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RE: [bn-study] RE: contemplation/meditation

Aug 06, 2006 06:01 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

8/6/2006 5:52 PM

Dear A P and Friends:

On the subject of language and symbology I find THEOSOPHY offering (in part):


Language is, after all, only an aid and not a substitute for the exchange of thought. 

Minds who are in harmony with each other will have no great difficulty in understanding each others thoughts, even without the use of a great many words, while those who are in disharmony with each other will only increase their misunderstanding by using a great many words. 

External language like any other external thing, can only be relatively true; absolute truth is self-evident to those who can see it, and requires no human testimony or certificates. 

Every assertion requiring logical proof is therefore true or false according to the aspect under which the object is seen; a circle seen from the plane in which it exists, is only a straight line with two ends and a middle part; seen from above or below it is a circle without any end; looked at sideways, it is an ellipsoid and if one half of it is invisible it may appear to be a parabole. 

All external science, however true it may be in one way, is false in another, and all dogmatic assertions prove nothing but the vanity of him from whom they originate; for there is no one who knows absolute Truth except He who is Himself the Life, the Way and the Truth, the self-conscious divine Spirit in Man. 

Under such circumstances it would perhaps be wisest to be silent and to say nothing at all, and if we nevertheless attempt to speak about things belonging to the interior realm of Nature, it is not for the purpose that our views should be regarded as being intended to give any new revelations; but merely as furnishing food for thought and as an aid by which the Truth which exists within the inner consciousness of the reader may come nearer to his intellectual understanding. To those who have already found the truth, we have nothing to say. 



A great deal has been written about the question: "What is Matter and what is Mind ?" 

Scientific and philosophical dissertations have been written without very much elucidating the subject, the usual answer having resulted in: "Mind is no matter, and matter never mind." 

Nevertheless, the answer seems plain; for "Matter" and "Mind" are undoubtedly two terms signifying two different aspects of modes of motion of the eternal One. This truth is clear to the spiritual perception of those who can see with the eye of Reason, and they require no further proof; but even to those who are accustomed to reason only from the plane of external observation, the Unity of the All and the consequent identity of Matter and Mind is a fact which gradually forces itself upon their scientific attention. 

The scientific and religious world seems to be gradually rising out of the profundity of its ignorance. Some 288 years ago Giordano Bruno was burned alive as a heretic for having proclaimed the fact that there is only one God and consequently only one Substance in the universe, and now the same truth is believed in by some of the greatest luminaries of science. Professor Suess, in his inaugural address as rector magnificus of the university of Vienna in 1888, publicly expressed his belief in the Unity of the All, even in the stronghold of Roman Catholicism, without being burned or even challenged by the followers of orthodoxy. Having called the attention of his hearers to the newest discoveries of science made by means of the spectroscope, by which the identity of material substances existing upon the various planets and stars is proved, and having mentioned the important discoveries of Mendelejeff, which go to show that there is a scale of harmony of chemical substances resembling that of colour and sound, he spoke the following memorable words: "As the dawn precedes the sunrise, likewise all great discoveries are preceded by a foreboding of their coming. To-day the Unity of all Substance is instinctively felt to be a truth, but the united labour of all nations will soon discover the way to prove it intellectually to be so." 

This old and nevertheless ever new truth that the All is only One, and that the great variety of forms in Nature is merely a variety of forms and not of essential being, is the fundamental basis in the pursuit of occult study. It begins to be universally recognised, and yet its full importance is seen only by few. It is the most sublime idea which can be grasped by the human mind, and the consequences of its recognition reach far beyond the limits of time into Infinity. Cornelius Agrippa says: "The One completely penetrates every other number; it is the common measure, the foundation and origin of all numbers. It is unchangeable and excludes multiplicity. Multiplied with itself it is its own product; it cannot be divided into parts but every division produces a multiplication, i. e., it produces units, of which none is larger or smaller than the original unit and of which every part is the whole. It is the beginning and end of all things, but it has itself neither a beginning nor an end. All things originate from the One, and all tends towards unity in the end; all that exists finds its true being in the One, and those who seek for salvation in the One must get rid of their multiplicity and return to the One." 

There can only be one Love, one Life, one Power, one Wisdom, one Truth, one Substance, one God, although each of them may become manifest in an endless number of forms, and all these terms merely represent various aspects of the One, whose name consists of one letter. 

The One is self existent and self sufficient, and therefore eternal and not subject to change. It will forever be intellectually incomprehensible, because the intellect is only one of the many forms of its manifestations and a part cannot comprehend the whole. A scientific examination can therefore have nothing to do with qualities of the absolute One, it can only deal with its manifestations. As soon as the One begins to manifest itself, it steps out of the sphere of pure being and a duality comes into existence. Formerly it was only Cause; now it is Cause and Effect and as every Action produces a Reaction, it becomes at once a Trinity of Cause, Action and Reaction the incomprehensible mathematical point; extending in three dimensions, assumes the aspect of a triangle constituted of Matter and Motion and Space.

     Space represents Causality, it is unchangeable: Matter and Motion manifest themselves in a great many ways. There are forms of matter or Substance in the mineral, vegetable and animal Kingdoms there are substantial forms in the realm of the Elementals and in the Kingdom of gods. There are forms of Motion, from unconscious motion up to conscious thought, and still higher up to the action of the self-conscious Spirit but Space remains always the same, and there can be no other but a three-dimensional Space; for "Space" represents Form, and Three is the number of Form. A form with more or less than three dimensions is unthinkable, and can have no existence for us. 

      To recapitulate, we have therefore the Unit'' of the Cause; the Duality of the form of its manifestation, and the Trinity of the Effect. Within the eternal absolute One, Matter and Motion, Will and Ideation are one; but as soon as they manifest themselves they appear as a duality, producing a trinity, the child, in which the qualities of the Father and Mother find their united representation. 	ZENO. 
	[This PART of an article was first printed by H. P. Blavatsky in Lucifer for November, 1888.    Reprinted in THEOSOPHY, APRIL 1915, VOL. 3, pgs. 308-313 ]


	see  PATANJALI'S YOGA SUTRAS   ( pp. 1 - 11 )

"2. 	Concentration, or Yoga, is the hindering of the modifications of the thinking principle. 

In other words, the want of concentration of thought is due to the fact that the mind—

here called "the thinking principle"—is subject to constant modifications by reason of its being diffused over a multiplicity of subjects. So "concentration" is equivalent to the correction of a tendency to, diffuseness, and to the obtaining of what the Hindus call "one-pointedness," or the power to apply the mind, at any moment, to the consideration of a single point of thought, to the exclusion of all else. 

Upon this Aphorism the method of the system hinges. The reason for the absence of concentration at any time is, that the mind is modified by every subject and object that comes before it; it is, as it were, transformed into that subject or object. The mind, therefore, is not the supreme or highest power; it is only a function, an instrument with which the soul works, feels sublunary things, and experiences. 

The brain, however, must not be confounded with the mind, for the brain is in its turn but an instrument for the mind. It therefore follows that the mind has a plane of its own, distinct from the soul and the brain, and what is to be learned is, to use the will, which is also a distinct power from the mind and brain, in such a way that instead of permitting the mind to turn from one subject or object to another just as they may move it, we shall apply it as a servant at any time and for as long a period as we wish, to the consideration of whatever we have decided upon. 

3. 	At the time of concentration the soul abides in the state of a spectator without a spectacle. 

This has reference to the perfection of concentration, and is that condition in which, by the hindering of the modifications referred to in Aphorism 2, the soul is brought to a state of being wholly devoid of taint of, or impression by, any subject. The "soul" here referred to is not Atma, which is spirit. 

4. 	At other times than that of concentration, the soul is in the same form as the modification of the mind. 

This has reference to the condition of the soul in ordinary life, when concentration is not practised, and means that, when the internal organ, the mind, is through the senses affected or modified by the form of some object, the soul also—viewing the object through its organ, the mind— is, as it were, altered into that form; as a marble statue of snowy whiteness, if seen under a crimson light will seem to the beholder crimson and so is, to the visual organs, so long as that colored light shines upon it. 

5. 	The modifications of the mind are of five kinds, and they are either painful or not painful; 

6. 	They are, Correct Cognition, Misconception, Fancy, Sleep, and Memory. 

7. 	Correct Cognition results from Perception, Inference, and Testimony. 

8. 	Misconception is Erroneous Notion arising from lack of Correct Cognition. 

9. 	Fancy is a notion devoid of any real basis and following upon knowledge conveyed by words. 

For instance, the terms "a hare's horns" and "the head of Rahu," neither of which has anything in nature corresponding to the notion. … people continue to speak of the sun's "rising" and "setting," although they hold to the opposite theory. 

10. 	Sleep is that modification of the mind which ensues upon the quitting of all objects by the mind, by reason of all the waking senses and faculties sinking into abeyance. 

11. 	Memory is the not letting go of an object that one has been aware of. 

12. The hindering of the modifications of the mind already referred to, is to be effected by means of Exercise and Dispassion. 

13. Exercise is the uninterrupted, or repeated, effort that the mind shall remain in its unmoved state. 

This is to say that in order to acquire concentration we must, again and again, make efforts to obtain such control over the mind that we can, at any time when it seems necessary, so reduce it to an unmoved condition or apply it to any one point to the exclusion of all others. 

14. This exercise is a firm position observed out of regard for the end in view, and perseveringly adhered to for a long time without intermission. 

The student must not conclude from this that he can never acquire concentration unless he devotes every moment of his life to it, for the words "without intermission" apply but to the length of time that has been set apart for the practice. 

15. 	Dispassion is the having overcome one's desires. 

That is— the attainment of a state of being in which the consciousness is unaffected by passions, desires, and ambitions, which aid in causing modifications of the mind. 

16. 	Dispassion, carried to the utmost, is indifference regarding all else than soul, and this indifference arises from a knowledge of soul as distinguished from all else. 

17. 	There is a meditation of the kind called "that in which there is distinct cognition," and which is of a four-fold character because of Argumentation, Deliberation, Beatitude, Egoism. 

The sort of meditation referred to is a pondering wherein the nature of that which is to be pondered upon is well known, without doubt or error, and it is a distinct cognition which excludes every other modification of the mind than that which is to be pondered upon. 

1. 	The Argumentative division of this meditation is a pondering upon a subject with argument as to its nature in comparison with something else; as, for instance, the question whether mind is the product of matter or precedes matter. 

2. 	The Deliberative division is a pondering in regard to whence have come, and where is the field of action, of the subtler senses and the mind. 

3. 	The Beatific condition is that in which the higher powers of the mind, together with truth in the abstract, are pondered upon. 

4. 	The Egoistic division is one in which the meditation has proceeded to such a height that all lower subjects and objects are lost sight of, and nothing remains but the cognition of the self, which then becomes a stepping-stone to higher degrees of meditation. 

The result of reaching the fourth degree, called Egoism, is that a distinct recognition of the object or subject with which the meditation began is lost, and self-consciousness alone results; but this self-consciousness does not include the consciousness of the Absolute or Supreme Soul. 

18. The meditation just described is preceded by the exercise of thought without argumentation. Another sort of meditation is in the shape of the self-reproduction of thought after the departure of all objects from the field of the mind. 

19. The meditative state attained by those whose discrimination does not extend to pure spirit, depends upon the phenomenal world. 

20. In the practice of those who are, or may be, able to discriminate as to pure spirit, their meditation is preceded by Faith, Energy, Intentness (upon a single point), and Discernment, or thorough discrimination of that which is to be known. 

It is remarked here by the commentator, that "in him who has Faith there arises Energy, or perseverance in meditation, and, thus persevering, the memory of past subjects springs up, and his mind becomes absorbed in Intentness, in consequence of the recollection of the subject, and he whose mind is absorbed in meditation arrives at a thorough discernment of the matter pondered upon." 

21. The attainment of the state of abstract meditation is speedy, in the case of the hotly impetuous. 

22. Because of the mild, the medium, and the transcendent nature of the methods adopted, there is a distinction to be made among those who practise Yoga. 

23. The state of abstract meditation may be attained by profound devotedness toward the Supreme Spirit considered in its comprehensible manifestation as Ishwara. 

It is said that this profound devotedness is a preeminent means of attaining abstract meditation and its fruits. "Ishwara" is the Spirit in the body. 

24. Ishwara [ATMA] is a spirit, untouched by troubles, works, fruits of works, or desires. 

25. In Ishwara becomes infinite that omniscience which in man exists but as a germ. 

26. Ishwara is the preceptor of all, even of the earliest of created beings, for He is not limited by time. 

27. His name is OM. "   ……

40. The student whose mind is thus steadied obtains a mastery which extends from the Atomic to the Infinite. 

41. The mind that has been so trained that the ordinary modifications of its action are not present, but only those which occur upon the conscious taking up of an object for contemplation, is changed into the likeness of that which is pondered upon, and enters into full comprehension of the being thereof. 

42. This change of the mind into the likeness of what is pondered upon, is technically called the Argumentative condition, when there is any mixing-up of the title of the thing, the significance and application of that title, and the abstract knowledge of the qualities and elements of the thing per se. 

43. On the disappearance, from the plane of contemplation, of the title and significance of the object selected for meditation; when the abstract thing itself, free from distinction by designation, is presented to the mind only as an entity, that is what is called the Non-Argumentative condition of meditation. 

These two aphorisms (42-43) describe the first and second stages of meditation, in the mind properly intent upon objects of a gross or material nature. The next aphorism has reference to the state when subtile, or higher, objects are selected for contemplative meditation. 

44. The Argumentative and Non-Argumentative conditions of the mind, described in the preceding two aphorisms, also obtain when the object selected for meditation is subtile, or of a higher nature than sensuous objects. 

45. That meditation which has a subtile object in view ends with the indissoluble element called primordial matter. 

46. The mental changes described in the foregoing, constitute "meditation with its seed." 

"Meditation with its seed" is that kind of meditation in which there is still present before the mind a distinct object to be meditated upon. 

18. The Universe, including the visible and the invisible, the essential nature of which is compounded of purity, action, and rest, and which consists of the elements and the organs of action, exists for the sake of the soul's experience and emancipation. 

19. The divisions of the qualities are the diverse, the non-diverse, those which may be resolved once but no farther, and the irresolvable. 

The "diverse " are such as the gross elements and the organs of sense; the "non-diverse," the subtile elements and the mind; the "once resolvable," the intellect, which can be resolved into undifferentiated matter but no farther; and the "irresolvable," indiscrete matter. 

20. The soul is the Perceiver; is assuredly vision itself pure and simple; unmodified; and looks directly upon ideas. 

21. For the sake of the soul alone, the Universe exists. 

The commentator adds: "Nature in energizing does not do so with a view to any purpose of her own, but with the design, as it were, expressed in the words 'let me bring about the soul's experience.'" 

22. Although the Universe in its objective state has ceased to be, in respect to that man who has attained to the perfection of spiritual cultivation, it has not ceased in respect to all others, because it is common to others besides him. 

23. The conjuncture of the soul with the organ of thought, and thus with nature, is the cause of its apprehension of the actual condition of the nature of the Universe and of the soul itself. 

24. The cause of this conjuncture is what is to be quitted, and that cause is ignorance. 

25. The quitting consists in the ceasing of the conjuncture, upon which ignorance disappears, and this is the Isolation of the soul. 

That which is meant in this and in the preceding two aphorisms is that the conjuncture of soul and body, through repeated reincarnations, is due to its absence of discriminative knowledge of the nature of the soul and its environment, and when this discriminative knowledge has been attained, the conjuncture, which was due to the absence of discrimination, ceases of its own accord. 

26. The means of quitting the state of bondage to matter is perfect discriminative knowledge, continuously maintained. 

The import of this—among other things—is that the man who has attained to the perfection of spiritual cultivation maintains his consciousness, alike while in the body, at the moment of quitting it, and when he has passed into higher spheres; and likewise when returning continues it unbroken while quitting higher spheres, when re-entering his body, and in resuming action on the material plane. 

27. This perfect discriminative knowledge possessed by the man who has attained to the perfection of spiritual cultivation, is of seven kinds, up to the limit of meditation. 

28. Until this perfect discriminative knowledge is attained, there results from those practices which are conducive to concentration, an illumination more or less brilliant which is effective for the removal of impurity.

We often seem to get embroiled in using words that mean different things to
several of us.  

Under those circumstances we usually end up in long exchanges trying to make
ourselves better understood.

I came across this article and thought it might help.  

As I see it, it offers the concept that behind and within the words used, we
probably agree more often than not, on ideas and mental processes.

Where we do have trouble, is sometimes our sources of reference are unknown
to some of our correspondents.  If those can be quoted, then much of this
problem vanishes.

One of these instances is the beginning, present age and probable future --
or the termination of our Earth and Universe (not to mention ourselves as
"Mind-beings." )  Traditions are referred to -- but, does logic agree ?

Did our present Universe actually have its roots in an earlier one?  

Will our present Universe (and our work in it) survive, and give hope that
it is not wasted effort ?

As an example, in The VOICE OF THE SILENCE, the LIGHT ON THE PATH, 
the BHAGAVAD GITA and PATANJALI'S YOGA SUTRAS we find that the words like "mind" and "soul" are used, sometimes for 

	or KAMA-MANAS,  [the Desire-Mind,  “LOWER MIND  or LOWER MANAS”
	or just plain MANAS  [unbiased, honest, organ of thought]

(using the Theosophical definitions we can find in The KEY TO THEOSOPHY, The

Some object to a "moral" shading of some concepts -- what is meant is merely
the observance of the universal laws of complete openness, fair-play and
reciprocity.  The reverse is usually considered reprehensible.

In other expressions we find (considering a goal for our future) an
underlying emphasis on pleasure, bliss, amusement, the ending of strife and
contention, and other forms of unpleasant, or pleasant emotion. 

Is that the real end of all life's work?

The Universe has been here a long time, and (if it should be true that we,
as immortal MONADS, are as long-lived as it is) then may we, indeed, in
time, train ourselves to become Masters of the “WISDOM OF THE AGES”?   That is a "goal" held out to us to consider, is it not? 

If we read the last 4 or 5 pages of The VOICE OF THE SILENCE (and the
footnotes there) we find mentioned several degrees of attainment for all
Sages and Wise Men, regardless of their popular or religious designations.  

Some state that the UNIVERSE begins and ends -- but we have no way of
proving this in the "here and now."  It is a logical assumption based on
several ancient teachings and traditions. Most of the SECRET DOCTRINE is
devoted to demonstrating how ancient wisdom knew and teaches this as
THEOSOPHY today.  

Unity, instead of difference and disunity, is emphasized as a primary basis,
also, a single code of universal LAW {instead of 'chaos'} is emphasized. 

How is it that beings limited by time (birth and death) dream and think
about the qualities needed to join the ranks of the immortals ?  

How is it that THEOSOPHY posits man's basic existence to repose on a
Spiritual Monad [ATMA - BUDDHI] ?

"All is impermanent in man except the pure bright essence of Alaya. Man is
its crystal ray; a beam of light immaculate within, a form of clay material
upon the lower surface. That beam is thy life-guide and thy true Self, the
Watcher and the silent Thinker, the victim of thy lower Self. Thy Soul
cannot be hurt but through thy erring body; control and master both, and
thou art safe when crossing to the nearing "Gate of Balance."   Voice, p. 63

It is true that this as a concept can be agreeably accepted as logical -- to
some, but not to others -- in which case we would ask:

What use is life if nothing can be "carried forward" that results from
effort ?

How can we continue to live in a chaotic, chancy world?

Are there no reasonable solutions?

Best wishes,



we find in the SECRET DOCTRINE   HPB writes:
“Haeckel's theory that "speech arose gradually from a few simple, crude animal sounds . . . ." as such "speech still remains amongst a few races of lower rank" (Darwinian theory in "Pedigree of Man," p. 22) is altogether unsound, as argued by Professor Max Muller, among others. He contends that no plausible explanation has yet been given as to how the "roots" of language came into existence. 
A human brain is necessary for human speech. And figures relating to the size of the respective brains of man and ape show how deep is the gulf which separates the two. 
Vogt says that the brain of the largest ape, the gorilla, measures no more than 30.51 cubic inches; while the average brains of the flat-headed Australian natives — the lowest now in the human races — amount to 99.35 cubic inches! Figures are awkward witnesses and cannot lie. Therefore, as truly observed by Dr. F. Pfaff, whose premises are as sound and correct as his biblical conclusions are silly: — 
"The brain of the apes most like man, does not amount to quite a third of the brain of the lowest races of men: it is not half the size of the brain of a new-born child." ("The Age and Origin of Man.") From the foregoing it is thus very easy to perceive that in order to prove the Huxley-Haeckelian theories of the descent of man, it is not one, but a great number of "missing links" — a true ladder of progressive evolutionary steps — that would have to be first found and then presented by Science to thinking and reasoning humanity, before it would abandon belief in gods and the immortal Soul for the worship of Quadrumanic ancestors. Mere myths are now greeted as "axiomatic truths." 
Even Alfred Russel Wallace maintains with Haeckel that primitive man was a speechless ape-creature. To this Joly answers: — "Man never was, in my opinion, this pithecanthropus alalus whose portrait Haeckel has drawn as if he had seen and known him, whose singular and completely hypothetical genealogy he has even given, from the mere mass of living protoplasm to the man endowed with speech and a civilization analogous to that of the Australians and Papuans." ("Man before Metals," p. 320, N. Joly. Inter. Scient. Series.) 
Haeckel, among other things, often comes into direct conflict with the Science of languages. In the course of his attack on Evolutionism (1873, "Mr. Darwin's Philosophy of Language"), Prof. Max Müller stigmatized the Darwinian theory as "vulnerable at the beginning and at the end." The fact is, that only the partial truth of many of the secondary "laws" of Darwinism is beyond question — M. de Quatrefages evidently accepting "Natural Selection," the "struggle for existence" and transformation within species, as proven not once and for ever, but pro. tem. But it may not be amiss, perhaps, to condense the linguistic case against the "Ape ancestor" theory: — 
Languages have their phases of growth, etc., like all else in nature. It is almost certain that the great linguistic families pass through three stages. 
(1) All words are roots and merely placed in juxtaposition (Radical languages). 
(2) One root defines the other, and becomes merely a determinative element (Agglutinative). 
(3) The determinative element (the determinating meaning of which has long lapsed) unites into a whole with the formative element (Inflected). 
The problem then is: Whence these ROOTS? Max Müller argues that the existence of these ready-made materials of speech is a proof that man cannot be the crown of a long organic series. This potentiality of forming roots is the great crux which materialists almost invariably avoid. 
Von Hartmann explains it as a manifestation of the "Unconscious," and admits its cogency versus mechanical Atheism. Hartmann is a fair representative of the Metaphysician and Idealist of the present age. 
The argument has never been met by the non-pantheistic Evolutionists. To say with Schmidt: "Forsooth are we to halt before the origin of language?" is an avowal of dogmatism and of speedy defeat. (Cf. his "Doctrine of Descent and Darwinism," p. 304.) 
We respect those men of science who, wise in their generation, say: "Prehistoric Past being utterly beyond our powers of direct observation, we are too honest, too devoted to the truth — or what we regard as truth — to speculate upon the unknown, giving out our unproven theories along with facts absolutely established in modern Science." . . . . "The borderland of (metaphysical) knowledge is best left to time, which is the best test as to truth" (A Modern Zoroastrian, p. 136). 
This is a wise and an honest sentence in the mouth of a materialist. But when a Haeckel, after just saying that "historical events of [663] ast time . . " having "occurred many millions of years ago, * . . . are for ever removed from direct observation," and that neither geology nor phylogeny † can or will "rise to the position of a real exact science," then insists on the development of all organisms — "from the lowest vertebrate to the highest, from Amphioxus to man" — we ask for a weightier proof than he can give. Mere "empirical sources of knowledge," so extolled by the author of "Anthropogeny" — when he has to be satisfied with the qualification for his own views — are not competent to settle problems lying beyond their domain; nor is it the province of exact science to place any reliance on them. ‡ If "empirical" — and Haeckel declares so himself repeatedly — then they are no better, nor any more reliable, in the sight of exact research, when extended into the remote past, than our Occult teachings of the East, both having to be placed on quite the same level. Nor are his phylogenetic and palingenetic speculations treated in any better way by the real scientists, than are our cyclic repetitions of the evolution of the Great in the minor races, and the original order of evolutions. For the province of exact, real Science, materialistic though it be, is to carefully avoid anything like guess-work, speculation which cannot be verified; in short, all suppressio veri and all suggestio falsi. 
The business of the man of exact Science is to observe, each in his chosen department, the phenomena of nature; to record, tabulate, compare and classify the facts, down to the smallest minutiae which are presented to the observation of the senses with the help of all the exquisite mechanism that modern invention supplies, not by the aid of metaphysical flights of fancy. All that he has a legitimate right to do, is to correct by the assistance of physical instruments the 
---------------	Footnote	-------------------------
* It thus appears that in its anxiety to prove our noble descent from the catarrhine "baboon," Haeckel's school has pushed the times of pre-historic man millions of years back. (See "Pedigree of Man," p. 273.) Occultists, render thanks to science for such corroboration of our claims! 
† This seems a poor compliment to pay Geology, which is not a speculative but as exact a science as astronomy — save, perhaps its too risky chronological speculations. It is mainly a "Descriptive" as opposed to an "Abstract" Science. 
‡ Such newly-coined words as "perigenesis of plastids," "plastidule Souls" (!), and others less comely, invented by Haeckel, may be very learned and correct in so far as they may express very graphically the ideas in his own vivid fancy. As a fact, however, they remain for his less imaginative colleagues painfully caenogenetic — to use his own terminology; i.e., for true Science they are spurious speculations so long as they are derived from "empirical sources." Therefore, when he seeks to prove that "the origin of man from other mammals, and most directly from the catarrhine ape, is a deductive law that follows necessarily from the inductive law of the theory of descent" ("Anthropogeny," p. 392) — his no less learned foes (du Bois-Reymond — for one) have a right to see in this sentence a mere jugglery of words; a "testimonium paupertatis of natural science" — as he himself complains, calling them, in return, ignoramuses (see "Pedigree of Man," Notes). 
defects or illusions of his own coarser vision, auditory powers, and other senses. He has no right to trespass on the grounds of metaphysics and psychology. His duty is to verify and to rectify all the facts that fall under his direct observation; to profit by the experiences and mistakes of the Past in endeavouring to trace the working of a certain concatenation of cause and effects, which, but only by its constant and unvarying repetition, may be called A LAW. This it is which a man of science is expected to do, if he would become a teacher of men and remain true to his original programme of natural or physical sciences. Any side-way path from this royal road becomes speculation. 
Instead of keeping to this, what does many a so-called man of science do in these days? He rushes into the domains of pure metaphysics, while deriding it. He delights in rash conclusions and calls it "a deductive law from the inductive law" of a theory based upon and drawn out of the depths of his own consciousness: that consciousness being perverted by, and honeycombed with, one-sided materialism. He attempts to explain the "origin" of things, which are yet embosomed only in his own conceptions. He attacks spiritual beliefs and religious traditions millenniums old, and denounces everything, save his own hobbies, as superstition. He suggests theories of the Universe, a Cosmogony developed by blind, mechanical forces of nature alone, far more miraculous and impossible than even one based upon the assumption of fiat lux out of nihil — and tries to astonish the world by such a wild theory; which, being known to emanate from a scientific brain, is taken on blind faith as very scientific and the outcome of SCIENCE.“  		S D   II 661-4

Best wishes, 



-----Original Message-----
From: Aspasia Papadomichelaki [] 
Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 5:20 AM
Subject: [bn-study] RE: contemplation/meditation

Words are symbols and a symbol illustrates one single and special idea,
while an emblem “comprises a larger series of thoughts than a symbol” HPB
says in “Symbolism and Ideographs”. (SD I, 305) 

In the same chapter she gives the following excerpt concerning the language
and its use:
“To clear up an ambiguity as to the term language:  Primarily the word means
the expression of ideas by human speech; but, secondarily, it may mean the
expression of ideas by any other instrumentality. A picture of something
natural may give rise to ideas of co-ordinative subject-matter, radiating
out in various and even opposing directions, like the spokes of a wheel, and
producing natural realities in departments very foreign to the apparent
tendency of the reading of the first or starting picture.  Notion may give
rise to connected notion, but if it does, then, however apparently
incongruous, all resulting ideas must spring from the original picture and
be harmonically connected, or related. . . . Thus with a pictured idea
radical enough, the imagination of the Cosmos itself even in its details of
construction might result … (SD I, 309)

In Stanza VI, she gives the mystical significance of the Sound-Vach and the
way that Cosmos manifests expanded in four aspects from the Initial Sound.
The four aspects correspond to the four planes of objectivity, each one
representing one state of diffferentiation. (see diagram No 3, SD I, 200)
 “The explanation I am going to give you will appear thoroughly mystical;
but if mystical, it has a tremendous significance when properly understood.
Our old writers said that Vach is of four kinds (see Rig Veda and the
Upanishads).  Vaikhari-Vach is what we utter.  Every kind of Vaikhari-Vach
exists in its Madhyama, further in its Pasyanti, and ultimately in its Para
form. The reason why this Pranava is called Vach is this, that the four
principles of the great Kosmos correspond to these four forms of Vach.  Now
the whole manifested solar System exists in its Sukshma form in the light or
energy of the Logos, because its energy is caught up and transferred to
Cosmic matter. . . The whole Kosmos in its objective form is Vaikhari-Vach,
the light of the Logos is the Madhyama form, and the Logos itself the
Pasyanti form, and Parabrahm the Para form or aspect of that Vach.  It is by
the light of this explanation that we must try to understand certain
statements made by various philosophers to the effect that the manifested
Kosmos is the Verbum manifested as Kosmos”.(SD I, 138 Stanza VI, Our World
its Growth and Development)

In her article, “Various Occult Systems of Interpretations of Alphabet” she
refers to: “The Devanagari… characters in which Sanskrit is generally
written, have all that the Hermetic, Chaldaean and Hebrew alphabets have,
and in addition the Occult significance of the “eternal sound,” and the
meaning given to every letter in its relation to spiritual as well as
terrestrial things. As there are only twenty-two letters in the Hebrew
alphabet and ten fundamental numbers, while in the Devanāgarī there are
thirty-five consonants and [fourteen] vowels, making altogether [forty-nine]
simple letters [or 7 x 7], with numberless combinations in addition, the
margin for speculation and knowledge is in proportion considerably wider.
Every letter has its equivalent in other languages, and its equivalent in a
figure or figures of the calculation table. It has also numerous other
significations, which depend upon the special idiosyncrasies and
characteristics of the person, object, or subject to be studied...” (CW14)

Words are forms made by transformed sound and carry out to the physical
world the initial cause or the archetypal idea. Etymology is the science
which analysing the word and finding its initial root, unveils the
transformations and reveals the real notion/idea. 
As to the meaning of contemplation/meditation, I quote a passage from The
Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali, an Interpretation by William Judge, Book III,
in which the two words are explained clearly.
1. Fixing the mind on a place, object, or subject is attention. 
This is called Dharana. 

2. The continuance of this attention is contemplation. 
This is called Dhyana. 

3. This contemplation, when it is practised only in respect to a material
subject or object of sense, is meditation. 
This is called Samadhi. 

4. When this fixedness of attention, contemplation, and meditation are
practised with respect to one object, they together constitute what is
called Sanyama. 
We have no word in English corresponding to Sanyama...

5. By rendering Sanyama—or the operation of fixed attention, contemplation,
and meditation—natural and easy, an accurate discerning power is developed. 

6. Sanyama is to be used in proceeding step by step in overcoming all
modifications of the mind, from the more apparent to those the most subtle.

7. The three practices—attention, contemplation, and meditation—are more
efficacious for the attainment of that kind of meditation called, "that in
which there is distinct cognition," than the first five means heretofore
described as "not killing, veracity, not stealing, continence, and not
coveting." …….

8. Attention, contemplation, and meditation are anterior to and not
immediately productive of that kind of meditation in which the distinct
cognition of the object is lost, which is called meditation without a seed. 

9. There are two trains of self-reproductive thought, the first of which
results from the mind being modified and shifted by the object or subject
contemplated; the second, when it is passing from that modification and is
becoming engaged only with the truth itself; at the moment when the first is
subdued and the mind is just becoming intent, it. is concerned in both of
those two trains of self-reproductive thought, and this state is technically
called Nirodha. 

10. In that state of meditation which has been called Nirodha, the mind has
an uniform flow. 

11. When the mind has overcome and fully controlled its natural inclination
to consider diverse objects, and begins to become intent upon a single one,
meditation is said to be reached. 

12. When the mind, after becoming fixed upon a single object, has ceased to
be concerned in any thought about the condition, qualities, or relations of
the thing thought of, but is absolutely fastened upon the object itself, it
is then said to be intent upon a single point—a state technically called

13. The three major classes of perception regarding the characteristic
property, distinctive mark or use, and possible changes of use or relation,
of any object or organ of the body contemplated by the mind, have been
sufficiently explained by the foregoing exposition of the manner in which
the mind is modified.……
14. The properties of an object presented to the mind are: first, those
which have been considered and dismissed from view; second, those under
consideration; and third, that which is incapable of denomination because it
is not special, but common to all matter.… 

15. The alterations in the order of the three-fold mental modifications
before described, indicate to the ascetic the variety of changes which a
characteristic property is to undergo when contemplated. 

16. A knowledge of past and future events comes to an ascetic from his
performing Sanyama in respect to the three-fold mental modifications just
See Aphorism 4, where "Sanyama" is explained as the use or operation of
attention, contemplation, and meditation in respect to a single object. 

Aspasia P.

-----Original Message-----
From: Philip N [] 
Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2006 6:20 AM
Subject: [bn-study] RE: contemplation/meditation

While I wouldn't disgaree with the definitions given
by various linguistic authorities on the words
"meditation" and "contemplation", may I offer another
interpretation based on my limited knowledge?

Meditation is a popular term and is generally
understood, as stated by L.R. But to me,
"contemplation" is different. It is the next stage or
next level of "meditation". In essence, the main
difference is that in contemplation, there are is no
more activity of the mind. The thought process has
come to an end. The meditator is an acute awareness of
the present, without any interference of an analytical
mind. In this state, consciousness expands, not only
in space but also in time. The former is easily
conceptualized in our 3-dimensional world but the
latter means that the meditator is aware of the past,
not as a recollection coming from memory, but as part
of the present, as causes of the present. Similarly,
awareness of the future is not a product of
imagination or a recollection of some pre-conceived
ideas about the future, but a part of the present,
with the future as effects of the past
and the present. Of course, as with meditation, there
may be various levels of contemplation.

Contemplation may be what the Hindus term samadhi,
what the Christian mystics experience when they are
"lost in contemplation", or even what the Sufi
dervishes enjoy when they perform their whirling
dances? Maybe contemplation is a state in which
the self is negated and is merged into a more divine
reality. Maybe the ultimate level of contemplation was
when Lord Buddha realized his countless number of past
lives on the night of his enlightenment.

It may be of interest here to recall an earlier
discussion in this forum on "HPB's meditation diagram"

In the instructions accompanying the diagram, it is
stated with: "First conceive of UNITY by Expansion in
space and infinite in Time." and concluded with: "What
lies beyond is unspeakable and even unthinkable -
impossible for the mind to conceive. 'The rest is
silence. And in that silence true meditation may take
place." Perhaps, contemplation is that "true


Philip N.

--- Aspasia Papadomichelaki
> Dear Friends,
> Contemplation and Meditation differ, though they are
often used
> interchangeably. Their subtle difference can be
discerned from their
> Latin etymology which is given below.
> Meditation
> 1. Continuous and profound contemplation or musing
on a subject or
> series of subjects of a deep or abstruse nature
i.e., "the habit of
> meditation is the basis for all real knowledge." -
Word Web
> 2 (religion) contemplation of spiritual matters
(usually on religious
> or philosophical subjects). - Word Web
> From Latin meditari, probably cognate with Latin
mederi, to heal. -
> Chambers
> Contemplation
> 1. A long and thoughtful observation. - Word Web 2.
A calm lengthy
> intent consideration. - Word Web
> From Latin contemplari, -atus, to mark out carefully
a templum or
> place for auguries, from con- (signifying
completeness) and templum. - Chambers
> Would not "contemplation" be careful review and
thinking about the
> results of one's MEDIATION ? (On Meditation by
Dallas,[bn-study] RE:
> contemplation/meditation)
> Aspasia
> -----Original Message-----
> From: L.R. Andrews []
> Sent: Friday, July 28, 2006 4:18 AM
> To:
> Subject: [bn-study] contemplation/meditation
> Hello friends,
> I wonder if someone could enlighten me regarding the
> between meditation and contemplation. I understand
> intellectually, but not contemplation.
> Thanks and best wishes,
> L.R.

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