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<ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/04/23-december-1950#p4</ref>
 
<ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwm/04/23-december-1950#p4</ref>
  
=What Stillness means at a Yogic Level=
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=What Stillness Means at a Yogic Level=
  
 
==How it is in the Mental Being?==
 
==How it is in the Mental Being?==
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<center>~</center>
 
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Always what your inner being has asked is Love, Bhakti, Ananda and whenever it comes to the surface it is, even if only in a first elementary form, the divine love which it brings with it. A basis of deep and intense calm and stillness, a great intensity of emotion and Bhakti, an inrush of Ananda, this is in these moments your repeated experience.  
 
Always what your inner being has asked is Love, Bhakti, Ananda and whenever it comes to the surface it is, even if only in a first elementary form, the divine love which it brings with it. A basis of deep and intense calm and stillness, a great intensity of emotion and Bhakti, an inrush of Ananda, this is in these moments your repeated experience.  
<ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/29/divine-love-psychic-love-and-human-love#p34
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<ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/29/divine-love-psychic-love-and-human-love#p34</ref>
  
 
=The Mother’s Own Experiences=
 
=The Mother’s Own Experiences=
  
That is to say, [when there is sometimes stillness and sometimes mechanical thoughts] the Power is still working on the physical consciousness (the mechanical mind and the subconscient) to bring stillness there. Sometimes the stillness comes but not complete, sometimes the mechanical mind reasserts itself. This oscillation usually takes place in a movement of the kind. Even if there is a sudden or rapid transforming shock or downrush, there has to be some working out of this kind afterwards—that at least has always been my experience. For most, however, there comes, first, this slow preparatory process.<ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/30/descent-and-the-lower-nature#p30
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That is to say, [when there is sometimes stillness and sometimes mechanical thoughts] the Power is still working on the physical consciousness (the mechanical mind and the subconscient) to bring stillness there. Sometimes the stillness comes but not complete, sometimes the mechanical mind reasserts itself. This oscillation usually takes place in a movement of the kind. Even if there is a sudden or rapid transforming shock or downrush, there has to be some working out of this kind afterwards—that at least has always been my experience. For most, however, there comes, first, this slow preparatory process.<ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/30/descent-and-the-lower-nature#p30</ref>
  
 
==Supramental Love==  
 
==Supramental Love==  
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My impression was that as a result of this the physical cells were going to develop materially and be transformed (I think it will happen—I had a sort of assurance that it will). Because now, as I'm talking to you, I'm looking at it and I see—the effect is still there: no longer with the same overwhelming power, but the effect is there and it gives a sort of... (it can't be compared to anything physical)... a sort of warmth; it's not heat, but warmth. Everything is seized by it, both ears (Mother touches her head), everything—here, there, all around! Tremendous. And this immobility! As soon as one stops, it is immor... (Mother cuts off her word), it is eternity.<ref>http://incarnateword.in/agenda/02/october-15-1961#p17</ref>
 
My impression was that as a result of this the physical cells were going to develop materially and be transformed (I think it will happen—I had a sort of assurance that it will). Because now, as I'm talking to you, I'm looking at it and I see—the effect is still there: no longer with the same overwhelming power, but the effect is there and it gives a sort of... (it can't be compared to anything physical)... a sort of warmth; it's not heat, but warmth. Everything is seized by it, both ears (Mother touches her head), everything—here, there, all around! Tremendous. And this immobility! As soon as one stops, it is immor... (Mother cuts off her word), it is eternity.<ref>http://incarnateword.in/agenda/02/october-15-1961#p17</ref>
 
<center>~</center>
 
<center>~</center>
When there is a complete silence in the being, either a stillness of the whole being or a stillness behind unaffected by surface movements, then we can become aware of a Self, a spiritual substance of our being, an existence exceeding even the soul individuality, spreading itself into universality, surpassing all dependence on any natural form or action, extending itself upward into a transcendence of which the limits are not visible. It is these liberations of the spiritual part in us which are the decisive steps of the spiritual evolution in Nature.<ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/22/the-evolution-of-the-spiritual-man#p6</ref>  
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When there is a complete silence in the being, either a stillness of the whole being or a stillness behind unaffected by surface movements, then we can become aware of a Self, a spiritual substance of our being, an existence exceeding even the soul individuality, spreading itself into universality, surpassing all dependence on any natural form or action, extending itself upward into a transcendence of which the limits are not visible. It is these liberations of the spiritual part in us which are the decisive steps of the spiritual evolution in Nature.<ref>http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/22/the-evolution-of-the-spiritual-man#p6</ref>
  
 
=Transformation=
 
=Transformation=

Latest revision as of 11:11, 24 July 2021

Read Summary of Stillness



Stillness and Immobility The ideal condition for progress.

Silence.jpg

Silence The ideal condition for progress. Passiflora Incarnata X cincinnata 'Incense' Passion flower Striking royal purple intensely fragrant medium- sized flower composed of two rings of numerous filaments banded with white towards the rose pink centre; the three prominent styles and five anthers arise from the centre on a short staminal column; borne singly or in pairs from the leaf axils. A robust perennial vine with deeply cut three-lobed leaves.

Silence is the condition of the being when it listens to the Divine.

THE MOTHER

In silence lies the greatest receptivity. And in an immobile silence the vastest action is done. Let us learn to be silent so that the Lord may make use of us.

THE MOTHER

With words one can at times understand, but only in silence one knows.

THE MOTHER

“ O Savitri, from thy hidden soul we come….

Follow the world’s winding highway to its source: There in the silence few have ever reached, Thou shalt see the Fire burning on the bare stone And the deep cavern of thy secret soul.”

---Savitri 7.3.8

What is Stillness?

Quiet, calm and peace can all be described as tranquillity, silence is akin to what is meant by stillness. [1]

~

Silence of the being is the first natural aim of the Yoga. [2]

~

In a more outward sense the word silence is applied to the condition in which there is no movement of thought or feeling etc., only a great stillness of the mind. [3]

~

Stillness, the emptiness of mind and Vital and cessation of thoughts and other movements, was the coming of the state called "samadhi" in which the consciousness goes inside in a deep stillness and silence. This condition is favourable to inner experience, realisation, the vision of the unseen truth of things, though one can get these in the waking condition also.[4]

Stillness in the Physical Being

Stillness and meditation,it is not only in meditation that one can reach the Divine consciousness, you will learn that one can remain in contact with the Divine even while playing or doing gymnastics or walking or doing anything; at every moment, you should remember the Divine and try to remain in the Divine consciousness. [5]

Stillness in the Mental Being

The stillness of the mind means, first, the falling to rest of the habitual thought movements, thought formations, thought currents which agitate this mind-substance. That repose, vacancy of movement, is for many a sufficient mental silence. [6]

~

... in the calm mind, it is the substance of the mental being that is still, so still that nothing disturbs it. If thoughts or activities come, they do not rise at all out of the mind, but they come from outside and cross the mind as a flight of birds crosses the sky in a windless air. It passes, disturbs nothing, leaving no trace. Even if a thousand images or the most violent events pass across it, the calm stillness remains as if the very texture of the mind were a substance of eternal and indestructible peace. [7]

The Profound Stillness

...the power of the mind not to think, its complete silence for the incapacity of thought. But this power of silence is a capacity and not an incapacity, a power and not a weakness. It is a profound and pregnant stillness. Only when the mind is thus entirely still, like clear, motionless and level water, in a perfect purity and peace of the whole being and the soul transcends thought, can the Self which exceeds and originates all activities and becomings, the Silence from which all words are born, the Absolute of which all relativities are partial reflections manifest itself in the pure essence of our being. [8]

~

The ego persists in itself or in its habitual movements, but the place of the one becomes more and more loosened, the others are broken, crushed, more and more rejected, becoming weak in their intensity, limp or mechanical in their action. In the end there is a constant giving up of the whole consciousness into the being of the Supreme. [9]

Misconceptions about Stillness

The difference between a vacant mind and a calm mind is this, that when the mind is vacant, there is no thought, no conception, no mental action of any kind, except an essential perception of things without the formed idea; [10]

~

The Yogin who has experience knows that the small beginnings are of the greatest importance and have to be cherished and allowed with great patience to develop. He knows for instance that the neutral quiet so dissatisfying to the vital eagerness of the sadhak is the first step towards the peace that passeth all understanding, the small current or thrill of inner delight the first trickling in of the ocean of Ananda, the play of lights or colours the key of the doors of the inner vision and experience... [11]

~

But here in India, that stillness comes from contempt for the body: it must be nullified as much as possible. Its very existence must be nullified. And that's precisely what Sri Aurobindo rose up against, saying, "No! The body must PARTICIPATE in the experience." [12]

Why Stillness must be Practised?

Equality and the Annihilation of Ego If we can pass through these two stages of the inner change without being arrested or fixed in either, we are admitted to a greater divine equality which is capable of a spiritual ardour and tranquil passion of delight, a rapturous, all-understanding and all-possessing equality of the perfected soul, an intense and even wideness and fullness of its being embracing all things. [13]

~

The Various Benefits of Stillness

Benefits to the Physical Being

Peace and stillness are the great remedy for disease. [14]

~

The stillness … in the meditation is a very good sign. It comes usually in that pervading way when there has been sufficient purification to make it possible. On the other side, it is itself the beginning of the laying of the foundations of the higher spiritual consciousness. [15]

~

The power of physical immobility is as important in Hathayoga as the power of mental immobility in the Yoga of knowledge, and for parallel reasons. [16]

~

...the "Only solution" is to be in a state of inner stillness that does not seek to know or foresee, and to let the Force flow through the instrument; then, automatically, what has to be done is done, what has to be received is received. [17]

~

A mind that has achieved this calmness can begin to act, even intensely and powerfully, but it will keep its fundamental stillness—originating nothing from itself but receiving from Above and giving it a mental form without adding anything of its own, calmly, dispassionately, though with the joy of the Truth and the happy power and light of its passage. [18]

~

...to receive the supreme Force, what's needed is, on the contrary, the equivalent of stillness—the stillness of sleep, but an ABSOLUTELY CONSCIOUS sleep, absolutely conscious. The body feels the difference.[19]

~

The first object of the immobility of the Asana is to get rid of the restlessness imposed on the body and to force it to hold the Pranic energy instead of dissipating and squandering it. And the body is increasingly conscious: it has a very acute perception of the vibrations coming from the old habits, from the old ways of being and from the opposition, and of the presence of the True Vibration. So it's a question of dose and proportion, and when the amount, the sum total of the old vibrations, the old habits, the old responses, is too great, that creates a disorder which takes stillness and concentration. [20]

~

The body, accustomed to work off superfluous energy by movement, is at first ill able to bear this increase and this retained inner action and betrays it by violent tremblings; afterwards it habituates itself and, when the Asana is conquered, then it finds as much ease in the posture... [21]

~

For it is not only able to hold and retain this energy, but to bear its possession of the physical system and its more complete movement through it. [22]

~

The higher use of Hathayoga depends more intimately on Pranayama. [23]

~

Pranayama, starting from the physical immobility and self-holding which is secured by Asana, deals more directly with the subtler vital parts, the nervous system. [24]

~

The life energy, thus occupying and operating in a powerful, unified movement on the tranquil and passive body, freed from the restless balancing between the continent power and the contained, becomes a much greater and more effective force. [25]

~

... just as the restless active mind seems to seize on and use irregularly and imperfectly whatever spiritual force comes into it, but the tranquilised mind is held, possessed and used by the spiritual force. [26]

~

...in order to be overcome, and which gives such a clear and intense perception of how precarious the equilibrium and existence are. And then, behind: a Glory. The Glory of the divine Light, the divine Will, the divine Consciousness, the eternal Motive. [27]

~

Equally must the sense-mind be stilled and taught to leave the function of thought to the mind that judges and understands. When the understanding in us stands back from the action of the sense-mind and repels its intermiscence, the latter detaches itself from the understanding and can be watched in its separate action. [28]

Benefits to the Mental Being

This consciousness we can become aware of when we draw back from the mind and its activities or when these fall silent. But we see first its immobile status, and if we regard only the immobility of the self, we may say of it that it is not only timeless, but actionless, without movement of idea, thought, imagination, memory, will, self-sufficient, self-absorbed and therefore void of all action of the universe. [29]

~

The normal activity of our minds is for the most part a disordered restlessness, full of waste and rapidly tentative expenditure of energy in which only a little is selected for the workings of the self-mastering will... [30]

~

In a complete silence only is the Silence heard; in a pure peace only is its Being revealed. Therefore to us the name of That is the Silence and the Peace. [31]

~

...of a still mind, I mean then one in which these subtler disturbances too are no longer there. As they fall quiet one can feel an increasing stillness which is not the lesser quietude of repose and also a resultant clearness as palpable as the stillness and clearness of a physical atmosphere. [32]

~

We may feel imperfectly by the emotional mind, we may have a sense by the sense-mind or a conception and perception by the intelligent mind of the Spirit present in Matter and all its forms, the divine Delight present in all emotion and sensation, the divine Force behind all life-activities; but the lower will still keep its own nature and limit and divide in its action and modify in its character the influence from above. Even when that influence assumes its highest, widest, intensest power, it will be irregular and disorderly in activity and perfectly realised only in calm and stillness…[33]

Consequences if not Practiced

It then reveals itself as a constantly swirling and eddying undercurrent of habitual concepts, associations, perceptions, desires without any real sequence, order or principle of light. It is a constant repetition in a circle unintelligent and unfruitful. Ordinarily the human understanding accepts this undercurrent and tries to reduce it to a partial order and sequence; but by so doing it becomes itself subject to it and partakes of that disorder, restlessness, unintelligent subjection to habit and blind purposeless repetition which makes the ordinary human reason a misleading, limited and even frivolous and futile instrument [34]

How Best can one Practice Stillness?

You must be absolutely without any reaction, like this (gesture of immobile offering Upward, palms open). And then, when you are like that ("you," meaning the cells), after a while the perception comes of the category the movement belongs to, and you just have to follow the perception, whether it is that something must disappear and be replaced by something else (which one doesn't know yet), or whether it is that something must be transformed. [35]

What are the Prerequisites for Practising Stillness?

...one thing perhaps needs to be kept in view—that this pure stillness of the mind is indeed always the required condition, the desideratum, but for bringing it about there are more ways than one. It is a concentration of energy of consciousness that sustains, while it lasts, all creation, all action and kinesis; but it is also a concentration of power of consciousness that supports inwardly or informs all status, even the most immobile passivity, even an infinite stillness or an eternal silence.[36]

~

There is nothing to be done with this fickle, restless, violent and disturbing factor but to get rid of it whether by detaching it and then reducing it to stillness or by giving a concentration and singleness to the thought by which it will of itself reject this alien and confusing element.[37] 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.[38]

~

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, You must know how to keep within you the received energy and concentrate it fully on the desired activity and not on anything else.[39]

~

...the two things can go together, you see, there is a moment when the two—aspiration and passivity—can be not only alternate but simultaneous. You can be at once in the state of aspiration, of willing, which calls down something—exactly the will to open oneself and receive, and the aspiration which calls down the force you want to receive—and at the same time be in that state of complete inner stillness which allows full penetration, for it is in this immobility that one can be penetrated, that one becomes permeable by the Force. [40]

~

Well, the two can be simultaneous without the one disturbing the other, or can alternate so closely that they can hardly be distinguished. But one can be like that, like a great flame rising in aspiration, and at the same time as though this flame formed a vase, a large vase, opening and receiving all that comes down. [41]

~

And these two things must be done in the greatest possible calm, peace and tranquillity. This peace, this tranquillity brings about silence in the mind and stillness in the vital.[42]

~

The cosmos so constructed would be a presentation or reflection of something not itself, but always and to the end a false presentation, a distorted reflection; all cosmic existence would be a Mind struggling to work out fully its imaginations, but not succeeding, because they have no imperative basis of self-truth; overpowered and carried forward by the stream of its own past energies, it would be borne onward indeterminately for ever without issue unless or until it can either slay itself or fall into an eternal stillness.[43]

In the Physical Being

So the thing to be done … is to remain very objective within that peace; then you can benefit from the peace without accepting its limits. You should, for instance, be able to keep that peace in the cells (the brain cells if you feel tired) without allowing yourself to be enclosed like that [44]

~

...it's these habits of static immobility that give this need for trance. It shouldn't be necessary…, logically, as things are, it depends on the balance between the body's capacity of receptivity and its external activity: it's obviously far more receptive when it is immobile, because its energies are occupied with the transformation. [45]

~

...a sort of infinite Power, which could be the creative Power. And directed by an unmanifest Consciousness.... If you can make anything out of this, good for you! [46]

~

There are no more ideas, no more feelings, almost no more sensations, it's... this and that (same gesture of tipping over to one side or to the other), this kind of shift, and a shift SO VERY different, you know, and in total immobility! [47]

~

It is when one is full of peace that one laughs most gladly. It is an inner condition, not something external like being silent or not laughing. It is a condition of serenity and stillness within in which there is no disturbance even if things go wrong or people are unpleasant or the body feels unwell—the state of serene inner gladness remains the same. It is self-existent. [48]

~

You can be at once in the state of aspiration, of willing, which calls down something—exactly the will to open oneself and receive, and the aspiration which calls down the force you want to receive—and at the same time be in that state of complete inner stillness which allows full penetration, for it is in this immobility that one can be penetrated, that one becomes permeable by the Force. [49]

~

Well, the two can be simultaneous without the one disturbing the other, or can alternate so closely that they can hardly be distinguished. But one can be like that, like a great flame rising in aspiration, and at the same time as though this flame formed a vase, a large vase, opening and receiving all that comes down. [50]

~

...to be alone somewhere or other and stay like this (gesture of withdrawal into absolute stillness), until everything is back to normal again. Then everything is back to normal, the Lord's Presence is there again. [51] When we get back into our own conscious being, when we stand back from our own action and see how it is done, we discover that it is our whole being which stands behind any particular act or sum of activities, passive in the rest of its integrality, active in its limited dispensation of energy; but that passivity is not an incapable inertia, it is a poise of self-reserved energy. A similar truth must apply still more completely to the conscious being of the Infinite, whose power, in silence of status as in creation, must also be infinite. [52]

In the Mental Being

An effort? One must, yes, one must want it. But is the will an effort?... Naturally, one must think about it, must want it. But the two things can go together, you see, there is a moment when the two—aspiration and passivity—can be not only alternate but simultaneous. [53]

~

This cannot be done without an uncompromising abolition of the ego-sense at its very basis and source. This, if persistently done, changes in the end the mental outlook on oneself and the whole world and there is a kind of mental realisation; but afterwards by degrees or perhaps rapidly and imperatively and almost at the beginning the mental realisation deepens into spiritual experience—a realisation in the very substance of our being. [54]

~

…instead of thought governing life, it's consciousness. And when the consciousness remains quietly open to the Divine, all goes well. A lot of things constantly come into the consciousness, from the whole world, it would seem...all the things that negate or oppose the Divine Action. [55]

~

A lonely power, peace and stillness is the last word of the philosophic equality of the sage; but the soul in its integral experience liberates itself from this self-created status and enters into the sea of a supreme and all-embracing ecstasy of the beginningless and endless beatitude of the Eternal. [56]

~

...once that triple egoism is discouraged or moribund and the instruments of the Spirit are set right and purified, in an entirely pure, silent, clarified, widened consciousness the purity, infinity, stillness of the One reflects itself like the sky in a limpid lake. [57]

~

Usually the cessation of the lower activities brings a sense of freedom, release, repose. The inner consciousness does not miss the mental jumpings or the vital swirl—it feels as if the silence were its native element. [58]

~

There is no need to struggle, just remain turned upward. [59]

~

One commences with a method, but the work is taken up by a Grace from above, by a response from That to which one aspires or by an irruption of the infinitudes of the Spirit. [60]

In the Vital Being

stillness, the emptiness of mind and vital and cessation of thoughts and other movements, was the coming of the state called "samadhi" in which the consciousness goes inside in a deep stillness and silence. This condition is favourable to inner experience, realisation, the vision of the unseen truth of things, though one can get these in the waking condition also [61]

~

...first, that by this passivity in ourselves we arrive from particular and broken knowledge at a greater, a one and a unifying knowledge; secondly, that if, in the state of passivity, we open ourselves entirely to what is beyond, we can become aware of a Power acting upon us which we feel to be not our own in the limited egoistic sense, but universal or transcendental, and that this Power works through us for a greater play of knowledge, a greater play of energy, action and result, which also we feel to be not our own, but that of the Divine, of Sachchidananda, ourselves only its field or channel. [62]

~

It is the silence of the mind and vital—silence implying here not only cessation of thoughts but a stillness of the mental and vital substance. There are varying degrees of depth of this stillness. [63]

~

At first it comes and stays only during meditation or, without the sense of physical inertness or immobility, a little while longer and afterwards is lost; but if the sadhana follows its normal course, it comes more and more, lasting longer, and in the end an enduring deep peace and inner stillness and release becomes a normal character of the consciousness, the foundation indeed of a new consciousness, calm and liberated. [64]

~

And these two things must be done in the greatest possible calm, peace and tranquillity. This peace, this tranquillity brings about silence in the mind and stillness in the vital. [65]

What One must be Aware of During Practice?

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, 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. [66]

What Stillness Means at a Yogic Level

How it is in the Mental Being?

Even if a thousand images or the most violent events pass across it, the calm stillness remains as if the very texture of the mind were a substance of eternal and indestructible peace. A mind that has achieved this calmness can begin to act, even incessantly and powerfully, but it will keep its fundamental stillness—originating nothing from itself but receiving from Above and giving it a mental form without adding anything of its own, calmly, dispassionately, though with the joy of the Truth and the happy power and light of its passage. [67]

~

The first [calmness with disturbances on the surface] is the ordinary fundamental calm of the individual Adhar—the second [perfect stillness in the body and in the surrounding atmosphere] is the fundamental limitless calm of the cosmic consciousness, a calm which abides whether separated from all movements or supporting them. [68]

~

This [limitless stillness] is the calm of the Atman, the Self above, silent, immutable and infinite. [69]

~

These [tranquillity and stillness] are general words, of a general and not a special Yogic significance. ...but in the calm mind, it is the substance of the mental being that is still, so still that nothing disturbs it. If thoughts or activities come, they do not rise at all out of the mind, but they come from outside and cross the mind as a flight of birds crosses the sky in a windless air. It passes, disturbs nothing, leaving no trace. [70]

~

The first [calmness with disturbances on the surface] is the ordinary fundamental calm of the individual Adhar—the second [perfect stillness in the body and in the surrounding atmosphere] is the fundamental limitless calm of the cosmic consciousness, a calm which abides whether separated from all movements or supporting them. [71]

~

The first [calmness with disturbances on the surface] is the ordinary fundamental calm of the individual Adhar—the second [perfect stillness in the body and in the surrounding atmosphere] is the fundamental limitless calm of the cosmic consciousness, a calm which abides whether separated from all movements or supporting them. [72]

~

But it's incredible!... And then, from time to time, a little flame, it's so lovely! And that Presence... That Presence, that Presence... These cells are like children: when they feel, everything, but everything disappears except that Presence; then there is... like a sigh of relief. But outwardly, it's invisible: if the body were suffering, it would amount to the same thing. Generally, when it suffers, it doesn't complain: it calls.... It calls and calls and calls.... And it's quite aware that it's absolutely useless, that if it only knew... how to go into immobility, go into silence, it would be enough. As soon as it does it... [73]

~

...the two things can go together, you see, there is a moment when the two—aspiration and passivity—can be not only alternate but simultaneous. You can be at once in the state of aspiration, of willing, which calls down something—exactly the will to open oneself and receive, and the aspiration which calls down the force you want to receive—and at the same time be in that state of complete inner stillness which allows full penetration, for it is in this immobility that one can be penetrated, that one becomes permeable by the Force. [74]

~

Well, the two can be simultaneous without the one disturbing the other, or can alternate so closely that they can hardly be distinguished. But one can be like that, like a great flame rising in aspiration, and at the same time as though this flame formed a vase, a large vase, opening and receiving all that comes down. [75]

How does a Yogin Practice Stillness?

If you suppress [the cittavṛttis], you will have no movements of the chitta at all; all will be immobile until you remove the suppression or will be so immobile that there cannot be anything else than immobility. [76]

~

What is it in Different Parts of the Being?

Any Yogi who knows something about pranayama or japa can tell you that the running of the name in the breath is not a small phenomenon but of great importance in these practices and, if it comes naturally, a sign that something in the inner being has done that kind of sadhana in the past. As for the current it is the familiar sign of a first touch of the higher consciousness flowing down in the form of a stream—like the "wave" of light of the scientist—to prepare its possession of mind, vital and physical in the body. So is the stillness and rigidity of the body in your former experience a sign of the same descent of the higher consciousness in its form or tendency of stillness and silence. [77]

~

It is not, for instance, only by an effort of the mind itself to get clear of all intrusive emotion or passion, to quiet its own characteristic vibrations, to resist the obscuring fumes of a physical inertia which brings about a sleep or a torpor of the mind instead of its wakeful silence, that the thing can be done. [78]

Challenges Faced

But, even in this repose of all thought movements and all movements of feeling, one sees, when one looks more closely at it, that the mind-substance is still in a constant state of very subtle formless but potentially formative vibration—not at first easily observable, but afterwards quite evident—and that state of constant vibration may be as harmful to the exact reflection or reception of the descending [79]

Experiences Through Stillness

Experience of the Divine Shakti

As the mind progresses in purity, capacity of stillness or freedom from absorption in its own limited action, it becomes aware of and is able to reflect, bring into itself or enter into the conscious presence of the Self, the supreme and universal Spirit, and it becomes aware too of grades and powers of the spirit higher than its own highest ranges. It becomes aware of an infinite of the consciousness of being, an infinite ocean of all the power and energy of illimitable consciousness, an infinite ocean of Ananda, of the self-moved delight of existence. [80]

What is it in the Psychic?

But if even for five minutes the body falls into the state of inertia—stillness without aspiration—it's woken up by an anguish as if it were about to die! To that point, you understand. For it, stillness is... Yes, it feels that the highest vibration, the vibration of the true Consciousness, is SO INTENSE that it's... it's the equivalent of the inertia of stillness—with an intensity that's not perceptible (for us). That intensity is so great that, for us, it's the equivalent of inertia. [81]

~

By itself the psychic being at a certain stage might be content to create a formation of truth, good and beauty and make that its station; at a farther stage it might become passively subject to the world-self, a mirror of the universal existence, consciousness, power, delight, but not their full participant or possessor. [82]

~

...the psychic being came into Nature from the Self, the Divine, and it can turn back from Nature to the silent Divine through the silence of the Self and a supreme spiritual immobility. [83]

~

The two main members of its physical discipline, to which the others are mere accessories, are āsana, the habituating of the body to certain attitudes of immobility, and prāṇāyāma, the regulated direction and arrestation by exercises of breathing of the vital currents of energy in the body. The physical being is the instrument; but the physical being is made up of two elements, the physical and the vital, the body which is the apparent instrument and the basis, and the life energy, prāṇa, which is the power and the real instrument. Both of these instruments are now our masters.[84]

What is it at a Universal Level?

The passive consciousness of Brahman and its active consciousness are not two different, conflicting and incompatible things; they are the same consciousness, the same energy, at one end in a state of self-reservation, at the other cast into a motion of self-giving and self-deploying, like the stillness of a reservoir and the coursing of the channels which flow from it. In fact, behind every activity there is and must be a passive power of being from which it arises, by which it is supported, which even, we see in the end, governs it from behind without being totally identified with it [85]

~

After perfect stillness, there is the movement of inner aspiration (…), the surrender, that is to say, the SPONTANEOUS AND TOTAL acceptance of the supreme Will (…). Does the total Will want things to go this way or that way, that is, towards the disintegration of certain elements or towards...? And then again, there are endless nuances: there is the passage from one height to another (…), I mean that you have a certain inner equilibrium, an equilibrium of movement, of life, and it's understood that in order to go from one movement to a higher movement, there is almost always a descent, then a new ascent—there is a transition. So does the shock received impel you to go down in order to climb up again, or does it impel you do go down in order to abandon old movements? Because there are cellular ways of being that have to disappear in order to give way to others; there are others that climb down in order to climb up again with a higher harmony and organization. [86]

The Ascent

That's what it has managed to get: a complete stillness and an INTENSE aspiration. And it's when stillness is left without aspiration that it falls into a dreadful anguish which instantly wakes it up. That's it, you understand: an INTENSE aspiration. And it's absolutely still, still within, as if all the cells grew still.... That must be it: what we call intense aspiration must be the supramental vibration. It must be the divine Vibration, the true divine vibration, [87] There are two movements that are necessary—one is the ascent through the increasing of peace and silence to its source above the mind,—that is indicated by the tendency of the consciousness to rise out of the body to the top of the head and above where it is easy to realise the Self in all its stillness and liberation and wideness and to open to the other powers of the Higher Consciousness [88]

~

It is the repeated and constant ascent of the lower consciousness that enables the mind, the vital, the physical to come into touch with the higher planes up to the supramental and get impregnated with their light and power and influence. [89]

~

The movement of ascension has different results: it may liberate the consciousness so that one feels no longer in the body, but above it or else spread in wideness with the body either almost non-existent or only a point in one's free expanse. It may enable the being or some part of the being to go out from the body and move elsewhere, and this action is usually accompanied by some kind of partial samādhi or else a complete trance. [90]

The Descent

The other is the descent of the peace, silence, the spiritual freedom and wideness and the powers of the higher consciousness as they develop into the lower down to the most physical and even the subconscient. [91]

~

This is indeed an ordinary process of the Yogic path of knowledge; but the same end can be brought about or automatically happen by other processes— for instance, by the descent from above of a great spiritual stillness imposing silence on the mind and heart, on the life stimuli, on the physical reflexes. A sudden descent of this kind or a series of descents accumulative in force and efficacy is a well-known phenomenon of spiritual experience. Or again one may start a mental process of one kind or another for the purpose which would normally mean a long labour and yet may pull down or be seized midway, or even at the outset, by an overmind influx, a rapid intervention or manifestation of the higher Silence, with an effect sudden, instantaneous, out of all proportion to the means used at the beginning. [92]

Feelings and Sensations in the Process of Descent

...as often happens the Force is preparing its own reception and habituating the body to the descent. Having done that sufficiently it is coming down as a massive peace. The higher consciousness in its descent takes several fundamental forms—peace, power and strength, light, knowledge, Ananda. Usually it is the peace that descends first. This is not a mental, vital or physical peace of the ordinary kind, but something from above (spiritual), very firm, solid and concrete. It is its concreteness that makes you feel like a still massive block—a mass of the higher consciousness in place of the more tenuous substance of the ordinary nature [93]

~

One must be careful not to confuse the two.The peace (śama) is the pure form, tamas is its degraded or perverted form—just as rajas is the degraded or perverse form of Tapas. When there is the transformation, tamas can be got rid of—but till then there is always a possibility of its mixing with the peace or stillness so long as that is not perfect and all-pervading. [94]

~

The state now is such that when the body FEELS ITSELF (feels itself, that is to say, is aware of being a body), INSTANTLY there's a discomfort, whatever the condition. Even when it feels in a state of adoration or aspiration or... it's accompanied by discomfort. And only when there's no more awareness at all of its separate existence does it feel comfortable. So then, the normal state is silence, stillness, but... (the image isn't correct—how can I explain?), you see, the Presence, it's not that it flows through, but when it radiates like this (gesture), radiates through an activity, then everything is fine and there's no more at all the sensation of "this [the body] through which": this through which the Divine flows—there isn't. It's like this (immutable gesture), still and nonexistent, without any self-awareness, aware only of... the Divine Action, like that. Then everything is fine. And the minute there's even a slight impression of the Thing flowing "through," discomfort comes. You understand, it has become a very acute state. [95]

~

And it is the repeated and constant descent of the Divine Consciousness and its Force that is the means for the transformation of the whole being and the whole nature. Once this descent becomes habitual, the Divine Force, the Power of the Mother begins to work, no longer from above only or from behind the veil, but consciously in the Adhara itself, and deals with its difficulties and possibilities and carries on the Yoga. [96]

~

So too at first soul in man does not appear as something quite distinct from mind and from mentalised life; its movements are involved in the mind movements, its operations seem to be mental and emotional activities; the mental human being is not aware of a soul in him standing back from the mind and life and body, detaching itself, seeing and controlling and moulding their action and formation: but, as the inner evolution proceeds, this is precisely what can, must and does happen,—it is the long-delayed but inevitable next step in our evolutionary destiny. [97]

~

For supramental Love brings an active ecstasy that surpasses the void passive peace and stillness which is the heaven of the liberated Mind and does not betray the deeper greater calm which is the beginning of the supramental silence. [98]

~

There can be a decisive emergence in which the being separates itself from thought and sees itself in an inner silence as the spirit in mind, or separates itself from the life movements, desires, sensations, kinetic impulses and is aware of itself as the spirit supporting life, or separates itself from the body sense and knows itself as a spirit ensouling Matter: this is the discovery of ourselves as the Purusha, a mental being or a life-soul or a subtle self supporting the body. [99]

~

...with training one can arrive at a point when one remains outwardly conscious and yet lives in the inner being and has at will the indrawn or the out-poured condition; you can then have the same dense immobility and the same inpouring of a greater and purer consciousness in the waking state as in that which you erroneously call sleep. [100]

The Challenges one might Experience

In Ascent

For the mystic's experience of mind, especially when it falls still, is not that of an abstract condition or impalpable activity of the consciousness; it is rather an experience of a substance—an extended subtle substance in which there can be and are waves, currents, vibrations not physically material but still as definite, as perceptible, as tangible and controllable by an inner sense as any movement of material energy or substance by the physical senses. [101]

~

There is a sense of going in or deep down, a feeling of the movement towards inner depths; there is often a stillness, a pleasant numbness, a stiffness of the limbs. This is the sign of the consciousness retiring from the body inwards under the pressure of a force from above,—that pressure stabilising the body into an immobile support of the inner life, in a kind of strong and still spontaneous āsana. [102]

~

...a spontaneous uprush of the whole lower consciousness sometimes in currents or waves, sometimes in a less concrete motion, Or it may result in empowering the consciousness, no longer limited by the body and the habits of the external nature, to go within, to enter the inner mental depths, the inner vital, the inner (subtle) physical, the psychic, to become aware of its inmost psychic self or its inner mental, vital and subtle physical being and, it may be, to move and live in the domains, the planes, the worlds that correspond to these parts of the nature. [103]

~

A quietude and stillness is imposed on the body, on the active life-soul of desire and ego, on the external mind, while the satwic nature by stress of meditation, by an exclusive concentration of adoration, by a will turned inward to the Supreme, strives to merge itself in the spirit.[104]

The Descent

By the descent the inertia changes its character. It ceases to be a resistance of the physical and becomes only a physical condition to be transformed into the true basic immobility and rest.[105]

~

...the psychic transformation is one necessary condition of the total transformation of our existence, it is not all that is needed for the largest spiritual change. the Force is preparing its own reception and habituating the body to the descent. Having done that sufficiently it is coming down as a massive peace. The higher consciousness in its descent takes several fundamental forms—peace, power and strength, light, knowledge, Ananda. Usually it is the peace that descends first. This is not a mental, vital or physical peace of the ordinary kind, but something from above (spiritual), very firm, solid and concrete. It is its concreteness that makes you feel like a still massive block—a mass of the higher consciousness in place of the more tenuous substance of the ordinary nature.[106]

~

The descent whether of peace or force or light or knowledge or Ananda must the whole inner being down to the inner physical. Without that how is the outer to be transformed at all? It is an amazing idea to suppose that the outer can be changed while the inner is left to itself. What you had in the inner being was a static stillness which did not even entirely occupy the inner physical except at times—that was why the dynamic descent was necessary, but in the inner being or if possible the whole being, the inner outflowing into the outer, not in the outer being to the exclusion of the inner.[107]

~

...descent of the Divine Consciousness and its Force into the body. This descent is felt as a pouring in of calm and peace, of force and power, of light, of joy and ecstasy, of wideness and freedom and knowledge, of a Divine Being or a Presence—sometimes one of these, sometimes several of them or all together. [108] The descents that stiffen the body into a concentrated stillness the first touch of something at the end of which is the presence of the Divine. He is not impatient; he is rather careful not to disturb the evolution that is beginning. Certainly, some sadhaks have strong and decisive experiences at the beginning, but these are followed by a long labour in which there are many empty periods and many periods of struggle.[109]

~

The feeling of stoniness is very usually a first impression in the body of the stillness in the cells which comes with the downflow of the Peace.[110] Quiet, quiet and more quiet, calm strength, calm gladness are what are needed in mind and nerves and body as a basis for the siddhi—precisely because the Force, the Light, the Ananda that come down are extremely intense and need a great stillness in the being to bear and support them.[111]

~

The Force is preparing its own reception and habituating the body to the descent. Having done that sufficiently it is coming down as a massive peace. The higher consciousness in its descent takes several fundamental forms—peace, power and strength, light, knowledge, Ananda. Usually it is the peace that descends first. This is not a mental, vital or physical peace of the ordinary kind, but something from above (spiritual), very firm, solid and concrete. It is its concreteness that makes you feel like a still massive block—a mass of the higher consciousness in place of the more tenuous substance of the ordinary nature.[112]

How The Mother Works in the Adhara?

It is the repeated and constant descent of the Divine Consciousness and its Force that is the means for the transformation of the whole being and the whole nature. Once this descent becomes habitual, the Divine Force, the Power of the Mother begins to work, no longer from above only or from behind the veil, but consciously in the Adhara itself, and deals with its difficulties and possibilities and carries on the Yoga.[113]

~

In our Yoga it is not a specialised process, but a spontaneous uprush of the whole lower consciousness sometimes in currents or waves, sometimes in a less concrete motion.[114]

~

...the psychic bhakti, the true vital love are the real moving forces. [115]

~

Bliss The gain of this culmination in a universal and equal rapture is the soul's delight and the opening gates of the Bliss that is infinite, the Joy that surpasses all understanding.[116]

~

Always what your inner being has asked is Love, Bhakti, Ananda and whenever it comes to the surface it is, even if only in a first elementary form, the divine love which it brings with it. A basis of deep and intense calm and stillness, a great intensity of emotion and Bhakti, an inrush of Ananda, this is in these moments your repeated experience. [117]

The Mother’s Own Experiences

That is to say, [when there is sometimes stillness and sometimes mechanical thoughts] the Power is still working on the physical consciousness (the mechanical mind and the subconscient) to bring stillness there. Sometimes the stillness comes but not complete, sometimes the mechanical mind reasserts itself. This oscillation usually takes place in a movement of the kind. Even if there is a sudden or rapid transforming shock or downrush, there has to be some working out of this kind afterwards—that at least has always been my experience. For most, however, there comes, first, this slow preparatory process.[118]

Supramental Love

For it is seen that these selves are representations of a divine Entity to which mind, life and body are only forms and instruments: we are then the Soul looking at Nature, knowing all her dynamisms in us, not by mental perception and observation, but by an intrinsic consciousness and its direct sense of things and its intimate exact vision, able therefore by its emergence to put a close control on our nature and change it. [119]

~

My impression was that as a result of this the physical cells were going to develop materially and be transformed (I think it will happen—I had a sort of assurance that it will). Because now, as I'm talking to you, I'm looking at it and I see—the effect is still there: no longer with the same overwhelming power, but the effect is there and it gives a sort of... (it can't be compared to anything physical)... a sort of warmth; it's not heat, but warmth. Everything is seized by it, both ears (Mother touches her head), everything—here, there, all around! Tremendous. And this immobility! As soon as one stops, it is immor... (Mother cuts off her word), it is eternity.[120]

~

When there is a complete silence in the being, either a stillness of the whole being or a stillness behind unaffected by surface movements, then we can become aware of a Self, a spiritual substance of our being, an existence exceeding even the soul individuality, spreading itself into universality, surpassing all dependence on any natural form or action, extending itself upward into a transcendence of which the limits are not visible. It is these liberations of the spiritual part in us which are the decisive steps of the spiritual evolution in Nature.[121]

Transformation

It is indeed the beginning of the real transformation—all the rest hitherto has been mainly preparation and clearing of difficulties and impediments through all these years. This serene peace and massive stillness has to stabilise itself, fill the whole nature, widen itself until all existence internal and external seems full of it. This may take time, but the beginning once there it is sure to take place, if one is steady and constant. This transformation cannot be complete or really executed without the awakening of the truth-mind which corresponds in the mental being to the Supermind and is capable of receiving mentally its illuminations. By the opposition of Spirit and Mind without the free opening of this intermediate power the two natures, higher and lower, stand divided.[122]

~

...as a completely emptied mind substance devoid of energy or light, completely inert, is the condition of neutral peace and empty stillness which is or can be a stage of the liberation. But it can afterwards feel itself filled with infinite existence, consciousness (carrying energy in it) and finally Ananda.[123]

~

The mind too can rise towards and touch her infinity or merge itself in it in trance of samadhi or can lose itself in her universality, and then our individuality disappears, our centre of action is then no longer in us, but either outside our bodied selves or nowhere; our mental activities are then no longer our own, but come into this frame of mind, life and body from the universal, work themselves out and pass leaving no impression on us, and this frame of ourselves too is only an insignificant circumstance in her cosmic vastness. But the perfection sought in the integral Yoga is not only to be one with her in her highest spiritual power and one with her in her universal action, but to realise and possess the fullness of this Shakti in our individual being and nature.[124]

~

The power of Love supramentalised can take hold of all living relations without hesitation or danger and turn them Godwards delivered from their crude, mixed and petty human settings and sublimated into the happy material of a divine life. [125]

~

The real self is the eternal who is obviously capable of both the mobility in Time and the immobility basing Time,—simultaneously, otherwise they could not both exist; nor, even, could one exist and the other create seemings. This is the supreme Soul, Self and Being2 of the Gita who upholds both the immobile and the mobile being as the self and lord of all existence.[126]

~

Imperfections and Periods of Arrest

A difficulty comes or an arrest in some movement which you have begun or have been carrying on for some time. How is it to be dealt with?[127]

~

It is to be dealt with by becoming always more quiet, more firm in the will to go through, by opening oneself more and more so that any obstructing non-receptivity in the nature may diminish or disappear, by an affirmation of faith even in the midst of the obscurity, faith in the presence of a Power that is working behind the cloud and the veil, in the guidance of the Guru, by an observation of oneself to find any cause of the arrest, not in a spirit of depression or discouragement but with the will to find out and remove it. This is the only right attitude and, if one is persistent in taking it, the periods of arrest are not abolished,—for that cannot be at this stage,—but greatly shortened and lightened in their incidence.[128]

~

But a third power or possibility of the Infinite Consciousness can be admitted, its power of self-absorption, of plunging into itself, into a state in which self-awareness exists but not as knowledge and not as all-knowledge; the all would then be involved in pure self-awareness, and knowledge and the inner consciousness itself would be lost in pure being. This is, luminously, the state which we call the Superconscience in an absolute sense,—although most of what we call superconscient is in reality not that but only a higher conscient, something that is conscious to itself and only superconscious to our own limited level of awareness. There can then be a fundamental double status such as that of the Nirguna standing back from the Saguna and absorbed in its own purity and immobility, while the rest is held back behind a veil and not admitted within that special status. In the same way we could account for the status of consciousness aware of one field of being or one movement of it, while the awareness of all the rest would be held behind and veiled or, as it were, cut off by a waking trance of dynamic concentration from the specialised or limited awareness occupied only with its own field or movement. The totality of the infinite consciousness would be there, not abolished, recoverable, but not evidently active, active only by implication, by inherence or by the instrumentality of the limited awareness, not in its own manifest power and presence. It will be evident that all these three powers can be accepted as possible to the dynamics of the Infinite Consciousness, and it is by considering the many ways in which they can work that we may get a clue to the operations of Maya.[129]

~

...we habituate ourselves by practice to the sense of duty, to a firm fidelity to principle, a stoical fortitude or a religious resignation, a quiet or an ecstatic submission to God's will. But it is not these things that the Gita intends, useful though they are in their place; it aims at something absolute, unmitigated, uncompromising, a turn, an attitude that will change the whole poise of the soul. Not the mind's control of vital impulse is its rule, but the strong immobility of an immortal spirit.[130]


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