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January 2021, #83 Meditative Thinking

Quotations are from Volume 4 of The Notebooks of Paul Brunton.

“All possess the power of reflection but few use it. When this power is turned outwardly, we look upon the physical body, its organs and senses, as our self and so plunge into the bustling activity of this world without hesitation. But if this same power of reflection be turned inwardly, we begin to forget our activities and to lose knowledge of the physical body and its environment. For we become so deeply indrawn into the world of thought that for the time being this inner world becomes for us the real world. Thus we are led gradually by repeating this practice to identify ourselves with the mind alone, to look upon ourselves as thought beings.” (4.4.11)

“In this type of meditation, the intellect must think, first about itself and second about what is beyond itself. This change of thought becomes a stepping stone to a change in consciousness.” (Ibid. 7)

“In this type of meditation, the activity of thinking is not rejected. On the contrary, it is deliberately accepted, for its character undergoes a marked change. At a certain stage, when concentration thoroughly establishes itself, some force that is deeper than the familiar personal self rises up from within itself and imposes a continuous stream of sequential, illumined thoughts upon the consciousness.” (Ibid. 12)

“Deep reflective thinking is present behind deep impersonal thinking.” (Ibid.14)

“In meditation one should follow the path pointed out by his temperament. He should strive to think his own thoughts and not always echo those of others.” (Ibid. 33)

“The Overself takes his thoughts about it, limited and remote though they are, and guides them closer and closer to its own high level. Such illumined thinking is not the same as ordinary thinking. Its qualitative height and mystical depth are immensely superior. But when his thoughts can go no farther, the Overself’s Grace touches and silences them. In that moment he knows.”(Ibid. 18) (P)

“An inspired writing is more than something to be read for information or instruction; it gives a man faith, it becomes a symbol to which he can hold and from which he can draw a renewal of trust in the universe. It is this trust which makes him deny himself and inspires him to reach beyond himself. For his mind to fasten itself to such a writing, therefore, and to use it as a focus for meditation, is unconsciously to invoke and receive the grace of the illumined man who brought the writing to birth.” (Ibid. 20)

“In these inspired writings, we may look for two distinctive qualities; the power to stimulate thought and the power to uplift character. In the first case we shall find them a seed-bed of ideas which can bear ample fruit in our minds; in the second case there is imparted to reading some flavour of the unshakeable moral strength which the inspired writers themselves possess.” (Ibid. 21)

“There is a sensitivity and a depth in such works which are truly remarkable, a power, a light, and a heat to inspire their readers which is born from genius.” (Ibid. 24)