Concentration
George William Russell - A.E.

Beyond waking, dreaming and deep sleep is Turya. Here there is a complete change of condition; the knowledge formerly sought in the external world is now present within the consciousness; the ideations of universal mind are manifest in spiritual intuitions. The entrance to this state is through Jagrata, Svapna, and Sushupti, and here that spiritual unity is realized, the longing for which draws the soul upwards through the shadowy worlds of dreaming and deep sleep.  I have thought it necessary to supplement the brief statement made in the previous number by some further remarks upon concentration, for the term applied without reference to the Turya state is liable to be misunderstood and a false impression might arise that the spiritual is something to be sought for outside ourselves. The waking, dreaming and deep sleep states correspond to objective worlds, while Turya is subjective, including in itself all ideals.  If this is so, we can never seek for the true beyond ourselves; the things we suppose we shall come sometime realize in spiritual consciousness must be present in it now, for to spirit all things are eternally present. Advance to this state is measured by the realization of moods:  we are on the path when there surges up in the innermost recesses of our being the cry of the long imprisoned souls of men; we are then on our way to unity.

The Bhagavad-Gita which is a treatise on Raja Yoga, gives prominence to three aspects of concentration.  Liberation is attained by means of action, by devotion, by spiritual discernment; these aspects correspond respectively to three qualities in man and nature, known as Tamas, Rajas and Satva. The Tamas is the gross, material or dark quality; Rajas is active and passional; the attributes of Satva are light, peace, happiness, wisdom. No one while in the body can escape from the action of the three qualities, for they are brought about by nature which is compounded of them. We have to recognize this, and to continue action, aspiration and thought, impersonally or with some universal motive, in the manner nature accomplishes these things. Not one of these methods can be laid aside or ignored, for the Spirit moveth within all, these are its works, and we have to learn to identify ourselves with the moving forces of nature.

Having always this idea of brotherhood or unity in mind, by action - which we may interpret as service in some humanitarian movement - we purify the Tamas.

By a pure motive, which is the Philosopher's Stone, a potent force in the alchemy of nature, we change the gross into the subtle, we initiate that evolution which shall finally make the vesture of the soul of the rare, long-sought-for, primordial substance. Devotion is the highest possibility for the Rajas; that quality which is ever attracted and seduced by the beautiful mayas of fame, wealth and power, should be directed to that which it really seeks for, the eternal universal life; the channels through which it must flow outwards are the souls of other men, it reaches the One Life through the many. Spiritual discernment should be the aim of the Satva, "there is not anything, whether animate or inanimate which is without me," says Krishna, and we should seek for the traces of THAT in all things, looking upon it as the cause of the alchemical changes in the Tamas, as that which widens the outflowing love of the Rajas. By a continued persistence of this subtle analytic faculty, we begin gradually to perceive that those things which we formerly thought were causes, are in reality not causes at all; that there is but one cause for everything, "The Atma by which this universe is pervaded.  By reason of its proximity alone the body, the organs, Manas and Buddhi apply themselves to their proper objects as if applied (by some one else)." (The Crest Jewel of Wisdom). By uniting these three moods, action, devotion and spiritual discernment, into one mood, and keeping it continuously alight, we are accompanying the movements of spirit to some extent.

This harmonious action of all the qualities of our nature, for universal purposes without personal motive, is in synchronous vibration with that higher state spoken of at the beginning of the paper; therefore we are at one with it. "When the wise man perceiveth that the only agents of action are these qualities, and comprehends that which is superior to the qualities of goodness, action and indifference - which are co-existent with the body, it is released from rebirth and death, old age and pain, and drinketh of the water of immortality."

Irish Theosophist, February 15, 1893

Present article was scanned and proofread and made available for publication by Mr. Jake Jaqua.

Last update: januar 2009
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