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Goodbye imagination. Hello reality.

by on May 6, 2012

[If one looks behind the anguish and the struggle of the present crisis in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the Force at work might assume the form of the Divine as kāla/kāli tearing away all covers and surface appearances from over the institution as a collective and as inmates individually to bring to light that which has long sought to be hidden away or ignored. For many it is also an invaluable opportunity to grow into a higher consciousness in the very thick of some very challenging circumstances, almost a recreation of the setting of the fratricidal battle-field of the Gita, senayor-ubhayor-madhye, with the Lord asking his chosen instruments to not only engage the opponents of Dharma but also to use the occasion as a unique window of opportunity to make a very rapid progress. These words of Sri Aurobindo from Letters on Yoga (SABCL, 1394) seem especially relevant now.]

One has not to cure oneself of one’s sensitiveness, but only acquire the power to rise to a higher consciousness taking such disenchantments as a sort of jumping-board. One way is not to expect even square dealings from others, no matter who the others are. And besides, it is good to have such experiences of the real nature of some people to which a generous nature is often blind; for that helps the growth of one’s consciousness. The blow you wince at seems to you so hard because it is a blow the world of your mental formation has sustained. Such a world often becomes a part of our being. The result is that a blow dealt to it gives almost physical pain. The great compensation is that it makes you live more and more in the real world in contradistinction to the world of your imagination which is what you would like the real world to be. But the real world is not all that could be desired, you know, and that is why it has to be acted upon and transformed by the Divine Consciousness. But for that, knowledge of the reality, however unpalatable, is almost the first requisite. This knowledge often enough is best brought home to us through blows and bleedings. True, idealistic people, sensitive people, refined natures smart under such disillusionments more than do others who are somewhat thick-skinned, but that is no reason why fine feelings should be deprecated and the keen edge of fine susceptibilities be blunted. The thing is to learn to detach oneself from any such experience and learn to look at such perversions of others from a higher altitude from where one can regard these manifestations in the proper perspective – the impersonal one. Then our difficulties really and literally become opportunities. For knowledge, when it goes to the root of our troubles, has in itself a marvellous healing-power as it were. As soon as you touch the quick of the trouble, as soon as you, diving down and down, get at what really ails you, the pain disappears as though by a miracle. Unflinching courage to reach true Knowledge is therefore of the very essence of yoga. No lasting superstructure can be erected except on a solid basis of true Knowledge. The feet must be sure of their ground before the head can hope to kiss the skies.

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