The Path of Meditation
Now coming to the third path, the path of meditation. That is the path of assurance. This path assures a soul of all that is in the hereafter. He does not need to experience the hereafter, he is sitting here, he knows what it is. All one may learn intellectually about the mystery of life, by the help of meditation he begins to realize for himself. He does not need to learn what Heaven means, what God means, what soul means, what will come after this life. He is sitting here and he can feel every sphere, every plane, sitting in the same place where he is. No barriers stand before him, either earthly or heavenly, for he is above barriers, he sees it all as one could see the earth by rising in the air. Besides this, that great longing for peace that an evolving soul continually has, that great yearning for that inner joy that an evolving soul always is seeking, all these things are accomplished by meditation. By the help of meditation one attains power which is beyond words to explain; besides that, health of body and strength of mind is gained by it, inspiration and power then become natural possessions.
And now one might ask, "How is one to meditate?" Many will wonder, but very few will have the patience to go on with it. The reason is that the absorption of this worldly life is so great that man becomes accustomed to the everyday activity that the state of meditation becomes quite a foreign experience to him, and one cannot feel at home in meditation, unless one had long patience in order to make the world of meditation his home. The great Sages and the Masters of humanity have had meditation as their greatest experience and help. The great power and inspiration that they have shown, the religion they have given, the knowledge they have brought, they all have come from meditation, they have not been poured out from a brain.
Even great musicians who have left living things in the world, the great poets, even without knowing, naturally they were meditative. Great things have come from them that the world will value for ever and ever. It is not only that the sages, the saints, and even the great Masters and prophets have been meditative, but even the great kings, such as Solomon, Alexander; and even the life of Napoleon, had a glimpse of meditative life. It is said of Napoleon that at such times when hours together he was at the battlefield, and the energy of most of them was exhausted, this emperor should also be exhausted. But no, he would close his eyes, go in a condition for a moment, and then after that he would be as energetic as before. By the help of meditation one connects oneself with the storehouse of inspiration, power, energy, life, happiness, peace, that one can get any amount of it, and yet it is not lacking in that store.
The examples that one has seen of the meditative people are beyond expression. After the age of eighty or even more the memory is as brilliant as in youth, their health perfect, and their mind in proper rhythm, working in proper balance.
It is a great pity that what we happen to know of those who claim to be meditative people seems to be so unbalanced that they only give a kind of bad name to the mystical life. But what is the reason of it? The reason is that some of them are seeking to communicate with spirits, to work wonders, to pride themselves on how much they know. That is not the work of the meditative person. The person of meditation must show balance in every side of life, in the common sense of life, in the understanding of life above, and also seeing in life below as clearly or even more so than the average person. As a person has mastered meditation, in everything he does he will express it. People think of a meditative person perhaps sitting in the caves of the mountains of Himalaya or in solitude, who sees no one. It is all unnatural. Why must one go to the Himalayas, in the solitude? Anywhere one is, whatever one's occupation, the one who knows how to meditate can meditate wherever he is or whatever he does. The truly meditative person must prove to us in all earthly things, in art, science, in whatever profession or work, he must do it to a great fullness, in that way he must show the power and inspiration and bliss of meditation. The little meditation one does for half an hour or a quarter of an hour, it is only a kind of winding, but the one who has mastered it, it must go on night and day, he must be conscious of it night and day, everything he does must express it.