An esteemed friend has asked me: â€œIs it not correct to do that sort of Meditation in which one stills one’s own thinking, and remains in a state of active expectancy of an intuition?â€ This arose apropos of a statement of mine that Patanjali had taught Meditation as a continued mental effort to understand some subject, not as a voluntary stoppage of mentality.
The answer is: â€œYes, it is correct, though not for everybody nor with regard to all subjects, but only for one who has previously done the thinkingâ€. It is a case of yearning being followed by triumph, which is the secret of all evolution, in which something new comes in as it were from above. The state of active expectancy belongs to Contemplation. The Intuition received in that state would mean nothing to a mind not having the correct prior content. When the Intuition comes it illumines the field of existing knowledge. The moment of rapture or illumination comes when the consciousness ceases to be interested in itself as the doer of the meditation and thus the effort to understand or know can come to its fulfilment without the limitation of the bias due to personal interest in it. It is then a case of purity of intent to know or understand. There is then a passage from rajasic or ambitious thinking to sattwic or peaceful thinking. There is an intimacy of the knowing.
An example of this is the understanding of a piece of music as music. If we have not heard well the successive notes of the piece of music we cannot â€œgetâ€ the music, which involves the grasping of a unity, which is the essence of understanding. Unity is the key to understanding, always; it is the complete seeing or knowing. So one would not recommend the method of expectancy except to a student or thinker who has conscientiously tried to understand the matter in which he is to receive an intuition.
In experiments in telepathy the receptor is told not to think about anything, yet not to be passive, but to be in a condition of active expectancy, like that of a person looking through a window to see what may pass by. This person will understand what he sees only in terms of prior knowledge. But one who has fully thought can receive something new, because each faculty is the seed-bed of the next to come. Thought comes up to resolve our emotional problems; love comes in to resolve our mental impasses; the intuition of Destiny comes in to resolve our problems of love. These come in a little at first, but every time as something new, and later in full fountain â€” whereupon the consciousness steps up into its new function, which is no longer an intuition but is now a power. Now, in the course of fulfilling that function, it becomes the receptor of flashes (sparks) of the next new faculty for which it has become the seedbed.
When one power is being used (not otherwise), the next is being prepared behind the scenes. In the course of growth the following is the natural successor. First comes action, then emotion, then thought, then love, then the faith-knowledge, corresponding to the five principles of man (and all the others), physical, emotional, mental, moral (which is also ethical), and spiritual.