The Yogi Philosophy teaches that instead of Mind being the “I” it is the thing through and by means of which the “I” thinks, at least so far as is concerned the knowledge concerning the phenomenal or outward Universe–that is the Universe of Name and Form. There is a higher Knowledge locked up in the innermost part of the “I,” that far transcends any information that it may receive about or from the outer world, but that is not before us for consideration at this time, and we must concern ourselves with the “thinking” about the world of things.
Mind-substance in Sanscrit is called “Chitta,” and a wave in the Chitta (which wave is the combination of Mind and Energy) is called “Vritta,” which is akin to what we call a “thought.” In other words it is “mind in action,” whereas Chitta is “mind in repose.” Vritta, when literally translated means “a whirlpool or eddy in the mind,” which is exactly what a thought really is.
But we must call the attention of the student, at this point, to the fact that the word “Mind” is used in two ways by the Yogis and other occultists, and the student is directed to form a clear conception of each meaning, in order to avoid confusion, and that he may more clearly perceive the two aspects of the things which the word is intended to express. In the first place the word “Mind” is used as synonymous with Chitta, or Mind-substance, which is the Universal Mind Principle. From this Chitta, Mind-substance, or Mind, all the material of the millions of personal minds is obtained. The second meaning of the word “Mind” is that which we mean when we speak of the “mind” of anyone, thereby meaning the mental faculties of that particular person–that which distinguishes his mental personality from that of another. We have taught you that this “mind” in Man, functions on three planes, and have called the respective manifestations (1) the Instinctive Mind; (2) the Intellect; and (3) the Spiritual Mind. (See “Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy,” etc.) These three mental planes, taken together, make up the “mind” of the person, or to be more exact they, clustered around the “I” form the “soul” of the individual. The word “soul” is often used as synonymous with “spirit” but those who have followed us will distinguish the difference. The “soul” is the Ego surrounded by its mental principles, while the Spirit is the “soul of the soul”–the “I,” or Real Self.
The Science of Raja Yoga, to which this series of lessons is devoted, teaches, as its basic principle, the Control of the Mind. It holds that the first step toward Power consists in obtaining a control of one’s own mind. It holds that the internal world must be conquered before the outer world is attacked. It holds that the “I” manifests itself in Will, and that that Will may be used to manipulate, guide, govern and direct the mind of its owner, as well as the physical world. It aims to clear away all mental rubbish, and encumbrances–to conduct a “mental house-cleaning,” as it were, and to secure a clear, clean, healthy mind. Then it proceeds to control that mind intelligently, and with effect, saving all waste-power, and by means of concentration bringing the Mind in full harmony with the Will, that it may be brought to a focus and its power greatly increased and its efficiency fully secured.
Concentration and Will-power are the means by which the Yogis obtain such wonderful results, and by which they manage and direct their vigorous, healthy minds, and master the material world, acting positively upon Energy and Matter. This control extends to all planes of the Mind and the Yogis not only control the Instinctive Mind, holding in subjection its lower qualities and making use of its other parts, but they also develop and enlarge the field of their Intellect and obtain from it wonderful results.
Even the Spiritual Mind is mastered, and aided in its unfoldment, and urged to pass down into the field of consciousness some of the wonderful secrets to be found within its area. By means of Raja Yoga many of the secrets of existence and Being–many of the Riddles of the Universe–are answered and solved. And by it the latent powers inherent in the constitution of Man are unfolded and brought into action. Those highly advanced in the science are believed to have obtained such a wonderful degree of power and control over the forces of the universe, that they are as gods compared with the ordinary man.
Raja Yoga teaches that not only may power of this kind be secured, but that a wonderful field of Knowledge is opened out through its practice. It holds that when the concentrated mind is focused upon thing or subject, the true nature and inner meaning, of, and concerning, that thing or subject will be brought to view. The concentrated mind passes through the object or subject just as the X-Ray passes through a block of wood, and the thing is seen by the “I” as it is–in truth–and not as it had appeared before, imperfectly and erroneously. Not only may the outside world be thus explored, but the mental ray may be turned inward, and the secret places of the mind explored. When it is remembered that the bit of mind that each man possesses, is like a drop of the ocean which contains within its tiny compass all the elements that make up the ocean, and that to know perfectly the drop is to know perfectly the ocean, then we begin to see what such a power really means.
Many in the Western world who have attained great results in the intellectual and scientific fields of endeavor, have developed these powers more or less unconsciously. Many great inventors are practical Yogis, although they do not realize the source of their power. Anyone who is familiar with the personal mental characteristics of Edison, will see that he follows some of the Raja Yoga methods, and that Concentration is one of his strongest weapons. And from all reports, Prof. Elmer Gates, of Washington, D.C., whose mind has unfolded many wonderful discoveries and inventions, is also a practical Yogi although he may repudiate the assertion vigorously, and may not have familiarized himself with the principles of this science, which he has “dropped into” unconsciously. Those who have reported upon Prof. Gates’ methods, say that he fairly “digs out” the inventions and discoveries from his mind, after going into seclusion and practicing concentration, and what is known as the Mental Vision.
But we have given you enough of theory for one lesson, and must begin to give you directions whereby you may aid yourself in developing these latent powers and unfolding these dormant energies. You will notice that in this series we first tell you something about the theory, and then proceed to give you “something to do.” This is the true Yogi method as followed and practiced by their best teachers. Too much theory is tiresome, and sings the mind to sleep, while too much exercise tires one, and does not give the inquiring part of his mind the necessary food. To combine both in suitable proportions is the better plan, and one that we aim to follow.