By Cyrus Ryan
Living on the Inner Edge Book Excerpt
Living on the Inner Edge, chapter on Meditation & Past Life Influences
In our group efforts we worked on different forms of meditation, like Koan practice of Zen, the ‘Light and the Dust’ of the Pure Land Buddhist school and other occult methods. In the 4th Way teaching this same idea is expressed through the idea of developing a ‘center of gravity’. When you first experience the place of your center of gravity, you feel the flow of force pulling you back, deeper into the feeling of the space of the ‘I-am’. Once this is accomplished continually, then eventually you crystallize this ‘point of tension’, the Essential Nature.
Diagram is showing how to develop a ‘center of gravity’ through focusing on a point of tension and then drawing all forces to that point. Even though the forms of meditation may differ, in essence, they all provide the opportunity for the same type of practice for achieving alignment. In the group we used the term ‘centered’ or in ‘Essence’. If you are not ‘in Essence’, it means that that you are no longer within the group aura; instead you would now be pushed out onto the periphery of the group.
What does that mean? The Work is sometimes called, ‘Great Sifter’.
Just like panning for gold, the miner has to sift out the slag or sand, stones and debris, leaving the gold. The power of the Group Work is very similar. The negative aspects of the personality have to be ‘sifted out’ leaving behind the gold, the Essence. This is a big, long process.
As I mentioned before, the Essence is a reflection of the Soul on its own plane as the soul in incarnation. When an individual begins to question about life and search for something more, looking at various philosophies, religions, or alternative life styles, that means that the Soul has reached a certain stage in its evolution and it begins to stir its reflection, the soul in incarnation, into action, to search. Initially though, the search for truth, the deeper mysteries of life begins with the thought-life of the personality, which is based on subconscious past life memories.
For instance, a soul born into a Jewish family all of a sudden drops their traditions and becomes Buddhist. I know one family of four siblings, where three of the brothers left their birth religion, Judaism, and became Buddhist. Why does such an event occur? Is it a problem of their religion or their parents? Psychologists and social service workers would come up with many answers, from peer group pressures, exotic adventure, or the lack of practicality of the old traditions and many more.
Gaining an understanding of the laws of rebirth or reincarnation and karma would make understanding the situation of this family discernible. These three young men had strong Buddhist roots from the distant past. They had incarnated together in the same family. Because Buddhism was becoming popular at that time, first the older brother came in contact with some Buddhist influence that awakened this old, unconscious memory but it was strong enough to cause him to make a big life change. The same happened with the other younger brothers. From the occult perspective, the old personality or ‘kama-rupa’ made up of ‘samskaras’ from the past, replaced the present personality, thus the personality that ‘felt’ or ‘identified’ with being Jewish had withdrawn and the old Buddhist personality had re-awakened.
Today this is more common than you think.