In Great Quest you will study levels of consciousness, the seven rays, the etheric body and its seven major energy centres, and will be introduced to esoteric astrology and esoteric psychology. The goal is to help you understand yourself better. Both of these themes will be reviewed and expanded upon when you begin Quest Universal and take Course 150, The Language of Energy.
In your meditation training you will be assigned a new meditation subject each month, employing the Raja Yoga Meditation Techniques. At the beginning of each meditation you will need to spend a few minutes reading through the introductory paragraphs, an activity that will help to settle your energies, focus your thought, and attune you to the subject.
Your meditations will follow the Raja Yoga method of meditation, expressed through the following sequence of stages: Concentration, Meditation, Contemplation, Illumination and Inspiration. Various visualization exercises accompany each meditation, and these are designed to help in the transformational work.
The academic year is divided into the Light Half of the Year (LHY, from the December solstice to the June solstice), when you study the course subjects and meditate. The second six months are called the Dark Half of the Year (DHY, from the June solstice to the December solstice) during which time you continue your monthly meditations and write a paper integrating your learnings from the LHY.
Here is a description of the course work and meditations:
The course starts with a brief overview of the cosmos and the spiritual goal for the Human Kingdom – which is conscious union with the soul or wisdom aspect of divinity. Then we study the Human Constitution, and the bodies or vehicles through which consciousness is evolving. Mindful that the soul on its own plane oversees the development of consciousness, we clarify our understanding about the role it plays in this process. Then, finally, we study the seven levels of consciousness through which the human being evolves as he journeys from ignorance to enlightenment.
Raja Yoga Meditation:
This meditation is based on Patanjali’s first Raja Yoga sutra: “OM, Raja Yoga is the Science of Union”. With this wonderful statement, we begin the Great Quest.
Months 2, 3, 4:
For three months, we study the Seven Ray energies, and how they affect you and other people. As you study and observe, your eye will begin to discriminate between these various spiritual forces. This study and practice will help you to understand yourself and your subtle energy system more clearly, and what you may need to transform or strengthen, in order to bring about a closer alignment with your soul. It will also help achieve the same understanding about others. This work is foundational in the Science of Esoteric Psychology, and success will expand your knowledge, your understanding, and your consciousness.
Raja Yoga Meditations:
The second month focus is upon “the Master”. Our immediate Master is the soul (sometimes called the “Solar Angel”). However, once we are treading the Path, and after sufficient esoteric experience, we also become affiliated with an Ashram which is directed by one of the Masters of the Wisdom – a Member of the Spiritual Hierarchy or Great White Brotherhood of our planet.
During the third month we turn to “The OBSTACLES TO UNION”. These are the obstacles which slow down our spiritual development.
The fourth month deals with the “HINDRANCES TO UNION”. These are the psychological-emotional attitudes and states, which hinder our union with soul and Spirit.
During the fifth month we return to study the Human Constitution – specifically, the etheric field of man and of the cosmos. The etheric body is the energy vehicle which interpenetrates the physical dense body, and which receives and distributes forces from many different directions. Students should become very aware that the forces which play through this field and which interact with the forces of the desire body (the astral body) and mental body are driven by the quality and nature of the thoughts and desires which human beings habitually generate.
Raja Yoga Meditation:
The second hindrance we focus upon is HATRED or ANGER, the root of which is deeply buried in the substance and fabric of the Human Kingdom.
This month we begin our work with the great Science of Astrology. You will be taught a simple method to understand the type of human consciousness associated with each sign of the zodiac. This month, we start with the Sun Sign.
Raja Yoga Meditation:
The hindrance we focus upon is DESIRE – ATTACHMENT. The intense desire for sentient existence is attachment, and this trait is inherent in the substance of every form. The Science of Right Detachment was given by Patanjali to help those upon the Path learn how to detach their senses from their usual “grip” on “things”. We introduce the subject in a simple form this month.
Meditations for the Dark Half of the Year:
During the seventh month we focus upon the SENSE OF PERSONALITY. The “personality” or lower ego (sometimes written with a little “e”), arises because of the tendency for the “knower” (you), to identify with the instruments of knowledge – especially with the mind and the contents of the mind.
At the eighth month we start studying the Five Commandments. The first one we study is ABSTENTION FROM HARMFULNESS. Harmfulness is based on selfishness, and on an ego-centric attitude. It is action taken by the selfish individual to enforce, self-aggrandize and gratify the lower self.
At the ninth month we study the next Commandment, which is ABSTENTION FROM FALSEHOOD. Thinking and speaking the Truth is one of the great problems that the aspirant has to solve, and he who attempts to speak only that which is entirely accurate will find himself confronted by very definite difficulties.
The tenth month focuses on the Commandment: ABSTENTION FROM THEFT. This refers not only to stealing things that are tangible and physical, but also those things we improperly ‘steal’ emotionally and mentally.
The Commandment for the eleventh month is ABSTENTION FROM AVARICE. This deals with the sin of covetousness, which is literally theft upon the mental plane. The sin of avarice may lead to any number of physical plane sins and is very powerful.
In the final month of Year 1 the Commandment is to ABSTENTION FROM THE MISUSE OF SEXUAL ENERGY. The actual wording of this sutra 2.38 is “by abstention from incontinence, energy is acquired.” Abstention from incontinence is literally “desirelessness” and governs the out-going tendencies towards that which is not the true Self.