To Energy Enhancement Meditation Homepage     Previous     Next      Index      Table of Contents
From Intellect to Intuition - Chapter Four - The Objectives in Meditation

The Objectives in Meditation

"Union is achieved through the subjugation of the psychic nature, and the restraint of the mind-stuff. When this has been accomplished, the Yogi knows himself as he is in reality."
- Patanjali

Assuming the correctness of the theories outlined in the preceding chapters, it might be of value if we were to state clearly toward what definite goal the educated man aims as he enters on the way of meditation, and in what way meditation differs from what the Christian calls prayer. Clear thinking on both these points is essential if we want to make practical progress, for the task ahead of the investigator is an arduous one; he will need more than a passing enthusiasm and a temporary endeavor if he is to master this science and become proficient in its technique. Let us consider the last point first, and contrast the two methods of prayer and of meditation. Prayer can perhaps be best expressed by certain lines, by J. Montgomery, well known to all of us.

Prayer is the soul's sincere desire
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire,
That trembles in the breast.

The thought held is that of desire, and of request; and the source of the desire is the heart. But it must be borne in mind that the heart's desire may be either for the acquisition of those possessions [66] which the personality desires, or for those heavenly and transcendental possessions which the soul craves. Whichever it may be, the basic idea is demanding what is wanted, and the anticipation factor enters in; also something is eventually acquired, should the faith of the petitioner be sufficiently strong.

Meditation differs from prayer in that it is primarily an orientation of the mind, which orientation brings about realizations and recognitions which become formulated knowledge. Much confusion exists in the minds of many on this distinction and Bianco of Siena was really speaking of meditation when he said: "What is prayer but upward turning of the mind to God direct."

The masses of the people, polarized in their desire nature, and being predominantly of a mystical tendency, ask for what they need; they wrestle in prayer for the acquiring of longed-for virtues; they beg a listening Deity to assuage their troubles; they intercede for those near and dear to them; they importune high Heaven for those possessions - material or spiritual - which they feel essential to their happiness. They aspire and long for qualities, for circumstances and for those conditioning factors which will make their lives easier, or release them for what they believe will be freedom to be of greater usefulness; they agonize in prayer for relief from illness and disease, and seek to make God answer their request for revelation. But it is asking, demanding and expecting which are the main characteristics of [67] prayer, with desire dominant, and the heart involved. It is the emotional nature and the feeling part of man which seeks after that which is needed, and the range of needs is wide and real. It is the heart approach.

Four degrees of prayer might be recognized:

  1. Prayer for material benefits, and for help.
  2. Prayer for virtues and for graces of character.
  3. Prayer for others, intercessory prayer.
  4. Prayer for illumination and for divine realization.

It will be seen from a study of these four types of prayer that all have their roots in the desire nature, and that the fourth brings the aspirant to the point where prayer can end and meditation begin. Seneca must have realized this when he said: "No prayer is needed, except to ask for a good state of mind, for health (wholeness) of soul."

To Energy Enhancement Meditation Homepage     Previous     Next      Index      Table of Contents
Last updated Monday, July 6, 1998           Energy Enhancement Meditation. All rights reserved.
Search Search web