Thought-control! Who can control his thoughts? Only those who have trained themselves to it, who have tried hard since their childhood.
There is the whole range, you see, from total lack of control, which for most people comes to this: it is their thoughts which rule them and not they their thoughts. The vast majority of people are troubled by thoughts they cannot get rid of, which literally possess them, and they don’t have the power to close the door of their active consciousness to these thoughts. Their thoughts govern them, rule them. You hear people saying every day, “Oh! that thought, all the time it comes back to me, again and again, and I can’t get rid of it!” So they are assailed by all kinds of things, from anxiety to ill-will and fear. Thoughts which express dread are extremely troublesome; you try to send them away, they return like a rubber band and fall back on you. Who has control? It requires years of labour and such a long practice. And so, to come to something which is not complete control but anyway already represents a stage: to have the ability to do this in your head (Mother moves her hand across her brow), to annul all the movements, to stop the vibrations. And the mental surface becomes smooth. Everything stops, as when you open a book at a blank page — but almost materially, you understand… blank!
Try a little when you are at home, you will see, it is very interesting.
And so, one follows the place in one’s head where the little point is dancing. I have seen — I have seen Sri Aurobindo doing this in somebody’s head, somebody who used to complain of being troubled by thoughts. It was as if his hand reached out and took hold of the little black dancing point and then did this (gesture with the finger-tips), as when one picks up an insect, and he threw it far away. And that was all. All still, quiet, luminous… It was clearly visible like this, you know, he took it out without saying anything — and it was over.
And things are very closely interdependent: I also saw the case when someone came to him with an acute pain somewhere: “Oh! it hurts here, oh! it hurts, oh!…” He said nothing, he remained calm, he looked at the person, and I saw, I saw something like a subtle physical hand which came and took hold of the little point dancing about in disorder and confusion, and he took it like this (same gesture) and there, everything had gone.
“Oh! oh! look, my pain has gone.”
8 January 1958