44b | CR Book XII, Chapter 5

ection, promotion and hindrance, as applied to oneself. The
hindrances to concentration are now so weak that there
is no need to suppress them any longer. Personal prefere-
nces are so uninteresting as to be imperceptible. What
remains is a condition of liquid, translucent and alert
receptiveness, 'in utter purity of mindfulness and even-
mindedness'. For the duration of the jhana, the self is

The four 'formless' jhanas then represent stages of over-
coming the vestiges of the object which by its opposit-
ion to the self keeps that self in being. As long as we
suck ourselves on to any object, how ever refined,
we cannot drop into Nirvana. The definite object of med-
itation is now progressively removed.

'By passing wholly beyond all perceptions of form, by
the going to rest of the perceptions of impact, by not att-
ending to the perceptions of difference, he, thinking, 'It
is all unbounded space', enters into and abides in the
station of unbounded space.' Long, however, before ev-
erything can be thought away into space, space is
a favourite object of meditation. It is useful to em-
phasise its vastness so as to thereby belittle the
world of material objects. As space, the objective world
is thinned down. It approaches emptiness. Space is one
of the first stages of the disappearance of things
when their true nature is realised. Space, a mere capa-
city, is not nothing. It is there where there is nothing.
It is not, and yet is. Space can be meditated upon a
sort of likeness, or as 'a certain rather confused and
vague representation' of Reality. Like Reality, space is
non-impeding, free from obstructions and obstacles. It
is the absence of everything that might offend, resist,
fetter, entrance, estrange, lead away. It is not subject
to conditions or restrictions. In it nothing is wanting,
nothing owned. It is calm, out of time, change and action.
Nothing can be predicated of it, nothing adheres to it as
an attribute. It is everywhere, and it is the same every-
where. From a contemplation of space one can progress
to the fathomless abyss in which we see the features
of things as they are before they came into existence.
The way thereto is, nevertheless, not a direct one, and
in the Buddhist scheme it is preceded by 3 more stages.

In the next, the disciple ceases to hanker after, and
transcends both the first formless jhana and its ob-
ject, by not proceeding with it, or attending to it any
longer. 'Repeatedly attending to the consciousness that
proceeds diffusing through space', he attains to the