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

In the First Lesson we gave instruction and exercises designed to awaken
the consciousness of the Candidate to a realization of the real "I." We
confined our instructions to the preliminary teachings of the reality of
the "I," and the means whereby the Candidate might be brought to a
realization of his real Self, and its independence from the body and the
things of the flesh. We tried to show you how you might awaken to a
consciousness of the reality of the "I"; its real nature; its
independence of the body; its immortality; its invincibility and
invulnerability. How well we have succeeded may be determined only by
the experience of each Candidate, for we can but point out the way, and
the Candidate must do the real work himself.

But there is more to be said and done in this matter of awakening to a
realization of the "I." So far, we have but told you how to distinguish
between the material coverings of the Ego and the "I" itself. We have
tried to show you that you had a real "I," and then to show you what it
was, and how it was independent of the material coverings, etc. But there
is still another step in this self analysis--a more difficult step. Even
when the Candidate has awakened to a realization of his independence of
the body, and material coverings, he often confounds the "I" with the
lower principles of the mind. This is a mistake. The Mind, in its various
phases and planes, is but a tool and instrument of the "I," and is far
from being the "I" itself. We shall try to bring out this fact in this
lesson and its accompanying exercises. We shall avoid, and pass by, the
metaphysical features of the case, and shall confine ourselves to the
Yogi Psychology. We shall not touch upon theories, nor attempt to
explain the cause, nature and purpose of the Mind--the working tool of
the Ego--but instead shall attempt to point out a way whereby you may
analyze the Mind and then determine which is the "not I" and which is the
real "I." It is useless to burden you with theories or metaphysical talk,
when the way to prove the thing is right within your own grasp. By using
the mind, you will be able to separate it into its parts, and force it to
give you its own answer to the questions touching itself.

In the second and third lessons of our "Fourteen Lessons," we pointed
out to you the fact that man had three Mental Principles, or subdivisions
of mind, all of which were below the plane of Spirit. The "I" is Spirit,
but its mental principles are of a lower order. Without wishing to unduly
repeat ourselves, we think it better to run hastily over these three
Principles in the mind of Man.

First, there is what is known as the Instinctive Mind, which man shares
in common with the lower animals. It is the first principle of mind that
appears in the scale of evolution. In its lowest phases, consciousness
is but barely perceptible, and mere sensation is apparent. In its higher
stages it almost reaches the plane of Reason or Intellect, in fact, they
overlap each other, or, rather, blend into each other. The Instinctive
Mind does valuable work in the direction of maintaining animal life in
our bodies, it having charge of this part of our being. It attends to the
constant work of repair; replacement; change; digestion; assimilation;
elimination, etc., all of which work is performed below the plane of

But this is but a small part of the work of the Instinctive Mind. For
this part of the mind has stored up all the experiences of ourselves and
ancestors in our evolution from the lower forms of animal life into the
present stage of evolution. All of the old animal instincts (which were
all right in their place, and quite necessary for the well-being of the
lower forms of life) have left traces in this part of the mind, which
traces are apt to come to the front under pressure of unusual
circumstances, even long after we think we have outgrown them. In this
part of the mind are to be found traces of the old fighting instinct of
the animal; all the animal passions; all the hate, envy, jealousy, and
the rest of it, which are our inheritances from the past. The Instinctive
Mind is also the "habit mind" in which is stored up all the little, and
great, habits of many lives, or rather such as have not been entirely
effaced by subsequent habits of a stronger nature. The Instinctive Mind
is a queer storehouse, containing quite a variety of objects, many of
them very good in their way, but others of which are the worst kind of
old junk and rubbish.

This part of the mind also is the seat of the appetites; passions;
desires; instincts; sensations; feelings and emotions of the lower order,
manifested in the lower animals; primitive man; the barbarian; and the
man of today, the difference being only in the degree of control over
them that has been gained by the higher parts of the mind. There are
higher desires, aspirations, etc., belonging to a higher part of the
mind, which we will describe in a few minutes, but the "animal nature"
belongs to the Instinctive Mind. To it also belong the "feelings"
belonging to our emotional and passional nature. All animal desires, such
as hunger and thirst; sexual desires (on the physical plane); all
passions, such as physical love; hatred; envy; malice; jealousy; revenge,
etc., are part of this part of the mind. The desire for the physical
(unless a means of reaching higher things) and the longing for the
material, belong to this region of the mind. The "lust of the flesh; the
lust of the eyes; the pride of life," belong to the Instinctive Mind.

Take note, however, that we are not condemning the things belonging to
this plane of the mind. All of them have their place--many were necessary
in the past, and many are still necessary for the continuance of physical
life. All are right in their place, and to those in the particular plane
of development to which they belong, and are wrong only when one is
mastered by them, or when he returns to pick up an unworthy thing that
has been cast off in the unfoldment of the individual. This lesson has
nothing to do with the right and wrong of these things (we have treated
of that elsewhere) and we mention this part of the mind that you may
understand that you have such a thing in your mental make-up, and that
you may understand the thought, etc., coming from it, when we start in to
analyze the mind in the latter part of this lesson. All we will ask you
to do at this stage of the lesson is to realize that this part of the
mind, while belonging to you, is not You, yourself. It is not the
"I" part of you.

Next in order, above the Instinctive Mind, is what we have called the
Intellect, that part of the mind that does our reasoning, analyzing;
"thinking," etc. You are using it in the consideration of this lesson.
But note this: You are using it, but it is not You, any more than was
the Instinctive Mind that you considered a moment ago. You will begin to
make the separation, if you will think but a moment. We will not take up
your time with a consideration of Intellect or Reason. You will find a
good description of this part of the mind in any good elementary work on
Psychology. Our only idea in mentioning it is that you may make the
classification, and that we may afterward show you that the Intellect is
but a tool of the Ego, instead of being the real "I" itself, as so many
seem to imagine.

The third, and highest, Mental Principle is what is called the Spiritual
Mind, that part of the mind which is almost unknown to many of the race,
but which has developed into consciousness with nearly all who read this
lesson, for the fact that the subject of this lesson attracts you is a
proof that this part of your mental nature is unfolding into
consciousness. This region of the mind is the source of that which we
call "genius," "inspiration," "spirituality," and all that we consider
the "highest" in our mental make-up. All the great thoughts and ideas
float into the field of consciousness from this part of the mind. All the
great unfoldment of the race comes from there. All the higher mental
ideas that have come to Man in his upward evolutionary journey, that tend
in the direction of nobility; true religious feeling; kindness; humanity;
justice; unselfish love; mercy; sympathy, etc., have come to him through
his slowly unfolding Spiritual Mind. His love of God and of his fellow
man have come in this way. His knowledge of the great occult truths reach
him through this channel. The mental realization of the "I," which we are
endeavoring to teach in these lessons, must come to him by way of the
Spiritual Mind unfolding its ideas into his field of consciousness.

But even this great and wonderful part of the mind is but a tool--a
highly finished one, it is true, but still a tool--to the Ego, or "I."

We propose to give you a little mental drill work, toward the end that
you may be able more readily to distinguish the "I" from the mind, or
mental states. In this connection we would say that every part, plane,
and function of the mind is good, and necessary, and the student must not
fall into the error of supposing that because we tell him to set aside
first this part of the mind and then that part, that we are undervaluing
the mind, or that we regard it as an encumbrance or hindrance. Far from
this, we realize that it is by the use of the mind that Man is enabled
to arrive at a knowledge of his true nature and Self, and that his
progress through many stages yet will depend upon the unfolding of his
mental faculties.

Man is now using but the lower and inferior parts of his mind, and he has
within his mental world great unexplored regions that far surpass
anything of which the human mind has dreamed. In fact, it is part of the
business of "Raja Yoga" to aid in unfolding these higher faculties and
mental regions. And so far from decrying the Mind, the "Raja Yoga"
teachers are chiefly concerned in recognizing the Mind's power and
possibilities, and directing the student to avail himself of the latent
powers that are inherent in his soul.

It is only by the mind that the teachings we are now giving you may be
grasped and understood, and used to your advantage and benefit. We are
talking direct to your mind now, and are making appeals to it, that it
may be interested and may open itself to what is ready to come into it
from its own higher regions. We are appealing to the Intellect to direct
its attention to this great matter, that it may interpose less resistance
to the truths that are waiting to be projected from the Spiritual Mind,
which knows the Truth.


Place yourself in a calm, restful condition, that you may be able to
meditate upon the matters that we shall place before you for
consideration. Allow the matters presented to meet with a hospitable
reception from you, and hold a mental attitude of willingness to receive
what may be waiting for you in the higher regions of your mind.

We wish to call your attention to several mental impressions or
conditions, one after another, in order that you may realize that they
are merely something incident to you, and not YOU yourself--that you
may set them aside and consider them, just as you might anything that you
have been using. You cannot set the "I" aside and so consider it, but the
various forms of the "not I" may be so set aside and considered.

In the First Lesson you gained the perception of the "I" as independent
from the body, the latter merely being an instrument for use. You have
now arrived at the stage when the "I" appears to you to be a mental
creature--a bundle of thoughts, feelings, moods, etc. But you must go
farther. You must be able to distinguish the "I" from these mental
conditions, which are as much tools as is the body and its parts.

Let us begin by considering the thoughts more closely connected with the
body, and then work up to the higher mental states.

The sensations of the body, such as hunger; thirst; pain; pleasurable
sensations; physical desires, etc., etc., are not apt to be mistaken for
essential qualities of the "I" by many of the Candidates, for they have
passed beyond this stage, and have learned to set aside these sensations,
to a greater or lesser extent, by an effort of the Will, and are no
longer slaves to them. Not that they do not experience these sensations,
but they have grown to regard them as incidents of the physical
life--good in their place--but useful to the advanced man only when he
has mastered them to the extent that he no longer regards them as close
to the "I." And yet, to some people, these sensations are so closely
identified with their conception of the "I" that when they think of
themselves they think merely of a bundle of these sensations. They are
not able to set them aside and consider them as things apart, to be used
when necessary and proper, but as things not fastened to the "I." The
more advanced a man becomes the farther off seem these sensations. Not
that he does not feel hungry, for instance. Not at all, for he recognizes
hunger, and satisfies it within reason, knowing that his physical body is
making demands for attention, and that these demands should be heeded.
But--mark the difference--instead of feeling that the "I" is hungry the
man feels that "my body" is hungry, just as he might become conscious
that his horse or dog was crying for food insistently. Do you see what
we mean? It is that the man no longer identifies himself--the "I"--with
the body, consequently the thoughts which are most closely allied to the
physical life seem comparatively "separate" from his "I" conception. Such
a man thinks "my stomach, this," or "my leg, that," or "my body, thus,"
instead of "'I,' this," or "'I' that." He is able, almost automatically,
to think of the body and its sensations as things of him, and
belonging to him, which require attention and care, rather than as real
parts of the "I." He is able to form a conception of the "I" as existing
without any of these things--without the body and its sensations--and so
he has taken the first step in the realization of the "I."

Before going on, we ask the students to stop a few moments, and mentally
run over these sensations of the body. Form a mental image of them, and
realize that they are merely incidents to the present stage of growth and
experience of the "I," and that they form no real part of it. They may,
and will be, left behind in the Ego's higher planes of advancement. You
may have attained this mental conception perfectly, long since, but we
ask that to give yourself the mental drill at this time, in order to
fasten upon your mind this first step.

In realizing that you are able to set aside, mentally, these
sensations--that you are able to hold them out at arm's length and
"consider" them as an "outside" thing, you mentally determine that they
are "not I" things, and you set them down in the "not I" collection--the
first to be placed there. Let us try to make this still plainer, even at
the risk of wearying you by repetitions (for you must get this idea
firmly fixed in your mind). To be able to say that a thing is "not I,"
you must realize that there are two things in question (1) the "not I"
thing, and (2) the "I" who is regarding the "not I" thing just as the "I"
regards a lump of sugar, or a mountain. Do you see what we mean? Keep at
it until you do.

Next, consider some of the emotions, such as anger; hate; love, in its
ordinary forms; jealousy; ambition; and the hundred and one other
emotions that sweep through our brains. You will find that you are able
to set each one of these emotions or feelings aside and study it; dissect
it; analyze it; consider it. You will be able to understand the rise,
progress and end of each of these feelings, as they have come to you, and
as you recall them in your memory or imagination, just as readily as you
would were you observing their occurrence in the mind of a friend. You
will find them all stored away in some parts of your mental make-up, and
you may (to use a modern American slang phrase) "make them trot before
you, and show their paces." Don't you see that they are not "You"--that
they are merely something that you carry around with you in a mental bag.
You can imagine yourself as living without them, and still being "I," can
you not?

And the very fact that you are able to set them aside and examine and
consider them is a proof that they are "not I" things--for there are two
things in the matter (1) You who are examining and considering them,
and (2) the thing itself which is the object of the examination and
consideration at mental arm's length. So into the "not I" collection go
these emotions, desirable and undesirable. The collection is steadily
growing, and will attain quite formidable proportions after a while.

Now, do not imagine that this is a lesson designed to teach you how to
discard these emotions, although if it enables you to get rid of the
undesirable ones, so much the better. This is not our object, for we bid
you place the desirable (at this time) ones in with the opposite kind,
the idea being to bring you to a realization that the "I" is higher,
above and independent of these mental somethings, and then when you have
realized the nature of the "I," you may return and use (as a Master) the
things that have been using you as a slave. So do not be afraid to throw
these emotions (good and bad) into the "not I" collection. You may go
back to them, and use the good ones, after the Mental Drill is over. No
matter how much you may think that you are bound by any of these
emotions, you will realize, by careful analysis, that it is of the "not
I" kind, for the "I" existed before the emotion came into active play,
and it will live long after the emotion has faded away. The principal
proof is that you are able to hold it out at arm's length and examine
it--a proof that it is "not I."

Run through the entire list of your feelings; emotions; moods; and what
not, just as you would those of a well-known friend or relative, and you
will see that each one--every one--is a "not I" thing, and you will lay
it aside for the time, for the purpose of the scientific experiment, at

Then passing on to the Intellect, you will be able to hold out for
examination each mental process and principle. You don't believe it, you
may say. Then read and study some good work on Psychology, and you will
learn to dissect and analyze every intellectual process--and to classify
it and place it in the proper pigeon-hole. Study Psychology by means of
some good text-book, and you will find that one by one every intellectual
process is classified, and talked about and labeled, just as you would a
collection of flowers. If that does not satisfy you, turn the leaves of
some work on Logic, and you will admit that you may hold these
intellectual processes at arm's length and examine them, and talk about
them to others. So that these wonderful tools of Man--the Intellectual
powers may be placed in the "not I" collection, for the "I" is capable of
standing aside and viewing them--it is able to detach them from itself.
The most remarkable thing about this is that in admitting this fact, you
realize that the "I" is using these very intellectual faculties to pass
upon themselves. Who is the Master that compels these faculties to do
this to themselves? The Master of the Mind--The "I."

And reaching the higher regions of the mind--even the Spiritual Mind, you
will be compelled to admit that the things that have come into
consciousness from that region may be considered and studied, just as may
be any other mental thing, and so even these high things must be placed
in the "not I" collection. You may object that this does not prove that
all the things in the Spiritual Mind may be so treated--that there may be
"I" things there that can not be so treated. We will not discuss this
question, for you know nothing about the Spiritual Mind except as it has
revealed itself to you, and the higher regions of that mind are like the
mind of a God, when compared to what you call mind. But the evidence of
the Illumined--those in whom the Spiritual Mind has wonderfully unfolded
tell us that even in the highest forms of development, the Initiates,
yea, even the Masters, realize that above even their highest mental
states there is always that eternal "I" brooding over them, as the Sun
over the lake; and that the highest conception of the "I" known even to
advanced souls, is but a faint reflection of the "I" filtering through
the Spiritual Mind, although that Spiritual Mind is as clear as the
clearest crystal when compared with our comparatively opaque mental
states. And the highest mental state is but a tool or instrument of the
"I," and is not the "I" itself.

And yet the "I" is to be found in the faintest forms of consciousness,
and animates even the unconscious life. The "I" is always the same, but
its apparent growth is the result of the mental unfoldment of the
individual. As we described it in one of the lessons of the "Advanced
Course" it is like an electric lamp that is encased in many wrappings of
cloth. As cloth after cloth is removed, the light seems to grow brighter
and stronger, and yet it has changed not, the change being in the removal
of the confining and bedimming coverings. We do not expect to make you
realize the "I" in all its fullness--that is far beyond the highest known
to man of to-day--but we do hope to bring you to a realization of the
highest conception of the "I," possible to each of you in your present
stage of unfoldment, and in the process we expect to cause to drop from
you some of the confining sheaths that you have about outgrown. The
sheaths are ready for dropping, and all that is required is the touch of
a friendly hand to cause them to fall fluttering from you. We wish to
bring you to the fullest possible (to you) realization of the "I," in
order to make an Individual of you--in order that you may understand, and
have courage to take up the tools and instruments lying at your hand, and
do the work before you.

And now, back to the Mental Drill. After you have satisfied yourself that
about everything that you are capable of thinking about is a "not I"
thing--a tool and instrument for your use--you will ask, "And now, what
is there left that should not be thrown in the "not I" collection." To
this question we answer "THE 'I' ITSELF." And when you demand a proof
we say, "Try to set aside the 'I' for consideration!" You may try from
now until the passing away of infinities of infinities, and you will
never be able to set aside the real "I" for consideration. You may think
you can, but a little reflection will show you that you are merely
setting aside some of your mental qualities or faculties. And in this
process what is the "I" doing? Simply setting aside and considering
things. Can you not see that the "I" cannot be both the considerer and
the thing considered--the examiner and the thing examined? Can the sun
shine upon itself by its own light? You may consider the "I" of some
other person, but it is your "I" that is considering. But you cannot,
as an "I," stand aside and see yourself as an "I." Then what evidence
have we that there is an "I" to us? This: that you are always conscious
of being the considerer and examiner, instead of the considered and
examined thing--and then, you have the evidence of your consciousness.
And what report does this consciousness give us? Simply this, and nothing
more: "I AM." That is all that the "I" is conscious of, regarding its
true self: "I AM," but that consciousness is worth all the rest, for the
rest is but "not I" tools that the "I" may reach out and use.

And so at the final analysis, you will find that there is something that
refuses to be set aside and examined by the "I." And that something is
the "I" itself--that "I" eternal, unchangeable--that drop of the Great
Spirit Ocean--that spark from the Sacred Flame.

Just as you find it impossible to imagine the "I" as dead, so will you
find it impossible to set aside the "I" for consideration--all that comes
to you is the testimony: "I AM."

If you were able to set aside the "I" for consideration, who would be the
one to consider it? Who could consider except the "I" itself, and if it
be here, how could it be there? The "I" cannot be the "not I" even in
the wildest flights of the imagination--the imagination with all its
boasted freedom and power, confesses itself vanquished when asked to do
this thing.

Oh, students, may you be brought to a realization of what you are. May
you soon awaken to the fact that you are sleeping gods--that you have
within you the power of the Universe, awaiting your word to manifest
in action. Long ages have you toiled to get this far, and long must you
travel before you reach even the first Great Temple, but you are now
entering into the conscious stage of Spiritual Evolution. No longer will
your eyes be closed as you walk the Path. From now on you will begin to
see clearer and clearer each step, in the dawning light of consciousness.

You are in touch with all of life, and the separation of your "I" from
the great Universal "I" is but apparent and temporary. We will tell you
of these things in our Third Lesson, but before you can grasp that you
must develop the "I" consciousness within you. Do not lay aside this
matter as one of no importance. Do not dismiss our weak explanation as
being "merely words, words, words," as so many are inclined to do. We are
pointing out a great truth to you. Why not follow the leadings of the
Spirit which even now--this moment while you read--is urging you to walk
The Path of Attainment? Consider the teachings of this lesson, and
practice the Mental Drill until your mind has grasped its significance,
then let it sink deep down into your inner consciousness. Then will you
be ready for the next lessons, and those to follow.

Practice this Mental Drill until you are fully assured of the reality
of the "I" and the relativity of the "not "I" in the mind. When you
once grasp this truth, you will find that you will be able to use the
mind with far greater power and effect, for you will recognize that it is
your tool and instrument, fitted and intended to do your bidding. You
will be able to master your moods, and emotions when necessary, and will
rise from the position of a slave to a Master.

Our words seem cheap and poor, when we consider the greatness of the
truth that we are endeavoring to convey by means of them. For who can
find words to express the inexpressible? All that we may hope to do is to
awaken a keen interest and attention on your part, so that you will
practice the Mental Drill, and thus obtain the evidence of your own
mentality to the truth. Truth is not truth to you until you have proven
it in your own experience, and once so proven you cannot be robbed of it,
nor can it be argued away from you.

You must realize that in every mental effort You--the "I"--are behind it.
You bid the Mind work, and it obeys your Will. You are the Master, and
not the slave of your mind. You are the Driver, not the driven. Shake
yourself loose from the tyranny of the mind that has oppressed you for so
long. Assert yourself, and be free. We will help you in this direction
during the course of these lessons, but you must first assert yourself as
a Master of your Mind. Sign the mental Declaration of Independence from
your moods, emotions, and uncontrolled thoughts, and assert your Dominion
over them. Enter into your Kingdom, thou manifestation of the Spirit!

While this lesson is intended primarily to bring clearly into your
consciousness the fact that the "I" is a reality, separate and distinct
from its Mental Tools, and while the control of the mental faculties by
the Will forms a part of some of the future lessons, still, we think that
this is a good place to point out to you the advantages arising from a
realization of the true nature of the "I" and the relative aspect of the

Many of us have supposed that our minds were the masters of ourselves,
and we have allowed ourselves to be tormented and worried by thoughts
"running away" with us, and presenting themselves at inopportune moments.
The Initiate is relieved from this annoyance, for he learns to assert his
mastery over the different parts of the mind, and controls and regulates
his mental processes, just as one would a fine piece of machinery. He is
able to control his conscious thinking faculties, and direct their work
to the best advantage, and he also learns how to pass on orders to the
subconscious mental region and bid it work for him while he sleeps, or
even when he is using his conscious mind in other matters. These subjects
will be considered by us in due time, during the course of lessons.

In this connection it may be interesting to read what Edward Carpenter
says of the power of the individual to control his thought processes. In
his book "From Adam's Peak to Eleplumta," in describing his experience
while visiting a Hindu Gnani Yogi, he says:

"And if we are unwilling to believe in this internal mastery over the
body, we are perhaps almost equally unaccustomed to the idea of mastery
over our own inner thoughts and feelings. That a man should be a prey to
any thought that chances to take possession of his mind, is commonly
among us assumed as unavoidable. It may be a matter of regret that he
should be kept awake all night from anxiety as to the issue of a lawsuit
on the morrow, but that he should have the power of determining whether
he be kept awake or not seems an extravagant demand. The image of an
impending calamity is no doubt odious, but its very odiousness (we say)
makes it haunt the mind all the more pertinaciously and it is useless to
try to expel it.

"Yet this is an absurd position--for man, the heir of all the ages:
hag-ridden by the flimsy creatures of his own brain. If a pebble in our
boot torments us, we expel it. We take off the boot and shake it out.
And once the matter is fairly understood it is just as easy to expel an
intruding and obnoxious thought from the mind. About this there ought to
be no mistake, no two opinions. The thing is obvious, clear and
unmistakable. It should be as easy to expel an obnoxious thought from
your mind as it is to shake a stone out of your shoe; and till a man can
do that it is just nonsense to talk about his ascendancy over Nature, and
all the rest of it. He is a mere slave, and prey to the bat-winged
phantoms that flit through the corridors of his own brain.

"Yet the weary and careworn faces that we meet by thousands, even among
the affluent classes of civilization, testify only too clearly how seldom
this mastery is obtained. How rare indeed to meet a man! How common
rather to discover a creature hounded on by tyrant thoughts (or cares or
desires), cowering, wincing under the lash--or perchance priding himself
to run merrily in obedience to a driver that rattles the reins and
persuades him that he is free--whom we cannot converse with in careless
tete-a-tete because that alien presence is always there, on the watch.

"It is one of the most prominent doctrines of Raja Yoga that the power of
expelling thoughts, or if need be, killing them dead on the spot, must
be attained. Naturally the art requires practice, but like other arts,
when once acquired there is no mystery or difficulty about it. And it is
worth practice. It may indeed fairly be said that life only begins when
this art has been acquired. For obviously when instead of being ruled by
individual thoughts, the whole flock of them in their immense multitude
and variety and capacity is ours to direct and dispatch and employ where
we list ('for He maketh the winds his messengers and the flaming fire His
minister'), life becomes a thing so vast and grand compared with what it
was before, that its former condition may well appear almost antenatal.

"If you can kill a thought dead, for the time being, you can do anything
else with it that you please. And therefore it is that this power is so
valuable. And it not only frees a man from mental torment (which is
nine-tenths at least of the torment of life), but it gives him a
concentrated power of handling mental work absolutely unknown to him
before. The two things are co-relative to each other. As already said
this is one of the principles of Raja Yoga.

"While at work your thought is to be absolutely concentrated in it,
undistracted by anything whatever irrelevant to the matter in
hand--pounding away like a great engine, with giant power and perfect
economy--no wear and tear of friction, or dislocation of parts owing to
the working of different forces at the same time. Then when the work is
finished, if there is no more occasion for the use of the machine, it
must stop equally, absolutely--stop entirely--no worrying (as if a
parcel of boys were allowed to play their devilments with a locomotive as
soon as it was in the shed)--and the man must retire into that region of
his consciousness where his true self dwells.

"I say the power of the thought-machine itself is enormously increased by
this faculty of letting it alone on the one hand, and of using it singly
and with concentration on the other. It becomes a true tool, which a
master-workman lays down when done with, but which only a bungler carries
about with him all the time to show that he is the possessor of it."

We ask the students to read carefully the above quotations from Mr.
Carpenter's book, for they are full of suggestions that may be taken up
to advantage by those who are emancipating themselves from their slavery
to the unmastered mind, and who are now bringing the mind under control
of the Ego, by means of the Will.

Our next lesson will take up the subject of the relationship of the "I"
to the Universal "I," and will be called the "Expansion of the Self." It
will deal with the subject, not from a theoretical standpoint, but from
the position of the teacher who is endeavoring to make his students
actually aware in their consciousness of the truth of the proposition.
In this course we are not trying to make our students past-masters of
theory, but are endeavoring to place them in a position whereby they
may know for themselves, and actually experience the things of which we

Therefore we urge upon you not to merely rest content with reading this
lesson, but, instead, to study and meditate upon the teachings mentioned
under the head of "Mental Drill," until the distinctions stand out
clearly in your mind, and until you not only believe them to be true,
but actually are conscious of the "I" and its Mental Tools. Have
patience and perseverance. The task may be difficult, but the reward is
great. To become conscious of the greatness, majesty, strength and power
of your real being is worth years of hard study. Do you not think so?
Then study and practice hopefully, diligently and earnestly.

Peace be with you.


"I" am an entity--my mind is my instrument of expression.

"I" exist independent of my mind, and am not dependent upon it for
existence or being.

"I" am Master of my mind, not its slave.

"I" can set aside my sensations, emotions, passions, desires,
intellectual faculties, and all the rest of my mental collection of
tools, as "not I" things--and still there remains something--and that
something is "I," which cannot be set aside by me, for it is my very
self; my only self; my real self--"I." That which remains after all that
may be set aside is set aside is the "I"--Myself--eternal, constant,