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Body is a Rock of Offence

By Karmayogi

In our tradition, the body is described as a repository of darkness. Psychologically, the body is the subconscious. Sri Aurobindo says several religious traditions believe that the Body is a Rock of Offence. To Him, the body is the crown of creation. All of us believe we are GOOD. It is a universal truth. Occasionally we meet with someone who believes himself to be not good or reliable. He is one who is aware of his body or the subconscious. Such people will have a penetrating insight. Their judgement of men will be unfailing. If you are one who in your inmost recess believes you are truly pious, good, benevolent, pure and unsullied and if you want to know whether your belief is true or to what extent it is true, it is easy to know it. You must be ready for a small experiment in observation.

We often slip in talk. Really, there is no such slip. It is the subconscious peeping out into the surface consciousness. In delirium or drunken state the subconscious spreads its wares. When full freedom is sensed, one's greed appears. These are excellent circumstances for one to commit any type of felony but no one can know. If you have been in any of these circumstances, recollect your urges. If your urges were good, you really are good. That moment offers an acid test. Try to catch yourself when your tongue slips in important affairs. It throws light on dark recesses. You can safely judge yourself by those standards.

There was a young man who endeared himself to everyone and earned the name of a 'Perfect Gentleman'. He could never go against his father who was an important man in the community. This boy became engaged to a 14 year old girl, twelve years younger to him, attracted by her bloom. He did so without consulting his father. The father frowned on it, wanted his son to scrap the engagement in the Church, describing it as a promise made in infatuation. Everyone who knew the boy expected him to honour the alliance.

When several of his friends gathered to discuss his situation, he took a cigarette packet from a friend, and pulled a single cigarette out of the packet from the bottom side. His friend, who noticed it, knew he wanted to escape the alliance. His act expressed his subconscious intention to get out of the commitment through the back door. He did give it up and married another girl.

The body harbours our dark side and reveals it by notations. Man is Good on the surface. Down below is a cannibal and a brute. Sri Aurobindo's yoga has set itself the task of transforming the body.

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