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The test of life

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The Mother, Sri Aurobindo Ashram

When you sit down in isolation, in complete silenceand far away from everybody, and examine yourself with moreor less indulgent eyes, you may imagine that you are realizing something wonderful. But when you are put to the testat every minute of your life, when you have the occasion to become aware of your imperfections, your infirmities, your little movements of bad will a hundred times a day, …and so your efforts are more sincere.That is why, instead of deciding that we would have anAshram in a solitary forest where everything is very beautiful,very restful, instead of being aloof from the world and attending only to our own little selves, we are trying on the contrary totake up all the activities of life and make them as conscious aswe can, and, in our contacts with other people, to become moreclearly aware of all the inner movements.Running away from difficulties is never a way of surmountingor overcoming them. If you flee from the enemyyou won’t be able to defeat him and he has every chanceof defeating you. That is why we are here in Pondicherryand not on some Himalayan peak. Although I admit that a
Himalayan peak would be delightful—but perhaps not so effective.