It is necessary to move in thought far beyond this initial meditation upon death. One must think of oneself as having lived through and relinquished a wide range of mortal bodies, as having been through innumerable sets of experiences in many different contexts, enacting myriad roles. For the immortal soul the only significant question is whether one learnt anything deeply meaningful about the world and from any opportunities for the elevation of consciousness that it offered. How many times was one able to come into contact with spiritual teachers, and in how many lives was one able to intuit something of the meaning of initiation? As one persists in such questions, one begins to live in and through other people, experiencing an intense interest in the human condition as a whole. Seeing the world through many eyes, one identifies with the standpoint of myriad souls. One begins to discover the secret of the yogin and the Adept: that the more one withdraws within, the more one can universalize one’s own concern for the human race. By giving up the false idea that what is visible is necessarily more real than what is invisible, that one has more pressing obligations to those one sees than to those one does not see, one realizes that human evolution could not have continued, that people would not have planted trees for their descendants, without some awareness of the hidden basis of human solidarity. When one has attained some appreciation of this vital fact, it would be of great benefit to meditate upon the sacred Catechism in The Secret Doctrine:
The Master is made to ask the pupil:
‘Lift thy head, oh Lanoo; dost thou see one, or countless lights above thee, burning in the dark midnight sky?’
‘I sense one Flame, oh Gurudeva, I see countless undetached sparks shining in it.’
‘Thou sayest well. And now look around and into thyself. That light which burns inside thee, dost thou feel it different in anywise from the light that shines in thy Brother-men?’
‘It is in no way different, though the prisoner is held in bondage by Karma, and though its outer garments delude the ignorant into saying, “Thy Soul and My Soul“.’
The Secret Doctrine, i 120
Any person who begins such meditations and persists in them will experience a tremendous cleansing preparatory to the re-education of the powers of perception and action. Eventually, one no more sees the world as the world sees itself, in terms of separation and contrast, dominance and distrust, dependence and change. Instead one learns to see the world in terms of the continuity behind the change, in terms of that which is deathless within that which is ever dying. One begins to sense the noumenal reality of divine ideation behind the flux of fleeting phenomena. When a person starts to think, feel and respond in the light of this transformed way of looking at the world, deliberately choosing ideas, lines of thought, self-reliant acts of service, feelings of compassion, benevolence and trust, then one’s whole conception of reality is altered. Even the sense of being bound down by the persona begins to loosen up gradually. Through this regenerative experience one comes to recognize that the motion that is visible is only a surface phenomenon and that the highest energy resides only where all external forces are gathered and withdrawn to a still centre.
By the mystic power of ideation one has supersensuous insight and a much sharper sense of the universe as unitary. Until there is Buddhic awareness of the omnipresence and radical unity of unmanifest Fohat, there can be no truly free will and self-reliance, but only compulsive restlessness and passive reaction. Free will in the spiritual sense only begins when one enters into a realm of pure freedom from form, flux and change, and from the temporal succession of states of consciousness. This can be readily tested. If one feels that the first moment that one contacted the Divine Wisdom is now, then one is free, but if it seems years ago, then one is enslaved by the past. If one feels that one’s moment of death is now, one is free, but if it seems to lurk in the future, one is mesmerized by change. When one can burst the artificial boundaries of past and future within the present moment, then one begins to experience the spiritual will that is free, powerful and beneficent, and which, because it is unbounded, can lend enormous courage and confidence to the deliberate choice of thoughts and the continuous direction of attention. Where the attention or the eye of the Adept falls there is a tremendous intensification of noetic life-currents. There is an intimate relation between the Fohatic energies of ideation and attention focussed in the Eye of Shiva and the Kriyashaktic power of quickening spiritual and material life.
In their self-training all disciples must progressively learn to master the power of attention preparatory to any real initiation. First, one has to learn to withhold attention, and one has to do it many times over until it becomes a totally natural process. Lowering one’s eyes when going out into the world, holding one’s tongue when in company, restraining one’s hands from grasping at objects, the disciple learns by withdrawing and withholding attention how it is possible to choose a great idea out of the voidness and how to choose by acceptance what comes under karma in the world. There is nothing personal in this because through heightened awareness one sees that what is chosen at any given time is but one out of myriad possibilities. In this way one is not caught in the delusions resulting from a sensationalist fuss about events. Events do not have any such exaggerated meaning because one always sees that about which Gurudeva speaks – the one undivided Flame. One hears all the time that which is inaudible, like that which is in the fathomless depths of the ocean and in the farthest reaches of space – “the VOICE unbroken, that resounds throughout eternities, exempt from change, from sin exempt, the Seven Sounds in one, THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE”.
Once one becomes a witness to the incredible ordering of life-atoms and a Buddhic perceiver of the immense possibilities they represent, they truly become one’s pupils, friends and servants in the great work of universal evolution. Ultimately, one can even overcome the contrast between subjectivity and objectivity, between spirit and matter. Because people do not do this voluntarily, Fohat at one level makes incarnation possible, binding Atm-Buddhi to Manas. When Manas manifests as a man of mighty meditation, it becomes one with Atman, and Buddhi generates that subtle breath of silent Fohatic energy whereby one withdraws from all reflections of light into the empyrean of Divine Truth. The less one is caught up in the agitations of manifested Fohat, the more one feels the intensity of strength of the field of inaudible, unexpressed feeling-energy of Atma-Buddhi radiating from the eternal realm of Sat.
This ‘World of Truth’ can be described only in the words of the Commentary as ‘A bright star dropped from the heart of Eternity; the beacon of hope on whose Seven Rays hang the Seven Worlds of Being.’ Truly so; since those are the Seven Lights whose reflections are the human immortal Monads – the Atma, or the irradiating Spirit of every creature of the human family.
Ibid., i 120
The Gupta Vidya III