Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo
The Complete Set
Correspondence suspended till after the 21st and resumable only on notice. But under cover of your medical cloak, you can carry on. Only mum about it! Otherwise people might get jealous and give you a headache.
Yesterday X and I had a discussion about the action of your Force. Try as I would, I could not convince him of its reality. Let me put before you the discussion in dialogue form as it actually took place.
X: I just can't believe that D was cured by Sri Aurobindo's Force, unless I hear to this effect from Sri Aurobindo himself.
Myself: But the facts and figures are there: they show quite clearly that something utterly miraculous happened – an abdominal abscess being cured without any material intervention, – symptoms subsiding, the temperature coming down from 103 degrees to 102, and then dropping to 99. As a doctor, I think, I am in a position to judge these things.
X: Maybe all this happened, but how do you know it was Sri Aurobindo's Force that brought about this sudden change?
Myself: Everybody knows here that Sri Aurobindo's Force is constantly acting on us with a tremendous power. Almost all of us have experienced it one time or another. D was brought here under the Mother's instructions, even though his condition was precarious, so that Sri Aurobindo could act upon it with his Force. So it seems quite obvious that he had been cured by this Force just as others have been. What other blessed force could have acted upon him, and if some force did act, why not the Force under which we are living and which is all the time animating us?
X: If that is so, what about the instances where the Divine Force has failed, and why does it succeed in some cases and not in others?
The mistake is to think that it must be either a miraculous force or else none. There is no miraculous force and I do not deal in miracles. The word Divine here is out of place, if it is taken as an always omnipotently acting Power. Yogic Force is then better; it simply means a higher Consciousness using its power, a spiritual & supraphysical force acting on the physical world directly. One has to train the instrument to be a channel of this force; it works also according to a certain law and under certain conditions. The Divine does not work arbitrarily or as a thaumaturge; He acts upon the world along the lines that have been fixed by the nature and purpose of the world we live in – by an increasing action of the thing that has to manifest, not by a sudden change or disregard of all the conditions of the work to be done. If it were not so, there would be no need of Yoga or time or human action or instruments or of a Master and disciples or of a Descent or anything else. It could simply be a matter for the tathāstu and nothing more. But that would be irrational if you like and worse than irrational – “childish”. This does not mean that interventions, things apparently miraculous, do not happen – they do. But all cannot be like that.
Myself: I don't see how you can deny the reality of this Force. Were you able to write with such vigour before you came here?
X: Yes, I could work a lot; so much so that people were astounded! Was that Sri Aurobindo's Force?
What is Sri Aurobindo's force? It is not a personal property of this body or mind. It is a higher Force used by me or acting through me.
And Tagore, Lenin, etc. who are giants – is your Divine Force working in them too?
Of course it is a Divine Force, for there is only one force acting in the world, but it acts according to the nature of the instrument. Yogic Force is different from others because it is a special power of the spiritual consciousness.
Myself: It may not be Sri Aurobindo's Force, but how can I exclude the possibility of Divine Force behind? Because one is an atheist, it doesn't mean the Divine is undivine against him!
There was an obvious intervention in the case he speaks of – but the agent or process could only be determined if one knew all the circumstances. Such interventions are frequent; e.g. my uncle's daughter was at her last gasp, the doctors had gone away telling him there was no more to be done. He simply sat down to pray – as soon as he had finished, the death symptoms were suspended, the girl recovered without farther treatment (it was a case of typhoid fever). Several cases of that kind have come within my personal observation.
X: Oh, if you say that everything is being done at the Divine impulsion, I have nothing to say. But you can't say for that matter that I am working because Sri Aurobindo is constantly at my back! (He had admitted this before, I don't know whether for the sake of argument, but he recedes now. What can I sayagainst it?)
I am not very particular about that. It is a personal question and depends on X's feeling. I certainly put force on him for the development and success of his poetry – about the rest I don't want to say anything.
I have marginalised on the Force – to write more completely would need more time than I have tonight. Of course, if it depended on a few cases of illness, it would be a thing of no certitude or importance. If the “Force” were a mere freak or miracle, it would be equally trivial and unimportant, even if well-attested. It is only of importance if it is part of the consciousness and the life, used at all times, not only for illness but for whatever one has to do. It manifests in various ways – as a strength of the consciousness evenly supporting the life and action, as a power put forth for this or that object of the outward life, as a special Force from above drawn down to raise and increase the scope of the Consciousness and its height and transform it not by a miraculous, but by a serious, steady, organised action following certain definite lines. Its effectiveness as well as its action is determined first by its own height and intensity or that of the plane from which it comes (it may be from any plane ranging from the Higher Mind upward to the Overmind), partly by the condition of the objects or the field in which it acts, partly by the movement which it has to effect, general or particular. It is neither a magician's wand nor a child's bauble, but something one has to observe, understand, develop, master before one can use it aright or else – for few can use it except in a limited manner – be its instrument. This is only a preface.