Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo
The Complete Set
Instead of saying “shut up” you have devised a very nice trick of evasion. Sir! for everything “a play of forces”. Therefore no more questions. Long live the play of forces!
It is the truth. Why get wild with the truth? It is like knocking your nose against one of Epstein's statues in the hope that it might turn out to be unreal or change into a faery beauty.
What I am writing now is not about the play of forces, but about confusion, conflict and despair in me.
O Lord God! again despair!
The confusion and despair are because I don't seem to have any go at all.
Pshaw! Pooh! Rubbish!
Not a day has gone when I could say I have aspired strongly for anything.
Well then, aspire weakly and phantasmally – but anyhow aspire.
Of course, I find that after this Darshan the desires and impulses aren't as acute as before, but that's not enough.
Well, well, that's an admission. It is not enough, but it is something.
I am as unconscious as before about the Force and its working.
doesn't matter. Let the force work anyhow – in time it will have its result.
What most upsets me at present is that there is no current of aspiration.
Low current of electricity? Well, well, let us see to the dynamo.
Is that a very satisfying state or is there any future ray of hope?
Any number of rays – a whole sun.
What I would like to have is something stabilised: peace, force, purity or Presence.
So would I, so would anybody. It is not enough to like, you must get the thing done and peg on till it is done.
Neither can I fix my aspiration on any particular aspect. Now I want peace, now force, now Ananda...
That's the confounded wobbling mobility of your mind.
isn't it a confusion and isn't it despairing?
It may be a confusion but it is not désespérant. (Despairing in this sense is bad English, by the way.) Plenty of people have had that before you and yet arrived all right.
Once you gave me the formula of Peace, Force and Presence. Shall I try to stick to it?
For mercy's sake, do. Peace first. Force tumbling into the Peace, the Presence at any stage.
But really, Sir, how long w(???) stagnate in this passive pool of the Immobile? Is there no chance of being as dynamic as a flood?
Not so long as you merely ratiocinate and wobble – unless the dynamo begins to work in sheer exasperation at your foolishness – which is quite possible.
When a sincere aspirant like K took so many years to draw in all his limbs into his shell and do what may be called real sadhana, our expectation and hankering is sheer madness.
And who did that feat in a few days, weeks or months, I should like to know? I am sure I didn't.
Real sadhana, he has been doing for a long time. That is why he is now able to draw in his limbs.
Well, expecting to do it in a record time or shouting sorrowfully because that doesn't happen, is rather windy.
I suppose we have to go on dreaming that one day, one year, one Yuga, we shall also come to such a blissful height. Till then, Man of Sorrows is my companion, alas!
No need at all! Call in the Man of Mirth and dismiss the other Applicant.
Another confusion about poetry. I haven't been able to find out any “dissolvent” and I take it that the Muse is treating me in the same way as the Yogi is doing.
Well, it seems to me that the Muse has done a good deal for you already, considering that you did not start with the vocation. O favoured unappreciative!
Since there is no inspiration, the call of the moon, the sky, the sea and the Unknown takes me away to the pier at night.
Absorb the moon, sky, sea and the unknown and trust to the inner alchemy to turn them into poetry.
I am so tired with this “play” of yours, Sir, that sometimes I have a longing to jump into the silence of Nirvana.
Not so easy to do it as to write it.
However, what shall I hear from the mighty pen as a remedy to my chronic despair and impatience?
Now look here, as to the Yuga, etc., if I can be patient with you and your despairs, why can't you be patient with the forces? Let me give you a “concrete” instance. X is a sadhak of whom it might be said that if anyone could be said to be incapable of any least progress in Yoga, X was the very person, blockishly absolute and unique in that respect. Mulish, revolted, abusive. No capacity of any kind, no experience, not a shadow, tittle or blessed pinpoint of it anyhow, anywhere or at any time for years and more years and still more years. Finally some while ago X begins to fancy or feel that X wants Mother and nothing and nobody else. (That was the result of my ceaseless and futile hammering for years). X makes sanguinary row after row because X can't get Mother, not a trace, speck or hint anywhere of Mother. Threats of departure and suicide very frequent. I sit mercilessly and severely upon X, not jocularly as I do on you. X still weeps copiously because Mother does not love X. I sit on X still more furiously but go on pumping force and things into her. X stops that but weeps copiously because X has no faith and does not love Mother. (All this goes on for months and months). Finally one day after deciding to stop weeping for good and all X suddenly finds X was living in barriers, barriers broken down, vast oceanic wideness inside her, love, peace etc. rushing in or pressing to rush; can't understand what on earth all this is or what to do – writes for guidance. Now, sir, if my yugalike persistence could work a miracle like that with such a one, why can't you expect an earlier result with you, O Nirod of little faith and less patience? Stand and answer.1
1 Note that Sri Aurobindo wrote X in the MS. It is not the usual editorial substitution.