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object:3.4.1.05 - Fiction-Writing and Sadhana
book class:Letters On Poetry And Art
author class:Sri Aurobindo
subject class:Integral Yoga
media class:chapter

21 Aug 1934

Will it do any harm to my sadhana if I attempt stories or a novel?

You can try, if you like. The difficulty is that the subject matter of a novel belongs mostly to the outer consciousness, so that a lowering or externalising can easily come. This apart from the difficulty of keeping the inner poise when putting the mind into outer work. If you could get your established peace within, then it would be possible to do any work without disturbing or lowering the consciousness.

21 August 1934
***
6 Sep 1934

Sahana once told me that she gave up writing because you thought it was doing harm to her sadhana.

What is necessary for one, need not be necessary for another.

6 September 1934
***
26 Oct 1935

We remembered that Sahana had said you stopped her writing a novel, because her mind or consciousness was being externalised.

That is when one is already in a steady stream of spiritual experience, living partly at least in an inner realisation, while the rest of the being is not yet in it. Writing a novel means then going out of the inner state of experience and stimulating the rest of the nature. If the writing is something in harmony with the inner consciousness, then there would be no necessity for one to stop. On the other hand if one has attained the full consciousness in both the inner and the outer nature then also one could write anything one is moved by that consciousness to write, whatever it might be. In certain cases this rule may not hold. One may be strong enough to do all kinds of outward things without affecting the inner state of experience. But ordinarily this can be done freely only in the earlier stages before one is drawn inwards and kept there or in the later stages when one is fully conscious spiritually in the outer being also. It is simply a question of spiritual tactics not a hard and fast rule for all in all states and stages.

Why did Sahana find it necessary to stop?

Because she was losing hold of her inner experience and thinking only of her novel.

When I was writing that novel or even while busy with poems, I had often a curious experience. I used to feel an inclination to read a passage from Sri Aurobindos Essays on the Gita. There I felt a depth which moved and inspired me and I could then sit down to write my novel. What has a novel to do with the Gita or with Truth Supramental?

There is obviously nothing on their surface connecting the two. It may have been that the literary quality of the Essays and its depth of thought satisfied some ideal in your temperament and therefore put you into touch with the creative force behind you. A poet for instance can feel himself stimulated enough to creation after reading Homer, yet his own work may be quite different, not epic at all and dealing with quite another order of ideas and things. It is only that the reading stimulates his inner being to create, but according to its own quite different way and purpose.

26 October 1935
***



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