The Occupation of the Mind

16 / 01 / 2001

  • Occupation of the Mind is entirely a psychological concept.
  • Preoccupation of worries or problems is a concept that is commonly well appreciated.
  • When the preoccupation recedes, one feels free, not realising that he has gone back to the general permanent condition of occupation.
  • Intellectuals can readily concede the concept of Mind is occupied with beliefs, opinions, prejudices, etc.
  • That is the tip of the iceberg below which is the entire mental experience of a single man all his life buried in the mental consciousness to saturation. This part is the more essential occupation of the Mind.
  • Similarly, the vital occupation is there fortified by the entire vital experience of the society around.
  • There is the mental experience of the society enveloping the individuals. But his own mental experience is a thin membrane and society does NOT have a seriously organised mental experience that is intense that can very much he distinguished from the social vital experience which is Very Real.
  • The biological physical experience is more than real and its occupation is its existence. It is not in two distinct spheres for us to call one the occupation of the other. It is so powerfully organised, dense, and saturated that we see the cells, nerves, brain but not the physical consciousness.
  • As the mental is too thin, the physical is too overwhelming, as we are left with the individual’s vital experiences saturated with that of the social shot through and through, which is mistaken for the mental, let us give a certain detailed consideration for that.
  • What is this vital occupation?
  • It is our active state of existence, alert, ready to react without notice. It is this that is indoctrinated by organised religion or political creed, disciplined by the family and society. It is fully outside the control of the individual.
  • Society disciplines this force in individuals much as a mighty river is handled by the embankments erected on its sides by those who cannot essentially handle it.
  • It is obvious that the entire procession of Saints over the ages has left it intact, though the population has often spoken the language of these great men as a passing fancy.
  • This is the seat of karma, fashioned by the Force that issued out of Consciousness.
  • Man has no formed mind as yet, his body is a rock and the only vibrant force that he is, is this.
  • Our purpose here is how consecration acts on this Vital.
  • Consecration is a consummate force or power that does affect this vital existence of ours effectively.
  • As a boat has the power to be carried away by the stream of a river helplessly, it does have the power to go up stream.
  • The contrivance the boat is enables the mighty power of the river to be overcome for its (boat’s) own purposes.
  • Consecration, by its being an organised entity, overcomes the course of this vital force for the purposes of its own self while the vital force does not lend itself to be touched.
  • In that, the power of consecration is mighty. But we do remember the stream of force has not been handled.
  • When the boat turns in its journey with the flow of the river, rarely does the river recognise that its entire power, as far as the boat is concerned, is lent to the boat. But the boat even when it is moving downstream has its own power of motion, self-generated. Our purposes are limited to the question of how to make the river carry the boat on its own strength.
  • Society at large moves downstream like boats without sails.
  • Foolish people anchor their boats across the river; obstinate ones try to row upstream.
  • Our aim is to set the boat along the down stream, know there is an added power of cars, sails, and steam engines.
  • To give the boat the best rowing power available and sail it down stream is our purpose. The spiritual power is capable of releasing the spirit of the boat and keeping it in tune with the Spirit of the river so that the river will raise the speed of its flow to its maximum and fully protect the boat while it sails. That is not what we consider here, but we know it does exist and will release itself into action if the boat in its action is in full harmony with the river.
  • Analogy apart, when we consecrate, we not only see the smooth flow of the action, but see this vital stream emerging into life.
  • Each time the unusual happens, the impossible becomes possible, the topmost event of the world enters into our poor life. If we do not explain it away or are indifferent, we get a glimpse of this power.
  • Proper attention to this phenomenon will enable us to fully avail of this enormous power for our purpose.
  • For this, a true appreciation of the various occupations of mental, vital, physical, the conscious parts of it, the subconscious occupations, the occupation moving to the substance in each plane is essential.
  • When the Token Act is reviewed, its parts can be commented on from these points of view. Hence the importance of details.
  • After the Token Act, one can make an exhaustive study of these phenomena if he wants to master this field.
  • A citizen avails of the social facilities of transport, commerce, communication, etc. The government, when it chooses, orders all these facilities to be put at its disposal. What the government does by its power, man can do by consecration when he knows these occupations.
  • The truth is not that the mind is occupied but that the mind is occupied with FALSEHOOD which Sri Aurobindo describes in the very last page, perhaps on p. 1069, euphemistically as the taste of Ignorance.
  • He never minces matters when HE writes, but only personally HE is polite. HE goes on to say we are 99 % hostile. Anyone who goes deeper than his own surface devotion will at once encounter hostility.
  • Hostility one can concede, not evil. He who concedes evil in himself will not concede superstition. But the TRUTH is naked. One must be SINCERE enough at least to recognise, if not shed, that he is

    selfish, etc.

  • This is as much a concession as to say we have two hands.
  • Man is blind, unconscious and LOVES to be so.
  • Examine every past event. They will be discovered now as perfect expressions of comprehensive folly, adorable superstition, laughable stupidity.
  • It shows in a hundred different ways. We are satisfied by the company with others. Comparison is odious. We must see the naked truth, be ashamed of it, speak it out to Mother. That is inner sincerity. Outer sincerity which gives outer results in work completing the inner sincerity requires one speak out the harm he did to others to the affected individuals. Then it must be reversed in word and deed.
  • We are not permitted to justify saying we are like everyone else. Justification will harm the truth. Each man is odious in his own way. “I am odious in my own unique way.” This is the overmental truth in me which expresses as uniqueness. In Chapter 26, Book I in the last paragraph, Sri Aurobindo says that the presence of the psychic in these unique expressions, by overcoming their forms, united them which when raised to universality finds its fulfilment in its further depth where the truth is discovered in the very fibre of our being.
  • Occupation is a powerful truth for us to approach the truth of our nature, just as education enables us to understand the several levels of occupation.
  • To discover the truth of this vital plane, one should NOT be preoccupied or occupied by this obsession.
  • There must be freedom from mental occupation before one reaches the vital.
  • The physical will invade the mind and vital to fully submerge them under its biological dormant energies.
  • Not a single Non-Fact in the mind present or past should be there if one has to mentally know the fact, if not the truth.
  • The present will not be free if the past is clogged.
  • In this endeavour one is normally clouded by inverse facts, superstitions, etc. all of which are blatantly false, stupid and foolish. It is necessary to see
    • from where our strengths have come and what their opposites are;
    • the errors of past and how they survive in the present;
    • that one must realise as his own Self-conception his true position allowing self-awareness to emerge;
    • what matters is the Self should express in the self in Truth, Knowledge and Love.

Consecration and Occupation

  • Our occupation determines our personality.
  • One’s consecration has an effect within the ambit of his occupation.
  • From one point of view of the self, a selfish man calling Mother while consecrating a problem will be successful only in problems that touch his own person. A passionate patriot whose emotions are identified with the country can effectively consecrate national problems. The meeting point is emotions.
  • A businessman can evoke a response from a wider market if he is identified with that unselfishly, rather with a attitude of self-giving to that market.
  • To perceive that the interests of the market are his own interests requires a greater subtlety than the normal common sense, which feels that they are in conflict.
    • Our present level of comfort is because we are a unit of a more civilised society.
    • A unit of a bigger unit is bigger in size.
    • Whether it will come by volume or price depends on the temperament of the individual.
    • Selfishness cannot see the subtle truth that the wider community wishes to GIVE itself to its unit, which expresses as greater profits. The normal man raises the price when the product is in greater demand.
  • As the occupation widens, the consecration widens.
  • Occupation is a force of restriction.
  • Consecration cannot overcome the inhibiting occupation.
  • Occupation is a conditioning that is a limitation.
  • Man is born free in his soul, but he grows into the various occupations as his mind accepts consciously the limiting emotions of the self, the family, etc.
  • Consecration itself is capable of deconditioning a person by its inherent power of the Spirit.

The Power of Consecration that overcomes Occupation

  • Consecration is reference to Mother’s Force.
  • When the reference reaches The Mother, the personal inhibiting interest is overcome and the higher force works.
  • It is felt as our forgetting the problem, a SILENCE in the mind, and we see the wider power in action. E.g. A boy who failed in an exam consecrates. In response, his teacher revalues his paper and gives him a pass. Here the consecration has moved the personal interest of the teacher in the boy. A circular comes from the department to reexamine the failed pupils which means Mother’s Force has moved the department where consecration has a wider effect. Churchill receiving the Force from Sri Aurobindo is an example of the supramental force penetrating the ignorance to reach the seed of knowledge in it and transforming that ignorance into knowledge.
  • Occupation is the inertia rising from below. Consecration brings the Force of the Superconscient from above.
  • In an advanced age, failing health is usual. A child of such a parent consecrates. It has several responses depending upon the level of consecration -- from immediate relief to the sufferer to renewed health for the rest of their life. We see the varieties of forces offering various types of solutions all set in the graded scale of concentric circles of ever increasing consecration invoking the powers of the ever widening personality of the child or the parent according to the intensity of relationship. *
  • This is a fit chapter or a section of a chapter of a book on personality whose main territory is occupation that is conditioning. When the external forces invade, it is occupation. It changes into conditioning if one takes the initiative from inside. The formulation of knowledge of the Spirit to rule over life, if not matter, will yield a FORMULA which, among other things, will be based on a shift from outside to the inside.

Shift from the outer to the inner

  1. Occupation from outside becomes conditioning from inside.
  2. Social discipline changing into values of self-discipline.
  3. School education—Self-education.
  4. Social culture—Family tradition.
  5. From vital and mind to Spirit.
  6. Intellect—Intuition.
  7. Speech—Silence.
  8. Selfishness—self-giving.
  9. Organisation—Ideal.
  10. Instruction—Inspiration.
  11. Money—Capacity.
  12. Gross plane, work in the gross plane—Subtle thought.
  13. Expectation—Silence will.
  14. Objectivity—Subjectivity.
  15. Getting—Giving.
  16. Skill—Capacity.
  17. Prejudice—Values.
  18. Personal—Impersonal.
  19. Finite—Infinite.
  20. Form—Formlessness.
  21. Time—Simultaneous integrality.
  22. Contradictions—Compliments.
  23. Union—Unity.
  24. The Many—The One.
  25. Profit—customer satisfaction.
  26. Change—transformation.
  27. Surrender for Moksha—Surrender for transformation.
  28. From below one moves from the desire soul to the psychic while from above the same goal is reached by moving from Purusha to the psychic.

One can make this list exhaustive as a check list for personal growth.




* A note for Roy: Anyone can write down his observations over the past many years -- about a few hundred events -- and fit them into a scale of personality. The reader can know at once what he took years to understand. On the other hand, trying to note them now from around, one will get in a short time as much as his decades long experience.