The problem in the specialized forms of meditation is not theoretical but practical. Specialized forms of meditation are helpful for overcoming some specific obstacles in the way of enlightenment and realization; they aim at controlling the mind and going beyond it. Specialized forms of meditation are more like the desperate attempts of a man to break through the walls of his prison than like the idle speculative activity of forming "opinions" about the strength of the different parts of the prison walls or about what may become visible after coming into the open.
In spiritual life, even a sincere mistake, which is taken seriously, may have more value than half-hearted allegiance to theoretical or formal truth. The practical purpose in the specialized forms of meditation must sometimes prevail even at the cost of formal and theoretical truth. Thus, while concentrating on a particular formula or form, no other formula or form can be allowed access to the mind, although intrinsically this other formula or form may have the same or even greater spiritual importance. If an aspirant has been meditating upon one Master, he has to exclude from his mind all ideas of any other Masters, though these Masters may, in reality, be as perfect as the Master on whom he is meditating. In the same way, intensive thinking about the nature of the soul cannot be carried on while trying to make the mind blank, although intensive thinking might be as helpful towards the achievement of the goal as the process of making the mind blank.
As a rule, mixing up of the specialized forms of meditation is not desirable, though theoretically they may equally be directed towards different aspects of the Truth. The task of bringing together the different facets of the Truth and building up a whole and complete view of life is attempted by general meditation, in which thought is free, comprehensive and receptive to all aspects of the Truth. Such general meditation has its own value and justification. General meditation is helpful before trying specialized forms of meditation, as well as after trying them. But it cannot take the place of the specialized forms of meditation, because the specialized forms of meditation have a different purpose and function.
The different forms of specialized meditation are comparable to the different forms of exercise which may have some specific purpose or justification. Exercise for one's muscles is meant only for the strengthening of the muscles; but this does not mean that one's stomach is not an important part of the body. In the same way, the exercise for the stomach is meant only for the strengthening of the stomach; but this does not mean that the