The Importance of the Attitude of Trust for the Yogic Practitioner

In our world today, we tend to doubt everything, question everything, trust in nothing. We recognise how much dissembling takes place, how many illusions are placed before our eyes, and we frequently have the experience that when we trust in someone or something, we tend to later see that we have been misled or manipulated. It is one of the sicknesses pervasive in the modern world, that everything breeds mistrust in us.

Yet we also find that progress in yoga, which requires us to shift our standpoint beyond the normal physical-vital-mental framework, requires a modicum of trust, or faith, in a greater reality beyond the ‘facts’ of our modern civilisation.

How could we proceed and successfully overcome the tests and challenges, the obstacles and disruptions, if we do not have trust in the inevitability and eventuality of the next stage of evolution. We have, then, to differentiate between trust in human institutions and conceptions, and the deeper, larger trust in the universal manifestation, and the divine intention in that manifestation, of which we are a part. This level of trust, or faith, is embedded in the psychic being which has a direct relation to the universal manifestation and its truth. When we once shift our standpoint from the mental to the psychic being, we recognise that all human developments, framed by the limits of mind, life and body, are subject to breakdown, but that nevertheless, the universal creation continues to roll out its meaning and purpose.

For a yogic practitioner, the focus and tuning of the consciousness towards that universal creation is essential, as otherwise, we become paralyzed in doubt and insecurity. Doubt focuses the mind on the frailty of what already exists, while the yoga must tune itself into the manifestation that is preparing to be birthed.

The Mother observes: “Children when left to themselves and not deformed by older people have such a great trust that all will be well! For example, when they have a small accident, they never think that this is going to be something serious: they are spontaneously convinced that it will soon be over, and this helps so powerfully in putting an end to it.”

“If the trust is there, spontaneous, candid, unquestioning, it works better than anything else, and the results are marvelous. It is with the contradictions and doubts of the mind that one spoils everything, with this kind of notion which comes when one is in difficulties: ‘Oh, it is impossible! I shall never manage it. And if this is going to be aggravated, if this condition I am in, which I don’t want, is going to grow still worse, if I continue to slide down farther and farther, if, if, if, if…’ like that, and one builds a wall between oneself and the force one wants to receive. The psychic being has this trust, has it wonderfully, without a shadow, without an argument, without a contradiction. And when it is like that, there is not a prayer which does not get an answer, no aspiration which is not realised.”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Disturbances of Mind, Anxiety, pp. 44-49

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