Exercise #4 - Mental Plane Group
Morning and evening perform the Star Exercise, Relaxation, Silence, the Mental Contact continuously in all your daily activities, and Concentration. Then, having sharpened your mind through these Exercises, apply it to the Exercise called OBSERVAITON.
The purpose for OBSERVATION is to deepen your understanding by wiping away the superficial crust and thus exposing to your mental eye the interwoven array of causes behind every visible effect. In its inception this Exercise appears to be very simple, yet its results in promoting the ordered, well balanced arrangement of your faculties which expresses the Power of Truth are remarkable. It broadens your perception, stimulates your interest, strikes back the narrow walls of your conscious field and makes you an alert, efficient, and powerfully active instrument.
To practice OBSERVATION, proceed as follows:
Select any material object within your immediate reach as the object of the Exercise—a book or a pen, perhaps. Try to perceive through that completed unit all the diverse elements and forces brought to bear on its creation. Analyze its form, its parts, its general and particular aspects, the materials used, their source and how they were shaped and combined to produce that particular serviceable thing. From the point of so uncomplicated a tool as a pen stretches back a widening vista of machinery, mines, forests, industries and factories, a fertile and teeming band of wealth and activity striking deep into the complex pattern of modern life. So, with everything, for after all there is no such thing as creation of something new in this world, but only different arrangements of things already here. Try to see those many things crystalized in the one compact expression of them that you have elected to observe.
Later you can extend your field of observation to the larger world of your activities. Analyze the room or office in which you work and the people with whom you come in contact. Note the changing play of life on their features, in their habits, through the creeping scheme of their actions and the little alterations in their appearance. Endeavor to get at the meaning behind things, the purpose and causes which determine their existence.
In this way you will strip the skin from life and uncover the novel and fascinating world of reasons behind what are often dull and familiar surface effects. You will not only vastly increase your knowledge of things and people, but you will scrub the rust from your interest in them so that nothing can meet your eye without casting a lively and sparkling reflection in your mind. Interest responds to action, and action resides beneath the surface, not upon it. Therefore, the more you develop OBSERVATION the more interesting, vital and cheerful life will appear to you. It is one quality in which utility and practicability are united with the most agreeable diversion.