Raja Yoga, by Yogi Ramacharaka (William Walker Atkinson), , at sacred-texts.com
In our last lesson we told you something about the operation of the mind outside of the field of consciousness. In this lesson we will attempt to classify these out-of-consciousness planes, by directing your attention to the several mental planes above and below the plane of consciousness. As we stated in the last lesson, over 90 per cent of our mental operations are conducted outside of the field of consciousness, so that the consideration of the planes is seen to be an important subject.
Man is a Centre of Consciousness in the great One Life of the Universe. His soul has climbed a great many steps before it reached its present position and stage of unfoldment. And it will pass through many more steps until it is entirely free and delivered from the necessity of its swaddling clothes.
In his mental being man contains traces of all that has gone beforeall the experiences of himself and the great race movement of which he is a part. And, likewise, his mind contains faculties and mental planes which have not as yet unfolded into consciousness, and of the existence of which he is but imperfectly aware. All of these mental possessions, however. are useful and valuable to himeven the lowest. The lowest may be used to advantage, under proper mastery, and are only dangerous to the man who allows them to
master him instead of serving him as they should, considering his present stage of development.
In this consideration of the several mental planes we shall not confine ourselves to the technical occult terms given to these several planes, but will place them in general groups and describe the features and characteristics of each, rather than branch off into long explanations of the growth and reason of the several planes, which would take us far away from the practical consideration of the subject.
Beginning at the lowest point of the scale we see that man has a body. The body is composed of minute cells of protoplasm. These cells are built up of countless molecules, atoms and particles of matterprecisely the same matter that composes the rocks, trees, air, etc., around him. The Yogi philosophy tells us that even the atoms of matter have life and an elementary manifestation of mind, which causes them to group together according to the law of attraction, forming different elements, combinations, etc. This law of attraction is a mental operation, and is the first evidence of mental choice, action and response. Below this is Prana or Force, which, strictly speaking, is also a manifestation of mind, although for convenience we designate it as a separate manifestation of the Absolute.
And therefore we find that this law of attraction between the atoms and particles of matter is a mental action, and that it belongs to man's mental kingdom, because he has a body and this mental action is continually
going on in his body. So therefore this is the lowest mental plane to be considered in the make-up of the man, This plane is, of course, far sunken beneath the plane of consciousness, and is scarcely identified with the personality of the man at all, but rather belongs to the life of the whole, manifest in the rock as well as in the man.
But after these atoms have been grouped by the law of attraction and have formed molecules of matter, they are taken possession of by a higher mental activity and built up into cells by the mental action of the plant. The life impulse of the plant begins by drawing to it certain particles of inorganic matterchemical elementsand then building them into a single cell. Oh, mystery of the cell! The intellect of man is unable to duplicate this wonderful process. The Mind Principle on the Vegetative Plane, however, knows exactly how to go to work to select and draw to itself just the elements needed to build up the single cell. Then taking up its abode in that cellusing it as a basis of operations, it proceeds to duplicate its previous performance, and so cell after cell is added, by the simple reproductive process of di, vision and subdivisionthe primitive and elemental sex processuntil the mighty plant is built up. From the humblest vegetable organism up to the greatest oak the process is the same.
And it does not stop there. The body of man is also built up in just this way, and he has this vegetative mind also within him, below the plane of consciousness,
of course. To many this thought of a vegetative mind may be somewhat startling. But let us remember that every part of our body has been built up from the vegetable cell. The unborn child starts with the coalition of two cells. These cells begin to build up the new body for the occupancy of the childthat is, the mind principle in the cells directs the work, of coursedrawing upon the body of the mother for nourishment and supplies. The nourishment in the mother's blood, which supplies the material for the building up of the child's body, is obtained by the mother eating end assimilating the vegetable cells of plants, directly or indirectly. If she eats fruit, nuts, vegetables, etc., she obtains the nourishment of the plant life directlyif she eats meat she obtains it indirectly, for the animal from which the meat was taken built up the meat from vegetables. There is no two ways about thisall nourishment of the animal and human kingdom is obtained from the vegetable kingdom, directly or indirectly.
And the cell action in the child is identical with the cell action in the plant. Cells constantly reproducing themselves and building themselves up into bodily organs, parts, etc., under the direction and guidance of the mind principle. The child grows in this way until the hour of birth. It is born, and then the process is but slightly changed. The child begins to take nourishment either from the mother's milk or from the milk of the cow, or other forms of food. And as it grows larger it partakes of many different
varieties of food. But always it obtains building material from the cell life of the plants.
And this great building up process is intelligent, purposeful, to a wonderful degree. Man with his boasted intellect cannot explain the real "thingness" of the process. A leading scientist who placed the egg of a small lizard under microscopical examination and then watched it slowly develop has said that it seemed as if some hand was tracing the outlines of the tiny vertebræ, and then building up around it. Think for a moment of the development of the germ within the egg of the humming-bird, or the ant, or the gnat, or the eagle. Every second a change may be noticed. The germ cell draws to itself nourishment from the other part of the egg, and then it grows and reproduces another cell. Then both cells dividethen subdivide until there are millions and millions and millions of cells. And all the while the building up process continues, and the bird or insect assumes shape and form, until at last the work is accomplished and the young bird emerges from the egg.
And the work thus commenced continues until the death of the animal. For there is a constant using-up and breaking-down of cell and tissue, which the organism must replace. And so the vegetative mind of the plant, or insect, or animal, or man, is constantly at work building up new cells from the food, throwing out worn-out and used-up material from the system. Not only this, but it attends to the circulation of the blood in order that the materials for the
building up may be carried to all parts of the system. It attends to the digestion and assimilation of the foodthe wonderful work of the organs of the body. It attends to the healing of wounds, the fight against disease, the care of the physical body. And all this out of the plane of consciousnessin the infant man, the animal world, the vegetable kingdomever at work, untiring, intelligent, wonderful. And this plane of mind is in man as well as in the plant, and it does its work without aid from the conscious part of man, although man may interfere with it by adverse conscious thought, which seems to paralyze its efforts. Mental Healing is merely the restoring of normal conditions, so that this part of the body may do its work without the hindrance of adverse conscious thought.
On this plane of the mind is found all of the vital functions and operations. The work is done out-of-consciousness, and the consciousness is aware of this part of the mind only when it makes demands upon the conscious for food, etc. On this plane also resides the elementary instinct that tends toward reproduction and sexual activity. The demand of this part of the mind is always "increase and multiply," and according to the stage of growth of the individual is the mandate carried out, as we shall see presently. The elementary impulses and desires that we find rising into the field of consciousness come from this plane of the mind. Hunger, thirst and the reproductive desires are its messages to the higher
parts of the mind. And these messages are natural and free from the abuses and prostitution often observed attached to them by the intellect of man in connection with his unrestrained animal impulses. Gluttony and unnatural lust arise not from the primitive demand of this plane of the mind-for the lower animals even are free from them to a great extentbut it is reserved for man to so prostitute these primitive natural tendencies, in order to gratify unnatural and artificial appetites, which serve to frustrate nature rather than to aid her.
As Life advanced in the scale and animal forms appeared on the scene new planes of mind were unfolded, in accordance to the necessity of the living forms. The animal was compelled to hunt for his foodto prey upon other forms, and to avoid being preyed upon by others. He was compelled to struggle for the unfoldment of latent powers of his mind that would give him means to play his part in the scheme of life. He was compelled to do certain things in order to live and reproduce his kind. And he demanded not in vain. For there came to him slowly an unfolding knowledge of the things necessary for the requirements of his life. We call this Instinct. But, pray remember, by Instinct we do not mean the still higher something that is really rudimentary Intellect that we notice in the higher animals. We are speaking now of the unreasoning instinct observed in the lower animals, and to a certain degree in man. This Instinctive plane of mentality causes the bird
to build its nest before its eggs are laid, which instructs the animal mother how to care for its young when born, and after birth; which teaches the bee to construct its cell and to store up its honey. These and countless other things in animal life, and in the higher form of plant life, are manifestations of Instinctthat great plane of the mind. In fact, the greater part of the life of the animal is instinctive, although the higher forms of animals have developed something like rudimentary Intellect or Reason, which enables them to meet new conditions where Intellect alone fails them.
And man has this plane of mind within him, below consciousness. In fact the lower forms of human life manifest but little Intellect, and live almost altogether according to their Instinctive impulses and desires.
Every man has this Instinctive mental region within him and from it are constantly arising impulses and desires to perplex and annoy him, as well as to serve him occasionally. The whole secret consists in whether the man has Mastery of his lower self or not.
From this plane of the mind arise the hereditary impulses coming down from generations of ancestors, reaching back to the cavemen, and still further back into the animal kingdom. A queer storehouse is this. Animal instinctspassions, appetites, desires, feelings, sensations, emotions, etc., are there. Hate, envy. jealousy, revenge, the lust of the animal seeking the gratification of his sexual impulses, etc., etc., are
there, and are constantly intruding upon our attention until we have asserted our mastery. And often the failure to assert this mastery comes from an ignorance of the nature of the desire, etc. We have been taught that these thoughts were "bad" without being told why, and we have feared them and thought then, the promptings of an impure nature, or a depraved mind, etc. This is all wrong. These things are not "bad" of themselvesthey came to us honestlythey are our heritage from the past. They belong to the animal part of our nature, and were necessary to the animal in his stage of development. We have the whole menagerie within us, but that does not mean that we should turn the beasts loose upon ourselves or others. It was necessary for the animal to be fierce, full of fight, passionate, regardless of the rights of others, etc., but we have outgrown that stage of development, and it is ignoble for us to return to it, or to allow it to master us.
This lesson is not intended as a discourse upon Ethics or morals. We do not intend going into a discussion of the details of "Right and Wrong," for we have touched upon that phase of the subject in other works. But we feel justified in calling your attention to the fact that the human mind intuitively recognizes the "Rightness" of the living up to that which comes to us from the highest parts of the mindthe highest product of our unfoldment. And it likewise intuitively recognizes the "Wrongness" of the falling back into that which belongs to the lower stages of our mentality
to the animal part of us, that is our heritage from the past and that which has gone before.
While we may be puzzled about many details of morals and ethics and may not be able to "explain" why we consider certain things right or wrong, we still intuitively feel that the highest "Right" of which we are capable is the acting out of that which is coming to us from the highest pole of our mental being, and that the lowest "Wrong" consists in doing that which carries us back to the life of the lower animals, in so far as mentality is concerned. Not because there is anything absolutely "Wrong" in the mental processes and consequent of the animals in themselvesthey are all right and perfectly natural in the animalsbut we intuitively recognize that for us to fall back to the animal stage is a "going backward" in the scale of evolution. We intuitively shrink at an exhibition of brutality and animality on the part of a man or woman. We may not know just why, but a little reflection will show us that it is a sinking in the evolutionary scale, against which the spiritual part of us revolts and protests.
But this must not be construed to mean that the advanced soul looks upon the animal world with disgust or horror. On the contrary, there is nowhere to be found a higher respect for animal life and being than among the Yogi and other advanced souls. They delight in watching the animals filling their places in lifeplaying out their parts in the divine scheme of life. Their animal passions and desires are
actions viewed sympathetically and lovingly by the advanced soul, and nothing "Wrong" or disgusting is seen there. And even the coarseness and brutality of the savage races are so regarded by these advanced souls. They see everything as natural according to the grade and degree of development of these people.
It is only when these advanced souls view the degeneracies of "civilized" life that they feel sorrow and pain. For here they see instances of devolution instead of evolutiondegeneration instead of regeneration and advancement. And not only do they know this to be the fact, but the degenerate specimens of mankind themselves feel and know it. Compare the expression of the animal or savage going through their natural life actions and performances. See how free and natural are their expressions, how utterly apart are evidences of wrong doing. They have not as yet found out the fatal secret of Good and Evilthey have not as yet eaten the forbidden fruit. But, on the contrary, look into the faces of the degenerates and fallen souls of our civilized life. See the furtive glance and the self-consciousness of "Wrong" evident in every face. And this consciousness of "Wrong" bears heavily upon these peopleit is heavier than the punishments heaped upon them That nameless something called "conscience" may be smothered for a while, but sooner or later it comes to light and demands the pound of flesh from its victim.
And yet you will say that it seems hard to think
that the same thing can be Right in one person and Wrong in another. This seems like a hard saying and a dangerous doctrine, but it is the Truth. And man instinctively recognizes it. He does not expect the same sense of moral responsibility in a young child, or in a savage, that he does in a mature, developed, civilized man. He may restrain the child and the savage, for self-protection and the welfare of all, but he realizes the distinction, or at least should do so. And not only is this true, but as man advances in the scale he casts off many ideas of "Wrong" that he once held, having outgrown the old ideas and having grown into new conceptions. And the tendency is always upward and onward. The tendency is constantly from Force and Restraint toward Love and Freedom. The ideal condition would be one in which there were no laws and no necessity for thema condition in which men had ceased to do wrong because they had outgrown the desire rather than from fear or restraint or force. And while this condition as yet seems afar off, there is constantly going on an enfoldment of higher planes and faculties of the mind, which when once fully manifest in the race will work a complete revolution in ethics and laws and governmentand for the better, of course. In the meantime Mankind moves along, doing the best it can, making a steady though slow progress.
There is another plane of the mind which is often called the "Instinct," but which is but a part of the plane of the Intellect, although its operations are,
largely below the field of consciousness. We allude to what may be called the "Habit Mind," in order to distinguish it from the Instinctive Plane. The difference is this: The Instinctive plane of mind is made up of the ordinary operations of the mind below the plane of the Intellect, and yet above the plane of the Vegetative mindand also of the acquired experiences of the race, which have been transmitted by heredity, etc. But the "Habit Mind" contains only that which has been placed there by the person himself and which he has acquired by experience, habit, and observation, repeated so often until the mind knows it so well that it is carried below the field of consciousness and becomes "second nature," and akin to Instinct.
The text books upon psychology are filled with illustrations and examples of the habit phase or plane of the mental operations, and we do not think it necessary to repeat instances of the same kind here. Everyone is familiar with the fact that tasks which at first are learned only by considerable work and time soon become fixed in some part of the mind until their repetition calls for little or no exercise of conscious mental operation. In fact, some writers have claimed that no one really "learns" how to perform a task until he can perform it almost automatically. The pupil who in the early stages of piano playing finds it most difficult to control and manage his fingers, after a time is able to forget all about his fingering and devote his entire attention to the pages of his
music, and after this he is able to apparently let his fingers play the entire piece of music by themselves, without a thought on his part. The best performers have told us that in the moments of their highest efforts they are aware that the out-of-conscious portion of their mind is doing the work for them, and they are practically standing aside and witnessing the work being done. So true is this that in some cases it is related that if the performer's conscious mind attempts to take up the work the quality is impaired and the musician and the audience notice the difference.
The same thing is true in the case of the woman learning to operate the sewing machine. It is quite difficult at first, but gradually it grows to "run itself." Those who have mastered the typewriter have had the same experience. At first each letter had to be picked out with care and effort. After a gradual improvement the operator is enabled to devote her entire attention to the "copy" and let the fingers pick out the keys for themselves. Many operators learn rapid typewriting by so training the habit mind that it picks out the letter-keys by reason of their position, the letters being covered over in order to force the mind to adapt itself to the new requirements. A similar state of affairs exists wherever men or women have to use tools of any kind. The tool soon is recognized by the mind and used as if it were a part of the body, and no more conscious thought is devoted to the manipulation than we devote to the operation of
walking, which, by the way, is learned by the child only by the expenditure of time and labor. It is astonishing how many things we do "automatically" in this way. Writers have called our attention to the fact that the average man cannot consciously inform you how he puts on his coat in the morningwhich arm goes in first, how the coat is held, etc. But the habit mind knowsknows very well. Let the student stand up and put on his coat in the regular way, following the leadings of the habit mind. Then, after removing it, let him attempt to put it on by inserting the other arm first, for instance. He will be surprised to find out how awkward it will be for him, and how completely he has been depending upon the habit mind. And tomorrow morning let him find out which shoe the habit mind has been putting on him first and then try to reverse the order and notice how flurried and disturbed the habit mind will become, and how frantically it will signal to the conscious mind: "Something wrong up there!" Or try to Dutton on your collar, reversing the order in which the tabs are placed over the buttonright before left, or left before right, as the case may be, and notice the involuntary protest. Or, try to reverse the customary habit in walking and attempt to swing your right arm with the movement of your right leg, and so on, and you will find it will require the exercise of great will power. Or, try to "change hands" and use your knife and fork. But we must stop giving examples and illustrations. Their number is countless.
Not only does the habit mind attend to physical actions, etc., but it also takes a hand in our mental operations. We soon acquire the habit of ceasing to consciously consider certain things, and the habit mind takes the matter for granted, and thereafter we will think automatically on those particular questions, unless we are shaken out of the habit by a rude jolt from the mind of someone else, or from the presentation of some conflicting idea occasioned by our own experience or reasoning processes. And the habit mind hates to be disturbed and compelled to revise its ideas. It fights against it, and rebels, and the result is that many of us are slaves to old outgrown ideas that we realize are false and untrue, but which we find that we "cannot exactly get rid of." In our future lessons we will give methods to get rid of these old outgrown ideas.
There are other planes of mind which have to do with the phenomena known as "psychic," by which is meant the phases of psychic phenomena known as clairvoyance, psychometry, telepathy, etc., but we shall not consider them in this lesson, for they belong to another part of the general subject. We have spoken of them in a general way in our "Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy, etc."
And now we come to the plane of mind known to us as Intellect or the Reasoning Faculties. Webster defines the word Intellect as follows: The part or faculty of the human soul by which it knows, as distinguished from the power to feel and to will; thy.
thinking faculty; the understanding. The same authority defines the word Reason as follows: "The faculty or capacity of the human mind by which it is distinguished from the intelligence of the inferior animals." We shall not attempt to go into a consideration of the conscious Intellect, for to do so we would be compelled to take up the space of the remaining lessons of the course, and besides, the student may find extended information on this subject in any of the text books on psychology. Instead we will consider other faculties and planes of mind which the said text books pass by rapidly, or perhaps deny. And one of these planes is that of Unconscious Reasoning, or Intellect. To many this term will seem paradoxical, but students of the unconscious will understand just what is meant.
Reasoning is not necessarily conscious in its operations, in fact, a greater part of the reasoning processes are performed below or above the conscious field. In our last lesson we have given a number of examples proving this fact, but a few more remarks may not be out of place, nor without interest to the student.
In our last lesson you will see many instances stated in which the sub-conscious field of the Intellect worked out problems, and then after a time handed to the conscious reason the solution of the matter. This has occurred to many of us, if not indeed to all of us. Who has not endeavored to solve a problem or question of some sort and after "giving it up" has had it suddenly answered and flashed into consciousness
when least expected. The experience is common to the race. While the majority of us have noticed these things; we have regarded them as exceptional and out of the general rule. Not so, however, with students of the mental planes. The latter have recognized these planes of reason, and have availed themselves of their knowledge by setting these unconscious faculties to work for them. In our next lesson we will give directions to our students regarding this accomplishment, which may prove of the greatest importance to those who will take the trouble to practice the directions given. It is a plan that is known to the majority of men who have "done things" in the world, the majority of them, however, having discovered the plan for themselves as the result of a need or demand upon the inner powers of mind.
The plane of mind immediately above that of Intellect is that known as Intuition. Intuition is defined by Webster as follows: "Direct apprehension or cognition; immediate knowledge, as in perception or consciousness, involving no reasoning process; quick or ready insight or apprehension." It is difficult to explain just what is meant by Intuition, except to those who have experienced itand these people do not need the explanation. Intuition is just as real a mental faculty as is Intellector, to be more exact, is just as much a collection of mental faculties. Intuition is above. the field of consciousness, and its messages are passed downward, though its processes are hidden. The race is gradually unfolding into the
mental plane of Intuition, and the race will some day pass into full consciousness on that plane. In the meantime it gets but flashes and glimpses from the hidden region. Many of the best things we have come from that region. Art, music, the love of the beautiful and good poetry, the higher form of love, spiritual insight to a certain degree, intuitive perception of truth, etc., etc., come from this region. These things are not reasoned out by the intellect, but seem to spring full born from some unknown region of the mind.
In this wonderful region dwells Genius. Many, if not all of the great writers, poets, musicians, artists and other examples of genius have felt that their power came to them from some higher source. Many have thought that it emanated from some being kindly to them, who would inspire them with power and wisdom. Some transcendent power seemed to have been called into operation, and the worker would feel that his product or creation was not his handiwork, but that of some outside intelligence. The Greeks recognized this something in man, and called it man's "Daemon." Plutarch in his discourse on the daemon that guided Socrates speaks of the vision of Timarchus, who, in the case of Trophonius, saw spirits which were partly attached to human bodies, and partly over and above them, shining luminously over their heads. He was informed by the oracle that the part of the spirit which was immersed in the body was called the "soul," but that the outer and unimmersed portion
was called the "daemon." The oracle also informed him that every man had his daemon, whom he is bound to obey; those who implicitly follow that guidance are the prophetic souls, the favorites of the gods. Goethe also spoke of the daemon as a power higher than the will, and which inspired certain natures with miraculous energy.
We may smile at these conceptions, but they are really very close to the truth. The higher regions of the mind, while belonging to the individual, and a part of himself, are so far above his ordinary consciousness that to all intents and purposes messages from them are as orders from another and higher soul. But still the voice is that of the "I," speaking through its sheaths as best it is able.
This power belongs to every one of us, although it manifests only in the degree that we are able to respond to it. It grows by faith and confidence, and closes itself up, and withdraws into its recesses when we doubt it and would question its veracity and reality. What we call "originality" comes from this region. The Intuitive faculties pass on to the conscious mind some perception of truth higher than the Intellect has been able to work out for itself, and to! it is called the work of genius.
The advanced occultist knows that in the higher regions of the mind are locked up intuitive perceptions of all truth, and that he who can gain access to these regions will know everything intuitively, and as a matter of clear sight, without reasoning or explanation.
[paragraph continues] The race has not as yet reached the heights of Intuitionit is just beginning to climb the foothills. But it is moving in the right direction. It will. be well for us if we will open ourselves to the higher inner guidance, and be willing to be "led by the Spirit." This is a far different thing from being led by outside intelligence, which may, or may not, be qualified to lead. But the Spirit within each of us has our interests at heart and is desirous of our best good, and is not only ready but willing to take us by the hand and lead us on. The Higher Self is doing the best it can for our development and welfare, but is hampered by the confining sheaths. And alas, many of us glory in these sheaths and consider them the highest part of ourselves. Do not be afraid to let the light of the Spirit pierce through these confining sheaths and dissolve them. The Intuition, however, is not the Spirit, but is one of its channels of communication to us. There are other and still higher planes of mind, but the Intuition is the one next in the line of unfoldment, and we should open ourselves to its influence and welcome its unfoldment.
Above the plane of Intuition is that of the Cosmic Knowing, upon which we will find the consciousness of the Oneness of All. We have spoken of this plane in our lesson on the Unfoldment of Consciousness. When one is able to "conscious" on this planethis exalted plane of mindhe is able to see fully, plainly and completely that there is One Great Life underlying all the countless forms and shapes of manifestation.
[paragraph continues] He is able to see that separateness is only "the working fiction of the Universe." He is able to see that each Ego is but a Centre of Consciousness in the great Ocean of Lifeall in pursuance of the Divine Plan, and that he is moving forward toward higher and higher planes of manifestation, power and individuality, in order to take a greater and grander part in the Universal work and plans.
The Cosmic Knowing in its fulness has come to but few of the race, but many have had glimpses, more or less clear, of its transcendent wonder, and others are on the borderland of this plane. The race is unfolding gradually, slowly but surely, and those who have had this wonderful experience are preparing others for a like experience. The seed is being sown, and the harvest will come later. This and other phases of the higher forms of consciousness are before the race. The individuals who read this lesson are perhaps nearer to it than they think; their interest in the lessons is an indication of that hunger of the soul which is a prophecy of the satisfaction of the cry for spiritual bread. The Law of Life heeds these cries for aid and nourishment and responds accordingly, but along the lines of the highest wisdom and according to the real requirements of the individual.
Let us close this lesson with a quotation from "Light on the Path," which bears directly upon the concluding thought. Read it carefully and let it sink down deep into your inner consciousness, and you will feel the
thrill of joy that comes to him who is nearing the goal.
"Look for the flower to bloom in the silence that follows the storm; not till then.
"It shall grow, it will shoot up, it will make branches and leaves, and form buds while the storm lasts. But not until the entire personality of the man is dissolved and meltednot until it is held by the divine fragment which has created it, as a mere subject for grave experiment and experiencenot until the whole nature has yielded and become subject unto its higher self, can the bloom open. Then will come a calm such as comes in a tropical country after the heavy rain, when nature works so swiftly that one may see her action. Such a calm will come to the harassed spirit. And in the deep silence the mysterious event will occur which will prove that the way has been found. Call it by whatever name you will. It is a voice that speaks where there is none to speak, it is a messenger that comesa messenger without form or substanceor it is the flower of the soul that has opened. It cannot be described by any metaphor. But it can be felt after, looked for, and desired, even among the raging of the storm. The silence may last a moment of time, or it may last a thousand years. But it will end. Yet you will carry its strength with you. Again and again the battle must be fought and won. It is only for an interval that nature can be still."
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The concluding three lessons of this series will be devoted to a practical course of instruction in the development of the hidden planes of the mind, or rather, in the development of the power of the individual to master the same and make use of them in his life. He will be taught to master the lower principles, not only in the surmounting of them, but in the transmitting of the elemental forces toward his higher ends. Power may be obtained from this part of the mind, under the direction of the Will. And the student will be told how to set the unconscious Intellect to work for him. And he will be told how to develop and train the Will. We have now passed the line between the theoretical and the practical phases of the subject, and from now on it will be a case of train, develop, cultivate and apply. Knowing what lies back of it all, the student is now prepared to receive the instructions which he might have misused before. Peace be with thee all.
I AM THE MASTER OF MY SOUL.