Volume I  Page 55  §  The Formation and Function of Sanskaras

DISCOURSES by Meher Baba

such impressions in the course of its experience. When occupied with the physical objects of this world such as the body, nature and other things, the mind is, so to say, externalised, and creates gross impressions. When it is busy with its own subjective mental processes (which are the expressions of already existing sanskaras), it creates subtle and mental impressions. The question whether sanskaras come first or experience comes first is like the question whether the hen or the egg comes first. Both are conditions of each other and develop side by side. The problem of understanding the significance of human experience, therefore, turns round the problem of understanding the formation and function of sanskaras.
        The sanskaras are of two types—natural and non-natural—according to the manner in which they come into existence. The sanskaras which the soul gathers during the period of organic Natural and non-natural sanskaras evolution are natural sanskaras. These sanskaras come into existence as the soul successively takes up and abandons the various sub-human forms, thus gradually passing from the apparently inanimate state of the stone or metal to the human state, where there is full development of consciousness. All the sanskaras which cluster round the soul before it attains the human form are the product of natural evolution and are referred to as natural sanskaras. They should be carefully distinguished from the sanskaras cultivated by the soul after the attainment of the human form. The sanskaras which get attached to the soul during the human stage are cultivated under the moral freedom of consciousness with its accompanying responsibility of choice between good and bad, virtue and vice. They are referred to as non-natural sanskaras. Though these post-human sanskaras are directly dependent upon the natural sanskaras,