Sthūla and Shūksma

(It) is an important and very bewildering thing in this whole terminology that one always must make the distinction between the Sthūla and Shūksma aspects.  I do not speak of the parā aspect because that is what Professor Hauer calls the metaphysical.  I must confess that there the mist begins for me – I do not risk myself there. 

The Sthūla aspect is simply things as we see them. 

The Shūksma aspect is what we guess about them, or the abstractions or philosophical conclusions we draw from observed facts. 

(We) see people who make effort to consolidate themselves, to be egos, and therefore resist and hate one another, we see the Sthūla aspect, and we are only aware of the klésa of hatred, called dvesa. 

That is the Shūksma aspect.

If a person thoroughly understands this, he will agree and not worry.  In other words, he knows when he loves that soon he will hate.  Therefore he will laugh when he is going uphill and weep when he is going downhill, like Till Eulenspiegel.  He will realize the paradox of life – that he cannot be perfect, and he cannot always be one with himself.  It is our idea to be one, to have absolutely clear situations in life.  But it is all impossible – it is all too one-sided, and we are not one-sided.  You see, the analytical process tears up hatred by the roots by explaining the Shūksma aspect, namely, the aspect on the level of understanding, of abstraction, theory, wisdom.  And so we learn that what is a regrettable habit, for instance, or impossible moods or inexplicable disagreements in the Sthūla aspect, is something quite different in the Shūksma aspect. 

   There are two aspects to the physiology of the mind.  One is the nerves, the gray matter, and the other is the energy that lives in the nerves.  The energy is what communicates the messages.  The gross matter is called, in Sanskrit, sthula.  The subtle matter, the energy inside, the activating principle, is called sukshma (“subtle”).   TMTT 133