If we observe ourselves carefully, we find that as a natural consequence of the distractions and the dispersion of the consciousness, we have little if any calm and peace in the being. We experience not only the more overt forms of anxiety and concern, but the more subtle forms of nervous disquiet and mental lack of ease. Emotions and reactions are strung tight and we thus easily respond to even moderately imperfect circumstances with an excess of response, leading to the maladies of the day which include hypertension, and all manner of physiological, emotional and mental impacts of anger, rage, dissatisfaction, and irritation.
Contrast this with the kind of peace that permeates the being as one learns to disassociate oneself from these external reactions, and which Sri Aurobindo describes as an increasing quietude and silence in the being.
This status can be operative even in the midst of intense action in external circumstances. Sri Krishna gave his teaching to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita on the battlefield after all, symbolic of the need to attain peace and maintain it in the midst of all circumstances of life.
People who have not had this experience tend to believe it is not possible. Yet there is considerable evidence, both historical and through the experiences of many individuals that a profound state of peace in the being is absolutely attainable and can become the foundation for action. In fact, the real test of the peace is its ability to withstand the pressures of outer circumstances without breaking down.
Dr. Dalal notes: “(d) The normal state of consciousness is a state of continual disquiet and agitation due to its constant distractibility and dispersion. As the consciousness grows, one becomes more and more aware of a deeper consciousness which is felt as a substratum of quiet and peace.”
Sri Aurobindo writes: “…Even when it [the inner consciousness] is active, there is felt behind the action or containing it a complete quietude or silence. The more one concentrates, the more this quietude and silence increases. That is why there seems to be all quiet within even though all sorts of things may be taking place within.”
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Growing Within: The Psychology of Inner Development, Introduction, pp. vii-viii