The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Part 2 out of 2
learned, with their succession in the great time-dial of the sky. But the
moon also symbolizes the analytic mind, with its divided realms; and
these, too, may be understood through perfectly concentrated
28. By perfectly concentrated Meditation on the fixed pole-star comes
a knowledge of the motions of the stars.
Addressing Duty, stern daughter of the Voice of God, Wordsworth
Thou cost preserve the stars from wrong,
And the most ancient heavens through thee are fresh and strong -
thus suggesting a profound relation between the moral powers and the
powers that rule the worlds. So in this Sutra the fixed polestar is the
eternal spirit about which all things move, as well as the star toward
which points the axis of the earth. Deep mysteries attend both, and the
veil of mystery is only to be raised by Meditation, by open-eyed vision
of the awakened spiritual man.
29. Perfectly concentrated Meditation on the centre of force in the
lower trunk brings an understanding of the order of the bodily powers.
We are coming to a vitally important part of the teaching of Yoga:
namely, the spiritual man's attainment of full self-consciousness, the
awakening of the spiritual man as a self-conscious individual, behind
and above the natural man. In this awakening, and in the process of
gestation which precedes it, there is a close relation with the powers
of the natural man, which are, in a certain sense, the projection,
outward and downward, of the powers of the spiritual man. This is
notably true of that creative power of the spiritual man which, when
embodied in the natural man, becomes the power of generation. Not
only is this power the cause of the continuance of the bodily race of
mankind, but further, in the individual, it is the key to the dominance
of the personal life. Rising, as it were, through the life-channels of the
body, it flushes the personality with physical force, and maintains and
colours the illusion that the physical life is the dominant and
all-important expression of life. In due time, when the spiritual man
has begun to take form, the creative force will be drawn off, and
become operative in building the body of the spiritual man, just as it
has been operative in the building of physical bodies, through
generation in the natural world.
Perfectly concentrated Meditation on the nature of this force means,
first, that rising of the consciousness into the spiritual world, already
described, which gives the one sure foothold for Meditation; and then,
from that spiritual point of vantage, not only an insight into the
creative force, in its spiritual and physical aspects, but also a gradually
attained control of this wonderful force, which will mean its direction
to the body of the spiritual man, and its gradual withdrawal from the
body of the natural man, until the over-pressure, so general and such
a fruitful source of misery in our day, is abated, and purity takes the
place of passion. This over pressure, which is the cause of so many
evils and so much of human shame, is an abnormal, not a natural,
condition. It is primarily due to spiritual blindness, to blindness
regarding the spiritual man, and ignorance even of his existence; for
by this blind ignorance are closed the channels through which, were
they open, the creative force could flow into the body of the spiritual
man, there building up an immortal vesture. There is no cure for
blindness, with its consequent over-pressure and attendant misery and
shame, but spiritual vision, spiritual aspiration, sacrifice, the new birth
from above. There is no other way to lighten the burden, to lift the
misery and shame from human life. Therefore, let us follow after
sacrifice and aspiration, let us seek the light. In this way only shall we
gain that insight into the order of the bodily powers, and that mastery
of them, which this Sutra implies.
30. By perfectly concentrated Meditation on the centre of f orce in the
well of the throat, there comes the cessation of hunger and thirst.
We are continuing the study of the bodily powers and centres of force
in their relation to the powers and forces of the spiritual man. We have
already considered the dominant power of physical life, the creative
power which secures the continuance of physical life; and, further, the
manner in which, through aspiration and sacrifice, it is gradually raised
and set to the work of upbuilding the body of the spiritual man. We
come now to the dominant psychic force, the power which manifests
itself in speech, and in virtue of which the voice may carry so much of
the personal magnetism, endowing the orator with a tongue of fire,
magical in its power to arouse and rule the emotions of his hearers.
This emotional power, this distinctively psychical force, is the cause
of "hunger and thirst," the psychical hunger and thirst for sensations,
which is the source of our two-sided life of emotionalism, with its
hopes and fears, its expectations and memories, its desires and hates.
The source of this psychical power, or, perhaps we should say, its
centre of activity in the physical body is said to be in the cavity of the
throat. Thus, in the Taittiriya Upanishad it is written: "There is this
shining ether in the inner being. Therein is the spiritual man, formed
through thought, immortal, golden. Inward, in the palate, the organ
that hangs down like a nipple,-this is the womb of Indra. And there,
where the dividing of the hair turns, extending upward to the crown
of the head."
Indra is the name given to the creative power of which we have
spoken, and which, we are told, resides in "the organ which hangs
down like a nipple, inward, in the palate."
31. By perfectly concentrated Meditation on the centre of force in the
channel called the "tortoise-formed," comes steadfastness.
We are concerned now with the centre of nervous or psychical force
below the cavity of the throat, in the chest, in which is felt the
sensation of fear; the centre, the disturbance of which sets the heart
beating miserably with dread, or which produces that sense of terror
through which the heart is said to stand still.
When the truth concerning fear is thoroughly mastered, through
spiritual insight into the immortal, fearless life, then this force is
perfectly controlled; there is no more fear, just as, through the control
of the psychic power which works through the nerve-centre in the
throat, there comes a cessation of "hunger and thirst." Thereafter,
these forces, or their spiritual prototypes, are turned to the building of
the spiritual man.
Always, it must be remembered, the victory is first a spiritual one;
only later does it bring control of the bodily powers.
32. Through perfectly concentrated Meditation on the light in the head
comes the vision of the Masters who have attained.
The tradition is, that there is a certain centre of force in the head,
perhaps the "pineal gland," which some of our Western philosophers
have supposed to be the dwelling of the soul,-a centre which is, as it
were, the door way between the natural and the spiritual man. It is the
seat of that better and wiser consciousness behind the outward
looking consciousness in the forward part of the head; that better and
wiser consciousness of "the back of the mind," which views spiritual
things, and seeks to impress the spiritual view on the outward looking
consciousness in the forward part of the head. It is the spiritual man
seeking to guide the natural man, seeking to bring the natural man to
concern himself with the things of his immortality. This is suggested
in the words of the Upanishad already quoted: "There, where the
dividing of the hair turns, extending upward to the crown of the
head"; all of which may sound very fantastical, until one comes to
It is said that when this power is fully awakened, it brings a vision of
the great Companions of the spiritual man, those who have already
attained, crossing over to the further shore of the sea of death and
rebirth. Perhaps it is to this divine sight that the Master alluded, who
is reported to have said: "I counsel you to buy of me eye-salve, that
you may see." It is of this same vision of the great Companions, the
children of light, that a seer wrote:
"Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the Children sport upon the shore
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore."
33. Or through the divining power of tuition he knows all things.
This is really the supplement, the spiritual side, of the Sutra just
translated. Step by step, as the better consciousness, the spiritual
view, gains force in the back of the mind, so, in the same measure, the
spiritual man is gaining the power to see: learning to open the spiritual
eyes. When the eyes are fully opened, the spiritual man beholds the
great Companions standing about him; he has begun to "know all
This divining power of intuition is the power which lies above and
behind the so-called rational mind; the rational mind formulates a
question and lays it before the intuition, which gives a real answer,
often immediately distorted by the rational mind, yet always
embodying a kernel of truth. It is by this process, through which the
rational mind brings questions to the intuition for solution, that the
truths of science are reached, the flashes of discovery and genius. But
this higher power need not work in subordination to the so-called
rational mind, it may act directly, as full illumination, "the vision and
the faculty divine."
34 By perfectly concentrated Meditation on the heart, the interior
being, comes the knowledge of consciousness.
The heart here seems to mean, as it so often. does in the Upanishads,
the interior, spiritual nature, the consciousness of the spiritual man,
which is related to the heart, and to the wisdom of the heart. By
steadily seeking after, and finding, the consciousness of the spiritual
man, by coming to consciousness as the spiritual man, a perfect
knowledge of consciousness will be attained. For the conscious ness
of the spiritual man has this divine quality: while being and remaining
a truly individual consciousness, it at the same time flows over, as it
were, and blends with the Divine Consciousness above and about it,
the consciousness of the great Companions; and by showing itself to
be one with the Divine Consciousness, it reveals the nature of all
consciousness, the secret that all consciousness is One and Divine.
35. The personal self seeks to feast on life, through a failure to
perceive the distinction between the personal self and the spiritual
man. All personal experience really exists for the sake of another:
namely, the spiritual man. By perfectly concentrated Meditation on
experience for the sake of the Self, comes a knowledge of the spiritual
The divine ray of the Higher Self, which is eternal, impersonal and
abstract, descends into life, and forms a personality, which, through
the stress and storm of life, is hammered into a definite and concrete
self-conscious individuality. The problem is, to blend these two
powers, taking the eternal and spiritual being of the first, and blending
with it, transferring into it, the self-conscious individuality of the
second; and thus bringing to life a third being, the spiritual man, who
is heir to the immortality of his father, the Higher Self, and yet has the
self-conscious, concrete individuality of his other parent, the personal
self. This is the true immaculate conception, the new birth from above,
"conceived of the Holy Spirit." Of this new birth it is said: "that which
is born of the Spirit is spirit.: ye must be born again."
Rightly understood, therefore, the whole life of the personal man is for
another, not for himself. He exists only to render his very life and all
his experience for the building up of the spiritual man. Only through
failure to see this, does he seek enjoyment for himself, seek to secure
the feasts of life for himself; not understanding that he must live for
the other, live sacrificially, offering both feasts and his very being on
the altar; giving himself as a contribution for the building of the
spiritual man. When he does understand this, and lives for the Higher
Self, setting his heart and thought on the Higher Self, then his sacrifice
bears divine fruit, the spiritual man is built up, consciousness awakes
in him, and he comes fully into being as a divine and immortal
36. Thereupon are born the divine power of intuition, and the hearing,
the touch, the vision, the taste and the power of smell of the spiritual
When, in virtue of the perpetual sacrifice of the personal man, daily
and hourly giving his life for his divine brother the spiritual man, and
through the radiance ever pouring down from the Higher Self, eternal
in the Heavens, the spiritual man comes to birth,-there awake in him
those powers whose physical counterparts we know in the personal
man. The spiritual man begins to see, to hear, to touch, to taste. And,
besides the senses of the spiritual man, there awakes his mind, that
divine counterpart of the mind of the physical man, the power of
direct and immediate knowledge, the power of spiritual intuition, of
divination. This power, as we have seen, owes its virtue to the unity,
the continuity, of consciousness, whereby whatever is known to any
consciousness, is knowable by any other consciousness. Thus the
consciousness of the spiritual man, who lives above our narrow
barriers of separateness, is in intimate touch with the consciousness of
the great Companions, and can draw on that vast reservoir for all real
needs. Thus arises within the spiritual man that certain knowledge
which is called intuition, divination, illumination.
37. These powers stand in contradistinction to the highest spiritual
vision. In mani- festation they are called magical powers.
The divine man is destined to supersede the spiritual man, as the
spiritual man supersedes the natural man. Then the disciple becomes
a Master. The opened powers of tile spiritual man, spiritual vision,
hearing, and touch, stand, therefore, in contradistinction to the higher
divine power above them, and must in no wise be regarded as the end
of the way, for the path has no end, but rises ever to higher and higher
glories; the soul's growth and splendour have no limit. So that, if the
spiritual powers we have been considering are regarded as in any
sense final, they are a hindrance, a barrier to the far higher powers of
the divine man. But viewed from below, from the standpoint of
normal physical experience, they are powers truly magical; as the
powers natural to a four-dimensional being will appear magical to a
38. Through the weakening of the causes of bondage, and by learning
the method of sassing, the consciousness is transf erred to the other
In due time, after the spiritual man has been formed and grown stable
through the forces and virtues already enumerated, and after the
senses of the spiritual man have awaked, there comes the transfer of
the dominant consciousness, the sense of individu- ality, from the
physical to the spiritual man. Thereafter the physical man is felt to be
a secondary, a subordinate, an instrument through whom the spiritual
man works; and the spiritual man is felt to be the real individuality.
This is, in a sense, the attainment to full salvation and immortal life;
yet it is not the final goal or resting place, but only the beginning of
the greater way.
The means for this transfer are described as the weakening of the
causes of bondage, and an understanding of the method of passing
from the one consciousness to the other. The first may also be
described as detach meet, and comes from the conquest of the
delusion that the personal self is the real man. When that delusion
abates and is held in check, the finer consciousness of the spiritual
man begins to shine in the background of the mind. The transfer of the
sense of individuality to this finer consciousness, and thus to the
spiritual man, then becomes a matter of recollection, of attention;
primarily, a matter of taking a deeper interest in the life and doings of
the spiritual man, than in the please ures or occupations of the
personality. Therefore it is said: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures
upon earth, where moth and rust cloth corrupt, and where thieves
break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust cloth corrupt, and where thieves do not
break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your
heart be also."
39. Through mastery of the upward-life comes freedom from the
dangers of water, morass, and thorny places, and the power of
ascension is gained.
Here is one of the sentences, so characteristic of this author, and,
indeed, of the Eastern spirit, in which there is an obvious exterior
meaning, and, within this, a clear interior meaning, not quite so
obvious, but far more vital.
The surface meaning is, that by mastery of a certain power, called here
the upward-life, and akin to levitation, there comes the ability to walk
on water, or to pass over thorny places without wounding the feet.
But there is a deeper meaning. When we speak of the disciple's path
as a path of thorns, we use a symbol; and the same symbol is used
here. The upward-life means something more than the power, often
manifested in abnormal psychical experiences, of levitating the
physical body, or near-by physical objects. It means the strong power
of aspiration, of upward will, which first builds, and then awakes the
spiritual man, and finally transfers the conscious individuality to him;
for it is he who passes safely over the waters of death and rebirth, and
is not pierced by the thorns in the path. Therefore it is said that he
who would tread the path of power must look for a home in the air,
and afterwards in the ether.
Of the upward-life, this is written in the Katha Upanishad: "A hundred
and one are the heart's channels; of these one passes to the crown.
Going up this, he comes to the immortal." This is the power of
ascension spoken of in the Sutra.
40. By mastery of the binding-life comes radiance.
In the Upanishads, it is said that this binding-life unites the upward-life
to the downward-life, and these lives have their analogies in the "vital
breaths" in the body. The thought in the text seems to be, that, when
the personality is brought thoroughly under control of the spiritual
man, through the life-currents which bind them together, the person
ality is endowed with a new force, a strong personal magnetism, one
might call it, such as is often an appanage of genius.
But the text seems to mean more than this and to have in view the
"vesture of the colour of the sun" attributed by the Upanishads to the
spiritual man; that vesture which a disciple has thus described: "The
Lord shall change our vile body, that it may be fash toned like unto his
glorious body"; perhaps "body of radiance" would better translate the
In both these passages, the teaching seem. to be, that the body of the
full-grown spiritual man is radiant or luminous,-for those at least, who
have anointed their eyes wit! eye-salve, so that they see.
41. From perfectly concentrated Meditation on the correlation of
hearing and the ether, comes the power of spiritual hearing.
Physical sound, we are told, is carried by the air, or by water, iron, or
some mediun on the same plane of substance. But then is a finer
hearing, whose medium of transmission would seem to be the ether;
perhaps no that ether which carries light, heat and magnetic waves,
but, it may be, the far finer ether through which the power of gravity
works. For, while light or heat or magnetic waves, travelling from the
sun to the earth, take eight minutes for the journey, it is
mathematically certain that the pull of gravitation does not take as
much as eight seconds, or even the eighth of a second. The pull of
gravitation travels, it would seem "as quick as thought"; so it may well
be that, in thought transference or telepathy, the thoughts travel by the
same way, carried by the same "thought-swift" medium.
The transfer of a word by telepathy is the simplest and earliest form
of the "divine hearing" of the spiritual man; as that power grows, and
as, through perfectly concentrated Meditation, the spiritual man comes
into more complete mastery of it, he grows able to hear and clearly
distinguish the speech of the great Companions, who counsel and
comfort him on his way. They may speak to him either in wordless
thoughts, or in perfectly definite words and sentences.
42. By perfectly concentrated Meditation em the correlation of the
body with the ether, and by thinking of it as light as thistle-down, will
come the power to traverse the ether.
It has been said that he who would tread the path of power must look
for a home in the air, and afterwards in the ether. This would seem to
mean, besides the constant injunction to detachment, that he must be
prepared to inhabit first a psychic, and then an etheric body; the
former being the body of dreams; the latter, the body of the spiritual
man, when he wakes up on the other side of dreamland. The gradual
accustoming of the consciousness to its new etheric vesture, its
gradual acclimatization, so to speak, in the etheric body of the
spiritual man, is what our text seems to contemplate.
43. When that condition of consciousness s reached, which is
far-reaching and not con- fined to the body, which is outside the body
and not conditioned by it, then the veil which conceals the light is
Perhaps the best comment on this is afforded by the words of Paul: "I
knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body,
I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth
;) such a one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man,
(whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth
;) how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable
[or, unspoken] words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."
The condition is, briefly, that of the awakened spiritual man, who sees
and hears beyond the veil.
44. Mastery of the elements comes from perfectly concentrated
Meditation on their five forms: the gross, the elemental, the subtle, the
inherent, the purposive. These five forms are analogous to those
recognized by modern physics: solid, liquid, gaseous, radiant and
ionic. When the piercing vision of the awakened spiritual man is
directed to the forms of matter, from within, as it were, from behind
the scenes, then perfect mastery over the "beggarly elements" is
attained. This is, perhaps, equivalent to the injunction: "Inquire of the
earth, the air, and the water, of the secrets they hold for you. The
development of your inner senses will enable you to do this."
45. Thereupon will come the manifestation of the atomic and other
powers, which are the endowment of the body, together with its
The body in question is, of course, the etheric body of the spiritual
man. He is said to possess eight powers: the atomic, the power of
assimilating himself with the nature of the atom, which will, perhaps,
involve the power to disintegrate material forms; the power of
levitation; the power of limitless extension; the power of boundless
reach, so that, as the commentator says, "he can touch the moon with
the tip of his finger"; the power to accomplish his will; the power of
gravitation, the correlative of levitation; the power of command; the
power of creative will. These are the endowments of the spiritual man.
Further, the spiritual body is unassailable. Fire burns it not, water wets
it not, the sword cleaves it not, dry winds parch it not. And, it is said,
the spiritual man can impart something of this quality and temper to
his bodily vesture.
46. Shapeliness, beauty, force, the temper of the diamond: these are
the endowments of that body.
The spiritual man is shapely, beautiful strong, firm as the diamond.
Therefore it is written: "These things saith the Son of God, who hath
his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass: He
that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I
give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron;
and I will give him the morning star."
47. Mastery over the powers of perception and action comes through
perfectly concentrated Meditation on their fivefold forms; namely,
their power to grasp their distinctive nature, the element of
self-consciousness in them, their inherence, and their purposiveness.
Take, for example, sight. This possesses, first, the power to grasp,
apprehend, perceive; second, it has its distinctive form of perception;
that is, visual perception; third, it always carries with its operations
self-consciousness, the thought: "I perceive"; fourth sight has the
power of extension through the whole field of vision, even to the
utmost star; fifth, it is used for the purposes of the Seer. So with the
other senses. Perfectly concentrated Meditation on each sense, a
viewing it from behind and within, as is possible for the spiritual man,
brings a mastery of the scope and true character of each sense, and of
the world on which they report collectively.
48. Thence comes the power swift as thought, independent of
instruments, and the mastery over matter.
We are further enumerating the endowments of the spiritual man.
Among these is the power to traverse space with the swiftness of
thought, so that whatever place the spiritual man thinks of, to that he
goes, in that place he already is. Thought has now become his means
of locomotion. He is, therefore, independent of instruments, and can
bring his force to bear directly, wherever he wills.
49. When the spiritual man is perfectly disentangled from the psychic
body, he attains to mastery over all things and to a knowledge of all.
The spiritual man is enmeshed in the web of the emotions; desire, fear,
ambition, passion; and impeded by the mental forms of separateness
and materialism. When these meshes are sundered, these obstacles
completely overcome, then the spiritual man stands forth in his own
wide world, strong, mighty, wise. He uses divine powers, with a
divine scope and energy, working together with divine Companions.
To such a one it is said: "Thou art now a disciple, able to stand, able
to hear, able to see, able to speak, thou hast conquered desire and
attained to self- knowledge, thou hast seen thy soul in its bloom and
recognized it, and heard the voice of the silence."
50. By absence of all self-indulgence at this point, when the seeds of
bondage to sorrow are destroyed, pure spiritual being is attained.
The seeking of indulgence for the personal self, whether through
passion or ambition, sows the seed of future sorrow. For this self
indulgence of the personality is a double sin against the real; a sin
against the cleanness of life, and a sin against the universal being,
which permits no exclusive particular good, since, in the real, all
spiritual possessions are held in common. This twofold sin brings its
reacting punishment, its confining bondage to sorrow. But ceasing
from self-indulgence brings purity, liberation, spiritual life.
51. There should be complete overcoming of allurement or pride in
the invitations of the different realms of life, lest attachment to things
evil arise once more.
The commentator tells us that disciples, seekers for union, are of four
degrees: first, those who are entering the path; second, those who are
in the realm of allurements; third, those who have won the victory
over matter and the senses; fourth, those who stand firm in pure
spiritual life. To the second, especially, the caution in the text is
addressed. More modern teachers would express the same truth by a
warning against the delusions and fascinations of the psychic realm,
which open around the disciple, as he breaks through into the unseen
worlds. These are the dangers of the anteroom. Safety lies in passing
on swiftly into the inner chamber. '`Him that overcometh will I make
a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out."
52. From perfectly concentrated Meditatetion on the divisions of time
and their succession comes that wisdom which is born of discernment.
The Upanishads say of the liberated that "he has passed beyond the
triad of time"; he no longer sees life as projected into past, present and
future, since these are forms of the mind; but beholds all things spread
out in the quiet light of the Eternal. This would seem to be the same
thought, and to point to that clear-eyed spiritual perception which is
above time; that wisdom born of the unveiling of Time's delusion.
Then shall the disciple live neither in the present nor the future, but in
53. Hence comes discernment between things which are of like nature,
not distinguished by difference of kind, character or position. Here, as
also in the preceding Sutra, we are close to the doctrine that
distinctions of order, time and space are creations of the mind; the
threefold prism through which the real object appears to us distorted
and refracted. When the prism is withdrawn, the object returns to its
primal unity, no longer distinguishable by the mind, yet clearly
knowable by that high power of spiritual discernment, of illumination,
which is above the mind.
54. The wisdom which is born of discerns ment is starlike; it discerns
all things, and all conditions of things, it discerns without succession:
That wisdom, that intuitive, divining power is starlike, says the
commentator, because it shines with its own light, because it rises on
high, and illumines all things. Nought is hid from it, whether things
past, things present, or things to come; for it is beyond the threefold
form of time, so that all things are spread before it together, in the
single light of the divine. This power has been beautifully described by
Columba: "Some there are, though very few, to whom Divine grace
has granted this: that they can clearly and most distinctly see, at one
and the same moment, as though under one ray of the sun, even the
entire circuit of the whole world with its surroundings of ocean and
sky, the inmost part of their mind being marvellously enlarged."
55. When the vessture and the spiritual man are alike pure, then
perfect spiritual life is attained.
The vesture, says the commentator, must first be washed pure of all
stains of passion and darkness, and the seeds of future sorrow must be
burned up utterly. Then, both the vesture and the wearer of the
vesture being alike pure, the spiritual man enters into perfect spiritual
INTRODUCTION TO BOOK IV
The third book of the Sutras has fairly completed the history of the
birth and growth of the spiritual man, and the enumeration of his
powers; at least so far as concerns that first epoch in his immortal life,
which immediately succeeds, and supersedes, the life of the natural
In the fourth book, we are to consider what one might call the
mechanism of salvation, the ideally simple working of cosmic law
which brings the spiritual man to birth, growth, and fulness of power,
and prepares him for the splendid, toilsome further stages of his great
The Sutras are here brief to obscurity; only a few words, for example,
are given to the great triune mystery and illusion of Time; a phrase or
two indicates the sweep of some universal law. Yet it is hoped that,
by keeping our eyes fixed on the spiritual man, remembering that he
is the hero of the story, and that all that is written concerns him and
his adventures, we may be able to find our way through this thicket of
tangled words, and keep in our hands the clue to the mystery.
The last part of the last book needs little introduction. In a sense, it is
the most important part of the whole treatise, since it unmasks the
nature of the personality, that psychical "mind," which is the wakeful
enemy of all who seek to tread the path. Even now, we can hear it
whispering the doubt whether that can be a good path, which thus sets
"mind" at defiance.
If this, then, be the most vital and fundamental part of the teaching,
should it not stand at the very beginning? It may seem so at first; but
had it stood there, we should not have comprehended it. For he who
would know the doctrine must lead the life, doing the will of his [ether
which is in Heaven.
1. Psychic and spiritual powers may be inborn, or they may be gained
by the use of drugs, or by incantations, or by fervour, or by
Spiritual powers have been enumerated and described in the preceding
sections. They are the normal powers of the spiritual man, the
antetype, the divine edition, of the powers of the natural man.
Through these powers, the spiritual man stands, sees, hears, speaks,
in the spiritual world, as the physical man stands, sees, hears, speaks
in the natural world.
There is a counterfeit presentment of the spiritual man, in the world
of dreams, a shadow lord of shadows, who has his own dreamy
powers of vision, of hearing, of movement; he has left the natural
without reaching the spiritual. He has set forth from the shore, but has
not gained the further verge of the river. He is borne along by the
stream, with no foothold on either shore. Leaving the actual, he has
fallen short of the real, caught in the limbo of vanities and delusions.
The cause of this aberrant phantasm is always the worship of a false,
vain self, the lord of dreams, within one's own breast. This is the
psychic man, lord of delusive and bewildering psychic powers.
Spiritual powers, like intellectual or artistic gifts, may be inborn: the
fruit, that is, of seeds planted and reared with toil in a former birth. So
also the powers of the psychic man may be inborn, a delusive harvest
from seeds of delusion.
Psychical powers may be gained by drugs, as poverty, shame,
debasement may be gained by the self-same drugs. In their action, they
are baneful, cutting the man off from consciousness of the restraining
power of his divine nature, so that his forces break forth exuberant,
like the laughter of drunkards, and he sees and hears things delusive.
While sinking, he believes that he has risen; growing weaker, he thinks
himself full of strength; beholding illusions, he takes them to be true.
Such are the powers gained by drugs; they are wholly psychic, since
the real powers, the spiritual, can never be so gained.
Incantations are affirmations of half-truths concerning spirit and
matter, what is and what is not, which work upon the mind and slowly
build up a wraith of powers and a delusive well-being. These, too, are
of the psychic realm of dreams.
Lastly, there are the true powers of the spiritual man, built up and
realized in Meditation, through reverent obedience to spiritual law, to
the pure conditions of being, in the divine realm.
2. The transfer of powers from one venture to another comes through
the flow of the natural creative forces.
Here, if we can perceive it, is the whole secret of spiritual birth,
growth and life Spiritual being, like all being, is but an expression of
the Self, of the inherent power and being of Atma. Inherent in the Self
are consciousness and will, which have, as their lordly heritage, the
wide sweep of the universe throughout eternity, for the Self is one
with the Eternal. And the conscious ness of the Self may make itself
manifest as seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, or whatsoever perceptive
powers there may be, just as the white sunlight may divide into
many-coloured rays. So may the will of the Self manifest itself in the
uttering of words, or in handling, or in moving, and whatever powers
of action there are throughout the seven worlds. Where the Self is,
there will its powers be. It is but a question of the vesture through
which these powers shall shine forth. And wherever the consciousness
and desire of the ever-creative Self are fixed, there will a vesture be
built up; where the heart is, there will the treasure be also.
Since through ages the desire of the Self has been toward the natural
world, wherein the Self sought to mirror himself that he might know
himself, therefore a vesture of natural elements came into being,
through which blossomed forth the Self's powers of perceiving and of
will: the power to see, to hear, to speak, to walk, to handle; and when
the Self, thus come to self-consciousness, and, with it, to a knowledge
of his imprisonment, shall set his desire on the divine and real world,
and raise his consciousness thereto, the spiritual vesture shall be built
up for him there, with its expression of his inherent powers. Nor will
migration thither be difficult for the Self, since the divine is no strange
or foreign land for him, but the house of his home, where he dwells
3. The apparent, immediate cause is not the true cause of the creative
nature-powers; but, like the husbandman in his field, it takes obstacles
The husbandman tills his field, breaking up the clods of earth into fine
mould, penetrable to air and rain; he sows his seed, carefully covering
it, for fear of birds and the wind; he waters the seed-laden earth,
turning the little rills from the irrigation tank now this way and that,
removing obstacles from the channels, until the even How of water
vitalizes the whole field. And so the plants germinate and grow, first
the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. But it is not the
husbandman who makes them grow. It is, first, the miraculous plasmic
power in the grain of seed, which brings forth after its kind; then the
alchemy of sunlight which, in presence of the green colouring matter
of the leaves, gathers hydrogen from the water and carbon from the
gases in the air, and mingles them in the hydro-carbons of plant
growth; and, finally, the wholly occult vital powers of the plant itself,
stored up through ages, and flowing down from the primal sources of
life. The husbandman but removes the obstacles. He plants and
waters, but God gives the increase.
So with the finer husbandman of diviner fields. He tills and sows, but
the growth of the spiritual man comes through the surge and flow of
divine, creative forces and powers. Here, again, God gives the
increase. The divine Self puts forth, for the manifestation of its
powers, a new and finer vesture, the body of the spiritual man.
4. Vestures of consciousness are built up in conformity with the
Boston of the feel- ing of selfhood.
The Self, says a great Teacher, in turn at- itself to three vestures: first,
to the physical body, then to the finer body, and thirdly to the causal
body. Finally it stands forth radiant, luminous, joyous, as the Self.
When the Self attributes itself to the physical body, there arise the
states of bodily consciousness, built up about the physical self.
When the Self, breaking through this first illusion, begins to see and
feel itself in the finer body, to find selfhood there, then the states of
consciousness of the finer body come into being; or, to speak exactly,
the finer body and its states of consciousness arise and grow together.
But the Self must not dwell permanently there. It must learn to find
itself in the causal body, to build up the wide and luminous fields of
consciousness that belong to that.
Nor must it dwell forever there, for there remains the fourth state, the
divine, with its own splendour and everlastingness.
It is all a question of the states of consciousness; all a question of
raising the sense of selfhood, until it dwells forever in the Eternal.
5. In the different fields of manifestation, the Consciousness, though
one, is the elective cause of many states of consciousness.
Here is the splendid teaching of oneness that lies at the heart of the
Eastern wisdom. Consciousness is ultimately One, everywhere and
forever. The Eternal, the Father, is the One Self of All Beings. And so,
in each individual who is but a facet of that Self, Consciousness is
One. Whether it breaks through as the dull fire of physical life, or the
murky flame of the psychic and passional, or the radiance of the
spiritual man, or the full glory of the Divine, it is ever the Light,
naught but the Light. The one Consciousness is the effective cause of
all states of consciousness, on every plane.
6. Among states of consciousness, that which is born of
Contemplation is free from the seed of future sorrow.
Where the consciousness breaks forth in the physical body, and the
full play of bodily life begins, its progression carries with it inevitable
limitations. Birth involves death. Meetings have their partings. Hunger
alternates with satiety. Age follows on the heels of youth. So do the
states of consciousness run along the circle of birth and death.
With the psychic, the alternation between prize and penalty is swifter.
Hope has its shadow of fear, or it is no hope. Exclusive love is
tortured by jealousy. Pleasure passes through deadness into pain.
Pain's surcease brings pleasure back again. So here, too, the states of
consciousness run their circle. In all psychic states there is egotism,
which, indeed, is the very essence of the psychic; and where there is
egotism there is ever the seed of future sorrow. Desire carries
bondage in its womb.
But where the pure spiritual consciousness begins, free from self and
stain, the ancient law of retaliation ceases; the penalty of sorrow
lapses and is no more imposed. The soul now passes, no longer from
sorrow to sorrow, but from glory to glory. Its growth and splendour
have no limit. The good passes to better, best.
7. The works of followers after Union make neither for bright pleasure
nor for dark pain The works of others make for pleasure or pain, or
a mingling of these.
The man of desire wins from his works the reward of pleasure, or
incurs the penalty of pain; or, as so often happens in life, his guerdon,
like the passionate mood of the lover, is part pleasure and part pain.
Works done with self- seeking bear within them the seeds of future
sorrow; conversely, according to the proverb, present pain is future
But, for him who has gone beyond desire, whose desire is set on the
Eternal, neither pain to be avoided nor pleasure to be gained inspires
his work. He fears no hell and desires no heaven. His one desire is, to
know the will of the Father and finish His work. He comes directly in
line with the divine Will, and works cleanly and immediately, without
longing or fear. His heart dwells in the Eternal; all his desires are set
on the Eternal.
8. From the force inherent in works comes the manifestation of those
dynamic mind images which are conformable to the ripening out of
each of these works.
We are now to consider the general mechanism of Karma, in order
that we may pass on to the consideration of him who is free from
Karma. Karma, indeed, is the concern of the personal man, of his
bondage or freedom. It is the succession of the forces which built up
the personal man, reproducing themselves in one personality after
Now let us take an imaginary case, to see how these forces may work
out. Let us think of a man, with murderous intent in his heart, striking
with a dagger at his enemy. He makes a red wound in his victim's
breast; at the same instant he paints, in his own mind, a picture of that
wound: a picture dynamic with all the fierce will-power he has put
into his murderous blow. In other words he has made a deep wound
in his own psychic body; and, when he comes to be born again, that
body will become his outermost vesture, upon which, with its wound
still there, bodily tissue will be built up. So the man will be born
maimed, or with the predisposition to some mortal injury; he is
unguarded at that point, and any trifling accidental blow will pierce the
broken Joints of his psychic armour. Thus do the dynamic
mind-images manifest themselves, coming to the surface, so that
works done in the past may ripen and come to fruition.
9. Works separated by different nature, or place, or time, are brought
together by the correspondence between memory and dynamic
Just as, in the ripening out of mind-images into bodily conditions, the
effect is brought about by the ray of creative force sent down by the
Self, somewhat as the light of the magic lantern projects the details of
a picture on the screen, revealing the hidden, and making secret things
palpable and visible, so does this divine ray exercise a selective power
on the dynamic mind-images, bringing together into one day of life the
seeds gathered from many days. The memory constantly exemplifies
this power; a passage of poetry will call up in the mind like passages
of many poets, read at different times. So a prayer may call up many
In like manner, the same over-ruling selective power, which is a ray
of the Higher Self, gathers together from different births and times and
places those mind-images which are conformable, and may be grouped
in the frame of a single life or a single event. Through this grouping,
visible bodily conditions or outward circumstances are brought about,
and by these the soul is taught and trained.
Just as the dynamic mind-images of desire ripen out in bodily
conditions and circumstances, so the far more dynamic powers of
aspiration, wherein the soul reaches toward the Eternal, have their
fruition in a finer world, building the vesture of the spiritual man.
10. The series of dynamic mind-images is beginningless, because
Desire is everlasting.
The whole series of dynamic mind-images, which make up the entire
history of the personal man, is a part of the mechanism which the Self
employs, to mirror itself in a reflection, to embody its powers in an
outward form, to the end of self-expression, selfrealization,
self-knowledge. Therefore the initial impulse behind these dynamic
mind- images comes from the Self and is the descending ray of the
Self; so that it cannot be said that there is any first member of the
series of images, from which the rest arose. The impulse is
beginningless, since it comes from the Self, which is from everlasting.
Desire is not to cease; it is to turn to the Eternal, and so become
11. Since the dynamic mind-images are held together by impulses of
desire, by the wish for personal reward, by the substratum of mental
habit, by the support of outer things desired; therefore, when these
cease, the self reproduction of dynamic mind-images ceases.
We are still concerned with the personal life in its bodily vesture, and
with the process whereby the forces which have upheld it are
gradually transferred to the life of the spiritual man, and build up for
him his finer vesture in a finer world.
How is the current to be changed ? How is the flow of
self-reproductive mind-images, which have built the conditions of life
after life in this world of bondage, to be checked, that the time of
imprisonment may come to an end, the day of liberation dawn?
The answer is given in the Sutra just translated. The driving-force is
withdrawn and directed to the upbuilding of the spiritual body.
When the building impulses and forces are withdrawn, the tendency
to manifest a new psychical body, a new body of bondage, ceases with
12. The difference between that which is past and that which is not yet
come, according to their natures, depends on the difference of phase
of their properties.
Here we come to a high and difficult matter, which has always been
held to be of great moment in the Eastern wisdom: the thought that
the division of time into past, present and future is, in great measure,
an illusion; that past, present, future all dwell together in the eternal
The discernment of this truth has been held to be so necessarily a part
of wisdom, that one of the names of the Enlightened is: "he who has
passed beyond the three times: past, present, future."
So the Western Master said: "Before Abraham was, I am"; and again,
"I am with you always, unto the end of the world"; using the eternal
present for past and future alike. With the same purpose, the Master
speaks of himself as "the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the
end, the first and the last."
And a Master of our own days writes: "I feel even irritated at having
to use these three clumsy wordsÄpast, present, and future. Miserable
concepts of the objective phases of the subjective whole, they are
about as ill adapted for the purpose, as an axe for fine carving."
In the eternal Now, both past and future are consummated.
Bjorklund, the Swedish philosopher, has well stated the same truth:
"Neither past nor future can exist to God; He lives undividedly,
without limitations, and needs not, as man, to plot out his existence in
a series of moments. Eternity then is not identical with unending time;
it is a different form of existence, related to time as the perfect to the
imperfect ... Man as an entity for himself must have the natural
limitations for the part. Conceived by God, man is eternal in the divine
sense, but conceived ., by himself, man's eternal life is clothed in the
limitations we call time. The eternal is a constant present without
beginning or end, without past or future."
13. These properties, whether manifest or latent, are of the nature of
the Three Potencies.
The Three Potencies are the three manifested modifications of the one
primal material, which stands opposite to perceiving consciousness.
These Three Potencies are called Substance, Force, Darkness; or
viewed rather for their moral colouring, Goodness, Passion, Inertness.
Every material manifestation is a projection of substance into the
empty space of darkness. Every mental state is either good, or
passional, or inert. So, whether subjective or objective, latent or
manifest, all things that present themselves to the perceiving
consciousness are compounded of these three. This is a fundamental
doctrine of the Sankhya system.
14. The external manifestation of an object takes place when the
transformations ore in the same phase.
We should be inclined to express the same law by saying, for example,
that a sound is audible, when it consists of vibrations within the
compass of the auditory nerve; that an object is visible, when either
directly or by reflection, it sends forth luminiferous vibrations within
the compass of the retina and the optic nerve. Vibrations below or
above that compass make no impression at all, and the object remains
invisible; as, for example, a kettle of boiling water in a dark room,
though the kettle is sending forth heat vibrations closely akin to light.
So, when the vibrations of the object and those of the perceptive
power are in the same phase, the external manifestation of the object
There seems to be a further suggestion that the appearance of an
object in the "present," or its remaining hid in the "past," or "future,"
is likewise a question of phase, and, just as the range of vibrations
perceived might be increased by the development of finer senses, so
the perception of things past, and things to come, may be easy from
a higher point of view.
15. The paths of material things and of states of consciousness are
distinct, as is manifest from the fact that the same object may produce
different impressions in different minds.
Having shown that our bodily condition and circumstances depend on
Karma, while Karma depends on perception and will, the sage
recognizes the fact that from this may be drawn the false deduction
that material things are in no wise different from states of mind. The
same thought has occurred, and still occurs, to all philosophers; and,
by various reasonings, they all come to the same wise conclusion; that
the material world is not made by the mood of any human mind, but
is rather the manifestation of the totality of invisible Being, whether
we call this Mahat, with the ancients, or Ether, with the moderns.
16. Nor do material objects defend upon a single mind, for how could
they remain objective to others, if that mind ceased to think of them?
This is but a further development of the thought of the preceding
Sutra, carrying on the thought that, while the universe is spiritual, yet
its material expression is ordered, consistent, ruled by law, not subject
to the whims or affirmations of a single mind. Unwelcome material
things may be escaped by spiritual growth, by rising to a realm above
them, and not by denying their existence on their own plane. So that
our system is neither materialistic, nor idealistic in the extreme sense,
but rather intuitional and spiritual, holding that matter is the
manifestation of spirit as a whole, a reflection or externalization of
spirit, and, like spirit, everywhere obedient to law. The path of
liberation is not through denial of matter but through denial of the
wills of self, through obedience, and that aspiration which builds the
vesture of the spiritual man.
17. An object is perceived, or not perceived, according as the mind is,
or is not, tinged with the colour of the object.
The simplest manifestation of this is the matter of attention. Our minds
apprehend what they wish to apprehend; all else passes unnoticed, or,
on the other hand, we perceive what we resent, as, for example, the
noise of a passing train; while others, used to the sound, do not notice
it at all.
But the deeper meaning is, that out of the vast totality of objects ever
present in the universe, the mind perceives only those which conform
to the hue of its Karma. The rest remain unseen, even though close at
This spiritual law has been well expressed by Emerson:
"Through solidest eternal things the man finds his road as if they did
not subsist, and does not once suspect their being. As soon as he
needs a new object, suddenly he beholds it, and no longer attempts to
pass through it, but takes another way. When he has exhausted for the
time the nourishment to be drawn from any one person or thing, that
object is withdrawn from his observation, and though still in his
immediate neighbourhood, he does not suspect its presence. Nothing
is dead. Men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals and
mournful obituaries, and there they stand looking out of the window,
sound and well, in some new and strange disguise. Jesus is not dead,
he is very well alive: nor John, nor Paul, nor Mahomet, nor Aristotle;
at times we believe we have seen them all, and could easily tell the
names under which they go."
18. The movements of the psychic nature are perpetually ob jects of
perception, since the Spiritual Man, who is the lord of them, remains
Here is teaching of the utmost import, both for understanding and for
To the psychic nature belong all the ebb and flow of emotion, all
hoping and fearing, desire and hate: the things that make the multitude
of men and women deem themselves happy or miserable. To it also
belong the measuring and comparing, the doubt and questioning,
which, for the same multitude, make up mental life. So that there
results the emotion-soaked personality, with its dark and narrow view
of life: the shivering, terror driven personality that is life itself for all
but all of mankind.
Yet the personality is not the true man, not the living soul at all, but
only a spectacle which the true man observes. Let us under stand this,
therefore, and draw ourselves up inwardly to the height of the
Spiritual Man, who, standing in the quiet light of the Eternal, looks
down serene upon this turmoil of the outer life.
One first masters the personality, the "mind," by thus looking down on
it from above, from within; by steadily watching its ebb and flow, as
objective, outward, and therefore not the real Self. This standing back
is the first step, detachment. The second, to maintain the
vantage-ground thus gained, is recollection.
19. The Mind is not self-luminous, since it can be seen as an object.
This is a further step toward overthrowing the tyranny of the "mind":
the psychic nature of emotion and mental measuring. This psychic self,
the personality, claims to be absolute, asserting that life is for it and
through it; it seeks to impose on the whole being of man its narrow,
materialistic, faithless view of life and the universe; it would clip the
wings of the soaring Soul. But the Soul dethrones the tyrant, by
perceiving and steadily affirming that the psychic self is no true self at
all, not self-luminous, but only an object of observation, watched by
the serene eyes of the Spiritual Man.
20. Nor could the Mind at the same time know itself and things
external to it.
The truth is that the "mind" knows neither external things nor itself.
Its measuring and analyzing, its hoping and fearing, hating and
desiring, never give it a true measure of life, nor any sense of real
values. Ceaselessly active, it never really attains to knowledge; or, if
we admit its knowledge, it ever falls short of wisdom, which comes
only through intuition, the vision of the Spiritual Man.
Life cannot be known by the "mind," its secrets cannot be learned
through the "mind." The proof is, the ceaseless strife and contradiction
of opinion among those who trust in the mind. Much less can the
"mind" know itself, the more so, because it is pervaded by the illusion
that it truly knows, truly is.
True knowledge of the "mind" comes, first, when the Spiritual Man,
arising, stands detached, regarding the "mind" from above, with quiet
eyes, and seeing it for the tangled web of psychic forces that it truly
is. But the truth is divined long before it is clearly seen, and then
begins the long battle of the "mind,' against the Real, the "mind"
fighting doggedly, craftily, for its supremacy.
21. If the Mind be thought of as seen by another more inward Mind,
then there would be an endless series of perceiving Minds, and a
confusion of memories.
One of the expedients by which the "mind" seeks to deny and thwart
the Soul, when it feels that it is beginning to be circumvented and seen
through, is to assert that this seeing is the work of a part of itself, one
part observing the other, and thus leaving no need nor place for the
To this strategy the argument is opposed by our philosopher, that this
would be no true solution, but only a postponement of the solution.
For we should have to find yet another part of the mind to view the
first observing part, and then another to observe this, and so on,
The true solution is, that the Spiritual Man looks down upon the
psychic nature, and observes it; when he views the psychic pictures
gallery, this is "memory," which would be a hopeless, inextricable
confusion, if we thought of one part of the "mind," with its memories,
viewing another part, with memories of its own.
The solution of the mystery lies not in the "mind" but beyond it, in the
luminous life of the risen Lord, the Spiritual Man.
22. When the psychical nature takes on the form of the spiritual
intelligence, by reflecting it, then the Self becomes conscious of its
own spiritual intelligence.
We are considering a stage of spiritual life at which the psychical
nature has been cleansed and purified. Formerly, it reflected in its
plastic substance the images of the earthy; purified now, it reflects the
image of the heavenly, giving the spiritual intelligence a visible form.
The Self, beholding that visible form, in which its spiritual intelligence
has, as it were, taken palpable shape, thereby reaches self-recognition,
self-comprehension. The Self sees itself in this mirror, and thus
becomes not only conscious, but self-conscious. This is, from one
point of view, the purpose of the whole evolutionary process.
23. The psychic nature, taking on the colour of the Seer and of things
seen, leads to the perception of all objects.
In the unregenerate man, the psychic nature is saturated with images
of material things, of things seen, or heard, or tasted, or felt; and this
web of dynamic images forms the ordinary material and driving power
of life. The sensation of sweet things tasted clamours to be renewed,
and drives the man into effort to obtain its renewal; so he adds image
to image, each dynamic and importunate, piling up sin's intolerable
Then comes regeneration, and the washing away of sin, through the
fiery, creative power of the Soul, which burns out the stains of the
psychic vesture, purifying it as gold is refined in the furnace. The
suffering of regeneration springs from this indispensable purifying.
Then the psychic vesture begins to take on the colour of the Soul, no
longer stained, but suffused with golden light; and the man red
generate gleams with the radiance of eternity. Thus the Spiritual Man
puts on fair raiment; for of this cleansing it is said: Though your sins
be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be as crimson,
they shall be as wool.
24. The psychic nature, which has been printed with mind-images of
innumerable material things, exists now f or the Spiritual Man,
building for him.
The "mind," once the tyrant, is now the slave, recognized as outward,
separate, not Self, a well-trained instrument of the Spiritual Man.
For it is not ordained for the Spiritual Man that, finding his high realm,
he shall enter altogether there, and pass out of the vision of mankind.
It is true that he dwells in heaven, but he also dwells on earth. He has
angels and archangels, the hosts of the just made perfect, for his
familiar friends, but he has at the same time found a new kinship with
the prone children of men, who stumble and sin in the dark. Finding
sinlessness, he finds also that the world's sin and shame are his, not to
share, but to atone; finding kinship with angels, he likewise finds his
part in the toil of angels, the toil for the redemption of the world.
For this work, he, who now stands in the heavenly realm, needs his
instrument on earth; and this instrument he finds, ready to his hand,
and fitted and perfected by the very struggles he has waged against it,
in the personality, the "mind,' of the personal man. This once tyrant is
now his servant and perfect ambassador, bearing witness, before men,
of heavenly things and even in this present world doing the will and
working the works of the Father.
25. For him who discerns between the Mind and the Spiritual Man,
there comes perfect fruition of the longing after the real being of the
How many times in the long struggle have the Soul's aspirations
seemed but a hopeless, impossible dream, a madman's counsel of
perfection. Yet every finest, most impossible aspiration shall be
realized, and ten times more than realized, once the long, arduous
fight against the "mind," and the mind's worldview is won. And then
it will be seen that unfaith and despair were but weapons of the
"mind," to daunt the Soul, and put off the day when the neck of the
"mind" shall be put under the foot of the Soul.
Have you aspired, well-nigh hopeless, after immortality? You shall be
paid by entering the immortality of God.
Have you aspired, in misery and pain, after consoling, healing love?
You shall be made a dispenser of the divine love of God Himself to
Have you sought ardently, in your day of feebleness, after power ?
You shall wield power immortal, infinite, with God working the works
Have you, in lonely darkness, longed for companionship and
consolation ? You shall have angels and archangels for your friends,
and all the immortal hosts of the Dawn.
These are the fruits of victory. Therefore overcome. These are the
prizes of regeneration. Therefore die to self, that you may rise again
26. Thereafter, the whole personal being bends toward illumination,
toward Eternal Life.
This is part of the secret of the Soul, that salvation means, not merely
that a soul shall be cleansed and raised to heaven, but that the whole
realm of the natural powers shall be redeemed, building up, even in
this present world, the kingly figure of the Spiritual Man.
The traditions of the ages are full of his footsteps; majestic,
uncomprehended shadows, myths, demi-gods, fill the memories of all
the nobler peoples. But the time cometh, when he shall be known, no
longer demi-god, nor myth, nor shadow, but the ever-present
Redeemer, working amid men for the life and cleansing of all souls.
27. In the internals of the batik, other thoughts will arise, through the
impressions of the dynamic mind-images.
The battle is long and arduous. Let there be no mistake as to that. Go
not forth to this battle without counting the cost. Ages have gone to
the strengthening of the foe. Ages of conflict must be spent, ere the
foe, wholly conquered, becomes the servant, the Soul's minister to
And from these long past ages, in hours when the contest flags, will
come new foes, mind-born children springing up to fight for mind,
reinforcements coming from forgotten years, forgotten lives. For once
this conflict is begun, it can be ended only by sweeping victory, and
unconditional, unreserved surrender of the vanquished.
28. These are to be overcome as it was taught that hindrances should
These new enemies and fears are to be overcome by ceaselessly
renewing the fight, by a steadfast, dogged persistence, whether in
victory or defeat, which shall put the stubbornness of the rocks to
shame. For the Soul is older than all things, and invincible; it is of the
very nature of the Soul to be unconquerable.
Therefore fight on, undaunted; knowing that the spiritual will, once
awakened, shall, through the effort of the contest, come to its full
strength; that ground gained can be held permanently; that great as is
the dead-weight of the adversary, it is yet measurable, while the
Warrior who fights for you, for whom you fight, is, in might,
immeasurable, invincible, everlasting.
29. He who, after he has attained, is wholly free from self, reaches the
essence of all that can be known, gathered together like a cloud. This
is the true spiritual consciousness.
It has been said that, at the beginning of the way, we must kill out
ambition, the great curse, the giant weed which grows as strongly in
the heart of the devoted disciple as in the man of desire. The remedy
is sacrifice of self, obedience, humility; that purity of heart which gives
the vision of God. Thereafter, he who has attained is wrapt about with
the essence of all that can be known, as with a cloud; he has that
perfect illumination which is the true spiritual consciousness. Through
obedience to the will of God, he comes into oneness of being with
God; he is initiated into God's view of the universe, seeing all life as
God sees it.
30. Thereon comes surcease from sorrow and the burden of toil.
Such a one, it is said, is free from the bond of Karma, from the burden
of toil, from that debt to works which comes from works done in
self-love and desire. Free from self-will, he is free from sorrow, too,
for sorrow comes from the fight of self-will against the divine will,
through the correcting stress of the divine will, which seeks to
counteract the evil wrought by disobedience. When the conflict with
the divine will ceases, then sorrow ceases, and he who has grown into
obedience, thereby enters into joy.
31. When all veils are rent, all stains washed away, his knowledge
becomes infinite; little remains for him to know.
The first veil is the delusion that thy soul is in some permanent way
separate from the great Soul, the divine Eternal. When that veil is rent,
thou shalt discern thy oneness with everlasting Life. The second veil
is the delusion of enduring separateness from thy other selves,
whereas in truth the soul that is in them is one with the soul that is in
thee. The world's sin and shame are thy sin and shame: its joy also.
These veils rent, thou shalt enter into knowledge of divine things and
human things. Little will remain unknown to thee.
32. Thereafter comes the completion of the series of transformations
of the three nature potencies, since their purpose is attained.
It is a part of the beauty and wisdom of the great Indian teachings, the
Vedanta and the Yoga alike, to hold that all life exists for the purposes
of Soul, for the making of the spiritual man. They teach that all nature
is an orderly process of evolution, leading up to this, designed for this
end, existing only for this: to bring forth and perfect the Spiritual Man.
He is the crown of evolution: at his coming, the goal of all
development is attained.
33. The series of transformations is divided into moments. When the
series is completed, time gives place to duration.
There are two kinds of eternity, says the commentary: the eternity of
immortal life, which belongs to the Spirit, and the eternity of change,
which inheres in Nature, in all that is not Spirit. While we are content
to live in and for Nature, in the Circle of Necessity, Sansara, we doom
ourselves to perpetual change. That which is born must die, and that
which dies must be reborn. It is change evermore, a ceaseless series
But the Spiritual Man enters a new order; for him, there is no longer
eternal change, but eternal Being. He has entered into the joy of his
Lord. This spiritual birth, which makes him heir of the Everlasting,
sets a term to change; it is the culmination, the crowning
transformation, of the whole realm of change.
34. Pure spiritual life is, therefore, the in- verse resolution of the
potencies of Nature, which have emptied themselves of their value for
the Spiritual man; or it is the return of the power of pure
Consciousness to its essential form.
Here we have a splendid generalization, in which our wise philosopher
finally reconciles the naturalists and the idealists, expressing the crown
and end of his teaching, first in the terms of the naturalist, and then in
the terms of the idealist.
The birth and growth of the Spiritual Man, and his entry into his
immortal heritage, may be regarded, says our philosopher, either as
the culmination of the whole process of natural evolution and
involution, where "that which flowed f rom out the boundless deep,
turns again home"; or it may be looked at, as the Vedantins look at it,
as the restoration of pure spiritual Consciousness to its pristine and
essential form. There is no discrepancy or conflict between these two
views, which are but two accounts of the same thing. Therefore those
who study the wise philosopher, be they naturalist or idealist, have no
excuse to linger over dialetic subtleties or disputes. These things are
lifted from their path, lest they should be tempted to delay over them,
and they are left facing the path itself, stretching upward and onward
from their feet to the everlasting hills, radiant with infinite Light.
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