Now we have given much time and space to the expressions of opinion of various Western writers regarding this subject of there being a plane or planes of the mind outside of the field of consciousness. We have given space to this valuable testimony, not alone because of its intrinsic value and merit, but because we wished to impress upon the minds of our students that these out-of-conscious planes of mind are now being recognized by the best authorities in the Western world, although it has been only a few years back when the idea was laughed at as ridiculous, and as a mere “dream of the Oriental teachers.”
Each writer quoted has brought out some interesting and valuable point of the subject, and the student will find that his own experiences corroborate the points cited by the several writers. In this way we think the matter will be made plainer, and will become fixed in the mind of those who are studying this course of lessons.
But we must caution our students from hastily adopting the several theories of Western writers, advanced during the past few years, regarding these out-of-conscious states. The trouble has been that the Western writers dazzled by the view of the subconscious planes of mentation that suddenly burst upon the Western thought, hastily adopted certain theories, which they felt would account for all the phenomena known as “psychic,” and which they thought would fully account for all the problems of the subject. These writers while doing a most valuable work, which has helped thousands to form new ideas regarding the nature and workings of the mind, nevertheless did not sufficiently explore the nature of the problem before them. A little study of the Oriental philosophies might have saved them and their readers much confusion.
For instance, the majority of these writers hastily assumed that because there was an out-of-conscious plane of mentation, therefore all the workings of the mind might be grouped under the head of “conscious” and “sub-conscious,” and that all the out-of-conscious phenomena might be grouped under the head of “subconscious mind,” “subjective mind,” etc., ignoring the fact that this class of mental phenomena embraced not only the highest but the lowest forms of mentation In their newly found “mind” (which they called “subjective” or “sub-conscious”), they placed the lowest traits and animal passions; insane impulses; delusions; bigotry; animal-like intelligence, etc., etc., as well as the inspiration of the poet and musician, and the high spiritual longings and feelings that one recognizes as having come from the higher regions of the soul.
This mistake was a natural one, and at first reading the Western world was taken by storm, and accepted the new ideas and theories as Truth. But when reflection came, and analysis was applied there arose a feeling of disappointment and dissatisfaction, and people began to feel that there was something lacking. They intuitively recognized that their higher inspirations and intuitions came from a different part of the mind than the lower emotions, passions, and other sub-conscious feelings, and instincts.
A glance at the Oriental philosophies will give one the key to the problem at once. The Oriental teachers have always held that the conscious mentation was but a small fraction of the entire volume of thought, but they have always taught that just as there was a field of mentation below consciousness, so was there a field of mentation above consciousness as much higher than Intellect as the other was lower than it. The mere mention of this fact will prove a revelation to those who have not heard it before, and who have become entangled with the several “dual-mind” theories of the recent Western writers. The more one has read on this subject the more he will appreciate the superiority of the Oriental theory over that of the Western writers. It is like the chemical which at once clears the clouded liquid in the test-tube.
In our next lesson we shall go into this subject of the above-conscious planes, and the below-conscious planes, bringing out the distinction clearly, and adding to what we have said on the subject in previous books.
And all this is leading us toward the point where we may give you instruction regarding the training and cultivation–the retraining and guidance of these out-of-conscious faculties. By retraining the lower planes of mentation to their proper work, and by stimulating the higher ones, man may “make himself over.” mentally, and may acquire powers of which he but dreams now. This is why we are leading you up to the understanding of this subject, step by step. We advise you to acquaint yourself with each phase of the matter, that you may be able to apply the teachings and instructions to follow in later lessons of the course.
I recognize that my Self is greater than it seems–that above and below consciousness are planes of mind–that just as there are lower planes of mind which belong to my past experience in ages past and over which I must now assert my Mastery–so are there planes of mind into which I am unfolding gradually, which will bring me wisdom, power, and joy. I Am Myself, in the midst of this mental world–I am the Master of my Mind–I assert my control of its lower phases, and I demand of its higher all that it has in store for me.