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BOOK IV. - ILLUMINATION - Part 2

The second main line of thought involved in Sutra 15 is more difficult to express.  It lends colour and veracity to the contention of many thinkers that things exist and have form and activity only in so far as the mind of the thinker formulates them.  In other words, that through the modifications of our own thinking principle we build our own world, and create our own environment.  The inference, therefore, is that (given the one basic substance, spirit-matter) we weave it into forms by our own thought impulses.  Others perceive that which we see, because some of the modifications of their minds are analogous to ours and their reactions and impulses are similar [404] in some respects.  Yet no two people see an object in exactly the same way.  "Things" or forms of matter do exist; they are created or in process of creation and for them some mind or minds are responsible.  It becomes then a question as to who is responsible for the thought forms by which we are  surrounded.  Dvivedi's  commentary  and translation leans more to this second line of thought than does the paraphrase of the Tibetan, and it is of profit to study it, for in the approach of many minds to a problem, its magnitude can be appreciated, idle and light conclusions are avoided, and approximation to truth becomes possible.  The synthetic point of view is nearer to universal truth than is the specialized.  He says: "Though things are similar, the cause of mind and things is distinct in consequence of the difference of minds."  "The preceding considerations establish, in an indirect manner, the existence of things as objects external to the mind.  The Vijnanavadi-Buddhas who maintain that things are but the reflections of our thinking principle, would object to such a position.  The objection could not bear examination, for the existence of things apart from the thinking principle is certain.  Though there is, indeed, complete similarity among objects of the same class, still the way in which the objects affect the mind, and the way in which the mind is affected by them, are entirely distinct.  Hence objects exist  out  of  the  thinking  principle.  Though objects are similar they are not presented to different minds in the same light, which shows [405] that they are apart from the mind.  Again, we often hear more than one person saying that he has seen the same object as is seen by another.  This would prove that though the object is one, the cognizers are many.  This circumstance proves the distinction of the object and the mind.  Again the seer and the sight, i. e., the mind and the object or the instrument of knowledge and the object of knowledge cannot be one and the same, for then all distinctive knowledge will be impossible, which, however, is absurd.  To attempt a solution of this difficulty by saying that eternal vasana of the form of external objects is the cause of all our distinctive knowledge is useless, for that which has already spent itself cannot become the cause.  Hence objective existence must be granted as independent of the subject.  Nor should it be imagined how one substance (viz.  Prakriti) could produce in this case all the multifarious differences of our experience, for the three gunas and their various combinations in different degrees are enough to account for all that.  In the case of Yogins properly enlightened it is but proper that knowledge having produced in them supreme Vairagya they do not care for the gunas, which also assume a state of equilibrium and produce no effect."

The third line of thought deals more specifically with the realization aspect, or with the condition of awareness of the indwelling thinker and is therefore of immediate practical value to the student of Raja Yoga.  It involves certain questions which might be expressed as follows:

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1. On what level of being or of realization (for the thought is identical to the occult student) do I function?

2. Do I identify myself with the form or with the soul?

3. Which path am I following, the high way of the soul, or the low way of matter?

4. Am I in a transition period, wherein my realization is being transferred from the lower to the higher consciousness?

5. Though in the body, is it just my instrument, and am I awake on another plane of awareness?

These, and similar questions are of profound value to the aspirant, if asked sincerely and he builds and creates his own environment served truthfully, as in the presence of God and of the Master.

16. The many modifications of the one mind produce the diverse forms, which depend for existence upon those many mind impulses.

In these words, the whole concept is swung out of the realm of the particular into the kingdom of universals.  We are brought face to face with cosmic and solar impulses and the smallness and littleness of our individual problem becomes apparent.  Every form in manifestation is the result of God's thought; every objective vehicle through which the life impulses of the universe flow is produced and kept in objective manifestation through the steady flow of thought currents emanating from one stupendous cosmic thinker.  His mysterious ways, His secret hidden plan, the [407] great purpose towards which He is working in this solar system, is as yet not apparent to man.  However, as man's capacity to think in large terms, as his power to visualize the past as a whole, and to unify what knowledge he has of the life of God as it works through the kingdoms of nature, and as his understanding of the nature of consciousness grows, the will of God (based on loving activity) will become apparent.

The clue to the how and the why lies in man's comprehension of his own mental activities.  An appreciation of God's great thought form, a solar system and its maintenance, will grow as man comprehends his own thought forms and the way he builds and creates his own environment and colours his own life.  He constructs his own worlds by the power of his mental processes and the modifications of that fragment of the universal thinking principle which he has appropriated for his own use.

The solar Logos, God, let it be remembered, is the sum total of every state of consciousness or awareness.  Man,—humanity as a whole, or an individual unit—is part of that total.  The many minds, from the mind of the atom (recognized by science) to the mind of God Himself, through all grades of thinkers and stages of awareness, are responsible for every form found in our system.  As we work from the infinitely small to the infinitely great, from the microcosm to the macrocosm, a gradually expanding state of consciousness and a steadily increasing condition of awareness becomes apparent.  In this scale of development [408] three outstanding types of forms are found, as the result of mind;

1. The form of the atom, the true microcosm.

2. The form of man, the macrocosm for all the subhuman kingdom.

3. The form of God, a solar system, the macrocosm for man and all the superhuman stages.

All these forms, with all intermediate forms are dependent upon some life, endowed with the capacity to think, and through thought impulse to modify and influence sentient substance, and build it into forms.

17. These forms are cognized or not, according to the qualities latent in the perceiving consciousness.

This has been translated most ably by Charles Johnston in the words:

"An object is perceived or it is not perceived, according as the mind is, or is not, tinged with the colour of the object."

We see what we are ourselves; we become aware of that in other forms which is developed in ourselves.  We fail to see aspects of life because as yet in ourselves, those aspects are undeveloped and latent.  To illustrate: we fail to see the divine in our brother because as yet the divine in ourselves is uncontacted and unknown; the form aspect and its limitations are developed in us and the soul is so hidden that we only become aware of the form of our brother, and fail to see his soul.  The moment we contact our own soul and live by its light we see the soul of our brother, [409] become aware of his light and our entire approach to him is changed.

Herein lies the clue to our limitations.  Herein lies the promise of our success.  Latent faculty, when developed, will reveal to us a new world.  The hidden powers of the soul when brought to full expression will make us aware of a new world and reveal to us a scheme of life and a kingdom of being hitherto negated by us, because not seen.  Hence the need for every investigator of the mysteries of existence to bring to his search his full equipment, and hence the necessity therefore for this process of soul unfoldment to be carried forward and potential faculties to be developed if the truth in its fullness is ever to be realized.

18. The Lord of the mind, the perceiver, is ever aware of the constantly active mind stuff, the effect-producing cause.

We have in this sutra a statement which is the key to effective and safe meditation work.  The one who meditates is the soul, the ego, and his work is a positive activity, not a negative state or condition.  Much of the work done under the name of meditation is dangerous and useless, because that which seeks control is the man on the physical plane, and his endeavour is concentrated on the attainment of brain stillness.  He seeks to quiet the brain cells, and render them negative, quiescent and receptive.  True meditation, however, concerns the soul and the mind; the receptivity of the brain is an automatic reaction to the higher condition.  In Raja Yoga, therefore, contact [410] with the true man, the ego, and the power to "still the modifications of the thinking principle" must precede all brain activity and responsiveness.  The Lord of the mind is ever awake, ever aware of the tendency of the mind to respond to force currents, produced by thought or desire; he therefore watches every emanation of force issuing from him, and controls every thought and impulse so that only those streams of energy and those impulses originate with him which are in line with the purpose held constantly in view, and in pursuance of the group plan.

It must never be forgotten that all egos work in group formation and under the direct control of those Thinkers who embody the divine logoic thought.  The work every aspirant, therefore, seeks to do is to bring the brain consciousness in line with that thought which reaches him via his own soul-consciousness, and in the consummation of this, the divine plan is gradually worked out into manifestation on the physical plane.

As each son of God brings the active mind stuff for which he is responsible into such a condition that it becomes responsive to divine thought, then will the plan of the ages be carried to a conclusion.  No man need despair because of his seeming incompetence or apparent littleness for to each of us is entrusted some part of the plan and we must work it out; without our cooperation there comes delay and confusion.  Sometimes there comes much trouble when a tiny part of a big mechanism refuses to function correctly.  Frequently much adjustment is needed before the complete machine [411] can go forward successfully in its work, and in the realm of human cooperation an analogous situation is apt to occur.

The constantly active mind stuff can respond to the lower vibration, emanating from the three-fold lower man and to the higher impulse, issuing from the soul, as the intermediary between spirit and matter.  The soul is ever aware of this condition; man on the physical plane is blind to it or just awaking to the dual possibility.  The work of the aspirant to union is to swing the mind stuff gradually and increasingly under the higher impulse and away from the lower vibration, until the responsiveness to the higher becomes a stable condition and the vibratory activity of the lower man fades and dies out.

19. Because it can be seen or cognized, it is apparent that the mind is not the source of illumination.

This sutra and the two following give us a typical oriental approach to a very difficult problem, and this method of reasoning is not an easy one for western minds to grasp.  In the six schools of Hindu philosophy this whole problem of the source of creation and of the nature of the mind is dissected and discussed and so completely covered that practically all our modern schools can be regarded as outgrowths or logical sequential results of the varied Hindu positions.  The clue to the diversity of opinions on these two points may perhaps be found in the six types into which all human beings fall, for the seventh is but the synthesis [412] of them all and inclusive, not exclusive.

In the Yoga Sutras, the mind is relegated simply to the position of an instrument, of an intermediary, of a sensitive plate, registering either that which pours into it from above or that which affects it from below.  It has no personality of its own; it has no life or light of its own, except that which is inherent in all substance and therefore to be found in the atoms which constitute the mind stuff.  These latter, being along the same evolutionary line as the rest of the lower nature, swell the tide of material forces which seeks to hold the soul prisoner, and constitute the great illusion.

The mind, therefore, can be cognized in two directions: first, it can be known, recognized and seen by the thinker, the soul on its own plane, and secondly, it can be seen and known as a vehicle of the man on the physical plane.  For a long time man became that with which he identified himself to the exclusion of the true spiritual man, who can be known, contacted and obeyed once the mind is relegated to its rightful place as an instrument of knowledge.

A physical plane analogy may help here.  The eye is one of our major senses, that whereby we acquire knowledge, a medium through which we see.  We, however, do not make the mistake of regarding the eye itself as a source of light and as that which produces revelation.  We know it as an instrument which is responding to certain light vibrations whereby certain information is conveyed anent the physical plane to our brain, [413] that great receiving plate upon the physical plane.  To the soul, the mind acts also as an eye or a window through which information comes, but is not itself the source of light or illumination.

It is interesting here to note that as the brain and the mind became coordinated, (as was first the case in Lemurian days) the sense of sight was simultaneously developed.  As evolution proceeds, a higher coordination takes place, and the soul and the mind become at-oned.  Then, that organ of subtle vision (the third eye) begins to function, and instead of mind, brain, and two eyes, another triplicity supersedes and we have soul, mind and the third eye.  The brain, therefore, is not the source of illumination but becomes aware of the light of the soul and of what it reveals in the realm of the soul.  The third eye simultaneously develops and admits its possessor into the secrets of the subtler realms in the three worlds, so that the brain receives illumination, information and knowledge from two directions; from the soul via the mind, and from the subtler planes in the three worlds via the third eye.  It should be remembered here that the third eye reveals primarily the light to be found in the heart of every form of divine manifestation.

20. Neither can it know two objects simultaneously, itself and that which is external to itself.

None of the sheaths through which the soul functions has self-knowledge; they are only the channels through which knowledge is gained and [414] life experience undergone.  The mind does not know itself, for that would predicate self-consciousness, and therefore not having individual consciousness it is unable to say "this is I, myself, and this is external to me, and consequently the not-self."  It is simply another sense whereby information is gained and a further field of knowledge revealed.  It is naught but an instrument, as said before, capable of a dual function, registering contacts from one of two directions and transmitting that knowledge to the brain from the soul or to the soul from the lower man.  This must be meditated upon and the whole trend of one's endeavor be to bring that instrument into such a condition that it can be used to the best possible advantage.  This is what the three last means of yoga seek to do.  As this has been covered earlier it is needless to enlarge upon this here.

21. If knowledge of the mind (chitta) by a remoter mind is postulated, an infinite number of knowers must be inferred, and the sequence of memory reactions would tend to infinite confusion.

One of the explanations of the functions of the mind is to predicate its capacity to detach itself from itself and view itself as a thing apart.  In this way, it becomes a confusion of detached parts, remote from each other and leading (as the idea is carried forward to a logical conclusion) to a chaotic condition.  All this has risen from the refusal of orthodox thinkers along philosophical and mental [415] lines to admit the possibility of there being an entity, detached and apart from the mind who simply seeks to use it as a means to knowledge.  The problem has arisen very largely from the fact that this thinker cannot be known until the mind is developed; he can be sensed and felt by the mystic and the devotee but knowledge of him (in the usual significance of the term) is not available until the instrument of knowledge, the mind, has been developed.  Here is where Eastern knowledge comes in and clarifies the work so marvellously done by the mental and Christian scientists.  They have emphasized the fact of mind, individual and universal, and our debt to them is great.  The nature of mind, its purpose, control, its problems and processes are subjects of common discussion today whereas one hundred years ago this was not the case.  But with it all, much confusion remains as the result of our modern tendency to deify the mind and to regard it as the one important factor.  Eastern science comes to our rescue and says to us that back of the mind is the thinker, back of perception, the perceiver is to be found, and behind the object of observation lies the one who observes.  This perceiver, thinker and observer is the immortal imperishable ego, the soul in contemplation.

22. When the spiritual intelligence, which stands alone and freed from objects, reflects itself in the mind stuff, then comes awareness of the self.

This spiritual intelligence, which is the real [416] man, the Son of God, eternal in the Heavens, is known by many and varied names, according to the school of thought.  The appended list of synonyms is of value to the student, for it gives him a broader vision and an inclusive understanding, revealing to him the fact that the Sons of God, revealed or unrevealed, are everywhere to be found.

 

The spiritual Intelligence.

The inner Ruler

The Word made Flesh.

The Soul.

The second aspect.

The AUM.

The self-conscious Entity

The second Person.

The Thinker.

The Christ.

God in incarnation.

The Observer, Perceiver.

The Self

The Son of Mind.

The Form builder.

The higher Self.

The divine Manasaputra.

Force.

The Son of God.

The Agnishvattva

The Dweller in the body.

 

These and many other terms will be found scattered throughout the scriptures and literature of the world.  In no book, however, is the nature of the soul, whether macrocosmic (the cosmic Christ), or microcosmic (the individual Christ), so wonderfully portrayed as in the Bhagavad Gita and in the three books, the Bhagavad Gita, the New Testament and the Yoga Sutras is contained a complete picture of the soul and its unfoldment.

23. Then the mind stuff, reflecting both the knower and the knowable, becomes omniscient.

This sutra is in the nature of a summation and emphasizes the fact that the mind, being stilled and quiescent through the practise of concentration [417] and meditation, becomes the reflector of "that which is above and of that which lies below."  It is the transmitter of the knowledge of the self to the physical brain of the man in incarnation, and the transmitter also of all that which the self knows and perceives.  The field of knowledge is seen and known.  The knower is also perceived, and the "perception of all objects" becomes possible.  It becomes literally true, therefore, that for the yogin nothing remains hidden or unknown.  Information on all subjects becomes possible to him, for he has an instrument which he can use to ascertain that which the soul knows concerning the Kingdom of God, the realm of spiritual truth.  He can also enter into communication and convey to the soul that which is known to the man in physical incarnation.  Thus the knower, the field  of knowledge and knowledge itself are brought into conjunction and the medium of this union is the mind.

This is one great stage upon the path of return, and though in due time the intuition will supersede the mind, and direct spiritual perception take the place of mental perception, yet this stage is an advanced and important one, and opens the door to direct illumination.  Nothing need now hinder the downflow of spiritual force and wisdom into the brain, for the entire lower threefold man has been purified and dominated, and the physical, emotional and mental bodies form simply a channel for the divine light, and constitute the vehicle through which the life and love of God may manifest.

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24. The mind stuff also, reflecting as it does an infinity of mind impressions, becomes the instrument of the Self and acts as a unifying agent.

Nothing remains for the spiritual man to do in connection with this purified lower self but to learn to use his instrument, the mind, and through it the other two bodies are directed, controlled and utilized.  Through the eight means of yoga his instrument has been discovered, developed and mastered and must now be brought into active use, and employed in three ways.

  1. As a vehicle for the life of the soul.
  2. In the service of the Hierarchy.
  3. In cooperation with the plan of evolution.

In Book I.  Sutra 41, we find these words:  "To him whose Vrittis (modifications of the substance of the mind) are entirely controlled there eventuates a state of identity with, and similarity to, that which is realized.  The knower, knowledge and the field of knowledge become one, just as the crystal takes to itself the colours of that which is reflected in it."  This gives us a picture of what happens to the man who has mastered his instrument.  He registers in his brain, via the mind, that which is true and real; he becomes aware of the nature of the ideal and bends every power which he possesses to the work of bringing that ideal into objective manifestation; he sees the vision of the kingdom of God as it will be in the latter days, and all that he has and is he renders up in order that the vision may be seen by all; [419] he knows the plan, for it is revealed to him in the "secret place upon the Mount of God," and he cooperates with it intelligently upon the physical plane; he hears the Voice of the Silence and obeys its injunction, working steadily at the task of spiritual living in a world consecrated to things material.

All this is possible to the man who has stilled the versatile psychic nature and has mastered the kingly science of Raja Yoga.

In the hidden literature of the adepts the following stanzas sum up the state of the man who has achieved, who is master and not servant, conqueror and not slave:

"The fivefold one hath entered into peace, yet walks our sphere.  That which is dense and dark now shineth with a clear pure light, and radiance poureth from the seven sacred lotuses.  He lighteneth the world, and irradiateth the nethermost place with fire divine.

That which hath hitherto been restless, wild as the ocean, turgid as the stormy sea, lies quiet and still.  Limpid the waters of the lower life and fit to offer to the thirsty ones who, groping, cry of thirst.

That which hath slain and veiled the Real for many lengthy aeons is itself slain, and with its death the separated life is ended.  The One is seen.  The Voice is heard.  The Real is known, the Vision glimpsed.  The fire of God leaps upward into a flame.

The darkest place receives the light.  The dawn appears on earth.  The dayspring from on high, sheds its bright beams in hell itself, and all is light and life."

Then before the liberated yogi a choice is placed.  He faces a spiritual problem and its nature has been conveyed to us in the following fragment of an old esoteric catechism:

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"What dost thou see, Oh! liberated one?  Many who suffer, Master, who weep and cry for help.

What will thou do, Oh! man of peace? Return from whence I came.

Whence comest thou, Pilgrim divine?  From the lowest depths of darkness, thence upwards into light.

Where goest thou, Oh! Traveller upon the upward way?  Back to the depths of darkness, away from the light of day.

Wherefore this step, Oh! Son of God?  To gather those who stumble in the darkness and light their steps upon the path.

When is the term of service, Oh! Saviour of men?  I know not, save that whilst one suffers I stay behind and serve."

25. The state of isolated unity (withdrawn into the true nature of the Self) is the reward of the man who can discriminate between the mind stuff and the Self, or spiritual man.

This state of isolated unity must be regarded as the result of the attainment of a particular state of mind, rather than as a separative reaction.

All meditation work, all moments of reflection, all affirmative exercises, all hours of recollection of one's true nature are means employed to detach the mind from the lower reactions and tendencies, and build in the habit of a constant realization of one's true divine nature.  When this realization is achieved, the need for such exercises ceases and one enters into one's heritage.  The isolation referred to is the detachment of the self from the field of knowledge, the involving of the refusal of the self to seek outward-going sensuous [421] experience and its standing firm in the state of spiritual being.

The man becomes conscious of himself as the knower and is no longer primarily concerned with the field of knowledge, as in the early stages of his unfoldment; neither is he engaged with knowledge itself, as during the stage of mental development either as an advanced man or as a disciple.  He can discriminate between all three, and identifies himself henceforth neither with the field of knowledge, life in the three worlds through the medium of his three vehicles, and the five senses plus the mind, nor with the knowledge gained nor the experience undergone.  He knows the self; he identifies himself with the true knower, and thus sees things as they are, dissociating himself entirely from the world of sensuous perception.

He does this, however, whilst functioning as a human being on earth.  He participates in earth experience; he involves himself in human activities; he walks among men, eating and sleeping, working and living.  Yet all the time he "is in the world, yet not of the world," and of him it can be said as it was said of the Christ, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."  (Phil.  II.  6.  7.  8.)

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He is at-one with the soul of all, but isolated off, separated from all that concerns the form or material nature.  The next three sutras should be read as one, giving as they do a picture of the gradual growth of the spiritual nature in the man who has arrived at the state of discriminating detachment, and through utter dispassion, knows the meaning of isolated unity.

26, 27, 28. The mind then tends towards discrimination and increasing illumination as to the true nature of the one Self.  Through force of habit, however, the mind will reflect other mental impressions and perceive objects of sensuous perception.  These reflections are of the nature of hindrances and the method of their overcoming is the same.

The right tendencies and rhythm having been set up, it becomes simply a question of steady perseverance, common sense and endurance.  Unless the utmost vigilance is exerted, the old habits of mind will very easily reassert themselves, and even until the final initiation the aspirant must "watch and pray."  The rules which govern victory, the practices which bring success are the same for the advanced expert warrior and initiate as they are for the humblest neophyte.  In Book II. the methods whereby the hindrances and obstacles could be overcome and negated are most carefully given and from the moment of stepping upon the probationary path until that high moment when the [423] last great initiation has been experienced, and the liberated man stands forth in the full light of day, these methods and modes of disciplined living must be adhered to unswervingly.  This involves patience, the capacity to go on after failure, to persevere when success seems far away.  This was well known to the great initiate, Paul, and was the cause of his injunction to the disciples he sought to help.  "Stand therefore ... and having done all, stand."  James gives us the same thought where he says "Behold we count them happy that endure."  It is the going on when the point of exhaustion has been reached, the taking of another step when the strength to do so seems gone, the holding steady when there seems nothing but defeat ahead, and the determination to endure whatever may be coming, when endurance has been taxed to the limit, which is the hallmark of disciples of every degree.  To them goes out the clarion call of Paul:

 "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shed with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the word of the Spirit, which is the word of God."  (Eph. VI.  14.  15.  16.  17.)

The equally clear command of Krishna to Arjuna sounds out also:

"Having regard to thy duty, deign not to shrink back.  For nothing is better for a warrior than a righteous [424] battle.  And such a battle has come to thee of its own accord, a very door of heaven will be opened; happy the warriors ... who find such a fight as this....  Therefore, arise, determined to do battle.  Making equal good and ill fortune, gain and loss, victory and defeat, gird thyself for the fight."  (Gita II.  31.  32.  38.  37.)

29. The man who develops non-attachment even in his aspiration after illumination and isolated unity becomes aware, eventually, of the overshadowing cloud of spiritual knowledge.

It is difficult for the neophyte to be impersonal where his own spiritual unfoldment is concerned.  Yet the very earnestness of his aspiration may serve as a hindrance, and one of the first things he has to learn is to go forward along the path, adhering to the rules, following the practices, employing the means and steadily fulfilling the law and at the same time to be occupied with the vision and with service and not with himself.  It is so easy to be the victim of high desire and so busy with the reactions and emotions of the aspiring lower man that rapidly one is enmeshed afresh in the toils of the versatile psychic nature.

Non-attachment to all forms of sensuous perception, the high as well as the low, has to be developed.

Many people, when they are transferring from the path of feeling and the devotional heart approach (the mystic line) on to the path of intellectual control,—the approach via the head, the occult method,—complain that the old moments of joy and bliss, experienced in meditation, [425] have gone.  The system now followed seems arid, dry and unsatisfactory.  But joy and peace are registrations of the emotional nature and in no way affect reality.  It is immaterial from the standpoint of the soul whether its reflection, man in incarnation, is happy or not, blissful or sad, contented or in trouble.  Only one thing matters, the attainment of soul contact, the arriving at union (conscious and intelligent) with the One.  This union may work out in the physical plane consciousness as a sense of peace and joy; it must work out in increased capacity to serve the race and to serve it more efficiently.  The feelings of the disciple are of small moment; his understanding and usefulness as a channel for spiritual force are of importance.  It should be remembered that on the path neither our virtues nor our vices count (except in so far as we escape from the pairs of opposites).  That alone counts which impels us forward on that path which "shineth more and more until the day be with us."  When a man can detach his eyes from all that concerns the physical, emotional and mental, and will raise his eyes and direct them away from himself, he will become aware of "the overshadowing cloud of spiritual knowledge," or of the "raincloud of knowable things," as it has also been translated.

Here we have, esoterically, and symbolically given, the indication that there lies before the initiate (advanced as he is) a still further progress, another veil to be penetrated.  He has made a [426] great at-one-ment and has unified soul and body.  He stands (as regards the three worlds) at the stage called that of isolated unity.  But another union becomes possible, that of the soul, with the spirit.  The Master must become the Christ and to do this the raincloud of spiritual knowledge must be reached, used and penetrated.  What lies on the other side of that veil which hides the Father it is needless for us to consider.  In our New Testament, when the Father communicated with the Christ, the voice issued out of a cloud.  (See Matt.  XVII.)

30. When this stage is reached then the hindrances and karma are overcome.

The two verses we have just studied have carried the aspirant on from the stage of adept to that of the Christ.

All that hindered, veiled or prevented the full expression of the divine life has been overcome; all barriers are down, all obstacles removed.  The wheel of rebirth has served its purpose and the spiritual unit which has entered into form, carrying with it potential powers and latent possibilities, has developed them to their full extent and unfolded the full flower of the soul.  The law of cause and effect as it functions in the three worlds no longer controls the liberated soul; his individual karma comes to an end, and though he may still be subservient to group karma (planetary or solar), he himself has nothing to work [427] out nor does he initiate anything which can serve to bind him, by the chains of desire, to the three worlds.  His state is summed up for us in the next sutra.

31. When, through the removal of hindrances and the purifications of the sheaths, the totality of knowledge becomes available, naught further remains for the man to do.

The dual work is accomplished.  Those hindrances which are the result of ignorance, blindness, environment and activity have been done away with; the grossness of the sheaths has been corrected and because of this, and through following the means of yoga, all knowledge becomes available.  The yogi is now aware of his essential omnipresence or that his soul is one with all souls and part therefore of the one essential unity, the one all-pervading life, the boundless immutable principle which is the cause of all manifestation.  He is likewise omniscient, for all knowledge is his and all avenues of knowledge are open to him.  He stands free of the field of knowledge, yet can function in it; he can utilize the instrument of knowledge and ascertain all that he seeks to know, but is himself centered in the consciousness of the knower.  Neither space nor time can hold him, nor can the material form imprison him, and there comes for him the grand consummation given to us by Patanjali in his three concluding sutras:

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"Sutra 32. The modifications of the mind stuff (or qualities of matter), through the inherent nature of the three gunas come to an end, for they have served their purpose.

Sutra 33. Time, which is the sequence of the modifications of the mind, likewise terminates, giving place to the Eternal Now.

Sutra 34. The state of isolated unity becomes possible when the three qualities of matter (the three gunas or potencies of nature) no longer exercise any hold over the Self.  The pure spiritual consciousness withdraws into the One."