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From Intellect to Intuition - Chapter Nine - The Practice of Meditation
Therefore, from a purely mundane point of view, it is useful to learn to meditate. Who shall say whether an increased efficiency in living and in service is not just as much a step on the path of spiritual progress as any of the visions of the mystic? The spiritual results of the mental application which our Western business world demonstrates may, in the last analysis, be as vital a contribution [202] to the sumtotal of spiritual endeavor as any effects which may be noted in the world of organized religious effort. Confucius taught us, centuries ago, that implements of civilization were highly spiritual in nature, for they were the results of ideas, and Hu Shih tells us in that interesting symposium, Whither Mankind,

"...that civilization which makes the fullest possible use of human ingenuity and intelligence in search of truth in order to control nature and transform matter for the service of mankind, to liberate the human spirit from ignorance, superstition, and slavery to the forces of nature, and to reform social and political institutions for the benefit of the greatest number - such a civilization is highly idealistic and spiritual."
- Beard, Charles A., Whither Mankind, page 41.

Our idea as to what constitutes spirituality has steadily grown. Through the use of desire, feeling and the reactions of the emotional nature, we have seen many thousands of human beings arrive at the point where they have been driven to transmute desire into aspiration, feeling into sensitivity to the things of the spirit, and love of self into love of God. Thus the mystic emerges.

Through the use of the mind in the business world, in professional work, in science and in art, we have seen two amazing things occur: Organized big business, with its selfish interests and material ideas, has, notwithstanding, been brought to a condition where it is group-conscious; group interplay and the interests of the greatest number are being for [203] the first time seriously considered. These are purely spiritual results; they indicate a growing soul awareness, and are the faint indications of the coming brotherhood of souls. Applied science in all fields has now been so developed that it has entered the realm of energy and of pure metaphysics. The study of matter has landed us in the realm of mysticism and of transcendentalism. Science and Religion are joining hands in the world of the unseen and intangible.

These are steps in the right direction. When the mental faculties have been developed racially through our Occidental technique in the business world (a vast school of concentration), a transmutation analogous to that which occurs in the realm of the desire nature, must inevitably take place, and has frequently done so. The mind can then be reoriented to the truer and higher values, and focused in a direction other than that of material living. Thus the knower will emerge.

Therefore, any one who is not purely emotional, who has a fair education, and who is willing to work with perseverance, can approach the study of meditation with good courage. He can begin to organize his life so that the first steps can be taken on the path towards illumination, and this organization is one of the most difficult of steps. It is well to remember that all initial steps are hard, for the habits and rhythms of many years have to be offset. But once these have been taken and mastered, the work [204] becomes easier. It is far harder to learn to read, than it is to master a difficult book.

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