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Sri Aurobindo tells us that all forms are forms of energy and we are a physical embodiment of an infinite universal force. Yet often we feel that we have no more energy left in us and we need to rest or sleep or retire. How can that be? We are the universal life. We are Sachchidananda. What has happened to that universal force? The explanation is that we have taken the infinite energy of the universal and locked it up in so many forms that are no longer alive. All our opinions, attitudes, habits and character traits are like so many atoms of matter, packed with infinite energy that is bound tightly into a fixed form, so it cannot escape or express. When Mother asks us to consecrate our acts, our past, our attitudes, She is saying that we should take all of these forms, put them into the bonfire of our aspiration, and liberate the conscious energy that is locked up within them. Our sense of superiority, self-importance, status, prestige, self-satisfaction, pride and competence are so many locks we have placed on the doors of our being to prevent the life energy from emerging. As much energy is locked up in all of those forms as in all the atoms of matter. For the devotee, the aim of this yoga is to release the spirit in life which is locked up in our attitudes and opinions. We really are infinite energy but it is concealed within our habits and forms. The same thing is true of our negative attitudes—what Sri Aurobindo calls negative egoism—of self-doubt, inferiority, worthlessness and incompetence. Each is a form that conceals infinite energy. Consecration helps us break all the locks. Because in life we are not able to break the forms, life constantly comes and knocks against us to help us break them. The greater the potential within us, the greater the force that comes to challenge us. The greater the opposition from life, the greater the accomplishment that is sanctioned and possible for you.

The Count of Monte Cristo is a novel by Alexander Dumas about a young, good, honest merchant sailor named Edmund who falls in love with a beautiful young woman named Mercedes. On the day of their engagement, a man who wants Edmund’s job on the ship, another man who also wants to marry Mercedes, and a third man who has an evil temper plot to falsely accuse Edmund of treason. They get him arrested and imprisoned on an island. For 14 years he is locked up in a dungeon in isolation. After a year he feels so miserable that he tries to starve himself to death. But just at the moment when he is on the verge of dying of starvation, Edmund hears a scratching sound in the wall and he discovers that another prisoner is digging a tunnel through the wall from an adjacent cell. He responds to the sound and they open a tunnel between their two cells. The other prisoner is a priest named Abbe Faria who has been in prison for many, many years. Faria is considered a madman by the guards because he often speaks of a fantastic, imaginary treasure. The two prisoners become friends and begin to secretly spend time together. Edmund finds that the old man has even fashioned tools for himself. The priest educates him for many years and imparts to him a rich knowledge of life.

One day the old priest becomes gravely ill and calls Edmund to his side, saying he will not live much longer. Before he dies Faria tells Edmund about a huge treasure which he discovered before his imprisonment. Edmund has come to love this priest over the years as a father and a guru, and found him very wise. But now when the Abbe speaks about a fantastic treasure, Edmund remembers the old rumor told to him on entering the prison that this priest is a madman talking about some imaginary treasure. At that moment Edmund wonders, even after knowing the priest all these years, “Perhaps in truth Abbe Faria is mad.” The priest then pulls out a map and gives it to Edmund, telling him to go to a certain island when he escapes and find the treasure. The priest dies, and Edmund manages to escape from the prison during his burial. After some time he makes his way to the island and discovers a huge treasure that makes him one of the richest men in the world. Now he has an education, the knowledge acquired from Faria, and a treasure which few men in the world possess.

As the story goes on, Edmund meets a noble-minded, beautiful princess whom he saves from slavery and who falls in love with him. Having saved her life, Edmund offers her protection almost like a father. After his imprisonment and on hearing false rumors of his death, Mercedes has married Ferdinand, the very man who plotted Edmund’s arrest. She has borne a son to Ferdinand named Albert. At one point Edmund is challenged by Albert to fight a duel because Edmund has raised doubts in public about Ferdinand’s integrity. Mercedes, who has recognized that the Count is really Edmund, comes to beg him not to kill her son. Edmund decides that he will allow himself to be killed that day. Before he leaves for the duel, he goes to the Princess and says, “In case I do not come back, here is my will in which I give you everything that I have.” The Princess takes the paper from his hands and without a moment’s hesitation she tears it into little pieces. Then she says, “Do you think I want anything in the world except you?” Edmund survives the duel and ultimately marries the Princess.

Why did this man have to go through the most horrible experience of betrayal and 14 years in prison in order to acquire this knowledge, this experience, this fantastic wealth and an idealistic love of the most wonderful dimensions? We could say that the potential was there in him for the highest level of achievement in life, but that it required a powerful force to call it forth. That potential for love, knowledge and wealth was all there in him. He was a good man. But in normal life, the potential is brought out only through the most agonizing effort and suffering. He wanted to marry a woman who was incapable of the true love and loyalty of which his nature was capable. His inner being rebelled against what his outer nature sought and he landed in prison. After he is permanently separated from Mercedes, unimaginable knowledge, wealth and a pure idealistic love come to him.

In Mother’s life, that same potential can be brought out without the years in prison, without any of the agony, simply if we open ourselves to Her, trust Her, and follow Her rules: sincerity, no lies, hard work, pure thoughts, soft behavior, humility. In life, those pressures and oppositions come to bring out the greatness hidden within each of us. The greater the opposition, the greater the treasure it is trying to bring out. That is one way. We have an alternative way in Mother to bring out the same treasure– call Her. 

book | by Dr. Radut