Just as darkness is the absence of light, negativity which manifests as vice is merely the absence of spiritual light. In the same way, the negative forces do not stem from the real nature of the self, but are simply symptoms of a lack of spiritual power or light. As spiritual power declines, symptoms of malaise appear as anger, greed, ego, lust, attachment and related vices.
Conversely, as the soul’s power increases through yoga with the Supreme, the vices automatically disappear. In fact problems are not fundamentally caused by a particular vice, it is a question of the extent of one’s power. If I am weak, the sanskars most related to vices dominate my experience. If I am strong they do not affect me.
The negative forces have often been personified as ‘Maya’ but in fact there is no such being. There is no outside being we can blame. The vices are symptoms of individual ignorance and loss of power, which appeared only when our original creative powers subsided at the end of the Silver Age. The soul’s power fell below the level necessary to control matter and the senses; thus the vices had a rippling effect. The soul was more and more propelled by them through 63 births of deeper illusions until today when they appear to be an intrinsic part of our “real”nature.
Often we find ourselves saying, “I can’t change…” This shows the extent to which the soul’s own light has faded and been replaced by the dark curtain of negativity. Therefore, it is better that we do not try to deal with each vice and defect individually; as the soul fills with power, its overall condition automatically improves.
Another point is that there is a deep rooted awareness within the soul of God and His attributes, however much it may be overlaid with dirt and weakness. As this is brought to the surface of the consciousness our thoughts and behavior patterns automatically change. The vices appear then as mere perversions of virtues. In modern psychology it is held that we must express all our negative emotions for fear of repression.
But the fact is that ‘letting it out’ leads the soul further into subjugation to that emotion. Remembering that thoughts, decisions and actions are formed on the basis of sanskars which are deepened by repetition, the soul can only cause harm by expressing any defect or vice. On the other hand, the psychological effect of repressing negative emotions can be quite drastic. Repression can lead to severe personality problems, even insanity.
We should not keep the vices bottled up inside us like prisoners. Prisoners are always plotting to escape. If we change them into our friends they can help us. For example, the energy required to be stubborn is almost the same as that required to be determined except that one is positive and the other negative. The soul learns to transfer such energy. Anger becomes tolerance. Greed can be transferred into contentment. Lust can be turned into a desire for world benefit. Arrogance, or the respect for false identity, can become self-respect. The more I inculcate Baba’s virtues, the closer I feel to Him, but if I allow inner disturbances due to any vice, my high stage is grounded. All the power stored up until that moment will leak away. I must recognize that I really do not like being body-conscious.
As I wish for higher experiences I choose to live the life of a yogi with purity in thought, word and action. Obstructions come within and without, but through my link with God I am drawing so much power to remain unaffected. This needs soul consciousness. So in discarding the rubbish of the vices I have gathered over many births, I become my original form and maintain it through my closeness to God.