MEDITATION AND THE PERSONAL LIFE
by Tom Carney
In this paper I want to explore how meditation affects the relationship structure of the personal life. The meditation I will be referring to is of a certain kind. It involves a specific, scientific technique developed over thousands of years by a series of master meditators from Patanjali to Djwhal Khul, and an essential rhythm. In fact, for a long time the rhythm may be the most important aspect of the scientific process for moving through consciousness which we call meditation. Rhythm as you all know is characterized by the basically regular recurrence of an event, or sound or movement...a basically regular recurrence. The basically regular recurrence of a meditative effort is the first thing needed in this system of meditation, and once established, the rhythm of the effort will provide the space in which meditation can occur.
Rhythm, a basically regular recurrence of an event...without it there will be no meditation, at least not the kind of meditation about which we are talking. We need to be clear about that and to face facts. According to the teaching of the master meditators who have - over the past ten to fifteen thousand years - developed this system, the Soul controls its instrument by imposing a rhythm on it. First the rhythm, then gradually but certainly we learn to meditate our way into the Real. I say gradually because gradually is how it happens. In this system there are no quick fixes. There is a gradual regeneration of the three bodies, a gradual increase in the tension, a gradual increase in the ability to hold the point of tension and a gradual infusion of the personality by the Soul. Gradually one ceases being part of the problem and becomes a potential part of the solution.
This gradual development is a safety precaution because meditation, the kind of meditation about which I am talking, leads eventually to the Fiery World. Literally. Rhythm helps to create a stability in the life that enables one to handle or to deal with the results or effects of meditation. Occult meditation is a technique for invoking deeply subjective spiritual centers, and when the meditative effort is successful, it causes an unavoidable stream of energy or fire to flow from these inner spiritual centers of power into the outer world. This energy flowing into an undisciplined consciousness and equipment would be disastrous. A person who does not have sufficient control over his equipment and consciousness, or who cannot exercise sufficient sovereignty over his personality to build in the necessary rhythm, would not be able to deal with the inflow of energy. The ability to build the rhythm which gives the meditative effort an opportunity to work is one in a series of gates or guarding devices which one encounters on the path 'of discipleship. We need to remember that the path is truly a razor's edge and that potential for disaster lies on either side.
After the rhythm is somewhat established and the meditation begins to work, one discovers that one is beginning to connect in a subjective way with a condition of consciousness which is called group. Meditation leads the separated self into a contact with the group conscious Soul.
This self-initiated and sustained inclusion in a group through meditation, which is the only way that I know of to become a member of a group, is a second safeguard to the right use of meditatively-invoked energy. True occult membership in a group is a necessary step on the evolutionary path. This demand for group belonging is a safeguard, not to the group, but to the approaching individual.
The individual is protected from the intensity or power of group energy until he can in truth become a part of the group and wield the power for group ends. It is on the threshold of this particular doorway that many seekers spend a considerable amount of time and where one can observe much in the way of human developmental psychology. The protection which flows from group belonging is why the path of enlightenment leads unavoidably into group relations. It is the group which provides the training, the atmosphere and companionship necessary to link the group conscious world of Souls whom we call the Hierarchy with the individual human unit and thus with Humanity.
So we have two elements here which are intrinsically involved with meditation: these are 1) rhythm, the necessary preliminary and 2) the unavoidable result of meditation, a steadily growing sense of group consciousness through group membership. The impact of these two elements alone will gradually but inevitably restructure the relationships of one's entire personal life. But there are other elements about which I should make a few comments and which are a bit more specific. Performance is sometimes mistaken for the real, so before looking at these other restructuring aspects of meditation let me make a comment about the act of meditation, the performance of it, the sitting down to do it. This practice may, probably will, cause some physical plane and/or time adjustments in one's daily routine. However, the impact of these adjustments on those with whom one is sharing space, one's family for example, should be nonexistent. Meditation, rightly practiced, never calls attention to itself. The person who announces to all that he is going to meditate or who tells everyone to be quiet, to turn off the TV or stereo because he is going to meditate, simply isn't getting the point. The true meditator will always be able to tolerate and accommodate the needs of others. The imposition of rhythm is by one's soul on one's personality, not by the personality on his environment. It is a fact, however, that once established, the rhythm of a meditator will gradually but subjectively infuse his surrounding environment and cause the environment to begin to beat to the rhythm that the meditator sets up. The rhythm will create boundaries of silence in which meditation can and does occur.
Now, let's take a look at a few other ways that meditation, understanding what is meant by meditation, will impact the personal life. Incidentally, and somewhat contrary to popular notions, the personal life has no effect at all on meditation. The subjective side of life influences, changes, creates the phenomenal world. The objective or phenomenal world has nothing to offer to the subtle world except an arena for service.
Meditation calls in light. Usually it will be some time, months, years in some cases, before one realizes the level of light that has been called in, and one may some fine day experience this accumulation of light as a flash-like phenomenon; however, meditation is seldom if ever a single pole switch that activates a ten thousand watt floodlight. One does not sit down one time and flash into enlightenment. That only happens in glamorous books. Meditation works much more, much much more like a rheostat. Perseverance in meditation gradually but steadily increases or turns up the light. The problems that meditators encounter are not because the meditation isn't working; they are encountered because the meditation is working. It is the increasing light that causes the problems or restructures one's life. Eventually this light will be all pervasive. It will infuse every aspect of the personal life. Every nook and cranny, every dark and secret recess will eventually be irradiated by the light of the Soul.
It is the nature of this light to refine. Through perseverance the meditator gradually builds matter of a finer quality into the three bodies. For example, meditation will gradually replace the fourth grade matter of the etheric body with matter from the third etheric subplane. Similar changes will take place in the meditator's emotional and mental bodies. In addition, the centers in one's equipment will, be activated in the precise order that is correct for each meditator according to his particular ray makeup and place in consciousness. These kinds of changes take place subjectively over extended periods of time and render the meditator's mechanism pure, translucent, resilient, and very, very sensitive and fit for contact with the Real. Meditation raises energy from lower to higher centers. And it is not without risk, by the way, that one stops meditation after some success. The raised energy can and does fall back into the lower centers where it can and does cause any number of problems, both psychological and physical. Courage and perseverance are bottom line essentials in this kind of meditation work.
Developments which are the result of occult meditation occur from the inside out or from the top down. A worked at and sustained meditative effort will, over a period of years, quiet the mental body and bring it more and more under the control of the meditator. Gaining control over the mental apparatus is like gaining control over the control room on a space ship. Once in control of the controls, life can and does get more manageable. One can suddenly do everything that one needs to do. One is able to fit things in, partly because of an ability to be more selective in how one uses one's time and energy and also because of a growing ability to simply accomplish more in a shorter period of time. Boredom is actually an indicator of a lack of control over the mental equipment. So, instead of flying blind, by which I mean having a mindless emotional elemental or a self-centered personality plotting the course and piloting the mechanism, sustained meditation puts the direction the life will take under the supervision of the Soul.
It is this growing sovereignty over the mental body which meditation gives that really makes a difference in the personal life. First of all this ability to control, that is to use the mind consciously and deliberately, is paralleled by a growing sense of occult detachment. Gradually one begins to realize that one is not one's bodies. Amazing. It is absolutely amazing to realize that one is simply not one's physical body. I mean to really realize that, and then even more amazing, and with a great sigh of relief, one can realize that one is not one's emotional body either.
The big realization, of course, and a major hurdle for most of humanity's intelligentsia, is to realize that one is not one's mind. It is the ability to control and use the mind that makes it possible to discriminate between the self and the physical and emotional bodies. But the identification with the mental body is very strong, and to become detached from it, the meditator is required to push well beyond the mental body's analytical and discriminative powers. This growing sense of detachment ultimately results in one's seeing one's personal life in an impersonal way. One moves from the position of being the central actor in the play to being an observer of the play who can and does use his character to aid the unfolding Plan. This capacity to decentralize ourselves, to forget our own personas or actors or personalities and in addition to be able to see past or through the personas or personalities of our codisciples and coworkers to the sou1, is what enables us to eventually become world servers and of genuine use to the Spiritual Hierarchy.
So, here are three additional significant effects that meditation has on the personal life. First, it gives one control over the control room. Second, it develops detachment from the illusory world of forms and a simultaneous attachment to the Soul. If one does not know that one is one's Soul, chances are pretty good that one thinks that one is one or another of one's bodies. Thirdly, meditation leads to decentralization or the inclusive group conscious view. And one more effect, perhaps the most rewarding, the most wonderful, that sustained and courageous meditation will cause to be developed in the meditator over the years is the not very well understood state of consciousness we call dispassion. We tend to dismiss this occult virtue as simply being nonemotional however, I suspect that there is much more to dispassion than that. Just as detachment from form leads to attachment to Soul, and decentralization leads to the inclusive group conscious view, I think that dispassion, which is a relinquishing of concern for the personal self, leads to compassion or the ability to express the second aspect which is love wisdom.
If we consider these four elements, first control over the controls which leads to the other three, discrimination, detachment and dispassion, as the fruits of a sustained meditative effort, it is clear, is it not, that when we look out on the structure of the relationships which make up our personal lives, we will see them in a wholly different light. Meditation, a certain kind of meditation that is, does not remove one from the world; it does not make the personal life go away. It changes the way we perceive that world from a place out of which we draw our pleasure and from which we take our meaning and measure to the arena into which we can bring light, love, joy and eventually even that mutual respect and understanding between the people of the world which alone will lead to peace on this planet.
What we are doing when we meditate is practicing for an eventual stint somewhere in the Universe as Avatars.