“Everyone transmits.” – Adi Da Samraj
I was noticing recently that I’m not as disciplined as I used to be, and also not as happy. It occurred to me that perhaps there’s a connection there? (I don’t mean “disciplined” in a horrible, self-involved sense, but in terms of consciously choosing how to live.)
So we might ask, what happens when we don’t make conscious choices about how to spend our time and attention? Here’s a juicy quote that suggests one possible answer:
You must understand that you are not separate individualities, that life is a constant exchange of forces, of consciousnesses, of vibrations, of movements of all kinds. It is as in a crowd, you see: when everyone pushes all go forward, and when all recede, everyone recedes. It is the same thing in the inner world, in your consciousness. There are all the time forces and influences acting upon you, it is like a gas in the atmosphere, and unless you are quite awake, these things enter into you, and it is only when they have gone well in and come out as if they came from you, that you become aware of them.
How many times people meet those who are nervous, angry, in a bad mood, and themselves become nervous, angry, moody, just like that, without knowing why. Why is it that when you play [a sport] against certain people you play very well, but when you play against others you cannot play? And those very quiet people, not at all wicked, who suddenly become furious when they are in a furious crowd! And no one knows who has started it: it is something that went past and swept off the consciousness. There are people who can let out vibrations like this and others respond without knowing why.
Everything is like that, from the smallest to the biggest things.
To be individualized in a collectivity, one must be absolutely conscious of oneself. And of which self? – the Self which is above all intermixture, that is what I call the Truth of your being. And as long as you are not conscious of the Truth of your being, you are moved by all kinds of things, without taking any note of it at all. Collective thought, collective suggestions are a formidable influence which act constantly on individual thought. And what is extraordinary is that one does not notice it. One believes that one thinks “like that” but it is the collectivity that thinks “like that”.1
Questions for consideration:
- When she says “collective suggestions are a formidable influence”, what is your experience of this? Is she exaggerating?
- When you feel a desire to hurt someone, or self-medicate with your drug of choice, or indulge in some sort other of craziness, how do you relate with these passions?
- There is an old saying “if you go with the flow, you get flushed down the toilet”. What do you think?
- Excerpted from The Hidden Forces of Life: Selections from the Works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, compiled with an introduction by A.S. Dalal. As included in The Basket of Tolerance by Adi Da Samraj. ↩