© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

Right attitude for conquering difficulties

12 January 1955

Sweet Mother, here Sri Aurobindo says, "... the difficulty faced in the right spirit and conquered, one finds that an obstacle has disappeared." What is the right spirit?

Ah, I was expecting this question. The right spirit means what he has explained in the following sentence: to keep one's trust, to remain quiet--I think it is there a little farther off--wait patiently for the attack to pass, keep one's trust. It is not there? Then it is in another passage. In any case the right spirit means not to lose courage, not to lose one's faith, not to be impatient, not to be depressed; to remain very quiet and peaceful with as [new p. 10]much aspiration as one can have, and not worry about what is happening. To have the certitude that this will pass and all will [old p. 10]be well. This indeed is the best thing.

Not to be depressed means...?

Not to be depressed--it is extremely important. Depression is a sign of weakness, of a bad will somewhere, and bad will in the sense of a refusal to receive help, and a kind of weakness that's content to be weak. One becomes slack. The bad will is obvious, because there's a part of your being which tells you at that moment, "Depression is bad." You know that you shouldn't get depressed; well, the reply of that part which is depressed is almost, "Shut up! I want my depression." Try, you will see, you can try. It is always like that. Eh, it is not true? And then later one says again, "Afterwards, afterwards I shall see... for the moment I want it, and besides I have my reasons." There you are. It is a kind of revolt, a weak revolt, the revolt of something weak in the being.

Here he speaks of "the change of which this depression is a stage..."

Yes. When one comes out of the depression and one's bad will, well, then one realises that there was an attack and that some progress had to be made, and that in spite of everything something within has made progress, that one has taken a step forward. Usually, hardly consciously, it is something which needs to progress but doesn't want to, and so takes this way; like a child who sulks, becomes low-spirited, sad, unhappy, misunderstood, abandoned, helpless; and then, refusing to collaborate, and as I just said, indulging in his depression, to show that he is not happy. It is specially in order to show that one is not satisfied that one becomes depressed. One can show it to Nature, one can show it (that depends on the case, you see), one can show it [new p. 11]to the Divine, one can show it to the people around one, but it is always a kind of way of expressing one's dissatis[old p. 11]faction. "I am not happy about what you demand", but this means, "I am not happy. And I shall make you too see it, that I am not happy." There you are.

But when it is over, and when for some reason or other one has made the necessary effort to come out of it, and has come out, one usually realises that something in the being has changed, because, in spite of all bad will, most often the progress was accomplished--not very swiftly, not very brilliantly, not for one's greater glory, surely, but still the progress was made. Something has changed.