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CHAPTER TEN - THE NEED FOR CARE IN MEDITATION

CHAPTER TEN

THE NEED FOR CARE IN MEDITATION

"A clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for one's co-disciple, a readiness to give and receive advice and instruction,...a willing obedience to the behests of Truth,...a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principles, a valiant defence of those who are unjustly attacked, and a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the secret science depicts; these are the golden stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the Temple of Divine Wisdom."

H. P. BLAVATSKY

[237]

THE meditation work outline in the previous chapter constitutes a good concentration exercise for the beginner and will eventually lead him — if he possesses persistence — to the genuine practice of meditation. A concentration that lasts one minute is difficult to achieve but is a real step upon the way to meditation, which is the act of prolonged concentration. The outline will help to produce the condition of active attention. Many such outlines are available, and can be drawn up, by those who know the rules and who are good psychologists, to suit the needs of differing types of people. A few such outlines will be found at the close of the book, but it is obvious that in a book of this description the more advanced practices and the more intensive work have no place. They can be wisely carried forward only when the earlier stages have been mastered.

It should be noted that any thought process, followed with undeviating attention, which leads "inward" from the outer form to the energy or life aspect of that form and which enables the thinker to be identified with it, will serve a purpose similar to a technical outline. Any noun, for instance, when properly understood as the name of a thing and, [238] therefore, of a form, will serve as a seed thought in meditation. The form will be studied as to its quality and purpose, and all can in time be traced back to an idea, and all true ideas emanate from the realm of the soul. If the right attitude, therefore is assumed and the processes outlined in Chapter Five are followed, the thinker will find himself led out of the phenomenal world into the world of Divine Realities. As practice in concentration is gained, the consideration of the outer form, and of its quality and aspect can be omitted, and the act of concentration, having become (through persistence and practice) automatic and instantaneous, the student can start with the purpose aspect, or with the underlying idea which brought the outer form into being. This entire concept has been expressed for us by Plutarch in these words:

"An idea is a Being incorporeal, which has no subsistence of itself, but gives figure and form unto shapeless matter and becomes the cause of the manifestation." (De Placit. Philos.)

These are significant words and hold much information for the student of this ancient technique of meditation.

The goal of meditation, from the angle of the mind, might therefore, be stated to be the attainment of the world of ideas; from the angle of the soul, it is the identification of the individual soul with the world originator of all ideas. Through mind control, we become aware of the ideas which lie back of our [239] world evolution, and the manifestation (through matter) of the form that they take. Through meditation, we contact a part of the Plan; we see the blue prints of the Great Architect of the Universe, and are given opportunity to participate in their emergence into objective being through our contact with, and right interpretation of, the ideas we succeed in contacting in meditation.

It will, therefore, be apparent how necessary it is that the aspirant should be possessed of a well trained and well-stocked mind, if he is to interpret with accuracy that which he sees; it is evident that he should be able to formulate with clarity the thoughts with which he seeks to clothe the nebulous ideas, and in turn, through this clear thinking, impress the waiting brain. It may be true that "God" works out, in many cases, His plans through the agency of human beings, but He needs intelligent agents; He needs men and women who are not more stupid than those chosen by the leaders of the race to participate in their endeavors. Just to love God is not entirely sufficient. It is a step in the right direction, but devotion, unbalanced by good sense and brains, leads to much stupid action and much unconsidered effort. God looks for those who have trained and highly developed minds, and fine brains (to act as sensitive recorders of the higher impressions), so that the work may be carried forward rightly. Perhaps it might be said that the saints and mystics have revealed to us the nature of the Divine Life, and the quality of the ideas which govern His [240] activities in the world of phenomena, and that the knowers of the world and the intellectuals of the race must, in their turn, reveal to the world the synthetic Plan and the Divine Purpose. Thus shall we find the thread of gold which will guide us out of the maze of our present chaotic world condition into the light of truth and of understanding.

It should be remembered that we live in a world of energies and of forces. The power of public opinion (emotional as it usually is, and frequently set in motion by some basic ideas, formulated by thinkers, good, bad and indifferent) is well known, and is a form of energy, producing big results. The devastating effect of uncontrolled emotion, for instance, is equally well known, and is again a demonstration of force. The expression, so constantly used, "the forces of nature," shows us that since man began to think at all he has known that all is energy. The scientists tell us that everything is a manifestation of energy. There is nothing but energy, pouring through us, and working in us, and in it we are immersed. All forms are built of atoms, we are told, and atoms are units of energy. Man, therefore, is himself energy, formed of energy units, living in a world similarly constituted and working with energy all the time.

The fundamental law governing all meditation work is the ancient one formulated by the seers in India centuries ago, that "energy follows thought." From the realm of ideas (or of soul knowledge) energy pours through. The "public opinion" of the [241] soul realm seeps little by little into the dense minds of men, and to it can be traced all the forward movements of the present time, all organization of general welfare and of group betterment; all religious concepts and all outer knowledge of the Causes which produce objectivity. These ideas assume a mental form, first of all, and some mind grasps them and ponders upon them, or passes them on to some group of thinkers, and the work of "thinking through" goes forward. Then the quality of desire begins to enter in, and there is an emotional reaction to the thoughts which the ideas have evoked, and the form is gradually built. Thus the work goes on and the energy of the soul and of the mind and of the desire nature correlate with the energy of matter, and a definite form comes into being. Every form, whether it be the form of a sewing machine, of a social order or of a solar system, can be posited as the materialization of the thought of some thinker, or of some group of thinkers. It is a form of creative work, and the same laws of emergence into being have governed the entire process, and all the work has been concentrated with energy of some type or another. The student of meditation must, therefore, remember that he is always working with energies, and that these varying energies will have a definite effect upon the energies of which he himself is composed (if such an expression is permissible).

It will be apparent, therefore, that the man who is learning to meditate must endeavor to do two things:

First: He must learn to "bring through" into his [242] mind and then interpret correctly what he has seen and contacted, and later transmit it correctly and accurately to the attentive and impressionable brain. Thus the man, in physical waking consciousness becomes aware of the things of the Kingdom of God.

Second: He must learn the nature of the energies he is contacting, and train himself to utilize them correctly. A practical illustration of this can be given here, and one universally recognized. We are swept by anger or irritation. Instinctively we begin to shout. Why? Emotional energy has us in its grip. By learning to control the energy of the spoken word we begin to master that particular type of emotional energy.

In these two ideas of right interpretation and right transmission, and of right use of energy, the whole story of the meditation work is summed up. It becomes apparent also what is the problem confronting the student, and why all wise teachers of the technique of meditation urge upon their pupils the need of care and slow procedure.

It is essential that we realize that meditation can be very dangerous work and may land a man in serious difficulty. It can be destructive and disrupting; it can do more harm than good and lead a man towards catastrophe if he enters upon the Way of the Knower without a proper understanding of what he is doing and where it will lead him. At the same time, it can be, indeed, the "work of salvation" and lead a man out of all his difficulties; it can be constructive and liberating, and guide the man by right [243] and sane methods along the way that leads from darkness to light, from death to immortality, and from the unreal to the Real.

It might be of value here if we considered these two points a little more closely.

We have seen that the deep need of the aspirant is to see that he succeeds in bringing through into his physical brain-consciousness, with accuracy, the phenomena of the spiritual world which he may succeed in contacting. The probability is, however, that it will be a long time before he can penetrate into that world at all. Therefore, he has to learn to discriminate between the fields of awareness which may open up before him as he becomes more sensitive, and know the nature of what he is seeing and hearing. Let us look for a moment at some of the phenomena of the lower mind which students are so constantly misinterpreting.

They record, for instance, a rapturous encounter with the Christ or with some Great Soul, who appeared to them when meditating, smiled at them, and told them to "be of good cheer. You are making good progress. You are a chosen worker and to you truth shall be revealed," or something equally fatuous. They thrill to the event; they record it in their diary and they write joyously to me that the occurrence is a most momentous happening in their lives. It may be, if they handle it right, and learn its lesson. What has really happened? Has the student really seen the Christ? Here we remember the truism that "thoughts are things" and that all [244] thoughts take form. Two things have produced the occurrence, if it has really happened and is not the result of a vivid and overstimulated imagination. The power of the creative imagination is only just beginning to be sensed, and it is quite possible to see just what we desire to see, even if it is not there at all. The desire of the aspirant to make progress, and his strenuous effort, has forced him to become awake or aware upon the psychic plane, the plane of vain imaginings, of desire and its illusory fulfillments. In that realm, he contacts a thought-form of the Christ or of some great and revered Teacher. The world of illusion is full of these thought-forms, constructed by the loving thoughts of men down the ages, and the man, working through his own psychic nature (the line of least resistance for the majority) comes in touch with such a thought-form, mistakes it for the real, and imagines it saying to him all the things he wants said. He wants encouragement; he seeks, like so many, the justification of phenomena for his endeavour; he quiets the brain and gently slips into a psychic and negative condition. Whilst in that condition, his imagination begins to function, and he sees what he wants to see, and he hears the magnificent words of recognition for which he hankers. It does not occur to him that the Guides of the race are too busy with group activities and with the training of the advanced thinkers and leaders of humanity, through whom They can work, to spend any time with the children of the race. The latter may be left, with complete success, to the tuition of [245] less highly evolved beings. Nor does it occur to them that, should they be so advanced and so highly evolved as to have won the privilege of making such a contact, the Master would not waste His time and theirs by patting them on the back and pronouncing high sounding but inane platitudes. He would improve the brief moment by pointing out some weakness to be eliminated, or some constructive work to be undertaken.

Again, some "force" — a word frequently used — or some entity comes to the student, as he meditates, and outlines to him some great work that he has been chosen to do; some world message that he has to give and to which the entire world is to listen, or some great invention he is to present some day to a waiting world if he continues to be good. Gladly he grasps the mantle of the prophet, and with unshaken belief in his capacity, his ability to influence thousands, even if he is relatively impotent to influence those around him at present, he prepares to carry out his divine mission. In one year, three "World Teachers," who have been studying meditation in some school or other, made application to the group with whom I am associated. This they did, not because they wanted to carry their meditation forward, but because they felt we would be happy to have them "feed" into the group some of the many hundreds they were to be instrumental in saving. I had to decline the honor, and they disappeared, and nothing has since been heard of them. The world still awaits them. Of their sincerity there is absolutely [246] no doubt. They believed what they said. Neither is there any doubt of their being hallucinated. All of us are in danger of being deluded in just this way, when we start to meditate, if the discriminating mind is not on the watch, or if we have a secret longing for spiritual prominence, or suffer from an inferiority complex which must be offset. Another cause for the delusion lies in the fact that these people have perhaps made a real contact with the soul. They have had a flash of its omniscience and are swept off their feet by the very wonder of the contacted vision and knowledge. But they overestimate their capacity; the instrument of the soul is totally unable to measure up to requirements; there are aspects of their life upon which the light may not shine; there are secret faults which they know but cannot break; there is the desire for fame and power; there is ambition. They are not yet the soul in functioning activity. They have simply had a vision of a possibility. Hence they crash through their failure to see the personality as it is.

Yet, in spite of the truth of the above, let us always remember that it is the privilege of the true knower to work in the closest co-operation with the Guides of the race, but that the method of co-operation is not the one which deceived the aspirant. Only when we have begun consciously to function as souls, and only when we are busy with self-forgetting service — a service that is self-initiated, and carried forward because the soul is group conscious, and it is in the nature of the soul to serve — will we make such a contact. [247] The Christ is the Son of God in full functioning activity, the "Eldest in a great family of brothers." He has a consciousness which is universal in its scope, and through Him the love of God pours, and the purposes of God are working to fruition. He is the Master of all the Masters, and the Teacher alike of Angels and of men. When He and those associated with Him find an aspirant who is engrossed with the work to be done in self-discipline, who is faithful and conscientious in his endeavor, they look to see if the light within him has reached the point of "the shining forth." If they find one who is so anxious to serve his fellowmen that he is looking for no phenomenal contacts for himself and is not interested in being patted on the back and having his pride and self-satisfaction fed in this manner, then they may reveal to him the work that he can do in his own sphere of influence to further the Divine Plan. But he will have to begin where he is; he will have to make his demonstration first of all in his home or office; he will have to prove himself in the small things before he can be safely trusted with the big. The ludicrous arrogance of some of the writings which record the psychic contacts of the writers is almost beyond belief. They certainly lack a sense of humor at least.

The point that every student of meditation should always bear in mind is that all knowledge and instructions are conveyed to the mind and brain by a man's own soul; it is the soul that illumines his way. The Teachers and Masters of the race work through [248] souls. This cannot be too often reiterated. Therefore, the prime duty of every aspirant should be the perfect performance of meditation and service and discipline, and not the making of contact with some great Soul. It is less interesting, but preserves him from illusion. If he does this, the higher results will take care of themselves. Should an apparition appear to him, therefore, and should such an entity make platitudinous comments, he will use the same judgment as he would in business or ordinary life with a man who came and said to him, "A great work lies in your hands, you are doing well. We see and know, etc., etc." He would probably laugh and continue with the activity or duty of the moment.

Another effect of meditation, and a very prevalent one at this time, is the flood of so-called inspirational writings which are coming out, with high claims made for them, everywhere. Men and women are busily writing automatically, inspirationally, and prophetically, and giving to the public the result of their labors. These writings are distinguished by certain uniform features and can be explained in several ways. They emanate from many different interior sources. They are curiously alike; they indicate a lovely aspirational spirit; they say no new thing, but repeat what has often been said before; they are full of statements and phrases which link them up with the writings of the mystics or with the Christian teaching; they may contain prophecies as to future events (usually dire and dreadful, and seldom, if ever, of a happy nature) they carry much [249] comfort to the writer and make him feel he is a great and wonderful soul; and, fortunately, they are generally innocuous. Their name is legion, and they become exceedingly tiresome after one has toiled through a few of the manuscripts. Some few are definitely destructive. They foretell great and immediate cataclysms, and breed fear in the world. Even suppose these predictions are true, one is tempted to ask whether anything is gained by frightening the public and whether it is not more constructive to build the realization of their immortal destiny into people than to tell them they are going down in a tidal wave, or will be submerged in the catastrophe which is going to wipe their particular city off the map. What are these writings — good and innocuous, or harmful and destructive and subversive of public order? They fall roughly into two classes. First, there are the writings of those sensitive souls who can tune in — again on psychic levels — with the mass of aspirations, longings and ideas of the mystics of all times, or, equally, them can tune in on the fears of the ages, the racial and hereditary fears, or the fears engendered by world conditions prevailing at this time. These they record and write down and hand around to their friends. Under this category come the writings of those who are sensitive in a more mental manner, and can tune in telepathically with the mental world; they are responsive to the mind of some powerful thinker, or to the massed concepts of the religious world; they register, on mental levels, the fear and hatred and separativeness [250] of the masses. Whether the material they record is good or bad, whether it is happy, which it seldom is, or unhappy in nature, and whether it carries a vibration of fear and foreboding, it is all psychic stuff, and it in no way indicates the revealing quality of the soul. The prophecies in the Books of Daniel and Revelations have been responsible for the building up of a thought-form of fear and of terror which has led to much writing of a psychic nature, and the exclusiveness of organized religion has led many to separate themselves off from the rest of humanity and to regard themselves as the elect of the Lord, with the mark of the Christ on their foreheads and, therefore, to take the position that they are safe and the rest of the world must perish, unless they can be brought to interpret truth and the future in the exclusive terms of the anointed and select.

Secondly, these writings can indicate a process of self unfoldment, and a method whereby the introverted mystic can become the extrovert. The writer may be tapping the wealth of the subconscious knowledge which is his, and which he has accumulated through his reading, thinking and contacts. This mind has recorded and stored up much of which he remains for years totally unaware. Then he begins to meditate and suddenly taps the depths of his own nature and penetrates to the resources of his own subconsciousness and to information which has dropped below the threshold of his ordinary consciousness. He begins to write assiduously. Why he should regard these thoughts as emanating from the [251] Christ, or from some great Teacher is a puzzle. It probably feeds his pride — again quite unconsciously — to feel he is a channel through which the Christ can communicate. I am not referring here to the mass of automatic writings which are so popular now. I am supposing that the student of meditation refuses to have anything to do with this kind of dangerous work. No true aspirant, in his efforts to be master of himself, will hand over the reins of government and submit to the control of any entity, incarnate or discarnate; neither will he render up his hand blindly for any force to use. The dangers of this kind of work are becoming too well known and have landed so many people in the psychopathic wards, or necessitated their being freed from obsessions or from "idées fixes", that there is no need for me to enlarge upon it.

How, it might be pertinently asked, can one can distinguish between the truly inspired writings of the true knower, and this mass of literature which is flooding the minds of the public at this time? First, I should say that the true inspirational writing will be entirely without self-reference; it will sound a note of love and will be free from hatreds and racial barriers; it will convey definite knowledge and carry a note of authority by its appeal to the intuition; it will respond to the law of correspondences, and fit into the world picture; above all, it will carry the impress of Divine Wisdom and lead the race on a little further. As to its mechanics; the writers of such a type of teaching will have a real understanding [252] of the methods they employ. They will have mastered the

technique of the process; they will be able to guard themselves from illusion, and from the intrusion of personalities, and will have a working knowledge of the apparatus with which they are working. If they are receiving teachings from discarnate entities, and from great Masters, they will know how to receive it, and will then know all about the agent transmitting the teaching.

True servers of the race and those who have contacted the world of the soul, through meditation, have no time for platitudes; these can safely be left to the parrots of the world; they are too busy serving constructively to care to pick up mantles which are only a veil to pride; they are not interested in the good opinion of any person, incarnate or discarnate, and care only for the approval of their own soul, and are vitally interested in the pioneering work of the world. They will do nothing to feed hatred and separativeness or to foster fear. There are numbers of people in the world only too ready to do that. They will fan the flame of love wherever they go; they will teach brotherhood in its true inclusiveness, and not a system which will teach brotherhood to a few and leave the rest outside. They will recognize all men as sons of God and will not set themselves upon a pedestal of righteousness and knowledge from whence they proclaim the truth as they see it and consign those to destruction who do not see as they do, or do not act as they feel they should, placing them outside the pale; they will not [253] regard one race as better than another, though they may recognize the evolutionary plan and the work that each race has to do. They will, in short, occupy themselves by building up the characters of men, and not waste their time in tearing down personalities, and dealing with effects and with results. They work in the world of causes, and enunciate principles. The world is full of those who tear down, and who feed the present hatreds, and who widen the divisions between races and groups, between rich and poor. Let the true student of meditation remember that when he makes a contact with his soul, and becomes at-one with Reality, he is entering into a state of group awareness, which breaks down all barriers, and leaves none of the sons of God outside its field of knowledge.

It is possible to mention other forms of illusion, for the first world the aspirant contacts seems usually to be the psychic world, and that is the world of illusion. This world of illusion has its uses, and entering it is a most valuable experience, provided that the rule of love and of non-self-reference is carried there, and that all contacts made are subjected to the discriminating mind and ordinary commonsense. So many aspirants lack a sense of humor, and take themselves far too seriously. They seem to leave behind them their good sense, when they enter a new field of phenomena. It is useful to record what is seen and heard and then to forget about it until such time as we have begun to function in the kingdom of the soul; then we will be no longer interested [254] in its recollection. We must also avoid personalities and pride, for they have no place in the life of the soul, which is governed by principles and love to all beings. If these things are developed, there is no danger of any student of meditation being side-tracked, or delayed; he will inevitably enter some day into that world of which it is said "eye hath not seen or ear heard, the things which God hath revealed to them that love him", the time being dependent upon his persistence and patience.

The second type of difficulty which we should consider is the one that can be interpreted in terms of energy.

Students frequently complain of over-stimulation and of such an increased energy that they find themselves unable to cope with it. They tell us that, when attempting to meditate, they have an inclination to weep, or to be unduly restless; they have periods of intense activity wherein they find themselves running hither and thither serving, talking, writing and working so that they end by undergoing a violent reaction, sometimes to the point of nervous collapse. Others complain of pains in the head, of headaches immediately after meditating, or of an uncomfortable vibration in the forehead, or the throat. They also find themselves unable to sleep as well as heretofore. They are, in fact, over-stimulated. The nervous system is being affected through the medium of fine and subtle "nadis" which underly the nerves and to which we earlier referred. These troubles are the troubles of the neophyte in the science of meditation [255] and must be dealt with carefully. Rightly handled, they will soon disappear, but if they are ignored they may lead to serious trouble. The earnest and interested aspirant, at this stage, is himself a difficulty, for he is so anxious to master the technique of meditation, that he ignores the rules given him and drives himself, in spite of all the teacher may say or the warnings he may receive. Instead of adhering to the fifteen minute formula which is given him, he endeavors to force the pace and do thirty minutes; instead of following his outline, which is so arranged that it takes about fifteen minutes to complete, he tries to hold the concentration as long as possible, and at the height of his effort, forgetting that he is learning to concentrate, and not to meditate, at this stage of his training. So he suffers, and has a nervous breakdown, or a spell of insomnia, and his teacher gets the blame and the science is regarded as dangerous. Yet all the time, he himself is the one in fault.

When some of these primary troubles occur, the meditation work should be temporarily stopped, or slowed down. If the condition is not sufficiently serious to warrant the complete cessation of the work, a close observation should be made of where (in the human body) the inflowing energy seems to go. Energy is tapped in meditation, and it will find its way to some part or other of the mechanism.

In mental types, or in the case of those who have already some facility in "centering the consciousness" in the head, it is the brain cells which become [256] over-stimulated, leading to headaches, to sleeplessness, to a sense of fulness, or to a disturbing vibration between the eyes or at the very top of the head. Sometimes there is a sense of blinding light, like a sudden flash of lightning or of electricity, registered when the eyes are closed, and in the dark equally as in the light.

When this is the case, the meditation period should be reduced from fifteen minutes to five, or meditation should be practiced on alternate days, until such time as the brain cells have adjusted themselves to the new rhythm and the increased stimulation. There is no need for anxiety, if wise judgment is used, and obedience to the advice of the teacher is present, but should the student at this time begin to push his meditation, or to increase the time period, he may lay up for himself a good deal of trouble. Again common-sense comes into play, and with the reduction of the time, and with the practice of a little meditation every day, it should soon be possible to bring the work back again to normal. We have had students who have suffered this way, but who, by obedience to suggested rules, and the use of common-sense, are now doing their thirty minutes' or an hour's meditation daily.

In emotional types, the trouble is first sensed in the region of the solar plexus. The student finds himself prone to irritation and to anxiety and worry; also, particularly in the case of women, there may be found a disposition to cry easily. Sometimes there is a tendency to nausea, for there is a close [257] relation between the emotional nature and the stomach, as is evidenced by frequency of vomiting in moments of shock, or fright, or intense emotion. The same rules apply as in the first set of cases: common-sense and a careful and slower use of the meditation process.

Another result of over-stimulation might be mentioned. People find themselves becoming over-sensitive. The senses work overtime and all their reactions are more acute. They "take on" the conditions, physical or psychic, of those with whom they live; they find themselves "wide open" to the thoughts and moods of other people. The cure for this is not to lessen the meditation periods — these should be continued as per schedule, — but to become more mentally interested in life, in the thought world, in some subject which will tend to develop the mental capacity and so bring about the ability to live in the head and not in the emotional region. Focussed attention to life and its problems, and some potent mental occupation will effect a cure. It is for this reason that wise teachers of meditation parallel the meditation work with some course of reading and study, so as to preserve the balance of their students. A rounded out development is needed always, and a trained mind should accompany growth in the spiritual life.

There is a third category of undesirable results which should not be omitted. Many students of meditation complain that their sex life has been tremendously stimulated and is giving them much trouble. [258] We have come across such cases. On investigation, it will usually be found that these students are people whose animal nature is very strong, who have led an active and ill-regulated sex life, or whose thoughts are much engrossed with sex, even if the physical life is controlled. A strong mental complex as to sex is often discovered, and people who would regard it as wrong to lead an abnormal sex life, or to practice perversions, are mentally occupying themselves with sex or are discussing it all the time and letting it play an undue part in their thought life.

Some most worthy people have also a settled conviction that celibacy must always accompany the life of the spirit. May it not be possible that the true celibacy to which the ancient rules are intended to refer concerns the attitude of the soul, or spiritual man, to the world, the flesh and the devil, as our Christian Scriptures put it? May not the true celibacy have reference to our abstaining from all appearance of evil? This may in one man involve his abstaining from all sex relations in order to demonstrate to himself his control over the animal nature; in other cases, it may, for instance, involve refraining from all gossip and idle speech. There is nothing sinful in marriage and it is probably the way out for many who would otherwise lead an unduly active mental life where sex is concerned. It is needless, surely, to add here that the true student of meditation should not tolerate in his life promiscuous or illegitimate sexual relations. The aspirant to the [259] life of the spirit conforms not only to the laws of the spiritual kingdom but to the legalized customs of his age and time. He, therefore, regularizes his physical every day life so that the man in the street recognizes the morality, the uprightness and the correctness of his presentation to the world. A home that is based upon a true and happy relation between a man and a woman, upon mutual trust, co-operation and understanding, and in which the principles of spiritual living are emphasized, is one of the finest aids that can be given to the world at this time. A relation that is based on physical attraction and the gratification of the sex nature, and which has, as its primary objective, the prostitution of the physical nature to animal desire, is evil and wrong. If the goal of our effort is to demonstrate God immanent in form, then no level of consciousness is more intrinsically divine than another, and divinity can be expressed in all human relations. If a married man or woman cannot attain illumination and achieve the goal, then there is something wrong and divinity cannot express itself on one plane, at least, of expression; to put in terms that may sound blasphemous but which will enable us to grasp the futility of these reasonings: God is defeated in one part of His Kingdom.

This point has been enlarged upon because so many people, and particularly men, find that the animal nature requires attention when they begin to meditate. They discover within themselves uncontrolled desires, plus physiological effects which [260] cause them acute trouble and discouragement. A person may have a high aspiration and a strong urge towards spiritual living and yet have aspects of his nature still uncontrolled. The energy that pours in during meditation pours down through the mechanism and stimulates the entire sex apparatus. The weak point is always discovered and stimulated. The cure for this situation can be summed up in the words: — control of the thought life and transmutation. An intense mental preoccupation and interest should be cultivated in other directions than the line of least resistance — sex. There should be an endeavor at all times to keep the energy contacted in the head and to permit it to work out through creative activity of some kind. The eastern teaching tells us that energy, usually directed to the functioning of the sex life, has to be raised and carried to the head and throat, particularly the latter, as it is, we are told, the centre of creative work. To put it in western terms, this means that we learn to transmute the energy utilized in the procreative process or in sex thoughts and use it in the work of creative writing, in artistic endeavor, or in some expression of group activity. The tendency in modern times to find the one-pointed thinker and purely mental type evading marriage and as he frequently does leading a purely celibate life, may be a demonstration of the truth of the eastern position. It is causing a good deal of concern among those who study our falling birth rate. Transmutation is not surely the [261] death of an activity or a cessation of functioning on any level of consciousness for the sake of a higher. It is the right utilization of the various aspects of energy wherever the Self feels they should be used for the furthering of the ends of evolution, and the helping of the Plan. The mind, illumined by the soul, should be the controlling factor, and when we think straight, live straight, and raise all thoughts and energies into the "Heavenly places" we shall solve our problems through the development of a spiritual normality which is greatly needed at this time, particularly among aspirants and esoteric students.

It might be well also, before this chapter comes to a close, to refer to the dangers to which many are liable if they respond to the appeal of teachers for pupils to "sit for development." They are then taught to meditate upon some centre of energy, usually the solar plexus, sometimes the heart, curiously enough never the head. Meditating upon a centre is based upon the law that energy follows thought, and leads to the direct stimulation of that centre and the resultant demonstration of the particular characteristics for which these focal points — scattered throughout the human body — are responsible. As the majority of people function primarily through the collected energies that lie below the diaphragm (the sex energies and the emotional energies) their stimulation is most dangerous. In view of this, why take risks? Why not be warned by the experience of others? Why not learn to function as the spiritual [262] man from that point, so quaintly described by the Oriental writers, as "the throne between the eyebrows," and from that high place control all aspects of the lower nature, and guide the daily life in the ways of God.