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Letters on Occult Meditation - Letter V - Dangers to be avoided in Meditation
Dangers based on National Heredity and Type of Body

July 30, 1920

...As you may well imagine it is not my purpose to enlarge upon the dangers incidental to a defective body, save in general terms to lay down the ruling that where there is definite disease, congenital trouble or mental weakness of any kind, meditation is not the part of discretion, but may serve but to intensify the trouble. I wish specifically to point out for the guidance of future students and as a prophetic statement, that in days to come when the science of meditation is more comprehended, two factors will be wisely weighed and considered before assigning a meditation. These factors are:

  1. The man's subrace characteristics.
  2. His type of body, whether it is oriental or occidental.

In this way, certain disasters will be avoided and certain troubles obviated that are now found in a more or less degree in every occult group.

It is generally recognized that each race has for its predominant feature some one outstanding quality of the emotional body. This is the general rule. In contrasting the Italian and the Teutonic racial differences, those differences are summed up in our minds in terms of the emotional body. We think of the Italian as fiery, romantic, unstable and brilliant; we think of the Teuton as phlegmatic, matter-of-fact, sentimental and stolidly, logically clever. It will, therefore, be apparent to you that these different temperaments carry with them their own dangers, and that in the unwise pursuit of unsuitable meditations, virtues could be emphasized till they approximated vices, temperamental weaknesses could be intensified till they became menaces, and consequently [111] lack of balance would result instead of that attainment of equilibrium and that fine rounding out of the causal body which is one of the aims in view. When, therefore, the wise Teacher moves among men and Himself apportions meditation, these racial differences will be weighed and their inherent defects will be offset and not intensified. Over-development and disproportionate attainment will be obviated by the equalizing effects of occult meditation.

Meditation as followed now and as followed in Atlantean days differs fundamentally. In the fourth root race an effort was made to facilitate attainment via the atomic subplane, from the emotional plane to the intuitional, to the practical exclusion of the mental. It followed the line of the emotions and had a definite effect on the emotional body. It worked upwards from the emotional instead of, as now, working on mental levels and from those levels making the effort to control the two lower. In the Aryan root-race, the attempt is being made to bridge the gap between the higher and the lower and, by centering the consciousness in the lower mind and later in the causal, to tap the higher until the downflow from that higher will be continuous. With most of the advanced students at present all that is felt is occasional flashes of illumination, but later will be felt a steady irradiation. Both methods carry their own dangers. In Atlantean days, meditation tended to over-stimulation of the emotions and although men touched great heights, yet they also touched great depths. Sex magic was unbelievably rampant. The solar plexus was apt to be over vivified, the triangles were not correctly followed, and the lower centers were caught in the reaction of the fire with dire results.

The dangers now are different. The development of [112] mind carries with it the dangers of selfishness, of pride, of blind forgetfulness of the higher that it is the aim of the present method to offset. If the adepts of the dark path attained great powers in Atlantean days they are still more dangerous now. Their control is much more widespread. Hence the emphasis laid on service, and on the steadying of the mind as an essential in the man who seeks to progress and to become a member of the Brotherhood of Light.

The matter I now seek to give some instruction upon is one of very real importance to all earnest students at this time. The orient is to the evolving race of men what the heart is to the human body; it is the source of light, of life, of heat, and of vitality. The occident is to the race what the brain or mental activity is to the body, - the directing organizing factor, the instrument of the lower mind, the accumulator of facts. The difference in the entire "makeup" (as you term it) of the oriental and of the European or American is so great and so well recognized that it is mayhap needless for me to dwell upon it.

The oriental is philosophical, naturally dreamy, trained through centuries to think in abstract terms, fond of obstruse dialectics, temperamentally lethargic, and climatically slow. Ages of metaphysical thinking, of vegetarian living, of climatic inertia and of a rigid adherence to forms and to the strictest rules of living have produced a product the exact opposite of his occidental brother.

The occidental is practical, businesslike, dynamic, quick in action, a slave to organization (which is after all but another form of ceremonial), actuated by a very concrete mind, acquisitive, critical, and at his best when affairs move quickly and rapid mental decision is required. He detests abstract thought yet appreciates it when apprehended, and when he can make those thoughts [113] facts on the physical plane. He uses his head more than his heart center, and his throat center is apt to be vitalized. The oriental uses his heart center more than the head and necessarily the corresponding head centers. The center at the top of the spine at the base of the skull functions more actively than the throat.

The oriental progresses by the withdrawing of the center of consciousness to the head through strenuous meditation. That is the center that he needs to master, he learns by the wise use of mantrams, by retiring into seclusion, by isolation and by the careful following of specific forms for many hours each day for many days.

The occidental has in view the withdrawal of his consciousness to the heart at first, for already he works so much with the head centers. He works more by the use of collective forms and not individual mantrams; he does not work so much in isolation as his oriental brother, but has to find his center of consciousness even in the noise and whirl of business life and in the throngs of great cities. He employs collective forms for the attainment of his ends, and the awakening of the heart center shows itself in service. Hence the emphasis laid in the occident on the heart meditation and the subsequent life of service.

You will see, therefore, that when the real occult work is begun, the method may differ - and will necessarily differ - in the east and in the west, but the goal will be the same. It must be borne in mind, for instance, that a meditation that would aid the development of an oriental, might bring danger and disaster to his western brother. The reverse would also be the case. But always the goal will be the same. Forms may be individual or collective, mantrams may be chanted by units or by groups, different centers may be the object of specialized attention, yet [114] the results will be identical. Danger arises when the occidental bases his endeavor on rules that suffice for the oriental, as has at times been so wisely pointed out. In the wisdom of the Great Ones this danger is being offset. Different methods for different races, diverse forms for those of various nationalities, but the same wise guides on the inner planes, the same great Hall of Wisdom, the same Gate of Initiation, admitting all into the inner sanctuary...

In concluding this subject, I seek to give a hint: The Seventh Ray of Ceremonial Law or Order (the ray now coming into power) provides for the occidental what has long been the privilege of the oriental. Great is the day of opportunity, and in the sweeping onward of this seventh force comes the needed impetus that may - if rightly grasped - drive to the Feet of the Lord of the World the dweller in the occident.

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