The objectives of the integral yoga cannot be looked at as a short-term ‘sprint’ to the goal, but as a longer-term ‘marathon’ where patience and endurance are of paramount importance. In order to achieve that long-term commitment without flagging of the effort, without discouragement and without burning out and giving up, the seeker needs to achieve a balance in the inner psychological standpoint that forces him to stand back from the ever-changing play of the 3 Gunas, and particularly not to get either wrapped up in the ambitious energy of Rajas, nor the discouragement and torpor of Tamas. One of the important points for the sadhak to remember is to not over-emphasize the failures and weaknesses along the way. Everyone comes to the yogic practice with all of human nature and all of the strengths, and the weaknesses inherent in that nature. One cannot expect to overcome all of these habitual traits, habits and responses easily or quickly, and thus, there will be periods of their rising up and recurring despite the aspiration of the sadhak. These periods must be noted for correction, but there must be a continued ‘tuning’ process of the psychology toward the divine standpoint and the receptivity to the divine Force must be developed. Recently, a Western psychological scientist noted that the human mind is a ‘transducer’ not a ‘computer’. In other words, it does not create the ideas and responses, but ‘tunes’ itself to the frequency that allows them to arise and manifest. Thus, we can see the need to continually focus on the higher consciousness so that the receptivity and energetic response becomes more and more pervasive and constant.
Sri Aurobindo notes: “It is necessary to observe and know the wrong movements in you; for they are the source of your trouble and have to be persistently rejected if you are to be free.”
“But do not be always thinking of your defects and wrong movements. Concentrate more upon what you are to be, on the ideal, with the faith that, since it is the goal before you, it must and will come.”
“To be always observing faults and wrong movements brings depression and discourages the faith. Turn your eyes more to the coming light and less to any immediate darkness. Faith, cheerfulness, confidence in the ultimate victory are the things that help, — they make the progress easier and swifter.”
“Make more of the good experiences that come to you; one experience of the kind is more important than the lapses and failures. When it ceases, do not repine or allow yourself to be discouraged, but be quiet within and aspire for its renewal in a stronger form leading to a still deeper and fuller experience.”
“Aspire always, but with more quietude, opening yourself to the Divine simply and wholly.”
Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 10, Difficulties in Transforming the Nature, The Positive Side of the Sadhana, pp. 278-280