An Introduction
to Yoga

by Annie Besant

The Meaning of the Universe

  • The Unfolding of Consciousness
  • The Oneness of the Self
  • The Quickening of the Process of Self-Unfoldment
  • Yoga is a Science
  • Man a Duality
  • States of Mind
  • Samadhi

The Literature of Yoga

  • Some Definitions
  • God Without and God  Within
  • Changes of Consciousness and Vibrations of Matter
  • Stages of Mind
  • Inward and Outward-turned Consciousness
  • The Cloud

Relation to Indian Philosophies

  • Mind
  • The Mental Body

Mind and Self

  • Methods of Yoga
  • To the Self by the Self
  • To the Self through the Not-Self

  • Yoga and Morality
  • Composition of States of the Mind

Pleasure and Pain

  • Inhibition of States of Mind
  • Meditation with and without Seed
  • The Use of Mantras


  • Obstacles to Yoga
  • Capacities for Yoga
  • Forthgoing and Returning
  • Purification of Bodies
  • Dwellers on the Threshold
  • Preparation for Yoga
  • The End
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Lessons in Gnani and Raja Yoga
The Yoga of Wisdom

by Yogi Ramacharaka
Lessons in Gnani and Raja Yoga
The Yoga of Wisdom

by Yogi Ramacharaka

Man gains his knowledge of the outside world through his senses. And,
consequently, many of us are in the habit of thinking of these senses as
if they did the sensing, instead of being merely carriers of the
vibrations coming from the outside world, which are then presented to the
Mind for examination. We shall speak of this at greater length a little
later on in this lesson. Just now we wish to impress upon you the fact
that it is the Mind that perceives, not the senses. And, consequently, a
development of Perception is really a development of the Mind.

The Yogis put their students through a very arduous course of practice
and exercises designed to develop their powers of perception. To many
this would appear to be merely a development of the Senses, which might
appear odd in view of the fact that the Yogis are constantly preaching
the folly of being governed and ruled by the senses. But there is nothing
paradoxical about all this, for the Yogis, while preaching the folly of
sense life, and manifesting the teaching in their lives, nevertheless
believe in any and all exercises calculated to "sharpen" the Mind, and
develop it to a keen state and condition.

They see a great difference between having a sharpened perception, on the
one hand, and being a slave to the senses on the other. For instance,
what would be thought of a man who objected to acquiring a keen eyesight,
for fear it would lead him away from higher things, by reason of his
becoming attached to the beautiful things he might see. To realize the
folly of this idea, one may look at its logical conclusion, which would
be that one would then be much better off if all their senses were
destroyed. The absurdity, not to say wickedness, of such an idea will be
apparent to everyone, after a minute's consideration.

The secret of the Yogi theory and teachings regarding the development of
the Mental powers, lies in the word "Mastery." The Yoga student
accomplishes and attains this mastery in two ways. The first way is by
subordinating all the feelings, sense-impressions, etc., to the Mastery
of the "I," or Will, the Mastery being obtained in this way by the
assertion of the dominancy of the "I" over the faculties and emotions,
etc. The second step, or way, lies in the Yogi, once having asserted the
mastery, beginning to develop and perfect the Mental instrument, so as to
get better work and returns from it. In this way he increases his kingdom
and is Master over a much larger territory.

In order for one to gain knowledge, it is necessary to use to the best
advantage the mental instruments and tools that he finds at his disposal.
And again, one must develop and improve such tools--put a keen edge upon
them, etc. Not only does one gain a great benefit from a development of
the faculties of perception, but he also acquires an additional benefit
from the training of the whole mind arising from the mental discipline
and training resulting from the former exercises, etc. In our previous
lessons we have pointed out some of the means by which these faculties
might be greatly improved, and their efficiency increased. In this lesson
we shall point out certain directions in which the Perceptive faculties
may be trained. We trust that the simplicity of the idea may not cause
any of our students to lose interest in the work. If they only knew just
what such development would lead to they would gladly follow our
suggestions in the matter. Every one of the ideas and exercises given by
us are intended to lead up to the strengthening of the Mind, and the
attainment of powers and the unfoldment of faculties. There is no royal
road to Raja Yoga, but the student will be well repaid for the work of
climbing the hill of Attainment.

In view of the above, let us examine the question of The Senses. Through
the doors of the senses Man receives all his information regarding the
outside world. If he keeps these doors but half open, or crowded up with
obstacles and rubbish, he may expect to receive but few messages from
outside. But if he keeps his doorways clear, and clean, he will obtain
the best that is passing his way.

If one were born without sense-organs--no matter how good a Mind he might
have--he would be compelled to live his life in a dreamy plant-life stage
of existence, with little or no consciousness. The Mind would be like a
seed in the earth, that for some reason was prevented from growing.

One may object that the highest ideas do not come to us through the
senses, but the reply is that the things obtained through the senses are
the "raw material" upon which the mind works, and fashions the beautiful
things that it is able to produce in its highest stages. Just as is the
body dependent for growth upon the nourishment taken into it, so is the
mind dependent for growth upon the impressions received from the
Universe--and these impressions come largely through the senses. It may
be objected to that we know many things that we have not received through
our senses. But, does the objector include the impressions that came
through his senses in some previous existence, and which have been
impressed upon his instinctive mind, or soul-memory? It is true that
there are higher senses than those usually recognized, but Nature insists
upon one learning the lessons of the lower grades before attempting those
of the higher.

Do not forget that all that we know we have "worked for." There is
nothing that comes to the idler, or shirker. What we know is merely the
result of "stored-up accumulations of previous experience," as Lewes has
so well said.

So it will be seen that the Yogi idea that one should develop all parts
of the Mind is strictly correct, if one will take the trouble to examine
into the matter. A man sees and knows but very little of what is going
on about him. His limitations are great. His powers of vision report only
a few vibrations of light, while below and above the scale lie an
infinity of vibrations unknown to him. The same is true of the powers of
hearing, for only a comparatively small portion of the sound-waves reach
the Mind of Man--even some of the animals hear more than he does.

If a man had only one sense he would obtain but a one-sense idea of the
outside world. If another sense is added his knowledge is doubled. And so
on. The best proof of the relation between increased sense perception and
development is had in the study of the evolution of animal forms. In the
early stages of life the organism has only the sense of feeling--and very
dim at that--and a faint sense of taste. Then developed smell, hearing
and sight, each marking a distinct advance in the scale of life, for a
new world has been opened out to the advancing forms of life. And, when
man develops new senses--and this is before the race--he will be a much
wiser and greater being.

Carpenter, many years ago, voiced a thought that will be familiar to
those who are acquainted with the Yogi teachings regarding the unfoldment
of new senses. He said: "It does not seem at all improbable that there
are properties of matter of which none of our senses can take immediate
cognizance, and which other beings might be formed to perceive in the
same manner as we are sensible to light, sound, etc."

And Isaac Taylor said: "It may be that within the field observed by the
visible and ponderable universe there is existing and moving another
element fraught with another species of life--corporeal, indeed, and
various in its orders, but not open to cognizance of those who are
confined to the conditions of animal organization. Is it to be thought
that the eye of man is the measure of the Creator's power?--and that He
created nothing but that which he has exposed to our present senses? The
contrary seems much more than barely possible; ought we not to think it
almost certain?"

Another writer. Prof. Masson, has said: "If a new sense or two were added
to the present normal number, in man, that which is now the phenomenal
world for all of us might, for all that we know, burst into something
amazingly different and wider, in consequence of the additional
revelations of these new senses."

But not only is this true, but Man may increase his powers of knowledge
and experience if he will but develop the senses he has to a higher
degree of efficiency, instead of allowing them to remain comparatively
atrophied. And toward this end, this lesson is written.

The Mind obtains its impressions of objects of the outside world by means
of the brain and sense organs. The sensory organs are the instruments of
the Mind, as is also the brain and the entire nervous system. By means of
the nerves, and the brain, the Mind makes use of the sensory organs in
order that it may obtain information regarding external objects.

The senses are usually said to consist of five different forms, viz.,
sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste.

The Yogis teach that there are higher senses, undeveloped, or
comparatively so, in the majority of the race, but toward the unfoldment
of which the race is tending. But we shall not touch upon these latent
senses in this lesson, as they belong to another phase of the subject. In
addition to the five senses above enumerated, some physiologists and
psychologists have held that there were several others in evidence. For
instance, the sense by which the inner organs revealed their presence and
condition, The muscular system reports to the mind through some sense
that is not that of "touch," although closely allied to it. And the
feelings of hunger, thirst, etc., seem to come to us through an unnamed

Bernstein has distinguished between the five senses and the one just
referred to as follows: "The characteristic distinction between these
common sensations and the sensations of the senses is that by the latter
we gain knowledge of the occurrences and objects which belong to the
external world (and which sensations we refer to external objects),
whilst by the former we only feel conditions of our own body."

A sensation is the internal, mental conception, resulting from an
external object or fact exciting the sense organs and nerves, and the
brain, thus making the mind "aware" of the external object or fact. As
Bain has said, it is the "mental impression, feeling, or conscious state,
resulting from the action of external things on some part of the body,
called on that account, sensitive."

Each channel of sense impressions has an organ, or organs, peculiarly
adapted for the excitation of its substance by the particular kind of
vibrations through which it receives impressions. The eye is most
cunningly and carefully designed to receive the light-waves; and
sound-waves produce no effect upon it. And, likewise, the delicate
mechanism of the ear responds only to sound-waves; light-waves failing to
register upon it. Each set of sensations is entirely different, and the
organs and nerves designed to register each particular set are peculiarly
adapted to their own special work. The organs of sense, including their
special nervous systems, may be compared to a delicate instrument that
the mind has fashioned for itself, that it may investigate, examine and
obtain reports from the outside world.

We have become so accustomed to the workings of the senses that we take
them as a "matter of course," and fail to recognize them as the delicate
and wonderful instruments that they are--designed and perfected by the
mind for its own use. If we will think of the soul as designing,
manufacturing and using these instruments, we may begin to understand
their true relations to our lives, and, accordingly treat them with more
respect and consideration.

We are in the habit of thinking that we are aware of all the sensations
received by our mind. But this is very far from being correct. The
unconscious regions of the mind are incomparably larger than the small
conscious area that we generally think of when we say "my mind." In
future lessons we shall proceed to consider this wonderful area, and
examine what is to be found there. Taine has well said, "There is going
on within us a subterranean process of infinite extent; its products
alone are known to us, and are only known to us in the mass. As to
elements, and their elements, consciousness does not attain to them. They
are to sensations what secondary molecules and primitive molecules are to
bodies. We get a glance here and there at obscure and infinite worlds
extending beneath our distinct sensations. These are compounds and
wholes. For their elements to be perceptible to consciousness, it is
necessary for them to be added together, and so to acquire a certain bulk
and to occupy a certain time, for if the group does not attain this bulk,
and does not last this time, we observe no changes in our state.
Nevertheless, though it escapes us, there is one."

But we must postpone our consideration of this more than interesting
phase of the subject, until some future lesson, when we shall take a trip
into the regions of Mind, under and above Consciousness. And a most
wonderful trip many of us will find it, too.

For the present, we must pay our attention to the channels by which the
material for knowledge and thought enter our minds. For these sense
impressions, coming to us from without, are indeed "material" upon which
the mind works in order to manufacture the product called "Thought."

This material we obtain through the channels of the senses, and then
store in that wonderful storehouse, the Memory, from whence we bring out
material from time to time, which we proceed to weave into the fabric of
Thought. The skill of the worker depends upon his training, and his
ability to select and combine the proper materials. And the acquiring of
good materials to be stored up is an important part of the work.

A mind without stored-up material of impressions and experiences would be
like a factory without material. The machinery would have nothing upon
which to work, and the shop would be idle. As Helmholtz has said,
"Apprehension by the senses supplies directly or indirectly, the material
of all human knowledge, or at least the stimulus necessary to develop
every inborn faculty of the mind." And Herbert Spencer, has this to say
of this phase of the subject, "It is almost a truism to say that in
proportion to the numerousness of the objects that can be distinguished,
and in proportion to the variety of coexistences and sequences that can
be severally responded to, must be the number and rapidity and variety of
the changes within the organism--must be the amount of vitality."

A little reflection upon this subject will show us that the greater
degree of exercise and training given the senses, the greater the degree
of mental power and capability. As we store our mental storehouse with
the materials to be manufactured into thought, so is the quality and
quantity of the fabric produced.

It therefore behooves us to awaken from our "lazy" condition of mind, and
to proceed to develop our organs of sense, and their attendant mechanism,
as by doing so we increase our capacity for thought and knowledge.

Before passing to the exercises, however, it may be well to give a hasty
passing glance at the several senses, and their peculiarities.

The sense of Touch is the simplest and primal sense. Long before the
lower forms of life had developed the higher senses, they had evidenced
the sense of Touch or Feeling. Without this sense they would have been
unable to have found their food, or to receive and respond to outside
impressions. In the early forms of life it was exercised equally by all
parts of the body, although in the higher forms this sense has become
somewhat localized, as certain parts of the body are far more sensitive
than are others. The skin is the seat of the sense of Touch, and its
nerves are distributed over the entire area of the skin. The hand, and
particularly the fingers, and their tips, are the principal organs of
this sense.

The acuteness of Touch varies materially in different parts of the body.
Experiments have shown that a pair of compasses would register
impressions as a very slight distance apart when applied to the tip of
the tongue. The distance at which the two points could be distinguished
from one point, on the tip of the tongue, was called "one line." Using
this "line" as a standard, it was found that the palmar surface of the
third finger registered 2 lines; the surface of the lips 4 lines, and the
skin of the back, and on the middle of the arm or thigh, as high as 60
lines The degree of sensitiveness to Touch varies greatly with different
individuals, some having a very fine sense of touch in their fingers,
while others manifested a very much lower degree.

In the same way, there is a great difference in the response of the
fingers to weight--a great difference in the ability to distinguish the
difference of the weight of objects. It has been found that some people
can distinguish differences in weight down to very small fractions of an
ounce. Fine distinctions in the differences in temperature have also been

The sense of touch, and its development has meant much for Man. It is the
one sense in which Man surpasses the animals in the matter of degree and
acuteness. The animal may have a keener smell, taste, hearing and sight,
but its sense of Touch is far beneath that of Man. Anaxagoras is quoted
as saying that "if the animals had hands and fingers, they would be like

In developing the sense of Touch, the student must remember that
Attention is the key to success. The greater the amount of Attention the
greater the degree of development possible in the case of any sense.
When the Attention is concentrated upon any particular sense, the latter
becomes quickened and more acute, and repeated exercise, under the
stimulus of Attention, will work wonders in the case of any
particular sense. And on the other hand, the sense of touch may be
almost, or completely inhibited, by firmly fixing the Attention upon
something else. As an extreme proof of this latter fact, the student
is asked to remember the fact that men have been known to suffer
excruciating torture, apparently without feeling, owing to the mind being
intently riveted upon some idea or thought. As Wyld has said, "The martyr
borne above sensuous impressions, is not only able to endure tortures,
but is able to endure and quench them. The pinching and cutting of the
flesh only added energy to the death song of the American Indian, and
even the slave under the lash is sustained by the indignant sense of his

In the cases of persons engaged in occupations requiring a fine degree of
Touch, the development is marvelous. The engraver passes his hand over
the plate, and is able to distinguish the slightest imperfection. And the
handler of cloth and fabrics is able to distinguish the finest
differences, simply by the sense of touch. Wool sorters also exercise a
wonderfully high degree of fineness of touch. And the blind are able to
make up for the loss of sight by their greatly increased sense of Touch,
cases being recorded where the blind have been able to distinguish
color by the different "feel" of the material.

The sense of Taste is closely allied to that of Touch--in fact some
authorities have considered Taste as a very highly developed sense of
Touch in certain surfaces of the body, the tongue notably. It will be
remembered that the tongue has the finest sense of Touch, and it also has
the sense of Taste developed to perfection. In Taste and Touch the object
must be brought in direct contact with the organ of sense, which is not
the case in Smell, Hearing, or Sight. And, be it remembered, that the
latter senses have special nerves, while Taste is compelled to fall back
upon the ordinary nerves of Touch. It is true that Taste is confined to a
very small part of the surface of the body, while Touch is general. But
this only indicates a special development of the special area. The sense
of Taste also depends to a great extent upon the presence of fluids, and
only substances that are soluble make their presence known through the
organs and sense of Taste.

Physiologists report that the sense of Taste in some persons is so
acute that one part of strychnine in one million parts of water has
been distinguished. There are certain occupations, such as that of
wine-tasters, tea-tasters, etc., the followers of which manifest a
degree of fineness of Taste almost incredible.

The sense of Smell is closely connected with the sense of Taste, and
often acts in connection therewith, as the tiny particles of the
substance in the mouth arise to the organs of Smell, by means of the
opening or means of communication situated in the back part of the mouth.
Besides which the nose usually detects the odor of substances before they
enter the mouth. The sense of Smell operates by reason of the tiny
particles or the object being carried to the mucous membrane of the
interior of the nose, by means of the air. The membrane, being moist,
seizes and holds these particles for a moment, and the fine nervous
organism reports differences and qualities and the Mind is thus informed
of the nature of the object.

The sense of Smell is very highly developed among animals, who are
compelled to rely upon it to a considerable extent. And many occupations
among men require the development of this sense, for instance, the
tobacconist, the wine dealer, the perfumers, the chemist, etc. It is
related that in the cases of certain blind people, it has been observed
that they could distinguish persons in this manner.

The sense of Hearing is a more complex one than in the case of Taste,
Touch and Smell. In the latter three the objects to be sensed must be
brought in close contact with the sense-organs, while in Hearing the
object may be far removed, the impressions being carried by the
vibrations of the air, which are caught up and reported upon by the
nervous organism of the sense of Hearing. The internal mechanism of
the ear is most wonderfully intricate and complex, and excites to wonder
the person examining it. It cannot be described here for want of space,
but the student is advised to inquire into it if he has access to any
library containing books on the subject. It is a wonderful illustration
of the work of the mind in building up for itself instruments with which
to work--to acquire knowledge.

The ear records vibrations in the air from 20 or 32 per second, the rate
of the lowest audible note, to those of 38,000 per second, the rate of
the highest audible note. There is a great difference in individuals in
regard to the fineness of the sense of Hearing. But all may develop this
sense by the application of Attention. The animals and savages have
wonderfully acute senses of Hearing developed only along the lines of
distinctness, however--on the other hand musicians have developed the
sense along different lines.

The sense of Sight is generally conceded to be the highest and most
complex of all the senses of Man. It deals with a far larger number of
objects--at longer distances--and gives a far greater variety of
reports to the mind than any of its associate senses. It is the sense of
Touch magnified many times. As Wilson says of it, "Our sight may be
considered as a more delicate and diffusive kind of touch that spreads
itself over an infinite number of bodies; comprehends the largest
figures, and brings into our reach some of the most remote parts of the

The sense of Sight receives its impressions from the outside world by
means of waves that travel from body to body--from sun to earth, and from
lamp to eye. These waves of light arise from vibrations in substance, of
an almost incredible degree of rapidity. The lowest light vibration is
about 450,000,000,000,000 per second, while the highest is about
750,000,000,000,000 per second. These figures deal only with the
vibrations recognizable by the eye as light. Above and below these
figures of the scale are countless other degrees invisible to the eye,
although some of them may be recorded by instruments. The different
sensations of color, depend upon the rate of the vibrations, red being
the limit of the lowest, and violet the limit of the highest visible
vibrations--orange, yellow, green, blue, and indigo being the
intermediate rates or colors.

The cultivation of the sense of Sight, under the aid of Attention is most
important to ail persons. By being able to clearly see and distinguish
the parts of an object, a degree of knowledge regarding it is obtained
that one may not acquire without the said exercise of the faculty. We
have spoken of this under the subject of Attention, in a previous lesson,
to which lesson we again refer the student. The fixing of the eye upon an
object has the power of concentrating the thoughts and preventing them
from wandering. The eye has other properties and qualities that will be
dwelt upon in future lessons. It has other uses than seeing. The
influence of the eye is a marvelous thing, and may be cultivated and

We trust that what we have said will bring the student to a realization
of the importance of developing the powers of Perception. The senses have
been developed by the mind during a long period of evolution and effort
that surely would not have been given unless the object in view was worth
it all. The "I" insists upon obtaining knowledge of the Universe, and
much of this knowledge may be obtained only through the senses. The Yogi
student must be "wide awake" and possessed of developed senses and
powers of Perception. The senses of Sight and Hearing, the two latest in
the scale of Evolutionary growth and unfoldment, must receive a
particular degree of attention. The student must make himself "aware"
of what is going on about and around him, so that he may "catch" the best

It would surprise many Westerners if they could come in contact with a
highly developed Yogi, and witness the marvelously finely developed
senses he possesses. He is able to distinguish the finest differences
in things, and his mind is so trained that, in thought, he may draw
conclusions from what he has perceived, in a manner that seems almost
"second-sight" to the uninitiated. In fact, a certain degree of
second-sight is possible to one who develops his sense of Sight, under
the urge of Attention. A new world is opened out to such a person. One
must learn to master the senses, not only in the direction of being
independent of and superior to their urgings, but also in the matter of
developing them to a high degree. The development of the physical senses,
also has much to do with the development of the "Astral Senses," of
which we have spoken in our "Fourteen Lessons," and of which we may have
more to say in the present series. The idea of Raja Yoga is to render
the student the possessor of a highly developed Mind, with highly
developed instruments with which the mind may work.

In our future lessons we shall give the student many illustrations,
directions, and exercises calculated to develop the different faculties
of the mind--not only the ordinary faculties of everyday use, but others
hidden behind these familiar faculties and senses. Commencing with the
next lesson, we shall present a system of exercises, drills, etc., the
purpose of which will be the above mentioned development of the faculties
of the Mind.

In this lesson we shall not attempt to give specific exercises, but will
content ourselves with calling the attention of the student to a few
general rules underlying the development of Perception.


The first thing to remember in acquiring the art of Perception is that
one should not attempt to perceive the whole of a complex thing or object
at the same time, or at once. One should consider the object in detail,
and then, by grouping the details, he will find that he has considered
the whole. Let us take the face of a person as a familiar object. If one
tries to perceive a face as a whole, he will find that he will meet with
a certain degree of failure, the impression being indistinct and cloudy,
it following, also, that the memory of that face will correspond with the
original perception.

But let the observer consider the face in detail, first the eyes, then
the nose, then the mouth, then the chin, then the hair, then the outline
of the face, the complexion, etc., and he will find that he will have
acquired a clear and distinct impression or perception of the whole face.

The same rule may be applied to any subject or object. Let us take
another familiar illustration. You wish to observe a building. If you
simply get a general perception of the building as a whole, you will
be able to remember very little about it, except its general outlines,
shape, size, color, etc. And a description will prove to be very
disappointing. But if you have noted, in detail, the material used, the
shape of the doors, chimney, roof, porches, decorations, trimmings,
ornamentation, size and number of the window-panes etc., etc., the shape
and angles of the roof, etc., you will have an intelligent idea of the
building, in the place of a mere general outline or impression of such as
might be acquired by an animal in passing.

We will conclude this lesson with an anecdote of the methods of that
famous naturalist Agassiz, in his training of his pupils. His pupils
became renowned for their close powers of observation and perception,
and their consequent ability to "think" about the things they had seen.
Many of them rose to eminent positions, and claimed that this was largely
by reason of their careful training.

The tale runs that a new student presented himself to Agassiz one day,
asking to be set to work. The naturalist took a fish from a jar in which
it had been preserved, and laying it before the young student bade him
observe it carefully, and be ready to report upon what he had noticed
about the fish. The student was then left alone with the fish. There was
nothing especially interesting about that fish--it was like many other
fishes that he had seen before. He noticed that it had fins and scales,
and a mouth and eyes, yes, and a tail. In a half hour he felt certain
that he had observed all about that fish that there was to be perceived.
But the naturalist remained away.

The time rolled on, and the youth, having nothing else to do, began to
grow restless and weary. He started out to hunt up the teacher, but he
failed to find him, and so had to return and gaze again at that
wearisome fish. Several hours had passed, and he knew but little more
about the fish than he did in the first place.

He went out to lunch and when he returned it was still a case of watching
the fish. He felt disgusted and discouraged, and wished he had never come
to Agassiz, whom, it seemed, was a stupid old man after all,--one away
behind the times. Then, in order to kill time, he began to count the
scales. This completed he counted the spines of the fins. Then he began
to draw a picture of the fish. In drawing the picture he noticed that the
fish had no eyelids. He thus made the discovery that as his teacher had
expressed it often, in lectures, "a pencil is the best of eyes." Shortly
after the teacher returned, and after ascertaining what the youth had
observed, he left rather disappointed, telling the boy to keep on looking
and maybe he would see something.

This put the boy on his mettle, and he began to work with his pencil,
putting down little details that had escaped him before, but which now
seemed very plain to him. He began to catch the secret of observation.
Little by little he brought to light new objects of interest about the
fish. But this did not suffice his teacher, who kept him at work on the
same fish for three whole days. At the end of that time the student
really knew something about the fish, and, better than all, had acquired
the "knack" and habit of careful observation and perception in detail.

Years after, the student, then attained to eminence, is reported as
saying: "That was the best zoological lesson I ever had--a lesson whose
influence has extended to the details of every subsequent study; a
legacy that the professor left to me, as he left to many others, of
inestimable value, which we could not buy, and with which we cannot

Apart from the value to the student of the particular information
obtained, was the quickening of the perceptive faculties that enabled him
to observe the important points in a subject or object, and,
consequently to deduce important information from that which was
observed. The Mind is hungry for knowledge, and it has by years of weary
evolution and effort built up a series of sense systems in order to yield
it that knowledge and it is still building. The men and women in the
world who have arrived at the point of success have availed themselves of
these wonderful channels of information, and by directing them under
the guidance of Will and Attention, have attained wonderful results.
These things are of importance, and we beg of our students not to pass by
this portion of the subject as uninteresting. Cultivate a spirit of
wide-awakeness and perception, and the "knowing" that will come to you
will surprise you.

No only do you develop the existing senses by such practice and use, but
you help in the unfoldment of the latent powers and senses that are
striving for unfoldment. By using and exercising the faculties that we
have, we help to unfold those for the coming of which we have been


I am a Soul, possessed of channels of communication with the outer world.
I will use these channels, and thereby acquire the information and
knowledge necessary for my mental development. I will exercise and
develop my organs of sense, knowing that in so doing I shall cause to
unfold the higher senses, of which they are but forerunners and symbols.
I will be "wide-awake" and open to the inflow of knowledge and
information. The Universe is my Home--I will explore it.