object:2.3.4 - Fear
book class:Letters On Yoga IV
author class:Sri Aurobindo
subject class:Integral Yoga
section class:Vital Defects
Fear and Yoga
If you want to do Yoga, you must get rid of fear. Yoga and fear do not go together.
There is no fear in the higher Nature. Fear is a creation of the vital plane, an instinct of the ignorance, a sense of danger with a violent vital reaction that replaces and usually prevents or distorts the intelligence of things. It might almost be considered as an invention of the hostile forces.
Yes, fear creates imaginary terrors—even if there is real danger, fear does not help; it clouds the intelligence, takes away presence of mind and prevents one seeing the right thing to do.
Let the Force at work increase, till it clears out the mixed consciousness altogether.
It is true that what one fears has the tendency to come until one is able to look it in the face and overcome one’s shrinking. One must learn to take one’s foundation on the Divine and overcome the fear, relying on the help to carry one through all things even unpleasant and adverse. There is a Force that works even through them for the seeker and carries him towards his goal.
You can write to her that to get rid of fear is the first necessity. Yoga can only be done on a basis of faith and confidence in the Divine.
At the same time one must be on guard against undesirable movements or phenomena in the sadhana. The motion of her head is not a result of the descent of Force, or a sign that it is too much for her, but a wrong movement of the body which she must check and get rid of altogether.
The colours are only a sign that the inner vision is open; if it develops things of a more definite kind will appear.
Write to her again that if she wants to do sadhana, she must get rid of fear altogether; fear opens the door to the adverse forces. She should not listen to people who try to put fear in her. If ugly forms or sounds are seen and heard, one has not to fear but reject them and call in the Mother‘s protection. If she feels calmness in the meditation, that is the necessary basis—with that basis one can safely practise the Yoga. It is not indispensable that the mind should be entirely blank—it is sufficient that it is quiet with a fundamental silence which is not disturbed even if thoughts pass across it.
You should throw away fear as well as anger and go quietly on your way putting your confidence in the Mother.
It is a mistake to think that by fearing or being unhappy you can progress. Fear is always a feeling to be rejected, because what you fear is just the thing that is likely to come to you: fear attracts the object of fear. Unhappiness weakens the strength and lays one more open to the causes of unhappiness.
One can be quiet, happy, cheerful without being all that in a light or shallow way—and the happiness need not bring any vital reaction. All that you need to do is to be observant and vigilant,—watchful so that you may not give assent to wrong movements or the return of the old feelings, darkness, confusion etc. Not fear, but vigilance. If you remain vigilant, then with the increase of the Force upholding you, a power of self-control will come, a power to see and reject the wrong turn or the wrong reaction when it comes. Fear and unhappiness will not give you that. It is only by this vigilance accompanied by an opening to the supporting and guiding Force that it will come. What you describe as a capacity to choose the right and the feeling of strength or power that can stop the wrong movement and take the right one as soon as it recognises them, is just this control and vigilance. It is by this control and vigilance supported by the Force that you can prevent the love and devotion too from being mixed with or replaced by selfish desires and impurities. The more you open, the more this power will increase in you.
Certainly, if talking about old things or excessive speaking brings the wrong reactions at night, it is better to abstain from such talk or speech. Here also control is the thing you have to develop.
By bringing down strength and calm into the lower vital (region below the navel) [fear can be eliminated]. Also by will and imposing calm on the system when the fear arises. It can be done in either way or both together.
Fear is of course a vital and physical thing. Many people who have shown great courage, were not physically or even vitally brave; yet by force of mind they pushed themselves into all sorts of battle and danger. Henry IV of France, a great fighter and victor, was an example. Just because his body consciousness was in a panic, he forced it to go where the danger was thickest.
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