forward, the realm of consciousness is revealed and the yogi is en rapport with the second aspect of his own nature and with the second aspect in every form. This is the basis of the whole science of the soul and leads a man to know his own soul or psyche and the psyche in every form of divine life. It is the foundation for the entire science of psychism, both in its higher and lower aspects.

When a man is a lower psychic he is aware of, and responds to the soul aspect of the material forms and the third or Brahma aspect (the body), dominates, for every atom of matter has a soul. This concerns all that is subhuman.

When he responds to the higher correspondence of this, to the reality of which the lower is but the shadow, he is in touch with the Christ consciousness, with the soul of his being which is one with the soul in all the superhuman kingdoms.

In connection with this, two things must be remembered. If he is a lower psychic he is in touch with the second aspect of the lower man, the astral body, the middle principle in the lower [274] man, linking the mental body and the etheric. He is, therefore, en rapport with all that can be contacted on that plane.

If, however, he is a higher psychic he is en rapport with the second aspect of divine manifestation, the ego or soul on its own plane, mediating between and linking the monad with the personality, spirit with the body.

It is interesting here to note that a clue to the truth of this can be found in the manifestations of lower psychism such as are seen in the average mediumistic seance and the ordinary type of spiritualism. Contact with the astral plane is made through that great center, the solar plexus which links the higher three centers and the lower. It accounts also for the fact that flowers are such a feature in materializations at seances, for the vegetable kingdom is the middle kingdom of the three subhuman kingdoms, mineral, vegetable, and animal. The explanation as to the prevalence of Indian guides is also found here, for they are the shells and powerful thought-forms left by the second of the three strictly human races, Lemurian, Atlantean and Aryan. No Lemurian shells or thought-forms are left now, but many Atlantean shells are still to be found preserved through the use of certain forms of Atlantean magic.

By concentrated meditation upon the distinction between these aspects there will eventually come a hearing of the Voice of the Silence and contact with a man's own second aspect. He will know himself as the "Word made flesh" and will recognize himself as the AUM. [275]

When this is the case he will then hear the word in other units of the human family, and will awaken to a recognition of the sound, as it is emanated by all forms in all the kingdoms of nature. The realm of the soul will stand open to him and this, when it includes recognition of the sound in all the four kingdoms, will lead him to know himself as Master. Soul knowledge and the power to work with the soul of all things in the three worlds is the distinctive mark of the Adept.

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