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A Treatise on White Magic - Rule Twelve - Interludes and Cycles
3. The third type of interlude, and the one with which we are here primarily concerned as we consider the magical work on the physical plane, is the interlude achieved and utilized during the meditation process. With this the student must familiarize himself, for otherwise he will be unable to work with power. This interlude or period of intense silence differentiates itself into two parts:

There is first of all the interlude which we call contemplation. I would remind you of the definition given in a book by Evelyn Underhill which describes contemplation as "an interlude between two activities". This period of silence succeeds upon the activity (found so difficult by the beginner) of making the alignment between soul-mind-brain, of quieting the emotional body, and of achieving that concentration and meditation which will serve to focus and reorient the mind upon a new world, and place it within the sphere of influence of the soul. It is analogous to the period of inhalation. In this cycle, the outgoing consciousness is gathered in and lifted up.

When success crowns this effort, the consciousness then [516] slips out of what we call the personality, the mechanism aspect, and becomes a changed consciousness. The soul on its own plane becomes active and of this activity the mind and brain are aware. From the standpoint of personality activity, an interlude takes place. There is a point of inspired waiting. The mechanism is entirely quiescent. The mind is held steady in the light and the soul in the meantime thinks, as is its habit, in unison with all souls, taps the resources of the Universal Mind, and formulates its purposes in line with the universal plan. This cycle of recorded soul activity is followed by what might be called the process of exhalation. The interlude comes to an end; the waiting mind again becomes active and in so far as it has been rightly oriented and held in a purely receptive attitude, it becomes the interpreter and instrument of the soul, which has now turned the "light of its countenance upon the attentive personality". Through that medium it can now work out the plans formulated in the interlude of contemplation. The emotional nature is swept by desire to make objective the plans with which the reoriented mind seeks to color its experience, and subsequently the brain receives the transmitted impression and the physical plane life is then adjusted so that those plans can properly materialize. This of course delineates a mechanism, trained and adjusted and rightly responsive - a rare thing indeed to find. The second part of the interlude only becomes possible when the first or contemplative interlude has been achieved.

The disciple who is seeking to cooperate with the Hierarchy of Masters and to manifest this cooperation by active participation in Their work on the physical plane has to learn to work not only through the contemplative realization but through a scientific utilization of the interludes, developed in breathing, between points of inhalation and exhalation in the purely physical sense of [517] the term. This is the true science and objective of pranayama. The brain consciousness is necessarily involved. The interlude between breaths is only capable of right use when a man has achieved the power to follow the interlude of contemplation affecting the soul and the mind and the brain. Just as the mind has been held in the light and has been receptive to the soul impression so the brain has to be held receptive to impression from the mind.

One interlude therefore (from the standpoint of the unified soul and personality) takes place after the period of soul inhalation, when the outgoing consciousness has been gathered inward, and the other takes place at the close of that interlude when the soul again becomes out going consciously to the objective world; exhalation takes the place of inhalation and also has its interlude. The disciple has to learn facility in utilizing these two soul interludes - one of which produces effects upon the mind, and the other upon the brain.

There is, as always, a physical plane analogy of this process of divine inhalation and exhalation with its two interludes of silence and of thought. Let me again reiterate the consequences of these interludes. In the higher interlude, abstract or divine thought impresses the soul and is transmitted to the waiting mind; in the other, the mind, through concrete thought and an attempt to embody divine thought in form, impresses the brain and produces action through the medium of the physical body.

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