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29

 

with his spiritual ideal. His failings will have all vanished into nothingness when his pilgrimage is at an end.

 

Associative meditation is to the spirit what the assimilation of food is to the body. The body can make up for its deficiencies by the assimilation of the right sort of food; just so, the mind can secure its health by the assimilation of spiritual truths through meditating upon them. But it is necessary to strike a balance between the different forms of associative meditation, even though they are all in their own way good; just as it is necessary to balance the diet, even when we have satisfied ourselves of the nutritive value of the different components of the diet. Disproportionate development of mental life hampers advancement, because of the internal friction which is attendant upon it; and, happy combinations of the different forms of meditation facilitate rapid progress, because they secure a harmonized and balanced mind. The right combinations are those which promote an advancing equilibrium by emphasizing just those aspects of the truth which are relevant for removing the special obstacles with which the aspirant is faced at the moment.

 

The analogy of diet can be extended even to the second type of meditation, which consists in avoiding and eliminating the things which are antispiritual. A faulty diet can upset physical health; faulty types of meditation can throw the mind in disorder. The wrong type of food can ruin health instead of nourishing it; so, the instinctive meditation on the objects of craving can create further fetters for the mind instead of breaking those which already exist. Therefore, it is as important to avoid the wrong type of meditation as it is to avoid the wrong type of food. And, further, just as good health requires constant elimination of the waste products and poisonous substances, spiritual health requires the expulsion of undesirable thoughts and emotions.

 

So far we have been concerned with the two types of meditation into which the process of meditation gets differentiated by considering the nature of the function which it performs in spiritual advancement. It is equally illuminating to understand the different types into which the process of meditation gets differentiated, by considering the nature of that part of the personality which is predominantly brought into play during meditation. Through the application of this second principle, we get three distinct types of meditation.

 

In the first type of meditation the intellect is predominantly brought

 

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