THE ELEVENTH LESSON IN RAJA YOGA
SUBCONSCIOUS CHARACTER BUILDING.
In our last lesson (the Tenth Lesson) we called your attention to the wonderful work of the sub-conscious regions of mentation in the direction of the performance of Intellectual work. Great as are the possibilities of this field of mentation in the direction named, they are equaled by the possibilities of building up character by similar methods.
Every one realizes that one may change his character by a strenuous course of repression and training, and nearly all who read these lines have modified their characteristics somewhat by similar methods. But it is only of late years that the general public have become aware that Character might be modified, changed, and sometimes completely altered by means of an intelligent use of the sub-conscious faculties of the mind.
The word "Character" is derived from ancient terms meaning "to mark," "to engrave," etc., and some authorities inform us that the term originally arose from the word used by the Babylonian brickmakers to designate the trade mark impressed by them upon their bricks, each maker having his own mark. This is interesting, in view of the recent theories regarding the cultivation of characteristics which may be found in the current Western works on psychology. But these theories are not new to the Yogi teachers of the East, who have employed similar methods for centuries past in training their students and pupils. The Yogis have long taught that a man's character was, practically, the crude character-stuff possessed by him at his birth, modified and shaped by outside influences in the case of the ordinary man, and by deliberate self-training and shaping by the wise man. Their pupils are examined regarding their characteristics, and then directed to repress the undesirable traits, and to cultivate the desirable ones.
The Yogi practice of Character Building is based upon the knowledge of the wonderful powers of the sub-conscious plane of the mind. The pupil is not required to pursue strenuous methods of repression or cultivation, but, on the contrary, is taught that such methods are opposed to nature's plans, and that the best way is to imitate nature and to gradually unfold the desired characteristics by means of focusing the will-power and attention upon them. The weeding out of undesirable characteristics is accomplished by the pupil cultivating the characteristics directly opposed to the undesirable ones. For instance, if the pupil desires to overcome Fear, he is not instructed to concentrate on Fear with the idea of killing it out, but, instead, is taught to mentally deny that he has Fear, and then to concentrate his attention upon the ideal of Courage. When Courage is developed, Fear is found to have faded away. The positive always overpowers the negative.
In the word "ideal" is found the secret of the Yogi method of sub-conscious character building. The teachings are to the effect that "ideals" may be built up by the bestowal of attention upon them. The student is given the example of a rose bush. He is taught that the plant will grow and flourish in the measure that care and attention is bestowed upon it and _vice versa_. He is taught that the ideal of some desired characteristic is a mental rosebush, and that by careful attention it will grow and put forth leaves and flowers. He is then given some minor mental trait to develop, and is taught to dwell upon it in thought--to exercise his imagination and to mentally "see" himself attaining the desired quality. He is given mantrams or affirmation to repeat, for the purpose of giving him a mental center around which to build an ideal. There is a mighty power in words, used in this way, providing that the user always thinks of the meaning of the words, and makes a mental picture of the quality expressed by them, instead of merely repeating them parrot fashion.
The Yogi student is trained gradually, until he acquires the power of conscious direction of the sub-conscious mind in the building up process, which power comes to anyone--Oriental or Occidental--who will take the trouble to practice. In fact, nearly everyone possesses and actively uses this power, although he may not be aware of it. One's character is largely the result of the quality of thoughts held in the mind, and of the mental pictures or ideals entertained by the person. The man who constantly sees and thinks of himself as unsuccessful and down-trodden is very apt to grow ideals of thought forms of these things until his whole nature is dominated by them, and his every act works toward the objectification of the thoughts. On the contrary, the man who makes an ideal of success and accomplishment finds that his whole mental nature seems to work toward that result--the objectification of the ideal. And so it is with every other ideal. The person who builds up a mental ideal of Jealousy will be very apt to objectify the same, and to unconsciously create condition that will give his Jealousy food upon which to feed. But this particular phase of the subject, properly belongs to our next lesson. This Eleventh Lesson is designed to point out the way by which people may mould their characters in any way they desire--supplanting undesirable characteristics by desirable ones, and developing desirable ideals into active characteristics. The mind is plastic to him who knows the secret of its manipulation.
The average person recognizes his strong and weak points of character, but is very apt to regard them as fixed and unalterable, or practically so. He thinks that he "is just as the Lord made him," and that is the end of it. He fails to recognize that his character is being unconsciously modified every day by association with others, whose suggestions are being absorbed and acted upon. And he fails to see that he is moulding his own character by taking interest in certain things, and allowing his mind to dwell upon them. He does not realize that he himself is really the maker of himself, from the raw and crude material given him at his birth. He makes himself negatively or positively. Negatively, if he allows himself to be moulded by the thoughts and ideals of others, and positively, if he moulds himself. Everyone is doing one or the other--perhaps both. The weak man is the one who allows himself to be made by others, and the strong man is the one who takes the building process in his own hands.
The process of Character-building is so delightfully simple that its importance is apt to be overlooked by the majority of persons who are made acquainted with it. It is only by actual practice and the experiencing of results that its wonderful possibilities are borne home to one.
The Yogi student is early taught the lesson of the power and importance of character building by some strong practical example. For instance, the student is found to have certain tastes of appetite, such as a like for certain things, and a corresponding dislike for others. The Yogi teacher instructs the student in the direction of cultivating a desire and taste for the disliked thing, and a dislike for the liked thing. He teaches the student to fix his mind on the two things, but in the direction of imagining that he likes the one thing and dislikes the other. The student is taught to make a mental picture of the desired conditions, and to say, for instance, "I loathe candy--I dislike even the sight of it," and, on the other hand, "I crave tart things--I revel in the taste of them," etc., etc., at the same time trying to reproduce the taste of sweet things accompanied with a loathing, and a taste of tart things, accompanied with a feeling of delight. After a bit the student finds that his tastes are actually changing in accordance with his thoughts, and in the end they have completely changed places. The truth of the theory is then borne home to the student, and he never forgets the lesson.
In order to reassure readers who might object to having the student left in this condition of reversed tastes, we may add that the Yogi teachers then teach him to get rid of the idea of the disliked thing, and teach him to cultivate a liking for all wholesome things, their theory being that the dislike of certain wholesome eatables has been caused by some suggestion in childhood, or by some prenatal impression, as wholesome eatables are made attractive to the taste by Nature. The idea of all this training, however, is not the cultivation of taste, but practice in mental training, and the bringing home to the student the truth of the fact that his nature is plastic to his Ego, and that it may be moulded at will, by concentration and intelligent practice. The reader of this lesson may experiment upon himself along the lines of the elementary Yogi practice as above mentioned, if he so desires. He will find it possible to entirely change his dislike for certain food, etc., by the methods mentioned above. He may likewise acquire a liking for heretofore distasteful tasks and duties, which he finds it necessary to perform.
The principle underlying the whole Yogi theory of Character Building by the sub-conscious Intellect, is that the Ego is Master of the mind, and that the mind is plastic to the commands of the Ego. The Ego or "I" of the individual is the one real, permanent, changeless principle of the individual, and the mind, like the body, is constantly changing, moving, growing, and dying. Just as the body may be developed and moulded by intelligent exercises, so may the mind be developed and shaped by the Ego if intelligent methods are followed.
The majority of people consider that Character is a fixed something, belonging to a man, that cannot be altered or changed. And yet they show by their everyday actions that at heart they do not believe this to be a fact, for they endeavor to change and mould the characters of those around them, by word of advice, counsel, praising or condemnation, etc.
It is not necessary to go into the matter of the consideration of the causes of character in this lesson. We will content ourselves by saying that these causes may be summed up, roughly, as follows: (1) Result of experiences in past lives; (2) Heredity; (3) Environment; (4) Suggestion from others; and (5) Auto-suggestion. But no matter how one's character has been formed, it may be modified, moulded, changed, and improved by the methods set forth in this lesson, which methods are similar to what is called by Western writers, "Auto-suggestion."
The underlying idea of Auto-suggestion is the "willing" of the individual that the changes take place in his mind, the willing being aided by intelligent and tried methods of creating the new ideal or thought-form. The first requisite for the changed condition must be "desire" for the change. Unless one really desires that the change take place, he is unable to bring his Will to bear on the task. There is a very close connection between Desire and Will. Will is not usually brought to bear upon anything unless it is inspired by Desire. Some people connect the word Desire with the lower inclinations, but it is equally applicable to the higher. If one fights off a low inclination or Desire, it is because he is possessed of a higher inclination or Desire. Many Desires are really compromises between two or more conflicting Desires--a sort of average Desire, as it were.
Unless one desires to change his character he will not make any move toward it. And in proportion to the strength of the desire, so will be the amount of will-power that is put in the task. The first thing for one to do in character building is to "want to do it." And if he finds that the "want" is not sufficiently strong to enable him to manifest the perseverance and effort necessary to bring it to a successful conclusion, then he should deliberately proceed to "build up the desire."
Desire may be built up by allowing the mind to dwell upon the subject until a desire is created. This rule works both ways, as many people have found out to their sorrow and misery. Not only may one build up a commendable desire in this way, but he may also build up a reprehensible one. A little thought will show you the truth of this statement. A young man has no desire to indulge in the excesses of a "fast" life. But after a while he hears, or reads something about others leading that sort of life, and he begins to allow his mind to dwell upon the subject, turning it around and examining it mentally, and going over it in his imagination. After a time he begins to find a desire gradually sending forth roots and branches, and if he continues to water the thing in his imagination, before long he will find within himself a blossoming inclination, which will try to insist upon expression in action. There is a great truth behind the words of the poet:
"Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, That to be hated needs but to be seen. Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, and then embrace."
And the follies and crimes of many a man have been due to the growing of desire within his mind, through this plan of planting the seed, and then carefully watering and tending to it--this cultivation of the growing desire. We have thought it well to give this word of warning because it will throw light upon many things that may have perplexed you, and because it may serve to call your attention to certain growing weeds of the mind that you have been nourishing.
But remember, always, that the force that leads downward may be transmuted and made to lead upward. It is just as easy to plant and grow wholesome desires as the other kind. If you are conscious of certain defects and deficiencies in your character (and who is not?) and yet find yourself not possessed of a strong enough desire to make the changes necessary, then you should commence by planting the desire seed and allowing it to grow by giving it constant care and attention. You should picture to yourself the advantages of acquiring the desirable traits of character of which you have thought. You should frequently go over and over them in your mind, imaging yourself in imagination as possessing them. You will then find that the growing desire will make headway and that you will gradually begin to "want to" possess that trait of character more and more. And when you begin to "want to" hard enough, you will find arising in your consciousness a feeling of the possession of sufficient Will-power to carry it through. Will follows the Desire. Cultivate a Desire and you will find back of it the Will to carry it through. Under the pressure of a very strong Desire men have accomplished feats akin to miracles.
If you find yourself in possession of desires that you feel are hurtful to you, you may rid yourself of them by deliberately starving them to death, and at the same time growing opposite desires. By refusing to think of the objectionable desires you refuse them the mental food upon which alone they can thrive. Just as you starve a plant by refusing it nourishing soil and water, so may you starve out an objectionable desire by refusing to give it mental food. _Remember this, for it is most important_. Refuse to allow the mind to dwell upon such desires, and resolutely turn aside the attention, _and, particularly, the imagination_, from the subject. This may call for the manifestation of a little will-power in the beginning, but it will become easier as you progress, and each victory will give you renewed strength for the next fight. But do not temporize with the desire--do not compromise with it--refuse to entertain the idea. In a fight of this kind each victory gives one added strength, and each defeat weakens one.
And while you are refusing to entertain the objectionable guest you must be sure to grow a desire of an entirely opposite nature--a desire directly opposed to the one you are starving to death. Picture the opposite desire, and think of it often. Let your mind dwell upon it lovingly and let the imagination help to build it up into form. Think of the advantages that will arise to you when you fully possess it, and let the imagination picture you as in full possession of it, and acting out your new part in life strong and vigorous in your new found power.
All this will gradually lead you to the point where you will "want to" possess this power. Then you must be ready for the next step which is "Faith" or "Confident Expectation."
Now, faith or confident expectation is not made to order in most persons, and in such cases one must acquire it gradually. Many of you who read these lines will have an understanding of the subject that will give you this faith. But to those who lack it, we suggest that they practice on some trivial phases of the mental make-up, some petty trait of character, in which the victory will be easy and simple. From this stage they should work up to more difficult tasks, until at last they gain that faith or confident expectation that comes from persevering practice.
The greater the degree of faith or confident expectation that one carries with him in this task of character building, the greater will be his success. And this because of well established psychological laws. Faith or confident expectation clears away the mental path and renders the work easier, while doubt or lack of faith retards the work, and acts as obstacles and stumbling blocks. Strong Desire, and Faith, or confident expectation are the first two steps. The third is Will-power.
By Will-power we do not mean that strenuous, clenching-of-fist-and-frowning-brow thing that many think of when they say "Will." Will is not manifested in this way. The true Will is called into play by one realizing the "I" part of himself and speaking the word of command from that center of power and strength. It is the voice of the "I." And it is needed in this work of character building.
So now you are ready for work, being possessed of (1) Strong Desire; (2) Faith or Confident Expectation; and (3) Will-power. With such a triple-weapon nothing but Success is possible.
Then comes the actual work. The first thing to do is to lay the track for a new Character Habit. "Habit?" you may ask in surprise. Yes, Habit! For that word gives the secret of the whole thing. Our characters are made up of inherited or acquired habits. Think over this a little and you will see the truth of it. You do certain things without a thought, because you have gotten into the habit of doing them. You act in certain ways because you have established the habit. You are in the habit of being truthful, honest, virtuous, because you have established the habit of being so. Do you doubt this? Then look around you--or look within your own heart, and you will see that you have lost some of your old habits of action, and have acquired new ones. The building up of Character is the building up of Habits. And the changing of Character is the changing of Habits. It will be well for you to settle this fact in your own mind, for it will give you the secret of many things connected with the subject.
And, remember this, that Habit is almost entirely a matter of the sub-conscious mentality. It is true that Habits originate in the conscious mind, but as they are established they sink down into the depths of the sub-conscious mentality, and thereafter become "second nature," which, by the way, is often more powerful than the original nature of the person. The Duke of Wellington said that habit was as strong as ten natures, and he proceeded to drill habits into his army until they found it natural to act in accordance with the habits pounded into them during the drills. Darwin relates an interesting instance of the force of habit over the reason. He found that his habit of starting back at the sudden approach of danger was so firmly established that no will-power could enable him to keep his face pressed up against the cage of the cobra in the Zoological Gardens when the snake struck at him, although he knew the glass was so thick that there could be no danger, and although he exerted the full force of his will. But we venture to say that one could overcome even this strongly ingrained habit, by gradually training the sub-conscious mentality and establishing a new habit of thought and action.
It is not only during the actual process of "willing" the new habit that the work of making the new mental path goes on. In fact, the Yogis believe that the principal part of the work goes on sub-consciously between the intervals of commend, and that the real progress is made in that way, just as the real work of solving the problem is performed sub-consciously, as related in our last lesson. As an example, we may call your attention to some instances of the cultivation of physical habits. A physical task learned in the evening is much easier to perform the following-morning than it was the night before, and still easier the following Monday morning than it was on the Saturday afternoon previous. The Germans have a saying that "we learn to skate in summer, and to swim in winter," meaning that the impression passed on to the subconscious mentality deepens and broadens during the interval of rest. The best plan is to make frequent, sharp impressions, and then to allow reasonable periods of rest in order to give the sub-conscious mentality the opportunity to do its work. By "sharp" impressions we mean impressions given under _strong attention_, as we have mentioned in some of the earlier lessons of this series.
A writer has well said: "Sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny," thus recognizing habit as the source of character. We recognize this truth in our training of children, forming goods habits of character by constant repetition, by watchfulness, etc. Habit acts as a _motive_ when established, so that while we think we are acting without motive we may be acting under the strong motive power of some well established habit. Herbert Spencer has well said: "The habitually honest man does what is right, not consciously because he 'ought' but with simple satisfaction; and is ill at ease till it is done." Some may object that this idea of Habit as a basis of Character may do away with the idea of a developed moral conscientiousness, as for instance, Josiah Royce who says: "The establishment of organized habit is never in itself enough to ensure the growth of an enlightened moral conscientiousness" but to such we would say that one must "want to" cultivate a high character before he will create the habits usual to the same, and the "want to" is the sign of the "moral conscientiousness," rather than the habit. And the same is true of the "ought to" side of the subject. The "ought to" arises in the conscious mind in the beginning, and inspires the cultivation of the habit, although the latter after a while becomes automatic, a matter of the sub-conscious mentality, without any "ought to" attachment. It then becomes a matter of "like to."
Thus we see that the moulding, modifying, changing, and building of Character is largely a matter of the establishing of Habits. And what is the best way to establish Habits? becomes our next question. The answer of the Yogi is: "Establish a Mental Image, and then build your Habit around it." And in that sentence he has condensed a whole system.
Everything we see having a form is built around a mental image--either the mental image of some man, some animal, or of the Absolute. This is the rule of the universe, and in the matter of character-building we but follow a well established rule. When we wish to build a house, we first think of "house" in a general way. Then we begin to think of "what kind" of a house. Then we go into details. Then we consult an architect, and he makes us a plan, which plan is his mental image, suggested by our mental image. Then, the plan once decided upon, we consult the builder, and at last the house stands completed--an objectified Mental Image. And so it is with every created thing--all manifestation of a Mental Image.
And so, when we wish to establish a trait of Character, we must form a clear, distinct Mental Image of what we wish to be. This is an important step. Make your picture clear and distinct, and fasten it in your mind. Then begin to build around it. Let your thoughts dwell upon the mental picture. Let your imagination see yourself as possessed of the desired trait, and _acting it out_. Act it out in your imagination, over and over again, as often as possible, persevering, and continuously, seeing yourself manifesting the trait under a variety of circumstances and conditions. As you continue to do this you will find that you will gradually begin to express the thought in action--to objectify the subjective mental image. It will become "natural" for you to act more and more in accordance with your mental image, until at last the new habit will become firmly fixed in your mind, and will become your natural mode of action and expression.
This is no vague, visionary theory. It is a well known and proven psychological fact, and thousands have worked marvelous changes in their character by its means.
Not only may one elevate his moral character in this way, but he may mould his "work-a-day" self to better conform to the needs of his environment and occupation. If one lacks Perseverance, he may attain it; if one is filled with Fear, he may supplant it with Fearlessness; if one lacks Self-confidence, he may gain it. In fact, there is no trait that may not be developed in this way. People have literally "made themselves over" by following this method of character-building. The great trouble with the race has been that persons have not realized that they _could_ do these things. They have thought that they were doomed to remain just the creatures that they found themselves to be. They did not realize that the work of creation was not ended, and that they had within themselves a creative power adapted to the needs of their case. When man first realizes this truth, and proves it by practice, he becomes another being. He finds himself superior to environment, and training--he finds that he may ride over these things. He makes _his own environment_, and _he trains himself_.
In some of the larger schools in England and the United States, certain scholars who have developed and manifested the ability to control themselves and their actions are placed on the roll of a grade called the "Self-governed grade." Those in this grade act as if they had memorized the following words of Herbert Spencer: "In the supremacy of self-control consists one of the perfections of the ideal man. Not to be impulsive--not to be spurred hither and thither by each desire--but to be self-restrained, self-balanced, governed by the just decision of the feelings in council assembled * * * that it is which moral education strives to produce." And this is the desire of the writer of this lesson--to place each student in the "Self-governed class."
We cannot attempt, in the short space of a single lesson, to map out a course of instruction in Character Building adapted to the special needs of each individual. But we think that what we have said on the subject should be sufficient to point out the method for each student to map out a course for himself, following the general rules given above. As a help to the student, however, we will give a brief course of instruction for the cultivation of one desirable trait of character. The general plan of this course may be adapted to fit the requirements of _any other case_, if intelligence is used by the student. The case we have selected is that of a student who has been suffering from "a lack of Moral Courage--a lack of Self-Confidence--an inability to maintain my poise in the presence of other people--an inability to say 'No!'--a feeling of Inferiority to those with whom I come in contact." The brief outline of the course of practice given in this case is herewith given:
PRELIMINARY THOUGHT. You should fix firmly in your mind the fact that you are the Equal of any and every man. You come from the same source. You are an expression of the same One Life. In the eyes of the Absolute you are the equal of any man, even the highest in the land. Truth is "Things as God sees them"--and in Truth you and the man are equal, and, at the last, One. All feelings of Inferiority are illusions, errors, and lies, and have no existence in Truth. When in the company of others remember this fact and realize that the Life Principle in you is talking to the Life Principle in them. Let the Life Principle flow through you, and endeavor to forget your personal self. At the same time, endeavor to see that same Life Principle, behind and beyond the personality of the person in whose presence you are. He is by a personality hiding the Life Principle, just as you are. Nothing more--nothing less! You are both One in Truth. Let the conscious of the "I" beam forth and you will experience an uplift and sense of Courage, and the other will likewise feel it. You have within you the Source of Courage, Moral and Physical, and you have naught to Fear--Fearlessness is your Divine Heritage, avail yourself of it. You have Self-Conscience, for the Self is the "I" within you, not the petty personality, and you must have confidence in that "I." Retreat within yourself until you feel the presence of the "I," and then will you have a Self-Confidence that nothing can shake or disturb. Once having attained the permanent consciousness of the "I," you will have poise. Once having realized that you are a Center of Power, you will have no difficulty in saying "No!" when it is right to do so. Once having realized your true nature--your Real Self--you will lose all sense of Inferiority, and will know that you are a manifestation of the One Life and have behind you the strength, power, and grandeur of the Cosmos. Begin by realizing YOURSELF, and then proceed with the following methods of training the mind.
WORD IMAGES. It is difficult for the mind to build itself around an idea, unless that idea be expressed in words. A word is the center of an idea, just as the idea is the center of the mental image, and the mental image the center of the growing mental habit. Therefore, the Yogis always lay great stress upon the use of words in this way. In the particular case before us, we should suggest the holding before you of a few words crystallizing the main thought. We suggest the words "I Am"; Courage; Confidence; Poise; Firmness; Equality. Commit these words to memory, and then endeavor to fix in your mind a clear conception of the meaning of each word, so that each may stand for a Live Idea when you say it. Beware of parrot-like or phonographic repetition. Let each word's meaning stand out clearly before you, so that when you repeat it you may _feel_ its meaning. Repeat the words over frequently, when opportunity presents itself, and you will soon begin to notice that they act as a strong mental tonic upon you, producing a bracing, energizing effect. And each time you repeat the words, understandingly, you have done something to clear away the mental path over which you wish to travel.
PRACTICE. When you are at leisure, and are able to indulge in "day dreams" without injury to your affairs of life, call your imagination into play and endeavor to picture yourself as being possessed of the qualities indicated by the words named. Picture yourself under the most trying circumstances, making use of the desired qualities, and manifesting them fully. Endeavor to picture yourself as acting out your part well, and exhibiting the desired qualities. Do not be ashamed to indulge in these day-dreams, for they are the prophecies of the things to follow, and you are but rehearsing your part before the day of the performance. Practice makes perfect, and if you accustom yourself to acting in a certain way in imagination, you will find it much easier to play your part when the real performance occurs. This may seem childish to many of you, but if you have an actor among your acquaintances, consult him about it, and you will find that he will heartily recommend it. He will tell you what practice does for one in this direction, and how repeated practice and rehearsals may fix a character so firmly in a man's mind that he may find it difficult to divest himself of it after a time. Choose well the part you wish to play--the character you wish to be yours--and then after fixing it well in your mind, practice, practice, practice. Keep your ideal constantly before you, and endeavor to grow into it. And you will succeed, if you exercise patience and perseverance.
But, more than this. Do not confine your practice to mere private rehearsal. You need some "dress rehearsals" as well--rehearsals in public. Therefore, after you get well started in your work, manage to exercise your growing character-habits in your everyday life. Pick out the little cases first and "try it on them."
You will find that you will be able to overcome conditions that formerly bothered you much. You will become conscious of a growing strength and power coming from within, and you will recognize that you are indeed a changed person. Let your thought express itself in action, whenever you get a good chance. But do not try to force chances just to try your strength. Do not, for instance, try to force people to ask for favors that you may say "No!" You will find plenty of genuine tests without forcing any. Accustom yourself to looking people in the eye, and feeling the power that is back of you, and within you. You will soon be able to see through their personality, and realize that it is just one portion of the One Life gazing at another portion, and that therefore there is nothing to be afraid of. A realization of your Real Self will enable you to maintain your poise under trying circumstances, if you will but throw aside your false idea about your personality. Forget yourself--your little personal self--for a while, and fix your mind on the Universal Self of which you are a part. All these things that have worried you are but incidents of the Personal Life, and are seen to be illusions when viewed from the standpoint of the Universal Life.
Carry the Universal Life with you as much as possible into your everyday life. It belongs there as much as anywhere, and will prove to be a tower of strength and refuge to you in the perplexing situations of your busy life.
Remember always that the Ego is master of the mental states and habits, and that the Will is the direct instrument of the Ego, and is always ready for its use. Let your soul be filled with the strong Desire to cultivate those mental habits that will make you Strong. Nature's plan is to produce Strong Individual expressions of herself, and she will be glad to give you her aid in becoming strong. The man who wishes to strengthen himself will always find great forces back of him to aid him in the work, for is he not carrying out one of Nature's pet plans, and one which she has been striving for throughout the ages. Anything that tends to make you realize and express your Mastery, tends to strengthen you, and places at your disposal Nature's aid. You may witness this in everyday life--Nature seems to like _strong_ individuals, and delights in pushing them ahead. By Mastery, we mean mastery over your own lower nature, as well as over outside nature, of course. The "I" is Master--forget it not, O student, and assert it constantly. Peace be with you.
MANTRAM (OR AFFIRMATION).
I am the Master of my Mental Habits--I control my Character. I Will to be Strong, and summon the forces of my Nature to my aid.
Suggestions for Further Reading
- A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga, Index Page
- The I or the Self
- The Ego's Mental Tools
- The Expansion of the Self
- Mental Control
- The Cultivation of Attention
- The Cultivation of Perception
- The Unfoldment of Consciousness
- The Highlands and Lowlands of Mind
- The Mental Planes
- The Subconscious Mind
- Subconscious Character Building
- The Subconscious Influences
- Advice on the Practice of Concentration in
- An introduction to yoga by Annie Besant
- Gnani Yoga, The Law of Karma by Yogi Ramacharaka
- Questions and Answers on Occult subjects
- Mystic Christianity - the Holy Ghost
- Total Mind Body Awareness
- The Hindu-Yogi Science Of Breath, by Yogi Ramacharaka
- Yogi Ramacharka
- The Mystic Christianity - Ancient Wisdom
- What is meditation
- An Essay on Yoga and Skills by Sri Aurobindo
- The Sevenfold Nature of Human Body
- Yoga the science of breathing
- Buddhism - The Power of Mindfulness
- A Modern Treatise on Buddhist Satipatthana Meditation
- A Teaching on Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation
- Suda Sutta - Meditation and Cooking
- Buddhism - Meditation Upon the Body
- The Basis For Spiritual Life
- Is Enlightenment the Right Word for Spiritual Liberation?
- Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali
- Hinduwebsite.com - Yoga Home Page
- The Meaning and Purpose of Yoga
- Yoga's Best Kept Secrets
- What is Your Notion of God?
- Benefits of Yoga on Life and Longevity
- Yoga Exercises and Techniques
- The Yoga Sutras - Featured Translations
- The Doctrine and Practice of Yoga
- The Mind and The Illusion of Reality
- Self Discovery - Opening the Door to Self-realization
Source: A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga, by Yogi Ramacharaka( 1862-1932). This text is in public domain and reproduced and reformatted by Jayaram V for Hinduwebsite.com. While we have made every effort to reproduce the text correctly we do not accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions or inaccuracies in the reproduction of this text.
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