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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 3 - Union achieved and its Results
52. Intuitive knowledge is developed through the use of the discriminative faculty when there is one-pointed concentration upon moments and their continuous succession.

It has been said that a complete understanding of the Law of Cycles would bring man to a high degree of initiation. This Law of Periodicity underlies all the processes of nature and its study would lead a man out of the world of objective effects into that of subjective causes. It has also been said that time itself is simply a succession of states of consciousness and this is true of an atom, a man or a God. It is this truth which underlies the great systems of mental science and Christian Science in the occident, and many of the [363] oriental philosophies. This sutra gives the key to the relation between matter and mind, or between substance and its informing soul, and this can be realized when the words of a Hindu commentator are considered. He says:

As an atom is a substance in which minuteness reaches its limit, so a moment is a division of time in which minuteness reaches its limit. Or a moment is that much of time which an atom takes in leaving the position in space it occupies and reaching the next point. The succession of moments is the non-cessation of the glow thereof.

When we can realize that an atom and a moment are one and the same, and that back of these lies the Realizer or Cognizer of both, we have got the clue to all states of consciousness itself, and to the nature of energy. We shall also have reached a true understanding of the Eternal Now, and a just appreciation of the significance of the past, the present, and the future. This, we are told here, can be gained by concentrated meditation upon time and its units.

It might be appropriate here to point out that the various kinds of concentration dealt with in this third book are not applicable or appropriate to all types of aspirants. Men are found to exist in seven main types, with distinguishing characteristics and natures and with definite qualities predisposing them to certain definite aspects of the Path of Return. Certain types with mathematical bent and with a tendency to divine geometry and space and time concepts, will with wisdom follow the method of developing intuitive [364] knowledge, dealt with in this sutra; others will find it of great difficulty and would wisely turn to other forms of concentrated meditation.

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