October 8, 1957
(Letter to Mother from Satprem)
Pondicherry, October 8, 1957
I come to ask your permission to leave India. For more than a year now, I have been fighting not to leave, but this seems to be the wrong strategy.
There is no question of my abandoning the path – and I remain convinced that the only goal in life is spiritual. But I need things to help me along the way: I am not yet ripe enough to depend upon inner strength alone. And when I speak of the forest or a boat, it is not only for the sake of adventure or the feeling of space, but also because they mean a discipline. Outer constraints and difficulties help me, they force me to remain concentrated around that which is best in me. In a sense, life here is too easy. Yet it is also too hard, for one must depend on one's own discipline – I do not yet have that strength, I need to be helped by outer circumstances. The very difficulty of life in the outside world helps me to be disciplined, for it forces me to concentrate all my vital strength in effort. Here, this vital part is unemployed, so it acts foolishly, it strains at the leash.
I doubt that a new experience outside can really resolve things, but I believe it might help me make it to the next stage and consolidate my inner life. And if you wish, I would return in a year or two.
I shall soon have completed the revision1 of The Life Divine and The Human Cycle, so I believe I shall have done the best I could, at present, to serve you. October 30th is my birthday. Could I leave immediately thereafter?
It is not because I am unhappy with the Ashram that I want to leave, but because I am unhappy with myself and because I want to master myself through other means.
I give you so little love, but I have tried my best, and my departure is not a betrayal.
My dear child,
This is not an answer, but a comment.
There is a joy to which you still seem completely closed: it is the joy of SERVING.
In truth, the only thing in the world that interests you, directly or indirectly, is YOURSELF. That is why you feel imprisoned within such narrow, stifling limits.
1 Of Mother's French translation of these two books by Sri Aurobindo.