News & Notes 698:House of Mother's Agenda
- Mother, I don't understand “Our sense of personal effort and aspiration comes from the attempt of the egoistic mind to identify itself in a wrong and imperfect way with the workings of the divine Force.”
The Synthesis of Yoga, p.59
What is it that you do not understand? The sentence or the idea?
- The idea, Mother.
It can be put in very familiar terms.
The individual being, and particularly the mind in it, have an instinctive repulsion to admitting that it's another force than their own small personal one which does things. There is a kind of instinct which makes you feel absolutely convinced that the effort of aspiration, the will to progress are things belonging to you by your own right and, therefore, that you have all the merit.
From the man of art or of literature or of science, who produces something, studies something, and is absolutely convinced that it is he himself who is doing it, to the aspirant yogi who is convinced that it is the ardour of his own aspiration, his personal need for realisation which push him – if someone tells these people (I have had this experience), if someone tells them a little too soon, “Why, no, it is the Divine who aspires in you, it is the divine Force which produces in you, they no longer do anything, they fall flat, it doesn't interest them at all any longer; they say, “Good, I have nothing to do then, let the Divine do it.”
And this is what Sri Aurobindo means – that the mind is something so egoistic and so proud that if you take away from it the satisfaction it seeks, it no longer collaborates; nor the vital either. And as the physical is very obedient to the vital and the mind, it too collaborates no longer. Then one is before an inert mass which says, “Good, if it isn't I, well, let the Divine do what He likes, I am not going to do anything at all any more.”
I knew people who had truly made a lot of progress, who were very close to the moment when one emerges into the truth of things, and who were held back simply by this. Because this need to be the source of the action, to have the merit of the effort, this need is so deeply rooted that they cannot take the last step. Sometimes it takes years. If they are told, “No, it isn't you, this energy which is in you, this will which is in you, this knowledge which is in you, all this is the Divine; it is not what you call yourself”, this makes them so miserable that they can't do anything any more. That's what Sri Aurobindo wants to say in this sentence.
There are people who have such a need to keep the sense of their separate personality that if they are forced to admit that all that springs upwards is inspired by the Divine or even done by Him, they keep for their little person the whole side of defects, faults, errors, and they cherish their defects, so that at least something remains theirs, which is indeed their own, their personal property: “Yes, all that is beautiful, luminous, is the Divine; all horrible things – that's myself.” But a self... a big self; one must not touch it!
- Mother, at times one spontaneously feels an aspiration: and at other moments when one wants to aspire it is no longer spontaneous. Then what is the difference, does the Divine aspire?...
Sri Aurobindo answers this. He describes it extremely well.
For all this darkness, all this inconscience, all this ignorance is not at all something personal. It is the condition of the world, the state of matter, the state of physical life. And it enters you, makes you act; it's like something pulling the strings of the puppet. All these desires, all these impulses, all these currents of force are things which pass through you, which you obey without even being aware of it, and which you take for yourself. And there is no yourself in this affair. It comes from everywhere and goes everywhere. You are a public square: things enter, go out, make you move.
Questions and Answers 1955, p.358
|The Ponder Corner:||“The Divine is that from which all comes, in which all lives, and to return to the truth of the Divine now clouded over by Ignorance is the soul's aim in life. In its supreme Truth, the Divine is absolute and infinite peace, Consciousness, existence, power and Ananda.”|
Letters on Yoga – I, p.5