Exercise

Remembrance exercise

THE OVERSELF REMEMBRANCE EXERCISE Name: It is so simple that it is called an exercise only for name's sake. In the beginning it requires effort just like any other practice. How to:

1) To be practised at all times, in all places and under all bodily conditions. It consists of the constant loving recall to mind of the existence of, and his inner identity with, the Overself.

2) It involves the repeated and devoted recollection that there is this other and greater self, a warm, felt, living thing, overshadowing and watching over him.

3) It should be continued until he is able to keep the thought of the Overself as a kind of setting for all his other thoughts.

Glimpse: If he has ever had a glimpse of a supersensuous higher existence which profoundly impressed him and perhaps led him to take to the quest, it is most important that he should also insert the remembrance of this experience into his exercise. He should try to bring as vividly as possible to his mind the sense of peace and exaltation which he then felt.

Warning: One danger of this remembrance exercise is that it can become automatic too soon and thus merely mechanical and hollow. The remembrance must be a warm, felt, living thing if the spirit of the exercise is to be retained and not lost. When to:

1) The inward concentration should persist behind and despite outward activity.

2) The Overself remembrance should be held in the back of the mind, even though he may appear to be properly attentive to external matters.

3) He should keep the exercise always or as often as possible in the mind's background while paying attention to duties in the foreground.

4) Though the foreground of his consciousness is busy attending to the affairs of daily living, its background abides in a kind of sacred emptiness wherein no other thought may intrude than this thought of the Overself.

5) The remembrance should become the unmoved pivot upon which the pendulum of external activity swings perpetually to and fro.

Free time: When he has free time, it should come to the fore. Every time there is relaxation from duties, he should let attention fly eagerly and more fully back to it. How long: He should train himself in this exercise:

1) until it becomes quite easy and effortless;

2) until this inward concentration has been set in habitual motion;

3) until the remembrance continues of its own accord;

4) until its practice has become firmly and successfully established as ceaseless flow;

5) until the loving recall to mind of the existence of, and his inner identity with, the Overself becomes constant;

6) until the practice is absorbed in perfect and perpetual performance;

7) until he experiences the Overself unceasingly as the unannounced and impersonal centre of his personal gravity. Potency: This method has a peculiar potency of its own despite its informal and unprogrammed character. Its unexpected effectiveness is therefore not to be measured by its obvious simplicity. Grace: When the remembrance becomes ceaseless flow, the Overself will bring him a remarkable fruitage of grace. When he turns habitually inwards toward the Overself, grace can operate more readily in all matters. When the grace starts working, this is likely to remove a number of internal and external obstacles in his path--sometimes in a seemingly miraculous manner--and eventually bring him to a truer self-awareness.

Constant Remembrance Exercises: The Overself is a term of which past experience may furnish no meaning. But perhaps you have had strangely beautiful moments when everything seemed to be still, when an ethereal world of being seemed very near to you. Well, in those moments you were lifted up to the Overself. The task you should set yourself is to recapture that blessed presence and feel once again that beautiful interlude of unearthly stillness. If, however, you cannot recall such moments or if, recalling them, you cannot regain afresh their vividness and reality, then there is an alternative path. Make it your business to recall the picture and presence of some man whom you believe is awake to his Overself-consciousness. Take him as your guru and therefore as an outstretched hand which you can mentally grasp and by which you can gradually lift yourself. Thus if the Overself is a vague abstraction to you, he, as a living person whom you have met, is not. He can easily be for you a definite focus of concentration, a positive point in the infinite to which you can direct your inward glance.


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