Knowledge

The year 1933

It is often better to wait for experience and then ask, because to form mental notions beforehand does not help, it becomes an obstacle to getting the real thing — you either remain with the idea only or you get something limited by the idea you have formed, not the force and full action of the power.

The object of the writing should be not to get replies, but to put what passes in you before the Mother and get help — not merely mental but spiritual and psychic.

You have said: “There can be no perfect understanding unless you are in union with the unexpressed mind.” What is this mind and how is one to come into contact with it?

I don’t know the context. But it can only mean that only one part of the mind expresses itself, the rest remains unexpressed behind — it is that unexpressed part with which you have to get into union.

In what way are our mental activities divided from the Truth and are a deformation of the Divine Knowledge?

They work for themselves, not for the Divine, and they follow their own ignorant light and cling to it instead of opening to the Divine Knowledge.

What are the conditions in the lower vital and physical for the higher consciousness to begin action?

There must be the will to purify, the will of sadhana, some capacity for introspection and experience.

 

The year 1934

From the beginning the power of my intellect has been very weak. I generally live in the physical mind only. Is not the growth of intellect important to our Yoga?

If your sadhana develops, knowledge will come with it and there will be the necessary development.

In connection with becoming conscious of the Mother’s working in me, you write: “Yes. But it will probably bring the pressure on the forehead centre, of which you complain.” What is the connection between getting knowledge and the pressure on the forehead?

You asked I believe about knowing what comes. The knowledge you speak of comes most easily when the inner mind centre is open.

You want me to observe and understand the movements of my nature and the working of the Mother within me. But I do not know how to do it exactly and correctly. For instance, when something descends I feel simply that a new thing is coming down into me. But I cannot distinguish its particular aspect. Will you kindly tell me how to learn the art of doing so?

You must aspire for the conscious knowledge — not mental but the knowledge which comes with the experience itself. Nothing elaborate is needed. But if something comes from the psychic, you must know that it is psychic — or if something comes from above, you must know what it is — just as you know when the peace is there.

My friend Naik inquired about the exact meaning of what you wrote to me yesterday: “…Nothing elaborate is needed.”

I mean that what is needed for you is to be conscious of the nature of the movements that take place — you need not make your mind active to try to know elaborately all details. But knowledge will come of itself once there is the consciousness.

Even now (it is about two months since I asked you last for it) I do not possess even some elementary idea of experiences and descents. So often they come and pass through me without getting the proper value they deserve. Please tell me something about them at least from the general point of view.

You have to learn by experience. Mental information (badly understood, as it always is without experience) might rather hamper than help. In fact there is no fixed mental knowledge for these things which vary infinitely. You must learn to go beyond the hankering for mental information and open to the true way of knowledge.

You wrote the other day: “…there is the condition in which all comes automatically and only a certain knowledge and assent is necessary for the development.” What is that knowledge?

You have not got it yet. It is a knowledge which comes from above.

Before the higher knowledge begins to enlighten me, how will I understand new experiences?

You have to watch and see how they develop. For the most part they carry their own meaning and if you go on observing them with a silent and vigilant mind you will understand more than if you were in a constant turmoil of thought about them.

I am now thinking of asking you no more questions on either difficulties or experiences. Let me simply dedicate myself through writing to you and to the Mother.

Yes, that is the best. You must let your power of observation grow and your mind be prepared from within for knowledge.

I am at a loss to know how to tackle the present spiritual thoughts. They are almost all about the Divine Mother and her new creation. They may be very good and helpful for active-minded writers, as they carry some higher truth. But, for me, they come at once in a great number and occupy my inner mind. Unless a strong will is put to stop them, they go on forming and shaping this and that. And sometimes they create images after images for expressing this truth as if I were writing poetry! [1]

Where do they come from?

I mean that if they come from above they may be something of the knowledge coming down.

The other day you wrote to me: “The knowledge can come without disturbing the silence and peace of the mind.” That is actually what has begun to happen. When the inner or higher thoughts come the mind remains only as a channel. Occasionally there is even a feeling that there is no mind at all — only blankness.

That is the right way of reception of these thoughts.

In any case, I think, the mind must be there, if not active at least passive. Were it not so how could the knowledge take a form?

It uses the substance of mind (for of course the mind is there), but the mind remains passive and does not try to form or originate thoughts for itself.

When one is plunged in the immutable Brahman, does one not usually prefer to keep oneself all still, unmoved even by the higher knowledge?

Not necessarily. The immutable Brahman is only a base for the transcendent action which comes down into its peace and silence and fills it with power also and Ananda and the light of knowledge.

If my mind is right, the Mother has opened me to some higher plane. And that is why my inner being remains in constant touch with the above-world.

Yes.

 


[1] That mood actually inspired me to write some verses. I was about to send them to Sri Aurobindo (as every budding poet in the Ashram used to do) for his comments. But I had a second thought: what if he asks me to continue and develop into a poet? That would demand such a lot of my precious time and energy out of the inner sadhana. So I tore off the verses and said nothing to Sri Aurobindo. But who could obliterate his fate? I was forced to succumb to versification in 1955 when our professor of English poetry asked all his students to write a poem as home-work!

 

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