"If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is: infinite."
— William Blake
With this wisdom in mind we might want to start scrubbing, but what is it that we should scrub and how do we scrub it? Referring back to the quote, which echoes meditation's ultimate goal, it suggests that "the doors" of our perception are what should be cleansed.
So where are the doors? They are wherever something divides us from another room. And what does it mean to cleanse it? It means to remove whatever takes away a clear view of the infinite. And what is the infinite? The infinite is "as it is."
So back to the question "What and how do we scrub?" — perhaps with this method that we've already been following (called the Ruhi method) we might answer this as well as gain a clearer understanding of "Why?"
At first, it just appeared as a deep statement and yet simultaneously as a blur. Yet as we focused on all the components that made up this insightful statement we were led from one door to another into realms of increasingly clearer guidance. Having come thus far, we might now have faith in continuing to concentrate our focus, that it might bring us to deeper and deeper levels of perception, ultimately recognizing within it the infinite.
Put your hand to the door, scan for the handle, listen for something to "click." Perhaps you already know that we perceive through our senses (touch, sight, hearing, etc.), but did you know that the Enlightened Masters have always said that the senses are the "veils" to the infinite and meditation is the way to penetrate those veils, to cleanse the doors of perception?
Meditation concentrates your knowledge into experiential wisdom. It's dissecting and scrubbing away at illusion. It's not a shift forward or backward but into the present moment, where we go deeper and deeper into the infinite.
So William Blake presented us with an "If," which is simultaneously the challenge of "How," which is simultaneously a series of locked doors. But if a door has a lock it must also have a key.
The master key is meditation. Becoming deeply aware of the senses — how they work, how they manipulate your perception and fill you with illusion — is the beginning of the end of a great ignorance, which is the beginning of self mastery, which is the beginning of something wonderfully infinite, "as it is." You'd know this if your senses were cleansed.
WILLIAM BRASHEAR is a yoga psychologist and owner of Cincinnati Yoga School in Blue Ash. He's been practicing progressive meditation since 1988 and gives lectures and instruction locally and internationally. Contact him at [email protected].