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object:4.2.3.05 - Obstacles to the Psychic's Emergence
book class:Letters On Yoga III
author class:Sri Aurobindo
class:chapter

You have been keeping the psychic in the background during a thousand lives and indulging the vital. That is why the psychic is not strong.

*
The mind and the vital have always been dominant and developed themselves and are accustomed to act for themselves. How do you expect an influence [of the psychic] coming forward for the first time to be stronger than they are?
*
Of course the ego and the vital with its claims and desires is always the main obstacle to the emergence of the psychic. For they make one live, act, do sadhana even for one's own sake and psychicisation means to live, act and do sadhana for the sake of the Divine.

*
The psychic being emerges slowly in most men, even after taking up sadhana. There is so much in the mind and vital that has to change and readjust itself before the psychic can be entirely free. One has to wait till the necessary process has gone far enough before it can burst its agelong veil and come in front to control the nature. It is true that nothing can give so much inner happiness and joy - though peace can come by the mental and vital liberation or through the growth of a strong samata in the being.

*
It is the action of the psychic being, not the being itself, that gets mixed with the mental, vital and physical distortions because it has to use them to express what little of the true psychic feeling gets through the veil. It is by the heart's aspiration to the Divine that the psychic being gets free from these disabilities.

*
Even when the psychic is in front, there may be and are likely to be mental and vital difficulties - only then, there is also the right psychic power and perception behind to deal with them.

*
It [the flow of love and joy from the heart centre] can be misused on a large scale only if there is a strong and vehement vital ego not accustomed to correction or else a vital full of the kamavasana. On a small scale it can be misused by the small selfishnesses, vanities, ambitions, demands of the lower vital supporting themselves upon it. If you are on guard against these things then there is no danger of misuse. If the psychic puts forth psychic discernment along with the love, then there is no danger, for the light of psychic discernment at once refuses all mixture or misuse.

*
That is of course the difficulty, even when one sees what is to be done and wishes to do it. One forgets at the moment when the control is needed. The habit of remembering and applying one's knowledge at the right moment comes only by a great patience and perseverance which refuses to be discouraged by frequent failure. Only if the psychic being is in front, then it reminds the mind and the thing can be more quickly done. It was your physical ill-health combined with the difficulty of the physical consciousness (which is always a thing of habits and repeats and clings to the old habits even when the mind wants to get rid of them) that prevented the emergence of the psychic from completing itself. With the disappearance of ill-health the difficulty may be more successfully tackled and achieved. As for the long period of seven years without the spiritual success there is nothing unusual in that - the old Yogins used to say that one must be ready for 12 years of preparation before the old nature will be sufficiently modified to allow of the spiritual opening.

That is of course not inevitable; it can be done more briefly; but still it takes usually a long time - it has done so with most in the Asram. But in your case the first opening did come, it is only temporarily and not altogether closed, awaiting a second opening which should free the nature for the external as well as the inner change.

*
It [the psychic] may and does retire from the front or gets clouded over, but once it has been in front it is never relegated back behind the veil altogether and it can always return to the front with comparative ease.

*
The conversion which keeps the consciousness turned towards the light and makes the right attitude spontaneous and natural and abiding and rejection also spontaneous is the psychic conversion. That is to say, man usually lives in his vital and the body is its instrument and the mind its counsellor and minister
(except for the few mental men who live mostly for the things of the mind, but even they are in subjection to the vital in their ordinary movements). The spiritual conversion begins when the soul begins to insist on a deeper life and is complete when the psychic becomes the basis or the leader of the consciousness and mind and vital and body are led by it and obey it. Of course if that once happens fully, doubt, depression and despair cannot come any longer, although there may be and are difficulties still.

If it is not fully, but still fundamentally accomplished, even then these things either do not come or are brief passing clouds on the surface - for there is a rock of support and certitude at the base, which even if partially covered cannot disappear altogether.

Mostly however the constant recurrence of depression and despair or of doubt and revolt is due to a mental or vital formation which takes hold of the vital mind and makes it run round always in the same circle at the slightest provoking cause or even without cause. It is like an illness to which the body consents from habit and from belief in the illness even though it suffers from it, and once started the illness runs its habitual course unless it is cut short by some strong counteracting force. If once the body can withdraw its consent, the illness immediately or quickly ceases - that was the secret of the Coue system. So too if the vital mind withdraws its consent, refuses to be dominated by the habitual suggestions and the habitual movements, these recurrences of depression and despair can be made soon to cease.

But it is not easy for this mind, once it has got into the habit of consent, even a quite passive and suffering and reluctant consent, to cancel the habit and get rid of the black circle. It can be done easily only when the mind refuses any longer to believe in the suggestions or accept the ideas or feelings that start the circle.

*
The facts or arguments you put forward to support your diffidence or depression cannot stand in the light of the Yoga experience of others - if they were enough to justify discouragement, how many would have had to turn back from the way who are now far on towards the goal? I cannot now deal with them in detail, but they do not, any of them, justify your inference [of unfitness for Yoga].

Also, your psychic being does not deserve the censure you have bestowed upon it. What prevents it from coming out in its full power is the crust of past habits, formations, active vibrations of the mind-stuff and vital stuff which come from a mind and life which have been more creative and outgoing and expansive than indrawn and introspective. In many who are like this - active men and intellectuals - the first stage of Yoga is long and difficult with slow development and sparse experiences, most of the work being done in the subliminal behind the veil
- until things are ready.

When the time comes for the definite opening and removal of the purdah between the inner and the outer man, I think I can promise you that you will find your power of Yoga and
Yogic experience at least as unexpectedly complete as you, and others, have found your power for poetry - though necessarily its working out will take time, because it is not a detail but the whole life and the whole nature in which there must be the divine victory.






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4.2.3.05_-_Obstacles_to_the_Psychic's_Emergence, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:4.2.3.05 - Obstacles to the Psychic's Emergence
  author class:Sri Aurobindo

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