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Pavitra's Notebook
Page 7

Monday, July 26, 1926

I feel distinctly the overshadowing presence of a force above me. A small part of that force comes down and works in me.

What kind of work does it effect?

I cannot see very distinctly. It is a pressure that tries to expand. More than this I cannot say. Only, I feel that a small part only comes down. It also presses upon the physical mind and tries to calm and quiet it.
There are two movements I make: One is to be passive and to open to that working. The other is to go above trying to unite with that force. I have then a sensation of broadening, of a vast and compact consciousness.
It happened two or three times that I saw before me a long, endless road. But this image had no distinct character that indicated another origin than the ordinary mental images.

It is still a mental image, and all mental images have the same character. Only it may come from the higher mental plane. Once you open to them you receive knowledge of things you do not know in the ordinary mind.

The image of a road is a very common image of the higher mental; its meaning is that of the path that has to be travelled on.

If the images are all around us, how is it that they do not come in our mind?

They come often in man's mind but he believes them to be his own thoughts. Moreover one must have something that corresponds to them, otherwise they make no impression and do not come out of the subconscient. But once you begin to open, images arise more frequently and you need to discriminate among them.

What kind of images has to be rejected and what to be accepted?

What is first to be rejected is the ordinary working of the mind and the images of material life that surround us. Afterwards one has to remain passive. What seems to come from above is not necessarily pure and then one has to discriminate.

Mr. G. has spoken to Mr. V., head of the College here. There is a possibility of my becoming an examiner at the baccalauréat here. This will bring me students. But I will have to owe this position to Mr. G. And it is impossible to obtain it without his support.

I don't see why you should not accept it. It does not bind you?

Not at all. I have only to be thankful for it.

That is all right. What is to be avoided is your being drawn into politics.

Certainly. There is no chance of that.

Monday, August 2, 1926

There is nothing new to report. Quiet meditation becoming deeper. At times flashes of light pass before my eyes. But I know they have no outward reality. They are of the same kind as those flashes that are seen when one presses one's own eyes.

These flashes of light are the first signs of the coming down of the light into the physical consciousness. They need not come and the sense of light may remain mental, but if it comes down, flashes are seen. But you must not jump to the conclusion that they are of the same kind as light created by ocular compression. People generally view their new experiences from the standpoint of their accumulated experience. Some people for instance when they first see that light look around to see if the lamp is alight or if the sunlight is coming in. It is necessary to view them from a higher point of view.

But how does it give such a physical impression of light though not physical? You said also that a tendency to blindness may be created at that time.

Because the centre of vision is affected and we have the habit to refer every new experience to what we already know. It need not affect the physical sight, if we can remain aloof from it.

As for the tendency to blindness, it has two main causes. First, many people, when these visions come, get into the habit of continually keeping their visual attention inward and create a disturbance in the physical sight. Then, the light which is seen is very brilliant and it has the same effect as if somebody was continually fixing a dazzling light.

Madame X. has these experiences and says she nearly became blind.

But a balance has to be cultivated that enables one to remain above, undisturbed and unaffected.

Monday, August 9, 1926

Nothing new. As I have done some mental work, my mind has caused me some trouble. There are two kinds of mental work as regards their effect upon me. When I am preparing my tuitions or reading an easy book, my mind is only superficially interested, but when I am trying to solve a question for myself, for instance, a problem of mathematics and if I take interest in it, my mind gets loose again and carries me away. Then it rushes out with accumulated force—and it sees nothing else, does not allow me to meditate and cuts my connection with the higher life.

You need not be cut. There is nothing wrong in being interested in some work. But the mind that works is not the whole mind and there is a part which remains aside if you do not identify yourself with the working mind.

I cannot make this separation in practice. When I am reading, if I try to look at my mind which is reading I lose the significance of what I read.
That has always been a difficulty with me. As soon as I do any action in life, it may be a manual or an intellectual work, I cut myself from my higher aspiration. It is impossible to practice yoga in life.

Because the vital and physical parts of the mind have remained untouched. They must be opened.

Mother told me that my vital being had been repressed. There is some truth in it. My education has been purely scientific and I had no artistic culture. I did not derive any help from art. I am far from clinging to conventional ideas of morality, but I have repressed certain tendencies of the vital only in order to get a relative freedom and mastery. I have respect, but certainly little of emotional emotion. So the vital is of very little use to me. But what is to be done? I suppose it will open to the higher light and nothing is to be tried from below.

It will open in the process of yoga. But something more than a passive self-surrender is necessary. In this yoga, a mere waiting upon the force to come down if it wills, won't do. You have done nearly all that could be done by the mind above, and the opening through a pure mental process would no doubt require a long time. Therefore you have to rely on the higher force. But simply waiting is not sufficient. You have to call it down, and see how it works, make demands upon it.
And this must be done in the vital as well as in the mind.

What is the difference between a vital demand and a mental demand?

This you have to find out. You have to see what is there in the vital, see the possibilities and potentialities, what is to be kept. You will rely on the higher light to decide, but you must not remain purely passive. The higher light will show you what has to be done, but you must put the active demand for transformation. This will not be perfect at first and some resistance will be met with.

Especially in your case, such an active demand is necessary. Some people need some moderation, for they are continually pulling down, being vitally and emotionally eager. But this is not your case.

I have always been afraid of mental laziness. But I suppose that was wrong. Even if I don't do any mental work except what is strictly necessary for my tuitions, there is no harm in it.

It is sometimes found good to change the habitual way of working for a certain time.

Monday, August 16, 1926

Last week has been better, taken as a whole; it has been more easy to meditate and the force has come down with more power. It presses down at the level of the navel. My mind also is more quiet and does not require as much incentive.
You speak of the opening of mind and of vital. What do you mean exactly by these terms?

It is first the opening to a higher light and power and also the opening to the influences of that plane, becoming conscious of the forces of that level.

Does the mind always open before the vital?

It is more generally so. But the vital can be prepared before the mind opens. The mind may get partially opened and the vital is then able to receive the higher light. But the total opening of the mind may come only later. In your case the fact that the force works now on the vital level shows that it can pass through the mind without being hampered.
You have to open to the higher light and power.

Shall I try to pull the force down?

No, only open to it. It will work by itself.

Has my recent illness any connection with sadhana? At any rate, there is a distinct physical cause for it: I got a chill.

No, I don't think there is any connection with sadhana.

Now another question. Mr. G. spoke to the Governor about me and my positions as a teacher and as an examiner. I wonder whether it would not be good that I should pay a visit to the Governor. He is said to be a kind man, with interest in theosophy. And I would like to say to him, diplomatically, that though he will not meet me in social gatherings my abstention only comes from the kind of studies I am pursuing.

Let me consider that point. I will answer you later on.

(Later Barindra told me that I could go and visit the Governor, but that it would probably be better not to emphasise my private life as regards yoga.)

Wednesday, August 18, 1926

I report my conversation with the Governor, who besides had asked for me. He received me quite sympathetically and asked me if I could possibly devote some time for giving lessons at the College. Not only does he excuse my abstention from social life but he approves of it.
In short, interview successful.

Saturday, August 28, 1926

I have been very busy outside with the examination; but, for the first time the contact with the outside world has not disturbed me as it used to do. Coming home I was able to take up meditation rather easily.
Meditation has been, as a whole, satisfactory. The mind was relatively quiet and transparent to the force that came down. The chief place where the force works is above and around the navel. Sometimes I felt a distinct sense of strong power rising in me.

The vital centre is beginning to open in you.

The principal difficulty in meditation comes from the most external part of the mind. Sometimes it is quiet and passive but sometimes intruding thoughts are very obstinate—they are connected with the physical arrangement of things. For instance, I am thinking whether I should place a shelf here or not, what I have to buy, the things that may come by the next mail and so on. That was what I meant when speaking of the part of the mind which is interested in collecting stamps. On the other hand, the preparation of my tuition and the tuition itself does not disturb me. But if I take interest in a work for myself, then I am easily carried away.

But these thoughts do not disturb you in mediation, do they?

When I am in a favourable state they don't but sometimes I cannot get rid of them. Especially in the morning meditation which is generally very defective. The best one is in the evening, between 6 and 7. The noon one is between these two.

The reason may be because the things you throw away in the waking state are able to come back through the subconscient and they come in mostly at night.

That may be.
Now something happened a few days ago. I received a letter from my friend Y., speaking about his wife. After that, in meditation I found myself thinking of that lady, but in a peculiar way. I was directing to her a kind of force that came from the mental vital. It was not purposely done by me nor was it a vital rush, but a quiet and mild pressure and it was put forth from the top of the head.
I had twice similar experiences, of finding myself working on the higher planes without purposely intending to do it. The first one was when C. S. was ill. At the evening gathering, you asked the news about him and then remained silent for a while. Then I felt myself carried to his room and working there. Another time, when the gale was raging during our evening meeting, I found also that I was putting forth a kind of force in that direction.
K. also felt that.

It is because the consciousness begins to be awake on the higher planes and to work consciously there. There is nothing imagination in it. It is a fact.

I brought today photos of my friend's wife in order that you may know what she is like.

Can you leave them with me? I shall show them to Mother.

Contd. Page 8

-Sri Aurobindo

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