It would surprise many Westerners if they could come in contact with a highly developed Yogi, and witness the marvelously finely developed senses he possesses. He is able to distinguish the finest differences in things, and his mind is so trained that, in thought, he may draw conclusions from what he has perceived, in a manner that seems almost “second-sight” to the uninitiated. In fact, a certain degree of second-sight is possible to one who develops his sense of Sight, under the urge of Attention. A new world is opened out to such a person. One must learn to master the senses, not only in the direction of being independent of and superior to their urgings, but also in the matter of developing them to a high degree. The development of the physical senses, also has much to do with the development of the “Astral Senses,” of which we have spoken in our “Fourteen Lessons,” and of which we may have more to say in the present series. The idea of Raja Yoga is to render the student the possessor of a highly developed Mind, with highly developed instruments with which the mind may work.
In our future lessons we shall give the student many illustrations, directions, and exercises calculated to develop the different faculties of the mind—not only the ordinary faculties of everyday use, but others hidden behind these familiar faculties and senses. Commencing with the next lesson, we shall present a system of exercises, drills, etc., the purpose of which will be the above mentioned development of the faculties of the Mind.
In this lesson we shall not attempt to give specific exercises, but will content ourselves with calling the attention of the student to a few general rules underlying the development of Perception.
The first thing to remember in acquiring the art of Perception is that one should not attempt to perceive the whole of a complex thing or object at the same time, or at once. One should consider the object in detail, and then, by grouping the details, he will find that he has considered the whole. Let us take the face of a person as a familiar object. If one tries to perceive a face as a whole, he will find that he will meet with a certain degree of failure, the impression being indistinct and cloudy, it following, also, that the memory of that face will correspond with the original perception.
But let the observer consider the face in detail, first the eyes, then the nose, then the mouth, then the chin, then the hair, then the outline of the face, the complexion, etc., and he will find that he will have acquired a clear and distinct impression or perception of the whole face.