Students must guard against faulty technique. They misuse meditation when they force it to serve their fantasies and errors, ascetic phobias and religious fanaticisms. Then they become bogged in their own conceptions or in idealized projections of their own selves. It is easy to mistake the voice of the ego for the voice of the Overself. And it is not hard for the meditators to see things in their imagination which have no reality corresponding to them or to cook up a deceptive mixture of fact and imagination.
The sceptic's doubts--whether in this condition one acquires spiritual affinity with the Divine or merely creates a hallucination--are not infrequently justified. Much that passes for mystical experience is mere hallucination. Even where there is genuine mystical experience it is often mixed with hallucinatory experience at the same time. The subconscious mind easily formulates prepossessions, preconceived notions, externally received suggestions, and so on, into visual or auditory experiences which emphatically confirm the ideas or beliefs with which the meditator originally started. Instead of liberating him from errors and delusions, mysticism thus practised may only cause him to sink deeper and more firmly into them. For he will convert what formerly he held on mere faith to what he now holds as assured mystical realization. In the course of an extensive experience, we have found that meditation, unchecked by reason and unbalanced by activity, has not infrequently produced monomaniacs. A "pure" experience is rare and belongs to a highly advanced stage. Only where there has been the proper preparation, self-purification, and mental discipline can a genuinely pure experience arise.
If these twisted truths and disguised emotions are such common fruit of mystical orchards, may it not be because they are inescapable corollaries of mystical attitudes? With a higher criterion, could they even come into existence?(P)
-- Notebooks Category 16: The Sensitives > Chapter 2: Phases of Mystical Development > # 30