Someone asked in a comment what rules one should follow in the spiritual path regarding music, movies and popular entertainment. This post covers movies and the next will cover popular music songs. I would like to open with a personal anecdote.
Someone wrote to me regarding his experience of worsening health due to the practice of Integral Yoga. He had read Satprem’s “Adventures of Consciousness” about 15 years ago and started practicing immediately. In the beginning, it was slow walking meditation where he would attempt to suspend his thought process while keeping attention on surrounding objects. Later, he imagined himself becoming one with his surroundings and offering it to the Divine.
Sri Kumaré is an enlightened guru from the East who has come to America to spread his teachings. Kumaré sets off to Phoenix, Arizona to build a following. He takes with him two disciples — Kristen to teach yoga and Purva to book events — who will become Kumaré’s first followers and greatest public messengers.
Napoleon once remarked that a great general must have equilibrium: “The object most desirable is that a man’s judgment should be in equilibrium with his physical character or courage. This is what we may call being well squared both by base and perpendicular. If courage be in the ascendency, a general will rashly undertake that which he can not execute; on the contrary, if his character or courage be inferior to his judgment, he will not venture to carry any measure into effect”.
Many novices to Yoga discover that once you have pacified the restless body and harmonized the breathing process before meditation, you might experience a few minutes of mental silence, but this illusory peace is quickly shattered by the sudden uprush of disturbing images and negative thoughts. These unpleasant ideas come partly from within and partly from outside. Within us, there are repressed parts of the personality which rebel against any imposition of harmony while on the external front, we are constantly bathing in the vibrations of the world and a desultory attempt to cut our mind off from these pervasive vibrations is bound to fail. In an age of rapid technological change where we are being continuously bombarded by powerful and seductive audio-visual content on a wide variety of electronic devices, the frequency of this problem has probably increased rather than decreased. These are some remarks by the Mother on this perennial botheration.
The path of the Yogin demands dogged persistence because final perfection depends on two qualitatively different factors: one’s own refractory psychological habits whose complete dissolution requires multiple rounds and a whimsical Divine power which intermittently showers its Grace but leaves you in the dark at other times. These are a couple of progress reports that Sri Aurobindo had jotted down in his diary The Record of Yoga during his early years in Pondicherry. They indicate the ceaseless struggle and the subsequent reversal of consciousness that he underwent in the quest for yogic perfection.
The Mother Mirra Alfassa offers a taxonomy of the various methods of self-realization that have been developed. This article has been synthesized from three of her recorded talks.