When we respond to a vibration, either at the physical level, the vital level or the mental level, we open a pathway for that vibration to impact us in some way, and, having once been accepted for admittance, it creates a propensity for us to admit it the next time it comes our way. In this way, a habit of response is built up. This idea is validated by scientists who track neural pathways, and who indicate that a repeated experience builds up ‘grooves’ in the pathways of the brain which allow impulses to traverse them more quickly and easily. That is why with repeated experience, we respond more quickly than if we have something new to deal with. We use this mechanism to advantage when we are doing any kind of training of the mind, the vital force or the body, but it works also in a negative direction when we find that we have an habitual response to a particular form of bodily vibration in the form of an illness or allergy, or an automatic reaction of anger when certain specific types of circumstances arise, or we have a mental response that is limited and potentially counter-productive when a specific idea is put forth.

All of these reactions or habitual responses occur due to a mechanism that stores experiences, memories, reactions in the very cells of the body, and they lie there inert and latent until a triggering opportunity arises. Yogic science calls these suppressed impressions ‘seeds’ and they just need a fertile circumstance to sprout up.

It is our normal habit to suppress reactions with our conscious mental will or vital force rather than to actually take steps to work through the issues and then eliminate them. Thus we tend to have a large store-room filled with suppressed ideas, feelings, emotions, perceptions and reactions that in many cases represent traumas that we re-enact from time to time.

To fully eliminate such suppressed responses, we not only have to be able to work them out and eliminate them, but we need to close off the pathway that was receptive to them, either by refocusing that location or by blocking it off. The vibration from the wider environment still has its own habit that indicates a specific location or individual is receptive and will continue to try to enter there, until such time as it gets the firm message of non-interest and thus, moves on from the individual’s environment. Because of the number of steps involved, and the role of the environmental consciousness, in addition to the action of the subconscient, this can be a long and tedious process. Because these things tend to remain dormant until a triggering opportunity arises, we may believe we have conquered a particular response and be surprised when it suddenly springs up again, possibly years later. There are stories of religious or spiritual aspirants who spend years in a monastery or cloister, or meditating in a cave, or living an ascetic life in the desert, who find out, when they wind up interacting in a social setting, that things they thought were long gone actually manifest with a force that they had not expected.

The Mother observes: “But when you have had either an experience or, like this, some kind of phenomenon or an illness (above all in the case of illness or even an accident), the body remembers for a very long time. If you want to be completely cured, you must cure this memory in the body, this is absolutely indispensable. And whether you know it or not, you work in order to cure the memory in the body. When the remembrance is effaced, the body is truly healed.”

“Unfortunately, instead of destroying the remembrance, you push it back. Most of the time you push it down into the subconscient and sometimes into the inconscient, still more deep. Well now if it is pushed back, if it is not completely effaced, then very gently, very gently, without seeming to do so at all it comes up to the surface; and something of which you have been cured for years, if by chance it crosses your mind simply like that, just like a little dart, as fast as that, like a passing dart: ‘Why, at this time I had that’, you may be sure that sooner or later — a few seconds, a few minutes, a few hours or days later, it will return. You can… It may come back in a much milder form, it may come back in the same form, it may come even more strongly. That depends on your inner state. If you are in a pessimistic state, it will come back more strongly. If you are in an optimistic state, it will be much weaker. But it will come back and you will have to begin the battle all over again against the memory of your body so as to destroy it — if this time you are more attentive. If you can destroy it, you are cured. But if you don’t destroy it, it will return. It will take a longer or shorter time, it will be more or less total, but it will return. It can come back in a flash. If you are wide awake and, when it returns, if you have enough knowledge and indeed enough clear-sightedness to tell yourself, ‘Well, here is that wretched remembrance come back again to play its tricks’, then you can give, can strike a violent blow and indeed destroy its reality. If you know how to do this, then it is an opportunity to get rid of the thing immediately. But it is not very easy to do this.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 2 Hidden Forces Within, pp. 38-40

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky He is author of 20 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.
YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/@santoshkrinsky871
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at http://www.aurobindo.net
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at http://www.lotuspress.com