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Letters on Occult Meditation - Letter V - Dangers to be avoided in Meditation
Dangers inherent in the Personality

Let us, therefore, consider first those dangers most closely connected with the man's own personal life, and which are dependent upon his three bodies, their separate condition and their interrelation. This subject is so vast that it will not be possible to do more than indicate certain results due to certain conditions; each man presents a different problem, and each body causes a different reaction, and each totality in his threefold nature is affected by its alignment or by its lack of alignment. Let us take each body separately at first and then in their threefold totality. In this way some specific facts may be imparted.

I begin with the mental body as it is for the student of meditation the one that is the center of his effort and the one that controls the two lower bodies. The true student seeks to draw his consciousness away from his physical body, and away from the emotional body into the realms of thought, or into the lower mind body. Having achieved that much, he seeks then to transcend that lower mind and to become polarized in the causal body, using the antahkarana, as the channel of communication between the higher and the lower, the physical brain being then but the quiescent receiver of that which is transmitted from the Ego or Higher Self, and later from the threefold Spirit, the Triad. The work to be done necessitates a working from the periphery inwards, and a consequent centralization. Having achieved that [95] centralization and focused in that stable center - with the solar plexus and the heart quiet - a point within the head, one of the three major head centers, becomes the center of consciousness, the ray of a man's ego deciding which that center will be. This is the method of the majority. Then that point having been reached, a man will follow the meditation of his ray as indicated to you in general terms earlier in these letters. In each case, the mental body becomes the center of consciousness and then later - through practice - it becomes the point of departure for the transference of the polarization into a higher body, first the causal and later into the Triad.

The dangers to the mental body are very real and must be guarded against. They are paramountly two, and might be termed the dangers of inhibition and those due to the atrophying of the body.

a. Let us take first the dangers due to inhibition. Some people, by their sheer strength of will, reach a point in meditation where they directly inhibit the processes of the lower mind. If you picture the mental body as an ovoid, surrounding the physical body and extending much beyond it, and if you realize that through that ovoid are constantly circulating thought-forms of various kinds (the content of the man's mind and the thoughts of his environing associates) so that the mental egg is colored by predominant attractions and diversified by many geometrical forms, all in a state of flux or circulation, you may get some idea of what I mean. When a man proceeds to quiet that mental body by inhibiting or suppressing all movement, he will arrest these thought-forms within the mental ovoid, he will stop circulation and may bring about results of a serious nature. This inhibition has a direct effect upon the physical brain, and is the cause of much of the fatigue complained of after a period [96] of meditation. If persisted in, it may lead to disaster. All beginners do it more or less, and until they learn to guard against it they will stultify their progress and retard development. The results may indeed be more serious.

What are the right methods of thought elimination? How can placidity of mind be achieved without the use of the will in inhibition? The following suggestions may be found useful and helpful:

  • The student having withdrawn his consciousness on to the mental plane at some point within the brain, let him sound forth the Sacred Word gently three times. Let him picture the breath sent forth as a clarifying, expurgating force that in its progress onward sweeps away the thought-forms circulating within the mental ovoid. Let him then at the close realize that the mental body is free and clear of thought-forms.
  • Let him then raise his vibration as high as may be, and aim next at lifting it clear of the mental body into the causal, and so bring in the direct action of the Ego upon the lower three vehicles. As long as he can keep his consciousness high and as long as he holds a vibration that is that of the Ego on its own plane, the mental body will be held in a state of equilibrium. It will hold no lower vibration analogous to the thought-forms circulating in its environment. The force of the Ego will circulate throughout the mental ovoid, permitting no extraneous geometrical units to find entrance, and the dangers of inhibition will be offset. Even more will be done, - the mental matter will in process of time become so attuned to the higher vibration that in due course that vibration will become stable and will automatically throw off all that is lower and undesirable.

b. What do I mean by the dangers of atrophy? [97] Simply this: Some natures become so polarized on the mental plane that they run the risk of breaking connection with the two lower vehicles. These lower bodies exist for purposes of contact, for the apprehension of knowledge on the lower planes and for reasons of experience in order that the content of the causal body may be increased. Therefore it will be apparent to you that if the indwelling consciousness comes no lower than the mental plane and neglects the body of emotions and the dense physical, two things will result. The lower vehicles will be neglected and useless and fail in their purposes, atrophying and dying from the point of view of the Ego, whilst the causal body itself will not be built as desired and so time will be lost. The mental body will be rendered useless likewise, and will become a thing of selfish content, of no use in the world and of little value. A dreamer whose dreams never materialize, a builder who stores up material which he never employs, a visionary whose visions are of no use to gods or men, is a clog upon the system universal. He is in great danger of atrophying.

Meditation should have the effect of bringing all three bodies more completely under the control of the Ego, and lead to a coordination and an alignment, to a rounding-out and a symmetrical development that will make a man of real use to the Great Ones. When a man realizes that mayhap be is too much centralized on the mental plane he should definitely aim at making all his mental experiences, aspirations and endeavors matters of fact on the physical plane, bringing the two lower vehicles under control of the mental and making them the instruments of his mental creations and activities.

I have here indicated two of the dangers most frequently met with, and I advise all students of occultism [98] to remember that all the three bodies are of equal importance in carrying out the work to be done, both from the egoic standpoint and from the standpoint of service to the race. Let them aim at a wise coordination in expression, that will enable the God within to manifest for the aiding of the world.

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