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object:4.4.1.03 - Both Ascent and Descent Necessary
book class:Letters On Yoga III
author class:Sri Aurobindo
class:chapter

The lower consciousness ascends towards the higher to join it
- the higher descends into the lower to transform it. It is the
rule of the consciousness in this sadhana.
*
A going up and up higher, though a part of the total necessary

418

Letters on Yoga - III

movement, does not by itself have any effect on the outer being.
It only divides the consciousness into two and its only logical
outcome is Nirvana. I have always written that the descent is
necessary to change the nature; ascent is useful to open the higher
planes and exalt the level of the consciousness, but it does not
change the lower being except superficially by opening to it
certain possibilities it had not before. But the descent must first
take place in the inner being. When the higher consciousness
is settled in the inner being, then it can change the outer. But
necessarily the descent must be dynamic, not merely that of a
static peace; the inner peace must itself become dynamic.
The descent whether of peace or force or light or knowledge
or Ananda must occupy the whole inner being down to the inner
physical. Without that how is the outer to be transformed at all?
It is an amazing idea to suppose that the outer can be changed
while the inner is left to itself. What you had in the inner being
was a static stillness which did not even entirely occupy the inner
physical except at times - that was why the dynamic descent
was necessary, but in the inner being or if possible the whole
being, the inner outflowing into the outer, not in the outer being
to the exclusion of the inner.
*
In the physical consciousness the descent is the most important.
Something of the subtle physical can always go up - but the
external physical consciousness can only do it when the force
from above comes down and fills it. There is then a sort of
unification made when the higher consciousness and the physical
are one undivided consciousness and there is an ascent of forces
from below and descent from above, simultaneous and mutually
interpenetrating.
*
I am not speaking of mere rising above [as the means of changing
the external nature]. The rising above has to be followed by the
descent of the higher consciousness into the different parts of
the being. That aided by the psychic development and aiding it

Ascent and Descent

419

changes the external nature.
*
It was an experience (by ascension) of the spiritual plane of being
above in which there is absolute peace and light and Ananda. It
is this that has to descend into the mind, vital and body and be
the constant condition and the basis for the final transformation
of the consciousness and nature.
*
There are two movements that are necessary - one is the ascent
through the increasing of peace and silence to its source above
the mind, - that is indicated by the tendency of the consciousness to rise out of the body to the top of the head and above
where it is easy to realise the Self in all its stillness and liberation
and wideness and to open to the other powers of the Higher
Consciousness. The other is the descent of the peace, silence,
the spiritual freedom and wideness and the powers of the higher
consciousness as they develop into the lower down to the most
physical and even the subconscient. To both of these movements
there can be a block - a block above due to the mind and lower
nature being unhabituated (it is that really and not incapacity)
and a block below due to the physical consciousness and its
natural slowness to change. Everybody has these blocks but by
persistent will, aspiration or abhyasa they can be overcome.



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4.4.1.03_-_Both_Ascent_and_Descent_Necessary, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:4.4.1.03 - Both Ascent and Descent Necessary
  author class:Sri Aurobindo

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