Aspire without Impatience
Aspire intensely, but without impatience…. The difference between intensity and impatience is very subtle — it is all a difference in vibration. It is subtle, but it makes all the difference.
Intensely, but without impatience. That’s it. One must be in that state.
And for a very long time, a very long time, one must be satisfied with inner results, that is, results in one’s personal and individual reactions, one’s inner contact with the rest of the world — one must not expect or be premature in wanting things to materialise. Because our hastiness usually delays things.
If it is like that, it is like that.
We — I mean men — live harassed lives. It is a kind of half-awareness of the shortness of their lives; they do not think of it, but they feel it half-consciously. And so they are always wanting — quick, quick, quick — to rush from one thing to another, to do one thing quickly and move on to the next one, instead of letting each thing live in its own eternity. They are always wanting: forward, forward, forward…. And the work is spoilt.
Live in Eternity
In the human consciousness everything is very slow. When we compare the time that is necessary to realise something with the average length of human existence, it seems interminable. But happily there comes a time when one escapes from this notion, when one begins to feel no longer according to human measures. As soon as one is truly in touch with the psychic, one loses this kind of narrowness and of agony also, this agony which is so bad: “I must be quick, I must be quick, there is not much time, I must hurry, there is not much time.” One does things very badly or doesn’t do them at all any more. But as soon as there is a contact with the psychic, then indeed this disappears; one begins to be a little more vast and calm and peaceful, and to live in eternity.
Time: a Friend or Enemy?
How is Time a friend?
It depends on how you look at it. Everything depends on the relation you have with it. If you take it as a friend, it becomes a friend. If you consider it as an enemy, it becomes your enemy.
But that’s not what you are asking. What you are asking is how one feels when it is an enemy and how when it is a friend. Well, when you become impatient and tell yourself, “Oh, I must succeed in doing this and why don’t I succeed in doing it?” and when you don’t succeed immediately in doing it and fall into despair, then it is your enemy. But when you tell yourself, “It is all right, I didn’t succeed this time, I shall succeed next time, and I am sure one day or another I shall do it”, then it becomes your friend.
The Effort for Progress
Sweet Mother, when we make an effort to do better but don’t see any progress, we feel discouraged. What is the best thing to do?
Not to be discouraged! Despondency leads nowhere.
To begin with, the first thing to tell yourself is that you are almost entirely incapable of knowing whether you are making progress or not, for very often what seems to us to be a state of stagnation is a long — sometimes long, but in any case not endless — preparation for a leap forward. We sometimes seem to be marking time for weeks or months, and then suddenly something that was being prepared makes its appearance, and we see that there is quite a considerable change and on several points at a time.
As with everything in yoga, the effort for progress must be made for the love of the effort for progress. The joy of effort, the aspiration for progress must be enough in themselves, quite independent of the result. Everything one does in yoga must be done for the joy of doing it, and not in view of the result one wants to obtain…. Indeed, in life, always, in all things, the result does not belong to us. And if we want to keep the right attitude, we must act, feel, think, strive spontaneously, for that is what we must do, and not in view of the result to be obtained.
As soon as we think of the result we begin to bargain and that takes away all sincerity from the effort. You make an effort to progress because you feel within you the need, the imperative need to make an effort and progress; and this effort is the gift you offer to the Divine Consciousness in you, the Divine Consciousness in the Universe, it is your way of expressing your gratitude, offering your self; and whether this results in progress or not is of no importance. You will progress when it is decided that the time has come to progress and not because you desire it.
Horizontal and Vertical Progress
There is a horizontal advance between abrupt ascents. It is the moment of the abrupt ascent which gives you an impression of something like a revelation, a great inner joy. But once you have climbed the step, if you want to climb it once more you would have to go down again. You must go on preparing yourself at this level in order to climb another higher step. These things which suddenly give you a great joy are always ascents. But these ascents are prepared by a slow work of horizontal progress, that is, one must become more and more conscious, establish more and more perfectly what one is, draw from it all the inner, psychological consequences, and in action also. It is a long utilisation of an abrupt leap and, as I say, there are two kinds of progress. But the horizontal progress is indispensable.
You must not stop, you must not cling in this way to your vertical progress and not want to move because it has brought you a revelation. You must know how to leave it in order to prepare for another.