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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Some Problems of Psychology
Problems arising from Meditation, and its Result: Illumination

I would like first of all to point out that when I use the word meditation in this place I am using it in only one of its connotations. The intense mental focusing, producing undue mental emphasis, wrong attitudes and anti-social living, is also a form of meditation, but it is meditation carried forward entirely within the periphery of the small area of a particular man's mind. This is a statement of fact and of importance. This restricts him and leaves out all contact with other areas of mental perception and induces an intense one-pointed mental stimulation of a particularly powerful kind, and which has no outlet except towards the brain, via the desire nature. The meditation to which we shall refer in this part of our study relates to a mental focusing and attitude which attempts to [464] relate itself to that which lies beyond the individual's mental world. It is part of an effort to put him in touch with a world of being and phenomena which lie beyond. I am phrasing this in this manner so as to convey the ideas of expansion, of inclusion, and of enlightenment. Such expansions and attitude should not render a man anti-social or incarcerate him in a prison of his own making. They should make him a citizen of the world; they should induce in him a desire to blend and fuse with his fellowmen; they should awaken him to the higher issues and realities; they should pour light into the dark places of his life and into that of humanity as a whole. The problems which arise as a result of illumination are practically the reverse of those just considered. Nevertheless, they in their turn constitute real problems and, because the intelligent people of the world are learning to meditate today on a large scale they must be faced. Many things are inducing this turning towards meditation. Sometimes it is the force of economic circumstances which forces a man to concentrate, and concentration is one of the first steps in the meditation process; sometimes it is brought about through the urge to creative work which leads a man in pursuit of some theme or subject for creative presentation. Whether men are interested only academically in the power of thought, or whether, through a touch of vision, they become students of true meditation (either mystical or occult) the fact remains that serious problems arise, dangerous conditions appear, and the lower nature evidences in every case the need for adaptation to the higher impulses or demands, or suffers consequences of a difficult nature if it fails to do so. The necessary adjustments must be made or psychological, psychopathic, and nervous difficulties will inevitably supervene.

Again, let me remind you that the reason for this is that the man sees and knows and realizes more than he is able to [465] do simply as a personality, functioning in the three worlds, and so oblivious in any true sense to the world of soul activity. He has "let in" energies which are stronger than the forces of which he is usually aware. They are intrinsically strong, though not yet apparently the stronger, owing to the well established habits and the ancient rhythms of the personality forces with which the soul energy is brought into conflict. This necessarily leads to strain and difficulty, and unless there is a proper understanding of this battle, dire results may be produced, and with these the trained psychologist must be prepared to deal.

With the type and nature of the concentration, with the theme of the meditation, I will not deal, for I am considering here only results and not the methods for producing them. Suffice it to say, that the man's efforts in meditation have opened a door through which he can pass at will (and eventually with facility) into a new world of phenomena, of directed activity, and of different ideals. He has unlatched a window through which light can pour in, revealing that which is, and always has been, existent within the consciousness of man, and throwing illumination into the dark places of his life; into other lives; and into the environment in which he moves. He has released within himself a world of sound and of impressions which are at first so new and so different that he does not know what to make of them. His situation becomes one requiring much care and balanced adjustment.

It will be obvious to you that if there is a good mental equipment and a sound educational training, that there will be a balancing sense of proportion, an interpretative capacity, patience to wait till right understanding can be developed, and a happy sense of humor. Where, however, these are not present, there will be (according to the type and the [466] sense of vision) bewilderment, a failure to comprehend what is happening, undue emphasis upon personality reactions and phenomena, pride in achievement, a tremendous sense of inferiority, too much speech, a running hither and thither for explanation, comfort, assurance, and a sense of comradeship, or perhaps a complete breakdown of the mental forces, or the disruption of the brain cells through the strain to which they have been subjected.

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