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If There Is One Negative Thought There Is No Spiritual Life

The mind must be absolutely pure, only then illumination takes place. That is why Patanjali says that the final samadhi ‘is attained by the constant practice of cessation of all mental activity’. You must be at it constantly. If you stop, the thoughts again accumulate; give a little pause and they come up again. That is why there must be a period of intense spiritual struggle, when you don’t care for anything else and you put the whole mind, soul, and body into this intense spiritual struggle. Until you attain the cessation of all mental activities, this requires a constant struggle.

You must be very careful. First attack the negative. Ask yourself if you have any negative thoughts, negative impressions. First clean these out, it does not matter if they are based on factual evidence or not; if they are in your mind, forget about the spiritual life. One negative thought can throw you off.

That is why Swami Vivekananda tells: ‘From me no danger be to aught that lives.’ Hate not and hurt not. If there is one negative thought there is no spiritual life. That is why so much effort is required on our part to keep off all negative thoughts. Negative thoughts really colour the mind dark; they don’t allow you to see things clearly.

Looking through a negative thought you see the whole world in a biased way, in a negative way. If there is one disturbing thought, one negative thought, through that distorted prism, that distorted glass, that distorted lens, you see the world. What do you see? You see everything disturbed. Put
off all negative thoughts if you want to have clear perception, true understanding — and then gradually put off the positive also. Positive thoughts are also dirt to the mind, because they are foreign to the mind. What is dirt? Anything out of place is dirt, trash. Sugar in the sugar bowl is all right; throw the sugar on the carpet, it becomes dirt. It may be good in the sugar bowl but it is not good on the carpet.

Likewise with good thoughts, if they collect in the mind you are coloured by them. They also must
go out. All thoughts, good and bad, must get out, ‘by the constant practice of cessation of all mental
activity, in which the chitta retains only the unmanifested impressions’. They are all there but they
are unmanifested.