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The Science of Meditation (part 5)


Edited by Marco Ferrini

In the Veda “Vac” is the root-word that creates the Worlds.

It is so, as we reveal our mood with the use of words and they must be as true as possible, since before deceiving others we deceive ourselves.

The word, as the action, is however just an exterior manifestation of an inside process, the process of reflection, vicara, of thought and before it of desire.

In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad it is explained that “Man is nothing else but desire”. Thus, it is essential to select one’s desires, since quite a few reside in the unconscious: “an entire herd of pawing horses” quoting Plato. We are supposed to orientate and direct these unconscious drives, as soon as they are crossing the threshold to consciousness or conscious thought, becoming thus aware.

Our temperament is the result of a concatenation of desires, thoughts, reflections, words, actions, repeated actions that involve an interaction of more or less emotional factors, becoming tendencies, salient features of our character that incites the actions to take, if we do not funnel it in the right way. In order to act upon these quasi-unconscious phases, it is necessary to accede the dimension that resides beyond the threshold of awareness; there are different ways to do it as meditation, prayer and dreams that Freud indicates as “the royal road to the unconscious”.

All these ways can help us in exploring our internal dimension and expanding the lightness of our consciousness, thus restricting the darkness of the unconscious, as well as of the unknown, leading us to a deeper acquaintance with ourselves. The application of these techniques requires different theoretical and practical areas of knowledge, that can be experienced in daily life. Meditation experience can endure while talking, walking, eating, sleeping: we do not meditate just when we sit in a crossed-leg posture. But to reach a constant meditative state and to be always aware about our deep nature and its interaction with the phenomenal exterior, we need to consider some aspects: first that our psyche is like an arena, where titanic oposing forces are continually raging and struggling.

Sometimes these are entropic tendencies, sometimes they are syntropic, evolutive or devolutive ones, good or bad for health. Through the potency of the mythical language, it can be defined as the ceaseless fight between Good and Evil. There are several obstacles to meditation; Patanjali outlines these obstacles, like distraction, vikshipta, obfuscation and blunting of consciousness, the lowering of attention, mudha, whereas a selective attention is fundamental to succeed in meditative practice. Another central aspect we have to consider about meditation concerns the individuality. Every individual is peculiar to himself, everybody is an individual with his own path, there is no sameness within these terms, since everyone has a human story and personal experiences. According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable.

When the subject, the spiritual being, leaves his physical body he travels incorporated in a psychic bubble constituted by samskara and vasana; the strongest tendencies will particularly determine the nature of next birth, consequently the place, the belonging to a certain species and other factors related to a new material body designed to be inhabited by that particular jiva. The psychic structure differs by the experiences we carry forward from our previous lives and, life after life, it determines different births also for monozygotic twins, what about “simple” brothers, fellow countrymen, compatriots or people who shares the same culture.

The influence of the three archetypal forces, guna, that compose the material nature, prakriti, and the background of recent or less recent past actions, karma, are individually different, therefore, when a person wishes to start a meditation practice it is suggestible to get acquainted with him/her personally, since they should be assisted and introduced in a special manner, peculiar to them and according to their guna and karma. If the individuality, the specificity of that particular model of personality, is unique, then liberty should be conceived as its natural corollary. No practice can deprive individuals of their liberty and no Master shall deny liberty to his disciples. There shall not be any induced suggestion, but obedience related to free will to accept an offer from a model considered pre-eminent by the individual. In this relationship the liberty of the meditator must always be respected, because the person will be able to meditate to the extent that he or she will be free.

Certainly, he will make mistakes, he will not avoid to be subject to mental automatism typical of who knows how many past lives, he will not immediately succeed to renounce and get beyond all obstacles, like mind conditioning, a certain habit, food or beverage, a relationship etc… but if we know the positive sense of liberty and recognize the specificity of that pattern of transitory personality, then the individual will be free to express himself accordingly to his or her consciousness level, without any destructive imposition, but rather by offers infused with the pure spirit of bhakti, loving relationship, prema, with an affective investment, as Love by definition does not need any counterpart, it is self-sufficient.

Another important factor in meditation is the social integration, not with a corporatist meaning, much less of caste. Social integration means the capability of harmonic interaction, constructive, evolutive and with all creatures, the attitude to valorize any creature, whether they are birds, reptiles, fishes and what about men, potential travel companions from whom we may learn, in order to grow and develop spiritually. In a certain sense, all that can fall within one of the most important abstentions Patanjali indicates: Nonviolence, ahimsa. Finally, one fundamental element for an effective meditation practice is the spiritual tension, that irrepressible need every human being has to apply and orientate towards ideality.

Meditation cannot prescind from the necessity we have to realize our Inner Identity.

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