Friday, August 6, 2010
Passion as Being
I did not write yesterday. Didn't feel like it. Rather, I enjoyed my morning tea, reading the newspaper, and working the crossword puzzle before heading out to work. It was lovely, peaceful, and I felt guilty as hell for the rest of the day!
In the previous blog, I quoted Sri Aurobindo's admonition about wandering at the call of one's Soul and this morning I woke thinking about a quote from his collaborator, The Mother, born Mirra Alfassa in Paris to an Egyptian mother and a Turkish father, "When you do anything with a sense of compression of one's being, you can be sure you are doing it in the wrong way." This teaching brought an awareness that passion is about being and not about being driven. A passion that primarily has a driven force behind it easily looses sight of itself. A passion that is the driving force finds its fullest and most complete expression. Discipline is required in either case. Driven discipline causes the spirit of passion to become dry, depleted. Lived passion waters and nourishes the Spirit and being and doing are merged. Its opposite is what, to me, is meant by the "sense of a compression of one's being."
Like most writers, I too, have had my vision of the great work of fiction that would stand alongside War and Peace. I'm quite certain that is not to be, because despite my love of great fiction, I have been painfully aware of my own pathetic attempts at it. I am meant to write differently.
The Mother also instructs:
"The first thing to do then is to find out what it is that you are meant to realise, what is the role you have to play, your particular mission, and the capacity or quality you have to express. You have to discover that and also the thing or things that oppose and do not allow it to flower or come to full manifestation. In other words, you have to know yourself, recognise your soul or psychic being." (from the Collected Works of The Mother - Centenary Edition,Volume 15, page. 257, copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Pres, Pondicherry, India, 1978)
I have always had the fantastical illusion that somehow the expression of my passion would be an event. I understand now that it is not an event. Rather, it is a process of removing those things that oppose it. If constancy to the process is maintained, being and doing will gradually merge and be manifested by effortless discipline, and hesitancy will disappear.