Many of the Candidates find themselves prevented from a full realization of the “I” (even after they have begun to grasp it) by the confusing of the reality of the “I” with the sense of the physical body. This is a stumbling block that is easily overcome by meditation and concentration, the independence of the “I” often becoming manifest to the Candidate in a flash, upon the proper thought being used as the subject of meditation.
The exercise is given as follows: Place yourself in the State of Meditation, and think of YOURSELF–the Real “I”–as being independent of the body, but using the body as a covering and an instrument. Think of the body as you might of a suit of clothes. Realize that you are able to leave the body, and still be the same “I.” Picture yourself as doing this, and looking down upon your body.
Think of the body as a shell from which you may emerge without affecting your identity. Think of yourself as mastering and controlling the body that you occupy, and using it to the best advantage, making it healthy, strong and vigorous, but still being merely a shell or covering for the real “You.” Think of the body as composed of atoms and cells which are constantly changing, but which are held together by the force of your Ego, and which you can improve at Will. Realize that you are merely inhabiting the body, and using it for your convenience, just as you might use a house.
In meditating further, ignore the body entirely, and place your thought upon the Real “I” that you are beginning to feel to be “you,” and you will find that your identity–your “I”–is something entirely apart from the body. You may now say “my body” with a new meaning. Divorce the idea of your being a physical being, and realize that you are above body. But do not let this conception and realization cause you to ignore the body. You must regard the body as the Temple of the Spirit, and care for it, and make it a fit habitation for the “I.”
Do not be frightened if, during this meditation, you happen to experience the sensation of being out of the body for a few moments, and of returning to it when you are through with the exercise. The Ego is able (in the case of the advanced Initiate) of soaring above the confines of the body, but it never severs its connection at such times. It is merely as if one were to look out of the window of a room, seeing what was going on outside, and drawing in his head when he wishes. He does not leave the room, although he may place his head outside in order to observe what is doing in the street. We do not advise the Candidate to try to cultivate this sensation–but if it comes naturally during meditation, do not fear.