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Letters on Occult Meditation - Letter VI - The Use of Form in Meditation
1. The Use of Form in Raising the Consciousness

We have under this heading to consider three things:

  1. The Consciousness itself.
  2. The goal towards which it seeks to rise.
  3. The steps whereby it succeeds.

Each unit of the human race is a part of the divine consciousness, and is that which is conscious of, or is [142] aware of something without itself, - something which knows itself to be differentiated from the vehicle which encloses it or the forms which environ it.

At this particular stage in evolution the average man is simply conscious of differentiation, or of being separated off from all other members of the human family, thus forming in himself a unit among other units. He acknowledges this and acknowledges the right of all other separated units so to consider themselves. He adds to this a recognition that somewhere in the universe there exists a supreme Consciousness, Whom he theoretically calls God, or Nature. Between this purely selfish point of view (I use The term "selfish" in the scientific sense and not as a belittling adjective) and the nebulous theory of God immanent there are to be found numerous stages, at each of which occurs an expansion of consciousness, or an enlargement of the point of view, that leads that self-recognizing unit, step by step, from self-recognition to the recognition of superior selves, to the fitting of himself to be likewise recognized as a superior self, and eventually to the occult recognition of his own superior Self. He comes to recognize his Higher Self or Ego as his true Self, and from that stage passes on into that of the group consciousness. Here he realizes first his egoic group and then other egoic groups.

This stage is succeeded by the recognition of the universal principle of Brotherhood; it involves not just a theoretical recognition, but a merging of the consciousness into that of the human consciousness, in its entirety; this is really that development of consciousness which enables a man to realize not only his egoic group affiliations but his place in the human Hierarchy on its own plane. He knows himself in fact as a part of one of the great Heavenly Men. This expands later into an almost [143] inconceivably vast point of view - that of his place in the Grand Heavenly Man, as represented by the Logos Himself.

This is as far as we need go for our purpose, for this series of letters, aims not at the development of cosmic consciousness.

It will therefore be apparent to you that all these stages have to be taken systematically and that each one has to be mastered step by step. It is necessary first to grasp that the place where the expansion takes place, and the realization has to be felt, has to be finally in the thinking, waking consciousness. The Ego on its own plane may be well aware of the unity of its consciousness with all other consciousness, and be realizing his group as one with himself, but until the man (in physical plane consciousness) has raised himself to that same plane and is likewise aware of his group consciousness, and likewise regards himself as the higher Self within the egoic group and not as a separated unit, it is of no more use than a recognized theory is of use when not carried out in experience.

The man has to experience these stages in his physical consciousness and to know experimentally and not just theoretically that whereof I speak before he is deemed ready to pass on into the succeeding stages. The whole matter resolves itself into the expansion of the mind until it dominates the lower, and into the faculty of abstract conception which results eventually in physical plane manifestation. It means making your highest theories and ideals demonstrable facts and it is that blending of the higher and the lower and the equipping of that lower until it provides a fitting expression for the higher. It is here that the practice of meditation plays its part. The true scientific meditation provides [144] graded forms whereby the consciousness is raised and the mind expanded until it embraces:

  1. Its family and friends.
  2. Its environing associates.
  3. Its affiliated groups.
  4. Its egoic group.
  5. Other egoic groups.
  6. That Man of the Heavens of which the egoic groups form a center.
  7. The Grand Heavenly Man.

To effect this certain forms will be laid down later, that (working along the line of a man's ray) will teach him in graded steps to do this. You will note that I have dealt with the consciousness itself and the goal it aspires to and have thus dealt with our first two points. This brings me to our last subsidiary heading, the steps whereby attainment eventuates.

Each man who enters upon occult development and who aspires toward the higher, has passed the stage of the average man - the man who regards himself from the purely isolated standpoint and who works for what is good for himself. The aspirant is aiming at something different; he seeks to merge himself with his higher Self and with all that is entailed when we use that term. The stages beyond that, in all their intricacies, are the secrets of Initiation and with them we have naught to do.

Aspiration towards the Ego and the bringing in of that higher consciousness with the subsequent development of group consciousness very directly concern all who will read these letters. It is the next step ahead for those upon the Probationary Path. It is not achieved by simply giving thirty minutes a day to certain set forms of meditation. It involves an hour by hour attempt, [145] all day long and every day, to keep the consciousness as near to the high pitch attained in the morning meditation as possible. It presumes a determination to consider oneself at all times as the Ego, and not as a differential Personality. Later, as the Ego comes more and more into control, it will involve also the ability to look upon oneself as part of a group, with no interests and desires, no aims or wishes apart from the good of that group. It necessitates a constant watchfulness every hour of the day to prevent the falling back into the lower vibration. It entails a constant battle with the lower self that drags down; it is a ceaseless fight to preserve the higher vibration. And - which is the point I am aiming to impress upon you - the aim should be the development of the habit of meditation all the day long, and the living in the higher consciousness till that consciousness is so stable that the lower mind, desire and the physical elementals, become so atrophied and starved through lack of nourishment that the threefold lower nature becomes simply the means whereby the Ego contacts the world for purposes of helping the race.

In so doing he is accomplishing something that is little realized by the average student. He is building a form, a definite thought-form that eventually provides a vehicle whereby he steps out of the lower consciousness into the higher, a kind of mayavirupa that acts as his intermediate channel. These forms are usually, though not invariably, of two kinds:

  • The student builds a form daily, with care and love and attention, of his Master, to him the embodiment of the ideal higher consciousness. He lays the outline of this form in meditation and builds in the fabric in his daily life and thought. The form is provided with all the virtues, scintillates with all the colors, and is vivified, [146] first of all, by the love of the man for his Master, and later (when adequate for the purpose) it is vitalized by the Master Himself. At a certain stage in development this form provides the ground for the occult experience of entering into the higher consciousness. The man recognizes himself as a part of the Master's consciousness and through that all embracing consciousness slips into the egoic group soul consciously. This form provides the medium for that experience until such a time as it can be dispensed with, and the man can at will transfer himself into his group, and later consciously dwell there permanently. This method is the one most largely used, and is the path of love and devotion.
  • In the second method the student pictures himself as the ideal man. He visualizes himself as the exponent of all the virtues, and he attempts in his daily life to make himself what he visualizes himself to be. This method is employed by the more mental types, the intellectuals, and those whose ray is not so colored by love, by devotion or by harmony. It is not so common as the first. The mental thought-form thus built up serves as the mayavirupa as did the other and the man passes from these forms into the higher consciousness. As you therefore see, in building these forms certain steps will have to be taken and each type will build the form somewhat differently.

The first type will start with some beloved individual, and from that individual, will rise through the various other individuals to the Master.

The other type will start with meditation on the virtue most desired, add virtue to virtue in the building of the form of the ideal self until all the virtues have been attempted and the Ego is suddenly contacted. [147]

Tomorrow we will take up this same subject from a different angle and study the difference between the occultist and the mystic.

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