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 A SERIES OF LESSONS IN RAJA YOGA

 

By YOGI RAMACHARAKA

 

Author of "Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism"

"Advanced Course in Yogi Philosophy, etc."; "Hatha Yoga"; "Psychic

Healing"; "Science of Breath." etc.                                  1906

 

"_When the soul sees itself as a Center surrounded by its

circumference--when the Sun knows that it is a Sun, surrounded by its

whirling planets-then is it ready for the Wisdom and Power of the

Masters_."

 

PUBLISHERS' NOTICE

 

The lessons which compose this volume, originally appeared in the shape

of monthly lessons, the first of which was issued in October, 1905, and

the twelfth in September, 1906. These lessons met with a hearty and

generous response from the public, and the present volume is issued in

response to the demand for the lessons in a permanent and durable form.

There have been no changes made in the text.

 

The publishers take the liberty to call the attention of the reader to

the great amount of information condensed within the space given to each

lesson. Students have told us that they have found it necessary to read

and study each lesson carefully, in order to absorb the varied

information contained within its pages. They have also stated that they

have found it advisable to re-read the lessons several times, allowing an

interval between each reading and that at each re-reading they would

discover information that had escaped them during the course of the

previous study. This has been repeated to us so often that we feel

justified in mentioning it, that other readers might avail themselves of

the same course and plan of study.

 

Following his usual custom, the writer of the lessons has declined to

write a preface for this book, claiming that the lessons speak for

themselves, and that those for whom they are intended will receive the

message contained within them, without any prefatory talk.

 

THE YOGI PUBLICATION SOCIETY.

 

 

 

 

INDEX

 

    LESSON I.   The "I"

 

   LESSON II.  The Ego's Mental Tools

 

  LESSON III.  The Expansion of the Self

 

   LESSON IV.  Mental Control

 

    LESSON V.   The Cultivation of Attention

 

   LESSON VI.  Cultivation of Perception

 

  LESSON VII.  The Unfoldment of Consciousness

 

 LESSON VIII. The Highlands and Lowlands of Mind

 

   LESSON IX.  The Mental Planes

 

    LESSON X.  Sub-Consciousing

 

   LESSON XI.  Sub-Conscious Character Building

 

  LESSON XII.  Sub-Conscious Influences

 

THE FIRST LESSON.

 

THE "I."

 

In India, the Candidates for Initiation into the science of "Raja Yoga,"

when they apply to the Yogi Masters for instruction, are given a series

of lessons designed to enlighten them regarding the nature of the Real

Self, and to instruct them in the secret knowledge whereby they may

develop the consciousness and realization of the real "I" within them.

They are shown how they may cast aside the erroneous or imperfect

knowledge regarding their real identity.

 

Until the Candidate masters this instruction, or at least until the truth

becomes fixed in his consciousness, further instruction is denied him,

for it is held that until he has awakened to a conscious realization of

his Actual Identity, he is not able to understand the source of his

power, and, moreover, is not able to _feel_ within him the power of the

Will, which power underlies the entire teachings of "Raja Yoga."

 

The Yogi Masters are hot satisfied if the Candidate forms merely a clear

intellectual conception of this Actual Identity, but they insist that he

must _feel_ the truth of the same--must become _aware_ of the Real

Self--must enter into a consciousness in which the realization becomes a

part of his everyday self--in which the realizing consciousness becomes

the prevailing idea in his mind, around which his entire thoughts and

actions revolve.

 

To some Candidates, this realization comes like a lightning flash the

moment the attention is directed toward it, while in other cases the

Candidates find it necessary to follow a rigorous course of training

before they acquire the realization in consciousness.

 

The Yogi Masters teach that there are two degrees of this awakening

consciousness of the Real Self. The first, which they call "the

Consciousness of the 'I'," is the full consciousness of _real_ existence

that comes to the Candidate, and which causes him to _know_ that he is a

real entity having a life not depending upon the body--life that will go

on in spite of the destruction of the body--_real_ life, in fact. The

second degree, which they call "the Consciousness of the 'I AM'," is

the consciousness of one's identity with the Universal Life, and his

relationship to, and "in-touchness" with all life, expressed and

unexpressed. These two degrees of consciousness come in time to all who

seek "The Path." To some it comes suddenly; to others it dawns gradually;

to many it comes assisted by the exercises and practical work of "Raja

Yoga."

 

The first lesson of the Yogi Masters to the Candidates, leading up to the

first degree, above mentioned, is as follows: That the Supreme

Intelligence of the Universe--the Absolute--has manifested the being that

we call Man--the highest manifestation on this planet. The Absolute has

manifested an infinitude of forms of life in the Universe, including

distant worlds, suns, planets, etc., many of these forms being unknown to

us on this planet, and being impossible of conception by the mind of the

ordinary man. But these lessons have nothing to do with that part of the

philosophy which deals with these myriad forms of life, for our time will

be taken up with the unfoldment in the mind of man of his true nature and

power. Before man attempts to solve the secrets of the Universe without,

he should master the Universe within--the Kingdom of the Self. When he

has accomplished this, then he may, and should, go forth to gain the

outer knowledge as a Master demanding its secrets, rather than as a slave

begging for the crumbs from the table of knowledge. The first knowledge

for the Candidate is the knowledge of the Self.

 

Man, the highest manifestation of the Absolute, as far as this planet is

concerned, is a wonderfully organized being--although the average man

understands but little of his real nature. He comprises within his

physical, mental and spiritual make-up both the highest and the lowest,

as we have shown in our previous lessons (the "Fourteen Lessons" and the

"Advanced Course"). In his bones he manifests almost in the form of

mineral life, in fact, in his bones, body and blood mineral substances

actually exist. The physical life of the body resembles the life of the

plant. Many of the physical desires and emotions are akin to those of the

lower animals, and in the undeveloped man these desires and emotions

predominate and overpower the higher nature, which latter is scarcely in

evidence. Then Man has a set of mental characteristics that are his own,

and which are not possessed by the lower animals (See "Fourteen

Lessons"). And in addition to the mental faculties common to all men, or

rather, that are in evidence in a greater or lesser degree among all men,

there are still higher faculties latent within Man, which when manifested

and expressed render Man more than ordinary Man. The unfoldment of these

latent faculties is possible to all who have reached the proper stage of

development, and the desire and hunger of the student for this

instruction is caused by the pressure of these unfolding latent

faculties, crying to be born into consciousness. Then there is that

wonderful thing, the Will, which is but faintly understood by those

ignorant of the Yogi Philosophy--the Power of the Ego--its birthright

from the Absolute.

 

But while these mental and physical things _belong_ to Man, they are

_not_ the Man himself. Before the Man is able to master, control, and

direct the things belonging to him--his tools and instruments--he must

awaken to a realization of Himself. He must be able to distinguish

between the "I" and the "Not I." And this is the first task before the

Candidate.

 

That which is the Real Self of Man is the Divine Spark sent forth from

the Sacred Flame. It is the Child of the Divine Parent. It is

Immortal--Eternal--Indestructible--Invincible. It possesses within

itself Power, Wisdom, and Reality. But like the infant that contains

within itself the sometime Man, the mind of Man is unaware of its latent

and potential qualities, and does not know itself. As it awakens and

unfolds into the knowledge of its real nature, it manifests its

qualities, and realizes what the Absolute has given it. When the Real

Self begins to awaken, it sets aside from itself those things which

are but appendages to it, but which it, in its half-waking state, had

regarded as its Self. Setting aside first this, and then that, it finally

discards all of the "Not I," leaving the Real Self free and delivered

from its bondage to its appendages. Then it returns to the discarded

appendages, and makes use of them.

 

In considering the question: "What is the Real Self?" let us first stop

to examine what man usually means when he says "I."

 

The lower animals do not possess this "I" sense. They are conscious of

the outer world; of their own desires and animal cravings and feelings.

But their consciousness has not reached the Self-conscious stage. They

are not able to think of themselves as separate entities, and to reflect

upon their thoughts. They are not possessed of a consciousness of the

Divine Spark--the Ego--the Real Self. The Divine Spark is hidden in the

lower forms of life--even in the lower forms of human life--by many

sheaths that shut out its light. But, nevertheless, it is there, always.

It sleeps within the mind of the savage--then, as he unfolds, it begins

to throw out its light. In you, the Candidate, it is fighting hard to

have its beams pierce through the material coverings When the Real Self

begins to arouse itself from its sleep, its dreams vanish from it, and it

begins to see the world as it is, and to recognize itself in Reality and

not as the distorted thing of its dreams.

 

The savage and barbarian are scarcely conscious of the "I." They are but

a little above the animal in point of consciousness, and their "I" is

almost entirely a matter of the consciousness of the wants of the body;

the satisfaction of the appetites; the gratification of the passions; the

securing of personal comfort; the expression of lust, savage power, etc.

In the savage the lower part of the Instinctive Mind is the seat of the

"I." (See "Fourteen Lessons" for explanation of the several mental planes

of man.) If the savage could analyze his thoughts he would say that the

"I" was the physical body, the said body having certain "feelings,"

"wants" and "desires." The "I" of such a man is a physical "I," the body

representing its form and substance. Not only is this true of the savage,

but even among so-called "civilized" men of to-day we find many in this

stage. They have developed powers of thinking and reasoning, but they do

not "live in their minds" as do some of their brothers. They use their

thinking powers for the gratification of their bodily desires and

cravings, and really live on the plane of the Instinctive Mind. Such a

person may speak of "my mind," or "my soul," not from a high position

where he looks upon these things from the standpoint of a Master who

realizes his Real Self, but from below, from the point-of-view of the man

who lives on the plane of the Instinctive Mind and who sees above

_himself_ the higher attributes. To such people the body is the "I."

Their "I" is bound up with the senses, and that which comes to them

through the senses. Of course, as Man advances in "culture" and

"civilization," his senses become educated, and are satisfied only with

more refined things, while the less cultivated man is perfectly satisfied

with the more material and gross sense gratifications. Much that we call

"cultivation" and "culture" is naught but a cultivation of a more refined

form of sense gratification, instead of a real advance in consciousness

and unfoldment. It is true that the advanced student and Master is

possessed of highly developed senses, often far surpassing those of the

ordinary man, but in such cases the senses have been cultivated under the

mastery of the Will, and are made servants of the Ego instead of things

hindering the progress of the soul--they are made servants instead of

masters.

 

As Man advances in the scale, he begins to have a somewhat higher

conception of the "I." He begins to use his mind and reason, and he

passes on to the Mental Plane--his mind begins to manifest upon the plane

of Intellect. He finds that there is something within him that is higher

than the body. He finds that his mind seems more _real_ to him than does

the physical part of him, and in times of deep thought and study he is

able almost to forget the existence of the body.

 

In this second stage, Man soon becomes perplexed. He finds problems that

demand an answer, but as soon as he thinks he has answered them the

problems present themselves in a new phase, and he is called upon to

"explain his explanation." The mind, even although not controlled and

directed by the Will, has a wonderful range, but, nevertheless, Man finds

himself traveling around and around in a circle, and realizes that he is

confronted continually by the Unknown. This disturbs him, and the higher

the stage of "book learning" he attains, the more disturbed does he

become. The man of but little knowledge does not see the existence of

many problems that force themselves before the attention of the man of

more knowledge, and demand an explanation from him. The tortures of the

man who has attained the mental growth that enables him to see the new

problems and the impossibility of their answer, cannot be imagined by one

who has not advanced to that stage.

 

The man in this stage of consciousness thinks of his "I" as a mental

thing, having a lower companion, the body. He feels that he has advanced,

but yet his "I" does not give him the answer to the riddles and questions

that perplex him. And he becomes most unhappy. Such men often develop

into Pessimists, and consider the whole of life as utterly evil and

disappointing--a curse rather than a blessing. Pessimism belongs to this

plane, for neither the Physical Plane man or the Spiritual Plane man have

this curse of Pessimism. The former man has no such disquieting thoughts,

for he is almost entirely absorbed in gratifying his animal nature, while

the latter man recognizes his mind as an instrument of himself, rather

than as _himself_, and knows it to be imperfect in its present stage of

growth. He knows that he has in himself the key to all knowledge--locked

up in the Ego--and which the trained mind, cultivated, developed and

guided by the awakened Will, may grasp as it unfolds. Knowing this the

advanced man no longer despairs, and, recognizing his real nature, and

his possibilities, as he awakens into a consciousness of his powers and

capabilities, he laughs at the old despondent, pessimistic ideas, and

discards them like a worn-out garment. Man on the Mental Plane of

consciousness is like a huge elephant who knows not his own strength. He

could break down barriers and assert himself over nearly any condition or

environment, but in his ignorance of his real condition and power he may

be mastered by a puny driver, or frightened by the rustling of a piece of

paper.

 

When the Candidate becomes an Initiate--when he passes from the purely

Mental Plane on to the Spiritual Plane--he realizes that the "I," the

Real Self--is something higher than either body or mind, and that both of

the latter may be used as tools and instruments by the Ego or "I." This

knowledge is not reached by purely intellectual reasoning, although such

efforts of the mind are often necessary to help in the unfoldment, and

the Masters so use it. The real knowledge, however, comes as a special

form of consciousness. The Candidate becomes "aware" of the real "I," and

this consciousness being attained, he passes to the rank of the

Initiates. When the Initiate passes the second degree of consciousness,

and begins to grow into a realization of his relationship to the

Whole--when he begins to manifest the Expansion of Self--then is he on

the road to Mastership.

 

In the present lesson we shall endeavor to point out to the Candidate the

methods of developing or increasing the realization of this "I"

consciousness--this first degree work. We give the following exercises or

development drills for the Candidate to practice. He will find that a

careful and conscientious following of these directions will tend to

unfold in him a sufficient degree of the "I" consciousness, to enable him

to enter into higher stages of development and power. All that is

necessary is for the Candidate to feel within himself the dawn of the

awakening consciousness, or awareness of the Real Self. The higher stages

of the "I" consciousness come gradually, for once on the Path there is no

retrogression or going backward. There may be pauses on the journey, but

there is no such thing as actually losing that which is once gained on

The Path.

 

This "I" consciousness, even in its highest stages, is but a preliminary

step toward what is called "Illumination," and which signifies the

awakening of the Initiate to a realization of his actual connection with

and relation to the Whole. The full sight of the glory of the "I," is but

a faint reflected glow of "Illumination." The Candidate, once that he

enters fully into the "I" consciousness, becomes an "Initiate." And the

Initiate who enters into the dawn of Illumination takes his first step

upon the road to Mastery. The Initiation is the awakening of the soul to

a knowledge of its real existence--the Illumination is the revelation of

the real nature of the soul, and of its relationship with the Whole.

After the first dawn of the "I" consciousness has been attained, the

Candidate is more able to grasp the means of developing the consciousness

to a still higher degree--is more able to use the powers latent within

him; to control his own mental states; to manifest a Centre of

Consciousness and Influence that will radiate into the outer world which

is always striving and hunting for such centres around which it may

revolve.

 

Man must master himself before he can hope to exert an influence beyond

himself. There is no royal road to unfoldment and power--each step must

be taken in turn, and each Candidate must take the step himself, and by

his own effort. But he may, and will, be aided by the helping hand of the

teachers who have traveled The Path before him, and who know just when

that helping hand is needed to lift the Candidate over the rough places.

 

We bid the Candidate to pay strict attention to the following

instruction, as it is all important. Do not slight any part of it, for we

are giving you only what is necessary, and are stating it as briefly as

possible. Pay attention, and follow the instruction closely. This lesson

must be mastered before you progress. And it must be practiced not only

now, but at many stages of the journey, until full Initiation and

Illumination is yours.

 

 

RULES AND EXERCISES DESIGNED TO AID THE CANDIDATE IN HIS INITIATION.

 

The first instruction along the line of Initiation is designed to awaken

the mind to a full realization and consciousness of the individuality of

the "I." The Candidate is taught to relax his body, and to calm his mind

and to meditate upon the "I" until it is presented clearly and sharply

before the consciousness. We herewith give directions for producing the

desired physical and mental condition, in which meditation and

concentration are more readily practiced. This state of Meditation will

be referred to in subsequent exercises, so the Candidate is advised to

acquaint himself thoroughly with it.

 

STATE OF MEDITATION. If possible, retire to a quiet place or room, where

you do not fear interruption, so that your mind may feel secure and at

rest. Of course, the ideal condition cannot always be obtained, in which

case you must do the best you can. The idea is that you should be able to

abstract yourself, so far as is possible, from distracting impressions,

and you should be alone with yourself--in communion with your Real Self.

 

It is well to place yourself in an easy chair, or on a couch, so that you

may relax the muscles and free the tension of your nerves. You should be

able to "let go" all over, allowing every muscle to become limp, until a

feeling of perfect peace and restful calm permeates every particle of

your being. Rest the body and calm the mind. This condition is best in

the earlier stages of the practice, although after the Candidate has

acquired a degree of mastery he will be able to obtain the physical

relaxation and mental calm whenever and wherever he desires.

 

But he must guard against acquiring a "dreamy" way of going around,

wrapped in meditation when he should be attending to the affairs of life.

_Remember this_, the State of Meditation should be entirely under the

control of the Will, and should be entered into only deliberately and at

the proper times. The Will must be master of this, as well as of every

other mental state. The Initiates are not "day dreamers," but men and

women having full control of themselves and their moods. The "I"

consciousness while developed by meditation and consciousness, soon

becomes a fixed item of consciousness, and does not have to be produced

by meditation. In time of trial, doubt, or trouble, the consciousness may

be brightened by an effort of the Will (as we shall explain in subsequent

lessons) without going into the State of Meditation.

 

THE REALIZATION OF THE "I." The Candidate must first acquaint himself

with the reality of the "I," before he will be able to learn its real

nature. This is the first step. Let the Candidate place himself in the

State of Meditation, as heretofore described. Then let him concentrate

his entire attention upon his Individual Self, shutting out all thought

of the outside world, and other persons. Let him form in his mind the

idea of himself as a _real_ thing--an actual being--an individual

entity--a Sun around which revolves the world. He must see himself as the

Centre around which the whole world revolves. Let not a false modesty, or

sense of depreciation interfere with this idea, for you are not denying

the right of others to also consider themselves centres. You are, in

fact, a centre of consciousness--made so by the Absolute--and you are

awakening to the fact. Until the Ego recognizes itself as a Centre of

Thought, Influence and Power, it will not be able to _manifest_ these

qualities. And in proportion as it recognizes its position as a centre,

so will it be able to manifest its qualities. It is not necessary that

you should compare yourself with others, or imagine yourself greater or

higher than them. In fact, such comparisons are to be regretted, and are

unworthy of the advanced Ego, being a mark and indication of a lack of

development, rather than the reverse. In the Meditation simply ignore all

consideration of the respective qualities of others, and endeavor to

realize the fact that YOU are a great Centre of Consciousness--a Centre

of Power--a Centre of Influence--a Centre of Thought. And that like the

planets circling around the sun, so does your world revolve around YOU

who are its centre. It will not be necessary for you to argue out this

matter, or to convince yourself of its truth by intellectual reasoning.

The knowledge does not come in that way. It comes in the shape of a

realization of the truth gradually dawning upon your consciousness

through meditation and concentration. Carry this thought of yourself as a

"Centre of Consciousness--Influence--Power" with you, _for it is an

occult truth,_ and in the proportion that you are able, to realize it so

will be your ability to manifest the qualities named.

 

No matter how humble may be your position--no matter how hard may be your

lot--no matter how deficient in educational advantages you may be--still

you would not change your "I" with the most fortunate, wisest and highest

man or woman in the world. You may doubt this, but think for a moment and

you will see that we are right. When you say that you "would like to be"

this person or that, you really mean that _you_ would like to have their

degree of intelligence, power, wealth, position, or what not. What you

want is something that is theirs, or something akin to it. But you would

not for a moment wish to merge your _identity_ with theirs, or to

exchange _selves_. Think of this for a moment To _be_ the other person

you would have to let _yourself_ die, and instead of _yourself_ you would

be the other person. The real _you_ would be wiped out of existence, and

you would not be _you_ at all, but would be _he_.

 

If you can but grasp this idea you will see that not for a moment would

you be willing for such an exchange. Of course such an exchange is

impossible. The "I" of you cannot be wiped out. It is eternal, and will

go on, and on, and on, to higher and higher states--but it always will be

the same "I." Just as you, although a far different sort of person from

your childhood self, still you recognize that the same "I" is there, and

always has been there. And although you will attain knowledge,

experience, power and wisdom in the coming years, the same "I" will be

there. The "I" is the Divine Spark and cannot be extinguished.

 

The majority of people in the present stage of the race development have

but a faint conception of the reality of the "I." They accept the

statement of its existence, and are conscious of themselves as an eating,

sleeping, living creature--something like a higher form of animal. But

they have not awakened to an "awareness" or realization of the "I," which

must come to all who become real centres of Influence and Power. Some men

have stumbled into this consciousness, or a degree of it, without

understanding the matter. They have "felt" the truth of it, and they have

stepped out from the ranks of the commonplace people of the world, and

have become powers for good or bad. This is unfortunate to some extent,

as this "awareness" without the knowledge that should accompany it may

bring pain to the individual and others.

 

The Candidate must meditate upon the "I," and recognize it--_feel_ it--to

be a Centre. This is his first task. Impress upon your mind the word "I,"

in this sense and understanding, and let it sink deep down into your

consciousness, so that it will become a part of you. And when you say

"I," you must accompany the word with the picture of your Ego as a Centre

of Consciousness, and Thought, and Power, and Influence. See yourself

thus, surrounded by your world. Wherever you go, there goes the Centre of

your world. YOU are the Centre, and all outside of you revolves around

that Centre. This is the first great lesson on the road to Initiation.

Learn it!

 

The Yogi Masters teach the Candidates that their realization of the "I"

as a Centre may be hastened by going into the Silence, or State of

Meditation, and repeating their first name over slowly, deliberately and

solemnly a number of times. This exercise tends to cause the mind to

centre upon the "I," and many cases of dawning Initiation have resulted

from this practice. Many original thinkers have stumbled upon this

method, without having been taught it. A noted example is that of Lord

Tennyson, who has written that he attained a degree of Initiation in this

way. He would repeat his own name, over and over, and the same time

meditating upon his identity, and he reports that he would become

conscious and "aware" of his reality and immortality--in short would

recognize himself as a _real_ center of consciousness.

 

We think we have given you the key to the first stage of meditation and

concentration. Before passing on, let us quote from one of the old Hindu

Masters. He says, regarding this matter: "When the soul sees itself as a

Centre surrounded by its circumference--when the Sun knows that it is a

Sun, and is surrounded by its whirling planets--then is it ready for the

Wisdom and Power of the Masters."

 

THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE "I" FROM THE BODY. Many of the

Candidates find themselves prevented from a full realization of the "I"

(even after they have begun to grasp it) by the confusing of the reality

of the "I" with the sense of the physical body. This is a stumbling block

that is easily overcome by meditation and concentration, the independence

of the "I" often becoming manifest to the Candidate in a flash, upon the

proper thought being used as the subject of meditation.

 

The exercise is given as follows: Place yourself in the State of

Meditation, and think of YOURSELF--the Real "I"--as being independent of

the body, but using the body as a covering and an instrument. Think of

the body as you might of a suit of clothes. Realize that you are able to

leave the body, and still be the same "I." Picture yourself as doing

this, and looking down upon your body. Think of the body as a shell from

which you may emerge without affecting your identity. Think of yourself

as mastering and controlling the body that you occupy, and using it to

the best advantage, making it healthy, strong and vigorous, but still

being merely a shell or covering for the real "You." Think of the body as

composed of atoms and cells which are constantly changing, but which are

held together by the force of your Ego, and which you can improve at

Will. Realize that you are merely inhabiting the body, and using it for

your convenience, just as you might use a house.

 

In meditating further, ignore the body entirely, and place your thought

upon the Real "I" that you are beginning to feel to be "you," and you

will find that your identity--your "I"--is something entirely apart from

the body. You may now say "my body" with a new meaning. Divorce the idea

of your being a physical being, and realize that you are above body. But

do not let this conception and realization cause you to ignore the body.

You must regard the body as the Temple of the Spirit, and care for it,

and make it a fit habitation for the "I." Do not be frightened if, during

this meditation, you happen to experience the sensation of being out of

the body for a few moments, and of returning to it when you are through

with the exercise. The Ego is able (in the case of the advanced Initiate)

of soaring above the confines of the body, but it never severs its

connection at such times. It is merely as if one were to look out of the

window of a room, seeing what was going on outside, and drawing in his

head when he wishes. He does not leave the room, although he may place

his head outside in order to observe what is doing in the street. We do

not advise the Candidate to try to cultivate this sensation--but if it

comes naturally during meditation, do not fear.

 

REALIZING THE IMMORTALITY AND INVINCIBILITY OF THE EGO. While the

majority accept on faith the belief in the Immortality of the Soul, yet

but few are aware that it may be demonstrated by the soul itself. The

Yogi Masters teach the Candidates this lesson, as follows: The Candidate

places himself in the State of Meditation, or at least in a thoughtful

frame of mind, and then endeavors to "imagine" himself as "dead"--that

is, he tries to form a mental conception of himself as dead. This, at

first thought, appears a very easy thing to imagine, but as a matter of

fact it is _impossible_ to do so, for the Ego refuses to entertain the

proposition, and finds it impossible to imagine it. Try it for yourself.

You will find that you may be able to imagine your _body_ as lying still

and lifeless, but the same thought finds that in so doing _You_ are

standing and looking at the body. So you see that _You_ are not dead at

all, even in imagination, although the body may be. Or, if you refuse to

disentangle yourself from your body, in imagination, you may think of

your body as dead but _You_ who refuse to leave it are still _alive_ and

recognize the dead body as a thing apart from your Real Self. No matter

how you may twist it you _cannot_ imagine yourself as dead. The Ego

insists upon being _alive_ in any of these thoughts, and thus finds that

it has within itself the sense and assurance of Immortality. In case of

sleep or stupor resulting from a blow, or from narcotics or anaesthetics,

the mind is apparently blank, but the "I" is conscious of a continuity of

existence. And so one may imagine himself as being in an unconscious

state, or asleep, quite easily, and sees the possibility of such a state,

but when it comes to imagining the "I" as dead, the mind utterly refuses

to do the work. This wonderful fact that the soul carries within itself

the evidence of its own immortality is a glorious thing, but one must

have reached a degree of unfoldment before he is able to grasp its full

significance.

 

The Candidate is advised to investigate the above statement for himself,

by meditation and concentration, for in order that the "I" may know its

true nature and possibilities, it must realize that it cannot be

destroyed or killed. It must know what it is before it is able to

manifest its nature. So do not leave this part of the teaching until you

have mastered it. And it is well occasionally to return to it, in order

that you may impress upon the mind the fact of your immortal and eternal

nature. The mere glimmering of this conception of truth will give you an

increased sense of strength and power, and you will find that your Self

has expanded and grown, and that you are more of a power and Centre than

you have heretofore realized.

 

The following exercises are useful in bringing about a realization of the

invincibility of the Ego--its superiority to the elements.

 

Place yourself in the State of Meditation, and imagine the "I" as

withdrawn from the body. See it passing through the tests of air, fire

and water unharmed. The body being out of the way, the soul is seen to

be able of passing through the air at will--of floating like a bird--of

soaring--of traveling in the ether. It may be seen as able to pass

through fire without harm and without sensation, for the elements affect

only the physical body, not the Real "I." Likewise it may be seen as

passing through water without discomfort or danger or hurt.

 

This meditation will give you a sense of superiority and strength, and

will show you something of the nature of the real "I." It is true that

you are confined in the body, and the body may be affected by the

elements, but the knowledge that the Real "I" is superior to the

body--superior to the elements that affect the body--and cannot be

injured any more than it can be killed, is wonderful, and tends to

develop the full "I" consciousness within you. For You--the Real "I"--are

not body. You are Spirit. The Ego is Immortal and Invincible, and cannot

be killed and harmed. When you enter into this realization and

consciousness, you will feel an influx of strength and power impossible

to describe. Fear will fall from you like a worn-out cloak, and you will

feel that you are "born again." An understanding of this thought, will

show you that the things that we have been fearing cannot affect the Real

"I," but must rest content with hurting the physical body. And they may

be warded off from the physical body by a proper understanding and

application of the Will.

 

In our next lesson, you will be taught how to separate the "I" from the

mechanism of the mind--how you may realize your mastery of the mind, just

as you now realize your independence of the body. This knowledge must be

imparted to you by degrees, and you must place your feet firmly upon one

round of the ladder before you take the next step.

 

The watchword of this First Lesson is "I." And the Candidate must enter

fully into its meaning before he is able to progress. He must realize his

real existence--independent of the body. He must see himself as

invincible and impervious to harm, hurt, or death. He must see himself as

a great Centre of Consciousness--a Sun around which his world revolves.

Then will come to him a new strength. He will feel a calm dignity and

power, which will be apparent to those with whom he comes in contact. He

will be able to look the world in the face without flinching, and without

fear, for he will realize the nature and power of the "I." He will

realize that he is a Centre of Power--of Influence. He will realize that

nothing can harm the "I," and that no matter how the storms of life may

dash upon the personality, the real "I"--the Individuality--is unharmed.

Like a rock that stands steadfast throughout the storm, so does the "I"

stand through the tempests of the life of personality. And he will know

that as he grows in realization, he will be able to control these storms

and bid them be still.

 

In the words of one of the Yogi Masters: "The 'I' is eternal. It passes

unharmed through the fire, the air, the water. Sword and spear cannot

kill or wound it. It cannot die. The trials of the physical life are but

as dreams to it. Resting secure in the knowledge of the 'I,' Man may

smile at the worst the world has to offer, and raising his hand he may

bid them disappear into the mist from which they emerged.

Blessed is he who can say (understandingly) 'I'."

 

So dear Candidate, we leave you to master the First Lesson. Be not

discouraged if your progress be slow. Be not cast down if you slip back a

step after having gained it. You will gain two at the next step. Success

and realization will be yours. Mastery is before. You will Attain. You

will Accomplish. Peace be with you.

 

 

MANTRAMS (AFFIRMATIONS) FOR THE FIRST LESSON.

 

"I" am a Centre. Around me revolves my world.

 

"I" am a Centre of Influence and Power.

 

"I" am a Centre of Thought and Consciousness.

 

"I" am Independent of the Body.

 

"I" am Immortal and cannot be Destroyed.

 

"I" am Invincible and cannot be Injured.

 

[Illustration: "I"]

 

 

 

 

THE SECOND LESSON.

 

THE EGO'S MENTAL TOOLS.

 

 

In the First Lesson we gave instruction and exercises designed to awaken

the consciousness of the Candidate to a realization of the real "I." We

confined our instructions to the preliminary teachings of the reality of

the "I," and the means whereby the Candidate might be brought to a

realization of his real Self, and its independence from the body and the

things of the flesh. We tried to show you how you might awaken to a

consciousness of the reality of the "I"; its real nature; its

independence of the body; its immortality; its invincibility and

invulnerability. How well we have succeeded may be determined only by

the experience of each Candidate, for we can but point out the way, and

the Candidate must do the real work himself.

 

But there is more to be said and done in this matter of awakening to a

realization of the "I." So far, we have but told you how to distinguish

between the material coverings of the Ego and the "I" itself. We have

tried to show you that you had a real "I," and then to show you what it

was, and how it was independent of the material coverings, etc. But there

is still another step in this self analysis--a more difficult step. Even

when the Candidate has awakened to a realization of his independence of

the body, and material coverings, he often confounds the "I" with the

lower principles of the mind. This is a mistake. The Mind, in its various

phases and planes, is but a tool and instrument of the "I," and is far

from being the "I" itself. We shall try to bring out this fact in this

lesson and its accompanying exercises. We shall avoid, and pass by, the

metaphysical features of the case, and shall confine ourselves to the

Yogi Psychology. We shall not touch upon theories, nor attempt to

explain the cause, nature and purpose of the Mind--the working tool of

the Ego--but instead shall attempt to point out a way whereby you may

analyze the Mind and then determine which is the "not I" and which is the

real "I." It is useless to burden you with theories or metaphysical talk,

when the way to prove the thing is right within your own grasp. By using

the mind, you will be able to separate it into its parts, and force it to

give you its own answer to the questions touching itself.

 

In the second and third lessons of our "_Fourteen Lessons_," we pointed

out to you the fact that man had three Mental Principles, or subdivisions

of mind, all of which were below the plane of Spirit. The "I" is Spirit,

but its mental principles are of a lower order. Without wishing to unduly

repeat ourselves, we think it better to run hastily over these three

Principles in the mind of Man.

 

First, there is what is known as the Instinctive Mind, which man shares

in common with the lower animals. It is the first principle of mind that

appears in the scale of evolution. In its lowest phases, consciousness

is but barely perceptible, and mere sensation is apparent. In its higher

stages it almost reaches the plane of Reason or Intellect, in fact, they

overlap each other, or, rather, blend into each other. The Instinctive

Mind does valuable work in the direction of maintaining animal life in

our bodies, it having charge of this part of our being. It attends to the

constant work of repair; replacement; change; digestion; assimilation;

elimination, etc., all of which work is performed below the plane of

consciousness.

 

But this is but a small part of the work of the Instinctive Mind. For

this part of the mind has stored up all the experiences of ourselves and

ancestors in our evolution from the lower forms of animal life into the

present stage of evolution. All of the old animal instincts (which were

all right in their place, and quite necessary for the well-being of the

lower forms of life) have left traces in this part of the mind, which

traces are apt to come to the front under pressure of unusual

circumstances, even long after we think we have outgrown them. In this

part of the mind are to be found traces of the old fighting instinct of

the animal; all the animal passions; all the hate, envy, jealousy, and

the rest of it, which are our inheritances from the past. The Instinctive

Mind is also the "habit mind" in which is stored up all the little, and

great, habits of many lives, or rather such as have not been entirely

effaced by subsequent habits of a stronger nature. The Instinctive Mind

is a queer storehouse, containing quite a variety of objects, many of

them very good in their way, but others of which are the worst kind of

old junk and rubbish.

 

This part of the mind also is the seat of the appetites; passions;

desires; instincts; sensations; feelings and emotions of the lower order,

manifested in the lower animals; primitive man; the barbarian; and the

man of today, the difference being only in the degree of control over

them that has been gained by the higher parts of the mind. There are

higher desires, aspirations, etc., belonging to a higher part of the

mind, which we will describe in a few minutes, but the "animal nature"

belongs to the Instinctive Mind. To it also belong the "feelings"

belonging to our emotional and passional nature. All animal desires, such

as hunger and thirst; sexual desires (on the physical plane); all

passions, such as physical love; hatred; envy; malice; jealousy; revenge,

etc., are part of this part of the mind. The desire for the physical

(unless a means of reaching higher things) and the longing for the

material, belong to this region of the mind. The "lust of the flesh; the

lust of the eyes; the pride of life," belong to the Instinctive Mind.

 

Take note, however, that we are not condemning the things belonging to

this plane of the mind. All of them have their place--many were necessary

in the past, and many are still necessary for the continuance of physical

life. All are right in their place, and to those in the particular plane

of development to which they belong, and are wrong only when one is

mastered by them, or when he returns to pick up an unworthy thing that

has been cast off in the unfoldment of the individual. This lesson has

nothing to do with the right and wrong of these things (we have treated

of that elsewhere) and we mention this part of the mind that you may

understand that you have such a thing in your mental make-up, and that

you may understand the thought, etc., coming from it, when we start in to

analyze the mind in the latter part of this lesson. All we will ask you

to do at this stage of the lesson is to realize that this part of the

mind, while _belonging_ to you, is _not_ You, yourself. It is _not_ the

"I" part of you.

 

Next in order, above the Instinctive Mind, is what we have called the

Intellect, that part of the mind that does our reasoning, analyzing;

"thinking," etc. You are using it in the consideration of this lesson.

But note this: You are _using_ it, but it is _not_ You, any more than was

the Instinctive Mind that you considered a moment ago. You will begin to

make the separation, if you will think but a moment. We will not take up

your time with a consideration of Intellect or Reason. You will find a

good description of this part of the mind in any good elementary work on

Psychology. Our only idea in mentioning it is that you may make the

classification, and that we may afterward show you that the Intellect is

but a tool of the Ego, instead of being the real "I" itself, as so many

seem to imagine.

 

The third, and highest, Mental Principle is what is called the Spiritual

Mind, that part of the mind which is almost unknown to many of the race,

but which has developed into consciousness with nearly all who read this

lesson, for the fact that the subject of this lesson attracts you is a

proof that this part of your mental nature is unfolding into

consciousness. This region of the mind is the source of that which we

call "genius," "inspiration," "spirituality," and all that we consider

the "highest" in our mental make-up. All the great thoughts and ideas

float into the field of consciousness from this part of the mind. All the

great unfoldment of the race comes from there. All the higher mental

ideas that have come to Man in his upward evolutionary journey, that tend

in the direction of nobility; true religious feeling; kindness; humanity;

justice; unselfish love; mercy; sympathy, etc., have come to him through

his slowly unfolding Spiritual Mind. His love of God and of his fellow

man have come in this way. His knowledge of the great occult truths reach

him through this channel. The mental realization of the "I," which we are

endeavoring to teach in these lessons, must come to him by way of the

Spiritual Mind unfolding its ideas into his field of consciousness.

 

But even this great and wonderful part of the mind is but a tool--a

highly finished one, it is true, but still a tool--to the Ego, or "I."

 

We propose to give you a little mental drill work, toward the end that

you may be able more readily to distinguish the "I" from the mind, or

mental states. In this connection we would say that every part, plane,

and function of the mind is good, and necessary, and the student must not

fall into the error of supposing that because we tell him to set aside

first this part of the mind and then that part, that we are undervaluing

the mind, or that we regard it as an encumbrance or hindrance. Far from

this, we realize that it is _by the use of_ the mind that Man is enabled

to arrive at a knowledge of his true nature and Self, and that his

progress through many stages yet will depend upon the unfolding of his

mental faculties.

 

Man is now using but the lower and inferior parts of his mind, and he has

within his mental world great unexplored regions that far surpass

anything of which the human mind has dreamed. In fact, it is part of the

business of "Raja Yoga" to aid in unfolding these higher faculties and

mental regions. And so far from decrying the Mind, the "Raja Yoga"

teachers are chiefly concerned in recognizing the Mind's power and

possibilities, and directing the student to avail himself of the latent

powers that are inherent in his soul.

 

It is only by the mind that the teachings we are now giving you may be

grasped and understood, and used to your advantage and benefit. We are

talking direct to your mind now, and are making appeals to it, that it

may be interested and may open itself to what is ready to come into it

from its own higher regions. We are appealing to the Intellect to direct

its attention to this great matter, that it may interpose less resistance

to the truths that are waiting to be projected from the Spiritual Mind,

which knows the Truth.

 

 

MENTAL DRILL.

 

Place yourself in a calm, restful condition, that you may be able to

meditate upon the matters that we shall place before you for

consideration. Allow the matters presented to meet with a hospitable

reception from you, and hold a mental attitude of willingness to receive

what may be waiting for you in the higher regions of your mind.

 

We wish to call your attention to several mental impressions or

conditions, one after another, in order that you may realize that they

are merely something _incident_ to you, and _not_ YOU yourself--that you

may set them aside and consider them, just as you might anything that you

have been using. You cannot set the "I" aside and so consider it, but the

various forms of the "not I" may be so set aside and considered.

 

In the First Lesson you gained the perception of the "I" as independent

from the body, the latter merely being an instrument for use. You have

now arrived at the stage when the "I" appears to you to be a mental

creature--a bundle of thoughts, feelings, moods, etc. But you must go

farther. You must be able to distinguish the "I" from these mental

conditions, which are as much tools as is the body and its parts.

 

Let us begin by considering the thoughts more closely connected with the

body, and then work up to the higher mental states.

 

The sensations of the body, such as hunger; thirst; pain; pleasurable

sensations; physical desires, etc., etc., are not apt to be mistaken for

essential qualities of the "I" by many of the Candidates, for they have

passed beyond this stage, and have learned to set aside these sensations,

to a greater or lesser extent, by an effort of the Will, and are no

longer slaves to them. Not that they do not experience these sensations,

but they have grown to regard them as incidents of the physical

life--good in their place--but useful to the advanced man only when he

has mastered them to the extent that he no longer regards them as close

to the "I." And yet, to some people, these sensations are so closely

identified with their conception of the "I" that when they think of

themselves they think merely of a bundle of these sensations. They are

not able to set them aside and consider them as things apart, to be used

when necessary and proper, but as things not fastened to the "I." The

more advanced a man becomes the farther off seem these sensations. Not

that he does not feel hungry, for instance. Not at all, for he recognizes

hunger, and satisfies it within reason, knowing that his physical body is

making demands for attention, and that these demands should be heeded.

But--mark the difference--instead of feeling that the "_I_" is hungry the

man feels that "_my body_" is hungry, just as he might become conscious

that his horse or dog was crying for food insistently. Do you see what

we mean? It is that the man no longer identifies himself--the "I"--with

the body, consequently the thoughts which are most closely allied to the

physical life seem comparatively "separate" from his "I" conception. Such

a man thinks "my stomach, this," or "my leg, that," or "my body, thus,"

instead of "'I,' this," or "'I' that." He is able, almost automatically,

to think of the body and its sensations as things _of_ him, and

_belonging to_ him, which require attention and care, rather than as real

parts of the "I." He is able to form a conception of the "I" as existing

without any of these things--without the body and its sensations--and so

he has taken the first step in the realization of the "I."

 

Before going on, we ask the students to stop a few moments, and mentally

run over these sensations of the body. Form a mental image of them, and

realize that they are merely incidents to the present stage of growth and

experience of the "I," and that they form no real part of it. They may,

and will be, left behind in the Ego's higher planes of advancement. You

may have attained this mental conception perfectly, long since, but we

ask that to give yourself the mental drill at this time, in order to

fasten upon your mind this first step.

 

In realizing that you are able to set aside, mentally, these

sensations--that you are able to hold them out at arm's length and

"consider" them as an "outside" thing, you mentally determine that they

are "not I" things, and you set them down in the "not I" collection--the

first to be placed there. Let us try to make this still plainer, even at

the risk of wearying you by repetitions (for you must get this idea

firmly fixed in your mind). To be able to say that a thing is "not I,"

you must realize that there are two things in question (1) the "not I"

thing, and (2) the "I" who is regarding the "not I" thing just as the "I"

regards a lump of sugar, or a mountain. Do you see what we mean? Keep at

it until you do.

 

Next, consider some of the emotions, such as anger; hate; love, in its

ordinary forms; jealousy; ambition; and the hundred and one other

emotions that sweep through our brains. You will find that you are able

to set each one of these emotions or feelings aside and study it; dissect

it; analyze it; consider it. You will be able to understand the rise,

progress and end of each of these feelings, as they have come to you, and

as you recall them in your memory or imagination, just as readily as you

would were you observing their occurrence in the mind of a friend. You

will find them all stored away in some parts of your mental make-up, and

you may (to use a modern American slang phrase) "make them trot before

you, and show their paces." Don't you see that they are not "You"--that

they are merely something that you carry around with you in a mental bag.

You can imagine yourself as living without them, and still being "I," can

you not?

 

And the very fact that you are able to set them aside and examine and

consider them is a proof that they are "not I" things--for there are two

things in the matter (1) _You_ who are examining and considering them,

and (2) the thing itself which is the _object_ of the examination and

consideration at mental arm's length. So into the "not I" collection go

these emotions, desirable and undesirable. The collection is steadily

growing, and will attain quite formidable proportions after a while.

 

Now, do not imagine that this is a lesson designed to teach you how to

discard these emotions, although if it enables you to get rid of the

undesirable ones, so much the better. This is not our object, for we bid

you place the desirable (at this time) ones in with the opposite kind,

the idea being to bring you to a realization that the "I" is higher,

above and independent of these mental somethings, and then when you have

realized the nature of the "I," you may return and use (as a Master) the

things that have been using you as a slave. So do not be afraid to throw

these emotions (good and bad) into the "not I" collection. You may go

back to them, and use the good ones, after the Mental Drill is over. No

matter how much you may think that you are bound by any of these

emotions, you will realize, by careful analysis, that it is of the "not

I" kind, for the "I" existed before the emotion came into active play,

and it will live long after the emotion has faded away. The principal

proof is that you are able to hold it out at arm's length and examine

it--a proof that it is "not I."

 

Run through the entire list of your feelings; emotions; moods; and what

not, just as you would those of a well-known friend or relative, and you

will see that each one--every one--is a "not I" thing, and you will lay

it aside for the time, for the purpose of the scientific experiment, at

least.

 

Then passing on to the Intellect, you will be able to hold out for

examination each mental process and principle. You don't believe it, you

may say. Then read and study some good work on Psychology, and you will

learn to dissect and analyze every intellectual process--and to classify

it and place it in the proper pigeon-hole. Study Psychology by means of

some good text-book, and you will find that one by one every intellectual

process is classified, and talked about and labeled, just as you would a

collection of flowers. If that does not satisfy you, turn the leaves of

some work on Logic, and you will admit that you may hold these

intellectual processes at arm's length and examine them, and talk about

them to others. So that these wonderful tools of Man--the Intellectual

powers may be placed in the "not I" collection, for the "I" is capable of

standing aside and viewing them--it is able to detach them from itself.

The most remarkable thing about this is that in admitting this fact, you

realize that the "I" is using these very intellectual faculties to pass

upon themselves. Who is the Master that compels these faculties to do

this to themselves? The Master of the Mind--The "I."

 

And reaching the higher regions of the mind--even the Spiritual Mind, you

will be compelled to admit that the things that have come into

consciousness from that region may be considered and studied, just as may

be any other mental thing, and so even these high things must be placed

in the "not I" collection. You may object that this does not prove that

all the things in the Spiritual Mind may be so treated--that there may be

"I" things there that can not be so treated. We will not discuss this

question, for you know nothing about the Spiritual Mind except as it has

revealed itself to you, and the higher regions of that mind are like the

mind of a God, when compared to what _you_ call mind. But the evidence of

the Illumined--those in whom the Spiritual Mind has wonderfully unfolded

tell us that even in the highest forms of development, the Initiates,

yea, even the Masters, realize that above even their highest mental

states there is always that eternal "I" brooding over them, as the Sun

over the lake; and that the highest conception of the "I" known even to

advanced souls, is but a faint reflection of the "I" filtering through

the Spiritual Mind, although that Spiritual Mind is as clear as the

clearest crystal when compared with our comparatively opaque mental

states. And the highest mental state is but a tool or instrument of the

"I," and is not the "I" itself.

 

And yet the "I" is to be found in the faintest forms of consciousness,

and animates even the unconscious life. The "I" is always the same, but

its apparent growth is the result of the mental unfoldment of the

individual. As we described it in one of the lessons of the "_Advanced

Course_" it is like an electric lamp that is encased in many wrappings of

cloth. As cloth after cloth is removed, the light seems to grow brighter

and stronger, and yet it has changed not, the change being in the removal

of the confining and bedimming coverings. We do not expect to make you

realize the "I" in all its fullness--that is far beyond the highest known

to man of to-day--but we do hope to bring you to a realization of the

highest conception of the "I," possible to each of you in your present

stage of unfoldment, and in the process we expect to cause to drop from

you some of the confining sheaths that you have about outgrown. The

sheaths are ready for dropping, and all that is required is the touch of

a friendly hand to cause them to fall fluttering from you. We wish to

bring you to the fullest possible (to you) realization of the "I," in

order to make an Individual of you--in order that you may understand, and

have courage to take up the tools and instruments lying at your hand, and

do the work before you.

 

And now, back to the Mental Drill. After you have satisfied yourself that

about everything that you are capable of thinking about is a "not I"

thing--a tool and instrument for your use--you will ask, "And now, what

is there left that should not be thrown in the "not I" collection." To

this question we answer "THE 'I' ITSELF." And when you demand a proof

we say, "Try to set aside the 'I' for consideration!" You may try from

now until the passing away of infinities of infinities, and you will

never be able to set aside the real "I" for consideration. You may think

you can, but a little reflection will show you that you are merely

setting aside some of your mental qualities or faculties. And in this

process what is the "I" doing? Simply setting aside and considering

things. Can you not see that the "I" cannot be both the _considerer_ and

the thing considered--the _examiner_ and the thing examined? Can the sun

shine upon itself by its own light? You may consider the "I" of some

other person, but it is _your_ "I" that is considering. But you cannot,

as an "I," stand aside and see yourself as an "I." Then what evidence

have we that there is an "I" to us? This: that you are always conscious

of being the considerer and examiner, instead of the considered and

examined thing--and then, you have the evidence of your consciousness.

And what report does this consciousness give us? Simply this, and nothing

more: "I AM." That is all that the "I" is conscious of, regarding its

true self: "I AM," but that consciousness is worth all the rest, for the

rest is but "not I" tools that the "I" may reach out and use.

 

And so at the final analysis, you will find that there is something that

refuses to be set aside and examined by the "I." And that something is

the "I" itself--that "I" eternal, unchangeable--that drop of the Great

Spirit Ocean--that spark from the Sacred Flame.

 

Just as you find it impossible to imagine the "I" as dead, so will you

find it impossible to set aside the "I" for consideration--all that comes

to you is the testimony: "I AM."

 

If you were able to set aside the "I" for consideration, who would be the

one to consider it? Who could consider except the "I" itself, and if it

be _here_, how could it be _there?_ The "I" cannot be the "not I" even in

the wildest flights of the imagination--the imagination with all its

boasted freedom and power, confesses itself vanquished when asked to do

this thing.

 

Oh, students, may you be brought to a realization of what you are. May

you soon awaken to the fact that you are sleeping gods--that you have

within you the power of the Universe, awaiting your word to manifest

in action. Long ages have you toiled to get this far, and long must you

travel before you reach even the first Great Temple, but you are now

entering into the conscious stage of Spiritual Evolution. No longer will

your eyes be closed as you walk the Path. From now on you will begin to

see clearer and clearer each step, in the dawning light of consciousness.

 

You are in touch with all of life, and the separation of your "I" from

the great Universal "I" is but apparent and temporary. We will tell you

of these things in our Third Lesson, but before you can grasp that you

must develop the "I" consciousness within you. Do not lay aside this

matter as one of no importance. Do not dismiss our weak explanation as

being "merely words, words, words," as so many are inclined to do. We are

pointing out a great truth to you. Why not follow the leadings of the

Spirit which even now--this moment while you read--is urging you to walk

The Path of Attainment? Consider the teachings of this lesson, and

practice the Mental Drill until your mind has grasped its significance,

then let it sink deep down into your inner consciousness. Then will you

be ready for the next lessons, and those to follow.

 

Practice this Mental Drill until you are fully assured of the _reality_

of the "I" and the _relativity_ of the "not "I" in the mind. When you

once grasp this truth, you will find that you will be able to use the

mind with far greater power and effect, for you will recognize that it is

your tool and instrument, fitted and intended to do your bidding. You

will be able to master your moods, and emotions when necessary, and will

rise from the position of a slave to a Master.

 

Our words seem cheap and poor, when we consider the greatness of the

truth that we are endeavoring to convey by means of them. For who can

find words to express the inexpressible? All that we may hope to do is to

awaken a keen interest and attention on your part, so that you will

practice the Mental Drill, and thus obtain the evidence of your own

mentality to the truth. Truth is not truth to you until you have proven

it in your own experience, and once so proven you cannot be robbed of it,

nor can it be argued away from you.

 

You must realize that in every mental effort You--the "I"--are behind it.

You bid the Mind work, and it obeys your Will. You are the Master, and

not the slave of your mind. You are the Driver, not the driven. Shake

yourself loose from the tyranny of the mind that has oppressed you for so

long. Assert yourself, and be free. We will help you in this direction

during the course of these lessons, but you must first assert yourself as

a Master of your Mind. Sign the mental Declaration of Independence from

your moods, emotions, and uncontrolled thoughts, and assert your Dominion

over them. Enter into your Kingdom, thou manifestation of the Spirit!

 

While this lesson is intended primarily to bring clearly into your

consciousness the fact that the "I" is a reality, separate and distinct

from its Mental Tools, and while the control of the mental faculties by

the Will forms a part of some of the future lessons, still, we think that

this is a good place to point out to you the advantages arising from a

realization of the true nature of the "I" and the relative aspect of the

Mind.

 

Many of us have supposed that our minds were the masters of ourselves,

and we have allowed ourselves to be tormented and worried by thoughts

"running away" with us, and presenting themselves at inopportune moments.

The Initiate is relieved from this annoyance, for he learns to assert his

mastery over the different parts of the mind, and controls and regulates

his mental processes, just as one would a fine piece of machinery. He is

able to control his conscious thinking faculties, and direct their work

to the best advantage, and he also learns how to pass on orders to the

subconscious mental region and bid it work for him while he sleeps, or

even when he is using his conscious mind in other matters. These subjects

will be considered by us in due time, during the course of lessons.

 

In this connection it may be interesting to read what Edward Carpenter

says of the power of the individual to control his thought processes. In

his book "_From Adam's Peak to Eleplumta_," in describing his experience

while visiting a Hindu Gnani Yogi, he says:

 

"And if we are unwilling to believe in this internal mastery over the

body, we are perhaps almost equally unaccustomed to the idea of mastery

over our own inner thoughts and feelings. That a man should be a prey to

any thought that chances to take possession of his mind, is commonly

among us assumed as unavoidable. It may be a matter of regret that he

should be kept awake all night from anxiety as to the issue of a lawsuit

on the morrow, but that he should have the power of determining whether

he be kept awake or not seems an extravagant demand. The image of an

impending calamity is no doubt odious, but its very odiousness (we say)

makes it haunt the mind all the more pertinaciously and it is useless to

try to expel it.

 

"Yet this is an absurd position--for man, the heir of all the ages:

hag-ridden by the flimsy creatures of his own brain. If a pebble in our

boot torments us, we expel it. We take off the boot and shake it out.

And once the matter is fairly understood it is just as easy to expel an

intruding and obnoxious thought from the mind. About this there ought to

be no mistake, no two opinions. The thing is obvious, clear and

unmistakable. It should be as easy to expel an obnoxious thought from

your mind as it is to shake a stone out of your shoe; and till a man can

do that it is just nonsense to talk about his ascendancy over Nature, and

all the rest of it. He is a mere slave, and prey to the bat-winged

phantoms that flit through the corridors of his own brain.

 

"Yet the weary and careworn faces that we meet by thousands, even among

the affluent classes of civilization, testify only too clearly how seldom

this mastery is obtained. How rare indeed to meet a _man_! How common

rather to discover a creature hounded on by tyrant thoughts (or cares or

desires), cowering, wincing under the lash--or perchance priding himself

to run merrily in obedience to a driver that rattles the reins and

persuades him that he is free--whom we cannot converse with in careless

_tete-a-tete_ because that alien presence is always there, on the watch.

 

"It is one of the most prominent doctrines of Raja Yoga that the power of

expelling thoughts, or if need be, killing them dead on the spot, _must_

be attained. Naturally the art requires practice, but like other arts,

when once acquired there is no mystery or difficulty about it. And it is

worth practice. It may indeed fairly be said that life only begins when

this art has been acquired. For obviously when instead of being ruled by

individual thoughts, the whole flock of them in their immense multitude

and variety and capacity is ours to direct and dispatch and employ where

we list ('for He maketh the winds his messengers and the flaming fire His

minister'), life becomes a thing so vast and grand compared with what it

was before, that its former condition may well appear almost antenatal.

 

"If you can kill a thought dead, for the time being, you can do anything

else with it that you please. And therefore it is that this power is so

valuable. And it not only frees a man from mental torment (which is

nine-tenths at least of the torment of life), but it gives him a

concentrated power of handling mental work absolutely unknown to him

before. The two things are co-relative to each other. As already said

this is one of the principles of Raja Yoga.

 

"While at work your thought is to be absolutely concentrated in it,

undistracted by anything whatever irrelevant to the matter in

hand--pounding away like a great engine, with giant power and perfect

economy--no wear and tear of friction, or dislocation of parts owing to

the working of different forces at the same time. Then when the work is

finished, if there is no more occasion for the use of the machine, it

must stop equally, absolutely--stop entirely--no _worrying_ (as if a

parcel of boys were allowed to play their devilments with a locomotive as

soon as it was in the shed)--and the man must retire into that region of

his consciousness where his true self dwells.

 

"I say the power of the thought-machine itself is enormously increased by

this faculty of letting it alone on the one hand, and of using it singly

and with concentration on the other. It becomes a true tool, which a

master-workman lays down when done with, but which only a bungler carries

about with him all the time to show that he is the possessor of it."

 

We ask the students to read carefully the above quotations from Mr.

Carpenter's book, for they are full of suggestions that may be taken up

to advantage by those who are emancipating themselves from their slavery

to the unmastered mind, and who are now bringing the mind under control

of the Ego, by means of the Will.

 

Our next lesson will take up the subject of the relationship of the "I"

to the Universal "I," and will be called the "Expansion of the Self." It

will deal with the subject, not from a theoretical standpoint, but from

the position of the teacher who is endeavoring to make his students

actually _aware_ in their consciousness of the truth of the proposition.

In this course we are not trying to make our students past-masters of

_theory_, but are endeavoring to place them in a position whereby they

may _know_ for themselves, and actually experience the things of which we

teach.

 

Therefore we urge upon you not to merely rest content with reading this

lesson, but, instead, to study and meditate upon the teachings mentioned

under the head of "Mental Drill," until the distinctions stand out

clearly in your mind, and until you not only _believe_ them to be true,

but actually are _conscious_ of the "I" and its Mental Tools. Have

patience and perseverance. The task may be difficult, but the reward is

great. To become conscious of the greatness, majesty, strength and power

of your real being is worth years of hard study. Do you not think so?

Then study and practice hopefully, diligently and earnestly.

 

Peace be with you.

 

 

MANTRAMS (AFFIRMATIONS) FOR THE SECOND LESSON.

 

"I" am an entity--my mind is my instrument of expression.

 

"I" exist independent of my mind, and am not dependent upon it for

existence or being.

 

"I" am Master of my mind, not its slave.

 

"I" can set aside my sensations, emotions, passions, desires,

intellectual faculties, and all the rest of my mental collection of

tools, as "not I" things--and still there remains something--and that

something is "I," which cannot be set aside by me, for it is my very

self; my only self; my real self--"I." That which remains after all that

may be set aside _is_ set aside is the "I"--Myself--eternal, constant,

unchangeable.

 

[Illustration: "I am"]

 

 

 

 

THE THIRD LESSON.

 

THE EXPANSION OF THE SELF.

 

 

In the first two lessons of this course we have endeavored to bring to

the candidate a realization in consciousness of the reality of the "I,"

and to enable him to distinguish between the Self and its sheaths,

physical and mental. In the present lesson we will call his attention to

the relationship of the "I" to the Universal "I," and will endeavor to

give him an idea of a greater, grander Self, transcending personality

and the little self that we are so apt to regard as the "I."

 

The keynote of this lesson will be "The Oneness of All," and all of its

teachings will be directed to awakening a realization in consciousness of

that great truth. But we wish to impress upon the mind of the Candidate

that we are _not_ teaching him that he is the Absolute. We are not

teaching the "I Am God" belief, which we consider to be erroneous and

misleading, and a perversion of the original Yogi teachings. This false

teaching has taken possession of many of the Hindu teachers and people,

and with its accompanying teaching of "Maya" or the complete illusion or

non-existence of the Universe, has reduced millions of people to a

passive, negative mental condition which undoubtedly is retarding their

progress. Not only in India is this true, but the same facts may be

observed among the pupils of the Western teachers who have embraced this

negative side of the Oriental Philosophy. Such people confound the

"Absolute" and "Relative" aspects of the One, and, being unable to

reconcile the facts of Life and the Universe with their theories of "I Am

God," they are driven to the desperate expedient of boldly denying the

Universe, and declaring it to be all "an illusion" or "Maya."

 

You will have no trouble in distinguishing the pupils of the teachers

holding this view. They will be found to exhibit the most negative mental

condition--a natural result of absorbing the constant suggestion of

"nothingness"--the gospel of negation. In marked contrast to the mental

condition of the students, however, will be observed the mental attitude

of the teachers, who are almost uniformly examples of vital, positive,

mental force, capable of hurling their teaching into the minds of the

pupils--of driving in their statements by the force of an awakened Will.

The teacher, as a rule, has awakened to a sense of the "I" consciousness,

and really develops the same by his "I Am God" attitude, because by

holding this mental attitude he is enabled to throw off the influence of

the sheaths of the lower mental principles, and the light of the Self

shows forth fiercely and strongly, sometimes to such an extent that it

fairly scorches the mentality of the less advanced pupil. But,

notwithstanding this awakened "I" consciousness, the teacher is

handicapped by his intellectual misconception and befogging metaphysics,

and is unable to impart the "I" consciousness to his pupils, and, instead

of raising them up to shine with equal splendor with himself, he really

forces them into a shadow by reason of his teachings.

 

Our students, of course, will understand that the above is not written in

the spirit of carping criticism or fault-finding. We hold no such mental

attitude, and indeed could not if we remain true to our conception of

Truth. We are mentioning these matters simply that the student may avoid

this "I Am God" pitfall which awaits the Candidate just as he has well

started on the Path. It would not be such a serious matter if it were

merely a question of faulty metaphysics, for that would straighten itself

out in time. But it is far more serious than this, for the teaching

inevitably leads to the accompanying teaching that all is Illusion or

_Maya_, and that Life is but a dream--a false thing--a lie--a nightmare;

that the journey along the Path is but an illusion; that everything is

"nothing"; that there is no soul; that You are God in disguise, and that

He is fooling Himself in making believe that He is You; that Life is but

a Divine masquerade or sleight-of-hand performance; that You are God, but

that You (God) are fooling Yourself (God) in order to amuse Yourself

(God). Is not this horrible? And yet it shows to what lengths the human

mind will go before it will part with some pet theory of metaphysics with

which it has been hypnotized. Do you think that we have overdrawn the

picture? Then read some of the teachings of these schools of the Oriental

Philosophy, or listen to some of the more radical of the Western teachers

preaching this philosophy. The majority of the latter lack the courage of

the Hindu teachers in carrying their theories to a logical conclusion,

and, consequently they veil their teachings with metaphysical subtlety.

But a few of them are more courageous, and come out into the open and

preach their doctrine in full.

 

Some of the modern Western teachers of this philosophy explain matters by

saying that "God is masquerading as different forms of life, including

Man, in order that he may gain the experience resulting therefrom, for

although He has Infinite and Absolute Wisdom and Knowledge, he lacks the

experience that comes only from actually living the life of the lowly

forms, and therefore He descend thus in order to gain the needed

experience." Can you imagine the Absolute, possessed of all possible

Knowledge and Wisdom, feeling the need of such petty "experience," and

living the life of the lowly forms (including Man) in order "to gain

experience?" To what Depths do these vain theories of Man drive us?

Another leading Western teacher, who has absorbed the teaching of certain

branches of the Oriental Philosophy, and who possesses the courage of his

convictions, boldly announces that "You, yourself, are the _totality_ of

being, and with your mind alone create, preserve and destroy the

universe, which is your own mental product." And again the last mentioned

teacher states: "the entire universe is a bagatelle illustration of your

own creative power, which you are now exhibiting for your own

inspection." "By their fruits shall you know them," is a safe rule to

apply to all teachings. The philosophy that teaches that the Universe is

an illusion perpetrated by you (God) to amuse, entertain or fool yourself

(God), can have but one result, and that is the conclusion that

"everything is nothing," and all that is necessary to do is to sit down,

fold your hands and enjoy the Divine exhibition of legerdemain that you

are performing for your own entertainment, and then, when the show is

over, return to your state of conscious Godhood and recall with smiles

the pleasant memories of the "conjure show" that you created to fool

yourself with during several billions of ages. That is what it amounts

to, and the result is that those accepting this philosophy thrust upon

them by forceful teachers, and knowing in their hearts that they are

_not_ God, but absorbing the suggestions of "nothingness," are driven

into a state of mental apathy and negativeness, the soul sinking into a

stupor from which it may not be roused for a long period of time.

 

We wish you to avoid confounding our teaching with this just mentioned.

We wish to teach you that You are a real Being--_not_ God Himself, but a

manifestation of Him who is the Absolute. You are a Child of the

Absolute, if you prefer the term, possessed of the Divine Heritage, and

whose mission it is to unfold qualities which are your inheritances from

your Parent. Do not make the great mistake of confounding the Relative

with the Absolute. Avoid this pitfall into which so many have fallen. Do

not allow yourself to fall into the "Slough of Despond," and wallow in

the mud of "nothingness," and to see no reality except in the person of

some forceful teacher who takes the place of the Absolute in your mind.

But raise your head and assert your Divine Parentage, and your Heritage

from the Absolute, and step out boldly on the Path, asserting the "I."

 

(We must refer the Candidate back to our "Advanced Course," for our

teachings regarding the Absolute and the Relative. The last three lessons

of that course will throw light upon what we have just said To repeat the

teaching at this point would be to use space which is needed for the

lesson before us.)

 

And yet, while the "I" is _not_ God, the Absolute, it is infinitely

greater than we have imagined it to be before the light dawned upon us.

It extends itself far beyond what we had conceived to be its limits. It

touches the Universe at all its points, and is in the closest union with

all of Life. It is in the closest touch with all that has emanated from

the Absolute--all the world of Relativity. And while it faces the

Relative Universe, it has its roots in the Absolute, and draws

nourishment therefrom, just as does the babe in the womb obtain

nourishment from the mother. It is verily a manifestation of God, and

God's very essence is in it. Surely this is almost as "high" a statement

as the "I Am God" of the teachers just mentioned,--and yet how different.

Let us consider the teaching in detail in this lesson, and in portions of

others to follow.

 

Let us begin with a consideration of the instruments of the Ego, and the

material with which and through which the Ego works. Let us realize that

the physical body of man is identical in substance with all other forms

of matter, and that its atoms are continually changing and being

replaced, the material being drawn from the great storehouse of matter,

and that there is a Oneness of matter underlying all apparent differences

of form and substance. And then let us realize that the vital energy or

_Prana_ that man uses in his life work is but a portion of that great

universal energy which permeates everything and everywhere, the portion

being used by us at any particular moment being drawn from the universal

supply, and again passing out from us into the great ocean of force or

energy. And then let us realize that even the mind, which is so close to

the real Self that it is often mistaken for it--even that wonderful thing

Thought--is but a portion of the Universal Mind, the highest emanation of

the Absolute beneath the plane of Spirit, and that the Mind--substance or

_Chitta_ that we are using this moment, is not ours separately and

distinctly, but is simply a portion from the great universal supply,

which is constant and unchangeable. Let us then realize that even this

thing that we feel pulsing within us--that which is so closely bound up

with the Spirit as to be almost inseparable from it--that which we call

Life--is but a bit of that Great Life Principle that pervades the

Universe, and which cannot be added to, nor subtracted from. When we have

realized these things, and have begun to feel our relation (in these

particulars) to the One Great Emanation of the Absolute, then we may

begin to grasp the idea of the Oneness of Spirit, and the relation of the

"I" to every other "I," and the merging of the Self into the one great

Self, which is not the extinction of Individuality, as some have

supposed, but the enlargement and extension of the Individual

Consciousness until it takes in the Whole.

 

In Lessons X and XI, of the "Advanced Course" we called your attention to

the Yogi teachings concerning _Akasa_ or Matter, and showed you that all

forms of what we know as Matter are but different forms of manifestation

of the principle called _Akasa_, or as the Western scientists call it,

"Ether." This Ether or _Akasa_ is the finest, thinnest and most tenuous

form of Matter, in fact it is Matter in its ultimate or fundamental form,

the different forms of what we call Matter being but manifestations of

this _Akasa_ or Ether, the apparent difference resulting from different

rates of vibration, etc. We mention this fact here merely to bring

clearly before your mind the fact of the Universality of Matter, to the

end that you may realize that each and every particle of your physical

body is but a portion of this great principle of the Universe, fresh from

the great store-house, and just about returning to it again, for the

atoms of the body are constantly changing. That which appears as your

flesh to-day, may have been part of a plant a few days before, and may be

part of some other living thing a few days hence. Constant change is

going on, and what is yours to-day was someone's else yesterday, and

still another's to-morrow. You do not own one atom of matter

_personally_, it is all a part of the common supply, the stream flowing

through you and through all Life, on and on forever.

 

And so it is with the Vital Energy that you are using every moment of

your life. You are constantly drawing upon the great Universal supply of

_Prana_, then using what is given you, allowing the force to pass on to

assume some other form. It is the property of all, and all you can do is

to use what you need, and allow it to pass on. There is but one Force or

Energy, and that is to be found everywhere at all times.

 

And even the great principle, Mind-substance, is under the same law. It

is hard for us to realize this. We are so apt to think of our mental

operations as distinctively our own--something that belongs to us

personally--that it is difficult for us to realize that Mind-substance is

a Universal principle just as Matter or Energy, and that we are but

drawing upon the Universal supply in our mental operations. And more than

this, the particular portion of Mind-substance that we are using,

although separated from the Mind-substance used by other individuals by a

thin wall of the very finest kind of Matter, is really in touch with the

other apparently separated minds, and with the Universal Mind of which it

forms a part. Just as is the Matter of which our physical bodies are

composed really in touch with all Matter; and just as is the Vital Force

used by us really in touch with all Energy; so is our Mind-substance

really in touch with all Mind-substance. It is as if the Ego in its

progress were moving through great oceans of Matter, Energy, or

Mind-substance, making use of that of each which it needed and which

immediately surrounded it, and leaving each behind as it moved on through

the great volume of the ocean. This illustration is clumsy, but it may

bring to your consciousness a realization that the Ego is the only thing

that is really _Yours_, unchangeable and unaltered, and that all the rest

is merely that portion of the Universal supply that you draw to yourself

for the wants of the moment. It may also bring more clearly before your

mind the great Unity of things--may enable you to see things as a Whole,

rather than as separated parts. Remember, _You_--the "I"--are the only

Real thing about and around you--all that has permanence--and Matter,

Force and even Mind-substance, are but your instruments for use and

expression. There are great oceans of each surrounding the "I" as it

moves along.

 

It is well for you also to bear in mind the Universality of Life. All of

the Universe is alive, vibrating and pulsating with life and energy and

motion. There is nothing dead in the Universe. Life is everywhere, and

always accompanied by intelligence. There is no such thing as a dead,

unintelligent Universe. _Instead of being atoms of Life floating in a sea

of death, we are atoms of Life surrounded by an ocean of Life, pulsating,

moving, thinking, living._ Every atom of what we call Matter is alive. It

has energy or force with it, and is always accompanied by intelligence

and life. Look around us as we will--at the animal world--at the plant

world--yes, even at the world of minerals and we see life, life,

life--all alive and having intelligence. When we are able to bring this

conception into the realm of actual consciousness--when we are able not

only to intellectually accept this fact, but to even go still further and

_feel_ and be conscious of this Universal Life on all sides, then are we

well on the road to attaining the Cosmic Consciousness.

 

But all these things are but steps leading up to the realization of

the Oneness in Spirit, on the part of the Individual. Gradually there

dawns upon him the realization that there is a Unity in the manifestation

of Spirit from the Absolute--a unity with itself, and a Union with the

Absolute. All this manifestation of Spirit on the part of the

Absolute--all this begetting of Divine Children--was in the nature of a

single act rather than as a series of acts, if we may be permitted

to speak of the manifestation as an _act_. Each Ego is a Centre of

Consciousness in this great ocean of Spirit--each is a Real Self,

apparently separate from the others and from its source, but the

separation is only apparent in both cases, for there is the closest

bond of union between the Egos of the Universe of Universes--each is knit

to the other in the closest bond of union, and each is still attached to

the Absolute by spiritual filaments, if we may use the term. In time we

shall grow more conscious of this mutual relationship, as the sheaths are

outgrown and cast aside, and in the end we will be withdrawn into the

Absolute--shall return to the Mansion of the Father.

 

It is of the highest importance to the developing soul to unfold into a

realization of this relationship and unity, _for when this conception is

once fully established the soul is enabled to rise above certain of the

lower planes, and is free from the operation of certain laws that bind

the undeveloped soul_. Therefore the Yogi teachers are constantly leading

the Candidates toward this goal. First by this path, and then by that

one, giving them different glimpses of the desired point, until finally

the student finds a path best fitted for his feet, and he moves along

straight to the mark, and throwing aside the confining bonds that have

proved so irksome, he cries aloud for joy at his new found Freedom.

 

The following exercises and Mental Drills are intended to aid the

Candidate in his work of growing into a realization of his relationship

with the Whole of Life and Being.

 

 

MENTAL DRILL.

 

(1) Read over what we have said in the "Advanced Course" regarding

the principle known as Matter. Realize that all Matter is One at the

last--that the real underlying substance of Matter is _Akasa_ or

Ether, and that all the varying forms evident to our senses are but

modifications and grosser forms of that underlying principle. Realize

that by known chemical processes all forms of Matter known to us, or

rather all combinations resulting in "forms," may be resolved into their

original elements, and that these elements are merely _Akasa_ in

different states of vibration. Let the idea of the Oneness of the visible

Universe sink deeply into your mind, until it becomes fixed there. The

erroneous conception of diversity in the material world must be replaced

by the consciousness of Unity--Oneness, at the last, in spite of the

appearance of variety and manifold forms. You must grow to see behind the

world of forms of Matter, and see the great principle of Matter (_Akasa_

or Ether) back of, within, and under it all. You must grow to _feel_

this, as well as to intellectually see it.

 

(2) Meditate over the last mentioned truths, and then follow the matter

still further. Read what we have said in the "Advanced Course" (Lesson

XI) about the last analysis of Matter showing it fading away into Force

or Energy until the dividing line is lost, and Matter merges into Energy

or Force, showing them both to be but the same thing, Matter being a

grosser form of Energy or Force. This idea should be impressed upon the

understanding, in order that the complete edifice of the Knowing of the

Oneness may be complete in all of its parts.

 

(3) Then read in the "Advanced Lessons" about Energy or Force, in the

oneness underlying its various manifestations. Consider how one form of

Energy may be transformed into another, and so on around the circle, the

one principle producing the entire chain of appearances. Realize that the

energy within you by which you move and act, is but one of the forms of

this great Principle of Energy with which the Universe is filled, and

that you may draw to you the required Energy from the great Universal

supply. But above all endeavor to grasp the idea of the Oneness pervading

the world of Energy or Force, or Motion. See it in its entirety, rather

than in its apparent separateness. These steps may appear somewhat

tedious and useless, but take our word for it, they are all helps in

fitting the mind to grasp the idea of the Oneness of All. Each step is

important, and renders the next higher one more easily attained. In this

mental drill, it will be well to mentally picture the Universe in

perpetual motion--everything is in motion--all matter is moving and

changing its forms, and manifesting the Energy within it. Suns and worlds

rush through space, their particles constantly changing and moving.

Chemical composition and decomposition is constant and unceasing,

everywhere the work of building up and breaking down is going on. New

combinations of atoms and worlds are constantly being formed and

dissolved. And after considering this Oneness of the principle of Energy,

reflect that through all these changes of form the Ego--the Real

Self--YOU--stand unchanged and unharmed--Eternal, Invincible,

Indestructible, Invulnerable, _Real_ and Constant among this changing

world of forms and force. You are above it all, and it revolves around

and about you--Spirit.

 

(4) Read what we have said in the "Advanced Course" about Force or

Energy, shading into Mind-substance which is its parent. Realize that

Mind is back of all this great exhibition of Energy and Force that you

have been considering. Then will you be ready to consider the Oneness of

Mind.

 

(5) Read what we have said in the "Advanced Lessons" about

Mind-substance. Realize that there is a great world of Mind-substance,

or an Universal Mind, which is at the disposal of the Ego. All Thought is

the product of the Ego's use of this Mind-substance, its tool and

instrument. Realize that this Ocean of Mind is entire and Whole, and that

the Ego may draw freely from it. Realize that _You_ have this great ocean

of Mind at your command, when you unfold sufficiently to use it. Realize

that Mind is back of and underneath all of the world of form and names

and action, and that in that sense: "All is Mind," although still higher

in the scale than even Mind are _You_, the Real Self, the Ego, the

Manifestation of the Absolute.

 

(6) Realize your identity with and relationship to All of Life. Look

around you at Life in all its forms, from the lowest to the highest, all

being exhibitions of the great principle of Life in operation along

different stages of The Path. Scorn not the humblest forms, but look

behind the form and see the reality--Life. Feel yourself a part of the

great Universal Life. Let your thought sink to the depths of the ocean,

and realize your kinship with the Life back of the forms dwelling there.

Do not confound the forms (often hideous from your personal point of

view) with the principle behind them. Look at the plant-life, and the

animal life, and seek to see behind the veil of form into the real Life

behind and underneath the form. Learn to feel your Life throbbing and

thrilling with the Life Principle in these other forms, and in the forms

of those of your own race. Gaze into the starry skies and see there the

numerous suns and worlds, all peopled with life in some of its myriad

forms, and feel your kinship to it. If you can grasp this thought and

consciousness, you will find yourself at-one-ment with those whirling

worlds, and, instead of feeling small and insignificant by comparison,

you will be conscious of an expansion of Self, until you feel that in

those circling worlds is a part of yourself--that You are there also,

while standing upon the Earth--that you are akin to all parts of the

Universe--nay, more, that they are as much your home as is the spot upon

which you are standing. You will find sweeping upon you a sense of

consciousness that the Universe is your home--not merely a part of it, as

you had previously thought. You will experience a sense of greatness, and

broadness and grandness such as you have never dreamed of. You will begin

to realize at least a part of your Divine inheritance, and to know indeed

that you are a Child of the Infinite, the very essence of your Divine

Parent being in the fibres of your being, At such times of realization

one becomes conscious of what lies before the soul in its upward path,

and how small the greatest prizes that Earth has to offer are when

compared to some of these things before the soul, as seen by the eyes of

the Spiritual Mind in moments of clear vision.

 

You must not dispute with these visions of the greatness of the soul, but

must treat them hospitably, for they are your very own, coming to you

from the regions of your Spiritual Mind which are unfolding into

consciousness.

 

(7) The highest step in this dawning consciousness of the Oneness of All,

is the one in which is realized that there is but One Reality, and at the

same time the sense of consciousness that the "I" is in that Reality. It

is most difficult to express this thought in words for it is something

that must be felt, rather than seen by the Intellect. When the Soul

realizes that the Spirit within it is, at the last, the only _real_ part

of it, and that the Absolute and its manifestation as Spirit is the only

_real_ thing in the Universe, a great step has been taken. But there is

still one higher step to be taken before the full sense of the Oneness

and Reality comes to us. That step is the one in which we realize the

Identity of the "I" with the great "I" of the Universe. The mystery of

the manifestation of the Absolute in the form of the Spirit, is veiled

from us--the mind confesses its inability to penetrate behind the veil

shielding the Absolute from view, although it will give us a report of

its being conscious of the presence of the Absolute just at the edge of

the boundary line. But the highest region of the Spiritual Mind, when

explored by the advanced souls who are well along the Path, reports that

it sees beyond the apparent separation of Spirit from Spirit, and

realizes that there is but one Reality of Spirit, and that all the "I"'s

are really but different views of that One--Centres of Consciousness upon

the surface of the One Great "I," the Centre of which is the Absolute

Itself. This certainly penetrates the whole region of the Spiritual Mind,

and gives us all the message of Oneness of the Spirit, just as the

Intellect satisfies us with its message of the Oneness of Matter, Energy,

and Mind. The idea of Oneness permeates all planes of Life.

 

The sense of Reality of the "I" that is apparent to You in the moments of

your clearest mental vision, is really the reflection of the sense of

Reality underlying the Whole--it is the consciousness of the Whole,

manifesting through your point or Centre of Consciousness. The advanced

student or Initiate finds his consciousness gradually enlarging until it

realizes its identity with the Whole. He realizes that under all the

forms and names of the visible world, there is to be found One Life--One

Force--One Substance--One Existence--One Reality--ONE. And, instead of

his experiencing any sense of the loss of identity or individuality, he

becomes conscious of an enlargement of an expansion of individuality or

identity--instead of feeling himself absorbed in the Whole, he feels that

he is spreading out and embracing the Whole. This is most hard to express

in words, for there are no words to fit the conception, and all that we

can hope to do is to start into motion, by means of our words, the

vibrations that will find a response in the minds of those who read the

words, to the end that they will experience the consciousness which will

bring its own understanding. This consciousness cannot be transmitted by

words proceeding from the Intellect, but vibrations may be set up that

will prepare the mind to receive the message from its own higher planes.

 

Even in the early stages of this dawning consciousness, one is enabled to

identify the _real_ part of himself with the _real_ part of all the other

forms of life that pass before his notice. In every other man--in every

animal--in every plant--in every mineral--he sees behind the sheath and

form of appearance, an evidence of the presence of the Spirit which is

akin to his own Spirit--yea, more than akin, for the two are One. He sees

Himself in all forms of life, in all time in all places. He realizes that

the Real Self is everywhere present and everlasting, and that the Life

within himself is also within all the Universe--in everything, for there

is nothing dead in the Universe, and all Life, in all of its varying

phases, is simply the One Life, held, used and enjoyed in common by all.

Each Ego is a Centre of Consciousness in this great ocean of Life, and

while apparently separate and distinct, is yet really in touch with the

Whole, and with every apparent part.

 

It is not our intention, in this lesson, to go into the details of this

great mystery of Life, or to recite the comparatively little of the Truth

that the most advanced teachers and Masters have handed down. This is not

the place for it--it belongs to the subject of Gnani Yoga rather than to

Raja Yoga--and we touch upon it here, not for the purpose of trying to

explain the scientific side of it to you, but merely in order that your

minds may be led to take up the idea and gradually manifest it in

conscious realization. There is quite a difference between the

scientific, intellectual teaching of Gnani Yoga, whereby the metaphysical

and scientific sides of the Yogi teachings are presented to the minds of

the students, in a logical, scientific manner, and the methods of Raja

Yoga, in which the Candidate is led by degrees to a _consciousness_

(outside of mere intellectual belief) of his real nature and powers. We

are following the latter plan, for this course is a Course in _Raja_

Yoga. We are aiming to present the matter to the mind in such a manner

that it may prepare the way for the dawning consciousness, by brushing

away the preconceived notions and prejudices, and allowing a clean

entrance for the new conception. Much that we have said in this lesson

may appear, on the one hand, like useless repetition, and, on the other

hand, like an incomplete presentation of the scientific side of the Yogi

teachings. But it will be found, in time, that the effect has been that

the mind of the student has undergone a change from the absorbing of the

idea of the Oneness of Life, and the Expansion of the Self. The Candidate

is urged not to be in too much of a hurry. Development must not be

forced. Read what we have written, and practice the Mental Drills we have

given, even if they may appear trifling and childish to some of you--we

know what they will do for you, and you will agree with us in time. Make

haste slowly. You will find that the mind will work out the matter, even

though you be engaged in your ordinary work, and have forgotten the

subject for the time. The greater portion of mental work is done in this

way, while you are busy with something else, or even asleep, for the

sub-conscious portion of the mind works along the lines pointed out for

it, and performs its task.

 

As we have said, the purpose of this lesson is to bring you in the way of

the unfoldment of consciousness, rather than to teach you the details of

the scientific side of the Yogi teachings. Development is the keynote of

Raja Yoga. And the reason that we wish to develop this sense of the

Reality of the "I," and the Expansion of the Self, at this place is that

thereby you may assert your Mastery over Matter, Energy and Mind. Before

you may mount your throne as King, you must fully realize in

consciousness that you _are_ the _Reality_ in this world of appearances.

You must realize that you--the _real_ You--are not only existent, and

real, but that you are in touch with all else that is real, and that the

roots of your being are grounded in the Absolute itself. You must realize

that instead of being a separate atom of Reality, isolated and fixed in a

narrow space, you are a Centre of Consciousness in the Whole of Reality,

and that the Universe of Universes is your home--that your Centre of

Consciousness might be moved on to a point trillions of miles from the

Earth (which distance would be as nothing in Space) and still you--the

awakened soul--would be just as much at home there as here--that even

while you are here, your influence extends far out into space. Your real

state, which will be revealed to you, gradually, throughout the ages, is

so great and grand, that your mind in its present state of development

cannot grasp even the faint reflection of that glory.

 

We wish you to try to form at least a faint idea of your Real State of

Being, in order that you may control the lower principles by the force of

your awakened Will, which Will depends upon your degree of consciousness

of the Real Self.

 

As man grows in understanding and consciousness of the Real Self, so does

his ability to use his Will grow. Will is the attribute of the Real Self.

It is well that this great realization of the Real Self brings with it

Love for all of Life, and Kindness, for, were it not so, the Will that

comes to him who grows into a realization of his real being could be used

to the great hurt of those of the race who had not progressed so far

(their _relative_ hurt, we mean, for in the end, and at the last, no soul

is ever really _hurt_). But the dawning power brings with it greater Love

and Kindness, and the higher the soul mounts the more is it filled with

the higher ideals and the more does it throw from it the lower animal

attributes. It is true that some souls growing into a consciousness of

their real nature, without an understanding of what it all means, may

commit the error of using the awakened Will for selfish ends, as may be

seen in the cases of the Black Magicians spoken of in the occult

writings, and also in the cases of well known characters in history and

in modern life, who manifest an enormous Will which they misuse. All of

this class of people of great Will have stumbled or grown blindly into a

consciousness (or partial consciousness) of the real nature, but lack the

restraining influence of the higher teachings. But such misuse of the

Will brings pain and unrest to the user, and he is eventually driven into

the right road.

 

We do not expect our students to grasp fully this idea of the Expansion

of Self. Even the highest grasp it only partially. But until you get a

glimmering of the consciousness you will not be able to progress far

on the path of Raja Yoga. You must understand _what you are_, before you

are able to use the power that lies dormant within you. You must realize

that you are the Master, before you can claim the powers of the Master,

and expect to have your commands obeyed. So bear patiently with us, your

Teachers, while we set before you the lessons to be learned--the tasks to

be performed. The road is long, and is rough in places--the feet may

become tired and bruised, but the reward is great, and there are resting

places along the path. Be not discouraged if your progress seem slow, for

the soul must unfold naturally as does the flower, without haste, without

force.

 

And be not dismayed nor affrighted if you occasionally catch a glimpse

of your higher self. As "M.C." says, in her notes on "Light on the Path"

(see "Advanced Course," page 95): "To have seen thy soul in its bloom, is

to have obtained a momentary glimpse in thyself of the transfiguration

which shall eventually make thee more than man; to recognize, is to

achieve the great task of gazing upon the blazing light without dropping

the eyes, and not falling back in terror as though before some ghastly

phantom. This happens to some, and so, when the victory is all but won,

it is lost."

 

Peace be with thee.

 

 

MANTRAM (AFFIRMATION) FOR THE THIRD LESSON.

 

There is but one ultimate form of Matter; one ultimate form of Energy;

one ultimate form of Mind. Matter proceeds from Energy, and Energy from

Mind, and all are an emanation of the Absolute, threefold in appearance

but One in substance. There is but One Life, and that permeates the

Universe, manifesting in various forms, but being, at the last, but One.

My body is one with Universal Matter; My energy and vital force is one

with the Universal Energy; My Mind is one with the Universal Mind; My

Life is one with the Universal Life. The Absolute has expressed and

manifested itself in Spirit, which is the real "I" overshadowing and

embracing all the apparently separate "I"s. "I" feel my identity with

Spirit and realize the Oneness of All Reality. I feel my unity with all

Spirit, and my Union (through Spirit) with the Absolute. I realize that

"I" am an Expression and Manifestation of the Absolute, and that its

very essence is within me. I am filled with Divine Love. I am filled with

Divine Power. I am filled with Divine Wisdom. I am conscious of identity

in spirit, in substance; and in nature; with the One Reality.

 

 

 

 

THE FOURTH LESSON.

 

MENTAL CONTROL.

 

 

In our first three lessons of this series, we have endeavored to bring

into realization within your mind (1) the consciousness of the "I"; its

independence from the body; its immortality; its invincibility and

invulnerability; (2) the superiority of the "I" over the mind, as well as

over the body; the fact that the mind is not the "I," but is merely an

instrument for the expression of the "I"; the fact that the "I" is master

of the mind, as well as of the body; that the "I" is behind all thought;

that the "I" can set aside for consideration the sensations, emotions,

passions, desires, and the rest of the mental phenomena, and still

realize that it, the "I," is apart from these mental manifestations, and

remains unchanged, real and fully existent; that the "I" can set aside

any and all of its mental tools and instruments, as "not I" things, and

still consciously realize that after so setting them aside there remains

something--itself--the "I" which cannot be set aside or taken from; that

the "I" is the master of the mind, and not its slave; (3) that the "I" is

a much greater thing than the little personal "I" we have been

considering it to be; that the "I" is a part of that great One Reality

which pervades all the Universe; that it is connected with all other

forms of life by countless ties, mental and spiritual filaments and

relations; that the "I" is a Centre of Consciousness in that great One

Reality or Spirit, which is behind and back of all Life and Existence,

the Centre of which Reality or Existence, is the Absolute or God; that

the sense of Reality that is inherent in the "I," is really the

reflection of the sense of Reality inherent in the Whole--the Great "I"

of the Universe.

 

The underlying principle of these three lessons is the Reality of the

"I," in itself, over and above all Matter, Force, or Mind--positive to

all of them, just as they are positive or negative to each other--and

negative only to the Centre of the One--the Absolute itself. And this is

the position for the Candidate or Initiate to take: "I am positive to

Mind, Energy, and Matter, and control them all--I am negative only to the

Absolute, which is the Centre of Being, of which Being I Am. And, as I

assert my mastery over Mind, Energy, and Matter, and exercise my Will

over them, so do I acknowledge my subordination to the Absolute, and

gladly open my soul to the inflow of the Divine Will, and partake of its

Power, Strength, and Wisdom."

 

In the present lesson, and those immediately following it, we shall

endeavor to assist the Candidate or Initiate in acquiring a mastery of

the subordinate manifestations, Matter, Energy, and Mind. In order to

acquire and assert this mastery, one must acquaint himself with the

nature of the thing to be controlled.

 

In our "Advanced Course" we have endeavored to explain to you the nature

of the Three Great Manifestations, known as _Chitta_, or Mind-Substance;

_Prana_, or Energy; and _Akasa_, or the Principle of Matter. We also

explained to you that the "I" of man is superior to these three, being

what is known as _Atman_ or Spirit. Matter, Energy, and Mind, as we have

explained, are manifestations of the Absolute, and are relative things.

The Yogi philosophy teaches that Matter is the grossest form of

manifested substance, being below Energy and Mind, and consequently

negative to, and subordinate to both. One stage higher than Matter, is

Energy or Force, which is positive to, and has authority over, Matter

(Matter being a still grosser form of substance), but which is negative

to and subordinate to Mind, which is a still higher form of substance.

Next in order comes the highest of the three--Mind--the finest form of

substance, and which dominates both Energy and Matter, being positive to

both. Mind, however is negative and subordinate to the "I," which is

Spirit, and obeys the orders of the latter when firmly and intelligently

given. The "I" itself is subordinate only to the Absolute--the Centre of

Being--the "I" being positive and dominant over the threefold

manifestation of Mind, Energy, and Matter.

 

The "I," which for the sake of the illustration must be regarded as a

separate thing (although it is really only a Centre of Consciousness in

the great body of Spirit), finds itself surrounded by the triple-ocean of

Mind, Energy and Matter, which ocean extends into Infinity. The body is

but a physical form through which flows an unending stream of matter,

for, as you know the particles and atoms of the body are constantly

changing; being renewed; replaced; thrown off, and supplanted. One's body

of a few years ago, or rather the particles composing that body, have

passed off and now form new combinations in the world of matter. And

one's body of to-day is passing away and being replaced by new particles.

And one's body of next year is now occupying some other portion of space,

and its particles are now parts of countless other combinations, from

which space and combinations they will later come to combine and form the

body of next year. There is nothing permanent about the body--even the

particles of the bones are being constantly replaced by others. And

so it is with the Vital Energy, Force, or Strength of the body (including

that of the brain). It is constantly being used up, and expended, a fresh

supply taking its place. And even the Mind of the person is changeable,

and the Mind-substance or _Chitta_, is being used up and replenished, the

new supply coming from the great Ocean of Mind, into which the discarded

portion slips, just as is the case with the matter and energy.

 

While the majority of our students, who are more or less familiar with

the current material scientific conceptions, will readily accept the

above idea of the ocean of Matter, and Energy, and the fact that there

is a continual using up and replenishing of one's store of both, they may

have more or less trouble in accepting the idea that Mind is a substance

or principle amenable to the same general laws as are the other two

manifestations, or attributes of substance. One is so apt to think of his

Mind as "himself"--the "I." Notwithstanding the fact that in our Second

Lesson of this series we showed you that the "I" is superior to the

mental states, and that it can set them aside and regard and consider

them as "not-I" things, yet the force of the habit of thought is very

strong, and it may take some of you considerable time before you "get

into the way" of realizing that your Mind is "something that you use,"

instead of being You--yourself. And yet, you must persevere in attaining

this realization, for in the degree that you realize your dominance over

your mind, so will be your control of it, and its amenability to that

control. And, as is the degree of that dominance and control, so will

be the character, grade and extent of the work that your Mind will do for

you. So you see: _Realization brings Control_--_and Control brings

results_. This statement lies at the base of the science of _Raja Yoga_.

And many of its first exercises are designed to acquaint the student with

that realization, and to develop the realization and control by habit and

practice.

 

The Yogi Philosophy teaches that instead of Mind being the "I." it is

the thing through and by means of which the "I" _thinks_, at least so

far as is concerned the knowledge concerning the phenomenal or outward

Universe--that is the Universe of Name and Form. There is a higher

Knowledge locked up in the innermost part of the "I," that far transcends

any information that it may receive about or from the outer world, but

that is not before us for consideration at this time, and we must concern

ourselves with the "thinking" about the world of things.

 

Mind-substance in Sanscrit is called "_Chitta_," and a wave in the

_Chitta_ (which wave is the combination of Mind and Energy) is called

"_Vritta_," which is akin to what we call a "thought." In other words it

is "mind in action," whereas _Chitta_ is "mind in repose." _Vritta_, when

literally translated means "a whirlpool or eddy in the mind," which is

exactly what a thought really is.

 

But we must call the attention of the student, at this point, to the fact

that the word "Mind" is used in two ways by the Yogis and other

occultists, and the student is directed to form a clear conception of

each meaning, in order to avoid confusion, and that he may more clearly

perceive the two aspects of the things which the word is intended to

express. In the first place the word "Mind" is used as synonymous

with _Chitta_, or Mind-substance, which is the Universal Mind Principle.

From this _Chitta_, Mind-substance, or Mind, all the material of the

millions of personal minds is obtained. The second meaning of the word

"Mind" is that which we mean when we speak of the "mind" of anyone,

thereby meaning the mental faculties of that particular person--that

which distinguishes his mental personality from that of another. We have

taught you that this "mind" in Man, functions on three planes, and have

called the respective manifestations (1) the Instinctive Mind; (2) the

Intellect; and (3) the Spiritual Mind. (_See "Fourteen Lessons in Yogi

Philosophy," etc._) These three mental planes, taken together, make up

the "mind" of the person, or to be more exact they, clustered around the

"I" form the "soul" of the individual. The word "soul" is often used as

synonymous with "spirit" but those who have followed us will distinguish

the difference. The "soul" is the Ego surrounded by its mental

principles, while the Spirit is the "soul of the soul"--the "I," or Real

Self.

 

The Science of _Raja Yoga_, to which this series of lessons is devoted,

teaches, as its basic principle, the Control of the Mind. It holds that

the first step toward Power consists in obtaining a control of one's

own mind. It holds that the internal world must be conquered before the

outer world is attacked. It holds that the "I" manifests itself in

Will, and that that Will may be used to manipulate, guide, govern and

direct the mind of its owner, as well as the physical world. It aims to

clear away all mental rubbish, and encumbrances--to conduct a "mental

house-cleaning," as it were, and to secure a clear, clean, healthy mind.

Then it proceeds to control that mind intelligently, and with effect,

saving all waste-power, and by means of concentration bringing the Mind

in full harmony with the Will, that it may be brought to a focus and its

power greatly increased and its efficiency fully secured. Concentration

and Will-power are the means by which the Yogis obtain such wonderful

results, and by which they manage and direct their vigorous, healthy

minds, and master the material world, acting positively upon Energy and

Matter. This control extends to all planes of the Mind and the Yogis not

only control the Instinctive Mind, holding in subjection its lower

qualities and making use of its other parts, but they also develop and

enlarge the field of their Intellect and obtain from it wonderful

results. Even the Spiritual Mind is mastered, and aided in its

unfoldment, and urged to pass down into the field of consciousness some

of the wonderful secrets to be found within its area. By means of _Raja

Yoga_ many of the secrets of existence and Being--many of the Riddles of

the Universe--are answered and solved. And by it the latent powers

inherent in the constitution of Man are unfolded and brought into action.

Those highly advanced in the science are believed to have obtained such a

wonderful degree of power and control over the forces of the universe,

that they are as gods compared with the ordinary man.

 

_Raja Yoga_ teaches that not only may power of this kind be secured, but

that a wonderful field of Knowledge is opened out through its practice.

It holds that when the concentrated mind is focused upon thing or

subject, the true nature and inner meaning, of, and concerning, that

thing or subject will be brought to view. The concentrated mind passes

through the object or subject just as the X-Ray passes through a block of

wood, and the thing is seen by the "I" as it _is_--in truth--and not as

it had appeared before, imperfectly and erroneously. Not only may the

outside world be thus explored, but the mental ray may be turned inward,

and the secret places of the mind explored. When it is remembered that

the bit of mind that each man possesses, is like a drop of the ocean

which contains within its tiny compass all the elements that make up the

ocean, and that to know perfectly the drop is to know perfectly the

ocean, then we begin to see what such a power really means.

 

Many in the Western world who have attained great results in the

intellectual and scientific fields of endeavor, have developed these

powers more or less unconsciously. Many great inventors are practical

Yogis, although they do not realize the source of their power. Anyone who

is familiar with the personal mental characteristics of Edison, will see

that he follows some of the _Raja Yoga_ methods, and that Concentration

is one of his strongest weapons. And from all reports, Prof. Elmer Gates,

of Washington, D.C., whose mind has unfolded many wonderful discoveries

and inventions, is also a practical Yogi although he may repudiate the

assertion vigorously, and may not have familiarized himself with the

principles of this science, which he has "dropped into" unconsciously.

Those who have reported upon Prof. Gates' methods, say that he fairly

"digs out" the inventions and discoveries from his mind, after going

into seclusion and practicing concentration, and what is known as the

Mental Vision.

 

But we have given you enough of theory for one lesson, and must begin to

give you directions whereby you may aid yourself in developing these

latent powers and unfolding these dormant energies. You will notice that

in this series we first tell you something about the theory, and then

proceed to give you "something to do." This is the true Yogi method as

followed and practiced by their best teachers. Too much theory is

tiresome, and sings the mind to sleep, while too much exercise tires one,

and does not give the inquiring part of his mind the necessary food. To

combine both in suitable proportions is the better plan, and one that we

aim to follow.

 

 

MENTAL DRILL AND EXERCISES.

 

Before we can get the mind to do good work for us, we must first "tame"

it, and bring it to obedience to the Will of the "I." The mind, as a

rule, has been allowed to run wild, and follow its own sweet will and

desires, without regard to anything else. Like a spoiled child or badly

trained domestic animal, it gets into much trouble, and is of very little

pleasure, comfort or use. The minds of many of us are like menageries

of wild animals, each pursuing the bent of its own nature, and going its

own way. We have the whole menagerie within us--the tiger, the ape, the

peacock, the ass, the goose, the sheep the hyena, and all the rest. And

we have been letting these animals rule us. Even our Intellect is

erratic, unstable, and like the quicksilver to which the ancient

occultists compared it, shifting and uncertain. If you will look around

you you will see that those men and women in the world who have really

accomplished anything worth while have trained their minds to obedience.

They have asserted the Will over their own minds, and learned Mastery and

Power in that way. The average mind chafes at the restraint of the Will,

and is like a frisky monkey that will not be "taught tricks." But taught

it must be, if it wants to do good work. And teach it you must if you

expect to get any use from it--if you expect to use it, instead of having

it use you.

 

And this is the first thing to be learned in _Raja Yoga_--this control of

the mind. Those who had hoped for some royal road to mastery, may be

disappointed, but there is only one way and that is to master and control

the mind by the Will. Otherwise it will run away when you most need it.

And so we shall give you some exercise designed to aid you in this

direction.

 

The first exercise in _Raja Yoga_ Is what is called _Pratyahara_ or the

art of making the mind introspective or turned inward upon itself. It is

the first step toward mental control. It aims to turn the mind from

going outward, and gradually turning it inward upon itself or inner

nature. The object is to gain control of it by the Will. The following

exercises will aid in that direction:

 

 

EXERCISE I.

 

(a) Place yourself in a comfortable position, and so far as possible free

from outside disturbing influences. Make no violent effort to control

the mind, but rather allow it to run along for a while and exhaust its

efforts. It will take advantage of the opportunity, and will jump around

like an unchained monkey at first, until it gradually slows down and

looks to you for orders. It may take some time to tame down at first

trial, but each time you try it will come around to you in shorter time.

The Yogis spend much time in acquiring this mental peace and calm, and

consider themselves well paid for it.

 

(b) When the mind is well calmed down, and peaceful, fix the thought on

the "I Am," as taught in our previous lessons. Picture the "I" as an

entity independent of the body; deathless; invulnerable; immortal; real.

Then think of it as independent of the body, and able to exist without

its fleshly covering. Meditate upon this for a time, and then gradually

direct the thought to the realization of the "I" as independent and

superior to the mind, and controlling same. Go over the general ideas of

the first two lessons, and endeavor to calmly reflect upon them and

to see them in the "mind's eye." You will find that your mind is

gradually becoming more and more peaceful and calm, and that the

distracting thoughts of the outside world are farther and farther removed

from you.

 

(c) Then let the mind pass on to a calm consideration of the Third

Lesson, in which we have spoken of the Oneness of All, and the

relationship of the "I" to the One Life; Power; Intelligence; Being. You

will find that you are acquiring a mental control and calm heretofore

unknown to you. The exercises in the first three lessons will have

prepared you for this.

 

(d) The following is the most difficult of the variations or degrees of

this exercise, but the ability to perform it will come gradually. The

exercise consists in gradually shutting out all thought or impression

of the outside world; of the body; and of the thoughts themselves, the

student concentrating and meditating upon the word and idea "I AM," the

idea being that he shall concentrate upon the idea of mere "being" or

"existence," symbolized by the words "I Am." Not "I am _this_," or "I am

_that_," or "I _do_ this," or "I _think_ that," but simply: "I _AM_."

This exercise will focus the attention at the very centre of Being within

oneself, and will gather in all the mental energies, instead of allowing

them to be scattered upon outside things. A feeling of Peace, Strength,

and Power will result, for the affirmation, and the thought back of it,

is the most powerful and strongest that one may make, for it is a

statement of Actual Being, and a turning of the thought inward to that

truth. Let the mind first dwell upon the word "I," identifying it with

the Self, and then let it pass on to the word "AM," which signifies

Reality, and Being. Then combine the two with the meanings thereof, and

the result a most powerful focusing of thought inward, and most potent

Statement of Being.

 

It is well to accompany the above exercises with a comfortable and easy

physical attitude, so as to prevent the distraction of the attention by

the body. In order to do this one should assume an easy attitude and then

relax every muscle, and take the tension from every nerve, until a

perfect sense of ease, comfort and relaxation is obtained. You should

practice this until you have fully acquired it. It will be useful to you

in many ways, besides rendering Concentration and Meditation easier. It

will act as a "rest cure" for tired body, nerves, and mind.

 

 

EXERCISE II.

 

The second step in _Raja Yoga_ is what is known as _Dharana_, or

Concentration. This is a most wonderful idea in the direction of focusing

the mental forces, and may be cultivated to an almost incredible degree,

but all this requires work, time, and patience. But the student will be

well repaid for it. Concentration consists in the mind focusing upon a

certain subject, or object, and being held there for a time. This, at

first thought seems very easy, but a little practice will show how

difficult it is to firmly fix the attention and hold it there. It will

have a tendency to waver, and move to some other object or subject, and

much practice will be needed in order to hold it at the desired point.

But practice will accomplish wonders, as one may see by observing people

who have acquired this faculty, and who use it in their everyday life.

But the following point should be remembered. Many persons have acquired

the faculty of concentrating their attention, but have allowed it to

become almost involuntary, and they become a slave to it, forgetting

themselves and everything else, and often neglecting necessary affairs.

This is the ignorant way of concentrating, and those addicted to it

become slaves to their habits, instead of masters of their minds. They

become day-dreamers, and absent-minded people, instead of Masters. They

are to be pitied as much as those who cannot concentrate at all. The

secret is in a mastery of the mind. The Yogis can concentrate at will,

and completely bury themselves in the subject before them, and extract

from it every item of interest, and can then pass the mind from the thing

at will, the same control being used in both cases. They do not allow

fits of abstraction, or "absent-mindedness" to come upon them, nor are

they day-dreamers. On the contrary they are very wide awake individuals;

close observers; clear thinkers; correct reasoners. They are masters of

their minds, not slaves to their moods. The ignorant concentrator buries

himself in the object or subject, and allows it to master and absorb

himself, while the trained Yogi thinker asserts the "I," and then directs

his mind to concentrate upon the subject or object, keeping it well under

control and in view all the time. Do you see the difference? Then heed

the lesson.

 

The following exercises may be found useful in the first steps of

Concentration:

 

(a) Concentrate the attention upon some familiar object--a pencil, for

instance. Hold the mind there and consider the pencil to the exclusion of

any other object. Consider its size; color; shape; kind of wood. Consider

its uses, and purposes; its materials; the process of its manufacture,

etc., etc., etc. In short think as many things about the pencil as

possible allowing the mind to pursue any associated by-paths, such as a

consideration of the graphite of which the "lead" is made; the forest

from which came the wood used in making the pencil; the history of

pencils, and other implements used for writing, etc. In short exhaust

the subject of "Pencils." In considering a subject under concentration,

the following plan of synopsis will be found useful. Think of the thing

in question from the following view-points:

 

(1) The thing itself.

 

(2) The place from whence it came.

 

(3) Its purpose or use.

 

(4) Its associations.

 

(5) Its probable end.

 

Do not let the apparently trivial nature of the inquiry discourage you,

for the simplest form of mental training is useful, and will help to

develop your Will and Concentration. It is akin to the process of

developing a physical muscle by some simple exercise, and in both cases

one loses sight of the unimportance of the exercise itself, in view of

the end to be gained.

 

(b) Concentrate the attention upon some part of the body--the hand for

instance, and fixing your entire attention upon it, shut off or inhibit

all sensation from the other parts of the body. A little practice will

enable you to do this. In addition to the mental training, this exercise

will stimulate the part of the body concentrated upon, for reasons that

will appear in future lessons. Change the parts of the body concentrated

upon, and thus give the mind a variety of exercises, and the body the

effect of a general stimulation.

 

(c) These exercises may be extended indefinitely upon familiar objects

about you. Remember always, that the thing in itself is of no importance,

the whole idea being to train the mind to obey the Will, so that when you

really wish to use the mental forces upon some important object, you may

find them well trained and obedient. Do not be tempted to slight this

part of the work because it is "dry" and uninteresting, for it leads up

to things that are most interesting, and opens a door to a fascinating

subject.

 

(d) Practice focusing the attention upon some abstract subject--that is

upon some subject of interest that may offer a field for mental

exploration. Think about the subject in all its phases and branches,

following up one by-path, and then another, until you feel that you know

all about the subject that your mind has acquired. You will be surprised

to find how much more you know about any one thing or subject than you

had believed possible. In hidden corners of your mind you will find some

useful or interesting information about the thing in question, and when

you are through you will feel well posted upon it, and upon the things

connected with it. This exercise will not only help, to develop your

intellectual powers, but will strengthen your memory, and broaden your

mind, and give you more confidence in yourself. And, in addition, you

will have taken a valuable exercise in Concentration or _Dharana_.

 

 

_The Importance of Concentration._

 

Concentration is a focusing of the mind. And this focusing of the mind

requires a focusing, or bringing to a center, of the Will. The mind is

concentrated because the Will is focused upon the object. The mind flows

into the mould made by the Will. The above exercises are designed not

only to accustom the mind to the obedience and direction of the Will, but

also tend to accustom the Will to command. We speak of strengthening the

Will, when what we really mean is training the mind to obey, and

accustoming the Will to command. Our Will is strong enough, but we do not

realize it. The Will takes root in the very center of our being--in the

"I," but our imperfectly developed mind does not recognize this tact.

We are like young elephants that do not recognize their own strength, but

allow themselves to be mastered by puny drivers, whom they could brush

aside with a movement. The Will is back of all action--all doing--mental

and physical.

 

We shall have much to say touching the Will, in these lessons and the

student should give the matter his careful attention. Let him look around

him, and he will see that the great difference between the men who have

stepped forward from the ranks, and those who remain huddled up in the

crowd, consists in Determination and Will. As Buxton has well said:

"The longer I live, the more certain I am that the great difference

between men, the feeble and the powerful; the great and the

insignificant; is Energy and Invincible Determination." And he might have

added that the thing behind that "energy and invincible determination"

was Will.

 

The writers and thinkers of all ages have recognized the wonderful and

transcendent importance of the Will. Tennyson sings: "O living Will thou

shalt endure when all that seems shall suffer shock." Oliver Wendell

Holmes says: "The seat of the Will seems to vary with the organ through

which it is manifested; to transport itself to different parts of the

brain, as we may wish to recall a picture, a phrase, a melody; to throw

its force on the muscles or the intellectual processes. Like the

general-in-chief, its place is everywhere in the field of action. It is

the least like an instrument of any of our faculties; the farthest

removed from our conceptions of mechanism and matter, as we commonly

define them." Holmes was correct in his idea, but faulty in his details.

The Will does not change its seat, which is always in the center of the

Ego, but the Will forces the mind to all parts, and in all directions,

and it directs the _Prana_ or vital force likewise. The Will is indeed

the general-in-chief, but it does not rush to the various points of

action, but sends its messengers and couriers there to carry out its

orders. Buxton has said: "The Will will do anything that can be done in

this world. And no talents, no circumstances, no opportunities will

make a two-legged creature a Man without it." Ik Marvel truly says:

"Resolve is what makes a man manifest; not puny resolve, not crude

determinations, not errant purpose--but that strong and indefatigable

Will which treads down difficulties and danger, as a boy treads down the

heaving frost-lands of winter; which kindles his eye and brain with a

proud pulse-beat toward the unattainable. Will makes men giants."

 

The great obstacle to the proper use of the Will, in the case of the

majority of people, is the lack of ability to focus the attention. The

Yogis clearly understand this point, and many of the _Raja Yoga_

exercises which are given to the students by the teachers, are designed

to overcome this difficulty. Attention is the outward evidence of the

Will. As a French writer has said: "The attention is subject to the

superior authority of the Ego. I yield it, or I withhold it, as I please.

I direct it in turn to several points. I concentrate it upon each point

as long as my Will can stand the effort." Prof. James has said: "The

essential achievement of the Will, when it is most voluntary, is to

attend to a difficult object, and hold it fast before the mind. Effort of

Attention is the essential phenomenon of the Will." And Prof. Halleck

says: "The first step toward the development of Will lies in the exercise

of Attention. Ideas grow in distinctness and motor-power as we attend to

them. If we take two ideas of the same intensity and center the attention

upon one, we shall notice how much it grows in power." Prof. Sully says:

"Attention may be roughly defined as the active self-direction of the

mind to any object which presents itself at the moment." The word

"Attention" is derived from two Latin words, _ad tendere_, meaning "to

stretch towards," and this is just what the Yogis know it to be. By means

of their psychic or clairvoyant sight, they see the thought of the

attentive person stretched out toward the object attended to, like a

sharp wedge, the point of which is focused upon the object under

consideration, the entire force of the thought being concentrated at that

point. This is true not only when the person is considering an object,

but when he is earnestly impressing his ideas upon another, or upon some

task to be accomplished. Attention means reaching the mind out to and

focusing it upon something.

 

The trained Will exhibits itself in a tenacious Attention, and this

Attention is one of the signs of the trained Will. The student must not

hastily conclude that this kind of Attention is a common faculty among

men. On the contrary it is quite rare, and is seen only among those of

"strong" mentality. Anyone may fasten his Attention upon some passing,

_pleasing_ thing, but it takes a trained will to fasten it upon some

unattractive thing, and hold it there. Of course the trained occultist is

able to throw interest into the most unattractive thing upon which it

becomes advisable to focus his Attention, but this, in itself, comes with

the trained Will, and is not the possession of the average man. Voluntary

Attention is rare, and is found only among strong characters. But it may

be cultivated and grown, until he who has scarcely a shade of it to-day,

in time may become a giant. It is all a matter of practice, exercise, and

Will.

 

It is difficult to say too much in favor of the development of the

faculty of tenacious Attention. One possessing this developed faculty is

able to accomplish far more than even a much "brighter" man who lacks

it. And the best way to train the Attention, under the direction of the

Will, is to practice upon _uninteresting_ objects, and ideas, holding

them before the mind until they begin to assume an Interest. This is

difficult at first, but the task soon begins to take on a pleasant

aspect, for one finds that his Will-power and Attention are growing, and

he feels himself acquiring a Force and Power that were lacking before--he

realizes that he is growing Stronger. Charles Dickens said that the

secret of his success consisted in his developing a faculty of throwing

his entire Attention into whatever he happened to be doing at the moment

and then being able to turn that same degree of Attention to the next

thing coming before him for consideration. He was like a man behind a

great searchlight, which was successively turned upon point after point,

illuminating each in turn. The "I" is the man behind the light, and the

Will is the reflector, the light being the Attention.

 

This discussion of Will and Attention may seem somewhat "dry" to the

student, but that is all the more reason that he should attend to it. It

is the secret that lies at the basis of the Science of _Raja Yoga_, and

the Yogi Masters have attained a degree of Concentrated Will and

Attention that would be inconceivable to the average "man on the street."

By reason of this, they are able to direct the mind here and there,

outward or inward, with an enormous force. They are able to focus the

mind upon a small thing with remarkable intensity, just as the rays of

the sun may be focused through a "sun-glass" and caused to ignite linen,

or, on the other hand, they are able to send forth the mind with intense

energy, illuminating whatever it rests upon, just as happens in the case

of the strong electric searchlight, with which many of us are familiar.

By all means start in to cultivate the Attention and Will. Practice on

the unpleasant tasks--do the things that you have before you, and from

which you have been shrinking because they were unpleasant. Throw

interest into them, and the difficulty will vanish, and you will come out

of it much stronger, and filled with a new sense of Power.

 

 

MANTRAM (AFFIRMATION).

 

"I" have a Will--it is my inalienable property and right. I determine to

cultivate and develop it by practice and exercise. My mind is obedient to

my Will. I assert my Will over my Mind. I am Master of my mind and body.

I _assert_ my Mastery. My Will is Dynamic--full of Force and Energy, and

Power. I feel my strength. I am Strong. I am Forceful. I am Vital. I am

Center of Consciousness, Energy, Strength, and Power, and I claim my

birthright.

 

 

 

 

THE FIFTH LESSON.

 

THE CULTIVATION OF ATTENTION.

 

 

In our last lesson we called your attention to the fact that the Yogis

devote considerable time and practice to the acquirement of

Concentration. And we also had something to say regarding the relation

of Attention to the subject of Concentration. In this lesson we shall

have more to say on the subject of Attention, for it is one of the

important things relating to the practice of _Raja Yoga_, and the Yogis

insist upon their students practicing systematically to develop and

cultivate the faculty. Attention lies at the base of Will-power, and the

cultivation of one makes easy the exercise of the other.

 

To explain why we lay so much importance to the cultivation of Attention,

would necessitate our anticipating future lessons of this series, which

we do not deem advisable at this time. And so we must ask our students to

take our word for it, that all that we have to say regarding the

importance of the cultivation of Attention, is occasioned by the relation

of that subject to the use of the mind in certain directions as will

appear fully later on.

 

In order to let you know that we are not advancing some peculiar theory

of the Yogis, which may not be in harmony with modern Western Science, we

give you in this article a number of quotations, from Western writers and

thinkers, touching upon this important faculty of the mind, so that you

may see that the West and East agree upon this main point, however

different may be their explanations of the fact, or their use of the

power gained by the cultivation of Attention.

 

As we said in our last lesson, the word Attention is derived from two

Latin words "_ad tendere_," meaning "to stretch toward," which is really

what Attention is. The "I" wills that the mind be focused on some

particular object or thing, and the mind obeys and "stretches toward"

that object or thing, focusing its entire energy upon it, observing every

detail, dissecting, analyzing, consciously and sub-consciously, drawing

to itself every possible bit of information regarding it, both from

within and from without. We cannot lay too much stress upon the

acquirement of this great faculty, or rather, the development of it, for

it is necessary for the intelligent study of _Raja Yoga_.

 

In order to bring out the importance of the subject, suppose we start in

by actually giving our Attention to the subject of Attention, and see how

much more there is in it than we had thought. We shall be well repaid for

the amount of time and trouble expended upon it.

 

Attention has been defined as a focusing of consciousness, or, if one

prefers the form of expression, as "detention in consciousness." In the

first case, we may liken it to the action of the sun-glass through which

the sun's rays are concentrated upon an object, the result being that the

heat is gathered together at a small given point, the intensity of the

same being raised many degrees until the heat is sufficient to burn a

piece of wood, or evaporate water. If the rays were not focused, the same

rays and heat would have been scattered over a large surface, and the

effect and power lessened. And so it is with the mind. If it is allowed

to scatter itself over the entire field of a subject, it will exert but

little power and the results will be weak. But if it is passed through

the sun-glass of attention, and focused first over one part, and then

over another, and so on, the matter may be mastered in detail, and a

result accomplished that will seem little less than marvelous to those

who do not know the secret.

 

_Thompson_ has said: "The experiences most permanently impressed upon

consciousness, are those upon which the greatest amount of attention has

been fixed."

 

Another writer upon the subject has said that "Attention is so

essentially necessary to understanding, that without some degree of it

the ideas and perceptions that pass through the mind seem to leave no

trace behind them."

 

_Hamilton_ has said: "An act of attention, that is, an act of

concentration, seems thus necessary to every exertion of consciousness,

as a certain contraction of the pupil is requisite to every exertion of

vision. Attention then is to consciousness what the contraction of the

pupil is to sight, or, to the eye of the mind what the microscope or

telescope is to the bodily eye. It constitutes the better half of all

intellectual power."

 

And _Brodie_ adds, quite forcibly: "It is Attention much more than any

difference in the abstract power of reasoning, which constitutes the vast

difference which exists between minds of different individuals."

 

_Butler_ gives us this important testimony: "The most important

intellectual habit I know of is the habit of attending exclusively to the

matter in hand. It is commonly said that genius cannot be infused by

education, yet this power of concentrated attention, which belongs as a

part of his gift to every great discoverer, is unquestionably capable of

almost indefinite augmentation by resolute practice."

 

And, concluding this review of opinions, and endorsements of that which

the Yogis have so much to say, and to which they attach so much

importance, let us listen to the words of _Beattie_, who says: "The

force wherewith anything strikes the mind, is generally in proportion to

the degree of attention bestowed upon it. Moreover, the great art of

memory is attention, and inattentive people always have bad memories."

 

There are two general kinds of Attention. The first is the Attention

directed within the mind upon mental objects and concepts. The other is

the Attention directed outward upon objects external to ourselves. The

same general rules and laws apply to both equally.

 

Likewise there may be drawn another distinction and division of attention

into two classes, _viz._, Attenion attracted by some impression coming

into consciousness without any conscious effort of the Will--this is

called Involuntary Attention, for the Attention and Interest is caught by

the attractiveness or novelty of the object. Attention directed to some

object by an effort of the Will, is called Voluntary Attention.

Involuntary Attention is quite common, and requires no special training.

In fact, the lower animals, and young children seem to have a greater

share of it than do adult men. A great percentage of men and women never

get beyond this stage to any marked degree. On the other hand, Voluntary

Attention requires effort, will, and determination--a certain mental

training, that is beyond the majority of people, for they will not "take

the trouble" to direct their attention in this way. Voluntary Attention

is the mark of the student and other thoughtful men. They focus their

minds on objects that do not yield immediate interest or pleasure, in

order that they may learn and accomplish. The careless person will not

thus fasten his Attention, at least not more than a moment or so, for his

Involuntary Attention is soon attracted by some passing object of no

matter how trifling a nature, and the Voluntary Attention disappears and

is forgotten. Voluntary Attention is developed by practice and

perseverance, and is well worth the trouble, for nothing in the mental

world is accomplished without its use.

 

The Attention does not readily fasten itself to uninteresting objects,

and, unless interest can be created it requires a considerable degree of

Voluntary Attention in order that the mind may be fastened upon such an

object. And, more than this, even if the ordinary attention is attracted

it will soon waver, unless there is some interesting change in the aspect

of the object, that will give the attention a fresh hold of interest, or

unless some new quality, characteristic or property manifests itself in

the object. This fact occurs because the mind mechanism has not been

trained to bear prolonged Voluntary Attention, and, in fact, the physical

brain is not accustomed to the task, although it may be so trained by

patient practice.

 

It has been noticed by investigators that the Attention may be rested and

freshened, either by withdrawing the Voluntary Attention from the object,

and allowing the Attention to manifest along Involuntary lines toward

passing objects, etc.; or, on the other hand, by directing the Voluntary

Attention into a new field of observation--toward some new object.

Sometimes one plan will seem to give the best results, and again the

other will seem preferable.

 

We have called your attention to the fact that Interest develops

Attention, and holds it fixed, while an uninteresting object or subject

requires a much greater effort and application. This fact is apparent to

anyone. A common illustration may be found in the matter of reading a

book. Nearly everyone will give his undivided attention to some bright,

thrilling story, while but few are able to use sufficient Voluntary

Attention to master the pages of some scientific work. But, right here,

we wish to call your attention to the other side of the case, which is

another example of the fact that Truth is composed of paradoxes.

 

Just as Interest develops Attention, so it is a truth that Attention

develops Interest. If one will take the trouble to give a little

Voluntary Attention to an object, he will soon find that a little

perseverance will bring to light points of Interest in the object. Things

before unseen and unsuspected, are quickly brought to light. And many new

phases, and aspects of the subject or object are seen, each one of which,

in turn, becomes an object of Interest. This is a fact not so generally

known, and one that it will be well for you to remember, and to use in

practice. _Look_ for the interesting features of an uninteresting thing,

and they will appear to your view, and before long the uninteresting

object will have changed into a thing having many-sided interests.

 

Voluntary Attention is one of the signs of a developed Will. That is, of

a mind that has been well trained by the Will, for the Will is always

strong, and it is the mind that has to be trained, not the Will. And on

the other hand, one of the best ways to train the mind by the Will, is by

practice in Voluntary Attention. So you see how the rule works both ways.

Some Western psychologists have even advanced theories that the Voluntary

Attention is the _only_ power of the Will, and that that power is

sufficient, for if the Attention be firmly fixed, and held upon an object

the mind will "do the rest." We do not agree with this school of

philosophers, but merely mention the fact as an illustration of the

importance attributed by psychologists to this matter of Voluntary

Attention.

 

A man of a strongly developed Attention often accomplishes far more than

some much brighter man who lacks it. Voluntary Attention and Application

is a very good substitute for Genius, and often accomplishes far more in

the long run.

 

Voluntary Attention is the fixing of the mind earnestly and intently upon

some particular object, at the same time shutting out from consciousness

other objects pressing for entrance. _Hamilton_ has defined it as

"consciousness voluntarily applied under its law of limitations to some

determinate object." The same writer goes on to state that "the greater

the number of objects to which our consciousness is simultaneously

extended, the smaller is the intensity with which it is able to consider

each, and consequently the less vivid and distinct will be the

information it contains of the several objects. When our interest in any

particular object is excited, and when we wish to obtain all the

knowledge concerning it in our power, it behooves us to limit our

consideration to that object to the exclusion of others."

 

The human mind has the power of attending to only one object at a time,

although it is able to pass from one object to another with a marvelous

degree of speed, so rapidly, in fact, that some have held that it could

grasp several things at once. But the best authorities, Eastern and

Western, hold to the "single idea" theory as being correct. On this point

we may quote a few authorities.

 

_Jouffroy_ says that "It is established by experience that we cannot give

our attention to two different objects at the same time." And _Holland_

states that "Two thoughts, however closely related to one another,

cannot be presumed to exist at the same time." And _Lewes_ has told us

that "The nature of our organism prevents our having more than one aspect

of an object at each instant presented to consciousness." _Whateley_

says: "The best philosophers are agreed that the mind cannot actually

attend to more than one thing at a time, but, when it appears to be doing

so it is really shifting with prodigious rapidity backward and forward

from one to the other."

 

By giving a concentrated Voluntary Attention to an object, we not only

are able to see and think about it with the greatest possible degree of

clearness, but the mind has a tendency, under such circumstances, to

bring into the field of consciousness all the different ideas associated

in our memory with that object or subject, and to build around the object

or subject a mass of associated facts and information. And at the same

time the Attention given the subject makes more vivid and clear all that

we learn about the thing at the time, and, in fact, all that we may

afterwards learn about it. It seems to cut a channel, through which

knowledge flows.

 

Attention magnifies and increases the powers of perception, and greatly

aids the exercise of the perceptive faculties. By "paying attention" to

something seen or heard, one is enabled to observe the details of the

thing seen or heard, and where the inattentive mind acquires say three

impressions the attentive mind absorbs three times three, or perhaps

three times "three times three," or twenty-seven. And, as we have just

said, Attention brings into play the powers of association, and gives us

the "loose end" of an almost infinite chain of associated facts, stored

away in our memory, forming new combinations of facts which we had never

grouped together before, and bring out into the field of consciousness

all the many scraps of information regarding the thing to which we are

giving attention. The proof of this is within the experience of everyone.

Where is the one who does not remember sitting down to some writing,

painting, reading, etc., with interest and attention, and finding, much

to his surprise, what a flow of facts regarding the matter in hand was

passing through his mind. Attention seems to focus all the knowledge of a

thing that you possess, and by bringing it to a point enables you to

combine, associate, classify, etc., and thus create new knowledge.

_Gibbon_ tells us that after he gave a brief glance and consideration to

a new subject, he suspended further work upon it, and allowed his mind

(under concentrated attention) to bring forth all his associated

knowledge regarding the subject, after which he renewed the task with

increased power and efficiency.

 

The more one's attention is fixed upon a subject under consideration, the

deeper is the impression which the subject leaves upon the mind. And the

easier will it be for him to afterwards pursue the same train of thought

and work.

 

Attention is a prerequisite of good memory, and in fact there can be no

memory at all unless some degree of attention is given. The degree of

memory depends upon the degree of attention and interest. And when it is

considered that the work of today is made efficient by the memory of

things learned yesterday, the day before yesterday, and so on, it is seen

that the degree of attention given today regulates the quality of the

work of tomorrow.

 

Some authorities have described Genius as the result of great powers of

attention, or, at least, that the two seem to run together. Some writer

has said that "possibly the best definition of genius is the power of

concentrating upon some one given subject until its possibilities are

exhausted and absorbed." _Simpson_ has said that "The power and habit of

thinking closely and continuously upon the subject at hand, to the

exclusion, for the time, of all other subjects, is one of the principal,

if, indeed, not the principal, means of success." _Sir Isaac Newton_ has

told us his plan of absorbing information and knowledge. He has stated

that he would keep the subject under consideration before him

continually, and then would wait till the first dawning of perception

gradually brightened into a clear light, little by little. A mental

sunrise, in fact.

 

That sage observer, _Dr. Abercrombie_, has written that he considered

that he knew of no more important rule for rising to eminence in any

profession or occupation than the Ability to do one thing at a time,

avoiding all distracting and diverting objects or subjects, and keeping

the leading matter continually before the mind. And others have added

that such a course will enable one to observe relations between the

subject and other things that will not be apparent to the careless

observer or student.

 

The degree of Attention cultivated by a man is the degree of his capacity

for intellectual work. As we have said, the "great" men of all walks of

life have developed this faculty to a wonderful degree, and many of them

seem to get results "intuitively," whereas, in truth, they obtain them by

reason of their concentrated power of Attention, which enables them to

see right into the center of a subject or proposition--and all around it,

back and front, and all sides, in a space of time incredible to the man

who has not cultivated this mighty power. Men who have devoted much

attention to some special line of work or research, are able to act

almost as if they possessed "second sight," providing the subject is

within their favorite field of endeavor. Attention quickens every one of

the faculties--the reasoning faculties--the senses--the deriding

qualities--the analytical faculties, and so on, each being given a "fine

edge" by their use under a concentrated Attention.

 

And, on the other hand, there is no surer indication of a weak mind than

the deficiency in Attention. This weakness may arise from illness or

physical weakness reacting upon the brain, in which case the trouble is

but temporary. Or it may arise from a lack of mental development.

Imbeciles and idiots have little or no Attention. The great French

psychologist, _Luys_, speaking of this fact, says "Imbeciles and idiots

see badly, hear badly, feel badly, and their sensorium is, in

consequence, in a similar condition of sensitive poverty. Its

impressionability for the things of the external world is at a minimum,

its sensibility weak, and consequently, it is difficult to provoke the

physiological condition necessary for the absorption of the external

impression."

 

In old age the Attention is the first faculty to show signs of decay.

Some authorities have held that the Memory was the first faculty to be

affected by the approach of old age, but this is incorrect, for it is a

matter of common experience that the aged manifest a wonderfully clear

memory of events occurring in the far past. The reason that their memory

of recent events is so poor is because their failing powers of Attention

has prevented them from receiving strong, clear mental impressions, and

as is the impression so is the memory. Their early impressions having

been clear and strong, are easily recalled, while their later ones,

being weak, are recalled with difficulty. If the Memory were at fault, it

would be difficult for them to recall any impression, recent or far

distant in time.

 

But we must stop quoting examples and authorities, and urging upon you

the importance of the faculty of Attention. If you do not now realize it,

it is because you have not given the subject the Attention that you

should have exercised, and further repetition would not remedy matters.

 

Admitting the importance of Attention, from the psychological point

of view, not to speak of the occult side of the subject, is it not a

matter of importance for you to start in to cultivate that faculty? We

think so. And the only way to cultivate any mental or physical part or

faculty is to Exercise it. Exercise "uses up" a muscle, or mental

faculty, but the organism makes haste to rush to the scene additional

material--cell-stuff, nerve force, etc., to repair the waste, and it

always sends a little more than is needed. And this "little more,"

continually accruing and increasing, is what increases the muscles and

brain centers. And improved and strengthened brain centers give the mind

better instruments with which to work.

 

One of the first things to do in the cultivation of Attention is to learn

to think of, and do, one thing at a time. Acquiring the "knack" or habit

of attending closely to the things before us, and then passing on to the

next and treating it in the same way, is most conducive to success, and

its practice is the best exercise for the cultivation of the faculty of

Attention. And on the contrary, there is nothing more harmful from the

point of view of successful performance--and nothing that will do more to

destroy the power of giving Attention--than the habit of trying to do one

thing while thinking of another. The thinking part of the mind, and the

acting part should work together, not in opposition.

 

_Dr. Beattie_, speaking of this subject, tells us "It is a matter of no

small importance that we acquire the habit of doing only one thing at a

time; by which I mean that while attending to any one object, our

thoughts ought not to wander to another." And _Granville_ adds, "A

frequent cause of failure in the faculty of Attention is striving to

think of more than one thing at a time." And _Kay_ quotes, approvingly, a

writer who says: "She did things easily, because she attended to them in

the doing. When she made bread, she thought of the bread, and not of the

fashion of her next dress, or of her partner at the last dance." _Lord

Chesterfield said,_ "There is time enough for everything in the course of

the day, if you do but one thing at a time; but there is not time enough

in the year if you try to do two things at a time."

 

To attain the best results one should practice concentrating upon the

task before him, shutting out, so far as possible, every other idea or

thought. One should even forget self--personality--in such cases, as

there is nothing more destructive of good thinking than to allow morbid

self-consciousness to intrude. One does best when he "forgets himself" in

his work, and sinks his personality in the creative work. The "earnest"

man or woman is the one who sinks personality in the desired result, or

performance of the task undertaken. The actor, or preacher, or orator,

or writer, must lose sight of himself to get the best results. Keep the

Attention fixed on the thing before you, and let the self take care of

itself.

 

In connection with the above, we may relate an anecdote of _Whateley_

that may be interesting in connection with the consideration of this

subject of "losing one's self" in the task. He was asked for a recipe for

"bashfulness," and replied that the person was bashful simply because he

was thinking of himself and the impression he was making. His recipe was

that the young man should think of others--of the pleasure he could give

them--and in that way he would forget all about himself. The prescription

is said to have effected the cure. The same authority has written, "Let

both the extemporary speaker, and the reader of his own compositions,

study to avoid as far as possible all thoughts of self, earnestly fixing

the mind on the matter of what is delivered; and they will feel less

that embarrassment which arises from the thought of what opinion the

hearers will form of them."

 

The same writer, _Whateley_, seems to have made quite a study of

Attention and has given us some interesting information on its details.

The following may be read with interest, and if properly understood may

be employed to advantage. He says, "It is a fact, and a very curious one.

that many people find that they can best attend to any serious matter

when they are occupied with something else which requires a little, and

but a little, attention, such as working with the needle, cutting open

paper leaves, or, for want of some such employment, fiddling anyhow with

the fingers." He does not give the reason for this, and at first sight

it might seem like a contradiction of the "one thing at a time" idea. But

a closer examination will show us that the minor work (the cutting

leaves, etc.) is in the nature of an involuntary or automatic movement,

inasmuch as it requires little or no voluntary attention, and seems to

"do itself." It does not take off the Attention from the main subject,

but perhaps acts to catch the "waste Attention" that often tries to

divide the Attention from some voluntary act to another. The habit mind

may be doing one thing, while the Attention is fixed on another. For

instance, one may be writing with his attention firmly fixed upon the

thought he wishes to express, while at the time his hand is doing the

writing, apparently with no attention being given it. But, let a boy, or

person unaccustomed to writing, try to express his thoughts in this way,

and you will find that he is hampered in the flow of his thoughts by the

fact that he has to give much attention to the mechanical act of writing.

In the same way, the beginner on the typewriter finds it difficult to

compose to the machine, while the experienced typist finds the mechanical

movements no hindrance whatever to the flow of thought and focusing of

Attention; in fact, many find that they can compose much better while

using the typewriter than they can by dictating to a stenographer. We

think you will see the principle.

 

And now for a little Mental Drill in Attention, that you may be started

on the road to cultivate this important faculty.

 

 

MENTAL DRILL IN ATTENTION.

 

_Exercise I._ Begin by taking some familiar object and placing it before

you, try to get as many impressions regarding it as is possible for you.

Study its shape, its color, its size, and the thousand and one little

peculiarities about it that present themselves to your attention. In

doing this, reduce the thing to its simplest parts--analyze it as far as

is possible--dissect it, mentally, and study its parts in detail. The

more simple and small the part to be considered, the more clearly will

the impression be received, and the more vividly will it be recalled.

Reduce the thing to the smallest possible proportions, and then examine

each portion, and mastering that, then pass on to the next part, and so

on, until you have covered the entire field. Then, when you have

exhausted the object, take a pencil and paper and put down as nearly as

possible all the things or details of the object examined. When you have

done this, compare the written description with the object itself, and

see how many things you have failed to note.

 

The next day take up the same object, and after re-examining it, write

down the details and you will find that you will have stored away a

greater number of impressions regarding it, and, moreover, you will have

discovered many new details during your second examination. This exercise

strengthens the memory as well as the Attention, for the two are closely

connected, the memory depending largely upon the clearness and strength

of the impressions received, while the impressions depend upon the amount

of attention given to the thing observed. Do not tire yourself with this

exercise, for a tired Attention is a poor Attention. Better try it by

degrees, increasing the task a little each time you try it. Make a game

of it if you like, and you will find it quite interesting to notice the

steady but gradual improvement.

 

It will be interesting to practice this in connection with some friend,

varying the exercise by both examining the object, and writing down their

impressions, separately, and then comparing results. This adds interest

to the task, and you will be surprised to see how rapidly both of you

increase in your powers of observation, which powers, of course, result

from Attention.

 

_Exercise II._ This exercise is but a variation of the first one. It

consists in entering a room, and taking a hasty glance around, and then

walking out, and afterward writing down the number of things that you

have observed, with a description of each. You will be surprised to

observe how many things you have missed at first sight, and how you will

improve in observation by a little practice. This exercise, also, may be

improved by the assistance of a friend, as related in our last exercise.

It is astonishing how many details one may observe and remember, after a

little practice. It is related of Houdin, the French conjurer, that he

improved and developed his faculty of Attention and Memory by playing

this game with a young relative. They would pass by a shop window,

taking a hasty, attentive glance at its contents. Then they would go

around the corner and compare notes. At first they could remember only a

few prominent articles--that is, their Attention could grasp only a few.

But as they developed by practice, they found that they could observe and

remember a vast number of things and objects in the window. And, at last,

it is related that Houdin could pass rapidly before any large shop

window, bestowing upon it but one hasty glance, and then tell the names

of, and closely describe, nearly every object in plain sight in the

window. The feat was accomplished by the fact that the cultivated

Attention enabled Houdin to fasten upon his mind a vivid mental image of

the window and its contents, and then he was able to describe the

articles one by one from the picture in his mind.

 

Houdin taught his son to develop Attention by a simple exercise which may

be interesting and of value to you. He would lay down a domino before the

boy--a five-four, for example. He would require the boy to tell him the

combined number at once, without allowing him to stop to count the spots,

one by one. "Nine" the boy would answer after a moment's hesitation.

Then another domino, a three-four, would be added. "That makes sixteen,"

cried the boy. Two dominoes at a time was the second day's task. The

next day, three was the standard. The next day, four, and so on, until

the boy was able to handle twelve dominoes--that is to say, give

instantaneously the total number of spots on twelve dominoes, after a

single glance. This was Attention, in earnest, and shows what practice

will do to develop a faculty. The result was shown by the wonderful

powers of observation, memory and attention, together with instantaneous

mental action, that the boy developed. Not only was he able to add

dominoes instantaneously, but he had powers of observation, etc., that

seemed little short of miraculous. And yet it is related that he had poor

attention, and deficient memory to begin with.

 

If this seems incredible, let us remember how old whist players note and

remember every card in the pack, and can tell whether they have been

played or not, and all the circumstances attending upon them. The same is

true of chess players, who observe every move and can relate the whole

game in detail long after it has been played. And remember, also, how

one woman may pass another woman on the street, and without seeming to

give her more than a careless glance, may be able to relate in detail

every feature of the other woman's apparel, including its color, texture,

style of fashioning, probable price of the material, etc., etc. And a

mere man would have noticed scarcely anything about it--because he would

not have given it any attention. But how soon would that man learn to

equal his sister in attention and observation of women's wearing apparel,

if his business success depended upon it, or if his speculative instinct

was called into play by a wager with some friend as to who could remember

the most about a woman's clothing, seen in a passing glance? You see it

is all a matter of Interest and Attention.

 

But we forget that the Attention may be developed and cultivated, and we

complain that we "cannot remember things," or that we do not seem to be

able to "take notice." A little practice will do wonders in this

direction.

 

Now, while the above exercises will develop your memory and powers of

observation, still that is not the main reason that we have given them to

you. We have an ulterior object, that will appear in time. We aim to

develop your Will-power, and we know that Attention stands at the gate of

Will-power. In order to be able to use your Will, you must be able to

focus the Attention forcibly and distinctly. And these childish exercises

will help you to develop the mental muscles of the Attention. If you

could but realize the childish games the young Yogi students are required

to play, in order to develop the mental faculties, you would change your

minds about the Yogi Adepts whom you have been thinking about as mere

dreamers, far removed from the practical. These men, and their students,

are intensely practical. They have gained the mastery of the Mind, and

its faculties, and are able to use them as sharp edged tools, while the

untrained man finds that he has but a dull, unsharpened blade that will

do nothing but hack and hew roughly, instead of being able to produce the

finished product.

 

The Yogi believes in giving the "I" good tools with which to work, and he

spends much time in tempering and sharpening these tools. Oh, no, the

Yogi are not idle dreamers. Their grasp of "practical things" would

surprise many a practical, matter-of-fact Western business man, if he

could but observe it.

 

And so, we ask you to practice "observing things." The two exercises we

have given are but indications of the general line. We could give you

thousands, but you can prepare them yourselves as well as could we.

The little Hindu boy is taught Attention by being asked to note and

remember the number, color, character and other details of a number of

colored stones, jewelry, etc., shown for an instant in an open palm,

the hand being closed the moment after. He is taught to note and

describe passing travelers, and their equipages--houses he sees on his

journeys--and thousands of other everyday objects. The results are almost

marvelous. In this way he is prepared as a _chela_ or student, and he

brings to his _guru_ or teacher a brain well developed--a mind thoroughly

trained to obey the Will of the "I"--and with faculties quickened to

perceive instantly that which others would fail to see in a fortnight. It

is true that he does not turn these faculties to "business" or other

so-called "practical" pursuits, but prefers to devote them to abstract

studies and pursuits outside of that which the Western man considers to

be the end and aim of life. But remember that the two civilizations are

quite different--following different ideals--having different economic

conditions--living in different worlds, as it were. But that is all a

matter of taste and ideals--the faculty for the "practical life" of the

West is possessed by the _chela_, if he saw fit to use it. But all Hindu

youths are not _chelas_, remember--nor are all Western youths "captains

of industry," or Edisons.

 

 

MANTRAM (AFFIRMATION).

 

I am using my Attention to develop my mental faculties, so as to give the

"I" a perfect instrument with which to work. The mind is _My_ instrument

and I am bringing it to a state of capacity for perfect work.

 

 

MANTRAM (OR AFFIRMATION).

 

There is but One Life--One Life Underlying. This Life is manifesting

through ME, and through every other shape, form, and thing. I am resting

on the bosom of the Great Ocean of Life, and it is supporting me, and

will carry me safely, though the waves rise and fall--though the storms

rage and the tempests roar. I am safe on the Ocean of Life, and rejoice

as I feel the sway of its motion. Nothing can harm me--though changes may

come and go, I am Safe. I am One with the All Life, and its Power,

Knowledge, and Peace are behind, underneath, and within Me. O! One Life!

express Thyself through me--carry me now on the crest of the wave, now

deep down in the trough of the ocean--supported always by Thee--all is

good to me, as I feel Thy life moving in and through me. I am Alive,

through thy life, and I open myself to thy full manifestation and inflow.

 

 

 

 

THE SIXTH LESSON.

 

CULTIVATION OF PERCEPTION.

 

 

Man gains his knowledge of the outside world through his senses. And,

consequently, many of us are in the habit of thinking of these senses as

if _they_ did the sensing, instead of being merely carriers of the

vibrations coming from the outside world, which are then presented to the

Mind for examination. We shall speak of this at greater length a little

later on in this lesson. Just now we wish to impress upon you the fact

that it is the Mind that perceives, not the senses. And, consequently, a

development of Perception is really a development of the Mind.

 

The Yogis put their students through a very arduous course of practice

and exercises designed to develop their powers of perception. To many

this would appear to be merely a development of the Senses, which might

appear odd in view of the fact that the Yogis are constantly preaching

the folly of being governed and ruled by the senses. But there is nothing

paradoxical about all this, for the Yogis, while preaching the folly of

sense life, and manifesting the teaching in their lives, nevertheless

believe in any and all exercises calculated to "sharpen" the Mind, and

develop it to a keen state and condition.

 

They see a great difference between having a sharpened perception, on the

one hand, and being a slave to the senses on the other. For instance,

what would be thought of a man who objected to acquiring a keen eyesight,

for fear it would lead him away from higher things, by reason of his

becoming attached to the beautiful things he might see. To realize the

folly of this idea, one may look at its logical conclusion, which would

be that one would then be much better off if all their senses were

destroyed. The absurdity, not to say wickedness, of such an idea will be

apparent to everyone, after a minute's consideration.

 

The secret of the Yogi theory and teachings regarding the development of

the Mental powers, lies in the word "_Mastery_." The Yoga student

accomplishes and attains this mastery in two ways. The first way is by

subordinating all the feelings, sense-impressions, etc., to the Mastery

of the "I," or Will, the Mastery being obtained in this way by the

assertion of the dominancy of the "I" over the faculties and emotions,

etc. The second step, or way, lies in the Yogi, once having asserted the

mastery, beginning to develop and perfect the Mental instrument, so as to

get better work and returns from it. In this way he increases his kingdom

and is Master over a much larger territory.

 

In order for one to gain knowledge, it is necessary to use to the best

advantage the mental instruments and tools that he finds at his disposal.

And again, one must develop and improve such tools--put a keen edge upon

them, etc. Not only does one gain a great benefit from a development of

the faculties of perception, but he also acquires an additional benefit

from the training of the whole mind arising from the mental discipline

and training resulting from the former exercises, etc. In our previous

lessons we have pointed out some of the means by which these faculties

might be greatly improved, and their efficiency increased. In this lesson

we shall point out certain directions in which the Perceptive faculties

may be trained. We trust that the simplicity of the idea may not cause

any of our students to lose interest in the work. If they only knew just

what such development would lead to they would gladly follow our

suggestions in the matter. Every one of the ideas and exercises given by

us are intended to lead up to the strengthening of the Mind, and the

attainment of powers and the unfoldment of faculties. There is no royal

road to Raja Yoga, but the student will be well repaid for the work of

climbing the hill of Attainment.

 

In view of the above, let us examine the question of The Senses. Through

the doors of the senses Man receives all his information regarding the

outside world. If he keeps these doors but half open, or crowded up with

obstacles and rubbish, he may expect to receive but few messages from

outside. But if he keeps his doorways clear, and clean, he will obtain

the best that is passing his way.

 

If one were born without sense-organs--no matter how good a Mind he might

have--he would be compelled to live his life in a dreamy plant-life stage

of existence, with little or no consciousness. The Mind would be like a

seed in the earth, that for some reason was prevented from growing.

 

One may object that the highest ideas do not come to us through the

senses, but the reply is that the things obtained through the senses are

the "raw material" upon which the mind works, and fashions the beautiful

things that it is able to produce in its highest stages. Just as is the

body dependent for growth upon the nourishment taken into it, so is the

mind dependent for growth upon the impressions received from the

Universe--and these impressions come largely through the senses. It may

be objected to that we know many things that we have not received through

our senses. But, does the objector include the impressions that came

through his senses in some previous existence, and which have been

impressed upon his instinctive mind, or soul-memory? It is true that

there are higher senses than those usually recognized, but Nature insists

upon one learning the lessons of the lower grades before attempting those

of the higher.

 

Do not forget that all that we know we have "worked for." There is

nothing that comes to the idler, or shirker. What we know is merely the

result of "stored-up accumulations of previous experience," as Lewes has

so well said.

 

So it will be seen that the Yogi idea that one should develop all parts

of the Mind is strictly correct, if one will take the trouble to examine

into the matter. A man sees and knows but very little of what is going

on about him. His limitations are great. His powers of vision report only

a few vibrations of light, while below and above the scale lie an

infinity of vibrations unknown to him. The same is true of the powers of

hearing, for only a comparatively small portion of the sound-waves reach

the Mind of Man--even some of the animals hear more than he does.

 

If a man had only one sense he would obtain but a one-sense idea of the

outside world. If another sense is added his knowledge is doubled. And so

on. The best proof of the relation between increased sense perception and

development is had in the study of the evolution of animal forms. In the

early stages of life the organism has only the sense of feeling--and very

dim at that--and a faint sense of taste. Then developed smell, hearing

and sight, each marking a distinct advance in the scale of life, for a

new world has been opened out to the advancing forms of life. And, when

man develops new senses--and this is before the race--he will be a much

wiser and greater being.

 

Carpenter, many years ago, voiced a thought that will be familiar to

those who are acquainted with the Yogi teachings regarding the unfoldment

of new senses. He said: "It does not seem at all improbable that there

are properties of matter of which none of our senses can take immediate

cognizance, and which other beings might be formed to perceive in the

same manner as we are sensible to light, sound, etc."

 

And Isaac Taylor said: "It may be that within the field observed by the

visible and ponderable universe there is existing and moving another

element fraught with another species of life--corporeal, indeed, and

various in its orders, but not open to cognizance of those who are

confined to the conditions of animal organization. Is it to be thought

that the eye of man is the measure of the Creator's power?--and that He

created nothing but that which he has exposed to our present senses? The

contrary seems much more than barely possible; ought we not to think it

almost certain?"

 

Another writer. Prof. Masson, has said: "If a new sense or two were added

to the present normal number, in man, that which is now the phenomenal

world for all of us might, for all that we know, burst into something

amazingly different and wider, in consequence of the additional

revelations of these new senses."

 

But not only is this true, but Man may increase his powers of knowledge

and experience if he will but develop the senses he has to a higher

degree of efficiency, instead of allowing them to remain comparatively

atrophied. And toward this end, this lesson is written.

 

The Mind obtains its impressions of objects of the outside world by means

of the brain and sense organs. The sensory organs are the instruments of

the Mind, as is also the brain and the entire nervous system. By means of

the nerves, and the brain, the Mind makes use of the sensory organs in

order that it may obtain information regarding external objects.

 

The senses are usually said to consist of five different forms, _viz._,

sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste.

 

The Yogis teach that there are higher senses, undeveloped, or

comparatively so, in the majority of the race, but toward the unfoldment

of which the race is tending. But we shall not touch upon these latent

senses in this lesson, as they belong to another phase of the subject. In

addition to the five senses above enumerated, some physiologists and

psychologists have held that there were several others in evidence. For

instance, the sense by which the inner organs revealed their presence and

condition, The muscular system reports to the mind through some sense

that is not that of "touch," although closely allied to it. And the

feelings of hunger, thirst, etc., seem to come to us through an unnamed

sense.

 

Bernstein has distinguished between the five senses and the one just

referred to as follows: "The characteristic distinction between these

common sensations and the sensations of the senses is that by the latter

we gain knowledge of the occurrences and objects which belong to the

external world (and which sensations we refer to external objects),

whilst by the former we only feel conditions of our own body."

 

A sensation is the internal, mental conception, resulting from an

external object or fact exciting the sense organs and nerves, and the

brain, thus making the mind "aware" of the external object or fact. As

Bain has said, it is the "mental impression, feeling, or conscious state,

resulting from the action of external things on some part of the body,

called on that account, sensitive."

 

Each channel of sense impressions has an organ, or organs, peculiarly

adapted for the excitation of its substance by the particular kind of

vibrations through which it receives impressions. The eye is most

cunningly and carefully designed to receive the light-waves; and

sound-waves produce no effect upon it. And, likewise, the delicate

mechanism of the ear responds only to sound-waves; light-waves failing to

register upon it. Each set of sensations is entirely different, and the

organs and nerves designed to register each particular set are peculiarly

adapted to their own special work. The organs of sense, including their

special nervous systems, may be compared to a delicate instrument that

the mind has fashioned for itself, that it may investigate, examine and

obtain reports from the outside world.

 

We have become so accustomed to the workings of the senses that we take

them as a "matter of course," and fail to recognize them as the delicate

and wonderful instruments that they are--designed and perfected by the

mind for its own use. If we will think of the soul as designing,

manufacturing and using these instruments, we may begin to understand

their true relations to our lives, and, accordingly treat them with more

respect and consideration.

 

We are in the habit of thinking that we are aware of all the sensations

received by our mind. But this is very far from being correct. The

unconscious regions of the mind are incomparably larger than the small

conscious area that we generally think of when we say "my mind." In

future lessons we shall proceed to consider this wonderful area, and

examine what is to be found there. Taine has well said, "There is going

on within us a subterranean process of infinite extent; its products

alone are known to us, and are only known to us in the mass. As to

elements, and their elements, consciousness does not attain to them. They

are to sensations what secondary molecules and primitive molecules are to

bodies. We get a glance here and there at obscure and infinite worlds

extending beneath our distinct sensations. These are compounds and

wholes. For their elements to be perceptible to consciousness, it is

necessary for them to be added together, and so to acquire a certain bulk

and to occupy a certain time, for if the group does not attain this bulk,

and does not last this time, we observe no changes in our state.

Nevertheless, though it escapes us, there is one."

 

But we must postpone our consideration of this more than interesting

phase of the subject, until some future lesson, when we shall take a trip

into the regions of Mind, under and above Consciousness. And a most

wonderful trip many of us will find it, too.

 

For the present, we must pay our attention to the channels by which the

material for knowledge and thought enter our minds. For these sense

impressions, coming to us from without, are indeed "material" upon which

the mind works in order to manufacture the product called "Thought."

 

This material we obtain through the channels of the senses, and then

store in that wonderful storehouse, the Memory, from whence we bring out

material from time to time, which we proceed to weave into the fabric of

Thought. The skill of the worker depends upon his training, and his

ability to select and combine the proper materials. And the acquiring of

good materials to be stored up is an important part of the work.

 

A mind without stored-up material of impressions and experiences would be

like a factory without material. The machinery would have nothing upon

which to work, and the shop would be idle. As Helmholtz has said,

"Apprehension by the senses supplies directly or indirectly, the material

of all human knowledge, or at least the stimulus necessary to develop

every inborn faculty of the mind." And Herbert Spencer, has this to say

of this phase of the subject, "It is almost a truism to say that in

proportion to the numerousness of the objects that can be distinguished,

and in proportion to the variety of coexistences and sequences that can

be severally responded to, must be the number and rapidity and variety of

the changes within the organism--must be the amount of vitality."

 

A little reflection upon this subject will show us that the greater

degree of exercise and training given the senses, the greater the degree

of mental power and capability. As we store our mental storehouse with

the materials to be manufactured into thought, so is the quality and

quantity of the fabric produced.

 

It therefore behooves us to awaken from our "lazy" condition of mind, and

to proceed to develop our organs of sense, and their attendant mechanism,

as by doing so we increase our capacity for thought and knowledge.

 

Before passing to the exercises, however, it may be well to give a hasty

passing glance at the several senses, and their peculiarities.

 

The sense of Touch is the simplest and primal sense. Long before the

lower forms of life had developed the higher senses, they had evidenced

the sense of Touch or Feeling. Without this sense they would have been

unable to have found their food, or to receive and respond to outside

impressions. In the early forms of life it was exercised equally by all

parts of the body, although in the higher forms this sense has become

somewhat localized, as certain parts of the body are far more sensitive

than are others. The skin is the seat of the sense of Touch, and its

nerves are distributed over the entire area of the skin. The hand, and

particularly the fingers, and their tips, are the principal organs of

this sense.

 

The acuteness of Touch varies materially in different parts of the body.

Experiments have shown that a pair of compasses would register

impressions as a very slight distance apart when applied to the tip of

the tongue. The distance at which the two points could be distinguished

from one point, on the tip of the tongue, was called "one line." Using

this "line" as a standard, it was found that the palmar surface of the

third finger registered 2 lines; the surface of the lips 4 lines, and the

skin of the back, and on the middle of the arm or thigh, as high as 60

lines The degree of sensitiveness to Touch varies greatly with different

individuals, some having a very fine sense of touch in their fingers,

while others manifested a very much lower degree.

 

In the same way, there is a great difference in the response of the

fingers to weight--a great difference in the ability to distinguish the

difference of the weight of objects. It has been found that some people

can distinguish differences in weight down to very small fractions of an

ounce. Fine distinctions in the differences in temperature have also been

noticed.

 

The sense of touch, and its development has meant much for Man. It is the

one sense in which Man surpasses the animals in the matter of degree and

acuteness. The animal may have a keener smell, taste, hearing and sight,

but its sense of Touch is far beneath that of Man. Anaxagoras is quoted

as saying that "if the animals had hands and fingers, they would be like

men."

 

In developing the sense of Touch, the student must remember that

Attention is the key to success. The greater the amount of Attention the

greater the degree of development possible in the case of any sense.

When the Attention is concentrated upon any particular sense, the latter

becomes quickened and more acute, and repeated exercise, under the

stimulus of Attention, will work wonders in the case of any

particular sense. And on the other hand, the sense of touch may be

almost, or completely inhibited, by firmly fixing the Attention upon

something else. As an extreme proof of this latter fact, the student

is asked to remember the fact that men have been known to suffer

excruciating torture, apparently without feeling, owing to the mind being

intently riveted upon some idea or thought. As Wyld has said, "The martyr

borne above sensuous impressions, is not only able to endure tortures,

but is able to endure and quench them. The pinching and cutting of the

flesh only added energy to the death song of the American Indian, and

even the slave under the lash is sustained by the indignant sense of his

wrongs."

 

In the cases of persons engaged in occupations requiring a fine degree of

Touch, the development is marvelous. The engraver passes his hand over

the plate, and is able to distinguish the slightest imperfection. And the

handler of cloth and fabrics is able to distinguish the finest

differences, simply by the sense of touch. Wool sorters also exercise a

wonderfully high degree of fineness of touch. And the blind are able to

make up for the loss of sight by their greatly increased sense of Touch,

cases being recorded where the blind have been able to distinguish

_color_ by the different "feel" of the material.

 

The sense of Taste is closely allied to that of Touch--in fact some

authorities have considered Taste as a very highly developed sense of

Touch in certain surfaces of the body, the tongue notably. It will be

remembered that the tongue has the finest sense of Touch, and it also has

the sense of Taste developed to perfection. In Taste and Touch the object

must be brought in direct contact with the organ of sense, which is not

the case in Smell, Hearing, or Sight. And, be it remembered, that the

latter senses have special nerves, while Taste is compelled to fall back

upon the ordinary nerves of Touch. It is true that Taste is confined to a

very small part of the surface of the body, while Touch is general. But

this only indicates a special development of the special area. The sense

of Taste also depends to a great extent upon the presence of fluids, and

only substances that are soluble make their presence known through the

organs and sense of Taste.

 

Physiologists report that the sense of Taste in some persons is so

acute that one part of strychnine in one million parts of water has

been distinguished. There are certain occupations, such as that of

wine-tasters, tea-tasters, etc., the followers of which manifest a

degree of fineness of Taste almost incredible.

 

The sense of Smell is closely connected with the sense of Taste, and

often acts in connection therewith, as the tiny particles of the

substance in the mouth arise to the organs of Smell, by means of the

opening or means of communication situated in the back part of the mouth.

Besides which the nose usually detects the odor of substances before they

enter the mouth. The sense of Smell operates by reason of the tiny

particles or the object being carried to the mucous membrane of the

interior of the nose, by means of the air. The membrane, being moist,

seizes and holds these particles for a moment, and the fine nervous

organism reports differences and qualities and the Mind is thus informed

of the nature of the object.

 

The sense of Smell is very highly developed among animals, who are

compelled to rely upon it to a considerable extent. And many occupations

among men require the development of this sense, for instance, the

tobacconist, the wine dealer, the perfumers, the chemist, etc. It is

related that in the cases of certain blind people, it has been observed

that they could distinguish persons in this manner.

 

The sense of Hearing is a more complex one than in the case of Taste,

Touch and Smell. In the latter three the objects to be sensed must be

brought in close contact with the sense-organs, while in Hearing the

object may be far removed, the impressions being carried by the

vibrations of the air, which are caught up and reported upon by the

nervous organism of the sense of Hearing. The internal mechanism of

the ear is most wonderfully intricate and complex, and excites to wonder

the person examining it. It cannot be described here for want of space,

but the student is advised to inquire into it if he has access to any

library containing books on the subject. It is a wonderful illustration

of the work of the mind in building up for itself instruments with which

to work--to acquire knowledge.

 

The ear records vibrations in the air from 20 or 32 per second, the rate

of the lowest audible note, to those of 38,000 per second, the rate of

the highest audible note. There is a great difference in individuals in

regard to the fineness of the sense of Hearing. But all may develop this

sense by the application of Attention. The animals and savages have

wonderfully acute senses of Hearing developed only along the lines of

distinctness, however--on the other hand musicians have developed the

sense along different lines.

 

The sense of Sight is generally conceded to be the highest and most

complex of all the senses of Man. It deals with a far larger number of

objects--at longer distances--and gives a far greater variety of

reports to the mind than any of its associate senses. It is the sense of

Touch magnified many times. As Wilson says of it, "Our sight may be

considered as a more delicate and diffusive kind of touch that spreads

itself over an infinite number of bodies; comprehends the largest

figures, and brings into our reach some of the most remote parts of the

universe."

 

The sense of Sight receives its impressions from the outside world by

means of waves that travel from body to body--from sun to earth, and from

lamp to eye. These waves of light arise from vibrations in substance, of

an almost incredible degree of rapidity. The lowest light vibration is

about 450,000,000,000,000 per second, while the highest is about

750,000,000,000,000 per second. These figures deal only with the

vibrations recognizable by the eye as light. Above and below these

figures of the scale are countless other degrees invisible to the eye,

although some of them may be recorded by instruments. The different

sensations of color, depend upon the rate of the vibrations, red being

the limit of the lowest, and violet the limit of the highest visible

vibrations--orange, yellow, green, blue, and indigo being the

intermediate rates or colors.

 

The cultivation of the sense of Sight, under the aid of Attention is most

important to ail persons. By being able to clearly see and distinguish

the parts of an object, a degree of knowledge regarding it is obtained

that one may not acquire without the said exercise of the faculty. We

have spoken of this under the subject of Attention, in a previous lesson,

to which lesson we again refer the student. The fixing of the eye upon an

object has the power of concentrating the thoughts and preventing them

from wandering. The eye has other properties and qualities that will be

dwelt upon in future lessons. It has other uses than seeing. The

influence of the eye is a marvelous thing, and may be cultivated and

developed.

 

We trust that what we have said will bring the student to a realization

of the importance of developing the powers of Perception. The senses have

been developed by the mind during a long period of evolution and effort

that surely would not have been given unless the object in view was worth

it all. The "I" insists upon obtaining knowledge of the Universe, and

much of this knowledge may be obtained only through the senses. The Yogi

student must be "wide awake" and possessed of developed senses and

powers of Perception. The senses of Sight and Hearing, the two latest in

the scale of Evolutionary growth and unfoldment, must receive a

particular degree of attention. The student must make himself "aware"

of what is going on about and around him, so that he may "catch" the best

vibrations.

 

It would surprise many Westerners if they could come in contact with a

highly developed Yogi, and witness the marvelously finely developed

senses he possesses. He is able to distinguish the finest differences

in things, and his mind is so trained that, in thought, he may draw

conclusions from what he has perceived, in a manner that seems almost

"second-sight" to the uninitiated. _In fact, a certain degree of

second-sight is possible to one who develops his sense of Sight, under

the urge of Attention._ A new world is opened out to such a person. One

must learn to master the senses, not only in the direction of being

independent of and superior to their urgings, but also in the matter of

developing them to a high degree. The development of the physical senses,

also has much to do with the development of the "Astral Senses," of

which we have spoken in our "Fourteen Lessons," and of which we may have

more to say in the present series. The idea of _Raja Yoga_ is to render

the student the possessor of a highly developed Mind, with highly

developed instruments with which the mind may work.

 

In our future lessons we shall give the student many illustrations,

directions, and exercises calculated to develop the different faculties

of the mind--not only the ordinary faculties of everyday use, but others

hidden behind these familiar faculties and senses. Commencing with the

next lesson, we shall present a system of exercises, drills, etc., the

purpose of which will be the above mentioned development of the faculties

of the Mind.

 

In this lesson we shall not attempt to give specific exercises, but will

content ourselves with calling the attention of the student to a few

general rules underlying the development of Perception.

 

 

GENERAL RULES OF PERCEPTION.

 

The first thing to remember in acquiring the art of Perception is that

one should not attempt to perceive the whole of a complex thing or object

at the same time, or at once. One should consider the object in detail,

and then, by grouping the details, he will find that he has considered

the whole. Let us take the face of a person as a familiar object. If one

tries to perceive a face as a whole, he will find that he will meet with

a certain degree of failure, the impression being indistinct and cloudy,

it following, also, that the memory of that face will correspond with the

original perception.

 

But let the observer consider the face in detail, first the eyes, then

the nose, then the mouth, then the chin, then the hair, then the outline

of the face, the complexion, etc., and he will find that he will have

acquired a clear and distinct impression or perception of the whole face.

 

The same rule may be applied to any subject or object. Let us take

another familiar illustration. You wish to observe a building. If you

simply get a general perception of the building as a whole, you will

be able to remember very little about it, except its general outlines,

shape, size, color, etc. And a description will prove to be very

disappointing. But if you have noted, _in detail_, the material used, the

shape of the doors, chimney, roof, porches, decorations, trimmings,

ornamentation, size and number of the window-panes etc., etc., the shape

and angles of the roof, etc., you will have an _intelligent_ idea of the

building, in the place of a mere general outline or impression of such as

might be acquired by an animal in passing.

 

We will conclude this lesson with an anecdote of the methods of that

famous naturalist Agassiz, in his training of his pupils. His pupils

became renowned for their close powers of observation and perception,

and their consequent ability to "think" about the things they had seen.

Many of them rose to eminent positions, and claimed that this was largely

by reason of their careful training.

 

The tale runs that a new student presented himself to Agassiz one day,

asking to be set to work. The naturalist took a fish from a jar in which

it had been preserved, and laying it before the young student bade him

observe it carefully, and be ready to report upon what he had noticed

about the fish. The student was then left alone with the fish. There was

nothing especially interesting about that fish--it was like many other

fishes that he had seen before. He noticed that it had fins and scales,

and a mouth and eyes, yes, and a tail. In a half hour he felt certain

that he had observed all about that fish that there was to be perceived.

But the naturalist remained away.

 

The time rolled on, and the youth, having nothing else to do, began to

grow restless and weary. He started out to hunt up the teacher, but he

failed to find him, and so had to return and gaze again at that

wearisome fish. Several hours had passed, and he knew but little more

about the fish than he did in the first place.

 

He went out to lunch and when he returned it was still a case of watching

the fish. He felt disgusted and discouraged, and wished he had never come

to Agassiz, whom, it seemed, was a stupid old man after all,--one away

behind the times. Then, in order to kill time, he began to count the

scales. This completed he counted the spines of the fins. Then he began

to draw a picture of the fish. In drawing the picture he noticed that the

fish had no eyelids. He thus made the discovery that as his teacher had

expressed it often, in lectures, "a pencil is the best of eyes." Shortly

after the teacher returned, and after ascertaining what the youth had

observed, he left rather disappointed, telling the boy to keep on looking

and maybe he would see something.

 

This put the boy on his mettle, and he began to work with his pencil,

putting down little details that had escaped him before, but which now

seemed very plain to him. He began to catch the secret of observation.

Little by little he brought to light new objects of interest about the

fish. But this did not suffice his teacher, who kept him at work on the

same fish for three whole days. At the end of that time the student

really knew something about the fish, and, better than all, had acquired

the "knack" and habit of careful observation and perception in detail.

 

Years after, the student, then attained to eminence, is reported as

saying: "That was the best zoological lesson I ever had--a lesson whose

influence has extended to the details of every subsequent study; a

legacy that the professor left to me, as he left to many others, of

inestimable value, which we could not buy, and with which we cannot

part."

 

Apart from the value to the student of the particular information

obtained, was the quickening of the perceptive faculties that enabled him

to observe the important points in a subject or object, and,

consequently to deduce important information from that which was

observed. The Mind is hungry for knowledge, and it has by years of weary

evolution and effort built up a series of sense systems in order to yield

it that knowledge and it is still building. The men and women in the

world who have arrived at the point of success have availed themselves of

these wonderful channels of information, and by directing them under

the guidance of Will and Attention, have attained wonderful results.

These things are of importance, and we beg of our students not to pass by

this portion of the subject as uninteresting. Cultivate a spirit of

wide-awakeness and perception, and the "knowing" that will come to you

will surprise you.

 

No only do you develop the existing senses by such practice and use, _but

you help in the unfoldment of the latent powers and senses that are

striving for unfoldment_. By using and exercising the faculties that we

have, we help to unfold those for the coming of which we have been

dreaming.

 

 

MANTRAM (AFFIRMATION).

 

I am a Soul, possessed of channels of communication with the outer world.

I will use these channels, and thereby acquire the information and

knowledge necessary for my mental development. I will exercise and

develop my organs of sense, knowing that in so doing I shall cause to

unfold the higher senses, of which they are but forerunners and symbols.

I will be "_wide-awake_" and open to the inflow of knowledge and

information. The Universe is my Home--I will explore it.

 

 

 

 

THE SEVENTH LESSON.

 

THE UNFOLDMENT OF CONSCIOUSNESS.

 

 

We have thought it well to make a slight change in the arrangement of

these lessons--that is, in the order in which they should appear. We had

contemplated making this Seventh Lesson a series of Mental Drills,

intended to develop certain of the mental faculties, but we have decided

to postpone the same until a later lesson, believing that by so doing a

more logical sequence or order of arrangement will be preserved. In this

lesson we will tell you of the unfoldment of consciousness in Man, and in

the next lesson, and probably in the one following it, we shall present

to you a clear statement regarding the states of mind, below and over

consciousness--a most wonderful region, we assure you, and one that has

been greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted. This will lead up to the

subject of the cultivation of the various faculties--both conscious and

outside of consciousness, and the series will be concluded by three

lessons going right to the heart of this part of the subject, and giving

certain rules and instruction calculated to develop Man's wonderful

"thought-machine" that will be of the greatest interest and importance

to all of our students. When the lessons are concluded you will see that

the present arrangement is most logical and proper.

 

In this lesson we take up the subject of "The Unfoldment of

Consciousness"--a most interesting subject. Many of us have been in the

habit of identifying "consciousness" with mind, but as we proceed with

this series of lessons we will see that that which is called

"consciousness" is but a small portion of the mind of the individual, and

even that small part is constantly changing its states, and unfolding new

states undreamed of.

 

"Consciousness" is a word we use very often in considering the science of

the Mind. Let us see what it means. Webster defines it as one's

"knowledge of sensations and mental operations, or of what passes in

one's own mind." Halleck defines it as "that undefinable characteristic

of mental states which causes one to be aware of them." But, as Halleck

states, "Consciousness is incapable of definition. To define anything we

are obliged to describe it in terms of something else. And there is

nothing else in the world like consciousness, hence we can define it only

in terms of itself, and that is very much like trying to lift one's self

by one's own boot straps. Consciousness is one of the greatest mysteries

that confronts us."

 

Before we can understand what Consciousness really is, we must know just

what "Mind" really is--and that knowledge is lacking, notwithstanding the

many injenious theories evolved in order to explain the mystery. The

metaphysicians do not throw much light on the subject, and as for

materialistic science, listen to what Huxley says: "How it comes about

that anything so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about by

the result of irritating nervous tissue, is just as unaccountable as the

appearance of the genie when Aladdin rubbed his lamp."

 

To many persons the words "consciousness" and "mental process," or

"thought" are regarded as synonymous. And, in fact, psychologists so held

until quite recently. But now it is generally accepted as a fact that

mental processes are not limited to the field of consciousness, and it is

now generally taught that the field of sub-consciousness (that is,

"under" conscious) mentation, is of a much greater extent than that of

conscious mentation.

 

Not only is it true that the mind can hold in consciousness but one fact

at any one instant, and that, consequently, only a very small fraction of

our knowledge can be in consciousness at any one moment, but it is also

true that the consciousness plays but a very small part in the totality

of mental processes, or mentation. The mind is not conscious of the

greater portion of its own activities--Maudsley says that only ten per

cent comes into the field of consciousness. Taine has stated it in these

words: "Of the world which makes up our being, we only perceive the

highest points--the lighted up peaks of a continent whose lower levels

remain in the shade."

 

But it is not our intention to speak of this great subconscious region of

the mind at this point, for we shall have much to do with it later on. It

is mentioned here in order to show that the enlargement or development of

consciousness is not so much a matter of "growth" as it is an

"unfoldment"--not a new creation or enlargement from outside, but rather

an unfoldment outward from within.

 

From the very beginning of Life--among the Particles of Inorganic

Substance, may be found traces of something like Sensation, and response

thereto. Writers have not cared to give to this phenomenon the name of

"sensation," or "sensibility," as the terms savored too much of "senses,"

and "sense-organs." But Modern Science has not hesitated to bestow the

names so long withheld. The most advanced scientific writers do not

hesitate to state that in reaction, chemical response, etc., may be seen

indications of rudimentary sensation. Haeckel says: "I cannot imagine

the simplest chemical and physical process without attributing the

movement of the material particles to unconscious sensation. The idea of

Chemical Affinity consists in the fact that the various chemical elements

perceive the qualitative differences in other elements and experience

'pleasure' or 'revulsion' at contacts with them, and execute their

specific movements on this ground." He also speaks of the sensitiveness

of "plasm," or the substance of "living bodies," as being "only a

superior degree of the general irritability of substance."

 

Chemical reaction, between atoms, is spoken of by chemists as a

"sensitive" reaction. Sensitiveness is found even in the Particles of

Inorganic Substance, and may be regarded as the first glimmerings of

thought. Science recognizes this when it speaks of the unconscious

sensation of the Particles as _athesis_ or "feeling," and the unconscious

Will that responds thereto, as _tropesis_, or "inclination." Haeckel says

of this that "Sensation perceives the different qualities of the stimuli,

and feeling the quantity," and also, "We may ascribe the feeling of

pleasure and pain (in the contact with qualitatively differing atoms) to

all atoms, and so explain the elective affinity in chemistry (attraction

of loving atoms, inclination; repulsion of hating atoms,

disinclination)."

 

It is impossible to form a clear or intelligent idea of the phenomenon of

chemical affinity, etc., unless we attribute to the Atoms something akin

to Sensation. It is likewise impossible to understand the actions of the

Molecules, unless we think of them as possessing something akin to

Sensation. The Law of Attraction is based upon Mental States in

Substance. The response of Inorganic Substance to Electricity and

Magnetism is also another evidence of Sensation and the response thereto.

 

In the movements and operations of crystal-life we obtain evidences of

still a little higher forms of Sensation and response thereto. The action

of crystallization is very near akin to that of some low forms of plasmic

action. In fact, the "missing link" between plant life and the crystals

is claimed to have been found in some recent discoveries of Science, the

connection being found in certain crystals in the interior of plants

composed of carbon combinations, and resembling the inorganic crystals in

many ways.

 

Crystals grow along certain lines and forms up to a certain size. Then

they begin to form "baby-crystals" on their surfaces, which then take on

the growth--the processes being almost analogous to cell-life. Processes

akin to fermentation have been detected among chemicals. In many ways it

may be seen that the beginning of Mental Life must be looked for among

the Minerals and Particles--the latter, be it remembered, composing not

only inorganic, but also Organic Substance.

 

As we advance in the scale of life, we are met with constantly increasing

unfoldment of mentation, the simple giving place to the complex

manifestations. Passing by the simple vital processes of the monera, or

single-celled "things," we notice the higher forms of cell life, with

growing sensibility or sensation. Then we come to the cell-groups, in

which the individual cells manifest sensation of a kind, coupled with a

community-sensation. Food is distinguished, selected and captured, and

movements exercised in pursuit of the same. The living thing is beginning

to manifest more complex mental states. Then the stage of the lower

plants is reached, and we notice the varied phenomena of that region,

evidencing an increased sensitiveness, although there are practically no

signs of special organs of sense. Then we pass on to the higher plant

life, in which begin to manifest certain "sensitive-cells," or groups of

such cells, which are rudimentary sense organs. Then the forms of animal

life, and considered with rising degrees of sensations and growing sense

apparatus, or sense organs, gradually unfolding into something like

nervous systems.

 

Among the lower animal forms there are varying degrees of mentation with

accompanying nerve centers and sense-organs, but little or no signs of

consciousness, gradually ascending until we have dawning consciousness in

the reptile kingdom, etc., and fuller consciousness and a degree of

intelligent thought in the still higher forms, gradually increasing until

we reach the plane of the highest mammals, such as the horse, dog,

elephant, ape, etc., which animals have complex nervous systems, brains

and well developed consciousness. We need not further consider the forms

of mentation in the forms of life below the Conscious stage, for that

would carry us far from our subject.

 

Among the higher forms of animal life, after a "dawn period" or

semi-consciousness, we come to forms of life among the lower animals

possessing a well developed degree of mental action and Consciousness,

the latter being called by psychologists "Simple Consciousness," but

which term we consider too indefinite, and which we will term "Physical

Consciousness," which will give a fair idea of the thing itself. We use

the word "Physical" in the double sense of "External," and "Relating to

the material structure of a living being," both of which definitions are

found in the dictionaries. And that is just what Physical Consciousness

really is--an "awareness" in the mind, or a "consciousness" of the

"external" world as evidenced by the senses; and of the "body" of the

animal or person. The animal or person thinking on the plane of Physical

Consciousness (all the higher animals do, and many men seem unable to

rise much higher) identifies itself with the physical body, and is

conscious only of thoughts of that body and the outside world. It

"knows," but not being conscious of mental operations, or of the

existence of its mind, it does not "know that it knows." This form of

consciousness, while infinitely above the mentation of the nonconscious

plane of "sansation," is like a different world of thought from the

consciousness of the highly developed intellectual man of our age and

race.

 

It is difficult for a man to form an idea of the Physical Consciousness

of the lower animals and savages, particularly as he finds it difficult

to understand his own consciousness except by the act of being conscious.

But observation and reason have given us a fair degree of understanding

of what this Physical Consciousness of the animal is like--or at least in

what respect it differs from our own consciousness. Let us take a

favorite illustration. A horse standing out in the cold sleet and rain

undoubtedly _feels_ the discomfort, and possibly pain, for we know by

observation that animals feel both. But he is not able to analyze his

mental states and wonder when his master will come out to him--think how

cruel it is to keep him out of the warm stable--wonder whether he will be

taken out in the cold again tomorrow--feel envious of other horses who

are indoors--wonder why he is compelled to be out cold nights, etc.,

etc.,--in short, he does not think as would a reasoning man under such

circumstances. He is aware of the discomfort, just as would be the

man--and he would run home if he could just as would the man. But he is

not able to pity himself, nor to think about his personality as would

the man, nor does he wonder whether such a life is worth living, after

all. He "knows," but is not able to think of himself as knowing--he does

not "know that he knows," as we do. He experiences the physical pain and

discomfort, but is spared the mental discomfort and concern arising from

the physical, which man so often experiences.

 

The animal cannot shift its consciousness from the sensations of the

outer world to the inner states of being. It is not able to "know

itself." The difference may be clumsily illustrated by the example of a

man feeling, seeing or hearing something that gives him a pleasurable

sensation, or the reverse. He is conscious of the feeling or sensation,

and that it is pleasurable or otherwise. That is Physical Consciousness,

and the animal may share it with him. But it stops right there with the

animal. But the man may begin to wonder _why_ the sensation is

pleasurable and to associate it with other things and persons; or

speculate _why_ he dislikes it, what will follow, and so on--that is

Mental Consciousness, because he recognizes an inward self, and is

turning his attention _inward_. He may see another man and experience a

feeling or sensation of attraction or aversion--like or dislike. This is

Physical Consciousness, and an animal also may experience the sensation.

But the man goes further than the animal, and wonders just what there is

about the man he likes or detests, and may compare himself to the man and

wonder whether the latter feels as he does, and so on--this is Mental

Consciousness.

 

In animals the mental gaze is freely directed outward, and never returns

upon itself. In man the mental gaze may be directed inward, or may return

inward after its outward journey. The animal "knows"--the man not only

"knows," but he "knows that he knows," and is able to investigate that

"knowing" and speculate about it. We call this higher consciousness

Mental Consciousness. The operation of Physical Consciousness we call

Instinct--the operation of Mental Consciousness we call Reason.

 

The Man who has Mental Consciousness not only "feels" or "senses" things,

but he has words or mental concepts of these feelings and sensations and

may think of himself as experiencing them, separating himself, the

sensation or feeling, and the thing felt or sensed. The man is able to

think: "I feel; I hear; I see; I smell; I taste; I desire; I do," etc.,

etc. The very words indicate Mental Consciousness recognizing mental

states and giving them names, and also recognizing something called "I"

that experiences the sensations. This latter fact has caused

psychologists to speak of this stage as "Self-consciousness," but we

reserve this idea of the "I" consciousness for a higher stage.

 

The animal experiences something that gives it the impressions or feeling

that we call "pain," "hurt," "pleasant," "sweet," "bitter," etc., all

being forms of sensation, but it is unable to think of them in words.

The pain seems to be a part of itself, although possibly associated with

some person or thing that caused it. The study of the unfoldment of

consciousness in a young baby will give one a far better idea of the

grades and distinctions than can be obtained from reading mere words.

 

Mental Consciousness is a growth. As Halleck says, "Many persons never

have more than a misty idea of such a mental attitude. They always take

themselves for granted, and never turn the gaze inward." It has been

doubted whether the savages have developed Self-consciousness, and even

many men of our own race seem to be but little above the animals in

intellect and consciousness. They do not seem able to "know themselves"

even slightly. To them the "I" seems to be a purely physical thing--a

body having desires and feeling but little more. They are able to feel an

act, but scarcely more. They are not able to set aside any physical

"not--I," being utterly unable to think of themselves as anything else

but a Body. The "I" and the Body are one with them, and they seem

incapable of distinguishing between them.

 

Then comes another stage in which mental-consciousness proper sets in.

The man begins to realize that he has "a mind." He is able to "know

himself" as a mental being, and to turn the gaze inward a little. This

period of development may be noticed in young children. For a time

they speak of themselves as a third person, until finally they begin to

say "I." Then a little later comes the ability to know their own mental

states as such--they know that they have a mind, and are able to

distinguish between it and the body. It is related that some children

experience a feeling of terror when they pass into this stage. They

exhibit signs of bashfulness and what is commonly termed

"self-consciousness" in that sense. Some tell us in after years that when

they became aware of themselves as an entity they were overcome with

alarm, as if by a sense of loneliness and apartness from the Universe.

Young people often feel this way for several years. There seems to be a

distinct feeling that the Universe is antagonistic to and set apart from

them.

 

And, although this feeling of separateness and apartness grows less acute

as the man grows older, yet it is always present to a greater or less

degree until a still higher stage--the Ego-consciousness is reached, when

it disappears as we shall see. And this mental-conscious stage is a hard

one for many. They are entangled in a mass of mental states which the man

thinks is "himself," and the struggle between the real "I" and its

confining sheaths is painful. And it becomes still more painful as the

end is neared, for as man advances in mental-consciousness and knowledge

he feels more keenly and suffers accordingly. Man eats the fruit of the

Tree of Knowledge and begins to suffer, and is driven out of the Garden

of Eden of the child and primitive races, who live like the birds of the

air and concern themselves not about mental states and problems. But

there is deliverance ahead in the shape of a higher consciousness,

although but few realize it and still fewer have gained it. Perhaps this

lesson may point out the way for you.

 

With the birth of mental-consciousness comes the knowledge that there is

a mind in others. Man is able to speculate and reason about the mental

states of other men, because he recognizes these states within himself.

As man advances in the Mental Consciousness he begins to develop a

constantly increasing degree and grade of Intellect, and accordingly he

attaches the greatest importance to that part of his nature. Some men

worship Intellect as a God, ignoring its limitations which other thinkers

have pointed out. Such people are apt to reason that because the human

intellect (in its present state of development) reports that such a thing

_must_ be, or _cannot_ possibly be, that the matter is forever settled.

They ignore the fact that it is possible that Man's Intellect, in its

present state of unfoldment, may be able to take cognizance of only a

very small part of the Universal Fact, and that there may be regions upon

regions of Reality and Fact of which he cannot even dream, so far are

they removed from his experience. The unfoldment of a new sense would

open out a new world and might bring to light facts that would completely

revolutionize our entire world of conceptions by reason of the new

information it would give us.

 

But, nevertheless, from this Mental Consciousness has come the wonderful

work of Intellect, as shown in the achievements of Man up to this time,

and while we must recognize its limitations, we gladly join in singing

its praises. Reason is the tool with which Man is digging into the mine

of Facts, bringing to light new treasures every day. This stage of Mental

Consciousness is bringing to Man knowledge of himself--knowledge of the

Universe--that is well worth the price he pays for it. For Man _does_ pay

a price for entrance into this stage--and he pays an increasing price as

he advances in its territory, for the higher he advances the more keenly

he feels and suffers, as well as enjoys. Capacity for pain is the price

Man pays for Attainment, up to a certain stage. His pain passes from the

Physical to the Mental consciousness, and he becomes aware of problems

that he never dreamt existed, and the lack of an intelligent answer

produces mental suffering. And the mental suffering that comes to him

from unsatisfied longings, disappointment, the pain of others whom he

loves, etc., is far worse than any physical suffering.

 

The animal lives its animal life and is contented, for it knows no

better. If it has enough to eat--a place to sleep--a mate--it is happy.

And some men are likewise. But others find themselves involved in a world

of mental discomfort. New wants arise, and the lack of satisfaction

brings pain. Civilization becomes more and more complex, and brings its

new pains as well as new pleasures. Man attaches himself to "things," and

each day creates for himself artificial wants, which he must labor to

meet. His Intellect may not lead him upward, but instead may merely

enable him to invent new and subtle means and ways of gratifying his

senses to a degree impossible to the animals. Some men make a religion of

the gratification of their sensuality--their appetites--and become beasts

magnified by the power of Intellect. Others become vain, conceited and

puffed up with a sense of the importance of their Personality (the false

"I"). Others become morbidly introspective, and spend their time

analyzing and dissecting their moods, motives, feelings, etc. Others

exhaust their capacity for pleasure and happiness, but looking outside

for it instead of within, and become _blase_, bored, _ennuied_ and an

affliction to themselves We mention these things not in a spirit of

Pessimism but merely to show that even this great Mental Consciousness

has a reverse and ugly side as well as the bright face that has been

ascribed to it.

 

As man reaches the higher stages of this Mental Consciousness, and the

next higher stage begins to dawn upon him, he is apt to feel more keenly

than ever the insufficiency of Life as it appears to him. He is unable to

understand Himself--his origin, destiny, purpose and nature--and he

chafes against the bars of the cage of Intellect in which he is confined.

He asks himself the question, "Whence come I--Whither go I--What is the

object of my Existence?" He becomes dissatisfied with the answers the

world has to give him to these questions, and he cries aloud in

despair--and but the answer of his own voice comes back to him from the

impassable walls with which he is surrounded. He does not realize that

his answer must come from Within--but so it is.

 

Psychology stops when it reaches the limits of Mental Consciousness, or

as it calls it "Self-Consciousness," and denies that there is anything

beyond--any unexplored regions of the Mind. It laughs at the reports that

come from those who have penetrated farther within the recesses of their

being, and dismisses the reports as mere "dreams," "fantasies,"

"illusions," "ecstatic imaginings," "abnormal states," etc., etc.

But, nevertheless, there are schools of thought that teach of these

higher states, and there are men of all ages and races that have entered

them and have reported concerning them. And we feel justified in asking

you to take them into consideration.

 

There are two planes of Consciousness, of which we feel it proper to

speak, for we have obtained more or less information regarding them.

There are still higher planes, but they belong to higher phases of life

than are dealt with here.

 

The first of these planes or states of Consciousness, above the

"Self-Consciousness" of the psychologists (which we have called "Mental

Consciousness") may be called "Ego-consciousness," for it brings an

"awareness" of the Reality of the Ego. This "awareness" is far above the

Self-consciousness of the man who is able to distinguish "I" from "You,"

and to give it a name. And far above the consciousness that enables a

man, as he rises in the scale, to distinguish the "I" from faculty after

faculty of the mind, which he is able to recognize as "not--I," until he

finds left a mental something that he cannot set aside, which he calls

"I"--although this stage alone is very much higher than that of the

average of the race, and is a high degree of Attainment itself. It is

akin to this last stage, and yet still fuller and more complete. In

the dawning of Ego Consciousness the "I" recognizes itself still more

clearly and, more than this, is fully imbued with a sense and "awareness"

of its own _Reality_, unknown to it before. This awareness is not a mere

matter of reasoning--it is a "consciousness," just as is Physical

Consciousness and Mental Consciousness something different from an

"intellectual conviction." It is a Knowing, not a Thinking or Believing.

The "I" _knows_ that it is Real--that it has its roots in the Supreme

Reality underlying all the Universe, and partakes of its Essence. It does

not know what this Reality is, but it knows that it is Real, and

something different from anything in the world of name, form, number,

time, space, cause and effect--something Transcendental and surpassing

all human experience. And knowing this, it knows that it cannot be

destroyed or hurt; cannot die, but is immortal; and that there is

Something which is the very essence of Good behind of, underneath and

even _in_ itself. And in this certainty and consciousness is there Peace,

Understanding and Power. When it fully bursts upon one, Doubt, Fear,

Unrest and Dissatisfaction drop from him like wornout garments and he

finds himself clothed in the Faith that Knows; Fearlessness; Restfulness;

Satisfaction. Then he is able to say understandingly and with meaning "I

AM."

 

This Ego Consciousness is coming to many as a dawning knowledge--the

light is just rising from behind the hills. To others it has come

gradually and slowly, but fully, and they now live in the full light of

the consciousness. Others it has burst upon like a flash, or vision--like

a light falling from the clear sky, almost blinding them at first, but

leaving them changed men and women, possessed of that something that

cannot be understood by or described to those who have not experienced

it. This last stage is called "Illumination" in one of its forms.

 

The man of the Ego Consciousness may not understand the Riddle of the

Universe or be able to give an answer to the great Questions of Life--but

he has ceased to worry about them--they now disturb him not. He may use

his intellect upon them as before, but never with the feeling that in

their intellectual solution rests his happiness or peace of mind. He

knows that he stands on solid rock, and though the storms of the world of

matter and force may beat upon him, he will not be hurt. This and other

things he knows. He cannot prove these things to others, for they are not

demonstrable by argument--he himself did not get them in that way. And so

he says but little about it--but lives his life as if he knew them not,

so far as outward appearances go. But inwardly he is a changed man--his

life is different from that of his brothers, for while their souls are

wrapped in slumber or are tossing in troubled dreams, his Soul has

awakened and is gazing upon the world with bright and fearless eyes.

There are, of course, different stages or degrees of this Consciousness,

just as there are in the lower planes of consciousness. Some have it to a

slight degree, while others have it fully. Perhaps this lesson will tell

some of its readers just what is the thing that has "happened" to them

and which they hesitate to speak of to their closest friend or life

companion. To others it may open the way to a fuller realization. We

sincerely trust so, for one does not begin to Live until he knows the "I"

as Reality.

 

There is a stage still higher than this last mentioned but it has come to

but very few of the race. Reports of it come from all times, races,

countries. It has been called "Cosmic Consciousness," and is described as

an awareness of the Oneness of Life--that is, a consciousness that the

Universe is filled with One Life--an actual perception and "awareness"

that the Universe is full of Life, Motion and Mind, and that there is

no such thing as Blind Force, or Dead Matter, but that All is alive,

vibrating and intelligent. That is, of course, that the _Real Universe_,

which is the Essence or background of the Universe of Matter, Energy and

Mind, is as they describe. In fact, the description of those who have had

glimpses of this state would indicate that they see the Universe as All

Mind--that All is Mind at the last. This form of consciousness has been

experienced by men here and there--only a few--in moments of

"Illumination," the period lasting but a very short space of time, then

fading away, leaving but a memory. In the moment of the "Illumination"

there came to those experiencing it a sense of "intouch-ness" with

Universal Knowledge and Life, impossible to describe, accompanied by a

Joy beyond understanding.

 

Regarding this last, "Cosmic Consciousness," we would state that it means

more than an intellectual conviction, belief or realization of the facts

as stated, for an actual _vision_ and _consciousness_ of these things

came in the moment of Illumination. Some others report that they have a

deep abiding sense of the reality of the facts described by the report of

the Illumined, but have not experienced the "vision" or ecstasy referred

to. These last people seem to have with them always the same mental state

as that possessed by those who had the "vision" and passed out of it,

carrying with them the remembrance and feeling, but not the actual

consciousness attained at the moment. They agree upon the essential

particulars of the reports. Dr. Maurice Bucke, now passed out of this

plane of life, wrote a book entitled "Cosmic Consciousness," in which he

describes a number of these cases, including his own, Walt Whitman's and

others, and in which he holds that this stage of consciousness is before

the race and will gradually come to it in the future. He holds that the

manifestation of it which has come to some few of the race, as above

stated, is but the first beams of the sun which are flashing upon us and

which are but prophecies of the appearance of the great body of light

itself.

 

We shall not here consider at length the reports of certain great

religious personages of the past, who have left records that in moments

of great spiritual exaltation they became conscious of "being in the

presence of the Absolute," or perhaps within the radius of "the light of

Its countenance." We have great respect for these reports, and have every

reason for believing many of them authentic, notwithstanding the

conflicting reports that have been handed down to us by those

experiencing them. These reports are conflicting because of the fact that

the minds of those who had these glimpses of consciousness were not

prepared or trained to fully understand the nature of the phenomena. They

found themselves in the spiritual presence of Something of awful grandeur

and spiritual rank, and were completely dazed and bewildered at the

sight. They did not understand the nature of the Absolute, and when they

had sufficiently recovered they reported that they had been in the

"presence of God"--the word "God" meaning their particular conception

of Deity--that is, the one appearing as Deity in their own particular

religious creed or school. They saw nothing to cause them to identify

this Something with their particular conception of Deity, except that

they thought that "it _must_ be God," and knowing no other God except

their own particular conception, they naturally identifying the Something

with "God" as they conceived Him to be. And their reports naturally

were along these lines.

 

Thus the reports of all religions are filled with accounts of the

so-called miraculous occurrences. The Catholic saint reports that he "saw

of light of God's countenance," and the non-Catholic reports likewise

regarding God as he knows him. The Mohammedan reports that he caught a

glimpse of the face of Allah, and the Buddhist tells us that he saw

Buddha under the tree. The Brahman has seen the face of Brahma, and the

various Hindu sects have men who give similar reports regarding their own

particular deities. The Persians have given similar reports, and even the

ancient Egyptians have left records of similar occurrences. These

conflicting reports have led to the belief, on the part of those who did

not understand the nature of the phenomena, that these things were "all

imagination" and fancy, if indeed not rank falsehood and imposture. But

the Yogis know better than this. They know that underneath all these

varying reports there is a common ground of truth, which will be apparent

to anyone investigating the matter. They know that all of these reports

(except a few based upon fraudulent imitation of the real phenomenon)

are based upon truth and are but the bewildered reports of the various

observers. They know that these people were temporarily lifted above the

ordinary plane of consciousness and were made aware of the existence of a

Being or Beings higher than mortal. It does not follow that they saw

"God" or the Absolute, for there are many Beings of high spiritual growth

and development that would appear to the ordinary mortal as a very God.

The Catholic doctrine of Angels and Arch-angels is corroborated by those

among the Yogis who have been "behind the Veil," and they give us reports

of the "Devas" and other advanced Beings. So the Yogi accepts these

reports of the various mystics, saints and inspired ones, and accounts

for them all by laws perfectly natural to the students of the Yogi

Philosophy, but which appear as supernatural to those who have not

studied along these lines.

 

But we cannot speak further of this phase of the subject in this lesson,

for a full discussion of it would lead us far away from the phase of the

general subject before us. But we wish to be understood as saying that

there are certain centers in the mental being of Man from which may come

light regarding the existence of the Absolute and higher order of Beings.

In fact, from these centers come to man that part of his mental

"feelings" that he calls "the religious instinct or intuition." Man does

not arrive at that underlying consciousness of "Something Beyond" by

means of his Intellect--it is the glimmer of light coming from the higher

centers of the Self. He notices these gleams of light, but not

understanding them, he proceeds to erect elaborate theological and

creedal structures to account for them, the work of the Intellect,

however, always lacking that "feeling" that the intuition itself

possesses. True religion, no matter under what name it may masquerade,

comes from the "heart" and is not comforted or satisfied with these

Intellectual explanations, and hence comes that unrest and craving for

satisfaction which comes to Man when the light begins to break through.

 

But we must postpone a further discussion of this part of the subject for

the present. We shall consider it again in a future lesson in connection

with other matters. As we have said, our next two lessons will take upon

the inquiry regarding the regions outside of the consciousness of the

ordinary man. You will find it a most fascinating and instructive inquiry

and one that will open up new fields of thought for many of you.

 

 

MANTRAM (AFFIRMATION.)

 

I Am a Being far greater and grander than I have as yet conceived. I am

unfolding gradually but surely into higher planes of consciousness. I am

moving Forward and Upward constantly. My goal is the Realization of the

True Self, and I welcome each stage of Unfoldment that leads me toward my

aim. I am a manifestation of REALITY. I _AM_.

 

 

 

 

THE EIGHTH LESSON.

 

THE HIGHLANDS AND LOWLANDS OF MIND.

 

 

The Self of each of us has a vehicle of expression which we call the

Mind, but which vehicle is much larger and far more complex than we are

apt to realize. As a writer has said "Our Self is greater than we know;

it has peaks above, and lowlands below the plateau of our conscious

experience." That which we know as the "conscious mind" is not the Soul.

The Soul is not a part of that which we know in consciousness, but, on

the contrary, that which we know in consciousness is but a small part of

the Soul--the conscious vehicle of a greater Self, or "I."

 

The Yogis have always taught that the mind has many planes of

manifestation and action--and that many of its planes operated above and

below the plane of consciousness. Western science is beginning to realize

this fact, and its theories regarding same may be found in any of the

later works on psychology. But this is a matter of recent development in

Western science. Until very recently the text books held that

Consciousness and Mind were synonymous, and that the Mind was conscious

of all of its activities, changes and modifications.

 

Liebnitz was one of the first Western philosophers to advance the idea

that there were planes of mental activity outside of the plane of

consciousness, and since his time the leading thinkers have slowly but

surely moved forward to his position.

 

At the present time it is generally conceded that at least ninety per

cent of our mental operations take place in the out-of-conscious realm.

Prof. Elmer Gates, the well known scientist, has said: "At least ninety

per cent of our mental life is sub-conscious. If you will analyze your

mental operations you will find that conscious thinking is never a

continuous line of consciousness, but a series of conscious data with

great intervals of subconscious. We sit and try to solve a problem, and

fail. We walk around, try again, and fail. Suddenly an idea dawns that

leads to the solution of the problem. The subconscious processes were at

work. We do not volitionally create our own thinking. It takes place in

us. We are more or less passive recipients. We cannot change the nature

of a thought, or of a truth, but we can, as it were, _guide the ship by a

moving of the helm_. Our mentation is largely the result of the great

Cosmic Whole upon us."

 

Sir William Hamilton says that the sphere of our consciousness is only a

small circle in the center of a far wider sphere of action and thought,

of which we are conscious through its effects.

 

Taine says: "Outside of a little luminous circle, lies a large ring of

twilight, and beyond this an indefinite night; but the events of this

twilight and this night are as real as those within the luminous circle."

 

Sir Oliver Lodge, the eminent English scientist, speaking of the planes

of the mind, says: "Imagine an iceberg glorying in its crisp solidity,

and sparkling pinnacles, resenting attention paid to its submerged self,

or supporting region, or to the saline liquid out of which it arose, and

into which in due course it will some day return. Or, reversing the

metaphor, we might liken our present state to that of the hulls of

ships submerged in a dim ocean among strange monsters, propelled in a

blind manner through space; proud perhaps of accumulating many barnacles

as decoration; only recognizing our destination by bumping against the

dock-wall; and with no cognizance of the deck and cabins above us, or

the spars and sails--no thought of the sextant, and the compass, and

the captain--no perception of the lookout on the mast--of the distant

horizon. With no vision of objects far ahead--dangers to be

avoided--destinations to be reached--other ships to be spoken to by

means other than by bodily contact--a region of sunshine and cloud, of

space, or perception, and of intelligence utterly inaccessible to parts

below the waterline."

 

We ask our students to read carefully the above expression of Sir Oliver

Lodge, for it gives one of the clearest and most accurate figures of the

actual state of affairs concerning the mental planes that we have seen in

Western writings.

 

And other Western writers have noted and spoken of these out-of-conscious

realms. Lewes has said: "It is very certain that in every conscious

volition--every act that is so characterized--the larger part of it is

quite unconscious. It is equally certain that in every perception there

are unconscious processes of reproduction and inference. There is a

middle distance of sub-consciousness, and a background of

unconsciousness."

 

Taine has told us that: "Mental events imperceptible to consciousness are

far more numerous than the others, and of the world that makes up our

being we only perceive the highest points--the lighted-up peaks of a

continent whose lower levels remain in the shade. Beneath ordinary

sensations are their components, that is to say, the elementary

sensations, which must be combined into groups to reach our

consciousness."

 

Maudsley says: "Examine closely and without bias the ordinary mental

operations of daily life, and you will find that consciousness has not

one-tenth part of the function therein which it is commonly assumed

to have. In every conscious state there are at work conscious,

sub-conscious, and infra-conscious energies, the last as indispensable as

the first."

 

Oliver Wendall Holmes said: "There are thoughts that never emerge into

consciousness, which yet make their influence felt among the perceptible

mental currents, just as the unseen planets sway the movements of those

that are watched and mapped by the astronomer."

 

Many other writers have given us examples and instances of the operation

of the out-of-consciousness planes of thought. One has written that when

the solution of a problem he had long vainly dealt with, flashed across

his mind, he trembled as if in the presence of another being who had

communicated a secret to him. All of us have tried to remember a name

or similar thing without success, and have then dismissed the matter from

our minds, only to have the missing name or thought suddenly presented to

our conscious mind a few minutes, or hours, afterwards. Something in our

mind was at work hunting up the missing word, and when it found it it

presented it to us.

 

A writer has mentioned what he called "unconscious rumination," which

happened to him when he read books presenting new points of view

essentially opposed to his previous opinions. After days, weeks, or

months, he found that to his great astonishment the old opinions were

entirely rearranged, and new ones lodged there. Many examples of this

unconscious mental digestion and assimilation are mentioned in the books

on the subject written during the past few years.

 

It is related of Sir W. R. Hamilton that he discovered quarternions one

day while walking with his wife in the observatory at Dublin. He relates

that he suddenly felt "the galvanic circle of thought" close, and the

sparks that fell from it was the fundamental mathematical relations of

his problem, which is now an important law in mathematics.

 

Dr. Thompson has written: "At times I have had a feeling of the

uselessness of all voluntary effort, and also that the matter was working

itself clear in my mind. It has many times seemed to me that I was really

a passive instrument in the hands of a person not myself. In view of

having to wait for the results of these unconscious processes, I have

proved the habit of getting together material in advance, and then

leaving the mass to digest itself till I am ready to write about it. I

delayed for a month the writing of my book 'System of Psychology,' but

continued reading the authorities. I would not try to think about the

book. I would watch with interest the people passing the windows. One

evening when reading the paper, the substance of the missing part of the

book flashed upon my mind, and I began to write. This is only a sample of

many such experiences."

 

Berthelot, the founder of Synthetic Chemistry has said that the

experiments leading to his wonderful discoveries have never been the

result of carefully followed trains of thought--of pure reasoning

processes--but have come of themselves, so to speak, from the clear sky.

 

Mozart has written: "I cannot really say that I can account for my

compositions. My ideas flow, and I cannot say whence or how they come. I

do not hear in my imagination the parts successively, but I hear them, as

it were, all at once. The rest is merely an attempt to reproduce what I

have heard."

 

Dr. Thompson, above mentioned, has also said: "In writing this work I

have been unable to arrange my knowledge of a subject for days and weeks,

until I experienced a clearing up of my mind, when I took my pen and

unhesitatingly wrote the result. I have best accomplished this by leading

the (conscious) mind as far away as possible from the subject upon which

I was writing."

 

Prof. Barrett says: "The mysteriousness of our being is not confined to

subtle physiological processes which we have in common with all animal

life. There are higher and more capacious powers wrapped up in our human

personality than are expressed even by what we know of consciousness,

will, or reason. There are supernormal and transcendental powers of

which, at present, we only catch occasional glimpses; and behind and

beyond the supernormal there are fathomless abysses, the Divine ground of

the soul; the ultimate reality of which our consciousness is but the

reflection or faint perception. Into such lofty themes I do not propose

to enter, they must be forever beyond the scope of human inquiry; nor is

it possible within the limits of this paper to give any adequate

conception of those mysterious regions of our complex personality, which

are open to, and beginning to be disclosed by, scientific investigation."

 

Rev. Dr. Andrew Murray has written: "Deeper down than where the soul with

its consciousness can enter there is spirit matter linking man with God;

and deeper down than the mind and feelings or will--in the unseen depths

of the hidden life--there dwells the Spirit of God." This testimony is

remarkable, coming from that source, for it corroborates and reiterates

the Yogi teachings of the Indwelling Spirit Schofield has written: "Our

conscious mind as compared with the unconscious mind, has been likened

to the visible spectrum of the sun's rays, as compared to the invisible

part which stretches indefinitely on either side. We know now that the

chief part of heat comes from the ultra-red rays that show no light; and

the main part of the chemical changes in the vegetable world are the

results of the ultra-violet rays at the other end of the spectrum, which

are equally invisible to the eye, and are recognized only by their potent

effects. Indeed as these invisible rays extend indefinitely on both sides

of the visible spectrum, so we may say that the mind includes not only

the visible or conscious part, and what we have termed the sub-conscious,

that which lies below the red line, but the supraconscious mind that lies

at the other end--all those regions of higher soul and spirit life, of

which we are only at times vaguely conscious, but which always exist, and

link us on to eternal verities, on the one side, as surely as the

sub-conscious mind links us to the body on the other."

 

We know that our students will appreciate the above testimony of Dr.

Schofield, for it is directly in the line of our teachings in the Yogi

Philosophy regarding the Planes of the Mind (see "Fourteen Lessons").

 

We feel justified in quoting further from Dr. Schofield, for he voices in

the strongest manner that which the Yogi Philosophy teaches as

fundamental truths regarding the mind. Dr. Schofield is an English

writer on Psychology, and so far as we know has no tendency toward

occultism, his views having been arrived at by careful scientific study

and investigation along the lines of Western psychology, which renders

his testimony all the more valuable, showing as it does, how the human

mind will instinctively find its way to the Truth, even if it has to

blaze a new trail through the woods, departing from the beaten tracks

of other minds around it, which lack the courage or enterprise to strike

out for themselves.

 

Dr. Schofield writes: "The mind, indeed, reaches all the way, and while

on the one hand it is inspired by the Almighty, on the other it energizes

the body, all whose purposive life it originates. We may call the

supra-conscious mind the sphere of the spirit life, the sub-conscious the

sphere of the body life, and the conscious mind the middle region where

both meet."

 

Continuing, Dr. Schofield says: "The Spirit of God is said to

dwell in believers, and yet, as we have seen, His presence is not the

subject of direct consciousness. We would include, therefore, in the

supra-conscious, all such spiritual ideas, together with conscience--the

voice of God, as Max Muller calls it--which is surely a half-conscious

faculty. Moreover, the supra-conscious, like the sub-conscious, is, as we

have said, best apprehended when the conscious mind is not active.

Visions, meditations, prayers, and even dreams have been undoubtedly

occasions of spiritual revelations, and many instances may be adduced as

illustrations of the workings of the Spirit apart from the action of

reason or mind. The truth apparently is that the mind as a whole is an

unconscious state, by that its middle registers, excluding the highest

spiritual and lowest physical manifestations, are fitfully illuminated

in varying degree by consciousness; and that it is to this illuminated

part of the dial that the word "mind," which rightly appertains to the

whole, has been limited."

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes has said: "The automatic flow of thought is often

singularly favored by the fact of listening to a weak continuous

discourse, with just enough ideas in it to keep the (conscious) mind

busy. The induced current of thought is often rapid and brilliant in

inverse ratio to the force of the inducing current."

 

Wundt says: "The unconscious logical processes are carried on with a

certainty and regularity which would be impossible where there exists the

possibility of error. Our mind is so happily designed that it prepares

for us the most important foundations of cognition, whilst we have not

the slightest apprehension of the _modus operandi_. This unconscious

soul, like a benevolent stranger, works and makes provisions for our

benefit, pouring only the mature fruits into our laps."

 

A writer in an English magazine interestingly writes: "Intimations reach

our consciousness from unconsciousness, that the mind is ready to work,

is fresh, is full of ideas." "The grounds of our judgment are often

knowledge so remote from consciousness that we cannot bring them to

view." "That the human mind includes an unconscious part; that

unconscious events occurring in that part are proximate causes of

consciousness; that the greater part of human intuitional action is an

effect of an unconscious cause; the truth of these propositions is so

deducible from ordinary mental events, and is so near the surface that

the failure of deduction to forestall induction in the discerning of it

may well excite wonder." "Our behavior is influenced by unconscious

assumptions respecting our own social and intellectual rank, and that

of the one we are addressing. In company we unconsciously assume a

bearing quite different from that of the home circle. After being raised

to a higher rank the whole behavior subtly and unconsciously changes in

accordance with it." And Schofield adds to the last sentence: "This is

also the case in a minor degree with different styles and qualities of

dress and different environments. Quite unconsciously we change our

behavior, carriage, and style, to suit the circumstance."

 

Jensen writes: "When we reflect on anything with the whole force of the

mind, we may fall into a state of entire unconsciousness, in which we not

only forget the outer world, but also know nothing at all of ourselves

and the thoughts passing within us after a time. We then suddenly awake

as from a dream, and usually at the same moment the result of our

meditations appears as distinctly in consciousness without our knowing

how we reached it."

 

Bascom says: "It is inexplicable how premises which lie below

consciousness can sustain conclusions in consciousness; how the mind can

wittingly take up a mental movement at an advanced stage, having missed

its primary steps."

 

Hamilton and other writers have compared the mind's action to that of a

row of billiard balls, of which one is struck and the impetus transmitted

throughout the entire row, the result being that only the last ball

actually moves, the others remaining in their places. The last ball

represents the conscious thought--the other stages in the unconscious

mentation. Lewes, speaking of this illustration, says: "Something like

this, Hamilton says, seems often to occur in a train of thought, one idea

immediately suggesting another into consciousness--this suggestion

passing through one or more ideas which do not themselves rise into

consciousness. This point, that we are not conscious of the formation of

groups, but only of a formed group, may throw light on the existence of

unconscious judgments, unconscious reasonings, and unconscious

registrations of experience."

 

Many writers have related the process by which the unconscious mentation

emerges gradually into the field of consciousness, and the discomfort

attending the process. A few examples may prove interesting and

instructive.

 

Maudsley says: "It is surprising how uncomfortable a person may be made

by the obscure idea of something which he ought to have said or done, and

which he cannot for the life of him remember. There is an effort of the

lost idea to get into consciousness, which is relieved directly the idea

bursts into consciousness."

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes said: "There are thoughts that never emerge into

consciousness, and which yet make their influence felt among the

perceptive mental currents, just as the unseen planets sway the movements

of the known ones." The same writer also remarks: "I was told of a

business man in Boston who had given up thinking of an important question

as too much for him. But he continued so uneasy in his brain that he

feared he was threatened with palsy. After some hours the natural

solution of the question came to him, worked out, as he believed, in that

troubled interval."

 

Dr. Schofield mentions several instances of this phase of the workings of

the unconscious planes of the mind. We mention a couple that seem

interesting and to the point:

 

"Last year," says Dr. Schofield, "I was driving to Phillmore Gardens to

give some letters to a friend. On the way, a vague uneasiness sprang up,

and a voice seemed to say, 'I doubt if you have those letters.' Conscious

reason rebuked it, and said, 'Of course you have; you took them out of

the drawer specially.' The vague feeling was not satisfied, but could not

reply. On arrival I found the letters were in none of my pockets. On

returning I found them on the hall table, where they had been placed a

moment putting on my gloves."

 

"The other day I had to go to see a patient in Folkestone, in Shakespeare

Terrace. I got there very late, and did not stay but drove down to the

Pavilion for the night, it being dark and rainy. Next morning at eleven I

walked up to find the house, knowing the general direction, though never

having walked there before. I went up the main road, and, after passing

a certain turning, began to feel a vague uneasiness coming into

consciousness, that I had passed the terrace. On asking the way, I found

it was so; and the turning was where the uneasiness began. The night

before was pitch dark, and very wet, and anything seen from a close

carriage was quite unconsciously impressed on my mind."

 

Prof. Kirchener says: "Our consciousness can only grasp one quite clear

idea at once. All other ideas are for the time somewhat obscure. They are

really existing, but only potentially for consciousness, _i.e.,_ they

hover, as it were, on our horizon, or beneath the threshold of

consciousness. The fact that former ideas suddenly return to

consciousness is simply explained by the fact that they have continued

psychic existence: and attention is sometimes voluntarily or

involuntarily turned away from the present, and the appearance of former

ideas is thus made possible."

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes says: "Our different ideas are stepping-stones; how

we get from one to another we do not know; something carries us. We (our

conscious selves) do not take the step. The creating and informing

spirit, which is _within_ us and not _of_ us, is recognized everywhere in

real life. It comes to us as a voice that will be heard; it tells us what

we must believe; it frames our sentences and we wonder at this visitor

who chooses our brain as his dwelling place."

 

Galton says: "I have desired to show how whole states of mental operation

that have lapsed out of ordinary consciousness, admit of being dragged

into light."

 

Montgomery says: "We are constantly aware that feelings emerge

unsolicited by any previous mental state, directly from the dark womb of

unconsciousness. Indeed all our most vivid feelings are thus mystically

derived. Suddenly a new irrelevant, unwilled, unlooked-for presence

intrudes itself into consciousness. Some inscrutable power causes it to

rise and enter the mental presence as a sensorial constituent. If this

vivid dependence on unconscious forces has to be conjectured with regard

to the most vivid mental occurrences, how much more must such a

sustaining foundation be postulated for those faint revivals of previous

sensations that so largely assist in making up our complex mental

presence!"

 

Sir Benjamin Brodie says: "It has often happened to me to have

accumulated a store of facts, but to have been able to proceed no

further. Then after an interval of time, I have found the obscurity and

confusion to have cleared away: the facts to have settled in their right

places, though I have not been sensible of having made any effort for

that purpose."

 

Wundt says: "The traditional opinion that consciousness is the entire

field of the internal life cannot be accepted. In consciousness, psychic

acts are very distinct from one another, and observation itself

necessarily conducts to unity in psychology. But the agent of this unity

is outside of consciousness, which knows only the result of the work done

in the unknown laboratory beneath it. Suddenly a new thought springs into

being. Ultimate analysis of psychic processes shows that the unconscious

is the theater of the most important mental phenomena. The conscious is

always conditional upon the unconscious."

 

Creighton says: "Our conscious life is the sum of these entrances and

exits. Behind the scenes, as we infer, there lies a vast reserve which we

call 'the unconscious,' finding a name for it by the simple device of

prefixing the negative article. The basis of all that lies behind the

scene is the mere negative of consciousness."

 

Maudsley says: "The process of reasoning adds nothing to knowledge (in

the reasoner). It only displays what was there before, and brings to

conscious possession what before was unconscious." And again: "Mind can

do its work without knowing it. Consciousness is the light that lightens

the process, not the agent that accomplishes it."

 

Walstein says: "It is through the sub-conscious self that Shakespeare

must have perceived, without effort, great truths which are hidden from

the conscious mind of the student; that Phidias painted marble and

bronze; that Raphael painted Madonnas, and Beethoven composed

symphonies."

 

Ribot says: "The mind receives from experience certain data, and

elaborates them unconsciously by laws peculiar to itself, and the result

merges into consciousness."

 

Newman says: "When the unaccustomed causes surprise, we do not perceive

the thing and then feel the surprise; but surprise comes first, and then

we search out the cause; so the theory must have acted on the unconscious

mind to create the feeling, before being perceived in consciousness."

 

A writer in an English magazine says: "Of what transcendent importance is

the fact that the unconscious part of the mind bears to the conscious

part such a relation as the magic lantern bears to the luminous disc

which it projects; that the greater part of the intentional action, the

whole practical life of the vast majority of men, is an effect of events

as remote from consciousness as the motion of the planets."

 

Dr. Schofield says: "It is quite true that the range of the unconscious

mind must necessarily remain indefinite; none can say how high or low it

may reach.... As to how far the unconscious powers of life that, as has

been said, can make eggs and feathers out of Indian corn, and milk and

beef and mutton out of grass, are to be considered within or beyond the

lowest limits of unconscious mind, we do not therefore here press. It is

enough to establish the fact of its existence; to point out its more

important features; and to show that in all respects it is as worthy of

being called mind as that which works in consciousness. We therefore

return to our first definition of Mind, as 'the sum of psychic action in

us, whether conscious or unconscious.'"

 

Hartmann calls our attention to a very important fact when he says: "The

unconscious does not fall ill, the unconscious does not grow weary, but

all conscious mental activity becomes fatigued."

 

Kant says: "To have ideas and yet not be conscious of them--therein seems

to lie a contradiction. However, we may still be immediately aware of

holding an idea, though we are not directly conscious of it."

 

Maudsley says: "It may seem paradoxical to assert not merely that ideas

may exist in the mind without any consciousness of them, but that an

idea, or a train of associated ideas, may be quickened into action and

actuate movements without itself being attended to. When an idea

disappears from consciousness it does not necessarily disappear entirely;

it may remain latent below the horizon of consciousness. Moreover it may

produce an effect upon movement, or upon other ideas, when thus active

below the horizon of consciousness."

 

Liebnitz says: "It does not follow that because we do not perceive

thought that it does not exist. It is a great source of error to believe

that there is no perception in the mind but that of which it is

conscious."

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes says: "The more we examine the mechanism of thought

the more we shall see that anterior unconscious action of the mind that

enters largely into all of its processes. People who talk most do not

always think most. I question whether persons who think most--that is who

have most conscious thought pass through their mind--necessarily do most

mental work. Every new idea planted in a real thinker's mind grows when

he is least conscious of it."

 

Maudsley says: "It would go hard with mankind indeed, if they must act

wittingly before they acted at all. Men, without knowing why, follow a

course for which good reasons exist. Nay, more. The practical instincts

of mankind often work beneficially in actual contradiction to their

professed doctrines."

 

The same writer says: "The best thoughts of an author are the unwilled

thoughts which surprise himself; and the poet, under the influence of

creative activity, is, so far as consciousness is concerned, being

dictated to."

 

A writer in an English magazine says: "When waiting on a pier for a

steamer, I went on to the first, which was the wrong one. I came back and

waited, losing my boat, which was at another part of the pier, on account

of the unconscious assumption I had made, that this was the only place to

wait for the steamer. I saw a man enter a room, and leave by another

door. Shortly after, I saw another man exactly like him do the same. It

was the same man; but I said it must be his twin brother, in the

unconscious assumption that there was no exit for the first man but by

the way he came (that by returning)."

 

Maudsley says: "The firmest resolve or purpose sometimes vanishes

issueless when it comes to the brink of an act, while the true will,

which determines perhaps a different act, springs up suddenly out of the

depths of the unconscious nature, surprising and overcoming the

conscious."

 

Schofield says: "Our unconscious influence is the projection of our

unconscious mind and personality unconsciously over others. This acts

unconsciously on their unconscious centers, producing effects in

character and conduct, recognized in consciousness. For instance, the

entrance of a good man into a room where foul language is used, will

unconsciously modify and purify the tone of the whole room. Our minds

cast shadows of which we are as unconscious as those cast by our bodies,

but which affect for good or evil all who unconsciously pass within their

range. This is a matter of daily experience, and is common to all, though

more noticeable with strong personalities."

 

Now we have given much time and space to the expressions of opinion of

various Western writers regarding this subject of there being a plane or

planes of the mind outside of the field of consciousness. We have given

space to this valuable testimony, not alone because of its intrinsic

value and merit, but because we wished to impress upon the minds of our

students that these out-of-conscious planes of mind are now being

recognized by the best authorities in the Western world, although it has

been only a few years back when the idea was laughed at as ridiculous,

and as a mere "dream of the Oriental teachers." Each writer quoted has

brought out some interesting and valuable point of the subject, and the

student will find that his own experiences corroborate the points cited

by the several writers. In this way we think the matter will be made

plainer, and will become fixed in the mind of those who are studying this

course of lessons.

 

But we must caution our students from hastily adopting the several

theories of Western writers, advanced during the past few years,

regarding these out-of-conscious states. The trouble has been that the

Western writers dazzled by the view of the subconscious planes of

mentation that suddenly burst upon the Western thought, hastily adopted

certain theories, which they felt would account for all the phenomena

known as "psychic," and which they thought would fully account for all

the problems of the subject. These writers while doing a most valuable

work, which has helped thousands to form new ideas regarding the nature

and workings of the mind, nevertheless did not sufficiently explore the

nature of the problem before them. A little study of the Oriental

philosophies might have saved them and their readers much confusion.

 

For instance, the majority of these writers hastily assumed that because

there _was_ an out-of-conscious plane of mentation, therefore all the

workings of the mind might be grouped under the head of "conscious" and

"sub-conscious," and that all the out-of-conscious phenomena might be

grouped under the head of "subconscious mind," "subjective mind," etc.,

ignoring the fact that this class of mental phenomena embraced not

only the highest but the lowest forms of mentation In their newly found

"mind" (which they called "subjective" or "sub-conscious"), they placed

the lowest traits and animal passions; insane impulses; delusions;

bigotry; animal-like intelligence, etc., etc., as well as the inspiration

of the poet and musician, and the high spiritual longings and feelings

that one recognizes as having come from the higher regions of the soul.

 

This mistake was a natural one, and at first reading the Western world

was taken by storm, and accepted the new ideas and theories as Truth. But

when reflection came, and analysis was applied there arose a feeling of

disappointment and dissatisfaction, and people began to feel that there

was something lacking. They intuitively recognized that their higher

inspirations and intuitions came from a different part of the mind than

the lower emotions, passions, and other sub-conscious feelings, and

instincts.

 

A glance at the Oriental philosophies will give one the key to the

problem at once. The Oriental teachers have always held that the

conscious mentation was but a small fraction of the entire volume of

thought, but they have always taught that just as there was a field of

mentation _below_ consciousness, so was there a field of mentation

_above_ consciousness as much higher than Intellect as the other was

lower than it. The mere mention of this fact will prove a revelation to

those who have not heard it before, and who have become entangled with

the several "dual-mind" theories of the recent Western writers. The more

one has read on this subject the more he will appreciate the superiority

of the Oriental theory over that of the Western writers. It is like the

chemical which at once clears the clouded liquid in the test-tube.

 

In our next lesson we shall go into this subject of the above-conscious

planes, and the below-conscious planes, bringing out the distinction

clearly, and adding to what we have said on the subject in previous

books.

 

And all this is leading us toward the point where we may give you

instruction regarding the training and cultivation--the retraining and

guidance of these out-of-conscious faculties. By retraining the lower

planes of mentation to their proper work, and by stimulating the higher

ones, man may "make himself over." mentally, and may acquire powers of

which he but dreams now. This is why we are leading you up to the

understanding of this subject, step by step. We advise you to acquaint

yourself with each phase of the matter, that you may be able to apply the

teachings and instructions to follow in later lessons of the course.

 

 

MANTRAM (AFFIRMATION).

 

I recognize that my Self is greater than it seems--that above and below

consciousness are planes of mind--that just as there are lower planes of

mind which belong to my past experience in ages past and over which I

must now assert my Mastery--so are there planes of mind into which I am

unfolding gradually, which will bring me wisdom, power, and joy. I Am

Myself, in the midst of this mental world--I am the Master of my

Mind--I assert my control of its lower phases, and I demand of its higher

all that it has in store for me.

 

 

 

 

THE NINTH LESSON.

 

THE MENTAL PLANES.

 

 

In our last lesson we told you something about the operation of the mind

outside of the field of consciousness. In this lesson we will attempt to

classify these out-of-consciousness planes, by directing your attention

to the several mental planes above and below the plane of consciousness.

As we stated in the last lesson, over 90 per cent of our mental

operations are conducted outside of the field of consciousness, so that

the consideration of the planes is seen to be an important subject.

 

Man is a Centre of Consciousness in the great One Life of the Universe.

His soul has climbed a great many steps before it reached its present

position and stage of unfoldment. And it will pass through many more

steps until it is entirely free and delivered from the necessity of its

swaddling clothes.

 

In his mental being man contains traces of all that has gone before--all

the experiences of himself and the great race movement of which he is a

part. And, likewise, his mind contains faculties and mental planes which

have not as yet unfolded into consciousness, and of the existence of

which he is but imperfectly aware. All of these mental possessions,

however, are useful and valuable to him--even the lowest. The lowest

may be used to advantage, under proper mastery, and are only dangerous to

the man who allows them to master him instead of serving him as they

should, considering his present stage of development.

 

In this consideration of the several mental planes we shall not confine

ourselves to the technical occult terms given to these several planes,

but will place them in general groups and describe the features and

characteristics of each, rather than branch off into long explanations of

the growth and reason of the several planes, which would take us far away

from the practical consideration of the subject.

 

Beginning at the lowest point of the scale we see that man has a body.

The body is composed of minute cells of protoplasm. These cells are built

up of countless molecules, atoms and particles of matter--precisely the

same matter that composes the rocks, trees, air, etc., around him. The

Yogi philosophy tells us that even the atoms of matter have life and an

elementary manifestation of mind, which causes them to group together

according to the law of attraction, forming different elements,

combinations, etc. This law of attraction is a mental operation, and is

the first evidence of mental choice, action and response. Below this is

Prana or Force, which, strictly speaking, is also a manifestation of

mind, although for convenience we designate it as a separate

manifestation of the Absolute.

 

And therefore we find that this law of attraction between the atoms and

particles of matter is a mental action, and that it belongs to man's

mental kingdom, because he has a body and this mental action is

continually going on in his body. So therefore this is the lowest mental

plane to be considered in the make-up of the man. This plane is, of

course, far sunken beneath the plane of consciousness, and is scarcely

identified with the personality of the man at all, but rather belongs to

the life of the whole, manifest in the rock as well as in the man.

 

But after these atoms have been grouped by the law of attraction and have

formed molecules of matter, they are taken possession of by a higher

mental activity and built up into cells by the mental action of the

plant. The life impulse of the plant begins by drawing to it certain

particles of inorganic matter--chemical elements--and then building them

into a single cell. Oh, mystery of the cell! The intellect of man is

unable to duplicate this wonderful process. The Mind Principle on the

Vegetative Plane, however, knows exactly how to go to work to select and

draw to itself just the elements needed to build up the single cell. Then

taking up its abode in that cell--using it as a basis of operations, it

proceeds to duplicate its previous performance, and so cell after cell

is added, by the simple reproductive process of division and

subdivision--the primitive and elemental sex process--until the mighty

plant is built up. From the humblest vegetable organism up to the

greatest oak the process is the same.

 

And it does not stop there. The body of man is also built up in just this

way, and he has this vegetative mind also within him, below the plane of

consciousness, of course. To many this thought of a vegetative mind may

be somewhat startling. But let us remember that every part of our body

has been built up from the vegetable cell. The unborn child starts with

the coalition of two cells. These cells begin to build up the new body

for the occupancy of the child--that is, the mind principle in the cells

directs the work, of course--drawing upon the body of the mother for

nourishment and supplies. The nourishment in the mother's blood, which

supplies the material for the building up of the child's body, is

obtained by the mother eating and assimilating the vegetable cells of

plants, directly or indirectly. If she eats fruit, nuts, vegetables,

etc., she obtains the nourishment of the plant life directly--if she eats

meat she obtains it indirectly, for the animal from which the meat was

taken built up the meat from vegetables. There is no two ways about

this--all nourishment of the animal and human kingdom is obtained from

the vegetable kingdom, directly or indirectly.

 

And the cell action in the child is identical with the cell action in the

plant. Cells constantly reproducing themselves and building themselves up

into bodily organs, parts, etc., under the direction and guidance of the

mind principle. The child grows in this way until the hour of birth. It

is born, and then the process is but slightly changed. The child begins

to take nourishment either from the mother's milk or from the milk of the

cow, or other forms of food. And as it grows larger it partakes of many

different varieties of food. But always it obtains building material from

the cell life of the plants.

 

And this great building up process is intelligent, purposeful, to a

wonderful degree. Man with his boasted intellect cannot explain the real

"thingness" of the process. A leading scientist who placed the egg of a

small lizard under microscopical examination and then watched it slowly

develop has said that it seemed as if some hand was tracing the outlines

of the tiny vertebrae, and then building up around it. Think for a moment

of the development of the germ within the egg of the humming-bird, or the

ant, or the gnat, or the eagle. Every second a change may be noticed. The

germ cell draws to itself nourishment from the other part of the egg, and

then it grows and reproduces another cell. Then both cells divide--then

subdivide until there are millions and millions and millions of cells.

And all the while the building up process continues, and the bird or

insect assumes shape and form, until at last the work is accomplished

and the young bird emerges from the egg.

 

And the work thus commenced continues until the death of the animal. For

there is a constant using-up and breaking-down of cell and tissue, which

the organism must replace. And so the vegetative mind of the plant, or

insect, or animal, or man, is constantly at work building up new cells

from the food, throwing out worn-out and used-up material from the

system. Not only this, but it attends to the circulation of the blood in

order that the materials for the building up may be carried to all parts

of the system. It attends to the digestion and assimilation of the

food--the wonderful work of the organs of the body. It attends to the

healing of wounds, the fight against disease, the care of the physical

body. And all this out of the plane of consciousness--in the infant man

the animal world, the vegetable kingdom--ever at work, untiring,

intelligent, wonderful. And this plane of mind is in man as well as in

the plant, and it does its work without aid from the conscious part of

man, although man may interfere with it by adverse conscious thought,

which seems to paralyze its efforts. Mental Healing is merely the

restoring of normal conditions, so that this part of the body may do its

work without the hindrance of adverse conscious thought.

 

On this plane of the mind is found all of the vital functions and

operations. The work is done out-of-consciousness, and the consciousness

is aware of this part of the mind only when it makes demands upon the

conscious for food, etc. On this plane also resides the elementary

instinct that tends toward reproduction and sexual activity. The demand

of this part of the mind is always "increase and multiply," and according

to the stage of growth of the individual is the mandate carried out, as

we shall see presently. The elementary impulses and desires that we

find rising into the field of consciousness come from this plane of the

mind. Hunger, thirst and the reproductive desires are its messages to the

higher parts of the mind. And these messages are natural and free from

the abuses and prostitution often observed attached to them by the

intellect of man in connection with his unrestrained animal impulses.

Gluttony and unnatural lust arise not from the primitive demand of this

plane of the mind--for the lower animals even are free from them to a

great extent--but it is reserved for man to so prostitute these primitive

natural tendencies, in order to gratify unnatural and artificial

appetites, which serve to frustrate nature rather than to aid her.

 

As Life advanced in the scale and animal forms appeared on the scene new

planes of mind were unfolded, in accordance to the necessity of the

living forms. The animal was compelled to hunt for his food--to prey upon

other forms, and to avoid being preyed upon by others. He was compelled

to struggle for the unfoldment of latent powers of his mind that would

give him means to play his part in the scheme of life. He was compelled

to do certain things in order to live and reproduce his kind. And he

demanded not in vain. For there came to him slowly an unfolding knowledge

of the things necessary for the requirements of his life. We call this

Instinct. But, pray remember, by Instinct we do not mean the still higher

something that is really rudimentary Intellect that we notice in the

higher animals. We are speaking now of the unreasoning instinct observed

in the lower animals, and to a certain degree in man. This Instinctive

plane of mentality causes the bird to build its nest before its eggs are

laid, which instructs the animal mother how to care for its young when

born, and after birth; which teaches the bee to construct its cell and to

store up its honey. These and countless other things in animal life, and

in the higher form of plant life, are manifestations of Instinct--that

great plane of the mind. In fact, the greater part of the life of the

animal is instinctive although the higher forms of animals have developed

something like rudimentary Intellect or Reason, which enables them to

meet new conditions where Intellect alone fails them.

 

And man has this plane of mind within him, below consciousness. In fact

the lower forms of human life manifest but little Intellect, and live

almost altogether according to their Instinctive impulses and desires.

 

Every man has this Instinctive mental region within him and from it are

constantly arising impulses and desires to perplex and annoy him, as well

as to serve him occasionally. The whole secret consists in whether the

man has Mastery of his lower self or not.

 

From this plane of the mind arise the hereditary impulses coming down

from generations of ancestors, reaching back to the cavemen, and still

further back into the animal kingdom. A queer storehouse is this.

Animal instincts--passions, appetites, desires, feelings, sensations,

emotions, etc., are there. Hate, envy, jealousy, revenge, the lust of the

animal seeking the gratification of his sexual impulses, etc., etc., are

there, and are constantly intruding upon our attention until we have

asserted our mastery. And often the failure to assert this mastery comes

from an ignorance of the nature of the desire, etc. We have been taught

that these thoughts were "bad" without being told _why_, and we have

feared them and thought them the promptings of an impure nature, or a

depraved mind, etc. This is all wrong. These things are not "bad" of

themselves--they came to us honestly--they are our heritage from the

past. They belong to the animal part of our nature, and were necessary to

the animal in his stage of development. We have the whole menagerie

within us, but that does not mean that we should turn the beasts loose

upon ourselves or others. It was necessary for the animal to be fierce,

full of fight, passionate, regardless of the rights of others, etc., but

we have outgrown that stage of development, and it is ignoble for us to

return to it, or to allow it to master us.

 

This lesson is not intended as a discourse upon Ethics or morals. We do

not intend going into a discussion of the details of "Right and Wrong,"

for we have touched upon that phase of the subject in other works. But we

feel justified in calling your attention to the fact that the human mind

intuitively recognizes the "Rightness" of the living up to that which

comes to us from the highest parts of the mind--the highest product of

our unfoldment. And it likewise intuitively recognizes the "Wrongness" of

the falling back into that which belongs to the lower stages of our

mentality--to the animal part of us, that is our heritage from the past

and that which has gone before.

 

While we may be puzzled about many details of morals and ethics and may

not be able to "explain" why we consider certain things right or wrong,

we still intuitively feel that the highest "Right" of which we are

capable is the acting out of that which is coming to us from the highest

pole of our mental being, and that the lowest "Wrong" consists in doing

that which carries us back to the life of the lower animals, in so far as

mentality is concerned. Not because there is anything absolutely "Wrong"

in the mental processes and consequent of the animals in themselves--they

are all right and perfectly natural in the animals--but we intuitively

recognize that for us to fall back to the animal stage is a "going

backward" in the scale of evolution. We intuitively shrink at an

exhibition of brutality and animality on the part of a man or woman. We

may not know just why, but a little reflection will show us that it is a

sinking in the evolutionary scale, against which the spiritual part of us

revolts and protests.

 

But this must not be construed to mean that the advanced soul looks upon

the animal world with disgust or horror. On the contrary, there is

nowhere to be found a higher respect for animal life and being than among

the Yogi and other advanced souls. They delight in watching the animals

filling their places in life--playing out their parts in the divine

scheme of life. Their animal passions and desires are actions viewed

sympathetically and lovingly by the advanced soul, and nothing "Wrong" or

disgusting is seen there. And even the coarseness and brutality of

the savage races are so regarded by these advanced souls. They see

everything as natural according to the grade and degree of development of

these people.

 

It is only when these advanced souls view the degeneracies of "civilized"

life that they feel sorrow and pain. For here they see instances of

devolution instead of evolution--degeneration instead of regeneration

and advancement. And not only do they know this to be the fact, but the

degenerate specimens of mankind themselves feel and know it. Compare

the expression of the animal or savage going through their natural life

actions and performances. See how free and natural are their expressions,

how utterly apart are evidences of wrong doing. They have not as yet

found out the fatal secret of Good and Evil--they have not as yet eaten

the forbidden fruit. But, on the contrary, look into the faces of the

degenerates and fallen souls of our civilized life. See the furtive

glance and the self-consciousness of "Wrong" evident in every face. And

this consciousness of "Wrong" bears heavily upon these people--it is

heavier than the punishments heaped upon them That nameless something

called "conscience" may be smothered for a while, but sooner or later it

comes to light and demands the pound of flesh from its victim.

 

And yet you will say that it seems hard to think that the same thing can

be Right in one person and Wrong in another. This seems like a hard

saying and a dangerous doctrine, but it is the Truth. And man

instinctively recognizes it. He does not expect the same sense of moral

responsibility in a young child, or in a savage, that he does in a

mature, developed, civilized man. He may restrain the child and the

savage, for self-protection and the welfare of all, but he realizes the

distinction, or at least should do so. And not only is this true, but as

man advances in the scale he casts off many ideas of "Wrong" that he

once held, having outgrown the old ideas and having grown into new

conceptions. And the tendency is always upward and onward. The tendency

is constantly from Force and Restraint toward Love and Freedom. The ideal

condition would be one in which there were no laws and no necessity for

them--a condition in which men had ceased to do wrong because they had

outgrown the desire rather than from fear or restraint or force. And

while this condition as yet seems afar off, there is constantly going on

an unfoldment of higher planes and faculties of the mind, which when once

fully manifest in the race will work a complete revolution in ethics and

laws and government--and for the better, of course. In the meantime

Mankind moves along, doing the best it can, making a steady though slow

progress.

 

There is another plane of the mind which is often called the "Instinct,"

but which is but a part of the plane of the Intellect, although its

operations are largely below the field of consciousness. We allude to

what may be called the "Habit Mind," in order to distinguish it from the

Instinctive Plane. The difference is this: The Instinctive plane of mind

is made up of the ordinary operations of the mind below the plane of the

Intellect, and yet above the plane of the Vegetative mind--and also of

the acquired experiences of the race, which have been transmitted by

heredity, etc. But the "Habit Mind" contains only that which has been

placed there by the person himself and which he has acquired by

experience, habit, and observation, repeated so often until the mind

knows it so well that it is carried below the field of consciousness and

becomes "second nature," and akin to Instinct.

 

The text books upon psychology are filled with illustrations and examples

of the habit phase or plane of the mental operations, and we do not think

it necessary to repeat instances of the same kind here. Everyone is

familiar with the fact that tasks which at first are learned only by

considerable work and time soon become fixed in some part of the mind

until their repetition calls for little or no exercise of conscious

mental operation. In fact, some writers have claimed that no one really

"learns" how to perform a task until he can perform it almost

automatically. The pupil who in the early stages of piano playing finds

it most difficult to control and manage his fingers, after a time is able

to forget all about his fingering and devote his entire attention to the

pages of his music, and after this he is able to apparently let his

fingers play the entire piece of music by themselves without a thought on

his part. The best performers have told us that in the moments of their

highest efforts they are aware that the out-of-conscious portion of their

mind is doing the work for them, and they are practically standing aside

and witnessing the work being done. So true is this that in some cases it

is related that if the performer's conscious mind attempts to take up the

work the quality is impaired and the musician and the audience notice the

difference.

 

The same thing is true in the case of the woman learning to operate the

sewing machine. It is quite difficult at first, but gradually it grows to

"run itself." Those who have mastered the typewriter have had the same

experience. At first each letter had to be picked out with care and

effort. After a gradual improvement the operator is enabled to devote her

entire attention to the "copy" and let the fingers pick out the keys for

themselves. Many operators learn rapid typewriting by so training the

habit mind that it picks out the letter-keys by reason of their position,

the letters being covered over in order to force the mind to adapt itself

to the new requirements. A similar state of affairs exists wherever men

or women have to use tools of any kind. The tool soon is recognized by

the mind and used as if it were a part of the body, and no more conscious

thought is devoted to the manipulation than we devote to the operation of

walking, which, by the way, is learned by the child only by the

expenditure of time and labor. It is astonishing how many things we do

"automatically" in this way. Writers have called our attention to the

fact that the average man cannot consciously inform you how he puts on

his coat in the morning--which arm goes in first, how the coat is held,

etc. But the habit mind knows--knows very well. Let the student stand up

and put on his coat in the regular way, following the leadings of the

habit mind. Then, after removing it, let him attempt to put it on by

inserting the other arm first, for instance. He will be surprised to find

out how awkward it will be for him, and how completely he has been

depending upon the habit mind. And tomorrow morning let him find out

which shoe the habit mind has been putting on him first and then try to

reverse the order and notice how flurried and disturbed the habit mind

will become, and how frantically it will signal to the conscious mind:

"Something wrong up there!" Or try to button on your collar, reversing

the order in which the tabs are placed over the button--right before

left, or left before right, as the case may be, and notice the

involuntary protest. Or, try to reverse the customary habit in walking

and attempt to swing your right arm with the movement of your right leg,

and so on, and you will find it will require the exercise of great will

power. Or, try to "change hands" and use your knife and fork. But we must

stop giving examples and illustrations. Their number is countless.

 

Not only does the habit mind attend to physical actions, etc., but it

also takes a hand in our mental operations. We soon acquire the habit of

ceasing to consciously consider certain things, and the habit mind takes

the matter for granted, and thereafter we will think automatically on

those particular questions, unless we are shaken out of the habit by a

rude jolt from the mind of someone else, or from the presentation of some

conflicting idea occasioned by our own experience or reasoning processes.

And the habit mind hates to be disturbed and compelled to revise its

ideas. It fights against it, and rebels, and the result is that many of

us are slaves to old outgrown ideas that we realize are false and untrue,

but which we find that we "cannot exactly get rid of." In our future

lessons we will give methods to get rid of these old outgrown ideas.

 

There are other planes of mind which have to do with the phenomena known

as "psychic," by which is meant the phases of psychic phenomena known as

clairvoyance, psychometry, telepathy, etc., but we shall not consider

them in this lesson, for they belong to another part of the general

subject. We have spoken of them in a general way in our "Fourteen Lessons

in Yogi Philosophy, etc."

 

And now we come to the plane of mind known to us as Intellect or the

Reasoning Faculties. Webster defines the word Intellect as follows: The

part or faculty of the human soul by which it knows, as distinguished

from the power to feel and to will; the thinking faculty; the

understanding. The same authority defines the word Reason as follows:

"The faculty or capacity of the human mind by which it is distinguished

from the intelligence of the inferior animals." We shall not attempt to

go into a consideration of the conscious Intellect, for to do so we

would be compelled to take up the space of the remaining lessons of the

course, and besides, the student may find extended information on this

subject in any of the text books on psychology. Instead we will consider

other faculties and planes of mind which the said text books pass by

rapidly, or perhaps deny. And one of these planes is that of Unconscious

Reasoning, or Intellect. To many this term will seem paradoxical, but

students of the unconscious will understand just what is meant.

 

Reasoning is not necessarily conscious in its operations, in fact, a

greater part of the reasoning processes are performed below or above the

conscious field. In our last lesson we have given a number of examples

proving this fact, but a few more remarks may not be out of place, nor

without interest to the student.

 

In our last lesson you will see many instances stated in which the

sub-conscious field of the Intellect worked out problems, and then after

a time handed to the conscious reason the solution of the matter. This

has occurred to many of us, if not indeed to all of us. Who has not

endeavored to solve a problem or question of some sort and after "giving

it up" has had it suddenly answered and flashed into consciousness when

least expected. The experience is common to the race. While the majority

of us have noticed these things, we have regarded them as exceptional and

out of the general rule. Not so, however, with students of the mental

planes. The latter have recognized these planes of reason, and have

availed themselves of their knowledge by setting these unconscious

faculties to work for them. In our next lesson we will give directions to

our students regarding this accomplishment, which may prove of the

greatest importance to those who will take the trouble to practice the

directions given. It is a plan that is known to the majority of men who

have "done things" in the world, the majority of them, however, having

discovered the plan for themselves as the result of a need or demand upon

the inner powers of mind.

 

The plane of mind immediately above that of Intellect is that known as

Intuition. Intuition is defined by Webster as follows: "Direct

apprehension or cognition; immediate knowledge, as in perception or

consciousness, involving no reasoning process; quick or ready insight or

apprehension." It is difficult to explain just what is meant by

Intuition, except to those who have experienced it--and these people do

not need the explanation. Intuition is just as real a mental faculty as

is Intellect--or, to be more exact, is just as much a collection of

mental faculties. Intuition is above the field of consciousness, and its

messages are passed downward, though its processes are hidden. The race

is gradually unfolding into the plane of Intuition, and the race will

some day pass into full consciousness on that plane. In the meantime it

gets but flashes and glimpses from the hidden region. Many of the best

things we have come from that region. Art, music, the love of the

beautiful and good poetry, the higher form of love, spiritual insight to

a certain degree, intuitive perception of truth, etc., etc., come from

this region. These things are not reasoned out by the intellect, but seem

to spring full born from some unknown region of the mind.

 

In this wonderful region dwells Genius. Many, if not all of the great

writers, poets, musicians, artists and other examples of genius have felt

that their power came to them from some higher source. Many have thought

that it emanated from some being kindly to them, who would inspire them

with power and wisdom. Some transcendent power seemed to have been called

into operation, and the worker would feel that his product or creation

was not his handiwork, but that of some outside intelligence. The Greeks

recognized this something in man, and called it man's "Daemon." Plutarch

in his discourse on the daemon that guided Socrates speaks of the vision

of Timarchus, who, in the case of Trophonius, saw spirits which were

partly attached to human bodies, and partly over and above them, shining

luminously over their heads. He was informed by the oracle that the part

of the spirit which was immersed in the body was called the "soul," but

that the outer and unimmersed portion was called the "daemon." The oracle

also informed him that every man had his daemon, whom he is bound to

obey; those who implicitly follow that guidance are the prophetic souls,

the favorites of the gods. Goethe also spoke of the daemon as a power

higher than the will, and which inspired certain natures with miraculous

energy.

 

We may smile at these conceptions, but they are really very close to the

truth. The higher regions of the mind, while belonging to the individual,

and a part of himself, are so far above his ordinary consciousness that

to all intents and purposes messages from them are as orders from another

and higher soul. But still the voice is that of the "I," speaking through

its sheaths as best it is able.

 

This power belongs to every one of us, although it manifests only in the

degree that we are able to respond to it. It grows by faith and

confidence, and closes itself up, and withdraws into its recesses when

we doubt it and would question its veracity and reality. What we call

"originality" comes from this region. The Intuitive faculties pass on to

the conscious mind some perception of truth higher than the Intellect has

been able to work out for itself, and lo! it is called the work of

genius.

 

The advanced occultist knows that in the higher regions of the mind are

locked up intuitive perceptions of all truth, and that he who can gain

access to these regions will know everything intuitively, and as a matter

of clear sight, without reasoning or explanation. The race has not as yet

reached the heights of Intuition--it is just beginning to climb the

foothills. But it is moving in the right direction. It will be well for

us if we will open ourselves to the higher inner guidance, and be willing

to be "led by the Spirit." This is a far different thing from being led

by outside intelligence, which may, or may not, be qualified to lead. But

the Spirit within each of us has our interests at heart and is desirous

of our best good, and is not only ready but willing to take us by the

hand and lead us on. The Higher Self is doing the best it can for our

development and welfare, but is hampered by the confining sheaths. And

alas, many of us glory in these sheaths and consider them the highest

part of ourselves. Do not be afraid to let the light of the Spirit pierce

through these confining sheaths and dissolve them. The Intuition,

however, is not the Spirit, but is one of its channels of communication

to us. There are other and still higher planes of mind, but the Intuition

is the one next in the line of unfoldment, and we should open ourselves

to its influence and welcome its unfoldment.

 

Above the plane of Intuition is that of the Cosmic Knowing, upon which we

will find the consciousness of the Oneness of All. We have spoken of this

plane in our lesson on the Unfoldment of Consciousness. When one is able

to "conscious" on this plane--this exalted plane of mind--he is able to

see fully, plainly and completely that there is One Great Life underlying

all the countless forms and shapes of manifestation. He is able to see

that separateness is only "the working fiction of the Universe." He is

able to see that each Ego is but a Centre of Consciousness in the great

Ocean of Life--all in pursuance of the Divine Plan, and that he is moving

forward toward higher and higher planes of manifestation, power and

individuality, in order to take a greater and grander part in the

Universal work and plans.

 

The Cosmic Knowing in its fulness has come to but few of the race, but

many have had glimpses, more or less clear, of its transcendent wonder,

and others are on the borderland of this plane. The race is unfolding

gradually, slowly but surely, and those who have had this wonderful

experience are preparing others for a like experience. The seed is being

sown, and the harvest will come later. This and other phases of the

higher forms of consciousness are before the race. The individuals who

read this lesson are perhaps nearer to it than they think; their interest

in the lessons is an indication of that hunger of the soul which is a

prophecy of the satisfaction of the cry for spiritual bread. The Law of

Life heeds these cries for aid and nourishment and responds accordingly,

but along the lines of the highest wisdom and according to the _real

requirements_ of the individual.

 

Let us close this lesson with a quotation from "Light on the Path," which

bears directly upon the concluding thought. Read it carefully and let it

sink down deep into your inner consciousness, and you will feel the

thrill of joy that comes to him who is nearing the goal.

 

"Look for the flower to bloom in the silence that follows the storm; not

till then.

 

"It shall grow, it will shoot up, it will make branches and leaves, and

form buds while the storm lasts. But not until the entire personality of

the man is dissolved and melted--not until it is held by the divine

fragment which has created it, as a mere subject for grave experiment and

experience--not until the whole nature has yielded and become subject

unto its higher self, can the bloom open. Then will come a calm such as

comes in a tropical country after the heavy rain, when nature works so

swiftly that one may see her action. Such a calm will come to the

harassed spirit. And in the deep silence the mysterious event will occur

which will prove that the way has been found. Call it by whatever name

you will. It is a voice that speaks where there is none to speak, it is a

messenger that comes--a messenger without form or substance--or it is the

flower of the soul that has opened. It cannot be described by any

metaphor. But it can be felt after, looked for, and desired, even among

the raging of the storm. The silence may last a moment of time, or it may

last a thousand years. But it will end. Yet you will carry its strength

with you. Again and again the battle must be fought and won. It is only

for an interval that nature can be still."

 

       *       *       *       *       *

 

The concluding three lessons of this series will be devoted to a

practical course of instruction in the development of the hidden planes

of the mind, or rather, in the development of the power of the individual

to master the same and make use of them in his life. He will be taught to

master the lower principles, not only in the surmounting of them, but in

the transmitting of the elemental forces toward his higher ends. Power

may be obtained from this part of the mind, under the direction of the

Will. And the student will be told how to set the unconscious Intellect

to work for him. And he will be told how to develop and train the Will.

We have now passed the line between the theoretical and the practical

phases of the subject, and from now on it will be a case of train,

develop, cultivate and apply. Knowing what lies back of it all, the

student is now prepared to receive the instructions which he might have

misused before. Peace be with thee all.

 

 

MANTRAM (AFFIRMATION).

 

I AM THE MASTER OF MY SOUL.

 

 

 

 

THE TENTH LESSON.

 

SUB-CONSCIOUSING.

 

 

In the Ninth Lesson we called your attention to the fact that Reasoning

was not necessarily conscious in its operations, and that, in fact, a

large part of the rational processes of the mind are performed below or

above the field of consciousness. And in the Eighth Lesson we gave you a

number of examples illustrating this fact. We also gave you a number of

cases in which the sub-conscious field of the Intellect worked out

problems, and then after a time passed on to the conscious field of the

Intellect the solution of the matter. In this lesson we purpose

instructing you in the methods by which this part of the Intellect may be

set to work for you. Many have stumbled upon bits of this truth for

themselves, and, in fact, the majority of successful men and men who have

attained eminence in any walk of life have made more or less use of this

truth, although they seldom understand the reason of it.

 

Very few Western writers have recognized the work of this plane of the

mind. They have given us full and ingenious theories and examples of the

workings of the Instinctive Mind, and in some cases they have touched

upon the workings and operations of the Intuitional planes, but in nearly

every case they have treated the Intellect as something entirely confined

to the Conscious plane of mentation. In this they have missed some of the

most interesting and valuable manifestations of sub-conscious mentation.

 

In this lesson we will take up this particular phase of mentation, and

trust to be able to point out the way to use it to the best advantage,

giving some simple instructions that have been given by the Hindu

teachers to their students for centuries past, such instructions of

course, being modified by us to conform to the requirements and

necessities of the Western student of today.

 

We have taken the liberty of bestowing a new title upon this phase of

mentation--we have thought it well to call it "Sub-consciousing." The

word "Sub," of course means "under; below;" and the word "Consciousing"

is a favorite term employed by Prof. Elmer Gates, and means receiving

impressions from the mind. In a general way, "Sub-consciousing," as used

in this lesson, may be understood to mean "using the subconscious mind,

under orders of the conscious mind."

 

By referring to our Eighth Lesson, we see mention made of the case of the

man who indulged in "unconscious rumination," which happened to him when

he read books presenting new points of view essentially opposed to his

previous opinion. You will note that after days, weeks, or months, he

found that to his great astonishment the old opinions were entirely

rearranged, and new ones lodged there.

 

On the same page you will see mentioned the case of Sir William Hamilton,

who discovered an important law of mathematics while walking with his

wife. In this case he had been previously thinking of the missing link in

his chain of reasoning, and the problem was worked out for him by the

sub-conscious plane of his Intellect.

 

On the same page, and the one following, is found the case of Dr.

Thompson, who gives an interesting account of the workings of this part

of his mind, which caused him at times to experience a feeling of the

uselessness of all voluntary effort, coupled with a feeling that the

matter was working itself clear in his mind. He tells us that at times he

seemed to be merely a passive instrument in the hands of some person

other than himself, who compelled him to wait until the work was

performed for him by some hidden region of the mind. When the

subconscious part of the mind had completed its work, it would flash the

message to his conscious mind, and he would begin to write.

 

On page 178 mention is also made of the great French chemist Berthelot,

who relates that some of his best conceptions have flashed upon him as

from the clear sky. In fact, the Eighth Lesson is largely made up of

examples of this kind, and we ask the student to re-read the same, in

order to refresh his mind with the truth of the workings of the

sub-conscious mentality.

 

But you will notice in nearly all the cases mentioned, that those who

related instances of the help of the sub-conscious mind had merely

stumbled upon the fact that there was a part of the mind below

consciousness that could and would work out problems for one, if it could

somehow be set in operation. And these people trusted to luck to start

that part of the mind in operation. Or rather, they would saturate

their conscious mind with a mass of material, like stuffing the stomach

with food, and then bid the subconscious mind assort, separate, arrange

and digest the mental food, just as does the stomach and digestive

apparatus digest the natural food--outside of the realm of consciousness

or volition. In none of the cases mentioned was the subconscious

mind _directed_ specially to perform its wonderful work. It was simply

hoped that it might digest the mental material with which it had been

stuffed--in pure self defense. But there is a much better way, and we

intend to tell you about it. The Hindu Yogis, or rather those who

instruct their pupils in _"Raja Yoga,"_ give their students directions

whereby they may _direct_ their sub-conscious minds to perform mental

tasks for them, just as one may direct another to perform a task. They

teach them the methods whereby, after having accumulated the necessary

materials, they may bid the sub-conscious mentality to sort it out,

rearrange, analyze, and build up from it some bit of desired knowledge.

More than this, they instruct their pupils to direct and order the

sub-conscious mentality to search out and report to them certain

information to be found only within the mind itself--some question of

philosophy or metaphysics. And when such art has been acquired, the

student or Yogi rests assured that the desired result will be forthcoming

in due time, and consequently dismisses the matter from his conscious

mind, and busies himself with other matters, knowing that day and night,

incessantly, the sub-consciousing process is going on, and that the

sub-conscious mind is actively at work collecting the information, or

working out the problem.

 

You will see at once the great superiority of this method over the old

"hit-or-miss," "hope-it-will-work" plan pursued by those who have

stumbled upon bits of the truth.

 

The Yogi teacher begins by impressing upon his students the fact that the

mind is capable of extending outward toward an object, material or

mental, and by examining it by methods inherent in itself, extracting

knowledge regarding the object named. This is not a startling truth,

because it is so common, everyone employing it more or less every day.

But the process by which the knowledge is extracted is most wonderful,

and really is performed below the plane of consciousness, the work of the

conscious mind being chiefly concerned in _holding the Attention_ upon

the object. We have spoken of the importance of Attention in previous

lessons, which it will be well for you to re-read, at this time.

 

When the student is fully impressed with the details of the process of

Attention, and the subsequent unfoldment of knowledge, the Yogi proceeds

to inform him that there are other means of obtaining knowledge about an

object, by the employment of which the Attention may be firmly directed

toward the object and then afterwards held there _unconsciously_--that

is, a portion of the Attention, or a sub-conscious phase of mentation,

which will hold the sub-conscious mind firmly upon the work until

accomplished, leaving the conscious Attention and mentality free to

employ itself with other things.

 

The Yogis teach the students that this new form of Attention is far more

intense and powerful than is the conscious Attention, for it cannot be

disturbed or shaken, or distracted from its object, and that it will work

away at its task for days, months, years, or a lifetime if necessary,

according to the difficulty of the task, and in fact carries its work

over from one life to another, unless recalled by the Will. They teach

the student that in everyone's life there is going on a greater or less

degree of this sub-conscious work, carried on in obedience to a strong

desire for knowledge manifested in some former life, and bearing fruit

only in the present existence. Many important discoveries have been made

in obedience to this law. But it is not of this phase of the matter that

we wish to speak in this lesson.

 

The Yogi theory is that the sub-conscious intellectual faculty may be set

to work under the direction of orders given by the Will. All of you know

how the sub-conscious mentality will take up an order of the Will, or a

strong wish, that the person be awakened at a certain hour in order to

catch a train. Or, in the same way how the remembrance of a certain

engagement at, say, four o'clock, will flash into the mind when the hands

of the clock approach the stated hour. Nearly every one can recall

instances of this sort in his own experience.

 

But the Yogis go much further than this. They claim that any and all

faculties of the mind may be "set going," or working on any problem, if

ordered thereto by the Will. In fact, the Yogis, and their advanced

students have mastered this art to such a surprising extent that they

find it unnecessary to do the drudgery of thinking in the conscious

field, and prefer to relegate such mental work to the sub-conscious,

reserving their conscious work for the consideration of digested

information and thought presented to them by the sub-conscious mind.

 

Their directions to their students cover a great deal of ground, and

extend over a long period of time, and many of the directions are quite

complicated and full of detail. But we think that we can give our

students an abbreviated and condensed idea in a few pages of the lesson.

And the remaining lessons of the course will also throw additional light

on the subject of sub-conscious mental action, in connection with

other subjects.

 

The Yogi takes the student when the latter is much bothered by a

consideration of some knotty and perplexing philosophical subject. He

bids the student relax every muscle,--take the tension from every

nerve--throw aside all mental strain, and then wait a few moments. Then

the student is instructed to grasp the subject which he has had before

his mind firmly and fixedly before his mental vision, by means of

concentration. Then he is instructed to pass it on to the sub-conscious

mentality by an effort of the Will, which effort is aided by forming a

mental picture of the subject as a material substance, _or bundle of

thought,_ which is being bodily lifted up and dropped down a mental

hatch-way, or trap-door, in which it sinks from sight. The student is

then instructed to say to the sub-conscious mentality: "I wish this

subject thoroughly analyzed, arranged, classified (and whatever else is

desired) and then the results handed back to me. Attend to this."

 

The student is taught to speak to the sub-conscious mentality just as if

it were a separate entity of being, which had been employed to do the

work. He is also taught that _confident expectation_ is an important part

of the process, and that the degree of success depends upon the degree of

this confident expectation.

 

In obstinate cases, the student is taught to use the Imagination freely,

until he is able to make a mental image or picture of the sub-conscious

mind doing what is required of it. This process clears away a mental

path for the feet of the sub-conscious mind, which it will choose

thereafter, as it prefers to follow the line of least resistance.

 

Of course much depends upon practice--practice makes perfect, you know,

in everything else, and sub-consciousing is no exception to the rule.

 

The student gradually acquires a proficiency in the art of

sub-consciousing, and thereafter devotes his time to acquiring new facts

for mental digestion, rather than bestowing it upon the mechanical act of

thinking.

 

But a very important point to be remembered is that the Will-power back

of the transferred thought-material, which Will-power is the cause of the

subconscious action, depends very greatly upon the attention and interest

given to the acquired material. This mass of thought-material which is to

be digested, and threshed out by the sub-conscious mind, must be well

saturated with interest and attention, in order to obtain the best

results. In fact interest and attention are such important aids to the

Will, that any consideration of the development and acquirement of

Will-power is practically a development and acquirement of attention and

interest. The student is referred to previous lessons in this course in

which the importance of interest and attention is explained and

described.

 

In acquiring the mass of thought-material which is to be passed on to the

sub-conscious digestion, one must concentrate a great degree of interest

and attention upon each item of thought-material gathered up. The

gathering of this thought-material is a matter of the greatest

importance, and must not be lightly passed by. One cannot hastily gather

together all sorts of thought-material, and then expect the subconscious

mind to do its work properly--it will not, in fact, and the student

proceeding upon any such erroneous supposition is doomed to

disappointment.

 

The proper way to proceed, is to take up each bit of thought-material in

turn, and examine it with the greatest possible interest, and

consequently the greatest attention, and then after having fairly

saturated it with this interested attention, place it with the pile of

material which, after a while, is to be passed on to the sub-conscious

mentality. Then take up the next bit of material, and after giving it

similar treatment, pass it along to the pile also. Then after a while

when you have gathered up the main facts of the case, proceed to consider

the mass as a whole, with interest and attention, giving it as it were a

"general treatment." Then drop it down the trap-door into the

sub-conscious mind, with a strong command, "Attend to this

thought-material," coupled with a strong expectant belief that your

order will be obeyed.

 

The idea underlying this treatment of the thought-material with interest

and attention is that by so doing a strong "Mental Image" is created,

which may be easily handled by the sub-conscious mind. Remember that you

are passing on "thoughts" for the sub-consciousness to act upon, and that

the more tangible and real these thoughts are, the better can they be

handled. Therefore any plan that will build these thoughts up into "real"

things is the plan to pursue. And attention and interest produce just

this result.

 

If we may be pardoned for using a homely and commonplace illustration we

would say that the idea may be grasped by the illustration of boiling an

egg, whereby the fluid "white" and "yolk" becomes solid and real. Also

the use of a shaving brush by a man, by which the thin lather is

gradually worked up into a rich, thick, creamy mass, is an illustration.

Again, the churning of butter is a favorite illustration of the Hindus,

who thus call the attention of their students to the fact that

thought-material if worked upon with attention and interest become

"thought-forms" that may be handled by the mind just as the hands handle

a material object. We ask you to think of these illustrations, for when

you once grasp the idea that we wish to convey to you, you will have the

secret of great thinking powers within your grasp.

 

And this power of sub-consciousing is not confined alone to the

consideration of philosophical questions. On the contrary it is

applicable to every field of human thought, and may be properly employed

in any and all of them. It is useful in solving the problems of every-day

life and work, as well as to the higher flights of the human mind. And we

wish every one of our students to realize that in this simple lesson we

are giving them the key to a great mental power.

 

To realize just what we are offering to you, we would remind you of the

old fairy tales of all races, in which there is to be found one or more

tales telling of some poor cobbler, or tailor, or carpenter, as the case

may be, who had by his good deeds, gained favor with the "brownies" or

good fairies, who would come each night when the man and his family were

asleep, and proceed to complete the work that the artisan had laid out

for the morrow. The pieces of leather would be made into shoes; the cloth

would be sewed into garments; the wood would be joined, and nailed

together into boxes, chairs, benches and what not. But in each case the

rough materials were prepared by the artisan himself during the day.

 

Well, that is just what we are trying to introduce to you. A clan of

mental brownies, loving and kindly disposed toward you, who are anxious

and willing to help you in your work. All you have to do is to give

them the proper materials, and tell then what you want done, and they

will do the rest. But these mental brownies are a part of your own

mentality, remember, and no alien and foreign entities, as some have

imagined.

 

A number of people who have accidentally discovered this power of the

sub-conscious mind to work out problems, and to render other valuable

service to its owner, have been led to suppose that the aid really came

from some other entity or intelligence. Some have thought that the

messages came from friends in the spirit land, and others have believed

that some high intelligence--God or his angels--was working in their

behalf. Without discussing spirit communication, or Divine messages, in

both of which we believe (with certain provisional reservations) we feel

justified in saying that the majority of cases of this kind may be

referred to the sub-conscious workings of one's own mentality.

 

Each of us has "a friend" in our own mind--a score of them in fact, who

delight in performing services for us, if we will but allow them to do

so. Not only have we a Higher Self to whom we may turn for comfort and

aid in times of deep distress and necessity, but we have these invisible

mental workers on the sub-conscious plane, who are very willing and glad

to perform much of our mental work for us, if we will but give them the

material in proper shape.

 

It is very difficult to impart specific directions for obtaining

these results, as each case must depend to a great extent upon the

peculiar circumstances surrounding it. But we may say that the main thing

needed is to "lick into shape" the material, and then pass it on to the

sub-conscious mind in the manner spoken of a few moments ago. Let us run

over a few cases wherein this principle may be applied.

 

Let us suppose that you are confronted with a problem consisting of an

uncertainty as to which of two or more courses to adopt in some affair of

life. Each course seems to have advantages and disadvantages, and you

seem unable to pass upon the matter clearly and intelligently. The more

you try the more perplexed and worried do you become. Your mind seems to

tire of the matter, and manifests a state which may be called "mental

nausea." This state will be apparent to any one who has had much

"thinking" to do. The average person, however, persists in going over

the matter, notwithstanding the tired condition of the mind, and its

evident distaste for a further consideration of the subject. They will

keep on forcing it back to the mind for consideration, and even at night

time will keep thrashing away at the subject. Now this course is absurd.

The mind recognizes that the work should be done by another part of

itself--its digestive region, in fact--and naturally rebels at the

finishing-up machinery being employed in work unsuited for it.

 

According to the Sub-consciousing plan, the best thing for the man to do

would be for him first to calm and quiet his mind. Then he should arrange

the main features of the problem, together with the minor details in

their proper places. Then he should pass them slowly before him in

review, giving a strong interest and attention to each fact and detail,

as it passes before him, _but without the slightest attempt to form a

decision, or come to a conclusion_. Then, having given the matter an

interested and attentive review, let him _Will_ that it pass on to his

sub-conscious mind, forming the mental image of dropping it through the

trap-door, and at the same time giving the command of the Will, "Attend

to this for me!"

 

Then dismiss the matter from your conscious mind, by an effort of command

of the Will. If you find it difficult to do this, you may soon acquire

the mastery by a frequent assertion, "I have dismissed this matter from

my conscious mind, and my sub-conscious mind will attend to it for me."

Then, endeavor to create a mental feeling of perfect trust and confidence

in the matter, and avoid all worry or anxiety about it. This may be

somewhat difficult at the first trial, but will become a natural feeling

after you have gained the confidence arising from successful results in

several cases. The matter is one of practice, and, like anything else

that is new, must be acquired by perseverance and patience. It is well

worth the time and trouble, and once acquired will be regarded as

something in the nature of a treasure discovered in an unexpected place.

The sense of tranquillity and content--of calm and confidence--that comes

to one who has practiced this plan, will of itself be worth all the

trouble, not to speak of the main result. To one who has acquired this

method, the old worries, frettings, and general "stewed up" feeling, will

seem like a relic of barbarism. The new way opens up a world of new

feelings and content.

 

In some cases the matter will be worked out by the sub-conscious

mind in a very short time, and in fact we have known cases in which

the answer would be flashed back almost instantly, almost like an

inspiration. But in the majority of cases more or less time is required.

The sub-conscious mind works very rapidly, but it takes time to arrange

the thought-material properly, and to shape it into the desired forms. In

the majority of cases it is well to let the matter rest until the next

day--a fact that gives us a clue to the old advice to "sleep over" an

important proposition, before passing a final decision.

 

If the matter does not present itself the following day, bring it up

again before the conscious mind for review. You will find that it has

shaped itself up considerably, and is assuming definite form and

clearness. But right here--and this is important--do not make the mistake

of again dissecting it, and meddling with it, and trying to arrange it

with your conscious mind. But, instead, give it attention and interest

in its new form, and then pass it back again to the sub-conscious mind

for further work. You will find an improvement each time you examine it.

But, right here another word of caution. Do not make the mistake of

yielding to the impatience of the beginner, and keep on repeatedly

bringing up the matter to see what is being done. Give it time to have

the work done on it. Do not be like the boy who planted seeds, and who

each day would pull them up to see whether they had sprouted, and how

much.

 

Sooner or later, the sub-conscious mind will, of its own choice, lift up

the matter and present it to you in its finished shape for the

consideration of the conscious mind. The sub-conscious mind does not

insist that you shall adopt its views, or accept its work, but merely

hands out to you the result of its sorting, classifying and arranging.

The choice and will still remains yours, but you will often find that

there is seen to be one plan or path that stands out clearly from the

others, and you will very likely adopt that one. The secret is that the

sub-conscious mind with its wonderful patience and care has analyzed the

matter, and has separated things before apparently connected. It has also

found resemblances and has combined things heretofore considered opposed

to each other. In short it has done for you all that you could have done

with the expenditure of great work and time, and done it well. And then

it lays the matter before you for your consideration and verdict.

 

Its whole work seems to have been in the nature of assorting, dissecting,

analyzing, and arranging the evidence, and then presenting it before you

in a clear, systematic shape. It does not attempt to exercise the

judicial prerogative or function, but seems to recognize that its work

ceases with the presentation of the edited evidence, and that of the

conscious mind begins at the same point.

 

Now, do not confuse this work with that of the Intuition, which is a very

different mental phase or plane. This sub-conscious working, just

mentioned, plays an entirely different part. It is a good servant, and

does not try to be more. The Intuition, on the contrary, is more like a

higher friend--a friend at court, as it were, who gives us warnings and

advice.

 

In our directions we have told you how to make use of this part of the

mind, consciously and knowingly, so as to obtain the best results, and to

get rid of worry and anxiety attendant upon unsettled questions. But,

in fact, every one of us makes more or less use of this part of the mind

unconsciously, and not realizing the important part it plays in our

mental life. We are perplexed about a matter and keep it "on our minds"

until we are forced to lay it aside by reason of some other demand, or

when we sink to sleep. Often to our surprise we will find that when we

next think of it the matter has somehow cleared up and straightened

itself out, and we seem to have learned something about it that we did

not know before. We do not understand it, and are apt to dismiss it as

"just one of those things." In these lessons we are attempting to explain

some of "those things," and to enable you to use them consciously and

understandingly, instead of by chance, instinctively, and clumsily. We

are teaching you Mastery of the Mind.

 

Now to apply the rule to another case. Suppose you wish to gather

together all the information that you possess relating to a certain

subject. In the first place it is certain that you know a very great deal

more about any subject than you think you do. Stored away in the various

recesses of the mind, or memory if you prefer that term, are stray bits

of information and knowledge concerning almost any subject. But these

bits of information are not associated with each other. You have never

attempted to think attentively upon the particular question before you,

and the facts are not correlated in the mind. It is just as if you had

so many hundred pounds of anything scattered throughout the space of a

large warehouse, a tiny bit here, and a tiny bit there, mixed up with

thousands of other things.

 

You may prove this by sitting down some time and letting your thoughts

run along the line of some particular subject, and you will find emerging

into the field of consciousness all sorts of information that you had

apparently forgotten, and each fitting itself into its proper place.

Every person has had experiences of this kind. But the work of gathering

together the scattered scraps of knowledge is more or less tedious for

the conscious mind, and the sub-conscious mind will do the work equally

well with the wear and tear on the attention. In fact, it is the

sub-conscious mind that _always_ does the work, even when you think it is

the conscious mind. All the conscious mind does is to hold the attention

firmly upon the object before it, and then let the sub-consciousness pass

the material before it. But this holding the attention is tiresome work,

and it is not necessary for it to expend its energies upon the details of

the task, for the work may be done in an easier and simpler way.

 

The best way is to follow a plan similar to the one mentioned a few pages

back. That is, to fix the interested attention firmly upon the question

before you, until you manage to get a clear, vivid impression of _just

what you want answered_. Then pass the whole matter into the

sub-conscious mind with the command "Attend to this," and then leave it.

Throw the whole matter off of your mind, and let the sub-conscious

work go on. If possible let the matter run along until the next morning

and then take it up for consideration, when, if you have proceeded

properly you will find the matter worked out, arranged in logical

sequence, so that your conscious attention will be able to clearly

review the string of facts, examples, illustrations, experiences, etc.,

relating to the matter in question.

 

Now, many of you will say that you would like this plan to work in cases

in which you have not the time to sleep over it. In such cases we will

say that it is possible to cultivate a rapid method of sub-consciousing,

and in fact many business men and men of affairs have stumbled upon a

similar plan, driven to the discovery by necessity. They will give a

quick, comprehensive, strong flash of attention upon the subject,

getting right to the heart of it, and then will let it rest in the

sub-conscious mind for a moment or two, killing a minute or two of time n

"preliminary conversation," until the first flash of answer comes to

them. After the first flash, and taking hold of the first loose end of

the subject that presents itself to them, they will unwind a string of

information and "talk" about the subject that will surprise even

themselves. Many lawyers have acquired this knowledge, and are what is

known as "resourceful." Such men are often confronted with questions of

conditions utterly unsuspected by them a moment before. Practice has

taught them the folly of fear and loss of confidence at such moments, and

has also impressed upon them the truth that something within them will

come to the rescue. So, presenting a confident air, they will manage to

say a few platitudes or commonplaces, while the sub-conscious mind is

most rapidly gathering its materials for the answer. In a moment an

opening thought "flashes upon" the man, and as he continues idea after

idea passes before his conscious and eager attention, sometimes so

rapidly that it is almost impossible to utter them and lo! the danger is

over, and a brilliant success is often snatched from the jaws of an

apparent failure and defeat. In such cases the mental demand upon the

sub-conscious mind is not voiced in words, but is the result of a strong

mental need. However, if one gives a quick verbal command "_Attend to

this_," the result will be heightened.

 

We have known of cases of men prominent in the world's affairs who made a

practice of smoking a cigar during important business interviews, not

because they particularly cared for tobacco, but because they had learned

to appreciate the value of a moment's time for the mind to "gather itself

together," as one man expressed it. A question would be asked, or a

proposition advanced suddenly, demanding an immediate answer. Under the

watchful eyes of the other party the questioned party tried not to show

by his expression any indication of searching for an answer, for obvious

reasons. So, instead, he would take a long puff at the cigar, then a slow

attentive look at the ashes on its tip, and then another moment consumed

in flicking the ash into the receptacle, and then came the answer,

slowly, "Well, as to that--" or some other words of that kind, prefacing

the real answer which had been rapidly framed by the sub-conscious mind

in time to be uttered in its proper place. The few moments of time gained

had been sufficient for the sub-conscious mind to gather up its

materials, and the matter to be shaped properly, without any appearance

of hesitation on the part of the answerer. All of this required practice,

of course, but the principle may be seen through it all and in every

similar case. The point is that the man, in such cases, sets some hidden

part of his mind to work for him, and when he begins to speak the matter

is at least roughly "licked into shape for him."

 

Our students will understand, of course, that this is not advice to smoke

cigars during interviews of importance, but is merely given to illustrate

the principle. We have known other men to twirl a lead pencil in their

fingers in a lazy sort of fashion, and then drop it at the important

moment. But we must cease giving examples of this kind, lest we be

accused of giving instructions in worldly wisdom, instead of teaching the

use of the mind. The impressive pause of the teacher, before answering

his pupil's question, is also an example of the workings of this law. One

often says "stop, let me think a moment," and during his pause he does

not really consciously think at all, but stares ahead in a dreamy

fashion, while his sub-conscious mind does the work for him, although he

little suspects the nature of the operation. One has but to look around

him to realize the importance and frequent application of this truth.

 

And not only may the sub-conscious mind be used in the directions

indicated on preceding pages, but in nearly every perplexity and problem

of life may it be called upon for help. These little sub-conscious

brownies are ever at our disposal, and seem to be happy to be of service

to us.

 

And so far from being apt to get us in a position of false dependence, it

is calculated to make us self-confident--for we are calling upon a part

of _ourselves_, not upon some outside intelligence. If those people who

never feel satisfied unless they are getting "advice" from others would

only cultivate the acquaintance of this little "home adviser" within

them, they would lose that dependent attitude and frame of mind, and

would grow self-confident and fearless. Just imagine the confidence of

one who feels that he has within him a source of knowledge equal to that

of the majority of those with whom he is likely to come in contact, and

he feels less afraid to face them, and look them fearlessly in the eyes.

He feels that his "mind" is not confined to the little field of

consciousness, but is an area infinitely greater, containing a mass of

information undreamed of. Everything that the man has inherited, or

brought with him from past lives--everything that he has read, heard or

seen, or experienced in this life, is hidden away there in some quarter

of that great sub-conscious mind, and, if he will but give the command,

the "essence" of all that knowledge is his. The details may not be

presented to his consciousness (often it is not, for very good occult

reasons) by the result, or essence of the knowledge will pass before his

attention, with sufficient examples and illustrations, or arguments to

enable him to make out "a good case" for himself.

 

In the next lesson we will call your attention to other features and

qualities of this great field of mind, showing you how you can put it to

work, and Master it. Remember, always, the "I" is the Master. And its

Mastery must always be remembered and asserted over all phases and planes

of the mind. Do not be a slave to the sub-conscious, but be its MASTER.

 

 

MANTRAM (OR AFFIRMATION).

 

I have within me a great area of Mind that is under my command, and

subject to my Mastery. This Mind is friendly to me, and is glad to do

my bidding, and obey my orders. It will work for me when I ask it, and

is constant, untiring, and faithful. Knowing this I am no longer

afraid, ignorant or uninformed. The "I" is master of it all, and is

asserting its authority. "I" am master over Body, Mind, Consciousness,

and Sub-consciousness. I am "I"--a Centre of Power, Strength, and

Knowledge. I am "I"--and "I" am Spirit, a fragment from the Divine Flame.

 

 

 

 

THE ELEVENTH LESSON.

 

SUBCONSCIOUS CHARACTER BUILDING.

 

 

In our last lesson (the Tenth Lesson) we called your attention to the

wonderful work of the sub-conscious regions of mentation in the direction

of the performance of Intellectual work. Great as are the possibilities

of this field of mentation in the direction named, they are equaled by

the possibilities of building up character by similar methods.

 

Every one realizes that one may change his character by a strenuous

course of repression and training, and nearly all who read these lines

have modified their characteristics somewhat by similar methods. But it

is only of late years that the general public have become aware that

Character might be modified, changed, and sometimes completely altered by

means of an intelligent use of the sub-conscious faculties of the mind.

 

The word "Character" is derived from ancient terms meaning "to mark," "to

engrave," etc., and some authorities inform us that the term originally

arose from the word used by the Babylonian brickmakers to designate the

trade mark impressed by them upon their bricks, each maker having his own

mark. This is interesting, in view of the recent theories regarding the

cultivation of characteristics which may be found in the current Western

works on psychology. But these theories are not new to the Yogi teachers

of the East, who have employed similar methods for centuries past in

training their students and pupils. The Yogis have long taught that a

man's character was, practically, the crude character-stuff possessed by

him at his birth, modified and shaped by outside influences in the case

of the ordinary man, and by deliberate self-training and shaping by the

wise man. Their pupils are examined regarding their characteristics, and

then directed to repress the undesirable traits, and to cultivate the

desirable ones.

 

The Yogi practice of Character Building is based upon the knowledge of

the wonderful powers of the sub-conscious plane of the mind. The pupil is

not required to pursue strenuous methods of repression or cultivation,

but, on the contrary, is taught that such methods are opposed to nature's

plans, and that the best way is to imitate nature and to gradually unfold

the desired characteristics by means of focusing the will-power and

attention upon them. The weeding out of undesirable characteristics is

accomplished by the pupil cultivating the characteristics directly

opposed to the undesirable ones. For instance, if the pupil desires to

overcome Fear, he is not instructed to concentrate on Fear with the idea

of killing it out, but, instead, is taught to mentally deny that he has

Fear, and then to concentrate his attention upon the ideal of Courage.

When Courage is developed, Fear is found to have faded away. The positive

always overpowers the negative.

 

In the word "ideal" is found the secret of the Yogi method of

sub-conscious character building. The teachings are to the effect that

"ideals" may be built up by the bestowal of attention upon them. The

student is given the example of a rose bush. He is taught that the plant

will grow and flourish in the measure that care and attention is bestowed

upon it and _vice versa_. He is taught that the ideal of some desired

characteristic is a mental rosebush, and that by careful attention it

will grow and put forth leaves and flowers. He is then given some minor

mental trait to develop, and is taught to dwell upon it in thought--to

exercise his imagination and to mentally "see" himself attaining the

desired quality. He is given mantrams or affirmation to repeat, for the

purpose of giving him a mental center around which to build an ideal.

There is a mighty power in words, used in this way, providing that the

user always thinks of the meaning of the words, and makes a mental

picture of the quality expressed by them, instead of merely repeating

them parrot fashion.

 

The Yogi student is trained gradually, until he acquires the power of

conscious direction of the sub-conscious mind in the building up process,

which power comes to anyone--Oriental or Occidental--who will take the

trouble to practice. In fact, nearly everyone possesses and actively uses

this power, although he may not be aware of it. One's character is

largely the result of the quality of thoughts held in the mind, and of

the mental pictures or ideals entertained by the person. The man who

constantly sees and thinks of himself as unsuccessful and down-trodden

is very apt to grow ideals of thought forms of these things until his

whole nature is dominated by them, and his every act works toward the

objectification of the thoughts. On the contrary, the man who makes an

ideal of success and accomplishment finds that his whole mental nature

seems to work toward that result--the objectification of the ideal. And

so it is with every other ideal. The person who builds up a mental ideal

of Jealousy will be very apt to objectify the same, and to unconsciously

create condition that will give his Jealousy food upon which to feed. But

this particular phase of the subject, properly belongs to our next

lesson. This Eleventh Lesson is designed to point out the way by which

people may mould their characters in any way they desire--supplanting

undesirable characteristics by desirable ones, and developing desirable

ideals into active characteristics. The mind is plastic to him who knows

the secret of its manipulation.

 

The average person recognizes his strong and weak points of character,

but is very apt to regard them as fixed and unalterable, or practically

so. He thinks that he "is just as the Lord made him," and that is the end

of it. He fails to recognize that his character is being unconsciously

modified every day by association with others, whose suggestions are

being absorbed and acted upon. And he fails to see that he is moulding

his own character by taking interest in certain things, and allowing his

mind to dwell upon them. He does not realize that he himself is really

the maker of himself, from the raw and crude material given him

at his birth. He makes himself negatively or positively. Negatively, if

he allows himself to be moulded by the thoughts and ideals of others,

and positively, if he moulds himself. Everyone is doing one or the

other--perhaps both. The weak man is the one who allows himself to be

made by others, and the strong man is the one who takes the building

process in his own hands.

 

The process of Character-building is so delightfully simple that its

importance is apt to be overlooked by the majority of persons who are

made acquainted with it. It is only by actual practice and the

experiencing of results that its wonderful possibilities are borne home

to one.

 

The Yogi student is early taught the lesson of the power and importance

of character building by some strong practical example. For instance, the

student is found to have certain tastes of appetite, such as a like for

certain things, and a corresponding dislike for others. The Yogi teacher

instructs the student in the direction of cultivating a desire and taste

for the disliked thing, and a dislike for the liked thing. He teaches the

student to fix his mind on the two things, but in the direction of

imagining that he likes the one thing and dislikes the other. The student

is taught to make a mental picture of the desired conditions, and to say,

for instance, "I loathe candy--I dislike even the sight of it," and, on

the other hand, "I crave tart things--I revel in the taste of them,"

etc., etc., at the same time trying to reproduce the taste of sweet

things accompanied with a loathing, and a taste of tart things,

accompanied with a feeling of delight. After a bit the student finds that

his tastes are actually changing in accordance with his thoughts, and in

the end they have completely changed places. The truth of the theory is

then borne home to the student, and he never forgets the lesson.

 

In order to reassure readers who might object to having the student left

in this condition of reversed tastes, we may add that the Yogi teachers

then teach him to get rid of the idea of the disliked thing, and teach

him to cultivate a liking for all wholesome things, their theory being

that the dislike of certain wholesome eatables has been caused by some

suggestion in childhood, or by some prenatal impression, as wholesome

eatables are made attractive to the taste by Nature. The idea of all this

training, however, is not the cultivation of taste, but practice in

mental training, and the bringing home to the student the truth of the

fact that his nature is plastic to his Ego, and that it may be moulded at

will, by concentration and intelligent practice. The reader of this

lesson may experiment upon himself along the lines of the elementary Yogi

practice as above mentioned, if he so desires. He will find it possible

to entirely change his dislike for certain food, etc., by the methods

mentioned above. He may likewise acquire a liking for heretofore

distasteful tasks and duties, which he finds it necessary to perform.

 

The principle underlying the whole Yogi theory of Character Building by

the sub-conscious Intellect, is that the Ego is Master of the mind, and

that the mind is plastic to the commands of the Ego. The Ego or "I" of

the individual is the one real, permanent, changeless principle of the

individual, and the mind, like the body, is constantly changing, moving,

growing, and dying. Just as the body may be developed and moulded by

intelligent exercises, so may the mind be developed and shaped by the Ego

if intelligent methods are followed.

 

The majority of people consider that Character is a fixed something,

belonging to a man, that cannot be altered or changed. And yet they show

by their everyday actions that at heart they do not believe this to be a

fact, for they endeavor to change and mould the characters of those

around them, by word of advice, counsel, praising or condemnation, etc.

 

It is not necessary to go into the matter of the consideration of

the causes of character in this lesson. We will content ourselves by

saying that these causes may be summed up, roughly, as follows: (1)

Result of experiences in past lives; (2) Heredity; (3) Environment;

(4) Suggestion from others; and (5) Auto-suggestion. But no matter how

one's character has been formed, it may be modified, moulded, changed,

and improved by the methods set forth in this lesson, which methods are

similar to what is called by Western writers, "Auto-suggestion."

 

The underlying idea of Auto-suggestion is the "willing" of the individual

that the changes take place in his mind, the willing being aided by

intelligent and tried methods of creating the new ideal or thought-form.

The first requisite for the changed condition must be "desire" for the

change. Unless one really desires that the change take place, he is

unable to bring his Will to bear on the task. There is a very close

connection between Desire and Will. Will is not usually brought to bear

upon anything unless it is inspired by Desire. Some people connect the

word Desire with the lower inclinations, but it is equally applicable to

the higher. If one fights off a low inclination or Desire, it is because

he is possessed of a higher inclination or Desire. Many Desires are

really compromises between two or more conflicting Desires--a sort of

average Desire, as it were.

 

Unless one desires to change his character he will not make any move

toward it. And in proportion to the strength of the desire, so will be

the amount of will-power that is put in the task. The first thing for

one to do in character building is to "want to do it." And if he finds

that the "want" is not sufficiently strong to enable him to manifest the

perseverance and effort necessary to bring it to a successful conclusion,

then he should deliberately proceed to "build up the desire."

 

Desire may be built up by allowing the mind to dwell upon the subject

until a desire is created. This rule works both ways, as many people have

found out to their sorrow and misery. Not only may one build up a

commendable desire in this way, but he may also build up a reprehensible

one. A little thought will show you the truth of this statement. A young

man has no desire to indulge in the excesses of a "fast" life. But after

a while he hears, or reads something about others leading that sort of

life, and he begins to allow his mind to dwell upon the subject, turning

it around and examining it mentally, and going over it in his

imagination. After a time he begins to find a desire gradually sending

forth roots and branches, and if he continues to water the thing in his

imagination, before long he will find within himself a blossoming

inclination, which will try to insist upon expression in action. There is

a great truth behind the words of the poet:

 

"Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,

That to be hated needs but to be seen.

Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,

We first endure, then pity, and then embrace."

 

And the follies and crimes of many a man have been due to the growing of

desire within his mind, through this plan of planting the seed, and then

carefully watering and tending to it--this cultivation of the growing

desire. We have thought it well to give this word of warning because it

will throw light upon many things that may have perplexed you, and

because it may serve to call your attention to certain growing weeds of

the mind that you have been nourishing.

 

But remember, always, that the force that leads downward may be

transmuted and made to lead upward. It is just as easy to plant and grow

wholesome desires as the other kind. If you are conscious of certain

defects and deficiencies in your character (and who is not?) and yet find

yourself not possessed of a strong enough desire to make the changes

necessary, then you should commence by planting the desire seed and

allowing it to grow by giving it constant care and attention. You should

picture to yourself the advantages of acquiring the desirable traits of

character of which you have thought. You should frequently go over and

over them in your mind, imaging yourself in imagination as possessing

them. You will then find that the growing desire will make headway and

that you will gradually begin to "want to" possess that trait of

character more and more. And when you begin to "want to" hard enough, you

will find arising in your consciousness a feeling of the possession of

sufficient Will-power to carry it through. Will follows the Desire.

Cultivate a Desire and you will find back of it the Will to carry it

through. Under the pressure of a very strong Desire men have accomplished

feats akin to miracles.

 

If you find yourself in possession of desires that you feel are hurtful

to you, you may rid yourself of them by deliberately starving them to

death, and at the same time growing opposite desires. By refusing to

think of the objectionable desires you refuse them the mental food upon

which alone they can thrive. Just as you starve a plant by refusing it

nourishing soil and water, so may you starve out an objectionable

desire by refusing to give it mental food. _Remember this, for it is most

important_. Refuse to allow the mind to dwell upon such desires, and

resolutely turn aside the attention, _and, particularly, the

imagination_, from the subject. This may call for the manifestation of a

little will-power in the beginning, but it will become easier as you

progress, and each victory will give you renewed strength for the next

fight. But do not temporize with the desire--do not compromise with

it--refuse to entertain the idea. In a fight of this kind each victory

gives one added strength, and each defeat weakens one.

 

And while you are refusing to entertain the objectionable guest you must

be sure to grow a desire of an entirely opposite nature--a desire

directly opposed to the one you are starving to death. Picture the

opposite desire, and think of it often. Let your mind dwell upon it

lovingly and let the imagination help to build it up into form. Think of

the advantages that will arise to you when you fully possess it, and let

the imagination picture you as in full possession of it, and acting out

your new part in life strong and vigorous in your new found power.

 

All this will gradually lead you to the point where you will "want to"

possess this power. Then you must be ready for the next step which is

"Faith" or "Confident Expectation."

 

Now, faith or confident expectation is not made to order in most persons,

and in such cases one must acquire it gradually. Many of you who read

these lines will have an understanding of the subject that will give you

this faith. But to those who lack it, we suggest that they practice on

some trivial phases of the mental make-up, some petty trait of character,

in which the victory will be easy and simple. From this stage they should

work up to more difficult tasks, until at last they gain that faith or

confident expectation that comes from persevering practice.

 

The greater the degree of faith or confident expectation that one carries

with him in this task of character building, the greater will be his

success. And this because of well established psychological laws. Faith

or confident expectation clears away the mental path and renders the work

easier, while doubt or lack of faith retards the work, and acts as

obstacles and stumbling blocks. Strong Desire, and Faith, or confident

expectation are the first two steps. The third is Will-power.

 

By Will-power we do not mean that strenuous,

clenching-of-fist-and-frowning-brow thing that many think of

when they say "Will." Will is not manifested in this way. The

true Will is called into play by one realizing the "I" part of

himself and speaking the word of command from that center of

power and strength. It is the voice of the "I." And it is needed

in this work of character building.

 

So now you are ready for work, being possessed of (1) Strong Desire;

(2) Faith or Confident Expectation; and (3) Will-power. With such a

triple-weapon nothing but Success is possible.

 

Then comes the actual work. The first thing to do is to lay the track for

a new Character Habit. "Habit?" you may ask in surprise. Yes, Habit! For

that word gives the secret of the whole thing. Our characters are made up

of inherited or acquired habits. Think over this a little and you will

see the truth of it. You do certain things without a thought, because you

have gotten into the habit of doing them. You act in certain ways because

you have established the habit. You are in the habit of being truthful,

honest, virtuous, because you have established the habit of being so. Do

you doubt this? Then look around you--or look within your own heart, and

you will see that you have lost some of your old habits of action, and

have acquired new ones. The building up of Character is the building up

of Habits. And the changing of Character is the changing of Habits. It

will be well for you to settle this fact in your own mind, for it will

give you the secret of many things connected with the subject.

 

And, remember this, that Habit is almost entirely a matter of the

sub-conscious mentality. It is true that Habits originate in the

conscious mind, but as they are established they sink down into the

depths of the sub-conscious mentality, and thereafter become "second

nature," which, by the way, is often more powerful than the original

nature of the person. The Duke of Wellington said that habit was as

strong as ten natures, and he proceeded to drill habits into his army

until they found it natural to act in accordance with the habits pounded

into them during the drills. Darwin relates an interesting instance of

the force of habit over the reason. He found that his habit of starting

back at the sudden approach of danger was so firmly established that no

will-power could enable him to keep his face pressed up against the cage

of the cobra in the Zoological Gardens when the snake struck at him,

although he knew the glass was so thick that there could be no danger,

and although he exerted the full force of his will. But we venture to say

that one could overcome even this strongly ingrained habit, by gradually

training the sub-conscious mentality and establishing a new habit of

thought and action.

 

It is not only during the actual process of "willing" the new habit that

the work of making the new mental path goes on. In fact, the Yogis

believe that the principal part of the work goes on sub-consciously

between the intervals of commend, and that the real progress is made in

that way, just as the real work of solving the problem is performed

sub-consciously, as related in our last lesson. As an example, we may

call your attention to some instances of the cultivation of physical

habits. A physical task learned in the evening is much easier to perform

the following-morning than it was the night before, and still easier

the following Monday morning than it was on the Saturday afternoon

previous. The Germans have a saying that "we learn to skate in summer,

and to swim in winter," meaning that the impression passed on to the

subconscious mentality deepens and broadens during the interval of rest.

The best plan is to make frequent, sharp impressions, and then to allow

reasonable periods of rest in order to give the sub-conscious mentality

the opportunity to do its work. By "sharp" impressions we mean

impressions given under _strong attention_, as we have mentioned in some

of the earlier lessons of this series.

 

A writer has well said: "Sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a

character; sow a character, reap a destiny," thus recognizing habit as

the source of character. We recognize this truth in our training of

children, forming goods habits of character by constant repetition, by

watchfulness, etc. Habit acts as a _motive_ when established, so that

while we think we are acting without motive we may be acting under the

strong motive power of some well established habit. Herbert Spencer has

well said: "The habitually honest man does what is right, not consciously

because he 'ought' but with simple satisfaction; and is ill at ease till

it is done." Some may object that this idea of Habit as a basis of

Character may do away with the idea of a developed moral

conscientiousness, as for instance, Josiah Royce who says: "The

establishment of organized habit is never in itself enough to ensure

the growth of an enlightened moral conscientiousness" but to such we

would say that one must "want to" cultivate a high character before he

will create the habits usual to the same, and the "want to" is the

sign of the "moral conscientiousness," rather than the habit. And the

same is true of the "ought to" side of the subject. The "ought to" arises

in the conscious mind in the beginning, and inspires the cultivation

of the habit, although the latter after a while becomes automatic, a

matter of the sub-conscious mentality, without any "ought to" attachment.

It then becomes a matter of "like to."

 

Thus we see that the moulding, modifying, changing, and building of

Character is largely a matter of the establishing of Habits. And what is

the best way to establish Habits? becomes our next question. The answer

of the Yogi is: "Establish a Mental Image, and then build your Habit

around it." And in that sentence he has condensed a whole system.

 

Everything we see having a form is built around a mental image--either

the mental image of some man, some animal, or of the Absolute. This is

the rule of the universe, and in the matter of character-building we but

follow a well established rule. When we wish to build a house, we first

think of "house" in a general way. Then we begin to think of "what kind"

of a house. Then we go into details. Then we consult an architect, and he

makes us a plan, which plan is his mental image, suggested by our mental

image. Then, the plan once decided upon, we consult the builder, and at

last the house stands completed--an objectified Mental Image. And so it

is with every created thing--all manifestation of a Mental Image.

 

And so, when we wish to establish a trait of Character, we must form a

clear, distinct Mental Image of what we wish to be. This is an important

step. Make your picture clear and distinct, and fasten it in your mind.

Then begin to build around it. Let your thoughts dwell upon the mental

picture. Let your imagination see yourself as possessed of the desired

trait, and _acting it out_. Act it out in your imagination, over and over

again, as often as possible, persevering, and continuously, seeing

yourself manifesting the trait under a variety of circumstances and

conditions. As you continue to do this you will find that you will

gradually begin to express the thought in action--to objectify the

subjective mental image. It will become "natural" for you to act more and

more in accordance with your mental image, until at last the new habit

will become firmly fixed in your mind, and will become your natural mode

of action and expression.

 

This is no vague, visionary theory. It is a well known and proven

psychological fact, and thousands have worked marvelous changes in their

character by its means.

 

Not only may one elevate his moral character in this way, but he may

mould his "work-a-day" self to better conform to the needs of his

environment and occupation. If one lacks Perseverance, he may attain

it; if one is filled with Fear, he may supplant it with Fearlessness; if

one lacks Self-confidence, he may gain it. In fact, there is no trait

that may not be developed in this way. People have literally "made

themselves over" by following this method of character-building. The

great trouble with the race has been that persons have not realized that

they _could_ do these things. They have thought that they were doomed to

remain just the creatures that they found themselves to be. They did not

realize that the work of creation was not ended, and that they had within

themselves a creative power adapted to the needs of their case. When man

first realizes this truth, and proves it by practice, he becomes another

being. He finds himself superior to environment, and training--he finds

that he may ride over these things. He makes _his own environment_, and

_he trains himself_.

 

In some of the larger schools in England and the United States, certain

scholars who have developed and manifested the ability to control

themselves and their actions are placed on the roll of a grade called

the "Self-governed grade." Those in this grade act as if they had

memorized the following words of Herbert Spencer: "In the supremacy of

self-control consists one of the perfections of the ideal man. Not to be

impulsive--not to be spurred hither and thither by each desire--but to be

self-restrained, self-balanced, governed by the just decision of the

feelings in council assembled * * * that it is which moral education

strives to produce." And this is the desire of the writer of this

lesson--to place each student in the "Self-governed class."

 

We cannot attempt, in the short space of a single lesson, to map out a

course of instruction in Character Building adapted to the special needs

of each individual. But we think that what we have said on the subject

should be sufficient to point out the method for each student to map out

a course for himself, following the general rules given above. As a help

to the student, however, we will give a brief course of instruction for

the cultivation of one desirable trait of character. The general plan of

this course may be adapted to fit the requirements of _any other case_,

if intelligence is used by the student. The case we have selected is that

of a student who has been suffering from "a lack of Moral Courage--a lack

of Self-Confidence--an inability to maintain my poise in the presence

of other people--an inability to say 'No!'--a feeling of Inferiority to

those with whom I come in contact." The brief outline of the course of

practice given in this case is herewith given:

 

PRELIMINARY THOUGHT. You should fix firmly in your mind the fact that you

are the Equal of any and every man. You come from the same source. You

are an expression of the same One Life. In the eyes of the Absolute you

are the equal of any man, even the highest in the land. Truth is "Things

as God sees them"--and in Truth you and the man are equal, and, at the

last, One. All feelings of Inferiority are illusions, errors, and lies,

and have no existence in Truth. When in the company of others remember

this fact and realize that the Life Principle in you is talking to the

Life Principle in them. Let the Life Principle flow through you, and

endeavor to forget your personal self. At the same time, endeavor to see

that same Life Principle, behind and beyond the personality of the person

in whose presence you are. He is by a personality hiding the Life

Principle, just as you are. Nothing more--nothing less! You are both

One in Truth. Let the conscious of the "I" beam forth and you will

experience an uplift and sense of Courage, and the other will likewise

feel it. You have within you the Source of Courage, Moral and Physical,

and you have naught to Fear--Fearlessness is your Divine Heritage, avail

yourself of it. You have Self-Conscience, for the Self is the "I" within

you, not the petty personality, and you must have confidence in that "I."

Retreat within yourself until you feel the presence of the "I," and then

will you have a Self-Confidence that nothing can shake or disturb. Once

having attained the permanent consciousness of the "I," you will have

poise. Once having realized that you are a Center of Power, you will have

no difficulty in saying "No!" when it is right to do so. Once having

realized your true nature--your Real Self--you will lose all sense of

Inferiority, and will know that you are a manifestation of the One Life

and have behind you the strength, power, and grandeur of the Cosmos.

Begin by realizing YOURSELF, and then proceed with the following methods

of training the mind.

 

WORD IMAGES. It is difficult for the mind to build itself around an idea,

unless that idea be expressed in words. A word is the center of an idea,

just as the idea is the center of the mental image, and the mental image

the center of the growing mental habit. Therefore, the Yogis always lay

great stress upon the use of words in this way. In the particular case

before us, we should suggest the holding before you of a few words

crystallizing the main thought. We suggest the words "I Am"; Courage;

Confidence; Poise; Firmness; Equality. Commit these words to memory, and

then endeavor to fix in your mind a clear conception of the meaning of

each word, so that each may stand for a Live Idea when you say it. Beware

of parrot-like or phonographic repetition. Let each word's meaning stand

out clearly before you, so that when you repeat it you may _feel_ its

meaning. Repeat the words over frequently, when opportunity presents

itself, and you will soon begin to notice that they act as a strong

mental tonic upon you, producing a bracing, energizing effect. And each

time you repeat the words, understandingly, you have done something to

clear away the mental path over which you wish to travel.

 

PRACTICE. When you are at leisure, and are able to indulge in "day

dreams" without injury to your affairs of life, call your imagination

into play and endeavor to picture yourself as being possessed of the

qualities indicated by the words named. Picture yourself under the most

trying circumstances, making use of the desired qualities, and

manifesting them fully. Endeavor to picture yourself as acting out your

part well, and exhibiting the desired qualities. Do not be ashamed to

indulge in these day-dreams, for they are the prophecies of the things to

follow, and you are but rehearsing your part before the day of the

performance. Practice makes perfect, and if you accustom yourself to

acting in a certain way in imagination, you will find it much easier to

play your part when the real performance occurs. This may seem childish

to many of you, but if you have an actor among your acquaintances,

consult him about it, and you will find that he will heartily recommend

it. He will tell you what practice does for one in this direction, and

how repeated practice and rehearsals may fix a character so firmly in a

man's mind that he may find it difficult to divest himself of it after a

time. Choose well the part you wish to play--the character you wish to be

yours--and then after fixing it well in your mind, practice, practice,

practice. Keep your ideal constantly before you, and endeavor to grow

into it. And you will succeed, if you exercise patience and perseverance.

 

But, more than this. Do not confine your practice to mere private

rehearsal. You need some "dress rehearsals" as well--rehearsals in

public. Therefore, after you get well started in your work, manage to

exercise your growing character-habits in your everyday life. Pick out

the little cases first and "try it on them."

 

You will find that you will be able to overcome conditions that formerly

bothered you much. You will become conscious of a growing strength and

power coming from within, and you will recognize that you are indeed a

changed person. Let your thought express itself in action, whenever you

get a good chance. But do not try to force chances just to try your

strength. Do not, for instance, try to force people to ask for favors

that you may say "No!" You will find plenty of genuine tests without

forcing any. Accustom yourself to looking people in the eye, and feeling

the power that is back of you, and within you. You will soon be able to

see through their personality, and realize that it is just one portion of

the One Life gazing at another portion, and that therefore there is

nothing to be afraid of. A realization of your Real Self will enable you

to maintain your poise under trying circumstances, if you will but throw

aside your false idea about your personality. Forget yourself--your

little personal self--for a while, and fix your mind on the Universal

Self of which you are a part. All these things that have worried you are

but incidents of the Personal Life, and are seen to be illusions when

viewed from the standpoint of the Universal Life.

 

Carry the Universal Life with you as much as possible into your everyday

life. It belongs there as much as anywhere, and will prove to be a tower

of strength and refuge to you in the perplexing situations of your busy

life.

 

Remember always that the Ego is master of the mental states and habits,

and that the Will is the direct instrument of the Ego, and is always

ready for its use. Let your soul be filled with the strong Desire to

cultivate those mental habits that will make you Strong. Nature's plan is

to produce Strong Individual expressions of herself, and she will be glad

to give you her aid in becoming strong. The man who wishes to strengthen

himself will always find great forces back of him to aid him in the work,

for is he not carrying out one of Nature's pet plans, and one which she

has been striving for throughout the ages. Anything that tends to make

you realize and express your Mastery, tends to strengthen you, and

places at your disposal Nature's aid. You may witness this in everyday

life--Nature seems to like _strong_ individuals, and delights in pushing

them ahead. By Mastery, we mean mastery over your own lower nature, as

well as over outside nature, of course. The "I" is Master--forget it not,

O student, and assert it constantly. Peace be with you.

 

 

MANTRAM (OR AFFIRMATION).

 

I am the Master of my Mental Habits--I control my Character. I Will to be

Strong, and summon the forces of my Nature to my aid.

 

 

 

 

THE TWELFTH LESSON.

 

SUB-CONSCIOUS INFLUENCES.

 

 

In this lesson we wish to touch upon a certain feature of sub-conscious

mentation that has been much dwelt upon by certain schools of western

writers and students during the past twenty years, but which has also

been misunderstood, and, alas, too often misused, by some of those who

have been attracted to the subject. We allude to what has been called the

"Power of Thought." While this power is very real, and like any other of

the forces of nature may be properly used and applied in our every day

life, still many students of the power of the Mind have misused it and

have stooped to practices worthy only of the followers of the schools of

"Black Magic." We hear on all sides of the use of "treatments" for

selfish and often base ends, those following these practices seeming to

be in utter ignorance of the occult laws brought into operation, and the

terrible reaction inevitably falling to the lot of those practicing this

negative form of mental influence. We have been amazed at the prevailing

ignorance concerning the nature and effects of this improper use of

mental force, and at the same time, at the common custom of such selfish,

improper uses. This, more particularly, when the true occultist knows

that these things are not necessary, even to those who seek "Success" by

mental forces. There is a true method of the use of mental forces, as

well as an improper use, and we trust that in this lesson we may be able

to bring the matter sharply and clearly before the minds of our students.

 

In our first course (The Fourteen Lessons) in the several lessons

entitled, respectively, "Thought Dynamics," "Telepathy, etc.," and

"Psychic Influence," we have given a general idea of the effect of one

mind upon other minds, and many other writers have called the attention

of the Western world to the same facts. There has been a general

awakening of interest in this phase of the subject among the Western

people of late years, and many and wonderful are the theories that have

been advanced among the conflicting schools regarding the matter. But,

notwithstanding the conflicting theories, there is a general agreement

upon the fundamental facts. They all agree that the mental forces may be

used to affect oneself and others, and many have started in to use these

mental forces for their own selfish ends and purposes, believing that

they were fully justified in so doing, and being unaware of the web of

psychic causes and effects which they were weaving around them by their

practices.

 

Now, at the beginning, let us impress upon the minds of our students the

fact that while it is undoubtedly true that people who are unaware of the

true sources of strength within them, may be, and often are affected by

mental force exerted by others, it is equally true that no one can be

adversely affected in this way providing he realizes the "I" within

himself, which is the only Real part of him, and which is an impregnable

tower of strength against the assaults of others. There is no cause for

all of this fear that is being manifested by many Western students of

thought-power, who are in constant dread of being "treated" adversely by

other people. The man or woman who realizes the "I" within, may by the

slightest exercise of the Will surround himself with a mental aura which

will repel adverse thought-waves emanating from the minds of others. Nay,

more than this--the habitual recognition of the "I," and a few moments'

meditation upon it each day, will of itself erect such an aura, and will

charge this aura with a vitality that will turn back adverse thought, and

cause it to return to the source from which it came, where it will serve

the good purpose of bringing to the mistaken mind originating it, the

conviction that such practices are hurtful and to be avoided.

 

This realization of the "I," which we brought out in the first few

lessons of the present series, is the best and only real method of

self-protection. This may be easily understood, when we remind you that

the whole phenomena of mental influencing belongs to the "illusion" side

of existence--the negative side--and that the Real and Positive side must

of necessity be stronger. Nothing can affect the Real in you--and the

nearer you get to the Real, in realization and understanding, the

stronger do you become. _This is the whole secret_. Think it over.

 

But, there are comparatively few people who are able to rest firmly in

the "I" consciousness all the time and the others demand help while they

are growing. To such, we would say "Creep as close the Realization of the

I, as possible, and rest your spiritual feet firmly upon the rock of the

Real Self." If you feel that people, circumstances, or things are

influencing you unduly, stand up boldly, and deny the influence. Say

something like this, "I DENY the power or influence of persons,

circumstances, or things to adversely affect me. I ASSERT my Reality,

Power and Dominion over these things." These words may seem very simple,

but when uttered with the consciousness of the Truth underlying them,

they become as a mighty force. You will understand, of course, that there

is no magic or virtue in the words themselves--that is, in the grouping

of the letters forming the words, or the sounds of the words--the virtue

resting in the _idea_ of which the words are the expression. You will be

surprised at the effect of this STATEMENT upon depressing, or adverse

influences surrounding you. If you--_you_ who are reading these words

now--feel yourself subject to any adverse or depressing influences, will

then stand up erect, throwing your shoulders back, raising your head, and

looking boldly and fearlessly ahead, and repeat these words firmly, and

with faith, you will feel the adverse influences disappearing. You will

almost see the clouds falling back from you. Try it now, before reading

further, and you will become conscious of a new strength and power.

 

You are perfectly justified in thus denying adverse influence. You have a

perfect right to drive back threatening or depressing thought-clouds. You

have a perfect right to take your stand upon the Rock of Truth--your Real

Self--and demand your Freedom. These negative thoughts of the world in

general, and of some people in particular, belong to the dark side of

life, and you have a right to demand freedom from them. You do not belong

to the same idea of life, and it is your privilege--yes, your duty--to

repel them and bid them disappear from your horizon. You are a Child of

Light, and it is your right and duty to assert your freedom from the

things of darkness. You are merely asserting the Truth when you affirm

your superiority and dominion over these dark forces. And in the measure

of your Recognition and Faith, will be the power at your disposal. Faith

and Recognition renders man a god. If we could but fully recognize and

realize just what we are, we could rise above this entire plane of

negative, dark world of thought. But we have become so blinded and

stupefied with the race-thought of fear and weakness, and so hypnotized

with the suggestions of weakness that we hear on all sides of us, that

even the best of us find it hard to avoid occasionally sinking back into

the lower depths of despair and discouragement. But, let us remember

this, brothers and sisters, that these periods of "back-sliding" become

less frequent, and last a shorter time, as we proceed. Bye-and-bye we

shall escape them altogether.

 

Some may think that we are laying too much stress upon the negative side

of the question, but we feel that what we have said is timely, and much

needed by many who read these lessons. There has been so much said

regarding this negative, adverse power of thought, that it is well that

all should be taught that it is in their power to rise above this thing--

that the weapon for its defeat is already in their hand.

 

The most advanced student may occasionally forget that he is superior to

the adverse influence of the race-thought, and other clouds of thought

influence that happen to be in his neighborhood. When we think of how few

there are who are sending forth the positive, hopeful, thought-waves, and

how many are sending forth continually the thoughts of discouragement,

fear, and despair, it is no wonder that at times there comes to us a

feeling of discouragement, helplessness, and "what's the use." But we

must be ever alert, to stand up and _deny these things out of existence_

so far as our personal thought world is concerned. There is a wonderful

occult truth in the last sentence. We are the makers, preservers, and

destroyers of our personal thought-world. We may bring into it that which

we desire to appear; we may keep there what we wish, cultivating,

developing and unfolding the thought-forms that we desire; we may

destroy that which we wish to keep out. The "I" is the master of its

thought-world. Think over this great truth, O student! By Desire we

call into existence--by affirmation we preserve and encourage--by

Denial we destroy. The Hindus in their popular religious conceptions

picture the One Being as a Trinity, composed of Brahma, the Creator;

Vishnu, the Preserver, and Siva, the Destroyer--not three gods, as is

commonly supposed, but a Trinity composed of three aspects of Deity or

Being. This idea of the threefold Being is also applicable to the

Individual--"as above so below." The "I" is the Being of the Individual,

and the thought-world is its manifestation. It creates, preserves, and

destroys--as it Will. Carry this idea with you, and realize that your

individual thought-world is your own field of manifestation. In it you

are constantly creating--constantly preserving--constantly destroying.

And if you can destroy anything in your own thought-world you remove it

from its field of activity, so far as you are concerned. And if you

create anything in your own thought-world, you bring it into active

being, so far as you are concerned. And if you preserve anything, you

keep it by you in effect and full operation and influence in your life.

This truth belongs to the higher phases of the subject, for its

explanation is inextricably bound up in the explanation of the

"Thing-in-Itself"--the Absolute and Its Manifestations. But even what we

have said above, should give to the alert student sufficient notice to

cause him to grasp the facts of the case, and to apply the principles in

his own life.

 

If one lives on the plane of the race-thought, he is subject to its laws,

for the law of cause and effect is in full operation on each plane of

life. But when one raises himself above the race-thought, and on to the

plane of the Recognition of the Real Self--The "I"--then does he

extricate himself from the lower laws of cause and effect, and places

himself on a higher plane of causation, in which he plays a much higher

part. And so we are constantly reminding you that your tower of strength

and refuge lies on the higher plane. But, nevertheless, we must deal with

the things and laws of the lower plane, because very few who read these

lessons are able to rest entirely upon the higher plane. The great

majority of them have done no more than to lift themselves partially on

to the higher plane, and they are consequently living on both planes,

partly in each, the consequence being that there is a struggle between

the conflicting laws of the two planes. The present stage is one of the

hardest on the Path of Attainment, and resembles the birth-pains of the

physical body. But you are being born into a higher plane, and the pain

after becoming the most acute will begin to ease, and in the end will

disappear, and then will come peace and calm. When the pain becomes the

most acute, then be cheered with the certainty that you have reached the

crisis of your new spiritual birth, and that you will soon gain peace.

And then you will see that the peace and bliss will be worth all the pain

and struggle. Be brave, fellow followers of The Path--Deliverance is

nigh. Soon will come the Silence that follows the Storm. The pain that

you are experiencing--ah, well do we know that you are experiencing the

pain--is not punishment, but is a necessary part of your growth. All Life

follows this plan--the pains of labor and birth ever precede the

Deliverance. Such is Life--and Life is based upon Truth--and all is well

with the world. We did not intend to speak of these things in this

lesson, but as we write there comes to us a great cry for help and a word

of encouragement and hope, from the Class which is taking this course of

lessons, and we feel bound to respond as we have done. Peace be with

you--one and all.

 

And, now we will begin our consideration of the laws governing what we

have called "Sub-conscious Influence."

 

All students of the Occult are aware of the fact that men may be, and

are, largely influenced by the thoughts of others. Not only is this the

case in instances where thoughts are directed from the mind of one person

to the mind of another, but also when there is no special direction or

intention in the thought sent forth. The vibrations of thoughts linger in

the astral atmosphere long after the effort that sent forth the thought

has passed. The astral atmosphere is charged with the vibrations of

thinkers of many years past, and still possesses sufficient vitality to

affect those whose minds are ready to receive them at this time. And we

all attract to us thought vibrations corresponding in nature with those

which we are in the habit of entertaining. The Law of Attraction is in

full operation, and one who makes a study of the subject may see

instances of it on all sides.

 

We invite to ourselves these thought vibrations by maintaining and

entertaining thoughts along certain lines. If we cultivate a habit of

thinking along the lines of Cheerfulness, Brightness and Optimism, we

attract to ourselves similar thought vibrations of others and we will

find that before long we will find all sorts of cheerful thoughts pouring

into our minds from all directions. And, likewise, if we harbor thoughts

of Gloom, Despair, Pessimism, we lay ourselves open to the influx of

similar thoughts which have emanated from the minds of others. Thoughts

of Anger, Hate, or Jealousy attract similar thoughts which serve to feed

the flame and keep alive the fire of these low emotions. Thoughts of Love

tend to draw to ourselves the loving thoughts of others which tend to

fill us with a glow of loving emotion.

 

And not only are we affected in this way by the thoughts of others, but

what is known as "Suggestion" also plays an important part in this matter

of sub-conscious influence. We find that the mind has a tendency to

reproduce the emotions, moods, shades of thought, and feelings of other

persons, as evidenced by their attitude, appearance, facial expression,

or words. If we associate with persons of a gloomy temperament, we run

the risk of "catching" their mental trouble by the law of suggestion,

unless we understand this law and counteract it. In the same way we find

that cheerfulness is contagious, and if we keep in the company of

cheerful people we are very apt to take on their mental quality. The same

rule applies to frequenting the company of unsuccessful or successful

people, as the case may be. If we allow ourselves to take up the

suggestions constantly emanating from them, we will find that our minds

will begin to reproduce the tones, attitudes, characteristics,

dispositions and traits of the other persons, and before long we will be

living on the same mental plane. As we have repeatedly said, these things

are true only when we allow ourselves to "take on" the impressions, but

unless one has mastered the law of suggestion, and understands its

principles and operations he is more or less apt to be affected by it.

All of you readily recall the effect of certain persons upon others with

whom they come in contact. One has a faculty of inspiring with vigor and

energy those in whose company he happens to be. Another depresses those

around him, and is avoided as a "human wet-blanket." Another will cause a

feeling of uneasiness in those around him, by reason of his prevailing

attitude of distrust, suspicion, and low cunning. Some carry an

atmosphere of health around them, while others seem to be surrounded with

a sickly aura of disease, even when their physical condition does not

seem to indicate the lack of health. Mental states have a subtle way of

impressing themselves upon us, and the student who will take the trouble

to closely observe those with whom he comes in contact will receive a

liberal education along these lines.

 

There is of course a great difference in the degree of suggestibility

among different persons. There are those who are almost immune, while at

the other end of the line are to be found others who are so constantly

and strongly impressed by the suggestions of others, conscious or

unconscious, that they may be said to scarcely have any independent

thought or will of their own. But nearly all persons are suggestible

to a greater or lesser degree.

 

It must not be supposed from what we have said that all suggestions are

"bad," harmful, or undesirable. Many suggestions are very good for us,

and coming at the right time have aided us much. But, nevertheless, it is

well to always _let your own mind pass upon_ these suggestions, before

allowing them to manifest in your sub-conscious mind. Let the final

decision be your own--and not the will of another--although you may have

considered outside suggestions in connection with the matter.

 

Remember always that YOU are an Individual, having a mind and Will of

your own. Rest firmly upon the base of your "I" consciousness, and you

will find yourself able to manifest a wonderful strength against the

adverse suggestions of others. Be your own Suggestor--train and influence

your sub-conscious mind Yourself, and do not allow it to be tampered with

by the suggestions of others. Grow the sense of Individuality.

 

There has been much written of recent years in the Western world

regarding the effect of the Mental Attitude upon Success and attainment

upon the material plane. While much of this is nothing but the wildest

imagining, still there remains a very firm and solid substratum of truth

underlying it all.

 

It is undoubtedly true that one's prevailing mental attitude is

constantly manifesting and objectifying itself in his life. Things,

circumstances, people, plans, all seem to fit into the general ideal of

the strong mental attitude of a man. And this from the operation of

mental law along a number of lines of action.

 

In the first place, the mind when directed toward a certain set of

objects becomes very alert to discover things concerning those

objects--to seize upon things, opportunities, persons, ideas, and facts

tending to promote the objects thought of. The man who is looking for

facts to prove certain theories, invariably finds them, and is also quite

likely to overlook facts tending to disprove his theory. The Optimist and

the Pessimist passing along the same streets, each sees thousands of

examples tending to fit in with his idea. As Kay says: "When one is

engaged in seeking for a thing, if he keep the image of it clearly before

the mind, he will be very likely to find it, and that too, probably,

where it would otherwise have escaped his notice. So when one is engaged

in thinking on a subject, thoughts of things resembling it, or bearing

upon it, and tending to illustrate it, come up on every side. Truly, we

may well say of the mind, as has been said of the eye, that 'it perceives

only what it brings within the power of perceiving.'" John Burroughs has

well said regarding this that "No one ever found the walking fern who did

not have the walking fern in his mind. A person whose eye is full of

Indian relics picks them up in every field he walks through. They are

quickly recognized because the eye has been commissioned to find them."

 

When the mind is kept firmly fixed upon some ideal or aim, its whole and

varied powers are bent toward the realization and manifestation of that

ideal. In thousands of ways the mind will operate to objectify the

subjective mental attitude, a great proportion of the mental effort being

accomplished along sub-conscious lines. It is of the greatest importance

to one who wishes to succeed in any undertaking, to keep before his

mind's eye a clear mental image of that which he desires. He should

picture the thing desired, and himself as securing it, until it becomes

almost real. In this way he calls to his aid his entire mental force and

power, along the sub-conscious lines, and, as it were, makes a clear path

over which he may walk to accomplishment. Bain says regarding this: "By

aiming at a new construction, we must clearly conceive what is aimed at.

Where we have a very distinct and intelligible model before us, we are in

a fair way to succeed; in proportion as the ideal is dim and wavering, we

stagger or miscarry." Maudsley says: "We cannot do an act voluntarily

unless we know what we are going to do, and we cannot know exactly what

we are going to do until we have taught ourselves to do it." Carpenter

says: "The continued concentration of attention upon a certain idea gives

it a dominant power, not only over the mind, but over the body." Muller

says: "The idea of our own strength gives strength to our movements. A

person who is confident of effecting anything by muscular efforts will do

it more easily than one not so confident of his own power." Tanner says:

"To believe firmly is almost tantamount in the end to accomplishment.

Extraordinary instances are related showing the influence of the will

over even the involuntary muscles."

 

Along the same lines, many Western writers have added their testimony to

the Yogi principle of the manifestation of thought into action. Kay has

written: "A clear and accurate idea of what we wish to do, and how it is

to be effected, is of the utmost value and importance in all the affairs

of life. A man's conduct naturally shapes itself according to the ideas

in his mind, and nothing contributes more to success in life than having

a high ideal and keeping it constantly in view. Where such is the case

one can hardly fail in attaining it. Numerous unexpected circumstances

will be found to conspire to bring it about, and even what seemed at

first to be hostile may be converted into means for its furtherance;

while by having it constantly before the mind he will be ever ready to

take advantage of any favoring circumstances that may present

themselves." Along the same lines, Foster has written these remarkable

words: "It is wonderful how even the casualties of life seem to bow to

a spirit that will not bow to them, and yield to subserve a design which

they may, in their first apparent tendency, threaten to frustrate. When a

firm, decisive spirit is recognized, it is curious to see how the space

clears around a man and leaves him room and freedom." Simpson has said:

"A passionate desire and an unwearied will can perform impossibilities,

or what seem to be such to the cold and feeble." And Maudsley gives to

aspiring youth a great truth, when he says: "Thus it is that aspirations

are often prophecies, the harbingers of what a man shall be in a

condition to perform." And we may conclude the paragraph by quoting

Lytton: "Dream, O youth, dream manfully and nobly, and thy dreams shall

be prophets."

 

This principle of the power of the Mental Image is strongly impressed

upon the mind of the _chela_, or student, by the Yogi teachers. The

student is taught that just as the house is erected in accordance with

the plan of the architect, so is one's life built in accordance with the

prevailing Mental Image. The mind sub-consciously moulds itself around

the prevailing mental image or attitude, and then proceeds to draw upon

the outer world for material with which to build in accordance with the

plan. Not only is one's character built in this way, but the

circumstances and incidents of his life follow the same rule. The Yogi

student is instructed into the mysteries of the power of the mind in this

direction, not that he may make use of it to build up material success,

or to realize his personal desires--for he is taught to avoid these

things--but he is fully instructed, nevertheless, that he may understand

the workings of the law around him. And it is a fact well known to close

students of the occult, that the few who have attained extraordinarily

high degrees of development, make use of this power in order to help the

race. Many a world movement has been directed by the mind, or minds, of

some of these advanced souls who were able to see the ideal of evolution

ahead of the race, and by visualizing the same, and concentrating upon it

in meditation, actually hastened the progress of the evolutionary wave,

and caused to actually manifest that which they saw, and upon which they

had meditated.

 

It is true that some occultists have used similar plans to further their

own selfish personal ends--often without fully realizing just what power

they were employing--but this merely illustrates the old fact that the

forces of Nature may be used rightly and wrongly. And it is all the more

reason why those who are desirous of advancing the race--of assisting in

the evolution of the world--should make use of this mighty power in their

work. Success is not reprehensible, notwithstanding the fact that many

have interpreted and applied the word in such a matter as to make it

appear as if it had no other meaning or application other than the crude,

material selfish one generally attributed to it, by reason of its misuse.

The Western world is playing its part in the evolution of the race, and

its keynote is "Accomplishment." Those who have advanced so high that

they are able to view the world of men, as one sees a valley from a

mountain peak, recognize what this strenuous Western life means. They see

mighty forces in operation--mighty principles being worked out by those

who little dream of the ultimate significance of that which they are

doing. Mighty things are before the Western world to-day--wonderful

changes are going on--great things are in the womb of time, and the hour

of birth draws near. The men and women in the Western world feel within

them the mighty urge to "accomplish" something--to take an active part in

the great drama of life. And they are right in giving full expression to

this urge, and are doing well in using every legitimate means in the line

of expression. And this idea of the Mental Attitude, or the Mental Image,

is one of the greatest factors in this striving for Success.

 

In this lesson we do not purpose giving "Success Talks" for our students.

These lessons are intended to fill another field, and there are many

other channels of information along the lines named. What we wish to do

is to point out to our students the meaning of all this strenuous

striving of the age, in the Western world, and the leading principle

employed therein. The great achievements of the material world are being

accomplished by means of the Power of the Mind. Men are beginning to

understand that "Thought manifests itself in Action," and that Thought

attracts to itself the things, persons and circumstances in harmony with

itself. The Power of Mind is becoming manifest in hundreds of ways. The

power of Desire, backed by Faith and Will, is beginning to be recognized

as one of the greatest of known dynamic forces. The life of the race is

entering into a new and strange stage of development and evolution, and

in the years to come MIND will be seen, more clearly and still more

clearly, to be the great principle underlying the world of material

things and happenings. That "All is Mind" is more than a dreamy,

metaphysical utterance, is being recognized by the leaders in the world's

thought.

 

As we have said, great changes are before the world and the race, and

every year brings us nearer to the beginning of them. In fact, the

beginning is already upon us. Let any thinker stop and reflect over the

wonderful changes of the past six years--since the dawning of the

Twentieth Century, and he will be dull indeed if he sees not the trend of

affairs. We are entering into a new Great Cycle of the race, and the old

is being prepared for being dropped off like an old worn out husk. Old

conventions, ideals, customs, laws, ethics, and things sociological,

economical, theological, philosophical, and metaphysical have been

outgrown, and are about to be "shed" by the race. The great cauldron of

human thought is bubbling away fiercely, and many things are rising to

its surface. Like all great changes, the good will come only with much

pain--all birth is with pain. The race feels the pain and perpetual

unrest, but knows not what is the disease nor the remedy. Many false

cases of diagnosis and prescription are even now noticeable, and will

become still more in evidence as the years roll by. Many self-styled

saviours of the race--prescribers for the pain of the soul and mind--will

arise and fall. But out of it all will come that for which the race

now waits.

 

The changes that are before us are as great as the changes in thought and

life described in the late novel by H. G. Wells, entitled "_In the Days

of the Comet_." In fact, Mr. Wells has indicated in that story some of

the very changes that the advanced souls of the race have informed their

students are before the race--the prophetic insight of the writer named

seems marvelous, until one realizes that even that writer is being used

as a part of the mental machinery of The Change itself. But the change

will not come about by reason of the new gas caused by the brushing of

the earth's surface by a passing comet. It will come from the unfolding

of the race mind, the process being now under way. Are not the signs of

mental unrest and discomfort becoming more and more apparent as the days

go by? The pain is growing greater, and the race is beginning to fret and

chafe, and moan. It knows not what it wants, but it knows that it feels

pain and wants something to relieve that pain. The old things are

beginning to totter and fall, and ideas rendered sacred by years of

observance are being brushed aside with a startling display of

irreverence. Under the surface of our civilization we may hear the

straining and groaning of the ideas and principles that are striving to

force their way out on to the plane of manifestation.

 

Men are running hither and thither crying for a leader and a savior. They

are trying this thing, and that thing, but they find not that which they

seek. They cry for Satisfaction, but it eludes them. And yet all this

search and disappointment is part of the Great Change, and is preparing

the race for That-which-must-Come. And yet the relief will not come

from any Thing or Things. It will come from Within. Just as when, in

Well's story, things righted themselves when the vapor of the comet had

cleared men's minds, so will Things take their new places when the mind

of the race becomes cleared by the new unfoldment that is even now under

way. Men are beginning to feel each other's pains--they find themselves

unsatisfied by the old rule of "every man for himself, and the devil take

the hindmost"--it used to content the successful, but now it doesn't seem

to be so satisfying. The man on top is becoming lonesome, and

dissatisfied, and discontented--his success seems to appall him, in some

mysterious manner. And the man underneath feels stirring within himself

strange longings and desires, and dissatisfaction. And new frictions are

arising, and new and startling ideas are being suddenly advanced,

supported and opposed.

 

And the relations between people seem to be unsatisfactory. The old

rules, laws, and bonds are proving irksome. New, strange, and wild

thoughts are coming into the minds of people, which they dare not utter

to their friends--and yet these same friends are finding similar ideas

within themselves. And somehow, underneath it all is to be found a

certain Honesty--yes, there is where the trouble seems to come, _the

world is tiring of hypocrisy and dishonesty in all human relations_, and

is crying aloud to be led back, someway, to Truth and Honesty in Thought

and Action. But it does not see the way out! And it will not see the way

out, until the race-mind unfolds still further. And the pain of the new

unfoldment is stirring the race to its depths. From the deep recesses of

the race-mind are rising to the surface old passions, relics from the

cave-dweller days, and all sorts of ugly mental relics of the past. And

they will continue to rise and show themselves until at last the bubbling

pot will begin to quiet down, and then will come a new peace, and the

best will come to the surface--the essence of all the experiences of the

race.

 

To our students, we would say: During the struggle ahead of the race,

play well your part, doing the best you can, living each day by itself,

meeting each new phase of life with confidence and courage. Be not

deluded by appearances, nor follow after strange prophets. Let the

evolutionary processes work themselves out, and do you fall in with the

wave without struggling, and without overmuch striving. The Law is

working itself out well--of that be assured. Those who have entered into

even a partial understanding and recognition of the One Life underlying,

will find that they will be as the chosen people during the changes that

are coming to the race. They have attained that which the race is

reaching toward in pain and travail. And the force behind the Law will

carry them along, for they will be the leaven that is to lighten the

great mass of the race in the new dispensation. Not by deed, or by

action, but by Thought, will these people leaven the mass. The Thought is

even now at work, and all who read these words are playing a part in the

work, although they may know it not. If the race could realize this truth

of the One Life underlying, to-day, the Change would occur in a moment,

but it will not come in that way. When this understanding gradually dawns

upon the race--this new consciousness--then will Things take their proper

places, and the Lion and the Lamb lie down together in peace.

 

We have thought it well to say these things in this the last lesson of

this course. They are needed words--they will serve to point out the way

to those who are able to read. "_Watch and wait for the Silence that will

follow the Storm_."

 

In this series of lessons we have endeavored to give you a plain,

practical presentation of some of the more important features of "Raja

Yoga." But this phase of the subject, as important and interesting as it

is, is not the highest phase of the great Yoga teachings. It is merely

the preparation of the soil of the mind for what comes afterward. The

phase called "Gnani Yoga"--the Yoga of Wisdom--is the highest of all

the various phases of Yoga, although each of the lower steps is important

in itself. We find ourselves approaching the phase of our work for which

we have long wished. Those who have advised and directed this work have

counseled us to deal with the less advanced and simpler phases, in order

to prepare the minds of those who might be interested, so that they would

be ready for the higher teachings. At times we have felt an impatience

for the coming of the day when we would be able to teach the highest that

has come to us. And now the time seems to have come. Following this

course, we will begin a series of lessons in "GNANI YOGA"--the Yoga of

Wisdom--in which we will pass on to our students the highest teachings

regarding the Reality and its Manifestations--the One and the Many. The

teachings that "All is Mind" will be explained in such a manner as to be

understood by all who have followed us so far. We will be able to impart

to you the higher truths about Spiritual Evolution, sometimes called

"Reincarnation," as well as Spiritual Cause and Effect, often called

"Karma." The highest truths about these important subjects are often

obscured by popular misconceptions occasioned by partial teaching. We

trust that you--our students--will wish to follow us still higher--higher

than we have ventured so far, and we assure you that there is a Truth to

be seen and known that is as much higher than the other phases upon which

we have touched, as those phases have been higher than the current

beliefs of the masses of the race. We trust that the Powers of Knowledge

may guide and direct us that we may be able to convey our message so that

it may be accepted and understood. We thank our students who have

traveled thus far with us, and we assure them that their loving sympathy

has ever been a help and an inspiration to us.

 

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

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