The beginner often has difficulty with this concept of himself as Consciousness, for what is it? It is, insofar as he is concerned, an intangible something he cannot see, hear, taste, smell, or touch. Consciousness to him is formless, and yet out of it emerges all of the forms that are. He cannot confine it, limit it, or pin it down to a specific; therefore, comprehension of himself as a consciousness seems impossible.
To further confuse the issue, a teacher cannot limit it to a specific, but can only explain what it is not. It is not the body, the emotions, nor the mind; it is that which creates and uses them. The teacher can only say, “You are a consciousness. You were before the form of your body, you are now within that form, and you will be long after it is gone.”
Here is the old problem of identity, which characterizes the occultist, beginner and adept.
The beginner can help himself to begin to know, by following a very simple meditation exercise as follows:
- Turn attention to the physical body and realize that you are not your body.
- Turn attention to the emotional nature and realize that you are not your emotions.
- Turn attention to the mind and realize that you are not your thoughts.
- Focus the attention in the ajna and meditate for three minutes on the following seed-thought:
“Having pervaded this body, emotions and mind with a fragment of myself, I remain.”