There is a complex interaction between the external mind-life-body complex and the subconscious level of our existence. As we experience various things in our lives, including illness, accidents or various circumstances, our mind tries to build a pattern of recognition and develops a memory. These things then fall into the subconscious level where they remain until a similar situation, circumstance, time-frame, cycle occurs to trigger that memory and that recognised pattern. This then becomes conscious to our waking awareness as something of an ‘auto-suggestion’ that makes us aware of the pattern and pre-conditions our mind to accept the situation due to the habitual pattern that we have now recognised.

We therefore tend to accept, as a sort of fate or destiny, that certain things will reoccur at particular times of the year, for instance. Seasonal illnesses or allergic reactions are strengthened through this subconscious reinforcement of the suggestion, as the pathway and acceptance of the vibration opens up under this pressure.

This patterning and auto-suggestion works not only for things such as illnesses or allergies, but for all kinds of responses, such as a recognised propensity for courtship and mating in the spring, a type of ‘hibernation’ effect in cold regions during the winter, the habit of mid-day rest in tropical climates, and the effect of physical training regimens to create habitual patterns of response, without active mental intervention, to specific types of situations, such as athletic competitions or within the framework of a military training and deployment. This type of auto-suggestion also creates built in patterns of fear or anxiety in certain situations, and creates deep-rooted prejudice that results in actions and motivations that may be seen as misogynistic or racist in nature.

A disciple asks: “Mother, there are people who suffer from certain illnesses year after year, we know. Now, if we observe this illness, we see that it comes at a particular time of the year and this goes on the next year also, and it is like that. But the time is fixed. Then what is the reason, and how can one get rid of this?”

The Mother responds: “There could be many reasons. It depends on the person you ask. If you ask an astrologer he will tell you, ‘It is the stars, when the stars come into the same position, the same conditions recur.” Well, this is not so wrong. It can be like that. It can also be the individual’s reaction to certain types of climate, you see, or to the sun’s position; or it may be quite simply a bad habit. That’s all. (Laughter).“

“And if one forms… If by chance it has happened to you twice consecutively, then you form… you have a good formation, you see, which remains like that (gesture) in the subconscient, without showing itself — if you don’t observe it! And then, just when the time draws near, quite gently it pushes up from within and tells you, ‘Take care, the time is coming, the time is coming, the time is coming!’ So naturally, that comes along too. Usually these things are like that.”

“But almost everything that happens in the physical is like that. The first time it may be quite simply a concurrence of circumstances; then, the mind intervenes and makes a construction. Now, if one accepts the construction, one is sure that it functions with clockwork precision. But even if one says, ‘Oh, nonsense, it is only an idea!’ and does this (gesture), still the idea, instead of going away, enters inside, into the subconscient, simply the subconscious mind, and there it remains quietly. And then, when the time comes to manifest itself, from inside, like this, it makes a kind of … as though it were tickling the memory a little, nothing more than that, just that. If it rubs the memory just a little, like that, then suddenly one day you remember: ‘Why, last year, at this time I was ill.’ And crash! There it is, it has entered. It has entered the zone of the active consciousness, and a few days later the thing happens.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 2 Hidden Forces Within, pp. 37-40

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at 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.
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