© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

28 April 1954

Mother, if there is a part in one's nature that does not open, what is the method of aspiring so that this part may open?

You may aspire that this part may open--let the part that is open aspire for the other to open. It will open after a certain time; one must continue, persist. That is the only thing to do. There is something that does not want it, an acute resistance there, which does not want it. It is like a stubborn child: "I don't want it, I shall remain what I am, I won't move."... It does not say, "I am pleased with myself", because it does not dare. But the truth is it is quite self-satisfied, it does not budge.

But when one wants to aspire, shouldn't one know which part it is?

Ah! Yes, but if one is sincere, he will know it. If one looks at himself sincerely, he is sure to know. It is only when one plays the ostrich that he does not know: one shuts his eyes, turns his head to the other side, does not look and says, "It does not exist." But if one looks at himself straight in the face, he knows very well where it is--hidden somewhere in a corner quite nicely, turned upon itself, shut in, close-set. But then, when you go and flash a light like that, straight upon it, oh, it suddenly hurts, doesn't it?

Mother, on what does receptivity depend?

It depends first of all upon sincerity--on whether one really wants to receive--and then... yes, I believe the principal factors are sincerity and humility. There is nothing that closes you up more than vanity. When you are self-satisfied, you have that kind of vanity of not wanting to admit that you lack something, that you make mistakes, that you are incomplete, that you are imperfect, that you are... There is something in the nature, you know, which grows stiff in this way, which does not want to admit--it is this which prevents you from receiving. You have, however, only to try it out and get the experience. If, by an effort of will you manage to make even a very tiny part of the being admit that "Ah, well, yes, I am mistaken, I should not be like that, and I should not do that and should not feel that, yes, it is a fault", if you manage to make it admit this, at first, as I said just now, it begins by hurting you very much, but when you hold on firmly, until this is admitted, immediately it is open--it is open and strangely a flood of light enters, and then you feel so glad afterwards, so happy that you ask yourself, "Why, from what foolishness did I resist so long?"