It must be remembered that the means of perception are the six senses; hearing, touch, sight, taste, smell and mind, and that these six must be transcended and known for what they are. The means of perception reveal the great Maya or word of illusion which is composed of forms of every kind, built of substance which must be studied as to its atomic and molecular construction and as to the basic elements which give to that substance its specific differentiations and qualities. For the purposes of study the student will do well to remember that he must investigate the nature of the following factors in the polar opposite to spirit which we call matter:
2. Molecular matter,
3. The elements,
4. The three qualities,
5. The force differentiations in their even forms.
Through an understanding of the nature and distinctions of matter he will come to a comprehension of the word of form which has held his spirit a prisoner for so long. This Patanjali points out in sutra 18:
That which is perceived has three qualities, rhythm, mobility and inertia; it consists of the elements and the sense organs. The use of these produces experience and eventual liberation.
This covers the career of the human unit from the moment when he first took incarnation and throughout the long cycle of lives until he passes through the various gates of initiation out into the larger life of the cosmos.
First inertia distinguishes him, and his forms are of so heavy and gross a nature that many and violent contacts are needed before he becomes aware of his surroundings and later intelligently appreciates them. His various sense organs slowly become active; first, the five senses develop and then the mind begins to develop as well. Later he begins to perceive in all around him in the phenomenal world, the same qualities and elements as in himself, and his knowledge rapidly grows. From that he passes to a distinction between himself as the Perceiver and that which he perceives as his form and their world of being. The sixth sense becomes increasingly dominant and is eventually controlled by the true man who passes then into the rhythm state where he is harmonised in himself and consequently with all around him. His manifestation is rhythmic and in tune with the great whole. He looks on at the spectacle and sees to it that those forms through which he is active in the world of phenomena are duly controlled and that all his activities are in harmony with the great plan.
When this is so, he is part of the whole yet freed and liberated from the control of the world of form, of the elements and of the senses. He uses them; they no longer use him.
Patanjali tells us how to achieve this mastery over the senses in the following sutras:
• Mastery over the senses is brought about through concentrated meditation upon their nature, peculiar attributes, egoism, pervasiveness and useful purpose.
• Abstraction [of the consciousness which is outgoing towards the world of phenomena] is the subjugation of the senses by the thinking principle and their withdrawal from that which has hitherto been their object.
• Through fiery aspiration and through the removal of all impurity, comes the perfecting of the bodily powers and of the senses.
From the works of AAB and DK.
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