BN-basic Course Syllabus
for

The Ancient Wisdom Tradition

VIII-Practice of Theosophy: Living the Life

Related References

 2) Meditation and Spiritual Disciplines - Seeking the Silence Within

 

(HPB, Voice of the Silence, p. 16)
"There is but one road to the Path; at its very end alone the Voice of the Silence can be heard."

(Wm. Q. Judge, Bhagavad Gita, p. 26)
"Throwing every deed on me, and with thy meditation fixed upon the Higher Self, resolve to fight, without expectation, devoid of egotism and free from anguish."

(Wm. Q. Judge, Bhagavad Gita, pp. 44-47)
Action is said to be the means by which the wise man who is desirous of mounting to meditation may reach thereto; so cessation from action is said to be the means for him who hath reached to meditation. When he hath renounced all intentions and is devoid of attachment to action in regard to objects of sense, then he is called one who hath ascended to meditation..."He who has attained to meditation should constantly strive to stay at rest in the Supreme, remaining in solitude and seclusion, having his body and his thoughts under control…There, for the self's purification he should practice meditation with his mind fixed on one point, the modifications of the thinking principle controlled and the action of the senses and organs restrained. Keeping his body, head, and neck firm and erect, with mind determined, and gaze directed to the tip of his nose without looking in any direction, with heart at peace and free from fear, the Yogee should remain, settled in the vow of a Brahmacharya, his thoughts controlled, and heart fixed on me. The devotee of controlled mind who thus always bringeth his heart to rest in the Supreme reacheth that tranquility, the supreme assimilation with me.

(Wm. Q. Judge, Bhagavad Gita, p. 59)
Whoever at the hour of death abandoneth the body, fixed in meditation upon me, without doubt goeth to me. Whoso in consequence of constant meditation on any particular form thinketh upon it when quitting his mortal shape, even to that doth he go, O son of Kunti. Therefore at all times meditate only on me and fight. Thy mind and Buddhi being placed on me alone, thou shalt without doubt come to me. The man whose heart abides in me alone, wandering to no other object, shall also by meditation on the Supreme Spirit go to it, O son of Pritha. Whosoever shall meditate upon the All-Wise which is without beginning, the Supreme Ruler, the smallest of the small, the Supporter of all, whose form is incomprehensible, bright as the sun beyond the darkness; with mind undeviating, united to devotion, and by the power of meditation concentrated at the hour of death, with his vital powers placed between the eyebrows, attains to that Supreme Divine Spirit.

(Wm. Q. Judge, Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms, "Preface," pp. viii-ix, xi-xii)
"The Yoga system is divided into two principal parts - Hatha and Raja Yoga…Hatha Yoga deals principally with the physiological part of man with a view to establish his health and train his will. The processes prescribed to arrive at this end are so difficult that only a few resolute souls go through all the stages of its practice; the system of Hatha Yoga was intended for those whose worldly desires are not pacified or uprooted"…"On the other hand, the Raja Yogis try to control the mind itself by following the rules laid down by the greatest of adepts. "Patanjali's rules compel the student not only to acquire a right knowledge of what is and what is not real, but also to practice all virtues, and while results in the way of psychic development are not so immediately seen as in the case of the successful practitioner of Hatha Yoga, it is infinitely safer and is certainly spiritual, which Hatha Yoga is not"…

In Hatha Yoga practice, on the contrary , the result is psychic development at the delay or expense of the spiritual nature… In order to understand the system expounded in this book it is also necessary to admit the existence of soul; for Patanjali holds that Nature exists for the soul's sake, and as he lays down that the real experience and knower is the soul and not the mind, it follows that the Mind, designated either as "internal organ," or "thinking principle," while higher and more subtle than the body, is yet only an instrument used by the Soul in gaining experience…But the Mind is a most important factor in the pursuit of concentration; one indeed without which concentration cannot be obtained..He shows that the mind is, as he terms it, "modified" by any object or subject brought before it, or to which it is directed. "The internal organ compared to water in respect of its readiness to adapt itself to the form of whatever mould it may enter. As the waters of a reservoir, having issued from an aperture, having entered by a channel the basins, become four-cornered or otherwise shaped, just like them; so the manifesting internal organ having gone through the sight, or other channel, to where there is one object, for instance a jar, becomes modified by the form of the jar or other object. It is this altered state of the internal organ - or mind - that is called its modification." While the internal organ thus moulds itself upon the object it at the same time reflects it and its properties to the soul. The channels by which the mind is held to go out to an object or subject, are the organs of sight, touch, taste, hearing and so on.

 

(Wm. Q. Judge, Epitome of Theosophy, pp. 13-15)
Theosophy, however holds that it is a misuse of terms to say that the spiritual nature can be cultivated. The real object to be kept in view is to so open up or make porous the lower nature that the spiritual nature may shine through it and become the guide and ruler. It is only "cultivated" in the sense of having a vehicle prepared for its use, into which it may descend…Thus it is said that the higher Spirit is not the man, but above him. It is always peaceful, unconcerned, blissful, and full of absolute knowledge. It continually partakes of the Divine state, being continually that state itself, "conjoined with the Gods, it feeds upon Ambrosia." The object of the student is to let the light of that spirit shine through the lower coverings.

This "spiritual culture" is only attainable as the grosser interests, passions, and demands of the flesh are subordinated to the interests, aspirations and needs of the higher nature; and this is a matter of both system and established law. This spirit can only become the ruler when the firm intellectual acknowledgement or admission is first made that IT alone is. And, as stated above, it being not only the person concerned but also the whole, all selfishness must be eliminated from the lower nature before its divine state can be reached. So long as the smallest personal or selfish desire- even for spiritual attainment for our own sake- remains, so long is the desired end put off. Hence the above term "demands of the flesh" really covers also demands that are not of the flesh, and its proper rendering would be "desires of the personal nature, including those of the individual soul."
When systematically trained in accordance with the aforesaid system and law, men attain to clear insight into the immaterial, spiritual world, and their interior faculties apprehend truth as immediately and readily as physical faculties grasp the things of sense, or mental faculties those of reason. Or, in the words used by some of them, "They are able to look directly upon ideas"..In the course of this spiritual training such men acquire perception of, and control over, various forces in Nature unknown to other men, and thus are able to perform works usually called "miraculous," though really but the result of larger knowledge of natural law. What these powers are may be found in Patanjali's 'Yoga Philosophy." Their testimony as to super-sensuous truth, verified by their possession of such powers, challenges candid examination from every religious mind.

 

(Wm. Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, p. 29)
It is well to pursue some kind of practice, and pursue it either in a fixed place, or in a mental place which cannot be seen, or at night. The fact that what is called Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi may be performed should be known. (See Patanjali's yoga system.)
Dharana is selecting a thing, a spot, or an idea, to fix the mind on.
Dhyana is contemplation of it.
Samadhi is meditating on it.
When attempted, they of course are all one act.
Now, then, take what is called the well of the throat or pit of the throat.
1st. Select it. - Dharana.
2ns. Hold the mind on it. - Dhyana.
3rd. Meditate on it. - Samadhi.
This gives firmness of mind.
Then select the spot in the head where the Sushumna nerve goes. Never mind the location; call it the top of the head. Then pursue the same course. This will give some insight into spiritual minds. At first it is difficult, but it will grow easy by practice. If done at all, the same hour of each day should be selected, as creating a habit, not only in the body, but also in the mind. Always keep the direction of Krishna in mind, namely that it is done for the whole body corporate of humanity, and not for one's self.

(Wm. Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, p. 30)
As regards the practices of concentration suggested in this letter, they are only stages in a life-long contemplation; they are means to an end, means of a certain order among means of other orders, all necessary, the highest path being that of constant devotion and entire resignation to the Law. The above means have a physiological value because the spots suggested for contemplation are, like others, vital centers. Excitation of these centers, and of the magnetic residue of breath always found in them, strengthens and arouses the faculties of the inner man, the magnetic vehicle of the soul and the link between matter and spirit. This is a form of words necessary for clearness, because in reality matter and spirit are one. We may better imagine an infinite series of force correlations which extend from pure Spirit to its grossest vehicle, and we may say that the magnetic inner vehicle, or astral man, stands at the halfway point of the scale. The secret of the circulation of the nervous fluid is hidden in these vital centers, and he who discovers it can use the body at will. Moreover, this practice trains the mind to remain in its own principle, without energizing, and without exercising its tangential force, which is so hard to overcome. Thought has a self-reproductive power, and when the mind is held steadily to one idea it becomes colored by it, and, as we may say, all the correlates of that thought arise within the mind. Hence the mystic obtains knowledge about any object of which he thinks constantly in fixed contemplation. Here is the rationale of Krishna's words: "Think constantly of me; depend on me alone; and thou shalt surely come unto me."

(Wm. Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, p. 31)
Spiritual culture is attained through concentration. It must be continued daily and every moment to be of use. The "Elixir of Life" (Five Years Of Theosophy) gives us some of the reasons for this truth. Meditation has been defined as "the cessation of active, external thought." Concentration is the entire life-tendency to a given end.

(Wm. Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, pp. 32, 33)
The work upon which all disciples are employed is that of rendering the body more porous, more fluidic, more responsive to all spiritual influences which arise in the inner center, in the soul, which is an undivided part of the great Soul of all, and less receptive of the outside material influences generated by the unthinking world and by the qualities in nature…Many persons insist upon a perfect moral code tempered by social amenities, forgetting that these vary with climate, nationalities, and dates. Virtue is a noble offering to the Lord. But insomuch as it is mere bodily uprightness and mere mental uprightness, it is insufficient and stands apart from uprightness of the psychic nature or the virtue of soul. The virtue of the soul is true Being; its virtue is, to be free. The body and the mind are not sharers in such experiences, though they may afterward reflect them, and this reflection may inform them with light and power of their own kind. Spirituality is not virtue…Spirituality, is then, a condition of Being which is beyond expression in language. Call it a rate of vibration, far beyond our cognizance. Its language is the language of motion, in its incipiency, and its perfection is beyond words and even thought. "The knowledge of the Supreme Principle is a divine silence, and the quiescence of all the senses." (Clavis of Hermes.)

(Wm. Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, p. 96)
Now then, you want more light, and this is what you must do. You will have to "give up' something. To wit: have yourself called half an earlier than is usual and devote it before breakfast to silent meditation, in which brood upon all great and high ideas. Half an hour! Surely that you can spare. And don't eat first. If you can take another half an hour before you go to bed, and without any preliminaries of undressing or making things agreeable or more comfortable, meditate again.

(Wm. Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, p. 121)
By setting apart a particular time for meditation, a habit is formed, and, as the time comes round, the mind will after a while become trained, so that meditation at the particular time will become natural. Hence, it will be well for you to keep to the same hour as far as possible.

 

Additional Related References of Interest

1.) Wm. Q. Judge, Articles, "Culture of Concentration," pp. 320, 332

2.) Wm. Q. Judge, Articles, "Meditation, Concentration, Will," pp. 316-318

3.) Wm. Q. Judge, Epitome of Theosophy, pp. 13-15

4.) Wm. Q. Judge, "Forum" Answers, pp. 83, 116-117

5.) Wm. Q. Judge, Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms


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