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Life Response Notes and Ideas


April 17, 2001

Life Response becomes an important concept when you know how to make life respond. The relevant aspects are:

1.         Life exists in the gross, subtle, and causal planes.

2.         There is subtlety in the physical, vital and mental levels.

3.         Further, this subtlety extends in a more refined way in the descent than in the ascent.

4.         Our opinions, preferences, thoughts, prejudices, habits, constructions of the surface mind and inner mind and their corresponding aspects in the physical and vital are the subdivisions we must look for in our understanding, attitudes and motives.

i.e. our response can be made that particular, so as to be one of the many divisions.

The subtle plane is the planes up to the Supermind. When the planes cross from Overmind into Supermind, the causal plane begins.

  • By Life Response I mean life is a plane of equilibrium of forces and when one force moves, it creates corresponding movements in connected places. Those movements are of some description.
  •  Random movements as caused by the disturbances in the equilibrium.
  • Conscious movements with a purpose.
  • Unconscious movements as a result of changes in equilibrium.
  • The equilibrium is that of energy, forces, power.

-- All physical movements can be conceived of as movements created and governed by gravitation, magnetism, pressure, heat, light etc.

-- Movements in life are caused by mental, vital, subtle and spiritual forces that similarly change the equilibrium in those planes.

-- Opinions are mental, attitudes are vital, silence is spiritual. Thoughts coming into our mind because another man elsewhere talks about us is subtle vibration.

-- Subtle planes accompany all the planes.

-- The Supramental plane is the causal plane.

-- Cause leading to effect deciding acts creates the causal plane.

In any event that precipitates, there is a prime mover supported by several subordinate forces. Neither of them by themselves can precipitate the event.  When both are present in their combined strength, they precipitate the event.

 Both positive and negative forces are always present in the atmosphere.

There is a certain balance at all times of forces which when altered causes life response. If a man's personality constantly raises the combined strength of the positive forces and keeps the negative forces down, that man will be constantly evoking life responses.

Observe your life in the light of this principle and work out proportionate strength of the positive and negative forces.  Try to generate positive forces, support them and gather them together to exceed the negative forces which when done, evokes a life response.

  • There are individualised forces in life of both positive and negative character that move to an individual in response to what he is and what he does.
  • Their combined operation maintains an equilibrium of smooth existence.
  • When the equilibrium is tilted in favour of the right side, and in that measure, forces of life precipitate a positive act in his life.
  • At any given time, one can see forces on the move. They move in concert.
  • One who is perceptive may see just before an act is precipitated, several major and minor forces simultaneously moving in unison towards the centre.
  • Among them there will be a single prime mover, some major constituents and a host of minor tributaries.
  • Without the Prime Mover, there will be a disturbance, no result.
  • Without the major contributors, the Prime Mover may powerfully upset the system but no permanent contribution positive or negative will be made.
  • A good judge of those Forces can precipitate a Good Act by any one of these SMALL forces and similarly avoid trouble.
  • One who is positive and alert can manage the field with a bias to the right side.
  • At any moment, knowing the combination of forces and their laws, one can, by increasing the right forces in their intensity or decreasing the wrong forces, make life Respond.
    We do not understand Life Response until we see Life is a field of all Responses. Life is no life if it is not all Response to Life.
  • Often we explain an event as Life Response.
  • When the connected events are precise, the explanation is entirely satisfactory.
  • The scholar dies when he is satisfied.
  • From connected people, fresh light is thrown from new facts.
  • Others give fresh explanations to old facts.
  • As life is infinite, there are infinite explanations.
  • When the facts reveal the LAW behind, no further explanations are needed. But the laws are infinite.
  • Facts, on examination, reveal laws of Life Response.
  • Our probing into facts should not stop till we see the laws.
  • Laws are infinite in number as well as they have infinite ways of explanation.
  • Law is a relationship between events.
  • The laws have behind them principles or Truths.
  • Truth is not final as it is outside.
  • What is seen inside is the truth. It is the essence.
  • The essence of truth is existence.
  • Life when understood as the essence of existence inside is Reality for our purposes. We can stop there. Then Life Response will explain itself.
  • Any event you report can be analysed like this. Until you start doing it yourself, we shall analyse. Analysis needs fresh facts, fresh vies of facts. This can be done only by several persons reflecting on one event. One must invite the opinions of many people on each event.
  • Scholars are satisfied when their energies run out. Interchange with others energizes. No inquiry should stop in the middle. Carry it on till you are fully resolved in mind.

We take good positive results as Life Response. Sometimes we concede that status to the opposite. Every act or any event can fit that description. For one who observes and wants to learn, no move or event is too trivial to study. The more trivial the act is, the greater is the revelation.

Only when we are able to SEE the laws of Life Response in every act, do we understand it.

Life Response, as every other study, has so many other facet which emerge from listening to hundreds of points of view.

Try to evoke Life Response. Observe ALL on the sides -- events, people, facts, feelings, opinions, etc. -- and analyse on the basis of these Laws. One thing will be more than apparently revealing:

1.When there is accomplishment, it is we who did it.

2. When it is spoiled, it is we who spoiled it. Either way, the center is "we."  A good working rule is, not a moral edict, let us know that we alone spoil things and let us also know that we can always accomplish if we want to. In practice, "Mother achieves, we spoil" will work.

  • How can we not take the credit for achieving?
  • What achieves in us is the higher side, not ego.
  • The higher side in us is The Mother.
  • The higher achieves, the lower spoils is the rule.
  • To know us as the higher side, not the lower side is observation.
  • A greater Truth is NOTHING is spoiled, because ego when it is destroyed is that which has to be destroyed

Evoking Life Response within the scope of our individual strength is always readily possible, if you know how to use the rules with an effect.

  • When one wants to achieve more than his own personality is fitted for, but is socially attainable, one has to create that social strength before he commissions the laws into action.
  • To evoke the same response even before such a strength is created is also possible when you know how small forces combine to produce great strength temporarily. A bright child sometimes meets the US President to receive an award or recognition.
  • The right thing is to use this knowledge to rise in individual strength, social importance or psychological intensity and then receive the appropriate awards.
  • Before such strength arises, a million possibilities arise because of this knowledge. To use this special knowledge sparingly as an exception is a difficult discipline for any person.
  • One should learn, observe, organise the thoughts, see the results, emphasize learning, NOT the results and WAIT for results to sail towards him.
  • One who honours this rule, will meet with unending progress. Will you be such a person? No one has ever passed that barrier.

The golden RULE is not to achieve, but to preserve what is achieved, NOT to fall into the temptation of our predecessors. Achieve, do not argue.

-- Life Response that arises as a result of our initiatives is what  I am mostly confining myself to. But Sri Aurobindo's yoga, needs the discipline of NOT taking any initiative. Of course, this does not interfere with the study. You may be aware of the fact that Life Responses as a result of our NOT taking initiatives will be initiated by the Force of Mother. Laws of action remaining the same, the one will be a fight of bow and arrows while the other will be modern warfare. The character of observation here changes considerably.

-- One of the striking areas to evoke Life Response is our own health. For the sake of experiment, it is best to take minor ailments like a cut or headache, or gas formation. A thought that locates their cause can release energies to heal the cut a day earlier, make the ache in the head vanish in a trice or belch out the gas. Even on major ailments an experiment can be made if cure is not aimed at, but analysis. It needs a profound study of the disease.

-- Computer is a sensitive instrument. It responds to our attitudes and attention readily. One can make the computer his own field of study. It is more so in the Internet. Internet is the instrument of subtle knowledge. So, it can give even subtle response, rather subtle Life Response. That will widen our inquiry. Indians who are emotional and subtle know these as their own experience.

-- As the knowledge of these laws grows more and more comprehensive, one can, as an experiment, make for oneself certain experiments as long as the ego is not tickled. 

1. Personal events of the coming week predicted.

2. Outcome of national events anticipated.

3. Unknown areas of history evaluated.

-- Unpremeditated 'predictions' come to pass before the thought arises in the mind. When that comes to stay, one has a good grasp of a sense of this Response. 

-- One more area fit for experimentation is a work which has been given up as impossible. Gradually examine the laws of the knot, the knot will burst asunder. However trifling the event is, the significance is none the less significant.

-- We now track response of ACTS. These responses exist in several layers, all of which follow the same rules with variations the plane demands. Acts, thoughts, impulses are three parts of the first layer. Similarly the feelings of the vital and below it the physical sensations exist. Each is a world in itself. As the understanding and mastery grow, one will feel a certain richness, fullness spilling over from the consciousness to substance.

-- The scientist offers a great physical discipline to his work of which fidelity to facts is important. The artist worships his art. To him it is sacred. Yoga demands the discipline of the scientist and the sacred worship of the artist. The yogi converts his own life and BODY into his laboratories. He must enjoy an abundant caution. One golden rule is, life is divine, work is yoga, any thought is sacred. A discipline that possesses the yogi must always be present.

-- The END of this line of discipline is to move the entire universe by one's thought. It is thus Sri Aurobindo won the 2nd World war and Mother sent the Chinese back from India's border. Purity of heart, adoration of the being can be seen in finding men and matters Divine..

-- As all successful people have the vital intuition of knowing people and circumstances, one who wants to master Life Response must have, or create that intuition of life.  By a systematic observation of life events based on the laws of life, this intuition can be learnt as a skill.

-- Man is beaten down by the strong, betrayed by the weak. The sadhak gets both.

The capacity of sub-atomic particle changing their movement when observed, is a fine example of matter giving a response to movements of life.

Life Response is a concept developed on the basis of Sri Aurobindo's thought. Therefore, it is essential to know all the bases there. One is the continuity of life otherwise expressed as the wholeness of it. These concepts occur everywhere in His writing. A few can be cited:

1. Matter and Spirit are one -- Chapter II, Bk I, Life Divine

2. Time and Timelessness are simultaneous p. 359

3. One and the Many  p. 358

4. Being, Becoming and Being of the Becoming.

In life, the practical work of the body and the thought of the Mind are simultaneously present in the emotions where they meet.

-- A man follows his inclinations, impulses, urges and exhausts them in the course of which he enjoys. For him, life responds with low income, tension,  violent enjoyment and their direct consequences. One cannot be moral here but must study the play of laws exactly. In case he wishes to attain high income, peace of mind, quiet, rich smooth enjoyment, the very same laws will instruct him accordingly.

To know that a defect is really no defect, that it is greater than the strength, because this defect can be transformed into something greater than strength -- as Ignorance is greater than Knowledge -- is the first mental opening which Life Divine can give to one who studies it, especially Life Response.

The process of creation is a wide theme in Life Divine. Eight planes, four knowledges, 7 ignorances, 4 methods, energising, dividing, creation of forms and a few others figure there. Life response, when studied in the context of each of these processes will render itself clearly.

Life Response exists at all levels. To us, two of them are important and stand out. 1) In human life, all events answer to those rules, 2) in higher life too, rules remain the same with one difference, i.e. there is no failure, nothing is negative, protection is implicit, not to be sought after. To comprehend the latter aspect, one needs to know that the Being is indivisible, defects are greater than strengths, negative is part of the whole not to be given up, actually greater than the positive.

Mastery of a physician increases with the increasing knowledge of the parts of the body. Today the minuteness of that knowledge goes on increasing.  Hence the increasing mastery of the doctor. Mastery of life response needs similar mastery of the details.

In a noiseless neighbourhood, Life Response can arise as a great inner Silence or negatively a sudden burst of noise. Life Response is a concept of life and thus can be extended to all conceivable fields. Having known it fully, to extend it to one more field will appear to be a new study.

At least once, Life Response should reveal itself as the full abundance of the whole plane of Life into our own life.

When there is a Life Response and we understand it as a direct consequence of an earlier act, the comprehension is complete. Assuming we do not know that earlier act, an analysis will unearth a host of other understandings.

To present Life Response as a spiritual culture to be lived and loved is to create a technology of Life, rendering the Life Divine into terms of higher life.

Perfect comprehension of all the laws is elusive for the public. Even a mountain of facts is of no avail to the scientist. Both together will leave the essence of knowledge untouched.  It will be the challenge of spiritual intelligence in life that defies codifying itself into a usable set of laws that goes into the community as a custom of culture.

Life is a whole in the gross and subtle planes. Only when its integrality is understood, the facts and laws we have mustered will blend into a useful understanding as a sure guide for action.

The STUDY never ends; rather, it does not begin until the Force is the Force shedding its outer versions.

Human observation and evaluation are value based, moral, social, while Life actions are based on the strength of vibrations prior to the biological forces. Still, Life respects man's attitude within his limits and in insisting on her response, she provides for his intensities.

The FORCE rears its head beyond the biological vibration. There is a force beyond that too.

Against a decided course partially consecrated, one finds his subconscious will attracting the opposite act when the unconsecrated will fulfils itself through Life Response.

One story I know such as Pride and Prejudice studied exhaustively from Life Response will add colour and substance to the study. The most characteristic is from Lady Catherine who consummated the marriage.

Silent will, prayer, correspondence, consecration, Life Response are very similar. It is better to keep clear distinctions.

Life Responds not only to real thoughts, but also to imaginary, illusory thoughts.  A man was complaining scores of times a day that he was exploited by everyone while there was nothing to exploit. This created an inner pressure in him that he compelled a few to exploit him.

Facts, attendant events, corresponding events, date, time, thoughts, emotions, letters received, sent and a host of other things without missing a single detail may be recorded for study. It will be interesting to see all issue from one single centre -- us.

Our acts are powerfully influenced by the emotions of the person we think of. The response of events and even material objects is instantaneous. It is worthwhile collecting them in as great a detail as possible for study.

When a subject is studied as a science, facts become sovereign and cannot allow to suffer politeness or other non-scientific emotions. This need not take one into undesirable realms.

When an act takes place, we are generally able to understand the cause, but it is always an impression, not an understanding as several causes go to bring out a result. When pursued further, one will find like a physician that it is easier to cure a disease than to correctly diagnose it. To try this in any simple act is really a complex job, rather complicated. Analysis will reveal there is no simple ACT, but all acts are complex processes, each is a marvel, defying classification.  Understanding is to find the complex in the simple.

Analysis will show we are carried on by innumerable Forces. Understanding begins when we master them.

Life Response is practised to convert human life into divine life. To know each value of ours very well and convert it into Mother's value is a step that will set Life Response into its right context.

Consecration is possible only at the level of our existing consciousness which is determined by our mental, vital and physical organisation. To raise that level is to be more positive and consequently consecration becomes deeper.

From nowhere to everywhere is the possibility of Mother. Life Responds likewise if the emotions accept the mental knowledge. To learn is rare, rarer still to learn from life. No man wants to learn from others. He would rather learn on his own. To learn is to take another man's point of view.    Learning is to see that another takes another view of our experience.
-To let the simple reveal the profound is learning.
- Life Response reveals to observations, to the other man's point of view.
It reveals most when we do not know, rather when we know we do not know.

Thought is subtle, speech is gross. What is accomplished in the gross plane can be accomplished in the subtle plane with very little energy.
  To accomplish more with the least energy is the aim.
  Negatively a thought spoken out destroys work.
  Positively a work formulated in thought achieves.
  Thought formulated accomplishes in the material plane when it is perfect.
  Perfect formulation of thought moves the attendant circumstances and achieves in the material plane.
  Moving the circumstances is Life Response.

-- Great principles are stated shortly. Surely they cannot be explained in one or a few volumes. Life Response is one such as it embraces all of life.

The Conscious Force created the universe, and along with the creation are created forces of thought, life and action, corresponding to the mental, vital and physical planes. These forces are always found in opposition -- strong and weak, good and evil, light and darkness, etc. These are the known dualities. There is always a certain equilibrium of forces at any given time.  Any act done disturbs the equilibrium, causing a response.  You can read the Life Divine Chapter on Conscious Force, as that will explain what these forces are clearly.

Mother's "web" of interrelated subtle forces is the same thing as life response. You cannot get a response from different elements of the web that are not related.   It is only when things are related that you get responses.

There is a depth at which all is in each and each is in all. It is reached by Mother's consciousness. When you pray for rain from there, it is a relief to all people. That is why even if one man prays sincere, from that depth, the rain will respond and benefit all.

story | by Dr. Radut