Guiding Light of The Month

Like a flame that burns in silence, like a perfume that rises straight upward without wavering, my love goes to Thee; and like the child who does not reason and has no care, I trust myself to Thee that Thy Will may be done, that Thy Light may manifest, Thy Peace radiate, Thy Love cover the world. - The Mother

Some practical hints for Spiritual Education - Part 2

(continued from the November 2014 issue)

The child should be taught that whenever there is an inner uneasiness, he should not pass it off and try to forget it, but should attend to it, and try to find out by an inner observation the cause of the uneasiness so that it can be removed by inner or outer methods.

It should be emphasised that if one has a sincere and steady aspiration, a persistent and dynamic will, one is sure to meet in one way or another, externally by study and instruction, internally by concentration, revelation and experience, the help one needs to reach the goal. Only one thing is absolutely indispensable: the will to discover and realise. This discovery and this realisation should be the primary occupation of the being, the pearl of great price which one should acquire at any cost. Whatever one does, whatever one’s occupation and activity, the will to find the truth of one’s being and to unite with it must always be living, always present behind all that one does and that one experiences, all that one thinks.

There are aspects of the mental, vital and physical development which contribute to the psychic and spiritual education. They can be briefly mentioned.

In its natural state the human mind is always limited in its vision, narrow in its understanding, rigid in its conceptions, and a certain effort is needed to enlarge it, make it supple and deep. Hence, it is very necessary to develop in the child the inclination and capacity to consider everything from as many points of view as possible. There is an exercise in this connection which gives greater suppleness and elevation to thought. It is as follows: a clearly formulated thesis is set; against it is opposed the antithesis, formulated with the same precision. Then by careful reflection the problem must be widened or transcended so that a synthesis is found which unites the two contraries in a larger, higher and more comprehensive idea.

Another exercise is to control the mind from judging things and people. For true knowledge belongs to a region much higher than that of the human mind, even beyond the region of pure ideas. The mind has got to be made silent and attentive in order to receive knowledge from above and manifest it.

Still another exercise: whenever there is a disagreement on any matter, as a decision to take, or an act to accomplish, one must not stick to one’s own conception or point of view. On the contrary, one must try to understand the other person’s point of view, put oneself in his place and, instead of quarrelling or even fighting, find out a solution which can reasonably satisfy both parties; there is always one for men of goodwill.

And there are many such exercises.

A wide, subtle, rich, complex, attentive and quiet and silent mind is an asset not only for the psychic and spiritual discovery, but also for manifesting the psychic and spiritual truths and powers.

The vital being in us is the seat of impulses and desires, of enthusiasm and violence, of dynamic energy and desperate depression, of passions and revolt. The vital is a good worker, but most often it seeks its own satisfaction. If that is refused totally or even partially, it gets vexed, sulky and goes on strike.

An exercise at these moments is to remain quiet and refuse to act. For it is important to realise that at such times one does stupid things and in a few minutes can destroy or spoil what one has gained in months of regular effort, losing thus all the progress made.

Another exercise is to deal with the vital as one deals with a child in revolt, with patience and perseverance showing it the truth and light, endeavouring to convince it and awaken in it the goodwill which for a moment was veiled.

A wide and strong calm but dynamic vital, capable of right emotion, right decision, and right execution by force and energy, is an invaluable aid to the psychic and spiritual realisations.

The body by its nature is a docile and faithful instrument. But it is very often misused by the mind with its dogmas, its rigid and arbitrary principles, and by the vital with its passions, its excesses and dissipations. It is these which are the cause of the bodily fatigue, exhaustion and disease. The body must therefore be free from the tyranny of the mind and of the vital; and this can be done by training the body to feel and sense the psychic presence within to learn to obey its governance.

The emphasis on the development of strength, suppleness, calm, quiet, poise, grace and beauty in physical education will ensure the contact of the body with the psychic centre and the body will learn to put forth at every minute the effort that is demanded of it, for it will have learnt to find rest in action, to replace through contact with the universal forces the energies it spends consciously and usefully. By this sound and balanced life a new harmony will manifest in the body, reflecting the harmony of the regions which will give it the perfect proportions and the ideal beauty of form. It will then be in a constant process of transformation, and it will be possible for it to escape the necessity of disintegration and destruction, and death.

At a certain stage of development, when the seeking of the student is found to be maturing, he can be directed more and more centrally to the psychic and the spiritual discovery. And here we come to yoga proper, the nature and problems of which have to be studied separately.

(concluded)

(Selected from Kireet Joshi’s essay – “Some Practical Hints For Spiritual Education”,‘Dimensions of Spiritual Education – Integral Education Series’, Published by Sri Aurobindo Institute of Research in Social Sciences, A Unit of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry)


The Mother Says:

"With very few exceptions, parents are not aware of the disastrous influence that their own defects, impulses, weaknesses and lack of self-control have on their children. If you wish to be respected by a child, have respect for yourself and be worthy of respect at every moment. Never be authoritarian, despotic, impatient or ill-tempered. When your child asks you a question, do not give him a stupid or silly answer under the pretext that he cannot understand you. You can always make yourself understood if you take enough trouble; and in spite of the popular saying that it is not always good to tell the truth, I affirm that it is always good to tell the truth, but that the art consists in telling it in such a way as to make it accessible to the mind of the hearer."

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