Archive for October, 2009

October 28, 2009 How to laugh with the Lord*

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Shame has admirable results and both in aesthetics and in morality we could ill spare it;
but for all that it is a badge of weakness and the proof of ignorance.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 83)

How to laugh with the Lord*

Virtue has always spent its time eliminating whatever it found bad in life, and if all the virtues of the various countries of the world had been put together, very few things would remain in existence.

Virtue claims to seek perfection, but perfection is a totality. So the two movements contradict each other. A virtue that eliminates, reduces, fixes limits, and a perfection that accepts everything, rejects nothing but puts each thing in its place, obviously cannot agree.

Taking life seriously generally consists of two movements: the first one is to give importance to things that probably have none, and the second is to want life to be reduced to a certain number of qualities that are considered pure and worthy of existence. In some people – for example, those Sri Aurobindo speaks about here, the “polite” or the puritans – this virtue becomes dry, arid, grey, aggressive and it finds fault everywhere, in everything that is joyful and free and happy.

The only way to make life perfect – I mean here, life on earth, of course – is to look at it from high enough to see it as a whole, not only in its present totality, but in the whole of the past, present and future: what it has been, what it is and what it will be – one must be able to see everything at once. Because that is the only way to put everything in its place. Nothing can be eliminated, nothing should be eliminated, but each thing must be in its place in total harmony with all the rest. And then all these things that seem so bad, so reprehensible, so unacceptable to the puritan mind, would become movements of delight and freedom in a totally divine life. And then nothing would prevent us from knowing, understanding, feeling and living this wonderful laughter of the Supreme who takes infinite delight in watching Himself live infinitely.

This delight, this wonderful laughter that dissolves every shadow, every pain, every suffering! You only have to go deep enough within yourself to find the inner Sun, to let yourself be flooded by it; and then there is nothing but a cascade of harmonious, luminous, sunlit laughter, which leaves no room for any shadow or pain.

In fact, even the greatest difficulties, even the greatest sorrows, even the greatest physical pain – if you can look at them from that standpoint, from there, you see the unreality of the difficulty, the unreality of the sorrow, the unreality of the pain – and there is nothing but a joyful and luminous vibration.

In fact, this is the most powerful way of dissolving difficulties, overcoming sorrows and removing pain. The first two are relatively easy – I say relatively – the last one is more difficult because we are in the habit of considering the body and its feelings to be extremely concrete, positive; but it is the same thing, it is simply because we have not learnt, we are not in the habit of regarding our body as something fluid, plastic, uncertain, malleable. We have not learnt to bring into it this luminous laughter that dissolves all darkness, all difficulty, all discord, all disharmony, everything that jars, that weeps and wails.

And this Sun, this Sun of divine laughter is at the centre of all things, the truth of all things: we must learn to see it, to feel it, to live it.

And for that, let us avoid people who take life seriously; they are very boring people.

As soon as the atmosphere becomes grave you can be sure that something is wrong, that there is a troubling influence, an old habit trying to reassert itself, which should not be accepted. All this regret, all this remorse, the feeling of being unworthy, of being at fault – and then one step further and you have the sense of sin. Oh! To me it all seems to belong to another age, an age of darkness.

But everything that persists, that tries to cling and endure, all these prohibitions and this habit of cutting life in two – into small things and big things, the sacred and the profane… What! say the people who profess to follow a spiritual life, how can you make such little things, such insignificant things the object of spiritual experience? And yet this is an experience that becomes more and more concrete and real, even materially; it’s not that there are some things where the Lord is and some things where He is not. The Lord is always there. He takes nothing seriously, everything amuses Him and He plays with you, if you know how to play. You do not know how to play, people do not know how to play. But how well He knows how to play! How well He plays! With everything, with the smallest things: you have some things to put on the table? Don’t feel that you have to think and arrange, no, let’s play: let’s put this one here and that one there, and this one like that. And then another time it’s different again… What a good game and such fun!

So, it is agreed, we shall try to learn how to laugh with the Lord.

– The Mother
CWM Vol. 10, Pages 157 – 159

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

October 21, 2009 – The Divine gives Himself

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

God has so arranged life that the world is the soul’s husband;
Krishna its divine paramour.
We owe a debt of service to the world and are bound to it by a law, a compelling opinion,
and a common experience of pain and pleasure,
but our heart’s worship and our free and secret joy are for our Lover.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 463)

The Divine gives Himself*

Sweet Mother, what is meant by “the Divine gives Himself”?

It means exactly this: that the more you give yourself the more you have the experience – it is not just a feeling or impression or sensation, it is a total experience – that the more you give yourself to the Divine the more He is with you, totally, constantly, at every minute, in all your thoughts, all your needs, and that there’s no aspiration which does not receive an immediate answer; and you have the sense of a complete, constant intimacy, of a total nearness. It is as though you carried… as though the Divine were all the time with you; you walk and He walks with you, you sleep and He sleeps with you, you eat and He eats with you, you think and He thinks with you, you love and He is the love you have. But for this one must give himself entirely, totally, exclusively, reserve nothing, keep nothing for himself and not keep back anything, not disperse anything also: the least little thing in your being which is not given to the Divine is a waste; it is the wasting of your joy, something that lessens your happiness by that much, and all that you don’t give to the Divine is as though you were holding it in the way of the possibility of the Divine’s giving Himself to you. You don’t feel Him close to yourself, constantly with you, because you don’t belong to Him, because you belong to hundreds of other things and people; in your thought, your action, your feelings, impulses… there are millions of things which you do not give Him, and that is why you don’t feel Him always with you, because all these things are so many screens and walls between Him and you. But if you give Him everything, if you keep back nothing, He will be constantly and totally with you in all that you do, in all that you think, all that you feel, always, at each moment. But for this you must give yourself absolutely, keep back nothing; each little thing that you hold back is a stone you put down to build up a wall between t he Divine and yourself. And then later you complain: “Oh, I don’t feel Him!” What would be surprising is that you could feel Him.

– The Mother
CWM Vol.7 Pages 247-24

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

October 14, 2009 – This is how one learns to look at oneself

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

There are three forms in which the command may come,
the will and faith in thy nature,
thy ideal on which heart and brain are agreed and the voice of Himself or His angels.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 266)

This is how one learns to look at oneself.*

…..when one thinks of “myself” one thinks of the body. That is the usual thing. The personal reality is the body’s reality. It is only when one has made an effort for inner development and tried to find something that is a little more stable in one’s being, that one can begin to feel that this “something” which is permanently conscious throughout all ages and all change, this something must be “myself”. But that already requires a study that is rather deep. Otherwise if you think “I am going to do this”, “I need that”, it is always your body, a small kind of will which is a mixture of sensations, of more or less confused sentimental reactions, and still more confused thoughts which form a mixture and are animated by an impulse, an attraction, a desire, some sort of a will; and all that momentarily becomes “myself” – but not directly, for one does not conceive this “myself” as independent of the head, the trunk, the arms and legs and all that moves – is very closely linked.

It is only after having thought much, seen much, studied much, observed much that you begin to realise that the one is more or less independent of the other and that the will behind can make it either act or not act, and you begin not to be completely identified with the movement, the action, the realisation – that something is floating. But you have to observe much to see that.

And then you must observe much more still to see that this, the second thing that is there, this kind of active conscious will, is set in motion by “something else” which watches, judges, decides and tries to found its decisions on knowledge – that happens even much later. And so, when you begin to see this “something else”, you begin to see that it has the power to set in motion the second thing, which is an active will; and not only that, but that it has a very direct and very important action on the reactions, the feelings, the sensations, and that finally it can have control over all the movements of the being – this part which watches, observes, judges and decides.

That is the beginning of control.

When one becomes conscious of that, one has seized the thread, and when one speaks of control, one can know, “Ah! Yes, this is what has the power of control.”

This is how one learns to look at oneself.

– The Mother
CWM Vol. 9, Pages 310 – 311

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

October 7, 2009 – The Argument of Weakness

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Yet, O soul of man, seek not after pain,
for that is not His will, seek after His joy only;
as for suffering,
it will come to thee surely in His providence as often and as much as is needed for thee.
Then bear it that thou mayst find out at last its heart of rapture.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 501)

The Argument of Weakness

Correcting an ignorance is like eliminating darkness: you light a lamp, the darkness disappears. But to make a mistake once again when you know it is a mistake, is as if someone lighted a lamp and you delib­erately put it out… That corresponds exactly to bringing the darkness back de­liberately. For the argument of weakness does not hold. The divine Grace is always there to help those who have decided to correct themselves, and they cannot say, “I am too weak to correct myself.” They can say that they still haven’t taken the resolution to correct themselves, that some­where in the being there is something that has not decided to do it, and that is what is serious.

The argument of weakness is an excuse. The Grace is there to give the supreme strength to whoever takes the resolu­tion. . . .

In the case of ignorance which is to be enlightened, it is enough, as I said, to light the lamp. In the case of conscious relapse, what is necessary is a cauterisation.

– The Mother
The Great Adventure, Page 83

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