THE MEANING AND VALUE OF
These monthly letters attempt to express the viewpoint of a meditating group. The group is real. All of its members are not expert meditators.
All members of Arcana value meditation as a door through which the trained meditator can enter into levels of awareness not accessible by other means, thereby gaining deeper understanding of life's workings, thereby developing capacities latent in their own nature that cannot be developed by attending lectures or by reading books. Some members are as yet too mentally lazy and too physically restless to actually open and enter that door daily; but all believe a meditating group is an important spiritual asset to the community; all are glad the group exists; they are pleased to be part of it; they encourage their fellow members to work harder, for they see and applaud the joy and quiet confidence and ready understanding that irradiate the lives of those who do meditate effectively.
Some members are studying earnestly, practicing faithfully to become expert meditators; these have passed the stage of inner conflict between self-interest and desire to serve others' evolution. These working members expect to be challenged by circumstance but their service intent will not be diverted nor weakened by circumstance. These faithful meditating members are destined to shape circumstance. Circumstance is their field of service; circumstance is the stuff of which they will create something new, something better for their environment. Waiting for more favorable circumstance before adopting the meditative way of life would seem to these people utter nonsense. These people and their kind are the hope of the world.
This month I want to clarify if possible the meaning and value of the meditative way of life. I want to state, once at least for the record, what Arcana means by meditation and what we do not mean by meditation.
To clear the air, to brush out of our thinking with one sweeping motion a lot of irrelevant notions that tend to clutter and confuse the public mind these days whenever meditation is mentioned, when we say meditation we do not mean anything related to or resembling any of the following:
Hearing voices unheard by others
Communication with dead people
Strange mysterious ceremonies
Interpretation of dreams
Health foods and health fads
Sex and non-sex
Records of the past, printed or unprinted
Exposing the subconscious
Escape from family duty
Escape from civic duty
Unidentified flying objects
Retreat from the outer everyday world
The health, wealth and happiness of the meditator
Dominating other people
It is not my intention to imply or hint at any appraisal or opinion upon the items of interest listed above. I am merely saying that meditation as we use the term is not related to any of the above. Meditation is related to another area of interest, another level of concern entirely.
Meditation solves problems of all sizes at all levels: personal, interpersonal, neighborhood, national and global. Meditation solves problems, not by magic, but by improving perspective and permeating consciousness with understanding and wisdom. To recognize a problem, to understand its cause, to envision the remedy, to initiate appropriate action, add up to problem-solving of very high order.
Meditation in the early stages of training encourages self-control of one's own personality equipment. Control of one's own speech, control of one's own emotional reactions, plus a detached view of what is going on close at hand, tend to ease interpersonal tensions and solve many personal and daily problems.
Meditation focuses the mind, clears the mind, trains the mind, and expands one's range of consciousness. The ability to think clearly in an expanding field of awareness continuously transforms and illumines one's whole life.
Eventually expert meditation enables one to deal with causes rather than with effects. Then each day sees creative accomplishment and every moment, every motion holds great value, great benefit for related lives, great power for good. For the sake of evolution of the world, such gifts are too valuable to be put into the hands of selfish people of narrow interests. Therefore, for the sake of the world, the fruits of advanced meditation are not attainable to the selfish person of narrow interests. To preserve the balance of right motive and power, meditation training must include cultivation of service incentives, and it does.
I hesitate to use the word "scientific" to describe meditation because that word is over-used and falsely used in those very areas of pseudo-science where the use of mind is both inhibited and frowned upon. Nevertheless, I must use it since our language offers no appropriate synonym.
Meditation is a scientific method of putting the waking physical brain consciousness in touch with the consciousness of the soul on its own plane. It is scientific because the process is systematic, based upon known and tested principles. Meditation is fully conscious and self-controlled, and its base of operation is the plane of mind. Its reach into consciousness is limited only by the experience of the meditator and by the fitness of his three bodies (physical, emotional and mental). Its provision for control and safeguarding are equal to its scope at each stage of development.
The nature of the soul (omniscient, loving, sacrificial), its abode (formless levels of awareness), its function (to confer consciousness), its purpose (to serve the evolution of Life within any and all forms) designates quite clearly and distinctly what may be expected as results of meditation. A man who loves people enough to sacrifice his comfort and daydreams to serve the public good, who knows what will serve the public good, may not be as interesting nor amusing as a snake charmer, but he is much better to have around during an interracial crisis.
The soul of man is concerned with the common good, the welfare of the whole. As a personality, man is totally concerned with himself. The other part of him, his soul, forgets itself in loving regard for other lives. A meditator whose whole consciousness is illumined by the soul's awareness, no longer serves himself. He serves others; he serves the highest interest of others; he serves the highest good of the greatest number.
Therefore, progress in meditation, expertness in meditation, is evidenced by (a) how much of himself a person gives to service activity each day, and (b) how effective his service efforts are. Some religions teach to give 1/10. A real server (this is not my idea, but Morya's) learns first to give 1/4 of not only money, but also effort, talent, solicitude and work; then he learns to give 1/2 of what he is, has and knows; then ultimately, he gives ALL.
The soul is sensitive to need. The soul has the ability to relate a sensed need to that which will meet the need. Therefore the stream of consciousness that impresses upon the brain of the meditator will tend to impulse and empower such efforts as:
Social action to correct social injustice
Political action to protect the dignity of the individual within the advancement of the state
Reform when and as needed, anywhere
Legal steps to define and ensure civil rights and human rights
Use of mass communication media to imbue public consciousness with noble ideals
Creation of art forms that beautify and uplift public consciousness
The soul's only interest in its three bodies is in how well they work. Therefore meditation causes one to lose interest in (a) physical comfort or physical indulgence, (b) emotional extremes or emotional excess, and (c) how impressive one can be with his mind. Meditation in time produces steady preoccupation with service. The meditator is then more concerned with the purpose of his action than with what he eats probably, incidentally, to the improvement of his eating habits. He is more attentive to others' feelings and unspoken thoughts than to his own moods. A trained meditator would not be likely to remain unaware of:
(a) Serious discomfort, physical or psychological, of another person nearby
(b) The group life
(c) A major problem in his own community
(d) Current events and world affairs
(e) Who is responsible for what in matters of public welfare
A trained meditator should be better informed than the average person, because his interests are keener and reach farther. He should be more versatile socially, because he loves more deeply, more wisely, more understandingly and he truly loves as far as his consciousness reaches. He may not like everyone he meets, nor everything he sees. But he sees clearly; he loves steadily; and love, when it comes from the soul, channels understanding, healing and great cheer.
You see how far an interest in meditation takes us away from munching magic mushrooms?
When we say the touch of the soul is healing, we mean primarily that soul consciousness brings healing to painful or ailing relationships. The natural role of the soul is to act as the bridging intermediary. The dimension of relationship is the soul's world. When relationships are right (either between the various parts of a person or between him and his world; between what he wants and what he knows ought to be; between the way he spends his time and the high goal of his noblest aspiration)-when relationships are right, the form, the body, will be well.
The soul is alert and expert in relationship. The insight and motivation deriving from the soul through meditation enable the experienced meditator to promote right relations between:
One person and another
One nation and another
One race and another
One religion or philosophy and another
Also, soul consciousness brings into right relation:
Privilege and responsibility
Freedom and law
Obstacles and resourcefulness
Let this point be emphasized. The soul is not self-centered. The soul is relationship-oriented and group centered. Therefore the soul's interest cannot be engaged in the health-wealth-happiness demands of its own triple personality. The soul is interested in the health-wealth-happiness of the whole community. However, these three plums must be reinterpreted when applied to the whole. The special wisdom of the soul would promote:
(Health) Public health, including smogless cities and slum clearance
(Wealth) Fair, just, intelligently planned public economy, including poverty relief
(Happiness) Peace and amity pervading the emotional climate of intergroup and international gatherings
Just see how practical, how immediately good, how far-reaching are the results of highly trained meditation!
When we say the soul is omniscient we mean the soul KNOWS. It can tap the entire field of knowledge in the world of forms by use of it's mental vehicle. It can also know other souls telepathically: i.e., it can sense, understand, and rightly interpret, the inner states of consciousness and silent experiences of others. Therefore the soul is not mystified. It does not communicate in mysterious ways nor in any mysterious secret language; it doesn't have to do so. It communicates clearly and simply; it works in the full light of day. When the mind works in the light of the soul, the sense of mystery and love of the mysterious fade away. Mystery requires color effects and half-light. Soul consciousness is sunlight, psychologically speaking.
One final point: the best has been saved until last. Expert meditation in and by itself is a highly specialized type of service on the plane of mind. The soul in full command of its personality equipment is a creative genius. Problem-solving is creativity of high order, yet not the highest. Even better than dealing effectively with effects, is dealing with causes. For this latter degree of creativity (dealing with causes) all other types of creativity (including the fine arts) offer either symbolic representation or preparatory training.
The highest creative work open to the mind of man is meditation which imprints upon the meditator's mind a clear workable impression of the general character and general outline of the future; this would be the unformed future of whichever department of planetary life the meditator knows most about and is most interested in: Training in this high degree of creativity includes learning to translate the impressions thus recorded by mind into ideals, plans and actions most suitable to the pace of growth of surrounding lives, in forms acceptable to the existing environment.
Yes, this is a large order. It takes a long time to learn and master the process. it requires participation in a meditation group; it requires group membership on the soul level, for it is the soul in man and in the group that knows the future. The soul's vision is pre-vision, blessing the illumined mind with foresight.
Meditation training for maximum creativity is necessarily group training. This creative assignment is the building of a new civilization. This will be meditation that leads to enlightened political action, effective social action, inspired public education-as well as loving family relations! Much too much creating for any lone meditator. Groups are needed, many groups, groups aware of the need for many groups, yet also aware each of its own group-worth in the overall effort.
Such is the aim of meditation training in Arcana. This is why we welcome your every enquiry and suggestion, and value greatly your help and support. The future, awaiting manifestation, needs our combined best gifts.