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Two Presidents (II)

May 21, 2008 06:51 AM
by prmoliveira

[Radha Burnier suffered a minor stroke in November 2006 and recovered 
from it, as attested by two Indian doctors. In the course of the 
current election words and expressions like "brain 
damage", "misfunctioning of the brain", "incoherence", etc. have been 
used to depict her mental condition in communications to members of 
the TS before they had voted. 

I reproduce below excerpts from her "On the Watch-Tower" notes, 
published in the May 2008 issue of "The Theosophist", on the 
subject "Preparing for Meditation". PO]

"There are certain words ? `God', for example ? which mean different 
things to different people, and the meaning which they give them may 
be trivial or profound. Thus, the word `meditation' may have serious 
or superficial connotations depending on who is speaking of it. But 
in every school which has taken meditation seriously there has been a 
period of preliminary preparation followed by properly supervised 
practice. It is only while this preparatory work is in progress that 
meditation can safely begin. 

For learning meditation is not a question of spending fifteen minutes 
or half an hour every day. That may have its place and its 
usefulness; but we are called on to work in a more sustained way in 
relation to all activities in which we are engaged, all the attitudes 
which exist inside the mind, and the pursuits in which the mind 
engages itself, and which can distort the relationships and make real 
perception impossible. In the Vedantic tradition it has been said 
that a person cannot find a master nor can he learn the secret 
teachings with regard to self-development until he is properly 
prepared. This preliminary work is described in "At the Feet of the 
Master", where, it will be remembered, the practice of discrimination 
and non-attachment or desirelessness is included. 

A Master of the Wisdom, although he thought highly enough of Alfred 
P. Sinnett to carry on a long correspondence with him, still did not 
accept him as a disciple, and never gave him a higher rank than that 
of a lay-chela. Even when the candidate was allowed to become a 
disciple he was put through a further long period of training during 
which he was tested on different levels and in many ways. Every kind 
of temptation faced the aspirant in this stage; not only had he to 
withstand trials from without, but more subtle temptations that arose 
from within the mind itself, every nook and corner of which was 
subjected to the closest scrutiny. To be faced with temptation in 
this sense means to be faced with oneself. 

Is there an aim in meditation? The meditator may of course have an 
aim, and if he has, then he is in the same situation as one who never 
thinks of it. He wants to achieve, he wants to acquire something, he 
wants something to add to himself. The desire to `become' is, as we 
shall see, the whole problem.

It may be that we cannot say what the aim of the meditation is. 
Perhaps we can say that the end of meditation is illumination, unity, 
harmony, the `peace that passeth understanding', the awareness or 
realization of immortality. 

Meditation ? or the attempt to meditate ? may become a self-centred 
activity, a new kind of ambition unrelated to the rest of life. So a 
person who is indifferent to life, to its meaning, and its value, and 
simply says `I want to get somewhere through my meditation, I want to 
achieve illumination', merely imprisons himself in a narrow state of 
isolation. For meditation is an awakening to the whole meaning of 
life; it is a progressive movement through different levels of 


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