Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo
The Complete Set
Anyhow, joke or no joke, I will try the method. But the trouble is that the mind finds it difficult to believe that a vacancy can be filled up all of a sudden without any kind of thinking. The Goddesses may tease you, but not sufficiently enough. Otherwise, why one, many poems would have been the result.
That is the silliness of the mind. Why should it be impossible to fill up a vacancy? It is easier for things to come into an empty space than into a full one. The error comes from thinking that your thoughts are your own and that you are their maker and if you do not create thoughts (i.e. think), there will be none. A little observation ought to show that you are not manufacturing your own thoughts, but rather thoughts occur in you. Thoughts are born, not made – like poets, according to the proverb. Of course, there is a sort of labour and effort when you try to produce or else to think on a certain subject, but that is a concentration for making thoughts come up, come in, come down, as the case may be, and fit themselves together. The idea that you are shaping the thoughts or fitting them together is an egoistic delusion. They are doing it themselves, or Nature is doing it for you, only under a certain compulsion; you have to beat her often in order to make her do it, and the beating is not always successful. But the mind or nature or mental energy – whatever you like to call it, does this in a certain way and carries on with a certain order of thoughts, haphazard intelligentialities (excuse the barbarism) or asininities, rigidly ordered or imperfectly ordered intellectualities, logical sequences and logical inconsequences etc., etc. How the devil is an intuition to get in in the midst of that waltzing and colliding crowd? It does sometimes, – in some minds often intuitions do come in, but immediately the ordinary thoughts surround it and eat it up alive, and then with some fragment of the murdered intuition shining through their non-intuitive stomachs they look up smiling at you and say “I am an intuition, sir”. But they are only intellect, intelligence or ordinary thought with part of a dismembered and therefore misleading intuition inside them. Now in a vacant mind, vacant but not inert (that is important) intuitions have a chance of getting in alive and whole. But don't run away with the idea that all that comes into an empty mind, even a clear or luminous empty mind, will be intuitive. Anything, any blessed kind of idea, can come in. One has to be vigilant and examine the credentials of the visitor. In other words, the mental being must be there, silent but vigilant, impartial but discriminating. That is, however, when you are in search of truth. For poetry so much is not necessary. There it is only the poetic quality of the visitor that has to be scrutinised and that can be done after he has left his packet – by results.
You have seen, I think, Prithwisingh's poem. Its very first line was hovering over my mind – I let it go, not thinking much of it, but he has obviously caught it! Often similar instances have occurred. How is one to explain this?
There is no difficulty about explaining. You are as naive and ignorant as a new-born lamb. That is the way things come, only one does not notice. Thoughts, ideas, happy inventions etc., etc., are always wandering about (in thought-waves or otherwise) seeking a mind that may embody them. One mind takes, looks, rejects – another takes, looks, accepts. Two different minds catch the same thought-form or thought-wave, but the mental activities being different make different results out of them. Or it comes to one and he does nothing, then it walks off, crying “O this unready animal!” and goes to another who promptly annexes it and it settles into expression with a joyous bubble of inspiration, illumination or enthusiasm of original discovery or creation and the recipient cries proudly, “I, I have done this.” Ego, sir! ego! You are the recipient, the conditioning medium, if you like – nothing more.