THE THIRD LESSON IN RAJA YOGA
THE EXPANSION OF THE SELF.
In the first two lessons of this course we have endeavored to bring to the bot="HTMLMarkup" endspan i-checksum="21693" --> candidate a realization in consciousness of the reality of the "I," and to enable him to distinguish between the Self and its sheaths, physical and mental. In the present lesson we will call his attention to the relationship of the "I" to the Universal "I," and will endeavor to give him an idea of a greater, grander Self, transcending personality and the little self that we are so apt to regard as the "I."
The keynote of this lesson will be "The Oneness of All," and all of its teachings will be directed to awakening a realization in consciousness of that great truth. But we wish to impress upon the mind of the Candidate that we are _not_ teaching him that he is the Absolute. We are not teaching the "I Am God" belief, which we consider to be erroneous and misleading, and a perversion of the original Yogi teachings. This false teaching has taken possession of many of the Hindu teachers and people, and with its accompanying teaching of "Maya" or the complete illusion or non-existence of the Universe, has reduced millions of people to a passive, negative mental condition which undoubtedly is retarding their progress. Not only in India is this true, but the same facts may be observed among the pupils of the Western teachers who have embraced this negative side of the Oriental Philosophy. Such people confound the "Absolute" and "Relative" aspects of the One, and, being unable to reconcile the facts of Life and the Universe with their theories of "I Am God," they are driven to the desperate expedient of boldly denying the Universe, and declaring it to be all "an illusion" or "Maya."
You will have no trouble in distinguishing the pupils of the teachers holding this view. They will be found to exhibit the most negative mental condition--a natural result of absorbing the constant suggestion of "nothingness"--the gospel of negation. In marked contrast to the mental condition of the students, however, will be observed the mental attitude of the teachers, who are almost uniformly examples of vital, positive, mental force, capable of hurling their teaching into the minds of the pupils--of driving in their statements by the force of an awakened Will. The teacher, as a rule, has awakened to a sense of the "I" consciousness, and really develops the same by his "I Am God" attitude, because by holding this mental attitude he is enabled to throw off the influence of the sheaths of the lower mental principles, and the light of the Self shows forth fiercely and strongly, sometimes to such an extent that it fairly scorches the mentality of the less advanced pupil. But, notwithstanding this awakened "I" consciousness, the teacher is handicapped by his intellectual misconception and befogging metaphysics, and is unable to impart the "I" consciousness to his pupils, and, instead of raising them up to shine with equal splendor with himself, he really forces them into a shadow by reason of his teachings.
Our students, of course, will understand that the above is not written in the spirit of carping criticism or fault-finding. We hold no such mental attitude, and indeed could not if we remain true to our conception of Truth. We are mentioning these matters simply that the student may avoid this "I Am God" pitfall which awaits the Candidate just as he has well started on the Path. It would not be such a serious matter if it were merely a question of faulty metaphysics, for that would straighten itself out in time. But it is far more serious than this, for the teaching inevitably leads to the accompanying teaching that all is Illusion or _Maya_, and that Life is but a dream--a false thing--a lie--a nightmare; that the journey along the Path is but an illusion; that everything is "nothing"; that there is no soul; that You are God in disguise, and that He is fooling Himself in making believe that He is You; that Life is but a Divine masquerade or sleight-of-hand performance; that You are God, but that You (God) are fooling Yourself (God) in order to amuse Yourself (God). Is not this horrible? And yet it shows to what lengths the human mind will go before it will part with some pet theory of metaphysics with which it has been hypnotized. Do you think that we have overdrawn the picture? Then read some of the teachings of these schools of the Oriental Philosophy, or listen to some of the more radical of the Western teachers preaching this philosophy. The majority of the latter lack the courage of the Hindu teachers in carrying their theories to a logical conclusion, and, consequently they veil their teachings with metaphysical subtlety. But a few of them are more courageous, and come out into the open and preach their doctrine in full.
Some of the modern Western teachers of this philosophy explain matters by saying that "God is masquerading as different forms of life, including Man, in order that he may gain the experience resulting therefrom, for although He has Infinite and Absolute Wisdom and Knowledge, he lacks the experience that comes only from actually living the life of the lowly forms, and therefore He descend thus in order to gain the needed experience." Can you imagine the Absolute, possessed of all possible Knowledge and Wisdom, feeling the need of such petty "experience," and living the life of the lowly forms (including Man) in order "to gain experience?" To what Depths do these vain theories of Man drive us? Another leading Western teacher, who has absorbed the teaching of certain branches of the Oriental Philosophy, and who possesses the courage of his convictions, boldly announces that "You, yourself, are the _totality_ of being, and with your mind alone create, preserve and destroy the universe, which is your own mental product." And again the last mentioned teacher states: "the entire universe is a bagatelle illustration of your own creative power, which you are now exhibiting for your own inspection." "By their fruits shall you know them," is a safe rule to apply to all teachings. The philosophy that teaches that the Universe is an illusion perpetrated by you (God) to amuse, entertain or fool yourself (God), can have but one result, and that is the conclusion that "everything is nothing," and all that is necessary to do is to sit down, fold your hands and enjoy the Divine exhibition of legerdemain that you are performing for your own entertainment, and then, when the show is over, return to your state of conscious Godhood and recall with smiles the pleasant memories of the "conjure show" that you created to fool yourself with during several billions of ages. That is what it amounts to, and the result is that those accepting this philosophy thrust upon them by forceful teachers, and knowing in their hearts that they are _not_ God, but absorbing the suggestions of "nothingness," are driven into a state of mental apathy and negativeness, the soul sinking into a stupor from which it may not be roused for a long period of time.
We wish you to avoid confounding our teaching with this just mentioned. We wish to teach you that You are a real Being--_not_ God Himself, but a manifestation of Him who is the Absolute. You are a Child of the Absolute, if you prefer the term, possessed of the Divine Heritage, and whose mission it is to unfold qualities which are your inheritances from your Parent. Do not make the great mistake of confounding the Relative with the Absolute. Avoid this pitfall into which so many have fallen. Do not allow yourself to fall into the "Slough of Despond," and wallow in the mud of "nothingness," and to see no reality except in the person of some forceful teacher who takes the place of the Absolute in your mind. But raise your head and assert your Divine Parentage, and your Heritage from the Absolute, and step out boldly on the Path, asserting the "I."
(We must refer the Candidate back to our "Advanced Course," for our teachings regarding the Absolute and the Relative. The last three lessons of that course will throw light upon what we have just said To repeat the teaching at this point would be to use space which is needed for the lesson before us.)
And yet, while the "I" is _not_ God, the Absolute, it is infinitely greater than we have imagined it to be before the light dawned upon us. It extends itself far beyond what we had conceived to be its limits. It touches the Universe at all its points, and is in the closest union with all of Life. It is in the closest touch with all that has emanated from the Absolute--all the world of Relativity. And while it faces the Relative Universe, it has its roots in the Absolute, and draws nourishment therefrom, just as does the babe in the womb obtain nourishment from the mother. It is verily a manifestation of God, and God's very essence is in it. Surely this is almost as "high" a statement as the "I Am God" of the teachers just mentioned,--and yet how different. Let us consider the teaching in detail in this lesson, and in portions of others to follow.
Let us begin with a consideration of the instruments of the Ego, and the material with which and through which the Ego works. Let us realize that the physical body of man is identical in substance with all other forms of matter, and that its atoms are continually changing and being replaced, the material being drawn from the great storehouse of matter, and that there is a Oneness of matter underlying all apparent differences of form and substance. And then let us realize that the vital energy or _Prana_ that man uses in his life work is but a portion of that great universal energy which permeates everything and everywhere, the portion being used by us at any particular moment being drawn from the universal supply, and again passing out from us into the great ocean of force or energy. And then let us realize that even the mind, which is so close to the real Self that it is often mistaken for it--even that wonderful thing Thought--is but a portion of the Universal Mind, the highest emanation of the Absolute beneath the plane of Spirit, and that the Mind--substance or _Chitta_ that we are using this moment, is not ours separately and distinctly, but is simply a portion from the great universal supply, which is constant and unchangeable. Let us then realize that even this thing that we feel pulsing within us--that which is so closely bound up with the Spirit as to be almost inseparable from it--that which we call Life--is but a bit of that Great Life Principle that pervades the Universe, and which cannot be added to, nor subtracted from. When we have realized these things, and have begun to feel our relation (in these particulars) to the One Great Emanation of the Absolute, then we may begin to grasp the idea of the Oneness of Spirit, and the relation of the "I" to every other "I," and the merging of the Self into the one great Self, which is not the extinction of Individuality, as some have supposed, but the enlargement and extension of the Individual Consciousness until it takes in the Whole.
In Lessons X and XI, of the "Advanced Course" we called your attention to the Yogi teachings concerning _Akasa_ or Matter, and showed you that all forms of what we know as Matter are but different forms of manifestation of the principle called _Akasa_, or as the Western scientists call it, "Ether." This Ether or _Akasa_ is the finest, thinnest and most tenuous form of Matter, in fact it is Matter in its ultimate or fundamental form, the different forms of what we call Matter being but manifestations of this _Akasa_ or Ether, the apparent difference resulting from different rates of vibration, etc. We mention this fact here merely to bring clearly before your mind the fact of the Universality of Matter, to the end that you may realize that each and every particle of your physical body is but a portion of this great principle of the Universe, fresh from the great store-house, and just about returning to it again, for the atoms of the body are constantly changing. That which appears as your flesh to-day, may have been part of a plant a few days before, and may be part of some other living thing a few days hence. Constant change is going on, and what is yours to-day was someone's else yesterday, and still another's to-morrow. You do not own one atom of matter _personally_, it is all a part of the common supply, the stream flowing through you and through all Life, on and on forever.
And so it is with the Vital Energy that you are using every moment of your life. You are constantly drawing upon the great Universal supply of _Prana_, then using what is given you, allowing the force to pass on to assume some other form. It is the property of all, and all you can do is to use what you need, and allow it to pass on. There is but one Force or Energy, and that is to be found everywhere at all times.
And even the great principle, Mind-substance, is under the same law. It is hard for us to realize this. We are so apt to think of our mental operations as distinctively our own--something that belongs to us personally--that it is difficult for us to realize that Mind-substance is a Universal principle just as Matter or Energy, and that we are but drawing upon the Universal supply in our mental operations. And more than this, the particular portion of Mind-substance that we are using, although separated from the Mind-substance used by other individuals by a thin wall of the very finest kind of Matter, is really in touch with the other apparently separated minds, and with the Universal Mind of which it forms a part. Just as is the Matter of which our physical bodies are composed really in touch with all Matter; and just as is the Vital Force used by us really in touch with all Energy; so is our Mind-substance really in touch with all Mind-substance. It is as if the Ego in its progress were moving through great oceans of Matter, Energy, or Mind-substance, making use of that of each which it needed and which immediately surrounded it, and leaving each behind as it moved on through the great volume of the ocean. This illustration is clumsy, but it may bring to your consciousness a realization that the Ego is the only thing that is really _Yours_, unchangeable and unaltered, and that all the rest is merely that portion of the Universal supply that you draw to yourself for the wants of the moment. It may also bring more clearly before your mind the great Unity of things--may enable you to see things as a Whole, rather than as separated parts. Remember, _You_--the "I"--are the only Real thing about and around you--all that has permanence--and Matter, Force and even Mind-substance, are but your instruments for use and expression. There are great oceans of each surrounding the "I" as it moves along.
It is well for you also to bear in mind the Universality of Life. All of the Universe is alive, vibrating and pulsating with life and energy and motion. There is nothing dead in the Universe. Life is everywhere, and always accompanied by intelligence. There is no such thing as a dead, unintelligent Universe. _Instead of being atoms of Life floating in a sea of death, we are atoms of Life surrounded by an ocean of Life, pulsating, moving, thinking, living._ Every atom of what we call Matter is alive. It has energy or force with it, and is always accompanied by intelligence and life. Look around us as we will--at the animal world--at the plant world--yes, even at the world of minerals and we see life, life, life--all alive and having intelligence. When we are able to bring this conception into the realm of actual consciousness--when we are able not only to intellectually accept this fact, but to even go still further and _feel_ and be conscious of this Universal Life on all sides, then are we well on the road to attaining the Cosmic Consciousness.
But all these things are but steps leading up to the realization of the Oneness in Spirit, on the part of the Individual. Gradually there dawns upon him the realization that there is a Unity in the manifestation of Spirit from the Absolute--a unity with itself, and a Union with the Absolute. All this manifestation of Spirit on the part of the Absolute--all this begetting of Divine Children--was in the nature of a single act rather than as a series of acts, if we may be permitted to speak of the manifestation as an _act_. Each Ego is a Centre of Consciousness in this great ocean of Spirit--each is a Real Self, apparently separate from the others and from its source, but the separation is only apparent in both cases, for there is the closest bond of union between the Egos of the Universe of Universes--each is knit to the other in the closest bond of union, and each is still attached to the Absolute by spiritual filaments, if we may use the term. In time we shall grow more conscious of this mutual relationship, as the sheaths are outgrown and cast aside, and in the end we will be withdrawn into the Absolute--shall return to the Mansion of the Father.
It is of the highest importance to the developing soul to unfold into a realization of this relationship and unity, _for when this conception is once fully established the soul is enabled to rise above certain of the lower planes, and is free from the operation of certain laws that bind the undeveloped soul_. Therefore the Yogi teachers are constantly leading the Candidates toward this goal. First by this path, and then by that one, giving them different glimpses of the desired point, until finally the student finds a path best fitted for his feet, and he moves along straight to the mark, and throwing aside the confining bonds that have proved so irksome, he cries aloud for joy at his new found Freedom.
The following exercises and Mental Drills are intended to aid the Candidate in his work of growing into a realization of his relationship with the Whole of Life and Being.
(1) Read over what we have said in the "Advanced Course" regarding the principle known as Matter. Realize that all Matter is One at the last--that the real underlying substance of Matter is _Akasa_ or Ether, and that all the varying forms evident to our senses are but modifications and grosser forms of that underlying principle. Realize that by known chemical processes all forms of Matter known to us, or rather all combinations resulting in "forms," may be resolved into their original elements, and that these elements are merely _Akasa_ in different states of vibration. Let the idea of the Oneness of the visible Universe sink deeply into your mind, until it becomes fixed there. The erroneous conception of diversity in the material world must be replaced by the consciousness of Unity--Oneness, at the last, in spite of the appearance of variety and manifold forms. You must grow to see behind the world of forms of Matter, and see the great principle of Matter (_Akasa_ or Ether) back of, within, and under it all. You must grow to _feel_ this, as well as to intellectually see it.
(2) Meditate over the last mentioned truths, and then follow the matter still further. Read what we have said in the "Advanced Course" (Lesson XI) about the last analysis of Matter showing it fading away into Force or Energy until the dividing line is lost, and Matter merges into Energy or Force, showing them both to be but the same thing, Matter being a grosser form of Energy or Force. This idea should be impressed upon the understanding, in order that the complete edifice of the Knowing of the Oneness may be complete in all of its parts.
(3) Then read in the "Advanced Lessons" about Energy or Force, in the oneness underlying its various manifestations. Consider how one form of Energy may be transformed into another, and so on around the circle, the one principle producing the entire chain of appearances. Realize that the energy within you by which you move and act, is but one of the forms of this great Principle of Energy with which the Universe is filled, and that you may draw to you the required Energy from the great Universal supply. But above all endeavor to grasp the idea of the Oneness pervading the world of Energy or Force, or Motion. See it in its entirety, rather than in its apparent separateness. These steps may appear somewhat tedious and useless, but take our word for it, they are all helps in fitting the mind to grasp the idea of the Oneness of All. Each step is important, and renders the next higher one more easily attained. In this mental drill, it will be well to mentally picture the Universe in perpetual motion--everything is in motion--all matter is moving and changing its forms, and manifesting the Energy within it. Suns and worlds rush through space, their particles constantly changing and moving. Chemical composition and decomposition is constant and unceasing, everywhere the work of building up and breaking down is going on. New combinations of atoms and worlds are constantly being formed and dissolved. And after considering this Oneness of the principle of Energy, reflect that through all these changes of form the Ego--the Real Self--YOU--stand unchanged and unharmed--Eternal, Invincible, Indestructible, Invulnerable, _Real_ and Constant among this changing world of forms and force. You are above it all, and it revolves around and about you--Spirit.
(4) Read what we have said in the "Advanced Course" about Force or Energy, shading into Mind-substance which is its parent. Realize that Mind is back of all this great exhibition of Energy and Force that you have been considering. Then will you be ready to consider the Oneness of Mind.
(5) Read what we have said in the "Advanced Lessons" about Mind-substance. Realize that there is a great world of Mind-substance, or an Universal Mind, which is at the disposal of the Ego. All Thought is the product of the Ego's use of this Mind-substance, its tool and instrument. Realize that this Ocean of Mind is entire and Whole, and that the Ego may draw freely from it. Realize that _You_ have this great ocean of Mind at your command, when you unfold sufficiently to use it. Realize that Mind is back of and underneath all of the world of form and names and action, and that in that sense: "All is Mind," although still higher in the scale than even Mind are _You_, the Real Self, the Ego, the Manifestation of the Absolute.
(6) Realize your identity with and relationship to All of Life. Look around you at Life in all its forms, from the lowest to the highest, all being exhibitions of the great principle of Life in operation along different stages of The Path. Scorn not the humblest forms, but look behind the form and see the reality--Life. Feel yourself a part of the great Universal Life. Let your thought sink to the depths of the ocean, and realize your kinship with the Life back of the forms dwelling there. Do not confound the forms (often hideous from your personal point of view) with the principle behind them. Look at the plant-life, and the animal life, and seek to see behind the veil of form into the real Life behind and underneath the form. Learn to feel your Life throbbing and thrilling with the Life Principle in these other forms, and in the forms of those of your own race. Gaze into the starry skies and see there the numerous suns and worlds, all peopled with life in some of its myriad forms, and feel your kinship to it. If you can grasp this thought and consciousness, you will find yourself at-one-ment with those whirling worlds, and, instead of feeling small and insignificant by comparison, you will be conscious of an expansion of Self, until you feel that in those circling worlds is a part of yourself--that You are there also, while standing upon the Earth--that you are akin to all parts of the Universe--nay, more, that they are as much your home as is the spot upon which you are standing. You will find sweeping upon you a sense of consciousness that the Universe is your home--not merely a part of it, as you had previously thought. You will experience a sense of greatness, and broadness and grandness such as you have never dreamed of. You will begin to realize at least a part of your Divine inheritance, and to know indeed that you are a Child of the Infinite, the very essence of your Divine Parent being in the fibres of your being, At such times of realization one becomes conscious of what lies before the soul in its upward path, and how small the greatest prizes that Earth has to offer are when compared to some of these things before the soul, as seen by the eyes of the Spiritual Mind in moments of clear vision.
You must not dispute with these visions of the greatness of the soul, but must treat them hospitably, for they are your very own, coming to you from the regions of your Spiritual Mind which are unfolding into consciousness.
(7) The highest step in this dawning consciousness of the Oneness of All, is the one in which is realized that there is but One Reality, and at the same time the sense of consciousness that the "I" is in that Reality. It is most difficult to express this thought in words for it is something that must be felt, rather than seen by the Intellect. When the Soul realizes that the Spirit within it is, at the last, the only _real_ part of it, and that the Absolute and its manifestation as Spirit is the only _real_ thing in the Universe, a great step has been taken. But there is still one higher step to be taken before the full sense of the Oneness and Reality comes to us. That step is the one in which we realize the Identity of the "I" with the great "I" of the Universe. The mystery of the manifestation of the Absolute in the form of the Spirit, is veiled from us--the mind confesses its inability to penetrate behind the veil shielding the Absolute from view, although it will give us a report of its being conscious of the presence of the Absolute just at the edge of the boundary line. But the highest region of the Spiritual Mind, when explored by the advanced souls who are well along the Path, reports that it sees beyond the apparent separation of Spirit from Spirit, and realizes that there is but one Reality of Spirit, and that all the "I"'s are really but different views of that One--Centres of Consciousness upon the surface of the One Great "I," the Centre of which is the Absolute Itself. This certainly penetrates the whole region of the Spiritual Mind, and gives us all the message of Oneness of the Spirit, just as the Intellect satisfies us with its message of the Oneness of Matter, Energy, and Mind. The idea of Oneness permeates all planes of Life.
The sense of Reality of the "I" that is apparent to You in the moments of your clearest mental vision, is really the reflection of the sense of Reality underlying the Whole--it is the consciousness of the Whole, manifesting through your point or Centre of Consciousness. The advanced student or Initiate finds his consciousness gradually enlarging until it realizes its identity with the Whole. He realizes that under all the forms and names of the visible world, there is to be found One Life--One Force--One Substance--One Existence--One Reality--ONE. And, instead of his experiencing any sense of the loss of identity or individuality, he becomes conscious of an enlargement of an expansion of individuality or identity--instead of feeling himself absorbed in the Whole, he feels that he is spreading out and embracing the Whole. This is most hard to express in words, for there are no words to fit the conception, and all that we can hope to do is to start into motion, by means of our words, the vibrations that will find a response in the minds of those who read the words, to the end that they will experience the consciousness which will bring its own understanding. This consciousness cannot be transmitted by words proceeding from the Intellect, but vibrations may be set up that will prepare the mind to receive the message from its own higher planes.
Even in the early stages of this dawning consciousness, one is enabled to identify the _real_ part of himself with the _real_ part of all the other forms of life that pass before his notice. In every other man--in every animal--in every plant--in every mineral--he sees behind the sheath and form of appearance, an evidence of the presence of the Spirit which is akin to his own Spirit--yea, more than akin, for the two are One. He sees Himself in all forms of life, in all time in all places. He realizes that the Real Self is everywhere present and everlasting, and that the Life within himself is also within all the Universe--in everything, for there is nothing dead in the Universe, and all Life, in all of its varying phases, is simply the One Life, held, used and enjoyed in common by all. Each Ego is a Centre of Consciousness in this great ocean of Life, and while apparently separate and distinct, is yet really in touch with the Whole, and with every apparent part.
It is not our intention, in this lesson, to go into the details of this great mystery of Life, or to recite the comparatively little of the Truth that the most advanced teachers and Masters have handed down. This is not the place for it--it belongs to the subject of Gnani Yoga rather than to Raja Yoga--and we touch upon it here, not for the purpose of trying to explain the scientific side of it to you, but merely in order that your minds may be led to take up the idea and gradually manifest it in conscious realization. There is quite a difference between the scientific, intellectual teaching of Gnani Yoga, whereby the metaphysical and scientific sides of the Yogi teachings are presented to the minds of the students, in a logical, scientific manner, and the methods of Raja Yoga, in which the Candidate is led by degrees to a _consciousness_ (outside of mere intellectual belief) of his real nature and powers. We are following the latter plan, for this course is a Course in _Raja_ Yoga. We are aiming to present the matter to the mind in such a manner that it may prepare the way for the dawning consciousness, by brushing away the preconceived notions and prejudices, and allowing a clean entrance for the new conception. Much that we have said in this lesson may appear, on the one hand, like useless repetition, and, on the other hand, like an incomplete presentation of the scientific side of the Yogi teachings. But it will be found, in time, that the effect has been that the mind of the student has undergone a change from the absorbing of the idea of the Oneness of Life, and the Expansion of the Self. The Candidate is urged not to be in too much of a hurry. Development must not be forced. Read what we have written, and practice the Mental Drills we have given, even if they may appear trifling and childish to some of you--we know what they will do for you, and you will agree with us in time. Make haste slowly. You will find that the mind will work out the matter, even though you be engaged in your ordinary work, and have forgotten the subject for the time. The greater portion of mental work is done in this way, while you are busy with something else, or even asleep, for the sub-conscious portion of the mind works along the lines pointed out for it, and performs its task.
As we have said, the purpose of this lesson is to bring you in the way of the unfoldment of consciousness, rather than to teach you the details of the scientific side of the Yogi teachings. Development is the keynote of Raja Yoga. And the reason that we wish to develop this sense of the Reality of the "I," and the Expansion of the Self, at this place is that thereby you may assert your Mastery over Matter, Energy and Mind. Before you may mount your throne as King, you must fully realize in consciousness that you _are_ the _Reality_ in this world of appearances. You must realize that you--the _real_ You--are not only existent, and real, but that you are in touch with all else that is real, and that the roots of your being are grounded in the Absolute itself. You must realize that instead of being a separate atom of Reality, isolated and fixed in a narrow space, you are a Centre of Consciousness in the Whole of Reality, and that the Universe of Universes is your home--that your Centre of Consciousness might be moved on to a point trillions of miles from the Earth (which distance would be as nothing in Space) and still you--the awakened soul--would be just as much at home there as here--that even while you are here, your influence extends far out into space. Your real state, which will be revealed to you, gradually, throughout the ages, is so great and grand, that your mind in its present state of development cannot grasp even the faint reflection of that glory.
We wish you to try to form at least a faint idea of your Real State of Being, in order that you may control the lower principles by the force of your awakened Will, which Will depends upon your degree of consciousness of the Real Self.
As man grows in understanding and consciousness of the Real Self, so does his ability to use his Will grow. Will is the attribute of the Real Self. It is well that this great realization of the Real Self brings with it Love for all of Life, and Kindness, for, were it not so, the Will that comes to him who grows into a realization of his real being could be used to the great hurt of those of the race who had not progressed so far (their _relative_ hurt, we mean, for in the end, and at the last, no soul is ever really _hurt_). But the dawning power brings with it greater Love and Kindness, and the higher the soul mounts the more is it filled with the higher ideals and the more does it throw from it the lower animal attributes. It is true that some souls growing into a consciousness of their real nature, without an understanding of what it all means, may commit the error of using the awakened Will for selfish ends, as may be seen in the cases of the Black Magicians spoken of in the occult writings, and also in the cases of well known characters in history and in modern life, who manifest an enormous Will which they misuse. All of this class of people of great Will have stumbled or grown blindly into a consciousness (or partial consciousness) of the real nature, but lack the restraining influence of the higher teachings. But such misuse of the Will brings pain and unrest to the user, and he is eventually driven into the right road.
We do not expect our students to grasp fully this idea of the Expansion of Self. Even the highest grasp it only partially. But until you get a glimmering of the consciousness you will not be able to progress far on the path of Raja Yoga. You must understand _what you are_, before you are able to use the power that lies dormant within you. You must realize that you are the Master, before you can claim the powers of the Master, and expect to have your commands obeyed. So bear patiently with us, your Teachers, while we set before you the lessons to be learned--the tasks to be performed. The road is long, and is rough in places--the feet may become tired and bruised, but the reward is great, and there are resting places along the path. Be not discouraged if your progress seem slow, for the soul must unfold naturally as does the flower, without haste, without force.
And be not dismayed nor affrighted if you occasionally catch a glimpse of your higher self. As "M.C." says, in her notes on "Light on the Path" (see "Advanced Course," page 95): "To have seen thy soul in its bloom, is to have obtained a momentary glimpse in thyself of the transfiguration which shall eventually make thee more than man; to recognize, is to achieve the great task of gazing upon the blazing light without dropping the eyes, and not falling back in terror as though before some ghastly phantom. This happens to some, and so, when the victory is all but won, it is lost."
Peace be with thee.
MANTRAM (AFFIRMATION) FOR THE THIRD LESSON.
There is but one ultimate form of Matter; one ultimate form of Energy; one ultimate form of Mind. Matter proceeds from Energy, and Energy from Mind, and all are an emanation of the Absolute, threefold in appearance but One in substance. There is but One Life, and that permeates the Universe, manifesting in various forms, but being, at the last, but One. My body is one with Universal Matter; My energy and vital force is one with the Universal Energy; My Mind is one with the Universal Mind; My Life is one with the Universal Life. The Absolute has expressed and manifested itself in Spirit, which is the real "I" overshadowing and embracing all the apparently separate "I"s. "I" feel my identity with Spirit and realize the Oneness of All Reality. I feel my unity with all Spirit, and my Union (through Spirit) with the Absolute. I realize that "I" am an Expression and Manifestation of the Absolute, and that its very essence is within me. I am filled with Divine Love. I am filled with Divine Power. I am filled with Divine Wisdom. I am conscious of identity in spirit, in substance; and in nature; with the One Reality.
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
- Essays On Dharma
- Esoteric Mystic Hinduism
- Introduction to Hinduism
- Hindu Way of Life
- Essays On Karma
- Hindu Rites and Rituals
- The Origin of The Sanskrit Language
- Symbolism in Hinduism
- Essays on The Upanishads
- Concepts of Hinduism
- Essays on Atman
- Hindu Festivals
- Spiritual Practice
- Right Living
- Yoga of Sorrow
- Mental Health
- Concepts of Buddhism
- General Essays
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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