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The Soul and its Mechanism - Conclusion
It becomes therefore practical for certain initial steps to be taken and these might be summarized as follows:
  1. A sane treatment of the physical body, utilizing the knowledge of the West, particularly with reference to preventive medicine and the general health of the endocrine system.
  2. An intellectual understanding and application of the basic facts of modern psychology and a sane psychoanalysis, thus arriving at a knowledge of the mechanism, mental, emotional and physical, through which the soul seeks expression.
  3. A recognition of the fact that, as the physical body is an automaton, responsive to and controlled by the desires and the emotional nature, so these emotional states of consciousness (extending all the way from love of food to love of God) may be controlled by the reasoning mind.
  4. Growing out of all this will come a study of the laws of mind, and thus the relationship between the mind and the brain may be understood and utilized. [134]

When these four points are grasped and their effect is felt in man's personality, we shall have the integrated and coordinated organism; the structure can then be regarded as ready for direction by the soul. The above stages must be understood, not as proceeding sequentially, but as going forward simultaneously. It is also apparent that perfect intellectual knowledge of the soul and of the world which that soul reveals is only possible to the man who has this outlined equipment. A sense of God, an appreciation of the true and beautiful, and a contact with the mystical vision is at all times possible to those whose heart center is awake and functioning. Such Lovers of God have existed through the ages; they feel, sense, love and adore, but the link between soul, mind and brain is lacking. When to this mystical equipment there is added the intellectual, then the head center is awakened, the pineal gland is no longer in an atrophied condition, but is known to be the seat of the soul and of the directing spiritual will. When both these centers are awakened we have the great outstanding spiritual personalities who work with consecrated heart and brain and set their seal on world thought. Hitherto the way of the mystic has been the way of the majority, and the way of the intellect has been for the few. But the race is now at the stage where, basing its hypothesis upon the mystical experiences of the many, it can go forward from feeling and adoration to knowledge, and from love of God into knowledge of God. [135]

This will be the case when the wisdom of the East is added to the knowledge of the West and the technique of the science of the soul is imposed upon our Western intellectual types. It is impossible to enlarge at length upon this technique. It might, however, be briefly described as being divided into eight stages which can be listed as follows:

  1. Control of our relations to others, summed up under the word harmlessness which is defined in the East by the Five Commandments. These are: Harmlessness, truth to all beings, abstention from theft, from incontinence and from avarice.
    - Bailey, Alice A., The Light of the Soul, p. 184.
  2. Purity of life as outlined in the Five Rules: Internal and external purification, contentment, fiery aspiration, spiritual reading and devotion to Ishvara (the divine Self).
    - Bailey, Alice A., The Light of the Soul, p. 187.
  3. Poise.
  4. Right control of the life force and hence direct action by the soul upon the etheric body. This control of energy and therefore of the centers and of the physical body is only possible after a man has achieved purity and poise. He is not permitted knowledge of the laws governing energy until such time as he has learned, through discipline, the control of the animal nature, and has reached a point where he is no longer swayed by moods and selfishness.
  5. Abstraction. A term which covers the power to center one's consciousness in the head and there [136] to function as a soul, or to withdraw the outgoing consciousness from things objective and tangible, and so turn it within.
  6. Attention or concentration. This is one-pointed living, and involves also the bringing the mind into activity in the place of the emotions. Thus the emotional and physical man are controlled by the focused mind.
  7. Meditation is prolonged attention or concentration and gives the power to focus the mind upon the soul and its concerns. This produces radical changes in the organism and substantiates the truth of the statement that, "as a man thinketh, so is he."
  8. Contemplation is the act of the soul in its own realm as it looks out over the forms and contacts the energies found in the fifth or spiritual kingdom in nature. This act is followed by the pouring down into the brain (by way of the controlled mind) of soul knowledge and energy. This activity of the soul produces what has been called illumination: it brings about the energizing of the entire man and awakens the centers in proper rhythm and progression.

This consciously directed spiritual energy playing through the vital body and the centers should, it is claimed, bring physical man and the endocrine system eventually into such a condition that we should have perfect health and therefore a perfect apparatus for soul expression. In this way we are taught that man can arrive at a definite knowledge of the soul, and can know himself to be "the deeper [137] Being," able to use his mechanism with definite purpose, and thus function as a soul.

A study of the lives of the great mystics, saints and adepts of both hemispheres will give much information about the phenomenal effects resulting from following the above method, even after we have eliminated much that savors of hallucination and psychopathic conditions. Forms of clairvoyance, of prevision and of telepathic communication, clairaudient faculties and the peculiar power to psychometrise are frequently seen. It should be remembered, however, that all these powers have their spiritual manifestations and also their lower. A. E. Powell says:

"There are, roughly, two main kinds of clairvoyance, the lower and the higher. The lower variety appears sporadically in undeveloped people, such as the savages of Central Africa, and is a sort of massive sensation vaguely belonging to the whole etheric body, rather than an exact and definite sense-perception communicated through a specialized organ. It is practically beyond man's control. The Etheric Double being in exceedingly close relationship with the nervous system, any action on one of them reacts speedily on the other. In the lower clairvoyance the corresponding nervous disturbance is almost entirely in the sympathetic system.

In more developed races the vague sensitiveness usually disappears as the mental faculties are developed. Later on, when the spiritual man begins to unfold, he regains clairvoyant power. This time, however, the faculty is precise and exact, under the control of the will, and exercised through a sense-organ. Any [138] nervous action set up is almost exclusively in the cerebro-spinal system.

The lower forms of psychism are most frequent in animals and very unintelligent human beings. Hysterical and ill-regulated psychism is due to the small development of the brain and the dominance of the sympathetic system, the large nucleated ganglionic cells in this system containing a very large proportion of etheric matter, and thus being easily affected by the coarser astral vibrations."
- Powell, A. E., The Etheric Double, pp. 102, 103.

It has been frequently noticed that cats and dogs and low-grade human beings can frequently see and hear that which the normal and more intelligent person fails to register. This faculty is, however, unconscious, and the man is frequently an hallucinated victim. The saint and seer likewise see and hear, but their powers are utilized at will and are entirely under their control. A large field for investigation in these matters lies open to all psychical investigators, and when the hypothesis of the vital body and the centers is admitted, much real knowledge may come.

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