Archive for August, 2009

August 26 – When you are in difficulty, widen yourself*

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Indiscriminate compassion is the noblest gift of temperament,
not to do even the least hurt to one living thing is the highest of all human virtues;
but God practises neither.
Is man therefore nobler and better than the All-loving?

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 529)

When you are in difficulty, widen yourself*

“What do you mean by these words: `When you are in difficulty, widen yourself’?”

I am speaking, of course, of difficulties on the path of yoga, incomprehension, limitations, things like obstacles, which prevent you from advancing. And when I say “widen yourself”, I mean widen your consciousness.

Difficulties always arise from the ego, that is, from your more or less egoistic personal reaction to circumstances, events and people around you, to the conditions of your life. They also come from that feeling of being closed up in a sort of shell, which prevents your consciousness from uniting with higher and vaster realities.

One may very well think that one wants to be vast, wants to be universal, that all is the expression of the Divine, that one must have no egoism — one may think all sorts of things — but that is not necessarily a cure, for very often one knows what one ought to do, and yet one doesn’t do it, for one reason or another.

But if, when you have to face anguish, suffering, revolt, pain or a feeling of helplessness — whatever it may be, all the things that come to you on the path and which precisely are your difficulties — if physically, that is to say, in your body-consciousness, you can have the feeling of widening yourself, one could say of unfolding yourself — you feel as it were all folded up, one fold on another like a piece of cloth which is folded and refolded and folded again — so if you have this feeling that what is holding and strangling you and making you suffer or paralysing your movement, is like a too closely, too tightly folded piece of cloth or like a parcel that is too well-tied, too well-packed, and that slowly, gradually, you undo all the folds and stretch yourself out exactly as one unfolds a piece of cloth or a sheet of paper and spreads it out flat, and you lie flat and make yourself very wide, as wide as possible, spreading yourself out as far as you can, opening yourself and stretching out in an attitude of complete passivity with what I could call “the face to the light”: not curling back upon your difficulty, doubling up on it, shutting it in, so to say, into yourself, but, on the contrary, unfurling yourself as much as you can, as perfectly as you can, putting the difficulty before the Light — the Light which comes from above — if you do that in all the domains, and even if mentally you don’t succeed in doing it — for it is sometimes difficult — if you can imagine yourself doing this physically, almost materially, well, when you have finished unfolding yourself and stretching yourself out, you will find that more than three-quarters of the difficulty is gone. And then just a little work of receptivity to the Light and the last quarter will disappear.

This is much easier than struggling against a difficulty with one’s thought, for if you begin to discuss with yourself, you will find that there are arguments for and against which are so convincing that it is quite impossible to get out of it without a higher light. Here, you do not struggle against the difficulty, you do not try to convince yourself; ah! you simply stretch out in the Light as though you lay stretched on the sands in the sun. And you let the Light do its work.

– The Mother
CWM Vol. 8, pages: 286-288

*(Title by the sender)

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India

August 19, 2009 – The Psychic and the Truth

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

This I have seen that whatever God has withheld from me,
He withheld in His love & wisdom. Had I grasped it then,
I would have turned some great good into a great poison.
Yet sometimes when we insist,
He gives us poison to drink that we may learn to turn from it
and taste with knowledge His ambrosia & His nectar.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 470)

The Psychic and the Truth

The psychic is moved by the Truth. The Truth is something eternally self-existent and dependent on nothing in time or space, whereas the psychic being is a being that grows, takes form, progresses, individ­ualises itself more and more. In this way it becomes more and more capable of manifesting this Truth, the eternal Truth that is one and permanent. The psychic being is a progressive being, which means that the relation between the psychic being and the Truth is a progressive one. It is not possible to become aware of one’s psychic being without becoming aware at the same time of the inner Truth. All those who have had this experience-not a mental experience but an integral experience of contact with the psychic being, not a contact with the idea they have con­structed of it, but a truly concrete contact -all say the same thing: from the very minute this contact takes place, one is absolutely conscious of the eternal Truth within oneself and one sees that it is the purpose of life and the guide of the world.

– The Mother
The Great Adventure, Page 188

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India

August 12, 2009 – The Imaginative Power

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

They explained the evil in the world by saying that Satan had prevailed against God;
but I think more proudly of my Beloved.
I believe that nothing is done but by His will in heaven or hell,
on earth or on the waters.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 460)

The Imaginative Power

If you have a very powerful imagination and build up the realisation of your desire, build it up well with all its details and everything, like an admirably made for­mation existing in itself, totally, you see… well, you may be sure that if you live long enough the thing will be realised. It can be realised the next day, it can be realised the next minute, it can take years, it can take centuries. But it is sure to be real­ised. And then, if to this imaginative power you add a kind of creative vital strength, you make a very living force of it; and as all living forces tend towards realisation, it will put a pressure upon terrestrial events in order to be able to realise itself sooner, and it is realised. . . .

If… instead of being desires, they are aspirations for spiritual things and one continues his line with a regular progress, then one is absolutely sure to obtain one day what he has imagined

– The Mother
The Great Adventure, Page 339

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India

August 5, 2009 – Immortality*

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Love of God, charity towards men is the first step towards perfect wisdom.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 484)


…Immortality is a life without beginning or end, without birth or death, which is altogether independent of the body. It is the life of the Self, the essential being of each individual, and it is not separate from the universal Self. And this essential being has a sense of oneness with the universal Self; it is in fact a personified, individualised expression of the universal Self and has neither beginning nor end, neither life nor death, it exists eternally and that is what is immortal. When we are fully conscious of this Self we participate in its eternal life, and we therefore become immortal.

But there is some misunderstanding about this word “Immortality” – and this is not something new; it is a misunderstanding which has recurred very frequently. When one speaks of immortality most people understand it as the indefinite survival of the body.

The body can survive indefinitely only if, in the first place, it becomes fully conscious of this immortal Self and unites with it, identifies with it to the extent of having the same capacity, the same faculty of constant transformation which would enable it to follow the universal movement. This is an absolutely indispensable condition if the body is to endure. Because the body is rigid, because it does not follow the movement, because it cannot transform itself rapidly enough to constantly identify itself with the universal evolution, it decomposes and dies. Its fixity, its rigidity, its incapacity to transform itself, make its destruction necessary, so that its substance may return to the general realm of physical substance and so that the body may be remoulded into new forms in order to become capable of further progress. But usually, when one speaks of immortality, people think of physical immortality – it goes without saying that this has not yet been realized ….

– The Mother
CWM Vol.10, Pages: 28-29
* (Title by the sender)

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India