By Dr Robert Leichtmann
World-wide Meditation Groups 1
Meditation Courses 1
Meditation means contacting and revealing divine patterns or archetypes and bringing them into daily life 3
Entering the Meditative State – a technique for contacting the Higher Self 4
A Meditation Outline 5
1. Preparation 5
2. Reflective stage 5
3. Receptive Stage 5
4. Creative stage 5
5. Closing 5
Preparation - a Self-Identification Exercise 6
Its about linking different dimensions of consciousness 7
Self Identification is the key 7
Proper Training is needed 7
A Good Host prepares for the visitor 7
Entering a Meditation 8
Detachment means Self-identification 9
Who We Are Really 9
Bridging the Gap 10
The Best Evidence of good meditation 10
Establishing a Healthy Self-Image 12
1. Cultivating Self-Respect 12
2. Cultivating Self-esteem 12
3. Visualizing a Positive Image 12
A Window to the Light 12
A Basis for Acting 13
‘Washing Dirty Dishes’ 13
The Higher meets and heals the Lower 14
Taking an Inventory 14
Cultivating Self respect 15
Cultivating Self-Esteem 15
Visualizing and holding a Positive Image 16
A Key to Success 16
A Link to Heaven 16
Defining Values and Goals 17
Defining Values: 17
Defining Goals: 17
Charging Values and Goals with Power: 18
A Stable Structure in Consciousness 18
Unable to Grow 18
Our values are a stabilizing force in consciousness 19
Asking Questions 19
In the Dark 20
Intention to Act 20
Channels for Growth 20
Goal-setting Process: 21
Mental housecleaning 24
Stages of Cleaning Up 24
Role Playing, and inner dialogue 24
Mental rehearsal of the new behaviour 24
Combined use of role-playing and seed thoughts 25
Our Mental Household: 25
Inspection of the Premises 26
The 7 Sources of the contents of our mental household 26
1. Childhood Experiences 26
2. Adult Experiences 26
3. Our Hopes, Speculations, Dreams about ourself and our life 26
4. Thoughts and Feelings of People we have known 27
5. Mass Consciousness Influences 27
6. Contents of our own Unconscious Minds 27
7. The Ideals and Qualities of the Higher Self 27
Healing the emotions 28
The purpose of the emotions 28
We can use our emotions to: 28
Going beyond treating merely symptoms 29
Five major areas which can lead to emotional problems are: 29
1. Lack of Ethics and Goals 29
2. Lack of Self Control 30
3. Obsessions and Addictions 30
4. Congested Self-Expression 30
5. The Need for Positive Spiritual Qualities 31
Divine Love 31
The 4 basic skills of love are 31
Invoking Wisdom 33
Adding wisdom to love 33
The Wisdom Factory 33
The Best Source of Wisdom 34
A Bridge to Wisdom 34
The Love of Truth 35
Training the Mind 35
Symbolic Thought, Abstract Thought, and Abstract Feeling 35
The Intention to Apply Wisdom 36
Exploring the Higher Realms 36
Methods for Invoking Wisdom 37
Establishing contact with the higher Self 37
Defining our need to know 37
Invoking the Ideal Solution 37
Discerning purpose and principles 37
Role Playing 37
Personification of our inner wisdom 37
Working with Divine Archetypes 37
Common Sense 38
Technique for Solving Problems 39
Personal Problems 39
1. What are the patterns and trends that have led me to this problem? - Esp. our own contributions 39
2. What is the psychological climate in which it arose? 39
3. What is the real work to be done in solving this problem (v. the relatively unimportant aspects)? 39
4. What is the real question posed by this problem? 40
5. What is the best possible solution? 40
6. What qualities, forces, and talents do we need to resolve this difficulty and what do we need to stop doing? 40
7. How can these be best integrated into our self-expression? 40
8. Action, and later review of progress 40
Career problems 40
1. What mental frameworks are being used to define and solve this? 40
2. In what kind of environment has this developed? 40
3. What trends are inherent in this problem? 40
4. What is the real problem to be solved - not just the symptoms? 41
5. Have we been asking the right question? Any unrealistic assumptions? False goals? What attitudes of mine contribute to this problem? 41
6. What practical steps can be taken? 41
PROBLEMS ARISING FROM CREATIVE ACTIVITY AND INSPIRATION 41
1. What is the purpose of this creative activity? 41
2. What is the real need we are trying to serve? 41
3. What effects am I trying to create? 41
4. What resources of talent, time, raw materials, opportunities are there to draw upon? How do I coordinate these? 41
5. What is the psychological climate in which we are seeking to be creative? 41
6. How best can we honour the creative forces with which we are working? 42
Personification methods 42
Role Playing 42
Communicate with the “Unborn Child” of the creative idea 42
Six-hat thinking, Lateral thinking 42
Ideals of the Higher Self 42
Divine Archetypes 42
Mental laboratory or studio 43
Seed thoughts 43
Our Spiritual Obligation 43
Turning Points 43
Divine Catechism? 43
Grounding the Life of the Higher Self 44
Our Spiritual Duty 44
The Higher Self’s Commitment 44
A Multidimensional Phenomenon 44
At Meditative Levels 45
Removal of obstacles 45
Strengthening our intention to act 45
Generate a cheerful and optimistic climate 45
Cultivating a warm and quietly enthusiastic respect for ourselves, our talents, ideas, and intended work 45
A Blessing 46
In our Daily Activities the most important action we can take is to put into practice our goals and ideals 46
There are four ways of supporting this work: 46
1. Recalling the mood, perspective, and strength of our meditative state 46
2. Reviewing recent behaviour and accomplishments 46
3. Acting in life AS IF we were enlightened 47
4. Acting with conviction that our efforts are supported by the work we have already done in meditation. 47
The Evolution of Consciousness 48
Stimulating Growth 48
A Changing Equation 48
Cycles of Growth 49
The Need for Flexibility 50
Meditating to Help Others 51
Prayer and Meditation 51
The Duty to Help 51
Preparing to Help 51
On helping others 52
A Specific Procedure for meditating to help others 52
The Great Invocations 53
The Great Invocation 53
Group Meditation 54
The Group Format 54
A Common Bond 54
Meditating in a Group 55
The goal of meditation is to strengthen the contact between the Higher Self and the personality. This is still true in the group format 55
Our Part 55
“How can we serve the plan of God?” 56
Aids to Meditation 57
Helpful Practices 57
Choosing the Proper Time to Meditate 57
Special Times 57
Meditating on Religious Holidays 57
About place and adjuncts for Meditation 58
Meditating in Nature 58
Magnetic Sites 58
Meditation Rooms 58
Prayers of Consecration 58
Pictures of Holy People 59
Religious Symbols 59
Preparing the Body for Meditation 59
Yoga Asanas 60
Ritual Dance 60
Preparing Consciousness for Meditation 61
Affirmations, Prayers, Invocations 61
Breathing Exercises 61
The OM 62
Alignment to a teacher, group or ashram 62
Disadvantages, or even dangers: 62
The Use of Colour 63
Building Faith in God 63
The 3 Best Aids 63
· Strong and unqualified devotion to the Higher Self 63
· Unwavering dedication to cooperate with the Higher Self as an intelligent partner 63
· Common sense 63
Or: Trust and respect, reverence, and wisdom
Problems in Meditation 64
1. Falling asleep 64
2. Poor Concentration 65
3. Internal distractions 65
4. External distractions 65
5. Boring technique 65
6. Our attitude 65
7. The fanatical pursuit of “total concentration” 65
8. The fanatical pursuit of all impressions 65
9. Too much interest in things that are not our business 65
10. Lack of ease in working with abstractions 65
11. Guilty conscience 66
12. Feelings of worthlessness 66
13. The “Dweller on the Threshold” 66
14. Rebound Phenomena 67
Distress from too much Meditation 68
Mild excess: 68
Mental symptoms: 68
Physical symptoms: 68
Medium Strain: 68
Major Strain: 68
Kundalini Burnout 69
Too many Visions 69
Glamours and Illusions 70
Drying up 71
Becoming Earthbound 72
Problems Arising from Group Meditations 72
1. The group mind may inhibit effective meditation 72
2. Sapping 73
3 Silly techniques 73
4 The Limitations of the Group or Leader 73
5. Brainwashing 73
6. Irresponsible Leadership 73
The One Problem 73
The Western Tradition 74
The goals of the Western tradition could be stated as follows: 74
1. To make the God within the primary source of enlightenment, growth, creativity 74
2. To link the personality with the Higher Self, thereby producing a spiritualized individuality capable of responding to the forces and qualities of spirit 74
3. To ground the life of spirit through the enlightened activities of the personality on the physical plane 74
4. To use the skills of devotion, understanding, and obedience to the best within us, to link the personality with all three of the major aspects of divine life - spiritual love, wisdom, and will 74
5. To purify and illumine all aspects of the personality so they become agents of spiritual force 74
6. To cultivate the spiritual intuition, by linking an illumined mind with the wisdom of the soul 74
7. To nurture a constant awareness of the underlying goodwill and unity in the divine presence 75
8. To recognize that it is our duty and privilege to serve the purposes of the soul 75
9. To become consciously aware of the Hierarchy and its plan for the evolution of humanity and civilization - and to assist in implementing it 75
10. To become consciously aware of the spiritual groups that the Higher Self is a part of - and to learn how we can contribute to the work of these groups 75
The Future of the Western Tradition 75
Our Role is to grow 76
Choosing and evaluating a system of meditation. Some key points 76
Genuine Signs of Successful Meditative Work: 77
It is my hope that this manual will assist you in exploring your inner world and bringing its treasures into the outer world, - enriching your life and the life of humanity.
Guy Pettitt, 81, Cambria St., Nelson, 1993 (revised in 2004)
The Great Invocation 78
An earlier version of the Great Invocation was 79
Mantram of Will 80
Noontime Recollection 80
Mantram of the New Group of World Servers 81
Mantram of Divine Love 81
Mantram of the Healer 83
Mantram of the Teacher 83
Seeds of Love, Will and Wisdom 84
The Prayer of the Chalice 85
Group Identification 86
The Affirmation of the Disciple 87
(These could be obtained from a library, or through bookshops)
manual for a meditation study group was compiled by making notes from the book
“Active Meditation”, 1982, by Dr. Robert Leichtmann and Carl Japikse. Their book has been a model of clear thinking
and exposition for me, and I would heartily recommend anyone with a serious
interest in meditation to acquire a copy, from Ariel Press,
Other resources on meditation that could be helpful include: -
* William Bloom “Meditation in a Changing World”, Gothic Images Publications, 7,
*Carl Japikse, “The Light Within Us”. & Robert Leichtmann and Carl Japikse, “The Forces of the Zodiac - Companions for the Soul”, “The Art of Living Series” and others from the above address#
*Dr. Edith Stauffer, Chapter 18 of “Unconditional Love and Forgiveness”, either from Whole Life Endeavours, 81, Cambria St., Nelson, New Zealand; or from Psychosynthesis International, PO Box 926, Diamond Springs, California, 95619, USA.
Michal Eastcott, “The Silent Path”, publ. by Rider & Co., 1969, Anchor
* Alice Bailey, “Letters in Occult Meditation”, “Treatise on White Magic”, “Serving Humanity” and many other books by her. Publ. by the Lucis Trust, obtainable in New Zealand from the Triangle Centre, PO Box 25, Paekakariki.
* Torkom Saraydarian, “The Science of Meditation”, “The Science of Becoming Oneself”, “Psyche and Psychism” and many other books, publ. by the Aquarian Education Group, PO Box 267, Sedona, Arizona, AZ 86336, USA.
* Zachary Lansdowne, “Rules for Spiritual Initiation” and other books, publ. by Samuel Weiser, PO Box 612, York Beach, Maine 13910, USA.
Ina Crawford, “A Guide to the Mysteries”, [Publ. by Lucis Trust,
*The Triangles Group & World
Goodwill. Information from the Goodwill Unit of Service, GPO
*The Meditation Group for the New Age
(MGNA): Course booklets on meditation and “The Will
and the Good” a small booklet from the MGNA,
*The Group for Creative Meditation Course booklets on meditation, R. Assagioli’s, “The
Science and Service of Blessing” and other booklets are obtainable from Sundial
House, Neville Court,
study of meditation can be assisted by joining one of the international
correspondence schools - for example the School for Esoteric Studies,
"School for Esoteric Studies" <email@example.com>,
These schools foster the triple use of meditation, study, and service in one’s life on the basis that it is essential to balance any one of these with the other two to ensure steady sound progress.
These three go together and must be kept in balance
These three also go together and must be kept in balance
From Level of Divine Archetypes
(Ideas, ideal patterns, energies and qualities, e.g. the Will-to-Good)
Via the Higher Self and Higher Will
(Purpose, Power to.........Capacity to act, e.g. with the Will-to-Good)
Higher Unconscious mind
(Values, Qualities, Energies)
(Teaching from within –often in symbols, images, ideas, principles, urges to action)
Via the Personal Self and its ‘little will’
(Conscious choices and goals, e.g. good will)
Through the Personality
Mind - intellect, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, patterns of perceiving and reasoning, and later, registering intuition, or “vertical telepathy” and telepathy between Higher Selves.
Imagination - imaginings, fantasies.
Emotions - feelings, and later, aspiration
Sensations - including “lower” psychism.
Impulse/desire, (needs- or wants-driven).
Sub-personalities, “little wills” and resistances.
Body - energies, behaviours, actions
Into Self-expression in daily life
(E.g. goodwill to self and other life forms)
An outline of the way the invisible, intangible, archetypal patterns take their forms on earth
1. Focus on the purpose in meditation - to contact the life of the Higher Self so as to be nourished by its strength, wisdom, and love, and to learn how to serve its purposes better.
2. Relax the personality (body, emotions, mind) to release excess tension and become comfortable.
3. Concentration - achieved by focusing our attention on the goals and themes we intend to pursue, to fill our interest.
4. Identify with the Higher Self by thinking about the drill in detachment - the Self-identification exercise - realizing that we are something more than and greater than the aspects of the personality. We are an agent of the Higher Self.
5. Attunement - to the love, wisdom, and power of the Higher Self by loving its strength, goodwill, and intelligence, and being thankful for its intimate involvement in our life. We look for some degree of its infinite, benevolent power embracing us and moving through us.
(a) Close eyes and relax the physical body; be aware of your breathing calming and becoming more deep and regular. (b) Allow gratitude to enter in - that life is breathing us and causing our hearts to beat, and for the opportunities that life offers us all.
(c) Calm the emotions, setting aside concerns for this time. (c) Still the concrete mind.
(a) Raise your consciousness upward to contact the Higher Self. (b) Practice of self-respect and self-esteem - maintaining an enlightened self-image. (c) Choose a theme for the meditation, a goal, or quality of the Higher Self, such as Goodwill*. (Levels: - goodwill, good will, and the Will-to-Good) (d)Concentrate upon this quality for 2-3 minutes, seeing the value of this quality, and of it being expressed in the world, or in your life.
(a) Discontinue the reflective thoughts. (b) Reaching toward the level of the Higher Self, hold the thoughts or ideas that came in stage 2 in the “light”, or energies of the Higher Self. (c) Imagine the seed thought or idea like a vessel to be filled with the light, love, and power to act and to grow of the Higher Self, for 1-2 minutes. Like a “thought child” being born.
(a) With the seed thoughts and ideas you received in stages 2 & 3, and from the quality of the Higher Self you chose, see that quality as a creative force. (b)Experience this energy in yourself - draw it down into your body, - your feeling nature, - your memories and thought patterns, as fully as possible. (c) Imagine this force changing something in your life that you want to improve or contributing to our world in some situations. Do this impersonally - omitting personal judgments about the participants and your personally desired outcome, for we are not always in a position to know enough about a situation to know what is best for all, or how free will should be used by others. (d) Using visualization and your creative imagination, create positive, active pictures of this in action and the benefits occurring. Do this for several minutes. (e) If you choose, make a will statement about your intentions/goals arising out of your experience in meditation - “I will to ... comfortably and skillfully.” or “May ............. be the keynote of my life this day (week, year).”
Let all the images go. Become aware of your breathing, body, and of the room.
Open your eyes when you feel ready.
*Other themes (or seed thoughts) could be chosen - e.g. serenity, compassion, patience, inner and outer peace, courage, joy, forgiveness, unconditional love, wisdom, right timing, purpose, tolerance, understanding, healing, right human relationships, fairness to all, humility and meeting true need, seeing our own errors with joyful self-correction, giving attention only to the good in self and others, spiritual strength and will, or any of the themes from Active Meditation (e.g. mental house-cleaning, healing the emotions, defining values and goals, invoking wisdom, applying it to solve problems, creative self-discovery, grounding the life of the Higher Self), or your own.
In the beginning, limit meditations to 10-15 minutes. If you become over stimulated during or after meditations, discontinue them for a day or so, and use a shorter period when you begin again.
• I am the Self. The Self I am. I am a centre of awareness
I am the constant and unchanging Self
I am a centre of calm vital energy
(Observe the body, emotions, feelings, and the mind. Survey the sub-personalities, your patterns of meeting needs, and your roles, like a conductor drawing together the orchestra)
• I have a personal will and can make choices.
I can make decisions and initiate action.
I can be in charge of my life.
I will to be in charge of my life and progressively align myself with the will of my Higher Self, which is higher than my personal will, and the origin of divine intention, best purposes within me.
• I am more than just my body. I have a physical body, which is my precious instrument of experience, sensation, and action, and its condition may vary. I am its guardian and trustee. I will to nurture it and keep it well. I will to use it as an instrument of productive service. My Higher Self is greater than the conditions of my body, - it is the origin of health, vitality, and the urge and power to serve within me.
• I am more than just my feelings, which are transitory and temporary, and enable me to be sensitive. I have emotions and feelings, which bring pleasure and displeasure. The choices I make about how I react determine to a great extent if I suffer or rejoice. I will to develop my sensitivity wisely and use it to practice goodwill. My Higher Self is greater than my feelings - it is the origin of unconditional love within me, and of the power to express it.
• I am more than just my mind, intellect, memories, thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes. I have a mind that I can use to reason, think, analyze, and plan. It is my precious instrument of perception and awareness in the outer and the inner world. Its contents too are changeable. I will to train it well. I will to maintain the transpersonal attitudes and goals, and use my mind as an instrument of positive creativity. My Higher Self is more than my mind - it is the source of wisdom and intelligence within me, and of the power to use them.
• I am more than my desires and impulses, which have impelled me to activity and to meet my needs, sometimes with benefits arising, at other times with burdens, to myself or others. I can choose my direction. From now on I will choose what I will aspire to express- the fulfilment of the purposes of my Higher Self, which are greater than my personal desires and impulses.
• I am more than just my imaginings - about others or myself. Sometimes these have been creative, at others destructive. I will to be in charge of my imagination and to choose the images that I create with greater care, so that they reflect my true purpose, values and goals, - the plans of my Higher Self, - which are greater than my imaginings.
• I am more than any of my parts, or roles I play in life. I have sub-personalities that I have been unaware of - I continually become more aware of them and will to be in charge of them. I will to meet my basic needs and bring harmony to conflicting opposites within my personality. My Higher Self is the source of the qualities and power I need to do this.
• I will to be in charge of my life. I will to grow out of my past, into my potential. I will to express the best in me in daily life.
I am the Self. The Self I am.
Like learning about electromagnetic phenomena, building our own TV set, turning it on, and adjusting it. And discovering the Higher Self has been broadcasting all the time to us, but we had not been able to receive.
Not to build set with only one channel - e.g. only the emotions and not the mind. Or emphasize exercise for the body and ignore the emotions and the mind. Not to have the substance blurred by dogma or obscure language.
You have to build it yourself - gurus and some religious faiths do not guarantee it. The nature of the contact varies - easy or difficult, different for scientific, religious, creative, artistic types.
The Higher Self and the personality are in different dimensions or worlds. Until contact is made in meditation there is no direct contact between the personality and the Higher Self. The personality thinks, feels, acts in concrete ways; the Higher Self by nature is abstract and free of mundane limitations.
The goal is to integrate the life of the Higher Self with the personality.
True meditation transcends the level of contact with the wish life of the subconscious, which can create images, which it believes to be the Higher Self.
True contact will be an awareness of a new ability to think more clearly and with greater understanding; to be more forgiving and have better rapport with others; the knowing there is a powerful presence within us - a wonderful source of healing, courage, and new motivation.
The key. More than contemplating the virtues and wisdom of God; more than adoring our divine origins; more than thinking about the Higher Self. It is to identify primarily with our spiritual nature, and secondarily with the personality.
Not easy. The personality lives in an imperfect world of finite events, concrete themes, and small concerns, frequently hassled and frustrated by human error and pettiness. It lives with constant reminders of its mortality, weakness, and limitations. The Higher Self lives in a realm of universal themes and abstract forces, constantly aware that it is a divine and immortal being with tremendous resources of power, wisdom, talent, strength and dignity.
The subconscious may throw up barriers to self-identification. Why is life unfair to some? Why do so few know about the Higher Self? Why is there so much conflict? Personality may perceive itself as a kind of orphan who becomes suspicious of the parent when it reappears with gifts. “Where were you when I needed you?”
The orphan/parent idea is an illusion - the Higher Self never abandons the personality. Rather we lose our contact with it by identifying with the experiences of life and the innate sensations of the personality. Rediscovery of the Higher Self may go through various stages - e.g. of thinking of it as a year-round Santa Claus with free gifts, or as a wrathful vengeful God keen to punish us. We outgrow these as we realize the Higher Self is a part of us not apart from us. It is a higher octave of our being. We come to see the personality as an agent of the Higher Self, connected with the treasures and noble life of the Higher Self, which enhances its stature and importance in our eyes.
As for university training, you must be active (study, attend classes, take tests, work diligently, for example). The resources are always there, like the professors, texts, classes, library and more. It is your responsibility to use them to get the education, or it all remains just latent possibility.
Like a mother with her infant, the Higher Self is more concerned for our contact and true welfare than we may be. It does understand us, love us, seek to help and support us.
But we must initiate the effort.
Prepares the household and himself. Cleans the house, showers, dresses for the occasion. Primes his attitudes with enthusiasm. Avoids arguments and irritations with others before the visit. Welcomes. Does not leave to have a nap, nor sit motionless expecting the guest to do all the talking. Does not go into a trance, nor focuses on something other than the guest. He converses, sets at ease, serves their needs.
In meditation we entertain the saintly and angelic nature of the Higher Self - with graciousness. We greet it with charm, dignity, intelligence, good humour, and affection.
The good host is receptive, to the benevolence, intelligence and power of the Higher Self. This is not passivity, numbness, parasitism, nor feigning deadness so that spirit can resurrect us. It is not lying in the sun and getting a good tan. It is not tuning into our prejudices, emotions, or just what the body or our feelings tell us. It is the attentiveness of a child to the radiance of goodwill, concern and affection of its parent sharing a story, - the child wants the whole story!
We quieten and relax the body. We focus our emotions in tranquility and quiet devotion to the life of the Higher Self. We make the mind receptive, to reflect upon the nature and wisdom of the Higher Self and what this means in terms of our daily activities.
We must put out cleaned “pots and barrels” to collect the “rain” of the outpourings of wisdom, love and inspiration of the Higher Self. We do not want contamination with irrelevant thoughts or prejudices, crabbiness, fear, hostility, resentment, purely personal urges and desires.
We are building vessels to receive new life from heaven. Each person has his or her own difficulties: -
a. A kind, devotional person will have no difficulty with reverence, but may have trouble preparing his mind to respond to wisdom and intelligence.
b. A passive gentle person will have no trouble with accepting the authority of the Higher Self, but may have trouble harnessing strength, conviction, and hope.
c. An intellectual person may easily receive insights and new understanding, but have trouble mobilizing the forces of devotion, faith and action.
Find the rhythm of Relaxation, concentration, detachment (self-identification), and attunement.
Beware of emphasizing one aspect at the expense of others: -
a. Excessive emphasis on the relaxation stage may prevent going much beyond that stage.
b. Excessive emphasis on concentration may end up concentrating most of the attention upon problems and failures.
Aim for poise. Release tension from the body. Set aside emotional concerns in favour of calmness, and still the concrete mind. The image of a lake settling to calmness (emotions) as the wind drops, and the air becoming still (mind), is helpful to some.
If serious problems are encountered in relaxation, a long-term programme of healing major conflicts, fears, and irritations must be pursued. Individual psychotherapy with a transpersonal or spiritually oriented psychotherapist may be appropriate, if you want to retain the context of spiritual growth for your work - “virtually all “dis-ease” is the result of inhibited soul life”.
Has always been easy for what we are interested in, so we cultivate interest in this work. If we value the work and goals of the Higher Self more than our worries and irritations, if we value the treasures of heaven more than food, and then it holds our attention easily.
Beware of “addiction to concentration” - labouring to achieve one-pointed concentration on a symbol, object, one’s breath, or a mantra repeated over and over. This is not meditation it is boredom! True concentration does not limit us to a single thought. The Higher Self entertains a whole universe of inspiration.
Holding certain themes for the meditation best attains concentration. The many details are then held in focus by the theme, and we avoid digressions and irrelevancies.
Warning - over-emphasis upon enforced focusing on a single point or idea undermines the natural capacity of the mind to seize detail and manage thoughts. It is definitely possible to damage the associative mechanism of the mind if doing this too long, - a short-term venture into catatonia. Dehumanizing and anti-spiritual because it disconnects the mind from the body and the Higher Self. It is the antithesis of meditation. Being bored with doing this can be a sign of mental health, not a sign of a failure to meditate properly.
This is the most easily misunderstood part of meditation
Meditation is not to make us indifferent, but to expand our awareness and perspective on life to include more than the mundane. We cannot learn about divine love and goodwill by teaching ourselves to care less. We cannot learn about intelligence and wisdom by teaching ourselves to think less. We cannot learn about active steward-ship by cutting our self off from our involvement in life.
Not trying to escape from the material world. The attitude of escaping from our problems emphasizes them all the more, and we can become obsessed with escaping from them and forget that the Higher Self is the source of solutions.
Not a withdrawal from the personality. The personality is the “child” of the Higher Self, to be valued, not vanquished or neglected.
Not trying to “space out” in trance and absorption in the bliss of our higher emotions - these are not the true power and support of our higher Self.
Not a denial of our thoughts, feelings, intentions and actions, good or bad.
“Detachment” is to identify with the Higher Self and our personality’s role as its agent in the world. It is to make room in our awareness for the qualities of the Higher Self - love, courage, wisdom, joy, peace, and dignity.
It is to see our attachments for what they are - matters of practicality and convenience for manifesting in the physical plane, not the be all and end all of our existence. The body, emotions, mind, memories and attachments are basically good. But we are more than they alone are.
We are a being of intelligence, will, wisdom, love, and divine origin. We are the Higher Self, and have the power and ability to change our attachments and focus of concern at will, because we are greater than they are. We are to learn to control, direct, and enlighten all these elements of our personality.
We must learn to understand the difference between sensation and reactivity (personality) and consciousness (Higher Self).
Sensation is the capacity for awareness in the personality. Not just physical senses, but emotional sensitivities, and mental perception mechanisms.
Consciousness is the capacity for knowingness in the Higher Self - our awareness of the intelligence, love and power of God, and our divine origin. E.g. fatigue, irritation, sleepiness are sensations; the knowledge that our work is meaningful and important, which enables us to work and finish in spite of the fatigue, is consciousness at work.
Overemphasis on sensation (physical, emotional, mental) as a means to self-discovery and enlightenment entraps us in the world of the personality, ties us to the robot of our subconscious. “Self-nurturance” and self-indulgence can be confused. The fruits of the latter are seen in our going back into childishness with a weakened ability to act, over-reactiveness and addiction to the physical plane.
Self-denial has other traps, including the loss of love for life, and eventual self-destructive behaviour.
The secret is that there is a difference between who we are and what happens to us, between who we are and what we feel or think from time to time.
We learn to interpret the meaning of our sensations from a higher and more reliable perspective. We learn to act and not just react to our reactions. We learn to direct our body, speech, attention, thoughts, and emotions so as to express the best within us.
This is not “going with the flow” and not knowing whither the flow in going.
Doing this we can become slaves to subconscious and unconscious impulses.
We transcend sensation to identify with the qualities of consciousness of the Higher Self. We are designed to exert dominion over our personality; the Higher Self stands ready to add wisdom, discipline, goodwill, joy, harmony, and strength to our life expression. The implications of this idea are immense and worth exploration in depth.
The end result of true detachment and self-identification is a well-balanced personality, which effortlessly and fully expresses the qualities of the inner self in daily life - the qualities of joy, love, wisdom, strength, courage, and steadfastness. It corrects the weaknesses in our personality with intelligence and compassion. It frees us from fears, worries, doubts, and frustrations that subvert our attempts at personal growth. It enables us to work in a state of relative objectivity and create changes which are truly improvements”.
Only comes after relaxation, concentration, and detachment, lest we attune to our fears, worries, or wish life.
It is linking our strength to the power of the Higher Self, our emotions to the love and goodwill of the Higher Self, our mind to the wisdom of the Higher Self.
We magnetize our awareness to these by loving.
1. By loving the strength, power and authority of the Higher Self and its capacity to support us, guide us, heal our weaknesses, and enrich us with strength. Rather than fear it, we are grateful for it and reverent towards it.
2. By loving its benevolence and affection, rejoicing in its capacity to care for us, teach us, enlighten us. We release feelings of unworthiness of this love, for that would diminish our receptivity. Rather we sense the loving response of the Higher Self and increase our love and devotion for it.
3. By loving its intelligence and knowledge. It has vast resources of understanding, and the capacity of our own talents, skills and comprehension to grow in its loving aura of wisdom.
As we do this, we begin to experience that there is something there, loving us in return; there truly does exist a great, benevolent intelligence within us, embracing us, helping us, nourishing our ideals and plans, healing our weaknesses and flaws.
Be active in this - you cannot get the programme without turning on and tuning in! Magnetism only helps you through the forest if you use your compass. It is the responsibility of the personality to attune itself to the inner dimensions. The resources of the university do not just descend upon your home and intrude upon you, you must sign on, go there, and apply yourself to the tasks of learning.
Working with abstractions and subtleties is facilitated by using symbols - but do not confuse the symbols for the qualities and forces they are used to represent.
1. The Ideal Parent,
2. The Wise Person within,
3. Our true Essence as being a single, perfect idea in the mind of God or the universal life force, energized by the life force of the transcendent dimensions of life to vivify the personality and the body.
4. Ourselves as being bathed in a light, which emanates from and incorporates the qualities and forces of the Higher Self’s love, wisdom, and power.
The symbols give the subconscious a theme it can relate to, but they are effective only if we concentrate on the love, the force, or the awareness that is associated with the picture. The Higher Self is not a picture, it is alive and dynamic, actively nourishing us with vitality, inspiration, love. It becomes “visible” by “seeing” what its qualities are and expressing them, so that they show through;
It becomes “tangible” by recognizing what has been touched by its qualities. We can sense them in others and ourselves when we attune to them.
All the following are indicators, which are phenomena of the personality only: -
a. Depth of relaxation.
b. Seeing white light - or any colour.
c. Changes in body temperature.
c. “Alterations in states of consciousness” whatever they might be.
d. Sudden changes in feeling.
e. A feeling of peace or bliss.
Genuine meditation can occur without immediate sign of change. It is only as our efforts to meditate build up that we may notice subtle important changes in our outlook or comprehension. Its first effects may be in our unconscious and deep subconscious.
The best evidence is the growing realization that we are indeed loved and understood by a great, benevolent intelligence, which has been in and around us and continues to be there, every time we reach out and contact it. The subtle presence becomes real. An intimate experience beyond words and descriptions. An inner knowing which comes by degrees, slowly building, sometimes fading temporarily.
As it builds, we identify more and more completely with the Higher Self.
Above all we set aside concerns about our own imperfections, to concentrate upon strengthening the idealistic traits, skills, and qualities within us. We are aligning with the best within us, and charging it with the power of the Higher Self.
They deserve to be approved.
A healthy self-image is a place in our subconscious where the qualities, power, light and love of the Higher Self can enter and take up residence there. Without self-respect and self-esteem, the resources of the Higher Self remain only in potential, blocked or disconnected from us
A belief that we must be told we are O.K. to be O.K. distorts our self-image. It can become the opposite belief very easily if we are not getting that approval - i.e. that we are unworthy, despised, wretched. It becomes twisted into fantasies, fears, and expectations. Likewise an overly confident self-image blocks off the light of the Higher Self with mirrors of our own creation.
The patient-student-child part of us longs to believe all is well. The Wise parent-doctor-teacher part already stands for the worth and dignity of our work and yourself.
Beware of pleasant self-deceptions - of being “humble” when one is arrogant, of being competent and wise while disguising deficiencies in intelligence and skill.
Our self-image is revealed in what we honestly think about ourselves, how we typically react to challenges, success, and crisis, and how others react to our behaviour.
Illusions or glamours like a chronic inferiority complex, guilt feelings, intense discouragement leave little room for the optimism and joy of the Higher Self. Hostility and defensiveness, domineering tendencies leave no room for the kindness and cooperativeness of the Higher Self. The best within us is squeezed out, excluded.
Pessimism, depression, hostility, inferiority, fantasies and foolishness all cover the windows of our house so no light can come in or out. A healthy self-image uncovers the windows and lets light pass through.
We cannot look to the Higher Self for help unless we lift the blinds of our self-image. It is our responsibility to let in the light.
A healthy self-image is: -
1.More than an occasional feeling of confidence, or visualization of success.
2.A vessel for the life of the Higher Self to enter into. A foundation of the “temple” for it to take up residence within, on earth. “Contemplation” derives from this association - building such a temple by experiencing the quality or qualities within one’s self.
3. A fixed representative of the best within us, which can guide our daily activities.
4. A protector of our ideals and most cherished qualities, talents, and plans.
5. The staging ground for our most noble endeavours, and a centre of awareness from which we can go forth to interact with an imperfect world, and return, with the certain conviction that this part of us is not ever damaged by outer circumstances or “failure”.
6. A basis for acting maturely and responsibly, more in harmony with the Higher Self than with the negativity and adversity of outer circumstances.
It includes: -
1. Our most idealistic views on life, people, duty, opportunities, and ourself.
2. An enlightened appreciation of the most important roles we play in life. Parenting, work, community, religious involvement and so on.
3. An intelligent appraisal of the talents and qualities we can mobilize to fulfill our duties.
4. A basic decision to play the role of the wise and loving doctor-teacher-parent within the personality rather than that of the patient-student-child. It respects the ideal of growth.
We are learning a method of coping with the constant imperfection in the world and ourselves. We are kneading the pure life of the Higher Self into a human nature that is barely adequate in some areas, mediocre in others, and outstanding or competent in but a few. We are therefore cultivating a proper perspective on interacting with imperfection.
Our imperfect attitudes, false perspectives, secret sins, and imperfections are no more that “dirty dishes”. There is no need for hysteria, anxiety, guilt, or gnashing of teeth. There is no mystery, - we pick up bad habits here, become a little tired there. The remedy is easy - the “warm, soapy water” of the love, wisdom and strength of our Higher Self.
We must not let the “dishes” (negative attitudes, selfishness, pessimism, fear, doubt, prejudice etc.,) pile up, but must attend to them as soon as they become dirty, or the task gets monumental.
We do not get offended or disgusted at our dirty dishes, it is normal for them to get dirty as we live and eat. We do not need to take them to a “dishiatrist” or “plateologist” so that we better understand the nature of the dirt. Nor do we need to listen to sermons on the sinfulness of dirt or the virtues of being “squeaky-clean”. Nor do we reasonably leave them all for God or the state to wash up for us. We simply need to wash them up.
Hating our flaws and imperfections leads to self-rejection, self-contempt, and eventually to a denial of, and disconnection from, the Higher Self, sometimes even a death- or illness-wish, which can become accepted as a goal by the unconscious. Glorifying our flaws leads to a martyr complex and parasitic manipulation of others. Ignoring our flaws leads to psychological estrangement from our Higher Self.
Our responsibility to imperfection is to heal it not to reject it.
Here are some polarities in this area: -
Beliefs in grimness, work ethic that happiness is only achieved by manipulation of others, or, to be happy something evil to feel guilty about, -> Enthusiasm, balance, forgivingness, and love.
“You’re not sufficiently sensitive to the suffering in the world” -> optimism,
“You’re too apathetic” -> patience,
“You’re too proud and vain” -> having a decent self-image and self-confidence.
Sourness, dried-upness, joylessness -> goodwill, enjoyment,
“Sacrifice”, “hardship”, misery, sadness, groveling, submission -> celebration, affection, wisdom.
Hostility -> love; Anxiety -> confidence; discouragement -> confidence and courage.
Note how some of the negatives are part of the mass consciousness, influencing virtually everyone in some way or another. Note how those carrying them may try to influence others to become like them.
In enlightened living, a measure of optimism, dignity, and cheerfulness is always bursting forth into the life of the personality. The inner life lifts steadfastly above the unpleasant and imperfect aspects of life that must be dealt with, and allows one to act with joy, kindness, and enthusiasm no matter what the outer circumstances may appear to be.
Enlightened people do not present themselves as sober, joyless, grim, nor do they use their suffering and sacrifices as justifications for demanding attention, loyalty, and submission from others. Behaving in these ways betrays a consciousness of smallness and poverty that excludes the universe of goodwill, love, wisdom, and power to express the best in us, of the Higher Self.
Courage overwhelms discouragement.
Forgiveness and unconditional love overpower anger and hate.
Enthusiasm conquers pessimism.
Joy defeats grimness.
Order heals chaos.
None of this occurs unless these qualities are focused in skillful activity. The infinite remains infinite unless we make it finite. Attacking the flaws and problems of the personality serves no purpose; we recognize that the mature elements within us are fully capable of infusing our character with superior strengths and qualities, gradually replacing or dissolving the negative elements within us.
There are differences between the dual parts of our psyche: -
Between the wise and loving doctor-teacher-parent and the patient-student-child within us.
Between our intentions and our behaviour.
Between our understanding and the actual events of life.
Between our conscious awareness and our sensory perceptions.
Between our Higher Self and our personality.
The healthy self-image bridges this gap. The differences are complementary not divisive and destructive. There are differences between warm soapy water and dirty dishes, but they complement one another harmoniously.
In building a healthy self-image, we look to the ideals, values, and goals of the doctor-teacher-parent within us, and see that there are many good elements in us. The good has not perished because the patient-student-child within us has not fully grasped or expressed them, and may even have distorted them some. We therefore take an inventory of the cherished principles we stand for, the goals we have set ourselves, and the other good aspects of our mind, emotions, talent, and ideals. We look for those elements that serve as a basis for the expression of health, strength, ability, goodwill, and constructive actions.
So this does not include making a list of our problems, sins, weaknesses, and miseries even if there is a temptation to do this. We are not looking for the expression of these values, goals, and ideals but for the seeds of them. We spell out our potential strengths and appreciate them. Then we can and do energize them.
This is the approval we give to the goodness in our character and Higher Self.
This is not self-deception - the results of bad manners, apathy, incompetence, and fear are not illusory! It is the affirmation of our intention to behave as the Higher Self would behave, and to accept that this is our true nature, not our imperfections and difficulties. We commit ourselves to a declaration that our most cherished values and talents are to be the dominant qualities and intentions of our thought and self-expression.
Done in meditation this is far more powerful than the average practice of affirmative thinking, though the intent is similar. It is a commitment to the best within us. Each time we repeat it we create a vessel in consciousness that is filled by the love, wisdom, goodwill, and strength of the Higher Self.
Ordinary positive thinking may not go beyond the level of the personality. This method is like a skilled engineer applying for a job with a large international firm so that his work will be supported by its resources, inventiveness, experimentation, and facilities in a way that is greater than he could manage on his own in his garage. Applying to the firm is an act of self-respect - respect for the potential within himself, and committing his talents, discipline, genius, and ambition to a larger enterprise that will develop both.
In the same way, we take the best within us now to the resources of the Higher Self, and by pledging them to the Higher Self, we build self-respect. Working together, our genius becomes inspired, our strengths augmented, our attitudes repaired and healed, our dedication blessed. The Higher Self can invest more of its qualities in our daily activities. Our self-respect grows and with it, our healthy self-image.
The practice of self-respect protects our basic identity and our ideals.
Distinguish self-esteem carefully from self-confidence or mere arrogance. Self-confidence is useful, but can be generated through self-deception, declaring ourselves to be perfect when we are not. Arrogance builds self-esteem by putting others down, preserving an illusion of superiority, and is actually based upon a very pessimistic attitude about our own weaknesses. It is built out of faulty perceptions of others and ourselves that exclude data to the contrary, making new perceptions difficult without openness and training.
True self-esteem is generated out of a healthy appraisal of accomplishments and competence, independently of comparison with others. (Self-respect is approval of our potential. Self-esteem is a reward for actually having made some kind of worthwhile contribution).
The value of the meditative practice of self-esteem is that it builds a habit of periodically reviewing our progress and achievement throughout life. It prevents giving undue time to fussing over difficulties, “failures” and adversities. (This would be like doing work and forgetting to pick up the pay-cheque!). Self-esteem grows much higher if more time is devoted to review of accomplishments.
The practice of self-esteem reverses the situation of negativity, by blessing (nourishing the growth of) the good we have done, and the skill we have acquired. The practice of self-esteem also gives the personality recognition that the Higher Self is the origin of our ultimate strength and contains the power we need for self-expression. The practice of self-esteem improves our self-image.
It is powerful in overcoming the negative effects of criticism, - especially self-criticism. It is absurd to think of anyone as a total failure! Whatever we do well, however simple, is the basis for building our self-esteem.
Blessing is a science in itself. In this context, blessing is radiating goodwill and joy into the whole of our being, and thus adding new life to our good habits and thoughts, and thus to our general usefulness to life.
The practice of self-esteem becomes the armour that protects us from any negativity with which we may have to live from time to time.
Relying upon self-esteem protects our values and way of life far better than relying upon hostility, sarcasm, indifference, rudeness, prejudice, or bigotry.
The actual image chosen is not as important as the values, attitudes, and ideals we associate with it.
But it can act as a reminder, a cue, for the values we hold and our intention to act in certain ways. The Higher Self can use it to jog our memory.
Take care with images arising from the subconscious or mass consciousness - e.g. Superman or Wonder Woman - such as these may not remind us of our responsibility, and may space us out into a fantasy we cannot fulfill, thus injuring our self-esteem, not increasing it.
Better is to draw from the basic themes, such as the wise and loving doctor-teacher-parent within us. Or, a loving son or daughter of God, possessing a rich heritage, and blessed by wealth and intelligence. We can draw from scripture or literature, but the best images are those we create for ourselves. This is done by visualizing ourselves acting in the ordinary circumstances of life, imbued with certain qualities of the Higher Self - great courage, deep compassion, goodwill, love, strong faith, inspired wisdom and so on.
In this way we join the commonplace, our ordinary circumstances of life, - with the noble - the qualities of the Higher Self.
Regardless of the image chosen, it should always be carefully linked with the power of the Higher Self, not the whims and urges of our wish life.
Successful people are generally those who have experienced more defeat than unsuccessful people. This is not generally known. They know how to handle setbacks and criticism - and press on. Lack of success is caused more by our reaction to our failures than by the failure itself.
Every time we consult our Higher Self for guidance, and attempt to think and act as the higher Self would have us do, we increase the quality of our self-image. Every time we rise above the pettiness and negativity of our personality we increase our self-esteem. Some aspects of life cannot be changed - tragedies, misfortunes, and accidents come the way of all of us. A person who has developed self-respect and self-esteem will recover by calling upon optimism and resourcefulness to initiate new projects and explore new possibilities.
The healthy self-image is the first step in establishing a partnership with the Higher Self. Mass consciousness has been infected with an overdose of the idea that we are inferior to the Higher Self. This problem needs to be healed. For we are a divine creation, designed to grow into perfection, not deny our worth, grovel in unwholesome guilt and contrition, quail at the thought of our imperfection. The personality makes mistakes from time to time; this is part of the design of evolution. The personality may not be a perfect expression yet, but the Higher Self is awesome in its talents, - capacities for courage, love, compassion, and wisdom, which we have seen, demonstrated throughout history.
We evolved from primitive creatures to where we are now. We can further evolve from where we are now into the kind of people who are truly able to contribute creatively to humanity and civilization. This approach to growth has been called “inspired humility”.
A healthy self-image allows us to mirror and reflect the ideal strengths and qualities of the higher Self in our personality. It is a vital part of the basic mechanism we need to enable our spiritual nature to penetrate and overcome our negativity, peevishness, and ignorance. It is a basic ingredient in our work of practical transcendence.
Transcendence is not floating to heaven out into the stars - it occurs in practical ways as we lift the lower elements of our nature into rapport with the higher elements, cleanse them and then set them to work again.
A healthy self-image becomes a permanent part of our nature that never leaves the grace and love of our Higher Self, even in the midst of the most unfavourable circumstances. As our link to heaven, it helps us to preserve the sanctity and purity of our highest ideal, talents, attitudes and values.
It is our way of revealing heaven in the way we think, feel and act
1. Enter meditative state; contact higher Self.
2. Focus attention on the wisdom of the Higher Self, personifying it as the Wise Counselor we can question.
3. “What kind of a character do I want to build?” - explore the nature of our spiritual ideals and how we intend to express them, through thoughts, behaviour, commitments, duties, responsibilities.
o How do I want to respond to opportunities for growth?
o What should be my attitude toward authority?
o How should I respond to those in positions of authority?
o How should I respond to different sources of authority - male, female, older people, younger people? Traditions, government, and the Higher Self?
o What should be my ideal response to failure?
o What should be my ideal response to criticism?
o What should be my ideal response to discouragement?
o How should I respond to the temptation to cheat, tell lies, or take advantage of the naiveté of others?
o What qualities of consciousness do I cherish and want to increase?
o What should be my ideal response to the attempt of others to force me to accept their beliefs and values?
o How do I view the commitments, promises, and pledges I have made?
o These questions need to be examined in the light of our lives, not abstractly. We will get dozens of insights into our character from a quite modest review of our values.
o We next relate each of our values to all the others, creating a hierarchy, which enables us to deal constructively with major issues consistently.
o Our intent is to define the ideal qualities, which should be in charge of our self-expression, not a frenzy of remorse or guilt!
Û What contributions do I want to make in my life?
Û In what priority?
Û What are the best ways to honour my skills, talents, abilities, and inspirations, through active self-expression?
Û How can I do this through my work?
Û Through my relationships?
Û Through my growth as a human being?
Û In what ways do I want to help others?
Û What are the most important projects I am involved in?
Û How well am I expressing this priority?
Û What am I looking for in terms of emotional fulfillment?
Û How do I define that?
Û How do I define physical comfort and security?
Û What priority does this have in my life?
Initially we find unfinished business, unfulfilled dreams, partly completed projects. But this is not the time to be seduced by enticing ideas that are actually digressions from our basic purpose.
Repeat these meditations regularly and keep record of results. The more frequently we reflect upon them the more we improve our ability to define our major objectives without serious distortion.
Affirmations used alone can give us:
a. Strength, but not direction.
b. Sense of comfort, but not stability.
c. Confidence, but not always the power to act.
For example: - Belief in tolerance may not be enough to enable us to confront opposition without withering, and with forgiveness and dignity. Frustration and opposition can overcome promises and commitments. Our internal resistance can dissolve our resolution to overcome a bad habit.
What does give us stability in consciousness and the ability to master internal resistance against all odds is a combination of the purpose of the Higher Self harnessed to the values and goals of the personality, ennobling and empowering them.
It is through such a personality the Higher Self can achieve meaningful expression upon earth.
The personality may have direction - but not that of the Higher Self; or organization, but only to preserve the status quo, not to grow into the purpose of the Higher Self. We can be more concerned with what we want to avoid rather than defining the contribution we would like to make to society; more concerned with what others think or say about us than with making decisions that are wise as the Higher Self.
Direction, stability, and power from within us cannot come from others. Effort is needed to define our values and goals in the light of the Higher Self. But without it we are swayed by friends, neighbours, colleagues, our reactions to others, and mass consciousness. Focus in life becomes confused from lack of a consistent set of purposes for living. Opportunities for achievement and success are wasted, and time is given to activities that are not constructive or productive.
The frustration that follows from the lack of a consistent set of higher values and goals may lead to state of resignation, complaining and grouching, blaming others said to have “held me back”, or society at large. The most pessimistic conclude that their empty life is the result of oppression by others, - usually those who have achieved. Some become predators, getting what they want by theft.
If we listen only to our feelings in deciding what to do in life, we will not be able to grow. Ideals become tarnished by our desire for immediate gratification and pleasant sensation and our desire to avoid the opposite. Desire breaks down in the face of stress, conflict, and frustration. Inability to handle challenge, conflict, and responsibility limit the unfoldment of the plans and potentials of the Higher Self.
For example, in marriage, if the couple has no clear understanding of why they are married, their purpose for being together, and a strong sense of values and goals for the marriage, the emotional reactiveness of romance and physical passion may not carry the marriage through times of real challenge. True romance springs from the capacity of a man and a woman to share in mutual endeavours, to help each other grow, to create an enlightened home environment, and make a healthy contribution to community and society. It is an expression of the maturity into which we are to grow.
It is our sure knowledge of our deepest values and goals, which keep open the lines of communication to the Higher Self in times of crisis.
Readiness to act is the result of careful reflection upon our values and goals, which links us to the will-to-act of the Higher Self, which can be summoned at a moments notice in time of need. (A good definition of patience is - preparation for being ready to act when the time is right).
Values are what we stand for, not what we abandon for convenience, expediency, or compromise. They are ideas, commitments, promises, or principles we have chosen to cultivate and cherish, and for which we would be willing to work, fight, or even die. Examples - integrity, which prevents us being corrupted; helping and encouraging children to grow into compassionate, intelligent, and ethical adults, which enables us to make sacrifices; an awareness of the benefits of spiritual service that enables us to offer help in spite of personal desires and frustration.
These stabilize our consciousness, mind and feelings, from day to day, so we know how to make choices. Conflicts are reduced because we do not have to weigh our options in an ever-varying scale.
Values derived only from experiences and beliefs of the personality are transitory, and we grow out of them. Values based on the qualities and principles of the Higher Self are permanent, and we grow into them.
Goals are specific objectives we strive toward in personal growth, work, self-understanding, service, relationships, and responsibility. Those that derive from the Higher Self are defined in terms of our intention to contribute to life, rather than our desire to consume more from life. Goals built upon consuming more from life undermine our self-expression in the longer term. Goals based upon an intention to contribute to life, enrich it and improve the quality of our community, environment, and civilization, and stabilize us in the life of the Higher Self.
Goals give direction to our daily life, preventing aimless wandering. Unenlightened goals can accomplish much - enlightened goals can accomplish much more.
Purpose is the general urge or power to do something, whereas the goal is the objective, which will be reached by harnessing that impulse. Properly set goals insure that the power and purpose of the Higher Self will not be diverted into meaningless activities.
Goals are not traps that limit our creativity, sensitivity, or moment-to-moment enjoyment of life, as some believe. Enlightened goals provide a structure in which we express our human qualities. This structure is not a single goal, but a rich and multidimensional hierarchy of many different goals at every level of our lives - creativity, relationships, self-fulfillment, and others. Together they give a holistic structure for thinking, feeling and acting.
Values and goals are the tools we use to manage power, to coordinate activity, and sustain useful work, or joyous play.
The process of asking questions of the Wise Counselor within is to be done in the context of our spiritual ideals, not as one would in mundane conversation.
It includes a review of our life experiences - what has worked for us, and what has not, our beliefs and aspirations, our intentions, and our highest aspirations.
In working with personification, we remember that not every random thought, which passes through, is a message from the Higher Self, for our thoughts can be coloured by our wish life or our desire for spectacular results. If we are working with a focused intention to tap the wisdom of the Higher Self, the majority of impressions will be helpful.
The Wise Counselor does not initiate the process for us; we must take charge and ask questions and pursue hints. Then there can be a good flow of ideas in the form of mental impressions, images, flashes of insight, or even conversation.
A desire is an emotional craving to acquire or avoid some condition or object.
An intention springs from the will-to-act of the Higher Self; it is the basic power or impulse of enlightened self-expression. Through our intentions we tap the power of purpose.
An allegory - the generation and distribution of electricity. Electricity has existed since the dawn of time. Only recently has mankind learned to generate and distribute it, to tap its enormous potential. We were in the dark until we learned to do this.
The higher Self is the generator. The values and goals correspond to the motors, appliances and light bulbs. The wires that connect them are our dedication and intention.
We must charge our intention to act in harmony with the Higher Self, and seed thoughts help us to do this. We do not dwell upon the problem, but create a seed thought, which enables us to dwell on our intention to work and act with the qualities of the Higher Self.
Examples (say for changing the habit of procrastination): -
“The readiness to act”
“Enthusiasm for timely action”
“I do my work with speed and thoroughness”
We hold the seed thought with trust in the benevolent power of the Higher Self to partner us in our efforts to improve and strengthen ourselves.
We must stay mentally active while dwelling upon a seed thought. Looking at an image of success is not the same as energizing our dedication to expressing ourselves in enlightened and mature ways.
This is no time to “battle the negative”. We focus entirely upon the constructive value or goal we are seeking to establish.
We are tapping the will-to-life of the Higher Self and establishing lines of communication between this source of power and our self-expression.
What value(s) have you decided to express?
1. I Value: -
1. More than: - 1.
And enough to set the following goal:
My goal is to comfortably and completely: -
Or, I will to comfortably and completely: -
By (set the date & timing): -
(Replace vagueness with precision, unrealistic with realistic goals. Overcoming adversity builds strength. Refuse to accept a negative goal. What you can conceive in the mind, believe in the mind, and confidently expect in mind, will become your experience.)
As you look around your life, where are you already expressing such values? Look closely at how you are doing this and what it is like for you.
Do you know other people who could serve as role models for you? Who are they? In what way to they inspire you?
2. The benefits from achieving this goal:
The burdens from NOT achieving this goal would be:
Check: Does it (the goal) exist? Does it exist for me? Is it right for me? Am I willing to accept all the responsibility that may go along with it. Can I accept this goal?
3. Translation of the goal into the present. I do have a choice. I do have a will. I fully and consciously choose this goal, and state it now in the following present-tense affirmation form: - "I am...........now; I have...........now."
4. Include consideration of:
1. Is this goal harmless? And motivated by the highest good?
2. Times when I have been successful at something like this? This is strength on which to build.
3. Any blocks in myself or outside to be avoided or surmounted? How have I stopped myself before? Am I experiencing such a block right now? What do I need this time to enable me to carry through successfully?
4. Are there others who could help me? Or whom I need to involve? How?
5. How will I care for myself if afraid, discouraged, burned out, overextended?
6. Any Parts of me not prepared for this or unwilling to accept this goal? What do they need from me?
7. Qualities or skills I need to develop to do this? How to go about this?
Now write out your plan as completely as possible, sequence of steps, critical pathways, timing, places, equipment, people, and completion time.
5. Visualization. Close eyes; take a few deep breaths to relax mind, emotions, and body. Identify with your true (Deep, or Inner) Self.
Reconnect with the Value(s) you decided to express - your purpose.
Say the affirmation/goal and imagine it already true. "Walk into the dream" in your imagination. Affirm this goal. How does it feel? Set aside skepticism and pessimism for this period of time.
Imagine you are already in possession of the achieved goal. Use the "mirror technique" of changing the picture you see of yourself in the mirror into the image of what you want to become.
Imagine all the steps, you carrying out the plan from start to finish. Make revisions as necessary. Make a "treasure map" of drawings and cutouts, showing your journey from here and now to the achieved goal.
Reconnect again with the value(s) you have chosen to express, and in your imagination, symbolically charge the goal with the power and strength of these qualities and energies of the Higher Self.
6. Repetition. Write it out several times a day. Visualize it as achieved, in detail. Walk into the dream. Treasure Map it. Make mental images of it.
7. Releasing, and thankfulness. Turn the process over to the Creative Mind to fill the mold you have carefully made. Whatever we vividly imagine, ardently desire, enthusiastically act upon, - and eventually comes to pass. Constant anxiety disturbs the process of precipitation. You can feel gratitude that the thought form of the plan and the archetypes of the values exist, and for the mystery of creativity. Let the Creative Mind now fill the mold you have built so carefully, let yourself be peaceful within, and go about the needed work of accomplishment.
"CONCEIVE, BELIEVE, AND RECEIVE." What you can conceive of, in mind, believe, in mind, and accept, in your heart, will become your experience. Every miracle was a goal realized. Every goal realized is, in fact, a miracle.
Date: Signed: -
Did I achieve this goal?
If so, why?
If not, why not?
What did I learn?
How could I do it better next time, with what I have learned?
Forgiveness of self or other(s) needed? Completed?
(Ideas for this comprehensive approach to goal-setting have been drawn, with appreciation and gratitude from many people's work, including Tom Yeomans, Edith Stauffer, Colin Sisson, Jack Addington and Eva Fugitt)
Are you in earnest?
Seize this very moment!
What you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Only engage, and then the mind grows heated,
Begin, and then the work will be completed.
Identify and acknowledge areas in need. Accept ownership of the responsibility for change and healing.
Decide to do something about it, with love.
The greater takes care of the lesser. Take care of the basic issues of self-respect, self-esteem and what we stand for before any major effort at mental housecleaning. (Meditations on defining enlightened self-image and values and goals).
The Wise Person or Ideal Parent within, our ambassador in residence of the Higher Self within the personality. The Child symbolizes the character flaw or deficiency we seek to correct. Acceptance and explanation how it is no longer appropriate, though it might have been the best possible in the past. Invite cooperation with the new directions, and explain how much more productive the new behaviour will be (benefits and burdens). Draw the child to us, enveloping it in our arms, healing it with love and projecting certain key thoughts into the attitudes of the child. Focus the power and authority of the Higher Self lovingly upon the ability of the child to respond to the new direction and guidance. Take time, until there is a response.
Give healing work preference over morbid self-analysis. Keep it simple, detached, focused. It is the force of our convictions, attitudes, and intentions, which we communicate more than just words and images. We must touch the archetypal force of the spiritual ideal of goodwill, which empowers forgiveness, in preference to just going through the motions.
The secret lies in drawing the problems and deficiencies of the child into the loving aura of the Ideal Parent, where they are healed. Just throwing light on our problems is not enough, they must be absorbed in the light and love of the Higher Self, and then they dissolve, and the darkness within us is extinguished.
For problems from Mass Consciousness
Use of Seed thoughts
Avoid blaming others - our problem is that we need to clean our household. Avoid fighting the negativity of others, but strengthen our own expression of good.
Restore alignment with archetypal forces and spiritual ideals. Focus these into our own subconscious with seed thoughts, held for several minutes. The seed thoughts are to express how we intend to act in the face of opposition, intimidation, etc.
E.g. if problem is an atmosphere of complaining about imperfections at work - use the forces of contentment and perfection, saturate our awareness with these. E.g. “Active, enlightened work is the force which eradicates imperfection, not complaining. There is no room for complaining when one is working to make improvements.” This disperses the polluting thoughts.
May be needed to heal persistent problems (patterns of immaturity) at subconscious levels. Look for and “see” the seeds and opportunities within the sub-personalities.
The tremendous power of Active Meditation is seen here, dealing with transcendent and personal elements of consciousness, while usual psychotherapy, positive thinking, and hypnosis fail to harness the transpersonal levels.
Mental Housecleaning frees up the power, courage, intelligence, and goodwill of the Higher Self so we can act maturely in all we do. Our Higher Self will have a better residence here on earth, our thought-children will be raised in a better environment, and our light will shine more brilliantly on earth.
This can be done daily. No one can ignore it. Repetition may be needed for full effectiveness.
Inhabitants: Our self-image, values, sense of purpose, talents
The sanctuary on earth of the light of the Higher Self
Living room: conscious thoughts and feelings.
Study: where we reflect, formulate goals and plan.
Nursery: to tend our newly born thought children.
Dining room: to take in nourishment.
Bedroom: where our subconscious and unconscious memories “sleep”.
Decoration: Beauty, joy, good taste.
They all need to be kept in good repair, a stronghold for our living heavenly treasures of talent, quality, and inspiration.
Not a museum! Not carpeted with the mud of crude materialism. Not the junk of useless anger and rage kept so we can be a “whole person”. Not with old worn-out furniture of old habits which served their purpose years ago. Not a fire hazard in the basement of repressed thoughts and emotions. Not with broken appliances - skills and talents not kept up to date. Not needing a new coat of paint to hide its immaturity. Not with cupboards filled with negative attitudes, which can befoul whole rooms and distort the way others feel when visiting us. Selfishness and materialism impair our ability to honour the best within us, our spiritual treasures.
We must recognize: - our areas of weakness, deficiencies in character, feelings, habits, and use the power of the Higher Self to cleanse and update.
We are responsible as stewards, caretakers, and householders. If we insist others are at fault, we have gone absent from our house, and let others live in our minds.
The condition of our mental household affects the quality of our lives. For example, harbouring: -
We cannot ask others to protect us under such circumstances. We can only protect ourselves by more wholesome thinking and acting.
a. Integrity in all we think and do, our house is lit by ideals.
b. Consistency and self-discipline, we discover talents and skills growing in the sunroom of our house.
c. A basic willingness to grow, we find new rooms we didn’t know of, filled with treasure and promise.
If we become overrun with laziness, crudity, rage and selfishness, our house becomes no longer fit to live in, “life is not worth living” - the beginning of the wish to die, and illness.
We need vigilance and self-inspection, for most of us have one or more problems in need of major repair and cleaning, and which tends to reappear from time to time. = Chronic disaster areas in our household which block our efforts to integrate the personality and the Higher Self.
With broom and duster in hand, and no self-deception! Not a witch hunt, but objective; not making excuses, nor apologetically, but with love and trust in our potential to grow.
Instruments: - to determine the source of the thoughts, habits, feelings, memories, and why we established those patterns in the first place; and do they still serve a useful purpose?
Did we create them, did they creep in the back door, or did visitors track them in? Why did we accept them?
1-3 represent furnishings we can own, keep or discard, they are our own responsibility.
Our mind is virtually “blank” at birth, but we immediately begin constructing - modeling on or reacting to our parents, sibs, teachers, relatives and significant others close to us. The child is naive and immature, and often misunderstands the implications. It cannot have enough wisdom, competence, maturity and independence to choose adequately. Therefore habits, attitudes, beliefs, convictions, feelings are stored which are no longer appropriate as an adult. The residuals therefore risk being childhood preferences, immature reactions, and grudges, instead of maturity, self-reliance, and sense of responsibility.
Childhood residuals could be: - Tendency to fantasize; making and breaking commitments lightly; excessive orientation to pleasure and pain; avoidance of work; easily distracted from purpose and goals.
It is important to uncover these and revise them, creating more mature patterns.
Pleasant/unpleasant; helpful/frightening; educational/frivolous etc.
May have powerful impact upon our attitudes, habits, beliefs, convictions, and behaviour.
Some are constructive, leading to growth, and stretch our humanity.
Some are destructive, undermining our self-esteem, blunting our enthusiasm for living (turn down our flame).
Check - the changes we made may have been appropriate only in the narrow context of that one event. Restore balance, so it doesn’t cripple our self-expression and block the light within us.
E.g. ruminating about what might have been, what has been, what may be....
In our house, are there any of these?
Idle speculation, worry,
Irritation, disaster fantasies,
Illusions, obsessions with pet theories,
Paralysis from private demons?
Most of these can be healed in the light of common sense...
Items 4 and 5 are not from our own selves.
Absorbed by a kind of osmosis. The psychic influences of those around us are as great if not greater than the physical.
Problem is that they appear to be our very own!! (Until we have established a coherent baseline of our own attitudes, convictions, beliefs, and habits). Only then can we monitor and see which thoughts and feelings, etc., are alien to us and our true Self. We must review the past to see where we absorbed errors and owned them as our own. And then cleanse them.
Mass Consciousness is the collective power of thought, feeling, opinion, attitudes, and habits of humanity. Can engulf those who just “go with the flow”, yielding their personal will and potential. You don’t usually experience these inhabitants of your mental household until you pull away from the general trend of opinion and behaviour in the mass. Then the laziness, immaturity, intimidation in mass consciousness can increase against one who seeks to tame those influences. Thus to have a bench line of one’s own deepest values is vital.
Items 6-7 are from deeper levels.
Many levels and departments: -
Here are the basic patterns of our character, “good” and “bad”.
Here are the “skills” and “sub-personalities” we draw upon automatically, (e.g. to be disruptive, rebellious, perfect parasite, martyr etc.). To self-examine and find them we must look for repetitive patterns. Psychosynthesis offers many techniques for recognizing, healing and maturing sub-personalities.
These are our most prized possessions. For example:
The Power to Heal
The Wisdom to solve problems
The Compassion to forgive
The Strength to act with courage
The Power of Inspiration
The Power to act with benevolence and kindness
I.e. All the Patterns for the Ideal way of thinking, feeling, and acting in any circumstance, which we might meet.
(a) The undercurrent of divine life throughout the whole of life
(b) Nothing exists beyond the reach of God’s benevolent influence.
(c) There is a divine purpose and momentum at work even in the most desperate conditions.
(d) Goodwill is the natural force behind all right human relations
(e) The power of transcendent love is to be used for Healing
A. Role play and Inner Dialogue - The Ideal Parent is focused in love while the Inner Child is focused on distress. This is one of the strongest methods available for integrating the Higher Self and the personality. We activate our spiritual ideals. These then automatically expel the negative conditions of fear, resentment, anger, pettiness, and selfishness. There is no need to vent these feelings or even imagine them being dissipated. Our real strength lies in remaining focused in the love of the ideal.
B. Augment with seed thoughts such as: - “To transform that which is imperfect” / “The power to forgive” / “The building of faith” / “Optimism” / “Tolerance” / “It is the power of Goodwill that helps to build civilization, improves the quality of relationships, and enables us to grow”. / “The proper agent and practice of goodwill”. / “Unconditional Love”. We can use this method to heal our tendency to angry outbursts, (lack of self-control and goodwill), to improve relationships, to create a more wholesome environment for our family, to forgive and so on. It will always help us to grow towards the light and love of God, the Source of life.
Is to serve as a vehicle for the expression of spiritual love in daily life.
This work cannot proceed if there is contamination with emotional diseases of immaturity, anger, rage, selfishness, grief, jealousy, pessimism, fear, guilt, and cruelty.
The most dread diseases are those, which are difficult to detect till they are far advanced - e.g. cancer or heart disease. But the most insidious are not physical but emotional! They can fester and spread till they have almost destroyed us before we take effective action, and there is no need for this to be so.
Incredibly, some of these are treated like badges of honour rather than seen as blight. Choosing by how we “feel” about our options may be merely choosing out of prejudice. On TV, high achievers who are confident and proud are set forth as role models - but may be arrogant or greedy. Aggressive and intimidating people confusingly may be thought to be strong. Faultfinding complainers and paranoid cynics may be accepted as “experts”. Sentiment and sympathetic outpourings may be confused for true compassion and caring. Lack of guilt and inhibition may be confused for maturity, and yet may disguise selfishness. Anger may be assumed to be the best response to criticism, or grief to every loss.
The pattern of making decisions, acting, moving, planning, reacting, behaving, and surveying public opinion on the basis of how we feel rather than by aligning with the perspective of the Higher Self, has smothered the correct use of the mind and spiritual will and trapped human behaviour in a “time warp of adolescence”.
Psychology must go beyond describing the way people feel and behave, to understanding the purpose and correct use of the emotions, from the point of view of the Higher Self, the agent which seeks to use them, (with the mind and the body) for creative self-expression.
Frustration may have its real roots in our wishes and lusts, more than in our failure to get gratification.
Fears may be a lack of courage to confront them, or of wisdom to see that they are not appropriate, more than signals for avoiding the conditions we fear.
Dependency on others or the state may be a signal to develop self-sufficiency rather than rail about our “rights”.
Hurt feelings may signal a need to develop tolerance and self-respect, rather than to be defensive, aggressive, or to wail.
Yet the tendency to want to treat the symptoms, rather than deal with root causes, is deeply ingrained in mass consciousness.
Emotions are fluid and unstable, and cannot maintain continuity of character and purpose. Those without the inner direction of values, goals, and ethics become the victim of their endless sequence of emotional reactiveness.
Their opinions reflect the beliefs of those they met recently.
Their moods are of those with whom they are or have just been.
Their ethics are borrowed from a cultural subgroup or shaped by expediency.
Their behaviour is a reflection of what they like and dislike, not a product of self-determination.
“Self-expression” is seen as expression of whatever emotion is felt at the moment, even if inappropriate, harmful, or silly.
The emotions are used to gratify desires, protect self-interests, and interpret sensations. Petulance and pettiness may block the building of a climate of beauty, grace, and aspiration.
Subtler, even if we know our goals, we may forget the tendency of the emotions to get caught up with the moods of mass consciousness. We then reflect attitudes inconsistent with our nobler purposes and goals for living.
For stability, our values and goals should never be based upon the emotions, but built upon the spiritual ideals and purposes of the Higher Self.
We achieve much more in life by acting nobly, honourably and with self-restraint. Finding when we have reacted (e.g. with anger to criticism, or disappointment and pessimism to opposition) before we remembered our values and goals and spiritual ideals helps us develop true detachment and self-determination.
Beware of tendencies to confuse: -
Spiritual love is never permissive and undisciplined. It can be expressed through the emotions only if our feelings have been aligned with the values and goals as well as the love of the Higher Self, and are responsive to the guidance and discipline from the mind. Unruly emotions can create the “Higher Self” in their own image rather than cooperate constructively with its genuine purpose.
Detachment is not repression or indifference. It is a choice for Self-determination. We examine the elements that lead us, push us, inspire us, and drive us to act, especially in the seemingly insignificant. It can be startling to discover how frequently we lose control to our emotions. It helps to reflect upon the consequences of this - the appeasing of petty wants and hurts, at the expense of constructive behaviour.
To strengthen our self-determination: -
Emotions build up a magnetic rapport, attraction and repulsion, with what they like or dislike. When used constructively by the Higher Self this can be effective in building an enlightened climate for relationships, work, and self-expression. Used by the reactive personality it leads to: -
Easy to see in others - less so in ourselves! Vanity can look like self-respect to us. Blind ambition like a noble drive. Lust to manipulate others like protecting our rights. Righteous judgmentalism of others like a concern for justice.
Our fanaticism draws others of the opposite persuasion who try to attack or even destroy us. Our addictions make us slaves to the objects of our craving. The work of maintaining the addiction and compulsions exhausts our emotions so they cannot be used to serve their real purpose.
Healing is by restoring the proper role of the emotions, by The Noble Middle Path. Happiness is found by finding those central values and principles that define Self-expression, and being governed by them. One who genuinely values his health will not destroy his health by addictions. One who genuinely loves the Source of Life, and his neighbour will not become a fanatic or bigot. His emotions are balanced by the spiritual ideal he serves.
It is this, which enriches life, more than the satisfaction of cravings, compulsions, and addictions.
Methods - the use of the Ideal Parent, and Seed Thoughts (e.g. “the balanced expression of love”, or “the dominion of my Higher Self”).
There are 2 major ways this happens: -
1. The presence of the wrong kind of self-expression.
Excessive negativity excludes noble themes, qualities and skills. Chronic resentment, guilt, or embarrassment can lead to a whole life built upon a foundation of emphasis on distress, which systematically excludes the noble and healing. Dammed up behind the wall of negativity, cut off from the capacity of the Higher Self to support and maintain the emotions in health, we can become prey to the negativity of others and mass consciousness. The quality of life decreases, and we become less responsive to the noble elements of life - beauty, faith, hope and grace. The remedy is to break up and remove the attitudes that block our consciousness, and replace them with the spiritual qualities that heal. (Resentment with love, for example, through the process of forgiveness).
2. The absence of an affirmative self-expression.
Insufficient attention to expressing values, self-respect, and dedication to goals. This leads to passivity, appeasement, and giving up, rather than action, assertion, and perseverance in the face of opposition. We heal this by creating an affirmative self-expression of the ideal ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. Hence the need to develop our positive spiritual qualities in action, a life of genuine service.
Struggling to “overcome problems” is not so effective as establishing an effective base of spiritual qualities and treasures - a “bank account” of such emotional riches as:
Devotion Faith Compassion
Cheerfulness Charm Caring
Tolerance Forgiveness Harmony
Cooperation Affection Sharing
Generosity Goodwill Tenderness
Enthusiasm Optimism Reverence
Aspiration Gratitude Patience
Kindness Humility Love
Hope/Optimism Courage Gratitude
Contentment Joy Humour
Lightness Confidence/inner security Self-respect
Self-esteem Sexual balance Peace
Capacity to renounce the past Relaxation Tranquility
Capacity to resolve inner conflicts by having a stable set of values and goals
And other qualities – the intangibles that make life worth living
It is such as these, which can melt away the coldness of bitterness and hate, darkness and despair, irritation and petty anxieties. Nothing less will work. It is these, which need to be cultivated deliberately and consciously.
Is it a shock to learn that good intentions, positive thoughts, affirmations, and trust in God are not all that is needed, even if they are a starting point. We must convert them into skilful emotional expressions in daily life. They are far richer, more powerful, and creative than we suspect at the start of this journey. They grow as we grow. They are our spiritual bank account, on which we can draw in times of need or crisis.
The power to heal our emotions lies in the Higher Self, - not in the emotions themselves. We must look beyond our hurt feelings and urges to be tutored by those qualities that can transform and heal.
Love is not an emotion; it is a spiritual quality. It can be expressed through the emotions, but also through the mind and other aspects of the personality. In fact it is that which brings the personality together in a unified whole.
The single most important element in healing the emotions is the practice of divine love - to become attuned to it, to respect it as a motivating force of life, to endeavour to honour it fully.
Will, aspiration, devotion, and faith enable us to transform that which is imperfect, which is the work of divine love. “To transform that which is imperfect” - a good motto for the work of healing the emotions
1. Enter meditative state and contact the higher Self.
2. Define our need to know, focusing our invocation of wisdom.
3. Choose one of the following methods for contacting wisdom and thoroughly exploring: -
o Ideal solution, from the “Wisdom Library”, or the “Future Time Warp” techniques.
o Discerning purpose and principles.
o Role playing - the Skilled Research Scientist, Investigative Journalist.
o Personification - Wise person, or the Panel of Wise People, - experts in particular aspects of the subject,
o Divine archetypes
o (See also the useful writings of Edward de Bono in the following books:
“6-hat thinking”, “Lateral thinking”, “Po, beyond-yes-and-no”, for ideas on more expanded use and training of the mind).
o The I Ching, Tarot, Runes, Astrology etc., all are ‘mantic devices’ that can be successfully used in order to stimulate our unconscious associative mechanisms.
4. Review the insights, and intention to apply them, touching the power to ACT wisely.
“Paths to God” - the ways of faith, devotion, will, good works, wisdom - this has led to many specializations and exclusions by teachers/gurus/systems of meditation.
But, a person who can only love God does not have a complete relationship with God; he is in harmony with the heart of God, but not with the mind, will, or plan of God. One who has built faith in the Higher Self, but little else, has limited himself to those facets activated by faith alone.
Faith, love and devotion are good starting points. But untutored emotions too easily succumb to temptation, irritation, selfishness, and rebelliousness. Mystical knowledge and skills without the sound and intelligent use of a channel of service can cause problems for the immature personality.
Thus we must put the lessons of practical love (good works), will and wisdom together. We must train the mind as well as the emotions. We must step down the Plan of God into our own effective service, the will of God into our own purposeful direction, the light of God into practical intelligent wisdom. We must learn to add wisdom to faith, good works to love, divine will to devotion. Yet many systems of meditation decry the mind as the “slayer” and to not see it as a meaningful pathway to God and the Higher Self. This is widespread and poisonous, undermining much good that Active Meditation is designed to do, and can do.
The Higher Self is the repository of wisdom - not just ideas, but also of the meaning of them and the power to act creatively with them. Being immortal it has acquired great stores of talents, powers, knowledge. Being a divine creation, it has access to the full wisdom and force of divine archetypes - the 5th dimensional patterns in creation.
The emotions do reflect some of this wisdom by learning to love truth and beauty. But it is the mind no longer enslaved by sensation and emotional reactivity that is designed for contacting and being a conduit par excellence for wisdom.
There are some stages which may be gone through, and some of them can even seem counterproductive: -
It is not the mind which is critical, skeptical, materialistic, profane, and prejudiced. It is an untrained mind, or one used by emotionally oriented people.
A trained mind can tap the accumulated knowledge, wisdom, insight, and the power to act of the Higher Self. The training of the mind cannot be bypassed on the way to enlightenment, without grave risk of serious distortions about the spiritual life, the Higher Self, and God. Ignorance has never been a spiritual virtue.
It is ignorance that destroys the spiritual life, not wisdom; it is the empty mind that can be the “slayer”, not the active and enlightened mind. Encouraging others to not value and develop their minds, which are part of God’s creation, can do grave disservice.
Illumination generally comes gradually, as we practice focusing our need to know and seek guidance from the Higher Self.
1. Power, or Force
2. Meaning, or Quality
3. Pattern, or Design
The mind must be trained to rise above its preoccupation with the form of ideas, and learn to work with the power, meaning, and pattern of ideas.
Inner life is structured on definite, knowable principles and laws. Applications of wisdom and truth may vary, yet the principles do not. They exist independently of our observations, senses, and level of understanding. They are structures in the 5th dimension, part of the intelligence, which is the mind of God.
They are reliable. The archetypal force of divine wisdom behind all expressions of it remains the same.
The bridge which links us to wisdom is built in 5 stages: -
As our love of truth grows, so does our capacity to invoke inspiration, penetrate self-deception, and comprehend the ideals of the higher Self.
Truth is multidimensional, not just the accuracy of facts and statistics. Truth and wisdom can be seen as derivatives of the divine archetypes of life. An idea or concept in harmony with the divine archetypal life is wise; a statement, which is in harmony with divine ideals and honours them, is truthful. Wisdom and truth are inherent in the Plan of God - we do not establish the wisdom or truth of any idea or concept. But loving truth builds the first stage of the bridge to wisdom.
The love of truth has 3 elements: -
Unless we love truth, we accept counterfeit insight and use it to guide our thinking and creativity. Unless we love truth, we can deceive ourselves, believing cherished beliefs when they are merely prejudices, attachments and self-deceptions. The love of truth gives us the courage to risk being wrong, - and to risk being right! It can be painful to discover the truth about ourselves, - but even more painful to act out of the untruths. The love of truth prevents us becoming adrift in the sea of public opinion. Should we be skeptical or enthusiastic, pessimistic or optimistic? Should we hate falsehood? - The love of truth helps us, and shows us the way, and that the last is the greatest deception of all.
“Empty mind” can be a barrier to developing wisdom, common sense, and truth. The skills needed in the mind include: -
Concentration Discernment Discrimination
Logic Analysis Objectivity
Induction Deduction Planning
Evaluation Organization Creativity
Contemplation Intuition Integrity
Common Sense Adaptability Harmony
Detachment Association Synthesis
None of these guarantee wisdom, for all can be used by the personality alone. But without them, responsiveness to wisdom is limited.
They are to be developed in school and college, and later in pursuing insight about our careers, relationships, past, society issues, frontiers of mental discovery, and the meaning of daily events.
Symbols can embody the richness and force of archetypal life, but they are not wisdom and truth themselves. Inner wisdom exists independently of the life of form and personality, but the way to wisdom is found by studying the appearances of life and speculating upon the laws, principles, designs, and ideas which gave rise to them.
A symbol is any concrete form, which reveals the abstract essence from which it was derived.
It does not contain the power, significance, and intelligence of the abstract thought it represents. It helps us become aware of the reality it represents. (A picture of a flower does not contain the fragrance or life of beauty of the flower, but it helps us to love the flower and its essence).
“Thinking in images” is not the same as working with abstract ideas. Reading a seed catalogue is not gardening. The image is not a symbol until we go beyond the image and contact the abstract reality it represents. Such use of symbols helps us to go beyond concrete intellectual analysis alone, to a capability of handling creative inspirations, abstractions and insight. It guides us to the subtle world of qualities, meaning, and purpose. It enlarges our thinking. One can read and make a literal interpretation, - or intuit the intention of the author, the value of the ideas to one’s own life, and the relationship of these ideas to others on the same subject.
Abstract thought is the archetypal force, which is the essence of a particular idea, experienced as a direct understanding of the significance of an idea and how it relates to other ideas.
Abstract feeling is the essence of a particular emotion. Goodwill is the essence behind forgiveness and tolerance, for example.
If we are unhappy, we could be touched by the abstract feelings of cheerfulness and joy in meditation, and obtain an understanding of why we are unhappy, which is an abstract thought.
Abstract feelings help to heal and enrich the emotions, expanding our expression of divine love. For wisdom we need understanding, not just good feelings.
The way to develop the capacity for abstract thought is to search for the purpose or underlying themes in any event, pattern, or fact of daily life, our relationships with others and the affairs of society. We start by trying to understand confusing aspects of our lives. Later we become more creative, and contemplating a set of ideas or possibilities, we find ourselves immersed in awareness of what to do with these ideas, what they mean, and the purpose they fulfill. They become perfectly proportioned facets of a pure clear diamond of thought, which embraces the entire range of possibilities and applications, and yet remains whole. We have tapped the basic design and power of this particular idea, and wherever we focus this diamond we know how to proceed.
Within every archetype are not only intelligence and meaning, but also the strong impulse to act. There is will-to-life as well as inspiration and light.
This can be nurtured by the personal determination to become the right person doing the right things at all times. As the will builds we can then use this force of will to penetrate the elements of ignorance, self-deception, selfishness still in the character of the personality, while stimulating and strengthening the intelligence, maturity, and discipline which can clear them away.
Wisdom has this active mode. Understanding must be translated into action before it becomes wisdom. The intention to act wisely creates a pathway for the light of wisdom to enter our conscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. It keeps us practical. The need for the life of spirit is great. “Love” and “wisdom” that has no practical use may be incomplete. There are no areas of life, which could not benefit from more understanding and insight.
Enlightenment means having the intention to take an active part in applying wisdom, harnessing its illuminating light and using it to remove ignorance wherever it is. It is also the capacity to no longer confuse a partial truth for the whole truth.
Cultivate three traits:
The purely mundane, practical, focus of our ordinary consciousness serves a useful purpose in helping us to remain attentive to our duties and obligations; but it can limit us and cramp our curiosity and creativity. To complete the bridge to our higher consciousness we need to teach ourselves to periodically break free from the restrictions of ordinary consciousness and explore the higher realms of life.
Whenever we have need of wisdom, not just in formal meditations.
Use a flexible format, to avoid deadening boredom.
The Higher Self can communicate with us in many ways - mental impressions, images, sense of rightness or wrongness, specific words and thoughts, and dreams.
A problem to solve, an area of confusion, an opportunity to evaluate, an aspect of character to review, a relationship to improve, a responsibility to carry out better, and so on. In this way we take the initiative to invoke guidance, and help us to act more wisely.
The ideal way already exists in pattern or principle. Visit the “Wisdom Library” for the ideal solution, or use a “Meditative Time Warp” and look back from the future after the ideal solution has been implemented to see the steps taken. Insights and clues will come to us in these exercises of the creative imagination.
This helps to transcend the limits of mundane thinking. Must mean more than just examining what we want from our personality perspective. Examine from the point of view of the Higher Self, and how it views the purposes and principles being served.
What forces are involved in this situation?
What is their origin and intention?
What lessons are being taught?
Is this in harmony with universal principles?
What is the best way to fulfill the purpose being served?
As a “Wise Research Scientist” or “Experienced Investigative Reporter” seeking to discover the truth behind some phenomenon or aspect of life. Reflect upon the how, why, when, where, who of the object of our enquiry. This method invokes objectivity and impersonality.
Invoke a symbol for our object of inquiry from the Higher Self. Sketch it or model it. Then ponder upon the meaning, insight, and force, which the symbol represents. Expect that the Higher Self will subtly suggest to us the appropriate symbol. Adopt a receptive, listening attitude and the invocation is answered. The reason for invoking the symbol is to go beyond the form and tap the essence it represents.
Strong dedication to truth is needed, lest the personification is taken over by our wishes and fantasies The Wise Sage or Teacher who can guide us and instruct us in the proper perspective regarding the object of our inquiry. Or, a Committee of Experts seated around a table, there to answer our questions. The actual perspective is more important than the actual conversation.
The patterns of wisdom and intelligence in the mind of God. They contain the insight, meaning, intelligence, and power from which genuine creative work draws its strength.
Examples include: -
Nurturing, Parenting, and Growth, for improving parenting skills.
Responsibility, Duty, and Brotherhood, for improving citizenship.
It is important to become aware of the archetypes that govern different fields of human endeavour, reflect on the patterns of divine intelligence and the basic designs. Pondering on these invokes the appropriate archetypal force, and we begin to communicate with this pure force of life. With perseverance and imagination, we become comfortable and adept at this, and come to recognize the distinct qualities of the various archetypal forces of life. Symbols to represent them help in the beginning.
Quiet confidence that the Higher Self is just as interested in this process as we are from our personality perspective. Self-deception and fantasy may creep in from time to time, but the whole process is overshadowed by the wisdom of the Higher Self.
We review advice and guidance, from whatever source, before we act on it. Do the insights we have received mesh with our values, principles and sense of duty? If not, skepticism is appropriate. Common sense and good judgment are part of the wisdom of the Higher Self and of the path to it.
There are other sources for further enhancing our creative thinking, and practical thinking tools, - especially the works of Edward de Bono.
It can help to consciously separate the following types of thinking, for example, from the book “6-Hat Thinking”: -
White hat thinking - facts only, - and their level of verifiability.
Red hat thinking - how you feel about the subject, including emotions and gut feeling kinds of intuitions.
Yellow hat thinking - what is positive about the proposal or subject.
Black hat thinking - what is negative about the proposal or subject - but not negative feelings, which are red-hat thinking. This is more - what we need to be cautious about, how our proposal is not good so that it can be improved.
Green hat thinking - creative and lateral thinking. Interesting.
Blue hat thinking - thinking about thinking - what kind of thinking do we need to call for next?
“Po, - beyond Yes and No” and “Lateral Thinking” are more concerned with movement than judgment, and these books include the tools of reversed sentences and random dictionary words, which are useful to enable one to jump out of one’s usual thinking rut when it is necessary to do so.
The methods of Sub-personality Conferences from psychosynthesis may be useful to enable the personality to come to the point of agreement and cooperating with the wisdom of the Higher Self.
To invoke and practice the Presence of God, of the Higher Self in our lives.
“Problems” serve a useful function - motivation to become a better person.
They can be Turning Points, opportunities, - to gather resources, friends, and invoke the Higher Self.
They can be approached with passivity, aggressiveness, - or wisdom.
Higher Self always seeks to help the personality increase its responsibility.
1. Enter the meditative state and contact the Higher Self.
2. Dwell on the capacity of the greater to assist the lesser in solving problems. Meditate upon the power behind various seed thoughts as “Discovery of inner resources”, “The perfect strength and wisdom of the Higher Self”, “The power of the creative approach to life”.
3. We ask questions to help us define the problem, its antecedents, the psychological climate it is a part of, and the real problem behind the symptoms.
4. Personification and role-playing can be used.
5. We ask questions that will help us understand and implement the best possible solution to the problem. Spiritual ideals and divine archetypes can be used, and/or the creation of a mental laboratory or studio.
6. We focus the solution into our thoughts, feelings, and physical activities. Seed thoughts can be used again.
Concentrate on essence rather than “symptoms” (E.g. on one’s own laziness v. “others are against me”). Detachment is needed in phrasing the questions to be objective and not colour them with wishes and expectations so the answers please and satisfy us. It is easier to be aware of the symptoms of the problem and our reactions and defenses, than of the underlying difficulty. Loving attitude and sincerity of purpose at all times.
Example: -Finding it hard to compete against those who work hard and are skilled. Reaction: - To think society is discriminating against him unfairly, and perhaps to believe this is the right response. Underlying problem: - could be laziness and/or parasitism, which perpetuate a cycle of hostility and resentment.
Negligence in attending to our duties, commitments, assignments, and obligations? Unpleasant bill collectors are not the problem, our failure to pay is. Loneliness is not the problem; it may be the symptom of how we have treated people in the past. Being attacked may not be the problem; having been critical of others in the past may be bearing fruits now. Friends “letting us down now” may be a symptom of how we were only ready to give them help in a way that was self-serving and manipulative....
Family traditions, the conditioning of popular media heroes and advertising, the psychic influences of mass consciousness - e.g. fear of economic decline, or the chauvinism of nationalistic fervour.
It is easy to waste time “correcting” aspects of the problem that are relatively unimportant. E.g. harp less on the lack of respect of children for their elders and devote more time to learning about better parenting. Moan less about the difficulty with strangers, and spend time healing one’s dislike of oneself with forgiveness. Broadening our focus this way can enable us to see more clearly the changes that must be made.
What can be learned about ourself, human nature, the needs of others, how we can be helpful, what new responsibilities we should accept? By contrast, to view work as imposition, conflict as harassment, offers of cooperation as intrusions, all criticism as attack etc. makes solution impossible. What we define as “stress” is often an opportunity! To grow or develop some valuable quality.
Do we have any subconscious motives to maintain the problem? To be “martyred” by/to it? Any wrong goals? The desire to survive, avoid conflict and wait for better times may not bring a solution. Defensiveness may blind us to seeing our opportunity to do something constructive, and even lead us into a perverse desire for punishment or vengeance, intensifying the problem. “Martyr”, “Victim”, and Vengeance complexes become addictive, and any real solutions to the problem are then sabotaged to maintain the addiction.
What would be Fairest-for-All?
What would meet the needs of each person and the larger group best?
What would serve peace best?
What would evoke the good, if latent, potential in each person involved?
Makikh, Khooba, Abilii, Rukha, Kenoota, Dadcean Libhoun (these are the Aramaic mind-sets described in the Forgiveness manual)? Or, more love, patience, courage, persistence without dogma/obstinacy/pushiness… etc?
Visualization of the needed qualities in action all the time, not just for a few minor occasions.
Involve other members of the group enterprise. Not just personal.
Engineering, accounting, marketing, social, health, political, artistic...etc, or holistic, with responsibility to the whole and good communication between types? Long term or short term thinking? Concern for staff, customers, or public image? Delegation and initiative encouraged or hierarchical and disciplinarian? Atmosphere of interference or gossip? The scope of the responsibility we have. (Duties in the job, and responsibilities to the welfare and growth of the whole enterprise, and to the wider culture and environment. Motives for helping and not helping, especially if we are stirring up trouble or refraining from helping when it is needed.
Competitive, depressed market, morale, bad publicity... these can indicate spurs to better growth. Opportunities can be hidden here - e.g. a depressed market can lead to tightening of efficiency and internal discipline (e.g. Finland after the War).
How serious? Any lessons from the past? Perhaps no action is required. Perhaps the past teaches that this kind of problem must be swiftly dealt with before it becomes a major disaster. Many trends are cyclical, and we can go with the tide more easily than against it.
Sales, production, advertising, cash flow, morale, administration, development for the future, public image... How does the problem affect the whole enterprise and its capacity to fulfill its purpose? What is the solution of the problem in the context of what is best for the enterprise? And for the society in which it is? And for the planet?
How can I contribute from where I am? To morale, by cheerfulness, optimism and support of the work of others? Do I need to obtain more power to implement a solution and how can I do that harmlessly? Timing, costing, chances of success? Tailor solutions to factors under your control.
We can receive more than the answers to the questions we pose, we get understanding of why these answers resolve the problem.
Personally, and in the light of spirit? Greed, lust for attention, fantasies, pride, or illusions? These only stimulate us to copy what others did before us. The real source of creative inspiration is archetypal life. To contact these our primary motivation must be to serve the purposes of the creative ideas themselves, not personal petty desires. We are to contact the spirit of.......... (music, scientific endeavour, peace, etc).
Understanding the principles of parenting without relating them to the needs of a particular child may produce little benefit.
I am responsible for these if I set in train the causes. A sense of responsibility will help us make sure that what we create will produce favourable effects. The thrill of writing, making movies, or journalism must be tempered with love and care for the effects upon society.
The idea may not manifest unless we develop sufficient skills and discipline, and coordinate talent, time, raw materials, and opportunity.
And give value to humanity thereby? Needs dedication to excellence and sense of responsibility and sensitiveness to the ideals of the Higher Self.
If creative endeavours are alive and vital, they will grow in scope, quality, and value to humanity. We review regularly our creative endeavours, looking for ways to improve them. We examine our alignment with the creative forces, the strength of our faith in the work we are doing, and the skills and talents we possess. Periodic mental housecleaning, and re-energizing the ideals and posture we try to maintain during the creative process - dedication to excellence, sense of responsibility, and responsiveness to the very best ideas and ideals within us.
We receive more than mere answers. In meditation we are working at subconscious and unconscious as well as the conscious levels of our multidimensional being.
Wise person or Committee of Wise People who are experts, keeping focused upon the problem’s solution and not upon the fantasy about the personification.
Play the roles of others in the situation to gain insight into their motives, their attitudes, and what is best from their point of view.
Play the role of sub-personalities - e.g. the inner critic, saboteur, victim, depressor, - and their opposites, the inner approver, venturer, self-determining person, encourager, etc., to better understand what prompts the resistances, and overcome them.
The spirit of the creative idea seeking to enter our life is like an unborn embryo, and we, the loving parent, communicate with this unborn child, the spirit of our creative design, and see how we can help to bring it into life and nurture it into creative expression and adulthood.
White, Red, Yellow, Black, Green and Blue. Po, PMI, and Lateral thinking.
Rehearsing the ways in which we will express these ideals - e.g. a capacity to care about the interests and welfare of others, a healthy respect for the individuality of others, affection, kindness, and the willingness to share.
The patterns for acting with enlightenment in every conceivable circumstance. For unfairness - Fairness to all, and true justice. For self-deception - Truth. Personification as Muses or Graces helps the beginner (“The act of human creation” and “Becoming graceful” from the Art of Living series). It is the force behind these, not so much the images themselves, which help us to solve the problems.
Requested from the Higher Self. Explore the meaning in depth.
In which we can work on projects, research options, and carry on continuing conversations with personifications, sub-personalities and so on. The lighting is perfect. The testing equipment and experimental devices and materials are faultless. The kitchen has all the ingredients needed to refine our skills.
E.g. “Right Human Relationships”, “Self-sufficiency”, “Adaptability”, “Thoroughness”, and "Resourcefulness”. Mental housecleaning may be needed here again to make them effective.
The best form of stress management is applying wisdom to the solving of problems, rather than either of: -
This emptiness is pleasant compared to the stresses of daily living, so an illusion of managing stress is created, and when return to the world of everyday life is made, one can be more irritable than before.
The fundamental goal of the Western tradition of Active Meditation is to not only discover the presence of God, but to practice this presence as our primary spiritual obligation.
Problems can motivate us to become a better person, give us experience in handling opposition and resistance with maturity, teach us the value of friends, and of building a partnership with the Higher Self. The key lies in how we respond to the problem.
Seeking refuge in passive forms of meditation can leave us unprepared to seize the opportunities of the turning point.
Attacking the problem in the same mode that led to it in the first place, more angrily and aggressively than before causes pain and exhaustion.
Habitually seeking out the wise counsel of the Higher Self in Active Meditation enables us to see more clearly the lessons being learned, or the opportunities being offered, and more reasonable solutions to the problem.
Posing questions. This initiates the request for assistance to the Higher Self. Waiting for the Higher Self to guide us, instead of taking the initiative to request specific answers, often results in serious self-deception. One can imagine one is bravely struggling with major issues when in fact only nibbling at the edge of the problem.
The Higher Self is always striving to help the personality increase its responsibility, not decrease it. It provides useful guidance and insight, - but expects us to take this help and integrate it into our daily living. It expects us to make decisions and accept the consequences. We are to take an active role in working to resolve our problems, and confront the issues and challenges. Only in this way do we become a competent agent of the wisdom, love, and strength of the Higher Self.
It may be that the problems are really the Higher Self asking us questions. We ask for or invoke assistance and seek to cooperate with the Higher Self, - by asking questions in meditation and getting answers from the Higher Self - a kind of Divine Catechism through which the Higher Self teaches us the lessons of responsibility, creativity, and maturity.
To have a separate “meditating self”, withdrawn from the fabric of everyday, and another “self” active in busy life demonstrates lack of integration. The insights, wisdom and love gained are to be translated into our daily self-expression. This is grounding the qualities, skills and principles of the Higher Self in the life of the personality.
Is to enrich the roles we play in life - citizen, parent, child, spouse, friend, worker, consumer, or provider. The truly gifted actor is one who expresses himself or herself through his roles, not one who does not know who he is when not in role.
Imitating others - TV heroes, friends and associates admired, -is not genuine self-expression. Being “true to one’s feelings” is to do just that, and miss making a meaningful statement about the inner dimensions and values of life. Feelings may become all one has to give to life.
True self-expression is something more than imitating others or being true to our feelings. It involves: -
This heals and enriches the personality and enables us to contribute to life. It enables our light to shine forth through all we do.
It is our obligation to enrich and spiritualize civilization - this is the basic direction of spiritual life. The collective work can only be achieved by each of us doing our part.
The partnership between the Higher Self and the personality is the secret of individuality. The goal of active meditation is to create an outlet for the expression of our Higher Self.
“Congestion” occurs in the personality if we “breathe in” the inspiration, power and compassion of the Higher Self, but do not “breathe out” and express the wisdom, strength and goodwill in our acts. Failure to do so can lead to the personality becoming restless, depressed, irritable, and frustrated. Its self-image may deteriorate. Consciousness has been bottled up, as if we were holding our breath, but the consequences can be just as serious.
Those with congestive psychological problems may be quite busy, but the honouring of wisdom with intelligent activity, of love with goodwill, affection, compassion, and tolerance, of the power of the Higher Self with service to the divine plan may not be adequate.
The Higher Self is interested in what happens to the investments of wisdom, talent, love and power that it makes in the personality. As the personality finds outlets for these facets of the life of the Higher Self, it fulfils the commitment the Higher Self has made to participate in the plan for humanity and civilization.
To participate fully in the life of humanity is to help one another and work collectively towards the goals of the Higher Self.
Self-expression is a creative phenomenon. For a quality of the Higher Self to achieve full self-expression it must pass through the concrete mind, then the emotions, then be embodied in physical activity. If any of these three vehicles are not properly coordinated or are untrained, or are bogged down in antagonistic feelings or thoughts, the whole process of self-expression will be aborted, no matter how good the idea or lighted vision received in meditation.
There are certain specific steps to be taken: -
Locating and removing elements of self-doubt, ambivalence, fear of criticism, fear of loss, hesitation. We can call up the dissenting voices of our subconscious and give them the opportunity to speak to us. Knowing the good intentions of the sub-personalities helps us turn a potentially negative force into one that can be harnessed to help us as we take care of the concerns expressed.
In changing a habit, approaching our work with creativity, implementing a new plan, treating others with greater kindness, or any new program. We define our purpose for acting in this way as inclusively as possible, not just for personal gain. Feeling good is OK, but doing something for “peace on earth goodwill to all men and women” has even more power.
Adding meditation upon seed thoughts - “The greater expresses itself through the lesser”, “The courage to act”, “Purpose determines my self-expression”, and “The complete fulfillment of purpose”.
In which to act and mentally rehearse expressing it, especially in circumstances of resistance, temptation, or discouragement. In this way we “coat” our intentions with a positive attitude and the power of optimism. We enlist the emotions to cooperate with us. Several minutes should be devoted to this, with no hurry.
Lacking enough self-respect, it is difficult to sustain any constructive activity, no matter how valuable it might be. Our first attempts to build self-respect often stir up the opposite - ancient feelings of inferiority, self-rejection, and self-denial, that can easily overwhelm our enlightened efforts unless we recognize what is happening and manage it with mental housecleaning.
Three points help us to generate a cheerful attitude and healthy respect for what we do: -
1. Good feelings alone do not guarantee contact with the Higher Self - they are expressions of the innate life of the personality. We are not trying just to “feel good” about what we are doing. We are striving to translate the joy and goodwill of the Higher Self into our attitudes and moods. The work of grounding is designed to charge our self-expression with the qualities and powers of the Higher Self. These qualities and forces do in part come through our emotions, but we are harnessing the emotions to become a vehicle for the love and joy of the Higher Self.
2. By making sure that our state of mind responds to the spiritual ideals we choose to express, not the difficulties we face, it becomes easier to remain cheerful and optimistic in the face of problems and imperfections. We move the epicentre of our moods and feelings from the actual conditions of outer life to the ideals of the inner life. The subtle invisible forces of spirit are the real substance of life, not the problems and difficulties. Spiritual powers are there to be invoked to heal the imperfections, but for this to happen, our moods and attitudes must magnify the ideal qualities of spirit, not the actual conditions of form.
3. We must fully intend to involve ourselves in bringing the qualities of the Higher Self into fruition, assume “ownership” of the work and activity before us, and take responsibility for it. This involves more than looking at the imaginary picture of the desired result.
A “will statement” can crystallise and affirm our intention.
Meditation is a state in which we detach ourselves from the outer physical world and our emotional reactions, to work at inner levels of consciousness. We deal with abstract qualities, ideals, and energies. If we do not use the end of meditation to reconnect ourselves with the concrete dimensions of life, much of what we have gained will be lost, and simply left at the higher, abstract, level.
If this happens, the inner life may be enriched, but the outer life remains impoverished, even weakened.
Contemplation means, “laying the foundations of the temple” (Latin). It begins with meditating on a sacred subject or ideal, but concludes with laying out plans for putting it to work in life - “building the temple”.
o What new and deeper realizations have we gained about our spiritual nature and powers?
o How does this new understanding strengthen us in the pursuit of daily activities?
o How does this meditative experience alter our view and attitudes concerning our work, our past, our problems, and ourselves?
o How has this strengthened our intention to act in life? How can we best take charge of improving the quality of life, and becoming a more responsible agent of the Higher Self?
o What new expectations do we have about our self-expression and ourself?
Contemplation of these questions is to saturate our subconscious with a vivid awareness of our inner life, and build the expectancy subconsciously that the Higher Self is able and ready to help the personality throughout the day, whenever needed. We begin to understand that we always have access to the Higher Self - not just in meditation times.
Part of this contemplation is to mentally rehearse the ways we expect to apply the key insights we have gained and the energies we have contacted during meditation.........specific instances of treating people with greater kindness and forgiveness, or honouring a specific value, for example. The abstract intention is given finite instances of self-expression. The meditation is related to the opportunities of outer life.
“The life of my spirit pours through me, strengthening my courage to honour my ideals and my service in all that I do and say. May goodwill be the keynote of my self-expression.” (Or, use similar affirmation – design your own).
We hold a thought that the Higher Self is flooding us with its power, compassion, wisdom, and courage. It can refresh and re-energies the personality, and prepare it for the activities ahead. It widens the channel between the inner and the outer life.
It is senseless to fill ourselves with love and then continue to treat others harshly. And if we are trying to enrich our self-esteem, we must hold an enlightened opinion of our work and ourself during the whole day.
The momentum of habits, feelings, attitudes, and beliefs is generated by specific patterns of actual expression, and the best way to redirect the psychological momentum is to change the pattern.
Achievement of small goals supports our work and must be acknowledged. Small and frequent efforts to treat others kindly, to be confident and optimistic, to achieve greater self-discipline, or to develop intuitive insight produce better results than an all-out frenzied effort to assault our imperfections all at once.
It is in the subconscious that we have built up our old patterns of self-expression, and it is with the subconscious we must work to ground our meditative work, having interacted with the life of spirit. The subconscious is not to be feared, - it is the product of our experiences. If our experiences embody and reflect the wisdom, love, and talent of the higher Self, the subconscious will be healthy and our self-expression will be enlightened. If we allow our experiences to be random, the quality of our subconscious may be quite low, its structure disorganized, its functioning chaotic.
Detachment, poise, - these refresh our thinking and feeling with the qualities we tapped in meditation. It is just as easy as recalling an unpleasant experience, which so many choose to do so much more frequently.
The Evening Review is for crediting the successes and struggles of the personality in grounding the values and goals of the Higher Self. (Like putting the day’s earnings in the bank). A journal can be used for this. It is healthy, and reinforces the efforts of the Higher Self to help us transform our behaviour and attitudes.
The review serves to identify the patterns or traits, which help or hinder our efforts to implement the plans and intentions of the Higher Self. Adjustments can be made before problems become serious. We are designed to grow a little each day.
The review is also to protect us from self-deception. It is easier to spot inconsistencies and excuses before they slide unexamined into our unconscious.
It can bring many insights and understandings, and we are more likely to grasp the symbolic significance of events if we review them daily.
Though the wisdom of the Higher Self is active all day, at the times we set aside to comprehend the meaning and pattern of experiences, we tap into it further.
This can overcome the assumption that we will not succeed. You can do anything you can pretend to do. This is not fantasizing - it is an aspect of intelligent detachment. We do not have to wait until we are a saint to act more like one, and thus begin to honour our potential.
The mental rehearsals prepare us to do this successfully and wisely. The work we are trying to accomplish has already been done at inner levels. This is one of the elementary lessons of fourth dimensional thinking.
A New Meaning
Gradually the levels of awareness we tap during our meditative periods become the ordinary levels of our awareness and power. As this occurs the levels we tap in meditation become more sublime. This is transcendence. Rather than escaping the physical plane and discovering spirit, we have learned to ground spirit in the physical plane, lifting up that which is on earth and giving it a new identity, new meaning, and new purpose.
Active Meditation is designed to stimulate growth. Where willingness to grow is lacking, meditation will quickly stagnate. Dropouts from meditation can occur from: -
The purpose of Active Meditation is to live life with a maximum of wisdom, love, dignity, beauty, courage, and skill. We will always be looking forward to the next improvement in consciousness and maturity, so why would we abandon it?
Our commitment to growth must embrace all areas of consciousness: -
If these are not occurring in some measure, the very life and meaning of our meditations are missing.
Meditation is not to be seen as just a method of relaxation or stress management. It is to cooperate with our best potential for growth.
We are a living system. A significant change in one part, say in thoughts or attitudes, will evoke growth in every other part as well. A richer experience of the force of benevolence of the Higher Self will eventually change every aspect of our self-expression, - our attitudes about our past, our work, our relationships, the future, and ourself. This in turn will induce changes in our values, self-esteem, and perhaps some goals. Even some conflict may come, as the new wave challenges old bigotry, making us uneasy with old ways that need to be reevaluated, and healed.
Blending in each new addition to the basic structure of our consciousness rearranges the whole structure, and every thought, habit, attitude, and memory must be reexamined and reevaluated.
We become able to deal with our values, character, goals, thoughts, habits, and feelings as a single whole. We translate the platitudes about wholeness, holistic healing, oneness, synthesis and one pointedness into an actual skill.
If we ignore this, we may get away with it for a while, but it leaves our mental household in disorder., and we become prey to ambivalence, doubt, and conflict - symptoms which betray a lack of wholeness. We can only deceive ourselves for so long. Ultimately we must come to grips with the reality of growth - that the conflicts of opposing attitudes, habits, and psychological forces must be resolved before major new degrees of life can enter in.
The failure to acknowledge inconsistencies in our character is probably one of the greatest stumbling blocks to growth.
We grow in the integration of the Higher Self with the personality, and the integration of our present state of waking consciousness with our past states of thought, feeling and intention.
Most look for growth in the first area, but the second is as important. The conscious experiences in meditation are not necessarily reliable indicators of genuine growth. Unless we direct the compassionate love and wisdom we contact into our memory patterns consciously, it may well fail to saturate our storehouse of memories and associations.
Our earlier states of consciousness are the foundations on which our present state of awareness if constructed. Genuine growth involves integrating the whole of our character with the Higher Self.
In growth, a cycle that repeats itself can be seen at work: -
Phase one always follows completion of an earlier cycle. The new life of spirit enters the life of the personality as a result of the effort to honour the impulse to grow already active within us And there will always be an influx of the qualities we need if we are seeking genuine solutions and improvements in our daily self-expression.
The second phase is the activity of conscious attunement to this new life. If we do not become aware of insights they do not help us. If we do not radiate new love and tolerance, we cannot heal our resentments and bitterness. If we do not sense new courage and confidence, we cannot take greater initiative.
Here are some key questions to answer: -
The third phase of the cycle takes the new insights and seeks to integrate them into our memories and associations, the structure of our character. We have not grown much in goodwill until we can focus it to cultivate tolerance and forgiveness, to our past enemies, people we have condemned, and situations that have threatened us. Just feeling good is not enough. We have not really grown much in wisdom until we can review painful episodes from the past and see the lessons we have learned, the strength we have cultivated by enduring these situations, and the contributions these events have made to our overall destiny and duty.
The meditative skill of blessing (see The Science and Service of Blessing, by R. Assagioli, for more on blessing. Obtainable from Sundial house, Neville Court, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, TN4 8 NJ) is especially valuable in integrating the new life of the Higher Self into memories and associations from the past; it gives focus to our deepest benevolent impulses about life. All seven methods from active meditation will be used at times however.
The fourth phase is consolidation - recognizing that certain goals have been reached and can be left behind, and understanding the larger dimensions and implications within which this growth has been occurring. Major problems can be resolved over time. The more we work with effective meditative techniques and principles, the more the life of the personality becomes redeemed, purified, and aligned with the Higher Self. It is proper to acknowledge and review these accomplishments. Especially as new issues will likely be related to those we have resolved. The lessons we are learning now are preparation for those to come. Consolidation is the mysterious stage in growth when old trends and chapters close, but begin to reappear in new sets of challenges. It is an excellent time to refocus our dedication and commitment to growth - in consciousness and achievement.
The fifth phase takes us back to the first. Each new repetition of the cycle brings fresh wisdom, renewed vigour, greater compassion, and a higher level of achievement.
There is wisdom in the cyclic nature of growth. We must learn to express the new life we have contacted each cycle before we can go on to the next. We do not need to be discouraged when a problem which we thought we had solved returns in a new guise. Understanding the cyclic nature of growth helps us to understand the dynamics of what is happening to us. Progress in the evolution of consciousness paves the way to further progress, and growth never ceases, not even with the death of the physical body.
In actual life, these cycles do not occur as precisely outlined - more there is overlapping of cycles, and periods of rapid progress alternating with periods of sluggish or even retrograde movement. The self-conserving elements of the personality send false signals that all is well, the lazy elements balk at the work of integrating new life into old memories, blind spots hide from detection, rationalizations and selfishness reproduce themselves in new guises.
Yet if we pursue the main themes of our growth, we begin to understand the general outline of the lessons the Higher Self has planned for us in our life. Different from those we know, but still based on a great deal of wisdom and planning that our souls did long ago.
The emphasis will change as we progress in meditation. At first, we may need more time on healing the emotions and building a healthy self-image. Later we do more mental housecleaning, solving problems, and contacting the wisdom of the Higher Self. Later we may return to healing the emotions, but in a new way.
Resist the temptation to fix a formula. Each person must decide for themselves the areas of growth needing most support and concentrate on them. Later, priorities shift.
This need for flexibility and growth is often overlooked by systems of meditation and spiritual growth. A technique for relaxation or stress control may be taught, but no encouragement to go beyond it. Instructed to use it over and over again, the student may become so at ease that his capacity to take necessary action diminishes. Or, a bold new concept takes much time and effort to master, yet the student has the impression that that is all there is, and becomes stuck in the concept for the rest of his life.
It is too easy to become the victim of the momentum of any technique or system. But meditation is not an end in itself - it is a method for establishing better contact between the Higher Self and the personality. It will grow as we grow. We should look for the growth in it as well as in ourselves.
Prayer is the invocation of transpersonal divine blessing. It is a request for a divine agency to intervene or intercede on behalf of an individual or group. Any one with good intentions and faith in universal divine forces can do it.
Meditation is the radiation of a transpersonal divine blessing. The meditator contacts the Higher Self, and through the Higher Self, the force of the quality or blessing to be given. A significant portion of this divine force is then brought into the aura of the meditator, and then radiated to the person or group being helped.
Anyone can pray and invoke blessing. But one who has not worked to cleanse and purify his thoughts and emotions may end up radiating his own selfishness, bigotry, wishes, fears, and resentments instead of the light, love, and power of spirit intended. There is greater responsibility in using meditation to help others than in using prayer.
Û The Higher Self is involved in healing the problems of humanity and promoting the evolution of consciousness of humanity.
Û It is part of our own duty to help society grow and develop for its value to us is immeasurable. It has helped to clothe, feed, protect, educate, inspire us, and given us a context in which to discover our individuality.
Û The Hierarchy of teachers, leaders, and guides of the human race have helped us - we can now lend support to Their work. We may even become a channel through which They can work directly.
Û Humanity has tremendous need for more wisdom, love, and enlightened direction. We perform a useful service if we can radiate even a small portion of these treasures of spirit.
Û Serving humanity is an excellent way of enriching our own self-expression.
Û The work of helping others activates some of the most significant and powerful aspects of our individuality as a human being. We experience the true meaning of brotherhood - that collectively we are part of a body of light which is the Christ, and individually different parts of it. It helps us develop an awareness of the Aquarian spirit.
Û It helps us to build rapport with others who are working with similar intent, physically and telepathically. We find new friends and acquaintances and enrich the impact of the light and love that is radiated.
Before we begin we must be able to remain relatively pure in intention, understanding, and attitude.
Is our intention to offer genuine help, not just sympathy? There is danger in projecting our personal judgments about a situation. Relief of the symptoms may abort a learning process for all parties concerned that is far more important.
For example, it may be wiser to invoke the divine forces of goodwill and fairness for both victim and persecutor alike, rather than pray that the victim may escape persecution (and/or that the persecutor be punished). We must try to avoid the projection of a personal preference upon a situation that we cannot judge.
Preparation to help others therefore involves detaching ourselves from our personal wants and wishes. This tends to cleanse our consciousness of factors that might pollute or distort the love we intend to radiate.
An effective way to do this is to offer our assistance to the Higher Spiritual Intelligences who guide the destiny of the group, nation or institution we seek to help, - or to the Higher Self if it is an individual. If we seek to work with these intelligences as an agent of goodwill, then we can be sure the quality of light we radiate will be benevolent and pure.
We work with a deep and reverent appreciation for the individual destiny of other people and the collective destiny and purpose of nations and groups in society. We always honour the principle of free will and work impersonally. We seek not to impose an answer that we personally would like to see come to pass. We seek to create a climate of healing and enlightenment in which the person or group can heal or enlighten themselves.
We focus our efforts on radiating the energies of goodwill wisdom, courage, divine order, or healing vitality - not specific plans and ideas as to how these energies should be used when they arrive...
A generally useful rule is to broadcast the quality or energy to a large group rather than to any specific individual. For example, radiating healing energies to everyone who has despondency as well as to the friend we want to help helps the individual and simultaneously helps the group to which he belongs.
1. Determine the scope of the help we seek to offer, and the individuals or groups we seek to assist.
2. We ascertain the quality of light and love we seek to radiate. Genuine help requires that we determine the enlightened qualities that are missing in the individual or group we are seeking to help. Anger is not the problem - it is lack of compassion, which we radiate. War and nuclear holocaust are not the real problem; it is the selfishness, ignorance, intolerance, malice, greed, jealousy, laziness, and nationalism the cause competition and strife. We therefore will choose to send the light of goodwill, tolerance, wisdom, love, and understanding of our interdependency and brotherhood.
3. We establish contact with the Higher Self.
4. Through the Higher Self we make contact with the Higher Self of the person we are seeking to help, or the Spiritual Forces that nurture and protect the segment of society we are seeking to help. This is done with confidence in their existence, conviction, and devotion.
5. Using creative imagination we visualise the light of the quality we are invoking being gathered around us. We give it our full attention. We attune to it effectively, experience its quality within ourselves, and only then visualize sending it forth to the person, group, or aspect of society we are seeking to help. We can imagine the spiritual light we are sending enriching the light of goodwill and wisdom already in them, for example.
The image we create is not the force, it is a convenient vehicle, and we must hold our primary attention on holding steady in our consciousness the quality of light we are sending.
We remain impersonal and maintain our detachment as we do this. This prevents any influx of our own desires or fears, which would weaken the contact with the Higher Energies and pollute our effort. It enables us to work with the actual forces of spirit and be protected from the unpleasant aspects of the problem we are seeking to heal.
6. We hold our attention, and the intention to radiate the love and the light for a few minutes to up to 20, rarely longer.
7. We detach from the focus of attention we have been holding, with care to remain impersonal to the work we have done, which was to launch universal energies to help others. We refrain from curiosity as to the impact we have had.
This is a world meditative prayer, translated into 50 languages and dialects. It is a means of focusing our intention to assist the Plan of God to find expression on earth. It is already in use in many countries by many people of different outer persuasions but of common humanity. It links an increasing number of people worldwide in service to humanity and the Christ consciousness. It expresses certain central truths, which most people innately and normally accept, perhaps with different words:
Û That there exists a basic intelligence to whom we give the name of ‘God’ (in any language)
Û That there is a divine evolutionary Plan in the universe, the motivating power of which is Love
Û That a great consciousness called by Christians the Christ - or World Teacher - came to earth and embodied that Love, so that we could understand that love and intelligence are the effects of purpose, the will and Plan of God. This great consciousness is called other names in other traditions (e.g. Maitreya). And that there have been and are other great teachers of the human race (”masters”) which term simply means those (male or female) who have mastered every aspect of their physical, emotional and mental natures, and even beyond that.
Divine energies can be brought into activity by means of prayer, invocation and meditation. Men and women of goodwill of many faiths and nations can join together in world service, bringing spiritual values and strength into a troubled world. We have the power through joint, shared, and focused invocation to influence world events. Knowledge of this fact, scientifically applied, can be one of the great liberating factors within humanity.
No one can use this invocation or prayer for illumination and for love without causing powerful changes in his or her own attitudes and life intention. “As a man thinks, so is he”. You are invited to use this Invocation every day, with thought and dedication. Each stanza repeated slowly invokes the qualities of light, love, and purpose for humanity as a whole, and reminds us of our part in the work of the evolutionary plan of Life, or God. (More about this at the end of the manual in the mantram section)
From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to earth
From the center where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men
The purpose that the Masters know and serve
From the centre which we call Humanity
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out.
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
Another, earlier version which some prefer is:
Let the Forces of Light bring Illumination to all mankind
Let the Spirit of Peace be spread abroad
May men and women of goodwill everywhere meet in a Spirit of Cooperation
Let Forgiveness on the part of all be the keynote at this time
Let Power attend the efforts of the Great Ones
So let it be and help me to do my part.
Reasons for meditating in groups: -
1. For teaching and learning meditation techniques and principles. The teacher, if competent, is able to facilitate contact with the higher forces of life. By holding his own mind steady in the energy of compassion, for example, he teaches his students to experience it more powerfully than if they are alone.
1. He may discern when problems arise and make suggestions for correcting them.
2. The formal time, place, and topic helps to establish a discipline.
3. To help invoke the purpose behind a certain group activity. This can be especially powerful for people who work together in a clinic, office, school, church, or similar endeavour. The group meets to invoke the purpose, wisdom and direction for the work they do.
4. To radiate love and light to humanity - one of the most creative uses of the group format, which contributes substantially to the evolution of mankind and civilization. There are many groups worldwide that do this.
5. The group can link telepathically even though they are not in the same location.
The fundamental characteristics of a group that can meditate effectively together are: -
Group unity can be fragile, and can be disrupted by chitchat, or gossiping. Over time this can undermine the purpose of the group and replace group service with interest only in what is happening to the group or members’ friends.
More serious disruption occurs if one (or more) becomes intensely selfish, hostile, bigoted, or emotional, and clashes with others. It may be necessary to exclude such a person if the situation cannot be healed, for the group purpose to be preserved.
The scope of the group should not be too broad, in philosophical orientation or in level of consciousness. As the purpose of the group format is to bring in more energy than can be done solo, its level can over stimulate the weaker members’ deficiencies, which is unfair to them. Forming a more or less homogeneous and compatible group avoids such dilemmas.
Giving up our individuality in order to be part of a group is not an enlightened activity. Unity is not achieved by sacrificing our sense of individuality or our personal responsibility. It is achieved as a group of individuals work together to fulfill a common purpose, reach a common goal, using similar methods and techniques. Each member is still expected to contact his own Higher Self and draw the qualities and energies to be used through the channel of his own individuality. It is not desirable to “plug in” to the group mind and draw these forces and qualities from it. But this can happen.
An effective group cherishes the ideal of individuality and encourages its members to strengthen their sense of identity as individuals. The stronger the members of a group are individually, the stronger the group unity can be. Groups that are only extensions of the guru through demanded obedience, or which reinforce the weaknesses or pettiness of members is not a group in this sense and should not meditate together.
The group should determine its real purpose, not just its professed purpose. Agreement on this will prevent later sidetracking into narrower issues, or domination by a strong personality.
1. Each person should make his meditative contact with the Higher Self on his own.
The telepathic rapport the group needs in order to function as a unit will then be established automatically. It is not necessary to try to develop telepathic rapport at personality levels, which can be dangerous. If the group members try to tune into the inner levels as a group, they may tune into the group mind - their collective and personalized thoughts and feelings about the group.
The group should resist dismissing the need for proper attunement. Practices such as visualizing a common symbol, repeating a favourite phrase, “thinking about God”, are not adequate substitutes for each person attuning to his or her Higher Self.
For effective group work, time must be taken to detach from the concerns of the personality, focus our devotion, concentrate on an enlightened intention, and attune to the love, wisdom, and power of the Higher Self.
It is through the Higher Self that we can best establish telepathic rapport - with the souls of other group members, not their personalities, with the inner plane ashrams, invisible teachers, divine archetypes, and other spiritual agencies. The soul should not be bypassed while in a group format any more than at other times.
2. The science of invocation and evocation requires that we need to be clear about the quality we are seeking to invoke.
It does not arrive automatically.
Liturgical phrases can help focus this: -
“May the power of God’s love be with us and those we seek to help”
“May the power of the Hierarchical plan for humanity transform the imperfections of life into the spiritual ideal”
“May the love and wisdom of God turn the hearts and minds of all people towards tolerance and goodwill”
“May God’s love and the agents of His healing vitality be with us today as we seek to help those in need”.
The phrase used should be inventive, active, positive, and brief
3. Having invoked the chosen spiritual force, attention now shifts to registering it (if the group purpose is individual help), and to radiating it (if the group purpose is to help others).
Individually, it should be registered and focused in some way that will enrich some aspect of character. Helping others, it should be radiated pure, not modified by adding or subtracting from the actual substance of the divine force that has been invoked, nor distorted by personal desires and wishes.
Throughout, the meditators keep a clear understanding of the purpose - the results the meditation is designed to produce - e.g. “The enlightenment of humanity” or “The progressive transformation of human attitudes towards cooperation and goodwill”
The creative imagination can be used to visualize beams of light radiating from the inner dimensions carrying the needed quality of light to the people or aspect of society we are seeking to help.
Impersonality is not “being a robot”. Patience, benevolence, wisdom, dignity, reverence, and the will-to-good are divine qualities that call us to work with them at their level, not at the level of our personal interests, prejudices, likes and dislikes. Impersonality empowers our work, and carries on after the meditation. Curiosity, desire, fear, or speculation about how the light is working may “call some of it back”. We “leave the problem in the light”. “Running after the light” can disrupt a delicate process, and even open a door to unpleasant psychic energies to flow back to us... Having done our part, we let the light do its.
Serving the Plan.
Wise group meditations can be a constructive force for good. The opportunity is there whenever a group of like-minded and dedicated individuals comes together and wonders:
Aids are not the meditation, any more than the typewriting is the essence of writing. Flowers and music can be important initially, but the more we experience meditation as an event in consciousness, the less significant these or other adjuncts will seem. It can be too easy to substitute ritualistic practices for the work of meditation, to become so absorbed in worrying about posture, breathing and the direction we are facing that we forget about making contact with the Higher Self and integrating its love, wisdom and power into our character and daily self-expression.
Active Meditation is designed to complement a busy schedule in life. 20-30minutes before the day’s activities is good; there is advantage in regular routine because we come to look forward to this special time, and appointment with our Self, a time for refreshment.
Taking advantage of the spiritual “tides” - sunrise, noon, sunset, new and full moons, and summer and winter solstices. Each of the heavenly bodies is multidimensional in nature. The physical sun veils a more central spiritual sun, or the Higher Self of the solar system.
Sunrise is excellent time to awaken to new opportunities for attunement to the Higher Self, because the solar radiations are flowing more towards us. At noon the solar tides shift, and the radiations begin to diminish. It is easier to invoke and receive inspiration, guidance, and divine powers before noon, and a little easier to dispel unwanted forces and ground spiritual forces in the time after noon.
The spiritual forces conditioning the earth are magnified at the time of the full moon and at their lowest strength at new moon. The Hierarchy, the huge organization that guides the development of humanity from the inner planes, uses the full moon times to radiate more light to earth and communicate with those who are serving as its agents. Full moon irritability occurs in those who have not yet formed a strong bond with their Higher Self or made much progress in purifying the personality. For experienced meditators, full moon is an excellent time to contact the Higher Self and radiate its light to the world. The new moon time is more propitious for reevaluating and refining our values and goals, redirecting the momentum of our self-expression, and focusing on mental housecleaning.
The winter solstice is somewhat similar to the new moon - a time of renewal and reaffirmation of our faith in the spiritual power of life. The solstices are times to meditate on long-term plans for service and self-expression.
Our psycho-spiritual environment does vary slightly but significantly throughout each day, month, and year. But we keep in mind that the primary relationship in meditation is at all times between the personality and the Higher Self, not a dependency between the personality and the nature forces.
The major festivals of all religions provide excellent opportunities for meditating, if there is a large outpouring of aspiration and love for God and the spiritual realms of life. Caution needs to be observed if there is an excessive focusing upon the sufferings of humanity, evoking more collective self-pity than light of God, which does not provide such a healthy atmosphere for meditating.
The Higher Self is not limited by any condition of the physical plane. But to the personality, some places may be more conducive than others. We need to be aware of this, lest we become like a hothouse plant, unable to exist except under ideal conditions.
Advantages: - the “good vibes” of the outdoors, and away from man-made structures, or pettiness, sickness, or jealousy if these exist in the home or workplace. Sunlight adds the benefit of the sun’s vitality and subtle radiations.
Disadvantages. - Distractions - insects, sunburn, even birds. On the subtler level, it is possible to become too grounded in the etheric forces of the physical planet or overwhelmed by the pleasing but powerful astral forces of nature. One adept at detaching from the physical sensation will have no problem in becoming too grounded in the natural magnetic flows of etheric force coming from the earth. Some may actually have better meditations in a man-made building that interrupts the natural etheric force field. The strong astral forces of nature vary in intensity and quality from place to place, but can be a significant distraction to those who are rather emotionally oriented in consciousness.
Also, some prefer to meditate in nature, not because they like nature, but because they dislike people! This is a subtle self-deception. Outdoor meditations may reinforce this trend towards intolerance - and it would be better to stay home and meditate to cultivate goodwill towards mankind and a sense of brotherhood, not escape.
The answer is to experiment with a number of different locations and compare the results with indoor meditations. But feeling good is not the criterion. We may enjoy outdoor meditations more, but this does not necessarily means that we accomplish more in bringing the qualities of the Higher Self into daily expression. Pleasant sensations may actually distract us from our real goal of improving contact with the Higher Self. Discrimination and discernment are needed for us to come to a determination about this.
It can be important to recognize and utilize the fact that there are “high points” in the earth’s etheric force-field, and also “low points”, whether from geopathic, electromagnetic, or other forms of stress.
The quality of meditation rooms, sanctuaries, chapels, and so on, depends upon their level of consecration. Division, greed, or bigotry among members of groups using them can affect the holiness of the building. A bus-station may be better than some.
A specific area or chair in a house can serve, and build up a cumulative beneficial effect and associations. The customary thoughts and feelings of the people who use the place are the most important factors that condition the atmosphere of the chosen place.
Walls, furniture and whole buildings have a remarkable capacity to absorb the feelings and desires of humans. Once saturated with negativity, they can be hard to cleanse and purify. Our own property and gifts of others to us carry these contexts - bitterness or hyperactivity, strident arguments or suppressed hostility.
Or their beneficial opposites - we need to be aware and discriminate.
A simple request to divine forces to help us conduct our meditations in peace and confidence - our sincere aspiration and dedication are more important than the words used. The creative imagination can be used to visualise light pouring through the room, cleansing it of discordant forces and filling it with divine presence.
It is the attitude of devotion with which we light the candle, and the divine forces we invoke, which contributes to the quality of the meditation, not the flame itself. It is this that makes it burn more brightly on the astral and etheric planes, radiating light and burning away adverse forces in the vicinity. We do not meditate on the candle, for we want to contact the Higher Self, not a wick.
Sandalwood, frankincense, myrrh, patchouli are thought to be harmonious with the higher qualities of thought and emotion. Some others are not. Discrimination is needed. The sole factor to consider is - does it create a better climate for the growth of consciousness, or distract? The act of blessing the incense, by holding our mind and attitudes steady in an ideal quality of thought or feeling for one minute, and then visualizing the substance of our blessing being absorbed into the incense and then released into the room can increase the effectiveness.
Fresh flowers’ fragrance attracts favourable qualities from the subtle planes. Flowers also contain or attract elemental forces that are in harmony with the higher emotions.
Carefully chosen music can produce a response in the subtle bodies of thought and feeling of reverence, joy, patience, aspiration, peace, and goodwill. The highest quality of (transcendental) music requires that the composer, conductor, orchestra and singers are unstressed, all in a state of love towards their own families and parents, close friends and strangers, to The Mother, (God), and all those with whom they seek to communicate, and aligned and attuned with each other. Such music can align and attune the Higher Self, personal self, body, emotions, mind and sub-personalities of an individual in the same way.
These can be helpful to those with a strong devotional nature. Founders of religions, gurus, saints, martyrs, spiritual leaders, angels, or the head of the meditation group the meditator has allegiance to, have all been used in this way. Care and discrimination are needed, for the symbol can invoke the actual forces that surround this person. If the forces are actually divine qualities then it will have a favourable effect upon the consciousness of the meditator. If the individual in the picture has a corrupt consciousness, it can have the unfortunate effect of linking our consciousness with the impure consciousness of the teacher or leader. The goal of meditation is to contact the life of the Higher Self more than the idiosyncrasies of others. Kinesiological testing can be valuable here, to uncover the effect upon us of the picture chosen.
The process here is the same as with pictures. In addition, they remind us of certain archetypal forces, which can help us, focus upon divine qualities and ideals. It can be productive to meditate upon the forces that the major religious symbols represent, and also to test their effect upon us kinesiologically and explore the reasons for the results we obtain.
Genuine ones may carry spiritual force, radiating it into the area whether there is anyone there or not.
All such aids can become hindrances if used fanatically or carelessly, and rendered useless by indifference and disbelief. They are to establish a favourable climate to meditate, - not as a substitute for meditation itself.
Common sense should prevail.
Some words about practices widely used or discussed.
The best direction is inward. There is a relevant relationship between the major directions and the alchemical elements: east with air and mental forces; south with fire and fiery will; west with water and the emotions; north with earth and grounding energies; upwards with the akasha and the realm of divine archetypes. But these qualities must be contacted in the 4th and 5th dimensions, where the concept of direction is different than on the physical plane. The direction the physical body faces is virtually irrelevant.
Alertness, comfort, and convenience are important. Lying down can lead to sleepiness, and should probably be avoided. The rationale of the straight erect spine is that the various levels of subtle energy that circulate in the area of the spine work slightly better if they are able to flow in parallel with the subtle forces of matter, which emanate from the centre of the earth. But in Active Meditation for Westerners, the emphasis is placed upon quality of consciousness, not on the movement of subtle matter. That is of secondary importance and will take care of itself. It needs little direct attention.
About hand positions - different schools suggest that it is important to keep the hands together or apart, to close the fists or open them, to form circles with the fingers and thumbs, etc. The actual value of these rules is slight, though in blessing it may be helpful to hold the hands palm outwards while radiating spiritual energies or blessing. Common sense tells us that the radiation of spiritual energies is a process controlled primarily by the use of the will and the mental focus of our thought and attitude. If we are able to use the spiritual will, the position of our hands matters little. If not, no position of the body will compensate for the lack of it.
The posture we adopt should be seen as a symbol for the inner posture we need to attain. The true posture of meditation is one in which the mind is held erect - in integrity, poise, and confidence, the dignity of an enlightened self-image, and the strength and wise love of the Higher Self. It is this, which is more important then the physical posture adopted.
The book “Active Meditation” is quite critical of these as aids to meditation. The advocates of Hatha Yoga maintain that the Asanas stimulate specific energy flows throughout the physical body. They do, and this is why they have little to do with meditation as described here. Meditation is an act in consciousness, not the body. Yoga postures do not automatically improve the quality of meditation any more than they improve our understanding of a novel. It is also claimed that Asanas help to ground the “high level” energies contacted in meditation. In the West, however, the way to ground the energies of meditation is to get busy and contribute something useful and constructive to the spiritualization of the world and the development of civilization.
The differences of opinion about the value of Asanas can best be understood in the context of history. Originally, the Asanas were exercises of the mind, designed to place the Eastern meditator in rapport with his spiritual Self. In part or in whole in different schools, they degenerated into a set of physical movements, and there can exist great factionalism and rivalry between schools as to what is the “right” way to practice the Asanas. In some schools, they became vehicles for fanatics who delight in difficult disciplines and masochism, feeding the will-to-power of the teachers. In others, the spiritual tradition may have been better preserved or is being rediscovered.
The fact remains that the serious western meditator may find it easier to make contact with the Higher Self if he is not burdened with attempting the Asanas.
This does not mean to say that Yoga has no benefits - these are well documented. Only to say that Asanas are not necessarily essential or helpful to the practice of successful meditation.
Ritual dances have their origin in ancient times. Religious groups would use them to personify and symbolize how divine forces interact with the physical plane and humanity. This higher use reached its peak in some cultures - notably Hindu, Sufi, and Egyptian. In very primitive cultures these dances were debased and stripped of their symbolic meaning, and used to promote exhausted states of consciousness nearing delirium. Drugs and intoxicants were used to produce trances states and astral clairvoyance. Many modern group-dancing rituals still do the same today. The resurrection of ritual dance in the New Age context is attractive to those with a desire for strong emotional experiences in a group setting, and it can certainly lead to experiences of the higher emotions.
It may be important to discriminate between what is an enjoyable experience for the body and the emotions, and a significant contact with the Higher Self and the grounding in our life expression of the qualities of the Higher Self the next day. “Group love” experienced in a ritual dance that did not carry over into the office or family, or was followed by pining or irritability during the following week was not really a meditation grounding the life of the Higher Self.
Really effective aids to meditation will serve a number of purposes: -
A practice that helps us achieve most or all of these, is helpful. One that does not should be avoided. Here are some of the practices used: -
Their benefits depend upon how we use them.
Affirmations can trap us in a concrete intellectual state, or even a state of wishful thinking, which blocks off genuine transcendent qualities.
Unskilled use of invocations can focus us too much in our needs or problems.
Some prayers keep us stuck in a devotional state.
And for some, prayers are merely words that do not embody the quality of thought that they need.
Under no circumstances should the use of prayer and affirmation be substituted for the work of contacting the Higher Self. Prayer and affirmation do not achieve the work of contacting the Higher Self, no matter how sincere we are. They do have important benefits of their own, used in meditation of outside of it. But if we use them as a substitute for meditative contact, we simply are not meditating.
The correct use of prayers, invocations, and affirmations as an aid to meditation, is to focus attention on the qualities we seek, to dispel undesired forces, and cleanse our consciousness prior to contacting the Higher Self.
The type of “breathing” which does lead to a genuine transformation and enrichment of consciousness is not associated with the physical breath at all. It is the inhalation of the life of the soul into the subtle bodies; it occurs at a point in the aura near the top of the head. This inner “breathing” becomes possible consciously only after the meditator has established direct contact with the Higher Self and is able to ground its life in outer expression. At that point, the subtle bodies begin “breathing” automatically in this fashion.
In Active Meditation, the use of the breath as an aid to meditation is usually limited to focusing briefly on the symbolic value of our normal rate of breathing, for the transfer of energies at the inner levels. It is not necessary to quicken or deepen the intensity of the breath to do this - nor is it viewed as healthy.
The out breath is associated with physiological relaxation and we can use this fact to relax the body.
A word about other teachings about breathing exercises.
Û The meditator may become parasitic, learning to draw energy from the astral plane through the solar plexus rather than from the Higher Self. As a result, when he is in the vicinity of others, whether in retreat, at home, or in group meditation, he soon begins drawing energy from the astral bodies of those around him. This is directly contrary to the principles of Active Meditation and spiritual growth.
Û Phony teachers slyly encourage hyperventilation, which produces an odd and for most people unfamiliar state of consciousness quickly as carbon dioxide is lost from the body in larger than normal amounts. The alkalinisation of the blood is accompanied by light-headedness, dizziness, numbness or tingling in the extremities, a sense of shortness of breath, as well as heightened anxiety. It has little to do with enlightenment.
Û The meditator becomes progressively more bored, and may mistake this for meditation.
An ancient practice that has proved its value in entering the meditative state, - calming the emotions while redirecting the mind inwards. It can be meaningful or a “nonsense sound”. Mantras and seed thoughts can be combined - for example, “I am at peace”, to enter meditation, then, progressively, “God is Love”, “God loves me”, “The love of God pours through my love, filling me with compassion and forgiveness for others”. Such as these could focus the quality of love into our self-expression.
Simply sounding the syllable is not the same as using it and energizing a state of devotion, aspiration, conviction, or dedication at the same time. We sound the OM when we express our soul’s qualities in our lives. It is this sounding of the OM from the highest level we can reach which cleanses our subtle bodies and dissipates inharmonious qualities from our psycho-spiritual environment.
Techniques that rely only upon the sounding of mantras may produce a disconnection of the mental body and the soul from the rest of the system, a damaged state of consciousness like “schizophrenia”.
The lesson is simple - whatever can be good for us can also harm us in excess.
The teacher, ashram, or group can help us make inner connections with spirit that can be difficult on our own; and provides the opportunity for us to become aligned with the inner spiritual dimensions he serves. If the psycho-spiritual atmosphere is an enlightened one, the results can be most helpful.
At all times we are responsible for our individuality and the growth and service we pursue. We are to contribute our own strengths and talents to our group as well as drawing upon it when we need. Discrimination and wisdom go hand in hand.
Once more, we recognize that the colours are symbols for the spiritual forces and qualities we seek to invoke. Bathing in coloured mist is pointless unless we are simultaneously contemplating a healing or spiritual quality and directing it at a specific deficiency or need.
With this reservation, colours can: -
We must therefore have knowledge of what we need and the quality or force that will help us meet this need. And know the symbolic value of the colours we use. But intense visualization of a colour can be a distraction if we become more interested in the colour than the quality or force it represents.
Enlightened authors help attune our minds and thoughts to the archetypal forces that inspired his writings, strengthening our capacity to interact with those forces.
Knowledge of our inner anatomy, the subtle bodies (etheric, emotional, mental), the seven major chakras, the levels of consciousness (personality, soul, spirit), the seven levels of energy, the seven types of energy (logoic, monadic, atmic, buddhic, mental, astral, and physical “planes”), and esoteric psychology can enlarge our perspective.
Modern science fiction and fantasy can assist our subconscious to work in a multidimensional manner, and also symbolically. It can stimulate our imagination and the associative mechanisms of our minds, sometimes exposing us to archetypal qualities.
Faith is lack of resistance to what we hope to receive. The enlightened use of faith prepares the emotions to be receptive and responsive to the divine forces of the Higher Self. Faith can lift our thoughts and attitudes to a transpersonal level, making it easier for meditation to proceed.
Faith used to the exclusion of other meditative activities will not be enough. Faith in the Higher Self may not actually heal us permanently unless we also get busy and correct the problems that caused us to become ill in the first place.
Trust and respect, reverence, wisdom.
These three basic attitudes will remain when all the other aids have been forgotten
We do well to cultivate them from the beginning
Active Meditation is designed for Westerners, and will produce few problems for them if used correctly. We will consider these, and also the problems that may arise in using methods not designed for the western consciousness.
1. Resistance of the personality to change. Resistance is the natural friction between our ideals and our actual level of thought and feeling. Habits cling. Resentment tries to sabotage insight and forgiveness. Selfishness and vanity challenge our efforts to be generous and detached. We will have to meet and transform these forces in order to grow.
2. Using incomplete or inadequate forms of meditation. Relaxation techniques may not be enough to contact the Higher Self, and disappoint us. Too long a use of simplistic techniques may end up damaging the mechanisms of the subtle bodies.
3. Meditating for the wrong reasons - e.g. to escape the unpleasantness of the world by seeking an inner world of fantasy.
4. Rushing towards enlightenment. Too much zeal can become impatience, and generate anxiety and conflict. The mature personality finds the pace of the Higher Self, not the expectations of the personality.
5. Excessive meditation. Emotional and mental fatigue of our mental and emotional “muscles” can be avoided by not straining, and if need be, by resting.
6. Distractions and problems nothing to do with meditation. Problems and influences we carry day by day, affecting our mood, self-confidence, alertness - all these affect our meditations. Meditating does not mean we become magically immune to problems and difficulties.
Such can be the causes.
Here are some of the symptoms
If none of these work, - meditate with eyes open. Sustained levels of higher thought are not dependent upon our posture - including eye posture.
Mind chatter, thoughts, impressions, and feelings. Remedy: - Instead of “emptying the mind” and almost guaranteeing that memories and distractions will rush in to fill the void created, we dwell on themes that are harmonious to the wisdom, love, and strength of the Higher Self. This is the best way to increase our concentration - to focus attention on these themes. Give the mind this task to do rather than make a negative state the goal. Remember how easy it is to concentrate upon a good movie, novel, story, conversation, and exclude the irrelevancies? This is no different, provided we work on themes that are interesting to us, or, that we cultivate interest in themes we have not yet explored fully.
Remedy: choose a different place or time.
Staring at an empty plate cannot hold us. Change to a fuller one.
Straining to see visions or make contact with the Higher Self, as if pushiness will improve the meditation. Getting worked up as if the Pope were coming to visit. Fearfulness, as if a wrathful God will seek out our wickedness and punish us. All these destroy the capacity to concentrate.
Remedy: (a) Treat the subconscious to a series of pleasant and constructive meditative experiences, so it will be eager to cooperate in future. (b) Some need to approach meditation as an experiment in exploring the higher reaches of their humanity - cultivating an attitude of looking for the highest, the loveliest, the best, the most mature elements of their consciousness - time enough later to look in the waste baskets, clean up the cobwebs, and remove the mud from the floor. Looking for and at the real beauty of their higher nature draws them on.
Over time the meaning of concentration has become blurred - total unwavering fixation upon a single point or topic, and many have been intimidated by this approach. We adopt a more moderate definition - the kind of concentration we would have when paying close attention to a friend’s talking in a crowded restaurant. We are so deeply interested in what the Higher Self has to say to us we just do not pay attention to anything else for this time.
Pursuing every stray thought, memory, or flash of mental imagery that appears “spontaneously”. This pattern can result from being “trained” in mental self-observation, either by practitioners of psychoanalysis or some Eastern systems of spiritual growth. This can lead to becoming more and more passive in our dealing with the subconscious, until the associative mechanism detaches from our conscious focus. This reduces our capacity to control our reactions to the distractions - it can be destructive to our concentration. Exploration of our memories and associations is a vital part of our journey of self-discovery. But it’s pursuit to the exclusion of the greater goal of contacting the love and wisdom of the Higher Self, is not meditation in this context.
A tendency to outward-directedness in outer life can carry over into our meditations.
Remedy: - Take a little more time to plan carefully what we will do in our meditation before we start, then build up enthusiasm for paying attention to these worthwhile projects.
In meditation we enter a world of subtle forces and abstractions. Preferring to remain in the realms of concrete data and images limits our concentration on the themes we intend to pursue. Remedy: - Visualise a comfortable mental retreat in which we meditate. A beautiful place in nature, a pleasant private study, temple, or chapel - or any other image that conveys feeling of privacy and security. This simple act stabilizes our inner state of consciousness by imposing imaginary boundaries on our memories and associations, and we can easily concentrate on the themes we have chosen.
Learning to use good fiction and working with mantic devices (such as the I Ching, Tarot, Runes, and Sabian symbols) can help us go beyond the superficial phenomena of life and seek out their inner significances, causes, implications. They stimulate the same skills we need to handle symbols and abstractions in meditation.
Projecting this onto our Higher Self can create a sort of “pseudo-Higher Self” - a perception of a wrathful God, an ‘inner critic’ sub-personality which condemns us for every mistake we ever made like an omniscient nag. This pattern is especially the product of some Western religions, especially fundamentally oriented ones. Immeasurable damage has been done to the well-being and self-image of many, many people. Remedy: We now learn to re-make our relationship with God and the Higher Self more wholesome. We recognize that the role of an active conscience in the mature adult is to preserve the values and principles of the Higher Self. When we violate them, the conscience lets us know. The problem arises when we choose to feel excessively guilty about it instead of forgiving ourselves, and correcting the error swiftly.
We train our conscience to become a constructive influence in our lives, not just a critic. The psychosynthesis techniques for working with the “Inner Critic”, building an “Inner Admirer”, and promoting both into the role of “Quality Control Officer and Adviser” are especially helpful here.
Also we make sure that we tune into the Higher Self in meditation, not just the conscience, which is only an aspect of the personality, conditioned to a degree by our childhood mentors. Meditation is for the exploration of the noblest levels of our being - the courage that will help us master anxiety, the goodwill that will help us become forgiving and unconditionally loving, the wisdom, which will rout confusion, the joy that will overcome guilt. If there are cesspools in our subconscious to be visited, therapy may be a wise course of action, and meditation is not the time to do it. Meditation is a time to cultivate reverence and aspiration for the Higher Self, which neutralizes the interference of excessive self-condemnation.
We cannot grow if we feel rejects by spirit. The personality may even reject growth at these times. We do not redeem the personality by “getting the self out of the way”, and viewing it as sinful, wretched, worthless. Remedy: - We recognize that the personality is a temple of God, no matter how imperfect. It may need remodeling, but not tearing down and destroying. Our goal is to steadily improve it, making it a more fitting temple for the expression of the indwelling wisdom and love within us.
This is the reason for the drill in detachment, or Self-identification exercise.
The Higher Self needs a body, emotions and mind to serve, express goodwill, and wisdom. It respects the personality and seeks to use it as a vehicle for expressing its latent qualities in daily life. Self-rejection is overcome by communicating wholesome messages of approval to the subconscious.
This is the name sometimes used for the sum total of our strength, redeemed and unredeemed, at the unconscious levels of the personality. It contains strong measures of resistance to change of the status quo, but is also one of the strongest elements of our personality. It includes deep substrata of old memories, habits, feelings, and convictions that resist transformation. Beginners and experienced meditators alike will come across these from time to time, - it is not really a problem of meditation, more one of human growth.
Nothing is gained by provoking direct confrontations with powerful areas of unconscious resistance. Better is to work quietly at increasing our dedication to and reverence for the light of the soul and its spiritual will, coupling this with an enlightened self-expression. The steady effort to become the right person and do the right thing in life is the best way to transform them. Denial of self-hood is simply not as effective as harnessing our self-expression to the impersonal life of the Higher Self. In this way we fulfill the design of selfhood and raise the individuality embodied in the Dweller on the Threshold to its noblest level.
The best way to lessen the strength of any resistance is to build up the strength of the opposite counterpart in spirit. Hostility and resentment deserve time taken to increase our expression of tolerance and goodwill, and our gratitude for this possibility in us always helps this along.
The final point about concentration in meditation is to realize that the Higher Self is interested in helping us to make our meditations succeed, it cares for the growth of the personality and will respond to our efforts and aspirations. Our effort to concentrate will be magnified by the life and love of the Higher Self, as we pursue the themes and ideals that the Higher Self cherishes.
It is this partnership between the personality and the soul that makes meditation successful, not the efforts of either one alone.
Old resentments, guilty feelings, frustrations occurring in or after meditation. The personality reacting negatively to the light of the Higher Self. Usually occurs at the subconscious levels, and we only become aware of the symptoms of the problem - irritability, sense of guilt, overwhelming sense of inadequacy, anxiety, or resentment, and do not perceive the cause. Easy then to get swept away by these and end up fighting old battles, ranting about old injustices, rehashing old mistakes.
No good attacking the symptoms directly, - the resentment, fear, guilt, or sadness. These are of the patient-child-student within us. We activate the doctor-parent-teacher within us, and act to generate a mature mood of goodwill, confidence, cheerfulness, courage, and forgiveness. We act to reduce the possibility of the personality reacting to the inflow of divine energies from the Higher Self in an immature way - in or out of meditation.
If such rebound phenomena are recurrent, it could be advisable to spend a week in rebuilding our devotion and reverence to the Higher Self. At such a time we are not looking for profound insights or messages from the Higher Self; the main intent is to train the personality to love and trust the Higher Self fully.
Rebound phenomena occur primarily in the emotions.
It is the power of the right use of our minds, convictions and will which manage them, not more emotional activity.
Mental fatigue, difficulty in concentrating and remembering things, irritability for brief periods.
Mild headaches, fatigue, vague sense of fullness or dull ache in the head, tendency to cough more than usual or mild nausea.
Vague disorientation for up to an hour after meditating, and annoying forgetfulness or difficulty in concentrating for up to several hours, and a detached “spaced out” feeling.
Moderate headaches, sinus congestion, persistent cough, lung congestion, wheezing, moderate gastro-intestinal symptoms, and aggravation of preexisting illnesses.
Very spaced out - the focus of attention drifts in and out between the physical plane and a deeply altered state of consciousness bordering on trance. A goofy, pseudo-mystical state can persist making it difficult to work at any significant task. Irritability, especially in public. The slightest distraction can become a source of severe irritation. Even hallucinations and delusion.
Damage to the etheric web - the structure of the etheric or bio-energy body. This web can be torn by intensive meditations, especially those involving the practice of concentrating on the movement of energy through the chakras. This damage can be difficult to repair. There may be muscle spasms or rippling, irregular heart rhythm, disturbed motility of the digestive system, shaking and burning sensations in the pelvis and lower spine, and rushes of excitement. Sometimes energy will “leak” out of a hole torn in the web so that a condition of permanent lack of vitality ensues. This can leave the body vulnerable to physical ailments, especially infections and the rapid advancement of degenerative diseases.
Active Meditation is designed to minimize all these tendencies, and will do so unless used fanatically. Excessively long periods of meditation are discouraged.
Those who are concentrating on specific lines of development (here it is the intensity not the technique that is the source of the congestion): -
1. On developing the discriminating use of the mind - congestion in the throat centre and coughing.
2. On integrating the personality with the higher self - congestion in the forehead and sinuses.
3. On cultivating a more conscious use of the spiritual will - headaches and mild difficulties with memory or irritability.
If major problems occur, meditation should cease and not be resumed until the consciousness is stabilized again. Passive activities (reading, TV, prayer, contemplation) substituted with vigorous physical activity - not drugs, eating meat, or hedonistic pleasures, but activity and genuine productivity on the physical plane.
For mild imbalances a rest from meditation for a day or two is usually sufficient. Every meditator may experience such problems until he learns these limits for himself. Meditating on divine archetypes to solve problems (a more mental task) may cause congestion of the sinuses or headache as it stimulates the mental body. Such an event could be managed by moving to a more devotional exercise. The use of love, thus shifting to centre more in the heart. As a rule mental meditations and those involving concentrating upon the will tend to produce more problems than devotional meditations, as the power contacted by thought and intention is greater than that invoked by goodwill and devotion.
A balanced approach to spiritual growth would include spending part of the time enriching the emotions, part developing our mental powers of discrimination and discernment, part in exploring creative self-discovery, part in building our spiritual will.
Usually the best cure is to get busy and do something constructive with the energies we have built up.
(See p. 455-7 of Active Meditation by C. Japikse and R. Leichtmann)
Kundalini is an Eastern name for the subtle forces of matter - the “fire” of matter to put it symbolically. The most highly refined and subtle energies of etheric, emotional, and mental substance.
Some meditation systems set out to arouse the Kundalini fire at the base of the spine prematurely, usually by various breathing and other physical exercises, focusing attention on the material form of consciousness - Kundalini -, not the quality of consciousness.
When full attention is given to improving the quality of our attitudes, thoughts, and service to humanity, the awakening of the Kundalini is spontaneous and well modulated, uneventful.
Creative imagination helps us translate abstract realities into images we can visualise and manipulate. It is a valuable early practice in Active Meditation. Later we learn to interact directly with wisdom, love, grace and courage at their level, not ours alone, and become less dependent upon images.
In some, the use of images does not decrease naturally, but increases -
When we become too obsessed with images and visions in meditation, instead of building contact with the Higher Self, we encourage the subconscious to churn out all kinds of dreamlike images and memories. We have become absorbed in the unconscious and genuine meditative work ceases. Nothing happens to alarm us for one or two years, but if the habit is not changed, the following may happen: -
Two other observations:
Û In the twilight phase between wakefulness and sleep, and between full alertness and a meditative state, it is possible to tune into the “jet-stream” of images and thought shells that circulate around the planet. Concentrating upon these can prolong the phenomenon. They are usually all faces, landscapes, and buildings. No matter how fascinating, it is a meaningless distraction.
Û Those who are using or have used hallucinogenic drugs are more likely to have the problem of too many visions, and confuse this with a profound mystical experience, when it is the opposite, really. The drugs bind the attention of the users to the lower psychic levels of consciousness, while damaging the etheric body.
The remedy: - Recall that the major purpose of meditation is to enrich consciousness. The focus of attention is therefore to be kept at all times on improving the quality of our thoughts, feelings, intentions, and actions. Images that appear are to be grasped for their significance, and an understanding of how they are to be used to achieve our goal of improving our consciousness. We are to penetrate beyond the appearance of the image and deal primarily with its meaning, implications, and power.
Creating a neutral but stable image - e.g. imagining that we see our surroundings even when our eyes are closed, or meditating with the eyes open is an option for those with a severe problem with too many images.
Ensuring that we have a definite focus for each meditation enables us to ignore distractions when they turn up.
As with images, we can overdose on symbolism.
Expectations, wishes, self-deception, pseudo-profound images, can create a fog that we go about in for a while. Some “standard” pitfalls are: -
1. That we have contacted a “master teacher” who will provide special teaching
2. That we have been chosen for a great mission. The instructions received may seem obscure, even obtuse, which serves to heighten the mystery. This may lead to going around in the circles of one’s own subconscious for years. The problem is that there are some teachers that can be contacted psychically, and there are great missions that some advanced individuals undertake.
We can deal with this problem by recognizing that for the average person the most important mission is to discover and explore the Higher Self, and ground in our daily life its qualities of love, wisdom and strength. We are under no obligation to trust every voice and whisper that arises in our meditations - and would be foolish to do so. When there is doubt, we have to rededicate ourself to the truth and our own highest good. In this light, the nonsense weakens and we are able to se the truth more clearly.
Nice warm feelings of bliss are not the highest state of enlightenment. The subconscious is willing to play this game, but it leaves us resting in the pleasant emotional sensation. Positive emotional states are a vital part of meditation, but feeling good is not enlightenment. The good feelings can help to boost our aspiration and devotion to the Higher Self, heal our negativity in feeling and memory, and enrich our attitudes and self-expression - but these are active uses of the emotions. Passively resting in the good feelings can be surrender to the emotions, not a constructive use of them, and can lead to one becoming parasitic.
3. That psychic contact with a spirit guide is the highest form of meditation. Being enthralled with the phenomena of mediumship especially the possibility of contacting a spirit guide who will solve their problems. Wanting to use meditative techniques to develop some mediumistic contacts or attributes. All of this can usurp the core of our meditation - contact with the Higher Self.
4. That the more cosmic and intergalactic our meditations, the more advanced they are. This can lead to escape from the realities and responsibilities of personal life.
5. The distraction of subtle physical sensations. Devoting too much attention to physical sensations that may arise in meditation as a result of the subconscious connections made with the physical associations of subtle energy movements in the subtle bodies. Since energy follows attention, we may inadvertently magnify these sensations, and become locked in a more earthbound state - more aware of what is happening in the body than what is happening in spirit.
6. That trance state is a high level of meditation. Near coma is sometimes endorsed in some systems of meditation as the ultimate detachment from the dreaded physical plane. Over time the personality becomes more passive, the mind dulled. Even if the unconscious does benefit (debatable) the conscious personality does not.
7. That out-of-body experiences are desirable. Sometimes the consciousness of the meditator detaches from the physical body and is able to travel at will throughout the astral plane, with conscious memory of the experience on returning to the physical body. Two types spontaneously get out-of-body experiences - (a) those who have developed natural mediumistic talents, perhaps in earlier lives, (b) those who have damaged their subtle bodies with drugs.
The out-of-body experiences are seductive, and some become convinced that this is a sign of profoundly effective meditation. Concentrating on them, they forget the daily needs of mental housecleaning, healing the emotions, training the mind, learning more about the Higher Self, and practicing its qualities. The quality of their consciousness deteriorates. Sightseeing is not meditation.
Those who chose to halt out of body experiences should: -
May be a sign of concentrating too much on a single technique, and a need for more variety. May be a sign of too great an expectation of instant results or thrills.
Certain forms of meditation, pursued for two or three years, which put a great deal of emphasis on practices involving the physical body breathing exercises, physical postures, diet - instead of the development of consciousness. (Some forms of Hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga, Zen). Initially they do calm agitated nerves and produce greater vitality in the physical body, but the attention can become progressively absorbed in the physical body, and over time this can become harmful, not necessarily enriching consciousness. These problems can occur so gradually that they are not obvious to the meditator - only to others. The consciousness becomes denser, with loss of imagination, slowing of the associative mechanism, loss of memory, dulling of alertness, awareness, and creativity. At the subtle levels there is an actual hardening of the etheric and astral auras. Consciousness is becoming literally more materialistic.
The loss of contact with the Higher Self is a high price to pay, especially for someone who believes he is spiritualizing matter. The solution is to permanently cease all practices that led to the earthbound condition, and work at reintegrating our thoughts and feelings with the Higher Self - mostly out of meditation. Pursuits that lead to a refined appreciation of the symbolic and abstract subtleties of life - fine arts, classical music, good literature, poetry, beauty in all forms. This problem cannot be corrected by physical changes such as altering our diet or exercising. We cannot rely only upon eating, stretching, or jogging our way to God. The one physical treatment that can help is judicious exposure to sunlight, which exposes our subtle bodies to the healing radiations of the sun to break up the “hardening” of the auras. All the more reason to safeguard the ozone layer.
Prevention is better than cure - avoidance of techniques that lead us to become earthbound, (too physically identified).
It is important to recognize and check these before they lead to individual problems as well.
As already mentioned there are distractions for the individual that inhibit effective contact with the Higher Self - the wishes and fantasies of the subconscious, preconceived notions of what the Higher Self will be like, overheated expectations, prejudices, and resistances of the personality.
These potential distractions can be magnified in the group format. Therefore care is needed - in choosing with whom we meditate, and in building the group. It reemphasizes the value of each member making contact with the Higher Self in his own way before the group meditative work begins. And we compare our individual and group meditations to decide which are the more enriching, and whether it is right for us to continue in the group in which we participate.
People drawing on the energy of others in this way are not always conscious they are doing so. It is necessary to avoid self-deception and decide whether we are participating in a group in order to sap the energy of other members. It is never a road to enlightenment, but a form of psychic theft that leaves the others with a variety of unpleasant symptoms - irritability, anxiety, fatigue, headache, mild nausea, or a dopey state of awareness. A group of sincere aspirants desiring to contribute rather than take will avoid this problem.
Always the solution is the same - to contact one’s own Higher Self, draw and express its qualities and energies, rather than rely upon others. If the problem is persistent, the sapper may have to be asked to leave or undertake therapy for this problem, or those being sapped may choose to go elsewhere.
Physical techniques such as the joining of hands throughout the meditation. This puts every member in contact with the group mind and renders it difficult if not impossible to contact the Higher Self. The energy transfer is likely to be from personality to personality; it is a boon to the psychic sapper. It is the psychological equivalent of bathing in others’ dirty water.
It is necessary to move on from groups that have enabled you to grow up to the edge of their limits. If you stay, the accumulated force of the group mind and the psychological pressure to conform to the group experience will become a deadening influence upon your own meditations, alone or with the group
A more pernicious impact of the group mind upon the individual. Members are to conform by coercion, not free choice. Insisting upon one’s individuality is followed by retaliation from the group mind - stirring up guilt, fear, and threatening images in the person’s individual meditations. The solution is to leave and meditate on different themes from the usual ones for that group for a time.
No meditation should be dominated by someone other than one’s own Higher Self. There is a fine line between constructive leadership and skills-sharing, and a pattern that is simply ego-enhancing, charismatic, charming, or exploitative in physical, financial, or psychic terms, sapping the energies and manipulating the thoughts of the group. If this happens it is time to draw attention to it, correct it, or leave if this cannot be done.
None of the above means that we should leave until we have exhausted the possibilities of healing the imperfections present, which would be escapism. But if our individuality is truly threatened there is no alternative.
In a group dedicated to self-improvement, the benefits will be a sense of well-being, greater alertness, mental poise, higher level of contact with spirit and better health. In a group dedicated to helping others and humanity, the benefit would be more sublime - the opportunity to focus our self-expression into a worthwhile channel.
Is really confronting the essential difference between the personality and the Higher Self, and the difficulties that arise in harmonizing and integrating these two dimensions of self-hood so they begin to work together as partners. The techniques of Active Meditation have been designed to solve this problem rather than to compound it.
Human consciousness evolves. Spiritual customs and practices evolve as this happens. There is an unseen momentum towards the future for us to harness and with which to align ourselves. We have a responsibility to develop a tradition of spiritual growth suited to our culture, our time, and our needs. We are becoming conscious of the archetypal patterns, which oversee and inspire the development of consciousness. We can strive to discern and serve the same goals that these spiritual forces that inspire the West are striving to serve.
The label we use is unimportant - soul, Higher Self, spirit, Naphsha, Essence, True Self, Godself.... This reality is the gateway to all growth, enlightenment and creative expression. Finding this gateway is the initial focus of all meditative work, and this has been neglected in many past traditions.
Instead of abandoning the personality, we now recognize our responsibility to train and prepare the personality so that it becomes capable of acting as an agent of the Higher Self - a representative of God, not just a worshiper of Him, no longer dominated or controlled by the illusions of our own or the mass subconscious.
Instead of “escaping to heaven” we learn to bring the divine archetypal forces into practical expression on earth in our daily lives. We become active - even in our meditations. And meditation is seen as a tool for this work, not an end in itself.
In the Western tradition, none of these is emphasized at the expense of the others.
As the emphasis of spiritual tradition shifts from passive adoration, or conversion of others to one way of thinking, to active participation in the life and work of God’s evolutionary plan, greater emphasis must be put on purifying and preparing the subtle vehicles of the personality to carry and transmit spiritual force without major distortion. This is not just to make us “feel good” but also to increase our effectiveness as agents of the Higher Self.
The development of rigid dogmas as to how people should think, feel, and behave is a sign that a spiritual tradition has lost its momentum. The Western tradition emerging is that each person must discern for him or herself truth and wisdom by directly contacting the divine archetypes through their Higher Self. This is done by cultivating the spiritual intuition and an illumined mind - the first of which has no resemblance to the psychic abilities of the personality. It is the sword of truth that cuts us free from materialistic blindness, self-deception, illusions, - and dogma.
Our ability to commune with the presence of God (the Source of life in whom we live and move and have our being), through our dealings with others, is a key factor in establishing the kingdom of heaven on earth.
The purpose of life is no longer to compete with each other, but to become agents of divine force and participants in the work of humanity. We do this by integrating divine life into our conscious thoughts, attitudes, and activities.
The Hierarchy is a group of enlightened beings that guides and inspires the development of human civilization and consciousness, and it incorporates that portion of the divine plan that specifically relates to humanity and civilization. We can learn to intelligently cooperate with this body of consciousness actively.
This is the active mode of true brotherhood, which is a reality to the Higher Self, the fabric of its relationships with specific spiritual groups. On the personality level we serve the ideal of brotherhood by learning to contact the spiritual light of the groups that the Higher Self belongs to and transmitting it into the world around us - in the work we do in meditation and daily life.
It can require hundreds of years to change the patterns of thought and feeling in society. Once the momentum of the new tradition is set in motion, however, more and more people will join the ranks of those who serve the plan of the Hierarchy for humanity. As large numbers embrace these traditions and work with them, mass consciousness will be purified at least to a degree, and our science, religion, arts, education, medicine, economics and civilization will be enriched.
The momentum of the archetypal forces, which govern the Western tradition, is moving us in this direction. How far we go depends on what we do, individually and collectively.
Ø The Higher Self is the centre of all our meditative work - not a guru, or even the allness of God. Teachers are to be seen only as midwives of the birth of a more enlightened consciousness. The allness of God is the environment in which the Higher Self lives and acts.
Ø Our link to spirit lies in the most pure and noble aspects of the personality’s emotions, thoughts, and will. Mantras, symbols, colours, prayers and visualisations do not per se link us with the Higher Self. They can facilitate the meditative process. It is our devotion, aspiration, trust and understanding, dedication and intention that link us with spirit.
Ø The interaction between personality and spirit is to be dynamic, a creative partnership. The Higher Self provides inspiration, wisdom and the full resources of divine love; the personality provides the vehicle and form of the outer activity and expression - talents, experience, and interest. Without the partnership, neither can do its work fully.
Ø The focus of attention in meditation should always be on the quality of consciousness - not the form through which consciousness is being expressed, whether that be a chakra, mantra, colour, posture, guru, or anything else. Our goal is to enlighten our understanding, enrich our emotions with compassion and goodwill, and mobilize our intention with dignity and skill.
Ø All progress is dependent upon our ability to ground our spiritual development in our self-expression. It is not enough to refine our character and grow in awareness - we will get congested if we do not become a helpful, constructive force in our society and civilization.
None of these are failing to give proper due to God. All of these are signs that we not only are getting to know God more deeply, but also that we are busy working to participate in the divine plan for humanity - which is the real God Consciousness.
And the worthwhile future developments will come from one source and no other - our own Higher Self. But not all the voices we hear in meditation will be the guidance of the Higher Self. Our own misconceptions, desires, prejudices may speak louder for a while and at times later. So will the traditions, prejudices, and desires of mass consciousness. We must learn to discriminate - with common sense, our own experiences and learning, and through the invocation of Truth and renewed dedication to honouring the life of the Higher Self. The power of truth and our loyalty to it can be greater than our intellectual understanding in clearing confusion and doubt.
There now follows some effective formats used by people over the world, — mostly drawn from the works of Alice Bailey
(This can excellent to end a meditation by distributing the energies contacted consciously throughout human consciousness. Sometimes it can be used at the beginning as well as it has a powerful capacity to bring about alignment in trying circumstances)
From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men
Let Light descend on earth
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men
May Christ return to earth
From the center where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men
From the centre which we call Humanity
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth
The use of the word “men” here often brings up discussion about whether this is a sexist mantram or not. There is an explanation, acceptable to some, but no all.
We need to remember that the word “man” derives originally from the Sanskrit word manas.
It means ‘mind’ and is the root of the words ‘mental’ and ‘men’.
A human being (hu-man) is an “earth mind” – anyone who walks on earth and has a mind; this is the different between humans and all animals, except possibly the most advanced.
In this context the word “men” means all those with mind, the whole of humanity, and is inclusive of both men and women.
In fact, you will see that both men and women are “men” in this sense, and it is only women (wo-men) who also have a “womb” – they are “earth-minds” with the capacity to bear children, which (male) men are not.
Many people have tried to produce versions that replace the word “men” to make this mantram more acceptable in this time when gender issues are important. “Men and women,” “people,” and “Humanity” have all been substituted. They do alter the rhythm, however.
must make up your own mind and do what is best for you,
Let the Forces of Light bring Illumination to all mankind
Let the Spirit of Peace be spread abroad
May men and women of goodwill everywhere meet in a Spirit of Co-operation
Let Forgiveness on the part of all be the keynote at this time
Let Power attend the efforts of the Great Ones
So let it be and help me to do my part.
(Used by the Triangle meditation group among others)
In the Centre of the Will of God I stand
Naught shall deflect my will from His
I seek to implement that Will through Love
I the Triangle Divine
Work out that Will within the square
And turn to serve my fellow men.
I know O Lord about the need.
Touch my heart afresh with love,
That I too may love and serve
(Said world-wide in a brief moment of recollection of true purpose, linking all servers, at 5.oo pm)
May the Power of the One Life pour through the group of all true servers
May the Love of the One Soul characterize the lives of those who seek to aid the Great Ones
May I fulfill my part in the One Work through harmlessness, self-forgetfulness, and right speech
In the centre of all Love I stand
From that centre I the one who serves will outward move
May the Love of the Divine Self be shed abroad
In my heart, through my group and throughout the world
The sons and daughters of Humanity* are one and I am one with them
I seek to love not hate
I seek to serve and not exact due service
I seek to heal not hurt
Let pain bring due reward of Light and Love
Let the Soul control the outer form
And life and all events
And bring to light the Love that underlies the happenings of the time
Let vision come and insight
Let the future stand revealed
Let inner union demonstrate
And outer cleavages be gone
Let Love prevail
Let all people love.
* “The sons of
men are one…” was the original. The
rhythm does not seem to be so damaged by this alternative version.
With purity of motive, inspired by a loving heart
We offer ourselves for this work of healing.
This offer we make as a group
And to the one we seek to heal.
May the love of the One Soul, focused in this group.
Radiate upon you my brother (sister)
And permeate every part of your body —
Healing, soothing, strengthening;
And dissipating all that hinders service and good health.
From EH 103-105 Preliminary Rules for Radiatory Healing
Keep linked with the world healing group, and work with selflessness and pure love, without thought or will power.
Keep silent about all healing work.
Those who are given me to love upon the way of life
I love and serve
I gaze upon them free of fear
To strengthen them within their souls
I dedicate myself
Aspects and qualities - seed thoughts for meditation
Group Endeavour & Purpose Group Love
Accurate Empathy Generosity
Identification with others Tolerance
Order, (out of chaos, through creativity)
Mastery Competence Direction
Energy Courage Enthusiasm
Decisiveness Resolution Daring
Skilful Will Strong Will Loving Will
Elimination of Non-essentials
Father, to Thee I raise my whole being -
A vessel emptied of self. Accept, Lord,
This my emptiness and so fill me with
Thy Self, Thy Light, Thy love, Thy Life
That these precious gifts may radiate
Through me and overflow the chalice of
My Heart into the heart of all with
Whom I may come in contact
This day, revealing to them
The beauty of
Of Thy Peace,
Which nothing can destroy.
I am one with my group brothers and sisters
And all that I have is theirs.
May the love that is in my soul pour forth to them
May the strength that is in me lift and aid them
And may the thoughts which my soul creates reach and encourage them.
More radiant than the sun
Purer than the snow
Subtler than the ether
Is the Self
The spirit within my heart
I am that Self
That Self am I
I am a point of light within a greater light.
I am a strand of loving energy within the stream of Love divine.
I am a point of sacrificial fire within the fiery Will of God.
And thus I stand.
I am a way by which men may achieve.
I am a source of strength, enabling them to stand.
I am a beam of light, shining upon their way.
And thus I stand.
And standing thus, revolve
And tread this way the ways of men,
And know the ways of God.
And thus I stand.