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Selected quotes from
"Notebooks of Paul Brunton: Advanced Contemplation/The Peace Within You"

by Paul Brunton

Larson Publications NY © 1987


"His role is to play witness of what he is, how he behaves, the thoughts he admits, just as if he were witnessing someone else. This move-over from the actively-engaged person to the watcher who is impersonal and disengaged even in the midst of action, is one from drift to control. He must begin by putting the ego, his own ego, forward as an object of observation. He will not succeed fully in doing so, because he is involved on both sides--as subject and object--but the direction can be fixed and the work can be started. With time and practice, study and reflection, help and sincerity, some sort of impersonality and neutrality can be established. When inner stillness is fully reached, the work becomes much easier until it is completed by the grace of the higher Self, Overself. Of course, outside of meditation, he is conscious of his commonplace body; but he is also conscious of his awe-inspiring Overself. He sees the first as part of a passing show, himself as an uninvolved observer, and behind both the eternal Overself."
Page 145

"Whatever name be given to this exercise, whether "As If" or another, its essence is to consider the goal as already reached, to convert the end of the quest into the beginning. Is this too audacious an assumption? This elicits counter-questions. Why remain within the circle of the probable as if the circle of the possible did not also exist? Where did the saying "Adventures are for the adventurous" come from if not from human experience?"
Page 149

"This practice of picturing oneself as one ought to be, of visualizing the man free from negative qualities and radiant with positive ones that are part of the Quest's ideal, has near-magical results."
Page 150

"He shapes himself into another person in imagination, in faith, and in will. For a while he creates the illusion of a new destiny accompanying this new person. Is this not a veritable rebirth? Does he not get away from the old everyday person and forget him utterly through this miraculous transformation? He lives so completely in this visualized ideal self that there is no space left for the old faults, the old weaknesses to creep in"
Page 153

"Those moments when the feeling of something beyond his present existence comes to him are precious indeed. They must be eagerly welcomed and constantly nourished by dwelling upon them again and again, both in remembrance and in meditation. The loving recollection of those beautiful inspired moments and the intense concentration upon them is in itself a mystical exercise of special importance. This exercise is designed to help the learner transcend his attachment to externality, his tendency to live in the senses as though they alone reported reality."
Page 159

"This work of constant remembrance is one of self-training. The mind is accustomed by habit and nature to stay in the ego. It has to be pulled out and placed in the thought of the higher self, and kept there."
Page 162

"It is a long way from the custom which satisfies religious need by attendance at church for an hour or two once a week, to the recollection which thirsts and hungers every moment anew."
Page 163

"The woman far advanced in pregnancy may be attending to household duties--may cook, sew, or wash most of the day--yet not at any moment will her mind be completely carried away from the infant she is bearing inside."
Page 164

"The double awareness practised by women who knit a woollen garment at the same time that they talk with one another is one familiar example of the mind's power in this direction. It makes plausible the double awareness practised by the sage, whose movement and activity in ordinary worldly life is concurrent with his rest in the background of transcendental spirit."
Page 167

"This act of recollection requires no effort, no exercise of the power of will. It is an act of turning in, through and by the power of love, toward the source of being. Love redirects the attention and love keeps it concentrated, sustained, obedient."
Page 168

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