The Successive Processes of Analysis: Psychological, Moral and Spiritual
by Swami Krishnananda
(Spoken on October 15, 1972)
There is a difference between intuitive recognition and sensory perception. Whenever the senses operate in respect of a particular object or a group of objects, they cast the mind into a particular mould. Mental operation and sensory activities are practically inseparable. The mind acts in terms of the reports provided to it by the senses. The senses may be regarded as some sort of spectacles through which the mind begins to observe the objects. As we know, our observations depend to a large extent on the nature of the structure of the glasses that we put on.
The constitution of the senses, the structure of the instruments of perception, has much to do with the nature of our appreciation of the values outside, as well as objects in general. The object, whatever be its distance from the location of the senses, stirs the senses into activity, stimulates them in a particular manner, and transmits this stimulation of the senses to the mental faculty; then we perceive the object. What actually happens is that an impression is formed in our mind. The object does not come and physically impinge on the mind, as we know. There is not necessarily a physical contact between ourselves and the object of perception, but we are influenced by the presence of an object on account of an invisible, subtle undercurrent of activity that takes place during the process we call sensory perception.
One aspect of this perceptual process, for instance, is that light rays travel from the location of the object to the retina of our eyes and bring about a kind of physiological transformation in the structure of the eyes. This physiological change is communicated inwardly to the apparatus of perception in our brain through the nervous system utilising a very intricate and complicated relationship between the brain and the mind. While the lay outlook of life, without any scientific probe into it, may give us an impression that the brain cells are actually responsible for the perceptual activity, on a little investigation and analysis of the situation we will come to know that the brain cells themselves cannot perceive, because they are inert. The physical structure of the brain is a necessary instrument in the perceptual process, but nevertheless, it is only an instrument; it is not the actual perceiver, because an instrument by itself cannot perceive or act. It requires a motive force behind it.
Now, this motive force naturally has to be a consciously directed power. It is not a hodgepodge of organic activity that is taking place in our brain, but a very well-ordered, systematised, voluntary action. This shows that there is a principle involved in the process of perception, which we generally call intelligence or consciousness. Without this element of understanding – this inscrutable principle in us we call consciousness, etc. – perception would be blind. It would be like a blind man looking at an object, seeing nothing.
The conscious element in the perceptional process is a very, very important aspect of the activity of perception. Seeing an object is not a simple process. It is involved in a series of activities along chains with many links in it, the prominent among these being the distance of the object from the perceiver, the natural conditions contributory to the successful activity of perception, light rays intense enough to enable the perception of the object, the healthy condition of the retina and nerves of the eyes, and a very sane mind and healthy brain. All these are very essential elements in the perceptional process, but they would be null and void in their activity if the life-giving element behind them, namely, intelligence or consciousness, is absent. That is why while all these apparatuses are present when we are asleep, we do not see objects. Light rays may be there, objects may be there, we may be favourably placed in the location of the object, the brain also is there, the nerve currents are there, the retina is there, but we will not see anything even if the eyes are open, which means to say the final judge and determining factor of all perceptual processes is consciousness.
Now, what actually happens to us in the perception of an object is a matter that has to be very carefully scrutinised before we would be in a position to know what our duty in life is, because the duty of a person depends upon the location of the person in society. Our placement in the social atmosphere determines to a large extent the duty that we are called on to perform in life. So unless we know our location in the universe, we cannot know what our duty is to the universe. The structural pattern of our environment is to be studied first, as we study the constitution of an organisation or a government. The fundamental rules are raised on the basis of the constitution, and a study of it will tell us what our duty is in respect of that organisation of which we are an integral part.
So we belong to a constitution called the universe. We owe a debt of duty to various aspects of nature and creation. This we call our duty, secondary as well as primary. But many of us, not being tutored properly in respect of the placement of our personality in the constitution of the cosmos, blunder or flounder in our activities and make mistakes. We know very well that when we make mistakes in respect of the law which we are supposed to abide by, then the law reacts upon us. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse,” is a legal cliché. This applies to all sorts of laws, including universal and cosmic laws. That we are not fully educated in respect of the existence and operation of the law of the cosmos is not an excuse that we may be saved. Law will not save us or excuse us merely because we are not aware of its existence or operation. Hence, it is primarily important on the part of every seeker of truth, happiness and freedom to know one's position in this world.
Now, on account of a particular placement of our personality in this world, we are involved in a process that we call the perception of an object. The object and ourselves are internally as well as outwardly related. This relationship between us and the object is due to a peculiar structure of the environment in which we are living. That is why it is important to know how this environment is causing this perception of objects through our senses and mind.
Why is it imperative on our part to take into account the processes of perception in our life? It is because whatever we do, whatever we feel, whatever experiences we undergo, seem to be determined by the nature of our perceptions. If we see a snake, we react in a particular manner. If we see a friend, we react in another manner altogether. If we have the perception of an enemy in front of us, our reaction is of one kind, and if we perceive an object which is of an indeterminate character, our reaction is of a different kind altogether. So our life depends on our perceptions. Such is the importance of the psychology of human perceptions of things in general. It is not a matter that we can simply brush aside because on that depends what we are, how we conduct ourselves and what we experience in our life.
When an object stimulates the senses, all the links of the chain of perception begin to act simultaneously. The moment we open our eyes, we see an object in front of us. There is an automatic action taking place, and we cannot know which starts first, which part is in the middle, or which part concludes the process.
Now, this apparently instantaneous perception of an object is not really instantaneous. It has been the result of a continuous activity that has taken place in a chain. In this chain activity of perception we consciously decide upon a particular course of action due to the peculiar characteristic of the object of our perception. Inasmuch as we look upon various objects throughout our day, hundreds of impressions are formed in the mind on account of this multitude of perception. Impressions after impressions of various objects are piled upon our mind; layers after layers are formed on the body of our mind so that the mind may be safely defined as a composite of impressions, or samskaras, as we call them.
The mind has no independent substantiality when we actually analyse it into its core. It is not an indivisible substance like a fabric or a cloth. As cloth is made of thread, the mind is made of impressions. It is a series of impressions that have been formed through ages, we may say, of which at present we have no knowledge, for various reasons. Millions and millions of perceptions have been responsible for the creation of this composite structure we call the psychological organ, which has an infinite reservoir of the possibilities of perception, and this infinite reservoir of force within us is what we call the mind.
These impressions formed in the mind due to the perception of objects have a dual role to play. The first one is that the impression that is formed on the mind upon the perception of an object sets us into action in a particular manner in respect of that object. We like it or we do not like it, or we want to possess it or we want to run away from it, whatever the case may be. We are set into a particular judicial activity in our mind, we may say, whereby we pass a judgment upon the object, decide a case against it or for it, and then take action in respect of it in a particular manner. This is one thing that happens when a perception takes place due to the impression of the object formed in the mind.
But there is another aspect of it which is generally forgotten, and which is as important, or perhaps more important, than this judgment aspect of the mind in respect of the object. That is, the impression formed of the object on the mind is like a groove formed on a gramophone plate. The impression is not dead merely because we have finished our action in respect of the object. Once we have recorded our song it can be replayed again because our song or our music or our utterance has created an impression, as in a tape recorder or a gramophone groove. So even when we have consciously forgotten the object in our outward life, the subconscious tendency to react in respect of such objects in a similar manner does not die, so that there is a possibility of our entering into a similar course of action in respect of similar objects in the future also. This is the danger about perceptions, the danger being that they can get out of our control and even when we do not know that they are there, they will begin to work and impel us, force us to act in a particular manner.
Most of our actions are impulse-driven. They are done at the spur of the moment by an impulse, as we say, a mood of which we had no predisposition or previous knowledge, but which took possession of us with such vehemence that we did a particular act without deliberation. This is how we take sudden steps in certain directions which sometimes, more often than not, are for our misery and suffering.
All our actions of our conscious life cannot be called deliberate or voluntary in the strictest sense of the term. We are slaves of our own inner reservoirs of perceptual possibilities, and we appear to be exercising freedom of choice when this unconscious impulse comes to the surface of our consciousness. We mistakenly think that we embark upon a conscious activity which assumes the role or form of a deliberate, voluntary, free exercise of will, while really it was a stir that took place in the subconscious and unconscious layers of our personality causing the conscious level to act, as the rumbling of waters at the bottom of the ocean may come up to the surface through a vibration and create a stir in the form of waves, etc.
Psychoanalysts, especially of the Freudian kind in the West, tell us that man is not free merely because of this kind of analysis which they have made, namely, that man is a bundle of impulses, instincts, hidden desires and frustrated longings which have been submerged into the bottom of the layer of the mind but which rise up to the conscious level when opportunities arise, whatever be the distance of time between the present activity and the previous origin of the impulse or the impression. A patient who is hypnotised by a physician does not know that he is hypnotised and thinks that his actions are deliberate or voluntary, notwithstanding the fact that he has been hypnotised to act in a particular manner by the physician's will; similarly, psychologists tell us that we are not entirely free, at least not as free as we imagine ourselves to be. We are impulse-ridden, forced to act in a particular manner by the samskaras or impressions that are already embedded in our mind on account of perceptions of the past. It is the conscious aspect of our activity that makes it appear as a freedom of choice. Our ahamkara, or egoism, is directly connected with our conscious life. So the personality, which is nothing but an embodiment of our ego, assumes the role of freedom of will and choice – deliberate, voluntary action – and we go scot-free, as it were, imagining that everything has been done by us wantonly, purposely, with predetermination of the course of action. But we are deeper within ourselves than we appear from the outside. Psychologists have compared our mental apparatus to an iceberg in an ocean, of which a little crest is visible outside as our conscious life and the larger part is underneath as the subconscious and the unconscious.
Thus, perceptions play an important role in our life. We are a bundle of perceptions. This is the conclusion we will arrive at if we psychologically analyse ourselves thoroughly, down to the very bottom. Perhaps this is the reason why Buddha held his doctrine that all the world is nothing but a movement of perceptions. There are no substantialities behind things; there are only perceptions which cause our experiences. This was a great doctrine of Gautama Buddha. These perceptions are momentary; they come and go, though they leave a chain of impressions behind them as a causative factor of further impressions, further perceptions and activities. In Buddhist philosophical parlance, this is called the pratityasamutpada, which means to say, the causation or the causal chain of perceptions and cognitions, finally ending in the misery of the human being.
The art of yoga is the remedy that has been discovered to free the human individual from the clutches of this series of impressional perceptions. This is really yoga: yogaś citta vṛtti nirodhaḥ (Y.S. 1.2). Yoga has been defined classically as the complete restraint that is exercised over the various modifications, such as the impressions of the mind.
We all know very well why we should practice yoga – because we are under the thumb of these impressions, we are a slave of these samskaras, and our present experiences, actions, moods, conducts, etc., are nothing but the outcome of the impressions that are already there. We have become instruments in their hands rather than independent, free individuals.
To achieve freedom, truly speaking, we have to exercise control over our mind. That is why it is said that yoga, which is ultimate freedom, is also the science of the control of the mind. Why do we control the mind? Because the mind is a bundle of perceptual impressions, and these impressions control our moods and activities. We are, therefore, not free as long as they are there, acting within us. It is freedom that we seek through all our activities and fields of work, and we cannot be really free; we shall only be apparently free, like a hypnotised person, so long as these impressions rule us and are masters of us.
How do you gain control over the mind? Now, who are ‘you', first of all, who wishes to control the mind and its impressions? Are you the same as the mind, or are you different from the mind? If you are the same as the mind, it is a very difficult question because the mind cannot control the mind. Are you then different from the mind? In that case, then what are you? What is your relationship with the mind? These are questions which will occur when we go deeper into the subject.
The mind is, essentially, unconscious. It is not a being which is endowed with awareness because we see in the condition of sleep, where the mind is not dead, we are not able to be conscious of the existence of things. If the mind is present and yet it need not be conscious of objects, it would be enough proof to show that the mind essentially is not conscious. It is said that it is something like a glass or a mirror. The mirror can shine only if the light falls upon it. A mirror by itself kept in darkness does not shine. So it is not the mirror that shines; it is the light that shines, though we say that the mirror is shining. In the same way as we say a mirror shines, we say the mind thinks. The mind thinks secondarily in the same way as the mirror shines, but it does not think primarily. There must be an illumining principle behind this instrument of reflection or perception. That is what we call chaitanya-chit, or the Atman within us. It is like an eternal lamp that is shining within us radiantly, never getting blurred or disturbed or extinguished. That eternal lamp of luminosity, the wisdom within us called the Atman or the Self, shines behind the mind as the sun would shine in the middle of the sky. This luminosity of the Atman is reflected upon the mind which is transparent in its structure.
The mind can be transparent, translucent, and also opaque. When it is opaque, we call it tamasic. When it is translucent, we call it rajasic. When it is transparent, we call it sattvic. So the mind has three moods, three conditions, three states of activity, called sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. When the light of the Atman which is reflected through the mind is tamasic, it is like the light of the sun falling on a brick wall. Especially if the brick wall is painted with pitch or coal tar there will be no reflection, though the light falls upon the wall. But if the mind is rajasic, that would be like the sunlight falling on muddy water. There will not be a clear perception of the reflection but there is some sort of a reflection of light. But if the same light falls upon the sattvic aspect of the mind, it shines like an electric bulb, which is not obstructive of the light but is a transferring medium of the light that shines within. Whatever be the condition or the mood of the mind – sattvic, rajasic or tamasic – it is a mood nevertheless. The identification of this inner light with the moods or modes of the mind is responsible for our assumption of personality consciousness, egoism, etc.
The Atman within is not limited to the body or the mind. It is universal, like the sunlight spread all over the sky, but it can be focussed through a single lens, though it is not thereby limited to the location of the lens alone. Likewise, we assume an individuality, a personality, calling ourselves Mr. so and so, Mrs. so and so, hailing from such and such a place; we attribute to ourselves various designations of other kinds, all due to the fact that this inner principle of consciousness within us gets restricted to the activities through the aperture of the mind as the vast sunlight can pass through a little hole in a black tree. Just as the tree completely restricts the spread of the ray of the sun and allows it to pass only through a little hole in it, likewise consciousness, which is the atmajnana within us, is allowed to pass through a little aperture which we call the antahkarana, and this aperture being limited, it makes the consciousness itself assume the role of limitation; consequently, statements such as “I am”, “you are,” “this is,” “that is,” and so forth, arise.
So the mind is primarily responsible for our individual consciousness, body consciousness, personality consciousness, and object consciousness. Inasmuch as we have identified this limitation of consciousness with the individuality of ours, we forget entirely the original background of this light, which is all-pervading.
Now, this individuality consciousness arisen on account of the reflection of the Atman's light through the mind is the perceptional causal factor. The origin of all perceptions and cognitions is this assumption of individuality by the consciousness. Unless there is individuality behind as the basis of perception, there would be no perception at all. So the reason behind our consciousness of objects is our assumption of individuality. As we are, others also are.
Thus, we see the difference between what we really are and what the mind is, and how we have identified ourselves with the mind to such an extent as to feel that the mind itself is the personality. We think through the mind and identify that thinking process with our being itself. Our existence and our thought have become identical so that we cannot separate our mind from our being. Thus, self-analysis becomes a difficult process. Self-analysis is difficult because the object to be analysed, which is the mind, has become one with the subject, which is the analyser, while really the independent subject is the Atman, which is different from the mind.
Sometimes we make a distinction between the lower self and the higher self of man just to draw a line between the consciousness reflected through the mind and consciousness as it is in itself. The higher self of man is a universal consciousness known as Brahman, the Atman. The lower self of man is that which is reflected through the antahkarana, through the modes of the mind – sattvic, rajasic and tamasic.
Inasmuch as we now are in a state of body consciousness, personality consciousness and world consciousness, we are unable to avoid sensory perception. Sense perception of objects has become imperative, compulsory on our part because of the assumption of our role of individuality. This is called the samsara of the jiva. Earthly existence of bondage, tension and anxiety is what we call this involvement of consciousness in the mental modes of sattva, rajas and tamas in respect of objects outside which are cognised through the mind in terms of sensory perception. The freedom to be achieved ultimately is the freedom of consciousness from the clutches of the mind and sensory perceptions. This is what is called moksha, liberation, nirvana, parampada, vaikuntha. Such terms as these are applied to this original condition of consciousness in its universality of being, which is to be asserted in its self-identical nature. This affirmation of the universality of consciousness is called moksha ultimately while the opposite of it, which is called samsara or bhandana, is the reflection of this universal consciousness through the aperture of the mind which is localised, which is restricted in every way, and which has become responsible for our perceptions of objects.
So what is yoga then? It is a reverse process, the recession of our mental activities into their causes. As we have come down to the level of sense objects and entered into this samsara, so now we have to retrace our steps back from the objects to the original universality of our nature to the Atman, which is the Absolute. So yoga in our life is so essential that it is indistinguishable from our primary duty of life. Our primary duty in life is the practice of yoga. Everything else comes afterwards because what can be more important to our life than the achievement of freedom? Do we want to be in bondage? We know very well that we cannot achieve freedom as long as we are under the thumb or clutches of the impressions of our own mind, the impulses within, making us feel temporarily, falsely, that we are free on account of the identification of the conscious level of the mind with the subconscious impulses that are hidden behind.
Therefore, the practice of yoga is a graduated process of the retracing of our steps from objective consciousness to universal consciousness of the Atman. The object consciousness is the material part of our consciousness. It is the lowest crass form of perception. This is the bottommost level into which we have fallen – physical consciousness. From this we have to rise to the higher level of the purely perceptional or cognitional consciousness. Now the consciousness through the senses has got identified with the object in such a way that when we love an object or hate an object we do not feel that some activity is taking place in our own mind. We are concerned only with the object of affection and hatred due to the intense identification of the consciousness with the object. That is why we take into consideration only the object of love and hatred and not the activities taking place within our own mind at that particular moment. When we are angry, we are angry with something, but we do not consider the anger process itself which has been responsible for our reaction in respect of that object. If the emotion would not have arisen, that action would not have taken place. So the greatest importance in our life is not to become involved entirely in the object form of the world but also to achieve a little freedom over it and cognise the existence of an internal operation behind the object form, namely the perceptional process. When we are able to free the perceptional process from the form of the object, we will not love or hate an object in the same way as we generally do because we will know our own disease much more than we did earlier.
Higher than that step in which we are able to be conscious of our own mental operations independent of our object form is the knowledge of the structure of the process itself. What is this structure of the process of perception? The knowledge of how it is made and how it acts is a still higher process of analysis. When we know a thing, we have a control or a mastery over that thing. We have a greater opportunity of controlling our mind when we know the structure of it than when we are completely immersed in an object on account of its identification with the object. Therefore, the knowledge of the structure of the perceptional process is much higher than the recognition of the fact that perceptions are independent of objects. This is the higher analysis of the mind that we have to make.
Still higher is the stage when we come to know that the perceptions are not really the modifications of the real ‘we' or the ‘I', but they are the modifications of the mental instruments within us: “The mind has been responsible for the perceptions because perception is nothing but a vritti, which is a modification, which is a transformation, which cannot be my essential nature. I do not undergo transformation or modification. It is the mind that undergoes the transformation in the form of an object of love or dislike.”
So now we come to a decision that we are an undefeatable, indescribable, indivisible, changeless conscious being which cannot be really involved in samsara, and that the so-called bondage of the soul is nothing but a very mysterious process of identification that has taken place between consciousness and the mind, which is difficult for us to describe at the present moment of our knowledge. This is, according to the Sankhya philosophy, the primary cause of bondage of the jiva, the buddhi getting identified with the purusha. The buddhi is the switchboard of the whole cosmic activity of prakriti. Prakriti is the material universe in all its manifestation from gross to subtle, and to causal. While prakriti is very vast, we cannot know its boundaries and so we cannot deal with it in our limited state of knowledge, but we can operate upon prakriti by touching the switchboard. That switchboard is the buddhi, the intellect in us. It is the subtle, rarefied form of prakriti in our own self. So when we understand the activities of our buddhi, we understand how prakriti acts in relation to the purusha. The purusha is the Atman within us; ultimately, it is the conscious being of ours, which has got identified with the buddhi and has been responsible for what we call conscious perception. The Sankhya tells us how the purusha has got identified with the buddhi. It is not really identified in structure or substance. It is only an apparent conjunction due to a proximity of the truth.
The classic example or illustration of this identity between the purusha and the buddhi is, as given by the Sankhya, the assumption of the colour of a flower by a clear crystal due to its proximity to the coloured flower. If a red flower is brought near a crystal, the crystal absorbs the colour of the flower and appears to be red itself. The whole of the crystal has been reddened, and we can no longer see its whiteness. Perhaps we will not see the crystal at all, and will see only the colour. Likewise, the colour of the buddhi, which is the seed of the prakriti within us, has influenced the purusha consciousness within us in such a way that the crystal of the purusha has got tinged with the colour of the characteristics of the buddhi, which is the root of prakriti. Because prakriti is made up of the three gunas – sattva, rajas and tamas – and the buddhi is only a representative of the prakriti, it is characterised by the very same sattvic, rajasic and tamasic natures of prakriti as its mother is. So these three qualities – sattva, rajas and tamas – get transferred to the conscious being within us and then we say that we are happy, we are unhappy, we are sleepy, we are morose, etc.
Therefore, our present analysis of ourselves is wrong. We are neither this nor that, just as the crystal is neither of this colour nor of that colour. Whenever a particular object, which is a mode of the gunas of prakriti, is brought before the purusha's perception, it assumes the colour or the tinge or the role of that object, and then we make a statement, “I am limited. I am only in one place. I cannot be everywhere. I can do only one thing at a time, and not many things. I cannot remember many things. I am hungry. I am thirsty. I am subject to destruction. I am in samsara.” All these statements that we make are due to an erroneous identification of our true being with the characteristics of prakriti, which is buddhi, which is what undergoes transformation.
Samsara is really of the buddhi and not of the Atman. The Atman has no samsara. It is the jiva principle in us, the buddhi within us, the ahamkara within us, the antahkarana within us that undergoes the transformations of samsara. When the purusha is isolated from the buddhi, moksha is attained. This is called kaivalya, kevalatva or aloneness, Absoluteness of our being. The purusha is really alone, independent by itself, requiring no assistance from outside, and when the purusha realises its independent nature isolated from the characteristics of the buddhi and of prakriti, it is liberation of the purusha. It is kaivalya moksha of our consciousness.
For this, we have to exercise our consciousness with some intensity of application and purpose. Just as we get identified with an object in a mood of like or dislike in a state of emotion and misunderstanding, we have to practise the reverse method of getting the very same consciousness identified with its inner cause, rather than its outer effect.
These stages which I mentioned – the object, the perception, the mind and the Atman – are to become the stages of our meditation gradually. In the beginning we are always asked to meditate upon the form of an object because we are accustomed to think only of objects. We do not know anything else, nothing beyond the objects. So when we are initiated into the technique of meditation, we are asked to conceive a form either physically or psychologically. It may be a physical image, a portrait, a diagram or even a concept. All this prescription is given for meditation inasmuch as we are not accustomed to think except in terms of an object form. It does not mean that it is a perfect form of meditation, but we are helpless. We do not know any other way. Therefore, we are given a leaning staff as a prop in our meditation, but that is not the ultimate object of meditation.
Therefore, the gradual stages of meditation are, first of all, an object form physically chosen or psychologically conceived, into which technique we have to be initiated by a Guru. The higher stage is the recognition of the independence of the perceptual process from the existence of an object. This is vairagya, virakti, dispassion for objects arisen not on account of frustration or hatred for things but on account of the realisation that our perceptual activity of an object is independent of the object itself, so identification of this process with the object is a wrongful method applied. Thus, vairagya is born of understanding and realisation, and not on account of a defeatist attitude in the mind or a frustration of a desire. This gives us an inner fill-up, a further inspiration, an incentive to practise yoga in its positive aspects. This is abhyasa, the counterpart of vairagya. While we are spontaneously dispassionate in respect of objects on account of the realisation of the independence of the perceptual process from the objects, we are spontaneously also inspired to enter the stage of abhyasa or direct practice, which is positive yoga. Abhyasa is superior to vairagya. We do not go on withdrawing ourselves always. We have also to do something positively. Direct meditation is abhyasa, and detachment from all externals is vairagya.
Then our object of meditation becomes subtler and subtler as we proceed higher and higher. It also becomes vaster and vaster in its comprehension. As we go more and more inward, the object of our meditation becomes more and more subtle and also gets expanded in its comprehension and gamut. The more inward we are, the more expanded we also are, and the more subtle we are to that extent.
Lastly, the object of meditation is the Atman itself, which is the upasana which is prescribed in the Upanishads, for example. The upasanas and methods of meditation prescribed in the Upanishads are worships of the Atman universal – Vaishvanara – to which state we have to reach gradually from the location of a physical object to an object psychologically conceived later on. Next, we have to contemplate on the structure and the activity of the mind itself, which is one of the forms of Buddhist meditation, for example. We meditate on the activity of the mind itself which will help us to be in a position to fix ourselves in our true being, which is ahamgraha upasana, as they call it, or atma-upasana, meditation on the Atman itself. It is not somebody meditating on the Atman, because we ourselves are the Atman. It is Self-imposition of an indescribable character, Self-contemplation, we may call it – Being contemplating Being, thought contemplating itself.
This is the highest form of meditation, to which condition or stage we have to reach gradually by these successive processes of analysis: psychological, moral and spiritual.