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object:2.1.3 - Wrong Movements of the Vital
book class:Letters On Yoga IV
author class:Sri Aurobindo
subject class:Integral Yoga
section class:The Vital Being and Sadhana
class:chapter

The Phrase "Wrong Movements"

The phrase [“wrong movements”] covers pretty nearly everything that is hurtful to spiritual progress—movements of doubt, revolt, egoistic desire or ambition, sexual indulgence are the most common, but there are plenty of others.
***

It depends on what is meant by a wrong or unnecessary movement [of the vital]. Certain things have to fall off before the establishment [of the higher consciousness] can be complete. Others that are unnecessary have to be put aside if they are incompatible with the full sadhana or the growth of the inner consciousness, but can be continued if the consciousness established is such that doing or not doing makes no difference to it.
***
Vital Reactions

A vital reaction means a response of the vital to the touch or pressure of an idea, action, event, person or thing.

E.g. if someone speaks something you do not like and you get angry, that is a vital reaction. Or if a woman passes and you feel sexual desire, that is a vital reaction. Or if something unpleasant happens and you get a depression, that is a vital reaction. Most disturbances of the consciousness are due to vital reactions, though the mind may assist by wrong thoughts and judgments and misinterpretations. There can be good vital reactions as well as bad, but the term is usually applied to those that are undesirable and have to be surmounted by the sadhak.

The ideal condition is that of a calm, clear, strong vital free from the reactions of the vital ego and responding with true and high feelings only that are acceptable to the spiritual will and the psychic being.
***
Vital Suggestions

It would not be at all right to yield to these suggestions which are obviously those of a force that wants to make use of the unease and disappointment of the vital in order to drive you to break your sadhana. These are the usual suggestions that come to all under the stress of this vital condition: “I am not fit for this sadhana. I must go, I cannot stay here. The Mother does not love me. I have given up everything and got nothing. The struggle makes me too miserable; let me go.” As a matter of fact there is no real foundation for these suggestions. Because an acute struggle has come, it would be absurd to conclude that you are unfit for the sadhana and to give it up after going so far. It is because you have asked the physical-vital to give up certain of its cherished attachments and habits that it is in this condition; unable to resist altogether, miserable at being deprived, it accepts these suggestions as an excuse for escape from the pressure you have put upon it. The acuteness of the struggle is due to the vehemence of the attack, but still more to this vital or a part of it responding to the suggestions; otherwise a less disturbing even if a slower movement would be quite possible. The Mother has in no way changed towards you nor is she disappointed with you—that is the suggestion drawn from your own state of mind and putting its wrong sense of disappointment and unfitness on to the Mother. She has no reason to change or be disappointed, as she has always been aware of the vital obstacles in you and still expected and expects you to overcome them. The call to change certain things that seem to be in the grain of character is proving difficult even for the best sadhaks, but the difficulty is no proof of incompetence. It is precisely this impulse to go that you must refuse to admit—for so long as these forces think they can bring it about, they will press as much as they can on this point. You must also open yourself more to the Mother’s Force in that part and for that it is necessary to get rid of this suggestion about the Mother’s disappointment or lack of love, for it is this which creates the reaction at the time of Pranam. Our help, support, love are there always as before—keep yourself open to them and with their aid drive out these suggestions.
***

The feelings and movements of the past always return at night in sleep. It is only when the consciousness that generated them is changed and cleared in the waking state, that afterwards one can clear them out of the sleep also.

You are listening too much to the suggestions of the outer consciousness, “not being able”, etc. etc. Since you did begin to open a little for a time, it shows that you are able. You have to get back to that movement; for that you must persuade this outer vital not to go on repeating, “I am not able, my efforts cannot succeed, I am too crooked etc.”—or if it goes on, you must not listen to it. You must affirm and concentrate on the possibility that was shown you and not on the supposed impossibility.
***

But how is it that any part of you gives any value to the suggestions? If no part gives any value then surely they must seem to you too laughable and contemptible to have any effect or power to make you revolt.

If you attach no value to the suggestions, then there may be the inertia still but not this.
***

The fact that your vital “goes out of the poise” and accepts them [ego, demand and desire] means that you keep yourself open to them. The sign that these things are no longer admitted is when the inner vital rejects them so that they become suggestions only and nothing else. There may arise a surge of suggestions or waves from the general nature, but they cannot get admission. It is only then that a will can be kept in which one is untouched by the general atmosphere.
***

It is not the mind, but the psychic being that made the suggestion through the mind. There is a part of the mind that is under the influence of the Truth and can be the channel of the psychic being’s knowledge or feeling; there is another part that answers to the vital and expresses and supports the difficulties and oppositions in the nature. If the whole mind refuses to respond to the vital or accept or support its suggestions then much of the force of the vital attack disappears and one is more able to put a pressure on the vital and oblige it also to listen to the psychic and change.

What happened in your case was that the whole vital difficulty—the main one of the family—massed itself together and rose. When an attack like that is overcome, there is always a clearance of the inner atmosphere. It must not be allowed to gather force again—and for that the mind must always follow the psychic suggestion and refuse at once to harbour the opposite suggestions and at the same time keep itself open to the Mother, so that the Mother’s Force may come down into it and occupy it and work there.
***
Vital Restlessness

I have no idea why he wants to change [his work]. If he wants to make himself some day fit for the spiritual life, the first thing to be avoided is vital restlessness. To do the work one has to do with a quiet mind, making an offering of it to the Divine and trying to get rid of egoism and vital desire, is the best way to prepare oneself.
***

The bitterness you feel is that of a restless and dissatisfied vital which did not get what it desired because it could not desire anything strongly and persistently. Otherwise it could have all the vital desires—marriage, friends, position etc.—but it could stick to nothing owing to a kind of weak restlessness. In the Yoga it has shown the same restless weakness,—otherwise it could by this time have attained something, and besides there was the sex-impulse which it would neither satisfy nor leave. You must know what you want and want it with your whole will—it is only so that there can be an end of this restlessness and failure.
***

As for the other thing it is the struggle between the mind and psychic which see the right thing to do and the restless vital. It is not something wrong in the head, on the contrary the head is getting more and more to see what is right; it is only that the vital restlessness is not dominated by the mind and wants to follow its own feeling. That happens to everybody so long as the vital is not properly under our control. Even in ordinary circumstances and in ordinary life the vital is always carrying away the being to do what the mind disapproves, but there it is felt to be something normal, especially as the vital very usually persuades the mind to find arguments and justify its mistakes. You have to persist until the understanding mind and psychic in you become normally stronger than this part of the vital that does not want to be quiet and concentrated or see things rightly. Then you will not be so much troubled by this disagreement between two parts of the being.
***

It is mostly when the sadhana condition is interrupted that the vital becomes agitated or impatient and restless. Instead of remaining quiet and waiting or calling down the real push from above, it begins to get vexed and restless and begins to ask questions: “Why this? why that?” These things do not mean that you are going astray—it means only that these defects are still not worked out, that is all. Also the old vital mental egoism rises up and if the answers do not please it, it becomes challenging, disputatious, insistent on its own point of view. These are old defects which are part of the external nature and therefore difficult to root out. You must learn to recognise them and get rid of them by a quiet rejection and disuse.
***

It is not true that you cannot or will never be put right. It is what appears to you when your lower vital is restless or else your physical mind comes uppermost. Only it is true that if you could keep yourself always in that part of you which is in contact, the thing would be done sooner and with much less difficulty and trouble.
***

If you reject the restlessness of the vital always, the whole being will be at peace and being at peace receive the divine Ananda. Only you must not let the Ananda go out in speech or action nor let it turn into outward vital joy. If you keep it silently within, it will work in you for the transformation.
***
Vital Dryness

The feeling of the desert comes because of the resistance of the vital which wants life to be governed by desire. If that is not allowed, it regards existence as a desert and puts that impression on the mind.
***

It is the resistance of the vital that takes the form of this dryness—a form of passive resistance, just as revolt or an excited activity of desire is its active form of resistance. But you should not be discouraged—these phases are normal and almost everybody has to face them. It is not really a sign of failure or inability, but a trying part of the process of change. Hold fast and aspire always for the love and the opening. The inner heart is there and that will receive an answer to the aspiration and one day quickly open the outer and make it also receive. To call to the Mother always is the main thing and with that to aspire and assent to the light when it comes, to reject and detach oneself from desire and any dark movement. But if one cannot do these other things successfully, then call and still call.

The Mother’s force is there with you even when you do not feel it. Trust to it, remain quiet and persevere.
***

Yes, dryness comes usually when the vital—here certainly the vital physical—dislikes a movement or condition or the refusal of its desires and starts non-cooperation. But sometimes it is a condition that has to be crossed through, e.g. the neutral or dry quietude which sometimes comes when the ordinary movements have been thrown out but nothing positive has yet come to take their place (e.g. peace, joy, a higher knowledge or force and action).
***

The ordinary freshness, energy, enthusiasm of the nature comes either from the vital, direct when it is satisfying its own instincts and impulses, indirect when it cooperates with or assents to the mental, physical or spiritual activities. If the vital resists, there is revolt and struggle. If the vital no longer insists on its own impulses and instincts but does not cooperate, there is either dryness or a neutral state. Dryness comes in when the vital is quiescent but passively unwilling, not interested, the neutral state when it neither assents nor is unwilling,—simply quiescent, passive. This however, the neutral state, can deepen into positive calm and peace by a greater influx from above which keeps the vital not only quiescent but at least passively acquiescent. With the active interest and consent of the vital the peace becomes a glad or joyful peace or a strong peace supporting and entering into action or active experience.
***

The dryness is usually only a passage of neutral quiet,—the vital withdrawing its stimulus gives to the neutrality a colour of dryness. To live in the peace is the natural condition of the Self and therefore the basis of the Yogic consciousness—it is possible when the peace has so deepened and generalised itself that even a vital attack cannot cover it up or penetrate it.
***

The slight dryness must have been the reaction caused in the physical vital by the “uninterest” in external things—because the physical vital depends very much on this external interest. When it gets more accustomed to the silence, then the dryness disappears.
***

The feeling of loneliness, udāsīnatā, dryness and lack of rasa come very usually when the vital part is disappointed in its desires or tries to give them up but has not yet attained a quiet indifference towards them. It is necessary to replace this condition by the true quietude which will allow the psychic being to become again active and reopen the doors of inner experience, and we shall try to get this done.
***

I do not know that sadness has the power to cure [dryness in the vital]. I have myself followed the Gita’s path of equanimity—but for some the psychic sadness may be necessary. But I think it is more an indication of a mistake than a cure.
***
Vital Resistance

The resistance and the contrary suggestions come from the vital nature which is in all men obscure and attached to ordinary ideas and aims and easily listens to such ideas and suggestions as those you mention. Faith and devotion come from the soul and it is only when the vital has entirely submitted to the soul that one can truly lead the spiritual life.
***

It is normal that when a special pressure is put on a vital movement, a resistance whether in the vital itself (here vital-physical) or in the subconscient should manifest itself. It is sometimes a real resistance, sometimes it is only the pravṛtti presenting itself for purification.
***

Why should you suppose it [the effort of sadhana] is vain? The purification of the vital takes a long time because until all the parts are free, none is quite free and because they use a multitude of movements which have to be changed or enlightened,—and moreover there is a great habit of persistence and resistance in the habitual movements of the nature. One therefore easily thinks that one has made no progress,—but all sincere and sustained effort of purification has its result and after a time the progress made will become evident.
***

You should not allow yourself to be invaded by this suggestion of not being fit or able to go through. The vital is the most difficult part of the being to change or control and even sadhaks who have advanced far have to struggle with it at times. But its more fundamental resistances can be overcome more quickly, and you have only to persevere in aspiration and opening to the Mother and this kind of denial will after a time come no more.
***

It is this idea that you are helpless because the vital consents to the wrong movement that comes in the way. You have to put your inner will and the Mother’s light on the vital so that it shall change, not leave it to do what it likes. If one is to be “helpless” and ruled by any part of the instrumental being, how is change possible? The Mother’s force or the psychic can act, but on condition that the assent of the being is there. If the vital is left to do what it likes, it will always go after its old habits; it has to be made to feel that it must change.
***

I suppose it is the nature of the vital which, when a thing is forbidden to it whether by the mind or by circumstances, runs after it more. But I suppose if you remain firm, this will pass.
***

When the vital takes hold of a thing it is often like that—it fixes it continually on the mind till it is either satisfied or the hold thrown off.
***

The one thing you have to avoid is losing patience; for that only prolongs the vital trouble. There is no reason for it. When the vital is to be changed (fundamentally) it always gives constant trouble like this until one can seat oneself fixedly in the calm of the inner consciousness and keep the vital movements quite on the surface.
***

It is always better to have peace. As for the vital, there is always something in it that resists and tries to retard, but if the inner being opens sufficiently and you can live in the inner being, peace can descend and establish itself there in such a way that the vital movements of the surface may be there but will not be able to break the inner peace.
***
Vital Dissatisfaction and Non-Cooperation

It is because the vital was very much under the grip of its desires and so, now that it is separately active, not controlled by mental will, it kicks and cries whenever its desires are not satisfied. That is an ordinary movement of the human vital when not dominated and kept in its place by the mental will.
***

It is an oscillation due to something in the resistant part (not the whole of it) being still dissatisfied at the call to change. When any vital element is disappointed, dissatisfied, called or compelled to change but not yet willing, it has the tendency to create non-response or non-cooperation of the vital, leaving the physical dull or insensible without the vital push. With the psychic pressure this remnant of resistance will pass.
***

There are two conditions in which it [the vital] becomes like that [non-cooperative]: (1) when its ordinary (ego) actions or motives of action are not allowed to it, (2) when one goes very much down into the physical, the vital sometimes or for a time becomes inert unless or until there is the Force from above.
***

The nervous being is under the influence of the vital forces; when they are denied or pushed out, it becomes depressed and wants to call them back—for it is accustomed to get the pleasure and strength of life from the vital movements and not from the spiritual or divine Force above.
***

The vital can be all right when things are going on swimmingly, but when difficulties become strong, it sinks and lies supine. Also if a bait is held out to the vital ego, then it can become enthusiastic and active.
***

It seems to be some tamas or inertia coming down on the system. It is sometimes like that when the vital gets dissatisfied with the conditions or with what has been attained and initiates a sort of non-cooperation or passive resistance, saying, “As I am not satisfied, I won’t take interest in anything or help you to do anything.”

It may be because I asked you to stop meditating and to wait. The vital does not like waiting. But I had to tell you that because of the burning of the centres, the disturbance of sleep and the rest—these must go before you can meditate in the right way and with success. If you meditate at all now, it should be only in calm and peace with a very quiet aspiration for the divine calm and peace to descend into you.

It is also perhaps due to your penchant for Nirvana. For the desire of Nirvana easily brings this kind of collapse of the energies. Nirvana is not the aim of my Yoga—but whether for Nirvana or for this Yoga, calm and peace in the whole being are the necessary foundation of all siddhi.
***

For the dissatisfaction of the vital, the only remedy is rejection and refusal to identify yourself with it. For the inertia the remedy is not to absorb yourself in thoughts about it, but to turn upwards and call the Light and Force to come into it.
***
Vital Disturbance and Revolt

The exacerbation of certain vital movements is a perfectly well-known phenomenon in Yoga and does not mean that one has degenerated, but only that one has come to close grips instead of to a pleasant nodding acquaintance with the basic instincts of the earthly vital nature. I have had myself the experience of this rising to a height, during a certain stage of the spiritual development, of things that before hardly existed and seemed quite absent in the pre-Yogic life. These things rise up like that because they are fighting for their existence—they are not really personal to you and the vehemence of their attack is not due to any “badness” in the personal nature. I dare say seven sadhaks out of ten have a similar experience. Afterwards when they cannot effect their object which is to drive the sadhak out of his sadhana, the whole thing sinks and there is no longer any vehement trouble. I repeat that the only serious thing about it is the depression created in you and the idea of inability in the Yoga that they take care to impress on the brain when they are at their work. If you can get rid of that, the violence of the vital attacks is only the phenomenon of a stage and does not in the end matter.
***

What you have noticed about the disturbances is true. There are now two consciousnesses in you, the new one that is growing and what is left of the old. The old has something in it which is a habit of the human vital,—the tendency to keep any touch of grief, anger, vexation etc. or any kind of emotional, vital or mental disturbance, to make much of it, to prolong it, not to wish to let it go, to return to it even when the cause of disturbance is past and could be forgotten, always to remember it and bring it up when it can. This is a common trait of human nature and a quite customary movement. The new consciousness on the contrary does not want these things and when they happen throws them off as quickly as possible. When the new consciousness is fully grown and established, then the disturbances will be altogether rejected. Even if the causes of them happen, there will be no response of grief, anger, vexation etc. in the nature.
***

The one thing necessary is to arrive at a fixed and definite choice in the mind which one can always oppose to the vital disturbance. Disturbance in the vital will always come so long as the full peace has not descended there, but with a fixed resolution in the mind kept always to the front the acuteness of the disturbance can disappear and the road become shorter.
***

Usually the vital tries to resist the call to change. That is what is meant by revolt or opposition. If the inner will insists and forbids revolt or opposition, the vital unwillingness may often take the form of depression and dejection accompanied by a resistance in the physical mind which supports the repetition of old ideas, habits, movements or actions which the body consciousness suffers from an apprehension or fear of the called for change, a drawing back from it or a dullness which does not receive the call.

It is these things you have to get rid of. But a sorrowful or despondent mood is not the proper condition for doing that. You have to stand back from the feeling of suffering, anguish and apprehension, reject it and look quietly at the resistance, affirming always to yourself your will to change and insisting that it shall be done and cannot fail to be done now or later with the divine help, because the divine help is there. It is then that the strength can come to you that will overcome the difficulties.
***

It was the dissatisfaction of the soul with the superficial vital life that brought you away from the outer world and it is the same dissatisfaction a hundred times increased and accompanied with an intense psychic sorrow that would come on you if you went away from the Yoga.

Your vital mind (which is the one which revolts and doubts) has strange misconceptions about the spiritual state. There is no grimness in being an instrument of the divine Will—it is the happiest and most joyous condition possible—it brings not only peace but an intense Ananda. Anyhow, the hold of the Yoga-force is increasing in spite of everything and you have only to go on for it to solve the struggle between the outer man and the inner Spirit.
***

This part of the vital [which wants to revolt] has no precise reasons to support itself with—it takes hold of any mood of disappointment or strong sense of difficulty. It is a factor in all human natures,—restless, desiring, eager, despondent, unstable. Stand back from it and do not allow it to govern or move you. There is a right part of the vital which must be used—ardent, sensitive to the higher things, capable of great love and devotion. Strengthen that and support it on the psychic and on the peace and wideness that comes from above.
***

Tell the vital that complaining and revolting only hampers you from getting what it wants—it is only when it is calm and confident that things can be done.
***

The outward revolt is the refusal of discipline and obedience—the inward revolt is of many kinds, it may take many forms, e.g. a revolt of the vital against the Mother, a revolt of the mind against the Truth, a rejection of the spiritual life, a demand to enthrone the ego as the Divine or to serve something that flatters the vital ego and supports its demands and call that the Divine, a response to vital suggestions of distrust, despair, self-destruction or departure—and many others.
***

The difficulty must have come from distrust and disobedience. For distrust and disobedience are like falsehood (they are themselves a falsity, based on false ideas and impulses), they interfere in the action of the Power, prevent it from being felt or from working fully and diminish the force of the Protection. Not only in your inward concentration, but in your outward acts and movements you must take the right attitude. If you do that and put everything under the Mother’s guidance, you will find that difficulties begin to diminish or are much more easily got over and things become steadily smoother.

In your work and acts you must do the same as in your concentration. Open to the Mother, put them under her guidance, call in the peace, the supporting Power, the protection and, in order that they may work, reject all wrong influences that might come in their way by creating wrong, careless or unconscious movements.

Follow this principle and your whole being will become one, under one rule, in the peace and sheltering Power and Light.
***
Rejection of Wrong Vital Movements

It is quite true that rising into a higher consciousness than the ordinary human consciousness is the right way towards transformation. Merely to remain in the ordinary lower consciousness and try to reject from there the wrong movements can produce no permanent or complete result. But there are several points here which you must note or this perception may be accompanied by an error.

(1) As you have yourself subsequently seen, all the parts and personalities that constitute the being must share in the higher consciousness, otherwise the old movements under various pretexts will continue.

(2) You speak of rejecting the lower vital, but it is only the unregenerated lower vital movements that can be got rid of; you cannot get rid of the lower vital itself, for it is a necessary part of the manifested nature, like the higher vital or the mind. It has to be changed in the power of the higher consciousness, not left to itself or dropped from you.

(3) If you do not so change it, if you simply remain content by living in the psychic or other higher consciousness internally then you raise the risk of doing like those who are satisfied to have experiences and some inner quietude or Ananda, but leave the external nature and surface active movements unchanged, either thinking them of no importance or justifying them under the plea that there is the psychic or spiritual consciousness behind them.

I asked you to look for the cause of the abatement of energy or zeal (utsāha), because it is evident that there must be some resistance somewhere, otherwise there would not be these constant headaches and this less intense condition. If the physical consciousness is open the headaches should disappear or at least diminish in frequency and force, and if the lower vital is all right, the intensity ought to continue.
***

But what do you want to do with all these obscure and useless vital movements that torment you, these wrong thoughts, suggestions, confusions, inabilities etc.? You seem to write as if you thought they must be kept and changed? But why kept and how changed? What would be the use? But precisely what you have got to do is to “shut them out”, to reject, refuse to keep them, refuse to have them. It is precisely to see in another way, to see in the true way, that the Force is pressing on you. It would indeed be a great blessing if you could forget these other wrong things altogether. Again, why do you want to keep and change the “wrong things” as you yourself call them? If you have an illness, do you want to keep and change the pains, the sickness and all the rest of it? It is to throw out the illness that you want, for the body to forget it, not to keep any impression of it, to lose even the possibility of having it again, to live and feel in quite another way, the way of health. It is just the same here.
***

These wrong movements [doubt, depression, sadness, hostility towards the Mother] belong to the universal vital Nature, but the vital of man also shares in them, makes itself a centre and field of the play of these wrong forces: in that sense they are in you. But by constant rejection they are pushed out; you feel them no longer rising in you but coming from outside. The vital still admits them because it is not yet pure of the old habit of response. You have to persist till they are entirely foreign to your nature and no longer get admittance.
***

Keep your resolution firm in your mind. It is the vital that is invaded by something foreign from the outside (universal) Nature; it is not your own feeling. If you keep your resolution firm, the vital also will begin to throw out this foreign matter.
***

After each crisis there is something gained, if there has been a victory and rejection. The gain is to externalise the vital disturbance, so that even if it returns it will be felt so much an outside force that the observing consciousness (mental, higher vital) cannot be disturbed. If you keep that, it will be an immense advance.
***
Return of Vital Movements after Rejection

It was evidently not the action of something that is rooted still within, but an old movement returning from outside (from the universal Nature) to which something in the vital still responds by force of habit, force of accustomed recurrence. This is shown by the fact that you felt nothing at the time—only afterwards; also by the alternations of quiet and unrest after calling the Force, as if of something losing its hold and then trying to get it back and hold on still. Things thrown out always come back like that relying on the old habit of response in the stuff of the nature,—the old vibration. By throwing it out whenever it comes, in the end the part which responds begins to understand that it must not and is gradually or quickly liberated from the habit.
***

What comes back like that is the old vital movements which you used to have and which you have been throwing out. The vital gets disturbed and filled with these thoughts whenever something happens that hurts or displeases it strongly. To get rid of it one must have always a sense of complete reliance on the Mother, of surrender; that brings a calm which refuses to be moved by any outward happening or by what people do or say, a happiness which is not disturbed by any occurrence.
***

It must be that on that occasion the consciousness got lowered and some vital wave came in from the atmosphere resuscitating the old vibrations of the restless vital which had quieted down. You must separate yourself from them and get the poise of quietude again. They have no longer any real basis in mind or heart, they rely only on the force of repetition that comes up from the subconscient and once started try to keep these old ideas and feelings repeating themselves so as to prevent the consciousness from settling down into quietude. But the poise once obtained is there and has only been covered up and has got to be uncovered again from these cloudings. You must get the habit of keeping quiet somewhere in yourself when these attacks come, of keeping something within that refuses to say ditto to these suggestions or accept them as its own proper thoughts and feelings.

Anyhow the Force will be put to help you; receive it and all that will go.
***

It is very often when one thinks a particular resistance is finished and is no longer in the vital that it surges up again.
***

The only way to get rid of these vital movements is to do persistently what he describes himself as doing with the invading forces—i.e. he must be always vigilant, try always at every moment to be conscious, always reject these things, refusing to take pleasure in them, call on the Mother, bring down the descent of the Light. If they return persistently he must not be discouraged; it is not possible to change the nature at once, it takes a long time. If, however, he can keep the psychic consciousness in the front, then it will be much easier and there will be much less difficulty and trouble in the change. That can be done by constant aspiration and abhyāsa.
***

The difficulty you have in your vital is not peculiar to you, but is in some degree and in one form or another a fairly general malady. Its constant return, the mechanical irrational return even when all the rest of the nature has rejected it, is due to the obstinacy of the material consciousness always repeating the old movement in the old groove at the least touch from the old habitual forces. It is a question of faith, patience and persistence. One must be more obstinate than the obstinate material nature and persevere until the light and truth can take permanent hold of the parts which are still responsive to the old movements. There can be no doubt that with this perseverance the Truth will in the end conquer.

It would make it easier if you could get rid of certain fixed ideas and of the habitual reaction of depression or despair when these recurrences come. For instance, you ought to throw away once for all this idea of X‘s malediction; it is a thing of the past and it is only the physical mind’s memory of it that gives it some appearance of survival. The difficulties we are now meeting have nothing to do with X; they are part only of the necessity of conquest over the habits of the physical consciousness and he has nothing to do there and no influence of any kind whatever. Also dismiss any question about the “possibility” of conversion of your vital being; you should see rather that it is certain and not merely possible. This idea of identification with the dark Shakti is also another old notion which you ought to root out without cherishing any least trace of it. It has no meaning on the plane of the physical and vital physical consciousness where the whole work is now going on and to nourish any such ideas can only hamper your progress. Finally, when there are these recurrences, do not allow yourself to be depressed by them, but simply observe and stand back and call in the higher force with the full confidence that these are mechanical recurrences and in substance nothing more—however strong they may seem in appearance. The principle of mechanical repetition is very strong in the material nature, so strong that it makes one easily think that it is incurable. That however is only a trick of the forces of this material inconscience; it is by creating this impression that they try to endure. If, on the contrary, you remain firm, refuse to be depressed or discouraged and, even in the moment of attack, affirm the certainty of eventual victory, the victory itself will come much more easily and sooner.
***

All these things are there in human nature, habitual movements, which show their true nature only when the light of the higher consciousness is turned on them. Even after they have been rejected the possibility of a response to such suggestions from outside remains in the grain of the lower vital or vital physical or the subconscient till there is the full supramental enlightenment there.
***
Alternation of Good and Bad Vital Conditions

When one tries to change something in the vital, then, due to the nature‘s habit of persisting in a movement to which it has been accustomed, there is usually an alternation like this; the new condition persists for some days, then the old forces its way for some time to the surface. If one persists, the old movement begins to lose its force and die out and the new permanently replaces it.
***

At present I will only say that the alternations you feel are there between your psychic being and the mental and vital parts already submitted to it and the revolted vital parts full of the outcry of the vital ego stressing and increasing by brooding in them its own grievances and sufferings. That is a struggle which every sadhak has to go through with more or less acuteness; but the only way to escape from the suffering and struggle is for the mind to put itself wholly on the side of the soul and bring over the whole vital to the true attitude. It is absurd to think that we know nothing of these things; we know them very well but we know also that the solution lies not in the satisfaction of the revolted vital but in its submission and surrender to the soul within and to the Divine.
***



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2.1.3_-_Wrong_Movements_of_the_Vital, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
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