There is a power that does all these things; and one must know himself to be different from the power and be able to use it with detachment. The aspirant thinks that he walks; it is really his body that walks. The aspirant thinks that he sees, hears, thinks, feels or desires; it is really his mind which does all these things through some convenient medium. As soul, the aspirant is everywhere and really does nothing. But it is not enough to think that as soul he is everywhere and really does nothing; he must know this.
Knowledge of the soul may also be aimed at through slightly different form of meditation (about the subject of experience), in which the aspirant tries to realize himself as merely a witness* of all physical and mental happenings. After a person wakes from his dream, he realizes that he was not a real agent of the actions in the dream but that he was merely a witness of these actions. If the aspirant consistently and persistently cultivates the habit of considering himself as being nothing but a witness of all the physical and mental happenings, which he experiences in wakefulness as well as in dreams, he soon develops utter detachment. which brings freedom from all the worries and sufferings connected with worldly events. This form of meditation is intended to lift the aspirant out of the bonds of time and to secure for him an immediate relief from the fret and fever connected with the diverse expressions of limited energy. As a witness, the soul remains aloof from all events in time; and the results of actions do not bind it. All this has to be experienced and not merely thought about.
The forms of meditation concerned with the subject of experience, however, suffer from the handicap that the true subject of experience can never be the object of thought or meditation, in the ordinary sense; these forms of meditation, therefore, can at best take the aspirant very close to self-knowledge, which can only dawn, in its full glory, when the domain of the mind is completely traversed. Some impersonal forms of specialized meditation are, therefore, concerned with mental operations; and they ultimately aim at making the mind still.
One of the requirements of acquiring control over thoughts is to become fully conscious of what they are. They have to be attended to before they are controlled. In ordinary introspection it is often not possible for the beginner to devote adequate attention to all the shadowy thoughts which pass through his mind. It is, therefore, helpful for the aspirant occasionally to write down all his thoughts** as they come and then to inspect them at
* Meditation No. 9 in the Table.
* * Meditation No. 10 in the Table