We are asked why, if thought-transference be a fact, the hibernating hermit should not still represent the loftiest achievement, should not in fact be as antisocial as he superficially seems. He may be hidden away in a mountain cave, but is not his mind free to roam where it likes and has not its power been raised to a supreme degree by his mystical practices? We reply that if he is merely concerned with resting in his inner tranquillity undisturbed by the thought of others, then his achievement is only a self-centered one.
There is much confusion amongst students about these yogis who are supposed to sit in solitude and help humanity telepathically. It is not only yogis who sit in solitude who are doing so. Nor is it needful to be a solitary to be able to do so. The truth is that most yogis who live in solitude are still in the student stage, still trying to develop themselves. And even in the rarer cases where a yogi has perfected himself in meditation, he may be using the latter simply to bask egotistically in inner peace for his own benefit and without a thought for others. It is only when a man is a philosophic yogi that he will be deliberately using his meditational self-absorptions to uplift individuals and help humanity for their good. If the mystic is using his mental powers for altruistic ends, if he is engaged in telepathically helping others at a distance, then he has gone beyond the ordinary mystical level and we salute him for it.
The Adept will not try to influence any other man, much less try to control him. Therefore, his notion of serving another by enlightening him does not include the activity of proselytizing, but rather the office of teaching. Such service means helping a man to understand for himself and to see for himself what he could not see and understand before. The Adept does this not only by using the ordinary methods of speech, writing, and example, but much more by an extraordinary method which only an Adept can employ. In this he puts himself in a passive attitude towards the other person's ego and thus registers the character, thought, and feeling in one swift general impression, which manifests itself within his own consciousness like a photograph upon a sensitized film. He recognizes this as a picture of the evolutionary degree to which the other person has attained, but he recognizes it also as a picture of the false self with which the other person identifies himself. No matter how much sympathy he feels for the other man, no matter how negative are the emotions or the thoughts he finds reproducing themselves within his own being, it is without effect upon himself. This is because he has outgrown both the desires and the illusions which still reign over the other man's mind. With the next step in his technique he challenges that self as being fearful for its own unworthy and ultimately doomed existence, and finally dismisses the picture of it in favour of the person's true self, the divine Overself. Then he throws out of his mind every thought of the other person's imperfect egoistic condition and replaces it by the affirmation of his true spiritual selfhood.
Thus, if the Adept begins his service to another who attracted by his wisdom seeks counselling or by his godliness seeks his inspiration, by noting the defects in the character of the person, he ends it by ignoring them. He then images the seeker as standing serenely in the light, free from the ego and its desires, strong and wise and pure because living in the truth. The Adept closes his eyes to the present state of the seeker, to all the evidences of distress and weakness and darkness which he earlier noted, and opens them to the real, innermost state of the seeker, where he sees him united with the Overself. He persists in silently holding this thought and this picture, and he holds it with the dynamic intensity of which he only is capable. The effect of this inner working sometimes appears immediately in the seeker's consciousness, but more likely it will take some time to rise up from the subconscious mind. Even if it takes years to manifest itself, it will certainly do so in the end.
We know that one mind can influence another through the medium of speech or writing: we know also that it may even influence another directly and without any medium through the silent power of telepathy. All this work takes place on the level of thought and emotion. But the Adept may not only work on this level: it is possible for him to work on a still deeper level. He can go into the innermost core of his own being and there touch the innermost core of the other man's being. In this way, Spirit speaks to Spirit, but without words or even thoughts. Within his innermost being there is a mysterious emptiness to which the Adept alone gains access during meditation or trance. All thoughts die at its threshold as he enters it. But when eventually he returns to the ordinary state and the thinking activity starts again, then those first series of thoughts are endowed with a peculiar power, are impregnated with a magical potency. Their echoes reverberate telepathically across space in the minds of others to whom they may be directed deliberately by the Adept. Their influence upon sympathetic and responsive persons is at first too subtle and too deep to be recognized, but eventually they reach the surface of consciousness.
This indeed is the scientific fact behind the popular medieval European and contemporary Oriental belief in the virtue of an Adept's blessing and the value of an Adept's initiation. The Adept's true perception of him is somewhere registered like a seed in the subconscious mind of the receptive person, and will in the course of time work its way up through the earth of the unconscious like a plant until it appears above ground in the conscious mind. If it is much slower in showing its effects, it is also much more effectual, much more lasting than the ordinary way of communicating thought or transmitting influence. In this way, by his own inner growth he will begin to perceive, little by little, for himself the truth about his own inner being and outer life in the same way that the Adept perceives it. This is nothing less than a passage from the ego's point of view to the higher one.
-- Notebooks Category 25: World-Mind in Individual Mind > Chapter 5: Teaching Masters, Discipleship > # 242
-- Perspectives > Chapter 25: World-Mind in Individual Mind > # 54