When my consciousness keeps itself separate from reading or talking, it cannot understand what is being said or read.
That only means that you cannot separate yourself from your mental consciousness in its activity. Naturally, if you take your mental consciousness off the reading, you can’t understand what is being read, for it is with the mental consciousness that one understands. You have not to make the mental consciousness separate from the reading, but yourself separate from the mental consciousness. You have to be the Witness watching it reading or writing or talking, just as you watch the body acting or moving.
I try to separate myself from the mental activity, but what happens is that, instead of the witness Purusha, the mental consciousness gets separated from the mental activity!
It is, I suppose, because you have not yet got the mental Purusha separate from the mental Prakriti — so when you pull the Purusha back, the Prakriti comes with him.
What can be done to prevent this from happening?
The only way is to separate the Prakriti and Purusha. When you feel something within watching all the mental activities but separate from them, just as you can watch things going on outside on the street, then that is the separation of mental Purusha from mental Prakriti.
Still I cannot separate the mental Purusha from mental Prakriti!
You will have to learn the trick. You must learn to become the observer of thoughts and no longer the thinker.
This morning I could not stop my thoughts. So I tried to catch them after detaching myself from the mind. But, when I pursued them, the only trace I found was voidness.
That would mean the thoughts were coming up only by the quiescence of the mental Purusha and as soon as they were looked at could go on no more. Usually one has to reject them before the mind falls silent.
What are these things we call thoughts?
They are forms of the play of mental forces. These mental forces come from general Nature and make use of the individual mind for expressing themselves. Usually the mental Purusha accepts and allows the play — if he draws back and refuses his consent, then they persist for a time, but afterwards lose their control of the mind and the mind falls silent.
The whole day the useless activities of the mind simply go on, wandering like vagabonds without aim. Of course, my intellect has nothing to do with them.
In that case, are you separated from those activities? Do you watch them going on, wandering like vagabonds, or do you wander with them?
The crowds of mechanical and subconscient thoughts have increased to such an extent that they have become intolerable.
They cannot decrease until you definitely separate yourself from them and refuse to accept them or respond.
At this stage of the sadhana, should I try to divide my mental consciousness into two, one part doing mental work, the other part doing the sadhana?
It usually comes of itself, not by trying.