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From Intellect to Intuition - Chapter Nine - The Practice of Meditation
The ancient science of Meditation, the royal road to Union," as it has been called, might equally well be entitled the science of coordination. We have already, through the medium of the evolutionary process, learnt to coordinate the emotional-feeling-desire nature and the physical body, so much so that the states are automatic and often irresistible; the physical body is now simply an automaton, the creature of desire - high or low - good or bad - as the case may be. Many are now coordinating the mind with these two, and, through our present widespread educational systems, we are welding into a coherent unity that sumtotal which constitutes a human being: the mental, emotional and physical natures. Through concentration and the earlier aspects of the meditation work, this coordination is rapidly hastened, and is followed later by the unifying with the trinity of man of another factor, - the factor of the soul. This has always been present, just as mind is always present in human beings (who are not idiots), but it is quiescent until the right time comes and the needed work has been done. It is all a question of consciousness. Professor Max Müller in his book Theosophy or Psychological Religion says that:

"We must remember that the fundamental principle of the Vedanta-philosophy was not 'Thou art He,' but 'Thou art That!' and it was not Thou wilt be, but Thou art. This 'Thou art' expresses something that is, that has been, and [205] always will be, not something that has still to be achieved, or is to follow, for instance, after death... By true knowledge the individual soul does not become Brahman, but is Brahman, as soon as it knows what it really is, and always has been."
- Müller, Max, Theosophy or Psychological Religion, page 284.

St. Paul emphasizes the same truth when he speaks of "Christ in me, the hope of glory." Through the trained and focused mind this indwelling Reality is known, and the Three in One and the One in Three are proven facts in the natural evolution of the life of God in man.

It becomes apparent, therefore, that the answer to our first question is as follows:

  • First: We accept the hypothesis that there is a soul, and that that soul can be cognized by the man who can train and control his mind.
  • Second: Upon the basis of this hypothesis, we begin to coordinate the three aspects of the lower nature, and to unify mind, emotion and physical body into an organized and comprehended Whole. This we do through the practice of concentration.
  • Third: As concentration merges into meditation (which is the act of prolonged concentration) the imposition of the will of the soul, upon the mind, begins to be felt. Little by little the soul, the mind and the brain are swept into a close rapport. First, the mind controls the brain and the emotional nature. Then the soul controls the mind. The first is brought about through concentration. The second through meditation.

Out of this sequence of activities, the interested investigator will awaken to the realization that there is a real work to be done and that the primary [206] qualification that he needs is perseverance. Here it might be remarked that two things aid in the work of coordination: First, the endeavor to gain control of the mind, through the endeavor to live a concentrated life. The life of consecration and dedication, which is so distinctive of the mystic, gives place to the life of concentration and meditation - distinctive of the knower. The organization of the thought life at all times everywhere, and, secondly, the practice of concentration, regularly, every day, at some set time, if possible, make for the one-pointed attitude, and these two together spell success. The former takes some time, but it can be entered upon at once. The latter requirement of stated concentration periods, can also be entered upon, but its success depends upon two things: regularity and persistence. The success of the former depends upon persistence largely, but also upon the use of the imagination. Through the imagination, we assume the attitude of the Onlooker, the Perceiver. We imagine ourselves to be the One who is thinking (not feeling), and we steadily guide our thoughts at all times along certain chosen lines, making ourselves think what we choose to think and refusing entrance to those thoughts we choose to exclude, not by the method of inhibition, but by the method of a dynamic interest in something else. We refuse to permit our minds to range the world at will, or to be swung into activity by our feelings and emotions, or by the thought currents in the world around us. We force ourselves to pay attention to all that we do, whether [207] it is reading a book, going about our business in home or office, social life or profession, talking to a friend, or whatever may be the activity of the moment. Should the occupation be such that it can be carried forward instinctively and call for no active use of thought, we can choose a line of mental activity or chain of reasoning and follow it out understandingly, whilst our hands or eyes are busy with the work to be done.

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