Always ready to take our own advice, we decided it was time to review how the book was progressing. “Do you suppose we’re giving people too much to digest?” Bob wondered.

“I don’t know,” Carl replied, “but I am beginning to appreciate why some people are attracted to passive meditation. There’s less for them to learn.”

We both chuckled at that idea. Herman did, too. Soon, our angelic friend was standing before us again.

“We didn’t know you were eavesdropping,” Carl remarked.

“Oh, I’m always eavesdropping,” Herman replied. “It’s just like you put it in your last chapter, the Higher Self is not something you contact only in meditation. It’s there to help you whenever you are doing something it would be interested in. Whenever you are working on the book, I’m hovering around nearby, helping out.”

“Why don’t you materialize more frequently?” Bob asked.

“Too much trouble,” Herman answered. “Not just for me, either. It would be too much trouble for you, too.”

“What do you mean?’’ Carl asked.

“How much of the book have you actually written while I was materialized?” Herman inquired.

“None, I guess.”

“Exactly,” Herman continued, self-satisfied, as much as an angel might be. “You get more done if I’m in the background most of the time. The Higher Self works that way, too.”

“Well, why have you appeared now?” Bob asked. “You were wondering if you were giving people too much to digest,” Herman answered. “I thought I would drop in and set the record straight.”

“Very good.”

“The Higher Self frequently gives the personality more than the personality would like to digest. It stimulates the personality to grow, to stretch itself beyond its current limits, even though the personality would rather stay just the way it is. Don’t worry about demanding too much from the reader. If he wants to learn to meditate, he’d better get used to it. Meditation should always be a challenge. It should never put the meditator to sleep.”

“The one thing I am concerned about is that your readers not get the impression that meditation is a bunch of formulas. You don’t suppose you’ve broken down your techniques too much, do you? They are beginning to sound almost like dance steps, lead with the right foot, slide with the left, and try to avoid stepping on your partner’s toes.”

We all laughed. “Well, there are some who would say that meditation is the only dance there is,” Bob observed. “I don’t think either one of us wants our readers to take these techniques as rigid formulas.

They are meant to be guides, not formulas. If they become too restrictive, they should be adapted to the individual’s needs.”

“After all, we are calling it Active Meditation,” Carl added. “If a person took a technique and never grew with it, that wouldn’t be very active, would it? It would just be more passiveness in the guise of activity.”

“Well, make sure that idea comes across to the reader,” Herman suggested. “The Western mind is so in love with formulas that many people don’t realize there are higher levels of thinking. They want to be able to memorize a recipe and use it without variation. As you both well know, meditation doesn’t work that way.”

“Still, there are certain basics which are so fundamental to the meditative process that they must be mastered,” Bob said, “and I wouldn’t want any reader to miss this point. We’ve both seen far too many people meditate a while and then think they are beyond meditation. And they haven’t even mastered the basics.”

“That’s an important point,” Carl agreed. “While it is certainly true that a meditator could get stuck in any of these techniques if he used them as formulas, it is also true that the potential of these techniques will never be exhausted,if they are used as doorways to the Higher Self. It would seem to me that the key lies in how the techniques are used,not in the techniques themselves.”

“I guess I didn’t have to set the record straight,” chuckled Herman. “You just did it for yourselves.”

“It’s always nice to have you drop in, anyway,” Bob remarked drolly.

“Oh, it’s my pleasure,” Herman retorted. “But when are you going to come and visit me?”

“There’s nothing like a smart aleck angel,” Carl observed. Herman laughed, then faded and was on his way.

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