Pavitra's Notebook

Monday, April 19, 1926

This whole week I tried to withdraw again into the silent mind, but without much success. I have not yet come back to the point where I was before the arrival of X.
That great peace is there, behind. I have the feeling of a transparent milieu. I wonder whether this is not the experience the Christian mystics describe as the glassy sea and the Japanese as the Crystal Palace?

THERE are two principal forms under which one becomes aware of it: one is analogous to the sensation of a transparent stirless sea and the other of an ethereal expanse.

Last time you spoke to me about psychic knowledge and its character of truth. Does this knowledge concern facts, beings and events of the manifested world, or simply metaphysical truths?

The word "metaphysical" indicates a mental knowledge and there is in psychic knowledge a nearness, a concrete reality very different from intellectual speculation.

To say that it brings material knowledge would be wrong, that is not its field. It transforms the being into a being of truth, into a flame of aspiration for the truth. Psychic knowledge would be rather a contact, a feeling. When it is said that the heart knows better than the brain, one expresses something that would come near it, although there is a gulf between emotion, feeling and the psyche. The psychic being receives the truth but does not create it, as opposed to the supramental. There is a difference between the two.

The faculty of recognising the truth at first sight comes from intuition, one of the forms of the lower supramental knowledge. The true knowledge which never errs is that by identity.

Steiner distinguishes three degrees of occult knowledge: imaginative, inspired and unitive; the last, which cannot err, is probably knowledge by identity?

The first form of intuition is clothed in mental forms which distort it. Moreover, the mind is not satisfied with what it receives and it crystallizes everything around its own accretions. There is something true and much that is false.

Besides, the mind learns to pass off its data under the appearance of intuitions. When the being begins to ask for intuitive knowledge, the personality sends its desires and prejudices under the guise of intuitions. And so at the beginning intuitive knowledge is not very sure. Then it develops; but even before it is brought to perfection, other modes of knowing develop.

There are four grades in intuition, the elementary form of supramental truth:

Intuition   proper, sporadic and irregular, which brings isolated elements. It gives the impression of remembering a latent, past or subconscient knowledge.
Discernment   Here there is a process, a non-intellectual work which accepts certain elements and rejects others.
Inspiration   Something comes from outside and expands within. Analogy of a voice which speaks in you.
Revelation   Analogy of a vision.

I thought you would like to join us in the evenings, once or twice a week (Till November 1926, the disciples used to gather around Sri Aurobindo in the evenings). Which day suits you?

With great joy. For me any day is suitable.

I shall let you know, later, on which days you may come.

Monday, April 26, 1926

This week my meditation was better, deeper and more regular. I feel the force descending into the centres: Anähata and Mülädhära and even in the legs. At certain moments my legs become stiff. Also a greater calm which, if I could apply it directly to the mind, would quieten, by its single descent, the whole mind. Once I happened to see flashes of light.

You say your legs become stiff. Do you feel the force descending into the legs?

In any case, I become conscious of my legs; the force is doing some work there.

It is possible, if you do not feel the force descending there but are only conscious of your legs, that the force which is trying to descend meets with an obstacle and that this is the cause of the stiffness you feel. When the force descends and presses, after the meditation one remains for a while unable to move. It is such a pressure. One may, however, remove this inability to move by applying the force itself. But if there is stiffness, perhaps there is struggle.
The calm you speak about, what is it?

The experience is not complete; I know I could make this force act to calm the mind ; but this is not realised.

All this work is necessary on all the planes, so as to make possible the opening and the total awareness.

I want to say something about smoking. I used to smoke. When I came here I stopped smoking. But when the Xs came slowly I began again, just sometimes. Then I stopped once more. Lately, for ten days I have not smoked. But the desire comes back very strongly. I would like to get rid of it very much, for I am not its master.

If the desire is simply nervous it can easily be managed; but if it finds a support in the vital and the mind, it is more difficult.
In principle there are two methods. The first is to cut off everything abruptly. To make a firm resolution and by an act of will refuse the consent. When the desire comes, to withdraw from it and to let it have its play below, unless one can throw it out also. The desire becomes weaker and weaker. The other method is to give the desire when it comes a little satisfaction and then to reject it. To give it a little bhoga. But one must take care to make this only a means to arrive at the rejection. Not to indulge in it, for without that the resistance is indefinite.
These are the two methods used by yogis.

I have fought more or less for several years; but I don't seem to have come to any result. I want to be free from desire. Then smoking becomes a matter of indifference.
This is my experience in sexual matters. I had to struggle very hard for several years. Then the desire vanished abruptly, and left me quiet. However, I know it is not dead and that if circumstances were different it could wake up and come to life again.

That always happens when one fights it out. As for myself, I smoke a little, but for me it is all the same, and my mind is as calm when I do not smoke.

But in my case, I become the slave of tobacco; that is why I want to free myself from it. Anyway, I am going to do my best.

Monday, May 3, 1926

Nothing new in my sadhana. The mind does not fall quiet, although I feel the force descending into me. It is no longer, as at the outset, vibrating waves going straight to Mulddhdra. It is now a calmer force which flows gently and penetrates into me.

Where does this force come from? From above?

If I may localise it in space, I should speak of its origin as above the head. I try, besides, to unite with this force in this place.

Where is your consciousness?

In the head.

At the top of the head?

When I can disengage myself and forget my body and sensations, my consciousness can be centred outside. But this is extremely difficult for me.

It is not necessary to forget one's body. If your consciousness were fixed in this place, you could continue to receive sense-impressions, but you would look at them from this place.

I would see them as outside myself?

At least as different from the calm zone which would be like an outer layer of your consciousness.

At present I am identified rather with this outer layer and I look at the inner calm layer. But I try to open myself as best I can to this force. Where is the difficulty? In the mind or in the physical?

It is in the mind. But often a certain length of time is needed to obtain the first result. There is nothing for it but to persevere.

In my efforts to bring about this separation, I give rise to movements in the nervous fluid, and thus I often have nervous neuralgia.

It is not useful to make these efforts. It is rather through a calm will that this separation comes about. When one makes efforts, often headaches or other little disorders appear.
The mind will not be always calm but there will be one region perpetually peaceful, inaccessible to movements which reach only the outer part.

Monday, May 10, 1926

Not much change. My mind seems to be more and more outside myself and I can look at its activities unmoved. It seeks to profit by everything to cling to its old way of feeling and acting; but even its sudden starts do not disturb me any longer as they used to do formerly.

To get this calm, which rests on the perception of the immutable Purusha, is the beginning of realisation.

Some days ago I had an experience during the night. I woke up about half an hour after midnight and, whilst coming back into my physical consciousness, the memory was transformed into a dream; here it is. I was driving a car on a great wide road. In the car, several people, among others Mother and X. It was Mother who was directing me past ambushes with which the road was sown. Carriages passing in all directions, men ambushed to fire at us. "Take care of this", "Look out there", she was saying. I had a revolver within my reach.... It seems to me that this symbolises a passage through hostile forces. In this passage, I remember that at one moment X said, looking at me, "He is drowning, he is drowning". Immediately I perceived that I was being dragged away by these forces. At once I called the divine force which descended through the Sahasrära right down to the two lower chakras. With the help of this force, I pushed back the hostile forces and set myself afloat again. A little later I woke up. But for some time I was aware that the hostile forces were trying to force the wall and I pushed them back in the same way. The two lower centres were vibrating rapidly.

Carriages, horses and other symbols of movement indicate progress in occult evolution. This is a symbol of the vital plane.

Does the fact that I woke up mean that I was not able to sustain the effort?

Not at all. If you had not awakened, you would probably not have kept any remembrance of this.

Quite true.
(Then I passed on to another subject)
The evening talks on science and occultism interest me extremely. That was for long one of my ideals: to work for the union between science and occultism. But a moment came when I had to give up my ideals, as all the rest, to the Lord of Yoga. But it is possible a time may come when once again I could work at it.

Indeed, in Yoga, one must give up everything, all ideals even as all desires. A moment comes when what is true in the being, what is not mental but deeper, and which must be used by the Divine,—the moment comes when this is awakened. This happens when the force descends into the physical plane. What was mental or vital is rejected, but the true forms of action continue.

Contd. Page 5

-Sri Aurobindo

Let the divine doors swing wide open for him who is not attached,
who increases in himself the Truth.
- Sri Aurobindo