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.
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Align Yourself To Your Passions And Take On The World With Your Power! Let your heart and soul help you discover the correct course. Take note that the word courage is in the word encouragement. Once we identify the course with a heart and soul, we feel boosted to get moving.