The usual kind of meditation taught is where one sits in the lotus posture, spine erect, eyes closed and one imagines something...a flame or flower or chakra symbol....and concentrates on it. This is just concentration, and it is useless in producing a flow of knowledge. Knowledge-acquisition is the stated goal of meditation. Even after the initial goals of meditation, of curbing the wandering 'mind' and of reducing the internal chatter, are experienced, a void or blank state of consciousness is experienced, not a flow of knowledge. Even if one introduces a topic in there, there is no flow of knowledge produced beyond that which is in the memory. That's because knowledge has to be acquired by proper meditative preparation and subsequent practices. This involves first learning the language, getting basic information on basic topics, then deepening one's grasp of each topic, until one reaches the boundaries of the known. This does not mean taking concocted knowledge or theories and running with them the whole distance. You have to sift and select. Somehow, the awareness has the ability to detect fraudulent knowledge. It takes away your clarity and leaves you befuddled. The truth evokes a sense of joy from the soul. With serious probing, one can widen out the boundaries of the known in various fields of study. The knowledge of these different fields is collated and inter-corroborated by the consciousness since it is all about earth, and life on it. Knowledge is one! What emerges is a world view or an overview. This content needs to be regularly added to, and updated, by continuous reading and assaying of ideas. The overview changes as the ideas that comprise it changes. It is a growth process that involves the dumping of untruths and the inclusion of truths hitherto unnoticed. If one is really on the path of truth, one has a solid bedrock of truths that remains unchallenged by ideas in any new ground covered.
Holding a topic in the mind's eye and getting a flow of information on it is the simplistic definition of meditation. There is more to the method of meditation than that. In days of yore when meditation was recognised as the path to spirituality, there was no mass education, or public libraries and such. The educated people were either royalty or their attendants in the Royal Court or Kingdom. The general populace had no access to books or education. That was reserved for the Princes and Royalty. Education was limited to training in the various occupations and trades. This eventually resulted in the Caste System! Education, schools, reading and writing for the masses is a very recent phenomena. The saints and sages were right about meditation producing knowledge but were wrong about what constituted proper meditation, and how to do it. Legends about Sages meditating until anthills grew around them are mere legends....not to be taken seriously. In those days, sages considered that impressing God with one's devotion and physical self-torture would surely draw him out from his Shiva-like sleep, and would attract his attention, blessings and boons. Tyaagis and others were abundant. Sannyasins tried to get far away from the material world, and live only in the spiritual, to attract the grace of God towards salvation. The Legends of yore buttressed the religion of Hinduism but gave to it methods which have not worked in recent times. The physical sufferings of the poor in India, for example, would have attracted God's attention by now! Yoga to impress God and draw his attention, or favors, does not work!
Gutenberg's invention of the movable-type printing press created a revolution in book publishing, but it was the invention of the steam-powered rotary printing press in the 19th century that really escalated the process. The Industrial Revolution created a demand for literate workers and education for the masses became a political war cry in Western Nation States. It was not until after WW 2 and the break-up of the British Empire that mass education programs proliferated the globe. Education and Industrialisation were accepted as key policy elements in the effort to achieve of the desirable goal of Economic Development. The policy of industrialisation by invitation was in fact the art of laying down the welcome mat for one's own exploitation by international corporations. It was all nicely put together in a paper called "The Stages of Economic Growth" by WW Rostow. This paradigm was accepted and obeyed implicitly, being part and parcel of the institutional setup which poorer nations had to cooperate with in order to access development funding. The political Elites in the poorer countries were usually western educated, and they cooperated with the global status quo for personal enrichment and acquisition of power. What could go wrong if a poor country became wealthy by industrialising? Well, exactly everything! The wealthy industrial countries and the United Nations provided the funds and impetus for mass literacy crusades, globally. However, knowledge got sidetracked into the acquisition of qualifications for employment purposes. System maintenance and expansion came first. National development required skills and expertise that only could be sourced via mass education, with further educational opportunities for the brighter students. Knowledge for the attainment of salvation was left to the long-dead saints and sages while knowledge for material development was left to the modern thinkers. Religion has frozen the knowledge for salvation in the ancient past, and the present barren-ness of spirituality attests to the barren-ness of those ancient methods. The modern increases in knowledge, and in mental acuity, has not been applied to the science of salvation because religion said the saints and sages knew it all, and there was nothing we could add. Yet, to do things the same old ways and expect different results is no sign of sanity! All the gains in intelligence of the last few centuries have been applied solely to material growth but nothing to salvation or soul because religion said the old-timers knew it all. Not too many have discovered that reading and writing involves meditation, and that there is no other kind of meditation that can lead to knowledge of truth!
The ancients who prescribed meditation as the path to knowledge did not have a clue about the role of reading and writing in the production of knowledge. They had a static viewpoint that you hold a thought or idea in the mind's eye, and that at some point, a further flow on that took place. This is inaccurate. Getting knowledge is a cumulative process. It takes searching and researching. Without the ability to read and write in your language, you cannot store your stock of ideas or go through the stock of the ideas of others within your linguistic grouping. You need to have access to your own stock of ideas and that of others. So, you first learn to read and write language, then you can start on the path of knowledge. When you have exhausted the stock of known ideas, and keep probing, then you can intuit from beyond the boundary of the known. Then again, what can be deduced from reading is that it is not concentration on one idea that does the job. In reading, one re-assembles the author's many ideas into a scenario that deepens, expands and changes as it unfolds. The author might start describing rain, but by the time he finishes the chapter, one sees the whole scene of a drenched city and the evolving scenes featuring his main characters. Same for non-fiction: it is an assemblage of ideas that link to each other and go on to form a web of understanding or a well-described evolving scenario. The 'one-idea in the mind's eye leading to intuitive flow' concept is totally inaccurate. All one has to do is sit and read and see the real meditative process at work! Before intuition can flow, more than holding an idea or object in the mind's eye must be done: one must already know the known on the topic, and have problematic areas or 'holes' in one's understanding that one wants to fill. Those who meditate will no doubt come away from the experience feeling more harmonious. Forgetting the disharmonious outer world and immersing oneself in the substance of the soul again, has its rewards. Reading a book does this and more! It opens up the Causal world of ideas as one converts word-symbols into ideas. The reader deciphers the ideas expressed by the author, and proceeds to assemble them into that reality the author wishes to communicate. Further ideas alter or expand on the initial ideas and we end up with an idea-movie built from successive layers of ideas. Our causal world overview is under construction and more reading and research will advance the process. Reading fiction hones the mental apparatus for non-fiction indulgence! Plain and simple. Knowledge in the Causal world exists as clusters of related ideas, with clusters being themselves related. Any idea is linked to other ideas on all sides, in the Causal World. Writing down clusters of ideas is the most accurate way of depicting the knowledge as it exists. It is then easier for the reader to re-assemble a cluster of ideas and to understand the relationship of any idea to others. The current way of most writing came from specialisation and the break-up of knowledge into several disciplines, so one treats topics in isolation. To deal with one topic, one has to screen out the others, thus giving a very lop-sided view of the single matrix we live in. Knowledge is ONE ie every topic is related to the others. Truth can only be obtained if one re-assembles ideas, complete with their inter-connections, across the myriad of topics contained in the living matrix. This is how ideas exist in the Causal World of Knowledge.When one writes, one is literally plucking a handful of ideas from the web of knowledge. That writing will have many ideas which are devoid of their original connections in that web. Much of today's witings utilise linear deductive or inductive logic. This leads to 'tunnel' vision.
In the modern world, it is conscientious reading which most effectively defeats the dark side within. This is how the consciousness is purified i.e. by climbing into the world of ideas, beyond the 'thoughts' and programming of the dark side,within or outside. Physical purity, by alkalising and detoxing, is the other half of the equation. Achieving good health by using what the body really needs (not just fuel) keeps the dark side at bay. The knowledge from research, when applied, saves the soul from the tyranny of the dark side's urges and obsessive patterns of behavior. Reading and research, carefully selected, gives no nourishment to the darkside's greed, anger, jealousy, ego-building and its other qualities. The soul goes to a zone which lies beyond the ability of the dark side to intercept and compromise. The body is relaxed and one loses awareness of it, thus negating the meddling of the dark side. Relaxing the body also relaxes the dark side, and it loses the ability to interfere. The avid reader arranges the time and place of this activity so as not to be disturbed. With time, and with careful selection of reading material, people look forward to these excursions. Careful selection is important. Most of the literature is written for the 'strawman' identity. The characters in fiction are all 'strawmen' and 'straw-women'. Even so, the discerning reader will be able to tell which books build the 'higher self' and which build the 'lower self'. Those that build the 'higher self' are the soul-building books. It is an error to think that non-fiction books are factual and will build the soul or edify readers. These books also target the strawman. By ignoring the soul/darkside duality within, they write about a truth for the strawman identity. These books are about building the 'strawman' not soul. The 'strawman' is a fictitious entity, and the moulding that is conceived for it is irrelevant to the soul. It is the dark side which will absorb the lies, while the soul will struggle to see himself and his world reflected therein. Soul will try to understand but not see any light therein because it is all concocted for the 'one being in a body'. The truth is most of these works were concocted by think-tanks who pretend that they are the experts who having discovered the knowledge about human beings, are now doing a service to humanity by their revelations. The soul consciousness, fed up of religious lies, and the lies of the experts, know that it is because of the paucity of knowledge of the soul-self, that the soul is forced to research and discover knowledge of itself. The libraries are now full of books which gather dust, and no-one will read them. No matter what the subject area, the knowledge fed to straw-people is full of lies. Economics, Sociology, Politics, Psychology, Psychiatry are all examples of concocted knowledge. Much of what parades as 'Spiritual' and 'New Age' is concocted too! The plotters and their 'think tanks' are building 'straw-people' and darksiders, not souls. So, you get useless 'knowledge' on the one hand, and dumbing down on the other. Today, one has to disengage from proliferating distractions to get to the point of doing research. Souls have to seek knowledge from outside of the box because the well-trodden paths are filled with lies. When enlightened, good or soul people write books, they are invariably edifying to the soul. Most of the 20th century classics were written by good perceptive people. They chose historically sound backgrounds, and their current matrices, as the tapestries on which they painted their masterpieces. Contrast this to those whose tapestries are their sanitised featureless mental laboratories! Writers like Taylor Caldwell, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, Louis L'Amour and Robert Ludlum teach you while entertaining you. Compare that to most non-fiction and to Romance novels like those of Mills and Boon. 'Sleep' for the dark side is not being obsessed with the material world, while such obsession is counted as 'sleep' by the soul! One can learn about the world, material and spiritual, from the experience and writing prowess of those who know it. This saves you from the 'hard knocks' learning school of direct experience.
Reading is now a universal activity. Until the coming of Nation-States with education for all, and the construction of schools and centers of learning throughout the length and breadth of countries as part of the development thrust, reading and intellectual work was confined to the various royalty, the wealthy Elites and the highest servants in their Courts. Scribes, astrologers, priests, artists, alchemists, healers and various ministers were the foremost among learned men. Today's knowledge is built on theirs. Yesterday's alchemist is today's scientist. The adoption of the scientific method together with inductive and deductive methods of logic have have given rise to phenomenal increases in knowledge. Were these methods to be employed in the pursuit of spiritual knowledge, the truths would have already been deciphered. Religion, however, created a barricade that cannot easily be breached. In a world steered by the Elites, knowledge has been skewed in the direction of material advancement, with widespread dis-information being disseminated in lieu of truth, in all aspects of human existence, as plotted. Meditation has been propagated in eastern religions as the key to spirituality. These religions, however, target the liberation or salvation of the 'strawman' as the goal of human beings. It is in the context of 'strawman' spirituality that meditational techniques have been expounded, and explored. These methods have been popularised as that which will grant knowledge, and Moksha. People practice these methods, feel increased energy or harmony but the goal of knowledge evades them. Meditation methods have been updated, and differentiated, for the commercial world of the stress-filled west. There is much focus on guided meditations which are nothing more than mental trips or guided tours. Astral traveling and Kundalini meditation are engaged in by 'straw-people' who probably achieve what the practices can give, but there is no dawning of knowledge, as the meditation exercise promises. Darksiders do mind-reading, eye-ball reading, engage in astral traveling, seership and hooking up with the darkside psychic consciousness... and they call that meditation. The practice of the real meditation (reading and writing) has been overlooked by those who are attached to spirituality. They do not see the connection between seeking knowledge(reading) or expressing/transmitting knowledge (writing), and the intuited knowledge that comes as the fruit of Meditation.
Reading is simply the reconstruction of the ideas of the writer in the awareness of the reader. This awareness usually has its own library of ideas and the mental faculties with which to reconstruct the writer's ideas, while assaying them for inclusion or exclusion from its own library. Reading is the sourcing of ideas. The ancients did not specify any source of ideas beyond the Guru. To him, was to be given full surrender, and according to the Guru Gita, the Guru was as God himself. One does not have to surrender to the writers one reads. Uncritical reading is a no-no! In reading, there is a TOPIC on which one focuses and there is a FLOW of information (via sentences, paragraphs, chapters) which leads to a conclusion. In the process of reading, the awareness is transformed by the ideas deciphered in the writing. In Fiction, one uses the ideas to assemble scenarios which one follows as they develop, all the way to the end of the show. There are truths/facts, information, know-how, qualities and values which are absorbed into the awareness as one reads, consciously or sub-consciously. Programming and disinformation are in there too. After reading, these are what are absorbed by the reader. The entertainment, intrinsic to fictional works, can be the medium for both deception and enlightenment. Non-fiction is more difficult reading unless the writer maintains your interest. This can be done by telling truths which one can identify with. This can only be done if the matrix one lives in is artfully explored. Experts usually forget the matrix completely and explore ideas that they create in their mental laboratories. Economics theorists use jargon and concocted theories, as in many other disciplines, and these must be memorised as fact, when they are not. When you cannot relate to the content or see it's presence in the matrix, then, most likely, the material is concocted in someone's mental laboratory. The soul literally jumps for joy when it encounters truth. This is the link between knowledge, awareness and bliss, which are the soul's basic qualities. The darkside's nature is intrinsic incompleteness, misery, cunning, and programmed consciousness in its rote memory, or in its predatory nature. The dark side will memorise to pass its exams, the soul will try to understand. Souls will take the words in a book, translate them into the ideas the writer was trying to express, picturise and assemble them as logic dictates. The soul will critically assay these ideas even as further assembly takes place, and as the idea-scenarios evolve. The soul will continue with the book if the ideas are not fraudulent or if the writer becomes uninteresting. Textbooks are a different matter, for obvious reasons! Programming, enlightenment and entertainment are what writers are up to. Each book is a meditative episode based on the writers ability to tell others what he is seeing, or his ability to fake it.