WHO AM I – MERE – SRI AUROBINDO
“What do I call ‘myself’?
Is it my body? – it changes all the time, it is never the same thing. Is it my feelings? – they change so often. Is it my thoughts? – they are built and destroyed continuously.
That is not myself. Where is the self? What is it that gives me
this sense of continuity?”
The problem becomes more and more perplexing. You continue to observe, you tell yourself: “It is my memory.” But even if one loses one’s memory, one would be oneself.
If one sincerely continues this profound search, there comes a moment
when everything disappears and one single thing exists,
that is the Divine, the divine Presence.
Everything disappears, dissolves, everything melts away like butter in the sunlight….
When one has made this discovery, one becomes aware that one
was nothing but a bundle of habits.
It is always that which does not know the Divine and is not conscious of the Divine which speaks. In everyone there are these hundreds and hundreds of “selves” who speak and in hundreds of completely different ways – “selves” unconscious, changing, ﬂuid.
The self which speaks today is not the same as yesterday’s; and if you look further, the self has disappeared. There is only one who remains.
That is the Divine.
When one has this inner reversal of consciousness, in one second everything, everything changes… precisely
this bewilderment of being able to think that what one is, what one considers
as oneself is not true, and that what is the truth of one’s being
is something one doesn’t know.
You see, this should have been the normal reaction, the one she had, of saying, “But then what is myself? If what I feel as myself is an illusory formation and not the truth of my being, then what is myself?” For that she doesn’t know.
And so when one asks the question like that…
There is a moment…when you have even the feeling, precisely, that things are strange, that is, they are not real, a kind of sense of unreality.
And the question continues coming up:
“But then, what is myself?”
Well, there is a moment when it comes up with so much concentration and such intensity that with this intensity of concentration
suddenly there occurs a reversal, and then, instead of being on this side you are
on that side, and when you are on that side everything is very simple;
you understand, you know, you are, you live,
and then you see clearly the unreality of the rest, and this is enough. You see, one may have to wait for days, months, years, centuries, lives, before this moment comes.
But if one intensiﬁes his aspiration,
there is a moment when the pressure is so great and the intensity
of the question so strong that something
turns over in the consciousness,
and then this is absolutely what one feels: instead of being here one is there,
instead of seeing from outside and seeking to see within, one
is inside; and the minute one is within, absolutely
everything changes, completely,
and all that seemed to him true, natural, normal, real, tangible, all that, immediately, – yes, it seems to him very grotesque, very queer, very unreal, quite absurd; but one has touched something which is supremely true and eternally beautiful, and this one never loses again.
Once the reversal has taken place, you can glide into an external consciousness, not lose the ordinary contact with the things of life,
but that remains and it never moves.
How many blows are needed in life for one to know to the very depths that one is nothing, that one can do nothing, that one does not exist, that one is nothing, that there is no entity without the divine Consciousness and the Grace.
From the moment one knows it, it is over;
all the difficulties have gone.
In fact, to be a being, one must ﬁrst unify oneself. If one is pulled by absolutely opposite tendencies, if one spends three-fourths of one’s life without being conscious of oneself and the reasons why one does things, is one a real being?
One does not exist.
One is a mass of inﬂuences, movements, forces, actions,
reactions, but one is not a being.
One begins to become a being when one begins to have a will.
And one can’t have a will unless
one is uniﬁed.
When Mere was asked “What does it mean to know oneself?”
Her answer was:
This mean to be conscious of one’s inner truth, conscious on the different parts
of one’s being and their respective functions. You must know
why you do this, why you do that;
you must know your thoughts, know your feelings, all your activities, all your movements, of what you are capable, etc, and to know oneself is not enough: this knowledge must bring a conscious control.
To know oneself perfectly is to control oneself perfectly.
But there must be an aspiration at every moment. It is never
too early to begin, never too late to continue.
That is, even when you are quite young, you can begin to study yourself and know yourself and gradually to control yourself. And even when you are what is called “old”, when you are quite aged, it is not too late to make the effort to know oneself better and better and to control oneself better and better. That is the Science of Living
The being of man is composed of these elements – the psychic behind supporting all, the inner mental, vital and physical, and the outer, quite external nature of mind, life and body which is their instrument of expression.
But above all is the central being (Jivatma) which uses them all
for its manifestation: it is a portion
of the Divine Self;
but this reality of himself is hidden from the external man who replaces this inmost self and soul of him by the mental and vital ego.
It is only those who have begun to know themselves that become aware of their true central being; but still it is always there standing behind the action of mind, life and body and is most directly represented by the psychic which is itself a spark of the Divine.
It is by the growth of the psychic element in one’s nature
that one begins to come into conscious touch
with one’s central being above.
When that happens and the central being uses a conscious will to control and organize the movements of the nature, it is then that one has a real, a spiritual as opposed to a partial and merely mental or moral self-mastery.