Mother's Agenda

 

Vol. 3

 

Institut de Recherches Evolutives

142 blvd du Montparnasse

F-75014 Paris

 

January 9, 1962

(Mother has been unwell the past few days and is receiving almost no one.)

Are you better?

I think so! (Mother laughs) I don't know.

It's strange, these attacks ... bizarre; they seem to have nothing to do with my state of health.

It's a sort of ... decentralization. You see, to form a body all the cells are concentrated by a kind of centripetal force that binds them together. Well, now it's just the opposite! A kind of centrifugal force seems to be dispersing them. When it gets a bit too much I go out of my body; outwardly I seem to faint – but I don't faint, I remain fully conscious. So obviously this creates a sort of ... bizarre disorganization.

And there's a strange thing about it, which so far I haven't figured out: it always happens (it has already happened three times, and that's a lot for me) when X[1] comes, the night before he arrives.

Yes.

Ah! It doesn't surprise you either?

No, I have noticed that his arrival triggers something off.

Someone happened to be there last time so I didn't fall and hurt myself. But this time I was alone in my bathroom and ... actually I was going through a phenomenon of consciousness in which I was spreading over the world – spreading PHYSICALLY, that's the strange thing! The sensation is in the CELLS. There was a movement of diffusion in me, becoming more and more rapid and intense, and then suddenly I found myself on the floor.

There's a seat in my bathroom upstairs, and between the seat and the wall are two small tables (not tables, but small stools where a few things are kept), and a porcelain towel bar (luckily, everything has rounded corners). I found myself wedged in between the seat and the two small tables (a space about this wide!). And all that matter – the material substance of the table and the objects on the table and the porcelain seat – it all seemed so unreceptive! It doesn't give way like it should for things to be comfortable; but it wasn't that my body was uncomfortable – there was no body! The whole set-up was bizarre, everything was in a bizarre and absurd situation which I couldn't really understand, couldn't make out: "What's this big lump doing here," I seemed to be wondering, "taking up so much room, getting in the way?"

My elbow had ended up leaning on a little plastic tray I have there, where I keep pencils, ball-point pens, note pads and so forth. The body was leaning on this tray, evidently trying to get up, and the whole thing started cracking noisily under the weight. And in a diffuse but very clear consciousness I was saying to myself, "But why? What's all this ridiculous noise? And what's this heavy thing doing? What disorder.... There shouldn't be such disorder." And it went on crack-crack-cracking. Then suddenly normal consciousness returned – to be exact, what returned was the normal RELATIONSHIP consciousness has with things – and I said, "Well, really! What a ridiculous situation! What is this elbow doing on that tray? It should realize it's breaking it!" And when things were all completely back to normal I told my body, "What are you doing, you idiot! Come on, pick yourself up, get moving! " Immediately, docile as a little child, it extricated itself, turned around, and stood up straight – quite straight. I had scratched my knee, scratched my elbow, and taken three knocks on the head. Luckily there were no sharp edges – it was all hard enough, but no sharp edges. Anyway, in the end I was all right, no damage done.

No damage at all, but it was a bizarre sensation. So I tried to understand how it could have happened, how I could have so lost my sense of relation to things.... For a long time my body had been telling me, "I've got to lie down, I've got to lie down." And I would very sternly reply, "You don't have time!" (Laughing) So then this happened. Had I obeyed it and laid down, there would obviously have been no problem. But I was in my experience, going on with my experience, and at the same time I was getting ready to come downstairs. So I told my body, "It's all right, it's all right, you'll lie down later." But it had its own way of lying down! (Laughing) It just stretched out right where it was. Actually it wasn't even stretched out – it was all askew.

Afterwards, I looked into it a bit. "What's wrong with you, anyway?" I said. "If you don't have the strength to bear experiences you won't be able to do the work!" My body answered me very clearly that I was overworking it; and Sri Aurobindo's will was clearly behind it, saying, "It's overwork. You can't keep on seeing people and talking for hours on end and then going into these kinds of experiences. You can't do both, you have to choose, or at least strike a better balance." Well, I certainly wasn't going to stop my experiences, so I took advantage of this little incident to get some rest. It was nothing, really! The doctors were saying, "Take care, the heart isn't working properly," and all that. They wanted to start drugging me! All I need is peace and quiet, not drugs. So I took a rest – and since I had to have an excuse, I said I wasn't well and needed rest.

But following that, and because of the overwork, an old thing I thought I had cured has come back. It was originally brought on by overwork when I was going to the Playground and resting only two hours out of twenty-four, which wasn't enough – a sort of ulcer formed between my nose and throat. It's an old complaint, dating from the removal of adenoids in my childhood; the operation left a kind of small cavity, which was nothing in itself, except that occasionally it would give me a cold. But as a result of overwork it came back in the form of an ulcer, and gave me artificial colds; it was so sour and corrosive, a terrible irritation in the throat and nose. It got much worse when I was giving classes at the Playground, and once I showed it to the doctor. "Why, you have an ulcer!" he said. A big fuss. He offered to treat me. "No thanks!" I said. "Don't worry, it will pass." And I began my own yogic treatment. It was over in a week and for three years there was no further sign of it. Recently (the last two or three months) I had felt it trying to come back, for exactly the same reason of overwork. And with that little adventure the other day, it did come back – it gave me one of those stupid colds: sneezing, coughing. It's not quite over yet. But it's nothing, it just gives me an excuse (laughing) to tell people I am still not quite well!

I am resting.

It's a difficult problem to resolve, because at no price do I want to stop the discipline (the tapasya,[2] to be precise). I don't want to stop. And both things together are clearly too much for a stupid little body – stupid mainly because it lives in tension.

These past few days I've had some interesting experiences from this standpoint. I had what is commonly called fever, but it wasn't fever – it was a resurfacing from the subconscient of all the struggles, all the tensions this body has had for ... what will soon be eighty-three years. I went through a period in my life when the tension was tremendous, because it was psychological and vital as well as physical: a perpetual struggle against adverse forces; and during my stay in Japan, particularly ... oh, it was terrible! So at night, everything that had been part of that life in Japan – people, things, movements, circumstances – all of it seemed to be surrounding my body in the form of vital[3] vibrations, and to be taking the place of my present state, which had completely vanished. For hours during the night, the body was reliving all the terrible tensions it had during those four years in Japan. And I realized how much (because at the time you pay no attention; the consciousness is busy with something else and not concentrated on the body), how much the body resists and is tense. And just as I was realizing this, I had a communication with Sri Aurobindo: "But you're keeping it up!" he told me. " Your body still has the habit of being tense." (It's much less now, of course; it's quite different since the inner consciousness is in perfect peace, but the BODY keeps the habit of being tense.) For instance, in the short interval between the time I get up and the time I come down to the balcony,[4] when I am getting ready (I have to get this body ready to come down) ... well, the body is tense about being ready in time. And that's why accidents happen at that moment. So the following morning I said, "All right, no more tension," and I was exclusively concerned with keeping my body perfectly tranquil – I was no later than usual! So it's obviously just one of the body's bad habits. Everything went off the same as usual, and since then things are better. But it's a nasty habit.

And so I looked. "Is it something particular to this body?" I wondered. To everyone who has lived closely with it, my body gives the impression of two things: a very concentrated, very stubborn will, and ... such endurance! Sri Aurobindo used to tell me he had never dreamed a body could have such endurance. And that's probably why.... But I don't want to curtail this ability in any way, because it is a CELLULAR will, and a cellular endurance too – which is quite intriguing. It's not a central will and central endurance (that's something else altogether) – it's cellular. That's why Sri Aurobindo used to tell me this body had been specially prepared and chosen for the Work – because of its capacity for obstinate endurance and will. But that's no reason to exercise this ability uselessly! So I am making sure it relaxes now; I tell it constantly, " Now, now! Just let go! Relax, have some fun, where's the harm in it?" I have to tell it to be quiet, very quiet. And it's very surprised to hear that: "Ah! Can I live that way? I don't have to hurry? I can live that way?"

So that's why I am resting. Am I better or not? Things are always the same. Were I to start doing what I was doing before, which I KNEW all along was absolutely unreasonable.... It's not that I didn't know it; I did know and I wasn't happy about it, because I knew I was doing something I shouldn't. I have no intention of starting again, but if I had said, "I am withdrawing for good," it would have been.... If you knew how MANY things have gone slack [in the Ashram]! And how many people I am telling off: "Well, you wouldn't have done that a week ago!" Oh, that's an experience in itself – to see what people's so-called faithfulness depends on.

You have to constantly keep a firm grip on them – constantly, constantly.

That's how it is.

Here, mon petit,[5] I've been given something very good! (Mother laughs and gives Satprem a tin of ... perhaps it was foie gras.)

I've been slacking off too.

For material substance it's a necessity.

It's exactly what I was complaining about: "If this stuff can't go on without flagging, if it can't take it and absolutely has to relax, if it can't keep up with the movement of consciousness and just has to slacken from time to time, well ... how can it ever be supramentalized?" Precisely what everyone has always said: "It CANNOT hold the charge, it has to let go. It can't hold the charge of Energy." And especially THIS Energy, which seems almost abnormal to people – an Energy that works like this (inflexible gesture) and can keep it up indefinitely.

And when the body can't take it "like this," it breaks – you find yourself between a table and ... and suddenly you're flat on the floor!

That must be it, because I've fainted fairly often in my life. Even when I was young, I would remain conscious, and there was a whole period when I used to go out of my body, which I would always immediately see in some ridiculous position (just where it had no business being, of course!). So I would rush back into it and say, "Come on! What's wrong with you!" Then it would shake itself and get moving again, like a donkey – you give it a good whack, and it gets back to work.

This need for relaxation was never psychological with me. And I have seen that the habit people have of slackening has the same origin: it's not necessarily negligence or vital weakness, the body simply gets winded. It bears up under the tension of vital energy, but eventually it gets winded, tired out, and needs rest.

Given the world's present set-up, this is "normal" – but if the supramental world were to be realized, it shouldn't remain normal. Clearly, a considerable change has to take place in the physical substance. That will probably be the essential difference between the bodies fashioned by Nature's methods and those to be fashioned by supramental knowledge – a new element will come in, and we will no longer be "natural." But so long as this natural element is present, well, a certain amount of patience is probably required – let the body catch its breath, otherwise something gives way.

It gets much less winded, of course, when you have the inner equality of the divine Presence. So much fatigue is due to excess tension produced by desire or effort or struggle, by the constant battle against all opposing forces. All that can go.

We tire ourselves out quite needlessly.

(silence)

During that return to the past over the last few days, the life I led with Sri Aurobindo suddenly came back to me.... What helped this to happen was reading passages about me in his book,[6] letters he wrote about me that I had never read before. And it all came back, those full thirty years I lived with him....

Psychologically, there was no struggle, no tension, no effort – not ONCE; I was living in total and confident serenity. On the material plane there were attacks, but even these he took upon himself. Well, I saw it all, all those thirty years of life; not for a SECOND did I have any sense of responsibility, in spite of all the work I was doing, all the organizing and everything. He had supposedly passed on the responsibility to me, you see, but he was standing behind – HE was actually doing everything! I was active, but with absolutely no responsibility. I never felt responsible for a single minute – he took the full responsibility. It was really....

For the first seven years he was doing the work, not me. He was the one who saw people; I looked after his personal affairs, his housekeeping, his food, his clothes and so forth. I kept myself quietly busy with that, doing nothing else, not seeing people, simply looking after his material life – like a child at play. It was seven years of integral peace.

Later, when he withdrew and put me in front, there was naturally a bit more activity, as well as the semblance of responsibility – but it was only a semblance. What security! A sense of total, total security – for thirty years. Not once.... There was just a single scratch, so to speak, when he had that accident and broke his leg. There was a formation at work (an adverse force) and he wasn't taking sufficient precautions for himself because it was directed against both of us, and more especially against me (it had tried once or twice to fracture my skull, things like that). Well, he was so intent on keeping it from seriously touching my body that it managed to sneak in and break his leg. That was a shock. But he straightened everything out again almost immediately – it all fell back into place and went on like that till the end.

And the feeling was so strong that even during his illness (which lasted for months, you know), I had a sense of perfect security; so much so that the idea of his life being really affected in the least by this illness couldn't even occur to me! I didn't want to believe it when the doctor said, "It's over." I didn't want to believe it. And as long as I stayed in the room ... with me in the room he couldn't leave his body. And so there was a terrible tension in him – on the one hand the inner will to depart, and then this thing holding him there in his body: the fact that I knew he was alive and could only be alive. He had to signal me to go to my room, supposedly to rest (I didn't rest); and no sooner had I left his room than he was gone.

They immediately called me back.... That's how it was. Then when he came to me, when I really saw what had happened, when he went out of his body and entered into mine (the most material part of him, the part involved with external things) and I understood that I had the entire responsibility for all the work AND for the sadhana[7]well, then I locked a part of me away, a deep psychic[8] part that was living, beyond all responsibility, in the ECSTASY of the realization: the Supreme. I took it and locked it away, I sealed it off and said, "You're not moving until ... until all the rest is ready."

(silence)

That in itself was a miracle. If I hadn't done it I would have followed him – and there would have been no one to do the Work. I would have followed him automatically, without even thinking about it. But when he entered into me, he said, "You will do the work; one of us had to go, and I am going, but you will do the work."

And that door was opened again only ten years later, in 1960. Even then, it was done with great care – it was one of last year's major difficulties.

(silence)

And only in the last few days have all those memories been allowed to rise up again from the subconscient where they were being kept; and with that, the state I lived in for thirty years has resurfaced – with this tremendous difference.

And suddenly I said to myself, "How could it be? During all the time he was here, the time we were together (after I came back from Japan, when we were together), life, life on earth, lived such a wondrous divine possibility, so ... really so unique, something it had never lived to such an extent and in such a way, for thirty years, and it didn't even notice!"

That ....

That's what I have been experiencing recently.

Yes, at one point I wondered (I don't remember when, a few days ago): "How could people have lived here, so near (but the same thing is still happening), how could human beings on earth who had an aspiration, who had their consciousness turned towards those things, have lived that possibility, have HAD that possibility at their fingertips, without being able to take advantage of it! How could something so wonderful and unique have taken place here, and yet people had such a small and childish and superficial image of it!"

Truly, I wondered, "Has the time really come? Is it possible? ... Or will it once again be postponed?"

(silence)

Yesterday evening I read something in the book[9].... Sri Aurobindo is writing to someone who said, "How lucky people are who live near the Mother." "You don't know what you're talking about! " he replies. "To live in the Mother's physical presence is one of the most difficult things." Do you remember this passage? I didn't know he had written that. "Well, well ..." I thought. He writes, "It is hard to stay near her, because the difference between the physical consciousness of all you people and her physical consciousness is so enormous...."[10] Indeed, that's what tires me out. That's what tires my body, because it is used to living in a certain rhythm, a universal rhythm.

(silence)

No one can imagine what it was, those thirty years I had ... beyond all problems and difficulties; we went through every possible difficulty – and it was nothing, NOTHING. It was nothing, it was ... like a great harmonious orchestra.

(silence)

But ... it's clear that Matter must be rigorously hammered if it is to be made ready and able for this Transformation.

(silence)

And nothing, nothing imaginable in the eternal history of the universe can be compared to that shock: to have lived a perfect divine life as something completely natural and everyday, something OBVIOUS (it was never even in question), and then ... all of a sudden, physically – your base is snatched away. Well, to stay on after that! ... You just go, quite naturally: the base goes, you go.

(silence)

I can't blame my body for anything. It may be a bit weary, but it has held out very well.

It was a unique kind of grace, an absolutely miraculous power, which did what I just mentioned, which locked up the part of my consciousness that was CONSCIOUSLY living that miracle, locked it all up tight, padlocked it: "You're locked in, don't stir; no manifestation for you – you're going out of Time and Manifestation until everything else is ready to follow."

That, more than anything else, may be why I needed a bit of solitude: to reactivate that part of the psychic being which was the individual intermediary between true Consciousness and the body-consciousness: the part which had lived THAT, was aware of THAT, knew THAT – knew that wondrous miracle.

(silence)

What's really almost miraculous is that I can speak of it even now.

***

So here we are again – we won't get much work done today! Do you have any questions [on Sri Aurobindo's Aphorisms]?

(Satprem reads:)

67 – There is no sin in man, but a great deal of disease, ignorance and misapplication.

68 – The sense of sin was necessary in order that man might become disgusted with his own imperfections. It was God's corrective for egoism. But man's egoism meets God's device by being very dully alive to its own sins and very keenly alive to the sins of others.

69 – Sin and virtue are a game of resistance we play with God in His efforts to draw us towards perfection. The sense of virtue helps us to cherish our sins in secret.

Well?

Do you have any comments?

No; for me the thing to be particularly looked into is the sense of virtue which ...

"... helps us to cherish our sins in secret."

That's not something ordinary human thought can easily grasp.

Helps us to cherish in secret the sense of sin....

But did you think of a question?

It's not directly connected. If you have something to say....

It always revolves around the same thing, but here it's presented in a very subtle way.

To cherish in secret the sense of sin.... No, I can't say I've had that experience, in the sense that I have never had a very pronounced love of virtue.

That's another thing I have noticed: even in my childhood I was already conscious of what Sri Aurobindo calls "living divinely," that is, outside the sense of Good and Evil.

This was counterbalanced by a terrible censor which never left me.[11] It took Sri Aurobindo to clear it from my path. But I didn't have the sense of sin, of Good and Evil, sin and virtue – definitely not! My consciousness was centered around right action and wrong action[12] – "this should have been done, that shouldn't have" – with no question of Good or Evil, from the standpoint of work, of action alone. My consciousness has always been centered on action. It was a vision, a perception of the line to be followed – or the many lines to be followed – for the action to be accomplished. And any deviation from what to me was the luminous line, the straight line (not geometrically straight: the luminous line, the line expressing the divine Will), the slightest deviation from that, and ... oh, it was the only thing that tormented me.

And the torment didn't come from me, it came from that character hooked on to my consciousness and constantly whipping me, hounding me, ill-treating me – what people call their "conscience," which has nothing whatsoever to do with consciousness![13] It's an adverse being, and whatever it can change, it changes for the worse; whatever is susceptible to being changed into something antidivine, it changes. And it is constantly repeating the same thing: "This is wrong, that is wrong, this is wrong...."

But this was the only thing; there was never, never the idea of being either virtuous or sinful – never. It was a matter of doing the right thing or not doing the right thing. That's all. No sense of being virtuous or sinful, none at all! I never, ever had that sense. So it's a bit difficult for me to identify with the feeling Sri Aurobindo describes here; it doesn't correspond to anything in me. I understand, of course! I understand very well what he means. But to identify with that sentiment....

But tell me what you wanted to say.

All in all, in these last few aphorisms Sri Aurobindo is clearly trying to show us that we must go beyond the sense of sin and virtue. It reminds me of a passage from one of your experiences which struck me very much at the time. In that experience you went to the supramental world: you saw a "ship" landing on the shore of the supramental world and people being put through certain tests – some people were rejected, others were kept. There's a striking passage in your description, and it bears a relation to these aphorisms.... May I read you what you said?[14]

Yes – I don't remember it any more.

After describing the ship and the disembarkation, you say:

"The criterion or the judgment [for passing the tests] was based EXCLUSIVELY on the substance constituting the people – whether they belonged completely to the supramental world or not, whether they were made of this very special substance. The criterion adopted was neither moral nor psychological. It is likely that their bodily substance was the result of an inner law or an inner movement which, at that time, was not in question. At least it is quite clear that the values are different...."

And then you add:

"At that time, my impression (an impression which remained rather long, almost the whole day) was of an extreme relativity – no, not exactly that, but an impression that the relationship between this world and the other completely changes the criterion by which things are to be evaluated or judged...."

Yes!

"This criterion had nothing mental about it, and it gave the strange inner feeling that so many things we consider good or bad are not really so. It was very clear that everything depended upon the CAPACITY of things and upon their ABILITY to express the supramental world or be in relationship with it. It was so completely different, at times even so opposite to our ordinary way of looking at things!"

Yes.

You go on:

"With people, too, I saw that what helps or prevents them from becoming supramental is very different from what our ordinary moral notions imagine."

Yes. Yes, indeed.

So what I wanted to ask you was: if it's not a matter of moral notions, then what capacity or quality DOES help us on the way towards the Supermind? What is this totally different criterion?

All this is exactly what I have been observing and studying these past few days. I will tell you about it next time.

I was particularly struck at the time.

And it has never left me. Ever since then I have kept that same vision of things. But I have to make it intelligible.

I'll see you on the 12th.

Or, the 12th I'll tell you – I will try to find a way to express it.

(Laughing) Do you have enough cheese, petit? Have you everything you need? You must take care of yourself!

January 12, 1962

(Note from Mother to Satprem concerning his question of January 9, on the capacities required to gain access to the supramental world.)

Capacity for indefinite expansion of consciousness on all planes including the material.

Limitless plasticity, to be able to follow the movement of becoming.

Perfect equality abolishing all possibility of ego reaction.

January 12, 1962

(Concerning Satprem's question on the experience of the "supramental ship":)

Did you get my note, petit?

I've said something on the subject somewhere.... Do you remember that gentleman from Madras who had asked a question?[15] There was an indication there....

Because I followed the thread, I put myself back in contact with the experience of the supramental ship, and I noticed that it had a DECISIVE effect on my position: the required conditions were established quite clearly, precisely, and definitively by that experience. In that respect, it was interesting.

Once and for all it has swept away all these notions – not merely ordinary moral notions, but everything people here in India consider necessary for the spiritual life. In that respect, it was very instructive. And first and foremost, this so-called ascetic purity.... Ascetic purity is merely the rejection of all vital movements. Instead of taking these movements and turning them towards the Divine, instead of seeing, that is, the supreme Presence in them (and so letting the Supreme deal with them freely), He is told (laughing): "No – it's none of Your business! You have no say in it."

As for the physical, it's an old and well-known story – ascetics have always rejected it; but they also reject the vital. And they're all like that here, even ... X may have changed somewhat by now, but at the beginning he was no different either. Only things classically recognized as holy or admitted by religious tradition were accepted – the sanctity of marriage, for example, and things like that.... But a free life? Not a chance! It was wholly incompatible with religious life.

Well, all that has been completely swept away, once and for all.

This doesn't mean that what's being asked of us is easier! It's probably far more difficult.

I mentioned the principal psychological requirement in my answer to that American: a state of perfect equality. This is an ABSOLUTE condition. Over the years since that experience I have observed that no supramental vibration whatsoever can be transmitted without this perfect equality. The slightest contradiction of that equality – in other words, the least movement of ego, of egoistic preference – and everything is blocked, transmission stops. This is already quite a large stumbling block.

And, over and above this, for the realization to be total, there are two other conditions, which aren't easy either. Intellectually, they're not too difficult; in fact, for someone who has practiced yoga, followed a discipline (I am not speaking here of just anyone), they're relatively easy. Psychologically too, given this equality, there's no great difficulty. But as soon as you come to the material plane – the physical plane – and then to the body, it isn't easy. These two conditions are first, the power to expand, to widen almost indefinitely, enabling you to widen to the dimensions of the supramental consciousness – which is total. The supramental consciousness is the consciousness of the Supreme in his totality. By "totality," I mean the Supreme in his aspect of Manifestation. Naturally, from a higher point of view, from the viewpoint of the essence – the essence of that which in Manifestation becomes the Supermind – what's necessary is a capacity for total identification with the Supreme, not only in his aspect of Manifestation, but in his static or nirvanic aspect, outside of the Manifestation: Nonbeing. But in addition, one must be capable of identifying with the Supreme in the Becoming. And that implies both these things: an expansion that is nothing less than indefinite, and that should simultaneously be a total plasticity enabling one to follow the Supreme in his Becoming. You don't merely have to be as vast as the universe at one point in time, but indefinitely in the Becoming. These are the two conditions. They must be potentially present.

Down to the vital, we are still in the realm of things that are more than feasible – they are done. But on the material level it results in my misadventures of the other day.[16]

But even accepting all these misadventures a priori, things remain difficult because there's a double movement: both a cellular transformation and a capacity for '"something" that could replace expansion with readjustment, a constant intercellular reorganization.[17]

The way they are now, of course, our bodies are rigid and heavy – it's unspeakable, actually; if it weren't for that we would never grow old. For instance, my vital being is more full of energy, and thus full of youth and power to grow, than when I was twenty. There's really no comparison. The power is INFINITELY greater ... yet the body is going to pieces – it's really something unspeakable. So a way has to be found to bridge this gap between the vital and the material being.

Not that the problem hasn't been partially solved: hatha yogis have solved it, partially – provided you do nothing else (that's the trouble). Yet having the knowledge, we should have the power to do what's necessary without making it our exclusive preoccupation. At any rate, this possibility is certainly not altogether unknown; for the first few months after I retired to my room,[18] when I had cut all contact with the outside, it was working very well ... even extraordinarily so! Lots of disorders in my body were surmounted, and I had many fairly precise indications that if I continued like that long enough I would regain everything that had been lost, and with an even better equilibrium. I mean that the functional equilibrium was far superior. Only when I came back into contact with the world did it all come to a halt and begin to deteriorate – all the more so as it was aggravated by this discipline of expansion making me constantly – CONSTANTLY – absorb mountains of difficulties to be resolved. And so....

With the mind, it's rather easy – you can put things back in order in five minutes, it's not difficult. With the vital it's already a bit more troublesome, it takes a little longer. But when you come to the material level, well.... There's a CONTAGION of wrong cellular functioning and a kind of internal disorganization – things not staying in their proper places. Each vibration absorbed from the outside instantly creates a disorder, dislocates everything, creates wrong contacts and disrupts the organization; it sometimes takes HOURS to put it all back in order. Consequently, if I really want to make use of this body's possibility without having to face the necessity of changing it because it can't follow along, then, materially, I would really need, as much as possible, to stop having to gulp down all sorts of things that drag me years backwards.

It's difficult ... difficult.

So long as there's no question of physical transformation, the psychological and in large part, the subjective point of view is sufficient – and that's relatively easy. But when it comes to incorporating matter into the work, matter as it is in this world where the very starting point is false (we start off in unconsciousness and ignorance), well, it's very difficult. Because, to recover the consciousness it has lost, Matter has had to individualize itself, and for that – for the form to last and retain this possibility of individuality – it has been created with a certain indispensable measure of rigidity. And that rigidity is the main obstacle to the expansion, to the plasticity and suppleness necessary for receiving the Supermind. I constantly find myself facing this problem, which is utterly concrete, absolutely material when you're dealing with cells that have to remain cells and not vaporize into some nonphysical reality, and at the same time have to have a suppleness, a lack of rigidity, enabling them to widen indefinitely.

There have been times, while working in the most material mind (the mind ingrained in the material substance), when I felt my brain swelling and swelling and swelling, and my head becoming so large it seemed about to burst! On two occasions I was forced to stop, because it was ... (was it only an impression, or was it a fact?) in any event it seemed dangerous, as if the head would burst, because what was inside was becoming too tremendous (it was that power in Matter, that very powerful deep blue light which has such powerful vibrations; it is able to heal, for example, and change the functioning of the organs – really a very powerful thing materially). Well then, that's what was filling my head, more and more, more and more, and I had the feeling that my skull was (it was painful, you know) ... that there was a pressure inside my skull pushing out, pushing everything out.... I wondered what was going to happen. Then, instead of following the movement, helping it along and going with it, I became immobile, passive, to see what would happen. And both times it stopped. I was no longer helping the movement along, you see, I simply remained passive – and it came to a halt, there was a sort of stabilization.

(silence)

But Sri Aurobindo must have had the experience [of cellular expansion], because he said positively that it COULD be done.

The question, of course, is the supramentalization of MATTER – the consciousness, that's nothing at all. Most people who have had that experience had it on the mental level, which is relatively easy. It's very easy: abolition of limits set by the ego, indefinite expansion with a movement following the rhythm of the Becoming. Mentally, it's all very easy. Vitally.... A few months after I withdrew to my room, I had the experience in the vital – wonderful, magnificent! Of course to have the experience there, the mind must have undergone a change, one must be in complete communion; without exception, any individual vital being that hasn't been prepared by what might be called a sufficient mental foundation would be panic-stricken. All those poor people who get scared at the least little experience had better not dabble with this – they'd panic! But as it happens – through divine grace, you might say – my vital, the vital being of this present incarnation, was born free and victorious. It has never been afraid of anything in the vital world; the most fantastic experiences were practically child's play. But when I had that experience, it was so interesting that for a few weeks I was tempted to stay in it; it was.... I once told you a little about that experience (it was quite a while ago, at least two years).[19] I told you that even during the day I seemed to be sitting on top of the Earth – that was this realization in the vital world. And what fantastic nights it gave me! Nights I have never been able to describe to anyone and never mentioned – but I would look forward to the night as a marvelous adventure.

I voluntarily renounced all that in order to go further. And when I did it, I understood what people here in India mean when they say: he surrendered his experience. I had never really understood what that meant. When I did it, I understood. "No," I said, "I don't want to stop there; I am giving it all to You, that I may go on to the end." Then I understood what it meant.

Had I kept it, oh – I would have become one of those world-renowned phenomena, turning the course of the earth's history upside down! A stupendous power! Stupendous, unheard-of.... But it meant stopping there, accepting that experience as final – I went on.

Well. So now, what can I tell you that's interesting – everything I've just said is a sort of miscellany, and three-fourths unusable.

But, Mother....

I didn't say it with the idea of writing an article!

When I read that note[20] you sent me, I immediately reconnected with the experience, and things became clear. I have told them to you as well as they can be told....

(silence)

The people on that ship had these two capacities: one, the capacity for indefinite expansion of consciousness on all planes, including the material; and two, limitless plasticity in order to follow the movement of the Becoming.

It was taking place in the subtle physical. The people who had patches on their bodies and had to be sent back were always the ones who lacked the plasticity those two movements required. But the main thing was the movement of expansion; the progressive movement, the movement of following the Becoming, seemed to be a subsequent preoccupation – for those who had landed. The preparation on the boat concerned that capacity for expansion.

Another thing I didn't mention to you when I related the experience was that the ship had no engine. Everything was set in motion through will power – people, things (even the clothes people wore were a result of their will). And this gave all things and every person's shape a great suppleness, because there was an awareness of this will – which is not a mental will but a will of the Self, what could be called a spiritual will or a soul-will (to give the word soul that particular meaning). I have that experience right here when there's an absolute spontaneity in action, I mean when the action – for instance, an utterance or a movement – is not determined by the mind, and not even (not to mention thought or intellect), not even by the mind that usually sets us in motion. Generally, when we do something, we can perceive in ourselves a will to do it; when you watch yourself, you see this: there is always (it can happen in a flash) the will to do. When you are conscious and watch yourself doing something, you see in yourself the will to do it – this is where the mind intervenes, its normal intervention, the established order in which things happen. But the supramental action is decided by a leap over the mind. The action is direct, with no need to go through the mind. Something enters directly into contact with the vital centers and activates them without going through the mind – yet in full consciousness. The consciousness doesn't function in the usual sequence, it functions from the center of spiritual will straight to matter.

And so long as you can keep that absolute immobility in the mind, the inspiration is absolutely pure – it comes pure. When you can catch and hold onto this while you're speaking, then what comes to you is unmixed too, it stays pure.

This is an extremely delicate functioning, probably because we're not used to it – the slightest movement, the slightest mental vibration disrupts everything. But as long as it lasts, it's perfectly pure. And in a supramentalized life this has to be the CONSTANT state. Mentalized will should no longer intervene; because you may well have a spiritual will, your life may be the constant expression of spiritual will (it's what happens to all who feel themselves guided by the Divine within), but it still comes through a mental transcription. Well, as long as it's that way, it's not the supramental life. The supramental life NO LONGER goes through the mind – the mind is an immobile zone of transmission. The least little twitch is enough to upset everything.

(silence)

So we can say that the Supermind can express itself through a terrestrial consciousness only when there is a constant state of perfect equality – equality arising out of spiritual identification with the Supreme: all becomes the Supreme in perfect equality. And it must be automatic, not an equality obtained through conscious will or intellectual effort or an understanding preceding the state itself – none of that. It has to be spontaneous and automatic; one must no longer react to what comes from outside as though it were coming from outside. That pattern of reception and reaction must be replaced by a state of constant perception and (I don't mean identical in all cases, because each thing necessarily calls forth its own particular reaction) ... but practically free from all rebound, you might say. It's the difference between something coming from outside and striking you, making you react, and something freely circulating and quite naturally generating the vibrations needed for the overall action. I don't know if I am making myself clear.... It's the difference between a vibratory movement circulating within an IDENTICAL field of action, and a movement from an outside source, touching you and getting a reaction (this is the usual state of human consciousness). But once the consciousness is identified with the Supreme, all movements are, so to speak, inner – inner in the sense that nothing comes from outside; there are only things circulating, which, through similarity or necessity, naturally generate or change the vibrations within the circulatory milieu.

I am very familiar with this, because I am now constantly in that state. I never have the feeling of something coming from outside and bumping into me; there's rather the sense of multiple and sometimes contradictory inner movements, and of a constant circulation generating the inner changes necessary to the movement.

This is the indispensable foundation.

I've had that experience for a very long time and now it's completely established. It used to be transitory, but now it's constant.

It is the indispensable foundation.

And in that state, expansion follows almost automatically, necessitating certain adjustments in the body which are difficult to work out. I am still completely immersed in this problem.

Then that suppleness.... It means a capacity for decrystallizing oneself; the whole span of life given over to self-individualization is a period of conscious, willed crystallization, which then has to be undone. To become a conscious, individualized being there has to be a constant, constant, willed crystallization, in everything; and afterwards, again constantly, the opposite movement has to be made – with an even greater will. But at the same time, the consciousness must not lose the benefit of what has been acquired through individualization.

It is difficult, I must say.

For thought, it's elementary, very simple. It's not difficult for the feelings either; for the heart, the emotional being, to expand to the dimensions of the Supreme is relatively easy. But this body! It's very difficult, very difficult to do without the body losing its center (how can I put it?) ... its center of coagulation – without it dissolving into the surrounding mass. Although, if one were in a natural environment, with mountains and forests and rivers, with lots of space and lots of natural beauty, it could be rather pleasant! But it's physically impossible to take a single step outside one's body without meeting unpleasant, painful things. At times you come in contact with a pleasant substance, something harmonious, warm, vibrating with a higher light; it happens. But it's rare. Flowers, yes, sometimes flowers – sometimes, not always. But this material world, oh! It batters you from all sides; it claws you, mauls you – you get clawed and scraped and battered by all sorts of things which ... which just don't blossom. How hard it all is! Oh, how closed human life is! How shriveled, hardened, without light, without warmth ... let alone joy.

While sometimes, when you see water flowing along, or a ray of sunlight in the trees – oh, how it sings! The cells sing, they are happy.

Well, mon petit, that's all I can tell you. If you can make something out of it.... But it's a new experience. Isn't it interesting? I have to put it into the form of an experience – there's no other way for it to be.

But keep it as impersonal as possible!

Do you need this thing [Mother's note to Satprem]?

Here, take your piece of paper – it's nothing but an intellectual notation.

(Later, as Mother is leaving)

If we continue along this path, we will surely be able to do some worthwhile work, because it's all new. It's quite new – I never spoke of this with Sri Aurobindo because at the time I didn't have those experiences. I had all the psychological experiences, experiences in the mind, even the most material mind, or in the vital or the physical consciousness – the physical CONSCIOUSNESS – but not in the body. That's something new, it started only three or four years ago.

All the rest is easy. Everything up to that point is settled – settled very nicely.

Since the physical transformation is so difficult, one is tempted to wonder whether it wouldn't be advantageous to "materialize" something, to work occultly – to create a new body by occult means....

That was the idea: for a few beings to first attain, here in this physical world, a level of realization giving them the power to materialize a supramental being.

I once told you I put a body on a vital being[21] – but I couldn't have made that body material; it would have been impossible: something is lacking. Something is lacking. Even if it were made visible, it would probably not be possible to make it permanent – at the slightest opportunity, it would dematerialize. What we can't get is that permanence.

It's something Sri Aurobindo and I have discussed ("discussed" is one way of putting it), something we spoke about, and his view was the same as mine: there is a power, yes, to FIX the form here on earth, a power we don't have. Even people with the ability to materialize things (like Madame Théon, for instance) can't make their materializations last; it can't be done, they don't last – they don't have the quality of physical things.

And without this quality, well ... the creation's continuity could not be assured.

Yes, that's an interesting point. One might indeed wonder about it.

I knew the whole occult procedure in detail, but I would never have been able to make that being more material, even if I had tried – visible, yes, but not permanent and progressive.

And mind you (this is my personal case), I don't think I have wasted any time. Because you might say that had I known forty years ago what I know now – at the age of forty instead of eighty – well, there would have been the sense of a lot more time to work with. But I haven't been wasting time. I haven't wasted any time. All that time was necessary to get me where I am today.

I don't think I've been going slowly. As I told you last time, I had the most wonderful conditions, those thirty years with Sri Aurobindo – as wonderful as could be. I haven't wasted my time. Oh, it was hour by hour!

It is a long, drawn-out work.

He used to say it would take at least three hundred years – so there's been no time lost.

To begin with, the body needs something that will allow it to last three hundred years.

@

January 15, 1962

You spoke last time of putting a body on a vital being. Is that being still alive? Who was it?

I have spoken of this before. I told the story of the Chinese revolution, and how this being left me, saying.... It was just five years before the Chinese revolution. I've told the story.

I know I've told it – but it was never noted down.

I used to dictate. Théon taught me to speak while in trance (that is, he had taught my BODY to express itself), and I would tell him everything I was doing while doing it. And he never noted any of it down – I suspect he did it on purpose: he wasn't interested in making revelations. So it's all lost. But had it been noted down, hour by hour, minute by minute, it would have made an extraordinary scientific document on the occult – extraordinary! He never noted it down.

But that vital being who was given a body – did it live on earth for any length of time?

No, never.

Never?

He stopped at the subtle physical – he refused to go any farther. It was Satan, the Asura[22] of Light who, in cutting himself off from the Supreme, fell into Unconsciousness and Darkness (I've told the story many times). But anyway, when I was with Théon, I summoned that being and asked him if he wanted to enter into contact with the earth. It's worth mentioning that Théon himself was an incarnation of the Lord of Death – I've had good company in my life! And the other one [Richard] was an incarnation of the Lord of Falsehood – but it was only partial. With Théon too it was partial. But with Satan it was the central being; of course, he had millions of emanations in the world, but this was the central being in person. The others ... let's keep that for another time.

He agreed to take on a body. Théon wanted to keep him there: "Don't let him go," he told me. I didn't answer. This being told me he didn't want to be more material than that, it was sufficient – you could feel him move the way you feel a draft, it was that concrete.

And he said he was going to set up the Chinese revolution. "I am going to organize a secret society to set up the revolution in China," he told me. "And mark my words: it's going to happen in exactly five years." He gave me the date and I noted it down.

And EXACTLY five years later, it happened. Later I met people coming from China who told me it had all been the work of a secret society. They told me about it because that society used a certain sign, and instinctively, unknowingly, I had made that sign while one of them was talking to me (Mother puts one fist on top of the other). And the person said, "Ah, so you're one of us! " I didn't reply. Then he told me everything.

But it's really interesting because the exact date was given. "The revolution will take place in exactly five years," he told me. He knew it before he left. "And that," he continued, "will be the beginning, the first terrestrial movement heralding the transformation of...." (Théon didn't use the word "supramental"; he used to talk about "the new world on earth.")[23]

But I did note that down.

I had forgotten the whole story, because I now live constantly in the Becoming. But it came back to me.

And all the disbelief in the world can't contradict that piece of evidence.

The note itself was stolen from me while I was moving to a new house.

Two things were stolen: that note and the mantra of life (I have told you about that). And I have a suspicion that it was an occult theft, not an ordinary one, because no one even suspected the value of those papers – for most people they had no interest at all.

Well – au revoir, mon petit.

January 21, 1962

(The point of departure for this conversation was one of Sri Aurobindo's aphorisms:)

70 – Examine thyself without pity, then thou wilt be more charitable and pitiful to others.

Very good! (Mother laughs) That's very good.

It's very good for everyone, isn't it?

Especially for those who think they're so superior.

But it really does correspond to something very deep.

This is exactly the experience I have been going through these past few days; since the day before yesterday it seems to have reached its peak, and this morning it developed into a comprehensive vision, an earth-encompassing vision.

It's almost like a reversal of attitude.

Actually, people have always taken themselves for victims hounded by adverse forces – the courageous fight back, the rest lament. But increasingly there has been a very concrete vision of the role the adverse forces play in the creation, of their almost absolute necessity as goads to make the creation progress and become its Origin again. And there was such a clear vision that one should accomplish one's own transformation – that's what we must pray for, what we must work out – rather than demand the conversion or abolition of the adverse forces.

And this is all from the terrestrial, not the individual standpoint (for the individual standpoint, it's quite clear): I am speaking from the terrestrial standpoint.

And there was the sudden vision of all the error, all the incomprehension, all the ignorance, all the darkness and – even worse – all the ill will in the earth's consciousness, which felt responsible for the prolongation of those adverse forces and beings and offered them up in a great ... it was more than an aspiration, it was a sort of holocaust, so that the adverse forces might disappear, might no longer have any reason to exist, no longer need to be there to point out all that has to change.

The adverse forces were necessitated by all these negations of the divine life. And this movement of earth consciousness towards the Supreme, the offering of all these things with such extraordinary intensity, was a kind of reparation so that those adverse forces might disappear.

The experience was very intense. It crystallized around a small nucleus of experiences too personal to mention (because I wasn't the only one involved), which translated into this: "Take all my wrongdoings, take them all, accept them, obliterate them, and may those forces disappear."

That's essentially what this aphorism says, seen from the other end. So long as a single human consciousness carries the possibility of feeling, acting, thinking or being in opposition to the great divine Becoming, it is impossible to blame anyone else for it; it is impossible to blame the adverse forces, which are kept in the creation as a means of making you see and feel how far you still have to go.

(silence)

It was like a memory,[24] an eternally present memory of that consciousness of supreme Love emanated by the Lord onto earth – INTO earth – to draw it back again to Him. And truly it was the descent of the very essence of the divine nature into the most total divine negation, and thus the abandonment of the divine condition to take on terrestrial darkness, so as to bring Earth back to the divine state. And unless That, that supreme Love, becomes all-powerfully conscious here on Earth, the return can never be definitive.

It came after the vision of the great divine Becoming.[25] "Since this world is progressive," I was wondering, "since it is increasingly becoming the Divine, won't there always be this deeply painful sense of the nondivine, of the state that, compared with the one to come, is not divine? Won't there always be what we call 'adverse forces,' in other words, things that don't harmoniously follow the movement?" Then came the answer, the vision of That: "No, the moment of this very Possibility is drawing near, the moment for the manifestation of the essence of perfect Love, which can transform this unconsciousness, this ignorance and this ill will that goes with it into a luminous and joyous progression, wholly progressive, wholly comprehensive, thirsting for perfection."

It was very concrete.

And it corresponds to a state where you are so PERFECTLY identified with all that is, that you concretely become all that is antidivine – and so you can offer it up. It can be offered up and really transformed through this offering.

This sort of will in people for purity, for Good (which in ordinary mentality is expressed by a need to be virtuous) is actually the GREAT OBSTACLE to true self-giving. It's the root of Falsehood, the very source of hypocrisy: the refusal to take up one's share of the burden of difficulties. And that's what Sri Aurobindo has touched on in this aphorism, directly and very simply.

Do not try to be virtuous. See to what extent you are united, ONE with all that is antidivine. Take up your share of the burden; accept to be impure and false yourself, and in so doing you will be able to take up the Shadow and offer it. And insofar as you are able to take it and offer it, things will change.[26]

Don't try to be among the pure. Accept to be with those who are in darkness and, in total love, offer it all.

(silence)

From the moment this was seen and DONE, the full power came back – the great creative Power.

(silence)

Most likely the experience could take place only because the time had come for all this to be offered up.

The point is not to perpetuate those things, but to offer them up.

Because the time has come to manifest this Power, which is a power of Love – of LOVE, not merely of identity – of Love, of perfect Love; for perfect Love alone can offer.

It happened this morning, with great simplicity, but at the same time it had something so vast and almighty in it, as if the Universal Mother were turning towards the Lord and saying, "At last! We are ready."

That was my experience this morning.

Do you mean to say there's been a progress on Earth?

Yes, on Earth; it's the Earth's history that's in question.

Now?

In those realms, you know, "now" sometimes stretches over many years. I won't say it's going to be instantaneous; that, I don't know – I don't know. I will probably know in a few days.

It's like opening a door just a crack and catching a glimpse of what's beyond....

It was the same experience when I told Sri Aurobindo that India was free; it was the Universal Mother speaking from what could be called Her origin – it was from that level – and the thing took thirty-five years to come down on Earth.

When I had the experience that the time had come for the supramental Force to descend on Earth, I followed the effects of that descent, I followed the effects and the consequences in my consciousness. But to ordinary eyes it was something like what happened with India's liberation – it's possible, of course, that the Supermind did come down, but for the moment its effects are more than veiled.

The first rather tangible manifestation was this vision of the boat; with that, things became more concrete, it radically changed something in the attitude.

We're at another stage now.

(silence)

This recent period has been very difficult. I see clearly that it was a preparation – to prepare the way for that experience. It came to reverse the attitude, the attitude of struggling to surmount, subdue and abolish everything antidivine in creation.

Up till now, this attitude was probably (not probably – certainly) necessary to prepare things. But now there's a sort of sudden reversal, as if the moment had come for the creative principle, the force, the universal creative Force to say, "This too is Me. For it is time for it to disappear. This too is Me: I no longer treat it as an enemy to get rid of; I accept it as Myself, so that it truly does become Me."

And it was preceded by a kind of anguish: "Will there always be something that, compared with the state to come, seems antidivine?" No: after a long preparation, it becomes capable of feeling divine – and thus of being divine.

Looking at things externally, in terms of present material reality, there is still a lot of ground to be covered before the new manifestation becomes an actual fact. What we have now is probably the seed of the thing – like the seed of India's freedom, which later blossomed.

ADDENDUM

(Two letters of Sri Aurobindo on psychoanalysis)

Your practice of psycho-analysis was a mistake. It has, for the time at least, made the work of purification more complicated, not easier. The psycho-analysis of Freud is the last thing that one should associate with yoga. It takes up a certain part, the darkest, the most perilous, the unhealthiest part of the nature, the lower vital subconscious layer, isolates some of its most morbid phenomena and attributes to it and them an action out of all proportion to its true role in the nature. Modern psychology is an infant science, at once rash, fumbling and crude. As in all infant sciences, the universal habit of the human mind – to take a partial or local truth, generalise it unduly and try to explain a whole field of Nature in its narrow terms – runs riot here. Moreover, the exaggeration of the importance of suppressed sexual complexes is a dangerous falsehood and it can have a nasty influence and tend to make the mind and vital more and not less fundamentally impure than before.

It is true that the subliminal in man is the largest part of his nature and has in it the secret of the unseen dynamisms which explain his surface activities. But the lower vital subconscious which is all that this psycho-analysis of Freud seems to know, – and even of that it knows only a few ill-lit corners, – is no more than a restricted and very inferior portion of the subliminal whole. The subliminal self stands behind and supports the whole superficial man; it has in it a larger and more efficient mind behind the surface mind, a larger and more powerful vital behind the surface vital, a subtler and freer physical consciousness behind the surface bodily existence. And above them it opens to higher superconscient as well as below them to lower subconscient ranges. If one wishes to purify and transform the nature, it is the power of these higher ranges to which one must open and raise to them and change by them both the subliminal and the surface being. Even this should be done with care, not prematurely or rashly, following a higher guidance, keeping always the right attitude; for otherwise the force that is drawn down may be too strong for an obscure and weak frame of nature. But to begin by opening up the lower subconscious, risking to raise up all that is foul or obscure in it, is to go out of one's way to invite trouble. First, one should make the higher mind and vital strong and firm and full of light and peace from above; afterwards one can open up or even dive into the subconscious with more safety and some chance of a rapid and successful change.

The system of getting rid of things by anubhava [experience] can also be a dangerous one; for on this way one can easily become more entangled instead of arriving at freedom. This method has behind it two well-known psychological motives. One, the motive of purposeful exhaustion, is valid only in some cases, especially when some natural tendency has too strong a hold or too strong a drive in it to be got rid of by vicara [intellectual reflection] or by the process of rejection and the substitution of the true movement in its place; when that happens in excess, the sadhak has sometimes even to go back to the ordinary action of the ordinary life, get the true experience of it with a new mind and will behind and then return to the spiritual life with the obstacle eliminated or else ready for elimination. But this method of purposive indulgence is always dangerous, though sometimes inevitable. It succeeds only when there is a very strong will in the being towards realisation; for then indulgence brings a strong dissatisfaction and reaction, vairagya, and the will towards perfection can be carried down into the recalcitrant part of the nature.

The other motive for anubhava is of a more general applicability; for in order to reject anything from the being one has first to become conscious of it, to have the clear inner experience of its action and to discover its actual place in the workings of the nature. One can then work upon it to eliminate it, if it is an entirely wrong movement, or to transform it if it is only the degradation of a higher and true movement. It is this or something like it that is attempted crudely and improperly with a rudimentary and insufficient knowledge in the system of psycho-analysis. The process of raising up the lower movements into the full light of consciousness in order to know and deal with them is inevitable; for there can be no complete change without it. But it can truly succeed only when a higher light and force are sufficiently at work to overcome, sooner or later, the force of the tendency that is held up for change. Many, under the pretext of anubhava, not only raise up the adverse movement, but support it with their consent instead of rejecting it, find justifications for continuing or repeating it and so go on playing with it, indulging its return, eternising it; afterwards when they want to get rid of it, it has got such a hold that they find themselves helpless in its clutch and only a terrible struggle or an intervention of divine grace can liberate them.

Some do this out of a vital twist or perversity, others out of sheer ignorance; but in yoga, as in life, ignorance is not accepted by Nature as a justifying excuse. This danger is there in all improper dealings with the ignorant parts of the nature; but none is more ignorant, more perilous, more unreasoning and obstinate in recurrence than the lower vital subconscious and its movements. To raise it up prematurely or improperly for anubhava is to risk suffusing the conscious parts also with its dark and dirty stuff and thus poisoning the whole vital and even the mental nature. Always therefore one should begin by a positive, not a negative experience, by bringing down something of the divine nature, calm, light, equanimity, purity, divine strength into the parts of the conscious being that have to be changed; only when that has been sufficiently done and there is a firm positive basis, is it safe to raise up the concealed subconscious adverse elements in order to destroy and eliminate them by the strength of the divine calm, light, force and knowledge. Even so, there will be enough of the lower stuff rising up of itself to give you as much of the anubhava as you will need for getting rid of the obstacles; but then they can be dealt with with much less danger and under a higher internal guidance.

***

I find it difficult to take these psycho-analysts at all seriously when they try to scrutinise spiritual experience by the flicker of their torch-lights, – yet perhaps one ought to, for half-knowledge is a powerful thing and can be a great obstacle to the coming in front of the true Truth. This new psychology looks to me very much like children learning some summary and not very adequate alphabet, exulting in putting their a-b-c-d of the subconscient and the mysterious underground super-ego together and imagining that their first book of obscure beginnings (c-a-t cat, t-r-e-e tree) is the very heart of the real knowledge. They look from down up and explain the higher lights by the lower obscurities; but the foundation of these things is above and not below, upari budhna esam. The superconscient, not the subconscient, is the true foundation of things. The significance of the lotus is not to be found by analysing the secrets of the mud from which it grows here; its secret is to be found in the heavenly archetype of the lotus that blooms for ever in the Light above. The self-chosen field of these psychologists is besides poor, dark and limited; you must know the whole before you can know the part and the highest before you can truly understand the lowest. That is the promise of the greater psychology awaiting its hour before which these poor gropings will disappear and come to nothing.[27]

@

January 24, 1962

(In connection with the preceding conversation on antidivine forces.)

I read a passage in Savitri which seems to link up exactly with what you were saying....

Ah, read it to me!

I'd rather you read it yourself, because my English.... I found it really striking – these four lines here....

(Mother reads:)

"Not only is there hope for godheads pure;

The violent and darkened deities

Leaped down from the one breast in rage to find

What the white gods had missed: they too are safe;

A Mother's eyes are on them and her arms

Stretched out in love desire her rebel sons."[28]

Yes, that's it.

"What the white gods had missed...."

I didn't remember it. But that's it exactly. It's strange; when I read I see only what's needed at the moment. The rest seems to go unnoticed. And then as soon as it's needed, it comes back – as happened with what you just showed me.

Yes, that's it – that's what just happened.

It's exactly like pulling open a curtain: everything is waiting there behind.

It's difficult for me to speak during these experiences because French comes to me more spontaneously, and the experiences all happen in English – Sri Aurobindo's power is so much with them....

All right, mon petit – when do I see you again?

January 27, 1962

I'd like to ask you a question about those lines from Savitri I showed you the other day. I don't know if you remember – the passage about the "white gods."

What did you want to ask? What was it that "the white gods had missed"? But Sri Aurobindo has written it all down in full, right here in the Aphorisms. He has mentioned everything, taken up one thing after another: "Without this, there would not have been that; without this, there would not have been that ..." and so on.[29]

But I also remember reading The Tradition, before I met Sri Aurobindo (it was like a novel, a serialized romance of the world's creation, but it was very evocative; Théon called it The Tradition). That was where I first learned of the universal Mother's first four emanations, when the Lord delegated his creative power to the Mother. And it was identical to the ancient Indian tradition, but told like a nursery story; anyone could understand – it was an image, like a movie, and very vivid.

So She made her first four emanations. The first was Consciousness and Light (arising from Sachchidananda); the second was Ananda and Love; the third was Life; and Truth was the fourth. Then, so the story goes, conscious of their infinite power, instead of keeping their connection with the supreme Mother and, through Her, with the Supreme, instead of receiving indications for action from Him and doing things in proper order, they were conscious of their own power and each one took off independently to do as he pleased – they had power and they used it. They forgot their Origin. And because of this initial oblivion, Consciousness became unconsciousness, and Light became darkness; Ananda became suffering, Love became hate; Life became Death; and Truth became Falsehood. And they were instantly thrown headlong into what became Matter. According to Théon, the world as we know it is the result of that. And that was the Supreme himself in his first manifestation.

But the story is easy to understand, and quite evocative. On the surface, for intellectuals, it's very childish; but once you have the experience you understand it very well – I understood and felt the thing immediately.

And once the world has become like that, has become the vital world in all its darkness, and they, from this vital world, have created Matter, the supreme Mother sees (laughing) the result of her first four emanations and She turns towards the Supreme in a great entreaty: "Now that this world is in such a dreadful state, it has to be saved! We can't just leave it this way, can we? It has to be saved, the divine consciousness must be given back to it. What to do?" And the Supreme says, "Thrust yourself into a new emanation, an emanation of the ESSENCE of Love, down into the most material Matter." That meant plunging into the earth (the earth had become a symbol and a representation of the whole drama). "Plunge into Matter." So She plunged into Matter, and that became the primordial source of the Divine within material substance. And from there (as is so well described in Savitri), She begins to act as a leaven in Matter, raising it up from within.

And as She plunged into the earth, a second series of emanations was sent forth – the gods – to inhabit the intermediary zones between Sachchidananda and the earth. And these gods (laughing) ... well, great care was taken to make them perfect, so they wouldn't give any trouble! But they are a bit ... a bit too perfect, aren't they? Yes, a bit too perfect: they never make mistakes, they always do exactly as they're told.... In short, rather lacking in initiative. They do have some, but....

In fact, they were not surrendered in the way a psychic being can be, because they had no psychic in them. The psychic being is the result of that descent. Only human beings have it. And that's what makes humanity so superior to the gods. Théon insisted greatly on this: throughout his story, humans are far superior to gods and should not obey them – they should only be in contact with the Supreme in his aspect of perfect Love.

I don't know how to put it.... To me, those gods always seemed ... (not those described in the Puranas, they're different ... well, not so very different!) but the way Théon presented them, they seemed just like a bunch of marshmallows! It's not that they had no power – they had a lot of power, but they lacked that psychic flame.

And to Théon, the God of the Jews and Christians was an Asura. This Asura wanted to be unique; and so he became the most terrible despot imaginable. Anatole France said the same thing (I now know that Anatole France had never read Théon's story, but I can't imagine where he picked this up). It's in The Revolt of the Angels. He says that Satan is the true God and that Jehovah, the "only God," is the monster. And when the angels wanted Satan to become the one and only God, Satan realized he was immediately taking on all Jehovah's failings! So he refused: "Oh, no – thank you very much!" It's a wonderful story, and in exactly the same spirit as what Théon used to say. The very first thing I asked Anatole France (I told you I met him once – mutual friends introduced us), the first thing I asked him was, "Have you ever read The Tradition?" He said no. I explained why I had asked, and he was interested. He said his source was his own imagination. He had caught that idea intuitively.

Well, if you speak this way to philosophers and metaphysicians, they'll look at you as if to say, "You must be a real simpleton to believe all that claptrap! " But these things are not to be taken as concrete truths – they are simply splendid images. Through them I really did come in contact, very concretely, with the truth of what caused the world's distortion, much better than with all the Hindu stories, far more easily.

Buddhism and all similar lines of thought took the shortest path: "The desire to exist is what has caused all the trouble." If the Lord had refrained from having this desire, there would have been no world! It's childish, very childish, really a much too human way of looking at the problem.

To see it from the angle of delight of being is qualitatively far superior, but then there's still the problem of why it all became the way it is. The usual reply is: because all things were possible, and this is ONE possibility. But it's not a very satisfying feeling: "Yes, all right, that's just the way it is, it's a fact." People used to ask Théon too, "Why did it happen like this? Why ...?" "Wait till you get to the other side, then you will know. And meanwhile do what's necessary to get there – that's the most urgent thing."

But there is one advantage: without those beings, without the world's distortion, many things would be lacking. Those beings potentially embodied certain absolutely unique elements – understandably so, since they were the first wave. And precisely because they still WERE the Supreme to such a great extent, each one felt he was the Supreme, and that was that. Only it wasn't quite sufficient, for the simple reason that they were already divided into four, and one single division is enough to make everything go wrong. It's readily understandable: it's not something essentially evil, but a question of wrong FUNCTIONING; it's not the substance, not the essence. The essence isn't evil, but the functioning is faulty.

But if you understand....

The words are so childish that if you tell this story to intelligent people, they look at you with pity – but it gives such a concrete grasp of the problem! It helped me a lot.

It was written in English and I am the one who translated it into French – into horrible French, perfectly ghastly, because I put in all the new words Théon had dreamed up. He had made a detailed description of all the faculties latent in man, and it was remarkable – but with such barbarous words! You can make up new words in English and get away with it, but in French it's utterly ridiculous. And there I was, very conscientiously putting them all in! Yet in terms of experience, it was splendid. It really was an experience – it came from Madame Théon's experiences in exteriorization. She had learned what Théon also taught me, to speak while you're in the seventh heaven (the body goes on speaking, rather slowly, in a rather low voice, but it works quite well). She would speak and a friend of hers, another English woman who was their secretary, would note it all down as she went along (I think she knew shorthand). And afterwards it was made into stories, told as stories. It was all shown to Sri Aurobindo and it greatly interested him. He even adopted some of the words into his own terminology.

The divisions and subdivisions of the being were described down to the slightest detail and with perfect precision. I went through the experience again on my own, without any preconceived ideas, just like that: leaving one body after the other, one body after the other, and so on twelve times.... And my experience – apart from certain quite negligible differences, doubtless due to differences in the receiving brain – was exactly the same.

(the clock strikes)

I have to go....

I don't know if those experiences have been described in traditional scriptures. I haven't read any – I know nothing of Indian literature, nothing at all. I only know what Sri Aurobindo has said, plus a few odds and ends from here and there. And each time I found myself faced with their vocabulary ... oh, it really puts you off!

You speak of exteriorization – couldn't you show me a simple way of learning to do it?

You can't do it on your own, it's dangerous.

Some people do it spontaneously, so of course you're not going to tell them it's dangerous. But it is dangerous, because if they do it just like that, without being watched over, and someone or something abruptly calls them back – some event, some circumstance or other – they can be cut off (gesture of the cord being cut). I would never let anyone without knowledge do it on his own. If it's spontaneous, it means it comes from previous existences, so they have the knack. But all the same it's a bit risky, someone should always be there to watch over your body. And as for teaching it to someone offhand – no.

I did try once in France – with Hohlenberg, that painter who came here during the war [World War I] and then had to go back.[30]

He came to France and asked me. He absolutely insisted. He had read all Théon's stuff and was well up on everything and very anxious to try. So I taught him how to do it; and what's more, I was there, he did it in my presence. And, mon petit, the moment he went out of his body, he was thrown into a panic! The man was no coward – he was very courageous – but it absolutely terrified him! Sheer panic.... So I said no, no, no.

But for instance, I do exteriorize at night.

Not in the same way.

Not in the same way? ... And oh, how I fight!

Where do you go?

I go to all kinds of places – I have had experiences with P., for instance.... [31]

... When you lie down to sleep, just call on me.

February

February 3, 1962

(A visitor has written to Mother about her difficulties, saying she is the victim of a "collective karma.")

Those karma stories....

I often wonder, very often, whether it helps people to know their karma. I don't think it does.

I mean, if they themselves discover the experiences they had in their past life, then it's part of a whole inner, psychic awakening, and very useful. But if some guru or other comes along and tells you, "Here, this was your karma...." I don't think it's useful, to put it mildly!

If you discover the line of a former life on your own, that's different; it's part of an inner, psychic awakening, and it's very good. But I don't think it's helpful when someone sees something and comes and tells you, "You know, you have been this, you have done that...." I feel it makes things worse instead of better – it puts you back in touch with things you were in the process of eliminating.

(silence)

This woman ... a "collective karma"! What rubbish – absolute humbug.

It may be true for some people, but not for her. If I hadn't seen her I might have been intrigued and tried to find out, but.... A collective karma.... Of course, there are all the links you have with people you've known in past lives; in that sense, yes, there is a collective karma! But really, people use such big words and big ideas for things that are actually quite natural.

Yet I found it helpful to have some understanding of what happened in my other lives.

Because you were here.

Because before you were told about your karma, I had already seen certain things about you and was trying to set you free – not from the thing itself, but from the tendency that remained in your nature. That, yes.

But Sujata, for example, was completely, COMPLETELY free of the whole ... (what shall I say?) what could be called the unhappy aspect of her karma – completely free. For I know the people around me and what they carry with them very well, and there was nothing – just one thing remained, the one part that was rather constructive, so I had left that totally intact. And when the events of her past life were revealed to her, I took the greatest care to destroy the revelation as it was being given. And I did it ruthlessly. You see, it was like dumping a load of mud on someone completely unsullied, and I didn't let it happen (I couldn't stop what entered through her physical brain, but inwardly ... I utterly annihilated it). The only thing I left untouched was the constructive part of the bond that had existed between you two, and so when she met you, she.... That's all I left, because it was good, pure, lovely – it was good. But all the rest.... And you saw how strongly I protested when I was told she had committed suicide. "No, no, no!" I said; even if somebody with perfect knowledge were to tell me so, I'd still say NO.

She is untainted by all that – pure – and I won't stand for someone pure to be soiled. She was so much my child that after her death everything was carefully cleansed, arranged, put back in place, organized, purified. So she returned unblemished and pure, and I don't want her soiled.

You see, a grace is actually working to drive those karmas away – sometimes far, far away – and it's no good to call them back.

I have had dozens of similar examples.

In some instances, my work has been thoroughly mucked up, and I don't like that.

It happened again recently: K.'s sister came because she had lost her son – it had just occurred and he was still here (he hadn't left yet). So I arranged everything, saw to the mother's condition and so forth; I arranged it all nicely, very carefully keeping the son here and telling his mother he would shortly return in some family member. Everything was well organized.

But naturally that was against "the rules" – I make a habit of doing everything against the rules, otherwise there would be no point in my being here; the rules could just go on and on! So they went to see X. They shouldn't have said anything, but they did. And that was that – all sorts of things were said and my work was completely mucked up.

So now it's all going according to "rule," because that's the way it "has to" be.... I am not bothering with it any more.

Myself, I have learned a lot of rules I didn't know before (thank God!) – the divine Grace saved me from that whole hodgepodge of rules about how this happens and how that can't happen and how that must happen and how.... Oh, good Lord!... I saw things very simply, without a single rule in my brain, and so I did them just as simply, with no rules in my head – it worked very, very well, I didn't run into any trouble. Things worked out quite naturally and simply. And if I was told, "That can't be" – "Well, sorry," I would say, "but it's already done."

That "can't be".... Sometimes it can!

(silence)

Besides, if you remember the beginning of Savitri (I read it only recently, I hadn't known it), in the second canto, speaking of Savitri, he says she has come (he puts it poetically, of course!) to (laughing) kick out all the rules – all the taboos, the rules, the fixed laws, all the closed doors, all the impossibilities – to undo it all.

I went one better; I didn't even know the rules so I didn't need to fight them! All I had to do was ignore them, so they didn't exist – that was even better.

But now I have first to undo and then redo – a sheer waste of time.

In the lower mind there was a whole world of difficulties I was unaware of. In the vital I knew, because I'd had to do battle there – which was fine with me! Just imagine, this time I have been given a warrior as my vital being. A magnificent warrior, neither male nor female, and as tall as this room[32] – he is splendid. I was so happy when I first saw him. "Well," I thought, "that's worth my while!"

Yes, there are battles galore there!

Oh, by the way, how are your nights, mon petit? Because I have put you in my warrior's hands, you see.

Better. More conscious, anyway.

Good!

Inwardly, I haven't felt too great, so I don't get the full benefit, but my nights are more conscious.

It's he who made me remember; I have put you in his care.

I'm glad. I can see that my consciousness is steadier. I feel clearly that something is helping me to be conscious....[33] Where I go isn't so interesting, but that will change, I expect.

The point is to become conscious of one's activities and master of one's actions.

That's the thing.

So, mon petit, have you brought anything? I am so lazy! Did you bring a question?

I haven't really found a question....

(Satprem reads the following aphorism.)

71 – A thought is an arrow shot at the truth; it can hit a point, but not cover the whole target. But the archer is too well satisfied with his success to ask anything farther.

But that's obvious! So obvious (to us).

Yes, but how do you cover the whole target?

Stop being an archer!

The image is lovely. It's perfect for people who imagine they have found Truth. It's a good thing to tell those who think they have found the truth ... simply because they've managed to touch one point.

Yet how many times have we said that that's not enough!

One might ask this: the day one is able to take in the whole target, in other words to know all viewpoints and the usefulness of each thing, then, seeing that everything is useful and has its place, how can one act? Doesn't action require one to be somehow exclusive or combative?

Well, so long as there are conflicting thoughts....

Did you ever hear the story of the philosopher who lived in the South of France? I don't recall his name, a very well-known man.

He was a professor at Montpellier University and lived nearby. And there were several roads leading to his house. This man would leave the university and come to the crossing where all those roads branched out, all eventually leading to his house, one this way, one that way, one from this side.... So he himself used to explain how every day he would stop there at the crossroads and deliberate, "Which one shall I take?" Each had its advantages and disadvantages. So all this would go through his head, the advantages and disadvantages and this and that, and he would waste half an hour choosing which road to take home!

He gave this as an example of thought's inadequacy for action: if you begin to think, you can't act.

This analogy is very apt down here on this plane, but for the higher realms it doesn't apply – up there it's just the opposite! As long as you remain the archer, touching one point, that's how it is; all intelligence below is like that, seeing all sorts of possibilities, so it can't make a choice and act. To see the whole target, the all-inclusive Truth, you must cross to the other side. And when you do, what you see is not the sum of countless truths, an innumerable quantity of truths added together and viewed one after another, making it impossible to grasp the whole at a glance; when you go above, it's the whole you see first, AT A GLANCE, in its entirety, without division. So there is no longer any choice to be made; it's a vision: THAT is to be done. The choice is no longer between this and that, it doesn't work that way any more. Things are no longer seen in succession, one after another; there is rather a simultaneous vision of a whole that exists as a unit. The choice is simply a vision.

As long as you're not in that state, you can't see the whole. The whole can't be seen successively, by adding one truth to another; this is precisely what the mind does, and why it is incapable of seeing the whole. It can't do it. The mind will always see things in succession, by addition, but that's not IT, something will always elude you – the very sense of truth will elude you.

Only when you have a simultaneous, global perception of the whole as a unit can you see truth in its entirety.

Then, action is no longer a choice subject to error, correction, discussion, but the clear vision of what must be done. And this vision is infallible.

(silence)

But your question leads us elsewhere....

Won't this do for you! (Mother laughs.)

Yes, yes!

***

I would like to ask you something about my japa[34].... Do you feel it's getting me anywhere? Is there any sense to it?

That's what I have been studying these past two days – not for you in particular, but the general effect of japa, the reason for it in the organization of one's life.... I can't say I have made any discoveries (maybe for myself, I don't know); but my study is not on higher levels, it's right here.

It would take too long to give the details; I can summarize, but I don't want to make a doctrine, and for it to be living it's bound to be long.

For some time now I have been running into difficulties with my morning japa. It's complex. I won't go into details, but certain things seemed to be trying to interfere, either preventing me from going on to the end, or plunging me into a kind of trance that brought everything to a halt. So I began wondering what it was and why. A very, very long curve was involved, but the result of my observations is the following. (All this is purely from the body's standpoint; I mean it doesn't concern the conscious, living, independent being that would remain the same even without the body – to be exact, the being whose life, consciousness, freedom and action do not depend on the body. I am speaking here of that which needs the body for its manifestation; that alone was in question.)

There has been a kind of perception of a variety of bodily activities, a whole series of them, having to do exclusively (or so it seems) with the maintenance of the body. Some are on the borderline – sleep, for instance: one portion of it is necessary for good maintenance of the body, and another portion puts it in contact with other parts and activities of the being; but one portion of sleep is exclusively for maintaining the body's balance. Then there is food, keeping clean, a whole range of things. And according to Sri Aurobindo, spiritual life shouldn't suppress those things; whatever is indispensable for the body's well-being must be kept up. For ordinary people, all other bodily activities are used for personal pleasure and benefit. The spiritual man, on the other hand, has given his body to serve the Divine, so that the Divine may use it for His work and perhaps, as Sri Aurobindo said, for His joy – although given the present state of Matter and the body, that seems to me unlikely or at best very intermittent and partial, because this body is much more a field of misery than a field of joy. (None of this is based on speculation, but on personal experience – I am relating my personal experience.) But with work, it's different: when the body is at work, it's in full swing. That's its joy, its need – to exist only to serve Him. To exist only to serve. And of course, to reduce maintenance to a bare minimum while trying to find a way for the Divine to participate in the very restricted, limited and meager possibilities of joy this maintenance may give. To associate the Divine with all those movements and things, like keeping clean, sleeping (although sleep is different, it's already a lot more interesting); but especially with personal hygiene, eating and other absolutely indispensable things, the attempt is to associate them with the Divine Presence so that they may be as much an expression of divine joy as possible. (This is realized to a certain extent.)

Now where does japa fit into all this?

Japa, like meditation, is a procedure – apparently the most active and effective procedure – for joining, as much as possible, the Divine Presence to the bodily substance. It is the magic of sound, you see.

Naturally, if there's also an awareness of the idea behind it, if one does japa as a very active CONSCIOUS invocation, then its effects are greatly multiplied. But the basis is the magic of sound. This is a fact of experience, and it's absolutely true. The sound OM, for instance, awakens very special vibrations (there are other such sounds as well, but of course that one is the most powerful of all).

It is an attempt to divinize material substance.

From another, almost identical point of view, it fills the physical atmosphere with the Divine Presence. So time spent in japa is time consecrated to helping the material substance enter into more intimate rapport with the Divine.

And if one adds to this, as I do, a mantric program, that is, a sort of prayer or invocation, a program for both personal development and helping the collective, then it becomes a truly active work. Then there's also what I call "external" work: contact with others, reading and answering letters, seeing and speaking to people, and finally all the activities having to do with the organization and running of the Ashram (in meditation this work becomes worldwide, but physically, materially, it is limited for the moment to the Ashram).

In the course of my observation, I also saw the position of X and people like him, who practically spend their lives doing japa, plus meditation, puja,[35] ceremonies (I am talking only about sincere people, not fakers). Well, that's their way of working for the world, of serving the Divine, and it seems the best way to them – perhaps even the only way – but it's a question of mental belief. In any case, it's obvious that even a bit of ... not exactly puja, but some sort of ceremony that you set yourself to do – habitual gestures symbolizing and expressing a particular inner state – can also be a help and a way of offering yourself and relating to the Divine and thus serving the Divine. I feel it's important looked at in this way – not from the traditional viewpoint, I can't stand that traditional viewpoint; I understand it, but it seems to me like putting a brake on true self-giving to the Divine. I am speaking of SELF-IMPOSED japa and rules (or, if someone gives you the japa, rules you accept with all your heart and adhere to). These self-imposed rules should be followed as a gesture of love, as a way of saying to the Divine, "I love You." Do you see what I mean? Like arranging flowers in a certain way, burning incense, dozens of little things like that, made beautiful because of what is put into them – it is a form of self-giving.

Now, I think that doing japa with the will and the idea of getting something out of it spoils it a little. You spoil it. I don't much like it when somebody says, "Do this and you will get that." It's true – it's true, but it's a bit like baiting a fish. I don't much like it.

Let it be your own manner of serving the Divine, of relating to Him, loving Him, of joining Him to your physical life, being close to Him and drawing Him close to you – that way it's beautiful. Each time you say the Word, let it be an invocation, let it be like the recitation of a word of love; then it's beautiful.

That's how I see it.

And so according to your mission in the world, you have to find for yourself the right proportion between this work and external, intellectual or organizational work; and then there are the body's needs, which can be met in the same way, trying to make it possible for the Lord to take delight in them. I have seen this for trivial things: for example, making your bath a pleasant experience, or caring for your hair, or whatever (of course, it's been a long time since there have been any of those stupid, petty ideas of personal pleasure), so that these things aren't done indifferently, out of habit and necessity, but ... with a touch of beauty, a touch of charm and delight for the Lord.

There, that's all....

Mon petit ... (Mother gazes a long time at Satprem).

For me, you know, japa means a moment when all physical life is EXCLUSIVELY for the Divine. A moment when nothing but the Divine exists – every single cell of the body, each second, is EXCLUSIVELY for the Divine, there is nothing but the Divine.

When you succeed in doing that, it's good.

Japa shouldn't become so exclusive that it's done twenty-four hours out of twenty-four, because then it's equivalent to asceticism – but there should be a good dose of it.

It's almost the one luxury of life – that's how it feels to me. The luxury of That alone, nothing but that divine vibration around you, within you, everywhere. Nothing but the divine vibration.

Now, that's luxury.

Voilà, mon petit....

@

February 6, 1962

These past few days I have been reading Perseus[36]it was performed here, so I knew a little of it but it never much interested me. But reading it the way I read now, I have found it VERY interesting, I have discovered all kinds of things, all kinds.

Yes, I have noticed that in the space of (I don't remember when we performed it,[37] you were already here) ... between then and now there is at least a good fifty years' difference – a fifty-year change in consciousness.

But in practice, I am always up against the same problem.

Looking at it as a difference in attitude, the question is readily cleared up. But if I want the truth – the true truth behind this difference, it becomes very difficult.

And that is exactly what I have seen in the light of the events described in Perseus. If you don't take the problem generally but specifically, down to the least detail.... But it evaporates as soon as you formulate it. Only when you feel it concretely, when you get a grip on it, can you grasp both things....

(silence)

 

The problem is roughly this: nothing exists that is not the result of the divine Will.

Always the same problem. Always the same problem.

Generally speaking, the antidivine is easily understood, but in the minute details of daily life, how do you choose between this and that?... What is the truth behind the thing you choose and the one you don't choose? And you know, my standpoint is totally beyond any question of egoistic, individual will – that isn't the problem here. It's not that.

As soon as you try to say it, it evaporates.

Yet it is something very, very acute.

Of course, the explanation is universal progress, the Becoming: what must be and what ceases to be – that's all very well; it's easy to understand in general terms.

Perhaps the problem is the opposition (if it is an opposition) between two attitudes, both of which should express our relationship with the Supreme. One is the acceptance – not only voluntary but perfectly content – of everything, even the "worst calamities" (what are conventionally called "the worst calamities"). I won't use this story as an example because it's self-explanatory, but if Andromeda were a yogi (with "ifs" you can build castles in the air, but I am trying to explain what I mean), she would accept the idea of death readily, easily. Well, it's precisely this conflict between an attitude quite ready to accept death (I am not talking about what happens in the story itself, but merely giving a case in point to make myself clear) because it is the divine Will, for this reason alone – it's the divine Will, so it's quite all right; since that's how it is, it's quite all right – and at the same time, the love of Life. This love of Life.[38] Following the story, you would say: she lived because she had to live – and everything is explained. But that's not what I mean. I am looking at this outside the context of the story.

Because things like that happen in the consciousness of.... It always bothers me to get into big ideas and big words, but to truly explain myself, I should say: the Universal Mother.

(silence)

Automatically, everything that exists is a natural expression of divine Joy, even the things human consciousness finds most horrifying – this is understandable. But at the same time there is this aspiration, so intense that it's almost anguish, for a perfection of creation to come. And it does seem that this intense aspiration and anguish in the material world is a necessary preparation for this perfection to come. Yet at the same time, whatever exists is perfect at each moment, since it is ENTIRELY the Divine. There is nothing other than the Divine. So there is simultaneously this plenitude of Divine Joy in each second, in whatever exists, and the aspiration, the anguish – and the difficulty lies in joining the two, there you have it.

Practically, you go from one to the other, or one is in front and the other behind, one active and the other passive. With the feeling of perfect joy comes an almost static state (certainly the joy of movement is also there, but all anticipation of the goal stays in the background). Then, when the aspiration of the Becoming is there, the joy of divine perfection at each moment withdraws into a static state.

And this very going back and forth is the problem.

Perhaps that's how it must be, but it's unsatisfying – very unsatisfying.

At my fullest and most intense moments – moments when truly what exists is the universe (by universe I mean the Becoming of the Supreme) with the utmost active awareness of the Supreme – at such moments I am suddenly caught by that [the static, nirvanic aspect]. It's not a matter of choosing between the two, but rather a question of priorities from the standpoint of action on the lowest level. Instinctively (the instinct of this body, this material base), the choice is aspiration, because this being was built for action; but this cannot be taken as an absolute rule, it's almost like a casual preference.

One feels that life Is this aspiration, this anguish, while bliss leads most naturally to the nirvanic side – I don't know....

But then how to help people? ... You can recommend neither one nor the other. And if you say both, you are plunged into this same dilemma.

A problem like that reaches a point of such acute tension that you feel you know nothing, understand nothing, you will never understand anything, it's hopeless. When I reach that point, I always tilt in the same direction, it's always: "All right, I adore the Lord, as for the rest, it doesn't matter to me!" I enter into a ... marvelous adoration ... and let Him do what He wants! That's how it all ends up for me.

But this would only be suitable for those who have stopped thinking.

Is it a problem for action here in matter?

Yes, that's what everything always boils down to.

But does it make a difference for action if you take one attitude or the other?

I don't know. I don't know.

Because a day or two ago (I don't remember exactly, it was rather fleeting but very interesting), I went through such a moment while walking in my room (it lasted while I was out on the balcony, too): suddenly a kind of absolute certainty that I knew nothing (there was no "I" at all) ... that one knew nothing ("one," there was no "one," there was only...); one couldn't know (I have to use words), one couldn't know, there was nothing to know, it was totally hopeless, it was completely IMPOSSIBLE to understand anything, even, even going beyond the mind, and no formulation was possible, there was no possibility of understanding. It was really so absolute that helping others, making the world progress, spiritual life, seeking the Divine, all of that seemed idle talk, empty words! There was nothing in it, it was nothing, and there was nothing to understand, it was impossible to understand – it was impossible to BE. The feeling of a total incapacity. The experience was like a solvent – everything seemed to dissolve: the world, the earth, people, life, intelligence, all of it, everything was dissolved. An absolutely negative state. And my solution was the same as always: when the experience was total and complete, when nothing was left, then: "Who cares!" (it could really be put in the most ordinary words), "I adore You! " And the "I" was something utterly insubstantial: there was no form, no being, no quality – only "I adore You." This "I" was "I adore You," there was just enough "I" to adore You with.

From that moment on there was an inexpressible Sweetness, and within that Sweetness, a Voice ... so sweet and harmonious too! There was a sound but no words – yet it held a perfectly clear meaning for me, like very precise words: "You have just had your most creative moment"!

Oh really! Well, that's fine!

After that (laughing), I rang down the curtain!

And it ended in an ineffable smile, like ... perhaps the very origin of humor. A sort of annihilation, an annihilation of everything, and then: "You have just had your most creative moment." So I laughed, that's all – there was nothing else to do!

(silence)

These things would be interesting to keep.

But what's impossible to express is the nonexistence of a being, an individual being. When I say "I," there's no knowing what it means. It's not the totality either. Not the totality, not the entire universe, specially not the earth, the poor little earth, which I always see as a tiny thing adrift in the universe. So what is it? ...

(silence)

I can have that experience at any moment whatsoever: one second of concentration, stepping back from action, and it's Bliss. And when I don't step back, then it's something like an eternal omnipotence geared to action and entirely upheld and englobed by ... That. This power geared to action is the first manifestation of That – that's what manifests first when That begins to exist consciously. (Mother places her palms together and, without separating them, turns her hands from side to side, as if to show two faces of the same thing.) So it's indissoluble: it's not two things, not even two aspects, because it isn't an aspect at all (words are idiotic, imbecilic, meaningless). The experience is renewable at will: one single thing in its essence, innumerable in its expression, and apparently increasing in power. I have experienced this at will, in every possible circumstance, including physically fainting (I told you the other day). It's called fainting, but I didn't lose consciousness for a minute! Not for one minute did I PHYSICALLY lose consciousness – and behind it all, witnessing everything, was this experience.

(Pavitra enters the room to ask Mother an "urgent" question)

I can't hear, I am somewhere else.

(Pavitra leaves)

That's how it is: I wasn't here, yet all the same, physically – PHYSICALLY – I saw something passing by. My eyes were closed, weren't they?

Yes, you must have felt something.

Yes, I saw.

It makes very little difference now – my physical eyesight has

become rather poor.

(silence)

Do you understand what I am saying or is it just so much gibberish?

No, no! As far as I can, I'm getting it.

It's difficult.

The last part of what you said seems the most....

Ah, to me it's the clearest! It's so clear! Crystal clear ... but inexpressible. I have to go now.... And we've done nothing! The words are there, but they don't make sense.

Yes, they do. But when you tried to explain the "I" in the background with two aspects, I didn't quite get it.

That's difficult.

Are they the same thing? They're not aspects?

Intellectually speaking, it's the Supreme and....

The Shakti.

The Universal Mother.

But I was trying to convey the SENSATION (because it's really a question of sensation – it's not a sentiment, not an idea.... You see, things are concrete for me, they begin to exist when they are concrete). Well, I was trying to express the concrete feeling of the experience and ... it is reproduced automatically, immediately. My head is blank, silent, immobile, there's nothing – empty, completely empty, immobile, nothing, not a thought, not ... nothing, nothing, simply a kind of supersensation. And along with it, verging on a sensation, a sort of intimate combination (not mixture) of omnipotence and intense joy – it's so full!

Omnipotence and intense joy.

And if there's something like a vibration of words, it would only be "You, You" – that's all.

And why "You," since there's no difference? But there is just enough difference for You to be, for the joy of "You" – that's the thing. Yet there is no difference.

This seems like the supreme Mystery to me (oh, another time something else would seem like the supreme Mystery!), but this is really....

And the experience is renewable, renewable, renewable – I have only to make a slight inner movement and there it is.

Ultimately, looking at it like any idiot who thinks himself intelligent, one could say: this must be why the Lord created the universe.

For the joy of this You.

If you understand something, congratulations!

Au revoir, mon petit.

@

February 9, 1962

(Concerning a European disciple who praises the merits of a certain pseudo-spiritual book, which Mother calls "spiritual romanticism":)

It's very European – they're like that.

They want to compare – they want to compare teachings: you mustn't get stuck on any one thing; you have to be "broadminded," eclectic. And so....

That's what they want, plenty of vital, plenty of imagination, and just enough falsehood to match their own turn of mind!

Take Z, for instance – she told me that Maharshi[39] wrote in his book that if I were Hindu and did asanas every day, all India would be at my feet! This has certainly been Z's biggest difficulty: it was easy to come here, she could speak to me perfectly freely, I didn't behave mysteriously.... So of course, it was too simple!

***

A little later, regarding Sri Aurobindo's play, Rodogune:

Humanity seems so miserable to me, so miserable! Why do I always feel this way?

I wish I had a more comforting vision.

Yes, it's miserable. I must say, the farther I go, the more I....

But I knew it right from the start! Mon petit, at the age of five, I already knew it was miserable, it already seemed that way to me. But I made the best of it, and the whole time I was working with Sri Aurobindo it was all right: I didn't once think about it, I took people as they were, for what they were, and life too – it was quite all right, things went on very happily. But now ... it seems so poor, so poor.

I would rather leave.

I would rather come back at another stage.

I can't. I have work to do.

February 13, 1962

(After listening to Satprem read several Playground Talks[40] to be published in the Ashram Bulletin.)

It's easy reading, it won't tax their brains.

Still, it's worth saying.

Actually, I have noticed one thing: nowadays if I spontaneously say something the way I see it, without trying to adapt myself to people, they don't understand – it's difficult to understand. And I am not speaking of people who know nothing, but of those who have lived and thought with me.

My vision of things – the SAME things – has become very, very different. Very different. When you read these Talks to me it's exactly as though I were listening to someone else saying things – I am transported back into a different person's consciousness. But at least it's accessible, while now....

At that time, I had the sense of a "higher way of living": I used to make a distinction between different ways of life. Now this so-called higher way of living seems so miserable to me – so petty, mean, narrow – that I very often find myself in the same position as those who ask, "But is there really something to it?" And I understand them (even though I have a different will and vision of something to come that is not yet here), I understand the feeling of those who came into contact with spiritual life and asked, "What good is it – what good is it? Is there anything worth living in it?" We are NECESSARILY hemmed in, bound to live in narrowness and pettiness simply to keep alive, for the sake of all the body's needs.

It takes such an effort to bring Light into this poverty, to bring a Force, a Reality, a Power, something, good Lord, something TRUE! Through constant effort and will, constant tension, suddenly, ah! I get two or three seconds ... and then it all ebbs away again.

In that former illusion, there were noble actions, generous actions, great, heroic actions, all adding color to life and capable of giving you some interesting hours. Now that too is gone: I see it all as childishness.

I understand very well that this present state is necessary for getting out of it. For as long as something seems normal, natural, acceptable, there's no escaping it. You have one life on the side and then "this" [the life in the body], that's the way people with a spiritual life always lived: they had their spiritual life and let "this" continue on automatically, without attaching any importance to it – it's very easy.

But what a relief to live the Truth at each instant! ...

I haven't yet found the way.

It will come.

Voilà, petit.

But will this present period between the old world and the other last a long time? There's nothing in between....

Not for the moment.

There's nothing, it's like a no-man's-land. You're no longer on this side and....

... And you aren't yet on the other. Yes, that's it.

So the tendency is always to step back and go within. But that's not the way! It's a natural movement, but I clearly see that it's false.

Both were there this morning.

Obviously a great, great deal of stability and inner calm is required.... There was a keen sense of the absolute pettiness, stupidity and dullness of all outer circumstances, of this whole bodily life in its external form, and AT THE SAME TIME a great symphony of divine joy. And both states were together like pulsations.

But it makes your head spin. You have to be very careful, it ... it makes you giddy!

I can't express it – the minute you try to express it, most of it evaporates. And even if I did tell what little I could, surely a good nine and a half people out of ten would say, "She's batty!" If I spoke to the people here that way, they would probably say, "She's soft in the head!"

Strange. This morning it was strange, for both were there: the feeling of physical weakness – almost a physical decomposition – and AT THE SAME TIME, SIMULTANEOUSLY (not even one behind the other, but both together), a glory of divine splendor.

Both together.

Both together.

I always have the most acute experiences when I am getting ready to go down for the balcony [darshan]. That's when they come, during the most prosaic part of daily life. When I am meditating or walking or even seeing someone, it's different: physical things fade away, they lose their significance. But in this case, it's when I am in the very midst of physical life.

It was odd this morning because on one side I felt ("one side" – it's not even a side; I don't know how to explain, they are both together) the body was unwell, most unharmonious (someone in an ordinary consciousness would have said the body was ill, or at any rate very weak, very ... not at all in good condition), and simultaneously, in the SAME PHYSICAL SENSATION: a glory! A marvelous glory of blissfulness, joy, splendor! ... But how could the two be together?

Really, you must stay perfectly, perfectly calm inside; externally, you do things, brush your teeth and so forth, but within you must keep very calm if you don't want to fall over.[41]

But what prevents the two from joining?

It's not a joining. It's not a joining: one is to replace the other.

But the other....

You see, it's like trying to alter the functioning of the organs. What is the process? Already the two are beginning to exist simultaneously.... What does it take for one to disappear and the other to remain on its own, changed? ... Changed, because as it is now it wouldn't be enough to make the body function; the body wouldn't perform all the things it must perform, it would stay in a blissful state, delighting in its condition, but not for long – it still has a lot of needs! That's the trouble. It will be very easy for those who come in one or two hundred years; they will only have to choose: not to belong to the old system any more or else to belong to the new.[42] But now.... A stomach has got to digest, after all! Well, that will mean a new way of adapting to the forces of Nature, a new functioning.

But for that to happen, some beings would have to prepare this new functioning.

Sometimes I wonder if it's not sheer folly to attempt it.... Shouldn't this body simply be left to dissolve and let others, better fit for the new functioning, be prepared? I don't know.

I don't know. No one has ever done this before, so there's no one to tell me.

So my solution is always the same: I am like this (gesture of surrender), the body saying, "I am quite willing to try, I am trying my best."

Is it folly, or is it really possible? ... I don't know.

But long ago there was a knowledge like that – all the ancient scriptures mention it.

I believe so. I believe so.

I feel a very strong need for someone who knows.

Yes, I too have quite often thought that someone should come here who....

... who knows.

Who knows something.[43]

That's what I was expecting from Sri Aurobindo.

But he himself was searching. Had he continued, he probably would have found it.... But obviously it wasn't possible.[44]

For he never said he didn't know.

He never said he didn't know.[45]

He always told me, "Each thing in its own time."

But if he knew, he will be able to tell me. So it means it isn't time yet. Because I am with him consciously, mon petit, every night for hours – two hours of my night, at least – not joined to him, with him: like someone I see and talk to and who talks to me.

Again last night....

And he purposely doesn't want me to note down what he says. For I could do so (if I had time) very early in the morning; I remember very, very clearly and precisely. Later it fades, it's erased ... only the impression or influence remains and it's very strong all day until it's replaced by another. This creates a sort of atmosphere in which I live, an atmosphere of knowledge.

But he doesn't want me to note it down. It's not simply that I don't have the time, he doesn't want me to. When I wake up (not "wake up," when I come out of that state), there are no lapses of consciousness. This is something I have acquired through lifelong discipline – I have no lapses. Things don't suddenly go away, poof! They remain very clear – I go from one state to another with no impression of a gap. But I see his action: he replaces the precise memory of what has been said and done by a sort of atmosphere, a sensation that stays with me all day long.

Sometimes a particular image lingers, as a key to the atmosphere.

It was so lovely last night! ... We had come upon a region all mantled in snow, pure white, and all the arctic animals were there. He wore a white robe. I walked by his side, and he began to repeat my mantra, saying, "See how it is...." Glorious!

And the animals – the animals and all the things receiving the Influence [of the mantra] and changing....[46]

What remains is an impression, not the precise knowledge.

(silence)

It may come ... if I am given the time.

Oh, it's people's thoughts that are so annoying! Everybody, everybody is constantly thinking about old age and death, and death and old age and illness ... oh, they're such a nuisance! Me, I never think of it. That's not the question. The difficulty lies in the Work itself; it doesn't depend on a certain number of years, which besides is completely ... it's nothing, one second in eternity, a mere nothing!

But truly, if someone (I don't know who or what this " Someone" is) ... if I am given the time, I will know – I am convinced of it.

For despite all the growing difficulties, there is also a growing knowledge, a constant progress. So from that standpoint, I CANNOT be mistaken; it is impossible. This Presence is becoming so concrete and so (what shall I say?) ... so helpful, so concrete in its help. But it obviously takes a long time.

@

February 17, 1962

Are you more conscious now in your dreams, or not?

Sometimes.... Yes, yesterday there was something, but my memory of it is rather hazy.

I meet you from time to time ... in very different places. That's why I ask.

What do I do there?

All sorts of things. But quite often we are looking for ... things related to expression – sometimes images, sometimes sentences, sometimes.... I have told you I frequently meet you in a kind of library without books. It's very interesting. It is open on top, below too, and no walls; it is extremely spacious, certainly almost as vast as the earth. And there are pigeonholes that seem to hang in the air, with all kinds of things filed in them. We are often sorting through these pigeonholes to find certain texts – ideas, I mean. Ideas, explanations, sometimes memories, all kinds of things. This world is mental but very luminous and clear; full of clarity, perfectly ordered, without confusion, and all open. Wide open.

I frequently find you there.

There aren't a lot of people, it isn't crowded: a few from here, a few from there, like a place of study.

But there's probably no link with this in your consciousness; there must be gaps on the way back, so you don't remember. You receive it only as an inspiration, not through your regular continuous consciousness.

That will come, because I always.... Simply by going back and forth like that, a path is created.

The thought keeps coming to me that I will have to write a new book on Sri Aurobindo....[47]

***

.........

Ah, well.

Rather hard days....

A line from Savitri constantly haunts or assails me – it's when the Lord proposes that she come live a blissful life above, and she replies, "No, there are still too many battles to wage on earth."[48]

That went deep into me, and it returns each time difficulties arise, as if to say, "Don't complain."

And there are plenty! ...

@

February 24, 1962

Something seems to have changed.

For a long time, several months, things were constantly on the brink, and dangerously so; I felt they could go either this way or that. Then on my birthday[49] something suddenly tilted. All at once a formation seemed to have been lifted, a formation weighing terribly on ... I won't say on what, because it appeared to be everything ... it was lifted with the sweep of a hand, exactly the same movement Sri Aurobindo used for taking away illnesses.[50]

It has made a tremendous change for this body, as though I had abruptly gotten out of a very tight corner.

And in the afternoon, I had a funny experience at the Playground.[51] When I got down from the car to go inside, I felt.... For close to a year now I have been saddled with (I mean it was imposed on me) a useless pair of legs: weak, awkward, old, worn out – worthless. I constantly had to will them to walk, and even then they were more than clumsy. And it was all swept away in the same manner (sweeping gesture). I literally almost danced! Imagine, getting rid of a pair of legs just like that! INSTANTLY my legs felt the way they used to (I have always had strong legs) – that alert, solid, agile strength – and I had to restrain myself from cavorting about! "Ah, now we can walk!" "Keep calm," I had to tell them, or they would have started skipping and prancing!

And they stayed that way, there was no relapse. I was waiting to see if it would last – it did. Something seems to be over with now.

But what was that formation?

I don't know.

Because.... I've noticed there are always several ways of explaining things. But certainly one very common explanation would be that it was some type of magic spell – for my health too.

The last time X came, I was very ill the day he arrived and he was called to my room upstairs – actually I wanted him to come upstairs for several reasons, so he could see certain things.... But he didn't see a thing, or if he did, he was reluctant to say so. "Oh, it's a physical ailment," he said (it isn't true, I had no physical ailment – perhaps he didn't want to say it), "it's a physical ailment; something may be acting from outside, but it doesn't amount to much." But it seems to me the formation was made a long time ago – I was always feeling attacked – and it must have been skillfully made![52]

It was that or else, as I often thought, some necessary preparation for the work – something that had to be done.

It touched all the parts of my body and all the workings of the organs in succession – very, very methodically.

But is it necessary? Is all this disorganization necessary? Perhaps I call it disorganization when it isn't.... You know, we are totally ignorant in that realm. We have our old human ways of seeing, but when it comes to the body's functioning, we know nothing about what's good or not. Or even what's painful or not: the body's initial impulse is to feel the pain, but upon reflection and attentive observation, we see it is simply an intensity of sensation we're not used to. So it could well have been that. And if we were used to it (and especially if we didn't think of it as something troublesome), we would feel quite differently about it. In any case, it's not something unbearable – we can bear a lot of things, much more than we imagine.

I am not sure, you see. We keep going on with old notions, old routines and old habits – what can we possibly know!

Anyway, this thing had to follow its course and wind up somewhere.

I should mention that three or four days before my birthday something apparently very troublesome happened[53] (it could have been troublesome, anyway), and it made me wonder: "Will I be able to do what I have to on the 21st?" I wasn't happy about it. "No," I said, "I can't let these people down when they're expecting so much from this day; that's not right." So throughout the 20th I stayed exclusively concentrated in a very, very deep, very interiorized invocation, not in the least superficial, far from all emotions and sentiments – something really at the summit of the being. And I remained in contact with That, for everything to be truly for the best, free from any false movement in Matter whatsoever. And that night I was CLEARLY cured; I mean I followed the action and saw myself really and truly cured. When I got up in the morning, I got up cured. All the things I constantly had to do, all the tapasyas just to keep going, were no longer necessary – someone had taken charge of everything, and it was all over and done with. And on the morning of the 21st, with a crowd of two thousand and some hundred people, it went perfectly smoothly, without the slightest hitch. Then in the afternoon I had that very special experience for my legs.

So on the 21st morning I could say quite spontaneously and unhesitatingly, "Today the Lord has given me the gift of healing me." (I was speaking in English about the things people had given me, and I said, "... and the Lord has given me the gift of healing me.")

This explanation is clear; and the healing was the result of tapasya. It's self-explanatory. Something was even saying to my body, to the body's SUBSTANCE, "O unbelieving substance, now you won't be able to say there are no miracles." Throughout all the work that was being done on the 20th, something was saying (I don't know who, because it doesn't come like something foreign to me any more, it's like a Wisdom, it seems like a Wisdom, something that knows: not someone in particular, but "that which knows," whatever its form), something that knows was insisting to the body, by showing it certain things, vibrations, movements, "From now on, O unbelieving substance, you can't say there are no miracles." Because the substance itself is used to each thing having its effect, to illnesses following a particular course and certain things even being necessary for it to be cured. This process is very subtle, and it doesn't come from the intellect, which can have a totally different interpretation of it; it's rather a kind of consciousness ingrained in physical substance, and that's what was being addressed and being shown certain movements, certain vibrations and so forth: "You see, from now on you can't say there are no miracles." In other words, a direct intervention of the Lord, who doesn't follow the beaten path, but does things ... in His own way.

There was also that attack (it was rather serious and threw the doctor into a fit of anxiety) which took place, I think, the day before sari distribution.[54] The next morning, throughout the distribution, someone else seemed to have taken possession of my body and to be doing what had to be done, taking care of all the difficulties; I was comfortable, serene, simply like a carefree spectator. I had nothing to worry about, someone was.... (What "someone"? Someone, something, I don't know, there's no more difference, it's not delineated like that any more; but anyway, it was a being, a force, a consciousness – perhaps a part of myself, I don't know; none of this is clear-cut; it's quite precise, but not divided, very smooth – Mother makes a rounded gesture – no breaks.) Something, then, a will or a force or a consciousness – plainly a power – had taken possession of the body and was doing all the work, looking after everything. I was witnessing everything, smiling. But it's gone now.

It came specifically for that work (I was in pretty bad shape); when the work was over, it dissolved – it didn't leave abruptly but it became inactive. Afterwards, I felt rather confident. "Well in any case," I thought, "something similar could happen on the 21st, since it just happened now."

The 19th was so-so, and on the 20th I was concentrated all day long: no contacts with anyone, nothing external, only an intense invocation ... as intense and concentrated as when you're trying to melt into the Lord at death. It was like that. The same movement of identification, but at its core a will for everything to work out in a good way here [on the material plane]. "In a good way" ... I mean I said to the Lord, "YOUR Good, the true Good, not.... The true Good, a victorious Good, a real progress over the way life is usually lived." And I stayed in this unwavering concentration the whole day, all the time, all the time: even when I spoke, it was something very external speaking. And then at night when I went to bed I felt something had changed – the body felt completely different. When I got up in the morning, all the pains and disorders and dangers had ... vanished. "Lord," I said, "You have given me a gift of health...."

And with this change, the bodily substance, the very stuff of the cells, was constantly being told, "Don't you forget, now you see that miracles CAN happen." In other words, the way things work out in physical substance may not at all conform to the laws of Nature. "Don't forget, now!" It kept coming back like a refrain: "Don't forget, now! This is how it is." And I saw how necessary this repetition was for the cells: they forget right away and try to find explanations (oh, how stupid can you be!). It's a sort of feeling (not at all an individual way of thinking), it's Matter's way of thinking. Matter is built like that, it's part of its make-up. We call it "thinking" for lack of a better word, but it's not "thinking": it is a material way of understanding things, the way Matter is able to understand.

Oh, that's enough talk for now!

***

Later:

Do you object to my doing some pranayama[55] before I begin working?

 

I think it would do you good, mon petit.

I began three days ago, but I keep getting entangled with the traditional formation around it: "Oh, it's dangerous, it's dangerous, be careful." So this morning I thought I'd better speak to you about it.

Are you doing it without instructions?

There's a traditional way of doing it, I know the formula.

How does it go?

The time varies. You inhale through the left nostril for let's say 4 seconds, then you hold your breath for 16 seconds, raising the diaphragm and closing all the openings; after 16 seconds you exhale for 8 seconds through the other nostril.

Are these the "official" figures?

Yes; I mean that's the proportion: inhale 4, hold 16, exhale 8.

Sixteen?

It has to be double the exhalation. If you do 8, then it's 8-32-16.

I did it myself for years, using the same system: inhale, hold, exhale, remain empty. But holding the lungs empty is said to be dangerous, so I don't advise it. I did it for years. Without knowing it, Sri Aurobindo and I did it nearly the same way, along with all sorts of other things that aren't supposed to be done! This is to tell you that the danger is mainly in what you think. In the course of certain movements, both of us made the air go out through the crown of the head – apparently that's only to be done when you want to die! (Mother laughs) It didn't kill us.

No, the "danger" is MAINLY a thought formation.

You can achieve excellent control of the heart. But I never practiced it violently, never strained myself. I think holding for 16 is too long. I used to do it simply like this: breathe in very slowly to the count of 4, then hold for 4 like this (I still have the knack of it!), lifting the diaphragm and lowering the head[56] (Mother bends her neck), closing everything and exerting pressure (this is an almost instantaneous cure for hiccups – it's handy!). Then while I held the air, I would make it circulate with the force (because it contained force, you see) and with the peace as well; and I would concentrate it wherever there was a physical disorder (a pain or something wrong somewhere). It's very effective. The way I did it was: inhale, hold, exhale and empty – you are completely empty. It's very useful; very handy for underwater swimmers, for instance!

I had trouble breathing in slowly enough – that's a bit hard. I began with 4 and eventually managed to do 12. I did 12-12-12-12. It took me months to reach that, it can't be done quickly. To breathe in very slowly and hold all that air isn't easy.

Now I have lost the knack, I can barely do more than 6 (Mother demonstrates). I count: 1-2-3-4 ... no quicker.

And exhale slowly – that's very difficult – being careful to empty the top part of the lungs, because air often stagnates there. This seems to be one of the most frequent causes of coughs and colds. When I had bronchitis I learned to empty the air out completely. And I knew singing, so I was familiar with the method: you learn to hold the air and then release it slowly, slowly, so as to keep singing nonstop.

I advise you to practice it.

How much time do you spend on it?

Eight to ten minutes, three times a day before my japa.

Oh, that's very good.

I don't know why, but I got entangled with that traditional formation which says it's dangerous.

Someone put it on you, mon petit!

It troubled me.

No, it's not at all dangerous, at least if you don't overdo it. If you do it simply.... I think some people practice pranayama with the idea of gaining "powers." That idea of gaining powers fouls it up more than anything. But if you do it simply as a help to your progress, there's no danger.

At any rate, Sri Aurobindo and I both did a lot of things considered dangerous, and absolutely nothing happened to us. Not that it's necessary to do dangerous things, but nothing happened to us, so it all depends on how you do them.

I think you can safely forget about this formation.

But instead of doing equal amounts of time, it might be better to do less for inhaling and more for holding the breath. The holding part is extremely interesting! When the air is inside, let's say you have a headache or a sore throat or a pain in your arm, anything – then you take the air ... (Mother demonstrates) and direct it to the unwell part ... very, very helpful and pleasant and interesting. You see the force go to the spot, settle in and stay there, all sorts of things.

Ah, it's funny, because just this morning.... Did you come for the balcony?

Lately I have been coming, but I didn't this morning.

Yes, I thought I didn't see you! But when I went out on the balcony, something suddenly began making me do pranayama! I started doing it and it was funny – I had great fun. It was like the Lord entering into me as air, and when it was held inside like that (I was doing it physically at the same time), all the air began to flow out into everybody and do its work in each one – with such a sensation of ease, of tranquil power, and so sure of itself! So comfortably peaceful.

The balcony darshans are interesting.

Well, do it ... according to your inner moods.

At what time?

I do my japa in the morning, at noon, and in the evening.

***

(Then Mother listens to Satprem read the Playground Talk of March 28, 1956, in which a child asks: "How can understanding be increased? " Mother had replied: "By increasing consciousness, by going beyond the mind, by enlarging one's consciousness, deepening one's consciousness, by touching regions beyond the mind.")

Now I would add one thing: by experience. By changing knowledge into experience. And one experience automatically leads to another.

What I mean by "experience" is something totally different from what people normally understand. It's something almost ... not new as such but assuming a new reality. It is not "experiencing what one knows" – that's taken for granted, it's banal – but.... We would need another word. Instead of knowing something (even a knowledge far superior to mental knowledge, even a very integral knowledge), you ... become the power that makes it BE.

Essentially, it is becoming the tapas [energy] of things – the tapas of the universe.

The Manifestation is always said to begin with Sachchidananda: first Sat, pure Existence; then Chit, the awareness of this Existence; and then Ananda, the Delight of Existence which makes it go on. But between Chit and Ananda there is Tapas – that is, Chit realizing itself. And when you become this tapas, this tapas of things, you have the knowledge that gives the power to change.[57] The tapas of things is what governs their existence in the Manifestation.

You see, I am expressing this for the first time, but I began to live it a while back. When you are THERE, you have a feeling of (what shall I say?) of such formidable power! The universal power, really. You have the sense of total mastery over the universe.

But you can't put that in.

Why not?

Then put it in!

@

 

February 27, 1962

72 – The sign of dawning Knowledge is to feel that as yet I know little or nothing; and yet, if I could only know my knowledge, I already possess everything.

So, what's your question?

You have nothing special to say?...

(Mother shakes her head)

I did prepare something, it goes like this: in sleep one can have a very exact knowledge of what is going to happen, sometimes with astonishingly accurate material details; it's as if everything were already worked out down to the least detail on an occult plane. Is this correct? What is this plane of knowledge? Is there more than one? How can one gain conscious access to it in the waking state? And how is it that serious people, who have a divine realization, are sometimes so grossly mistaken in their predictions?

Ooh, but it's a whole world! (Mother laughs) It's not one question, it's twenty!

If anything in it seems worthwhile to you....

It's very interesting, but it means at least eight pages! Premonitory dreams....

There are different kinds of premonitory dreams. Some are immediately realized – you dream at night what will happen the next day – while the realizations of others are staggered over varying spans of time; such dreams are seen in different realms corresponding to the time they take to be realized.

The closer you approach absolute certainty, the greater is the time span, because the realm of such visions is quite close to the Origin, and a long time can pass between the revelation of what will be and its realization. But being so near the Origin, the revelation is very certain.

When one is identified with the Supreme, there is a place where all is unequivocally known: in the past, in the present, in the future and everywhere. But when they return, those who go there usually forget what they have seen. A particularly strict discipline is needed to remember. That's the only realm where you can't be mistaken.

But the links of communication are seldom all there, so one rarely remembers.

Anyway, to go back to what I was saying, depending on the plane of one's vision, one can judge approximately how much time it will take to be realized. Immediate things are already realized, they are self-existent and can be seen in the subtle physical – they already exist there, and the reflection (not even transcription) or projection of this image is what will take place in the material world the next day or a few hours later. In this case you see the thing accurately, in all its details, because it's already there. Everything hinges on the precision and power of your vision: if your vision is objective and sincere, you will see the thing as it is; if you add personal sentiments or impressions, it gets colored. Accuracy in the subtle physical depends exclusively on the instrument, the one who sees.

But as soon as you move into a subtler realm, like the vital (and the mental even more so), there is a narrow margin of possibilities. You can see the rough outlines of what is going to take place, but in the details it can be this way or that way: it is possible for certain wills or influences to interfere and create discrepancies.

This is so because the original Will is reflected, as it were, in different realms, and in each realm the organization and relation of the images are changed. The world we live in is a world of images – not THE thing itself in its essence, but its reflection. We could say that in our material existence we are merely a reflection, an image of what we are in our essential reality. And the modalities of these reflections are what introduce all the errors and all the falsifications (what is seen in its essence is perfectly true and pure, existing from all eternity, while images are essentially variable). And according to the amount of falsehood introduced into the vibrations, the amount of distortion and alteration increases. Each circumstance, each event and each thing can be said to have one pure existence – its true existence – and a considerable number of impure or distorted existences in the various realms of being. There is a substantial beginning of distortion, for instance, in the intellectual realm (indeed, the mental realm holds a considerable amount of distortion), and it increases as all the emotional and censorial realms interfere. Arriving at the material plane, the vision is most often unrecognizable. Completely distorted. To such a point that it's sometimes very hard to realize that "this" is the material expression of "that" – there's not much resemblance any longer!

This approach to the problem is rather new and can provide the key to many things.

Take the case of someone you know well and are used to seeing materially: seeing him in the subtle physical, certain aspects become more prominent, more visible, more marked; physically they went unseen because in the material grayness they had blended with many other things. Certain character traits that never showed up physically now become so marked as to be quite visible. When you look at someone physically, you see the color of his complexion, the shape of his features, his expression.... Seeing him at the same moment in the subtle physical, you suddenly notice different colors on different parts of the face, in the eyes an expression or a particular light you hadn't seen before – a strong impression of a very different overall appearance, which to our physical eyes would seem rather outlandish. But for the subtle vision it's all very expressive and revealing of the person's character, or even of the influences he's under (what I am talking about is something I observed a few days ago).

So, according to the plane where you are conscious and can see, you perceive images and see events from varying distances and with varying degrees of accuracy. The only true and sure vision is the vision of the Divine Consciousness. The problem, therefore, is to become conscious of the Divine Consciousness and constantly maintain it in all life's details.

Meanwhile, there are all sorts of ways to receive indications. That exact, precise and ... (what's the word?) habitual vision certain people have may stem from various sources. It may be a vision through identity with circumstances and things when you have learned to expand your consciousness. It may be an indication from some chatterbox of the invisible world, who has got it into his head to let you know what's going to happen – this is often the case. Then everything depends on your "harbinger's" morals: if he is having fun at your expense, he spins stories for you – this almost always happens to those who receive their information from entities. To bait you, they may repeatedly tell you how things are going to turn out (for they have a universal vision in some vital or mental realm); then, when they are sure you trust them, they may start telling you fibs and, as they say in English, you make a fool of yourself. This happens frequently! You have to be in a higher consciousness than these fellows, these entities (or these minor gods, as some call them) and able to check from above the value of their statements.

With a universal mental vision, you can see (and this is very interesting) how the mental world operates to get realized on the physical plane. You see the various mental formations, how they converge, conflict, combine and relate to one another, which ones get the upper hand, exert a stronger influence and achieve a more total realization. Now, if you really want a higher vision, you must get out of the mental world and see the original wills as they descend to take expression. In this case, you may not have all the details, but the central FACT, the fact in its central truth, is indisputable, undeniable, absolutely correct.

Some people also have the faculty of predicting things already existing on earth but at a distance, far from physical eyes – they're generally those who have the capacity to expand and extend their consciousness. Their vision is slightly more subtle than physical vision, and depends on an organ subtler than its purely material counterpart (what could be called the "life" of this organ). So, by projecting their consciousness, and having the will to see, they can clearly see things that already exist but are beyond our ordinary field of vision. Those who have this capacity – sincere people who tell what they see, not bluffers – see with perfect precision and exactness.

Ultimately, absolute sincerity is the great deciding factor for those who predict or foresee. Unfortunately, because of people's curiosity, their insistence and the pressure they exert (which very few can resist), an almost involuntary mechanism of inner imagination comes to add just that small missing element to something not seen with precision or exactness. That's what causes flaws in prediction. Very few have the courage to say, "Ah no, I don't know this, I don't see that, this eludes me." They don't even have the courage to say it to themselves! So then, with a tiny drop of imagination, which acts almost subconsciously, the vision or information gets rounded out – it can turn out to be anything at all! Very few people can resist this tendency. I have known many, many psychics, many extraordinarily gifted beings, and only a handful were able to stop just at the point where their knowledge stopped. Or else they embellish. That's what gives these faculties their slightly dubious quality. One would have to be a great saint, a great sage, and completely free from other people's influences (I don't speak of those who seek fame: they fall into the most flagrant traps); because even goodwill – wanting to satisfy people, please them, help them – is enough to distort the vision.

(Smiling) Are you satisfied? Have I answered everything?

I'm tempted to ask one question.... Once events are already prepared in the subtle physical and one sees them, is it too late to alter their course? Can one still act?

There's one very interesting example I always give. The man involved told me about it himself. A long time ago (you must have been a baby), every day the newspaper Le Matin published a small cartoon of a boy dressed like a lift attendant (he told me the story in English), or a sort of bellboy, pointing with his finger to the date or whatever. This man was traveling and staying at a big hotel in some city (I don't remember which), a big city. And he told me that one night or early one morning he had a dream: he saw this bellboy showing him a hearse (you know, what they use in Europe for taking people to the cemetery) and inviting him to step inside! He saw that. And when he got ready that morning and left his room (which was on the top floor) there on the landing was ... the same boy, identically dressed, inviting him to go down in the elevator. It gave him a shock. He refused: "No, thanks!" The elevator fell to the ground. It was smashed to pieces, and the people inside were all killed.

After this, he said, he believed in dreams!

It was a vision. He saw the bellboy, but instead of the elevator, the boy showed him his hearse. Then, when he saw the same boy making the very same gesture (really just like the cartoon), he said, "No, thanks! I'll walk down." And the elevator (a hydraulic one) broke. It crashed down, crushing all those inside it.

He asked me about it and my explanation was that an entity had forewarned him. The image of the bellboy indicates an intelligent, conscious intermediary – it doesn't seem to come from the man's subconscient.[58] Or else he had seen it in the subtle physical and his subconscient knew – but then why did it present him with such an image? I don't know. Perhaps something in his subconscient knew, because the accident already existed in the subtle physical. Before it occurred here, the accident – "the law of the accident" – existed.

Of course, in every case there is invariably a time-lag, sometimes a few hours (that's the maximum), sometimes a few seconds. Quite frequently things announce their presence, but to come in contact with your consciousness, it may take them a couple of minutes or just seconds. I am constantly, constantly aware of what's going to happen – utterly uninteresting things, as a matter of fact; knowing them in advance changes nothing. But they exist all around us, and with a wide enough consciousness we can know it all. For example, I know that so and so is going to bring me a parcel, that someone is about to come, and so forth. And it's like this every day. Because my consciousness is spread far and wide – it comes into contact with things.

But the thing already exists, so it can't be called a premonition; it's just that to come true for us it needs a few seconds to make contact with our senses, because a door or a wall or something prevents us from seeing it.

I've had many such experiences. Once I was walking along a mountain path wide enough only for one: on one side, a precipice, on the other, sheer rock. Three children were behind me and a fourth person brought up the rear. I was in the lead. The path skirted the rock so you couldn't see what lay ahead. It was quite dangerous, besides: one slip and you fell off the cliff. I was walking in front when suddenly, with other eyes than these (yet I was carefully watching my steps), I saw a snake lying on the rocks around the bend. Waiting. I took one soft step and a snake was actually there! This spared me the shock of surprise (because I had seen it and was advancing cautiously), and as there was no shock of surprise, I could say to the children without scaring them, "Stop, be quiet, don't move." A shock might have caused a mishap – the snake had heard us and was already on the defensive, coiled before his hole, head swaying – a viper. It was in France. Nothing happened, but with confusion and commotion, who knows?...

This type of thing has happened to me very, very often – four times with snakes. There was one incident here near the fishing village of Ariankuppam, a place where a river empties into the sea. Night had fallen swiftly, it was pitch dark, and I was walking along a road when right in the middle of a step (I had already lifted my foot and was about to lower it), I distinctly heard a voice in my ear: "Watch out!" Yet no one had spoken. So I looked, and just as my foot was about to touch the ground, I saw an enormous black cobra right where I was casually going to put my foot. Those fellows don't like that sort of thing! It slithered away and swam across the water – what a beauty, mon petit! Hood wide open, head held high, he swam across like a king. I would certainly have been punished for my impertinence!

I have had hundreds and hundreds of experiences like that – informed just at the last moment (not one second too soon) – and in very different circumstances. Once in Paris I was crossing the Boulevard Saint Michel (I had resolved to attain union with the psychic presence, the inner Divine, within a certain number of months, and these were the last weeks – I was thinking of nothing but that, engrossed in that alone). I lived near the Luxembourg Gardens and was going there for a stroll, to sit in the gardens that evening – still indrawn. I came to a kind of intersection – not a very sensible place to cross when you're interiorized! So, in that state, I started to cross when all of a sudden I had a shock, as if something had hit me, and I instinctively jumped back. As I jumped back a streetcar rushed by. I had felt the streetcar at a little more than arm's length. It had touched my aura, the protective aura (that aura was very strong at the time – I was deep into occultism and knew how to maintain it). My protective aura was touched, and it literally threw me backwards, just like a physical shock. Accompanied by the driver's insults!

I leapt back just in time, and the streetcar passed by.

There are loads of stories I could tell – but I don't remember any more right now.

It can happen in different ways. Quite often I was informed by a small entity or some being or other. Sometimes the aura protected me – all sorts of things. My life was rarely limited to the physical body. And this is useful, it's good. Necessary also – it enhances your capacities. Théon told me right from the start: "You people deprive yourselves of the most useful kind of senses, EVEN FOR ORDINARY LIFE." If you develop your inner senses (he gave them fabulous names), you can.... And it's true, absolutely true, we can know infinitely more than we normally do, merely by using our own senses. And not only mentally but vitally and even physically as well.

But what is the method?

Oh, the method is quite easy! There are various disciplines. It depends on what you want to achieve.

It depends. Each thing has its method. But the primary method is to want it, to make a decision. Then you are given a description of all these senses and how they function – that's a lengthy process. You choose one sense (or several), perhaps the one for which you have the greatest initial aptitude, and you decide. Then you follow the discipline. It's similar to doing exercises for developing muscles. You can even manage to create willpower in yourself.

For the subtler senses, the method is to create an exact image of what you want, make contact with the corresponding vibration and then concentrate and practice. For instance, you practice seeing through an object, or hearing through a sound[59] or seeing at a distance. As an example, I was once bedridden for several months, which I found quite boring – I wanted to see. I was staying in one room and beyond that room was another little room and after that a sort of bridge; in the middle of the garden the bridge changed into a stairway going down into a very spacious and beautiful studio built in the middle of the garden.[60] I wanted to go see what was happening in the studio – I was bored stiff in my room! So I stayed very still, shut my eyes and gradually, gradually sent out my consciousness. I did the exercise regularly, day after day, at a set hour. You begin with your imagination, and then it becomes a fact. After a while, I distinctly sensed my vision physically moving: I followed it and saw things going on downstairs I knew absolutely nothing about. I would verify it in the evening, asking, "Did it happen like this? Was that how it was?"

But each of these things must be practiced for months, patiently, almost stubbornly. You take the senses one after another: hearing, sight, and eventually even the subtle aspects of taste, smell and touch.

It's easier with the mind because we are more used to concentrating there. When you want to reflect and find a solution to something, instead of using mental deduction, you stop everything, focus on the idea or problem, and then concentrate, concentrate, intensifying the crux of the problem. You stop everything and wait until, through sheer intensity of concentration, a response comes. Learning that also demands a little time; but if you were ever a good student you have something of the aptitude – it's not so very difficult.

There's a kind of extension of the physical senses. In American Indians, for instance, the senses of hearing and smell are far more extended than ours (in dogs too!). When I was eight or ten years old, I had an Indian friend who came with Buffalo Bill in the days of the Hippodrome – that was a long time ago, I was around eight. He was so sharp that he could put his ear to the ground and tell, from the intensity of the vibrations, how far the sound of footsteps was coming from. All the children immediately said, "I'd really like to know how to do that! " And so you try....

That's how you prepare yourself. You think you're just having fun, but you are preparing yourself for later.

Voilà.

March

March 3, 1962

Here's a strange aphorism....

Ah! .. Read it to me.

76 – Europe prides herself on her practical and scientific organisation and efficiency. I am waiting till her organisation is perfect; then a child shall destroy her.

That's embarrassing....

It's terribly embarrassing.

Let's pass it over in silence.

I would be curious to know what Sri Aurobindo meant by it.

I did know, but I hastened to forget it

I knew it when he was still in his body.

Once or twice it came back and each time I sort of (gesture) locked it away in a cupboard.

We'll see.

It's better left unsaid.

I once knew what he meant – right now I don't remember.[61]

***

After the work, concerning a note written by Satprem:

I don't want to tire your eyes with my abominable handwriting.

I can easily read your handwriting.

There's a big difference between people who think about what they write and those who write without thinking. With the latter, even when their handwriting is ostensibly clear, there is a faint cloud and I understand nothing – the words seem to dance. It's the same for speech; people who speak without thinking simply make a humming noise – the words pour out but I understand nothing.

March 6, 1962

So, how are you?

I don't know at all where I stand.

You're neutral.

Yes, I understand nothing at all.

You're neutral – dull. That (laughing) makes it hard for you not to get irritated!

Why? What has happened?

Oh, nothing (Mother laughs), nothing in particular. Just the feeling that you'd jump if someone touched you!

Really, I don't understand anything any more. I don't understand. I have absolute faith in Something Else – that's always been there, it doesn't waver. But ... there seems to be no progress. I see nothing ahead of me, nothing behind me, nothing. I don't know, I've already been here a good number of years and I don't feel I've made an inch of progress, nothing – I see nothing. Not that I'm losing faith, that's my only reason for living; without this certainty of Something Else, I would kill myself. But practically speaking....

There are periods like that.

But there's nothing to show that you're progressing, to give you confidence: "Ah, yes, I'm on the way." Nothing.

This in itself has to be conquered; I mean, the state in itself represents something to be conquered. Because ... you remember, I told you the other day about having such a tremendous experience in the body-consciousness[62] – this ... this dull consciousness in the material world, which really gives the feeling of something inert, unchanging, incapable of responding; you could wait millions and millions of years and nothing would budge. And that experience came at the end of a rather critical passage – it takes catastrophes to get it moving, that's what's so strange! And not only that, but the wisp of imagination it does have (if you can call it imagination) is invariably catastrophic. Whatever it anticipates is always for the worst – the pettiest, meanest, nastiest kind of worst – always the worst. It's ... really, it's the most sickening condition human consciousness and matter can be in. Well, I have been swimming in it for months, and my way of being in it is to go through every possible illness and to have every possible physical aggravation, one after another.

Just recently, as I told you, things truly became a little ... disgusting, dangerous, and for an hour or an hour and a half I did a sadhana like this (Mother clenches her fists), keeping hold of this body and body-consciousness. And the whole time the Force was at work there (it was like kneading a very resistant dough), something was saying to me, "Look, you can't deny miracles any longer." It was being said to this consciousness (not to me, of course), this body-consciousness: " Now you can't deny it

miracles do happen." It was forced to see; there it was, gaping like an idiot being shown the sky – "Ah!" And it's so stupid that it didn't even have any joy of discovery! But it was forced to see, the thing was right under its nose – there was no escaping it, it had to be admitted. But you know what, mon petit, as soon as I let up on the pressure – forgotten!

I remember the whole experience, of course, but the body-consciousness forgot. The slightest difficulty, even the shadow or the recollection of a difficulty, was enough for it to start up all over again: "Oh ... oh! Now what's going to happen?" The same old anxieties and stupidities.

So I realize that we have to keep on trying.

What's annoying, though, is that in order to shake it all up, I have to go through some pretty bad moments physically. So don't worry, I understand how it is for others! I myself never lose either consciousness or contact with ... not with Knowledge, but with the total EXPERIENCE of identification. Only here in Matter does the work have this particular nature. So l understand how it is for people who live heedlessly from day to day, from minute to minute, for whom it's not a constant, permanent work of each second, totally conscious and deliberate.... And besides, this body is so willing – the poor thing, sometimes I have found it crying like a child, imploring, "How do you get out of this mess?" That's exactly why all the people who have achieved the inner realization have called this work "impossible." It's their own impossibility! I know it's not impossible, I know it will come, but ... how long will it take? That I don't know.

My feeling is that if you try to hurry, to rush, to speed things up a little, it jams, it becomes like stone – it turns to stone again. It took the stone a long time to become a man.... So I don't want that. You can't get too impatient – it's not even impatience, but pressure. Beyond a certain pressure, it turns to stone. So I understand people who attain realization and, blissfully enjoying it, kick the whole thing out: "Fine, I'll do without it!"

That's what has always happened.

But I can't do that.

What I always do is say, "Well, all right ..." (I say this to the Lord with a smile), "if You have now decided I should leave, I'll go willingly."

If He ever gave me a slap, that's when I'd get one! I can feel it even while I am saying this.

It's simply to ensure that the consciousness is in a state of perfect equanimity; I mean, whether things turn out like this or like that leaves me completely indifferent: what You will – spontaneously and integrally and exclusively – My Will. I say "My" Will on purpose, to show total adhesion. It's not submission, it has nothing to do with submission; it's like this (gesture of total abandonment). Well, in spite of that, there's not much progress.

Although sometimes, yes, all of a sudden.... Take this example (it may seem a mere trifle, but when you have reached this point ...): the first sudden glimmer of conscious control over a bodily functioning, giving you a glimpse of the time when everything will function through the action of a conscious will. That has begun – but it's a tiny, tiny, tiny beginning. And the slightest mental intrusion from the old movement spoils it all – I mean the old way of behaving with your body: you want this and you want that and you want to make it do this and you want to make it.... The minute that pops up, everything stops. Progress comes to a standstill. One must be in a state of beatific union ... then one can feel the new functioning begin.

But it has become such a delicate play! A MINUTE thing, minute, can throw everything out of gear – one simple ordinary movement. If through habit you slip back into the ordinary functioning (these are infinitesimal things, not easily seen, subtle, tenuous; one must be very, very, VERY alert), if this happens, the whole new thing stops. Then you have to wait. Wait until the ordinary functioning consents to stop, and that means meditating, entering into contemplation – going over the whole path again. Then, when you have caught hold of That again and can stay there for a few seconds, sometimes a few minutes (it's marvelous when it lasts a few minutes).... And then it gets jammed again and everything has to be done over.

I am not saying this to discourage you, but to tell you that one must really and truly be patient. The only possible way to do it is in a sort of passivity: not to WANT the result – WANTING the result brings in an ego movement which spoils it all.

I have been telling you for a long time that we are VERY close – for a long time.

So when people ask me, I say (to tell them something), "We shall see." It's certainly not that I don't know; I know perfectly well how it will be. But (laughing) I don't know when! That, I don't know. Even at this point, I don't know when.

In fact, if something wants to know when, then it's still in a hurry.

No, you have to be a saint, mon petit! (Mother laughs and laughs.)

(Satprem grimaces)

Yes, I know – neither am I!

I used to say the same thing. When Sri Aurobindo was here I used to tell everybody, "I am not a saint and don't want to be a saint!" And look what has happened to me!

You have to be an unsaintly saint.

Without an ounce of saintliness.

You know, all those little rules we're enjoined to follow: "Above all, don't do that; and be sure to do this, don't forget that...." Like ablutions, for instance, or attitudes, or what to eat – there's no dearth of them. A mountain of do's and don'ts – all completely swept away! And swept away to the point where sometimes a rule, something highly recommended ("Be sure to do this, be careful to do that" – an attitude or an action) becomes an obstacle. I hardly dare say it, but one example is having a regular schedule – always making ablutions at the same hour, always doing japa in the same manner and so on. And I am perfectly aware that Sri Aurobindo himself puts all sorts of trivial obstacles in my way – obstacles I could hurdle with a single second of reflection; he sets them up as if in play. Do you remember the aphorism where he says he was quarreling with the Lord and the Lord made him fall in the mud?[63] That's just what I feel. He puts a stick in my spokes and laughs. So I say, "All right, that's enough, I don't give a hoot! I'll do whatever You want, it's not my problem; I can do it or not do it, do it this way or that...." It has all gone up in smoke now.

What has become constant, though.... I shouldn't say it, because it's going to get me into trouble again! But anyway, what's trying to be constant is DISCRIMINATION: taking all circumstances, vibrations, relationships, what comes from the people around me, what responds, and putting each in its proper place. A second-to-second discrimination. I know where things are coming from, why they come, their effect, where they're going to lead me, and so on. It's growing more and more frequent, constant, automatic – like a state of being.

That's about the only place where progress is really visible. I hope the fact of having spoken won't get me into trouble again!

But impatience and irritation.... Well, if it makes you feel better.... Some people need it as a safety valve – but it makes you lose a lot of time.

One day I was all tensed up; things had become so "intolerable," as people say, that something in the most material vital went into what's usually considered a fit of rage (it was totally under control – I mean it was working as a safety valve and being observed as such in all its vibrations). I was alone in the bathroom, nobody to see me; I grabbed hold of I don't remember what and smashed it on the floor!

Aah, what a relief!

So there you are.

But what are we supposed to do in the meantime? What?

 

I'll tell you what I do: I say to the Lord, "All right, if that's how it is, well, I am not doing anything any more; I am resting in Your arms and waiting." I actually, concretely (I was about to say "materially") do it – and then I don't stir. "You will do it all, I am not doing anything." And I really stay like that. Immediately, of course, there's a great joy and I don't stir.

For instance, I am completely snowed under with material work, letters, people, matters to arrange and decide, big things to organize, all of it falling on me from every side and trying to take up all my time and energy. At times it really gets too much. So when it's too much, I say, "All right, Lord, now I will nestle in Your arms." And there I am, no longer thinking, no longer bothering about anything, and ... I go into Bliss. Usually after ten minutes everything is fine!

The trouble is, the mental mechanism isn't there any more. Before, with the mind working, I would take up this thing or do that thing, but now I don't let it function, so there's nothing to make me move!

Absolutely. But it's a big progress.

Not necessarily! Maybe there are things I should be doing.

No. No, it's a big progress, an immense progress.

All right then; but I feel as if I'm doing nothing ...

Yes.

... except the bare minimum, which I do because it has to be done; otherwise.... I have no desire to stir up the mind, I want something else.

Naturally! Thank god, I tell you, it's an immense progress. You should be delighted.

Yes, but on a material level I'm doing nothing.

What does it matter!

You can lie down on a mat, look at a flower or a patch of sky if there's any to see; if need be (teasingly), smoke a cigarette to keep yourself busy, and just stay like that, relaxed. And if you do your pranayama along with this "relaxation" you will notice yourself growing extremely strong – storing, storing, storing up energies. And then if you have to make an effort, there's nothing to it – it's as easy as pie.

It's that old habit, the old fear of being lazy. It took me.... But Sri Aurobindo cured me of that rather quickly. That's how it was before I met him. And that's the first thing he did: he gave me a tap on the head, and all activity ceased – total silence, all mental constructions and habits swept away ... in the blink of an eye.

I was very careful not to let it come back.

Then, afterwards, well....

He mentions it when he explains mental equality[64] – that a state is reached where one is unable to initiate any activity; only the stimulus of an impulsion from above can move you. So you do nothing, you just stay like that, perfectly immobile in your mind (not only physically – especially in your mind): you don't initiate anything.

Before, the mind was always creating, setting actions, wills and movements into motion, producing consequences; and it's very frightening when that stops – you feel you're becoming an idiot. But it's quite the opposite! No more ideas, no more will, no more impulsions, nothing. You act only when something makes you act, without knowing why or how.

This "something" doesn't come from below, of course, it mustn't come from below. But that condition can truly be achieved only when all the work below has been completed.

@

Undated (March) 1962

(At the beginning of this conversation Mother has Pavitra called in to discuss certain letters and controversies concerning a teacher at the Ashram School.)

You know how children get together and play court or school or army ... you know how serious they can be, don't you?

(Pavitra.) Yes, Mother.

And if someone makes a mistake, how he's punished! ... Well, that's exactly how you all seem to me – children at play! That's the trouble. So I just start laughing, I can't take you seriously. You are all too serious to be taken seriously! That's the trouble. I took your papers very seriously; I wanted to be done with it all and I tried.... But as soon as I began to read your letters, your reports, I immediately pictured children on a playground (Mother takes on a solemn tone): "Now we are going to play court ... now we are going to play school...." That's what I saw. "It's like this and NOT like that and be sure you don't make any mistakes. This is serious business!"

(Pavitra:) But Mother, I had no intention of making any decision; but when S. sends one letter, two letters, and then asks for Mother's reply, I have no other option but to turn to you.

But Mother does NOT WANT to make a decision because ... because the solution doesn't depend on any decision from me. I can tell you how it is (you didn't ask me, but it doesn't matter – I will tell you anyway): S.'s interests lie elsewhere; he is interested in something different and that's his own business – I know it, we all know it. He holds his class at the school as a kind of duty, to do something "for the Ashram"; he does it in all seriousness, using what he knows (he has knowledge), but rigidly – work is work, no fooling around. Besides, he has no real liking for the students or any interest in whether they comprehend or make progress or not. That's how it is. He browbeats them in class, and the students are bored.

(Pavitra:) Yes, Mother, it's true.

The problem isn't what he teaches, but how he teaches it – and what are you going to do about that?

(Pavitra.) I'm going to leave it as it is and simply tell him you said we should continue as before.

No, I find his proposal reasonable, because if we say "the course is optional," no one will attend.

(Mother explains certain things)

If you tell him that, it should probably work out. So go and keep your faith (with an ironic smile): may God bless you!

Yes, Mother. (Pavitra leaves.)

(To Satprem:) It's a shame – I just can't take them seriously!

Here (Mother gives flowers): this one is magnificent.... And how are your pigeons [some white pigeons]? ... I am interested in your pigeons now!

They're lovely.

Well, mon petit, X won't be coming until after April 14. Yes, he has changed his plans. He is ill, rather seriously it seems.

Yes, for a long time now.

And naturally it's getting worse – he does hours of puja. Far too many. It should be balanced by at least an hour of running!

Oh, let's get to work....

March 11, 1962

(Satprem suggests he read certain past Agenda conversations to Mother. She refuses:)

You know, I've almost felt like telling you that all this Agenda stuff isn't meant for circulation. It's only for when I have come to the end – and then what's in it won't matter at all. Or else I will have gone, leaving a note saying I don't want it published ...

Why!

... and that I am giving it only to ... I will say to whom. So it doesn't matter. Actually, you could type it up just as it is on the tape. You want to read it to me mainly to get (laughing) some additions, hmm?

There may be additions, but there are also some questions.

I should delete some things, shouldn't I?

No, no, not delete! But sometimes I haven't quite grasped something, or else I've had to interpret because you made a gesture or....

Because it was incomplete, unexpressed.

There are a few points like that in all these texts. It's up to you whether I read only those points or....

You see, a time will come, I think ... a time will come when things will be interesting. So in fact, it's better not to waste the tapes.

No, I really don't agree! Objectively speaking, it's extremely instructive to see the difficulties you have passed through.

It may be instructive, but it can't be published; it's much too personal.

To be published now, yes – but what about fifty years from now? ...

Oh, in fifty years it won't be interesting any more.

Come on!

You think so?

Of course I do! The whole path is there....

Well, let's make a date for fifty years from now and see how much it interests us then.

But it will, Mother!

Do you think you'll have white hair? ... I don't have white hair I don't dye it, you know, it's natural! No, your hair is a color that never turns white.

Listen, I'm already all white at the temples!

Will you have a beard in fifty years?

No, I don't like beards.

Ah, good, so much the better!

I would rather shave everything off.

Then you'll be like a Bhikku.[65]

Well. We'll see about the Agenda in fifty years, then.

But really Mother, objectively, there's a tremendous number of interesting things in it....

Yes, mon petit, but next time, not today.

***

(Mother listens to Satprem read the July 11, 1956 Talk on the vital world. She refuses to have it published in the "Bulletin".)

To begin with, I said that the vital is peopled by small entities, small formations, the remnants of human beings who have died. But there is a whole vital world which has nothing to do with that one, a world peopled by beings of the vital proper, beings of great power and even great beauty. Most people who dabble in occultism without having a deep enough spiritual life are immediately deluded by them – some even take them as the supreme God and worship them. That's generally how religions are created. They are a great success. They are the supreme God of many a religion – they are beings of the vital world, and can assume an appearance of overwhelming beauty. They are the biggest impostors in the world, and dangerous at that; it takes the spiritual instinct, the instinct of true spiritual purity, not to be deceived by them.

Many religions and sects are founded on revelations and miracles, and every bit of it comes from vital beings.

It's one of the greatest problems in human life; I don't mean spiritual life, but the life of people who deal with the beyond.

There are skies (not heavens) in the vital world that are truly paradises. Naturally the real divine element is lacking, but only spiritual purity and the true spiritual sense can show you the difference. All who remain within the vital or mental worlds are completely deluded. They see marvelous things, miracles in profusion (that's where you find the most miracles!).

By neglecting to explain this aspect [in this Talk], I passed over a large part of the topic in silence. I usually don't speak of those things, or else mention them only in passing – it terrifies people and they immediately start wondering, "Oh, is it really a god? Is it this ... is it that? Could it be a devil in disguise?" They panic.

Only it's perfectly true that to deal with those realms one must either be fully protected by a guru, a real guru, a man with knowledge, or else have purity (not saintliness), an unmixed vital and mental purity. Very, very often, bhaktas [devotees] of Sri Aurobindo or me – when they are sincere, truly sincere, that is, people of great spiritual purity – have dozens of beings appear to them, saying, "I am Sri Aurobindo." It happens all the time, with all the right external appearances – it's very easy for such beings to put on a disguise. It takes the inner psychic purity not to be deceived – you invariably FEEL something that makes it impossible for you to be duped. But otherwise, many, many people are taken in.

I don't like to talk about this because people here have no discrimination; they would be left with nothing but fear and would no longer believe in anything, forever asking me, "Oh, isn't this a trick?" ... Which paralyzes everything. That's why I didn't speak about that in this Talk.

You do say a couple of words about it.

It should at least be mentioned that some beings in the vital world can take on completely deceptive appearances at will – all the most dazzling lights are found in the vital, but with a particular quality. So those who have truly approached THE Light can't be deceived. Because ... it's indefinable, something the spiritual sense alone can feel: perfect security, perfect peace, perfect purity (although I hesitate to use the word "purity," which has taken on such an idiotic meaning); what I mean is the absence of all admixture.

To those with the spiritual sense, the most dazzling vital lights always seem to have something artificial about them – they FEEL artificial and cold, hard, aggressive, deceptive. But that's the point: you yourself must be beyond all this. Not to be fooled, you mustn't fool yourself!

Actually, that's the main reason I don't like to talk about occultism. It puts people in touch with an extremely dangerous world which can't be safely entered unless one is (I can't even say a saint, because it's not true; some saints enter the vital world and get right into it!) ... unless one is transformed, unless one has the true spiritual consciousness. On this condition alone are you perfectly safe. So where are the people with the spiritual consciousness? There are really very few of them, very few. And above all, in those who have this occult curiosity there are also all sorts of vital movements, which make it dangerous for them to enter that world. Unless, of course, they go shielded by the guru's presence; with that, you can go anywhere, it's the same as going there with him. And if you do go with him, all is well; he has the knowledge and he protects you. But going there all on your own is ... you need the Divine Protection itself! Or the protection of the guru who represents the Divine. With the guru's protection you are safe.

But isn't it possible to have a fruitful collaboration with those beings? Should they be avoided altogether, or what?

Collaboration? Not with them as they are, and not in the world as it is – no.

I have told you about my dealings with the Lord of Nations on several occasions – it's that kind of thing. It can hardly be called collaboration!

The great ones know (I am not speaking of the multitude of minor beings, but the others; there are millions of emanations – emanations by the truckload! – but only a few great ones), they know enough to be aware of their own position in the universe and that they will come to an end. They know there is such a thing as the Supreme (although they deny it), and that they are cut off from the Supreme, and that they will come to an end. But they have taken a stand against the Work, the Action, the Progress, and are intent on destroying as much as they can.

Some of them get converted. Their conversion means a great entity joining the divine Work – but that seldom happens.

Yes, but what about the minor gods? You often speak of a "little Kali" or a "little Durga"; are these beings beneficent?

Ah, they aren't from the vital at all! Not at all! They are manifestations of Overmind[66] beings, projected into the vital world for a specific action. But they aren't vital beings: they have an Origin, they are still linked to a being from another world. Oh, no, not at all!

The same goes for all those beings the Tantrics deal with – their origin is not vital, they belong to Nature. They are personified natural forces obedient to the laws of Nature. In other words, they originate from below, not from the vital but the physical world. They are vital forces in the physical, but not of vital origin.

The other day, didn't I tell you the story of those entities working for me?... (It wasn't you? I'd had a vision.) In fact, I very often see entities like Nature spirits when I enter the subtle physical and work there (usually for people here and the Ashram, and for the world at large), I very, very often have them with me, or else I meet them in the course of my work. They are forces, generally feminine in appearance, that do some work and have a great deal of power. They are usually the ones that respond to Tantric invocations (I don't mean the Tantrics who call on Kali or Durga, that's something else altogether, those belong to a totally different world). Most of the time these Nature forces are very willing to help – at any rate, they are wonderfully obliging with me! But they are limited beings, with their own ideas and laws, their own volition, and when vexed they can do unpleasant things. Yet they are not hostile beings, nor are they vital beings: they are personified forces of physical Nature, in the subtle physical.

A world of things could be said....

(silence)

No, I don't know if it's wise to publish this Talk; if too incomplete, it looks like ignorant chatter. And I have always deliberately refused to say things in full since it's so very disconcerting for people, very disconcerting.

But couldn't what you just said be added to the Talk?

 

I can tell you the result: a lot of people will lose all confidence in what they see. Then it becomes impossible to work with them. I can't even teach them to receive what I tell them in silence any more; they instantly start wondering, "Oh, is it Mother or a spirit of falsehood?" They really have no sense of discrimination, you see, they don't KNOW! So if they have to come every time, wondering "Was it you or was it ...?" And when they're in that state they don't listen properly. There's a whole range of work I can't do any more, because they lack the necessary discrimination. So I normally don't say anything.

I really prefer to say nothing.

In fact, practically speaking, that's why these things used to be kept secret: one should get knowledge ONLY when it's accompanied by discrimination enabling one to distinguish the origin of what is seen or received. One without the other makes for a dangerous weapon.

Some people have even been driven insane, through their own constant fear – out of fear they refused all protection. I tell you, only those with a great devotion and a great love are not deceived – a great devotion gives you an immediate sense of things; when your devotion goes like this (shrinking gesture), you know what it means. But your devotion must be sincere and very strong; it's the only protection.

Written things can fall into all sorts of hands and become very dangerous weapons.

No, I prefer not to put these things in the Bulletin; I would rather not speak of occult matters. I understand more and more, now that I am grappling with material difficulties that used to be nonexistent (in the material world, I mean), they didn't exist for me before. The material domain was something happening far below and I didn't bother with it at all. Even when I was practicing occultism in the most material world, I looked on it from above; there was this sort of inner light, this Presence – I was born with it, so naturally I had no problems. But now that I am in the thick of this work, I don't want to speak of that, it's too dangerous.

That teaching should really be given under the seal of secrecy, and given along with the necessary power and discrimination for going through the experiences without danger. And that means the guru's constant personal care and attention.

Certain stages of your development even require the guru's physical presence: you must no longer go into trance unless he is there, sitting beside you. Out of the question! Can't you just imagine me saddled with loads of people! ... It's impossible; I couldn't even do the job properly. No, it's impossible, it would simply mean exposing a lot of people to permanent danger – and I don't want to. So we'll put this Talk aside.

But even without what you've said now....

Then it becomes inanities – it's too incomplete. I'd rather not attract people's attention to these topics too much. There must be other things to publish. Since you can't give the full picture, it becomes sheer inanity. If you wanted to be perfectly complete, you could write volumes (it's a tremendous world of experiences!). And saying just a thing or two makes you look like one of those ninnies who have a few experiences and think they've discovered the world!

March 13, 1962

You're in a bad mood; oh yes, I could see it from far away.

(Satprem voices various complaints, then adds.) And then to top it off, the other day you tell me this Agenda isn't interesting either, that it's not worth keeping. So what am I doing here?

What? What's not worth keeping?

Your Agenda.

My Agenda? But I treasure it!

Oh, you said it didn't interest you....

Me? I said that!

Yes. You sure did!

Then I was lying.

No, obviously not. But you said it didn't interest you and it should be filed away in a corner or I don't know what. So what am I doing here?

You surely misunderstood me. I said it's unpublishable for the time being; that's quite different.

Yes, it's certainly not publishable right now.

And I made a date with you for fifty years from now. I was very serious: I was laughing. When I laugh I am being serious.

No, no, mon petit, it's simply that ... you have swallowed some poison.

No, you even told me that if you happened to go you would leave a note saying it shouldn't be published.

Published? Certainly not in the newspapers. It will be for those interested in the yoga.

Well, that's different.

I was speaking about newspapers and magazines and the outside world. I said, "I don't want the outside world to scoff at something sacred." That's all.

Of course.

And that's all I said. Maybe I didn't put it in exactly those words, but I said it was for those who love me. That's the point. For those who have loved me, well, it's all right, I give it to them; even if they forget me, it will make them remember. But it's my gift to those who continue to love me. And I don't intend to give them a worthless gift.

No, no, I must really have expressed myself very poorly, because it was quite the opposite. I deem this Agenda far too intimate, far too near and dear to me, to be thrown as fodder to a bunch of idiots!

I fully agree! But you said (at least I thought you did) that you would systematically file this Agenda away, that it would never even be at the disposal of those interested in the Work.

No, not that. I said two things. One, if I make it through to the end, I may even let it be shown to the public, for the living proof will be there: "You don't need to scoff – just see where it leads – HERE!" And if the Lord decides it's not for this time, well, then I will give it to those who have loved me, who have lived with me, worked with me, endeavored with me, and who respect what was attempted. It will be my parting gift ... if I go. And I don't intend to.

I certainly hope not!

Well then, is that all right? Are you satisfied? That's what I meant to say. Perhaps I didn't make myself clear.

No, but every so often you say: "Oh, I am not interested."

No, I am never like that. It's just that ... (I may seem to be making fun of things, that's different) but it's precisely when.... Listen, I can tell you: when I am like that, when I seem to be making fun of things, it's because at times it's really dangerous, really dangerous.[67]

I can't stand drama.

I don't want to be tragic. I would rather make fun of everything than be tragic.

Instead of putting on grand airs and saying it's difficult, I make jokes. But it's something else entirely. I don't like drama – I just don't like it. The greatest, loftiest, noblest, most sublime things can be said with simplicity. There's no need to be dramatic, to see things tragically. I don't want to be a victim or a hero or ... or a martyr or anything of the kind!

How well I understand!

You know, I don't like the story of Christ.

Yes, that's....

That's exactly the point.

The crucified god – no thanks.

If he loses his skin, he loses it – so what, it doesn't matter.

You understand?

Oh, yes!

Well, that's it.

That's precisely the situation.

(silence)

Come now, mon petit....

No, if I sometimes seem like I couldn't care less (is that what you meant?), it's simply to avoid looking like a victim or a martyr; I am neither a victim nor a martyr – I detest that.

I understand.

All right, then.

Listen, I told you once – it wasn't just words – and I thought you understood and would remember: everything I write is absolutely dependent on your work, in the sense that if you weren't here I wouldn't write another word – just letters with " I send you my blessings." Period. Not that I don't have time or can't do it, but I don't enjoy it. When we do something together, when we write, I get the feeling it's complete and has a certain quality that makes it useful. When you aren't here to write it, I feel something missing. So if you think it's useless to do this for me, I am sorry – that hurts!

No, of course not!

You do understand?

Because it comes from very high – it's not from here, not at all; it was decided on high, and a long, LONG time ago. Before you came here, I was constantly feeling.... Besides, it hadn't been so long without Sri Aurobindo; when Sri Aurobindo was here I had nothing to say, and if I did speak it was almost by chance. That's all. What had to be said was said by him. And when he left and I began to read his books (which I hadn't read before), I told myself, "Well, what do you know! There was absolutely no need for me to say anything." And I had less and less desire to speak. The minute I met you, I began to get interested. "Ah," I thought, "collaboration! ... Something interesting can be done."

None of this is random chance. It's not that we're taking advantage of circumstances, not at all; it was DECREED.

All my life I have always, always felt I had something to say, but that there had to be another instrument to say it, to give it a kind of perfection of form I myself was unable to give. Because that's not my job. It's not my job.

What I can bring to the world are flashes – something that goes beyond, above and through everything that is presently manifested. But I don't have the patience for the concrete, fixed, material form. I could have been a scholar, I could have been a writer, just as I could have been a painter – and I have never had the patience for any of it. There was always "something" moving on too swiftly, too high and too far.

So I greatly appreciate beautiful written form. I love it. There were periods in my life when I read ever so much – I am quite a library! But it's not my job.

Of course not! You didn't come for that....

I like the form of your expression very, very much. It contains something deep, very supple and polished at the same time – like a lovely, finely chiseled statue. There is profound inspiration and a rhythm, a harmony, which I like very much. I really enjoyed reading your first book[68] – the kind of enjoyment that comes from discovering beautiful forms, an original way of looking at things and expressing them. I appreciated it tremendously. Immediately, spontaneously, I ranked you as a true writer.

There you have it. I didn't think it was necessary to keep telling you all these things. But it's true.

Besides, you're totally wrong – it's not WHAT YOU ARE that makes you grumble; it's just the opposite: you see yourself that way BECAUSE you grumble!

There, enough scolding, let's get to work.

I have my pride, and I want the people who work with me to be content; this gives me more pleasure than anything. Of course, ideally.... But one is never truly satisfied, one will never be truly satisfied; one will always go from aspiration to aspiration. But as a base, one should at least feel a sense of purpose in life. You said the very thing that hurts the most!

(Mother gazes at Satprem for a long time)

Petit ....

April

April 3, 1962

(Since March 16, Mother has been going through a grave ordeal that threatened her physical existence. Even so, she went down to the balcony on the 18th and 20th of March, which were to be the last times. She has not left her room since then. All her conversations with Satprem will henceforth take place in her upstairs room. The latest attack occurred the previous night, April 2-3, and took the form of a total cardiac arrest. Despite her condition, this morning Mother has found the strength to speak. She speaks in English. Her words have been noted down from memory.)

Just between eleven and twelve [last night] I had an experience by which I discovered that there is a group of people – purposely their identity was not revealed to me – wanting to create a kind of religion based on the revelation of Sri Aurobindo. But they have taken only the side of power and force, a certain kind of knowledge and all which could be utilized by Asuric forces. There is a big Asuric being that has succeeded in taking the appearance of Sri Aurobindo. It is only an appearance. This appearance of Sri Aurobindo has declared to me that the work I am doing is not his. It has declared that I have been a traitor to him and to his work and has refused to have anything to do with me.

There is in that group a man whom I must have seen once or twice, who is not with them in spirit, but only in appearance, but without knowledge. He does not know what kind of being it is. And he always hopes to make him accept me, believing it is truly Sri Aurobindo. I saw this being last night. I won't tell you all the details of the vision. It is not necessary. But I must say that I was fully conscious, aware of everything, knowing that there was an Asuric Force there, but not rejecting it, because of the infinity of Sri Aurobindo. I knew that everything is part of him and I do not want to reject anything. I met this being last night three times, even apologized for sins that I have not committed, and in full love and surrender.

I woke up at twelve, remembering everything.

Between 12:15 and two I was with the true Sri Aurobindo in the fullest and sweetest relationship – there also in perfect consciousness, awareness, calm, and equanimity. At two I woke up and noted that just before, Sri Aurobindo himself showed me that still he was not completely master of the physical realm.

I woke up at two and noticed that the heart had been affected by the attack of this group that is wanting to take my life away from this body, because they know that as long as I am in a body upon earth their purpose cannot succeed. Their first attack was many years ago in vision and action. It happened during the night and I spoke of it to no one. I noted the date, and if I can come out of this crisis, I will find it and give it out. They would have liked me dead years ago. It is they who are responsible for these attacks on my life. Until now I am alive because the Lord wants me to be alive, otherwise I would have gone long ago.

I am no more in my body. I have left the Lord to take care of it, if it is to have the Supramental or not. I know, and I have also said, that now is the last fight. If the purpose for which this body is alive is to be fulfilled, that is to say, the first steps towards the Supramental transformation, then it will continue today. It is the Lord's decision. I am not even asking what He has decided. If the body is incapable of bearing the fight, if it has to be dissolved, then humanity will pass through a critical time. What the Asuric Force that has succeeded in taking the appearance of Sri Aurobindo will create is a new religion or thought, perhaps cruel and merciless, in the name of the Supramental Realisation. But everybody must know that it is not true, it is not Sri Aurobindo's teaching, not the truth of his teaching. The truth of Sri Aurobindo is a truth of love and light and mercy. He is good and great and compassionate and divine.... Et c'est Lui qui aura la victoire finale....[69]

Now, individually, if you want to help, you have only to pray. What the Lord wants will be done. Whatever He wills, He will do with this body, which is a poor thing.

(Sometime later, when the communication was read to her.)

The fight is within the body.

It can't go on. They must be defeated or else this body is defeated.... All depends on what the Lord decides....

It is the battlefield. How far it can resist I don't know. After all, it depends on Him. He knows if the time has come or not, the time for the beginning of the Victory – then the body will survive. If not, in any case, my love and consciousness will be there.

April 13, 1962

(After a perilous month, Mother has suddenly had the formidable, decisive experience, and she gives her first message. She is lying on her bed in the room upstairs, and has become quite thin. It is around ten in the morning. Her voice has greatly changed. Schoolchildren can be heard playing in the distance.)

Night of April 12-13.[70]

Suddenly in the night I woke up with the full awareness of what we could call the Yoga of the world. The Supreme Love was manifesting through big pulsations, and each pulsation was bringing the world further in its manifestation. It was the formidable pulsations of the eternal, stupendous Love, only Love: each pulsation of the Love was carrying the universe further in its manifestation.

And the certitude that what is to be done is done and the Supramental Manifestation is realized.

Everything was Personal, nothing was individual.

This was going on and on and on and on....

The certitude that what is to be done is DONE.

All the results of the Falsehood had disappeared: Death was an illusion, Sickness was an illusion, Ignorance was an illusion – something that had no reality, no existence.... Only Love, and Love, and Love, and Love – immense, formidable, stupendous, carrying everything.

And how, how to express in the world? It was like an impossibility, because of the contradiction.... But then it came: "You have accepted that this world should know the Supramental Truth ... and it will be expressed totally, integrally." Yes, yes....

And the thing is DONE.

(long silence)

The individual consciousness came back, just the sense of a limitation, limitation of pain; without that, no individual.[71]

And we set off again on the way, certain of the Victory.

The heavens are ringing with chants of Victory!

Truth alone exists; Truth alone shall manifest. Onward! ... Onward!

Gloire à Toi, Seigneur, Triomphateur suprême![72]

(silence)

And now, to work.

Patience ... endurance ... perfect equanimity. And absolute faith.

(silence)

Compared to the experience, whatever I say is nothing, nothing, nothing but words.

And our consciousness is the same, absolutely the same as the Lord's. There was no difference, no difference at all....

We are That, we are That, we are That.

(silence)

Later on, I will explain it more clearly. The instrument is not yet ready.

It is only the beginning.[73]

***

Mother later added:

The experience lasted at least four hours. There are many things I will speak of later.

@

 

April 20, 1962

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

April 20, 1962

Sweet Mother,

1) I have received a letter from the publisher, who reiterates his requests for alterations. I am replying to him this very day that I will write another book. I have no idea how I am going to write the book!

2) I have finished the work you gave me. I will bring it to you when you wish, but there is no hurry at all – rest.

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

April 28, 1962

(Letter from Mother to Satprem)

April 28, 1962

Satprem, my dear child,

It would be good to get moving again on the book.

These past few days I have started thinking about the August Bulletin. In a few days I will probably be able to start working. In that case, I could ask you to come in the morning and you could read me whatever you have ready.

We will do the aphorisms in June; it will probably be easier then. Tell me if you have any plans for work (your work); we will arrange things accordingly.

You can bring me the work you have finished on the first day you come.

With you always.

Signed: Mother

 

Later on, there will be many things to tell for the Agenda.

@

May

May 8, 1962

(Note to Mother from Satprem)

Among other things, X writes:

1) That he will make a special four-day puja here, in order to help.

2) That he has "understood": it has come to his [inner] knowledge that "the present period is terrible."

What am I to tell him or give him to understand when I meet him at the station?

(Mother's reply overleaf)

If he is not yet aware of it, he should probably be informed of the message that was taped.

You can tell him that the body is much better, but that I still have to take a great deal of care and precaution. I don't come down from my room, which has been transformed into a sickroom, and it will be impossible for me to see him.

After you see him, let me know what happened. If possible, I will ask you to come at ten o'clock to give me the details.

Signed: Mother

May 13, 1962

(This is the first conversation with Mother in two months. She is still reclining on her chaise longue. She looks quite pale and fragile, almost translucent. She enlarges upon the experience she had a month earlier, on April 13. The following text was not taped but noted down from memory and then read out to Mother.)

I was at the Origin – I WAS the Origin. For more than two hours, consciously, here on this bed, I was the Origin. And it was like gusts – like great gusts ending in explosions. And each one of these gusts was a span of the universe.

It was Love in its supreme essence – which has nothing to do with what people normally understand by that word.

And each gust of this essence of Love was dividing and spreading out ... but they weren't forces, it was far beyond the realm of forces. The universe as we know it no longer existed; it was a sort of bizarre illusion, bearing no relation to THAT. There was only the truth of the universe, with those great gusts of color – they were colored – great gusts colored with something that is the essence of color.

It was stupendous. I lived more than two hours like that, consciously.

And then a Voice was explaining everything to me (not exactly a Voice, but something that was Sri Aurobindo's origin, like the most recent gust from the Origin). As the experience unfolded, this Voice explained each gust to me, each span of the universe; and then it explained how it all became like this (Mother makes a gesture of reversal): the distortion of the universe. And I was wondering how it was possible, with that Consciousness, that supreme Consciousness, to relate to the present, distorted universe. How to make the connection without losing that Consciousness? A relationship between the two seemed impossible. And that's when that sort of Voice reminded me of my promise, that I had promised to do the Work on earth and it would be done. "I promised to do the Work and it will be done."

Then began the process of descent,[74] and the Voice was explaining it to me – I lived through it all in detail, and it wasn't pleasant. It took an hour and a half to change from that true Consciousness to the individual consciousness. Because throughout the experience this present individuality no longer existed, this body no longer existed, there were no more limits, I was no longer here – what was here was THE PERSON. An hour and a half was needed to return to the body-consciousness (not the physical consciousness but the body-consciousness), to the individual body-consciousness.

The first sign of the return to individuality was a prick of pain, a tiny point (Mother holds between her fingers a minuscule point in the space of her being). Yes, because I have a sore, a sore in a rather awkward place, and it hurts[75] (Mother laughs). So I felt the pain: it was the sign of individuality coming back. Other than that, there was nothing any more – no body, no individual, no limits. But it's strange, I have made a strange discovery[76]: I used to think it was the individual (Mother touches her body) who experienced pain and disabilities and all the misfortunes of human life; well, I perceived that what experiences misfortunes is not the individual not my body, but that each misfortune, each pain, each disability has its own individuality as it were, and each one represents a battle.

And my body is a world of battles.

It is the battlefield.

***

(When this text was read to Mother, she gave the following modification.)

I would prefer a word other than "descent," because there was no sensation or notion of descent – none at all.... It could be called the process of materialization or individualization – "transformation of consciousness" would be more exact. It is the process of changing from the true Consciousness to the distorted consciousness – that's it exactly.

You say it yourself: the transition from the true Consciousness to ordinary consciousness.

That's it exactly. "Descent" doesn't convey the actual sensation – there was no sensation of descent. None. Neither of ascent nor descent. None at all. Those creative gusts had no POSITION in relation to the creation; it was.... There was ONLY THAT. THAT ALONE existed. Nothing else.

And everything happened within That.

Really, it was.... There was neither high nor low nor within nor without – none of those existed any more. There was only THAT.

It was ... "something" expressing itself, manifesting itself through these gusts. Something that was EVERYTHING. There was nothing else, there was really nothing but THAT. So to speak of high, low, descent won't do at all.

If you like, we could put "the process of return"....

Of return to the body-consciousness. Or of materialization.

***

(A bit later, regarding the Talk of August 22, 1956, to be published in the next Bulletin, in which Mother says: "When you are in a condition to receive it, you receive from the Divine the TOTALITY of the relationship you are CAPABLE of having; it is neither a share nor a part nor a repetition, but exclusively and uniquely the relationship each one is capable of having with the Divine. Thus, from the psychological point of view, YOU ALONE have this direct relationship with the Divine." Mother then adds, in a voice that seems to come from far, far away:)

One is all alone with the Supreme.

@

 

May 15, 1962

(During the night of April 3, Mother had encountered an asuric being who had managed to assume Sri Aurobindo's appearance, as well as a group of people wanting to found a Nietzschean-type religion. Following this encounter, a heart attack had gravely endangered Mother's life. But this was not the first such meeting.)

I had said [on April 3] I would find the date of my first encounter with that fake Sri Aurobindo. What I found was the date of another experience that followed that encounter by perhaps three or four weeks, so that pins it down (Mother holds up an old desk-calendar page on which she had written.)

"Night of July 24-25, '59: first penetration of the supramental force into the body. Sri Aurobindo alive in a concrete and permanent subtle physical body."

I told you about that experience of meeting Sri Aurobindo (the true Sri Aurobindo) in the subtle physical. This is the exact date – early that morning I jotted it down on this paper. And it gives me the approximate date of the other vision: that is, I must have had my first experience with those people somewhere around the end of June or the beginning of July, 1959.

Did I tell you about it? ... It was a sort of vision that I took for a beginning of work on the subconscient. I had come to a place where Sri Aurobindo was staying and found him closeted in his room. There was a sort of large hall, an immense hall with rooms opening onto it, and his apartment was off to one side (gesture). I asked to see him. I was told it wasn't possible and I had to wait. I was astonished. Then certain things happened in the hall concerning A. and M. (rather interesting things, but concerning them personally). And at the same time, I was waiting. When it was all over, I asked once again to go into the room. Then through the doorway I saw ... I saw a tall Sri Aurobindo – much taller than he actually was – strong but rather thin, thin in a way that ... not the way he really was – it was rather a gauntness, very harsh, very cold; and he was somewhat darker than he used to be. I saw him there, walking up and down; and when he was told I was asking to see him, I saw him in the distance saying, "No, I don't want to see her. I won't acknowledge her and I don't want anything to do with her – she has betrayed me." Something like that (I couldn't hear the actual words, but the gestures were plain enough). Well, that was the very first time – nothing of the kind had ever occurred before.

And I immediately felt that it was the expression of certain people's thoughts. During the war there was a whole clique (I know their names and all the details) who said I had influenced Sri Aurobindo, made him deviate from his nationalist path and turn towards the Allies; they considered me to have ruined his life, his consciousness, his work – everything, you understand.[77]

And I was seeing the very IMAGE of that in this vision. A person I won't name (but I spoke to him afterwards; he's still here) came out of the room to tell me all this. In my vision I told him two things (it seems very distant now – it was back in '59 – and I no longer recall if I told him one thing after the other or both together). First of all, I protested against everything that fake Sri Aurobindo was saying about me, and at the same time I was going towards the person coming out of the room (it's someone living here, you know, who is, who was quite close to Sri Aurobindo. Apparently he was under the influence of certain doubting thoughts, certain doubts, that's why he was there). I called him by name and spoke to him in English: "But surely we have had a true spiritual relationship, a true union! ..." Immediately he melted and said yes, and rushed headlong into my arms. In other words, that was his conversion, and that's why I spoke to him about it afterwards; I didn't tell him about the experience but I spoke of the doubt that was in him. It was truly a beginning of conversion in one part of his being, and for that reason I won't name him. And along with this, in answer to what that fake Sri Aurobindo was saying, I said forcefully (also in English): "This means the negation of all spiritual experience! " And immediately the whole scene, the whole construction, everything – poof! Vanished, dissolved. The Force swept it all away.

Later, when I had that second vision [April 3, 1962], I saw that the same being was behind this would-be Sri Aurobindo (and with a whole group organized around him – people, ceremonies and so on). So from that I concluded that the thing had been developing. But when I first encountered those people [in 1959] it was merely something in the Subconscient and the effect was only psychological (an hour or two was enough to sort things out and put them in order). It didn't affect my health. But this time....

So it was in '59 that I first saw them, and it must have been the end of June or the beginning of July. This note [the desk-calendar page] is what gave me the clue, because I know that the other experience [of Sri Aurobindo in the subtle physical] came a few weeks later.

You say there was a whole group organized around that asuric being – people, ceremonies....

Ceremonies?

You can take that out – it's not that sort of thing; it was a whole ORGANIZATION.

But what I would like to ask is whether those people exist in the subtle physical or in our physical world....

No, no – my visions are in the subtle physical, but those people exist here on earth, although I don't know who they are.... As I said, I knew only one of them. But it's certain that a physical organization corresponding to these visions does exist. I don't know the details – they just haven't been given to me. But it corresponds to a group of PHYSICAL people.

Powerful?

I don't know. I don't know them.

There is certainly at least one Tantric among them – and a highly skilled Tantric, someone who knows his business. That, yes – all the signs are there!

But how powerful are they outwardly?... The people around that fellow [the fake Sri Aurobindo], who leveled all those reproaches at me, used to be in the Ashram – they have since left. They were quite real. But the ones in the last group [in the most recent vision], I don't know – I don't know them physically, so I can't say.

One day, perhaps, I'll find out.

***

(Satprem then reads to Mother his notes from the May 13 conversation and asks for further details on the April 13 experience:)

About that promise you received....

I didn't receive a promise – this Voice made me remember a promise I had made. I was saying to myself, "How to connect this true Consciousness to the other one – it's impossible! " And just then I seemed to hear ... not Sri Aurobindo exactly, because then you immediately think of a particular body, but that sort of Voice saying to me, "Your promise. You said you would do the Work." So that's when I said, "Yes, I shall do the Work." And from that moment on the process of materialization began, the entire transition from the true Consciousness to the ordinary consciousness.

I didn't receive a promise, but a reminder of the promise I had made.

And was that what allowed you to say, "The thing is done"?

No – it was the experience.

The experience. When.... I haven't told you this part.

(long silence)

When I was those gusts, those gusts of Love.... When I was conscious of the last one, the one organized outwardly, as it were, by Sri Aurobindo – materializing as the avatar Sri Aurobindo – then came the absolute certainty that the thing was done, that it was decreed.

And the moment I became aware that it was decreed, I thought, "But how can THAT be translated into that? How can the two be joined?" That was when the words came: "You promised to do it, therefore you will do it"; and slowly the transition began, as if I were again being sent back to do it. Yes, as if ... "You promised to do it and you will do it"; well, that's what I meant by a promise. And I came back towards this body to do it.

I said [on April 3] the body was the battlefield, that the battle was being waged IN this body. And then in that experience [of April 13] I was sent back into the body, because the thing – that last creative gust – had to be realized through this body.

(silence)

The experiences are going on....

For instance, I am walking a little now, with someone's assistance, to get the body used to it again. And when I started walking, I became aware of a rather peculiar state ... I might describe it as: what gives me the illusion of a body (Mother laughs).... I entrust it to the person I walk with. In other words, it's not my responsibility: the other person has to make sure it doesn't fall, doesn't bump into anything – you see what I mean. And the consciousness is a limitless consciousness, like a material equivalent or expression of these gusts – it's like waves, but waves with no .... Not separate waves, but a MOVEMENT of waves; a movement of what might be called material, corporeal waves, as vast as the earth, but not ... not round, not flat.... Something giving a great sense of infinity but moving in waves. And this wave movement is the movement of life. And the consciousness (the body-consciousness, I suppose) floats along in this, with a sensation of eternal peace.... But it's not an expanse – that's not the word for it. It is a limitless movement, with a very harmonious and very tranquil rhythm, very vast, very calm. And this movement is life itself.

I walk around the room, and that is what is walking.

And it is very silent – there is no thought; there is barely, barely the ability to observe.... And all kinds of movements, an infinity of movements and vibrations of something that could be the essence of thoughts, move there, rhythmically, in a movement of waves without beginning or end, with a condensation like this (gesture from above down), with a condensation like that (horizontal gesture), and a movement of expansion (gesture like a pulsating ocean). That is, a sort of contraction, concentration, and then expansion, diffusion.[78]

Yesterday I had the total experience – I let myself go completely. It lasted something like forty minutes as I walked around the room.

And actually, apart from the fact of suffering (you know, an ache here, an ache there, a pain here, a pain there, giving the sense of bodily individuality), apart from that, that great undulating movement of life is my normal consciousness. Meaning that I ... what I call Me (gesture high above), my consciousness, is completely outside the body. That's what the consciousness of the body is (what I've just been describing), with only points of pain as reminders of what a body usually is: an ache here, an ache there, another ache here.... That's what it's like. And this pain has a small and extremely limited life; it's not general, it's not a body that suffers: it is suffering that suffers. It's a point, a point of pain – a scratch here, a sore there, things like that. That's what is individual and suffers – it's not the body that has a sore, you understand.

It is difficult to express.

But that's my experience. Yesterday I observed it with special care, to be able to tell you about it.

But are you making a distinction between the body-consciousness and the physical consciousness?...

Oh yes! The physical consciousness is something very complex; it includes the whole physical, conscious world.

My physical consciousness has been universalized for a long, long time, it encompasses all terrestrial movements[79]; but the body is limited solely to this small concentration of substance (Mother touches her body) – that's what I call the body-consciousness.

And when I said, "I have left the body,"[80] it certainly didn't mean I have left the physical consciousness – my overall contact with the terrestrial world has remained the same. It concerns only the purely bodily aspect, the specific concretization or concentration of substance giving each of us a different body – a different APPEARANCE.

And a rather illusory appearance, besides. As soon as you rise to a certain height (I saw it quite clearly during that progressive reconcretization[81]), this appearance quickly loses its reality. Our external appearance is very, very illusory. Our particular form (this one's form, that one's form), the form we see with our physical eyes is very superficial, you know. From the vital world onwards, it's completely different.

Well.... I think that's all I can say for today.

***

 

(Somewhat later, Mother gives Satprem the old desk-calendar page on which she had noted the experience of July 24-25, 1959 – the first meeting with Sri Aurobindo in the subtle physical – along with another sheet of paper on which she had written: "I am only realizing what He has conceived. I am only the protagonist and the continuator of His work."[82] Mother explains.)

Some people wanted to get me nominated for the Nobel peace prize; I was asked for a statement and that's what I wrote. I wanted to say that it wasn't this person who did things – it was all Sri Aurobindo.

They had wanted to give the Nobel prize to Sri Aurobindo, but he left the year before the decision was to be made. And as they don't give the prize to "dead" people, he never got it. Then they wanted to transfer it to me, and I wrote this note, because the last thing I want is name and fame. That's all there was to it. They didn't give a peace prize that year.

I believe the whole affair is now buried and forgotten.

***

(Mother then starts working on the next Bulletin. She asks Satprem to speak slowly and distinctly:)

There's a sort of universal cloud between me and other people – I seem to see through a veil and hear through a kind of cloud. That's why I ask people to be very clear.

***

NOTE

(On the wave movement Mother lived in her body:)

Once again, with Mother, we find ourselves deep into modern physics. All theories of physics attempting to describe the structure of our universe and the composition of matter, whether they emanate from "official" scientific laboratories or from the work of independent researchers, point to the wavelike or sinusoidal movement as the constituent and dynamic foundation of physical reality. Indeed, whether in electromagnetic or gravitational fields, or in atomic interactions, everything, from the heart of the atom to the farthest reaches of the universe, moves or is propagated as "waves." With striking succinctness Mother says, "The wave movement is the movement of life."

"... A movement of waves without beginning or end, with a condensation like this (gesture from above down), with a condensation like that (horizontal gesture) ...." We cannot fail to be reminded of the electromagnetic field with its two perpendicular components, the electric and magnetic fields, which are propagated along an infinite sinusoidal wave. And then again: "A movement of expansion ... a sort of contraction, concentration, and then expansion, diffusion." Unmistakably, this is an exact description of the propagation in space of a sinusoidal wave.

Striking though the parallel may be, there is still a fundamental difference between these mathematical concepts and Mother's experience. In the first case, we are dealing with conceptual instruments used by the human mind to better explain and master the world: no one has actually seen electromagnetic waves – not to speak of gravitational ones! They are images, convenient "models," invisible and nonexistent in themselves. They exist only through their effects: a beam of sunlight, which is an electromagnetic wave, strikes our retina and enables us to distinguish a flower; by means of gravitational waves, Newton's apple falls from the tree – but no one has lived the reality of those waves. The way Mother grasps reality, on the contrary, is first and foremost through lived experience. She is the movement, she is the wave: "I walk around the room, and that is what is walking." Here we touch upon a stupendous mystery and a formidable question: How is it possible for a material and cellular body to be the wave that at once constitutes and carries the worlds along in its infinite undulating movement and governs the existence of atoms and galaxies? How is it possible to be an infinite and ubiquitous electromagnetic wave while remaining within the narrow confines of a human body?

In being THAT, it might be said, Mother thus resolves the famous question of the "unified-field theory," the theory to which Einstein devoted the last years of his life in vain, that would describe the movements of both planets and atoms in a single mathematical equation. Mother's body-consciousness is one with the movement of the universe, Mother lives the "unified-field theory" in her body. In so doing she opens up to us not merely one more physical theory, but the very path to a new species on earth, a species that will physically and materially live on the scale of the universe. The posthuman species might not simply be one with a few organs more or less, but rather one capable of being at every point in the universe. A sort of material ubiquity. It may not be so much a "new" as an ubiquitous species, a species that embraces everything, from the blade of grass under our feet to the "far" galaxies. A multifarious, undulating existence. A resume or epitome of evolution, really, which at the end of its course again becomes each point and each species and each movement of its own evolution.

May 18, 1962

The other day you said, "What I call Me high above, my consciousness, is completely outside the body." And on April 3, you also said something that gave me a kind of jolt: "I am no more in this body." Why?... Have you really left this body?

(very long silence)

How can I explain it?..

(long silence)

I don't know how to explain it....

I could almost tell it as a joke: for years and years I felt my consciousness to be outside my body – I always used to say it was there (gesture above the head), and not in my body. But from the time of that first experience [April 3], when the doctor said the heart had been physically affected and would stop working if I wasn't careful, from that moment on I felt ... I felt that my body was outside me! It sounds like a joke, but that's how it is.

So to be understood I said, "I am no more in my body." But it isn't that. I hadn't been in my body, my consciousness had been outside my body, for quite a long time! But there was a kind of connection, you know, something that made me feel it as "my body." (If I spoke carelessly, I could now say "what used to be my body," although I know well enough it's still alive!). Well, from April 3 on, when everyone claimed I was so sick and I was forbidden to get out of bed, I had the impression that what was called my body was now outside me.

There was a relation, I kept a link with it, but it took some days to get established (I don't know how many, because for a long time I couldn't keep track of anything). After some days (say ten days, twenty days, I don't know), the will began to function, the body was again under the control of the will. But that didn't happen right away – for some days, the will that deals with the body was annulled (I was entirely conscious and alive, but not in my body). The body was merely something moved around by the people looking after me. Not that it was separate, but I couldn't even say, "it's a body" – it wasn't anything any more! Something.... Having undergone so much preparation, the universalization of the body-consciousness and all that, the experience didn't even seem strange to me (in fact, it was certainly the result of all that preparation). The body was ... "something" like a mass of substance being driven by the will of the three people looking after it. Not that I was unaware of it but.... I wasn't much concerned with it, to tell the truth; but as far as my attention was turned to it, it was a corporeal mass being moved around by a few wills. The supreme Will was in full agreement; the body had been entrusted, in a way (I don't know how to express this) ... yes, it was like something entrusted, and I was simply looking on – I watched it all for I don't know how many days, with hardly any interest.

The one really concrete link was ... pain. That's how the contact was kept.

When you said, "I am no more in this body," I thought that because of the necessities of the Work some part of you had withdrawn.

Oh, no! Nothing withdrew – it had already withdrawn a long time ago. The consciousness wasn't at all centered in the body. When I said "I," for instance, it NEVER occurred to me that "I" was this (Mother points to her body). I, the I who spoke, was always a will ENTIRELY independent of the body, entirely independent.

But there has been a strange phenomenon [since April 3].... Before, I used to say, "I am outside my body." It was always "I am outside my body." But this time, the body seemed to have been consigned or entrusted – more like entrusted....

It has gradually come back, in the sense that actively.... No, I can't even say that – it's not true. What has come back is the increasingly precise memory of how I had organized the life of this body, the whole formation I had made, down to the smallest details – for the things I was using, how I was making use of them, how I had organized all the objects around the body, all that. What has come back is the memory – is it memory? The awareness of all that has returned, as if I were putting the two back into contact. And so, instead of the body being left totally in the hands of those around me, the formation I had made is coming back, with certain changes, certain improvements and simplifications (but mind you, I had neither the intention nor the will to change anything – those things are simply coming back into the consciousness like that, with certain changes made). In short, it's a kind of conscious formation recrystallizing around this body.

And I have the perception ... a sensation, really, the sensation of ... something not at all me, but entrusted to me. More and more now, there is the feeling of something being entrusted to me in the universal organization for a definite purpose. That's really the sensation I have now (the mind is very calm, so it's difficult to express – I don't "think" all these things, they are more like perceptions). And it's not the usual kind of sensation: the ONLY (I insist on this), the ONLY sensation that remains in the old way is physical pain. And really, those points of pain ... they seem like the SYMBOLIC POINTS of what remains of the old consciousness.

Pain is the one thing I sense the way I used to. Food, for instance, taste, smell, vision, hearing – all that's completely changed. They belong to another rhythm. And this condition has come progressively, like a crystallization of something behind the senses that doesn't come from here – in taste, smell, vision, hearing, touch.... Except this one point.... Even the sense of touch is different now – but PAIN ....

Pain is the old world.

It's quite odd, you know; pain is like the symbolic (and rather too concrete!) sign of life in the Ignorance.

And even there I have had an instant (but it was like a flash – the flash of a new experience), an instant when pain disappeared into something else. It has happened three or four times. The pain suddenly became ... something completely different (not a pleasant sensation, not that at all): another state of consciousness.

If that state remained, I would truly be free of the world as it is.

Nonetheless, people can still hear me, can't they? And I can still see, but in a peculiar way – a very peculiar way. At times I see with greater precision than ever before (generally, as I told you the other day, I seem to see from behind a veil; that's constant). I hear things that way too. Certain sounds.... On one occasion I noticed a sound, a seemingly imperceptible sound, coming from about a hundred yards away, and it seemed to be right here. All this has changed – I mean the whole way the organs function. Have the organs themselves changed, or is it their functioning? I don't know. But they all obey another law – absolutely.

And I have the definite impression that that so-called illness was the external and ILLUSORY form of an indispensable process of transformation; without that so-called illness there could be no transformation – it is not an illness, I KNOW it: when people speak of "illness," something in me laughs and says, "What a bunch of geese!"

It is not an illness.

A disengagement?

Perhaps.

Perhaps.

It was a bit violent! (Mother laughs) ... And yet not so violent, because.... There's something I have never told anyone, but when the doctor was called.... I was constantly fainting, you know: I would take a step and – plop! So the doctor was called and they began watching over me (everything was supposedly going wrong, all the organs, everything breaking down), and he declared I was sick and wasn't to stir from my bed (for a while I wasn't even supposed to talk!).... Well, at that point, something (not exactly what you would call my consciousness; it was far, far more eternal than my consciousness – my consciousness is the consciousness of one form of the Manifestation – well, it was far more than that, beyond that) ... something said YES. And if "That" had not agreed, I could have gone on living almost as usual. "That" decreed, "That" decided – I have never said anything about it.

Otherwise, you know, I would not have consented. If "That" had not agreed, I would have said to my body, "Go on, keep going, move" – and it would have gone on. It stopped because "That" said yes. And then I understood that that whole so-called illness was necessary for the Work. So I let myself go. And then what I told you about happened: this body was consigned to the care of three people, who looked after it marvelously, by the way – really, it filled me with constant admiration – a selflessness, a care ... oh, it was wonderful! I was saying to the Lord the whole time, "Truly, Lord, You have arranged all the material conditions in an absolutely marvelous, incredible way, bringing together whatever is necessary, and placing around me people beyond all praise." For at least two weeks they had a hard time of it – quite hard. The body was a wreck, you know! (Mother laughs) They had to think of everything, decide everything, take care of everything. And they looked after it very, very well – really very well.

It's a wonderful story, seen as I see it. And I have observed it very carefully: it isn't an ordinary story seen with an exceptional knowledge, but a true Knowledge and a true Consciousness witnessing an exceptional story. Those three people may not be aware of how utterly exceptional it is, but that's simply because their consciousness is not sufficiently awake. But they too have been, and continue to be, exceptional.

The whole story is a fairy tale.

And the only concrete thing left in this world – this world of illusion – is pain. It seems to me the very essence of Falsehood.

But what feels it feels it very concretely! ... I clearly see it's false, but that doesn't stop my body from feeling it – and there is a reason: it is the battlefield.

I have even been forbidden to utilize my knowledge, power and force to annul the pain in the way I used to (and I used to do it very well). That has been totally forbidden. But I have seen that something else is in sight. Something else is in the making.... It can't be called a miracle because it's not a miracle, but it's something wonderful – the unknown.... When will it come? How will it come? I don't know.

But it's interesting.

(silence)

Something really radical has happened, in the sense that.... I tried once just to see if I could do it (I had wisely been told not to try) and I didn't succeed: I can't go back to the old way of relating to my body. It's impossible.

What is coming back is the way "objects" – the whole mass of material substance making up this body's environment – had been organized; that's what is coming back, with some small changes (none of this comes through the head; the head has nothing to do with it). It is a sort of formation reconcretizing itself for life's outer organization.

The old way of relating no longer exists at all.

(silence)

It can truly be said that for a short while the body went out of my consciousness completely. I didn't leave my body; the body left the consciousness.

There you have it.

I hope you can cope with this – it's the first time I have tried to explain it. In fact, it's the first time I am looking at it. And it's interesting. An interesting phenomenon.

May 22, 1962

(The beginning of this conversation, unfortunately not kept, dealt with certain instances of human ugliness. The topic, in fact, was Satprem's break with X who had been his guru for the past few years. The reasons for this rupture may one day be told, but it should be stressed right now that the fault did not really lie with X, whom Satprem continued to respect, but with a group of schemers at the Ashram who fastened onto X in the hope of god knows what "powers." It is perhaps just as well that the human "ugliness" here in question has vanished from Satprem's records, for – although it did come up again immediately after Mother's departure – it concerned only the Ashram disciples. All the details and all Mother's reflections on the subject have thus been lost, with the exception of this last fragment:)

What a world!

Oh! You can't imagine the discoveries I have made since I withdrew and supposedly have no more dealings with the outside....

I was already more than eighty, and had seen nearly every country in the world and every possible kind of person – and, well, I made some more discoveries, and I am making still more.

There's such a wonderful passage in The Synthesis of Yoga ("The Yoga of Self-Perfection"), where he mentions four things (you surely remember this), four things the disciple needs (I have just translated it). I knew this, of course, but the passage is especially timely now – particularly after that last experience, which is a jolt for a physical being. The fourth thing is wonderful. The first three we know: equality, peace and (a hard one) a spiritual ease in all circumstances. He added the word "spiritual" so people wouldn't think only of material ease – it's an ease in feelings, in sensations, in everything. But when you have a lot of pain it's obviously not so easy! When physical pain keeps you from sleeping and eating, when you are plagued by constant physical pain – or rather by a whole host of physical pains! – well, that bodily "ease" becomes difficult. It's the one thing that has seemed difficult to me; but anyway, it's being investigated – I think it was sent for me to investigate.

But the last thing he mentions is a marvel – the joy and laughter of the soul. And it's so true, so true! Always, all the time, no matter what happens, even when this body is in dreadful pain, the soul is laughing joyously within. Always, always, always.

And suddenly, when I let myself go.... You know, I have been advised (by the Lord!) to relax, relax, relax. He doesn't want action to result from the tension of an individual will; so relax – all right, relax. But when you "relax" and then suddenly get a horrible pain, you say "Hey!" – but at the same time I laugh! What the people around me must think.... I am crying and laughing! (Mother laughs.)

Well....

Undated (end of May) 1962

(Letter from Mother to Satprem regarding his difficulties with X)

Wednesday

Satprem, mon cher petit,

......

Rise above, into the Light, where everything can be seen with a calm, eternal smile – there you will be in my constant and tender company.

Signed: Mother

@

May 24, 1962

73 – When Wisdom comes, her first lesson is, "There is no such thing as knowledge; there are only aperçus of the Infinite Deity."

Very good.

No need for questions.

74 – Practical knowledge is a different thing; that is real and serviceable, but it is never complete. Therefore to systematise and codify it is necessary but fatal.

It is real within its own realm – only within its own realm.

I have looked at this very, very often. There was even a time when I thought that if one could get a total, complete and perfect knowledge of the whole working of physical Nature as we perceive it in the world of Ignorance, then this might be a means to rediscover or reattain the Truth of things. After my last experience [of April 13] I can no longer think this way.

I don't know if I am making myself clear.... I thought for a time, a very long time, that if Science went to its furthest possible limits (if this is conceivable), it would join up with true Knowledge. In the study of the composition of matter, for example – by pressing the investigation further and further on – a point would be reached where the two would meet. But when I had that experience of passing from the eternal Truth-Consciousness to the consciousness of the individualized world,[83] well ... it appeared impossible to me. And if you ask me now, I think that this possibility of Science pushed to its extreme limits joining up with true Knowledge, and this impossibility of any true conscious connection with the material world are both incorrect. There is something else.

And more and more these days, I find myself facing the whole problem as if I had never seen it before.

Both paths may be leading towards a third point, and that third point is what I am at present ... not exactly studying; I am rather in quest of it – the point where the two paths merge into a third that would be the TRUE thing.

But in any case, if it could be absolutely total (there's an "if" here), objective, scientific knowledge pushed to its extreme limits would certainly bring you to the threshold. That's what Sri Aurobindo means. But he also says it's fatal, because all those who went in for that knowledge believed in it as an absolute truth, thus closing the door to the other approach. In this respect it is fatal.

From my own experience, though, I could say to all those who believe EXCLUSIVELY in the spiritual approach, the approach through inner experience, that this – at least if it's exclusive – is equally fatal. For it reveals to them ONE aspect, ONE truth of the Whole – but not THE Whole. The other side seems just as indispensable to me, for when I was so utterly in that supreme Realization, this other falsified, outer realization was undeniably just a distortion (and probably accidental) of something EQUALLY TRUE.

This "something" is what we are seeking. And perhaps not merely seeking – we may be taking part in the MAKING of it.

We are being made use of in the manifestation of this "something."

Something none can yet imagine, for so far it hasn't come into being. It is an expression yet to come.

That is all I can say.

(silence)

This is exactly the state of consciousness I am living in now. It's as if I were facing the same eternal problem but ... from a NEW POSITION.

These positions – the spiritual and the "materialist" (if you can call it that) positions – which consider themselves exclusive (exclusive and unique, and so each one denies the other's value in the name of Truth) are inadequate, not only because neither one will accept the other, but because even accepting and uniting them both won't solve the problem. Something else is needed, a third position that isn't the result of these two but something still to be discovered, which will probably open the door to total Knowledge.

Well, that's where I stand.

More I can't say – that's as far as I have come.

One might wonder how to participate practically in this....

This discovery?

That.... Ultimately, it's always the same thing. It's always the same: realize your own being, enter into conscious contact with the supreme Truth of your own being, in WHATEVER form, by WHATEVER path (that's totally irrelevant); it's the only way. We each carry a truth within ourselves, and we must unite with that truth; we must live that truth. And the path we have to follow to realize and unite with this truth is the very path that will lead us as near as we can possibly come to Knowledge. I mean the two are absolutely one: the personal realization and Knowledge.

Who knows? Perhaps the very multiplicity of approaches will yield the Secret – the Secret that will open the door.

I don't think any single individual on earth (as it is now) no matter how great he may be, no matter how eternal his consciousness and origin, can all by himself change and realize.... Change the world, change the creation as it is, and realize that higher Truth, the Truth that will be a new world – a truer, if not absolutely true, world. A certain number of individuals (until now they seem to have come in succession, in time, but they might also come as a collectivity, in space) would seem indispensable for this Truth to be concretized and realized.

On a practical level, I am sure of it.

In other words, no matter how great he may be, no matter how conscious, how powerful, ONE avatar all alone cannot realize the supramental life on earth. Either a group in time, a number of individuals staggered over a certain period of time, or a group spread out over a certain space – or maybe both – is indispensable for this Realization. I am convinced of it.

The individual can give the initial impulse, point out the path, WALK the path himself (I mean show the path by realizing it) ... but he can't bring the work to fulfillment. The fulfillment of the work depends on certain collective laws that are the expression of a particular aspect of the Eternal and Infinite – naturally, it's all one and the same Being! There aren't different individuals and personalities, it's all one and the same Being. But the same Being expressing itself in a particular way that for us translates as a group or a collectivity.

Well, then – any other questions on this?

I would like to ask you in what way your vision has changed since the experience of April 13 – what exactly is the difference?

I repeat.

For a very long time it had seemed to me that a perfect union between the scientific approach pushed to its extreme and the spiritual approach pushed to its extreme, to its utmost realization, a merging of the two would naturally lead to the Truth we seek, the total Truth. But with the two experiences I have had, the experience of the outer life (with universalization, impersonalization – all the yogic experiences you can have in a material body) and the experience of total and perfect union with the Origin ... now that I've had those two experiences and something has happened – something I can't yet describe – I know that knowing and uniting the two approaches is not enough; they open out on a third thing, and that third thing is what is ... in the making. The third thing is what can lead to the Realization, to the Truth we seek.

Is it clear this time?

I actually had something else in mind....

Oh! What?

In what way has your vision of the PHYSICAL world changed since that experience [of April 13]?

I can't give you more than an approximation of that awareness.

(silence)

Through yoga I had come to a sort of relationship with the material world based on the notion of the fourth dimension (of the innumerable inner dimensions opened up by yoga) and on the utilization of this attitude and state of consciousness. Using this sense of inner dimensions, and through perfecting the consciousness of the inner dimensions, I used to observe the relation between the material and the spiritual worlds – this was prior to my last experience.

Of course, it's been a long time since there has been any question of three dimensions – all that belongs ABSOLUTELY to the world of illusion and falsehood. But now the whole use of the sense of the fourth dimension – along with all it entails – seems superficial to me! And so much so that I can't recapture it. The other world, the three-dimensional world, is completely unreal; but now that one ... (what can I say?) seems conventional to me. Like a conventional transcription opening a particular type of approach to you.

And as for expressing what the other, the true position is like.... It is so far beyond any intellectual state that I can't manage to put it into words.

I know the words will come, but they will come through a series of lived experiences, experiences I haven't had yet.

(silence)

It dawned on me that that approach, which used to be so useful to me, so convenient, helping me do my yoga and giving me a grip on Matter, is simply a method, a means, a procedure – it is not THAT.

Well, that's the state I am in.

I can't say more.

I would prefer to make some progress before saying anything else.

***

A little later:

That's enough, isn't it? It's difficult to digest.

It's important.

I would prefer to make some progress.... Unless the next topic is completely different.

Yes, it's completely different – but you're tired....

Read.

76 – Europe prides herself on her practical and scientific organisation and efficiency. I am waiting till her organisation is perfect; then a child shall destroy her.

I won't say anything about that, mon petit. Let's forget it. What can you say! As a matter of fact, it had occurred to me that we might just have to skip over or omit or forget about certain aphorisms,[84] especially the ones on doctors and medicine. (Not that I question the truth in them – not at all! But I question whether it's appropriate to speak of them now.) And this one, too ... it's better not to publish it.

I don't think all these aphorisms were written for publication – I don't believe he was thinking of publishing them. He said certain things that were quite private.

So let's classify this one as private!

And the next?

77 – Genius discovers a system; average talent stereotypes it till it is shattered by fresh genius. It is dangerous for an army to be led by veterans; for on the other side God may place Napoleon.

I don't think we can speak of this one either. No, I don't think so. What we should actually do is make a selection and only talk about aphorisms that give us an opportunity to explain a few things. But these two.... People aren't ready to understand. And besides, they don't fit the style of the Bulletin. What we need is a "combat magazine," a journal that combats all the ordinary ideas; then all these aphorisms (the ones on doctors, for instance) would be like ... yes, like commanders in the battle. A journal with the goal of "demolishing the old idols." Something along those lines. It would be very interesting to do such a magazine – a combat magazine.

But it can't be an Ashram organ.... It should look like a literary review (it can't be political – you'd be thrown in jail the day after it came out!). It shouldn't be presented as something practical, but merely as literary or philosophical speculation; that wouldn't matter at all, but it would give the journal a certain security which, as a combat magazine, it would need.

It's something that could very well be planned and prepared for '65 or '67. It could probably be done in '67. And then, for each issue (I don't know how many issues a year there would be) we could take one of these aphorisms (like the one on Europe, for example) and go into it all the way.

It would be very interesting. It's worth looking into.

The Bulletin should be calm and peaceful – not violent. We don't want to demolish anyone. We are merely sort of smoothing the way to make it easier for people to travel, nothing else. We needn't bring avalanches down on people!

May 27, 1962

(Concerning the "wave movement" in the experience of April 13.)

... What I say there is quite true. When I don't observe, formulate or explain, the state is absolutely tranquil, peaceful, contented, sufficient unto itself. And out of it, I can see that something will definitely emerge.

But as soon as I try to make it emerge, it all fades away – meaning it isn't ripe yet.

It's a very impersonal sort of state in which that whole habit of reacting to outside things, the things around me, has completely vanished. But nothing has come to replace it. It is ... an undulation.

That's all.

When will it change into something else? I don't know.

You can't, you just can't try! You can't make an effort, you can't try to find out, because intellectual activity immediately comes in, and that has nothing to do with it.

So I have concluded that it's something one must become, something one must be and live.... But how? In what way? I don't know.

Well....

So – what about your book?

(The subject here is a letter, no longer extant, in which Satprem expresses his desire to go write his new book[85] in the Himalayas, far from present circumstances. These circumstances included poor health, but mainly, lurking behind, was the violent and almost physical inner wound caused by his break with X. The idea was to go away for "a change of air.")

(With an ironic smile) On the meandering path of the world, this trip doesn't look too bad! For you personally, it's an experience that ... yes, that would give you a concrete sense of the vanity of a number of things that still.... You see, throughout all one's lives and all of life's circumstances, there's one thing after another, one thing after another, one thing after another (zigzag gesture) ... to remove the scales from your eyes.

(silence)

For Sujata it's not quite so simple. From a strictly external standpoint, I have no doubt that it would be both pleasant and instructive. But Sujata is in a rather special relationship [with me] – in fact, she does the yoga without doing it; I mean she benefits automatically from the yoga that Sri Aurobindo and I do. And this would risk being damaged.

I don't say for certain; I don't know. But there is a risk. Anyway ... as I said, from the external angle, the being would certainly be enriched.

From the collective viewpoint, of course, the work would be greatly inconvenienced: even if we could just manage to finish the Bulletin for August, the November Bulletin would be in real jeopardy.

And as for the Agenda, well ... it would simply stop, that's all, for the whole time you're away. I might also have nothing to say, I don't know. It could be that I won't have anything to say for two or three months, or even longer. I can't say. I don't know what's going to happen to me – I mean happen to this whole collection (Mother indicates her body), this collection of bodily experiences and research. I haven't been told anything – I don't try to know and I don't know. So I will probably have nothing to say. On the whole, that's how it looks to me.

There is no definite answer in the consciousness.

Recently – these last few days in particular, because of this business with X – I've been seeing the two persons that are in you. One of them is far more real to you than the other, because it has been given more expression; it is more realized, more conscious of itself, and it's something you know well. The other being doesn't yet have the power to direct (how shall I put it?) ... to openly and consciously direct your destiny. That's why you might still find yourself wandering in labyrinths.

For the moment I am in a seemingly neutral state – all I can say is, "We'll see." There is no definite "no" and no definite "yes" – there has been no definite approval, but there hasn't been the "no" that says, "It's impossible." So it looks like that eternal "We'll see." How long will it be till we see? I don't know. It may be a few hours, a few days, a few minutes – I don't know.

This trip would not be an opening upwards, a flight towards a higher realization – that, no. Categorically no.

But that's not what I was after!

It is the labyrinthine path through the circumstances of physical life.

That's just as clear as can be.

But the reason behind the idea was my physical condition. I hadn't thought of Sujata at first; I simply saw ... I don't know. I'm tired all the time, it's true. My reserves are all used up. Anything extra exhausts me. And on top of it, there's also a discouraging psychological state.... For one thing, my nights are totally unconscious – the mind turns round and round and I can't sleep. My meditations are always the same.... You know, the feeling of nothing, nothing, nothing. So I think the cause of all this lies in the kind of physical life I lead.[86]

A lack of vitality.

A lack of vitality, too much tension; I don't know – maybe the climate saps me. A certain number of physical things making it.... Anyway, that's what's behind the idea.

What you're asking of Sujata is nothing short of sacrifice. Not outwardly, perhaps, but it would be a sacrifice for her. She would be sacrificing something to you, something very precious.... To help you she would have to sacrifice her own realization. Well, that in itself has a place in the spectrum of realizations.

I understand.

She would inevitably come into contact with other people.

If I do go somewhere, I am determined to have absolutely no contact with anyone. I don't want to be social.

 

(Mother keeps silent)

I can't say.

But what's behind my totally unconscious nights? Behind the total absence of anything at all in my meditations?

(After a silence) That's something you have to sense for yourself, isn't it?

I know the reason, but....

But really, unless you experience it yourself, it will strike you as a kind of ... fairy tale. And not a very pleasant fairy tale!

If you could just give me a hint....

(After a silence) Among those who have gone beyond the stage of needing successive reincarnations to develop their psychic beings, among those whose souls are conscious, fully developed, there are some who (what shall I say?) ... who are chosen or destined to participate in a certain terrestrial action. And in the process of reincarnation, there is always ... always some degree of confusion and disarray, you see. I can speak of my own case, if you like; despite every precaution, certain kinds of confusion couldn't be avoided ... and of course this complicated the work. It was the same for Sri Aurobindo. And all this confusion sometimes greatly disrupts the work.

But there are a certain number of beings – not many – who have come back on earth ONLY to take part in a particular work, in a particular way. And outer things, personal and individual things, are virtually sacrificed to that. Certain faculties, for instance, whose source is the higher entity, faculties that in an ordinary life would result in a measure of power or fame or success or realization, are placed under conditions where their outer effect is subordinated to the needs of a particular work.

Let me put it to you more clearly: your physical body, for example, should have been either stronger or more supple or endowed with certain very strong vital compensations, so that you wouldn't suffer from your working conditions.... Of course, for someone following a yogic ascent, whose soul is in the process of formation, the external conditions of life are normally what is best for inner development, whatever that may be – even if, on the surface, those conditions aren't good. So the only advice you can give such a person is, "Well, either renounce the spiritual life or else put up with it." But that's not your case. There is a Mission, a work, and a kind of gap between a certain physical formation and that Mission. So if you ask me plainly what I see, I can tell you plainly, instead of saying as I would to certain sadhaks or anyone sincerely wanting to do yoga, "Take it or leave it; you must learn to transform yourself inwardly to the point where you can master the body and its needs." I can't tell you that, because that's not how it is for you. I mean it may be – it may be – that even an inner transformation (a complete conversion of the vital being, for instance) wouldn't necessarily bring an improvement in your health. It is here where.... It's not something I see imperatively. And to go back to ordinary life would be the end of everything – of your physical life and your inner life too.

I have absolutely no desire to do that!

That's quite obvious – you've had the experience.

But it may not be unimportant to take a few precautions and make use of certain external aids. That's why I can't say, "Don't mind your body – just keep going and everything will be all right." No. Spending two or three months in the mountains, for example, might help you. It might. But I don't see anything, mind you; I don't know.

And this blockage in my meditations – is it also due to this special "work"?... I have a sort of feeling that I've already had those yogic realizations, you see ...

Yes, of course!

... and that it's all closed to me now. I feel there's a knowledge I've already had, a vision I've already had ...

Certainly.

... and that it's all.... Well, I feel I'm in exile – you see what I mean?

There is a LINK missing.

So when I wake up every morning with a black hole where my night was, I wake up discouraged. "What's the matter with me!" I wonder.

Yes.

That's where the physical side....

It is in the vital, mon petit. Something happened while you were being formed – your vital isn't strong enough.

You know, I am absolutely convinced that when I have found what I seek [the third position] everything will change for you instantly, like this (gesture of turning upside-down): snap! You won't have to make the slightest effort – it will be done just like that, in a flash. But meanwhile.... Meanwhile I want you to be healthy. If going to the mountains for a few months does you a lot of good.... Notice I say "if" – I am not sure of it.

I am sure that the only thing that would really do you good is precisely what you call the "unblocking" – your problems would be over.

Oh, yes! I'm convinced of it too.

You would be perfectly happy, and healthy besides.

But it's because of this blockage that the body wonders, "What's the matter with me?"

Maybe not. Maybe it's something in the body itself. That "maybe" is what makes me hesitate.

About the book, for instance – I don't know if it's tamas [inertia], but I constantly feel like sitting and doing nothing! Or doing a minimum of work just to keep me in touch – a bit of work for you, that's all, and then the rest of the time....

Yes, that wouldn't be so bad! That's something I understand quite well!

Externally, with this book I'm supposed to write, I would say I have no desire to do so.... Nonetheless, I've come to the point where I no longer pay attention to my "desires" or "non-desires"; but anyway, I can't say I'm enthusiastic about it.

No, it's not interesting for you. And that I can understand!

All the same ... all the same, a kind of constant communication has been established [between you and me], and because of that, without even knowing it, you are in rapport with the experiences. And well ... my experiences clearly don't impel one to action – not for the moment.

No, it's not that. No, the one thing I don't like is your physical exhaustion.

I tire quickly, I have no reserves, when there's just a little thing I am immediately.... And then other people – contact with other people exhausts me. Going to X's place was torture for me.

All right.

I will "look," if you like.

I have told you what I saw right away.

I am going to look, and meanwhile we should finish as much of the August Bulletin as we can.

What I actually wanted to put before you is this lack of desire to write the book.

It doesn't matter, mon petit!

The one thing I really don't want....

Anyway, give me a few days and let's see if I get an indication.

I'm taking up a lot of your time....

No, nothing's binding on me – I have no more duties!

But it's true what you said – I'm quite aware of it. There won't be any more problems once that thing is unblocked.

That's right!

I feel sort of impatient because there is no bridge between something that I feel I KNOW and the physical life.... So I'm going round in circles. It's always the same.

A link is missing. There (gesture above) one knows, here (gesture into Matter) one doesn't know, and there's always the feeling that a change of place or a change of physical conditions is going to establish the contact.... It happens – true, it does happen: suddenly, flash! But it happens under ANY circumstances. It doesn't depend on outer changes. I know very well that nothing in either the climate or the living conditions here is absolutely intolerable – it's only our ideas about it, our mental reactions (mental and vital). But if there were just that joy, the joy of total opening, all the rest would be all right.

Yet it may also be that up there in the mountains, all alone with the mountains, it would suddenly come. It is possible – everything is possible. There is nothing that doesn't hold a possibility of truth.

Anyway, give me at least until Tuesday to look – I will tell you what I see.

Au revoir, mon petit.

May 29, 1962

... But isn't this second book on Sri Aurobindo something imposed by circumstances? Is it really something that must be done, that already exists and has been decreed?

Personally, I do see one. I see a Sri Aurobindo....

(silence)

Almost no philosophy, nothing intellectual – almost a story. His work presented in an entirely practical and matter-of-fact way, like the talks I used to give to the children here. When I said to the children, "This, you know, is why you are here," I told them in a way they could understand, didn't I? Well the book should be like that. If I were to write (I will never write a book on Sri Aurobindo! Never, never, never – I know it), but were I ever to write a book on Sri Aurobindo, that's the book I would write, something like a fairy tale.... "Just imagine.... You see life, you see how it is, you are used to this sort of existence; and it's dreary and it's sad (some people find it entertaining – because it doesn't take much to entertain them!).... Well, behind it all there is a fairy tale. Something in the making, something that's going to be beautiful, beautiful, inexpressibly beautiful. And we shall take part in it.... You have no idea, you think you will forget everything when you die, leave it all behind you – but it's not true! And all who feel the call to a beautiful, luminous, joyous, progressive life, well ... they will all take part in it, in one way or another. You don't know now, but you will after a while.... There you are."

A fairy tale.

But do you feel inclined to tell a fairy tale?... It needn't be very long.

And with pictures, mon petit! Pictures of all the outer activities, like a movie.... A lovely magazine full of pictures. This seems to me the only thing that could really be said, because that's all that can be seen. So you show all this, saying: "Yes ... but someone is trying to do something with all this. Look behind it, look at the lovely image, the lovely story behind.... And he was trying to draw that story down to earth, and it is sure to come.

"And if you like, you too can help make that story come down to earth."

Done like that, mon petit, the book could be delightful!

Your first book is prophetic and most beautiful, but I must say it's something beyond most people's reach – it's really a book for us, to put us into contact with all who are interested in yoga, in the spiritual life: an elite. It is a book for an elite, not for the general public.

What I see is almost a children's book, for a whole generation aged ten to eighteen, thousands of children.... With lovely pictures.

(silence)

No, only one thing worries me, one thing alone: your physical health. But to tell the truth (the true truth of what I KNOW), I don't think there's any climate a body can't adapt to.

But I don't think so either!

Human beings aren't that limited, after all! It is rather ... yes, it's a matter of atavism, of education, of all sorts of things; and above all, I think the main reason is that you have no desire to – it's no fun for you!

(Satprem laughs in complete agreement)

I was brought up by an ascetic, a stoic; my mother was a woman like an iron bar, you know. When my brother and I were small she spent her time telling us over and over that we weren't on earth to have fun; that it's constant hell, but you have to put up with it, and the only possible satisfaction lies in doing your duty!

A splendid education, mon petit!

Splendid. I am infinitely grateful to her. My body has never asked for fun or well-being or anything else. "That's life," it said, "and you just have to take it as it is." And that's why when I first met someone who told me it could be otherwise (I was already past twenty), I said, "Oh, really? Is that so?" (Mother laughs) And then when he told me all about Théon's teachings and The Cosmic Life and about the inner God and a new world that would be a world of beauty and (at least) of peace and light ... well, I rushed into it headlong.

But even then I was told: "It depends on YOU alone, not on circumstances – above all, don't blame circumstances; you must find it in yourself, the transformative element is within you. And you can do it wherever you are, even in a cell at the bottom of a hole." The groundwork was already done, you see, since the body never asked for anything.

Well, I think that's the best education. To the children here we give the exact opposite! But that's how it is: it's a principle – it's not practical.

Not practical?

(Mother laughs) I don't think it's at all practical to teach them that life is for developing yourself, expressing yourself, being happy – they're unbearable as it is! (Mother laughs.)

We have some real little devils in the making here. Interesting, true enough – oh, the vital is definitely not suppressed! But really....

There's a little American boy here (I don't know if his mother is completely helpless or just idolizes him, but anyway she lets him run wild – she's always defending him, she won't allow anyone to scold or punish him), and this child won't take any classes or accept any teacher, but just runs around the school from one classroom to another – making noise, hitting people, calling the teacher names – like a whirlwind; and then off he goes! And one day he went into the Playground; he's such a maniac that he's not allowed there, but he sneaked in, and there were some girls and women doing exercises on the ground – he started running around on their stomachs! (Laughter) It was a scandal.

Oh, what a circus! But that's the atmosphere.

Anyway, we're getting sidetracked....

I know the solution for you would be to have some experiences.

I feel there's been a change since X left.

Ah!

I don't know, I can't define it very clearly.... Instead of trying to push down walls, I feel I may be remaining more passive. It's that kind of movement now, a movement of surrender rather than concentration.

Yes, exactly! That's where I find fault with the Tantric system – they have no belief in the possibility of something helping you from above. They believe in walking the tightrope. It's no good.

Yes, I sensed ... it's very subtle, but I sensed a change for the better.

For my taste (do I still have tastes?... I certainly have no preferences, but some things do come more spontaneously than others) ... my spontaneous movement, you know, would be this (all-embracing gesture, open to all horizons) – and then just let go. If I could plunge you into certain vibrations, you wouldn't need the mountains.

I know what it's like in the mountains – the body feels fine for a while, but.... Z, you know, had the same feeling (she comes from the mountains); she felt that without mountain air she would always be sick. I knew, that wasn't it, that it was certain inner difficulties, but I let her go to the mountains. Her body was exuberant! But she came back sicker than when she left. And yet her body was exuberant. It's very superficial....

No, I don't really feel any need for the mountains. The idea came to me because of this book.

Frankly, I don't believe that's the problem, mon petit. Because I see this book, I feel it. And since I feel it so vividly, don't you think it would be easier to write it here than up there?

No, it's solely a question of health. If I could.... Listen, I also had a longing to go to the Himalayas, I had a great longing for it when I was in France. When I came here the first time it was fine, I was very happy, everything was beautiful, everything was perfect, but ... oh, to go to the Himalayas for a while! (I have always loved mountains.) I was living over there in the Dupleix house, and I used to meditate while walking back and forth. There was a small courtyard with a dividing wall, and shards of glass were stuck on top of the wall to keep out thieves. And I was meditating – meditating on the spiritual life – when suddenly something caught my eye: a ray of sunlight on a sharp piece of blue glass on top of the wall. And positively, spontaneously, without thinking or reflecting or anything ... I saw the summits of the Himalayas: I was on the summits of the Himalayas.

It lasted more than half an hour. It was a marvelous mountain scene, with mountain air and the lightness of the mountains – it was all there. The splendor of sunlight on the Himalayan peaks.

After that half hour I hadn't the slightest wish to go!

I'd had the FULL spiritual experience of the Himalayas.

It was a grace given to me – a gift.

If I could give you such a gift.... I am trying, but so far I can't do it – I don't know why. I have done many things for many people, as you well know. So why not this? ... Haven't yet found the way.

But when you have the experience, you know, it's complete – complete, total, physical, concrete.

(silence)

I was given a similar experience with the sea.... In the house where I distribute "prosperity"[87] there's a veranda with a little nook, and set in the nook is a window (not a window, actually – an opening), and through the opening you can glimpse a patch of sea, no bigger than this (gesture). And at that time too the body was feeling closed in, a little weary and confined. I used to give meditations to about twenty people on the veranda (afterwards I would always tell Sri Aurobindo what had gone on). And one day, as I am walking across the veranda to give the meditation, I turn my eye and ... I see the sea. And suddenly it was all oceanic immensity – and with a sense of free sailing, from one place to another.... The sea breeze, the taste of the sea, and the sense of immensity, vastness, freedom ... something limitless. It lasted a quarter of an hour, twenty minutes. My body came out of it refreshed, as if I had gone for a long sail.

I want to emphasize that the effect is PHYSICAL: the experience is concrete and has a physical effect. That's what I would like to give

you.

I am quite willing to do it, but....

Anyway, let's forget about this trip. When the book starts to come to me, well, I'll just get into it and that will be that.

Yes. But there's no hurry, is there?

There's no hurry. I would like it to come to you spontaneously, and almost be a pastime – just imagine yourself talking to children and telling them the most beautiful story in the world.

And it's true! It is the most beautiful fairy tale in the world. There's none more beautiful.

I am going to tell you the most beautiful story in the world....

Ill do my best. Ill try.

***

(Mother then asks Satprem various questions about his japa, and, after a very long silence during which she seems to be elsewhere or "looking" into the distance, continues:)

It is very interesting, mon petit.... As you were telling me about it, I automatically went into that state. And there was a kind of – how shall I put it? I don't know what to call it.... It is a movement akin to will, but it has nothing to do with thought, it's a feeling: I wanted to take you into the experience. And it was shown to me – literally shown – that your whole relationship with the inner and outer worlds is situated here (gesture above the head); that's why it is so well expressed through intellectual activity. But here (gesture to the solar plexus) there's not much. And I was seeing this, you know, I was touching it. It only comes indirectly, as a consequence. And then down here (gesture lower down): NOTHING. It remains just the way it was formed when you came down to earth!

And here (umbilical region) I was shown that a sort of widening of the being is needed, a widening of the vibrations – a peace, a calm within the immensity. HERE – the prana, that is – is where there should be a widening into peace, peace, peace and calm. But within the immensity.

And that's what will loosen you up.

Here (gesture to the head and above) the work is done and will not be undone; there is no danger, the link is quite well established. All you have to do is this (Mother takes a breath) and there it is.

To open here (gesture to the heart), the method is ... a bit too classical, in that you would inevitably fall back into classical learning, all the classical methods and means – it will happen by itself, quite naturally.

And here (umbilical region): something like a quiet ease (there's no equivalent in French). A quiet ease. It has been all cramped up, and now it must widen. The inner life of the prana must be widened (the inner vital, the true vital, the being that has the experiences I told you about – the piece of glass, the glimpse of the sea); that's what must widen. And vast, vast.... It is all cramped up and it suffers. It has to be relaxed inwardly, by bringing in the Force, the Force of that new experience [April 13]: apply it there. And you ... simply let yourself go; if you could catch hold of the wave movement, that would be perfect.

Like this: relax, relax, relax.... You're floating on an infinite undulating movement – floating, floating, floating. Shall we try?

But don't get into a meditation posture! And don't tense up; just let yourself go, as if you simply wanted to rest – but not in an empty hole. To rest in a mass of infinite force ... a supple solidity.

(meditation)

A most luminous atmosphere....

May 31, 1962

So, how was your night? The same?

Not so great.

The same.

I had a symbolic dream (quite symbolic!) – that's all I could recall this morning.... I was wearing a very cumbersome sort of garment, full of big thorns ...

Oh, horrible!

... so I couldn't find a comfortable position.

That's how you woke up....

There's a strange thing that happens to me all the time, at least fifty times a day (and it's particularly clear at night). In its most external form it's like moving from one room to another, or from one house to another, and you go through the door or the wall almost without noticing it, automatically.... Being in one room is reflected outwardly by quite a comfortable condition, a state where there's no pain at all, no pain anywhere, and a great peace – a joyous peace, a state of perfect calm ... an ideal condition, at any rate, which sometimes lasts a long, long time. It's mainly at night, actually; during the day people interrupt me with all sorts of things, but for a certain number of hours at night this state is practically constant. And then suddenly, with no perceptible or apparent reason (I haven't yet discovered the why or the wherefore of it), you seem to ... FALL into the other room, or into the other house, as though you had made a false step – and then you have a pain here, an ache there, you're uncomfortable.

Obviously it's the continuation of the same experience I told you about,[88] but now it has come to this. I mean the two states are now distinct – noticeably distinct; but so far I haven't found either the why or the wherefore.... Is it something coming from outside or just an old rut: yes, it really feels like an old rut, like a wrinkle in a piece of cloth; you know, you iron it out again and again, and the wrinkle comes back. That's more the feeling it gives me – not at all a conscious habit, just an old rut. But might something from outside also be provoking it...?

And the dreams it gives me! Oh, there's a whole series of them, with particular styles and categories.... You start down a flight of stairs – no more stairs; you want to take a certain road – the road closes; you want to catch someone – you can't. All kinds of things. And although these dreams (I have a whole collection of them, in fact) recur with certain minor outward differences, they are all of the same type. It's a well-known type which I now classify as self-imposed troubles. When I get out of it and look, I see very clearly that it's only this nasty habit we have of fretting over nothing! (Laughingly) Oh, whatever we want to do, immediately there's a complication, a difficulty....

Yes, these dreams arise from the subconscient; they are primarily subconscious habits.... But the pain, the thorns in the garment – it's so clear! (Mother laughs) And no way to get comfortable!

In the past, a dream like that would nag me for hours, I would worry, wondering what calamities were going to befall me (this was long, long ago – ages ago). But that was idiotic, as I later understood; it's a certain something in the subconscient, a symbolic form of ... well, of certain bad psychological habits we have, that's all. And I used to torment myself: "How can I get rid of this?" (We're all loaded with a multitude of such weaknesses built into the body.) And then through experience I understood – I saw it was merely certain bad habits.

The only thing to do is not torment yourself and to say to the Lord (in all sincerity, of course), "It's up to You. Rid me of this." And it is very effective. Very effective. At times I have had old things like that dissolved in a flash; certain inveterate little habits – so stupid, but so ingrained you can't get rid of them. Then, while doing japa or walking or meditating or whatever, suddenly the flame flares up and ... (you have really had enough of it; it disgusts you, you want it to change, you really want the change) and you say to the Lord, "I can't do it on my own." (You very sincerely know you can't do it; you have tried and tried and tried and have achieved exactly nothing – you can't do it.) "Well then, I offer it to You – You do it." Just like that. And all at once you see the thing fading away. It is simply wonderful. You know how Sri Aurobindo used to take away someone's pain? It's exactly the same. Certain habits bound up with the body's formation.

One day I will certainly use the same method on those "room changes," but for that it will have to become very clear and distinct, well defined in the consciousness. Because that change of room (intellectually you would call it a "change of consciousness," but that means nothing at all; we're dealing here with something very, very material) ... I have sometimes gone through it without experiencing ANY CHANGE OF EFFECT, which probably means I was centered not in the material consciousness but in a higher consciousness dwelling and looking on from elsewhere – a witness consciousness – and I was in a state where everything flows ... flows like a river of tranquil peace.... Truly, it's marvelous – all creation, all life, all movements, all things, and everything like a single mass, with the body in the midst of it all, blending homogeneously with the whole... and it all flows on like a river of peace, peaceful and smiling, on to infinity. And then oops! You trip (gesture of inversion[89]) and once again find yourself SITUATED – you ARE somewhere, at some specific moment of time; and then there's a pain here, a pain there, a pain.... And sometimes I have seen, I have witnessed the change from the one to the other WITHOUT feeling the pains or experiencing the thing concretely, which means that I wasn't at all in the body, I wasn't BOUND to the body – I was seeing, only seeing, just like a witness. And it's always accompanied by the kind of observation an indulgent (but not blind) friend might make: "But why? Why that again?" That's how it comes. "What's the use of that?" And I can't catch hold of what makes it happen....

It will come.

It is very interesting because it's very new.

What's happening? What's happening, what's going on?!

(silence)

Several times (because I am almost never alone in my room, though there may be many other reasons), I have noticed a slight change, a small movement in the consciousness of the person or persons in the room. But I always hesitate to throw the responsibility onto something external, because that takes three-quarters of the possibility of control away from you.

If only the mechanism could be found! ...

It is plainly something hooked up with other people and reacting to them. But this hook-up is something I cannot undo – it's the product of years of work, years of universalization, and I am not going to spend my time undoing it now! I don't want to. I don't want to find anything for myself alone; I have no personal interest whatsoever. I haven't stayed on for that. I have to find the mechanism. Moreover, I have been doing just the opposite: every time I am in that state I spread it around, I pass it on. But that may be why these old habits come in....

***

(The talk turns again to the book "like a fairy tale" on Sri Aurobindo:)

Did our meditation have any effect?

Did you feel anything?

(negative gesture)

Nothing.

All right.

We will try.

Oh, for a long time after you left the other day, for more than an hour, I kept on telling that story. I saw myself standing in the midst of a big crowd of children. Something was coming down to me (not that I was pulling at it or thinking about it – I wasn't thinking about it at all); I was just standing there telling the story, talking on and on and on, and it kept on coming – it was delightful!

I passed it on to you but (laughing) I am not sure you received it. Something done with a very light touch, with no importance attached to it, but coming from a new world – oh, nowadays I constantly make a distinction between (what shall I say?) ... the straight-line, right-angle life and the undulating life. One life I might describe like this (Mother makes chopping gestures, showing crisscrossing lines): everything is sharp-edged, hard, angular, and you're constantly bumping into things; and then there's an undulating life, very sweet, with a great charm – VERY charming – but not ... not too stable. Strange, it's a completely different kind of life. Well, my story belonged to that world.... There was nothing here (Mother touches her forehead), and not even anything here (above the head); it was something like ... like waves. And it was very joyous, very joyous and carefree.

(silence)

Would you like us to be quiet a little while? If you feel like it. Or if you want to tell me something, go ahead.

No.

If you want to ask a question, just ask. If you want to be silent, we can be silent. Whatever you like – till eleven o'clock I am at your disposal!

Nothing? You have nothing to tell me? There's nothing you would like to say?

Well – everything is a bit confused.... I feel that everything is being cut away from me, on all sides; the feeling of being pushed onto a path where I'll end up regarding the world as an illusion.

That's your thorny garment again!

On my part, well.... What I saw for you, what I've been seeing since the day before yesterday, is just the opposite: it is something being loosened up. Only I plainly see that ... there's also a worthless road that must not be followed; and both roads are very close together. Why so close! It's like those two rooms: why are they so near each other? If only there were some distance! But no, it's all intertwined.

And it's the same thing: what's needed is the path of vastness, widening, relaxation, ease, of BLOSSOMING in the vital – not so much a censorial vital as ... as gentleness, a certain sweetness. The vital blossoming into beauty: sweetness and beauty. I don't want to speak of "sentiments" because ... oh, that lands us right in a quagmire! No, but ... a sweetness and charm and beauty – but not there (in the head): here. And then rest – not a stiff and stony and stagnant rest, a rest within the undulation.... You let yourself float.[90]

(silence)

The art of letting oneself be carried by the Supreme, within Infinity.

(silence)

But it is within the Infinity of the Becoming. And with none of the harshness, none of the shocks that are ordinarily experienced in life.

The art of letting oneself be carried by the Supreme (Mother clasps her hands together) within the Infinite Becoming.

(long silence)

Whatever comes from here (Mother touches her forehead, her face) ... from here onwards it's all harsh, dry, crumpled up – it's violent, it's aggressive. Even goodwill is aggressive, even affection, tenderness, attachment – all of that, it's all terribly aggressive. Like the blows of a stick.

All mental life is harsh, actually.

(silence)

That's it, that's what we must catch hold of – a sort of cadence, a wave movement, and it has such vastness, such power! It's tremendous, really. And it doesn't disrupt anything. It doesn't displace anything, it doesn't clash with anything.[91] And it carries the universe in its undulatory movement – so smoothly!

(silence)

I don't know if it's the same for others (it probably isn't), but for me it is incontestably the one truly effective thing: this sense of not existing, and that the only thing existing – I mean, what one customarily calls oneself – is something that grates and resists.

But with a very simple movement, you can easily eliminate that from the consciousness; this movement can be formulated in an almost childlike way: "You alone, Lord, You alone can act.... You alone, Lord, You alone can act." And then that easing off (it's relaxation, actually): you just let yourself melt, let yourself melt. This (the head) keeps still, it doesn't stir; you are wholly in the sensation, you let yourself melt. And ... with a sense of boundlessness.

And no more distinctions.

No more distinctions. And also, even physically, something with no beginning; there is no sense of "from this moment on, from that point on" – that no longer exists. It's like ... like relaxing into an indefinite past.

I am speaking now of a BODILY sensation.

That, in any event, is how what's speaking to you here manages to get to ... the true room.

It seems to take time, the way I am telling it now, but actually ... a minute or two of silence and it's done.

(silence)

The body has been cradled by three Words....

Words that repeat themselves automatically, with no effort of will (but the body itself is quite aware that although these three particular Words happen to have been given to it, it might also have been something else – it was originally the choice of a higher Intelligence). This has become an automatic accompaniment. It is not so much the words in themselves as what they will represent and bring with them in their vibration.... I mean it would be quite inaccurate to say, "Only these Words are helpful," no, not that. But they provide an accompaniment, an accompaniment of subtle, physical vibrations, which has built up a certain state or experience, a sort of association between the presence of those words and this movement of eternal Life, that undulating vibration.

Obviously, another center of consciousness, another (how shall I put it?) ... another concretization, another amalgam, might – would of course – have another vibration.

In ordinary language, the vibration of the mantra is what helps the body to enter a certain state – but it is not particularly THIS mantra: it is the particular relationship established between a mantra (it has to be a true one, a mantra endowed with power) and the body. It surges up spontaneously: as soon as the body starts walking, it walks to the rhythm of those Words. And the rhythm of the Words quite naturally brings about a certain vibration, which in turn brings about the state.

But to say it's these particular Words exclusively would be ridiculous. What counts is the sincerity of the aspiration, the exactness of the expression and the power; that is, the power that comes from the mantra being accepted. This is something very interesting: the mantra has been ACCEPTED by the supreme Power as an effective tool, and so it automatically contains a certain force and power.[92] But it is a purely personal phenomenon (the expression is the same, but the vibrations are personal). A mantra leading one person straight to divine realization will leave another person cold and flat.

What is your experience when you say your mantra? You once told me you felt good saying it....

I generally find it restful.

Yes, that's it; that's very good.

But I don't know what it represents.

It represents what you put into it – your aspiration, mon petit. No, to me it can represent only ONE thing.... I call it "the Supreme," because you have to call it something, but that Something is the farthest limit of our aspiration, our aspiration in every sense, in all directions, on all occasions. Something that is the supreme summit of our aspiration, WHATEVER that aspiration may be, in whatever direction, in whatever realm – beyond, really beyond, Something beyond any form of activity.

For me, the most concrete approach to this is through the vibration of pure Love; not love for something, a love you give or receive, but Love in itself: Love. It is something self-existent. And it is certainly the most concrete approach for me. (But it isn't exclusive – it contains everything else within itself; it doesn't exclude all the other approaches, all the other contacts.)

You see, throughout my childhood and youth and the whole beginning of my yoga, there was a sort of refusal in my being to use the word "God," because of all the falsehood behind that word (Sri Aurobindo rid me of that; in the same way he got rid of all limitations, he rid me of that one too). But it's not a word that comes to me spontaneously.

But Love.... At the moment of contact, when it goes like this (gesture) – at that moment something surges up....

But the words don't matter, they're unimportant.

And yet I have noticed that to associate a certain state and a certain aspiration with a certain sound helps the body. No one told me the mantra; I had begun doing japa before we met X (it had come to me when I was trying to find a means of getting the body to take part in the experience – the body itself, you know: THIS). And this help was certainly given to me, because the method imposed itself very, very imperiously – when I heard certain Words it was like an electric shock. And then, disregarding all Sanskrit rules, I made myself a sentence; it isn't really a Sanskrit sentence, or any kind of sentence at all – a phrase made up of three Words. And these three Words are full of meaning for me. (I wouldn't mention it to a Sanskritist!) They have a full, living meaning. And they have been repeated literally millions and millions of times, I am not exaggerating – they surge up from the body spontaneously.

It was the first sound that came from the body when I had that last experience [April 13]. Along with the first pain, came that first sound – so it must be quite well rooted.[93] And it brings in exactly that vibration of eternal Life: the first thing I felt, all of a sudden, was a kind of strong calm, confident and smiling.

Oh, I am sure it is very good, very helpful.

Voilà, mon petit. Nowadays I have nothing to say – I chatter away quite uselessly. But ... I like to see you. And I think it's worthwhile.

Good.

I have asked that you be given good things to eat, but I don't know if it's being done. I want you to enjoy eating. If nobody else does it, I'll start doing it again myself....

June

June 2, 1962

(Mother refers to the previous conversation, in which she was looking for the reasons behind the passage from one room to another, from the room of pain to the true room: "I can't catch hold of what makes it happen. What's happening? What's going on?! ")

I had an experience yesterday afternoon that might put us on the track.

It was a very interesting experience – especially interesting for some people because I became aware of certain reincarnations. I was in a state that might be called a "state of knowledge," where I knew things with certainty, without any doubt.

But what's striking – it's connected to what I was telling you the other day – is that I was going to see some people who were on the other side of a river. Ordinarily the river water wasn't clean and you needed a boat or something to cross; but yesterday I was in a special state – I just sat down on the water and said, "I am going there." And then, quite naturally, a current of pure, crystal clear water simply took me where I wanted to go. It was a very pleasant sensation – I was sitting on the water, all smiles, and ... prrt! I was taken to the other side. "Oh, very good!" I thought. "Will it continue?..." And so once again I said, "I am going there" (that is, back to this side) and ... prrt! Back I came.

Then someone came.... There are symbolic people in these "dreams"; they seem to be made up of various parts of the beings of those around me, people who have a particular relationship with me and bring a particular help to the Work. They are symbolic characters and always the same: one of them is tall and thin, some are small, there are young ones, old ones.... I can't say it's this person or that person, but rather that something IN this or that person is represented in these characters. And one of them is like a "big brother" – he helps out in certain circumstances; if there's a boat, for instance, the big brother steers it. So he came up to me and said, "Yes, I know the method," and began to try. "Stop, for heaven's sake!" I said. "You'll spoil everything; to make it work I have to say: I WANT TO GO THERE. When he began trying to bring me across with his own methods, the water grew muddy again and I started to sink!" No no no!" I protested. "Don't do that, that's not it at all! THAT has to ..." (although I wasn't formulating it to myself, what I meant was the sense of a certain higher Will) "THAT has to say: I WANT TO GO THERE; then it works."

After that, the experience changed, other things happened. But what I have just related is certainly part and parcel of that experience the other day [the two rooms, one inside the other], because the two were coexistent.[94]

And the water was so real! The experience was so real that I could feel the coolness of the water; I had the pleasant sensation of sitting on something very soft and cool and swift, carrying me along.

It must be part of the same series of experiences.

And I know I was in a state of knowledge, because I suddenly knew who certain people here – people I have known for a very, very long time – were the reincarnations of (I had never tried to find that out, it just came). I was almost calling them by their former names.... Yes, a special state, a state of knowledge – but not spiritual knowledge: a knowledge related to the material world. In such visions, water always represents the vital. When everything is harmonious with the water, it means the vital is harmonious.

It was delightful (it happened around 1:30 in the afternoon): sitting on the water the way you would sit on a chair! And the water was so clear, crystal clear, transparent, rippled with tiny waves; the depths were dark blue, but the surface was perfectly clear, transparent, almost colorless. Then when the "big brother" came, boasting that he knew how to do it too, and would take me across, the water began to get muddy, as river water always is – a dirty grayish yellow.

It must be the continuation of that experience the other day. I was beginning to find the key.

What does this "big brother" represent?

Material knowledge, I think – I mean the higher use of the physical mind, which keeps you from entering the true room.[95] Because I simply kept repeating, "I have to say: I WANT TO GO THERE ..." (in other words, it was a crystal clear, imperative will coming from the highest level) ... "I have to say: I WANT TO GO – not that, not your methods!" (Mother laughs.)

***

(A little later, regarding Mother's exclamation: "If only the mechanism could be found!")

It's neither "trick" nor twist, but something in between.

There are boxes that can only be opened in a certain way, and if you don't know the way.... Some cupboards are like that, too. It's not obvious. It really is a trick, but even more than a trick, a kind of very subtle little mechanism. Like being just on the verge of attaining something, and suddenly – ah! You know you've got it!

***

(Mother then refers to a passage from the previous conversation in which she said: "I don't want to find anything for myself alone ... every time I am in that state I spread it around.")

Immediately, as soon as I am in that state, there's an instantaneous will to spread it around as much as possible, so that all who are close to me in some way, materially or spiritually, may benefit from it. That's my very first movement. And it's probably also how I catch the contagion of the wrong room!

Very probably. But after all, it's necessary.

But are we the least bit receptive to your work?

I have seen instances of people having quite unexpected experiences, experiences out of all proportion to their normal state of consciousness, and very clearly resulting from that movement. It wouldn't be kind to name them, because ... really, you would never expect them to have such experiences! And it certainly comes from that.

Yes, it has effects – far and near. The people nearest to me don't seem to be the most receptive; but with them the action is much more complex and SOLID – I mean instead of a sudden experience that's almost, as I said, out of proportion to their normal condition, something is being progressively BUILT.... I constantly find myself in the midst of constructions, immense constructions in the making. It was like that last night; I had to flounder about in something like cement, a kind of batter. And then I meet all sorts of people who are also more or less symbolic, but who sometimes have the features of a specific person. It's a whole WORLD of circumstances, symbolic down to the most minute details. I remember everything, but I would have to describe a whole world ... and an apparently uninteresting world, at that (outwardly uninteresting, I mean); but it gives me the key, from every point of view, to the present state of things, to the world now in the making.

Last night I spent almost all my time in such a building. And all the people who help the work were symbolized there – but it's always a material help, either work or money or.... I remember being particularly struck by one character last night. (Again, there were a lot of aggravations, but someone or something was always on the scene when I arrived and it all sorted itself out – it was the exact opposite of the dreams I was talking about the other day: all the difficulties sorted themselves out when I arrived.) Then I came to a rather difficult place to cross (you had to flounder about on slippery scaffoldings) and suddenly, facing me, there was a man (of course, it was probably a symbol rather than a man, but it might really be someone physical). He was one of the workers, a master mason (when I woke up this morning, I thought of the symbolism of Freemasonry and wondered if it might give a clue to the experience). Nearby, people were coming to supervise, observe, direct, people who thought themselves highly superior ... but they were never any help in solving practical problems! They were creating more problems than they were helping to solve. Anyway, this master mason appeared to be around fifty, with a beautiful face – a worker's face, beautiful and concentrated. There was a difficult place to cross, and he had worked the thing out very efficiently, with a lot of care. Then, when it was all done and I was able to go on my way, I felt a great surge of love go out to him, with neither gesture nor word – and he received it, he felt and received it. His face lit up and he implored me, with wonderful humility, "Never let me forget this moment, the most beautiful moment of my life." (I don't know what language he used because it didn't come to me in words.) It was such an intense experience. His humility, his receptivity, his response were all so beautiful and pure that when I woke up – when I came out of the experience, at any rate – I was left with a most delightful impression.

What he represents might be partly manifested by somebody here. A beautiful face ... a man around fifty. Or it may be symbolic: such characters are sometimes put together with features from several people, to make it very clear that they represent a state of consciousness and not an individual. It's far more often a state of consciousness than an individual.

But this experience left me with a true sense of satisfaction, of fullness: his work had been perfect and his response to the divine Force, to the Grace that came to him, was magnificent.... It may be several people,[96] it may be one particular person – I don't know. It happened just last night.

You remember all the difficulties I encountered in those other visions at night. Well, this was very interesting because it was just the opposite: I was in a very complicated place full of obstacles and difficulties, but someone or something was always there when I arrived – everything would get sorted out and I would go on my way. It all sorted itself out automatically ... the feeling of a power putting everything in order. And I remember when the mason arrived, just as I was facing that rather big obstacle, there was someone on my right (someone very "official," wearing a dark coat) who thought (the contact was through thought rather than words), "Oh! She's always calling on the workers for help instead of...." And I answered, "The workers are more efficient and their goodwill ..." (all that business of "caste," you know, or of "society" or "social position"). "The workers have simple hearts," I said, "they are efficient in their work and have more goodwill than the people who think they're so smart! " It was funny. So this made two interesting experiences yesterday, one after the other.

The afternoon experience was very intriguing; I was busy working (organizing things for one of the departments, I no longer remember which) and then I said to the person I was with, "Now I am going to my cousins' place! ..." When I was very young I had a cousin, the eldest son of one of my father's brothers (he had a large family, such as you seldom see in France). This cousin became some kind of engineer – a civil engineer, maybe, or a mechanical engineer (he was an outstanding chemist). Anyway, this boy was very attracted to me. He went off to the war as an officer and caught some disease (I forget what) and died around 1915, at the time I returned to France. Well, in my experience yesterday afternoon, a certain family living HERE gave me exactly the same sensation I had had towards those people when I was young. And especially for this cousin (for the rest of the family it was more vague, like a background to the experience). "I am going to their place," I said. They have a lovely estate here, just as they had a lovely estate in France before (they had Madame de Sevigne's chateau at Sucy, near Paris – a beautiful property). And it was all so concrete! It wasn't coming through the head; it wasn't a thought but a sensation. "I have to go see him now," I said. And even as I was having my vision I was telling myself, "You must be going crazy! Can they really be here in Pondicherry?" This uncle with whom I had only rather distant relations and this cousin I never saw much of, but whom I knew to be very nice and very loyal – "Are they really here?!" The sensation was most strange (the head wasn't functioning at all; it was a SENSATION). So off I went to see this "cousin," and it was on the way to see him that I had the experience of crossing the river. And on the way back, after the discussion with the "spiritual brother" (whom I really told off: "Get out of here! I don't need you! "), after that, when I found myself back on the bank, I started collecting my consciousness again, telling myself, "Look here now! Let's try to see clearly." And then I realized that the cousin who died prematurely during the war had reincarnated in someone here. "How strange," I thought.... And the dates coincided.

But that is a singular state: there is no mental intervention at all; you live things POSITIVELY, just as you experience them physically, in the same way that this (Mother knocks on the table next to her) is physically a table. It's that kind of perception – something positive. I positively said, "I am going to my cousins' place," and the relationship had an absolutely positive vibration – it wasn't at all something thought or even "remembered": there's no "remembering" anything, it's simply there, alive. A strange state. I have had it on several occasions, and when I have it I am aware that this must be the state people who know what is happening and make predictions are in – in this state there is no possibility of doubt. No thoughts intervene – none at all, not one. Absolutely nothing intellectual: simply certain vital-physical vibrations, and then you know. And you don't even wonder how you know; it's not that kind of thing – it's self-evident. And since I was in that state when I saw the reincarnation of the cousin, I am perfectly sure of what I saw. And god knows (Mother laughs), when I came out of it and began to look at it all with my usual consciousness, I said to myself, "My word! I would never have thought of such a thing!" It was millions of miles from any thought of mine. Besides, I never used to think of that cousin; he was a fine boy but I never paid much attention to him, he had no place in my active consciousness.

It's fun.

Well, mon petit. If you could have nights like that – it's so much fun!

There must be a gap somewhere.

There is – I know there is. There's simply a void between two parts of your consciousness, and when your consciousness passes through, it loses touch with everything on the other side.... It's as though you had fallen into a hole, and then, ooh!

It takes a very long time to build, but there must be a way to make a bridge – that's what I am hunting for now.

But isn't there a practical method?

A practical method ... yes.

First of all, materially speaking, when you wake up you must ALWAYS KEEP STILL. You have to teach your body.... You know, you mustn't even (gesture) move your head. Keep completely still. And stay like that, suspended between sleep and waking, with a very TRANQUIL will to remember.

You may succeed immediately, but it may also take time.

But from the purely material standpoint, it's elementary: if you so much as turn your head on awaking, everything fades away. You have to stay absolutely still, in a sort of peaceful concentration. And then you wait.

If you sometimes remember a word or a gesture, a color or an image, hang on to it and don't move.

Some people succeed right away; for others it takes longer. But it always succeeds in the end. You just have to build a bridge, that's all.

And then, don't be in a hurry to get up, above all don't say, "Oh, I'll be late...." Just stay there, as if you had all eternity before you.

June 6, 1962

Did you see anything last night? Feel anything?

??

I am asking because last night I tried ... it was around four in the morning and I was concentrating on trying to build that bridge [between your waking consciousness and the other consciousness]. You didn't feel anything?

It's very vague.

It's another way of remembering, that's why.

It must give a sort of woolly effect to someone not used to it.... You know, when you want to draw your consciousness within – what people call "concentrating" – for meditation, for instance, or japa, well, to the sharp-edged surface consciousness the movement of interiorization is like entering something ... not exactly "smoky," because it isn't dark, but woolly: the feeling of something with no angles, no precise demarcations. Don't you have that impression when you concentrate?

I don't see anything when I concentrate.

Not see: feel.

All this belongs to another kind of sense. Not a physical sense, but a sort of sensation. It's all sensation.

For example, just now I was sitting and waiting for you. When I have nothing to do I can't stay one second without immediately turning within – instead of the consciousness being turned outside, it's turned within – and well, I noticed that the body, which was sitting and waiting, had the feeling of going into something woolly, rounded, soft. And in both cases I was motionless. I was simply sitting here waiting. It's like going from something crisp, clear, precise (forget about thought or vision: this is pure sensation), from something crisp, precise, defined, into something soft, mellow ... like a light white smoke – not milky white, but soft, transparent and oh, such peace.... As if nothing in the world could resist that peace.

It happened in a split second: I was sitting, waiting for you, thinking you were about to come; but the door wasn't opening, so automatically the body went like this (inward-turning gesture). And since it happened so suddenly, I noticed the difference in the way the body felt.... What it normally feels is a formidable will – very tranquil, very peaceful, free of tension or agitation, yet so direct and clear, concentrated (not concentrated: coagulated) that it is almost hard. And that's what controls the body, that's what the body obeys. And when that's not there, it's the other state: smooth, mellow, soft, woolly ... and what peace! As if nothing in the world could disturb it.

It took maybe a second or a fraction of a second – that's why I was able to observe both states.

And as far as I remember (because I never remember fully), this sort of "haziness," as it were, was my constant state at the start of that so-called illness; everything was that way – people, things, life, the universe. That's how it was, with only that special Vibration, so soft, so enveloping. And it has stayed, it is still here.

It doesn't take me any time, the time factor doesn't enter into it at all – it's a sort of inner resolution: this way or that way (Mother turns the palms of her hands in and out). People say, "Oh, you've been waiting! " No, I never wait; it's either action or a sort of blissful peace (same in and out gesture). And I am talking about the body, not the spirit – the spirit is elsewhere. Elsewhere. The BODY feels like that.

And what nights I have! ... Nights like the one I told you about the other day, with visions and actions; and then I have nights.... All night last night, I didn't lose consciousness, I don't feel I slept for a minute; and it was like being in a sort of temporal Infinity (both hands open above the head). From time to time, I look at the clock (all at once I feel something pulling me and I look at the clock): two or two and a half hours have passed – like a second. Did I sleep, you ask? Did the consciousness fall asleep? No, not for a second. But the sense of time completely disappears into ... into an inner immobility. But an immobility in motion!

If it keeps on like this, they will put me in a padded cell!

Strange....

I had decided to tell you nothing because I really have nothing to say – it's something that's going to need some time to become clear. But then this happened just now as I was waiting for you. So I looked, something above looked at what was happening in the body, as though asking it, "Let's see, how does this feel to you?" And I have told you how it feels.

(silence)

I am translating "The Yoga of Self-Perfection": what the body must be and must become to serve as an instrument. It's touching....

But one thing has happened practically without my noticing it. In the past, before that experience [April 13], the body used to feel the struggle against the forces of wear and tear (different organs wearing out, losing their endurance, their power of reaction, and certain movements, for instance, becoming less easy to make). That's what the body felt, although the body-consciousness never sensed any aging, never, none – that simply didn't exist. But in actual material fact, there was some difficulty.... And now, looking at it in the ordinary way, externally, superficially, you might say there has been a great deterioration; well, the body doesn't feel that way at all! What it feels is that a particular movement, effort, gesture or action belongs to the world – this world of ignorance – and isn't being performed in the true way: it's not the true movement, done in the true way. And its sensation or perception is that the state I was speaking of, soft, with no angles, has to develop along a certain line and produce effects on the body that will make true action possible, action expressing the true will. With no difference on the surface, perhaps (I don't know about that yet) ... but done in another way. And I am not talking about grandiose things, mind you, but of everyday activities: getting up, walking, taking a bath. I no longer have a feeling of incapacity, but a feeling of (what's the word for it?) ... an unwillingness – a bodily unwillingness – to do things in the old way.

There is another way to be found.

But not "found" with the head, it's not like that.... A way that is somewhere IN THE MAKING.

I am speaking of the smallest things – take brushing the teeth; there's a difference between the way I brush my teeth now and the way I used to. (In appearance, I suppose it's the same thing.)

And I have difficulty (it's almost an unwillingness too) seeing things the way others see them. It's difficult for me, not spontaneous: it would take an effort I don't care to make.

As for the head, it has learned to keep still.... I walk in the mornings and afternoons, saying the mantra as I did before; but while before I had to drive thoughts away, concentrate and make an effort, now this state comes and takes over everything – the head, the body, everything – and then I walk in that woolly dream (woolly isn't the right word, but it's all I can find!). It's smooth, soft, without angles and supple! No resistance, no resistance.... Oh, that peace!

Very well, petit.

(Mother looks at Satprem) I wonder if I can spread the "contagion" a little!

I tried last night. I'll try again.

What were you doing at four in the morning? Sleeping?

Yes.

What time do you wake up?

Around six.

We'll see....

But when I go within I don't get that hazy, woolly feeling at all.

Don't you have any sensations?

Nothing at all. Actually, all I get is a sort of crystalline sensation. You once told me I was enclosed in a glass statue, remember? Well, that's exactly my impression. Something clear, very clear, but with nothing in it.

It is a mental interiorization.

Oh, yes – it's clear, very clear, very luminous ... a bit hard. But everything seems hard to me now! If you only knew.... It has come to the point where as soon as I change states I get the feeling that the body is sitting on jagged chunks of wood ... and yet it is very comfortably ensconced on feather cushions!

(silence)

I don't know, but I had the impression it ought to be a POWER rather than a state of consciousness – a power able to CHANGE things. Rather than changing one's attitude, there should be a power that could change Matter, make it more....[97]

Everything is a power, mon petit! Life is a power – no power, no life.

Yes, but I mean rather than being something subjective, some thing you "experience," it should be a power that, for instance, could change this material hardness into a softness.

I haven't changed.

I haven't changed, that's the thing – I haven't changed. Because were it changed, it wouldn't come back; but they coexist. They coexist.[98]

If matter were changeable, it would have changed LONG ago.

(silence)

I remember reading something by Sri Aurobindo, I think, about certain philosophical or spiritual theories which held that there was only one Soul, or one Purusha (I don't remember what he called it); this Soul had the entire experience of the distortion of the universe, and this same Soul was also experiencing the Return. And it was pointed out with indisputable logic that if there really is but ONE Soul, then from the moment mastery is attained – regardless of whether it is by an individual or a world, a god or an ant – the moment the power to change the distortion into the Truth exists, it's all over and done with! The change automatically comes into force.

But then it was noted that some people did accomplish this Return – since they lived it and described it – but all the same, everything else continues to exist, to coexist. Therefore....

It's something else.

(long silence)

Will there always be a world like the one we know?

(silence)

Because everything changes, but nothing disappears. You know, thinking the way we commonly do, it seems to us that the present state of the world will change and be replaced by something else. And on the other hand, we know from experience that whatever exists, exists eternally.... So then what?

(long silence)

We can readily imagine a world where you would live in that

state I've been speaking of, and which would develop according to

its own laws. But would the existence of such a world cancel out

this one?...

So you see, here we face a problem that has yet to be solved.

Yes, but that different world you conceive of, will it be different subjectively, or in its material properties?... Will that world be different to us only subjectively, in the way we think of it, or....

Power ... logically, one has power over things.

I am (how shall I put it?) under way, on the border. But we would need some proof, wouldn't we? Some evidence. For ONESELF, things are unquestionably changing; I have had two or three or four FLASHES of objective change – a change not only for my consciousness, but perceptible to other consciousnesses too. But it's like a flash: "Ah!" And it vanishes in the time it takes to say "Ah! " So it's nothing you can talk about.

Events can be changed: wherever the state of consciousness comes into play, you can change events. I have had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of examples of that, as I have had the experience of changing a person's state of consciousness[99] and the resulting circumstances of that state of consciousness. All that belongs to the realm of psychological life; but what I am speaking of is this (Mother vigorously strikes the table).

There is indeed the case of Madame Théon's sandals, which came and put themselves on her feet instead of her feet going and putting themselves in the sandals, but that ... that belongs to yet another realm. It wasn't what you would call a "natural" phenomenon: she was applying her will and her action, and the substance of the sandals was becoming receptive. But does that mean the world will be that way? ... I don't know.

Two or three times, like a flash, I have seen something ... manifest, change place. But it was over in less time than it takes to tell, so it might be entirely subjective. To make sure, I would have to check it with someone else, wouldn't I?

We will see. Patience.

There you are.

So, mon petit, what are you up to? It's all chatter and no work for you today.

But this is interesting!

Have you started your book?

No. I have to think about it, concentrate. That takes time.

***

(A little later, towards the end of the conversation:)

Petit, before you go to sleep, when you get into bed, simply think of me a little, with the will to receive what I send you – just for the space of a few seconds before you go to sleep, that's all. Don't try to concentrate and keep yourself awake, just formulate it, then go to sleep. Because I am really trying!

Of course, I know you're trying! I'm not accusing anyone – I'm the one that's blocked.

But it's neither you nor me nor Tom, Dick or Harry nor the Lord – that's just the way it is. There's a reason behind it we're too obtuse to understand.

Yes, but it's getting to be a pretty long reason. I have the feeling it's all going to crack one day.

Yes!

Yes, but maybe it won't crack in the right way.... One day I'm just going to say the hell with it.

No, that's just the obstacle, that hardening in you. Oh, mon petit, if you knew how hard some things become in the being! Oh, how much I've had to struggle and struggle and struggle.... This experience [of April 13] did the job, but otherwise it was a minute-to-minute struggle. Life turns you into something hard as iron (Mother makes a fist).

And that's what has happened. That's what has happened. Anyway, we can still try! (Mother laughs.)

Au revoir, mon petit.

June 9, 1962

(In the course of the preceding conversation, Satprem had thought that rather than a subjective change, a change in one's attitude towards things, there should be an objective change, a power capable of changing the very substance of things: their property of hardness, for instance. Here Mother elucidates her previous statement that "if matter were changeable, it would have changed long ago," a statement that, at first glance, seemed to shatter all hope of transformation.)

There is nothing to change! Only the relations between things change....

As an analogy, look at what science has discovered about the so-called composition of matter at the atomic level – there's nothing to change. Nothing to change! The constituent element doesn't change, the relations between things are what change.

Everything has one and the same constituent element, you see; and everything lies IN the interrelations.[100] Well, it's exactly the same for the transformation.

So you speak of "power," but in fact....

(long silence)

The notion of "subjective" and "objective" STILL belongs to the old world and to the three, or at most four, dimensions.... It is one and the same Power that changes the interrelations within one and the same element; to put things simply, the Power that gives the subjective experience AND the objective realization is the same; it is only a matter of a greater or lesser totality of experience, as it were. And if the experience were total it would be the experience of the Supreme, and it would be universal.

Does what I am saying make any sense?...

It all practically comes down to a capacity to spread the experience, or to INCLUDE things in the experience (it's the same thing). You really have to forget this business of one person and then another, one thing and then another.... Even if you can't realize it concretely, at least imagine that there is but ONE thing, excessively complex, and (depending on the case) one experience taking place in one spot, or spreading out like oil on water, or embracing everything. This is all very approximate, but it's the only way the thing can be understood. And the sole explanation for "contagion" is in that Oneness.

And power is what makes the difference. The greater the power, you might say (these words are all very clumsy), the farther the experience spreads. How great the power is depends on its starting point. If its starting point is the Origin, the power is ... let's say universal (we won't consider more than one universe for the moment); it is universal. As this Power manifests from plane to plane, it becomes more concrete and limited; on each plane, the field of action becomes more limited. If your power is vital (or "pranic," as it's called here in India), the field of action is terrestrial, and sometimes limited to just a few individuals, sometimes it's a power capable of acting on just one small being. But originally it's the SAME power, acting on the SAME substance ... I can't express it, words are impossible; but I sense very clearly what I mean.

I can affirm that this notion of "subjective" and "objective" still belongs to the world of illusion. The CONTENT of the experience is what may be either microscopic or universal, depending on the specific quality of the power being expressed, or its field of action. The limitation of power can be voluntary and deliberate; it can be a willed, and not an imposed limitation, which means that the Will-Force may come from the Origin but deliberately limit itself, limit its field of action. But it is the same power and the same substance.

Ultimately there is but one power and one substance. There are varying modalities – countless modalities – of power and substance, but there is but ONE power and ONE substance, as there is but ONE consciousness and ONE truth.

Yes, but when you say that what changes is only "the relations between things," it's still a matter of subjectivity (I use the word for lack of a better one). But when we come down to the brass tacks of transformation – physical immortality in the body, for instance – doesn't it involve more than a simple inner change of relations? Doesn't MATTER itself have to be transformed? So there has to be a power over matter. Not merely a change of relations ... no?

No; you can't grasp what I mean by the word "relation" unless you take it scientifically. Your body, and my body, this table, this carpet, are all made up of atoms; and these atoms are constituted of the SAME thing. The differences we see – different bodies, different forms – are due to the movements or the interrelations within this same thing.

Yes, so then it's the interrelations that have to change.

But this has to be very concretely grasped. Well, I say that the power must change this intra-atomic movement. Then, instead of disintegrating, your bodily substance will obey the movement of Transformation, you follow? But it's all the SAME thing! What must change are the relations among things.

And so it becomes EVIDENT that immortality can be achieved! Things get destroyed simply because of their own rigidity – and even then, it's only a semblance of destruction; the essential element stays the same, everywhere, in everything, in decay just as much as in life.

It is extremely interesting!

Ultimately, it's all the constructing Will. This constructing Will is eternal, immortal and infinite – it's obvious – so if it is left to this Will, there's no reason why Its creation shouldn't partake of immortality and infinity – things don't necessarily have to go through the semblance of disintegration to change form, it's not indispensable. It has come to be that way for some reason or other (which is probably none of our business), but it's not indispensable, it could be different.

(silence)

The problem is getting out of it: we see, we touch, and we are enslaved. But if you look up THERE (gesture above the head) it all seems quite simple!

And looking up THERE, I tell you, I am sure there is no difference between "subjective" and "objective" – except when you give your individuality and your individual consciousness an independent reality; that is, when you cut everything into little bits with your imagination.... Then, of course....

June 12, 1962

(Unexpectedly, this conversation led into the subject of Satprem's break with X, who had been his guru for the past few years. Here then, briefly, is the story behind the rupture: No sooner had Satprem brought X to the Ashram than a swarm of disciples threw themselves at him. Conspicuous among these were the moneymen, the same wheelerdealers who, eleven years later, after Mother's departure, were to reveal their ambitions in Auroville as well as Pondicherry. Satprem's somewhat straightforward manner soon got in the way of their schemes. He had a deep affection for X and when he repeatedly saw that these people – spiritual scoundrels is the only word for them – were, in the hope of sowing confusion (for they always prosper best in confusion), bringing false reports to Mother of things X had supposedly said, he tried in all innocence to put X on his guard against the false reports and dishonest people who were wronging him. But instead of listening to Satprem and understanding that he spoke out of love, X – with all his Tantric power behind – flew into a violent rage against him, as if he had been casting a slur on X's prestige. Satprem then broke with X, but not without sorrow.)

Anything new?

Ahem! ...

Me too, nothing new. Nothing at all. But you have a letter there (Mother sees an envelope on the floor next to Satprem).

I don't know what it is; it came just this morning and I haven't opened it.

Isn't it from your publisher?

Oh, you know what the publisher says: send us a book when you have one ready.

Oh! They said that?

Yes.

All right. We'll stop all other work.

But the book has to come to me!

Oh, it's coming – it's coming. I have no doubt about that. All you have to do is turn this way (gesture above the head).

Some people are satisfied with what they write; I don't have that feeling, I must say.

They are generally fools.

But you know, if you think it will come only if you go somewhere else ... there's always that possibility.

No, I didn't want to go to the Himalayas for inspiration – I'm quite aware that inspiration can come anywhere! No, it wasn't for that, but for....

Your health?

Yes, among other things. I have been wounded by that episode. You don't know all the details, but it was ugly.

But mon petit ... I haven't told you everything that happened! Now he's telling everybody he had to cut with the Ashram because he was ill-treated.

Oh, so that's what he's saying....

He says he never uttered the words he's supposed to have said, yet on my side, I practically made N.[101] swear an oath that he was telling the truth.... X says he never said I had no more than two months left to live (and he certainly never said it like that).

Of course not!

Not the slightest doubt about it. And he says an injustice was done to him (he doesn't mention your name – he doesn't mention any names, or at least none that are repeated to me); he says he was insulted and abused and is now compelled to cut with the Ashram.

When I spoke to him, you know, when I went to see him, it was just after my japa and I was in a state of absolute inner calm – absolute, with not a.... I simply felt he had to be helped, because he was saying things that were going against him. So I had this feeling, a very strong feeling of affection, but an affection that states things clearly and unemotionally. I was very calm when I said all that. I did get upset afterwards, but I was upset mainly because he immediately had such an incredible reaction! So then I was at a loss. But the way I put things to him.... Really, if he had the least.... But even a man who has never done any yoga would have felt I was speaking from my heart, candidly. Even a man with no spiritual culture would have felt that. So how could he take it in such a way!

I am not sure he did.

Oh, look! It was so....

 

No, I don't believe he thought you were insulting him or whatever – I think it's all politics, mon petit!

When Z first spoke to him, you know, he didn't deny anything; all he said was, "Oh, let's not pay any heed to these worldly things." And then he talked about Z's arm, which he wanted to heal. The second time, he denied one part – he denied he had spoken of my health, when actually.... The third time.... You follow, the more it became necessary to take a clear stand, the more he denied, simply saying, "No, I never said that."

So he has cut off relations with the Ashram?

He says he has – he hasn't actually done it.

Naturally he says he has kept all he felt and saw for me. He had said he wanted to remove his yantram[102]'from the Ashram, but in the end he left it. He writes to Z telling him he is working on his arm. He had a visit from A. and from that fellow M. – that was comical! M., of course, had come to the Ashram to stay, but anyway ... he's looking for some kind of power, I sense that well enough. He had been frequenting some character who had power but wasn't putting it to very good use, and he felt something similar with X – he is instinctively in search of power. When he went down to see X, he may have felt a power coming into him – so he's going away! ... I don't think he has any kind of attachment either to India or the Ashram: he's looking for power.

That's how things stand.

You know, for me all this is nothing but surface drama, the whole business means nothing. The only thing I did see clearly was more or less what you felt: that is, if X is to remain intimately linked with us, he had better learn not to tell tales ... or, to put it as favorably as possible, not to give voice to a certain unconscious part of his being.

That's exactly it! I detest gossip, you know, so I never spread any, but he has told some people incredible things. I don't "tell on him" to you because I find it a kind of ... it's something I dislike. That's why I spoke to him – in such a case, I always refer to something within, to the deep affection I had for him. I mean I was trying to help. I had NO OTHER kind of reaction. I saw him in a bad spot and tried to help him out, that's all.

Yes, but with the sort of people he had around him, you understand....

Oh!

It was inadmissible – he had to keep up his position.

Oh, those people! I have really had my eyes opened, you know....

He had to keep up his position.

(silence)

... You see, the trouble is he's a man whose principles and education prevent him from believing in progress and transformation. He believes that if you fulfill the conditions you get the siddhi,[103] and that's the end of it – the goal is reached. He had already attained his goal before meeting us, and then ... he could have kept his distance, but he became intimately connected with something full of all kinds of difficulties (which we neither ignore nor call for), but ... it's essentially a Power for progress – an awesome force for progress. Well, when I saw that, I wondered, "How can he possibly bear it?" I thought he would keep his distance and not enter the atmosphere, but he did try to enter – he linked up with certain people, and particularly when he started meditating with me (he asked for it, not me), suddenly something responded.... And that triggered the conflict in him. One part of his being has gone along with the Movement, while the other is left stranded – doesn't budge. That created a gap.

Of course, one has to be in a terribly superficial consciousness to react the way he did. He had a rather deep contact with you, and there were moments when he understood very well who you are – he knows, he told me so. Consequently, had he truly been in a yogic state, then even if you had done something tactless or wrong, he would have just smiled! He would have said, "Oh, he's just impetuous, but I don't mind."

But it wasn't like that, Mother! I'm self-critical, god knows, and I have examined myself on this – I wasn't tactless for a SECOND, I spoke very calmly. Very calmly. And not with the idea of accusing him. On the contrary, I was simply trying to tell him, "Look, see what's happening...." I have really done nothing wrong, to tell you the truth.

No, you did do something wrong.

Well, yes – you told me not to say anything!

Yes. Because I had seen ... you couldn't see it, but I saw that if you were to speak to him it would be catastrophic! (Mother laughs) And as soon as I saw that, I told you "Don't say anything."

But I did it KNOWINGLY, because I saw he needed help.

A man in his position, with such a rudimentary degree of culture, CANNOT be helped. Especially since all his learning is based on a knowledge that denies progress. So how can he be helped to progress?

Anyway, what will happen will happen, and it will certainly be what's best for everyone, including him![104]

But through that event I have been put in contact with a certain realm of mental distortion which is a bit ... bewildering. I've realized that I say something, something clear as crystal for me, and then....

(silence)

No, the Grace has made him an object of special attention, thrusting him into a world which, externally, was not his own. In a matter of a few years he has made a journey of several lifetimes, so it has been a little bit difficult. Truly, in a few years he has inwardly traveled many lifetimes. And he has had to face the necessity of an enormous progress, all the more difficult because he hadn't mentally accepted or foreseen it. So he doesn't understand any more, poor man! If I could only take him in my arms like a baby and say to him, "My poor little dear, my dear little child ..." and make him feel good, then all would be well. But it's not possible – there's a whole spiritual construction. So I do it from a distance, wordlessly, in silence. But what gets through all that crust? I don't know!... Over and over, I keep saying one thing: "To divine Love, all human confusions and misunderstandings are unknown." There. Well, we will see. "Wherever divine Love is present, human confusions and misunderstandings cannot exist, cannot enter."

That's the only solution.

But not an ATOM of mind must be added – the slightest intellectual activity spoils everything.

And then look at it all with a crystalline smile.

(silence)

He has been put in contact with a dangerous Grace – some graces are dangerous – I knew it from the start. We'll see.... It can all depend on a single ... a single flash of light: if something can go like that, pierce the crust, then it will be all right. He will become quite a fine person.

It will be as the Lord decides.

(silence)

There is a way of looking at things – an all too human way – which sees me as VERY dangerous, very dangerous. It has been said time and time again.... There was an Englishwoman who came here after an unhappy love affair. She had come to India seeking "consolation," and stumbled onto Pondicherry. It was right at the beginning (those English Conversations[105] are things I said to her; I spoke in English and then translated it – or rather said it all over again in French). And at the end of a year's stay, this woman said to me (with such despair!), "When I came here I was still able to love and feel goodwill towards people; but now that I've become conscious, I am full of contempt and hatred! " So I answered her, "Go a bit farther on." "Oh, no! " she replied. "It's enough for me as it is!" And she added, "You are a very dangerous person." Because I was making people conscious! (Mother laughs) But it's true! Once you start, you have to go right to the end; you mustn't stop on the way – on the way, it gets to be hard going.

I don't do it on purpose.

As a matter of fact, I don't do anything on purpose. It's like this (Mother opens her hands): Lord, You have willed.... I can't do anything about it. Voilà.

***

(Somewhat later)

What I say is becoming more and more difficult....

Perhaps fifty years from now people will understand!

(silence)

I feel like an egg that has yet to hatch – I mean a certain period of incubation is needed, isn't it?

And I am more and more aware that people really panicked this time; they imagined I was going to die – I could have died, had the Lord willed it. But ... it has been a sort of death, that's for sure – sure, sure, sure – although I don't say so, because.... After all, one must have some regard for people's common sense!

But really, if I let myself go one step further I would say that I was dead and ... have come back to life. But I don't say it.

A lot of people have been praying for me and even taking vows that if I didn't die they would go here or there on a pilgrimage – it's quite touching.

This greatly objectifies my situation, which has nothing to do with an illness to be cured! I can't be cured! It is a work of transformation. At any moment, if the Lord decides it's hopeless, it will be hopeless, finished; and no matter what happens, if the Lord has decided that I'll go right to the end of the experience, then I'll go right to the end.

That whole way of seeing, feeling and reacting belongs really to another world. Really to another world ... to such a degree that if I had no regard for people's peace of mind I would say, "I don't know whether I am dead or alive." Because there is a life, a type of life vibration that is completely independent of.... No, I'll put it another way: the way people ordinarily feel life, feel that they are alive, is intimately linked with a certain sensation they have of their bodies and of themselves. If you totally eliminate that sensation, the type of relation that allows people to say "I am alive" ... well, eliminate that, but then how can you say, "I am alive," or "I am not alive"? The distinction NO LONGER EXISTS. Well, for me, it has been completely eliminated. That night [April 12-13], it was definitively swept out of me. It has never come back. It's something that seems impossible now. So what they mean by "I am alive" is ... I can't say "I am alive" the way they do – it's something else entirely.

Better not keep this – in the end they'll be worrying about my sanity! (Mother laughs.)

But that doesn't matter either!

(silence)

You get such a feeling of power, so tremendous, so FREE, so independent of all circumstances, all reactions, all events – and it doesn't depend on whether the body is this way or that. Something else.... Something else....

Only one thing depends on the body: speech, expression ... who knows? ... (Mother gazes at Satprem for a long time, as though she were considering an unknown possibility.)

Ah, that's enough for today!

Shall we be silent for five minutes?

Tell me frankly, very frankly: does it help you or not [to meditate]? You can tell me anything you like – that it doesn't help you, that it harms you; you can tell me whatever you like! It doesn't matter, I am not sensitive.

No, Mother....

You feel nothing?... Nothing.

It's always the same thing. It's very ... it's calm, clear, but nothing happens.

You think something has to happen? (Mother laughs) I've been working for years on end just to have nothing happening!

It is so difficult to have nothing happening.

Yes, but if I may say so, that's exactly what I've been working towards all these years. I had read in Sri Aurobindo: mental silence, tranquillity, peace ... and so that's what I've been striving for. I mean, I think I've got it now – when I meditate, it's tranquil.

Oh, yes! Certainly.

It doesn't stir – but nothing's there!

But why should something be there?

But then what!...

If something's there, it's no longer tranquil!

But something else should be there! I thought that....

Ohhh! ... Something else?

This tranquillity is simply the starting point for me. Something should manifest within this silence, shouldn't it?

My constant complaint is that something does manifest – it interrupts the tranquillity.

If within that immobility I had a vision of the Mother, for instance – a vision of the Mother – if She were here ... well, yes, as though She knew me, was near me, was aware of my existence! A relationship, something.... Well, that would change everything! If I could say to myself: close your eyes and you will see Her – like Ramakrishna, for example, he had that kind of relationship. I don't know, my whole life would be changed, I would feel linked to SOMETHING. It wouldn't just be silence, silence, silence....

But all that belongs to a lower stage. What you need is....

A lower stage?

When the contact is through images, concrete and palpable, it's in a consciousness that's ... I don't say "lower" in a pejorative sense, but I mean in a more material consciousness. It's in the vital. In the vital. Ramakrishna's experiences were in the vital.

But at least it gives a meaning to life; life becomes full!

Yes, of course.... But in the vital.... For that, your vital needs a lot of preparation – it will happen, but ... I don't think you'll get the satisfaction you're hoping for. What I would like is to see you suddenly emerge into the supramental light, with that SENSE of eternal plenitude; and then, yes, you'll feel something! But not necessarily a form. Some people see forms – not necessarily a form.

(silence)

There may be some misunderstanding here! (Mother laughs) I thought you wanted....

(silence)

Well, mon petit, if that's what you want you will have to work a lot – you will have to bring into your vital and emotional being a great calm and peace. Things like that [with X] mustn't be able to disturb you, make you sick and so forth. Only on that condition can you get what you want.

A flash, yes ... (you had it once at Brindaban,[106] you had an experience there); a flash is possible. But you want something permanent.

All right.

(silence)

That, you know, was what I was always striving for: a sudden surge into the supreme Light, into the Eternal and the Infinite, and then into dazzled wonder. And then, instead of being dazzled by it, it becomes your normal state.

That's really something. And that's what I wanted to give you.

All right.

Well, I don't know....

Just imagine – it's easier for me to give you the other thing!

All right, we're going to try. We'll try.

(silence)

Oh! You want Her to tell you She knows you? But She's telling you! She has told you many a time!

You want Her to say: "You are mine, my very own?"

You want to SEE Her?

Yes.

(meditation)

June 16, 1962

It's going to take a long time, this business.[107]

When I look ahead, I see no radical change (that is, a change of organization, of life and so forth) before a VERY long time, a very long time. We have to have a lot of patience.

No, it's not a matter of patience – it's like this (Mother holds her hands above her head, open to the Eternal).

(silence)

It gives me the feeling of a bell that no one rings! It's there on the table (you know, those little dinner bells) ... and no one rings it.

Well.

June 20, 1962

Pavitra was telling me the other day that, according to the latest scientific discoveries, matter in its present state can be immortal. There's no reason that it couldn't change (for it changes all the time) enough to avoid decay. Nothing in matter's composition stands in the way of its immortality – immortality of form, I mean. If science simply follows its own course (and does not suddenly find itself confronted with something beyond its grasp), there's no reason it should not provide people who don't have a mystical or occult turn of mind with a way to use the present substance in imperishable forms, without recourse to anything from other realms.

This is a great support for practical-minded people.

From the standpoint of spiritual knowledge, decay, dissolution and disintegration unquestionably result from a wrong attitude.

A wrong attitude?

Yes, a wrong attitude.

My own experience is going on in the tiniest details, details imperceptible in themselves but pointing in a certain direction that, increasingly, is this: when you take a wrong attitude, it immediately sets off all the disorders. Almost as if you shift into a wrong gear – the image is too rigid, of course, it's not really that ... but we can say that the whole universe is rolling smoothly along and it's only when you go like this or like that (Mother indicates a shifting of gears) that disorders arise. You can have a wrong attitude in a number of ways. It's like a slight shifting of gears: things still work (assuming the mechanism to be particularly supple) but they grate – they grate and therefore wear out and deteriorate and break down. But if they were in the true position, there would be no friction.

The sense of friction doesn't exist – it disappears, there's no friction. Friction results only from the wrong angle ... from something, a sort of shift.

Of course, this is much more easily expressed in psychological terms – psychologically, it's very simple, crystal clear – but even MATERIALLY it's like that.

***

Later:

I had thought I would be able to see X for his birthday in December, but I don't know if I will have resumed my active life by then – it would greatly surprise me. Because, to tell the truth, if things are the way I have seen them (the way I have seen and felt them), then at the least a very serious beginning of transformation should be taking place – and well, for that, you know ... years are nothing! Years are no time at all. Everybody's in a hurry, absolutely insisting I resume my life; for the moment, I see no possibility of it.

But I don't know anything.

I don't try to know, I don't look, I don't know. I just have the sensation that it's going VERY slowly, very slowly, and were we imprudent enough to try to go fast, it would probably result in serious setbacks or catastrophes.

From this standpoint – the standpoint of this body and its activities – I am maintained in a state of utter indifference. Everything people want to do, all their programs and projects and so forth ... all that is far, far removed from me (gesture towards a distant shore); it's all a distant blur. I don't even look at it. It only comes to me when someone tells me something (gesture of a thought floating momentarily by), and then it goes.

The body itself senses that it must learn to live in eternity.

That seems quite indispensable.

And for that, surely, the first thing that has to go is haste, impatience – that much is clear.

Well, mon petit ... write your book.

June 23, 1962

One or two days ago, I am not sure when, but anyway after our last meeting, suddenly, without thinking about it or wishing it or anything (I was walking or doing something or other), I suddenly became, or saw, a tall being, all white, with a kind of halberd in its hand and an expression of iron will. And it seemed as if the world were being told: "Enough shilly-shallying, enough wavering, now it is time: the thing must be done."

And the body's activities hadn't the least importance; whatever I did, that remained. I was seeing that tall being from above, like a great transformative power in the vital. A huge being, very calm and powerful – with no violence in it of course, but utterly indomitable, and: " Enough waiting, enough shilly-shallying, enough vacillating: IT IS TIME."

It lasted more than an hour – oh, at least two hours. The body was in that experience, but I was going on as always with what I had to do while that being was there. I am telling you this because suddenly, in the midst of it all, I remembered you: "Why, he wants to see!" So I told that being, "Go show yourself to Satprem, show him you are here."

I wondered if you saw anything....

It lasted a long time, but I don't remember exactly when it was. Part of it happened while I was walking (I walk at five in the morning and five in the evening). When I started walking it was there and it lasted for a long time afterwards – whether morning or evening I don't remember.

In the morning – every morning, as I walk – I concentrate on you in the hope that you will remember your nights and have an experience.

And it stayed put, in the sense that all sorts of things could go on, but there it remained, at the borders of the terrestrial world, like a declaration from the Supreme – a very tall being.

All white, luminous, luminous – resplendent! And with a kind of halberd and, oh, a very determined air: "Enough shilly-shallying, no more vacillating, it is time."

"Go find Satprem," I said. "Show yourself to him."

You didn't see anything?

No.[108]

All sorts of things are going on....

All right.

Sujata had a dream last night.

Ah!

If you like, I'll read what she noted down: "I am in Pavitra's office, standing on the carpet next to his table. I raise my eyes and look down the corridor. It is empty. Then suddenly, all the way at the other end, next to her bathroom, I see Mother appear. She is so tiny, my dear little Mother! She starts towards the office where I am. She leaves the boudoir behind on her right, keeps coming forward, passes by the big window with the birds and the pink vases on her left. And she is growing. With each step she grows taller. One after the other, she goes by her chair, the door to the stairway, my lab, and Mother continues to grow. Then the door to Pavitra's room, the door to the terrace, and Mother comes to the office. She crosses the threshold: her head almost touches the top of the door. Mother comes in. She is so tall! Her head now touches the ceiling.[109] Standing, I barely come to her knees! Something in me is staggered before that sublime height. I prostrate myself."

(After a silence) I see her quite frequently at night....

(silence)

There is a whole range of things from the subconscient (vital and physical subconscient) ... quite new, things I didn't have before. It isn't my subconscient, it's much more general, and it comes with what are practically revelations; I mean I suddenly see certain things concerning people (people I know extremely well, whose inner beings I know very well) and I get a lot of surprises: "Well! So that was there!" People, people ... lots of people. I can't say I find it terribly interesting (!) but I am clearly meant to know about it. Not that I am seeking to see or know (my focus is rather on preparing the body and making it receptive; that's what I am actively doing), but what probably happens is that, in my contemplation, I suddenly exteriorize (or something of the sort) and then I see all kinds of things. But I DON'T sleep, you see (I don't know how to explain it).... I go from a state of conscious concentration to a more passive state in which I am made to take part in all kinds of scenes and visions, involving many people and many things, as if to complete my knowledge. Some of these visions are amusing, new and interesting, and I don't know, but I suspect Sri Aurobindo has something to do with it, because there's such a sense of humor running through it all! (Mother laughs) Things that make me laugh, comical things ... due mainly to the tremendous earnestness with which people take the most unimportant things; yes, the disproportionate importance people give to absolutely unimportant events!

(silence)

Last night something like a big festival was being prepared, I don't know where ... maybe at the Ashram (a lot of Ashram people were there) but perhaps not – the festival was of the whole earth, and everybody was dressed up in white lace! Of course it was profoundly ridiculous! But it was all taken very seriously, it was very important.

What did the white lace represent?... It was very important! And oh, the details! They were really funny.

(silence)

But last night too, I noticed I was very tall – I am generally very tall. Tall and strong.

Voilà.

@

June 27, 1962

... Personally, I have nothing to say.

This is a period of study and observation. There is absolutely nothing to say. It's a whole world of minute observations which, I hope, will lead me towards something more ... positive. More exactly, it's a demonstration of the inadequacy of the usual methods when it comes to acting according to Truth – and it goes on night and day.

Two nights ago, I had an experience I hadn't had for perhaps more than a year. A sort of concentration and accumulation of divine Energy in the cells of the body. During a certain period (I don't remember when), every night I had a kind of recharging of batteries through contact with universal forces; I had it again two nights ago, spontaneously. Then last night, when I wanted to look, to study, to understand how it worked, I was given a lavish demonstration of the inadequacy and utter uselessness of all processes of consciousness working through the mind. They are useless, they simply spoil the experience.

Previously, when I had an experience, I took great care to keep everything quiet and still so that it wouldn't be interrupted; but afterwards it was always made use of by the mind in its typical way (not exactly "typical," but typical to the mind), and this appeared to be inevitable. But now it doesn't work in the same way: it's limited to a few inevitable interventions; I mean people speak to me or I to them (I keep as silent as I can, but they still chatter away about every possible subject and I am obliged to answer), and it's limited to that. But as it is, even that ... as soon as I am a bit concentrated, even that seems so ... not wrong or distorted, not that, but INADEQUATE. It expresses absolutely nothing, that's all I can say.

The TRUE thing escapes completely.

So I am in a transitional position – it's all very well to see what's wrong, but there should at least be something that's right!

I have been given certain promises – great promises. Not "promises," but what comes is: "This is how it will be." Great things – concrete manifestations of the divine Power, the divine Consciousness, the divine Action. And spontaneous, natural, inevitable....

This is obviously being prepared (Mother touches her body) so that it won't put the usual obstacles in the way of expression.

But I would much prefer the thing to BE rather than just talk about it. That would be more interesting. So for the moment I prefer to say nothing.

(silence)

Many things could happen.... But how much time will it take? I don't know.

(silence)

Last night I said to myself, "Now look, that's not so brilliant – if we are still no farther than that...." You see, I was having an experience of (it wasn't an experience, really, but quite a normal state that was continuing and, as far as I could see, was practically continuous) ... a recharging of batteries. But there was also a kind of receiving and observing device – detestable! And I used to think it was excellent! For years before last April, everything was very calm, the mind was always turned this way (gesture above), silent, and there was a sort of functioning – I thought it was very good! Well, I have realized that it's worthless. Mind you, I wish everyone could have what I had! It was extremely handy, far beyond ordinary mental methods – but in fact, it's not true. It is still a ... a gimmick. Not the TRUE thing. It's still one of the things that keep life from being divine, so it's worthless!

But what in our present existence doesn't keep life from being divine? ... Nothing I know of! (Mother laughs) happily, Sri Aurobindo and I were the same on this point [a sense of humor]. Effortlessly, from a very young age, something in me has always laughed. It sees all the catastrophes, sees all the suffering, sees it all and can't help laughing – the way one laughs at something that pretends to be but isn't.

In the end, that's how you manage to hold on. It's a great thing.

***

(Later, Mother again speaks of her vision of the tall white being armed with a kind of halberd.)

What was standing there was a manifestation of one of my states of being, a part of my vital being, or rather one of my innumerable vital beings – because I have quite a few! And this one is particularly interested in things on earth.

A projection of yours – an emanation?

You know, mon petit, I said one day that in the history of earth, wherever there was a possibility for the Consciousness to manifest, I was there[110]; this is a fact. It's like the story of Savitri: always there, always there, always there, in this one, that one – at certain times there were four emanations simultaneously! At the time of the Italian and French Renaissance. And again at the time of Christ, then too.... Oh, you know, I have remembered so many, many things! It would take volumes to tell it all. And then, more often than not (not always, but more often than not), what took part in this or that life was a particular yogic formation of the vital being – in other words something immortal.[111] And when I came this time, as soon as I took up the yoga, they came back again from all sides, they were waiting. Some were simply waiting, others were working (they led their own independent lives) and they all gathered together again. That's how I got those memories. One after the other, those vital beings came – a deluge! I had barely enough time to assimilate one, to see, situate and integrate it, and another would come. They are quite independent, of course, they do their own work, but they are very centralized all the same. And there are all kinds – all kinds, anything you can imagine! Some of them have even been in men: they are not exclusively feminine.

At first, I used to think they were fantasies.

Before I met Sri Aurobindo they would come and come and come to me, night after night and sometimes during the day – a mass of things! Afterwards I told Sri Aurobindo about it, and he explained to me that it was quite natural. And indeed, it is quite natural: with the present incarnation of the Mahashakti (as he described it in Savitri), whatever is more or less bound up with Her wants to take part, that's quite natural. And it's particularly true for the vital: there has always been a preoccupation with organizing, centralizing, developing and unifying the vital forces, and controlling them. So there's a considerable number of vital beings, each with its own particular ability, who have played their role in history and now return.

But this one [the tall white Being] is not of human origin; it was not formed in a human life: it is a being that had already incarnated, and is one of those who presided over the formation of this present being [Mother]. But, as I said, I saw it: it was sexless, neither male nor female, and as intrepid as the vital can be, with a calm but absolute power.... Ah, I found a very good description of it in one of Sri Aurobindo's plays, when he speaks of the goddess Athena (I think it's in Perseus, but I am not sure); she has that kind of ... it's an almighty calm, and with such authority! Yes, it's in Perseus – when she appears to the Sea-God and forces him to retreat to his own domain. There's a description there that fits this Being quite well.[112]

Besides, all the Greek gods are various aspects of a single thing: you see it this way, that way, that way, this way (turning her hand, Mother seems to show several facets of a single prism).... But it's simply one and the same thing.[113]

Sri Aurobindo's description fits this Being exactly. And a few days ago, this same Being came, without my calling it or thinking about it or wishing it to come. And it seemed to be saying it was time for it to intervene.

So I let it!

During the whole time Sri Aurobindo was here, the four entities he speaks of, the four Aspects of the Mother,[114] were always present. And I was constantly obliged to tell one or the other of them, "Now keep calm, now, now, calm down" – they were always inclined to intervene!

Did I ever tell you? Last time I went down for the pujas (was it last year or the year before? I remember nothing any more, you know: it all gets swept away, brrt!).... Yes, it was the year before last, in '60, after that anniversary.[115] (Durga used to come every year, two or three days before the Durga puja.) I was walking as usual and she came; that was when she made her surrender to the Supreme.... Those divinities don't have the sense of surrender. Divinities such as Durga and the Greek gods (although the Greek gods are a bit dated now; but the gods of India are still very much alive!). Well, they are embodiments – what you might almost call localizations – of something eternal, but they lack the sense of surrender to the Supreme. And while I was walking, Durga was there – really, it was beautiful! Durga, with that awesome power of hers, forever bringing the adverse forces to heel – and she surrendered to the Supreme, to the point of no longer even recognizing the adverse forces: ALL is the Supreme. It was like a widening of her consciousness.

Some interesting things have been happening in that world [since the supramental descent].... How can I explain? Those beings have an independence, an absolute freedom of movement (although at the same time, they are all a single Being), but they had the true sense of perfect Unity only with the supreme Consciousness. And now with this present intervention [Mother's], with this incarnation and the establishment of the Consciousness here, like this (Mother makes a fist in a gesture of immutable solidity), in such an absolute way (I mean there are no fluctuations) ... HERE, on earth, in the terrestrial atmosphere, this incarnation has a radiating action throughout all those worlds, all those universes, all those Entities. And it results in small events,[116] incidents scaled to the size of the earth – which in themselves are quite interesting.

(long silence)

Everything that happened prior to the experience of April 13 has disappeared, as it were, and the usual functioning of the consciousness has been totally annulled; it is trying little by little to create a new mode of operation – not merely trying: it is in the PROCESS of doing so on a truer foundation; a truer foundation, or truer relations, or vibrations, or functionings ... (I don't know the right word for it: all these things at once). That presence the other day [the tall white Being] was nothing essentially new – it had already intervened a good many times; and yet it was new, because the whole functioning was new. It's like my experience two nights ago [the recharging of batteries], I had it for months on end; well, it was new because it was based on a new functioning. And each time (is it out of habit, or to make me understand, to make me see the difference?), each time the old functioning starts up, first of all I really feel I am losing the true contact, that the TRUE thing is escaping, and then I wonder how anybody can function like that without going insane! That's what strikes me now – this feeling of going insane! I mean it grates, it scrapes, it makes no sense – it misses the point. It is not the TRUE thing, it's beside the point. It tries to imitate something inimitable. And so I ask myself, "What is this? Am I going crazy? Am I losing my faculties?" And then I realize it's not that at all! Above there's a state of immutable and UNSHAKABLE concentration, constant and almighty, and with but a drop of That, a spark of That, all problems are solved. Then I see clearly that it's only a demonstration to make me see the inadequacy of the old, habitual functioning – to really and truly convince me that it's inadequate. It's rather hard to bear, actually. Last night I had it, I have seen it again in recent days: it lasts a few seconds – just enough for a satisfactory lesson! It may also happen to make me understand, but afterwards I wonder, "Well, if everybody is in this state ... they don't know it, but it's just terrible!" And I realize that the LEAST thing, the slightest circumstance, is COMPLETELY distorted, instantly distorted by the way people ... work it out, the way they cause events to develop.

That's an ever-present experience.

But this is still a period of preparation; the best thing to do now is to look and look and look again, observe and observe and observe again; and to have experiences, lots of experiences, because all that is nothing – the thing ITSELF must be grasped. We've got to catch the tail of the true functioning, so it can be substituted for the other at will. That's it exactly.

And that requires minute-to-minute observation.

Someone reads me a letter, for instance, and I have to answer; and there, superimposed, are both functionings: the ordinary reaction coming from above (nothing from here: it comes from above but it's the ordinary reaction) ... and if I follow that and start writing, after a moment comes a kind of sensation that it's inadequate; and then there's the other functioning which is not yet (what's the word? I should be speaking in English!) ... handy, not yet at my disposal. I have to keep myself quiet, then it starts operating [the new functioning]. But when there's something to be done, the two are superimposed and I have to keep the old one quiet for the other to come. And the other one ... ohh, it has some unexpected ways! I answer a letter, for example, or I want to say something to someone: my old way is an expression of what comes from above (it is luminous enough, but ADAPTED) ... but then there's that sensation of inadequacy – it won't do. All right. I step back and something else comes; and what comes, I must admit ... it's enough to drive people crazy! It's so MUCH SOMETHING ELSE!

I wrote a letter like that yesterday; I took a piece of paper and wrote in my habitual way, my old way. While I was writing, the feeling that it wasn't right came in; then I added a comment, written in the same manner, with the vision from above (a comment on a letter written by the person I was writing to). When that was done, the feeling of inadequacy lingered, so I took another piece of paper – it was blue – and wrote something ... and that still wasn't it. So I ended up taking yet another piece of paper and writing something else again ... then I put all three in one envelope! I hope that person has a solid head! ... But at the same time something was telling me, "It will do him good"; so I let it go.

It happened yesterday – I don't yet know the outcome!

So that's how things are for me. It may happen to you one day, too, so (laughing) you'd better be careful!

It's obviously a very good test of people's trust, because without trust they would.... For someone who doesn't have my experience, it all appears like first-class incoherence! Oh, it can be explained (everything can be explained! It's not beyond all explanation), but it is a bit disconcerting at first glance.

Anyway....

There you are.

But don't waste your time noting all this down.

Why not! It's well worth doing – these are the stages.

So see you Saturday – or is that too soon?

As you like.

Listen, after everything I've just been telling you, where's the "I like" in all this? (Mother laughs.)

No, I mean you are the one who has to see and decide.

I would like you to write your book.

It's progressing ... not rapidly.

If I didn't tell these things to you, they would all vanish, and that's a fact. Because I have no opportunity to tell them to anyone else – as you can well imagine! Tomorrow there will be something else and something else again the day after, and it all recedes into the past and has none of the relevance the present has for me.

Yes, for YOU it has no relevance – but what about the rest of us!

Well then, for it to be kept I have to see you.

Yes, exactly!

If I don't see you, it won't be kept. The results remain, but the experience itself vanishes.

That would be a shame. But I can easily come more often, if for you it's not....

(Mother takes Satprem's hands)

***

As Satprem is about to leave:

I wanted to mention something curious. Since you came up stairs in March, Sujata says that whenever she sees you at night she sees you taller than you were before!

Everyone says that – everyone!

Even I, when I see myself, I am very tall – what has happened?... It is the new being. I tell you, since the 12th [of April] there is.... When is it going to manifest in the physical? I don't know.

It is a subtle-physical being – not a vital but a subtle-physical being, and I am tall and strong.

Tell her she's not the only one who sees me this way – many do. When I see myself at night, that's how I see myself. Perhaps ... well, this (Mother touches her body) would have to yield. But when? I don't know.

Ageless – something neither young nor old nor ... something totally different. And tall, strong.

That's how I see myself.

And it is subtle-physical. You can tell her.

"It's peculiar, "she says, "since March I have been seeing Mother taller."

Yes, something has come and wants to manifest here, so I am being prepared, I see plainly that I am being.... How to adapt this (the body)? That's the question.

They are experimenting! We'll see what's going to happen. This work is fairly new! (Mother laughs.)

So, Saturday then.

(silence)

This is just the kind of thing I am being told ("told" is a way of speaking – it is a knowledge; it is indisputable, much more indisputable than words and all that sort of thing): one day it will be concretely visible, people will see it. I am waiting! (Mother laughs) I am waiting for that.

But if I have to wait for that to show myself, well then ... it will take quite some time.

Logically, of course, I should stay invisible until the day I appear in my new form. But it doesn't seem to be going quickly. For the moment, it's not changing ... except for a kind of sensation of force entering the body – a sensation as if the new thing were PUSHING.[117] Something very concrete.

We'll see! We have to be patient.

Au revoir, petit.

You don't need anything?

@

June 30, 1962

(Mother gives Satprem an old note to keep – unfortunately, he does not recall exactly what it was – one of those little scraps of paper, scattered about almost everywhere, on which Mother would jot down notations of her experiences; or, to be more exact, on which she concretized in material words the Force then manifesting. As a comment on this note, Mother adds.)

I have experienced this hundreds and hundreds of times: one has a deep, true experience, but the mind, even the higher mind, immediately latches onto it (usually it's the higher mind) and very actively makes its OWN thing out of the experience, thus bringing in its own distortion.

It comes merely as an addition, the distortion is not total, there's still something quite true behind it.

All those things are barriers the mind sets against the Truth.... I didn't write that to give you. Sometimes I write things and then keep them for years on end so that.... They are a material focus for the action. Had I not written it, I would not have been able to work so effectively – these are occult documents.[118]

***

(Regarding the last conversation and Mother's "innumerable vital beings," who reincarnated this time "in a deluge":)

As a child, when I was around ten or twelve years old, I had some rather interesting experiences which I didn't understand at all. I had some history books – you know, the textbooks they give you to learn history. Well, I'd read and suddenly the book would seem to become transparent, or the printed words would become transparent, and I'd see other words or even pictures. I hadn't the faintest idea what was happening to me! And it appeared so natural to me that I thought it was the same for everybody. But my brother and I were great chums (he was only a year and a half older), so I would tell him: "They talk nonsense in history, you know – it is LIKE THIS; it isn't like that: it is LIKE THIS!" And several times the corrections I got on one person or another turned out to be quite exact and detailed. And (I see it now – I understood it later on) they were certainly memories. About some passages I would even say, "How stupid! It was never that; THIS is what was said. It never happened like that; THIS is how it happened." And the book was simply open before me; I was just reading along like any other child and ... suddenly something would occur. It was something in me, of course, but I used to think it was in the book!

I found out many, many things about Joan of Arc – many things. And with stunning precision, which made it extremely interesting. I won't repeat them because I don't remember with exactness, and these things have no value unless they are exact. And then, for the Italian Renaissance: Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa; and for the French Renaissance: François I, Marguerite de Valois,[119] and so forth.

Twice I knew that it wasn't just images but something that had happened to ME, but it took another form. Once (when I was older, around twenty) it happened at Versailles. I had been invited to dinner by a cousin who, with no warning, served me dry champagne during dinner – and I drank it unsuspectingly (I who never drank at all, neither wine nor liquor!).... When I had to get up and cross the crowded room, oh, how very difficult it became, so difficult! Then we went to a place near the chateau, with a view of the whole park. And I was staring at the park, when I saw ... I saw the park filling up with lights (the electric lights had vanished), with all kinds of lights, torches, lanterns ... and then crowds of people walking about ... in Louis XIV dress! I was staring at this with my eyes wide open, holding on to the balustrade to keep from falling down (I wasn't too sure of myself!). I was seeing it all, then I saw myself there, engrossed in conversation with some people (I don't remember now, but there were certain "corrections" here too).... I mean I was a certain person (I don't remember who) and there were those two brothers who were sculptors (Mother vainly tries to recollect the names[120]) ... anyhow, all kinds of people were there and I saw myself talking, chatting. And I seem to have been sufficiently in control of myself, because when I related all that I had seen, there were some quite interesting details and corrections. That was one time.

There was another time at Blois. They make Anjou wine at Blois. It was the same story: I never drank anything but water or herb tea, but there was a luncheon and they served us sparkling Anjou wine ... it seemed so light! Afterwards (I was with an artist friend, we were all artists) we went to see the museum, and it appears I was sparkling with wit! And I suddenly halted in front of a painting by ... now let's see, who was it? Coué?... No, Clouet! Clouet: the princess ... one of the princesses.[121] And I started making a few remarks out loud (it took me a little while to notice that people were listening). "Look at this!" I was saying. "Just look at this! Look what this fellow has done to me! See what he's done to me – it wasn't at all like that!" It was actually a beautiful painting, but I was quite unhappy about it: "Look what he's done to me! Look – he made this like that, but that's not at all how it was, it was LIKE THIS! " Details.... And then I became aware (I wasn't too conscious physically) ... I realized that people were standing around listening, so I got a grip on myself, and left without a word. But I told my friends, "Listen, it was definitely me! It was MY portrait, it was ME!

Almost all my memories of past lives came like that; the particular being reincarnated in me rises to the surface and begins acting as if it were all on its own! Once in Italy, when I was fifteen, it happened in an extraordinary way. But that time I did some research. I was in Venice with my mother and I researched in museums and archives, and I discovered my name, and the names of the other people involved. I had relived a scene in the Ducal Palace, but relived it in such a ... such an absolutely intense way (laughing – a scene where I was being strangled and thrown into a canal!) that my mother had to hurry me out of there as fast as she could! But that experience I wrote down, so the exact memory has been kept (I didn't write down the other experiences, so the details have all faded away, but this one was noted, although I didn't include any names). The next morning I did some research and uncovered the whole story. I told it all to Théon and Madame Théon, and he also had the memory of a past life there, during the same period. And as a matter of fact, I had seen a portrait there that was the spitting image of Théon! The portrait of one of the doges. It was absolutely (it was a Titian) ... absolutely Théon! HIS portrait, you know, as if it had just been done.[122]

All those kinds of things came to me just like that, without my looking for them, wanting them, or understanding them, without doing any sort of discipline, nothing – it was absolutely spontaneous. And they just kept on coming and coming and coming.

From the time I met Théon, it all got clarified: I saw it all clearly, understood and organized it. But a good deal of it happened before  – everything I have just told you happened before I met Théon.

"One after the other, these vital beings came," you say, "and some of them have even been in men...."

One of them was in Murat, on the day of his great victory.[123] It was a vital force that took possession of him and remained just for that victory; and it came into me, so I saw it all! I saw its entry into Murat's body and the whole battle scene – I lived through it all. And once the battle was over, it left him. It was very interesting.

I wanted to clarify something.... I don't know if Mona Lisa and Marguerite de Valois were your incarnations, but weren't they contemporaries!?...

Yes, but I told you – four at once![124]

Four at once. And, in general, they were the different states of being of the Mother – the four aspects. Generally one aspect in each embodiment (when there were four). Or else this or that aspect might have been less present in one embodiment and more present in another. Sometimes there was a fairly central presence and then at the same time less central, less important emanations. But that has happened several times – several times. On two occasions it was particularly clear. But I have often sensed that there wasn't merely ONE embodiment, that the course of history may have crystallized around this or that person, but there were other embodiments less (how to put it?) ... less conspicuous, somewhere else.

They are the different aspects of the Mother.

***

(A little later, Mother refers to a passage from the preceding conversation in which she said that her present incarnation on earth didn't have a merely terrestrial effect but an effect on all the other worlds as well – and particularly on the gods.)

None of those beings, those gods and deities of various pantheons, have the same rapport with the Supreme that man has; for man has a psychic being, in other words, the Supreme's presence within him. These gods are emanations – independent emanations – created for a special purpose and a particular action which they fulfill SPONTANEOUSLY; they do it not with a sense of constant surrender to the Divine but simply because that's what they are, and why they are, and all they know is what they are. They don't have the conscious link with the Supreme that man has – man carries the Supreme within himself.

That makes a considerable difference.

But with this present incarnation of the Mahashakti.... She is the Supreme's first manifestation, creation's first stride, and it was She who first gave form to all those beings. Now, since her incarnation in the physical world, and through the position She has taken here in relation to the Supreme by incarnating in a human body, all the other worlds have been influenced, and influenced in an extremely interesting way.[125] I have been in contact with all those gods, all those great beings, and for the most part their attitude has changed. And even with those who didn't want to change, it has nonetheless influenced their way of being.

Human experience, with this direct incarnation of the Supreme,[126] is ultimately a UNIQUE experience, which has given a new orientation to universal history. Sri Aurobindo speaks of this – he speaks of the difference between the Vedic era, the Vedic way of relating to the Supreme, and the advent of Vedanta (I think it's Vedanta): devotion, adoration, bhakti, the God within.[127] Well, this aspect of rapport with the Supreme could exist ONLY WITH MAN, because man is a special being in universal History – the divine Presence is in him. And several of those great gods have taken human bodies JUST TO HAVE THAT.[128] But not many of them – they were so fully aware of their own perfect independence and their almightiness that they didn't NEED anything (unlike man, you see, struggling to escape his slavery): they were absolutely free.

And that's why.... How many times Durga came! She would always come, and I had my eye on her (!), because in her presence I could clearly sense that there wasn't that rapport with the Supreme (she just didn't need it, she didn't need anything). And it wasn't that something acted on her consciously, deliberately, to obtain that result: it has been a contagion. I remember how she used to come, and my aspiration would be so intense, my inner attitude so concentrated ... and one day there was such a sense of power, of immensity, of ineffable bliss in the contact with the Supreme (it was a day when Durga was there), and she seemed to be taken and absorbed in it. And through that bliss she made her surrender.

Most interesting.

Not at all the result of will or anything: she was simply engulfed.

In those movements of consciousness, in this state of consciousness, I am comfortable (Mother heaves a sigh). But it has taken me a lot of discipline to concentrate here [in the body]: there was always something, from my very childhood, that felt hemmed in, squeezed, really ... oh! And with a sense of something so powerful that if it ever went into action (gesture of unleashing), it would smash everything.

Now it has been tamed.

So, is that enough for you?

No, no!

(Mother laughs)

July

July 4, 1962

The other day, Pavitra said to me in passing, "Modern science would neither follow nor believe us." According to him, scientists acknowledge only "essential hypotheses," and not having the experience, would take our science for a set of "non-essential" hypotheses. I didn't argue, or else I would have told him, "We don't make any hypotheses, far from it, we simply state our experiences." They are free to disbelieve us or to think we're half crazy or hallucinating – that's up to them, it's their business. But we don't make hypotheses, we speak of things we know and have experienced.

For several hours afterwards I had a vision of this state of mind and found absolutely no need to make hypotheses (you see, Pavitra was speaking of "hypothesizing" the existence of different states of being). It's just as I told you: I have passed that stage; I don't need inner dimensions any more.[129] And observing this materialistic state of mind, it occurred to me that, on the basis of their own experiments, they are bound to admit oneness – at least the oneness of matter; and to admit oneness is enough to obtain the key to the whole problem!

Once again it made me realize that this last experience [of April 13] may in reality have come to free me from ALL past knowledge, and that ... to live the Truth none of it is needed. I need neither all this terminology nor Sri Aurobindo's terminology nor, of course, anyone else's; I don't need all these classifications, I don't need all sorts of experiences – I need ONE experience, the one I have. And I have it in all things and in all circumstances: the experience of eternal, infinite, absolute Oneness manifesting in the finite, the relative and the temporal. And the process of change I am pursuing seems less and less of a problem; after looking like the ultimate problem, it doesn't seem to be one any more, because ... but that ... that can't be uttered – it pleases Him to be that way, so He is that way.

And the secret is simply to be in this "It pleases Him."

To be not merely in what is objectified, but also in That which objectifies.

That's all. With that, I need no other theory.

(silence)

 

Taken to the extreme, if the identification is perfect, it is NECESSARILY omnipotence.

Ultimately, nothing but omnipotence could convert the world, convince the world. The world isn't ready to experience supreme Love. Supreme Love eliminates all problems, even the problem of creation: there are no more problems, I know it since that experience [of April 13]. But the world isn't ready yet, it may take a few thousand years. Although it is beginning to be ready for the manifestation of supreme Power (which seems to indicate that this will manifest first). And this supreme Power would result from a CONSTANT identification.

But this "constancy" isn't yet established: one is identified and then one isn't, is and then isn't, so things get delayed indefinitely. You wind up doing exactly what you tell others not to do – one foot here and one foot there! It just won't do.

(silence)

There must be certain laws – laws expressing a Wisdom far beyond us – for the experience seems to follow a sort of curve which, because I am in it, I don't understand. And it won't be understood till the end is reached; but I am right in the middle of it, or maybe at the very beginning....

(long silence)

We could say some elegant things, but they don't explain anything; like this feeling, for example, that one must die unto death to be born to immortality.

It doesn't mean anything but it corresponds to something.

To die unto death, to become incapable of dying because death has no more reality.

This is beginning to ... I can't say "crystallize," that's much too hard.... It's like a soft breeze condensing.

(silence)

As you know, N.S. has left his body. It was the result of an accident (he had a weak heart, and he worried about it). He took a fall, probably because he fainted, and fractured his skull: "loss of consciousness" due to cerebral hemorrhage (that's modern science speaking!). When the accident occurred, he came to me (not in a precise form, but in a state of consciousness I immediately recognized), and stayed here motionless, in complete trust and blissful peace – motionless in every state of being, absolutely ... (gesture of surrender) total, total trust: what will be, will be; what is, is. No questions, not even a need to know. A cosy peace ... a great ease.

They tried, fought, operated: no movement, nothing moved. Then one day they declared him dead (by the way, according to doctors, when the body dies the heart beats on faintly for a few seconds; then it stops and it's all over). In his case, those faint beats (not strong enough to pump blood) continued for half an hour – the kind of heartbeats typical of the trance state. (They all seem to be crassly ignorant! But anyway, it doesn't matter.) And they all said, even the doctors, "Oooh, he must be a great yogi, this only happens to yogis! " I have no idea what they mean by that. But I do know that although those heartbeats aren't strong enough to pump blood through the body (thus putting the body into a cataleptic state), they do suffice to maintain life, and that's how yogis can remain in trance for months on end. Well, I don't know what type of doctors they are (probably very modern), but they're ignorant of this fact. Anyway, according to them he had those pulsations for half an hour (normally they last a few seconds). All right. Hence their remarks. And he was here the whole while, immutable. Then suddenly I felt a kind of shudder; I looked – he was gone. I was busy and didn't note the time, but it was in the afternoon, that's all I know. Later I was told that they had decided to cremate him, and had done so at that time.

The violence of the accident had brutally exteriorized him, but when it happened he must have been thinking of me with trust. He came and didn't budge – he never knew what was happening to his body. He didn't know he was dead! And if....

Then and there I said to myself, "This habit of cremating people is appallingly brutal!" (They put the fire in the mouth first.) He didn't know he was dead and that's how he learned it! ... From the reaction of the life of the form in the body.

Even when the body is in a thoroughly bad condition, it takes at least seven days for the life of the form to leave it. And for someone practicing yoga, this life is CONSCIOUS. So you burn people a few hours after the doctors have declared them dead, but the life of the form is every inch alive and, in those who have practiced yoga, conscious.

It made me a bit....

Given the state he was in, it made NO difference to him whether he was dead or alive; that's what was interesting! He remained in a blissful, trusting, peaceful state and I probably would have gently led him either to the psychic world or elsewhere, according to the indication I received as to what he had to do. He would never have known he was dead.[130]

This opened a door for me.[131]

Because they cremated him he was abruptly (Mother violently shudders) and violently thrown into contact with the destruction of the body's form.[132] It must have been the life of the form; when hurled so brutally out of the body, the life of the form must have thrown itself at him! So of course....

(silence)

I immediately said to myself, "But he was still existing, living, having the experience, absolutely INDEPENDENT of his body – he didn't need his body to have his experience." And with my protection and knowledge I could have put him either in a place of rest or, if need be, in touch with another body – and that would have been the end of it. Now, of course, everything is disrupted and we have to wait for things to calm down.[133]

But it is possible to die without knowing you are dead.

And to retain full consciousness – he was totally conscious and blissful.

I find that important, an important experience.

I haven't told anyone what happened when they cremated him, because it would have made them all quite upset and miserable. I said only that he came to me. So don't say a word; they mustn't know. Not that it's irreparable, but still, it's not a pleasant experience.

But it came as if to put me in contact with this possibility.

(silence)

In ordinary consciousness, what really gets in the way of the experience is our excessive attachment to the physical form as we see it, which looks to us like a permanent reality of the being.

I try to make people understand this through a practical demonstration. You know, I very rarely appear to people in a form even vaguely similar to the one I physically ... I was about to say "had"! It always depends on what they are akin to, what they're most intimate with – all sorts of forms. And I try to make them comprehend that THAT form is just as much mine as this one (Mother touches her body). To tell the truth, it is much more truly mine. As for the true form – the TRUE Form – to bear the sight of it, one must be able to relate directly to the Supreme. So when people say, "I want to see you," or "I see you," they mean the aspect of mine they know. But these torrents of forms are ALL true, and most of them truer than this body has ever been. To my consciousness it was always, oh, so pitiably approximate – a caricature! Not even a caricature: no resemblance at all.

It had its good qualities (I seem bent on speaking in the past tense – it's spontaneous), qualities it was built and chosen for. For practical purposes, this body was very necessary, but when it comes to manifesting! ...

But had it been truly expressive, something really eloquent, probably there would have been more reluctance to ... to give it free rein.

There has never been too great an attachment to this form. There was never any attachment (even in so-called full Ignorance) to anything but consciousness – yes, something set great store by this consciousness, wouldn't let it be destroyed, saying, "This is something precious." But the body.... It's not even too good an instrument; simply modest, plastic, self-effacing, and molding itself to every necessity. An ability to mold itself to all points of view and to realize every ideal it deemed worthy of realizing – this very suppleness was its one virtue. And extremely modest, never wanting to impose itself on anything or anyone. Fully conscious of its incapacity, but ... capable of doing anything, of realizing anything. It was consciously formed with this make-up, because that's what was necessary.... And nothing is too great or overwhelming, since there isn't the resistance put up by a small personality with the sense of its own smallness. No, none of that matters – CONSCIOUSNESS matters; consciousness vast as the universe, even vaster. And along with consciousness, the capacity to adapt – to adapt and mold itself to every necessity.

Even now, my one feeling about this form is that it's too rigid. Those stupendous inner revelations, those great movements of creative consciousness are constantly hampered by this. It's trying, it's trying its best, but it is still governed by such appallingly rigid laws! Appalling. How long will it take to overcome this?

We mustn't be in a hurry.

(silence)

What kind of conclusions can be drawn from N.S.'s experience? What does it open the door to, practically speaking?

It depends on the case.

In this case, I let others decide because I don't attend to such matters; but I did suggest they keep him until the next day, and I would have done something during the night. They were in a hurry – they're always in a hurry....

I don't even say not to cremate people, because in AT LEAST ninety-nine cases out of a hundred it's the best thing to do.

The only solution is for people to grow wise, and they're not wise. They accept a law, a principle, and then, having no wisdom, need to follow it blindly.

Had I taken the responsibility (I purposely didn't, for other reasons), I would have said, "Keep him till tomorrow morning." And I would have done something overnight. But naturally, this is one case in a million. You can't make it a general rule.

No, I meant what conclusions for you, for your experience, can be drawn from this episode?

Ah, me, my experience! Why, it's that someone can die without knowing he's dead! Someone can die (what people call "dying") without knowing he's dead, so it's not crucially important.

People say, " He has lost consciousness." They made this assumption in N.S.'s case because there were no vital signs and the consciousness in the body was reduced to a minimum; there was still some left (because it did react!), but it was a bare minimum, without much reacting power – he wasn't an accomplished yogi, after all, only an apprentice yogi. It would have been entirely different, for instance, and far more serious, for someone who had practiced hatha yoga. But I mean to say that N.S. was here beside me, fully conscious, and could have moved on to another mode of manifestation without having to go through the throes of death – that's not at all indispensable! Such is my experience, and I find it very important, tremendously important.

Besides, this is the first time it has happened. All those (like I.B., for example) who were hurled violently out of their bodies through an accident have, after a time, become conscious again – the consciousness gathers itself back together. But N.S.'s consciousness never scattered, he never lost consciousness.

His time had come – the instant the accident happened, I knew it was time for him to leave his body. His time had come, but the circumstances had been arranged ("had been arranged" – you know, I don't say by whom ...), circumstances had been arranged to derive the utmost benefit. This made me understand a lot of things.... Practically speaking, you need a lot of experiences to learn anything.

But to learn, to profit from such experiences, one must already be on the other side. Up to that point [April 13], I had learned plenty of things, but I was learning them from this side of the fence. Now I am on the other side of the fence. Not entirely, but in large part, at least.

Voilà.

So, on with your book. Next time you can read me some of it.

It's not going fast!

It doesn't matter. Anyway, what's fast! To me ... look, since April 13, I find people are always in a hurry for nothing. They're always rushing as if they had a train to catch! But why! ... It's one of the big, big mistakes. Why rush? It's due to a sort of inner vibration, something that keeps vibrating on and on, spoiling everything.

Everything they do, they do fast, as if something were pushing them – they eat fast, move fast, sleep fast, they wash and dress fast, talk fast. But why? Why be in such a hurry?

I experience this over and over again! And I have to restrain myself from asking, "But what's the hurry?"

As soon as you stop hurrying, you enter a truer vibration.

See you Saturday, then. Keep it up. It's very good, much better than you think!

@

July 7, 1962

(Mother listens to Satprem read some passages from his new book on Sri Aurobindo. The first book, Sri Aurobindo and the Transformation of the World, was judged "abstract and nebulous" by the Paris publisher. Mother comments:)

They probably won't understand anything. For me, the other book was more self-evident.

Yes, for me too. Writing it was more intense; I have no sense of inspiration with this one.

My idea was to stick to the bare facts, to tell stories from Sri Aurobindo's life, the Ashram, things like that. This is still ... (gesture above the head). It's geared to intelligent people interested in things of the spirit.

I don't see how these things could be skipped....

In any event, it's all right – it's fine, I don't mean to criticize; I find it very good ... but still a little too lofty.

Oh, listen....

All right, it's all right (Mother laughs). A bit too high for them. But this chapter ends here, doesn't it?

It's simply to give some background. Still, I can't avoid saying what's new in what Sri Aurobindo brings, precisely because it has nothing to do with "spiritual" India. We can't avoid telling them this one way or another, can we?

Yes, you're telling them very intelligently.

It's put simply.

Yes ... well, it could be put much more simply! But it doesn't matter. You needn't think it's no good – it's very good.

Oh, you know, I don't think much of the inspirations I'm getting!... I mean, I know it could just as well be something else – it's not "the inevitable."

That's no problem – the public isn't touched by inspiration. But what you write here is for intelligent people with inquiring minds, interested in ideas – is there such a public?

But after this prologue, I intend to tackle the problem practically, to speak of the moment when people reach the limits of the mind, when they start going round in circles and find nothing; then I will tell them of zones beyond the mind, and of what can be discovered when one goes within: mental silence. I'll talk about a practical discipline. That was my idea. My idea isn't to give an abstract explanation but to take up yoga from a practical angle: try to do this, and here's what you may expect – mental transformation, change in the vital, dreams, etc. All practical things. I'd like to explore the psychological aspect.

That's good. From the standpoint of the Work, of what you create, of course it's very good, very interesting; it needs to be said, it MUST be said. But is the gentleman who wrote you that letter capable of understanding anything of it? That's where I put a question mark.

We'll see.

If he doesn't understand, it means he won't understand no matter what.

And what if you tell them we do gymnastics and have a swimming pool! ...

I will.

This is something they'll understand – that we're not a bunch of defrocked monks meditating in a circle, but that all life's activities are accepted and everyone keeps busy: the writer writes, the painter paints, the children do gymnastics; that, they will understand.

I'll say it, but later on, towards the end. After exploring these changes of consciousness, which after all are the very basis of the work, I'll show how they translate practically. But if i start with this right away, without explaining why it's like that....

Oh, that won't trouble them!

That's the part I saw. "Just toss it to them," I thought, "and that will be that!"

But we still have to try to make them understand why it's like that!

No, that's where you have to give in. You have to put all this "trying to make them understand" out of the picture. If you want to include those things for your personal satisfaction, because it makes the thing more real, more living, I agree; but get rid of this "trying to make them understand," it's impossible. I tell you, as soon as you go beyond the matter-of-fact (Mother sticks her hand right under her nose), they're lost. But tell them what they can see when they get off the train: "All these houses, that's the Ashram; here is the library, those are the tennis courts, there's the sports ground, that's...." Ah! They understand.

It's going well; it will be a very good book. But probably only a small portion of it will make them say, "Ah, finally! Something practical!"

"The Ashram began with two houses and so many people" – in America that's all they ever wanted to know from me. When I asked for money from America, that's what they asked about, and that's what I had to send them: on such and such a date we started off with two houses and then little by little, like this and like that, it became what it is today. And now we have so many houses (Mother laughs), there are so many people, so many visitors per year, and the Samadhi has become a place of pilgrimage, and.... In short, newspaper stories – that's what I wrote to America! I put together papers, documents, statistics – they were quite satisfied. If I had told them even a quarter of what you say, they would have replied, "Oh, for heaven's sake, be practical!"

Being "practical" means understanding no more than they do.

That's the thing: to be practical is to understand no more than they do!

After all, it doesn't matter.

???

What you've written is for an enlightened public fond of ideas – excellent. But it's not a book you buy for a couple of dollars and read on the train between stations; no, the reader must sit quietly and think about what he's reading. There's not one in a million like that! They put it in their pocket, you see, and on the subway – maybe not the subway, there's no time! – but while they're on the train, they pull it out of their pocket and....

(Satprem makes a discouraged gesture)

No, no, don't stop, go on, finish it. But they may ask you to cut it (Mother laughs) – some passages will "drag"! "Why do you dwell so much on ideas? That's secondary!"

I understand. But I don't see that I can....

No, write your book as you see it.

I see a psychological book. I mean, someone doing research on himself, seeking to understand.... Not a philosophical but a psychological book – someone who's experimenting on himself.

What!

One in a million! You won't have any readers!

No, no, people want to while away the time, they want to be diverted and forget their worries, their family cares, their businesses for half an hour.

I am not being critical, it's just a prediction!

No, go ahead. They're simply going to tell you, "Your book is very nice, but ... it drags in places. If you'll let us cut them out ..." (Mother laughs). That's it. And whatever is truly psychological, well, they'll take big scissors and ... (Mother laughs).

But all that can be published separately.

Keep on. Certain sections can be made into magazine articles for serious readers, the few who like to think.

Just send it to your publisher, you'll see. We'll cut if they ask us to, and send what we cut to a magazine. Then they'll have their nice little storybook![134]

***

 

(A little later, the subject of the increasing scarcity of the tapes Satprem uses to record these conversations comes up. It should be mentioned that Mother has never wanted to use the Ashram's tapes.)

... And then after all, if it's lost, it's lost! It will have been the Lord's decision, so it doesn't matter.

The Lord... we must help Him out a little!

He doesn't know the job! (Mother laughs)

This is a common feeling: in the end, maybe He DOESN'T really know the things of this world as well as we do! (Mother laughs and laughs) It's very funny.

***

(Just before leaving, Mother makes the following remark on the Paris publisher's resistance:)

This is what I am doing (gesture of applying pressure with the thumb). Who knows, anything can happen! Some rather interesting things are happening in the world, showing me that after all, there is a response – there is a little response. I do this (same gesture with the thumb), and the effort isn't completely wasted. The events in Algeria[135] and certain things in America too.... There's a response. And then (I think I've told you this), some people are suddenly having experiences out of all proportion to their inner state, as though they'd been projected into a curve absorbing several lifetimes. This seems to be what's happening individually. People with the least bit of trust are gaining lifetimes ... perhaps many lifetimes – and the world as well.

The work is getting done in double time – even a lot more than double.

But it's good, this book of yours.

As I always say, "Be at least two generations ahead." And this book is a generation ahead of them.

July 11, 1962

(Referring back to the conversation of July 4: "One must die unto death to be born to Immortality.")

When I said that, oh, you can't imagine, I had just been seeing it somewhere – somewhere in a dazzling light – and it was full of marvelous meaning. And of course when I uttered it I wondered why ... why it was no longer the same. It was absolutely wonderful, it explained ... not that it explained everything, but it was a revelation. There must have been some fault in the transcription. It all came back after you left. I looked and asked myself, "Why did I say it was so marvelous!" And I understood: when I saw it, I really SAW, saw those words, more dazzling than the most brilliant diamonds and full of a marvelous power of knowledge, as though it held the key to things; but when I spoke it, it became almost flat. At any rate, it was utterly flat in comparison.

What did you feel when I said it?

I felt there was something in it....

It was sheer splendor, a dazzling sight! And when the revelation was gone and only the memory of this brilliance remained (which I still have), I wondered, "What was there in those words: to die unto death?" ... It was glorious, mon petit: to die unto death. But what I said is nothing.

When you said it, I felt it held a secret.

Yes, yes! The POWER of the thing.

And they were the very words, the exact words – but those words ... something else was in them. Perhaps it's the transcription.... And yet, they were those very words.

It's most interesting.

And now, trying to understand, one does find something, but it's nothing.

As soon as something is translated into words, expressed mentally, it's funny how it falls flat. It all seems to fall flat.

Yes, it's finished, flat, flat – drained.

Yes, something is toss, irredeemably lost.... We need another mode of expression.

Silence, perhaps.

No ... I don't know, I imagine colored waves....

Maybe. Ah, that day [April 13] the whole creation was colored waves, but not like the colors we have here, it was.... Ah, that day! ...

For a good two hours it was absolutely.... The world, the whole creation seemed like a child at play, that's how I related to it. And what play!

It was smiling, easy – VERY lovely, very easy.

It has never faded, it's always there (gesture behind the head), and at any moment I can immerse myself in it all over again. But what a difference when, after THAT, you come back to an awareness of what is speaking, at least as tremendous a difference as with that "to die unto death." Similarly, that "to die unto death" contained the full Power of THAT.[136] It was clear and ... stunningly powerful. And the same impression: easy, easy. There's really no question of hard or easy – it's spontaneous, NATURAL, and so smiling. And that "to die unto death" was filled with such JOY! Such joy.... I could almost have said, "It's plain as day! Don't you see how plain it is! But that's it: we have only to die unto death, and that will be that!"

(silence)

Recently, for a short part of my nights, I suddenly find a certain task set before me dealing with this one's or that one's mental constructions. And then I feel I am facing a tremendous, destructive falsehood – a TOTAL contradiction, in fact, of this endlessly unfolding creative vibration.

Some of the people concerned are here, others elsewhere – that is, it's the mental state (even the higher mind in some cases, not necessarily very down-to-earth) of this one or that one or.... It comes individually (and the person's name along with it). And a kind of uneasiness takes hold of my body, as if I were in the presence of ... I don't know, in ordinary life I would say, "Go away! " (Mother brusquely shoos something away) But here it is presented for me to do a particular work (I know the people, some are here, others elsewhere; they're people I am in touch with for the yoga). So I am faced with these mental formations and each one is HELD like this (Mother grips the thing with both hands) so that I don't simply brush it aside. Then (it's certainly a good opportunity to go completely crazy!) I slowly bring in the divine Vibration, and I hold it like this, without moving (Mother holds this vibration tight and drives it in like a sword of light), without moving ... until everything fades away into silence.

I haven't had the chance (laughing) to ask them what happened to them!

Probably they were not immediately aware of it, but it's sure to have an effect.

This has never happened before, it's brand-new. Before, there was always that Power transmitted through the higher mind (what Sri Aurobindo calls the Overmind); it was up there, dissolving, dispersing, changing, doing a whole lot of work, without any difficulty, effortlessly (gesture above the head showing the tranquil, irresistible flowing of a stream), nothing to it. That was my constant, second-to-second action, everywhere, all the time, for everything that came to me. But THIS is completely, completely new. It's a sort of imposition, almost like an imposition on the PHYSICAL brain (I presume it must be for changing the brain cells). And I am allowed to do only one thing (Mother grips the mental construction presented to her); it's right in front of me like this and won't leave me, it clings like a leech, stock-still. So I have to bring in the supreme, divine Vibration, the Vibration I experienced the other day [April 13], and hold it steadily (sometimes it takes quite a while) ... until all is hushed in a divine silence.

(silence)

Either today or yesterday, when I got up around 4:30 or a quarter to five in the morning, I immediately (how shall I put it?) ... I deliberately, out of habit, thought of you. "Must this [the operation with the sword of light] be done with Satprem too?" I asked. There was no answer and so far nothing has come.

When I think of you it always takes me into a very crystalline and luminous region – very crystalline, sometimes with.... A state where I can communicate effortlessly.

Yet I have the feeling it's closed up.

It's not closed up.

I don't feel I open out this way [vast, horizontal gesture].

No, it's not this way (horizontal): it's that way (vertical). No, it's not universal. And the more it descends, the more.... But personally, I am always in contact with you above your head.

It's not partitioned – no, there aren't any walls, it's not like that. Rather it's a concentration with (how to explain?) some irregularities, in the sense that suddenly there's a very intense light, flashes of lightning, and then ... it dims. Some places are extremely bright, receptive – receiving, receiving, receiving; others are ... not asleep but more passive. And it's not like this (horizontal), it's like that (vertical). And all your activity is above the head; it's very, very active there, but not walled-in – very active. Now and then there's a small burst of light.

I always see you that way. You LIVE there (gesture above the head).

You have few contacts with external realities. Your true life is there. It comes down a bit here (Mother points to the upper forehead), and goes like that (gesture above and around the head). It extends beyond your body, and is very active and steady. Then from time to time there's a cascade, a lovely, shimmering cascade (gesture). You know, like a luminous fountain. It's VERY pretty, showering down like raindrops. And then here (the upper forehead) it starts moving.

Ah, it's good, it's interesting.

Yet I don't feel it's the true life.

Oh, no!

The true life ... it will come.

The true life is something else, something that's yet to come. It is something else.

The true life is Sat-prem. That's for later on. When it does come forward, then you will get a sense of the true life.

It will come.

And you mustn't be impatient – impatience leads to imitation: and unwittingly, in all sincerity, you imitate things within yourself, within your own experience, you imitate the realization – that's what impatience does.

The true life in its SIMPLE purity cannot come until ... until the Lord Himself is doing and deciding everything, acting, realizing, living, having the experience. When everything is in His hands and you have absolutely nothing to do and don't even know WHERE YOU ARE, then ... then it comes in its purity, not before.

This is the difference, the radical difference, since the experience [of April 13]: there is nothing but the Lord. All the rest ... what is it?... No more than a habit of speaking (not even a habit of thinking, that's all gone), a habit of speaking; so the less one speaks, the happier one is. Otherwise ... nothing. And what else could there be? It is He who sees, He who wills, He who acts.

Then everything comes spontaneously, easily, with such great simplicity.

It will come, mon petit – no impatience.

For the moment it's on the right track. It's going well.

Ultimately, there's always a kind of yearning, more or less veiled, for the satisfaction of realization (gesture of sitting down). I know it: we want to see ourselves being, progressing, acting, to see ourselves ... (Mother laughs).

That's all, mon petit.

July 14, 1962

Mon petit, last night for the first time I saw you, just as you are, coming to me. "How wonderful!" I said to you. You came up like this (Mother makes a gesture close to her face) and looked at me. "He's conscious!" I said to myself.

You weren't conscious?

?...

It was around three o'clock in the morning.

I have seen you very often in visions, symbolic visions in the mental realm, but that's not what it was. It was in the subtle physical, this close (same gesture); you came deliberately, and you looked at me. "Oh," I told you, "how nice!"

I had a dream about you, but I felt the subconscient made it up.

No, it must be a transcription.

A strange dream, very strange. A crowd of people was waiting for you to come out, and you did come, you appeared. Then suddenly you fainted. I'm not sure why you fainted, you were physically sick or something. So you were carried away. A crowd was waiting to see you and they shoved me to the back (by the way, I noticed I was dressed as a Sannyasin). Finally, I came up close to you all of a sudden, leaving the crowd behind; I came up very close and then ... you told me certain things, I don't know what. You seemed so frail – all white, very frail and tired, as if you had just fainted. Anyway, things like that, you see....[137]

No, I wasn't sleeping, I was concentrating; and in this concentration, while I was fully enveloped in those forces, THROUGH THAT you came to me. It was truly fine! Good. It will come; it's a good sign. I was very pleased: "Ah, something is happening!" It will come.

***

(Mother listens to Satprem read a passage from the last conversation in which she says: "This is the radical difference since the experience of April 13: there is nothing but the Lord. All the rest ... what is it?... No more than a habit of speaking (not even a habit of thinking, that's all gone). Otherwise ... nothing. And what else could there be? It is He who sees, He who wills, He who acts.")

You know, there's the same vibration here as in "to die unto death." It's something ... yes, I think we could say it is His Presence ... His creative Power.... It is a special vibration. Don't you feel something like ... like a pure superelectricity?

When we touch That, we see that it's everywhere, but we are unaware of it.

When you read those words it suddenly came to me that ... it must be the Lord's Power within material vibrations.

It's interesting, worth investigating.

(In the same conversation of July 11, Mother said that to have the experience in its simple purity we mustn't even know "where we are," and yet "we want to see ourselves being, progressing, acting, to see ourselves....")

That [the sense of an individual position, of being a particular being in a particular place, watching and feeling oneself being] really vanished with the last experience [of April 13]. Before, it used to get in my way a lot. I was always wondering how to get rid of it.

In fact, this too is tied in with "to die unto death." Because, just imagine, why on earth do I invariably see the experience of the 12th to 13th on my left (gesture to the left)? And rather distant, as though I had returned along a LEVEL path (horizontal gesture) from there back to my body. Out there (to the left), I didn't have it any more! I didn't have it – I existed in FULL consciousness, but I no longer had my body. That's what makes me say my body was dead. I no longer had it.... The experience was far, FAR away from here (I don't mean in the garden!) ... somewhere. Somewhere very far away to the left, in the physical consciousness. And when I had traveled back here along a level path, I noticed that there was still a body.[138]

But this body is no longer MY body – it is A body.

Except that gradually the consciousness is regaining control, but not in the same manner. And when I tried to understand this "dying unto death," I found myself over there again (gesture to the left), and I seemed to be told, "That was your experience."

I felt MUCH more alive there than here! Much more. And even now when I want to feel that power and intensity of life, when I want to recapture my experience [of April 13], I always go off there, to the left.

Why the left?...

(silence)

 

Yes, last night I remember saying, "Ah, at long last! That's good. We've made it at last!"

It is going to materialize.

I saw you just as I am seeing you now, exactly the same, only with a more intense and vibrant vibration. For me, you know, the physical world is always veiled, as if it were being snuffed out like a candle; well, there was no snuffer, it was you exactly, same features, same expression, but ... intense, intense. And you were looking at me (Mother makes a gesture showing Satprem peering right into her face), as if to say, "Ah! So that's what you look like." (Laughter.)

I was very glad. Very glad. "Ah, at last we've made it! " That was my feeling – here we are at last.

In a few days it will materialize ... a few days, I don't know. Over there (gesture to the left), days, months, all have another meaning. Listen, there are minutes.... You know, I walk around the room repeating the Words,[139] and sometimes I go around ten times in a second! Yet it's always the same pace; I doubt if anyone would see any physical difference. But sometimes there are ... ten, twenty, thirty rounds a second! And other times one single round will drag and drag – oh, it's endless!

And simultaneously there is an automatic perception of time – clock time – which is rather curious (everything is regulated by the comings and goings of the people around me, you see: such a thing at this time, such a thing at that time), I don't need to hear the clock – I am warned just before it strikes. I repeat one part of the japa in a particular way while lying down, because the Power is greater (these aren't meditations, they are actions), and another part while walking. So I stay stretched out for a certain time, I walk for a certain time, and at a fixed hour this one goes, another comes, and so on. But none of them are people; I don't tell them so, but they're not people: they are movements of the Lord. And it's extremely interesting – one of the Lord's movements will have this particular character, another movement will have a different type of vibration, and they all harmonize very nicely into a whole. But I know what time it is just before the clock strikes: six o'clock, 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, like that. Not with the words "six," "seven," but: it's time, it's time, it's time.... And along with this – this clockwork precision – I have that other notion of time which is quite different, it's.... Although it's a very rigid convention, our time is a living formation with its own living power here in the world of action. The other time is ... the rhythm of consciousness. So according to the intensity of the Presence (there's a concentration and an expansion, I mean), according to this pulsation – which can vary, it's not regular and mechanical – walking around the room takes either no time at all, or else an ENORMOUS amount of time. But this doesn't interfere with the other time, there's no contradiction. Our time is on a different plane, something far more external; but it has its usefulness and its own law, and the one doesn't hinder the other.[140]

And it's gradually becoming foreseeable that....[141]

(silence)

From time to time, one touches the vibration of the Supreme's Love, the creative Love, Love that creates, upholds, maintains, fuels progress and is the Manifestation's very reason for being (these great pulsations were the expression of That), and That is something so stupendous and marvelous for the material frame, the body, that it seems to be dosed out. From time to time, you are given a trickle of it to make you realize that the end (or anyway, the end of the beginning!) is That.

But you mustn't rush; and above all, no desire. Be very calm. The calmer you are, the longer it lasts. If you're in too much of a hurry, it goes away.

I can see it takes an EXTRAORDINARY capacity and solidity to bear That without exploding – and this capacity is slowly being prepared.

We mustn't be in a hurry.

(silence)

For a while yesterday I was put in contact with the way people think, how they think.... And I saw that I must be very careful; it is better to keep silent or they'll think I've finally gone off the deep end! You know: "She is getting old, there's arteriosclerosis of the brain, she is becoming a little silly, reverting to a second childhood...." I saw this, it's really funny. I saw, I was shown a whole way of thinking. Ah, they think they're intelligent, they think they know a lot!

Anyhow....

(silence)

Even in India.

And I am beginning to believe....

That's what I observe when I am put in contact with the outside world, Europe.

... But anyway, the Old World is an OLD world in the true sense of the word. India is much, much older, but more alive. Yet now it strikes me as so very rotten! They went rotten. You know what happens when a rotten apple is put next to a good one: England came and stayed much too long. It made things go quite rotten. Very, very rotten; it's difficult to heal. Otherwise, what's not rotten is truly good.

But there is a place where something is awakening, a small some" thing like what little children and animals have, going like this (Mother imitates a baby bird poking its beak out of the nest and peering around), peep-peep-peep, oh, alert and eager to know: America. They have a carapace as hard as an automobile's – it has to be hammered open, but underneath there's something that wants to know ... and knows nothing, nothing, is totally ignorant – but oh, it wants to know! And this can be touched. They may be the first to awaken.

A few in India, but a more widespread movement in America.

Strange, they're on that side! (Mother gestures to the right.) Why are they on the right? ... Ah, that's where it is on the map! It's on the other side of the ocean, isn't it? (Mother looks in the direction of the Pondicherry coast.) That's it. No, but it does have something to do with the right.... Action: the right side is action.

They are silly, silly! They are absolutely ignorant and yet ... there's a flame of aspiration suddenly awakening. And then they want to know, want to investigate, want to find, want to learn, want to.... It's going like this (Mother blinks her eyes like a baby bird waking up), vibrating and searching.

They've managed to stay very childlike.

Very childlike. But it's charming. Charming.

(silence)

All this is for the next hundred years. There are going to be some changes.

(silence)

1900?... Well, yes, in 2000 things will take a clear direction. You will still be here.

I don't know about that!

No, I am not speaking of what one is when one has "died unto death," not that. I mean normally, physically – how many years before 2000?

Umm....

Not many, forty years.

Thirty-seven years.

Yes, it's nothing! Nothing, a minute – you will be here in any case, even without dying unto death. You will see it.

Yes, yes, it's soon.

You will be here too!

That, I always have been and always will be, it makes no difference....

(very long silence)

A time will come when we'll say, "Remember, in such and such a year we thought we were really doing something! " (Mother laughs.)

Just now I found myself projected into the future: "Remember, over there?" (It's always to the left – now why? ...) "Remember? Oh, we thought we were doing something, thought we knew something!"

What a laugh.

(very long silence)

Yes, the ordinary consciousness is like an axis with everything revolving around it. An axis fixed somewhere, and everything revolves around it – that's the ordinary individual consciousness. And if the axis shifts, one feels lost. It's like a big axis (more or less big, it can also be tiny) planted straight up in time, with everything revolving around it. The consciousness may be more or less extended, more or less high, more or less strong, but it always turns on an axis. And now for me there is no more axis.

I was looking ... it just isn't there any more – gone, vanished!

It [Mother's consciousness] can go here, it can go there and there (gesture to the cardinal points), it can go backwards, forwards, anywhere at all – no more axis, no turning on an axis. Interesting.

I think I've lost you! (Mother laughs.)

It's an interesting experience. No more axis.

@

July 18, 1962

(Concerning the vibration of supreme Love Mother experienced on April 13:)

Matter needs quite a preparation to make it strong enough to hold those vibrations, and ... and the body seems to be given a trickle to see how much it can bear. But there's such an immediate intensity of joy in all the cells, in the heart and organs, that it all seems on the verge of exploding.

It comes just to tell you, "See, this is how it is."

I can bring it on at will simply by putting myself in a certain state. But then I notice that someone ("someone" ... well, that's a way of speaking) is dosing it out, allowing the contact for a certain length of time or in a certain amount; and there's nothing to be done about it, it's an Order from above. A mere hint of impatience would spoil everything – the power to establish the contact would probably be lost. I have never done this and I don't intend to.

(silence)

It's like an image.... You see, the body is stretched out here on the chaise longue.... You know how it is when experiments are done on animals? It's something like that – the body is there as the "subject" of an experiment. Then there's my consciousness, the part focused on the earthly experience and the present transformation (it's what I mean when I say "I"). And then the Lord.... I say "the Lord" – I've adopted that because it's the best way of putting it and the easiest for me, but I never, NEVER think of a being. For me, it's a simultaneous contact with the Eternal, the Infinite, the Vast, the Totality of everything – the totality of everything: all that is, all that has been, all that will be, everything. Words spoil it, but it's like that – automatically – with consciousness, sweetness and ... SOLICITUDE. With all the qualities a perfect Personality can offer (I don't know if you follow me, but that's the way it is). And "That" (I use all these words to say it, and three-fourths is left out) ... is a spontaneous, constant, immediate experience. So the "I" I spoke of asks that the body may have the experience, or at least an initial taste, even a shadow of the experience of this Love. And each time it's asked for, it comes INSTANTLY. Then I see the three together[142] – in my consciousness and perception the three are together – and I see that this Love is dosed out and maintained in exact proportion to what the body can bear.

The body is aware of this and is a little sad about it. But immediately comes something soothing, calming, making it vast. The body instantly senses the immensity and regains its calm.

This experience I am describing is exactly what happened yesterday (it happens every day, but yesterday it was especially clear). And it's still here – I am seeing it as I saw it, it's still here. Actually, it is always here – always here – though it's more striking when the body is stretched out, motionless in the Yoga. The experience is slightly different when walking because that involves action. When the body walks, it acts on behalf of everything that's related to it, hence the action is vaster and more powerful.

But when it is stretched out and asks the Lord to take possession of it, it really asks with all its aspiration. And the very intensity of the aspiration brings in the possibility of a slight emotional vibration. But it is immediately drowned in ... the immobile immensity of matter, which senses the Divine Descent like a leaven that makes dough rise – that's it exactly, the terrestrial immensity of matter and the leavening action of the Divine Descent.... The intensity of these vibrations is above and beyond anything we are used to feeling – the vital seems dull and flat in comparison. And what a Wisdom! ... It knows how to make use of time – that is, it actually changes itself into time – so as to ... minimize the possibilities of damage.

It's plain to see that, left to itself in its full power of transformation and progress, this flame of aspiration, this flame of Agni would have scant consideration for the result of the process – the result of the process is that fire burns. And there could be mishaps in the functioning of the organs. All the organs must undergo a transformation, but were it too rapid and too sudden, well, everything would go out of whack. The machine would simply explode. But this Wisdom doesn't come from the universal consciousness (which I don't really think is so wise!), it's infinitely higher: the Supreme Wisdom. Something so wonderful! It foresees things the universal forces in their universal play would overlook – a wonder!

(silence)

We mustn't be in a hurry.

It's hard to imagine how a physical body can, for instance, extend or enlarge itself. It all seems unimaginable.

It is unimaginable because the body can't do it yet.

No ... and besides, you don't see. If my body resembled its consciousness (because it Is conscious), if what you see with your eyes corresponded to what the body feels, it would probably look monstrous, hideous ... or terrifying!

What the eyes see is so false, so false!

But now the body – the body itself, its very own self – feels it is WITHIN things or WITHIN people or WITHIN an action. There are no more limits, none of this (Mother touches the skin of her hands as if all separation had disappeared). Take this example: someone accidentally bumps me (it does happen) with an object or a part of his body. Well, it is NEVER something external: it happens INSIDE  – the body's consciousness is much larger than my body. Yesterday, the table leg bumped my foot; so there was the ordinary outward reaction (it operates automatically and in a curious way – the body jumped), and then the body-consciousness – now I am speaking of the body-consciousness – saw that an unexpected and involuntary collision of two objects had taken place INSIDE ITSELF. And it also saw that if it made a certain movement of concentration at that particular spot, inside itself, some pain or damage would result; but if it made the other movement of ... (how shall I put it?) of union, of abolishing all separation (which it can do very well), well, then the results of the blow would be annulled. And that's what happened, I did it. I was simply sitting down, and I let my body cope with the whole thing (while I watched with keen interest); and I noticed it really did feel the blow inside and not outside – it wasn't that something from outside had struck it, but that there had been an unexpected, or rather an unforeseen and involuntary collision of two things inside itself. And I clearly followed how the body made a more complete movement of identification (you see, someone with the sense of separation had moved the table, so the sense of separation accompanied the blow, and then of course there was all the regret,[143] and so on and so forth); well, the body simply went into its usual state where there's no sense of separation, and the effect vanished instantaneously. Had I been asked, "Where were you hit, what spot?", I couldn't have told, I don't know. All I know, because of words I heard spoken, is that the table leg bumped into my foot. But where? ... I can't say; I couldn't have said even five minutes after the incident – it had utterly disappeared, and disappeared through a VOLUNTARY movement.

This body-consciousness has a will; it is constantly, constantly calling upon the Lord's will: "Lord, take possession of this, take possession of that, take...." There's no question of taking possession of the will, that was done ages ago, but: "Take possession of these cells, those cells, this, that...." It is the BODY'S aspiration. Well, the blow wasn't caused by this will acting in the body; the blow didn't come directly from the body, but from something that had slipped in through an unconscious element; and the body simply erased, or absorbed, digested this unconsciousness – and the thing vanished without a trace!

And do you know how this body is?... It immediately began wondering (I was quietly watching it all from above), "What if" ("ifs" are always idiotic but it's an old bodily habit), "what if the object had been sharp, would the results have been so easy to annul?" (Mother laughs) Then I distinctly heard someone reply (I am putting it into words), "You idiot! That wouldn't have happened in the first place! " That is, the necessary protection would have been there. The protection intervenes only when necessary, not just for the fun of it. "You numbskull," it said (I am translating freely), "how silly can you be! It wouldn't have happened."

But what a world it is – a world of experiences! And the consciousness is somewhere way up high but seeing very clearly, watching with interest.

You just can't imagine – you CANNOT.... When I try to see life as most people see it (it's getting increasingly difficult! but anyhow), the way people ordinarily see it, it becomes a big mishmash! I understand nothing, it makes no more sense – nothing makes sense. Simply, for the sake of the action, I have been warned that nobody can understand – NOBODY can comprehend to what extent the Lord is intermingled, is present and active in all things.

In all things.

(silence)

For instance, sometimes He "tells" me (of course it's not external; it's an extremely delicate working, and sort of automatic; no time elapses between the order and its execution: they're not two movements but one single thing) ... when He says "Speak," or when He says "Keep silent" – like the other day when, as you pointed out, I stopped in the middle of a sentence – it's that all of a sudden ... (Mother makes a gesture as if she were unable to speak, or as if suddenly held by silence). At other times it pours out like it's doing now. And I don't "hear" an order, I don't "feel" an order: I LIVE the Order; and it's so patently the Lord's that it seems stupid to even mention it.

Oh, such humorous things happen.... The other day I saw T. Her old mother lives in Moscow; she's very old and on her deathbed, and has asked T. to come see her. So T. is going to go there. It's a risky adventure. She wrote to ask if she could see me before leaving (I don't see anyone and I had no intention of receiving her, but it was decided in spite of me and I let her come). She had been told not to speak, but that's impossible for such a chatterbox!

So she began by lamenting (probably thinking it was the thing to do) over my "serious illness" and god knows what else – I didn't listen. I simply told her, "No, it's not that, it's the yoga." Then, with the effervescence of an ignorant child: " Yoga! But you shouldn't be doing yoga! You shouldn't be...." Just then, the Lord's face came (the Lord's face often takes on Sri Aurobindo's appearance – an idealized Sri Aurobindo, not exactly as he was physically), and it came here (right up against Mother's face), and it was blue. Then It made my finger touch her cheek, like this (Mother seems to tap T.'s cheek), and It told that child, "Little children don't know what they're talking about." And it was so thoroughly Him! He was speaking and I saw only Him, his appearance: "Little children don't know what they're talking about."

I don't know how I looked (I was enjoying myself enormously), but she must have felt something (she didn't say a word), she must at least have felt something strange because a shudder went through her being. And I was told that when she left, she said, "I may come back before I leave, but I won't ask to see Mother!" (Mother laughs.)

But It was blue – all blue. And That said, "Little children don't know what they're talking about."

Voilà. I think our time is up.

@

July 21, 1962

The other day, speaking of Europe, you said that the "Old World is truly old...."

Ah, look at this – yesterday someone read me a letter Sri Aurobindo wrote to Barin in April 1920, a few days before I returned from Japan. It was written in Bengali – tremendously interesting! He speaks of the state of the world, particularly India, and of how he envisaged a certain part of his action after completing his yoga. It's extremely interesting. And there's some very high praise for Europe. Sri Aurobindo says something like this: "You all think Europe is over and done with, but that's not true, it's not finished yet." In other words, its power is still alive.

This was in 1920.

But it was before the war....

It's very interesting.

Yet you get the feeling that with the kind of sincerity Westerners have, they would progress very quickly once they understood.

That's more or less what Sri Aurobindo was saying.

Because they're sincere.

Yes, they have a sincerity, on one level, which is not the same as spiritual sincerity. They have a material sincerity, a material HONESTY, and with that, once they understood, they would progress very quickly.

But I think it will be primarily a question of individuals, not something general.

Read this; it shows a slightly new side of Sri Aurobindo's thought. I mean, he took a sterner tone when addressing Indians, and he gave a fuller account of his experience of the West.

***

ADDENDUM

A letter from Sri Aurobindo to his younger brother Barin.

April 7, 1920

Dear Barin,

I have your letter, but have not succeeded in writing an answer till now. That I have even sat down to write now is a miracle; for me to write a letter is an event that takes place once in a blue moon – especially to write in Bengali, a thing I have not done for five or six years. If I can manage to finish this letter and put it in the post, the miracle will be complete!

First, about your yoga. You wish to give me the charge of your yoga and I am willing to take it, but that means to give its charge to Him who is moving by His divine Shakti [Energy], whether secretly or openly, both you and me. But you must know that the necessary result of this will be that you will have to walk in the special path which He has given to me, the path which I call the path of the Integral Yoga. What I began with, what Lele[144] gave me, was a seeking for the path, a circling in many directions – a first touch, a taking up, a handling and scrutiny of this or that in all the old partial yogas, some sort of complete experience of one and then the pursuit of another.

Afterwards, when I came to Pondicherry, this unsteady condition came to an end. The Guru of the world who is within us then gave me complete directions for my path – its complete theory, the ten limbs of the body of this Yoga. These past ten years He has been making me develop it in experience, and this is not yet finished. It may take another two years, and as long as it is not finished I doubt if I shall be able to return to Bengal. Pondicherry is the appointed place for my yoga siddhi [realization], except indeed one part of it, and that is action. The centre of my work is Bengal, although I hope that its circumference will be all India and the whole earth.

I shall write and tell you afterwards what this way of yoga is. Or if you come here I shall speak to you about it. In this matter the spoken word is better than the written. At present I can only say that its root-principle is to make a harmony and unity of complete knowledge, complete works and complete Bhakti [Devotion], to raise all this above the mind and give it its complete perfection on the supramental level of Vijnana [Gnosis]. This was the defect of the old yoga – the mind and the Spirit it knew, and it was satisfied with the experience of the Spirit in the mind. But the mind can grasp only the divided and partial; it cannot wholly seize the infinite and indivisible. The mind's means to reach the infinite are Sannyasa [Renunciation], Moksha [Liberation] and Nirvana, and it has no others. One man or another may indeed attain this featureless Moksha, but what is the gain? The Brahman, the Self, God are ever present. What God wants in man is to embody Himself here in the individual and in the community, to realize God in life.

The old way of yoga failed to bring about the harmony or unity of Spirit and life: it instead dismissed the world as Maya [Illusion] or a transient Play. The result has been loss of life-power and the degeneration of India. As was said in the Gita, "These peoples would perish if I did not do works" – these peoples of India have truly gone down to ruin. A few sannyasins and bairagis [renunciants] to be saintly and perfect and liberated, a few bhaktas [lovers of God] to dance in a mad ecstasy of love and sweet emotion and Ananda [Bliss], and a whole race to become lifeless, void of intelligence, sunk in deep tamas [inertia] – is this the effect of true spirituality? No, we must first attain all the partial experiences possible on the mental level and flood the mind with spiritual delight and illumine it with spiritual light, but afterwards we must rise above. If we cannot rise above, to the supramental level, that is, it is hardly possible to know the world's final secret and the problem it raises remains unsolved. There, the ignorance which creates a duality of opposition between the Spirit and Matter, between truth of spirit and truth of life, disappears. There one need no longer call the world Maya. The world is the eternal Play of God, the eternal manifestation of the Self. Then it becomes possible to fully know and fully realize God – to do what is said in the Gita, "To know Me integrally." The physical body, the life, the mind and understanding, the supermind and the Ananda – these are the spirit's five levels. The higher man rises on this ascent the nearer he comes to the state of that highest perfection open to his spiritual evolution. Rising to the Supermind, it becomes easy to rise to the Ananda. One attains a firm foundation in the condition of the indivisible and infinite Ananda, not only in the timeless Parabrahman [Absolute] but in the body, in life, in the world. The integral being, the integral consciousness, the integral Ananda blossoms out and takes form in life. This is the central clue of my yoga, its fundamental principle.

This is no easy change to make. After these fifteen years I am only now rising into the lowest of the three levels of the Supermind and trying to draw up into it all the lower activities. But when this siddhi will be complete, then I am absolutely certain that through me God will give to others the siddhi of the Supermind with less effort. Then my real work will begin. I am not impatient for success in the work. What is to happen will happen in God's appointed time. I have no hasty or disorderly impulse to rush into the field of work in the strength of the little ego. Even if I did not succeed in my work I would not be shaken. This work is not mine but God's. I will listen to no other call; when God moves me then I will move.

I know very well that Bengal is not really ready. The spiritual flood which has come is for the most part a new form of the old. It is not the real transformation. However this too was needed. Bengal has been awakening in itself the old yogas and exhausting their samskaras [old habitual tendencies], extracting their essence and with it fertilizing the soil. At first it was the time of Vedanta – Adwaita, Sannyasa, Shankara's Maya and the rest. It is now the turn of Vaishnava Dharma – Lila, love, the intoxication of emotional experience. All this is very old, unfitted for the new age and will not endure – for such excitement has no capacity to last. But the merit of the Vaishnava Bhava [emotional enthusiasm] is that it keeps a connexion between God and the world and gives a meaning to life; but since it is a partial bhava the whole connexion, the full meaning is not there. The tendency to create sects which you have noticed was inevitable. The nature of the mind is to take a part and call it the whole and exclude all other parts. The Siddha [illuminated being] who brings the bhava, although he leans on its partial aspect, yet keeps some knowledge of the integral whole, even though he may not be able to give it form. But his disciples do not get that knowledge precisely because it is not in a form. They are tying up their little bundles, let them. The bundles will open of themselves when God manifests himself fully. These things are the signs of incompleteness and immaturity. I am not disturbed by them. Let the force of spirituality play in the country in whatever way and in as many sects as may be. Afterwards we shall see. This is the infancy or the embryonic condition of the new age. It is a first hint, not even the beginning.

~ The peculiarity of this yoga is that until there is siddhi above the foundation does not become perfect. Those who have been following my course had kept many of the old samskaras; some of them have dropped away, but others still remain. There was the samskara of Sannyasa, even the wish to create an Aravinda Math [Sri Aurobindo monastery]. Now the intellect has recognized that Sannyasa is not what is wanted, but the stamp of the old idea has not yet been effaced from the prana [breath, life energy]. And so there was next this talk of remaining in the midst of the world, as a man of worldly activities and yet a man of renunciation. The necessity of renouncing desire has been understood, but the harmony of renunciation of desire with enjoyment of Ananda has not been rightly seized by the mind. And they took up my Yoga because it was very natural to the Bengali temperament, not so much from the side of Knowledge as from the side of Bhakti and Karma [Works]. A little knowledge has come in, but the greater part has escaped; the mist of sentimentalism has not been dissipated, the groove of the sattwic bhava [religious fervor] has not been broken. There is still the ego. I am not in haste, I allow each to develop according to his nature. I do not want to fashion all in the same mould. That which is fundamental will indeed be one in all, but it will express itself in many forms. Everybody grows, forms from within. I do not want to build from outside. The basis is there, the rest will come.

What I am aiming at is not a society like the present rooted in division. What I have in view is a Samgha [community] founded in the spirit and in the image of its oneness. It is with this idea that the name Deva Samgha has been given – the commune of those who want the divine life is the Deva Samgha. Such a Samgha will have to be established in one place at first and then spread all over the country. But if any shadow of egoism falls over this endeavor, then the Samgha will change into a sect. The idea may very naturally creep in that such and such a body is the one true Samgha of the future, the one and only centre, that all else must be its circumference, and that those outside its limits are not of the fold or even if they are, have gone astray, because they think differently.

You may say, what need is there of a Samgha? Let me be free and live in every vessel; let all become one without form and let whatever must be happen in the midst of that vast formlessness. There is a truth there, but only one side of the truth. Our business is not with the formless Spirit alone; we have also to direct the movement of life. And there can be no effective movement of life without form. It is the Formless that has taken form and that assumption of name and form is not a caprice of Maya. Form is there because it is indispensable. We do not want to rule out any activity of the world as beyond our province. Politics, industry, society, poetry, literature, art will all remain, but we must give them a new soul and a new form.

Why have I left politics? Because the politics of the country is not a genuine thing belonging to India. It is an importation from Europe and an imitation. At one time there was a need of it. We also have done politics of the European kind. If we had not done it, the country would not have risen and we too would not have gained experience and attained full development. There is still some need of it, not so much in Bengal as in the other provinces of India. But the time has come to stop the shadow from extending and to seize on the reality. We must get to the true soul of India and in its image fashion all works.

People now talk of spiritualizing politics. Its result will be, if there be any permanent result, some kind of Indianized Bolshevism. Even to that kind of work I have no objection. Let each man do according to his inspiration. But that is not the real thing. If one pours the spiritual power into all these impure forms – the water of the Causal ocean into raw vessels – either the raw vessels will break and the water will be spilt and lost or the spiritual power will evaporate and only the impure form remain. In all fields it is the same. I can give the spiritual power but that power will be expended in making the image of an ape and setting it up in the temple of Shiva. If the ape is endowed with life and made powerful, he may play the part of the devotee Hanuman and do much work for Rama,[145] so long as that life and that power remain. But what we want in the Temple of India is not Hanuman, but the god, the avatar, Rama himself.

We can mix with all, but in order to draw all into the true path' keeping intact the spirit and form of our ideal. If we do not do that we shall lose our direction and the real work will not be done. If we remain individually everywhere, something will be done indeed; but if we remain everywhere as parts of a Samgha, a hundred times more will be done. As yet that time has not come. If we try to give a form hastily, it may not be the exact thing we want. The Samgha will at first be in unconcentrated form. Those who have the ideal will be united but work in different places. Afterwards, they will form something like a spiritual commune and make a compact Samgha. They will then give all their work a shape according to the demand of the spirit and the need of the age – not a bound and rigid form, not an achalayatana[146], but a free form which will spread out like the sea, mould itself into many waves and surround a thing here, overflood a thing there and finally take all into itself. As we go on doing this there will be established a spiritual community. This is my present idea. As yet it has not been fully developed. All is in God's hands; whatever He makes us do, that we shall do.

Now let me discuss some particular points of your letter. I do not want to say much in this letter about what you have written as regards your yoga. We shall have better occasion when we meet. To look upon the body as a corpse is a sign of Sannyasa, of the path of Nirvana. You cannot be of the world with this idea. You must have delight in all things – in the Spirit as well as in the body. The body has consciousness, it is God's form. When you see God in everything that is in the world, when you have this vision that all this is Brahman, Sarvamidam Brahma, that Vasudeva is all this – Vasudevah sarvamiti – then you have the universal delight. The flow of that delight precipitates and courses even through the body. When you are in such a state, full of the spiritual consciousness, you can lead a married life, a life in the world. In all your works you find the expression of God's delight. So far I have been transforming all the objects and perceptions of the mind and the senses into delight on the mental level. Now they are taking the form of the supramental delight. In this condition is the perfect vision and perception of Sachchidananda.

You write about the Deva Samgha and say, "I am not a god, I am only a piece of much hammered and tempered iron." No one is a God but in each man there is a God and to make Him manifest is the aim of divine life. That we can all do. I recognize that there are great and small adharas [vessels]. I do not accept, however, your description of yourself as accurate. Still whatever the nature of the vessel, once the touch of God is upon it, once the spirit is awake, great and small and all that does not make much difference. There may be more difficulties, more time may be taken, there may be a difference in the manifestation, but even about that there is no certainty. The God within takes no account of these hindrances and deficiencies. He breaks his way out. Was the amount of my failings a small one? Were there less obstacles in my mind and heart and vital being and body? Did it not take time? Has God hammered me less? Day after day, minute after minute, I have been fashioned into I know not whether a god or what. But I have become or am becoming something. That is sufficient, since God wanted to build it. It is the same as regards everyone. Not our strength but the Shakti of God is the sadhaka [worker] of this yoga.

Let me tell you in brief one or two things about what I have long seen. My idea is that the chief cause of the weakness of India is not subjection nor poverty, nor the lack of spirituality or dharma [ethics] but the decline of thought-power, the growth of ignorance in the motherland of Knowledge. Everywhere I see inability or unwillingness to think – thought-incapacity or thought-phobia. Whatever may have been in the middle ages, this state of things is now the sign of a terrible degeneration. The middle age was the night, the time of the victory of ignorance. The modern world is the age of the victory of Knowledge. Whoever thinks most, seeks most, labors most, can fathom and learn the truth of the world, and gets so much more Shakti. If you look at Europe, you will see two things: a vast sea of thought and the play of a huge and fast-moving and yet disciplined force. The whole Shakti of Europe is in that. And in the strength of that Shakti it has been swallowing up the world, like the tapaswins [ascetics] of our ancient times, by whose power even the gods of the world were terrified, held in suspense and subjection. People say Europe is running into the jaws of destruction. I do not think so. All these revolutions and upsettings are the preconditions of a new creation.

Then look at India. Except for some solitary giants, everywhere there is your "simple man," that is, the average man who does not want to think and cannot think, who has not the least Shakti but only a temporary excitement. In India, you want the simple thought, the easy "word." In Europe they want the deep thought, the deep "word"; there even an ordinary laborer or artisan thinks, wants to know, is not satisfied with surface things but wants to go behind. But there is still this difference: there is a fatal limitation in the strength and thought of Europe. When it comes into the spiritual field, its thought-power can no longer move ahead. There Europe sees everything as riddle – nebulous metaphysics, yogic hallucination. They rub their eyes as in smoke and can see nothing clear. Still, some effort is being made in Europe to surmount even this limitation. We already have the spiritual sense – we owe it to our forefathers – and whoever has that sense has at his disposal such Knowledge and Shakti as with one breath might blow away all the huge power of Europe like a blade of grass. But to get that Shakti one must be a worshiper of Shakti. We are not worshipers of Shakti. We are worshipers of the easy way. But Shakti is not to be had by the easy way. Our forefathers dived into a sea of vast thought and gained a vast Knowledge and established a mighty civilization. As they went on in their way, fatigue and weariness came upon them. The force of thought diminished and with it also the strong current of Shakti. Our civilization has become an achalayatana [prison], our religion a bigotry of externals, our spirituality a faint glimmer of light or a momentary wave of religious intoxication. And so long as this sort of thing continues, any permanent resurgence of India is improbable

In Bengal this weakness has gone to the extreme. The Bengali has a quick intelligence, emotional capacity and intuition. He is foremost in India in all these qualities. All of them are necessary but they do not suffice. If to these there were added depth of thought, calm strength, heroic courage and a capacity for and pleasure in prolonged labor, the Bengali might be a leader not only of India, but of mankind. But he does not want that, he wants to get things done easily, to get knowledge without thinking, the fruits without labor, siddhi by an easy sadhana [discipline]. His stock is the excitement of the emotional mind. But excess of emotion, empty of knowledge, is the very symptom of the malady. In the end it brings about fatigue and inertia. The country has been constantly and gradually going down. The life-power has ebbed away. What has the Bengali come to in his own country? He cannot get enough food to eat or clothes to wear, there is lamentation on all sides, his wealth, his trade and commerce, his lands, his very agriculture have begun to pass into the hands of others. We have abandoned the sadhana of Shakti and Shakti has abandoned us. We do the sadhana of Love, but where Knowledge and Shakti are not, there Love does not remain, there narrowness and littleness come, and in a little and narrow mind there is no place for Love. Where is Love in Bengal? There is more quarreling, jealousy, mutual dislike, misunderstanding and faction there than anywhere else even in India which is so much afflicted by division.

In the noble heroic age of the Aryan people[147] there was not so much shouting and gesticulating, but the endeavor they undertook remained steadfast through many centuries. The Bengali's endeavor lasts only for a day or two.

You say that what is needed is maddening enthusiasm, to fill the country with emotional excitement. In the time of the Swadeshi [fight for independence, boycott of English goods] we did all that in the field of politics, but what we did is all now in the dust. Will there be a more favorable result in the spiritual field? I do not say there has been no result. There has been. Any movement will produce some result, but for the most part in terms of an increase of possibility. This is not the right method, however, to steadily actualize the thing. Therefore I no longer wish to make emotional excitement or any intoxication of the mind the base. I wish to make a large and strong equanimity the foundation of the yoga. I want established on that equality a full, firm and undisturbed Shakti in the system and in all its movements. I want the wide display of the light of Knowledge in the ocean of Shakti. And I want in that luminous vastness the tranquil ecstasy of infinite Love, Delight and Oneness. I do not want hundreds of thousands of disciples. It will be enough if I can get a hundred complete men, purified of petty egoism, who will be the instruments of God. I have no faith in the customary trade of the guru. I do not wish to be a guru. If anybody wakes and manifests from within his slumbering godhead and gets the divine life – be it at my touch or at another's – this is what I want. It is such men that will raise the country.

You must not think from all this lecture that I despair of the future of Bengal. I too hope, as they say, that this time a great light will manifest itself in Bengal. Still I have tried to show the other side of the shield, where the fault is, the error, the deficiency. If these remain, the light will not be a great light and it will not be permanent.

The meaning of this extraordinarily long talk is that I too am packing my bag. But I believe that this bundle is like the net of St. Peter, only crammed with the catch of the Infinite. I am not going to open the bag now. If I do that before its time, all would escape. Neither am I going back to Bengal now, not because Bengal is not ready, but because I am not ready. If the unripe goes amidst the unripe what work can he do?[148]

Your Sejda,[149]

Sri Aurobindo

@

July 25, 1962

(Mother listens to Satprem read a passage on mental silence from his manuscript on Sri Aurobindo.)

It's very good.

It's dull.

 

Is this the end of the chapter? What about the next one?

That's just it, I don't know.

You don't know yet?

First I was planning to speak about consciousness, what consciousness is; then I realized it would be better to speak of the vital first.... Before anything can be achieved, the vital has to be quieted.

Not necessarily.

Personally, I think I would begin with consciousness and deal with the vital afterwards.

But if I speak of consciousness it will lead me to speak of the ascent of consciousness, followed by the supraconscient. Can I speak about all that before the vital?

Yes.

(silence)

In fact, if I look at the order my own yoga took.... When I was five years old (I must have begun earlier, but the memory is a bit vague and imprecise) ... but from five onwards, in my consciousness (not a mental memory but – how can I put it? – it's noted, a notation in my consciousness) ... well, I began with consciousness. Of course I had no idea what it was. But my first experience was of the consciousness here (gesture above the head), which I felt like a Light and a Force; and I felt it there (same gesture) at the age of five. It was a very pleasant sensation. I would sit in a little armchair made especially for me, all alone in my room, and I ... (I didn't know what it was, you see, not a thing, nothing – mentally zero) and I had a VERY PLEASANT feeling of something very strong, very luminous, and it was here (above the head). Consciousness. And I felt, "That's what I have to live, what I have to be." Not with all those words, naturally, but ... (Mother makes a gesture of aspiration Upward). Then I would pull it down, for it was ... it was truly my raison d'être.

That is my first memory – at five years old. Its impact was more on the ethical side than the intellectual; and yet it took an intellectual form too, since.... You see, apparently I was a child like any other, except that I was hard to handle. Hard in the sense that I had no interest in food, no interest in ordinary games, no liking for going to my friends' houses for snacks, because eating cake wasn't the least bit interesting! And it was impossible to punish me because I really couldn't have cared less: being deprived of dessert was rather a relief for me! And then I flatly refused to learn reading, I refused to learn. And even bathing me was very hard, because I was put in the care of an English governess, and that meant cold baths – my brother took it in stride, but I just howled! Later it was found to be bad for me (the doctor said so), but that was much later. So you get the picture.

But whenever there was unpleasantness with my relatives, with playmates or friends, I would feel all the nastiness or bad will – all sorts of pretty ugly things that came (I was rather sensitive, for I instinctively nurtured an ideal of beauty and harmony, which all the circumstances of life kept denying)... so whenever I felt sad, I was most careful not to say anything to my mother or father, because my father didn't give a hoot and my mother would scold me – that was always the first thing she did. And so I would go to my room and sit down in my little armchair, and there I could concentrate and try to understand ... in my own way. And I remember that after quite a few probably fruitless attempts I wound up telling myself (I always used to talk to myself; I don't know why or how, but I would talk to myself just as I talked to others): "Look here, you feel sad because so-and-so said something really disgusting to you – but why does that make you cry? Why are you so sad? He's the one who was bad, so he should be crying. You didn't do anything bad to him.... Did you tell him nasty things? Did you fight with her, or with him? No, you didn't do anything, did you; well then, you needn't feel sad. You should only be sad if you've done something bad, but...." So that settled it: I would never cry. With just a slight inward movement, or "something" that said, "You've done no wrong," there was no sadness.

But there was another side to this "someone": it was watching me more and more, and as soon as I said one word or made one gesture too many, had one little bad thought, teased my brother or whatever, the smallest thing, it would say (Mother takes on a severe tone), "Look out, be careful!" At first I used to moan about it, but by and by it taught me: " Don't lament – put right, mend." And when things could be mended – as they almost always could – I would do so. All that on a five to seven-year-old child's scale of intelligence.

So it was consciousness.

Next came the period of learning and developing, but on an ordinary mental level – school years.[150] Curiosity made me want to learn to read. Did I tell you how it happened? When I was around seven, just under seven, my brother, who was eighteen months older, used to bring big pictures home from school with him (you know, pictures for children with captions at the bottom; they're still used nowadays) and he gave me one of them. "What's written there?" I asked. "Read it!" he said. "Don't know how," I replied. "Then learn!" "All right," I told him, "show me the letters." He brought me an A-B-C book. I knew it within two days and on the third day I started reading. That's how I learned. "Oh-oh," they used to say, "this child is backward! Seven years old and she still can't read – disgraceful!" The whole family fretted about it. And then lo and behold, in about a week I knew what should have taken me years to learn – it made them think twice!

Then, school years. I was a very bright student, always for the same reason: I wanted to understand. I wasn't interested in learning things by heart like the others did – I wanted to understand them. And what a memory I had, a fantastic memory for sounds and images! I had only to read a poem aloud at night, and the next morning I knew it. And after I had studied or read a book and someone mentioned a passage to me, I would say, "Ah, yes – that's on page so and so." I would find the page. Nothing had faded, it was all still fresh. But this is the ordinary period of development.

Then at a very young age (about eight or ten), along with my studies I began to paint. At twelve I was already doing portraits. All aspects of art and beauty, but particularly music and painting, fascinated me. I went through a very intense vital development during that period, with, just like in my early years, the presence of a kind of inner Guide; and all centered on studies: the study of sensations, observations, the study of technique, comparative studies, even a whole spectrum of observations dealing with taste, smell and hearing – a kind of classification of experiences. And this extended to all facets of life, all the experiences life can bring, all of them – miseries, joys, difficulties, sufferings, everything – oh, a whole field of studies! And always this presence within, judging, deciding, classifying, organizing and systematizing everything.

Then conscious yoga made a sudden entry into the picture when I met Théon; I must have been about twenty-one. Life's orientation changed, a whole series of experiences took place, with the development of the vital giving interesting occult results.

Then, a period of intensive mental development, mental development of the most complete type: a study of all the philosophies, all the conceptual juggling, in minute detail – delving into systems, getting a grasp on them. Ten years of intensive mental studies leading me to ... Sri Aurobindo.

So I had all this preparation. And I am giving you these details simply to tell you it all began with consciousness (I knew very well what consciousness was, even before I had any word or idea to explain it), consciousness and its force – its force of action, its force of execution. Next, a detailed study and thorough development of the vital. After that, mental development taken to its uppermost limit, where you can juggle with all ideas; a developmental stage where it's already understood that all ideas are true and that there's a synthesis to be made, and that beyond the synthesis lies something luminous and true. And behind it all, a continual consciousness. Such was my state when I came here: I'd had a world of experiences and had already attained conscious union with the Divine above and within – all of it consciously realized, carefully noted and so forth – when I came to Sri Aurobindo.

From the standpoint of shakti, this is the normal course: consciousness, vital, mental and spiritual.

Is it different for men? I don't know. Sri Aurobindo's case was quite special, and apart from him I don't see any convincing example. But generally speaking, what is most developed in a man, along with the mind, is the physical consciousness; the vital is very impulsive, practically ungoverned. That's my experience of the hundreds and hundreds of men I have met. There's normally a physical strength built up through games and exercises, and side by side a more or less advanced, but primarily mental development, very mental. The vital is terribly impulsive and barely organized, except in artists, and even there.... I lived among artists for ten years and found this ground to be mostly fallow. I mingled with all the great artists of the time, I was like a kid sister to them (it was at the turn of the century, with the Universal Exposition in 1900; and these were the leading artists of the epoch); so I was by far the youngest, much younger than any of them – they were all thirty, thirty-five, forty years old, while I was nineteen or twenty. Well I was much more advanced in their own field – not in what I was producing (I was a perfectly ordinary artist), but from the viewpoint of consciousness: observations, experiences, studies.

I am not sure, but it seems to me that the problem of consciousness ought to come first.

That's how I had started to do it.

Well, I think so. What happened to me in life is extremely logical, very, very logical (it wasn't me, I didn't decide anything – you don't make decisions at the age of five). Each stage was prepared by the preceding one.

But then what is this consciousness we feel like a force inside us? For instance, sometimes in meditation it rises, then descends; it's not fixed anywhere. What is this consciousness?

The Shakti!

Some receive it from above; for others, it rises from below (gesture to the base of the spine). As I once told you, the old system always proceeds from below upwards, while Sri Aurobindo pulls from above downwards. This becomes very clear in meditation (well, in yoga, in yogic experience): for those who follow the old system, it's invariably the kundalini at the base [of the spine] rising from center to center, center to center, until the lotus (in an ironic tone) bursts open here gesture at the crown of the head). With Sri Aurobindo, it comes like this (gesture of descending Force) and then settles here (above the head); it enters, and from there it comes down, down, down, everywhere, to the very bottom, and even below the feet – the subconscient – and lower still, the inconscient.

It's the Shakti. He said, you know (I am still translating it), that the shakti drawn up from below (this is what happens in the individual process) is already what could be called a "veiled" shakti (it has power, but it is veiled). While the Shakti drawn down from above is a PURE Shakti; and if it can be brought down carefully and slowly enough so that it isn't (how shall I put it?) polluted or, in any case, obscured as it enters matter, then the result is immediately much better. As he has explained, if you start out with this feeling of a great power in yourself (because it's always a great power no matter where it awakens), there's inevitably a danger of the ego meddling in. But if it comes pure and you are very careful to keep it pure, not to rush the movement but let it purify as it descends, then half the work is done.

It's a problem. When you contact the Supraconscient and the Shakti emerges at the crown of the head, it's something rising from below, isn't it? Is it then another movement, an ascending movement...?

That is the consciousness of the jiva [soul], the personal, individual consciousness.

It's something that grows....

It is the individual consciousness. Aspiration is almost always an expression of the psychic being – the part of us that's organized around the divine center, the small divine flame deep within human beings. You see, this divine flame exists inside each human being, and little by little, through all the incarnations and karma and so on, a being takes shape around it, which Théon called the "psychic being." And when the psychic being reaches its full development, it becomes a kind of bodily or at any rate individual raiment of the soul. The soul is a portion of the Supreme – the jiva is the Supreme in individual form. And since there is only one Supreme, there is only one jiva, but with millions of individual forms. This jiva begins as a divine spark – immutable, eternal and infinite too (infinite in possibility rather than dimension). And through all the incarnations, whatever has received and responded to the divine Influence progressively crystallizes around the jiva, which becomes more and more conscious as well as more and more organized. Ultimately it becomes a completely conscious individual being, master of itself and moved exclusively by the divine Will. That is to say, an individual expression of the Supreme. This is what we call the "psychic being."

Generally speaking, those who practice yoga have either a fully developed, independent psychic being which has taken birth again to do the Divine's work, or else a psychic being in its last incarnation wanting to complete its development and realize itself.

This is what aspires, this is what has the contact.

So, when you're told "become conscious of your psychic being," it's for the being formed by external Nature to contact the divine Presence through the psychic being. Then the psychic takes charge of the whole being; in fact, it is the inner Guide.... Well, when I  was a little child, this "person" (which wasn't a person, but an expression of a certain consciousness and will) was actually the psychic presence; there was something else behind, but that's a rather special case. And what happened to me happens to everyone whose psychic being has deliberately incarnated: the psychic being guides your life, and if you let it act freely, it arranges ALL circumstances – it's truly wonderful! ... I have seen – not only for myself but for so many people who also had conscious psychic beings – that everything is arranged with a view to ... not at all your personal egoistic satisfaction, but your ultimate progress and realization. And all circumstances of life, even those you call "disastrous," are there to lead you where you have to go as swiftly as possible.

Yours is more than a psychic being. As I have told you, your psychic being is accompanied by something which has come for a special purpose, with a particular intellectual power – a luminous, conscious power – which has come from regions higher than the mind, regions Sri Aurobindo calls the Overmind, to do a special work. It is here (gesture enveloping the chest and head) and, along with the psychic, it's trying to organize everything. This, in your psychic, is what you are feeling. It must have great power.... Don't you feel a kind of luminous force?

Oh, yes, I feel it!

Well, that's what it is.

That must be why I can't distinguish between the Force coming from above and the Force coming from within.

A time comes when you don't make this distinction any more.[151]

That's why it's hard for me to speak about it; I don't know what's coming from above and what's coming from below.

To speak about it....

You know, everything I have just told you is.... One always feels "on the verge of" or "nearly" or "almost." There's something bordering on but always tangential to the Truth – never to the point, always beside it. As soon as we speak, it's an approximation.

We would have to say it all in one breath.

Yes, that's it. That's just the thing! How can we say everything in one breath? That's exactly it.

It's clear to me that for writing ... we need a kind of global expression.

Yes, that's what Sri Aurobindo always says! As soon as we start describing something, here's what happens (gesture of taking one step after another); and the moment that happens, the real thing is lost.

We just have to make the best of it.

No, writing isn't satisfying, you know; it's no way to express anything.... Music?

Not much better. Painting is worse. No....

(silence)

I have wondered: if a human being developed an exceptionally powerful vocal organ and could consciously connect what he wanted to say or what had to be expressed with this organ, with the voice, and then simply let it flow out under this Influence, that might come nearest to the real thing.

I have had a few brief moments of this kind of experience; but even then it seemed rather paltry. Paltry, a whole realm eludes you.... I remember the period when I used to sit down at the organ at midnight on December 31, without the least notion of what I was going to play or sing, and I would let the Force come – it would play, then the sound, the voice came, and then in the voice, the words. I never wrote anything in advance. And it's because people began noting down what I was saying (of course they got it all mixed up) that I started writing it down beforehand; that was much later, when I stopped coming at midnight. But in the early days, long, long ago when Sri Aurobindo was here, that's how it was; I didn't know what I was going to play or what I would say. And the sound came first, then the voice, and then in the voice, the words – like something condensing, concretizing.

It was quite powerful, but incomplete. Incomplete.

(silence)

You would really need to add a play of lights, too. But nothing artificial.

(long silence)

The conscious and deliberate manipulation of certain luminous vibrations in addition to sound.

Thought, by comparison (thought as we now know it), is much more material. Thought – formulation in words – is much lower down on the scale.

Some thoughts.... Are they thoughts?... It's something much higher than thought, much higher than ideas.... It is the VISION OF KNOWLEDGE in an extremely luminous region where vibrations are very precise and very strong; and this is obviously what, as it descends, translates into sounds and words (but this is much lower down). In the form closest to the Origin, they are luminous vibrations.

But the human mind latches on to everything and copies it!

It makes a copy: all these light shows, everything they're making nowadays. Like this taste for theater and cinema.... It has its effect, though, doesn't it? But it's a copy.

We are monkeys.

(long silence)

Mon petit, I don't think I am mistaken: begin with consciousness.

And don't waste your time noting all this down, it's not worth it.

But it's so interesting! I do it in the afternoon and I work in the morning.

To be interesting it would have to be systematic, using various examples. But then it would make an endless story....

Anyway, the periods of my life have been as clear as could be, distinctly defined, preparing everything for my coming here.

Many, many things in my life have completely vanished – I don't remember them any more, they're gone from my consciousness – everything that was useless. But there is a very clear vision of everything that was preparing the jiva for its action here. Even before coming and meeting Sri Aurobindo, I had realized everything needed to begin his yoga. It was all ready, classified, organized. Magnificent! A superb mental construction ... which he demolished within five minutes!

How happy I was! Aah! ... It was really the reward for all my efforts.

Nothing! I knew nothing any more, understood nothing at all – not a single idea left in my head! Everything I had carefully built up over so many years (I was past thirty-five, I think), through all my experiences: conscious yoga, non-conscious yoga, life, experiences lived, classified and organized (oh, what a monument!) ... crash! It all came tumbling down. Magnificent. I hadn't even asked him.

I had tried to get complete mental silence – you know, what you just described,[152] this kind of mental stillness he speaks of (when you have it, anything can pass through your head without causing the least ripple), but I had never succeeded. I had tried, but couldn't do it. I could be silent when I wanted to, but as soon as I stopped thinking solely of that, stopped wanting only that, the invasion resumed and the work had to be done all over again.

That's all I had told him (not in great detail, in a few words). Then I sat down near him and he began talking with Richard, about the world, yoga, the future – all kinds of things – what was going to happen (he already knew the war would break out; this was 1914, war broke out in August, and he knew it towards the end of March or early April). So the two of them talked and talked and talked – great speculations. It didn't interest me in the least, I didn't listen. All these things belonged to the past, I had seen it all (I too had had my visions and revelations). I was simply sitting beside him on the floor (he was sitting in a chair with Richard facing him across a table, and they were talking). I was just sitting there, not listening. I don't know how long they went on, but all at once I felt a great Force come into me – a peace, a silence, something massive! It came, did this (Mother sweeps her hand across her forehead), descended and stopped here (gesture at the chest).[153] When they finished talking, I got up and left. And then I noticed that not a thought remained – I no longer knew anything or understood anything, I was absolutely BLANK. So I gave thanks to the Lord and thanked Sri Aurobindo in my heart.

And I was very careful not to disturb it; I held it like that for I don't know how long, eight or ten days. Nothing – not one idea, not one thought, nothing – a complete BLANK. In other words, from the outside, it must have looked like total idiocy.

But I was living in my inner joy – nothing stirring. I spoke as little as possible and it was like something mechanical, it wasn't me. Then slowly, slowly, as though falling drop by drop, something was built up again. But it had no limits, it had no ... it was vast as the universe and wonderfully still and luminous. Nothing here (the head), but THERE (gesture above the head); and then everything began to be seen from there.

And it has never left me – you know, as a proof of Sri Aurobindo's power it's incomparable! I don't believe there has ever been an example of such a (how can I put it?) ... such a total success: a miracle. It has NEVER left me. I went to Japan, I did all sorts of things, had all possible kinds of adventures, even the most unpleasant, but it never left me – stillness, stillness, stillness...

And it was he who did it, entirely. I didn't even ask him, there was no aspiration, nothing (there were my previous efforts; I knew it had to come, that's all). But on that day I hadn't mentioned it to him, I wasn't thinking about it, I wasn't doing anything – just sitting there. And outwardly he seemed to be fully engrossed in his conversation about this and that and what was going to happen in the world....

That's the real way.

But I have never been able to do it for anyone – not like that, with such plenitude – never, never.... It's fantastic! It was stupendous! ... Truly we can say that only the Lord can do such a thing, He alone. Without the slightest effort, without even seeming to ... he didn't even seem to concentrate, nothing, just like that. You never met him, did you?

Yes, I had a "darshan."

Ah, you saw him!

I also had an experience the first year I stayed here (although I didn't know it was an experience)....

Ah!

One night during my first year here, he came and placed his hand over my heart, and in my dream I wept and wept and wept.... Afterwards I told myself, "What a strange imagination!" I took it for imagination!

Oh, mon petit, how wonderful!

He put his hand on my heart and I wept. I wept in my dream, just as hard as I could.

It's psychic, the psychic contact.

Oh, then ... it's not going to be so difficult.

Good ... good.

Still, there's a difference when one has met him [physically].

I saw him once, I had a darshan in 1948.

Oh, when Baron was here![154]

Now that's interesting. In '48 ... ah, he was still in good health.

He had had a broken leg.

How long did you stay here the first time?

Until 1949, I think.

 

Oh, so he too knew you were predestined! If he saw you, he knew it.

That's good.

That's good, petit, very good, don't worry! (Mother laughs.)

It's getting late.

Do you want some cheese?

No, you already gave me some, I have plenty!

I ask because it's all I have to give! (Mother laughs.)

So see you Saturday then, with the "consciousness."

Well... all right, maybe.

July 28, 1962

(Mother refers back to the last conversation, where she spoke of her different stages of development.)

I have seen that the different stages of my development occurred in twelve-year periods, though I don't recall the exact dates. The first period, from the age of five (I can't start earlier than five!) to about eighteen, dealt with consciousness. Then came all the artistic and vital development, culminating in the occult development with Théon (I met Théon around 1905 or '06, I think[155]). Then right around this time an intensive mental development began – from 1908 to 1920, or a little before; but it was especially intense before coming here in 1914.

And 1920 marked the beginning of full development. Not spiritual development – that had been going on from the very start – but ACTION, the action with Sri Aurobindo. That was clearly from 1920 on; I had met Sri Aurobindo earlier, but it really began in 1920.[156]

And the realization of the inner Divine?

The dates ... I am no good at dates! And I don't have any papers left to give me precise details. But the realization of the inner Divine must have been in 1911, because that's when I started writing my Meditations.[157] But since my earliest childhood, you know, this presence was always there, with an initial emphasis on consciousness, then on the vital and aesthetics, then on the mind ... and culminating here, in 1920, with action.

From 1911 or '12, up to 1914, there was the whole series of inner experiences, psychic experiences, preparing me to meet Sri Aurobindo (so this ran parallel to my mental development).

In practice, these periods overlap, but approximately every twelve years a particular type of development predominated, in this order: consciousness first, then the vital (mainly from the aesthetic point of view, but a study of sensations as well), then the mind, then spiritual realization. And in between the vital and mental phases came the brief period of occultism, serving both as a transition and a basis for spiritual development.

July 31, 1962

(At the start of this conversation, Mother listens to Satprem read an unpleasant letter he has just received from P.A.L., his Paris publisher.)

Here's what he says: "I read with great interest the Introduction to your new book on Shri Aurobindo. I must confess that if I have been late in replying it is because I am still very hesitant. The text reads well, but it leaves doubts as to how well the book that follows will conform to the norms of our 'Spiritual Masters' series. I greatly fear that we will both end up disappointed again. The book you want to write is, I feel, very personal, whereas this series must consist of books which are essentially expositions, introductions, tools of information ...': etc.

(After a silence) I am getting a sort of indication: when I turn the beacon to this side, the resistance suddenly seems to give way – there must be a means of making it give way....

Don't reply, keep quiet. Write your book and we will see.

I have the feeling that, consciously or unconsciously (I don't know which), this gentleman has become a tool of Catholic resistance. It is very strong in the Old World and in America as well, although there it's more Christian than specifically Catholic. But it's terribly strong in France: it tries to take advantage of every opening and to block whatever might take a new turn.

It will give way.

But the things I am seeing aren't at all personal like this letter, you know, they are not small details, they are overall actions. There seems to be something unyielding, like this (gesture), and then it suddenly collapses and there's a free flow.

I can't say this gentleman knows it (he probably doesn't – what goes on in the human brain is very incoherent). But in any case, something in him is wary: "What's to tell me this book won't lead me just where I don't want to go?"

Their main complaint was, "You are abstract." So if we want to be concrete, we have to speak of experiences.

No, to them "concrete" means telling what Sri Aurobindo did physically. That's what they call concrete. Psychology is something abstract for them.

Oh, I don't know what to do!

Here, I'll give you an example: A. wrote to tell me, "If you know how to get in touch with Agni,[158] let me know, because I need him"!

I gave the natural reply, that what's needed is aspiration for progress, a will for perfection, and that you kindle the fire by burning your desires. I told him this in a way I call very concrete. Well, he answered (laughing), "Ohhh! You're living in abstractions. That's not what I want, I want a living god" – a personality, you see!

That's how people are.

Psychology: that's abstract. What they want is: on such and such a date he went to this place, saw these people and did this – all the most external and banal sorts of things. Even yoga boils down to: he sat down and stayed there for so many hours, he had this vision, he tried out that method, he did asanas and breathing exercises.... That, for them, is concrete. That and that alone. Psychology is thoroughly abstract – thoroughly. It's unreal to them.

But I've tried to be as concrete as possible! Like cutting up a rat on a dissecting table to see what's inside it....

They would already have to be well advanced.

Listen, don't think about it, don't pay it any attention – finish the book.

I'm not really satisfied.

That isn't necessary.

Is it necessary to be satisfied? (Mother laughs.)

I have noticed that the very thing you feel you've done most poorly is usually the most useful. It has always been like that for me. I remember doing a lot of things – a bit of painting, a bit of music, a bit of writing (very little) – and it was just when I used to think, "Oh, la-la! What a fiasco!", that people were the most touched and pleased.

You mustn't be concerned with it, it's totally irrelevant.

I think it's quite dangerous to be satisfied, because then the very best part of the being goes to sleep.

Whether we're satisfied or not is altogether unimportant.

And then, it may well be that one day "someone" will put the pressure on this gentleman, and he will say, "Ahh!... Well, all right – let's try."

Keep on.

@

 

August

August 4, 1962

Would you like me to show you something you said last time?

What are you talking about? You don't have anything from me! "Finally," I thought, "for once I didn't say a word!"

You haven't been saying much lately....

(With an ironic smile) I've made a conscious effort not to! Things are progressing, but they won't be interesting till a whole curve is completed. It's better not to talk in the middle of it. So read to me.

***

(Mother listens to a passage from Satprem's manuscript concerning the vital and the mechanism by which vibrations enter one's being.)

What you say about all those things entering through the centers is perfectly correct.

Interestingly enough, these last few days I have been making a sort of detailed study of the various kinds of vibrations, how they approach you and enter the various centers.... I don't know how to explain it – certain differences between vibrations resemble differences in tastes. There's a whole gamut, you see, all vibrations, nothing but vibrations, and the differences between them resemble differences in taste or color or intensity, perhaps differences in force as well – essentially, of course, they are differences in quality.

I've been observing all this in a neuro-physical realm, subtle-physical, that is – but it's still physical – and in a complete mental silence where all judgments (you know, "judgments") have disappeared, along with a certain way of observing things. That's why I can't talk about it.

These vibrations have various qualities; if they were expressed through a mental observation, it would be done through such things as taste, color, and so forth, everything I've just mentioned[159] – but that's not how they're expressed. They come almost exclusively as sensations, but those sensations ... some, I mean some vibrations, have rounded edges. Some come horizontally (I was in fact studying everything that comes horizontally), others result from the state of consciousness (vertical gesture from top to bottom). While at the same time, others are.... Yes, it's like looking through a high-powered microscope: some are rounded, others pointed; some are darker, some brighter. Some are very upsetting to the body, and some even feel dangerous. On the other hand, certain ones make the body receptive to the vibration, which we might call "the Lord's Vibration," the supreme Vibration. You see, all this is the outcome of a discipline, a tapasya, for preparing the body to receive the Lord's Vibrations (the first step is receiving, being able to receive them; afterwards you have to hold on to and then manifest them). Those vibrations are unmistakable, they are something else entirely. But other vibrations are helpful, beneficial, while still others are disruptive, contradictory.

And each one is beginning to reveal its own particular nature. There are those stemming from people's thoughts (I sense them in my body, not in the mind: the material consequence of people's psychological state, and even their state of health). Some things are general and last a bit longer; others are momentary, lasting only a few seconds. The first step is to study the different vibrational qualities – you could practically draw diagrams: if we had a machine sensitive enough to record these things, it would produce all kinds of zigs and zags.[160] Certain vibrations immediately stop or change or are dissolved or repelled. Others are adopted, as it were, and transformed. The majority are simply pushed back and worked on from a distance – quite a distance! I keep them at a fair distance (Mother laughs). Very few are let in. But some are let in for the sake of the experience, to see how much they upset the body. There's also the effect of people's permanent auras: I know a certain person is arriving by his aura's effect on the body; because (laughing) each vibration has its particular effect on the body – perfectly prosaic things, maybe, but by studying them you realize that each thing has its own law.

The interchange of vibrations among people is something tremendous, and we're swimming in it all, all, all the time – even when we're alone! Because these things travel: for instance, it's enough for someone's thought to come and strike against yours, and for you to think of him (which means responding) – there is an immediate effect in the body. So to imagine that solitude would make yoga any easier is sheer childishness.

The only possible solution is so perfect a union with the supreme Vibration that everything is automatically put under His influence; and in that case it is easier to feel wider, higher, vaster than the world (to take just the earth: the terrestrial world) than an individual.[161] For it is easier to do this (embracing gesture), to take everything in, to embrace and change it from outside, than to change it from inside. At present, the two movements are simultaneous, and staying "inside" was[162] the result of all those years of experience in drawing the Supreme Presence down into the most material world – for that, you have to accept (how can I put it?...) corporeal oneness.

Formerly (I mean before last April 13), the process was different; now it has totally changed. This body is nothing but a field of experience, it's no longer an individuality – not at all, at all, at all. But it's a very ... willing field of experience. And the experience is going on in a particular realm by day and in another by night – it's beginning to clarify the whole subconscient. From this angle, there is a very rapid progress.

So there's a countless series of experiences coming one after the other, one after the other, like that; but there's no coordination between them, no unified "whole." I don't even know if that is possible[163] – at any rate, it will be for much later on.

So there you are.

Millions of imperceptible notations coming one on top of another.

(silence)

And through certain things, I can perceive the very clear, precise and absolute Direction coming from the Supreme. And He is arranging all those things – forms, various intellectual forms – exactly as they should be. Because here (pointing to the crown of the head), and even from here (lower) down to here (the forehead), it's all immobile.... All these vibrations come, pass through, whirl around, they come from everywhere, but here (the head) nothing moves, there's no response. And yet I have seen that on the intellectual level there are a number of ... what Sri Aurobindo calls frames, certain principles of organization[164] giving a precise orientation to the yoga's action. One of them, the strongest, is my translation of The Synthesis of Yoga. I do a page almost every day and on that page I invariably find an idea or a sentence that EXACTLY expresses the field of experiences I was in that day and the night before; and some of the details.... And interestingly enough, certain points in the pages you read me today were the EXACT "frame" of a series of experiences I've been having – almost word for word, with the same words.[165] That sort of thing. It's like intellectual forms being assembled to give the field of experience precision, because there's nothing here (the forehead), it's blank – yet some form is necessary! Well, the forms Sri Aurobindo has given predominate, but what you write has its place, and a very precise and interesting place: the way of thinking. And I see that there's an immense field of intellectual thought, intellectual formulation, with varying degrees of intensity and precision, serving as a SIEVE for the Supreme's Will to pass through. And the sieve – this sort of immense universal sieve – is what gives the precision.[166] It's very interesting. That way, the mind remains perfectly still – it has nothing to do, everything is done for it! It is nothing but a mirror – a living mirror where everything gets inscribed and which can reflect back its image without becoming active.

The nature of my nights is changing, the nature of my days is changing.

And then there's a first small beginning, quite small, indicating how the Power will function. But it's ... (Mother gestures into the far distance) it's merely a slight tinge.

But when it functions, things will really start moving.

Well, I've been chattering away again. That means more work for you!

No, it's not work!

All right then, see you Wednesday, mon petit.

August 8, 1962

(Mother listens to Satprem read a passage from his manuscript.)

It's very good. It's really excellent.

Oh, it's dull, it's lifeless....

What gives you that impression? Do you happen to have one of those criticizers in you? Sri Aurobindo says we always carry with us someone who criticizes everything we do. He classifies the gentleman as an adverse force, one with an individual form. Yes, you're always saying it won't do, it's no good....

Because I feel that things should be said with another kind of force. It seems like all these sentences could just as well be put one way as another, you understand – it's not inevitable at all.... I could say things this way, but I could just as well say them differently.

Mon petit, I have told you twenty times and I will tell you again: if it were "inevitable," nobody would understand!

I don't know. To me, this is no way to express anything.

Yes, yes, I know what you mean ... there is Revelation; but the world isn't ready for Revelation – that will come later, in ten years.

Ten years?

Yes, ten years.

(long silence)

I am making some interesting discoveries. They aren't really discoveries, but nowadays none of these things are theoretical, not the least bit mental (the mind is in a quiet ease) – they're essentially practical. And they take unexpected forms.... The other day as I was walking, an old formation suddenly popped up, some. thing that had already tried to materialize when Sri Aurobindo was still here, but which he had stopped. It was one possibility among innumerable others, trying to manifest in this body's existence – I won't say what it is.

It was one of the very saddest things that could manifest physically in association with a spiritual life.

It came and tried to descend. I said absolutely nothing, but Sri Aurobindo knew (though he never mentioned anything to me, he had seen it), and he simply ... (gesture) did what had to be done, brushed it aside. I hadn't thought about it for more than ten years: with that gesture of his, it had vanished.

Now it has come back.

"Well, well – why has that returned?" I wondered. And then I saw that this body has been built in such a way that it instinctively ATTRACTS ordeals, painful experiences. And in the face of such formations, it is always passive, consenting, accepting, and totally confident in the ultimate outcome, with such an ingrained certitude that even at the moment of greatest difficulty, it will be helped and saved, and that the purpose behind all those ordeals is to speed up, to gain time, and to exhaust all the ... I can't say the evil possibilities, but all the hindrances – things that hamper, block the way and seem to negate the goal – so that they are pushed back into the past and no longer hinder progress.

Once I saw that, the formation went away. It had come just to show me that. And once again the body gave its eternal assent: no matter what it's burdened with, it will always be ready to receive and to bear it.

I never thought this would have any consequences, but it did![167]

Something probably needed to be exhausted. So physically speaking, yesterday was a pretty bad day – oh, only quite externally! In fact, the body was luminously conscious, profoundly happy and joyous, to the point where all suffering becomes negligible – you don't notice it. And so it was a real opportunity for the whole entourage to make progress. That helps.

Superficially, it [the body's characteristic of attracting ordeals] could be called a sort of karma, but that's not what it is. It's actually like one of the pivots – not a central one, but one of the pivots of the body's invisible action, of its consciousness. And it is expressed by attracting certain circumstances. A whole range of things having to do with the physical body has thus become very clear and precise to me – and that's what the body was made for: to go full speed ahead.

Intellectually, I don't at all believe in taking others' misfortunes upon oneself – that's childish. But certain vibrations in the world must be accepted, exhausted and transformed. Inwardly, that's the work I have been doing all my life – consciously, gloriously. But now it's on a purely physical level, independent of all the realities of other worlds: it's in the body, you see. And this has given me a key, one of the necessary keys to the Work.

Maybe there will be something else another time.

It has been very revealing, like a door that has opened.

And there's always that same Solicitude dosing the experience out – that's always here.

And I have noticed that now.... You see, the body used to be like a little child, complaining when things weren't right; it wouldn't revolt, but it moaned. But this time its only reaction was, "Why am I not transformed? Why am I not transformed? I want to be transformed, I want to be transformed...." Not with words, because there was nothing mental about it, but simply with a kind of tension – the tension you feel when the door to the psychic being is shut and you push, push, push to get to the other side. The same thing, the same kind of tension: pushing, pushing, pushing ... towards what? I don't know. We call it "the transformation" because we don't know what it is – if we did know, it would mean we had already begun to realize it.... There's a faint impression of what that state could be (but it's very, very faint). And there's this feeling of tension, of pushing – pleading and imploring. That was the body's only reaction this time, nothing else, not even any sorrow. Because at one time – something like fifty years ago – it used to say, "Why do I deserve this?" and similar stupidities; that's been gone for more than fifty years. Then for a long while after, something disordered, unharmonious or nasty could bring me sorrow; that's gone too. But that's recent, it disappeared with the experience of April 13. And now: transformation, transformation, transformation; that's the only idea left, the only will.

(silence)

For several days before that incident, something else had been coming, a kind of imaginative and creative vision of the most material physical possibilities for the future.

I've had this great formative power ever since my earliest childhood, but I had channeled it and stopped it because I considered it useless. But it came back recently, along with the sure sign that it was coming from the very highest origin: "This is it, this is how things will be." But that's for later, of course. To our external reason, those things seem totally unrealizable, but they will be realizable in ... perhaps a few hundred years, I don't know – it's the future being prepared. And indeed, that vision has a tremendous power of creation and realization, and it is always felt physically (the rest is very still), it's always physical. But it triggered a kind of very rapid movement of the physical consciousness (within the most material substance), and caused a dislocation. And so[168] the day before yesterday, that old formation suddenly returned and made me understand one aspect of the body's nature, the way the body is CONSTRUCTED and the usefulness of that construction. So now things are all right. It has been one more step.

But when you receive those bad vibrations affecting your body,[169] are they exhausted by your accepting them?

It's not that I "receive" bad vibrations, but that the physical substance is not entirely ... (how can I explain?) in the proper movement or rhythm. For instance, between the vision of that old formation I spoke of and this ... (I can't call it a toothache, but anyway, something went wrong) there was no visible connection to speak of. The toothache wasn't caused by a particular vibration, it's rather ... as if one thing or another provided the opportunity for absorbing a certain quantity or type of vibration (it's more a quantity than a type – probably both), a vibratory MODE, in order to put it in contact with THE vibratory mode – the divine one.

But I understand your question. You want to know if this has an effect on all identical vibratory modes in the world.... In principle, yes. But the effects may not be immediately visible; in the first place, our field of observation is nothing – materially, what do we know? ... Only our immediate surroundings – that's nothing. In 1920, for example, I had an experience of that type, which resulted in a symbolic but terrestrial action. It was a vision (I don't remember enough details to make it interesting) where each nation was represented by a symbolic entity, and there was a certain type of horror – of terror, rather. A certain "will of terror" was trying to manifest in that gathering of all nations. And I was witness to the whole thing. I remember it being a very conscious and rather long and detailed vision with a more intense reality than physical things have (it was in the subtle physical). And after it was over and I had done what needed to be done (I am not saying what because I don't remember all the details, and without accuracy it loses its value), when I came out of it I could say with TOTAL conviction: "Terror has been overcome in the world." Of course, it's not literally true, plenty of people still feel terror, but a certain type of terror was as if UNDERMINED at the foundations. What had already manifested kept on and is gradually being exhausted, but the terror that was trying to increase and dominate the life of nations was stopped cold.

I have had other similar experiences – on Durga's day, for instance, when Sri Aurobindo was still here (you know, that's the day when Durga masters an asura; she doesn't kill him, she masters him). Well, each year one particular type of thing was undermined (and my experiences were never mental: the experience would suddenly come, and AFTERWARDS I would realize it was Durga's day), and each time I used to tell Sri Aurobindo, "Look – today this (or that) thing has been cut off at the roots." That's how it works with the adverse forces – yes, like something being uprooted from the world. Whatever has already spread out keeps going and follows its karma, but the SOURCE is dried up. That's also what happened (it was in 1904, I believe) when the Asura of Consciousness and Darkness made his surrender and was converted; he told me, "I have millions and millions of emanations, and these will keep on living, but their source has now run dry."[170] How much time will it take to exhaust it all? ... We can't say, but the source has dried up and that is something extremely important. In 1920, that terror was trying to spread all over the world and to become really catastrophic; and then in my inner vision I could see that a whole movement had dried up at its source. This means that little by little, little by little, little by little ... the karma is being exhausted.

The same goes for these little physical movements. Things don't seem to be "initiated" any more, I mean they're no longer being generated. But everything that's already present in the world has to be exhausted.

I can see more rapid methods, but they are essentially part of the supramental world.

To change a karma, to stop a karma, to withdraw a certain number of vibrations from circulation, as it were, requires yet another movement, another movement altogether – and that Power isn't yet at hand. That's what will yield visible, tangible results. The other movement has very tangible and concrete results, but they're invisible (to human observation, that is, which is much too limited and superficial). But it obviously does have results. That vision of terror clearly diverted the course of events that nations were being pushed into. But only someone with inner vision can see it.

(silence)

Is it eleven o'clock?

All right then, keep on with your book. It's good, much better than you think! (gesture of denial from Satprem) Yes, yes, I know what you mean, "definitive things" – it's like me and my definitive transformations! We must learn how to wait. Later on, it will come.

It should be something like a mantra....

I understand. I understand full well. But you must learn how to wait. Were you to write in that way now, it would be perfectly useless to the reading public – they wouldn't understand a thing.

What you read to me is very good – very good, very useful. Au revoir, mon petit.

@

August 11, 1962

(Satprem asks for an explanation of this sentence from August 4: "... it is easier to feel wider, higher, vaster than the world, THAN AN INDIVIDUAL. For it is easier to take everything in, to embrace and change it from outside, than to change it from inside.")

Yes, it is easier (for a Being or a Force or a Consciousness) to feel vaster than the earth than an individual.[171]

Than an individual?...

(Mother laughs) It's crystal clear to me! ...

It's a sort of reply to something I am translating in The Synthesis of Yoga. You know, there are these three aspects that must always be kept united in one's consciousness: jiva (the individual), Shakti, and Ishwara (the Supreme). He gives a wonderful description of how we have all three together in a kind of inner hierarchy. So while reading that (as I translate I have all the experiences, they come spontaneously), I kept saying to myself, "No, that jiva hampers me; that jiva hems me in! It's not natural to me." What's natural to me is ... it's probably Mahashakti. There is always that sense of creative Power, and of the Lord. The infinite, marvelous, innumerable joy of the Lord, you see, which is so intermingled with the Power – you can sense the presence of the Lord, yet you cannot distinguish or differentiate between the two. It's all a delectable play. So to introduce the individual, the jiva, into this spoils everything, makes everything so small!

I wanted to put all this into my sentence.

And I said it because it's quite natural for people reading in the light of their own experience to get the feeling of an individual being who is united with That – it doesn't work that way with me, I can't do it! I can't. The other movement is natural, spontaneous, wonderful – the delight of being and the delight of living. But as soon as the jiva comes, oh, I feel so hemmed in.[172]

***

(Then Mother comments on a passage from the same conversation of August 4 where she spoke of "this sort of immense universal sieve ... that gives the precision.")

It's very interesting! The fabric of the sieve serves as a filter, as it were, and that's what gives the precision.

And the Light that descends.... You see, it's as though ... as though I am SEEING that eternal, universal, immense, wondrous Vibration from without, from within, from above, from below, from everywhere at the same time. And at a certain place there's something so fine, delicate, of a silver-gray (something that's spread all around the world, all around the creation), and THE Vibration passes through it and ... it becomes ideas. Not ideas, something higher than ideas – the origin of ideas. Things take form. And the sieve is fine, fine, fine, so fine and tenuous, and it's everywhere (gesture enveloping the earth).

And it's there all the time! ... I saw it the other day, I am seeing it now – it seems to be a permanent feature. And it's the origin of all intellectual formulations (those closest to the Truth, of course, with no distortion). Very interesting.

***

(On August 4, Mother also spoke of the constant interchange of vibrations making it "childish" to imagine that solitude could facilitate the yoga. And she added: "The only possible solution is so perfect a union with the supreme Vibration that everything is automatically put under His influence.")

 

I had the experience for several hours this morning. It started in the middle of the night and lasted through the morning until ... I was inundated with people. It began during the night in quite a powerful manner (in the body, all this is in the body), with a formidable sensation of power (so much so that in the middle of the experience I suddenly thought, "I have to tell this to Satprem tomorrow ..." – right in the midst of the experience!). And THE Vibration seemed so utterly present ("present" ... I have the feeling it's always "present," but it was perceived, which gives it a kind of efficacy – a kind we can grasp). It was like that all morning until eight or eight-thirty; after eight o'clock the experience slowly faded. It began around eleven at night and lasted till then. And so ... yes, it's exactly what I say there: it automatically puts each thing in its place.

***

(A little later, regarding the conversation of August 8, where Mother said that with that inner joy of the Presence, "all suffering becomes negligible":)

Oh, during those hours the Presence lasted this morning, what I say here became so obvious, so obvious! You see (there's nothing but the Lord, of course), it's exactly as if the Lord were seeing all things (and this body is part of what He sees!), seeing all things and laughing, laughing – forever laughing at all the tragedy ... the tragedy of this existence! And I was seeing Him right here, you know, there was nothing but Him – immense, marvelous, yet at the same time scaled to the size of the earth, almost to the size of this room, you could say! He was here, in everything – in all the past, all the future, in all places, in everything. And He was smiling, smiling with the consciousness of that joy – it's not "joy," "joy" sounds pallid. And there was no excitement, nothing of what human consciousness mixes into these things, only ... an eternal certitude, a crystal clear vision of the most MINUTE details. And all of this simultaneously, just like that, with a smile. And ... although I can't say what is He and what is me, I have the joy of perceiving Him (that isn't abolished), and yet I am nowhere in particular! Still I have the joy, I feel the joy of perceiving Him.

It's difficult to describe. It lasted from around midnight until eight o'clock.

And it was all happening naturally, spontaneously; you couldn't even say it was situated "somewhere": it was just happening. It's another ... it's another way of being.

It will probably be that way one day – nothing will have the power to make one fall back into the old movement.

For I got up, walked around, washed and so on – nothing could shake That; everything went smoothly, they [Mother's activities] didn't take up any room, (laughing) they were off somewhere and didn't disrupt anything!

And I see nothing but THAT – that Consciousness. It's a Consciousness, a Presence. And all, all is there, you see, all is there together, the Power, the Presence, the Consciousness, that joy and Love.... And all of that together almost gives the impression of ... a Form, that Vibration of golden light, a crimson-gold which is the most material supramental light – a Form. A Form, and no form – yet it's a Form!

(silence)

All right, mon petit.

There are some interesting things there.

All together, it [the Agenda] is going to be something interesting.

I should say so! It's a gold mine, a world!

Good.

It's going all right, mon petit. And I am more and more certain that I have given you your true name (this seems to be coming out of the blue, but ...). The more I come into conscious contact with the future (because it is right HERE, you see, just as we are pushing to go forward, it is pushing to descend), well ... it's good. It's good.

Don't worry – don't worry; simply let yourself BE what you truly are.

August 14, 1962

(Satprem did not keep any record of his questions at the beginning of the following conversation, nor does he exactly remember the circumstances that led to it. It seems that he wanted to write a letter to X, his former Tantric guru, or meet him, to explain what had happened and, in fact, to tell X that he still held him in deepest affection, despite external circumstances and Satprem's outward break with him.)

... One must never go back; one must always go forward.

The curves of life go this way and that (meandering gesture), and only by being the supramental arrow can you go beyond. What happened [with X] was necessary. But there's a step that goes beyond holding a grudge against someone because you were mistaken about him. That's such an ordinary human thing – it's nonsense. That's how it is, though. He is what he is and has been all along – he has never pretended to be anything else. But (with an ironic smile for Satprem) the imagination has done a lot of gilding where there was nothing to begin with, and then through circumstances (which always result from the influence of consciousness), the gilding disappeared! But whatever you sincerely felt for him that wasn't the product of an effervescent imagination – all sincere feelings – should remain.[173]

But they do!

Well, that's all there is to say: "My feelings remain the same." You needn't put yourself back under his influence, for it was an influence of your own imagining!

I don't really know how to tell him....

Why do you want to formulate what you're going to tell him in advance? Rather than some superficial convention or an illusion you used to live with, keep reality in your consciousness.

Don't decide anything mentally.

You must learn to be immobile, silent, and let the Lord speak through you; it's much better than deciding in advance, much better.... Personally, the Lord has never failed me. I have found myself hundreds of times in very difficult situations; I wouldn't do anything, I would say, "All right, let's see what happens!" And of course, what happened was always for the best. And I had nothing to do with it – it wasn't me, it was the Lord.

The less one explains, the less one plans, the better – always, always.

***

Later

Just after speaking with you the other day, I looked closely to make absolutely sure, and I saw that even for the body – even for the body – it takes a little effort, it's an effort to feel like something separate, an individuality. It finds it constricting, as if it were shut up in a box!

The feeling is rather one of vibrations gathered together and coagulated somewhere – and even at that, there's a very supple inner play, for it spreads out like this (Mother makes a gesture of diffusion or expansion all around her) through a sort of subtilization or etherization. And it's limitless – how could it have any limits! It goes like this (same radiating gesture) – these same vibrations are everywhere, in all bodies and all things. What people call this body is merely the result of a willed concentration organized in a specific way; that's how it spontaneously feels, all the time (not that it's observing itself, but if something forces it to observe itself, that's what it spontaneously feels). And the delimitation that exists in all beings, and which WAS in this body (was it this body?... Haven't the cells changed?... I don't know), which once existed in what people call this body, has completely disappeared. Before (thirty years or so ago), it used to feel like something separate moving among other separate things – that's all gone.

I have tried several times, telling myself, "Ah, let's have a good look – is there anything, anywhere, that feels that separation?" (I am looking at the body from above.) "There's nothing – truly? Are you one hundred percent spontaneously sincere? Nothing at all?..." It's impossible to find a thing. Impossible.

For all the states of being, the mental, the vital, and even the subtle physical, that sense of separation has long been gone. But now I am speaking of the body. I say "I," of course – but what says "I" is ... it's something as vast as the universe. And it CANNOT be otherwise. It's not that I want it this way, or because I insist on it, it's not the result of a tapasya or ... not at all: it CANNOT BE OTHERWISE, that's how it is. It's my spontaneous way of being. The experience has become completely (how to put it?) externalized.

And that's what makes the ESSENTIAL difference for this body. That's why it feels different from other bodies. It's ... (Mother shakes her head) no, it's not the same thing, it distinctly feels it's not the same – because its reactions are different!

Perhaps there once was a jiva.... I don't know, I don't remember; all I remember now is ... ultimately, an evolving universe, with a special concentration on the affairs of the earth, because the Lord has decided that the time has come to ... to change something. That's all. To change something.

(silence)

There's a fellow (he's neither young nor old) who has been living for twenty-five straight years at one of the sources of the Ganges, in a small cave carved into the mountainside – a tiny, bare space, an earth floor and a tiger skin. He sits on the tiger skin stark naked, without a stitch, naked as a newborn babe, in the dead of winter as well as in summer – outside everything is covered with snow. He eats ... sometimes passers-by bring him fruit, which he dries in the sun, then puts into water and drinks. That's all. He hasn't once left there in twenty-five years.

One of our children, V., a courageous boy, went up there all by himself. In winter it's completely isolated, there's nothing nearby. It was May and still frightfully cold, it seems, snow still covered the ground. And the man was sitting there stark naked as though it were perfectly natural! He even asked the boy, "Do you want to spend the night here? ..." That was a bit too much!

Anyway, V. went there, sat down next to him, and after a while the man went into a sort of trance and began to tell V. about his life (the boy's life, not his own!). So V. was interested and wanted to know more. "Where do I come from?" he asked. The man answered, "Oh, from an ashram by the sea ... the sea is there." Then he began to speak (I must mention that outwardly he knew nothing about Sri Aurobindo or me or the Ashram, absolutely nothing at all), and he told V. that a "great sage" and "the Mother" were there, and that they wanted to do something on earth that had never been done before – something very difficult. Then, I don't know whether he mentioned I was alone now (I have no idea), but he said, "Oh, she has had to withdraw[174] because the people around her don't understand and ... life there has become very difficult. It will be very difficult until 1964."

Perhaps he was reading the boy's mind (I don't know), but not his conscious mind. And he said several times, "They want to do something that has never been done before, it's very difficult – very difficult – and that's why they came, to do that."

I learned about this two days ago. It interested me: "Something never done before, something entirely new."[175]

There were many other things, but it seems he speaks a particular Hindi which is very hard to understand. But this was quite clear, and he said it several times.

It interested me.

And that's really it, that's what Sri Aurobindo came for, and what I came for. And that's what was present above my head when I was quite young: something new and very difficult (Mother smiles). Very difficult.

It seems he said that if we could make it to 1964, afterwards the difficulties would disappear. (But this is a very strong formation – what did he pick up? Is it Sri Aurobindo's formation? Is it the boy's thought, or what?...) But he's a wonderful mind-reader; he must have a marvelous power of vision in the mental world.

It really amused me. If you asked ... if you asked people here, not too many would have such a clear idea: "They have come to do something entirely new and very difficult."

It's lovely.

Voilà, petit.

August 18, 1962

(Concerning Satprem's new book on Sri Aurobindo, Mother foresees that again many cuts will be necessary, and emphasizes that the main point is to prevent the publisher from entrusting the book's editing to some ignoramus. And she adds:)

... But it's quite clear that these people can't grasp it; they're a closed door! Not even a door of bronze, but of bricks and cement – impenetrable.

Poor Sri Aurobindo!

And as for what happened here in Pondicherry, there's no need to make it very long. Because from the time he withdrew to his room (to be exact, from about the time we moved from the house over there to this one[176]), his life no longer belonged to the public. And what happened ... well, it will be interesting in a hundred years. Not now.

***

(Then Mother speaks of the collective meditation held on August 15, Sri Aurobindo's ninetieth birthday.)

Mon petit, we had a meditation here on the 15th, at ten o'clock.[177] At a quarter to ten, I was sitting here at the table in a total silence. And then ... I can't say Sri Aurobindo came, for he is always here, but he manifested in a special way.... Concretely, in the subtle physical, he became so tall that, sitting cross-legged as they do here, he covered the whole compound – even extended a bit beyond it! He was literally sitting upon the compound; so to the extent that the people meditating were not closed, they were all inside him. He was sitting like that (not on their heads!), and I could feel (I was here, you see) the FRICTION of his presence in the subtle physical – an utterly physical friction! And I saw him (as you well know, I am not shut up in here [the body]), I saw him sitting there, very tall and perfectly proportioned; and then he started gently, gently descending – this descent is what caused the friction – gently, very gently, so as not to give people a shock. Then he settled there and stayed for a little more than half an hour, a few minutes more, like that, absolutely still, but fully concentrated on all the people – they were inside him.

I was sitting here smiling, almost ... almost laughing, really; you could feel him like that everywhere (Mother touches her whole body), everywhere. And with such peace! Such peace, such force, such power.... And a sense of eternity, immensity, and absoluteness. A sense of absoluteness, as if all were fulfilled, so to speak, and one lived in Eternity.

It was compelling. One had to be just plain dense not to feel it.

I don't say there weren't plenty of dense people there. I have no idea (laughing), I haven't asked for their opinion!

And afterwards, it's not as though he suddenly went away: he went slowly, slowly, slowly, like something evaporating; then things went back to normal, with various concentrations here and there, various activities....

I think some people must have felt it – maybe they didn't fully understand, since they lack total vision, but they may have felt as if he were descending into them. Because in the afternoon, when everything had returned to normal (he is always here of course, but not that way! He is always here), there was a kind of wave of regret passing through the atmosphere, like something saying, "Oh, this beautiful thing has come to an end! Oh, now August 15 is over, this beautiful thing is over." But it was like I described, something so ... more than concrete, I don't know how to express it, it was ... there was a sense of absoluteness about it.

I have often seen him in his supramental light; he has come very often (he used to come when I went to the balcony; sometimes he was above the Samadhi; he came very often). But that ... first of all, the proportions were enormous – sitting down, I tell you, he extended beyond the compound; and he materialized in a way that could be PHYSICALLY felt. And there was such confidence, such joy, such certainty; everything was so sure, so altogether certain, as though all had been accomplished. There was none of that anguish, that tension for things to get done.

It lasted about three quarters of an hour; afterwards things returned to normal.

(silence)

It was the most beautiful August 15 we ever had.

It lasted three quarters of an hour.

(silence)

One thing, though (he didn't inform me he was going to do it!) – when I was told that people would be gathering for a half hour of meditation, at once something in me took it quite seriously: "Very well." So I arranged everything for the meditation, and at about 9:45 I sat down at the table – then it began. It took about five minutes to take shape. Ah! Then I understood.

He has given us a beautiful gift.

All his sweetness and all his splendor and all his power and all his calm were there – and far stronger and clearer than when he was in his body!

I always had that same impression – it was always like that in his room; and I would always have that impression whenever I met him. And even when I was working, all the while I would feel him behind me, doing everything. But this was much stronger. Much stronger. It was ... one was caught up and there was no way to get out of it. That's how it was – something ABSOLUTE.

I've asked no one, I've told no one, I haven't said anything about it, not a word; you're the first. When Pavitra came yesterday I smilingly asked him if he'd had a good meditation, that's all. He said yes. So I told him, "Well, Sri Aurobindo was sitting on you!" (Mother laughs) "I was sitting below, in Sri Aurobindo's room," he replied. "He was there too!" I said (Mother laughs).

Personally I was immobilized. I had the experience of being completely immobilized.

Ah!

Truly, the half-hour passed and I didn't move, nothing moved.

That's it.

Nothing – everything was absolutely ... suspended!

That's good, you got the full benefit of it.

I've never had that sensation. I've had moments of stillness, but this time I was immobilized.

Immobilized, yes, that's it; it's very good, very good. That's it exactly.

Well, mon petit.

So you understand, you have only one thing to do: finish your book.

Yes ... oh, I would like to make such a beautiful Sri Aurobindo, and then....

Things are loosening up a lot....

There's still a bit too much of the old outlook left in you, and that's what keeps worrying you. Something that keeps worrying you, and which is perfectly useless – we waste our time worrying.

August 25, 1962

(Satprem complains that he finds it difficult to write his book. Mother concentrates for about fifteen minutes, then says:)

All right.

He came and put all sorts of things around you for you to write. All sorts of golden things.

So they must be written. You can tell me about it on Tuesday. And again he repeated, "No worry, no worry.... Take it easy, take it easy. " And it was as if he wanted to sit you down by a running river, as if you could see the water flowing, flowing, flowing, flowing so naturally along. As if you were sitting in a lovely flower-strewn meadow by a flowing stream.... And he was saying, "Don't worry, take it easy, take it easy."

He was putting all kinds of things around you. So there you are.

I'm a little tired, too....

Oh – tired?

I always used to sleep between one and two in the afternoon. Since last April, about five months ago, that's finished, gone.[178]

Why? You can't, or you don't have time?

No, not at all. I have time but I just can't do it. It's a shame, because it was a conscious hour. I would often go strolling by the sea.

You slept by the sea?

No! In my sleep I would go to the seashore – it was an hour of relaxation ... and then it was taken away.

How strange! ...

I am not responsible.

No, I'm sure of that!

On the contrary, I thought you were resting.

No, that's all over.

Because I do rest, I remain in a very ... (what's the word? – Mother tightens her fist) coagulated, undiluted, and powerful trance from twelve-thirty or twelve forty-five until a quarter to two: a good hour. So it's a favorable time.

It sure is!

Well, tune in!

Stretch out, and then just call me. And let yourself go. Try. Try today.

Just lie down quietly, without thinking of anything, and then call me – that's all.

Let yourself go limp.

All right.

Try!

August 28, 1962

(It is extremely unfortunate that the beginning of this conversation, which would have thrown a clear light on what follows, was not kept. As far as Satprem remembers, the subject was his sleep. It seems Mother was saying that while his "strolls by the sea" took place during sleep and by passing into another state, for her – and this is where the notes begin – there was no more "sleep" and no more "passing" into another state, from the ordinary physical to the subtle physical, because everything seemed to have become or was becoming one and the same continuous Matter. The true Matter, probably.)

That's one thing that's happening. The two [the ordinary physical and the subtle physical] seem to be fusing more and more.

I have already explained this to you on several occasions: instead of SHIFTING from one to the other, it's as if one were permeated by the other, like this (Mother slips the fingers of her right hand in between the fingers of her left hand), and you can almost feel both simultaneously. It's one of the results of what's going on these days. A very slight concentration, for example, is all it takes to feel both at the same time, which leads me to a near conviction that true change in the physical results from a kind of PENETRATION. The most material physical substance no longer has that unreceptive sort of density, a density that resists penetration: it is becoming porous, and thus can be penetrated. Several times, in fact, I've had the experience of one vibration quite naturally changing the quality of the other – the subtle physical vibration was bringing about a sort of ... almost a transformation, or in any case a noticeable change in the purely physical vibration.

That seems to be the process, or at least one of the most important processes.

And it's growing more and more prominent. I spend almost every night in that realm; and even during the day, as soon as the body is motionless, there's this perception of the two vibrations, and of the physical vibration almost becoming porous.

It seems to be the process, or certainly one important process, for the physical transformation.

(silence)

You see, the subtle physical seems to DOSE OUT its power and light and capacity of consciousness according to the amount of receptivity in the purely physical vibration. That's why the effects stretch over a long period of time. It's being done very, very gradually. But it's an almost continuous work. Only when there's some bodily activity and the consciousness must turn outwards (not in the same way as before, that's impossible, but still in a way that seems like a continuation of the old consciousness), then, if the work continues at all, it's invisible – and maybe it doesn't continue.... I don't know. But as soon as all activity stops and the body is concentrated or immobile – perhaps no more than simply passive – that penetration is perceptible: it's visible. Visible. And it's not like something more subtle penetrating something less subtle without altering it; the essential point is that this penetration actually changes the composition. It's not merely a degree of subtlety, it's a change in the internal composition. Ultimately, this action probably has an effect on the atomic level. And that's how the practical possibility of transformation can be accounted for.

It's an experience I have all the time.

At times it's a bit new or a bit extreme, and you have to be careful the body doesn't panic. But then you see how everything is dosed out and maintained in a way that ... (Mother laughs) nothing falls to pieces!

On the surface, it's a very humble work, nothing sensational. There are no illuminations filling you with joy and.... All that is fine for people seeking spiritual joys – it belongs to the past.

It's a very modest work, very modest, even from a purely intellectual vantage point. It's different from the sensation of knowing things because you ARE them, which gives you joy, a sense of progress. It's not even like that! It is VERY humble, a very humble and unglamorous work, but which keeps on very regularly, with extreme regularity and STUBBORNNESS.

It will surely stretch over a long period of time.

And at each step, it's as though you had to take great care that nothing gets thrown off balance. The new combinations of vibrations, especially, are difficult for the body – it must be very, very quiet, well under control, very peaceful, or else it panics. Because it's used to vibrations whose effects follow a regular pattern, so if the pattern changes there's a kind of frightened jolt. That must be avoided, the body has to be very gently kept under control.

What the mind thinks, what it expects to see, looks so childish in comparison, like ... yes, like theatrics, really. It's the difference between some grand extravaganza and the very modest life of each minute. Exactly that.

All the powers, all the siddhis, all the realizations, all these things are ... the grand extravaganza – the great spiritual spectacle. But this isn't like that. It's very modest, very modest, very unobtrusive, very humble, nothing showy about it. It takes years and years and years of silent, quiet and extremely careful work before there can be any visible and tangible results, before anything can be noticed, even for the [Mother's] individual consciousness.

As for those who want to go quickly, if they try going quickly in this realm, they'll be thrown off balance.

You can't go quickly.

Once, when I saw how it was, I complained a bit to the Lord: "Lord, why did you make the body this way for doing this kind of work? Just look at it!" He answered me (laughing), "It's the best that could be done." So I said "Thank you!" and kept quiet.

And that's probably true! It has some good points: what they call stubborn in English – you know (Mother plants down her two fists and holds them motionless). And stubbornness is an essentially British quality, so there's no other word for it. The body is stubborn; and that's what is needed.

All right.

August 31, 1962

What about your sleep – any better?

On the contrary, I feel a kind of drowsiness, but with no real rest or real sleep.

No rest? No total relaxation?

Try, mon petit, try again. Try again and again, it will come.

It's not "sleep," it's a kind of peace that descends. It can begin as drowsiness, but it changes into a sort of inner immobility – immobility of the Spirit. The body too becomes quiet, quiet, quiet, very still; and from there, if nothing disturbs you, you flow into a sense of eternity. It's a wonderful experience. The real sense of Eternity: everything stops, and then NOTHING. And if you have the gift of vision (it's not necessary, but if you do), you see it all grow white and luminous – all white. But that may well not happen because it's ... it's something you're born with.

All the cells open up and become conscious of their eternity.

It may be that three, four, five times, nothing happens, and then the sixth time it comes. You have to be very stubborn about these things.

Try.

Anyway, even if you don't sleep, it's always restful to stretch out on your bed or a mat and go limp; it's a good rest for the vital being, and it can't do you any harm.

***

(A little later, concerning the last conversation: "On the surface, it's a very humble work, nothing sensational. There are no illuminations filling you with joy: all that is fine for people seeking spiritual joys – it belongs to the past.")

Yesterday I told Pavitra that all those realizations, all those ... yes, these powers, gifts, constructions, manifestations, it all reminded me of the life of a traveling juggler.

He was shocked.

"Yes," I told him, "it's like a juggler's life – you go from fairground to fairground, displaying your feats of skill! " (Laughter.)

But it's true!

(silence)

The more I go on, the more sober it gets. It's quiet, peaceful, with no fanfare, no make-believe, none of that.

And it's not done with the idea that, well, if you keep on this way for some time, there'll be something dazzling at the other end – not at all.

Because the other end is the new creation, so it's clear that.... How MANY steps will it take, how many incomplete or imperfect things, approximations, attempts – how many MINUSCULE realizations – for you to simply acknowledge, "Yes, indeed, we're on the way..."? For how many ... oh, you could practically say centuries will it be like this before the glorious body of a supramental being appears?... Something came yesterday evening (it seemed like mere excitation to me); it was a power of creative imagination attempting to visualize supramental forms, beings that live in other worlds, and all sorts of things like that. I saw many things. But it seemed so ... like champagne bubbles! "That's all very nice," I said, "for widening my power of imagination so I can present these forms to the Lord.... But it's not necessary! " (Mother laughs) It really seemed so.... There was a time when I considered it a great creative power (and many things that I saw in those moments of super-creativity, super-imagination, were actually realized years later on earth), and this time it came again (perhaps to give me a little fun, a little spectacle along the way), it came and I looked at it; I could see all its power, I could see it was something trying to materialize in the future, and I said, "What histrionics! Why go through all these theatrics?..." Jugglers.

And it was supramental light, it originated in supramental light. How beings from other worlds would relate with the future beings, and all sorts of similar things – bedtime stories.

But the vibration was there, you see, high above and all around the earth, very powerful (it was all around the earth) and very strong, it seemed to be coming from other parts of the universe and trying to enter the earth's atmosphere to help it participate in those new combinations. And it all seemed like childishness to me – the whole universe seemed to be living in childishness. There was something so tranquil here – so tranquil, so calm and unhurried, not interested in showing anything off, but capable of living in an eternity of quiet effort and progress. It was here, immobile, watching all these things. Finally (the spectacle lasted all evening) when I lay down in bed for the night, I said to the Lord, "I don't need diversions, I don't need to see encouraging things – I only want to work calmly, quietly, IN You. You, You are the worker; You are here and You alone exist. You are the realizer." Then all grew silent, still, motionless – and the excitement waned.

So you see, there's excitement in the universe too, if you're not careful! But my impression is that it simply complicates things – it clouds the issue, you know, it complicates things. Then you have to wait for the bubbles to subside before you can calmly set off again on your way towards the goal.

Voilà, petit.

Can't we hope.... You know, sometimes there are abrupt mutations in evolution....

It can be, it's possible. It's possible, I don't say it isn't; it is possible, it can happen, but ... more and more, the life allotted to this body is to do things without knowing it, to change the world without seeing it, and to ... to ignore all that, to be absolutely unconcerned with the results. And (to be perfectly explicit) I have a feeling that to have access to the highest and purest Power, the very notion of "result" must disappear completely – the Supreme Power has no sense of result AT ALL. The sense of result is yet another rift between the essential, supreme Power, and the consciousness. In other words, it's because the consciousness begins to separate slightly [from its identity with the Supreme Power], that the sense of result is created, but otherwise it doesn't exist.

It's as if everything had to be ... to be the Action, the eternal Action at each second of the Manifestation – THE thing. At each pulsation – which corresponds to time in the Manifestation – THAT alone is THE thing. And the idea of something having a result is already a distortion.

Uninterrupted, with one link – the link of supreme Eternity. But the sense of consequences is false, it already implies a lowering of consciousness. So for me – even physically, in the midst of this whole hodgepodge of confusion, ignorance and stupidity – it all translates into: "I do things, and the results are none of my business." That's how it's expressed here in the body.

It's a kind of liberation – I don't mean from worry or preoccupation, there's no question of that – but from the very IDEA of a consequence: it's this way because that's the way it is; it has to be this way, so it is. That's all. And at each second it's this way because it has to be, and so it is. And That repeats itself eternally, and it is this eternal Pulsation which is expressed in time by those gusts – I feel this very strongly, very strongly. It's a constant, spontaneous and very natural experience for me. The idea of something behind or ahead in time and so on is ... a Truth changing from immutable Eternity into Eternity of manifestation. And it changes like this (Mother makes a pulsating gesture), exactly like gusts – puff, puff, puff....

Irresponsible gusts, like a child's soap bubbles, you might say. No sense of consequences – none, none whatsoever: puff, puff, puff ... like that.

It's an ever-present experience for me.

So when people come to tell me their stories, I feel like my head is being shoved into some black mush, and I can't make out anything any more. They ask my advice about what to do ... (Mother laughs). So now I almost invariably answer, "Do whatever you like, it doesn't matter!" (Mother laughs.)

Voilà.

September

September 5, 1962

(Before reading his manuscript on Sri Aurobindo to Mother, Satprem asks her to correct any inaccuracies in the text, since he doesn't have the direct experience of everything he speaks of.)

I don't have the experience of some of these things.

Neither do I; I don't have every experience.

Oh, come on now....

(Laughing) I've had a number of them, but....

In principle, after a few thousand births, one should have every possible experience, provided one goes to the trouble of remembering. That would be the advantage of reincarnation; you can't do everything in one lifetime, but with a few thousand lives, it's possible to pass through all the states.

One should be able to remember.

Naturally, at the beginning you remember very, very little. As you advance, you remember more – I am referring to the experience of the psychic being.

Of course, I am not speaking of what the universal Mother can know, that's quite another category! I am speaking of the experience of the psychic being, the purely terrestrial experience. Well, very few things seem ... in fact, none of them seem alien or unknown to me. The human state of mind, ah yes! Since my early childhood, I have been flabbergasted by the way people think and feel – it seemed monstrous. But as for the circumstances and events of life, that's all more or less old hat.

The experiences that left the most acute impressions on me (Mother makes a poignant gesture) – you know, the kind of things that make you say, "Oh, no, not that again, I've had enough!" – are connected with my lives as a monarch: empress, queen and the like ... oh! Those are painful impressions, the most painful of all. And I have a keen memory of a resolution taken in my last life as an empress: "Never again!" I said. "I've had enough, I want no more of it! I'd rather be" ... not even "I'd rather be," I chose deliberately: "I WANT to be an obscure being in an obscure family, free at last to do what I want!" And that's the first thing I remembered this time: "Yes, it's an obscure family, an obscure being in an obscure milieu, so I may be free to do what I want; there isn't a horde of people watching me and spying on everything I do and plaguing me with rules about what I ought to be doing."

It didn't last long! (Mother laughs.)

Meaning you never escape your destiny! Although it's not official here, there's still a wide margin of freedom.

That's the first thing I told Sri Aurobindo: "This was the resolution made by my psychic being" (my psychic being was in a certain person – I know who). "And when I left, it declared categorically: 'I want NO MORE of this!'"

The rest doesn't matter much to me, it didn't leave such an ... acute impression.

Anyway, read me your text now. Perhaps I'll be able to know if it's true or not!

But when you get right down to it, everything is true – provided everything else is accepted at the same time.

***

(Satprem reads a passage from his manuscript in which he speaks of illnesses, including "yogic illnesses," that can result from some inner discrepancy when the various parts of the consciousness are unevenly developed.)

These illnesses are not of the same nature as the others, because GENERALLY (I am not making any absolute rule), generally their origin is not found to be viruses or bacteria, but a kind of disorder ... what is it called? They have a splendid word for it now.... You know, an incapacity to bear something, a lack of harmony....

Allergy?

That's it. And then illnesses related to colloidal disorders (blood, for example, is a colloidal fluid): when the component elements cease to combine in the normal and natural way. Both are newly recognized causes of illness. And they usually (I don't say in every case) result from what is called an "inner discrepancy"; that is, when the different parts of the being have not reached the same level of development, things of that nature may crop up.

With very few exceptions, these illnesses are not found to originate from germs, microbes or bacteria. They are frequently classified as "mental illnesses," "nervous disorders," etc., and they result from that inner discrepancy.

***

(Then Satprem reads a passage relating to the "subtle physical " and exteriorization; among other things, he cites the experience of D., who, when he exteriorized for the first time, was unable to get back into his body because he tried to reenter through the legs! Here is the story: "I was lying on my chaise longue in concentration when all at once I found myself in my friend Z's house. He and several others were playing music. I could see everything very clearly, even more clearly than in the physical, and I moved around very quickly, unimpeded. I stayed there watching for a while, and even tried to attract their attention, but they were unaware of me. Then suddenly something pulled me, a sort of instinct: 'I must go back.' I felt pain in my throat. I remember that to get out of their room, which was all closed except for one small opening high up, my form seemed to vaporize (because I still had a form, though unlike our material one – more luminous, less opaque), and I went out like smoke through the open window. Then I found myself back in my room, next to my body, and I saw that my head was twisted and rigid against the cushion, and I was having trouble breathing. I wanted to get into my body: impossible. So I became afraid. I entered through the legs, and when I reached the knees I seemed to bounce back out; two, three times like that: the consciousness rose and then bounced back out like a spring. 'If I could only tip over this stool,' I thought (there was a small stool under my feet), 'the noise would wake me up!' But nothing doing. And I was breathing more and more heavily. I was terribly afraid. Suddenly I remembered Mother and cried out, 'Mother! Mother!' and found myself back in my body, awake, with a stiff neck.")

(Mother laughs and laughs.)

D. himself told me this story.

D., oh, what a dolt! He doesn't know where to reenter! But he never said a word about that to me – I would have told him!

You must go out through here (the heart) – you can go out through the top of the head, but it's more difficult. You must leave through the heart and return the same way. It's quite natural; it's the first thing you learn when you want to exteriorize. The whole consciousness has to be concentrated here (the heart), and that's where you go out. And you must reenter the same way and maintain the link.

It's interesting though, very interesting.

No, he never told me that.... Trying to reenter through the feet! ...

Some people try to do it through the head: that's a little difficult. It's a little difficult and you have to know how. But through the heart it's completely natural.

Well, well! ... This story of yours is interesting.

Yes, and it will help people understand the process.

Yes, it's really funny.

I've never managed to consciously leave my body.

It's a gift.

Sometimes I seem to have vibrations going out through the top of my head.

That's something else.

What is it? Sometimes I feel a pulling: something vibrating intensely that seems to be pulling me out through the top of the head.

It's the opening to the higher mind.

It's more like part of the kundalini method. It's not an exteriorization, but the mental opening to higher realms.

Sometimes it happens just when I'm falling asleep.

That's how you make contact. It is indispensable.

But that results from yoga. It may be developed over lifetimes, or it may be accomplished in one lifetime, if one is ready for it. To tell the truth, it is the important part: to get through that lid at the top of the skull which keeps you shut in; there's a kind of cover there you have to get rid of. If you can do it, it's the sure sign that the time is ripe and you are ready for yoga – "yoga," I mean Sri Aurobindo's yoga.

The other things, exteriorization and so forth, are innate, just as some people are born artists or painters or aviators. It's one of Nature's special combinations. I've known some downright stupid girls who could exteriorize remarkably well and be fully conscious of their experiences in the subtle physical or the mind or the material vital (when one is undeveloped it's more often in the material vital than the subtle physical). And they would tell you all about what they saw. But incapable of yoga.

Nature's fancies, I tell you.

Too bad she has no such fancies for me!

It's not indispensable for the yoga.

Obviously, but all the same....

But it does carry a lot of weight with materialists, for it confronts them with something that looks "supernatural."

Yes, that's mainly what makes it interesting: it shows them that consciousness can exist outside the body.

That's it. But it's not at all indispensable for one's development.

No. But I'd still like....

It would amuse you!

Well, yes! It wouldn't just amuse me – I'd get the feeling that my consciousness was developing

Not necessarily.

If you aren't open up there (above the head), you don't benefit from it. Those girls I mentioned (I've known three like that; not just one: three), well, they weren't making progress. They weren't making progress. Perhaps they could see better and better, but they weren't making an inch of inner progress.

But personally, for example, why is it I never have any experiences?

No! It's not true you don't have experiences. It's not true. I know it's not true, you do have experiences – I can see them.

But I can't!

You just don't remember.

I have already told you the reason (there are many reasons): one tiny undeveloped level in the being is enough. It obviously has to do with atavism, with the way the body was built, the milieu one was born in, one's education, the life one has led. But it's mainly how much one has been drawn to higher things. It is clear that your energies have been far more concentrated on breaking through that lid and touching the Source of Truth than on having mediumistic experiences – far more. And for what you have come to do, that was INFINITELY more important. Minor experiences such as exteriorizing and the like are just diversions along the way – that's how I have always seen them.

Yes, Mother, that's all right. But there's no outer encouragement. I have the feeling that nothing is happening – I wake up each morning and there's nothing. I meditate, there's nothing – there's never anything! Just the certainty that it's the only thing worth doing.

But don't you see, mon petit: the unwavering Light above you ... (Mother gazes above Satprem's head). Thousands of people would give anything for that!

The truth is, we are never satisfied with what we have ...

But nothing is happening!

... and we always want what we don't have. Because we are made for an integral perfection, and until it becomes integral, we won't be satisfied.

It may comfort you to know that it will come to you – in its own time.

It will come – really?

Yes, oh, yes! It may come to you all of a sudden one day.

I feel that nothing's happening, that's the discouraging thing.

Of course! I too went through a very long period when I believed nothing was happening.

I never had an experience for the joy of it – never. They came only when it was necessary. Nothing ever happened in my life that wasn't absolutely indispensable for my work. But to know this, you understand, you must know exactly what your work is and be conscious of the divine Will; and many years may go by before you reach that point.

I remember that one of the first things I asked Sri Aurobindo when I came here, after innumerable experiences and innumerable realizations, was, "Why am I so mediocre?... Everything I do is mediocre, all my realizations are mediocre, there's never anything remarkable or exceptional – it's just average. It isn't low, but it's not high either – everything is average." And that's really how I felt. I painted: it wasn't bad painting, but many others could do as well. I played music: it wasn't bad music, but you couldn't say, "Oh, what a musical genius!" I wrote: it was perfectly ordinary. My thoughts slightly excelled those of my friends, but nothing exceptional; I had no special gift for philosophy or whatever. Everything I did was like that: my body had its skills, but nothing fantastic; I wasn't ugly, I wasn't beautiful ... you see, everything was mediocre, mediocre, mediocre, mediocre. Then he told me, "It was indispensable."

All right, so I kept quiet – and very quickly, within a few weeks, I understood.

But I had that feeling throughout my childhood. I was a good student, but no genius.... And so on.

Ever since I was very young, I have always thirsted for the same thing: I have always wanted to be conscious. So what makes me furious is that I am not conscious – it infuriates me.

For a long, long time, that was also the one thing I felt was worth living for – Consciousness. When I met Théon and came to understand the mechanism, I also understood why I wasn't conscious at a certain level. I think I've told you how I spent ten months one year working to connect two layers – two layers of consciousness; the contact wasn't established and so I couldn't have the spontaneous experience of a whole spectrum of things. Madame Théon told me, "It's because there's an undeveloped layer between this part and that part." I was very conscious of all the gradations: Théon had explained it all in the simplest terms, so you didn't need to be, as I said, a genius to understand. He had made a quadruple division, and each of them was divided into four, and then again into four, making innumerable divisions of the being; but with that mental simplification you could make in-depth psychological studies of your own being. And so by observation and elimination I eventually discovered that between this and that (gesture indicating two levels of Mother's consciousness), there was an undeveloped layer – it wasn't conscious. So I worked for ten months on nothing but that: absolutely no results. I didn't care, I kept right on, telling myself, "Well, it may take me fifty years to get anywhere, who knows." And then I left for the country (I was living in Paris at the time). I lay down on the grass, and all at once, with the contact of earth and grass, poof! There was a sort of inner explosion – the link was established, and full consciousness came, along with all the ensuing experiences. "Well," I said to myself, "it was worth all the trouble!"

And I am sure that's how the work is done, slowly, imperceptibly, like a chick being formed in the egg: you see the shell, you see only the shell, you don't know what's inside, whether it's just an egg or a chick (normally, I mean – of course, you could see through with special instruments) and then the beak goes peck-peck! And then cheep! Out comes the chick, just like that. It's the same thing exactly for the contact with the psychic being. For months on end, sometimes years, you may be sitting before a closed door, push, push, pushing, and feeling, feeling the pressure (it hurts!), and there's nothing, no results. Then all at once, you don't know why or how, you sit down and poof! Everything bursts wide open, everything is ready, everything is done – it's over, you emerge into a full psychic consciousness and become intimate with your psychic being. Then everything changes – everything changes – your life completely changes, it's a total reversal of your whole existence.

In the end, it's best not to worry, not to get agitated or depressed (that's the worst of all), not to get worked up or impatient or disgusted – just be calm and say, "It will come when it comes," but with an unyielding stubbornness. Do what you feel has to be done, and keep on with it, keep on even if it seems utterly futile.

But if I only had a method!

There are methods – books are full of them. I don't recommend any of them: it's always the method the author uses or has heard of. Everyone has to find his own method.

One can get certain hints, one can find one's own method.

But one has to.... Look, it's the same as for japa. Your japa is given to you, isn't it? You receive it (unless you find it on your own, but that's harder and already requires another level of realization); you receive your japa along with the power to do it – but you have