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Token Act That is a Complete Act


January 09,  2002

  • Philosophically all acts are token acts.
  • Integral life is that in which each act is completely related to every other and fully influences the other while being fully influenced in turn.
  • Our fields are integral existence, integral consciousness, integral comprehension, integral act and every thing integral as every finite is intrinsically infinite.
  • Behind all the work we do which is partial, it is best to keep this knowledge however dormant or feeble its influence is.
  • What I call a Token Act for the purposes of this explanation fully qualifies for this definition but is limited in scope so as to be intelligible and tangible in what the world is fond of appreciating as practical common sense, known as practicality.
  • I would be offering my explanations of a token act as a complete act.
  • The purpose of a token act is to see in microscopic clarity ALL the rules of life in their effective fullness.
  • It is certainly possible to see all of them and clearly.
  • It is a rare knowledge which the normal life of man avoids actively but unconsciously.
  • By seeing what we are unconscious of and knowing what we are actively avoiding we are in for two reversals-unconscious into conscious and seeking what we avoid.
  • The value of a token act is theory in practice.
  • Suppose one has a big project and hesitates, to him a token act is beneficial in the sense that he can avoid big risks in learning ideas or strategies.
  • Surely the token act will clear all doubts about ideas, theories, strategies, caution, risk, etc. at a small cost.
  • It does not automatically follow that by virtue of being successful in a small venture his big project will be successful.
  • The real difference between the token small act and a big life project is the strength of personality.
  • It is axiomatic that anyone cannot achieve more than his personality permits.
  • How to raise the level of one's strength of personality to be equal to that of the project is completely another topic. At best we can state the principle of that growth here. Whatever one aspires to in his deepest motives he will achieve is the principle. It is there he should concentrate.
  • A token act has the virtue of being a spiritual microscope or a microscope focusing on one's psychological abilities.
  • For instance, if one has before him a comprehensive statement of the Theory of Social Evolution in writing and begins a token act, he will see or his microscope will help him see that every principle there finds an incidence here. The value of this token act lies in one's ability to see every principle here clearly though minutely.
  • One who wishes to write a book, for example, a book on Pride and Prejudice can make it a token act for a wider project of life if he contemplates one. It is easy to speak in a context.
  • A wider project for one who came to Sri Aurobindo but has chosen not to do yoga, is, to say the least, the highest in his field the world has conceived of.
  • He is free to choose any project in any field in the world at any level. He is sure to achieve it, if only he is willing to release consummate energies and organise it at the level required.
  • What Sri Aurobindo calls instantaneous miraculousness is available to him in any area he chooses, if not in all areas.
  • Work is instantaneous and miraculous when what is done as external effort is executed as an inner work.
  • As work exists in layers and contains the entire universe in it, especially in an Act, one is free to learn, to test, to examine, to discover to any extent.
  • Two ideas are best kept before one's mind.

- Token act can be used as a stepping stone to any work of any level, if he confines himself to energies that give proportionate results.

E.g. Health is proportionate to nutrition.

       Exam results are proportionate to exertion.

- Where values are involved, no result will be in sight unless values are perfect.

E.g. If one's honesty is in question he will not  be employed anywhere in spite of his ability.

- The work he chooses may be to run a district newspaper or contest for the Governorship. All values needed for the work must be there flawless. The first can be reached by any dynamic small entrepreneur but the latter can be attempted only by personalities of a higher build. As said earlier, though one can develop one's personality, it is not considered here.

- One who resorts to a token act will do well to define to himself the wider work he has in mind, though token work can be done all by itself as a self-contained unity.

- Once he has something in mind, he must be able to see each aspect of that project reflected here in the token act, constructing a real parallel.

- The construction of the parallel is a theoretically exacting exercise. To discover the parallel in evidence is a task for observation.

  • The token act well done will surely give the result, which is more than double the usual extending up to ten times or more.
  • Unless one utterly disregards the result, the token is of no value to him except the result.
  • Process, not the result is the mantra.
  • The process can be learned at several intensities which may correspond to the various sizes of the final project in view, not the values.
  • Whatever the size of the project, the VALUES must be perfect and complete.
  • In other words, we need individuals of perfect value of differing capacities or personality build.
  • The work must be divided into 50 or 500 functions and to reach perfection in each function is the doing of it.
  • The result of the token work can be of any level but will be directly proportionate to the level of perfection. In our experience, we have seen 24, 365, 1500 times results in various works like this.
  • Knowledge of The Life Divine raises the general capacity and usually with that background the work does not expand in the same plane, but raises itself to the next plane or even higher. In that case, expansion will be less.
  • The act can be understood in terms of energy, organisation, coordination, force, power, skill, results, strategy, harmony and from several other points of view.

- Energy can be measured in quantity as well as quality. Even intensity or refinement can be measured.

- To subdivide any of these heads is endless.

- We must set a common sense limit commensurate with our circumstances. It is better our approach is in concentric circles.

  • Results are in direct proportion to the seriousness in us. We know where we are and where we want to go. It is very easy to know what in us is missing to reach that level of seriousness. The components of seriousness are the components of an act. Let us think about it and raise ourselves to the required level. Whatever is missing in us like punctuality or regularity is best acquired before we start.
  • It is common sense to know what inimical traits to such a work are there in us. They are not usually meant for this. If they come forward to shed them really, they too can do it. Laziness, tale bearing, jealousy, competition, and tension of course disqualify one for such work.
  • One who earns a good amount of money cannot expect his project to succeed if he owes even Rs.10/- to another by default. One should not expect to be instructed on such common sense points. One is expected to be a valuable individual by his own upbringing or self-awareness.
  • Preparing the mind for the project will justify the saying that it is half done.
  • Writing a book is a mental work. One who chooses that as a pilot project would do well to have a similar final work, though any token work can help accomplish any other work, when the parallels are realistically constructed.
  • Parallels: Suppose writing a book is the token project and a publishing company the goal, excellent editing of this book will find fine editors later and so on. No scope is here for superstitions or TALK. One has to ACT, act in turn with the FORCE.
  • The measure of JOY here is the measure of later success. The Divine is JOY.

story | by Dr. Radut