Once we have recognised that we cannot rely on the mental being to truly review, analyse and control the vital desire-soul of the external being, and adopted the principle enunciated by the Mother to hold up each thought, feeling, emotion, action and motivation before a ‘screen’ of one’s highest ideals, we have grasped a basic tool for changing human nature. The Mother expounds on this review process and how to apply it. Sincere and consistent application can make a profound difference in the way one responds and acts over time.
The Mother notes: “Most often you will find that it corresponds to unconsciousness — then you file it among unconscious things and resolve that next time you will try to be conscious before doing anything. But in other cases you will see that it was a nasty little egoism, quite black, which had come to distort your action or your thought. Then you place this egoism before your ‘light’ and ask yourself: ‘Why has it the right to make me act like that, think like that?…’ And instead of accepting any odd explanation you must search and you will find in a corner of your being something which thinks and says, ‘Ah, no, I shall accept everything but that.’ You will see that it is a petty vanity, a movement of self-love, an egoistic feeling hidden somewhere, a hundred things. Then you take a good look at these things in the light of your ideal: ‘Is cherishing this movement in conformity with my seeking and the realisation of my ideal or not? I put this dark little corner in front of the light until the light enters into it and it disappears.’ Then the comedy is over. But the comedy of your whole day is not finished yet, you know, for there are many things which have to pass thus before the light. But if you continue this game — for truly it is a game, if you do this sincerely — I assure you that in six months you will not recognise yourself, ‘What? I was like that! It is impossible!”
Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Exercises for Growth and Mastery, Self-Observation and Self-Organisation, pp. 126-131