Facing the Physical Resistance

How to meet this inertia which is increasing in quantity and quality?

It is only by a more constant dynamic force descending into an unalterable equality and peace that the physical nature’s normal tendency can be eradicated.

The normal tendency of the physical nature is to be inert and in its inertia to respond only to the ordinary vital forces, not to the higher forces. If one has a perfect equality and peace then one can be unaffected by the spreading of the inertia and bring down into it gradually or quickly the same peace with a force of the higher consciousness which can alter it. Until that is there there can be for long the difficulty and fluctuations with a preponderance of inertia such as you are now having.

After such a long struggle I am somehow accustomed to the physical resistance. But the present weight of the inert pressure astonishes me.

As one goes deeper into the material consciousness the weight of the physical inertia may increase.

Are there many sadhaks here who are under the same spell of inertia as I am?

Yes — it is a natural result of the consciousness’s descent into the physical and the struggle with the subconscient resistance. Only its form varies with different people.

Something prevents my ascension in spite of the fact that the lower nature can best be dealt with from above.

It happened in the same way with myself. I had to come down into the physical to deal with it instead of keeping the station always above. Of course if you can keep the station above so much the better, but as almost everybody is down in the physical, it is a little difficult perhaps.

Up to yesterday there was but sheer inertia, so the struggle was of a passive kind. But now the adverse forces seem to prepare for an active revolt.

Once they have succeeded with the inertia they always proceed to press for the active revolt.

The inertia simply prepares the ground — when there is the inert passivity, the adverse Force tries to take advantage of it to push in its own suggestions.

Which part of my nature is directly affected by the inertia?

It is always the more external part that is inclined to the inertia and especially the physical part.

How is it that the mind believes that at the present juncture the will-force can’t be used freely and easily? It is said there is no stage when the use of one’s will is barred. Why then this experience?

It is due to the influence of the physical consciousness. The physical consciousness or at least the more external parts of it are, as I have told you, in their nature inert — obeying whatever force they are habituated to obey, but not acting on their own initiative. When there is a strong influence of the physical inertia or when one is down in this part of the consciousness the mind feels like the material Nature that action of will is impossible. Mind and vital nature are on the contrary all for will and initiative and so when one is in mind or vital or acting under their influence will feels itself always ready to be active.

The mind and vital have hardly any experience during this inert stage of the sadhana. But the body has begun to have states of peace, silence and Force. Is it not a rather strange phenomenon?

No, it is not strange. It means that at such times the whole working is in the body separately and that the peace, silence, Force is coming down there by degrees, though the mind is not conscious of the process of descent.

You wrote yesterday, “the whole working is in the body separately.” A few days back you had said that it was the subconscient that was mostly dealt with. Well?

A great part of the body consciousness is subconscient and the body-consciousness and the subconscient are closely bound together. The body and the physical do not coincide — the body-consciousness is only part of the whole physical consciousness.[1]

If the inner being keeps separate then it is all right. The inertia will be worked out of the external being.

Since the working was directly on my physical, how is it that I was not conscious of it till it began to have peace and Force?

When the working is on the physical direct, not through the thinking mind or vital level, one cannot see the results without being aware of their process. That happens also in the earlier progress of the sadhana before the inner mind is awake.

When will all our difficulties be over?

That cannot be said. The difficulties are not likely to cease until the material resistance has been entirely conquered in principle.

…I meant that the difficulties in the physical (generally speaking, not in a particular case) could not be entirely absent so long as the material resistance to the supramental descent had [not] been overcome in principle. In principle means in essence, not in every detail of the coming development.

A time comes when one can’t read, write or think of anything intellectual. One gets confined either to the physical consciousness or to the higher spiritual living.

It happens like that usually at this stage. The illumination of the physical consciousness is probably needed before that alternation can stop.

You said, “The physical did not surrender so easily. A long process was going on. Now the same process is put in the subconscient.” If the present difficulty is of the physical, would it not mean that the physical has withdrawn its surrender?

The subconscient rises up into the physical and restores the physical inertia. Besides the surrender of the physical cannot be complete without its enlightenment and a certain penetration of the material which is relatively subconscient.

The dullness, heaviness, darkness, have reached the extreme point.

I suppose the most material consciousness has come up or you have gone into it.

It is, I suppose, the full Inertia that has come upon you. Now you have to get the true Energy down into it.

The whole nature when one reaches material bedrock becomes quiescent. One has to bring down the Force from above into the physical consciousness down to the material.

There is an entire cessation of any kind of activity of the mental, vital and physical consciousness.

That happens. All depends on how you take it. If you get discouraged, simply thinking “Things are getting worse and worse”, it will remain a long time.

Is it our own material being’s resistance that comes up or the resistance of the whole material Nature?

One’s own material being responding to material Nature. It is the inability to react that you must get rid of.

You once said about the physical, “It was at that time something quite below. Since then you have come down much deeper into the physical and the inertia rises accordingly.” Was this coming down necessary or could it have been avoided?

It has to be done at one time or another.

Could it then be taken as a step towards perfection?

It is not a “step towards perfection” but it is a thing that comes on the way. When it comes, one has to pass through with faith, patience and courage.

You wrote to me, “I suppose, the most material consciousness has come up or you have gone into it.” Does this reaching the material consciousness mean that all the layers above it (like the physical, vital etc.) have been conquered already?

No, but they have been penetrated in your case by the peace and by some light of knowledge; the higher parts of course more so than the lower, but that is always the case.

There is somewhere in the being a strong neutrality which annuls all efforts.

It is the neutrality of the physical consciousness which says, “I move only when I am moved. Move me who can.”

Will the parts, like the material and the subconscient ever change?

Until they aspire or at least assent fully to the aspiration and will of the higher being, there can be no lasting change in them.

The fight with the ego is part of the fight with the physical nature for it is the superficial ego in the physical consciousness irrational and instinctive that refuses to go.

If there is no vital interference at present, what prevents my full dedication to the Divine?

It is the quiescence of the vital and the obscurity and inertia of the most physical consciousness which is now dominant and the absence of any descent of the higher consciousness to change all that.

Facing the inertia all the time tires the body. So I propose to keep three or four periods a day for a steady concentration. For the rest of the time I want to relax the mind by taking up some intellectual activity.

It is all right.

I am glad you have shown me the mistake committed in the past sadhana. In future I shall be more careful. Perhaps at that time it was necessary to stay above as much as possible detaching myself from the lower human nature?

I have not said that you made a mistake. I have simply stated what happened and the causes. If you had been able to remain above and let the Force come down and act while you were detached from the outer nature, it would have been all right. You were able to go up because the Peace descended. You were not able to remain above because the Peace could not occupy sufficiently the physical and the Force did not descend sufficiently. Meanwhile the inertia rose, you got troubled more and more because of the vital suggestions in the outer nature and the rise of inertia, so you were unable to keep detached and let the Force descend more and more or call it down more and more. Hence the coming down into the physical consciousness. In saying all that I am not giving any blame or saying you made a mistake or acted against the Mother’s Will. These notions of mistakes or not doing the Will are your own, not mine.

Once you used the expression: “allowing the revolt to come through the physical consciousness”. How was the revolt allowed?

It is through the physical consciousness and its inertia and its mantra of “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t” that it is able to come in.

When the physical mind acquiesces and says “I can’t will, I can’t do anything against the inertia, I can’t prevent the revolt”, that is allowing it to come through the physical consciousness.

Force or strength is not enough under the present circumstances. Rejection or even a quiet aspiration is often obstructed.

Nothing can obstruct a quiet aspiration except one’s own acquiescence in the inertia.

It is a suggestion of the tamasic forces that insist on the difficulty and create it and the physical consciousness accepts it. Aspiration is never really difficult. Rejection may not be immediately effective, but to maintain the will of rejection and refusal is always possible.

This is not enough by itself, — there must also be the steady will for transformation.

Now the higher pressure is there, the aspiration and will are revived. Why then does the sadhana not proceed as before?

The physical obstacle in itself is obstinate — the physical consciousness moves slowly and with great difficulty and much resistance. One has to be very persevering and quietly persistent to overcome it.

How is it that now the lower vital is able to surge up after it has once stopped troubling?

Now it is the physical mind that is active in you and the physical mind gives a value and therefore a power to the lower vital which it did not have before.

It is the physical consciousness that has to change, so that the physical mind and physical vital may also change.

When the physical is enlightened, may one expect it to take the lead and liberate even the mind and vital?

The physical cannot do that — it is not meant to be the leader. It can by its own regeneration become the fit instrument of the higher powers.


[1] According to Sri Aurobindo the physical consciousness includes the physical mind and the physical-vital as well as the consciousness of the gross material body. Therefore, the last-named does not coincide with the whole physical consciousness but is only a part of it.

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