… It is the greatest good fortune to attain such serenity–to be lifted above passion and hatred, prejudice and fear, greed and discontent, and yet to be able to attend effectively and capably to one’s worldly duties. It is possible to reach this state. The seeker may have had glimpses of it already. Someday, sometime, if he is patient, he will enter it to stay–and the unimaginably rewarding and perfect purpose of his life, of all his lifetimes, will be fulfilled.
This moving of consciousness to a higher level will come about by itself, if the calm is patiently allowed to settle itself down sufficiently, and if there has been preparation by study, aspiration, and purification.
This stillness is the godlike part of every human being. In failing to look for it, he fails to make the most of his possibilities. If, looking, he misses it on the way, this happens because it is a vacuity: there is simply nothing there! That means no things, not even mental things, that is, thoughts.
When his thoughts are brought into a stilled condition and his awareness fully introverted, a state resembling sleep will supervene but, unlike sleep, it will be illumined by consciousness.
In the profoundest state of contemplation, the thinking faculty may be entirely suspended. But awareness will not be suspended. Instead of being aware of the unending procession of varied images and emotions, there will be a single joyous serene and exalted consciousness of the true thought-transcending self.
Contemplation is attained when your thinking about a spiritual truth or about the spiritual goal suddenly ceases of itself. The mind then enters into a perfectly still and rapt condition.
There, in the deepest state of contemplation, the awareness of a second thing–whether this be the world of objects outside or the world of thoughts inside–vanishes. But unconsciousness does not follow. What is left over is a continuous static impersonal and unchanging consciousness. This is the inmost being of man…
The third stage —- contemplation — is successfully reached when he forgets the world outside, when he neither sees nor touches it, neither hears nor smells it with his body, when memory and personality dissolve in a vacuum as the attention is wholly and utterly absorbed in the thought of, and identity with, the Overself.
In the third stage, contemplation, the mind ceases to think and simply, without words, worships loves and adores the Divine.
The stage of contemplation has its own definite signs. Prominent among them are its thought-free emptiness, its utter tranquillity, its absence of personal selfishness.
In this state the world is not presented to consciousness. Consequently none of the problems associated with it is present. No ego is active with personal emotions and particular thoughts. No inner conflicts disturb the still centre of being.
When we find the still centre of our being, we find it to be all happiness. When we remain in the surface of our being, we yearn for happiness but never find it. For there the mind is always moving, restless, scattered.
When this turning inwards completes itself in the final state of contemplation so that thought is stilled and breath is quiet, the sense of succession is dispelled, a kind of continuous now takes its place, and a stillness of the body corresponds with a stillness of the mind.
Living in measured time as he does is the consequence of living in the movement of thought. But when this vanishes into the still centre of his being, he finds timelessness as its attribute. If there is any surprise, it is a flash only, for in the new consciousness he feels at home.
Memorable are those minutes when we sit in silent adoration of the Overself, knowing it to be none other than our own best self. It is as though we have returned to our true home and rest by its hallowed hearth with a contentment nowhere else to be known. No longer do we possess anything; we are ourselves ineffably possessed…
The stillness has magical powers. It soothes, restores, heals, instructs, guides, and replaces chaos and tumult by orderliness and harmony.
In this wonderful atmosphere of unimaginable intense peace, all that was negative in the past years is effaced so radically that it becomes as nothing.
Even in the midst of bodily sufferings, he will still keep and not lose this beautiful serenity of mind. And he is able to do so precisely because he is able to differentiate the flesh from the mind. Inevitably, it must counteract, even though it may not obliterate, the body’s pain.
When he has achieved the capacity or gotten the Grace of sitting in the unbroken stillness of a perfect contemplation, he will feel a loving sweetness indescribable by human words and unmatched by human joys.
The deeper he plunges in meditation, the less does worldly life appeal to him when he emerges from it; the old incentives which drive him begin to weaken.
If after you reach the deepest contemplation, you then direct attention towards a particular problem on which you are seeking knowledge, knowledge which neither the senses nor the intellect has so far been able to supply, you may be able to perceive as in a flash what is the proper solution of this problem.
To sit in the stainless silence, watchful yet passive, is the proper art of contemplation.
… All meditations conducted on the philosophic ideal should end with the thoughts of others, with remembrance of their spiritual need, and with a sending-out of the light and grace received to bless individuals who need such help…
In this condition, with mind shifted away from sensory experience into a fixed self-absorption and stilled to the utmost degree, the meditator may be said to have mastered contemplation.
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