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Death is the permanent cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living, physical organism. Death may refer to the end of life as either an event or condition. In many cultures and in the arts, death is considered a being or otherwise personified , wherein it is usually capitalized as "Death".

The layers of acquired knowledge peel away from the mind like a cosmetic and reveal, in patches, the naked flesh beneath, the authentic being hidden there. And I had already glimpsed him, faint, obscured by their encrustations, but all the more valuable, all the more urgent. I scorned henceforth that secondary, learned being whom education had pasted over him. And I would compare myself to a palimpsest; I shared the thrill of the scholar who beneath more recent script discovers. Those incantations of the Spring That made the heart a centre of miracles Grow formal, and the wonder-working bours Arise no more — no more.

Something is dead. Think on the shame of dreams for deeds, The scandal of unnatural strife, The slur upon immortal needs, The treason done to life:. I don't know what God is. The fruits of philosophy can be gathered only on this hard earth, not in some remote metaphysical empyrean.

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It embraces an individual and social labour which must visibly contribute to the welfare of our race and make itself felt in living history, or else it is not true philosophy. It must justify its existence by what it can do, not only by what it can imagine. The artist is on a perfect level with the mystic, only he seeks memorable beauty where the latter seeks memorable peace. For him thought has temporarily become what is felt to be the Real. Both come to acquire a fervent faith in the reality of their mental constructions.

Both arrive unconsciously at the truth of mentalism through the same avenue — intense concentrated self-absorption in a single dominating idea or a single series of thoughts. Both are in the end conscious, semiconscious, or unconscious believers in mentalism. PB links the three topics together as he points out the significance of the omission of the teaching of Karma from Christian religion and the effect on the culture.

It is the duty of those who rule nations, guide thought, influence education, and lead religion to make this restoration. Truth demands it in any case, but the safety and survival of Western civilization imperiously demand it still more. When men learn they cannot escape the consequences of what they are and what they do, they will be more careful in conduct and more cautious in thinking. When they comprehend that hatred is a sharp boomerang which not only hurts the hated but also the hater, they will hesitate twice and thrice before yielding to this worst of all human sins.

It is such an important teaching that the topic of the next eteaching will be devoted to What is Karma? A web of interrelatedness stretches right across the world. Even the interdependence of modern society with its economic, political, and social reactions from one corner of the world to another—is alone enough to hint at this.

Like all true sages the Buddha recognized that there was no universal code of morality and that there were gradations in duty, stages in ethics. It sinks in a dismal decrepitude of ideals. The remedy is in his own hands. It is two-fold: first to change from negative to positive thinking through acquiring either faith in this care or else knowledge of it; second, to give body and brain a total rest as his capacity allows, which is achieved through fasting and in meditation.

The first change is more easily made by immediately substituting the positive and opposite idea as soon as the negative one appears in his field of consciousness. He trains himself not to accept any harmful thought and watches his mind during this period of training. This constructive thought must be held and nourished with firm concentration for as long as possible. The second change calls for an abstinence from all thoughts, a mental quiet, as well as an abstinence from all food from one to three days.

By its presence in himself he is able to exist physically and function mentally. It is within the body itself; it is the life-force aspect of the Soul, the Overself. Its curative virtue may express itself through various mediums—as herbs and foods, hot, cold, or mud baths, and deep breathings, exercise, and osteopathy—or may express itself by their complete absence as in fasting, often the quickest and most effective medium.

Or, disdaining physical methods entirely, it may act directly and almost miraculously as spiritual healing. PB emphasizes the essence of healing. A cure in the first case will not only be permanent but also affect the character of the patient, whereas in the second case a cure may be and often is especially when hypnotic methods are used transient whilst the character remains untouched.

The proper way to heal it, therefore, is to get at the psychological seat of the problem—that is effect an inner change. But the latter is a dimensionless, unindividuated, unconditioned entity. It is not my individual mind. The field of Mind is a common one whereas the field of consciousness is divided up into individual and separate holdings. This is a difference with vast implications, for whoever can cross from the second field to the first, crosses at the same time from an absurdly limited world into a supremely vital one.

Hence the first effort should be to ignore the disease and gain the realization. Only after the latter has been won should the thoughts be allowed to descend again to the disease, with the serene trust that the bodily condition may safely be left in the hands of the World-Mind for final disposal as It decides. There should not be the slightest attempt to dictate a cure to the higher power nor the slightest attempt to introduce a personal will into the treatment. Such attempts will only defeat their purpose.

The issues will partly be decided on the balance of karmic and evolutionary factors concerned in the individual case. All these qualities already exist there latently but he has to bring them forth by willed effort. He sees in his wiser moments that he must stop waiting for happiness to come from outside himself and that if it is really to come, it must come from inside.

And he finds that to make this possible he must strive perseveringly with the chaos of contradictory feelings which interpose themselves between him and the Ideal. The direction in which life is moving us is the attainment of wholeness- body, mind, feelings and intuition are to become a harmonious channel through which the Overself can express itself unobstructedly. These four elements of the psyche must become active at their highest levels and at the same time kept balanced in their activity. When only one or two of these functions of being are active and the others are not, there is a lack of balance.

If intellect acts without the guidance, check, or control of intuition and emotion, then it will surely mislead itself, make mistakes, and come to wrong conclusions. If emotion ignores reason and is unresponsive to intuition, it will surely become the puppet of its egotism and the victim of its desires. If spiritual teaching is brought into the intellect alone or to the emotions alone, and not into the will, it will be to that extent and to that part sterile.

Most aspirants have an unequal development. Some part of the psyche is deficient. One may be a very good man, but at the same time a very foolish one. Another may be quite intellectual but also quite unintuitional. He should start the practice of mystical introspection exercises, begin the study of the metaphysics of truth, and by this self education, acquire a knowledge of the deeper meanings of self and life, the divine and universal laws of human evolution of laws and destiny.

He must cultivate the religious feelings and the mystical intuitions by regular effort through prayer and meditation. The purpose of all this arduous purification is to take chains off the feet of the will and the mind and thus give them a chance to move freely into the realm of the Overself. This is a thrilling conception.

It was an ancient revelation which came to the first cultures, the first civilizations, of any importance, as it has come to all others which have appeared, and it is still coming today into our own. With this knowledge, deeply absorbed and properly applied, man comes into harmonious alignment with his Source. The world with its form and history is the embodiment of the Word and the Word is the World-Idea. Plato pointed to Mind Nous in the same reference.

Just as its progenitor the World -Mind is all-powerful, all-present, and all-knowing, it is also possible to think of the World-Idea as being this all-knowing, omniscient aspect of the World-Mind. On the contrary the theory in atomic physics first formulated by Heisenberg—the theory of Indeterminacy—is nearer the fact…. He accepts people just where they are and is not angry with them because they are not farther along the road of life. Other paras speak from a different view. No sage can stoop so low, but pseudo-sages may.

Understanding contrasting thoughts requires a mature, insightful individual. Instead of falling into mental vacillation, he attains and keeps a mental integrity, a genuine individuality which no narrow sect can overcome. Instead of suffering from moral dissolution, he expands into the moral largeness which sees that no ideal is universal and exclusively right. The section on Spiritual Refinement emphasizes courtesy to others.

PB references Emerson and Confucius as valuing the connection between the good life and good manners. He needs to drill himself every day in those particular qualities in which he is deficient. Each new problem in his relations with others must be accepted also as a problem in his own development, if the foregoing is to be practiced. But after that has been done and not before, since it is an indispensable prerequisite, he may dismiss the problem altogether and rise to the ultimate view, where infinite goodness and calm alone reign and where there are no problems at all.

PB uses the masculine reference because it was the literary custom at the time that he wrote, but he always meant his writings for everyone interested in them. Numbers in parentheses refer to the category not volume , chapter, and para cited. For here it is a continuous state achieved not by quietening the mind for half an hour but by emptying the mind for all time of agitation and illusion. Towards this end the cultivation of calmness amid all circumstances makes a weighty contribution.

How can peace become continuous and uninterrupted? But we need not. We can shift our identification from the ego to the Overself in our habitual thinking, in our daily reactions and attitudes, in our response to events and the world. We have thought our way into this unsatisfactory state; we can unthink our way out of it.

By incessantly remembering what we really are, here and now at this very moment, we set ourselves free. Why wait for what already is? It must be committed to the higher power completely and faithfully. Calmness comes easily to the man who really trusts the higher power. This is unarguable. The aim is always to keep our thoughts as evenly balanced in the mind as the Indian women keep the pitchers of water which they may be carrying evenly balanced upon their heads.

A smugly self-satisfied, piously sleek complacency is not the sort of exalted serenity meant here. When such equilibrium of mind is established, when the ups and downs of external fortune are unable to disturb the inner balance of feeling, reason, and intuition, and when the mechanical reactions of the sense-organs are effortlessly controlled, we shall achieve a true, invincible self-sufficiency. The more I wander around this turning globe, the more I realize that it is not only individual men, parties, governments, or peoples who are to blame for the distressful condition of the human race—so mesmerized by popular follies and so deluded by traditional fables!

I perceive with startling precision that the bursting of this integument of ancient ignorance will do more than anything else to make enduring peace descend on our troubled earth. Catching something of the importance of this message, I set myself the task of further study by using the online search function of The Notebooks of Paul Brunton andlooking for references addressing these questions.

These are ones I picked out - perhaps there are better ones - but it is a start on this path of inquiry. I encourage the reader to use this function to find quotes that shed light for you. It is because we have the Overself ever-present within us that we are ever engaged in searching for it.

The feeling of its absence from consciousness is what drives us to this search. Through ignorance we interpret the feeling wrongly and search outside, among objects, places, persons, or even ideas. But what else can happen in the beginning except this identification? It is the first kind of identity anyone knows. His error is that he stays at this point and makes no attempt to inquire further. If he did—in a prolonged, sustained, and continued effort—he would eventually find the truth: knowledge would replace ignorance.

A vital point that is often overlooked through ignorance is the proper re-adjustment to ordinary routine activities just after each time a meditation exercise is successfully practised or an intuition-withdrawal is genuinely felt. The student should try to carry over into the outer life as much as he can of the delicately relaxed and serenely detached feeling that he got during those vivid experiences of the inner life.

The passage from one state to another must be made with care, and slowly; for if it is not, some of the benefits gained will be lost altogether and some of the fruits will be crushed or mangled. It is the work done in the beginning of this after-period that is creative of visible progress and causative for demonstrable results.

Men come to this quest simply because they seek truth, because they want to learn what their life means and what the universe means and the relation of both, which is the best of all reasons. But others come because of shaken self-respect or after a bereavement which leaves them without a dearly loved one. Still others come in reaction to disillusionment, frustration, or calamity. And lastly there are those who come out of utter fatigue with the senseless world and disgust with its evil ways, which is the second best of all reasons.

It is to be incorporated in the prayers and meditations and casual reflections of that day.


This is called Right Action para Study, meditation and reflection can help find the particular ideal quality to apply to your daily life and finding the method which will draw out your own potentialities is a worthwhile practice. A mantra or affirmation is often helpful.

Volume 4 in the Notebooks, Meditation, gives several suggestions. PB has much to say about the efficacy of repeating mantrams and affirmations. A way of finding an ideal which can translate usefully in our everyday life is through the use of astrology. Perhaps the most direct way of identifying a particular quality of an ideal is to use our own rationality and intuition to recognize what feels right and have the courage to go with that.


Astrology can be used to help identify the problems we brought with us into this life and recognize how to change our outlook and attitudes as we go about our daily lives. It is often hard to make a decision, when an important crossroad presents itself, if one of the roads leads to disaster and the other to good fortune. PB wrote a lot about mystical glimpses.

Mystics who behold God face to face have to behold Him first as a transcendental, universal light of terrific radiance. Through this light, God is truly known by the worthy and beloved soul. This is not less so even in the case of the Holy Light. Not seeing but be-ing is the final experience according to this Teaching. The online Rubik's solver program can find easily the moves to sove a scrambled cube. But because it is also the ultimate experience of that species, there is no reason why it should not become a common one in the course of evolutionary development. I refer to the transcendental experience.

Call it the soul, if you must, or the Overself if you prefer, but to catch a glimpse of this link is to be reborn. And that is, simply, to become aware of the Overself. This holy awareness brings such joy with it that we then know why the true saints and the real ascetics were able to disdain all other joys. The contrast is too disproportionate. Nothing that the world offers to tempt us can be put on the same level.

Book Four - Part 2

But that little is nevertheless of the highest importance to us. While on the boat-train to Arunachala, PB questions whether there is such a thing as destiny as he finds himself strangely guided towards the Maharshi. As his companion guides him into the hall of the Maharshi, he perceives a seated figure upon a long white divan: the Maharshi, in a trance, gazing rigidly through the window.

The reception is characterized by complete indifference. If so, how can I realize it for myself? Or is the search a mere illusion? I have questioned the sages of the West; now I have turned my face towards the East. I seek more light.


Such a thing can be perceived through personal experience. The gunpowder catches fire in an instant, while much time is needed to set fire to the coal. You do not even properly know about the present! Take care of the present; the future will then take care of itself. He who has given life to the world, knows how to look after it also. He bears the burden of this world, not you. As you are so is the world. Without understanding yourself, what is the use of trying to understand the world?

This is a question that seekers after truth need not consider. People waste their energies over all such questions. First, find out the truth behind yourself; then you will be in a better position to understand the truth behind the world, of which yourself is a part. Originally published in , A Search in Secret India remains a classic for spiritual seekers all over the world.

It is experiencing a rise in popularity today as both Western readers and modern Indians seek to know more about the sacred teachings of the past. And this he found at last. His descriptive language recreates colorful personalities and landscapes for the reader while his interviews remain independently objective as he listens and questions Yogis, holy men, faqueers, and sages.

After exhaustive travel and inquiries PB is beset with a persistent Yogi who knows of his searches. Somewhat skeptical, PB declines, but later he meets a Hindu writer, who tells him the great masters have all but disappeared. But he is not a Yogi. He is the Primate of the Southern Hindu world, a true saint and great religious philosopher. Part of their exchange bears relevance today as PB asks about the current world situation and how it could be improved.

He extracts a promise that PB will go there. This concludes the first half of this eteaching. We encourage all to read and re-read the inspired writings about the encounter. It ought to be the centre, with all the others circling round it. In Para 2 of Chapter 1, PB covers some benefits of meditation to humankind. A technique of mind-training is indispensable to true self-knowledge.

The cultivation of this habit is a powerful help to the development of inspired moods. This is an age of brilliance. The talent for wit, satire, and sophistication abounds. But the true artist needs to go deeper than that. Art which lacks a spiritual import possesses only a surface value.

The sun of inspiration shines upon all alike, but few people are so constituted as to be able to behold it. Moreover, he needs meditation not only because an unrestrained external activity is not enough but also because it brings up out of the subconscious stores of unexpected ideas which may be what he was subconsciously seeking previously or provides him with swift intuitions which throw light on perplexing problems.

He must reclaim the divine estate of which he is the ignorant owner. By this daily act of returning into himself, he reaffirms his divine dignity and practices true self-respect. Chapter 7, titled Mindfulness, Mental Quiet, further identifies benefits. For in its deepest quietude he can find the highest inspiration. Unless the meditation succeeds in reaching the still, the full response cannot be made. But non-movement, sitting quite still, can reveal even more—the being behind the ego. However, this remains a mere unrealized possibility if the man is without knowledge or instruction.

PB described such a corridor in the book, published in He wrote:. The floor sloped downward at precisely the same angle as the Pyramid entrance itself now descends. The masonry was well finished. The passage was square and fairly low, but not uncomfortably so. I could not find the source of its mysterious illuminant, yet the interior was bright as though a lamp were playing on it. The High Priest bade me follow him a little way down the passage.

I knew perfectly well that I was inside or below the Pyramid, but I had never seen such a passage or chamber before. Evidently they were secret and had defied discovery until this day. I could not help feeling tremendously excited about this startling find, and an equally tremendous curiosity seized me as to where and what the entrance was.

Finally, I had to turn my head and take a swift look backward at what I hoped was the secret door. I had entered the place by no visible entrance, but at the farther end I saw that what should have been an opening was closed with square blocks and apparently cemented.

I found myself gazing at a blank wall, then, as swiftly whirled away by some irresistible force until the whole scene was blotted out and I had floated off into space again…. Find but the secret passage within the mind that will lead thee to the hidden chamber within thine own soul, and thou shall have found something worthy indeed.

The Mystery of the Great Pyramid is the mystery of thine own self. The secret chambers and ancient records are all contained in thine own nature. The lesson of the Pyramid is that man must turn inward, must venture to the unknown centre of his being to find his soul, even as he must venture to the unknown depths of this fane to find its profoundest secret. PB is an advocate of solitude for the person who is ready for it. The reader recognizes the voice of one who has embraced solitude, values it, explored its depths, has found comfort in it and has gone beyond solitude.

Those who are wealthy surround themselves with servants, so that they never have solitude, but always other presences, other auras around them. Privacy is the accompaniment of solitude and where there is no solitude there is no privacy. If they can be absolutely quiet and utterly lonely, his purpose will be best achieved.

These thoughts remind us that the world has most often benefitted from the wisdom gleaned by the courageous Beings who have retreated into isolation. In para 48 PB writes:. It would be interesting to count the men of your acquaintance who are able to stand on their own solitary opinion, who refuse to be strapped down in the straitjackets of conventional public opinion.

You will usually find that such men, by taste or by circumstance, are accustomed to pass somewhat lonely lives. They like to sequester themselves, they prefer to live in quiet places. If destiny grants them the choice, they choose the place of quiet mountains rather than the place of little men. Such men develop their bent for independent thought precisely because they prefer withdrawn lives. Society and company could only assist to smother their best ideas, their native originality, and so they avoid them. Thoreau, that powerful advocate for solitude, could never be intimidated by anyone.

PB, the advocate of balance, includes warnings in his sage advice. Then the balance must be redressed by society. The inner life is always available, whether he is active or passive, for in both cases it is only as he turns toward it, retreats into it, or draws upon it. Solitude may help a man immensely in his spiritual life during certain periods which may be quite long or quite short.

But just as any good that is overdone becomes a gad or turns to a folly, so it is with solitude. Too much of it may cause a man to go astray and lose himself in chimeras and illusions. For if he has no other human contact he has no one with whom to check his ideas, from whom to receive constructive criticism, and by whom he may be warned about deviation from the correct path. PB himself supplied the titles of the 7 chapters in this volume. If he uses the occasion well, he will bring back something worth having. It is then that retreat into the inner world can be made into a healing, helping or calming one.

It was one of those clear crystalline evenings when the sinking sun touched ice and snow with rose or gold, and when the Infinite Spirit touched heart and mind with peace or beauty. I thought of that other superb panorama, the lordly Himalayas, of the different years when I visited their eastern, central, and western parts, -- 2, kilometers—from end to end.

In short, the seasons of nature have a reverse effect on man spiritually to that which they have on him physically…. These seasons were known to the ancient religions of America, of Europe, of Africa, and of Asia. Hence they are universal dates and universally kept in the annals of mysticism. It is because of this knowledge, although somewhat obscure, that the religious festivals and sacred seasons like Christmas and Easter have been made part of various religions, both pagan and modern. Jewish and Greek mystics, as well as those of Egypt and Rome, observed them.

These mystically auspicious times were the new moon days following the opening of each of the seasonal equinoxes or solstices. That is, the first new moon after March 21, June 21, September 21, and December At such times the disciple should make a special effort to purify himself, to fast, pray, worship, and meditate because it is easier to achieve the result sought. Page , para In adoring this Beauty when he finds it, he is recognizing that he not only owns an animal body, but is himself owned by a higher Power.

Perspectives , sometimes called Book 1 in the volume collection of The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, is a survey of categories , a survey of more than 7, pages of notes written by Paul Brunton for posthumous publication. Studying this volume is one way of becoming acquainted with the breadth of topics PB covers.

These are different from the early books in that they are sometimes written in short, disconnected paragraphs, likely meant to be read as meditations. Others are longer, requiring more words to make the point. In the Notebooks , the same topic is addressed at length in Category 18, Volume 12, Part 2. The following quotes are from Perspectives. That is our great loss.

Praise for making life on earth more bearable and more endurable when it becomes oppressive. The religious devotee, the mystical meditator, the metaphysical thinker, and the integrated philosopher alike need its fruits. It must, for example, be deliberately directed towards named individuals.

If it floats away into the general atmosphere without any thought of others, it is only a self-absorption, barren to others if profitable to oneself. It can be turned toward the spiritual assistance of anyone the practiser loves or wishes to befriend. But it should not be so turned prematurely. Before he can render real service, he must first acquire the power to do so.

Before he can fruitfully pray for persons, he must first be able to draw strength from that which is above all persons. The capacity to serve must first be got before the attempt to serve is made. Therefore, he should resist the temptation to plunge straightaway into prayer or meditation on behalf of others. Instead he should wait until his worship or communion attains its highest level of being. Then--and then only--should he begin to draw from it the power and help and light to be directed altruistically towards others.

Once he has developed the capacity to enter easily into the deeply absorbed state, he may then use it to help others also. Let him take the names and images of these people with him after he has passed into the state and let him hold them there for a while in the divine atmosphere. Should he beg for the virtues to be given to him gratis and unearned for which other men have to strive and labour? Is it not more just to them and better in the end for himself if, instead of demanding something for nothing, he prays thus: "I turn to you, O Master, for inspiration to rise above and excel myself, but I create that inspiration by my own will.

I kneel before you for guidance in the problems and decisions of life, but I receive that guidance by taking you as an example of moral perfection to be followed and copied. I call upon you for help in my weakness and difficulty, my darkness and tribulation, but I produce and shape that help by trying to absorb it telepathically from your inner being. The Appendix in the new edition of The Wisdom, published by North Atlantic Books in , includes paras from The Notebooks which specifically refer to material in the text of The Wisdom.

The 16 Wisdom chapters are listed with relevant paras from The Notebooks in addition to further references designed to enhance study. These paras, written by PB many years later, have a clarity which is evident. The following is an example of one of the writings in the Appendix. The parenthetical references give the volume number of The Notebooks , the Category number, the chapter number, and the para number.

Whatever we call it, most people feel—whether vaguely or strongly—that there must be a God and that there must be something which God has in view in letting the universe come into existence. It was an ancient revelation which came to the first cultures, the first civilizations, of any importance, as it has come to all the others which have appeared, and it is still coming today to our own. The cosmic order is divine intelligence expressed, equilibrium sought through contrasts and complementaries, the One Base multiplying itself in countless forms, the Supreme will established according to higher laws.

The World Mind is hidden deep within our individual minds. The World-Idea begets all our knowledge. Whoever seeks aright finds the sacred stillness inside and the sacred activity in the universe. The act of creative meditation which brings the universe into being is performed by the World-Mind. We, insofar as we experience the world, are participating in this act unconsciously.

It is a thought-world and we are thought-beings. The individual mind presents the world image to itself through and in its own consciousness. If this were all the truth then it would be quite proper to call the experience a private one. But because the individual mind is rooted in and inseparable from the universal mind, it is only a part of the truth. Those ideas are neither lost nor destroyed.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius - Animated Book Summary

Just as a wax copy may be burnt but the music will still live on in the master disc, so the cosmos may be annihilated or disintegrate completely but the creative idea of it will still live on in the World Mind. It will not die. It is the true Idea of him which is forever calling to be realized. It is the unmanifest image of God in which man is made and which he has yet to bring into manifestation in his everyday consciousness. See also: Category 9 v. Science has begun to get some dim glimpses of little fragments of this plan.

The last value of science is its revelation of the presence of law in the cosmos. For law presupposes mind and infers intelligence. That it is not indifferent to his development is also evidenced. Moreover, no event could ever happen except within its infinite field of law. If every man knew how much perfect wisdom, infinite intelligence, and orderliness have gone into the cosmos, all would fall on their knees every day in deepest reverence before the Power behind it.

Let us derive from every intuited fact the firm assurance that a divine law holds all the processes of the universe in its power, and a divine mind exists behind all the innumerable human minds and is their source and goal. There is an intelligent direction behind every phenomenon of life and Nature in this cosmos.

There is no event, no creature, nothing in the whole universe which is without significance. This is so and must be so because the whole universe is the thought of infinite Mind. The text emphasizes that the heroic attitude is indeed the price he has to pay for truth, that truth which brings peace in its train. Printed in italics is the following: He knows that holy forces will interpose themselves more and more into their history, despite all temporary lapses or partial retrogressions.

Just as the dinosaurs and other reptilian monsters died out when the planetary conditions had nothing further to express in that way, so the tiger and the vulture will die out at the same time outside man as Nature and inside him as passion and greed. Just as every night is followed by a dawn, so the dark period of materialism which now is culminating with its worse features will be followed, first by a short transition, then by a dawn period when the bright rays of a better age for man will manifest themselves.

Eteaching 48 discussed"The War and the World" chapter 10, The Wisdom of the Overself and noted the relevancy of the topic to the current world situation. More thoughts about this appear in The Spiritual Crisis of Man. About this book, PB wrote:.


I have been silent for several years, not because I was indifferent to the mental difficulties of others nor because I was unable to help them, but because the proper time had not yet come to do so. I waited in inwardly commanded patience, but it is with some relief that I now find I need not wait any longer. Those years since December , when I wrote the last paragraph of The Wisdom of the Overself , may seem to have been totally unproductive. But in reality they were years of hidden gestation. I remained silent in obedience to this command, but not idle.

But this power must be felt for, found, trusted and obeyed. If we keep our thought wise and good and brave, it will shield us, always inwardly and mayhap outwardly, from life's sharpest arrows. And this is true whether they are shot at us by harsh fate or by human malice. Even in the darkest situations we often hope for the best. This is really our faintly echoing comprehension of the higher self's message, that its bliss, and therefore our best, forever awaits us.

There is a paradox here. He writes on p. The way in which we meet external situations and worldly events depends on these two factors as well as on our moral status. A total acceptance of, and passive resignation to, each situation or event because we believe that God's decree is expressed by it, deprives us of the chance to develop intelligence and exercise will. But such an activity is part of the divine evolutionary Idea for humanity.

Blind acceptance of every event, apathetic submission in the face of every situation, and pious yielding to remediable evil really means failure to co-operate with this Idea--which is the very opposite of what their advocates intended! Some instruction in the complexity of metaphysics aids our understanding. In the chapter"God is," PB points out the twofold nature of mind:. We call the ultimate principle of this manifested world of things and creatures, the World-Mind.

But whereas the first is beyond intellectual expression of reach, unique, unlimited, absolute, ever still, the second exists in relations with the universe and with man. It is qualitatively describable, individual, and ever active. The word God to the philosopher means the first, to the theologian and mystic it means the second. MIND stands alone in its uniqueness, whereas the World-Mind is forever in relation with the world which is its product.

The second is an aspect of the first, a timeless God in time and for a time, but MIND is a God forever out of time and space. Yet, except for human thinking about them, the two are not totally distinct entities. The next eteaching will continue with material from The Spiritual Crisis of Man. Although the copyright date on this book is , the subject of this chapter is eerily relevant today. War is still manifesting in the world, but PB points out the source lies in the hidden side, the active unseen forces.

In the first para on p. There is a just logic in the sequence of historic events but it reveals itself only if we examine them by the doctrine of karma. If they could get hold of right principles, they could not go far wrong in practical details. Action is but a reflection of attitude. The solutions of all our sociological and economic problems, for example, do not ultimately lie within sociology and economics alone but much more in psychology.

Indeed, it may even be affirmed that without a re-education of mankind in meditational practices and philosophic truth - which includes psychology - all reformers labour largely in vain. The roots of our troubles lie in the imperfections of human nature and in the fallibility of human knowledge. Philosophy is not an aimless, useless study: it leads to right thinking, which is one of the most essential precedents of right living. It can offer not only a profound analysis of the past but also sound proposals for the future. Consequently, collective humanity always tends to show forth its worse characteristics before it shows forth its better ones.

Such a terminal is being passed today and it is the business of the evil powers to make the most of their chance. Those who, through selfish bias, wishful thinking, undeveloped intelligence, or un-awakened intuition cannot understand the deeper significance of the present war will not also understand that the essential forces operating on both sides are far more than merely nationalistic, political or military ones. It is still more of a climacteric war of ideas and ideals of the unseen powers of Light and Darkness.

The collapse of a debilitated culture, the break-up of a small-hearted economic order, the disintegration of an effete social order, and the decay of an outworn political order are inevitable historical processes, however excellent and worthy all these orders may have proved themselves in the past. Within the structures of these systems, valuable as they originally were on their own level, a spiritually progressive human life has now become less and less possible for the billions of human beings on this planet.

A new world will be born out of the old one. This is an event which none can avert. It will be worse in some ways but better in others. To the extent that we plan this world unselfishly to suit worthwhile ideas and ideals, it will be a better one. To the extent that we let the crucial situation selfishly take its own course, it will be a worse one. December - The Notebooks, v. While this brief review cannot do justice to the wealth of information PB gives on diet in particular, the emphasis he places on it is too important not to note. In the section on Diet he writes: "The greatest of all diet reforms is the change from meat-eating to a meatless diet.

This is also the first step on the spiritual path, the first gesture that rightness, justice, compassion, purity are being set up as necessary to human and humane living, in contrast to animal living. It may be a forlorn crusade, but all the same, it would be a heart-warming one. How many housewives could do their own butchering? Chapter 6, "Breathing Exercises," covers many aspects of the benefits of deep breathing which the reader may want to try. He writes: "The reader should pay particular attention to the goals and dangers of breath control as they are listed several places in this chapter.

He writes, " He names these exercises: 1 Standing and remembrance; 2 Stretching and worship; 3 Bowing and aspiration; 4 Kneeling and confessions; 5 Squatting and submission; 6 Prostrating and union; and 7 Gesturing. The information in these pages is a broad collection that brings together teachings of the East and the West on how to treat the body so that it serves the quester well and efficiently.

PB invokes the present-day understanding of the connection between mind and body and asserts that both are mental in essence; in other words, he presents a philosophic understanding of Body. The divine Life-force is always latently present in it and, aroused, can sweep through every cell, making it sacred. The necessity of discipline is emphasized in the Prefatory.

But it can carry out his bidding properly only if it is trained to do so, and easily only if it is strong and healthy. If he is taught the Law of Recompense and told why it will profit him to be good, the counsel may appeal should he be a reasonable man but he may still lack the strength of will to implement it: he needs to be taught how to be good. The purification of the body is the first step in this direction. This will assault his formed habits just as much as its psychology will assault his self-conceit.

His way of living—his diet, sleep, and rest, for instance—will have to be examined and when necessary reformed. Great yearnings for a better state are not enough; he must do something to gain it. These demand care and attention, time and energy, thought and feeling, which the average Quester is rarely able to find enough of to provide for study, reflection, and meditation anyway. Somewhere he will probably have to sacrifice something if he is to gain them for his spiritual need. A time usually comes when he finds it desirable to reorganize his way of life so as not to be encumbered by so many things.

September - "Rebirth" from The Wisdom of the Overself ed. This could be read as a dialogue between the individual and the higher self, much like the one between Arjuna and Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. To the somewhat frightening aspect of confronting the relative truth of our existence, the teaching speaks of the necessity of recognizing the transiency of life and death. Because the after-death regions here described are the equivalents to the dreaming and sleeping states only, it becomes needful for the imperfect spirit to return to earth again, where alone it can find the adequate conditions for its further progress.

This is the final justification of rebirth. The multitude of expressions which it has gained during its incarnation have worn certain deep furrows of desire and habit. These tendencies attach themselves to and colour it completely. Not having yet understood that there is an ultimate and impersonal purpose to be attained in passing through these experiences in the earth-world, it has developed an excessive interest in them.

This in turn implies that they are asking for the fixation of error and the stabilization of evil and ignorance. All these ties need a new incarnation for their working out and adjustment. No world becomes real for us until we experience it, which means until we think it… Therefore, the spirit is inwardly impelled to think the space-time characteristics which will bring the earth back into its consciousness. Before this can happen, however, Nature so ordains matters that it has to pass through the intermediate period corresponding to dream wherein the earthly experiences just completed are first mentally digested.

No experience is ever lost. All the innumerable memories of innumerable lives are subconsciously assimilated and transmuted into wisdom, into conscience, into tendencies, and into intuitions which spring from men know not where but which nevertheless influence their characters and lives….

We cannot jump the hurdles which bar us from the winning post…. The one essential is right direction. There is no standing still. We must develop or degenerate. The whole Truth includes the knowledge of both the inner self and the external universe, the latter including the mental and spirit-worlds, but they are not the One Reality because the whole Truth is found only when you find the Overself.

There is only one Reality in truth which cannot be divided into two. Bondage to destiny is in the mind. Most essentially you need meditation, or mind-stilling and reflective inquiry. Helpfulness and compassion tend to dissolve the strength of the personal ego. You must be confident that one day the great reward and grand results must come, and they will come at the right time. The precise time is dictated by destiny. Patience means that one must never desert this quest, even when conditions seem hopeless.

You will find that because you stick to the path, help will come to you. The description of the inner self which you find in meditation is different from the ultimate Self. It has returned to the Overself. It is itself self-sufficient. The disciple has a basis for life, for it is based on reality. He stands firm, for he feels no more doubt.

Everywhere God can be found, and God is good. July - The Inner Reality , Part 3. The study guide will be listed on the website, www. This text describes the scene on a battlefield before the battle is to begin — one of the Indian avatars divine incarnations named Krishna instructs the young prince, Arjuna, who is the leader of the good forces which are fighting those who represent the forces of wickedness. The book is a mixture of bits of history and mythology and deals with a period at least 5, years ago, so it is now difficult to separate one from the other.

The story may also be taken symbolically as representing the spiritual teachings given by the god Krishna to his devotee, prince Arjuna. There are different teachings given in each chapter of the Gita.

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  • When you can hold sacred self-remembrance continuously you have succeeded in your meditation. To succeed in your quest you must turn the mind inward, keeping it at rest in the heart center, while with the surface mind you are living the active life p. By penetrating the cosmic illusion with which Nature confronts us and understanding that this illusion exists only in our minds, we can be led to Truth. You will find that Truth brings its own reward, because all other benefits troop after it. Learn to still your mind by the daily practice of meditation. Since it is thought which produces illusion, it follows that when you can empty the mind of thought and achieve mental stillness, you are able to examine the world and observe its real nature p.

    Yet in the silence of meditation or at unexpected moments you sometimes catch a glimpse of another being in you which normally escapes attention. You feel it to be universal and impersonal. At such moments you are near the cosmic consciousness. You sense it without actually knowing it…. This section continues for several more pages, each sentence bringing light into us. June - The Inner Reality , Part 2. He reveals in selected representative lines the esoteric meaning rather than the religious meaning in the Gita.

    Krishna not only represents the embodied spiritual teacher, but he is ultimately the Overself within man, the God within who can illuminate all dark corners and answer all questions. Life is obviously a dream; therefore I will sit still and watch the dream go by. We can, however, evade the conventional reaction to them. The Gita states:. Thy concern is with action alone, never with results.

    Let not the fruit of action be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be for inaction. Steadfast in devotion do thy works, O disciple, casting off attachment, being the same in success and failure.