Letters on Yoga - I
PDF (6 pages)
“The Fear of Death and the
Four Methods of Conquering It”
PDF (11 pages)
“But people are so ignorant! They make such a fuss over death, as if it were the end – this word ‘death’ is so absurd! I see it as simply passing from one house into another or from one room to another; you take one simple step, you cross the threshold, and there you are on the other side – and then you come back.
Have I told you about the experience I had the day I suddenly found myself in Sri Aurobindo’s home in the subtle physical? Well, it’s as if I took a step and entered a far more concrete world than the physical – more concrete because things contain more truth. I spent a good while there with Sri Aurobindo and then, when it was over, I took another step and I found myself back here ... slightly dumbfounded. It took me quite some time to regain my bearings here, because it was this world that seemed unreal to me, not the other.
But it’s simply that – you take a step, and you enter another room. And when you live in your soul there is a continuity, because the soul remembers, it keeps the whole memory; it remembers all occurrences, even outer occurrences, all the outer movements it has been associated with. So it’s a continuous, uninterrupted movement, here and there, from one room to another, from one house to another, from one life to another.”
“Most people – the vast majority of people – go into a sort of assimilative sleep: all the experiences they had in their lives, all they learned, the consciousness seems to ruminate over that.
In the beginning … (Théon knew a lot of things – I don’t know how he came to know them, but I verified them and found them to be correct), in the beginning, the span of time between two lives is very long, and it’s a sort of assimilative sleep in which the consequences of what one has learned develop inwardly. Then, as the psychic being is formed and as one grows more conscious, rebirths take place more and more closely, until the time when rebirth becomes the result of a choice: at a precise place, for a specific length of time. And then, depending on what the psychic being wants to do, depending on the action it has to do, the new birth may be near or distant. There, we have all possible differences. But in the formative stage, that’s how it is: very distant rebirths. So then, I’ve often wondered … You see, Théon says there is a psychic STATE in which those beings rest (it’s true, there is such a place, I know it), but many people, especially at the beginning of their evolution, are quite tied down to the earth; I have seen quite a few people in trees, for instance. Very often I saw them in trees; often, while following someone [with the inner vision], I saw him enter into a tree; and often, while looking at a tree, I saw someone in it. I saw others who were … oh, people clinging to a place they were interested in: for instance, I saw a man who was interested in nothing but his money, which he had hidden somewhere, and as soon as he left his body, he went there, settled there, and refused to budge from there! … Incidentally (laughing), it had a curious result: it led people to discover the place! You see, it caused movements of forces, and some people felt it and thought, “Oh, there must be something here.”
There was a time when I concerned myself with that a good deal, and I made a good number of discoveries (following Théon’s indications); later on, it no longer interested me. And now, quite lately, I have been reviewing all kinds of things, all kinds of things …. ”