THEOSOPHY, Vol. 20, No. 7, May, 1932
(Pages 323-324; Size: 6K)
THE NATURE OF THOUGHT
EACH aspiring student of Theosophy might well ask himself, "What can I give as the average of my thoughts? What quality may be revealed by their ultimate essence, the final synthesis drawn from my life's thinking; good and bad, high or low, heated or cool; thoughts that are emotional or stoical, intelligent or stupid, concentrated or scattered? Dare I even face the average, or the ultimate synthetic essence of all I have thought from earliest awakening of the mind to the present moment?"
To have come to the state where desire can be made to turn inward for facts long hidden, and to have the courage to face these facts, the soul must first have aspired to or taken one step upon the upward path. Yet it takes great strength to face the results of this averaging. Mental deposits long since put out of memory have a strange faculty of springing up like phantoms in a dream. And, stranger still, the selfishness of the past seems to return to our vision much more readily than thoughts and acts which may have had altruistic motives.
It is therefore not hard to see that the process to be used is that of cleansing and distillation. The flow of thought -- that stream which ceaselessly turns the wheel of our mental mill -- becomes less turbid and more under our control, even though the process is followed but a little. But if carried forward profoundly with inner vision until all mental deposits are brought forward for their ultimate averaging, the whole nature is completely shaken and stirred to its depths. The individual has brought upon himself one of the great trials, which sooner or later comes to each and all of those who awaken from the night of earth and look toward the dawn of spiritual life.
It is at this point that a philosophy pointing toward a higher mode of life is needed, for without it the trial may be gone through in vain. If you go down in a well you may still look up from the darkness and damp to see the sunlit sky above, and as you emerge, the light will seem doubly intensified. Theosophy radiates a spiritual sunlight -- a light which does not shine for those who read as though perusing, one might say, the daily paper, but for those who let the intuition shed its rays upon the words, lighting them up from within in the deep quiet of the cleansed mind. Gradually new mental deposits will take the place of the old, and a higher thought average will result. This upward trend must be consistently adhered to -- it must, in fact, be the trend of our daily stream of meditation. No more may acts be thoughtlessly performed, for the student now knows that such acts stamp their quality indelibly upon the inner tablets of the mind, and drag down that which is to become the most sacred of trusts -- the gradually lifting average. For this average, this synthetic essence of a life's thinking when known to the thinker, will be found to be the soul's garment, the apparel worn by the unseen man. Unlike most garments, it fits with an exactitude similar to the body's skin. It is all that is visible to the knower who thus wishes to know his soul's apparel. Yet it is also like a coloring matter which, when dropped into water, will produce a definite hue, pale or intense according to its density. And, like some waters native to the soil, this essence may sparkle and add pristine clarity to the soul's thought modes.
As mental deposits become purer, they vitalize the thinking powers and intensify their action by clearing the way for concentration. The clouds and vapors of the lower self become dissipated and a new light falls upon the path. So day by day we shall see more and more clearly which of our mental deposits are worthless, which are to be eliminated, and which are to be used as seeds for purer strains. It is only by the selection of the right thought seeds that the average of thinking, of mind activities, can be raised.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
WHAT IS MIND?
Mind is a name given to the sum of the states of Consciousness grouped under Thought, Will, and Feeling. During deep sleep, ideation ceases on the physical plane, and memory is in abeyance; thus for the time-being "Mind is not," because the organ, through which the Ego manifests ideation and memory on the material plane, has temporarily ceased to function. A noumenon can become a phenomenon on any plane of existence only by manifesting on that plane through an appropriate basis or vehicle; and during the long night of rest called Pralaya, when all the existences are dissolved, the "UNIVERSAL MIND" remains as a permanent possibility of mental action, or as that abstract absolute thought, of which mind is the concrete relative manifestation. --S.D. I, p. 38.
The Sweep of Karma