Meditation: A Way of Life
The idea of meditation is running like wildfire throughout the volatile mind stuff of the human race. And "fire"it is when occult in technique, as it sets pure energy in motion and relates consciousness to life.
To many in the western world the practice of meditation may seem a new and modern way of mental escape from personal disillusionment and limitation, sordid or unsympathetic environment or a rejected way of life. Yet in many other parts of the world meditation in some form has always been an integral part of the practices and traditions of various religions and religious sects.
Today it seems that the psychological and social ferment in the world has opened the door to subjective or spiritual impulses and practices, particularly among occidental peoples, practices that are possibly new to us, yet ancient in origin and use; and there has been no lack of teachers, many from eastern countries, ready and eager to pioneer into the new terrain and to till new mental fields to receive the ideas they wish to implant.
In the midst of all this "gold rush" into the human psyche, some of the imparted teaching is truly spiritual, purely motivated and constructive in effect; and some of it is materialistic, commercially oriented and motivated either by personal profit, power or expediency or by the glamours of genuine self-delusion.
The effects of it all can pose quite a problem to the seeking minds and hungry hearts of the spiritually starved, eager for light, for a new faith and a better way of life and inexperienced in the fundamental postulates of the Ancient Wisdom, which underlie all true mental activity of an occult or esoteric nature.
For the most part, until recently the unfamiliar word "meditation" has conjured up in the western mind either the image of a contemplative recluse seated crosslegged and motionless on a high mountain ledge, probably somewhere in India, Tibet or the Far East; or of a wandering mendicant, certainly dirty, emaciated, bearded, loinclothed and turbaned, socially unproductive and indeed, a parasite on society were he not accepted as a "holy" man to be fed and succoured.
More recently many western groups and societies have emerged, which promise mankind almost instant health, wealth, power, prestige, popularity and possessions by following certain simple rules in the control and use of mind and on payment of a set fee.
Those who are capable of more spiritual depth and less self-centredness, however, are learning to identify the ring of truth and the thread of gold in all that comes within their mental range and to follow the truth, leaving the dross behind. Until eventually some aspect of real teaching, bearing within its modern garb the unmistakable authenticity of the Ancient Wisdom, impresses itself on the mind and opens out a whole new world to be explored and absorbed by the receptive consciousness. This experience marks the beginning of the Path of conscious Return and integral to the whole long journey from start to finish is the technique of occult meditation as a specific means of contacting energies and giving them the right expression in the daily life.
Students of the occult way have been warned of the dangers of "spiritual selfishness". And the first motivating impulse for most of us as we set our feet on the Path of Return is undoubtedly selfish. We want, for our own satisfaction, to know, to experience, to make progress, to become wise and loving and lighted, to know and meet and be accepted by a Master, because these things are important and necessary to us. If this personal motivation is not transcended reasonably soon, spiritual growth can slow down or stop, except perhaps in the fertile imagination of our own beglamoured minds caught up in the thoughtforms of the emotional plane.
The safety valve in spiritual work and training, the life-line and guarantee of continuous expansion, lies in a form of occult meditation which reflects the meditation of the soul on its own plane. And the soul on its own plane is concerned with group service of the Plan, since there is one soul and one Plan for humanity, and with the intention to bring the human soul and the separated personality into a synchronised condition of unity and fusion. In other words, occult meditation is concerned with the use of the human mind by the soul to initiate action in line with the Plan for humanity. And within this Plan-centred process, the individual meditating unit is stimulated, lighted and given right opportunity to contribute the individual richness each one contains in potential. True occult meditation is practiced, therefore, as a service to the human race. This is a far cry from the mystical union sought by the medieval Christians who desired spiritual union with God for its own sake and for its ecstatic effect within the personal consciousness.
Today the soul of humanity is in process of taking control of the personality way of life. The long, long process leading towards the soul-infusion of the human race has been initiated. The practice of meditation can now serve to speed and implement the process in quite a new way. Until now the technique of occult meditation (that is, co-peration with the energy flow of the planetary Life rhythm of inhalation/higher interlude/exhalation/lower interlude) has been the service of the pioneering few; now it can become a way of life for many.
We learn to meditate in rhythm with the soul, which is in constant meditation, which is group conscious, which is neither mystical nor limited but is related to the univesal Life or energy aspect of the planet as it underlies consciousness and empowers the tendency to love; and which has as its objective, the stimulation of receptive minds and open hearts towards identification with the one Life.
The objective of occult meditation today is the achievement of a perfect balance between the vertical life of the soul on its Own plane and the horizontal life of the soul-infused personality within the world of men. "Knowing the ways of God and treading the ways of men", the modern disciple, as a mediator meditating the Plan into existence, co-operates with planetary purposes.