|The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 4 - Illumination|
|18. The Lord of the mind, the perceiver, is ever
aware of the constantly active mind stuff, the effect-producing cause.
We have in this sutra a statement which is the key to effective and safe meditation work. The one who meditates is the soul, the ego, and his work is a positive activity, not a negative state or condition. Much of the work done under the name of meditation is dangerous and useless, because that which seeks control is the man on the physical plane, and his endeavor is concentrated on the attainment of brain stillness. He seeks to quiet the brain cells, and render them negative, quiescent and receptive. True meditation, however, concerns the soul and the mind; the receptivity of the brain is an automatic reaction to the higher condition. In Raja Yoga, therefore,  contact with the true man, the ego, and the power to "still the modifications of the thinking principle" must precede all brain activity and responsiveness. The Lord of the mind is ever awake, ever aware of the tendency of the mind to respond to force currents, produced by thought or desire; he therefore watches every emanation of force issuing from him, and controls every thought and impulse so that only those streams of energy and those impulses originate with him which are in line with the purpose held constantly in view, and in pursuance of the group plan.
It must never be forgotten that all egos work in group formation and under the direct control of those Thinkers who embody the divine logoic thought. The work every aspirant, therefore, seeks to do is to bring the brain consciousness in line with that thought which reaches him via his own soul-consciousness, and in the consummation of this, the divine plan is gradually worked out into manifestation on the physical plane.
As each son of God brings the active mind stuff for which he is responsible into such a condition that it becomes responsive to divine thought, then will the plan of the ages be carried to a conclusion. No man need despair because of his seeming incompetence or apparent littleness for to each of us is entrusted some part of the plan and we must work it out; without our cooperation there comes delay and confusion. Sometimes there comes much trouble when a tiny part of a big mechanism refuses to function correctly. Frequently much adjustment is needed before the complete machine  can go forward successfully in its work, and in the realm of human cooperation an analogous situation is apt to occur.
The constantly active mind stuff can respond to the lower vibration, emanating from the threefold lower man and to the higher impulse, issuing from the soul, as the intermediary between spirit and matter. The soul is ever aware of this condition; man on the physical plane is blind to it or just awaking to the dual possibility. The work of the aspirant to union is to swing the mind stuff gradually and increasingly under the higher impulse and away from the lower vibration, until the responsiveness to the higher becomes a stable condition and the vibratory activity of the lower man fades and dies out.
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