In stage 1, attention is directed to sense impressions from the outside world. In stage 2, there is awareness of the spontaneous eruption of thoughts. In stage 3, there is wilful creation of thoughts and then the disposal of them at will. In this stage, stage 4, the process is as follows:
- Allow spontaneous eruption of thoughts
- Then choose a thought that seems especially strong
- Reflect on that thought for some time
- Then willfully dispose of it
- Again become aware of the spontaneous flow of thoughts
- Repeat the process.
The purpose of this stage is to face deeper, subtle thoughts and visions buried in the subconscious mind. At a certain stage on the yogic path these subtle thoughts will bubble up spontaneously. It is very easy to get attached to them, for they open up and indicate a new dimension of your being that you probably did not know existed. But you should try to remain detached, for they are distractions that prevent further progress. They are obstacles to deeper perception of one’s being. They may be precognitive or they may be memories of events that happened long, long ago. They are nevertheless no more than subtle distractions. Try to resist the temptation to attach significance and see deeper meaning in them.
Compare this to a man who sets out to see a friend. His destination is his friend’s house; your destination is the inner core of your being. If the man is distracted by everything that he meets, if he smells each flower or talks to each person that he sees, then he will take a long time to reach his destination. It is the same if you become attached to and distracted by psychic scenery; it will take you a long time to reach your destination. Go straight to the goal and do not waste time en-route. Merely witness all these subtle impressions. The confrontation of these subtle impressions leads to progressive purging of the mind at deeper levels. Gradually the mind becomes more and more refined and lucid.