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

by Paul Brunton

Larson Publications NY © 1987

"There is a single basic principle which runs like a thread through all these higher contemplation exercises. It is this: if we can desert the thoughts of particular things, the images of particular objects raised by the senses in the field of consciousness, and if we can do this with complete and intelligent understanding of what we are doing and why we are doing it, then such desertion will be followed by the appearance of its own accord of the element of pure undifferentiated Thought itself; the latter will be identified as our innermost self."
Page 170

"Now an extraordinary and helpful fact is that by making Mind the object of our attention, not only does the serenity which is its nature begin to well up of its own accord but its steady unchanging character itself helps spontaneously to repel all disturbing thoughts."
Page 170

"In this condition, with mind shifted away from sensory experience into a fixed self-absorption and stilled to the utmost degree, the meditator may be said to have mastered contemplation."
Page 172

"In that stillness, far from the physical activities, emotional excitations, and mental changes of everyday life, "the awareness of awareness" becomes possible, the Mind itself is isolated. The real being of a man is at last discovered and exhibited."
Page 173

"The resultant condition is no negative state. Those who imagine that the apparent blankness which ensues is similar to the blankness of the spiritualistic medium do not understand the process. The true mystic and the hapless medium are poles apart. The first is supremely positive; the second is supinely negative. Into the stilled consciousness of the first ultimately steps the glorious divinity that is our True Self, the world-embracing shining One; into the blanked-out consciousness of the second steps some insignificant person, as stupid or as sensible as he was on earth, but barely more; or worse, there comes one of those dark and malignant entities who prey upon human souls, who will drag the unfortunate medium into depths of falsehood and vice, or obsess her to the point of suicide."
Page 174

"There are definite stages which mark his progress. First he forgets the larger world, then his immediate surroundings, then his body, and finally his ego."
Page 175

"The differences between the first and second stages [concentration and meditation, respectively--ed.] are: (a) in the first there is no effort to understand the subject or object upon which attention rests, whereas in the second there is; (b) concentration may be directed to any physical thing or mental idea, whereas meditation must be directed to thinking about a spiritual theme either logically or imaginatively."
Page 175

"The second and third stages may have five stations from start to finish, although this is not the experience of all aspirants. In the first, the body becomes numb and its weight vanishes. In the second, a fiery burning force uplifts the emotions and energizes the will. In the third, a sensation of being surrounded by light is felt. In the fourth, the man is alone in a dark void. In the fifth he seems to dissolve until there is nothing but the infinite formless being of God."
Page 176

"While the higher mystic experiences are mostly the same universally, the personal beliefs and teachings of the mystics differ, and usually take some or all of the form of the religious tradition into which they were born."
Page 184

"At first strange transformations may take place in his space-time sense. Space is grotesquely narrowed while time is grotesquely slowed down. A far-off tree may seem within hand's reach while the movement of a hand itself may seem an hour's work. The concentration of attention becomes so extreme that the whole world narrows down to the preoccupation of the moment. This stage passes away."
Page 186

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