Live within, do not be upset by outer circumstances. Yes, that is the motto: live within.
But how? And what does it exactly mean? Usually the dynamic being, the active part of the consciousness, is centred on the surface, in superficial external movements. One of the ways to live within is therefore to withdraw from outer activities and live detached or sort of retired, in the inner consciousness. But this withdrawal is not very easy nor is it very spontaneous; it needs a long and arduous discipline.
And one must also make a distinction between the dynamic consciousness and the thought-movements; the two are not the same. Thought-movements are only one of the movements of consciousness, not the consciousness itself. There is an inner consciousness behind the surface in which one has to learn to live.
There is yet another state, the consciousness of the Purusha, the witness consciousness which stands behind the dynamic being, and another way to live within is to withdraw into the Purusha consciousness, to live there, to identify oneself with it. This helps one to remain unaffected by the activities of the outer life and consciousness, which are then felt and experienced merely as movements of general Prakriti. But for us this too is not enough.
For us living within means establishing the centre of dynamism in the psychic, the inmost soul in the very depths of our being. It is this which must influence, control, embrace the whole of our being and also be the source and determinant of all our outward activities. All must be illumined by it and changed and transmuted into its very substance. Then the entire way of living, the very texture of experience will change, and instead of being affected by outer circumstances or by life’s events, we shall be, so to say, lifted above; we shall even live in a state of communion with the Divine, for the soul is a spark of the Divine, it is truly the Divine Presence itself. And then we shall also understand why things are as they are and not otherwise.
To live within means to live in a state of constant aspiration for the Divine, and if we do so, we can look at life with a smile and live in peace, whatever may be the outer circumstances.
Published April 1982