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An Outline of Occult Science

body without the eye to see—the ear to hear. The strength thus employed in meditation has, in fact, been the creative means by which these psycho-spiritual organs have been formed out of a previously unorganized psycho-spiritual being. But this which man thus creates for himself is also the first thing to be perceived by him. The first experience is therefore in a certain sense, a kind of “self-perception.� It belongs to the nature of spiritual training that the soul, through the self training which it gives itself at this point of its development, becomes fully conscious that the first thing it perceives in the world of imaginative forms, which appear as a result of the exercises described, is itself. It is true that these images make their appearance as a new world, but the soul must recognize that they are, however, at first nothing but the reflection of its own being, which has been strengthened by exercises. And it must not only recognize this by correct reasoning, but must have arrived at such a cultivation of the will that it is able at any time to put away and obliterate the images from the consciousness. [297]

The soul must be able to act with complete independence within these images. This is part of true spiritual training at this stage. If it could not do this, it would be in the same position, in the sphere of spiritual experiences, as a soul in the physical world which, on looking at an object, has its attention so arrested by it that it cannot look away. An exception to this possibility of obliteration is formed by a group of inner imaginative experiences which should not be extinguished at this stage of spiritual training. They correspond to the inmost kernel of the soul's being, and the occult student recognizes in those images that which forms the very essence of his being which passes through the various repeated earth lives. At this point the knowledge of repeated earth lives becomes an actual experience. In relation to everything else the before-mentioned independence of experience must prevail. And only after acquiring the faculty of obliterating experiences, is the spiritual outer world really