Meditation, Study, Service and Contemplation

  • Title: Contemplations, Meditation, Study, Service and Contemplation.
  • Author: Arvindus.
  • Publisher: Arvindus.
  • Copyright: Arvindus, 2023, all rights reserved.
  • Index: 202307301.
  • Edition: html, third edition.


In the ageless wisdom as telepathically taught by the Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul through His disciple Alice Bailey (Alice Bailey^Master Djwhal Khul)1 meditation, study and service as a way of life are advised as a spiritual practise (or sadhana)2.3

This spiritual practise aims at building the so called 'antahkarana',4 which regards a conscious bridge between the lower self and the higher self, between the personality and the soul5 (and later the spirit).6

This antahkarana, also called 'rainbow bridge', is being built first unconsciously from the top to the bottom, from the spirit and the soul to the personality, and then in a later stage from the bottom to the top, from the personality to the soul (and later the spirit). First the life of the spirit or monad descends into the body, anchoring itself in the heart, and the consciousness of the soul descends into the body likewise, anchoring itself in the head, and then man starts building a self-conscious bridge back from the personality to the soul, and later the spirit or the monad, thus completing the rainbow bridge. The two downward connections are named 'the life thread' and 'the consciousness thread' and the upward connection is named 'the creative thread'. This antahkarana is initially built between the lower, concrete mind and the higher, abstract mind and from there further extended to all human faculties, from the lowest of the physical body to the highest of the spirit or the monad. The antahkarana and the threads have been elaborated and elucidated already in two earlier publications.7, 8

Now to summarize what has been brought to the fore so far it can be said that the spiritual practise as advised in the regarded ageless wisdom aims at an allowance of downflow from the higher to the lower and at a building upwards from the lower to the higher. And basically this is what is done with study and meditation. In study for instance objectified, concrete words are taken in by the concrete mind of the personality9 as knowledge and then processed towards the abstract mind of the soul10 as understanding. And meditation is aimed at the bringing down of abstract visions (or even higher: intuitions) from the soul planes into the lower, concrete mind.11

The above can be beautifully symbolized by two triangles, a black bottom one to indicate study and a white top one to indicate meditation. We see this done in figure 1. But just as spirit and matter are meant to unite, bringing about consciousness,12 and the abstract mind and the concrete mind are meant to unite, bringing about insight, so study and meditation are meant to unite. This we see symbolized in figure 2.13

Meditation, study and contemplation

Figures 1, 2.

Now if the unification of spirit and matter brings about consciousness (and the unification of knowledge and vision brings about insight), what is it then that is brought about by the unification of meditation and study? In this publication it is attested that this regards contemplation. Contemplation is here defined as 'the synthesis of meditation and study'. Both are also contained in the official definitions of 'contemplation'.14

Now although hitherto not being defined in such a concrete manner the presented idea is not entirely new. The concept of contemplation has already been etymosophically thematized in two earlier publications, resulting in similar insights.15, 16 When 'contemplation' was considered to be constituted of the Latin 'con' and 'templum' contemplation was thought to be the joined action of gods and man in the temple of the heart, whereby the gods represent the higher self and man the lower self. And when additionally it was considered to be constituted of the Latin 'con' and 'tempus' as translations of the Greek 'sún' and 'chrónos' contemplation was additionally considered to be the concealed synchronicity of gods and man.

Now in another line of thought contemplation was considered as a movement from the metaphysicality beyond the physical periphery of the world ('paramatman' in eastern terms) towards the metaphysicality beyond the physical centre of man ('jivatman' in eastern terms).17, 18 But along that line of thought also a movement from the metaphysicality beyond the physical centre of man towards the metaphysicality beyond the physical periphery of the world was considered.19 And this was, in its own words, considered to define service. Contemplation is the movement from the world soul (paramatman) to the individual soul (jivatman) and service is the movement from the individual soul to the world soul. And just like meditation and study, which together comprise contemplation, service is adviced as a spiritual practise by the regarded ageless wisdom.

This service (or 'seva' in eastern terms)20 has earlier been thematized as "the spontaneous effect of soul contact",21 connecting thus to the previous mentioned thought. Contacting the soul in the centre of his being man moves sponteneously towards the periphery of the world. Thus often is spoken of 'world service'.22 This service is however not directed at the material world as such but moves, as mentioned above, to the world soul or the paramatman. It is in the end the Plan of God for the world that is served thus.23, 24 And therewith too the antahkarana is built, be it in this case rather the world antahkarana.25

So contemplation, comprised of meditation and study, moves from the periphery to the centre and service as its spontaneous counterpart moves from the centre to the periphery. This can again beautifully be depicted in a symbol. This time the colours of the guna's and nirguna are applied, which regard black, red, white and golden (yellow).26 Black is the colour of tamas, regarding intertia, red of rajas, regarding activity, white of sattva, regarding rhythm, and golden (yellow) of nirguna, which is beyond the qualities of the guna's (and therefore named 'nir-guna' or translated 'without-quality').27, 28

In figure 3 the golden (yellow) periphery symbolizes the world soul, the Plan of God, the paramatman, the metaperiphericity, or whatever metaphysical term you wish to apply to it. The golden (yellow) centre symbolizes the individual soul, the jivatman, the metacentricity. These two are mediated by the white, top triangle symbolizing meditation and the black, bottom triangle symbolizing study. United the latter two form the red hexagon which connects as contemplation the periphery with the centre and as a spontaneous effect of service the centre with the periphery.

Meditation, study, service and contemplation

Figure 3.

In a table the overview looks as below. Read from left to right we see that meditation and study comprise, or are contained in, contemplation, which then spontaneously effects service.

Meditation Contemplation Service

Figure 4.

May these spiritual practises thus become our way of life.

  1. 'Contemplations, Notations of 'Telepathy'', Index: 202204261.
  2. Sri Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba, Bhagavatha Vahini (The Story of the Glory of the Lord), Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam, p. 55. "[...] Sadhana (spiritual discipline), [...]."
  3. Alice A. Bailey, 'Training for New Age Discipleship', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001. "The principles of the Ageless Wisdom are presented through esoteric meditation, study and service as a way of life."
  4. Alice A. Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations, A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Volume V, in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, p. 437. "To this trained alignment must eventually be added the building of the antahkarana and its subsequent use in a growing system of alignments. The antahkarana must be completed and direct contact must be established with the Spiritual Triad by the time the third initiation has been taken."
  5. Alice A. Bailey, Letters on Occult Meditation, in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, p. 4. "I mean the adaptation of the Personality or Lower Self, to the Ego, or Higher Self, […]."
  6. 'Ageless Wisdom, The Threads', Index: 201504191, The Antahkarana.
  7. 'The Threads'.
  8. 'Contemplations, Consciousness and the Threads: A Short Sketch with Drawings', Index: 201509042.
  9. 'Ageless Wisdom, Triplicities in Man', Index: 201308292.
  10. Ibidem.
  11. Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 58. "Man, when meditating, aims at two things:—
    a—At the formation of thoughts, at the bringing down to the concrete levels of the mental plane, of abstract ideas and intuitions. This is what might be termed meditation with seed.
    b—At the aligning of the ego, and at the creation of that vacuum betwixt the physical brain and the Ego, which results in the divine outpouring, and the consequent shattering of the forms and subsequent liberation. This might be termed meditation without seed."
  12. Note 9.
  13. Alice A. Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Volume III, in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, p. 461. "1. The completion of the two triangles—the Real and the unreal. The building of the antahkarana is an aspect of this completion. This concerns the final building of the later stages of the antahkarana by the initiate."
  14. Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0), Oxford University Press, 2009, contemplation, 2. "[...], study." b. "[...], meditation, [...]" c. "[...]; sometimes, a meditation expressed in writing." 3. "[...], devout meditation."
  15. 'Contemplations, An Elucidated Etymology of 'Contemplation'', Index: 201107281.
  16. 'Contemplations, An Additional Etymosophy of 'Contemplation'', Index: 202009221.
  17. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, in: Prior to Consciousness, Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Jean Dunn (editor), Chetana, p. 46. "When you think in terms of parts, you think of Jiva, and of the whole as Paramatman, but there is no difference."
  18. 'Contemplations, A Setup for a Metaphysicratic Manifest', Index: 201204032, Boundary Crossing Centripetality.
  19. Ibidem, Boundary Crossing Centrifugality.
  20. Sri Swami Sivananda, Practise of Karma Yoga, The Divine Life Society, Shivanandanagar, 2001, p. 1. "What is the object of Seva or service?"
  21. 'Ageless Wisdom, Service', Index: 201908221.
  22. Alice A. Bailey, From Bethlehem to Calvary, in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, p. 259-260. "World service, world welfare, world interest, world inter-communication and the importance of the general good are all products of the emphasis Christ laid upon human divinity and on the brotherhood of man, based upon the Fatherhood of God."
  23. 'Contemplations, The Evolution of Service', Index: 201908223.
  24. Esoteric Astrology, p. 495. "3. Aquarius—expresses the activity of the mind which has been initiated into the purposes of the Universal Mind. It is the sign which brings the soul into active cooperation with the inner plan of God. This we call service."
  25. Alice A. Bailey, Discipleship in the New Age, Volume II, in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, p. 204. "This New Group of World Servers is an aspect of the world antahkarana and it gives students of the antahkarana a sound example of the intent and purpose of the Rainbow Bridge which each disciple is endeavouring consciously to build. It is composed of those who have penetrated in consciousness upward to such an extent and height that their ascension has become invocative and has produced a descent from the Hierarchy which meets and merges with the energies of the ascending group reflection."
  26. 'Triplicities in Man', Triplicity Symbolized in the Colors of the Guṇas.
  27. Alice A. Bailey, The Light of the Soul, in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, p. 147. "The three "gunas" are the three qualities of matter itself, sattva, raja and tamas, or rhythm, activity and inertia, and are inherent in all forms."
  28. I Am That, Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Maurice Frydman (translator), Sudhakar S. Dikshit (revisor, editor), The Acorn Press, Durham, 1992, p. 545.