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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Some Problems of Psychology
Exhilaration is also sometimes found as a result of the contact with a new world, and strong mental stimulation. Depression is as frequently a result, based upon a sensed incapacity to measure up to the realized opportunity. The man sees and knows too much. He can no longer be satisfied with the old measure of living, with the old satisfactions, and with the old idealism. He has touched and now longs for the larger measures, for the new and vibrant ideas, and for the broader vision. The way of life of the soul has gripped and attracts him. But his nature, his environment, his equipment and his opportunities appear somehow to frustrate him consistently, and he feels he cannot march forward into this new and wonderful world. He feels the need to temporize and to live in the same state of mind as heretofore, or so he thinks, and so he decides.

These expansions which he has undergone as the result of successful meditation need not be along the line of recognized religious effort, or produced by so-called occult revelation. They may come to him along the line of a man's chosen life activity, for there is no life activity, no vocational calling, no mental occupation and no condition which cannot provide the key to the unlocking of the door into the desired wider world, or serve to lead a man to the mountain top from which the wider horizon can be seen, and the larger vision grasped. A man must learn to recognize that his chosen [467] school of thought, his peculiar vocation, his particular calling in life and his personal trend are only part of a greater whole, and his problem is to integrate consciously his small life activity into the world activity.

It is this we call illumination for lack of a better word. All knowledge is a form of light, for it throws light into areas of awareness of which we have hitherto been unconscious. All wisdom is a form of light, for it reveals to us the world of meaning which lies behind the outer form. All understanding is an evocation of light, for it causes us to become aware of, or conscious of, the causes which are producing the outer forms which surround us (including our own) and which condition the world of meaning of which they are the expression. But when this fact is first seen, grasped, and when the initial revelation has come, when the place of the part in relation to the whole is sensed, and when the world which includes our little world is first contacted, there is always a moment of crisis and a period of danger. Then, as familiarity grows and our feet have wandered in and out of the door we have opened, and we have accustomed ourselves to the light which the unshuttered window has released into our little world of daily living, other psychological dangers eventuate. We are in danger of thinking that what we have seen is all there is to see, and thus - on a higher turn of the spiral and in a larger sense - we repeat the dangers (earlier considered) of undue emphasis, of wrong focus, of narrow minded belief, and idée fixe. We become obsessed with the idea of the soul; we forget its need of a vehicle of expression; we begin to live in an abstracted detached world of being and of feeling, and we fail to keep in contact with the factual life of physical plane expression. We thus repeat - again on a higher turn of the spiral - the condition we considered in which the soul or ego was not present, [468] reversing the condition so that there is no form life really present in the focused consciousness of the man. There is only the world of souls and a desire for creative activity. The handling of daily living on the physical plane drops below the threshold of consciousness, and the man becomes a vague, impractical, visionary mystic. These states of mind are dangerous, if they are permitted to exist.

There are, however, certain phases of this mental trouble which are induced by the illumination of the mind through meditation with which it might be profitable to deal. I can do so only cursorily, as the time is brief and I seek to indicate and not to elucidate in detail. I can only point out to you the general lines of difficulty and the methods whereby a specific difficulty or problem can be met or solved. In the handling of many of these cases, ordinary common sense is of value, and the effort to impress upon the patient that his troubles, though small in the beginning, can open the door to serious situations. There are three of these upon which I will touch.

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