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February 20, 1974
Aspiration is essentially a soul quality, but not only a soul quality, because there is also mental aspiration, vital aspiration and emotional aspiration. When we say mental aspiration, we mean the soul behind the mind, the mental purusha, aspires. It is not aspiration of the mental part, it is the aspiration of that part of the soul behind the mind. If aspiration in its purity is really there, Mother will call you or some other such thing will constantly happen to you in the world. Otherwise, it is not called aspiration. I have told you an instance where my aspiration was very strong and Mother physically called me. When Mother comes to you through life, that will be a very glorious moment. Such a thing will constantly happen to you if you release aspiration. The normal feeling when you have aspiration is that nobody can provoke you. I can easily lose my temper, I can easily fly into a rage, but when aspiration is there, nobody can provoke me; Impossible. The whole body would feel as if someone were constantly stroking its nerves. You will feel completely uplifted. A constant sense of soaring will be there. It is at that time, if you want a place to stay for two hours, people will give you a house. When Mother comes to you materially through movements of life, things happen like that.
This exercise is called, Aspiration - Rejection - Surrender. Aspiration is a movement towards the Divine. But not only the right part moves towards the Divine. When you release a movement everything moves. There is the right, there is the wrong, there is everything wanted, unwanted, everything starts moving. Unless you reject what is not wanted, the right and wrong together do not reach the Divine. The movement of the right towards the Divine is neutralized by the movement of the wrong towards the Divine and you come and level off at a next higher level. So there must be a conscious effort at rejection which is called a movement of purity. If aspiration is completely supported by rejection, inner conditions are prepared for surrender, but surrender is not automatically made. In between there is one more stage. For the aspiration to become dynamic, one has to consciously invoke the Divine to accept all that he does. This is called consecration. What aspiration begins, consecration completes. When consecration is completed, it is consummated in surrender. We shall take up aspiration in the ordinary way.
A person comes to Pondicherry and says, "Well, I have come to Pondicherry so let me see the Mother's center". In the most simple physical act, this can be called aspiration. It is aspiration. If you mechanically want to read one page of Savitri before going to bed, it is aspiration. Only that the aspiration is not at the level of perfect purity but is mechanical. One lives at a mechanical stage of consciousness so aspiration is at that level. How to do this exercise? All that we do towards reaching Sri Aurobindo's consciousness, the higher consciousness, the effort to remember Mother, the effort to pray, the effort to sit down and meditate, to read, to talk of Sri Aurobindo to somebody, to recast our work in the light of Sri Aurobindo's yoga, to consecrate, all these make up the list that belongs to aspiration. At the level of each act of aspiration there will be something accompanying it that needs to be rejected. I come from my house. I have to go to the Mother's center. It is an act of aspiration. It is an act at that level. When I say, "I have to go to the Mother's center", consciously there is a movement in me which waters down the movement which takes me to the Mother's center. Instead of going to the Mother's center, if I say to myself, "I have to go to the Mother's center", I bring it to the level of reminding myself. Ordinarily, as soon as the meditation is over, one can go naturally to the Mother's center. It is an act of aspiration even at that mechanical level. I stand here, I talk to someone, then I tell myself, "I have to go to the Mother's center". I make that beautiful act of going to the Mother's center an occasion to compel myself to do it. That is a degradation which creeps into the circumstances. The moment I see that, I must remove it. As soon as I come out of my house let me automatically go to the Mother's center. That movement is there in me. Why should I bring in another element of having to remind myself, having to force myself to go there?
Examine any act. There will be no act of aspiration unaccompanied by aspects that are to be rejected. To be aware of them is something valuable. And to take an effort to remove them is definitely more valuable. The moment you do it, aspiration goes to the next higher level, it becomes more intense. You start reading the Synthesis of Yoga, everyday you take one page and start reading. You sit down, open the book. The eye catches the first line. Everyday you must read. It seems to be a good decision. What do we do? The act is natural. You read the line, go behind the thought, you see the Consciousness, commune with it, there is a certain elevation. When I tell myself, "Everyday I must do this", consciously I make it a mechanical act. To tell myself what I must do tomorrow is not a bad thing in itself, it is a good thing. But as against the movement of aspiration that this mechanical act of reading releases, it is a watering down. If you see a simple act, within limits it will be beautiful. You will see a number of small things like that. "I read, I must tell my friends to read"; Finished. Another element enters the mind. The purpose of the reading is neutralized, little by little. "I am reading today. I am told that reading gives a direction to the day. Will something happen to me? Let me see what direction it gives". You bring in an element of expectation. The act by itself is a limited aspiration at the level of simple mechanical functioning. There are a number of other things that automatically creep in or are brought in by us to neutralize the beauty of aspiration. At the level the aspiration is, there will be corresponding aspects that are to be rejected, because it is human nature that aspires. The physical mind is there, vanity is there, perversity is there, mechanical habits are there, indulgence is there, our trying to win social approval is there. A million habits of ours are there. Each of them will add a certain touch to that. To keep that act of aspiration pure, at that level, is a great effort. And even in rejecting those things, there are two things that can be done: (1) to take conscious effort to reject, (2) to surrender what is to be rejected. If this is done, the aspiration is relieved of the corresponding elements that are to be rejected. The consciousness at that level is capable of surrender now. That surrender is to be initiated by consecration. You know what consecration is. If that consciousness climate is used, and a sufficient amount of concentration is collected, the force collects. And if you voice or articulate your will towards consecration, the whole being is uplifted to the Divine. If that is maintained it culminates in surrender.
As long as consecration is dynamic, it is moving towards surrender. It comes to a static point by being passive. And if you maintain that passivity by a dynamic effort, it moves dynamically. When the consecration becomes dynamic, you continue, till it begins to level off, then it becomes surrender. To maintain that passive state of surrender, one requires a dynamic effort at all levels. At that level for a simple act, aspiration accompanied by rejection leading to surrender, helped by consecration, if this act is done for about 5 minutes every morning, the whole day will be very bright. Then how to make this aspiration less mechanical, more dynamic? How to make it real? Each act like this - reading one page of Savitri, visiting the Mother's center - the process is simple, to do it is difficult. Suppose I go to the Mother's center for one minute at 7:45. That is an act of aspiration at the habitual level. If that is to be a real act, the whole day my mind must be on the Mother's center. It must be the whole day, all the 24 hours, including sleep, otherwise it cannot be an act of aspiration fully. Then in that case, if all acts of the day are to be acts of aspiration, how to remember all of them the whole day? And that is the answer. If an act cannot occupy all your consciousness all the time, it cannot be an act of aspiration in full measure.
Then the question comes - if all acts occupy your consciousness all the time, what is it? Then you move away from time. Each minute contains infinity. Each time an act comes to your mind you can amplify your emotions or feelings towards that act and make it live. Instead of coming three times to your mind, it will come 30. Going to the Mother's center will be a real act, it won't be a formal act.
What happens is, if you try to remember all the positive acts all the time, each act flashes through the mind normally as a thought, as a memory. If you activate that thought, it doesn't come as a thought, it comes as a mental feeling, from the feeling part of the mind. One ray of feeling touches that thought. If you continue to do it, it comes as an idea, not as a well-formed thought. And as the thought is informed by a mental feeling, the idea is informed by a mental emotion; emotion is a more organized form of thought. If you still continue, it doesn't come as an idea, it comes as a flash from the mental consciousness. At that level it is accompanied by a pure full mental emotion and pure full vital enthusiasm of the mind. Each time you think, you just leap. That is how the act is to be carefully relieved from its formality, made less and less formal, more and more live and finally it is to be made an act of consciousness. Such an act in consciousness includes in itself consecration, includes in itself aspiration, includes in itself surrender, but still active consecration is necessary.
The problems we raise - what shall I do if this happens, if this person does this? All these problems are at the level of formal thought. For these problems, solutions are there at the consciousness level. As and when you activate the aspiration and take it to higher and higher levels, problems meet with their solutions, problems disappear. As the person comes, the act comes without its problem. This rule is dishonoured when there is a person whose personality or consciousness strength is stronger than yours and he takes a conscious initiative in the opposite direction, and makes you submit to him. In this case, all these rules will not work. Your aspiration will remain, your surrender will remain, you will have to surrender to him because his personality is stronger than yours. What he does may be wrong, in all senses, but it is better for you to submit to him and allow that movement to pass until that period is over. If such a person is there in your scheme of things, it means the time has not come for the work you have to do to take proper shape. The general conditions in the consciousness of the society or country may not be ready for some work that you are doing. The problem may come to you through a person, through an act, through a rule, a govt. law; you have to wait. In the measure you passively wait, you outlive the need of him in your scheme of things, or outlive the need of that law in your scheme of things. But you certainly outlive it. They cannot do things. It is his yoga. Your yoga is to outlive the man. His yoga is to deal with the consequences of what he has done. When there is that conscious initiative to do something by a person who is stronger than you, you have to wait. Otherwise it may come from smaller people. The trouble will come either as a mean act or an obstacle. He'll be a smaller man. If you use his own methods he'll be no equal to you, you can just blow him off. If you use the consciousness method and he uses the social method, he'll always get the better of you. It means that type of person is to dissolve in your consciousness. You have to bide your time and wait till that person, such acts, such persons disappear from your scheme of things.
Each time you must go back to your aspiration, see its quality and make the quality right. If that aspiration can be maintained even in the measure of a pinhead, the right movement, the right act, the right people, will just rush towards you. That rush will stop only when you move suddenly three, four, five levels up and you level off there. It is at that place the rush will level off. Otherwise, it won't level off. Functioning at your own level, you will never level off.