The following exercises and Mental Drills are intended to aid the Candidate in his work of growing into a realization of his relationship with the Whole of Life and Being.
(1) Read over what we have said in the “Advanced Course” regarding the principle known as Matter. Realize that all Matter is One at the last–that the real underlying substance of Matter is Akasa or Ether, and that all the varying forms evident to our senses are but modifications and grosser forms of that underlying principle. Realize that by known chemical processes all forms of Matter known to us, or rather all combinations resulting in “forms,” may be resolved into their original elements, and that these elements are merely Akasa in different states of vibration. Let the idea of the Oneness of the visible Universe sink deeply into your mind, until it becomes fixed there. The erroneous conception of diversity in the material world must be replaced by the consciousness of Unity–Oneness, at the last, in spite of the appearance of variety and manifold forms. You must grow to see behind the world of forms of Matter, and see the great principle of Matter (Akasa or Ether) back of, within, and under it all. You must grow to feel this, as well as to intellectually see it.
(2) Meditate over the last mentioned truths, and then follow the matter still further. Read what we have said in the “Advanced Course” (Lesson XI) about the last analysis of Matter showing it fading away into Force or Energy until the dividing line is lost, and Matter merges into Energy or Force, showing them both to be but the same thing, Matter being a grosser form of Energy or Force. This idea should be impressed upon the understanding, in order that the complete edifice of the Knowing of the Oneness may be complete in all of its parts.
(3) Then read in the “Advanced Lessons” about Energy or Force, in the oneness underlying its various manifestations. Consider how one form of Energy may be transformed into another, and so on around the circle, the one principle producing the entire chain of appearances. Realize that the energy within you by which you move and act, is but one of the forms of this great Principle of Energy with which the Universe is filled, and that you may draw to you the required Energy from the great Universal supply. But above all endeavor to grasp the idea of the Oneness pervading the world of Energy or Force, or Motion. See it in its entirety, rather than in its apparent separateness.
These steps may appear somewhat tedious and useless, but take our word for it, they are all helps in fitting the mind to grasp the idea of the Oneness of All. Each step is important, and renders the next higher one more easily attained. In this mental drill, it will be well to mentally picture the Universe in perpetual motion–everything is in motion–all matter is moving and changing its forms, and manifesting the Energy within it. Suns and worlds rush through space, their particles constantly changing and moving. Chemical composition and decomposition is constant and unceasing, everywhere the work of building up and breaking down is going on. New combinations of atoms and worlds are constantly being formed and dissolved. And after considering this Oneness of the principle of Energy, reflect that through all these changes of form the Ego–the Real Self–YOU–stand unchanged and unharmed–Eternal, Invincible, Indestructible, Invulnerable, Real and Constant among this changing world of forms and force. You are above it all, and it revolves around and about you–Spirit.
(4) Read what we have said in the “Advanced Course” about Force or Energy, shading into Mind-substance which is its parent. Realize that Mind is back of all this great exhibition of Energy and Force that you have been considering. Then will you be ready to consider the Oneness of Mind.
(5) Read what we have said in the “Advanced Lessons” about Mind-substance. Realize that there is a great world of Mind-substance, or an Universal Mind, which is at the disposal of the Ego. All Thought is the product of the Ego’s use of this Mind-substance, its tool and instrument. Realize that this Ocean of Mind is entire and Whole, and that the Ego may draw freely from it.
Realize that You have this great ocean of Mind at your command, when you unfold sufficiently to use it. Realize that Mind is back of and underneath all of the world of form and names and action, and that in that sense: “All is Mind,” although still higher in the scale than even Mind are You, the Real Self, the Ego, the Manifestation of the Absolute.
(6) Realize your identity with and relationship to All of Life. Look around you at Life in all its forms, from the lowest to the highest, all being exhibitions of the great principle of Life in operation along different stages of The Path. Scorn not the humblest forms, but look behind the form and see the reality–Life. Feel yourself a part of the great Universal Life. Let your thought sink to the depths of the ocean, and realize your kinship with the Life back of the forms dwelling there. Do not confound the forms (often hideous from your personal point of view) with the principle behind them.
Look at the plant-life, and the animal life, and seek to see behind the veil of form into the real Life behind and underneath the form. Learn to feel your Life throbbing and thrilling with the Life Principle in these other forms, and in the forms of those of your own race. Gaze into the starry skies and see there the numerous suns and worlds, all peopled with life in some of its myriad forms, and feel your kinship to it. If you can grasp this thought and consciousness, you will find yourself at-one-ment with those whirling worlds, and, instead of feeling small and insignificant by comparison, you will be conscious of an expansion of Self, until you feel that in those circling worlds is a part of yourself–that You are there also, while standing upon the Earth–that you are akin to all parts of the Universe–nay, more, that they are as much your home as is the spot upon which you are standing. You will find sweeping upon you a sense of consciousness that the Universe is your home–not merely a part of it, as you had previously thought.
You will experience a sense of greatness, and broadness and grandness such as you have never dreamed of. You will begin to realize at least a part of your Divine inheritance, and to know indeed that you are a Child of the Infinite, the very essence of your Divine Parent being in the fibres of your being, At such times of realization one becomes conscious of what lies before the soul in its upward path, and how small the greatest prizes that Earth has to offer are when compared to some of these things before the soul, as seen by the eyes of the Spiritual Mind in moments of clear vision.
You must not dispute with these visions of the greatness of the soul, but must treat them hospitably, for they are your very own, coming to you from the regions of your Spiritual Mind which are unfolding into consciousness.
(7) The highest step in this dawning consciousness of the Oneness of All, is the one in which is realized that there is but One Reality, and at the same time the sense of consciousness that the “I” is in that Reality. It is most difficult to express this thought in words for it is something that must be felt, rather than seen by the Intellect. When the Soul realizes that the Spirit within it is, at the last, the only real part of it, and that the Absolute and its manifestation as Spirit is the only real thing in the Universe, a great step has been taken. But there is still one higher step to be taken before the full sense of the Oneness and Reality comes to us.
That step is the one in which we realize the Identity of the “I” with the great “I” of the Universe. The mystery of the manifestation of the Absolute in the form of the Spirit, is veiled from us–the mind confesses its inability to penetrate behind the veil shielding the Absolute from view, although it will give us a report of its being conscious of the presence of the Absolute just at the edge of the boundary line. But the highest region of the Spiritual Mind, when explored by the advanced souls who are well along the Path, reports that it sees beyond the apparent separation of Spirit from Spirit, and realizes that there is but one Reality of Spirit, and that all the “I”‘s are really but different views of that One–Centres of Consciousness upon the surface of the One Great “I,” the Centre of which is the Absolute Itself.
This certainly penetrates the whole region of the Spiritual Mind, and gives us all the message of Oneness of the Spirit, just as the Intellect satisfies us with its message of the Oneness of Matter, Energy, and Mind. The idea of Oneness permeates all planes of Life.