January 18, 1926
have succeeded in keeping my mind absolutely empty of thought for
a few minutes. All the waves have stopped. But still my consciousness
is fixed all the time upon the physical plane; thus, I hear and see,
though the perceptions do not awaken any thought. However, several
times I had the feeling of being on the point of passing beyond; my
breathing become very difficult and everything went whirling round
though my consciousness remained calm and attentive. If I could have
stopped my breath, I would have surely changed consciousness.
is a question of leaving the physical body. But this is not to be tried
at the moment: it is necessary at first to get more control (to know,
for instance, how to direct oneself beyond) and other conditions are
also necessaryfor example, to be sure of not being disturbed.
Naturally, this is what yogis seek and strive to attain. Everybody cannot
do it. In my opinion, it is not necessary to seek this state at presentfor
instance, by breathing normally.
you have touched the state of perfect silence.
Widen itthis does not mean deepen it.
But make it last steadily for a longer time and let it envelop gradually
all that surrounds you.
January 22, 1926
last few days have not brought much progress, for my mind was extremely
distracted and agitated by different mental occupations. Everything
is settled now. But I don't see very well what I ought to do: my mind
is divided into two parts. The firstwhich uses language, reasons
and formulatesis that which is silent. A certain attention is
however necessary in order to prevent inopportune thoughts from arising
through the throat and disturbing peace. The other part is attentive,
its particular function being the vision of inner imagesits
center is Äjnä. The former is inactive so far, but it is
not always still for all that: it is centred here and there and does
not know what to do.
in fact, have their origin in the solar plexus, rise up through the
throat and invade the brain where they become conscious. The still mind
has no definite localisation; it is a question of habit. For the moment
you are localising it in the brain, but its true seat, which corresponds
to supramental truth, is Sahasrära. Above, this very consciousness
will spread out and become the cosmic consciousness.
are two different points to consider. The first is to empty the active
mind of thoughts and leave it motionless. It is useful faculty. The
second is to remain completely detached from the thoughts which my arise
in this active mind. Later you will see the thoughts formulating there,
not rising from below, but coming from the surroundings or from above.
And you will have to learn to recognise the truth.
you must learn to regard these thoughts as external objects, without
ever letting yourself be carried away.
Besides, you may from now onwards, whilst keeping the lower mind still,
''look upwards" to centre your consciousness there gradually.
I do that, my consciousness oscillates between the top and bottom
for it has yet to watch the lower part.
Besides, a prolonged sound, for instance, does not raise any thought
but it captures my attention which gets riveted there.
is wrong concentration!
Put this aside, simply. In the cosmic consciousness you will have the
impression that this sound is occurring in this consciousness, but it
will no longer trouble you.
January 25, 1926
can at times keep my attention fixed,"turned upwards" (pointed
towards Shasrara) and my mind calm and empty of thought. But all is
closed up thereI am at the door and knock.
Something curious happened this morning. I woke up with waves of powerful
vibrations at the top of the head in the pit of the stomach. They
were even my physical, my scalp was sensitivised. These vibrations
were connected with a sort of anguishthough I was not frightened
and reproduced these vibrations in order to study them,
must be prepared for such things. You have called and the force descends,
prepares the instruments, right up to the physical itself. Everything
in man is opposed to the work of the Force, and it must be transformed.
The very cells will be transmuted later.
feeling of fear must be put aside completely. Even when an experience
is likely to be dangerous, one must remain calm and master of oneself,
for without that danger comes immediately. The help is always given
if one remains master. Here it is a simple preparationreply to
the call givena reply which, does not always come.
mental states are becoming more markedjoy, calm and fervent
seeking on one sidebut deep sadness when I am separated from
my inner light or when my mind, troubled by an outer cause, becomes
a great obstacle to sadhana.
is normal and connected with the psychic being.
we spoke of Z...whose letter, announcing her early departure from
France, had just come. A.G. asked me several questions, wanting to
know the state she had reached and whether she had succeeded in separating
the true psychic from the various false creations. I do not know anything
much about it is she coming here to realise her primitive plan
of a small colony in North India??)
February 1, 1926
these days I had many difficulties with my mind. At one moment, when
I succeed in rising above it, all goes well. But at other times I
am overwhelmed. Meditation is painful and without much profit. It
is at other moments that I feel sometimes how thin the veil is. The
best method I have found consists precisely in climbing as high as
possiblethen the lower being is calmed. The three centres (Sahasrära,
Äjnä and Solar) are then united. When not in meditation
the mechanical mind is very restless and I have difficulty even in
readingin concentration on anything at all. Whence this difficulty?
Should I put yet more energy into my meditation and my efforts?
is happening to you is common. The dynamic mind (and not the mechanical
which only repeats the actions and thoughts of ordinary life) takes
as much force as the other higher parts are calm and as at certain periods
it is reduced to silence. When one "relapses" during meditation,
one gets out of one's depth in its turmoil. It is a common experience.
Do not be frightened by it but continue to detach yourself more and
more. When the detachment is complete, the waves will gradually become
less powerful and will die away. This experience must be extended to
the entire conscious life, and not only to the period of meditation.
moment you feel tired, you must not force yourself. Overdoing will cause
another delay. It is better to go more slowly but surely.
is Z's letter which you had given me. According to me she is at the
stage when one does not know how to distinguish between the creations
of one's own mind and the truth. In her book she is very positive and
believes herself bound, in the name of Christ, to spread it in the world.
In her letter she expresses doubts about her capacity of discernment.
But then why attach so much importance to what is so doubtful? She writes
"...the Force connected with it is, and because it is and
I know it to be my Force (and your Force if you like), It cannot deceive
me." Here's exactly what makes many people stumble. They imagine,
because they have an experience of something higher than the ordinary
mentality, that everything is the truth. But when the universal Force
enters an individual, there is an entire part of him which rises and
tries to profit by this Force for its own benefit, to use it for its
personal ends. Her book seems to be altogether a dialogue between her
higher illumined mind and her ordinary mind. One gets the impression
of a conversation between her conscious self and her higher being or
another being or a god.
how many things creep in from below upwards! I know it, having myself
remained for long in this state. But I always kept the critical mind,
and my attention was roused by equivocal mixtures. But it is a common
experience, and unless one has a special tact it is extremely difficult
to distinguish the truth in the beginning. One must have an absolute
sinceritynot the sincerity of the ordinary mind but something
deeper, an impulsion which never lets one stop till the truth
is reached, the whole truth, and one pushes ahead.
easily gave up your ideas when you came to me; but if they had been
mixed with personal psychic experiences, this would have been much more
there is a little pride in usquite unconscious, even hidden under
humilityit makes us exaggerate to ourselves our personal importance
and we believe ourselves called to something special. So she writes
this book, takes disciples, etc. It is a common trap.
us hope that the doubt she shows in her letter will help her to shake
off the illusion.
February 5, 1926
last few days were betterthe concentration easier and the detachment
of the mind more happy. I can separate myself from the mind and observe
its action. But when I try to make it dead-still, I cannot do it except
by concentrating near Sahasrära, trying to separate myself from
the body,and the breathing becomes difficult.
are two ways of becoming aware of a higher world. One is to send a part
of oneself there, whilst remaining at the same time in one's physical
consciousness. The other is to leave this physical consciousness and
to enter into a sort of trance, which may come very near catalepsy or
coma. You are not in a condition to try that. And probably, there is
a confusion between the two movements in you: the one of quieting the
mind and the other of going out of your physical body.
is probable. When I meditate I am aware of certain movements which
I locate in my vital body. They are not physical though I feel them
physically, specially between the chest and the head and within the
are movements in the higher body and they are felt even physically.
But mostly they are a consequence (as your breathing trouble proves)
of an effort to go out of your body. They are not necessary. You can
simply become aware of the movement of the consciousness from one point
that you can observe the calmness of the mind and separate your-self
from the action of the mind linked to the physical, you must give up
these efforts and remain in an expectant attitude, open to the action
from abovewithout making an effort to go towards this above, but
knowing it is there, offering yourself for its descent. Do not even
make an effort to "see" and "feel". Quiet all below
and waitfrom a simple aspiration towards what you know is near.
February 11, 1926
must indeed have confused two movements: quieting my dynamic mind
and going out of my body. Consequently, I had to work all over again
to get mental silence. I can get it, though not always, for the dynamic
mind is very active and I am always obliged to supervise it. I attain
also a kind of relative peace: I am motionless, attentive, in a sort
of transparent surrounding. But this has never a very long duration.
It is another peace, deeper, which I want to attain. That which will
destroy the feeling of the "self".
difficulty comes from trying at the same time to keep the mind silent
and to look beyond, to make this offering silent and attentive.
last few days, I forced the meditation a little too much and the tension
was too great. I have come back to 3 hours a day. Dental neuralgia.
Why is this feeling of personal effort so painful? It is not inertia
and rest I want, but peace in action, the cessation of individual
deeper peace cannot come till the "lotuses" are open and the
force descends to take possession. Besides, a distinction must be made
between the real individuality and the illusory sense of the ego. The
true individuality is a fragment of the universal consciousness and
even when it seems to merge in this consciousness, the distinction is
nevertheless there. It permits organised action, which without it would
gradually the supreme force takes possession of you, this sense of effort
will diminish; but the separate action will disappear only with perfection.
other difficulties will yet come. Your active centres are the centres
higher than the solar plexus: the others are asleep. With their awakening,
the mind, even quieted and controlled, will again be invaded and submerged.
The real difficulties come thenin the mind there is always an
element which helps. But here, everything is directly linked with life
you feel the possibility of uniting yourself to nature through the solar
plexus, do it when not in regular meditation.
also say that all that you do outside meditation seems to activise your
mind again. This has no importanceyou cannot do nothing. Everything
must take its time. And you are of those who have built everything on
the mindthence the difficulty. Others open easily. But do not
be impatient, this prolongs the sense of personal effort.
February 15, 1926
effect of sadhana makes itself felt especially outside meditation.
It is becoming more and more easy for me to assume the role of witness
of the actions of the mind and even of the body. From this comes quietude,
but the mind is not yet silent. This separation has made me conscious
of the disorderly chaos of the dynamic mind, and thus, at first, I
thought it was becoming more active, whilst really I was simply conscious
of its action.
main thing is precisely to deepen and increase this consciousnesswitness
or Purusha consciousness. The silence of the mind is certainly a precious
faculty; but it will come in its time. The widening of this consciousness
will bring the influx of a deeper consciousness. Besides, isn't this
coming here I used to smoke, then I stopped. Now I often have the
desire to smoke. What should I do?
is no absolute rule and this is of no very great importance. I too smoke.
But to abstain from something gives a purer atmosphere. Besides, you
have stopped; it is better not to begin again.
time spent in sleep seems to me lost. Is there no means of using it
it lost? Everything in sadhana is not conscious effort. Besides, it
is a very difficult thing, which comes at the end. The body rests; but
you have nothing to replace the torpor of the inner being. Later, gradually,
sleep gets organised in its turn.
February 22, 1926
am continuing the separation of my self from the mind. I can easily
enough place myself as inactive spectator of the movements of the
individual being. In these conditions I exist nevertheless as a mental
being, endowed with the 'I' and centred in the brain. But behind this
mental self I can discern another state, free from all relation with
the manifested activity. There lies my true self which uses the mental
self as a window to look out from. What is this true self? I have
so far only a faint experience of it. I distinguish nothing, I have
the impression of an emptiness, of a nought; but I have also the impression
of a veil behind which a Presence would be found.
you are a spectator, are you active or passive?
It is not a question of witnessing a march past of images, of being
the spectator of an action unfolding itself before me. The mental
images are vague, fragmentary, very much like waves of a sea growing
calm. Besides, the sensorial impression often give rise to vivid images
which are a cause of trouble.
you have the feeling of being a mental being?
I remain on the level of the mind, yes; but when I can raise myself
above it, the being (?) that I am is not mental. The mental being
is a mask assumed by the true self.
I see the way clearly. And I know that if I could make the total and
definitive surrender to the Divine Force, it would itself take charge
of the Yoga. This self-giving is made in my soulmy mind has
accepted it, but there are certain points in the vital being which
hinder the perfection of the gift and pull me down at times. But now,
even these defections I see with an equal eye and offer to the Divine
Forcethe good movements and the bad, all are parts of the process.
Formerly, I used to be easily upset now I am more calm.
have but to continue. Isn't there anything else? As to Z's letter, what
are you going to say to her?
I am awaiting a telegram announcing her arrival to go to the station
to receive her. There is no need to go to Madras or Trichinopoly.
she is coming here with this plan of workimaginary work. India
is not what she thinks. India is India. After a short time every foreign
element is either absorbed or thrown out. And the life is different
from that of Europe. These ideas about a work to be done are common.
It is the mental being which invents its own inspirations: one part
of the mind ascends and when coming down takes on the nature of a revelation.
The mind wants to achieve something and seeks a great and important
work. But all work, even the humblest, has the same value if it is that
which ought to be done. There is something true behind, it is the idea
of a work to be accomplished. And this work is the divine workbut
one must be perfect to be able to undertake it. There are many men whose
work has no need of perfection; they vaguely feel an impulsion, the
mind mixes up its own desires and they go on thus. But I am speaking
of those who have to realise some spiritual workthen, for these,
the work will be found when the instrument is ready.
all work is a preparation. Your friends X... seem to me to be in the
same position as Z... It is the mind which is pushing them though they
are altogether unaware of it. And they must learn to put aside this
illusion; then all work is good for Yoga.
I wouldn't advise you to say all that to Z... I don't know if the mere
fact of coming here and listening to what I have to say will suffice
to make her to see the truth. It is possible that she needs to find
out by her own experience. For it is experience of life which is the
touch-stone; so long as one remains in abstractions one does not discover
the criterion; but when you try to realise, experience teaches you.
It is necessary for the whole being to know the truth. If she only puts
aside her idea, this tendency will remain there, intact, ready to reappear,
and the final results may be bad. Perhaps it would be better to let
her try out her own experience; that of another does not suffice.
may write to her that you are engaged in sadhana and that for the time
being you have given up all other work.
If she wants to see you she may do so here.
It is very dangerous to think oneself inspired for the work. This happens
specially to those who are very impatient, who have a strong desire
for realisation. They don not perceive that it is their mind which is
thus sending messages to their mind. The true work to be done does not
present itself under this form, and the method of work also is entirely