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At the Feet of The Mother

Correspondence 1932, December (I)

December 1932

When the colours begin to take definite shapes it is a sign of some dynamic work of formation going on in the consciousness — a square, for instance, means that some kind of creation is in process in some field of the being; the square indicates that the creation is to be complete in itself. While the rectangle indicates something partial and preliminary. The waves of colour mean a dynamic rush of forces and the star may in such a context indicate the promise of the new being that is to be formed. The blue colour must here be the Krishna light — so it is a creation under the stress of Krishna light. All these are symbols of what is going on in the inner being, in the consciousness behind, and the results well up from time to time in the external or surface consciousness in such feeling as the awareness of a softening and opening which you had, devotion, joy, peace, Ananda, etc. When the opening is complete, there is likely to be a more direct consciousness of the working that is going on behind till it is no longer behind but in the front of the nature.

The child is a very beautiful child and full of life, that is all that can be said for the moment.

I have read again the message of the yogi quoted in Madame Gold’s letter but apart from the context nothing much or very definite can be made out of it. There are two statements which are clear enough:

“In silence is wisdom” — it is in the inner silence of the mind that true knowledge can come; for the ordinary activity of the mind only creates surface ideas and representations which are not true knowledge. Speech is usually only the expression of the superficial nature — therefore to throw oneself out too much in such speech wastes the energy and prevents the inward listening which brings the word of true knowledge.

“In listening you will win what you are thinking of” means probably that in silence will come the true thought-formations which can effectuate or realise themselves. Thought can be a force which realises itself, but the ordinary surface thinking is not of that kind, there is in it more waste of energy than in anything else. It is in the thought that comes in a quiet or silent mind that there is power.

“Talk less and gain power” has essentially the same meaning. Not only a truer knowledge, but a greater power comes to one in the quietude and silence of a mind that, instead of bubbling on the surface, can go into its own depths and listen for what comes from a higher consciousness.

It is probably this that is meant — these are things known to all who have some experience of Yoga.

*   *   *

December 1932

The Synthesis of Yoga is being revised and largely rewritten for publication; so I don’t think it is possible to send out copies of it like this. For the moment the revision has been stopped, because I have not a moment free, but I hope to resume it shortly; the publishers are in fact pressing for the book. It was why I wrote to Jyoti that it could not be sent outside.

Your poem and its metre are very fine. The rhythm has to my ear a truly inspired long and wide and full movement, with an organic harmony which is admirable.

Depreciation of Bankim is absurd; he is and will always rank as one of the great creators and his prose stands among the ten or twelve best prose-styles in the world’s literature.

*   *   *

December 2, 1932

The difficulty of getting the inner being out on the surface is no doubt very strong as is usually the case with all who have lived very much in the active mind and in outward things. There are other here who are considered good sadhaks who are or were in the same case. But that can be overcome only by a long and patient pressure. The more important thing for you is to refuse to be overcome by the reaction that comes after an experience — to take it as a sign of hope rather than meet it with a reaction of disappointment and sense of failure.

As to Putu’s[1] collapse, I did not intend to say anything about it just now, — for mental discussion of causes and consequences is not of much help at this juncture. I must say however that it is not the push for union with the Divine nor is it the Divine Force that leads to madness — it is the way in which people themselves act with regard to their claim for these things. To be more precise, I have never known a case of collapse in Yoga — as opposed to mere difficulty or negative failure, — a case of dramatic disaster in which there was not one of three causes — or more than one of the three at work. First, some sexual aberration — I am not speaking of mere sexuality which can be very strong in the nature without leading to collapse — or an attempt to sexualise spiritual experience on an animal or gross material basis; second, an exaggerated ambition, pride or vanity trying to seize on spiritual force or experience and turn it to one’s own glorification — ending in megalomania; third, an unbalanced vital and a weak nervous system apt to follow its own imaginations and unruled impulses without any true mental will or strong mental will to steady or restrain it, and so at the mercy of the imaginations and suggestions of the adverse vital world when carried over the border into the intermediate zone of which I spoke in a recent message. All the causes of collapse in this Ashram[2] have been due to these three causes — to the first two mostly. Only three or four of them have ended in madness — and in these the sexual aberration was invariably present; usually a violent fall from the Way is the consequence. Putu’s is no exception to the rule. It is not because she pushed for union with the Divine that she went mad, but because she misused what came down for a mystic sexuality and the satisfaction of megalomaniac pride, in spite of my repeated and insistent warnings. For the moment that is all the light I can give on the matter — naturally I generalise and avoid details.

*   *   *

December 13, 1932

Krishnaprem’s letter is quite sound throughout as usual as he has evidently a living knowledge about the spiritual consciousness and spiritual experience. I return the manuscript page — the word is “adhyatmikisers”, those who adhyatmikise, the theorists of the philosophico-spiritual Abstract. (Naturally, those who “kise” or “cise” too much about things, the doctrinaires, are always falling into absurdities like the one he notes.) I keep the typescript as I have still to read the letter to the Mother and I shall comment further when I return it.

*   *   *

December 14, 1932

Herewith the photos and correspondence. It is certainly better not to dwell on the difficulties or give them too much force, because, our experience shows us, to do so helps to make them return like a recurring decimal. The Coué formula[3] is too crude and simple to be entirely true in principle, but it has a great practical force and behind it there is a very great truth in a world and a consciousness governed by the Overmind Maya: it is this that what we oppose strongly gets power to persist in the consciousness and experience and calls circumstances to its support, what we deny and reject and refuse to support by the power of the Word, tends, after a time and some resistance, to lose force in the consciousness and the circumstances and movements that support it tend also to recur less often and finally disappear. It is fundamentally the principle of the mantra. On that ground I approve of your resolution not to give any more the avalambana [support] of the written word to these things. A constant affirmation from within on the other side — of that which is to be realised — brings always in the end a response from above.

*   *   *

December 17, 1932

Yes, I propose to comment on Krishnaprem’s letter because what he says is not only true but very much to the point and needs stressing.

The depression of the vital you feel is a continuation of the old feeling in the struggle, but you must reject it and make of it a diminishing movement. The past in Yoga is no guide to the future. For what happened in the past was due to temporary and not permanent causes and to eliminate them is the very purpose of the sadhana.

*   *   *


[1] A Bengali sadhika, Anilbaran’s relative.

[2] “In this Ashram” was omitted from the excerpt from this letter that was published in Letters on Yoga (24:1766).

[3] A method of autosuggestion in vogue in the early twentieth century, named after the French psychotherapist Emile Coué, which consisted in.

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When I ask you to be plastic in relation to the Divine, I mean not to resist the Divine with the rigidity of preconceived ideas and fixed principles.