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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 4 - Illumination
29. The man who develops non-attachment even in his aspiration after illumination and isolated unity becomes aware, eventually, of the over-shadowing cloud of spiritual knowledge.

It is difficult for the neophyte to be impersonal where his own spiritual unfoldment is concerned. Yet the very earnestness of his aspiration may serve as a hindrance, and one of the first things he has to learn is to go forward along the path, adhering to the rules, following the practices employing the means and steadily fulfiling the law and at the same time to be occupied with the vision and with service and not with himself. It is so easy to be the victim of high desire and so busy with the reactions and emotions of the aspiring lower man that rapidly one is enmeshed afresh in the toils of the versatile psychic nature.

Non-attachment to all forms of sensuous perception, the high as well as the low, has to be developed.

Many people, when they are transferring from the path of feeling and the devotional heart approach (the mystic line) on to the path of intellectual control, - the approach via the head, the occult method, - complain that the old moments of joy and bliss, experienced in meditation, [425] have gone. The system now followed seems arid, dry and unsatisfactory. But joy and peace are registrations of the emotional nature and in no way affect reality. It is immaterial from the standpoint of the soul whether its reflection, man in incarnation, is happy or not, blissful or sad, contented or in trouble. Only one thing matters, the attainment of soul contact, the arriving at union (conscious and intelligent) with the One. This union may work out in the physical plane consciousness as a sense of peace and joy; it must work out in increased capacity to serve the race and to serve it more efficiently. The feelings of the disciple are of small moment; his understanding and usefulness as a channel for spiritual force are of importance. It should be remembered that on the path neither our virtues nor our vices count (except in so far as we escape from the pairs of opposites). That alone counts which impels us forward on that path which "shineth more and more until the day be with us."

When a man can detach his eyes from all that concerns the physical, emotional and mental, and will raise his eyes and direct them away from himself, he will become aware of "the over-shadowing cloud of spiritual knowledge," or of the "raincloud of knowable things," as it has also been translated.

Here we have, esoterically, and symbolically given, the indication that there lies before the initiate (advanced as he is) a still further progress, another veil to be penetrated. He has made a [426] great at-one-ment and has unified soul and body. He stands (as regards the three worlds) at the stage called that of isolated unity. But another union becomes possible, that of the soul, with the spirit. The Master must become the Christ and to do this the raincloud of spiritual knowledge must be reached, used and penetrated. What lies on the other side of that veil which hides the Father it is needless f or us to consider. In our New Testament, when the Father communicated with the Christ, the voice issued out of a cloud. (See Matt., XVII.)

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