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HPB's Diagram Of Meditation

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H.P.B.'S Diagram Of Meditation

Clara M. Codd

The Theosophist January 1968 pages 255-8

MANY years ago I knew well one of H. P. Blavatsky's esoteric pupils. He told me that her special pupils met regularly, and that she always made them sit in the same place, as she arranged them according to the play of their individual auras upon each other.

She also made a "diagram" of a system of meditation, which I think has only been published by the old Point Loma Theosophists. I happen to have a copy so I will reproduce it here. I lent it to Bishop Conrad Loveday in S. Africa years ago and he told me that it had a very powerful effect upon him. Here it is:

Diagram of Meditation by H. P. Blavatsky.

First conceive of Unity by expansion in Space and infinite in Time.  Then meditate logically and consistently on this in reference to States of Consciousness.  Then the normal state of our consciousness must be moulded by—

Three Acquisitions:

1. Perpetual presence in Imagination in all Space and Time.  From this originates a substratum of memory which does not cease in dreaming or waking.  Its manifestation is courage.  With memory of universality all dread vanishes during the dangers and trials of life.

2. A continued attempt at an attitude of mind to all existing things which is neither love, hate, nor indifference.  Different in external activity to each because in each the capacity alters.  Mentally the same to all.  Equilibrium and constant calm.  Greater ease in practising the "virtues" which are really the outcome of wisdom.  For, benevolence, sympathy, justice, etc. arise from the intuitive identification of the individual with others, although unknown to the personality.

3. The perception in all embodied beings of limitation only.  Criticism without praise or blame.

Acquisition is completed by the conception "I am all Space and Time".  Beyond that . . . it cannot be said.

Five Deprivations:

1. Separations and meetings, association with places; times and forms, futile longings, expectations, and memories and broken heartedness.

2. The distinction between friend and foe, resulting in anger or bias—replaced by judgment.

3. Possessions.   Greed, selfishness, ambition.

4. Personality.   Vanity, remorse.

5. Sensation.   Gluttony, lust, etc.

These deprivations are produced by the perpetual imagination—without self-delusion—of "I am without . . . " the recognition of their being the source of bondage, ignorance and strife.

Deprivation is completed by the meditation "I am without attributes. . . "  All passions and virtues interblend with each other.

There are one or two points of great interest in this.

  1. That the manifestation of the First Acquisition is courage. The Master Hilarion once said that courage did not really belong to the personal self which has such a strong instinct for self-preservation. Courage, He said, emanates from the eternal Self, knowing that it is immortal and indestructible. Many a man has suddenly, in face of an unexpected danger, found a courage which he did not know that he possessed. It means a descent of the Ego who is the embodiment of courage.
  2. Then, in the Second Acquisition, the state of mind which is neither love, hate nor indifference. I think that means a clear mind totally uninfluenced by the emotions, seeing "things as they are". And being utterly responsive to need and not to private bias. And, again, that "virtues" are the outcome of Wisdom—this is the state of the "God-conscious" man, who, therefore, as St. John says, "cannot sin, because he is born of God".
  3. Therefore, as Acquisition No. 3 shows, there is no real sin as we understand the term, only lack of growth. Thus the illuminated man can see clearly what is without any sense of praise or blame. Dr. Hastings, in his Dictionary of the Bible, states that the original Hebrew, and also Greek, word which is translated "sin" does not presuppose any evil intent, but rather as if an archer, aiming at a mark, through lack of skill goes wide of the mark.

Then the Five Deprivations:

  1. Clearly to the illuminated it is unimportant whether he meets or says goodbye to his friends. He does not indulge in futile memories or expectations, so never suffers from a broken heart. In fact, he stands quietly and steadily between the "pairs of opposites" which govern evolutionary life.
  2. Again he has no personal bias in favor or against anyone.
  3. He sits completely loose about any possessions, physical or psychical, and so is freed from greed, and ambition which is another form of greed. Having lost his egocentricity he desires nothing for his separated self.
  4. His personality being transcended he cannot suffer from any form of vanity or remorse. As H.P.B. tells us the root of remorse is the pain of the loss of some form of personal gain which "might have been." In a letter from the Master M. to Mr. Judge, the Master tells him to regret nothing, never to be sorry but to cut all doubts with the sword of knowledge.
  5. It is easy to see that the desire for sensation of any kind will lead to gluttony or lust and therefore to the hurt of self and others.

H.P.B. mentions that the passions and virtues interblend with each other. The old Greeks said that a virtue in excess became a vice. Therefore they had a proverb "Nothing too much." Piety, for example, is a virtue, but in excess becomes sanctimoniousness.

It is clear that the ordinary person cannot become quickly the kind of person here depicted. But it is helpful and broadening to consider such statements. I have long seen that the Adept Community does not look on virtue and vice in the same manner as we do. Hence their wonderful understanding and compassion. Our ideas thereon generally arise from our customary moral code.

Ed note: This diagram, first published in The Canadian Theosophist March 1943, page 27, was not originally included with the article above but is included here for those interested in this subject. There was no further information contained within that edition which may have explained the circumstances of the publication.

Image Attribution: HPB artistic rendition by S


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