Meditation Format - Recommended Esoteric Method

 

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Occult or esoteric meditation is designed to build the antahkarana. This method was given by Patanjali in the sutras of Raja Yoga. The four step process of “reading symbols” is a process of ascending from lower mind, to Soul, to spirit or God.

Step one focuses attention in the brain, the next step focuses briefly upon the astral plane, the next (meditation) step focuses on the mental plane, and the final step – if successfully achieved, raises consciousness to the buddhic or intuitional plane. This higher plane is called the “temple of the Lord”, the realm of the Heavenly Men.

Students who are new to this process should start by imaginatively following the steps, until the process becomes automatic, which will then enable deeper work to be done.

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(LOS 1:17) The consciousness of an object is attained by concentration on its fourfold nature: the form through examination; quality through discriminative participation; the purpose, through inspiration (or bliss) and the soul, through identification

Careful selection of "objects" on which to meditate will enable the aspirant to:

1) Build a ladder by means of which he can arrive eventually at the objectless (buddhic plane);

2) Then, as his mind assumes increasingly the meditative attitude of the soul, the brain will be increasingly subjugated to the mind, as the mind is to the soul. 

3) Thus is the lower man gradually identified with the spiritual man who is omniscient.

For the majority this study will not be easy, indicating a lack that must be supplied by the use of those faculties at present dormant. It is always distasteful to arouse the latent faculties and requires an effort and a determination not to be swayed by personality reactions.

(LOS 33-) As the aspirant chooses with care the "objects" upon which he will meditate, he through these objects, builds himself a ladder by means of which he arrives eventually at the objectless.  As his mind assumes increasingly the meditative attitude of the soul, the brain becomes also increasingly subjugated to the mind as the mind is to the soul.  Thus is the lower man gradually identified with the spiritual man who is omniscient [Page 34] and omnipresent.  This meditative attitude is assumed through a fourfold process:—

1. Meditation on the nature of a particular form, realising, as the form is pondered upon, that it is but a symbol of an inner reality, our whole tangible objective world being built up of form, of some kind (human, subhuman and superhuman), which expresses the life of hosts of sentient beings.

2. Meditation upon the quality of any particular form, so that an appreciation of its subjective energy may be gained.  It should be borne in mind that the energy of an object may be regarded as the colour of that object, and hence the words of Patanjali IV, 17 become illuminating in this connection and serve as a commentary upon this second point.  This is called "discriminative participation," and through it the student arrives at that knowledge of energy in himself which is one with the object of his meditation.

3. Meditation upon the purpose of any particular form.  This involves consideration of the idea back of or underlying any form manifestation and its display of energy.  This realisation carries the aspirant onward to a knowledge of that part in the plan or purpose of the All which is the motivating factor in the form's activity.  Thus through the part, the Whole is contacted and an expansion of consciousness takes place, involving bliss or joy.  Beatitude always follows upon realisation of the unity of the part with the Whole.  From meditation upon the tattvas, the energies or principles, or upon the tanmatras or [Page 35] elements composing spirit-matter, a knowledge of the purpose or plan for the microcosmic or macrocosmic manifestations eventuates and with this knowledge comes bliss.

In these three are to be found correspondences to the three aspects, spirit, soul and body, and an illuminating study for the earnest student.

4. Meditation upon the soul, upon the One who uses the form, who energises it into activity and who is working in line with the plan.  This soul, being one with all souls and with the Oversoul subserves the one plan and is group-conscious.

Thus through these four stages of meditation upon an object, the aspirant arrives at his goal, knowledge of the soul, and of the soul powers.  He becomes consciously identified with the one reality, and this in his physical brain.  He finds that truth which is himself and which is the truth hidden in every form and in every kingdom of nature.  Thus he will eventually arrive (when knowledge of the soul itself is gained) at a knowledge of the All-Soul and become one with it.

Occult Meditation Based On The “Reading Of Symbols”

A Meditation Method given by Patanjali to build the Antahkarana and develop the Intuition.

 The plane on which the intuition manifests is the buddhic or intuitional plane. This plane is the higher correspondence of the astral or emotional plane, the plane of sensitive awareness. So in order to bring the intuitional faculty into activity through this method, the student must FEEL with, or be in some way IDENTIFIED with, the quality of the symbol.

Symbols are the outer and visible forms of the inner spiritual realities.

1.     Symbols are outer forms of an inner reality. Our whole tangible world is built of form of some kind (human, subhuman, superhuman), which expresses the life of hosts of sentient beings.

2.     When facility in discovering the reality behind any specific form has been gained, that very fact will indicate the awakening of the intuition.

3.     When studying symbols, endeavour to arrive at the underlying concept – which will ever be synthetic. It will not be detailed and in sections. You may have to arrive at this concept through a study of detail, but when analysis is complete, do not rest until you have summed up the meaning of the symbol in a synthetic idea, concept, meaning or name.

The study of symbols will develop the power to penetrate behind the form and arrive at the subjective reality. It will bring about a close integration between soul-mind-brain, resulting in the inflow of the intuition and consequently – illumination and truth. It will put a strain upon certain unawakened areas in the brain and arouse into activity the brain cells there found, and this is the first stage in the experience of the aspirant.

The 4-step method of ‘reading of symbols’ is:

1. Meditation on the nature of a particular form/ phrase/ sentence.

2. Meditation upon the quality of a particular form/…

3. Meditation upon the purpose of a particular form/…

4. Meditation upon the life animating a particular form/… (ITI 113/4)

PUTTING THE 4-STEP METHOD INTO PRACTISE

1.    Using the brain and memory, examine the physical FORM of the object.

[When using a seed-thought, bring the seed-thought before the mind’s eye, and slowly read it until it is understood. This will just take a few seconds.]

Drawing upon the knowledge which currently exists in your memory, study the outer form as a whole – its lines, its numerical significance, sectional forms – arrangements, for instance, of cubes, triangles and of stars and their mutual inter-relation. Each line has significance, all numbers have their interpretation and all forms are symbols of an inner quality and life. This is simply a scrutiny of the superficial appearance of the symbol. (Keep this stage relatively brief).

2.    Use the emotional-sensitive nature – note how the QUALITY of the symbol is affecting you.

[When using a seed-thought, briefly try to feel and name any sensations registered in the astral vehicle, which are evoked as you continue to read the seed-thought.]

After due study of the form, become aware of whatever feeling the quality of the symbol is evoking within you, what ASPIRATIONS it is arousing, what REACTIONS are being consciously registered. You are simply noting the emotional effect the symbol is having upon you – your astral reaction to the quality of the symbol. (Keep this stage relatively brief).

NB. When using seed-thoughts upon which to meditate rather than an object, the importance of the first two stages are not so vital – there is no object to study (apart from words) and examination begins on the mental plane.

However, Patanjali’s method should still be followed in an adapted form. For example:

Step 1: Bring the seed-thought before the mind’s eye, and slowly read it until it is understood. This will just take a few seconds. At this stage numerology could be applied to start the examination process, but this is optional and will only appeal to numerologists.

Step 2. Try to feel any sensations registered in the astral vehicle, which are evoked as you continue to read the seed-thought. Be aware that as you do this, you are starting to pierce through the outer structure of the seed-thought. This also should be relatively brief.

3.    Now, step up onto the mental plane – into the realm of ideas, by firmly focusing in your analytical mind, then analyse the symbol (the seed thought) in order to ascertain its underlying IDEA, what the symbol is intended to teach, its PURPOSE. This is the intellectual meaning of the symbol or seed-thought.

We are told that at this stage of the process, we use the mind to understand, to grasp and to interpret, and that this requires mental sensitivity. When this development is present, it enables its owner to respond to the vibrations of the Universal Mind, the Mind of God, the Instigator of the Plan.

As the idea back of the form and its display of energy is considered, this realisation carries the meditator onward to a knowledge of that part in the plan or purpose of the All, which is the motivating factor in the form's activity. 

Then we are told that, “through the part, the Whole is contacted and an expansion of consciousness takes place, involving bliss or joy.  Beatitude always follows upon realisation of the unity of the part with the Whole.”  (Light of the Soul, p34/35)

So here we have it. We will know that we have been successful in this work, because then we will experience feelings of joy or bliss.

Step 3 is the stage where concentration is to be particularly  applied.
Using the seed-thought as an anchor, drive forward step by step,
using ideas like paving stones to make a connection from the
seed-thought to the Universal or Whole.

Example of this process in From Intellect to Intuition, p230

Thou God seest me is the seed-thought

Thou God seest me

This God is the divine in me, the indwelling Christ, the Soul.

For long ages this soul has perceived and observed me.

Now for the first time I am in a position to see God.

Up till now, I have been negative to this divine Reality.

The positive relation is becoming possible.

But — this seems to involve the idea of duality.

But I and God are one.

I am God, and have been all the time.

Therefore I have been seen by my Self.

I am that Self, That Self am I.

Technically, what we are doing, is driving our point of focus, from

– the mental unit on the 4th subplane of the mental plane,

– up to the 1st subplane of the mental plane,

– and then onto the Buddhic Plane of the intuition.

4.    Success in the previous stages results in a synthetic comprehension of the symbol’s purpose. When we reach this stage the mind is being held still and we are contemplating as the soul. A connection has been made with LIFE, the Soul who uses the form (which we have been studying), and who energises it into activity – in line with the plan of God.  

IDENTIFICATION is made “with the quality and purpose of the symbol as it is illuminated by the mind held steady in the light. This final stage brings into activity the brain as well as the mind.” Contact has been made, identification has been made with the life and purpose of the soul of the symbol, and comprehension follows.

Finally we are told that there is no set interpretation of any symbol, and that for each human being that symbol—whatever it may be—will convey unique meaning. A lack of interest in symbols presupposes usually a lack of interest in the due interpretation of life forms and their meaning. Also, too much academic interest in symbols may presuppose a tortuous and intricate mind which loves design and line and form and numerical relationships, but which misses entirely the significance of meaning. The balancing in the mind of form and concept, of expression and quality, of sign and meaning is vital to the growth of the disciple and the aspirant. (Light of the Soul, Sutra 1:17; study of symbols (GWP).

 

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5 comments to Meditation Format – Recommended Esoteric Method

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