The Ordinary Life and the True Soul
The ordinary life is a round of various desires
As long as one is preoccupied with them, there can be no lasting progress.
A way out of the round must be discovered.
Take, as an instance, that commonest preoccupation of ordinary life -
the constant thinking by people of what they will eat and when they will
eat and whether they are eating enough. To conquer the greed for food
an equanimity in the being must be developed such that you are perfectly
indifferent towards food. If food is given you, you eat it; if not, it
does not worry you in the least; above all, you do not keep thinking about
food. And the thinking must not be negative, either. To be absorbed in
devising methods and means of abstinence as the sannyasis do is to be
almost as preoccupied with food as to be absorbed in dreaming of it greedily.
Have an attitude of indifference towards it: that is the main thing. Get
the idea of food out of your consciousness, do not attach the slightest
importance to it.
This will be very easy to do once you get into contact with your psychic
being, the true soul deep within you. Then will feel immediately how very
unimportant these things are and that the sole thing that matters is the
To dwell in the psychic is to be lifted above all greed.
You will have no hankering, no worry, no feverish desire. And you will
feel also that whatever happens, happens for the best.
Do not misunderstand me to imply that you must always think that everything
is for the best.
Everything is not for the best so long as you are in the ordinary consciousness.
You may be misled into utterly wrong channels when you are not in the
right state of consciousness. But once you are poised in the psychic and
have made your self-offering to the Divine, all that happens will happen
for the best, for everything, however disguised, will be a definite divine
response to you.
Indeed the very act of genuine self-giving is its own immediate reward
- it brings with it such happiness, such confidence, such security as
nothing else can give.
But till the self-giving is firmly psychic there will be disturbance,
the interval of dark moments between bright ones. It is only the psychic
that keeps on progressing in an unbroken line, its movement a continuous
ascension. All other movements are broken and discontinuous.
And it is not till the psychic is felt as yourself that you can be an
individual even; for it is the true self in you.
Before the true self is known you are a public place, not a being.
There are so many clashing forces working in you; hence, if you wish to
make real progress, know your own being which is in constant union with
the Divine. Then alone will transformation be possible.
All the other parts of your nature are ignorant: the mind, for instance,
often commits the mistake of thinking that every brilliant idea is also
a luminous idea. It can with equal vigour trump up arguments for and against
God: it has no infallible sense of the truth. The vital is generally impresses
by any show of power and is willing to see in it the Godlike. It is only
the psychic which has a just discrimination: it is directly aware of the
supreme Presence, it infallibly distinguishes between the divine and the
If you have even for a moment contacted it, you will carry with you a
conviction about the Divine which nothing will shake.
How, you ask me, are we able to know our true being ?
Ask for it, aspire after it, want it as you want nothing else.
Most of you here are influenced by it, but it should be more than an influence,
you should be able to feel identified with it.
All urge for perfection comes from it, but you are unaware of the source,
you are not collaborating with it knowingly, you are not in identification
with its light. Do not think I refer to the emotional part of you when
I speak of the psychic. Emotion belongs to the higher vital, not to the
The psychic is a steady flame that burns in you, soaring towards the Divine
and carrying with it a sense of strength which breaks down all oppositions.
When you are identified with it you have the feeling of the divine truth
- then you cannot help feeling also that the whole world is ignorantly
walking on its head with its feet in the air !
You must learn to unite what you call your individual self with your true
Your present individuality is a very mixed thing, a series of changes
which yet preserves a certain continuity, a certain sameness or identity
of vibration in the midst of all flux. It is almost like a river which
is never the same and yet has a certain definiteness and persistence of
Your normal self is merely a shadow of your true individuality which you
will realise only when this normal individual which is differently poised
at different times, now in the mental, then in the vital, at other times
in the physical, gets into contact with the psychic and feels it as its
Then you will be one, nothing will shake or disturb you, you will make
steady and lasting progress and be above such petty things as greed for
in CWM, volume 3, "Questions and Answers 1930-31",
published by Sri
Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry
diffusion by SABDA