Mother reads her article "Concentration and
Dispersion" (On Education), then comments on it:
To solve a problem, to learn a lesson, a lot of concentration and attention
is needed, everyone knows that - an intellectual attention and concentration.
But concentration is not only an intellectual thing, it may be found in
all the activities of the being, including bodily activities. The control
over the nerves should be such as would allow you a complete concentration
on what you are doing and, through the very intensity of your concentration,
you acquire an immediate response to external touches. To attain this
concentration you need a conscious control of the energies.
Are you conscious of the energies you receive and those you spend ?
One is more or less conscious of the energy one spends, especially when
one wastes it too much! It is a question here of the constant exchange
between receiving and spending! Before the age of reason, little children
receive a lot of energy and they spend it lavishly, without thinking,
and this allows them to play for hours together without getting tired.
But gradually, as thought develops, one begins to measure and calculate
the energy spent - usually this is futile, for unless you have the knowledge
of the process of receiving energy, it is better to spend freely what
you get than let it stagnate within you.
First, you must become conscious of the receiving of energies, their passing
into your being and their expenditure. Next, you must have a sort of higher
instinct which tells you whence the most favourable energies come; then
you put yourself in contact with them through thought, through stillness
or any other process - there are many. You must know what energy you want,
whence it comes, of what it is composed. Later comes the control of the
energy received. Ninety per cent of men do not absorb enough energy or
they take in too much and do not assimilate what they take - as soon as
they have had a sufficient dose they immediately throw it out by becoming
restless, talking, shouting, etc. You must know how to keep within you
the received energy and concentrate it fully on the desired activity and
not on anything else. If you can do this, you won't need to use your will.
You need only gather together all the energies received and use them consciously,
concentrate with the maximum attention in order to do everything you want.
And you must know how to give a real value to what you want to do - what
the higher part of your being wants to do for to do what one likes to
do is not difficult.
What is concentration?
It is to bring back all the scattered threads of consciousness to a single
point, a single idea. Those who can attain perfect attention succeed in
everything they undertake; they will always make a rapid progress. And
this kind of concentration can be developed exactly like the muscles;
one may follow different systems, different methods of training. Today
we know that the most pitiful weakling, for example, can with discipline
become as strong as anyone else. One should not have a will which flickers
out like a candle.
The will, concentration must be cultivated; it is a question of method,
of regular exercise. If you will, you can.
But the thought "What's the use?" must not come in to weaken
the will. The idea that one is born with a certain character and can do
nothing about it is a stupidity.
"Questions and Answers 1950-1951"
CWM Volume 4, pages 4-5
published by Sri
Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry
diffusion by SABDA
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