To whatever person or object an aspirant, either consciously or unconsciously, allows his thoughts to drift and dwell upon, he is unknowingly connecting himself to that person or object. By so doing, he will subtly begin to receive certain impressions and feelings from these thoughts that will affect and color his being to a greater or lesser extent, depending on how strong these thoughts are. These will, in turn, influence and affect his spiritual practice or inner growth for good or bad, according to whether these impressions and feelings are of a positive and elevating quality or a negative and perturbing nature.
If he is sensitive enough and sufficiently observant, he will not fail to perceive that the impressions he receives from other people—whether it be through direct contact with them or by merely thinking of them—will undoubtedly produce in him sentiments conforming to the manner in which he was secretly acted upon and influenced by the prominent characteristics, temperament, level of being, and particular vibrations emanating from these people at the time when he first came into contact with them, or when he later invisibly linked himself to them with his thoughts (not forgetting also the particular inner state in which he was himself when he initially received these impressions and which contributed to the manner in which they acted upon him).
If someone behaved very unkindly to a friend, the latter’s feelings will have sustained a deep hurt, leaving a trace that may not depart from him for some time—or may not heal at all but remain there, gnawing at him throughout his entire life. Unless he has the strength to cut short the memory of this emotional wound, he will keep turning around this unpleasant experience and reliving it over and over again in his mind, with his feelings becoming ever more colored by the distressing sensation this event provoked in him. It may eventually give rise in him to an indelible feeling of resentment and ill will, with perhaps even a hidden desire for vengeance.
All this will also—even from a great distance—inevitably touch and mysteriously affect the being of the man or woman who inflicted this grievance upon him. Furthermore, each time the thoughts of the person who caused this hurt upon his friend casually turn back to his old acquaintance, he will, without knowing it, connect himself even more strongly to him and will secretly receive, and be influenced by, all the thoughts and pained emotions that have so far emanated or may still be emanating from his embittered friend. These will subtly perturb and evoke in the former troubled feelings, the true cause of which will in all probability escape his understanding.
Unless he has already spent some time doing meditation, various other spiritual practices, and self-study to realize the need for him to go to his hurt friend and offer him his humble apologies for the suffering he has caused him, thus releasing his friend as well as himself from the invisible and unfavorable bond he created between them, he will almost certainly attribute his troubled state solely to climatic, health, or other reasons. What people are generally not able to conceive is that, by knowingly or unknowingly thinking of someone or something, they are connecting themselves to that person or thing in an ordinarily incomprehensible manner. This will, in turn, start them off being impregnated with imperceptible suggestions and sentiments that they receive from that person or thing, stealthily coloring the different planes of their being either favorably or unfavorably.
When an aspirant’s thoughts go out to and dwell upon a particular religious figure—a Buddha or a great saint—it will indisputably start evoking in him subtle suggestions and feelings of a sacred nature corresponding to the particular religious figure (the Buddha or the great saint) to whom his thoughts reached out. He will not be able to help receiving any promptings and sentiments other than those that are connected to a holy state.