The Yogi believes in giving the “I” good tools with which to work, and he spends much time in tempering and sharpening these tools. Oh, no, the Yogi are not idle dreamers. Their grasp of “practical things” would surprise many a practical, matter-of-fact Western business man, if he could but observe it.
And so, we ask you to practice “observing things.” The two exercises we have given are but indications of the general line. We could give you thousands, but you can prepare them yourselves as well as could we. The little Hindu boy is taught Attention by being asked to note and remember the number, color, character and other details of a number of colored stones, jewelry, etc., shown for an instant in an open palm, the hand being closed the moment after. He is taught to note and describe passing travelers, and their equipages—houses he sees on his journeys—and thousands of other everyday objects. The results are almost marvelous. In this way he is prepared as a chela or student, and he brings to his guru or teacher a brain well developed—a mind thoroughly trained to obey the Will of the “I”—and with faculties quickened to perceive instantly that which others would fail to see in a fortnight. It is true that he does not turn these faculties to “business” or other so-called “practical” pursuits, but prefers to devote them to abstract studies and pursuits outside of that which the Western man considers to be the end and aim of life. But remember that the two civilizations are quite different—following different ideals—having different economic conditions—living in different worlds, as it were. But that is all a matter of taste and ideals—the faculty for the “practical life” of the West is possessed by the chela, if he saw fit to use it. But all Hindu youths are not chelas, remember—nor are all Western youths “captains of industry,” or Edisons.
I am using my Attention to develop my mental faculties, so as to give the “I” a perfect instrument with which to work. The mind is My instrument and I am bringing it to a state of capacity for perfect work.