Mother's Agenda

 

Vol. 4

 

Institut de Recherches Evolutives

142 blvd du Montparnasse

F-75014 Paris

 

January 2, 1963

My year is off to a dreadful start. And I am afraid it may go on like that.

Some new difficulties?

No, it's just that everybody wants to see me!

They tire me – they wear me out.

While I would need ... Oh, at times I withdraw from action altogether – by "action," I mean talking and above all receiving swarms of vibrations ... terrible, terrible vibrations!

I feel the work is going fairly fast inside, there are some interesting things (what shall I say?) ... like promises. But the [body's] sensitivity and the possibility of imbalance have heightened, in the sense that a mere trifle, which in other circumstances would have been totally unimportant and would have just gone by smoothly, throws the body off balance – the body has grown terribly sensitive. For example, a wrong reaction in someone, a tension or some reaction of a quite ordinary order, causes a sudden weariness in my body, as if it were exhausted. Then I have to collect myself and plunge back into the Source so that ...

These are difficult days.

There's also that awful habit people have, you know, that democratic spirit: if I do something for one, why shouldn't I do it for another? They would readily accept that I was ill and unable to see anyone (!), they'd say, "Poor Mother, we should be really nice to her and leave her alone"; but that I am a force and don't give this person what I give that one and that other one, that they won't accept! Egalitarianism is in vogue nowadays; hierarchy, or even simply dealing with each case differently – that's all outmoded.

Anyway, I don't want to start explaining all this, I will do it some other time.

But we have a few tough days ahead to get through.

You shouldn't let yourself be swamped.

No.

I don't LET them, but ...

@

January 9, 1963

... How people love to bustle about How they need to bustle about in order to feel alive! Isn't that so?

***

(Mother refers to the "Bulletin" and in particular to the Talk of July 3, 1957, in which she narrated her symbolic vision of the "Big Hotel" in perpetual demolition[1]:)

But all this seems to me on the outside. I understand it may interest people, but it's still one of the things that make me smile. That's how I see it. Even this vision.

I have three or four of them every night, great visions, with all the complications,[2] all the symbols, all the explanations. And I meet people ... who are not as they think they are.

But it's tremendous! Tremendous how much you can do in a few hours at night....

(silence)

All that there is to know which we do not know ... (I don't mean outer things).

(long silence)

But it's very hard for the body to change. Because it lives only from its habit of living. And every time something of the true way of living filters in, then without thinking, without reasoning or anything like an idea, practically without sensation, almost automatically, the cells panic at the newness of it. So, you understand, EVERYTHING has to be changed. It's no longer the heart that has to pump blood and receive the Force, no longer the stomach that has to digest, it's not any of that any more – it all functions in another way. The base must be shifted, the functioning completely changed – but then all those cells are so anxious to see that everything goes ACCORDING TO HABIT....

(silence)

Terrible. A strange difficulty.

If the inner being – the true being – is the ruler, the power of the true being makes the body act automatically; but then it doesn't grow conscious of its own change, it doesn't collaborate in its change, so for the change to happen it would take ... maybe millennia. The true being has to be like this (gesture to the background, standing back) and the body has to do everything BY ITSELF, in other words, contain the Lord, receive the Lord, give itself to the Lord, BE the Lord. It does aspire – oh, it's intense, aflame – that's very good. But the Lord (smiling) doesn't conform to the ordinary habit! So all the habits, the minute He just tries to take possession of one function or another, even partially (not totally), all the interrelationships, all the movements are changed instantly – panic. Panic at the particular spot. And the result: you faint, or you are just about to faint, or you have an excruciating pain, or anyway something APPARENTLY breaks down completely. So what's to be done?... Wait patiently until that small number or large number of cells, that little spot of consciousness, has learned its lesson. It takes one day, two days, three days, then the chaotic, upsetting "big" event calms down, is explained, and those particular cells say to themselves (or begin saying to themselves), "God, how dumb we are!..." It takes a little while, then they understand.

But there are thousands and thousands and thousands of them!

You can't overdo it, because disruption is no good, of course! I've been observing that lately. When you came last time, I was – I was going through a upheaval.[3]

The consciousness is there (gesture, standing back), but ... it intervenes only if it is absolutely indispensable. It's just that it tries locally to make the cells ... (not understand, it isn't "understand" because there's no mind) have the right sensation, the right experience – the right experience – until they start saying, "Oh! ... Oh! ..."

Some panic. Some have already had a few experiences, they know better and see clearer, they work to adapt to the new vibration. But others have yet to understand, and they feel so stupid, so stupid! And from above, something watches it all and finds it both (both at once) very funny, because really it's exceedingly ridiculous, and at the same time so sad! It's so sad to see that EVERYTHING is like this: the WHOLE earth, the WHOLE earth! That this body is the object of a special concentration, a special effort, a special CHARGE, a special concern, a special care – this minuscule fragment, minuscule – and there's the whole earth, the whole earth.... And they all think themselves so wonderful, so smart! ...

I could keep talking for hours.

Later.

Even now I have to proceed very, very slowly – not to go off at a gallop. I am surrounded by people who say, "Oh, she's seriously ill! What's going to happen? ..." and they make things difficult for me. Because I still have to sweep it all aside with the Force: "Keep quiet! Don't you go making formations that add to the difficulty."

You see how far we are from those romantic transformations where people emerge from their meditation rejuvenated, transfigured, luminous – oh, dear me! That will be mere child's play. At the end, it will be nothing: we'll just have to do this (Mother blows one puff in the air), and it will be there.

It's the rest that is difficult.

@

January 12, 1963

A deluge of work!... The other day, you said in your manuscript [of The Adventure of Consciousness] that Sri Aurobindo used to work fourteen hours a day, and they want me to do the same – for the moment I am not giving in.

Oh, you're quite right!

It's very bad.

That's what made him lose his eyesight, you know; his eyes were overstrained. I know it's due to that, because I heard him say so. Once, they had brought him a stack of books to sign and other things and, unaware that he could be heard, he exclaimed, Oh, they want to make me blind![4] That's how I knew his eyes were tired. He was indeed losing his sight. At the end, he couldn't see a thing, he had to look at very close range.

So I am not giving in.

Please!

***

(Soon afterwards)

I'll soon have finished my translation [of The Synthesis of Yoga], I have only a few more pages to go, ten or so. It's very incomplete, I mean it's a translation. Meaning: correct; but at times the sentence comes out very different, at other times it's a pure Anglicism.

It's a strange phenomenon: as soon as I sit down to translate, in the space of one or two seconds, no more, I become a different person. I write – it isn't I who write, I know it's Sri Aurobindo.

And he suggests some words to me, that is, suddenly I see: "Like this." I hear the sentence and write it down. Sometimes it's very different, though I can see the meaning is the same; and sometimes it isn't French....

Do you have the next aphorism?

You understand, there are only 365 days in a year, and we are ... including the visitors who come specially for their birthdays, nearly 1,300 people. Most people I don't see, but some I have to: people like Nolini, Amrita, Pavitra, Champaklal,[5] I can't but give them a moment. Then there are people who come from Africa, from Europe, and who ask to see me before leaving, so ...

So I am listening to you now.

(Satprem reads)

81 – God's laughter is sometimes very coarse and unfit for polite ears; He is not satisfied with being Molière, He must needs also be Aristophanes and Rabelais.

(After a silence) We'll see on Monday.

It's rather odd, at times it comes in torrents (more than streams): forms, images, expressions, revelations, it comes flowing, flowing, flowing – if I started writing I could write endlessly. At other times it's ... total immobility. And if I try to disturb "that," it means falling back into the ordinary stupidity.

We'll see.

That's why I asked you to read to me: the aphorism went off above.

***

(Later, regarding the last conversation, in which Mother said that the body lives only out of a habit of living:)

I've had a very interesting experience (not personal). Did you know Benjamin[6]? ... His psychic being had left him quite some time ago and, as a result, to the surface consciousness he seemed a bit deranged – he wasn't deranged but diminished. And he lived, as I said, out of habit. The physical consciousness still held a minimum of vital and mind and he lived out of habit. But the remarkable thing is that sometimes, for a few seconds, he would live admirably, in full light, while at other times he couldn't even control his gestures. Then he left altogether: all the accumulated energy dwindled little by little, little by little, and whatever remained left his body. It was just on his birthday, on December 30 (the night of December 30). He left. So they did as is always done: they cleaned his room, took out the furniture. Since then, there had been no sign of him. Yesterday evening, after dinner (which is about the same time he left twelve days ago), I was in concentration, resting, when suddenly here comes a very agitated Benjamin who tells me, "Mother, they've taken all the furniture out of my room! What am I to do now!?" I told him gently, "Do not fret, you don't need anything any more." Then I put him to rest and sent him to join the rest of his being.

Which means it took twelve days for all his elements to form again. You see, they burned his body. (He was Christian, but his family – his wife is alive and his brother too – found it less costly to let us handle it than to bury him as a Christian! So they had him cremated.) We cremated him, but I demanded a certain interval of time,[7] although in his case it was really a gradual exhaustion and nothing much remained in his body; nonetheless, even then the consciousness is flung out of the cells violently – it took twelve days to form again. It wasn't his soul (it had already left) but the spirit of his body that came to me, the body consciousness gathered in a well-dressed, neat Benjamin with his hair neatly brushed. He was quite trim when he came to me, just as he would have been in life: he always wanted to be well-groomed and impeccable to see me, that was his way. It took twelve days to gather together because I didn't see to it (I can do it in a few hours but only if I see to it), but in his case, his soul having been at rest for a long time, it didn't matter much. So over twelve days it took form again and when he was ready (laughing), he came to reoccupy his room! ... And there was no furniture left, nothing!

I found that very funny.

And he had been living for more than a year, almost two years, I think, just out of a habit of living.

There is also here the sister of the old portly doctor, she is (I think) five or six years older than I – she is getting on for ninety. She has been dying away too, for several months. The doctors (who don't know the first thing in these matters) had declared she would die after a few days. "Wait a little," I told them, "this woman knows how to enter a state of rest, she has a very peaceful consciousness – it will last long, it may last for years." She is in bed, she can't move much, but ... she lives. She too lives out of habit.

In reality, the body should be able to last MUCH LONGER than human beings think. They knock it about: as soon as someone is unwell, they drug or knock his body about, they take away that kind of calm vegetative serenity that can make it last a very long time. The way trees take a very long time to die.

Interesting.

***

Later

... Obviously, the whole difficulty is the mixing of two things: on one hand, the responsibility of everything, the entire organization, all these people hanging on to me (and naturally giving me work, even if we cut out whatever we can), and on the other, the study or recording of what goes on. If I had nothing to do and could note down my nights, what fascinating things there would be!

For instance, two or three nights ago (I don't remember), I was with Sri Aurobindo, we were doing a certain work (it was in a mental zone with certain vital reactions mixed in), well, a general work. I was with Sri Aurobindo and we were doing the work together. He wanted to explain to me how a particular movement is turned into a distorted movement; he was explaining this to me (but there's nothing mental or intellectual about it, nothing to do with theories). And without even (how can I put it?) without even a thought or an explanation to forewarn you, a true movement is changed into a movement that is ... not false but distorted. I was speaking to Sri Aurobindo and he was answering, then I turn my head away like this (not physically – all this is an inner life, naturally), I turned my head as if to see the [vibratory] effect. Then I turn back and send Sri Aurobindo the movement necessary to carry on with the experience, and I receive a reply which surprises me because of the quality of its vibration (it was a reply of ignorance and weakness). So I turn my attention back again, and as a matter of fact in Sri Aurobindo's place I saw the doctor. Then I understood! Superficially, one may say, "So, Sri Aurobindo and the doctor are the same!" (To people who would see such a thing it would occur that they are the same – of course it's all, all the same! All is one, people just don't understand this complete oneness.) Naturally it didn't surprise me for the thousandth of a second, there wasn't any surprise, but ... oh, I understood! This way (Mother slightly tilts her hand to the left), it's Sri Aurobindo, and that way (slightly to the right), it's the doctor. This way it's the Lord, and that way it's a man!!

Really interesting.[8]

At the time, there were all the minute details of observation that make the experience so concrete. If I were to write it all, it would be worthwhile. But they are countless! I would spend my days writing down my nights! What to do?

This is ONE kind – there are so many different kinds. For the body too, there are countless observations: for example, a vibration like this (gesture) brings eternal bliss; a MINUSCULE shift (it looks like a shift – is it a shift? Is it ... what? A distortion? An addition? Or is it ... it's all kinds of different things at once), and it turns into anguish and dreadful discomfort – THE VERY SAME THING. And so forth. Tons of things that could be written down!

And if it were all noted down clearly, accurately, down to the last detail, it would be worth it, but just look (Mother shows a pile of papers beside her): work everywhere! Letters and letters! Three, four, five, ten, twenty every day, not to mention all the decisions I must make instantly and write on the spot. This morning I wrote four "urgent" notes like that when Nolini was here, and you saw how it was with Pavitra.

And I can't say it isn't important – it is important, in that all those people depend on me. I can't make them overnight capable of receiving fully and clearly, without any external expression, all that I do. I can't ask them to transform themselves by a miracle, I've got to help them!

I make myself difficult to approach, I keep at a good distance. As much as I can, I teach them to receive directly, but there remains a minimum. So 1,300 or 1,400 people, not to mention all the others I correspond with – that means 2,000 or 3,000 people on average in conscious relationship [with Mother].

And it keeps coming and coming. Many come and are not even aware of it! And I keep going and going. Consciously, most of the time, but also quite often not consciously. Here's an example: someone is very ill, someone who truly loves me (it's Z, A.'s wife). A. informed me she was ill. So I increased the dose (everyone is inside, I am with everyone, that goes without saying, but when something goes wrong I increase the dose). I increased the dose. I expected an improvement but it didn't happen. So I increased the dose again. The next day, I received a letter from A. saying that the night before, Z had had an interesting experience. She has asthma (asthmatics feel as if they are dying, it's very painful, and she is very sensitive, very nervous – she was really unwell, so they drugged her, and so ...). Well then, during an acute attack of asthma, she sat up in her bed, her legs hanging down. Then her feet began to feel cold and she reached out for her slippers; she bent down, and instead of her slippers she felt something soft and alive. Astonished, she looks down – and sees my feet. My feet were there with the sandals I used to wear to go out – my bare feet. So she touched my feet and said, "Ohh, Mother is here!" Immediately she lay down again, fell asleep ... and woke up cured.

And she didn't make it up: my feet WERE there. "My feet," I mean something of me which took that form to be perceptible to her.

All this makes for work.

And not only here: here, there, everywhere, all over the world. And it doesn't get recorded in the head (that's impossible! I would go mad), but it stays in the consciousness (Mother makes a gesture around her head) and I just have to stop and pay attention: "What is it?" (Mother catches the vibration coming to her) ... But you understand, how do you record all this in spoken or written words? We would have to write fifty lines at the same time! It's impossible.

But it is conscious.

And everything, everything that goes on up there with the war, all those Chinese who are forced to do things they don't want to do....

And all that, all that, nonstop, nonstop, nonstop, everywhere, everywhere.

What reaches the active consciousness is only what demands an active reply, and that's still too much. Which means that twenty-four hours aren't enough.

And I realize ... You see, I need physical help to relieve the body of all effort that's not strictly indispensable. But I can't make their [the attendants'] life completely chaotic in appearance: there has to be some schedule. And a schedule means terrible limitations. I can't help it. I can't help it, because for the time being, simply the will expressing itself isn't enough to make matter respond. Once it is like that, time won't matter any more, but – BUT.

We mustn't be impatient.

January 14, 1963

So? Have you come with a question on these aphorisms?

There aren't many questions to ask.

I count on the question to set off the movement, because for the moment there's nothing.

More and more it's like that: I know what I must do at the time of doing it, I know what I must say at the time of saying it. I don't try, though once or twice I did try just to see – useless, nothing comes. But when it has to come, it comes as if a tap were opened – effortlessly, without my having to do anything, it just comes.

So for the moment, nothing.

Read me those aphorisms again.

81 – God's laughter is sometimes very coarse and unfit for polite ears; He is not satisfied with being Molière, He must needs also be Aristophanes and Rabelais.

82 – If men took life less seriously, they could very soon make it more perfect....

Indeed!

... God never takes His works seriously; therefore one looks out on this wonderful universe.

So what's your question?

One may ask how taking things seriously prevents life from being more perfect?

(After a long silence) Virtue has always been busy eliminating things from life and (laughing) if we could put together all the virtues from all the countries in the world, nothing much would remain in life!

Virtue claims to seek perfection, but perfection is a totality. So the two movements are contradictory: virtue, which eliminates, prunes, sets limits, and perfection, which accepts everything, rejects nothing but puts everything in its place, evidently cannot go well together.

Taking life seriously generally consists of two movements: the first is to give importance to things that probably have none, and the second is to want life to be limited to a certain number of qualities considered to be pure and worthy. With some (for instance, those Sri Aurobindo refers to here: the prudish or the puritans), that virtue becomes dry, barren, gray, aggressive, and almost always finds fault in all that is joyful, free and happy.

The only way to make life perfect (I mean here life on earth, of course) is to look at it from a sufficient height to see it in its totality, not only its present totality, but over the whole past, present and future: what it has been, what it is, what it must be – you must be able to see it all at once. Because that's the only way to put everything in its place. Nothing can be done away with, nothing SHOULD be done away with, but each thing must find its own place in total harmony with the rest. Then all those things that appear so "evil," so "reprehensible" and "unacceptable" to the puritan mind would become movements of joy and freedom in a totally divine life. And then nothing would stop us from knowing, understanding, feeling and living this wonderful Laughter of the Supreme who takes infinite delight in watching Himself live infinitely.

This delight, this wonderful Laughter which dissolves all shadows, all pain, all suffering ... We only have to go deep enough into ourselves to find the inner Sun and let ourselves be bathed in it. Then everything is but a cascade of harmonious, luminous, sun-filled laughter which leaves no room for shadow and pain.

In fact, even the greatest difficulty, even the greatest grief, even the greatest physical pain, if you can look at them from THERE, take your stand THERE, you see the unreality of the difficulty, the unreality of the grief, the unreality of the pain – and all becomes a joyful and luminous vibration.

It is ultimately the most powerful means of dissolving difficulties, overcoming grief and getting rid of pain. The first two [difficulties and grief] are relatively easy (relatively), the last [pain] is more difficult because of our habit of regarding the body and its sensations as extremely concrete and positive – but actually it is the same thing, it's just that we haven't been taught and accustomed to seeing our body as something fluid, plastic, uncertain, malleable. We haven't learned to permeate it with this luminous Laughter which dissolves all shadows and difficulties, all discords, all disharmony, all that grates, cries and weeps.

(silence)

This Sun – the Sun of divine laughter – is a: the core of everything, it is the truth of everything. What is needed is to learn to see it, feel it, live it.

And for that, let us flee from those who take life seriously, they are the most boring people on earth!

That's all.

But it's true. The other day I was telling you about some cellular difficulties. I noticed that as soon as they start, I start laughing! But if someone is here and I tell him the difficulty solemnly, it goes from bad to worse; if I start laughing and talk about it laughingly, it vanishes. Really, it's dreadful to take life seriously! Dreadful. Those who have given me the most difficulties have always been the people who take life seriously.

I've had this experience even just recently. All that comes to me from people who have dedicated their lives to "spiritual life," people who do a yoga in the traditional way, who are very solemn, who see adversaries everywhere, obstacles everywhere, taboos everywhere, prohibitions everywhere, oh, how they complicate life ... and how far they are from the Divine! I saw this the other day with someone you know. With that kind of people, you "should not" do this, "should not" do that, "should not" ... At such and such time you "must not" do this, on such and such day you "must not" do that; you "should not" eat this, you should not ... And then, for heaven's sake, don't you go mixing your daily life with your sacred life! – that's how you dig an abyss.

It's the exact, exact opposite of what I feel now: no matter what happens – something wrong in the body, something wrong with people, something wrong in circumstances – instantly, the first movement: "O my sweet Lord, my Beloved!" And I laugh! And then all is well. I did this the other day (it's spontaneous and instantaneous, it isn't thought out or willed or planned – none of it – it just happens), it happened the other day (I don't recall the details but it was over a circumstance that hardly seemed sacred): I saw myself, and I started laughing. I said, "But look! I don't need to be serious, I don't need to be solemn!"

As soon as it comes (Mother makes a solemn face), I get suspicious, I say to myself, "Oh, something is wrong, some influence or other must have entered the atmosphere that shouldn't be there." All that remorse, all that regret, all that ... ooh! The sense of indignity, of fault ... and, going a little farther, the sense of sin – oh, that...! That seems to me to belong to another age, a Dark Age.

But especially all the prohibitions. For instance, let me quote you a statement from X which I heard from a third person: "I will do a special puja to help money come. I will prepare a special yantram[9] to bring money. But FOR GOD'S SAKE don't say anything [to Mother], don't do anything or give anything before January 14, because until January 14, a certain planet is in opposition to a certain other planet (Mother laughs), so things follow a downward trend and won't be successful. But afterwards, that particular planet will be ascending and everything will be successful"! (Mother laughs) Something in me said spontaneously ("something," well, someone), spontaneously and immediately, "But why? I can always hear!" And I laughed. So they thought I was making fun of him – I don't make fun: I laugh, it's not the same!

So, mon petit, that's all.

You can read me another aphorism. That's enough for this one, it's settled!

What's the next one?

83 – Shame has admirable results and both in aesthetics and in morality we could ill spare it; but for all that it is a badge of weakness and the proof of ignorance.

It's the same thing! That's what I said at the end: the sense of sin, regret, remorse, all of it, oh! ... That will do, won't it?

***

 

(Then Mother examines the list of people she will receive the following days and the birthday greetings to be given.)

February 2 is C.'s birthday, so I'll give him a meditation, because these are people who still believe in meditation! (Mother laughs)

It has become quite an entertaining little field of experiences, by the way. Because nowadays I send people cards, and I have lots of cards, innumerable kinds of cards[10] (C. spends his time preparing them), and automatically, whenever I have to write a card for someone, it isn't as I decided beforehand (because sometimes I decide beforehand), the choice is made at the last minute: "THIS is the card I must send and THIS is what I must say." I needn't worry about it, it comes just in time. Then I only have to get up, go find the card, write, and it's all over. People will tell me (precisely those who lead a "spiritual life"), "What! You make such a trifle the object of a spiritual experience!" And it's the same with ALL small things: what object to be used, what perfume to put on, what bath salts, all manner of "futile," "frivolous," "unimportant" things – "How shocking!" I don't even make an effort to find out or to ... (think, thank God I don't think!), it just comes: this, that, that. Not said – KNOWN. It isn't even said, I am not told, "Do this," never. It's KNOWN: "Ah, here we are, that's it!" And I choose and do it – very comfortable!

It was actually my experience (for a long, long time, many years) but, these last few days, concrete, in the body's cells. There aren't "things" in which the Lord is and "things" in which He isn't – there are only fools who think so! He is ALWAYS there. He takes nothing seriously and has fun with everything. And He plays with you, if you know how to play – but you don't, people don't know how to play. But how well He knows! How He plays with everything, with the smallest things: you have objects to put on your table? Don't think you have to ponder over how to arrange them – no, we'll play: let's put this here, let's put that there, let's put this like that. Then some other day (because people think, "Now she has decided on this arrangement, so that's the way it's going to be" – well, not so!), some other day (they want to help you! They want to help you put things in order, so it just becomes a mess!), I stay still and quiet, and then we start playing: So! Let's put this here, and that there, and this there ... ah! (Mother laughs) Since I saw you last time it has been that way constantly, probably to prepare me for this aphorism!

Very entertaining.

There you are, mon petit.

Agreed, then, we'll try and learn to laugh with the Lord.

I know – I know He wants me to learn not to take seriously the responsibility ("responsibility" isn't the right word), the formidable task of finding 8,000 rupees a day to meet the Ashram's expenses – in other words, a colossal fortune every month.

And I very well see (because I told Him several times, "You know, it would be great fun if I had plenty of money to play with"), so I see that He laughs, but He doesn't answer!... He teaches me to be able to laugh at this difficulty, to see the cashier send me his book in which the figures are growing astronomical ([laughing] it's by 50,000, 60,000, 80,000, 90,000), while the drawer is nearly empty! And He wants me to learn to laugh at it. The day when I can really laugh – laugh, enjoy myself – SINCERELY (not through effort – you can do anything you want through effort), when it makes me laugh spontaneously, I think it will change. Because otherwise it's impossible.... You see, we have fun with all sorts of things, there's no reason we couldn't have fun with more money than we need and do things in style! It will surely happen one day, but we should – we shouldn't be overwhelmed by the amount, and for that we shouldn't take money seriously.

We shouldn't take money seriously.

It's very hard nowadays, because all over the world people take money seriously, and that makes it very hard. Especially those who have money. Those who have money, how seriously they take it, oh, Lord! That's why it's difficult. We should be able to laugh – laugh, laugh frankly and sincerely, then it would be over.

Well! ... All right, we'll talk about it again.

Good-bye, mon petit.

@

January 18, 1963

(Satprem suggests to Mother to publish in the next "Bulletin," of February, her entire talk on "God's laughter," and in particular the whole passage in which she said: "It's dreadful to take life seriously! Those who have given me the most difficulties have always been the people who take life seriously.")

Oh, no!

It's charming, though.

I don't think it would be wise to put this in the Bulletin.

There are so many people, in fact, who don't care a whit about anything, who don't take life seriously, but in the wrong way: they don't take seriously what they have to do, they don't take their progress seriously, they take nothing seriously – they go to the movies when Sri Aurobindo is dying. That sort of thing. So I think this passage would open the door to too many misunderstandings. It's true, but it is true up ABOVE. A bit too high up for people.

I think we should omit it. Especially when I say that those who have given me the most trouble are the people who take life seriously.

***

A little later

There's a practical question I'd like to ask you regarding the subtle physical. I understand the mind centers, which correspond to a particular world, the vital centers, which receive all sorts of influences, but which center corresponds to the subtle physical, and what are the influences coming from the subtle physical? Is there a center that corresponds to the subtle physical?

Where do you situate the center for the vital?

For the vital it's the navel. The region from the heart to the sex organs, isn't it?

Well, for the subtle physical it goes from the navel down to the last center,[11] that whole region.

And what are the influences that come from the subtle physical?

Generally they are of a far higher quality than material influences. I have noticed (I don't know whether it's a personal or a general thing) that the subtle physical I see is always of a somewhat higher quality than the physical proper. I mean somewhat more harmonious: things are smoother. All that comes from the vital is more often than not aggressive, quarrelsome and so on – and difficult. But this realm is generally calm – calm, orderly, where things are more harmonious – GENERALLY (I can't say whether it's the case with everybody, but in my own case it's like that).

As I told you, Sri Aurobindo lives there permanently, as though in a house of his own: you can see him, you can stay with him, he is busy. It is very much like the physical, but a physical that would be less grating, you understand, where things are more harmonious and satisfying, less excited. There is less of that feeling of haste and uncertainty. In that house where Sri Aurobindo lives, life unfolds very, very harmoniously: people come and go, there are meals even.... But all that obeys more general laws, and a sense of security and certainty not to be found in physical life. And the symbolism is more exact (I don't know how to express it ...), the symbolic transcription of things is less distorted, more exact.

This is the subtle physical as I know it, I can't say if it is the same for everyone. Sri Aurobindo said, "There is a true physical," well, I have a feeling that this is what he calls the "true physical" – a subtler physical, the true physical which is behind.

But does it influence the whole earth?

Oh, yes! In general, these things are terrestrial. But probably it's still quite subjective, in the sense that each one has an impression of it according to what he is and his stage of development.

But does it exert a DIRECT action on the earth, just as the vital has an action on the earth?

 

I think that as the Supramental descends, the subtle physical will have a greater and greater action on earth, because it is the world where the new creation will be formed before it "descends," before it becomes absolutely visible and concrete.

I often have a sense that it would take only a very tiny thing – which is hard to define – a very tiny movement of materialization to make this new creation concrete to us as we are. And it is probably – it will probably be formed completely in that subtle world before it materializes.

I think few people are able to make the distinction. They have rather an impression that it's their "dream way" of seeing things; I mean they say, "Oh, it's just a dream." In most cases it's like that. The subtle physical has the character of a realm where things are more fluid and harmonious than physical things, but with the same concrete quality; its nature is not like that of vital things, which have vibrations of power but again not that very concrete and objective quality characteristic of material things. In the subtle physical, things are very concrete. For instance, if someone stands in your way, you have to push him aside: he doesn't just vanish, you can't walk through him. If you see an object that's not in its place, you have to move it. Voilà.

January 30, 1963

What are you going to read to me today? Nothing? Nothing at all?

Well, I have something, then.

I have finished my translation [of the Synthesis]. When you have finished your book and we have prepared the next Bulletin and we have a nice quiet moment, we'll go over it again. And then I've begun Savitri – ah! ... As you know, I prepare some illustrations with H., and for her illustrations she has chosen some passages from Savitri (the choice isn't hers, it's A.'s and P.'s and made intelligently), so she gives me these passages one by one, neatly typed (which is easier for my eyes). It's from the Book I, Canto IV.

And then, as I expected, the experience is rather interesting.... I had noticed, while reading Savitri, that there was a sort of absolute understanding, that is to say, it can't mean this or that or this – it means THAT. It comes with an imperative. And that's what led me to think, "When I translate it, it will come in the same way." And it did. I take the text line by line and make a resolve (not personal) to translate it line by line, without the slightest regard for the literary point of view, but rendering what he meant in the clearest possible way.

The way it comes is both exclusive and positive – it's really interesting. There's none of the mind's ceaseless wavering, "Is this better? Is that better? Should it be like this? Should it be like that?" No – it is LIKE THIS (Mother brings down her hand in a gesture of imperative descent). And then in certain cases (without anything to do with the literary angle or even the sound of the word – neither sound nor anything, but meaning), Sri Aurobindo himself suggests a word. It's as if he were telling me, "Isn't this better French, tell me?" (!)

I am simply the recording machine.

It goes with fantastic speed, meaning that in ten minutes I translate ten lines. On the whole, only three or four times are there a couple of alternative possibilities, which I jot down immediately. Once, here (Mother shows a passage with erasures in her manuscript), the correction came, absolute. "No," he said, "not that – THIS." So I erased what I had written.

Here, read the English first.

Above the world the world-creators stand,

In the phenomenon see its mystic source.

These heed not the deceiving outward play,

They turn not to the moment's busy tramp,

But listen with the still patience of the Unborn

For the slow footsteps of far Destiny

Approaching through huge distances of Time,

Unmarked by the eye that sees effect and cause,

Unheard mid the clamour of the human plane.

Attentive to an unseen Truth they seize

A sound as of invisible augur wings....

(I.IV.54)

I didn't reread my translation, I am doing it now for the first time.

(Mother reads aloud her translation up to:
"They turn not to the moment's busy tramp")

Here, there was some hesitation between de ['instant [the instant's] and du moment [the moment's]. Then he showed me (I can't explain how it takes place), he showed me both words, moment and instant, and he showed me how, compared to moment, instant is mechanical; he said, "It's the mechanism of time; moment is full and contains the event." Things of that sort, inexpressible (I put it into words but it loses all its value). Inexpressible, but fantastic! There was some hesitation between instant and moment, I don't know why. Then he showed me instant: instant was dry, mechanical, empty, whereas moment contained all that takes place at every instant. So I wrote moment.

(Mother reads the end of her translation)

It isn't thought out, it just comes. It's probably not poetry, not even free verse, but it does contain something.

So I made a resolve (because it's neither to be published nor to be shown, but it's a marvelous delight): I will simply keep it the way I keep the Agenda. I have a feeling that, later, perhaps (how can I put it?) ... when people can be less mental in their activity, it will put them in touch with that light [of Savitri] – you know, immediately I enter something purely white and silent, light and alive: a sort of beatitude.

This other passage is what I translated the first time:

In Matter shall be lit the spirit's glow,

In body and body kindled the sacred birth;

Night shall awake to the anthem of the stars,

The days become a happy pilgrim march,

Our will a force of the Eternal's power,

And thought the rays of a spiritual sun.

A few shall see what none yet understands;

God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep;

For man shall not know the coming till its hour

And belief shall be not till the work is done.

(I.IV.55)

Here there were a few more erasures. It will probably go on improving. But what a wonder, this passage, what beauty!

(Mother reads aloud her translation up to:
"God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep")

Splendid!

(Mother reads her translation of the last two lines.)

Oh, I love this: "God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep."

So, I'll continue.

I may even keep the manuscript in pencil: the temptation to correct is very bad. Very bad because it's the surface understanding that wants to correct – literary taste, poetical sense and all those things that are down there (gesture down below). You know, it's as if (I don't mean the words themselves), as if the CONTENT of the words were projected on a perfectly blank and still screen (Mother points to her forehead), as if the words were projected on it.

The trouble is writing, the materialization between the vision and the writing; the Force has to drive the hand and the pencil, and there is a slight ... there's still a very slight resistance. Otherwise, if I could write automatically, oh, how nice it would be!

There may be (I can't say, it's all imagination because I don't know), there may come a few ... somewhat weird things. But there is an insistence on the need to keep to each line as though it stood all alone in the universe. No mixing up the line order, no, no, no! For when he wrote it, he SAW it that way – I knew nothing about that, I didn't even know how he wrote it (he dictated it, I believe, for the most part), but that's what he tells me now. Everything comes to a stop, everything, and then, oh, how we enjoy ourselves! I enjoy myself! It's more enjoyable than anything. I even told him yesterday, "But why write? What's the use?" Then he filled me with a sort of delight. Naturally, someone in the ordinary consciousness may say, "It's very selfish," but ... And then it's like a vision of the future (not too near, not extremely near – not extremely far either) a future when this sort of white thing – white and still – would spread out, and then, with the help of this work, a larger number of minds may come to understand. But that's secondary; I do the translation simply for the joy of it, that's all. A satisfaction that may be called selfish, but when he is told, "It's selfish," he replies that there is no one more selfish than the Lord, because all He does is for Himself!

There.

So I will go on. If there are corrections, they can only come through the same process, because at this point to correct anyhow would spoil it all. There is also the mixing (for the logical mind) of future and present tenses – but that too is deliberate. It all seems to come in another way. And well, I can't say, I haven't read any French for ages, I have no knowledge of modern literature – to me everything is in the rhythm of the sound. I don't know what rhythm they use now, nor have I read what Sri Aurobindo wrote in The Future Poetry. They tell me that Savitri's verse follows a certain rule he explained on the number of stresses in each line (and for this you should pronounce in the pure English way, which somewhat puts me off), and perhaps some rule of this kind will emerge in French? We can't say. I don't know. Unless languages grow more fluid as the body and mind grow more plastic? Possible. Language too, maybe: instead of creating a new language, there may be transitional languages, as, for instance (not a particularly fortunate departure, but still ...), the way American is emerging from English. Maybe a new language will emerge in a similar way?

In my case it was from the age of twenty to thirty that I was concerned with French (before twenty I was more involved in vision: painting; and sound: music), but as regards language, literature, language sounds (written or spoken), it was approximately from twenty to thirty. The Prayers and Meditations were written spontaneously with that rhythm. If I stayed in an ordinary consciousness I would get the knack of that rhythm – but now it doesn't work that way, it won't do!

Yesterday, after my translation, I was surprised at that sense ... a sense of absolute: "THAT'S HOW IT IS." Then I tried to enter into the literary mind and wondered, "What would be its various suggestions?" And suddenly, I saw somehow (somehow, somewhere there) a host of suggestions for every line! ... Ohh! "No doubt," I thought, "it IS an absolute!" The words came like that, without any room for discussion or anything. To give you an example: when he says "the clamour of the human plane," clameur exists in French, it's a very nice word – he didn't want it, he said "No," without any discussion. It wasn't an answer to a discussion, he just said, "Not clameur: vacarme."[12] It isn't as though he was weighing one word against another, it wasn't a matter of words but the THOUGHT of the word, the SENSE of the word: "No, not clameur, it's vacarme."

Interesting, isn't it?

But I would like us to revise the translation in the same way, because I am sure he will be here – he is always here when I translate. Then I will go back into that state, while you will do the work! (Laughing) You will write. And then, unless your vocabulary is very extensive (mine used to be extensive, but now it has become quite limited), we'll need a decent dictionary.... But I am afraid none will have anything to offer.

I even find they should be avoided.

They're bad. Somewhere they make me angry. It makes a very dark atmosphere, it clouds the atmosphere.

Unfortunately, I have lost the habit of French, the words I use to express myself are quite limited and the right word doesn't come – something looks up in the word store and doesn't find the word. I can sense it as if elusively, I feel there is a word, but all sorts of substitutes come forward that are worthless.

Now the sensation is altogether, altogether new. It's not the customary movement of words pouring in and so on: you search and suddenly you catch hold of something – it's no longer that way at all: as though it were the ONLY thing that remained in the world. All the rest – mere noise.

There, mon petit.

@

February

February 15, 1963

(Regarding a passage in "Savitri" in which Sri Aurobindo describes the universe as a play between He and She. "This whole wide world is only he and she," He, the Supreme in love with her, her servitor; She, the creative Force.)

As one too great for him he worships her;

He adores her as his regent of desire,

He yields to her as the mover of his will,

He burns the incense of his nights and days

Offering his life, a splendour of sacrifice....

In a thousand ways he serves her royal needs;

He makes the hours pivot around her will,

Makes all reflect her whims; all is their play:

This whole wide world is only he and she.

(I.IV. 62)

What a marvelous work!

He goes into a completely different region, so much above thought! It's constant vision, it isn't something thought out – with thought everything becomes flat, hollow, empty, empty, just like a leaf; while this is full, the full content is there, alive.

It's an explanation of why the world is as it is. At the start he says, He worships her (here again, there are no words in French: Il lui rend un culte, but that makes a whole sentence). He worships her as something far greater than Himself. And then you are almost a spectator of the Supreme projecting Himself to take on this creative aspect (necessarily, otherwise it couldn't be done!), the Witness watching His own work of creation and falling in love with this power of manifestation – you see it all. And ... oh, He wants to give Her her fullest chance and see, watch all that is going to happen, all that can happen with this divine Power thrust free into the world. And Sri Aurobindo expresses it as though he had absolutely fallen in love with Her: whatever She wants, whatever She does, whatever She thinks, whatever She wills, all of it – it's all wonderful! All is wonderful. It's so lovely!

And, I must say, I was observing this because, originally, the first time I heard of it, this conception shocked me, in the sense that ... (I don't know, it wasn't an idea, it was a feeling), as though it meant lending reality to something which in my consciousness, for a very long time (at least ... millennia perhaps, I don't know), had been the Falsehood to be conquered. The Falsehood that must cease to exist. It's the aspect of Truth that must manifest itself, it's not all that: doing anything whatsoever just for the fun of it, simply because you have the full power.... You have the power to do everything, so you do everything, and knowing that there is a Truth behind, you don't give a damn about consequences. That was something ... something which, as far back as I can remember, I have fought against. I have known it, but it seems to me it was such a long, long time ago and I rejected it so strongly, saying, "No, no!" and implored the Lord so intensely that things may be otherwise, beseeched Him that his all-powerful Truth, his all-powerful Purity and his all-powerful Beauty may manifest and put an end to all that mess. And at first I was shocked when Sri Aurobindo told me that; previously, in this life, it hadn't even crossed my mind. In that sense Theon's explanation had been much more (what should I say?) useful to me from the standpoint of action: the origin of disorder being the separation of the primal Powers – but that's not it! HE is there, blissfully worshipping all this confusion!

And naturally this time around, when I started translating it came back. At first there was a shudder (Mother makes a gesture of stiffening). Then I told myself, "Haven't you got beyond that!" And I let myself flow into the thing. Then I had a series of nights with Sri Aurobindo ... so marvelous! You understand, I see him constantly and I go into that subtle physical world where he has his abode; the contact is almost permanent (at any rate, that's how I spend all my nights: he shows me the work, everything), but still, after this translation of Savitri he seemed to be smiling at me and telling me, "At last you have understood!" (Mother laughs) I said, "It isn't that I didn't understand, it's that I didn't want it!" I didn't want, I don't WANT things to be like that any more, for thousands of years I have wanted things to be otherwise!

The night before last, he had put on a sari of mine. He told me (laughing), "Why not? Don't you find it suits me!" I answered, "It suits you beautifully!" A sari of brown georgette, lustrous bronze, with big golden braid! It was a very beautiful sari (I used to have it, it was one of my saris), and he was wearing it. Then he asked me to do his hair. I remember seeing that the nape of his neck and his hair had become almost luminous – his hair was never quite white, there was an auburn shimmer to it, it was almost golden, and it stayed that way, very fine, not at all like the hair people have here. His hair was almost like mine. So while I was doing his hair, I saw the luminous nape of his neck, and his hair, so luminous! And he said to me, "Why shouldn't I wear a sari!"

That opened up a whole new horizon.... We're always so closed, you know.

Of course, it [this vision or conception] isn't allowed into action, because when you start accepting everything and loving everything and seeing Glory everywhere – why change!? This is why the Force that had been in me for so long for the world to progress further made me reject precisely all that legitimized things as they are by putting you into contact with the inner joy of living – as he puts it, His Joy is there, everywhere, so nobody wants to leave the world....

In short, I was able to see the situation from above, a little higher than the creative Force – from the other side.

***

(A little later, regarding a passage from the Agenda of 1962, at the time of Mother's first great turning point, which she intended to show to one of the people of her entourage in an attempt to make him understand her work:)

I had asked Sujata for two copies, but then I realized it wasn't at all necessary. I told you I would give it to A. for him to read, and when A. came, I showed him one or two of the latest [Agenda conversations] typed by Sujata – and soon lost any desire to try again.

Well, when do I see you next?

Today is the 15th. The 19th, you told me.

Yes, but there have been changes. I tell you, I am being assassinated with people.

Well ...

The 21st, we'll have a meditation at 10 A.M., then at 6:15 P.M. I will go out on the terrace – can you see me from your house? But it seems you can hear the music....

Yes, we can.

This is really amusing: it's somebody having fun – having fun and, so to say, forcing me to play. When I am about to sit down, he says to me, "Start off that way." So I start off that way and then he embellishes, elaborates on it. Then suddenly he says, "Ah, enough!" and off he goes!

I don't know who it is.

When I sit down to play, I make ... how should I put it? Not a prayer, but my usual invocation, like this (gesture above), I am in a state of contemplation, and all of a sudden it starts: I see my hands in position on the keys, and, "Now then, begin that way!" All right, I begin that way. Then one note calls for the next. But I have to be very tranquil. And, oh, what I hear is lovely, so lovely! But I have no idea of what I play. I play without hearing what I play: I hear the other thing.

That's why one day I will ask to listen to the recording to see whether both things are the same.

Some new things come, it's funny. It's not at all like before. Before, I would listen to the music and play it. Now it's no longer like that: it's someone playing and I hear what he wants to play – but I don't know if that's actually what I play!

@

February 19, 1963

(An experience Mother had the day after the last conversation, on February 16:)

It was really very interesting. Afterwards it's just a memory, no longer the thing.... It concerned the creation of the material world, the material universe, in the light of the conception of the Supreme in love with His emanation. But the vision was all-embracing, as if I were on the other side – the side of the Supreme, not of the creation – and saw the creation as a whole, with the true sense of progress, the true sense of advance, of movement, and the true way in which all that doesn't belong to the future creation will disappear in a kind of pralaya[13] (it can't really "disappear" but it will be withdrawn from the Manifestation). And it was very interesting: all that doesn't collaborate (in the sense that it is a sufficient experience, an experience that has come to its end) was reabsorbed. It was like the true vision of what was rendered as the Last Judgment. It is something going on constantly, that mighty "gust" of manifestation, and there are things that have been, according to our vision of time, but that live on, that continue to exist in the future; there are things that exhaust themselves (that's in the present), and there are things that have no more purpose, that cannot keep pace with the movement (I don't know how to explain this) and enter the Non-Being – the pralaya, the Non-Being, the unmanifest – of course, not in their forms but in their essence; that is to say, the Supreme in them remains the Supreme but unmanifest.

But it was all a living, palpable experience which lasted for a day and a half. The entire universal movement was LIVED and sensed. Not merely seen but lived – and in what light! What stupendous power! With that kind of certitude at the core of everything – something very odd. It's very difficult to express. But the experience lasted so long that it became perfectly familiar. To translate it into words I might say: it is the Supreme's way of seeing – of feeling, of living. I was living things the way He does. And it gives a power of certitude of realization. In the sense that what we are heading for is already here; the road we look back on, the road we have traveled and the road yet to travel, it all lives simultaneously. And with such logic! An eternal, wonderful superlogic which makes it obviousness itself – everything is obviousness itself. Struggle, effort, fear, all of that, oh, absolutely, absolutely nonexistent. And together with this, the explanation of the feeling we have of not wanting certain things any more: they leave the Manifest. You see, it's like a sieve into which everything is thrown and where He ... to Him, everything, but everything is the same, but there is the vision of what He wants, and also of what is useless for what He wants or would prevent the fullness and totality of what He wants (contradictions of sorts, I don't know how to explain it) – so with that He just goes this way (gesture of reswallowing) and it goes out of the Manifestation.

At the time I could have said it in a more understandable language, while now ...

But can these useless things be withdrawn from the Manifestation without causing any catastrophes?

I don't know how to explain it.... Putting it like this implies an arbitrary fiat, but there's no such thing: it isn't a "gentleman" who decides to withdraw certain things he no longer likes! It's not that way. They are things which, owing to their own propensity (what we might call their essential truth), had at a given moment their place in the Manifestation, and which, once they have lost their purpose, quite naturally leave the Manifestation – I could put it in fifty different ways just as poorly, I can't see how to explain it properly. But the fact was evident. It was part of such a wonderfully complete and harmonious Whole – that Harmony is beyond us, we cannot understand it, caught as we are in the sensation of opposites. But there, "opposites" do not exist, there are only things that ... Like the fact of the Supreme seemingly dominated by His creation, wholly obedient to His creation – as though He had no power, no knowledge, no vision, so things follow their course in the chaos we know. Well, when we put it like this, there is something unbelievable and shocking about it, yet it was so very natural, so very true, and part of such a perfect whole!

Only, you cannot see it unless you see the whole. At the time, everything was preexistent, although unfolding in time for the Manifestation. But it was preexistent. Not preexistent as we understand it, not everything "at a given moment".... Oh, how impossible! It's impossible to express it. I still feel what I could call the "warmth" of the experience – the reality, the life, the warmth of the experience are there. You know, I have lived in a Light! A Light which isn't our light, which has nothing to do with what we call light, a Light so warm and powerful! A creative Light. So powerful! ... Everything was so perfectly harmonious: everything, everything without exception, even the things that appear to be the very negation of divinity. And a rhythm! (gesture as of great waves) A harmony, so wonderful a TOTALITY, where the sense of sequence ... Sequence doesn't mean things being like this (chopping gesture), one being abolished by the next, it is ... At the time I might have been able to find or invent the words, I don't know, now ... now, it's only the memory of it. The memory, not the presence itself.

The experience lasted long. It started in the night, lasted through the whole day, and last night there was still something of it lingering, but then ... (laughing) I seemed to be told, "So then, aren't you going to move on? Are you going to stay with this experience, are you stuck there?!" It is so true: things move fast, fast, fast, and run as you may, you're still not going fast enough.

Last night or the night before, I was in Sri Aurobindo's house and he was telling me, "Some things are going wrong." And he showed me around his house. There were some pipes – big pipes – that had burst. "You see," he told me, "people have been careless." In some places they had taken away all the furniture and were cleaning up in a stupid way: "See," he said, "they don't do things the proper way." Then I understood it was the reflection of the way things happen here. And he was ... (not angry, he is never angry), but people gave him a lot of bother, they were preventing him from doing his work: I would come in a room and try to arrange a corner because he wanted to write, but it was impossible, the whole setup made it impossible for him to have even a decent corner where he could write – then at other times, it would be quite fine. Because it changes continuously. The layout of rooms has an inner meaning – it MEANS something – so it always stays the same as if the setting stayed unchanged (because it's not a house built from an architect's plan! It's his own house, which he has arranged according to his taste, so it stays that way). But people seem to have unrestricted entry there, and everyone wants to do something, to make himself "useful," (laughing) so it's terrible! This is what erased my experience or pushed it back into the realm of memories. As though he were saying, "Don't be too concerned with universal things, because over here (laughing) things aren't too smooth!"

***

(A little later)

The last twenty days I have felt troubled.

And I am, of course, harassed – people's idea of celebrating my birthday!

After this experience, I was expecting to see some truly exceptional things these last few days, because really ... this Presence is so concrete, so concrete! But compared to that "concrete," our concreteness is so thin and lifeless – what we call "life" is some sort of ... of mushy thing!

(silence)

I am not given the time for experiences. It was like that the other night, as if Sri Aurobindo were telling me, "See, you see what they do when you are not here." But then I waste all my time!

I wanted the book [The Adventure of Consciousness] to come out for February 21, 1964. That doesn't leave too much time, because ... That's another marvel, it must have been one of the things Sri Aurobindo was showing me: at the [Ashram] Press, they're behind schedule for everything – and they work night and day! They have never worked so hard! Very clearly, seen from above, it's a lack of organization; for something requiring an ounce of force they have to put in ten pounds, and still it doesn't work.

It grinds and grates.

Lack of organization. But all, all of life – all of life is that way!

EVERYTHING.

To make some decision or organize something (I am referring to practical examples – I have four, five, ten of them every day), all it would take is a few minutes of clear and quiet, but TOTAL vision, and things would work out perfectly well. But then there are four or five of them to make a decision. Each one brings in his own idea, his own viewpoint, his own little angle. They throw it all together, jabber away for two hours ... and nothing gets done.

So the conclusion is that I shall have to start again.... I had stopped long ago taking care of everything – long before I came upstairs, I told people, "See to your business yourselves." And what chaos it has become! ... That, too, made worse by the fact that they stopped seeing me physically. The physical presence was simply keeping a rein on them.

It's unthinkable now.

But I must say it isn't confined to the Ashram: it's the same all over the world – especially in India ... the government has gone completely crazy. They bombard people with papers and forms and regulations and prohibitions....

A third of my letters are either censored or lost.

Yes, exactly. More than half of my correspondence doesn't arrive. But do you know why? It's not at all that they find it suspicious or anything, it's that they are snowed under with work, tired, on edge: so instead of opening a letter carefully and making it possible to close it again, they tear it open in such a way that they can't decently pass it on! It's nothing but that. It's the same with parcels, you can't imagine! The way they open parcels ... a child would do it better! It's disgusting. They break things, spoil everything, spill bottles.... Then, of course, what can they do about it? Sometimes they can't even forward the parcel, it's too damaged.

Now, I must say that whenever people complain I tell them, "Well, imagine for a minute you had to do this idiotic work (it is an idiotic work) and that day after day, hour after hour, all day long, with too few people (or half of them twiddling their thumbs), you were forced to do this work – after a while you would end up botching it the same way."

That's what I always tell those who criticize the government: "You deserve to be put in the place of the Prime Minister, or any other minister, with decisions to make; and with the responsibility placed on you, suppose you suddenly had to decide on things of which you know nothing – you'd soon see what fun it is!" You see, to govern properly, you have to be ... you have to be a sage! You should have a universal vision and be above all personal questions.... There is not one – not one.

Some are sluggish (they're the best, because I can make them do what I want them to do); they're like automatons, so you can get something out of them. But unfortunately they think they are ... they have the sense of their responsibility, so they think they are very superior – then it's terrible!

Anyway ...

They sent some papers to the Ashram, asking whether we had gold objects other than jewels! So, (laughing) I could just see a scene in the palaces of old: gold candelabra, the throne! ...

So ridiculous!

What can we do?... Endure.

***

Then Mother speaks of her translation of "Savitri"

I do it exclusively for the joy of being in a world ... a world of overmental expression (I don't say supramental, I say overmental), a luminous, marvelous expression through which you can catch the Truth.

And it teaches me English without books! Now, whenever I have to write a letter, all the words come by themselves: the CONTENT of the word (just as I told you for moment and instant), now it works the same way with all words! Yesterday I wrote something in English for a doctor here (Mother looks for a paper): The world progresses so rapidly that we must be ready at any moment to over pass what we knew in order to know better. And you know, I never think: it just comes, either the sound or the written word (it depends on the case: now I'll see the written words, now I'll hear the sound). For instance, the word advance came first, and with it came quick, quickly, repeatedly ["the world advances so quickly"]. Then came progress, and quickly was out of the picture; and suddenly rapidly came forward. So I understood how it worked, how it works for all words! I understood: progress (the idea or inner meaning of progress) calls for rapidly; and advance calls for quickly. Putting it like this sounds like splitting hairs, but when I saw it, it was positively irrefutable! The word was alive, its content was alive, and along with it was its friend, the word that went with it; and the word that wasn't its friend was not to be seen, it wasn't in the mood! Oh, it was so funny! For that alone it is worth the trouble.

I have made some experiments with French too. I wrote something: Pour chacun, le plus important est de savoir si on appartient au passe qui se perpetue, au present qui s'epuise, à l'avenir qui veut naître. ["The most important point for everyone is to know whether he belongs to the past perpetuating itself, to the present exhausting itself, or to the future trying to be born."] I gave it to Z – he didn't understand. So I told him, "It doesn't mean 'our' past, 'our' present or 'our' future...." I wrote this when I was in that state [the experience Mother told at the beginning of this conversation], and it was in connection with a very sweet old lady who has just left her body. This is what I said to her. Everybody had been expecting her departure for more than a month or two, but I said, "You will see, she is going to last; she will last for at least another month or two." Because she knows how to live within, outside her body, and the body lives on out of habit, without jerks and jolts. That was her condition, and it could last a very long time. They had announced she would leave within two days, but I said, "It's not true." I know her well, in the sense that she had come out of her body and there was a link with me. And I said to her, "What do you care!" (though she wasn't at all worried, she was staying peacefully with me), "The whole point is to know whether one belongs to the past perpetuating itself, to the present exhausting itself, or to the future trying to be born." Sometimes what WE call the past is right here, it's the future trying to be born; sometimes what WE call the present is something in advance, something that came ahead of time; but sometimes also it's something that came late, that is still part of all that is to disappear – I saw it all: people, things, circumstances, everything through that perception, the vibration that would go on transforming itself, the vibration that would exhaust itself and disappear, the vibration that, though manifested for a long time, would be entitled to continue, to persist – that changes all notions! It was so interesting! So I wrote it down as it was – without any explanations (you don't feel much like explaining in such a case, the thing is so self-evident!). Poor Z, he stared at me – all at sea! So I told him, "Don't try to understand. I am not speaking of the past, present and future as we know them, it's something else." (Mother laughs)

But it's amusing because I had never paid much attention to that [the questions of language], the experience is novel, almost the discovery of the truth behind expression. Before, my concern was to be as clear, exact and precise as possible; to say exactly what I meant and put each word in its proper place. But that's not it! Each word has its own life! Some are drawn together by affinity, others repel each other ... it's very funny!

February 21, 1963

(Message given by Mother for February 21:)

The boon that we have asked from the Supreme is the greatest that the Earth can ask from the Highest, the change that is most difficult to realise, the most exacting in its conditions. It is nothing less than the descent of the supreme Truth and Power into Matter, the supramental established in the material plane and consciousness and the material world and an integral transformation down to the very principle of Matter. Only a supreme Grace can effect this miracle.

The supreme Power has descended into the most material consciousness but it has stood there behind the density of the physical veil, demanding before manifestation, before its great open workings can begin, that the conditions of the supreme Grace shall be there, real and effective.

A total surrender, an exclusive self-opening to the divine influence, a constant and integral choice of the Truth and rejection of the falsehood, these are the only conditions made. But these must be fulfilled entirely, without reserve, without any evasion or presence, simply and sincerely down to the most physical consciousness and its workings.

Sri Aurobindo

@

February 23, 1963

(Regarding a dream, or rather an experience of Sujata, the notation of which unfortunately was not kept.)

She went to Sri Aurobindo's home in the subtle physical – the thing is true, real, concrete, as concrete as here.

As soon as I got her letter, I saw: that's where she went. Besides, I knew she had gone there. Plenty of people go there and are unaware of it! They forget. But she had a nice memory.

She goes there very often at night, very often, but generally people forget.

Simply for want of training. If you train yourself, you remember quite well. There are small holes in the consciousness, gaps, and when you go through such a gap you forget. You may suddenly get a fleeting impression of something, and then it eludes you – oh, it's gone! Only, it takes a long time to train yourself; you shouldn't be in a hurry or too busy. I went through it at a time when I was bedridden for five months. I had nothing to do. (You can't keep reading all the time – during those five months I read some eight hundred books ... no, nine hundred and fifty! But it tires the eyes.) So the rest of the time (you can't sleep too much either when you're in bed all the time), I trained myself: that was when I learned to have completely conscious nights. But it's a discipline. When you wake up, either in the middle of the night or in the morning, don't budge, stay absolutely still, concentrated, very silent, and PULL the memory back. For one month, two months, you seem to get nowhere; after six months it begins to work; and eventually you remember everything. At the end, you do the opposite movement, in the sense that whenever you have an interesting dream, you wake up: you learn to wake up in the middle of the night every time you have a vision or a dream, or some activity (there are various cases), so that you can remember, and then you repeat it to your consciousness (once you're awake, you repeat it to yourself two or three or ten times, till you're certain not to forget), and then off you go again.

But you can't do that if, when morning comes, you have to leap out of your bed and attend to fifty thousand pressing matters. It isn't indispensable for the yoga, not at all. It's a hobby, rather, something to amuse yourself with.

(Satprem protests)

Well, it gives you the pleasure of knowing what's going on – which isn't necessary. Now I know, I don't care one way or the other! When I go to bed, at least eight times out of ten, when I am in bed, I ask, "O Lord, grant me a silent night," which is very selfish of me – He keeps me working every night! And sometimes, you get tired of working and feel like being blissful. A blissful silence. Then I ask Him, "Let me be blissful."

It works fairly well. But it's one night out of five or six.

Otherwise, the entire night is conscious, and you cannot imagine the multitude of things that can be done in a night!

Anyhow, it's good, I am very glad for her [Sujata], it's a very good sign.

***

A little later

We have a great mathematician here who comes from Madras regularly, Dr. V. (you know him, don't you?), and for my birthday,[14] he played around with the figures of my date of birth and made up with them a square with small compartments (what a painstaking work it must be!): any way you read it, it always adds up to the same figure. Admirable. The figure is 116. Heavenly mathematics, all that (!) and it is supposed to be my number of years. But I find it a little on the short side. Because if the present pace is any indication, 116 doesn't leave me many years, thirty years or so ... yes, some thirty years, that's all. What can you achieve in thirty years?! The way things are moving, oh! ... When Sri Aurobindo said three hundred years, I think he gave the minimum figure.

We'll see.

(silence)

In the body consciousness, there are two attitudes which are both ... No, one is becoming much more natural: it is a sort of ... (what's the word in French?) everlasting attitude, everlasting, there is no reason why it shouldn't continue. The cells feel themselves everlasting, with a certain state of harmonious inner peace which partakes of eternity, that is to say, free from the kind of disorder and friction that causes aging and disintegration (it's a kind of grating in the gears that causes it). People's ordinary consciousness (it's not a question of ideas, concepts or anything of that kind: it's the body's consciousness, the consciousness of the body's cells), the ordinary, NATURAL, NORMAL consciousness is a consciousness full of grating and friction, in perpetual disorder, and that's the cause of aging. Well, this is beginning to fade away.

It is rarely felt, except when the pressure from outside is too great. When there is a huge accumulation of scores of small ... you can't call them "wills," but impulses coming from things (from things or people or circumstances) that want to be fulfilled, attended to – as long as it's within a certain limit you receive it with a smile and it doesn't have any effect, but when the dose is exceeded, suddenly something says, "Oh, no! Enough is enough!" At that point, the consciousness is hopeless. It falls back into the old rhythm, and consequently that must cause wear and tear. But the other way is a sort of harmonious, undulating movement (Mother draws big waves in the air), ALMOST beyond time, not quite: there is some sort of time sense, but secondary, somewhat in the distance. And this movement (gesture of waves) gives a sense of eternity – of everlastingness, at any rate – there is no reason for it to cease. There is no friction, no conflict, no wear and tear, it can go on indefinitely.

It is beginning to be that way.

But not these last few days.[15]

Yesterday evening (was it yesterday?... No, the day before), when I went out on the balcony-terrace,[16] the difference in perception between the consciousness I have now and the one I had before felt enormous! Before, as I have always said, I would stay there, call the Lord, be in His presence, and only when He withdrew would I come in again – that's how it was. And I had a certain relationship with people, things, the outside world ("outside," well, not outside – anyway, the world). The day before yesterday, when I went to the balcony, I wasn't thinking of anything or observing anything, I simply went – I didn't want to know what was going on, it didn't interest me, I wasn't observing.... The other experience [of the previous balcony, one year ago] seemed to go back centuries! It was so much OTHER! And so spontaneous, so natural, and so immense too! ... The earth was tiny. Yet it was very much here: I wasn't "over there," the BODY itself was feeling that way. And at the same time (I was two floors above people), every time I looked, I recognized scores and scores of people, they seemed to leap to my eyes – a crystal clear vision, much sharper (the vision I had before was always a bit hazy because what I saw wasn't entirely physical: I saw the movement of forces), and yesterday, it was as if ... as if I had risen above the very possibility of haziness! It was far less physical – FAR MORE accurate.[17]

Formerly too, I used to sense the Force, the Consciousness, the Power concentrated in a particular point and then spreading out. While here, there was an IMMENSITY of Power, of Light, of Consciousness, of perception, concentrated in a tiny point: the people gathered there.

So colossal a difference that I didn't expect it – I wasn't thinking about it nor was I expecting it. I stayed there as long as it lasted, then at a certain point someone said, "That's enough, they are getting tired." (It wasn't I who said it.) "Enough, they can't take any more." So I came back inside. That's what made me come inside. It lasted five minutes. In five minutes, they were full to bursting.

I think this body has become another person, it's not the same any more. It's no longer what it used to be. Yet the memory of its earthly existence hasn't gone, it isn't another body. Yet it is another person. I am referring here only to the material consciousness (Mother touches her body). The other thing up there (gesture above) is all very easy to explain, the work was done long ago, that's not what I mean – no, it's here. The change is HERE. It's odd. There, petit.

***

(Soon afterwards, Mother talks about her secretaries, who don't do what she tells them to and take too much of her time:)

They take absolutely no notice of what I say.

What?!

Oh, yes, that's the way things are. I tell them, "I must be finished by such and such time." "Yes, yes," they say – and nobody moves. I can't start.... I am stuck there with my legs under the table, so it's difficult.... Unless I make a scene.

Sometimes I do, I tell them, "Ah, enough! Good-bye," and I push back my chair. I get up and push back my chair. But that's ... only in case of absolute necessity.[18] All in all, I am rarely nasty! (Laughter)

Though it does happen. It happened this morning. Some people had left their daughter here; she has been here for the last four or five years, and all the while they didn't bother about her at all. She was in Ml's dormitory – M. has been a real mother to her, she looked after her dresses and everything, her parents did nothing (I think they were sending their hundred rupees regularly, that was all, they didn't have a thought for their daughter). This little girl's home was here. Then her parents came for the Darshan, they found their daughter not warm enough, not loving enough, that she far too much loved being here – conclusion: they're taking her away. I found that ... so shameful! Shameful, so stupidly selfish.

I tried to intervene in several ways. They had taken the little thing with them – she cried day and night, nonstop. Won't eat, cries all the time. And she says, "I want to go back, I want to go back.... I want to stay here, I don't want to go away."

"Ah, so that's how you are! Very well, we're taking you away."

What cruelty! One of the ugliest things you can imagine.

Yesterday I tried once again (they're leaving today, I believe), I had something conveyed to them, the answer was, "The father finds his daughter has forgotten him and no longer loves him, so he doesn't want to leave her here and will take her away." I replied, "Does he think by bullying her he can force her to love him?" The fool just won't understand, nothing sinks in.

I didn't see the gentleman.

But then, they had brought a four-year-old with them. Today was his birthday. They sent me some money for the child and asked for a card of blessings. I refused to give the card and threw the money back at them – quite bluntly. I said, "Tell these people that they are selfish and stupid, and I want nothing from them." And I banged on the table.... Oh, oh! ... Everyone was petrified. (Mother laughs) The doctor was there, and Nolini, Champaklal, Amrita.... Something in me was laughing a lot! Oh, they thought I was in a terrible fit: "They'll see what will happen to them! ..." And you know, those vibrations are familiar to me – they're terrifying, mon petit. Not human. When it comes, it's fearsome, people are in a cold sweat. And I watch it all like a spectator!

Fairly often, it's Sri Aurobindo. But this time it was entirely impersonal. It was something that WILL NO LONGER tolerate in the world a certain kind of selfish stupidity – to trample this child's finer feelings just because she isn't stupidly attached to her family (who didn't even give her a single thought all the time she was here, she didn't exist for them).

If you want your children to love you, you should at least love them a little, care for them a little, no? It's elementary, you don't have to be very bright to understand that – but they won't understand: "It is a child's DUTY to love his parents"!! And if you don't fulfill your duty, you're put in jail.

All right.

But those people will live to regret it.

The little girl struggled as if she were drowning, you know. She went everywhere – took refuge at the School, took refuge in Pavitra's room, begged G. in tears to intervene. M. was absolutely desperate. Everybody is trying to dissuade them, everybody is scandalized – it's their "right"! Brandishing their right, they grab the girl and squeeze her: "You'll love us, or else!"

And they think they will succeed!

Unfortunately, it is always the best who suffer. Some were taken away like that, and they fell so gravely ill that once they recovered sufficiently, the doctors said to send them back here. It has happened at least a dozen times. Those who have an inner life feel at home here.

Well ...

***

(Just before the end, Mother comes back to her experience at the balcony:)

The balcony is quite interesting. Because it suddenly made me notice a change I was unaware of. Like a rapid rise I had been completely unaware of. My only awareness is that at EVERY moment, if I stop talking or listening or working, at every moment, it's like ... great beatific wings, as vast as the world, beating slowly, like that.

A feeling of immense wings – not two: all around and stretching out everywhere.

Constantly, night and day. I participate in it only when I am tranquil.

But it never leaves me.

The wings of the Lord.

@

March

March 6, 1963

(Regarding an old Playground Talk of December 4, 1957, in which Mother asked: "Will there be a gradual transition from what we are now to what our inner spirit aspires to become, or will there be a break, will we have to leave our present human form behind until a new form emerges – an emergence whose process we cannot foresee, of a new form without any connection to what we are today? Can we expect this body, our means of manifestation on earth until now, to be transformed progressively into something capable of expressing higher life, or will we have to abandon this form altogether in order to take on another one not yet born on earth?" Mother adds:)

Why not both?

Both forms will be at the same time. One does not preclude the other.

Yes, but will the one be transformed into the other?

It will be transformed and will be an outline, as it were, of the new one. When this outline comes into being, the other, the perfect form, will appear. Because both have their own beauty and purpose, and so both will be there.

The mind always tries to make an exclusive choice or decision – that's not the way. Even the totality of what we are able to imagine is very little compared to what will be. The truth is, everyone with an intense aspiration and inner certitude will be called to realize it.

Everywhere, in all fields, always and forever, all is possible. And all that is possible WILL BE at a given moment – a moment that may be short or long, but all will be.

Just as they found many sorts of transient possibilities that existed between animals and man, so too there will be many different possibilities: each one will try in his own way. And all that together will help prepare for the future realization.

The question we could ask is: Will the human species be like those species that met with extinction? Some species became extinct (though not species that lasted as long as the human species, as far as I know (?), and also not those which had in them the seed of progress, a possibility of progress). The impression is rather that evolution will follow a curve drawing nearer and nearer to a higher species, and maybe all that is still too close to the lower species will fall away, just as those species fell away in the past.

We always forget that not only is everything possible – everything, even the most contradictory things – but every possibility is given at least one moment of existence.

***

(Then Mother takes up the aphorisms to be prepared for the next "Bulletin":)

84 – The supernatural is that the nature of which we

have not attained or do not yet know, or the means of

which we have not yet conquered. The common taste for

miracles is the sign that man's ascent is not yet finished.

85 – It is rationality and prudence to distrust the supernatural; but to believe in it is also a sort of wisdom.

86 – Great saints have performed miracles; greater saints have railed at them; the greatest have both railed at them and performed them.

87 – Open thy eyes and see what the world really is and what God; have done with vain and pleasant imaginations.

Do you have any questions?

Yes, there are two types of question....

There are two very different things.

First, one may ask: What is a miracle? Because Sri Aurobindo often says that "there is no such thing as a miracle," but at the same time, in "Savitri," for example, he says, "All's miracle here and can by miracle change."[19]

It depends which way you look at it: from this side or from the other side.

People only call miracles things they can't explain clearly, in mental terms. From that point of view, innumerable things that happen can be said to be "miracles," because you can't explain the why or the how.

What would a real miracle be, then?

I don't see what a real miracle can be, because what's a miracle, ultimately?

A real miracle ... It's only the mind that has the notion of miracle, because following its own logic, the mind decides that given this and that condition, this or that circumstance can or cannot be. But these are merely the mind's limitations. Because from the Lord's point of view, how could there be a miracle? All is but Himself objectifying Himself.

Here we come to the great problem of the road we travel, the eternal Road Sri Aurobindo refers to in Savitri. It is easy to imagine, of course, that what was first objectified had an inclination to objectification. The first point to accept, a logical point considering the principle of evolution, is that the objectification is progressive, it is not complete for all eternity.... (silence) It's very hard to express, because we cannot free ourselves from our habit of seeing it as a finite quantity unfolding indefinitely and of thinking that only with a finite quantity can there be a beginning. We always have an idea (at least in our way of speaking) of a "moment" (laughing) when the Lord decides to objectify Himself. And put that way, the explanation is easy: He objectifies Himself gradually, progressively, with, as a result, a progressive evolution. But that's just a manner of speaking. Because there is no beginning, no end, yet there is a progression. The sense of sequence, the sense of evolution and progress comes only with the Manifestation. And only when we speak of the earth can we explain things truthfully and rationally, because the earth had a beginning – not in its soul, but in its material reality.

A material universe probably has a beginning, too.

(silence)

So looking at it that way, for a given universe, a miracle would mean the sudden appearance of something from another universe. And for the earth (which brings the problem down to a manageable size), a miracle means the sudden appearance of something that doesn't belong to the earth – and this entry of a principle that doesn't belong to the earth as a finite world causes a radical and instant change.

But then again, as the saying goes, the ENTIRE whole is found in principle at the very core of each part; so even this miracle isn't possible.

We might say that the sense of miracle can only belong to a finite world, a finite consciousness, a finite conception. It is the abrupt, unexpected entry – or appearance or intervention or penetration – of something that did not exist in this physical world. So it follows that any manifestation of a will or consciousness belonging to a realm more infinite and eternal than the earth is necessarily a miracle on the earth. But if you go beyond the finite world or the understanding proper to the finite world, then miracle does not exist. The Lord can play at miracles if He enjoys it, but there's no such thing as a miracle – He plays all possible games.

You can begin to understand Him only when you FEEL it that way, that He plays all possible games – and "possible" not according to human conception but according to His own conception!

Then there is no room for the miracle, except for a pretend miracle.

(silence)

If what belongs to the supramental world materialized abruptly, rather than through a slow evolution ... that would be something which man, as a mental being, even if his mentality, his mental domain, were brought to perfection, could call a miracle, for it is the intervention in his conscious life of something he doesn't consciously carry within him. The taste for miracles, which is very strong (much stronger in children or in hearts that have remained childlike than in highly mentalized beings), is basically the faith that the aspiration for the Marvelous will come true, that things beyond all that we may expect of normal life will come true.

In fact, for education, people should always encourage both tendencies side by side: the thirst for the Marvelous, the seemingly unrealizable, for something that fills you with a sense of divinity, while at the same time encouraging, in the perception of the world as it is, an exact, correct and sincere observation, the abolition of all imaginings, a constant control, and a most practical and meticulous feeling for exactness in details. Both tendencies should go side by side. Generally, people kill one with the idea that it's necessary in order to develop the other – which is totally erroneous.

The two can coexist, and as knowledge grows, a moment comes when you understand that they are two aspects of the same thing, namely, a clear vision, a superior discernment. But instead of the vision and discernment being limited and narrow, they become absolutely sincere, correct, exact – AND immense, embracing an entire field that's not yet part of the concrete Manifestation.

This is very important from an educational point of view.

To see the world as it is, accurately, starkly, in the most practical and down-to-earth way, and to see the world as it can be, with the highest and freest vision, filled with hope and aspiration and a marvelous certainty – these are the two poles of discernment. All the most splendid, marvelous, powerful, expressive and total things we are able to imagine are nothing compared to what they can be; and at the same time, our minute observation of the smallest detail can never be sufficiently exact. Both things must go together. When you know this (gesture below) and you know That (gesture above), you are able to make the two meet.

This is the best possible use of the need for miracles. The need for miracles is a gesture of ignorance: "Oh, I wish it were that way!" It's a gesture of ignorance and impotence. On the other hand, those who tell you, "You live in a world of miracles," know only the lower end of things (and quite imperfectly at that), and they are impervious to anything else.

We should turn this need for miracles into a conscious aspiration to something – something that already is, that exists, and that will be manifested WITH THE HELP of all those aspirations: all those aspirations are necessary, or rather, looking at it in a truer way, they are an accompaniment – a pleasant accompaniment – to the eternal unfolding.

Basically, people with a very strict logic tell you, "Why pray? Why aspire, why ask? The Lord does what He wills and will always do what He wills." It's perfectly obvious, it goes without saying, but this fervor, "Lord, manifest Yourself!" gives His manifestation a more intense vibration.

Otherwise He would never have made the world as it is – there is a special power, a special joy, a special vibration in the world's intensity of aspiration to become again what it is.

And that is why – partly, fragmentarily why – there is evolution.

An eternally perfect universe, eternally manifesting eternal perfection, would lack the joy of progress. This I feel very intensely. Very intensely. We see no farther than the tip of our nose, not even one second of Infinity, and that second doesn't contain all that we'd like to experience and know, so we complain, "Oh, no! This world is no good." But if we come out of our second into the Whole, immediately we feel so intensely all that the need for progress has brought to the Manifestation.

And yet ... yet it is still limited to the receiving instrument. There comes a point when even the creative Force of this universe feels very small if It doesn't merge, doesn't unite with the creative Force of all other universes.

There too, there is a constant ascent or progression in identification.

(Mother suddenly turns to Satprem)

You're not going to put all that in?!

But... yes, of course!

(Laughing) No, cut out all the last part.

It's late now, otherwise I might have asked you a question.

Go ahead. What question?

Why didn't Sri Aurobindo or you make more use of miracles as a means to overcome the resistances of the outer human consciousness? Why this self-effacement towards the outside, this sort of nonintervention, as it were, or unobstrusiveness?

In Sri Aurobindo's case, I only know what he told me several times: what people call "miracles" are just interventions in the physical or vital worlds. And those interventions are always mixed with ignorant or arbitrary movements.

But the number of miracles Sri Aurobindo performed in the Mind is incalculable. Of course, only if you had a very honest, sincere and pure vision could you see them – I saw them. Others too saw them. But he refused (this I know), he refused to perform any vital or material miracle, because of the admixture.

My own experience is like this: in the world's present state, a direct miracle (vital or material, that is) must necessarily involve a number of fallacious elements which we cannot accept – those miracles are necessarily fallacious miracles. And we cannot accept that. At least I always refused to do so. I've seen what people call miracles. I saw many with Madame Théon, for instance, but it allowed a host of things to exist that to me are inadmissible.

I don't know if that's the true reason, I am not sure if the reason isn't just that we were not supposed to do miracles.

I could say a lot on the subject, but ... At any rate, perhaps I'll tell you one day, but it can't be used for the Bulletin – these aren't public matters.

But what people call "miracles" nowadays are almost always performed by beings of the vital world, or by men in relation with such beings, so there's a mixture – it accepts the reality of certain things, the truth of certain things that aren't true. And it works on that basis. So it's unacceptable.

Some other day I'll tell you more, though what I'll have to say will be personally to you, for the Agenda, it just won't do for the Bulletin. There you are.

March 9, 1963

I'd like to ask you a question.... I haven't quite understood what you meant by "miracles in the Mind." What are they? "Sri Aurobindo performed miracles in the Mind," you said.

That was when he brought the supramental Force into the mental consciousness. He would bring into the mental consciousness (the mental consciousness that governs all material movements[20]) a supramental formation, or power, or force, that instantly altered the organization. With immediate results ... that appear illogical because the process doesn't follow the course set by mental logic.

He said it himself: it happened when he was in possession or in conscious command of the supramental Force and Power and when he put it on a particular spot for a particular purpose. It was irrevocable, inevitable: the effect was absolute.

That can be called a miracle.

The supramental force he would put in a person's mind was able to...

Take the example of someone ill, even feeling pain. When Sri Aurobindo was in possession of this supramental Power (at certain times he said it was totally under his control, he could do whatever he wanted with it and apply it wherever he wanted), then he would put this Will on some disorder or other, physical or vital, say (or mental, of course), he would put this Force of a superior harmony, a superior, supramental order, keep it there, and it would act instantly. And it was an order – it created an order and harmony superior to natural harmony. Which means that if the object was to cure, for example, the cure was more perfect and total than a cure brought about by the ordinary physical and mental methods.

There were hosts of instances. But people are so blind, you know, so bogged down in their ordinary consciousness, that they always have ready "explanations." They can always explain it away. Only those who had faith and aspiration and something very pure in them, that is, those who really wanted to know, were aware of it.

Which means there is a difference between the miracle taking place through or in the mind, and the miracle taking place directly in the physical and vital. For instance, all those who perform miracles like levitation, moving objects, generating lights ... (Mother keeps silent for a while, then drops the subject). It's a field that I don't find very living, it doesn't interest me very much.[21]

But that's how it worked with healing. When the Power was there, he said it was even effortless, all he had to do was to put that Power of order, of supramental harmony, and it would act instantly.[22]

The difference is hard to explain.

(silence)

Oh, listen (this is not meant to be published or told), I don't know if I've told you already. I was nine or ten years old, I was running with some friends in the forest of Fontainebleau (I've told this story somewhere). The forest is rather dense, so you can't see very far ahead. We were running, and speeding along as I was, I didn't see I was coming to the edge overhanging the road. The place where we were was about ten feet above the road (more than a story high), and the road was paved with stones – freshly paved. And we were running. I was racing ahead, the others were behind. Well, I'd built up such momentum that I couldn't stop – whoosh! I went sailing into the air. I was ten, eleven at the most, mind you, with no notion of the miraculous or the marvelous, nothing, nothing – I was just flung into the air. And I felt something supporting me, holding me up, and I was literally SET DOWN on the ground, on the stones. I got up (I found it perfectly natural, you understand!): not a scratch, not a speck of dust, nothing, absolutely intact. I fell down very, very slowly. Then everyone rushed up to see. "Oh, it's nothing!" I said, "I am all right." And I left it at that. But the impression lingered. That feeling of something carrying me (gesture of a slow fall, like a leaf falling in stages with slight pauses): I fell down that slow. And the material proof was there, it was no illusion since I was unscathed – the road was paved with stones (you know the flint stones of France?): not a scratch, nothing. Not a speck of dust.

The soul was very alive at the time, and with all its strength it resisted the intrusion of the material logic[23] of the world – so it seemed to me perfectly natural. I simply thought, "No. Accidents can't happen to me."

But flung like that! ... For a very long time the memory of the SENSATION remained: something that went like this (same gesture of a leaf falling) and simply set me down on the road. When I worked with Théon, the memory came back, and I saw it was an entity: what people in Europe call angels (what do they call it?) ... guardian angels, that's right. An entity. Théon had told me of certain worlds (worlds of the higher intellect – I don't remember, he had named all the different planes), and in that world are winged beings – who have wings of their own free choice, because they find it pretty! And Madame Théon had always seen two such beings with me. Yet she knew me more than ten years later. And it appears they were always with me. So I took a look and, sure enough, there they were. One even tried to draw: he asked me to lend him my hand to do drawings. I lent my hand, but when I saw the drawing (he did one), I told him, "The ones I do without you are much better!" So that was the end of the matter!

What did it depict?

Funny drawings. One showed a sea with a rock and a small figure (that one was the best). A high cliff, a tiny figure, and then the sea. It wasn't very good!

I would lend my hand and look elsewhere – I didn't look at what I was drawing to make sure there was no subconscious interference. And I could distinctly feel his hand moving mine. After a while, I said to myself, "I think I'll take a look." I looked – "I say," I told him, "It's not up to much!"

It was in Tlemcen.

That kind of oddity never interested me. I found them simply natural. But these are what people call miracles.

There was another occurrence (less striking), once in a room as long as this one and wider,[24] the salon in my family's house. Some little friends had come and we were playing. I told them, "I'll show you how one should dance." I went to a corner of the room to get the longest distance to another corner, and I told them, "One single step in the middle." And I did it! (Mother laughs) I sprang (I didn't even feel I was jumping, it was like dancing, you know, like when they dance on point), landed on the tips of my toes, bounced up and reached the other corner – you can't do that alone, even champions cannot. The length of the jump went beyond records, because afterwards I asked here, when we started physical exercises at the Ashram, I asked what the longest jump was – mine was longer! And they take a run up, you see, they run and then jump. But I didn't run: I was standing in the corner, and hop! up I went (I said "hop!" to myself, soundlessly), and frrrt! I landed on the tips of my toes, bounced and landed the other side – quite evidently I was carried.

All this took place before the age of thirteen or fourteen (from eight to thirteen or fourteen). Many things of the kind, all of which seemed to me perfectly natural – it didn't feel as though I was doing something miraculous. Perfectly natural.

I remember also, once, there were iron hoops (I don't know if they still exist) bordering the lawns in the Bois de Boulogne – and I used to take a walk on them! It was a challenge I threw to my brother (there was a difference of sixteen months between us, he was older – and much better behaved too!). I told him, "Can you walk on these?" "Leave me alone," he answered, "it's not interesting." "Just watch!" I told him. And I started walking on them, with such ease! As if I had done it all my life. It was the same phenomenon: I felt weightless.

Always the feeling of being carried: something holding me up, carrying me. And now if I compare the movement or the sensation ... it's the same as that vast movement of wings – the same vibration.

After thirteen or fourteen years, it became more difficult. But before that, it was really fine.

(silence)

It was the same thing when I made that overmental formation (we were heading for miracles!). One day Sri Aurobindo told me I had brought down into Amrita[25] a force of the creative Brahma (it's the creative Word, the Word that realizes itself automatically). And I don't know what happened ... something, I can't recall what, that showed me it was working very well. Then a sort of idea occurred to me: "Why, we could try this power on mosquitoes: let mosquitoes cease to exist! What would happen?" (We were pestered by mosquitoes at the time.) Before doing it (the meditation was over, it would have been for the next time), I said to Sri Aurobindo, "Well, what if we tried with that force which responds; if we said, 'Let mosquitoes cease to exist,' we could at least get rid of them within a certain field of action, a certain field of influence, couldn't we?" So he looked at me (with a smile), kept silent, and, after a moment, turned to me and said, You are in full Overmind. That is not the Truth we want to manifest.... I told you the story. It was on that occasion.

We could have done things of that sort.

He told me (Mother speaks with an ironic tone), "Oh, you can certainly perform miracles! People will be wonderstruck."

(silence)

But I found a far lovelier miracle.... It was at Tlemcen, I was playing the piano, I don't recall what (a Beethoven or a Mozart piece). Théon had a piano (because his English secretary used to play the piano), and this piano was in his drawing room, which was on a level with the mountain, halfway up, almost at the top. That is to say, you had to climb two flights of stairs inside the house to reach the drawing room, but the drawing room had large French doors opening out onto the mountainside – it was very beautiful. So then, I used to play in the afternoon, with the French doors wide open. One day, when I finished playing, I turned around to get up, and what did I see but a big toad, all warts – a huge toad – and it was going puff, puff, puff (you know how they inflate and deflate), it was inflating and deflating, inflating and deflating ... as though it were in seventh heaven! It had never heard anything so marvelous! It was all alone, as big as this, all round, all black, all warts, between those high doors – French doors wide open to the sun and light. It sat in the middle. It went on for a little while, then when it saw the music was over, it turned around, hop-hop-hopped ... and vanished.

That admiration of a toad filled me with joy! It was charming.

(silence)

Also when I was eleven or twelve, my mother rented a cottage at the edge of a forest: we didn't have to go through the town. I used to go and sit in the forest all alone. I would sit lost in reverie. One day (it happened often), one day some squirrels had come, several birds, and also (Mother opens her eyes wide), deer, looking on.... How lovely it was! When I opened my eyes and saw them, I found it charming – they scampered away.

The memory of all these things returned AFTERWARDS, when I met Théon – long afterwards, when I was more than twenty, that is, more than ten years later. I met Théon and got the explanation of these things, I understood. Then I remembered all that had happened to me, and I thought, "Well! ..." Because Madame Théon said to me (I told her all my childhood stories), she said to me, "Oh, but I know, you are THAT, the stamp of THAT is on you." I thought over what she had said, and I saw it was indeed true. All those experiences I had were very clear indications that there were certainly people in the invisible looking after me! (Mother laughs)

Interestingly there was nothing mental about it: I didn't know the existence of those things, I didn't know what meditation was – I meditated without the least idea of what it was. I knew nothing, absolutely nothing, my mother had kept it all completely taboo: those matters are not to be touched, they drive you crazy!

Later, the memories came back.

***

(Towards the end of the conversation, Mother asks for the next aphorism for the "Bulletin" and if Satprem has any questions.)

I'd like to ask you a question on death.

Ohhh! ...

All that I thought I knew now seems to me completely superficial, and I have almost ... laid my finger on something which, in contrast, gave me the impression of a stupendous discovery. But it was just a flash, the thing is not at my command. I can't speak about it. So it might be better to wait a while before dealing with that subject.

Is this aphorism on death?

Yes, it refers to dualities: life and death, error and knowledge, love and cruelty.... We can, of course, leave aside any question on death, but that was the question that came to me.

I tell you, it would mar a subject that may, in a few months (a few months or a few years, I don't know), grow clearer. There may be something worth telling then.

On a few occasions, you know, I was like this (Mother makes a gesture of hovering between two worlds[26]), as if I were really put in contact with what I have called "the death of death." It was the unreality of death. From a COMPLETELY material standpoint. It was a question of cells and of the consciousness in the cells. Like when you are within an inch of something: "There it is! I'm going to catch it, there it is! ..." But then it fades away. It has stayed as an impression.

A few seconds' experience which gave me the sense that the most central problem was solved. And then....

When it is like that, it will be interesting.

***

(Just before leaving)

Do we need another aphorism [for the Bulletin]? We already have three.

I'll just add part of what you said at the beginning, on the miracles in the mind....

What Sri Aurobindo did?

Yes, I asked you what those miracles in the mind were. You said he would bring the Supermind into the Mind.... It's interesting.

You think we should say that to people? They're....

Because personally, I didn't quite understand what it meant and why Sri Aurobindo and you didn't perform any miracles. But I won't put everything you said today.

Oh, no, no, no! No need to ... It's only for our own enjoyment. And what about your book, how is it going on?

Slowly.

I'll soon start preparing next year's February 29,[27] and your book is part of the preparation.... I am trying to find what to distribute – what will take place. I don't know yet what will take place. But many people, in all corners of the world, are expecting this February 29 (from everywhere they want to come), so I should at least have something ready for them.

The only thing that has come to my consciousness so far is for me to be in an inner state such that I could sit for two or three hours, while people file past me (of course, it's out of the question to distribute anything myself, it's impossible). Simply, for me to be absorbed in contemplation so that it wouldn't matter, people filing past wouldn't alter my state.

It was suggested to me in the form of a vision: I was sitting on a somewhat high chair downstairs, on the ground floor (in the meditation hall where I went in 1960), while people filed past me. But then there should be some sort of distribution, and I am more in favor of something printed than a material object. A material object ... I am much too poor, in the first place. Something printed.

It's vague – not vague but incomplete. The details are precise, what I see is precise, but everything isn't there. Only certain points here and there – it's incomplete.

But one thing I know, I want your book to be published by then, to come out by the end of February, possibly for the 21st. But those people take ages to do things properly. That's why I ask you.

I hope it'll be finished at the beginning of next month.

Good. Au revoir, mon petit.

@

March 13, 1963

(Mother opens "Savitri." She intended to translate "The Debate of Love and Death." The book opens "by chance" on the last lines of Death's defeat, which Mother reads aloud:)

And [Death] left crumbling the shape that he had worn,

Abandoning hope to make man's soul his prey

And force to be mortal the immortal spirit.

(X.IV.667)

No matter where you open, no matter where you read, it's wonderful! Immediately it's wonderful – strange, these three lines, aren't they....

Abandoning hope to make man's soul his prey And force to be mortal the immortal spirit.

Wonderful.

These people could very easily lure me: for a long time they have been asking me to read them the whole of Savitri – quite a work! But this [translation] work is irresistible.

So, in fact (the trouble is, my notebook won't be thick enough!), in fact I would like to translate all of the "Debate" [of Love and Death], it's so wonderful.

(Mother leafs through the book)

When she says ... I don't remember the words, she says:

My God is love[28]

Oh, that's....

(Mother goes back to the beginning of Book X, Canto IV)

Here:

The Dream Twilight of the Earthly Real

Look at this:

Or in bodies motionless like statues, fixed

In tranced cessations of their sleepless thought

Sat sleeping souls, and this too was a dream.

(X.IV.642)

They are the ones who want to attain Nirvana.... "And this too was a dream"!

(Mother looks further)

It begins here:

Once more arose the great destroying Voice:

Across the fruitless labour of the worlds

His huge denial's all-defeating might

Pursued the ignorant march of dolorous Time.

(X.IV.643)

Here is where I should begin.

Book X is long: "The Book of the Double Twilight."... Of course, if I start reading ...

You'll end up at the beginning!

I would do the whole book!

(Mother leafs back)

"The Gospel of Death and Vanity of the Ideal"

This is invaluable to answer all, all, all the arguments people use.

(Mother leafs further)

Ah, here we are! "The Debate of Love and Death."

That's where it begins.

It's Canto III.

There's a passage underlined here.

If it's underlined, it's not by me! ... No, that's the place where I stopped when I was reading: I used to mark in red the place where I stopped.

He says ... (Death to Savitri, in a supremely ironic tone):

... Art thou indeed so strong, O heart, O Soul, so free?...

(X. III . 63 6)

It's wonderful!

So we would have to start at the beginning of the "Book of the Double Twilight," Book X. Let's see how it goes....

(Mother reads)

All still was darkness dread and desolate;

There was no change nor any hope of change.

In this black dream which was a house of Void,

A walk to Nowhere in a land of Nought,

Ever they drifted without aim or goal....

(X599)

My God, how wonderful! It's wonderful.

(Mother turns the pages)

And Book XII ["The Return to the Earth"].... I don't know.

(Mother reads the concluding lines of "Savitri":)

Night, splendid with the moon dreaming in heaven

In silver peace, possessed her luminous reign.

She brooded through her stillness on a thought

Deep-guarded by her mystic folds of light,

And in her bosom nursed a greater dawn.

(XII.724)

It heralds the Supermind.

But I had a feeling he hadn't completed his revision. When I read this, I felt it wasn't the end, just as when I read the last chapter of the "Yoga of Self-Perfection,"[29] I felt it was unfinished. He left it unfinished. And he said so. He said, "No, I will not go down to this mental level any more."

But in Savitri's case ... (I didn't look after it, you know), he had around him Purani, that Chinmayi, and ... (what's his name?) Nirod – they all swarmed around him. So I didn't look after Savitri. I read Savitri two years ago, I had never read it before. And I am so glad! Because I read it at the time I could understand it – and I realized that none of those people had understood ONE BIT of it. Both things at the same time.

(silence)

Let's see, open a page at random, I want to see if you find something interesting – concentrate a moment and open the book, I'll read it to you.

Just put your finger.... Do you want a blade? (Mother gives Satprem a letter opener)

(Satprem concentrates and opens the book)

Oh!

In the passion of its solitary dream

It lay [the heart of the King] like a closed soundless oratory

Where sleeps a consecrated argent floor

Lit by a single and untrembling ray

And an invisible Presence kneels in prayer

Pretty lovely!

Oh, it's good.... Let me go back a little:

In the luminous stillness of its mute appeal

It looked up to the heights it could not see;

It yearned from the longing depths it could not leave.

In the centre of its vast and fateful trance

Half way between his free and fallen selves,

Interceding twixt God's day and the mortal night,

Accepting worship as its single law,

Accepting bliss as the sole cause of things,

Refusing the austere joy which none can share,

Refusing the calm that lives for calm alone,

To her it turned for whom it willed to be.

In the passion of its solitary dream

It lay like a closed soundless oratory

Where sleeps a consecrated argent floor

Lit by a single and untrembling ray

And an invisible Presence kneels in prayer.

On some deep breast of liberating peace

All else was satisfied with quietude;

This only knew there was a truth beyond.

All other parts were dumb in centred sleep

Consenting to the slow deliberate Power

Which tolerates the world's error and its grief,

Consenting to the cosmic long delay,

Timelessly waiting through the patient years

Her coming they had asked for earth and men;

This was the fiery point that called her now.

Extinction could not quench that lonely fire;

Its seeing filled the blank of mind and will;

Thought dead, its changeless force abode and grew....

I can't see clearly any more.... But I know what this is about: it's when the King[30] makes his last surrender to the universal Mother – he annuls himself before the universal Mother, and She gives him the mission he must fulfill.

Its seeing filled the blank of mind and will;

Thought dead, its changeless force abode and grew.

Armed with the intuition of a bliss

To which some moved tranquillity was the key,

It persevered through life's huge emptiness

Amid the blank denials of the world.

It sent its voiceless prayer to the Unknown;

It listened for the footsteps of its hopes

Returning through the void immensities,

It waited for the fiat of the Word

That comes through the still self from the Supreme.

(III.III.332)

Well, this is certainly a beautiful choice!

That's it, there's no doubt.

When he wakes up from that state, he has a vision of the universal Mother, and receives his mission.

This is very good, a very good indication.

It's captivating, Savitri!

I believe it's his Message – all the rest is preparation, while

Savitri is the Message. Unfortunately, there were two morons here who fancied correcting him – while he was alive! (A. especially, he's a poet.) Hence all those Letters on Poetry Sri Aurobindo wrote. I've always refused to read them – I find it outrageous. He was forced to explain a whole "poetic technique" – the very idea! It's just the contrary: it comes down from above, and AFTERWARDS you explain. Like a punch in sawdust: inspiration comes down, and afterwards you explain why it's all arranged as it is – but that just doesn't interest me!

(silence)

So you came (you see, it's the answer) to manifest (it's very good, I like this answer very much), to manifest the bliss above. You understand? He goes beyond all past attempts to unite with the Supreme, because none of them satisfies him – he aspires for something more. So when everything is annulled, he enters a Nothingness, then comes out of it with the capacity to unite with the new Bliss.

That's it, it's good!

@

March 16, 1963

(Regarding the conversation of March 9: "A few seconds' experience that gave me the sense that the most central problem was solved." That experience was what Mother called "the death of death.")

Those things are strange.... You don't remember actively, that is, you can't find any thought whatsoever to express the experience; even the active sensation of the experience fades away. And yet you are no longer the same person – that's the remarkable thing! I experienced this phenomenon several times (I don't remember clearly enough to tell you exactly how many times), several times in my life, it was always the same thing: no longer the same person, you've become someone else. All the relationships with life, with consciousness, with movement – everything changes. Yet the central thing is just a vague impression. At the moment of the experience, for a second, it's so clear, so precise – a thunderbolt. But then ... probably the cerebral and nervous system is incapable of preserving it. But all the relationships are changed, you are another person.

I've seen this phenomenon very often. For example, the impression people have in ordinary life (few are conscious of it, but everyone has the impression, I know that) of a Destiny or a Fate or a will ... "hanging over" them, a set of circumstances (it doesn't matter what you call it), something that weighs you down and tries to manifest through you. But weighing you down. That was the first of my experiences: emerging above (very long ago, at the beginning of the century). And it was that kind of experience: one second, but suddenly, oh, you find yourself above it all. I remember because at the time I told the people I knew (maybe I was already looking after the Cosmic Review, it was the beginning, or maybe just before), I told them: "There is a state in which you are free to decide what you will do; when you say, 'I want this,' it means it will happen." That was the impression I lived with. Instead of thinking "I'd like to do this, I'd like that to happen," with the sense of the decision being left to Fate, the impression that you are above and you make the decision: things WILL BE like that, things WILL BE like that.

That's my memory of the beginning of the century.

I had several experiences of the kind – quite a number of them. And since that last experience [the death of death], which lasted a second, I've had the feeling ... the same kind of feeling. Before that, whenever I intervened for people, either to prevent them from dying or to help them once they were dead – hundreds and hundreds of things I used to do all the time – I did them with the sense of Death like this (gesture above Mother), as something to be conquered or overcome, or the consequences of which had to be mended. But it was always that way, Death was ... (laughing) just a little above. And from that moment [the death of death], the head emerged above – the head, the consciousness, the will were above. On the side of the Lord.

I had an experience quite a long time ago, when Sri Aurobindo was here: one night I had the experience of being in contact with the Supreme Lord, and it was concrete:

"One dies only when You will it."

I don't remember in detail (I wrote it down), but the idea was like this: the Lord makes you die only with your consent – your consent is necessary for you to die. And unless He decides, you can never die. Those two things: for you to die, something (the inmost soul, that is) must consent, the soul must say yes, then you die; and when the soul says yes, it's for the Lord to decide. Ever since that experience, there had been the certainty that you can die only when the Lord wills it, that it depends entirely and exclusively on His Will, that there are no accidents, no "unforeseeable mishaps," as human beings think – all that doesn't exist: it's His Will. From that experience till this latest one [the death of death], I lived in that knowledge. Yet with the feeling of ... not quite the unknown but the incomprehensible. The feeling of something in the consciousness which doesn't understand (what I mean by "understand" is having the power to do and undo, that's what I call "to understand": the power to realize or to undo, that's the real understanding, the POWER), well, of something which eluded me. It was still the mystery of the Infinite Supreme. And when that experience [the death of death] came, then, "Ah, there it is! I have it, I've caught it! At last, I have it."

I didn't have it long (laughing), it went away! But my position changed. It's one more thing I see from above; I rose above, my position is above.

I have always observed very carefully every time somebody died here in the Ashram, and well (one or two persons have died since that experience, in particular the old doctor's sister), well, since then it has been ABSOLUTELY DIFFERENT. It was something I saw from above. There was no longer any mystery. But if you ask me to explain ... That I can't – words, the mind, no. But the POSITION of the consciousness was different – the position of the consciousness. Altogether different.

And it happened the same way every time.[31] But it may take years to turn into a conscious power. And IN THE PRESENT CASE, the conscious power would mean the power to give or prevent death equally; to effect the necessary movement of forces – almost ... almost an action on the cells, a mechanical action on the cells. With that power, you can give death, you can prevent death.

But there is NO LONGER any of that sensation people have of a brutal clash between life and its opposite, death – death is not the opposite of life! At that moment I understood, and I never forgot: death is NOT the opposite of life, it is not the opposite of life.[32]

It's a sort of change in the cells' functioning,[33] or in their organization.... When I say all this now, I try to pull back a deep-buried memory. But that's the point. Once you have understood that (all that you understand, you can do), once you've understood that, you can do it. Then it's very simple: you can easily stop the thing from going this way or that way; you can go like that or like this or like that (Mother seems to handle forces or shift the position of the consciousness). Then it almost becomes child's play to make someone die or make someone live! But that is better left unsaid.

But it will surely come! In how many years, I don't know, but the thing has become plain. And to me (as I said the other day), to me it seemed quite a central secret – not the most central of all, no, but fairly central with regard to life on earth.

It's ... of course, it would mean a new phase for life on earth.

(silence)

It may almost result (later, once modern science has run an ascending curve) in a MATERIAL knowledge. It wouldn't be that [Mother's experience], but the image of it: what Sri Aurobindo calls a figure, a representation; the closest word is "image." An image: not the thing itself but its projection, as on a movie screen.

(silence)

It is clear that ... It is clear that we are drawing near to what ordinary consciousness regards as the Marvelous.

(long silence)

At bottom, to understand the creation is to be able to make it – that's it. When you understand, you can do. Whatever men do is done with a conscious will here (Mother makes a gesture as if she were wearing blinkers), but with an invisible Power which may or may not come, which is at their disposal or isn't. And that invisible Power is what ACTS. Men can have conceptions, but they don't have the power. But when you make that movement and go from here to THERE (gesture above), then you realize that all those conceptions are like the notes of a universal keyboard; you can play all the notes, it's very fine and makes a beautiful orchestra, but it isn't essential, it's incidental. THAT [the invisible Power] is what is needed. THAT is what knows how things are to be done and how one should play.

@

March 19, 1963

After a meditation with Mother:

When you meditate, are you conscious of going from one state to another? ... No?

Because at the start, there is usually that vibration with all the colors, though with blue strongly predominant (the color I have come to call the "Tantric power in Matter"); that's immediately with you, it's a sort of normal state of concentration. Then afterwards, you seemed to recede or stretch out into a vast Immensity of very quiet silvery whiteness – very quiet and unbroken. Like a receding from outer life and a stretching out into that state. And then there comes down – literally comes down – a very intense golden light, very intense, almost (what could I call it?) a "colorful" gold, really golden, very, very intense, and as though "atomized" – a powdering. The three in succession. Don't you feel that way?

I feel the second movement: a sense of expanse, it is all white and open.

That's right. White and very intense. Very vast and quiet.

Very good.

In the last movement, it descends and envelops your head.

That blue force, that blue light, I had known it for a long time, but without defining it: it was a power of consciousness – a POWER – the power of consciousness in Matter. I knew exactly what it was when I came in contact with X[34] (with the Swami first, then with X). Since then, I had been able to tell without doubt whether someone I was seeing was practicing Tantrism or not. And now when I see a photograph, it's the same thing! Yesterday, for example, I was shown somebody's photo, and I had the same impression of force; I didn't say anything, I asked what the man did (maybe he is a businessman in life, I don't remember), but then they gave me a letter from him in which he wrote that for a few years he had been trying to follow the Tantric method of yoga – it amused me! It was plain in his photo!

I came across a man who had that blue light ... but I found him rather formidable. He looked after all the religious rites and priests of B.'s state. He came here and asked to see me. I saw him on a December 9 (I think) when I paid a visit to the estate at Aryankuppam. I was walking in the gardens when suddenly I felt something pulling at me – and none too gently! I turned around and saw a tall man, standing and staring at me. So (I didn't know who he was, no one had told me), I stared back and simply "answered" his impudence! And pfft! it just fell off. I was surprised. Later (I had not yet been told who he was), he asked to see me. When he entered the room, I felt ... I felt a solid being. I don't know how to define it, I had never before felt it in a human being – solid. As solid as rock. Extraordinarily solid – coagulated, an edifice. And quite powerful, I must say. Not like an arrow (gesture upward) but all around him. Then it was very funny (because there's no doubt he must have had an awesome effect on people instantly, without a word or anything), but I answered ... in my own way, with something else!

He entered the room wearing some kind of religious headdress, I can't say what, and intending to be very arrogant. He went past me stiffly, and suddenly what do I see but the man do his pranam.[35] He stepped back, took off his hat and did his pranam. And stayed that way for nearly a quarter of an hour. And it was interesting, his response was interesting. Then he started talking to me (someone translated – he spoke in Hindi, I think), asking me to take care of B. I said something in turn, and then thought strongly, "Now, time is up, it can't last forever!" (He had already been there for more than fifteen minutes.) And suddenly I see him stiffen, put his thing back on his head, and go.

He's the only man who gave me that sensation in my whole life.

And it seems that when he went back there, in B.'s state, he told everyone he had never seen such a thing! That people could trust I was really the Mother! That's the effect it had on him: something that was able to keep him at bay.

A rather funny thing was that the day before, he had met N., and N. told me, "When that man entered my room, he stared at me, and I felt forbidden to speak – I wanted to say something but my mouth remained sealed! He froze me with a look, I couldn't utter a word!"

That's the kind of man he is, he's used to that sort of thing. The most solid man I have ever seen – I mean, a ... oh, a remarkably organized individuality. He must be holding a tight grip on himself.

With Sri Aurobindo ... you felt as if you entered into an infinity, always, and so soft, so soft! Always like ... something soft, I don't know. With vibrations that, on the contrary, always made you wide, peaceful – you felt as if you were touching something limitless.

But that man, a MASS, ooh! harder than iron. Truly interesting.

And he was blue. His aura was blue, with blue pulsations – not radiating out or upward, but coagulated all around him. A blue like the sea when it's very deep, very tranquil, but luminous. A magnificent blue.

@

March 23, 1963

(Mother first reads from her translation of "Savitri" a few excerpts about death. We give here the original English.)

A grey defeat pregnant with victory.

A whip to lash us towards our deathless state.

The inconscient world is the spirit's self-made room ...

Self-made.

Eternal Night shadow of eternal Day.

Night is not our beginning nor our end;

She is the dark Mother in whose womb we have hid

Safe from too swift a waking to world-pain....

Oh, this is....

By Light we live and to the Light we go.

Here in this seat of Darkness mute and lone,

In the heart of everlasting Nothingness

Light conquered now even by that feeble beam....

(X600)

It's marvelous.

Yes, it must be a joy to work on "Savitri."

Oh, mon petit! ... It makes you live in a marvelous atmosphere.

So, that's all. What did you bring?

Nothing, except a few Agenda conversations, as always.

Oh, but I am weary of my....

(silence)

It's a snail's pace, so there's nothing interesting. Really a snail's pace.

It's one year since ... When was that message? [the turning point of Mother's yoga, the great "pulsations"] In April '62?

It was towards the end of March.

No, at the end of March, I came upstairs not to go down again, that was on the 16th, I noted it. I noted it because my [translation] notebook stopped short on that day (!), I put a red mark.[36] But it will soon be one year since the second experience, the pulsations, the starting point of the work I am doing now – that was on April 13th. Slightly less than a month later. Well ... there's nothing to say. I am on the way, no doubt, there's no denying the steps made: I do go forward, not backward. But I mean, it's like wanting to walk round the globe! It's endless.

Nothing spectacular whatsoever – "spectacular," you know, that's what people enjoy. Nothing of the sort. For instance, there are two things that give you (and others too) a sense that you're making progress: one is the direct knowledge of what's happening in a given place; the other is the foreknowledge of coming events. Well, ever since the beginning of my Yoga, the two possibilities or capacities have been there, with all the admixture (as Sri Aurobindo says) of the movements of the mind, which befuddles everything. Already around 1910, not only was the capacity there (it would come off and on), but along with it, a discernment which showed me the mixture, and thus left me without any certainty. In this regard, therefore, I can't even say there has been a big change – the change is in the proportion, it's just a question of proportion: proportion in the certainty, proportion in the accuracy, proportion in the mixture. The mixture keeps decreasing, the certainty keeps increasing – but that's all. With, now and then (but that has always happened), now and then, a clear, precise, definite indication – bang! It's a bit more frequent. That's all. So? ... Sixty-three years. Sixty-three years of methodical effort, of constant will, of opportunities for the work – people who want quick results, they make me laugh, you know!

This body isn't even one that is unprepared. It had capabilities, it was born with certain capabilities and was prepared for all kinds of experiences. There was also the sort of intuitive discernment Sri Aurobindo refers to, it had been there since my earliest childhood – veiled, mixed, no doubt, but present all the same, it was there. Afterwards, it was purified, developed, strengthened, the mixture lessened and the body was somewhat ... (laughing) to perfect itself it went through quite a great deal of friction of all types. It's certainly more apt today than it was fifty years ago, there isn't a shadow of doubt about it! But you understand, there's nothing to boast about!

I feel very strongly that things are that way because the Earth is that way.

Yes, quite clearly! Quite clearly.

If there were.... If people aspired, if there were enough people who WANTED that, I feel it would be done almost in a flash.

Oh, that's absolutely correct, absolutely true. But anyway, it's a fact. And ultimately, a victory that's conditional [on others], well, it's just a way to speed up Nature's movement a little. If that's what it is, all well and good – but as I said (it's very good, I make no demands, I don't protest, I am quite peaceful, and, to tell the truth, the result is all the same to me), there's nothing worth mentioning, that's what I mean, you can't write stories about that! (laughing) It's not worth talking about it.

If there were something like a living proof of the truth of what was promised – ah, that would be worthwhile. But that's not it! We haven't reached that point. It [a victory conditional on others] speeds things up a little; but it has always been said that if people joined in the effort, it would speed things up to some extent – some extent, but to what extent?... We can't say.

(silence)

Just think how long I have been looking after all these people – some have been here for more than twenty-five years, thirty years, and ... (Mother shakes her head). I believe they have experiences, perhaps, but nothing to speak of. And the general atmosphere ... (Mother shakes her head).

One thing, though: suddenly I read (yesterday or the day before) a sermon delivered in the U.S.A. by an American (who is a rabbi, a pastor and even a Catholic priest all at the same time!). He heads a group, a group for the "unity of religions." A fairly young man, and a preacher. He gives a sermon every week, I think. He came here with some other Americans, stayed for two days and went back. But then, he sent us the sermons he had given since his return, and in one of them he recounts his "spiritual journey," as he calls it (a spiritual journey through China, Japan, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, and so on up to India). What shocked him most in India was the poverty – it was an almost unbearable experience for him (that's also what prompted the two persons who were with him to leave, and he left with them): poverty. Personally, I don't know because I've seen poverty everywhere; I saw it wherever I went, but it seems Americans find it very shocking. Anyway, they came here, and in his sermon he gives his impression of the Ashram. I read it ... almost with astonishment. That man says that the minute he entered this place, he felt a peace, a calm, a stability he had never felt ANYWHERE else in his life. He met a man (he doesn't say who, he doesn't name him and I couldn't find out), who he says was such a "monument of divine peace and quietude that I only wished to sit silently at his side."... Who it is, I don't know (there's only Nolini who might, possibly, give that impression). He attended the meditation – he says he had never felt anything so wonderful anywhere. And he left with the feeling this was a "unique" place in the world from the point of view of the realization of divine Peace. I read that almost with surprise. And he's a man who, intellectually, is unable to understand or follow Sri Aurobindo (the horizon is quite narrow, he hasn't got beyond the "unity of religions," that's the utmost he can conceive of). Well, in spite of that ... Those who already know all of Sri Aurobindo, who come here thinking they will see and who feel that Peace, I can understand. But that's not the case: he was enthralled at once!

It's the same with people who get cured. That I know, to some extent: the Power acts so forcefully that it is almost miraculous – at a distance. The Power ... I am very conscious of the Power. But, I must say, I find it doesn't act here so well as it does far away. On government or national matters, on the terrestrial atmosphere, on great movements, also as inspirations on the level of thought (in certain people, to realize certain things), the Power is very clear. Also to save people or cure them – it acts very strongly. But much more at a distance than here! (Although the receptivity has increased since I withdrew because, necessarily, it gave people the urge to find inside something they no longer had outside.) But here, the response is very erratic. And to distinguish between the proportion that comes from faith, sincerity, simplicity, and what comes from the Power ... Some people I am able to save (naturally, in my view, it's because they COULD be saved), this is something that for a very long time I have been able to foresee. But now I don't try to know: it comes like this (gesture like a flash). If, for instance, I am told, "So and so has fallen ill," well, immediately I know if he will recover (first if it's nothing, some passing trouble), if he will recover, if it will take some time and struggle and difficulties, or if it's fatal – automatically. And without trying to know, without even trying: the two things come together.[37] This capacity has developed, first because I have more peace, and because, having more peace, things follow a more normal course. But there were two or three little instances where I said to the Lord (gesture of presenting something, palms open upward), I asked Him to do a certain thing, and then (not very often, it doesn't happen to me often; at times it comes as a necessity, a necessity to present the thing with a comment – from morning to evening and evening to morning I present everything constantly, that's my movement [same gesture of presenting something] but here, there is a comment, as if I were asking, "Couldn't this be done?"), and then the result: yes, immediately. But I am not the one who presents the thing, you see: it's "just the way it is," it "just happens that way," like everything else.[38] So my conclusion is that it's part of the Plan, I mean, a certain vibration is necessary, enters [into Mother], intervenes, and ... No stories to tell, mon petit! Nothing to fill people with enthusiasm or give them trust, nothing.

Three or four days ago, a very nice man, whom I like a lot, who has been very useful, fell ill. (He has in fact been ill for a long time, and he is struggling; for all sorts of reasons of family, milieu, activities and so on, he isn't taken care of the way he should be, he doesn't take care of his body the way he should.) He had a first attack and I "saw" him afterwards. But I saw him full of life: his body was full of life and of will to live. So I said, "No need to worry." Then after some time, maybe not even a month, another attack, caused not by the same thing but by its consequences. I receive a letter in which I am informed that he has been taken to the hospital. I was surprised, I said, "But no! He has in himself the will to live, so why? Why has this happened?" The moment I was informed and made the contact, he recovered ... with fantastic speed! Almost in a few hours. He had been rushed to the hospital, they thought it was most serious, and two days later he was back home. The hospital doctor said, "Why, he has received a new life!" But that's not correct: I had put him back in contact with his body's will, which, for some reason or other, he had forgotten. Things like that, yes, they're very clear, they take place very consciously ... but anyway, nothing worth talking about!

But this man's faith is extraordinary, such faith! ... The first word he uttered when he regained consciousness: "Has Mother permitted my being taken to the hospital?" You understand. So I give him the full credit for his recovery. With people like that, yes, you can do something, but that's because they have faith!

Well, then. No stories to tell.

These last few days, while walking in meditation, I said to the Lord, "What do I have? I have no certainty, no foreknowledge, no absolute power, I have nothing." (I don't mean "I," I mean the body – this body.) The body was saying: "Do you see my condition? I am still full of ..." (it was complaining bitterly), "oh, full of the silliest movements." Petty movements of apprehension, petty movements of uncertainty, petty movements of anxiety, petty movements of all kinds of very, very petty things – those who live a normal life don't take any notice, they don't know, but when you observe what's going on deep down with that discernment ... oh, mon petit! It's so petty, so petty, so petty....

Only one thing (which is not even absolute): a sort of equality that has come into the body – not an equality of soul (laughing): an equality in the cells! It has come into the body. There is no longer that clash of joy and pain – always and for everything, every minute, every reaction, "You, Lord, to You, Lord." As though the cells were chanting, "To You Lord, to You Lord, to You Lord...." And ... well, that's how it is.

There are enough physical miseries to experience what people call "physical pain" – quite enough (!) Yet, materially, everything is organized to give every possible joy! For example (ever since the age of five it has been like that), whenever the body felt, "Oh, if I had this.... Oh, it would be nice to have that," the thing would come in no time. Fantastic! It has always been that way, only it has become more conscious. Before, it would happen without my noticing it, quite naturally. Now, of course, the body has changed, it's no longer a baby, it no longer has a child's fancies. But when that kind of Rhythm comes, when something says, "Oh, this is fine!" ... mon petit, it comes in TORRENTS from all sides without my saying a word. Just like that. There was a time when the body enjoyed it, it was delighted by it, made very happy by it (even two years ago, a little more perhaps), very happy, it found that amusing – it was lovely, you see. But now: "To You Lord." Only this, a sort of quiet, constant joy: "To You Lord, to You Lord, to You Lord...." And on both accounts: for physical pain as well. In that regard, the body is making progress. Although to tell the truth, its life is made so easy! So easy that it would have to be quite hard to please not be satisfied – the Lord is full of infinite grace.

No, in spite of everything, the body doesn't have that sort of eternal stability, the sense of its immortality (immortality isn't the right word), of its permanence. Not that it has a sense of impermanence, far from it, the cells feel eternal – that much is there. But a certain "something" that would be sheltered from all attacks. It still feels the attacks. It feels an instability, it doesn't have a sense of absolute security, it hasn't yet reached a state of absolute security – that's it: the sense of security. There are still vibrations of insecurity. Yet that seems so mean, so silly! It still lives in insecurity.... Security, the sense of security only comes through union with the Supreme – nothing in life as it is, nothing in the world as it is, can offer the sense of security, it's impossible. But to feel the Supreme's presence so constantly, to be able to pass everything on to Him, "To You, to You, to You," and yet not to have a sense of security! A shock or a blow comes (not necessarily personally, but in life), and there's still a particular vibration: the vibration of insecurity – it still exists. The body finds that disquieting, painful: "Why?" Not that it complains, but it complains about itself, it finds itself not up to the mark.

To know that all is You, that You alone exist, to feel You everywhere, to feel You always, and still to be open to the first thing that comes from outside to give you a blow, a sense of insecurity – how absurd!

Of course, with a concentration of the true being (gesture above), it disappears instantly – but that means it isn't the body that feels a sense of security! It's the true consciousness (and quite naturally so, for it would not be true if it didn't have that sense). But what we want is the body to exist in ITSELF, by ITSELF, with all qualities WITHIN ITSELF. In other words, God shouldn't need to manifest for the body to live without anxiety!

No, that's not THE thing!

So it takes a long, long, long time – one year has passed. And if we take stock ...

Another example. A year later, I read a letter brought by Nolini.

I began reading the letter, it was four or five pages long and I didn't have time. Nolini didn't say anything (of course, he is much too well-mannered to say anything), but within himself, he thought, "Why does Mother waste her time reading this letter when we barely have time to do our work?" It entered the atmosphere, and even before it reached me, as soon as I saw one, two, three, four, five pages, I said, "Oh, enough!" At the end of the first page, I said, "Enough!" and put the letter aside. But the thought from Nolini and the fact that my decision was made just a moment too late, a few seconds too late ... my body was in a sweat from head to toe! It felt terribly exhausted. It took me at least half a minute of concentration to set things right. You understand, it has become so sensitive that in ordinary life it would be impossible – but for its transformation it was a necessity. Still, it surprised me. Naturally, after half a minute it was all over, but I had to concentrate and call for calm.

So the body thought, "Oh, I haven't got beyond that.... If I have to do the right thing in the right way and right on the dot to keep my balance ..." You understand, a sense of insecurity! And very strong, very strong. Of course, there is something like reason (not quite ordinary reason), something like reason that says, "When you automatically and always do exactly what should be done, it will vanish." (Mother laughs) Thank you very much! But as it cannot be a mental decision, then how? You see, you can learn only through experience, and since everything is in perpetual motion, the experience of the past cannot help for the future: it's a matter of every minute. So how can you know? ... It means we'll know that we are free from error only when we are all the time, all the time in perfect harmony! But then there will be no point in knowing it, it will be done! That's the situation. If the body is transformed and lives naturally in the divine rhythm, why would I need to know it! (Laughing) It will be immaterial to me, because it will BE. We want to know things when they aren't yet.

The body is like a child who needs encouragement, you know, "Come on now, don't get in a state, things are fine, you're making progress, you need not worry...." Oh, ridiculous!

There, mon petit.

(Satprem lays his head on Mother's knees)

A new thing, for example, before ("before" means before last year!), when I gave my blessings, the Will came and went through me into the person – always. It wasn't an act [by Mother]. But now, it's visibly perceptible (Mother touches her fingertips), you can almost see the vibration going through the fingers and into the head [of Satprem]. That's the difference: before, it was always the Consciousness, the Being working from above – now the body participates. This is different.

Very small things, very small things.

March 27, 1963

(Sometimes she cried out)

I am fed up!

(long silence)

Once I told you about an experience I had, I told you that every time a divine manifestation occurs (what is called an Avatar), there's always a particular "angle of quest," in the sense of an intense NEED urging men along the road of evolution towards the Goal, the Transformation, and each avatar saw from a particular angle, believing it to be THE Goal.[39] When I had that experience, I saw it was the need for Immortality that drove the Vedic Rishis. It came back to me yesterday, and I noted it down:

(Mother reads a handwritten note)

The Vedic Rishis thirsted for Immortality,

Buddha wanted Permanence....

Then I looked, wondering, "And what was Christ's path?"... Basically, he always said, "Love thy neighbor," in other words brotherhood (but that's a modern translation). For him, the idea was compassion, charity (the Christians say it's the "law of Love," but we're not yet there – that will come much later). So I wrote:

Jesus preached Compassion....

Then I thought: now, Sri Aurobindo, it's quite clear; for him, the goal was Perfection. Perfection not in the sense of a summit but of an all-inclusive totality in which everything is represented, has a place. And I saw that this Perfection would come – must come – in stages. He announced something the realization of which will stretch over thousands of years. So it must come in stages. And I saw that what I find essential, indispensable (everything is there, everything finds a place, yet there is a kind of anguish – not a personal anguish but a terrestrial anguish), is Security. A need for Security – whatever you attempt, whatever you seek, even Love, even Perfection, it needs Security. Nothing can be achieved with the feeling that all opposing forces can come and sweep everything away. We must find the point where nothing can be touched or destroyed or halted. Therefore, it's Security, the very essence of Security. So I wrote:

Sri Aurobindo promised Perfection

and to attain it, the first requisite,

what men need today,

is Security.

All the global trends that result in "peace movements" of one kind or another, are nothing but this: they are expressions of the quest for Security. My own experience is a supersecurity, which can be really found only in union with the Supreme – nothing, nothing, nothing in the world can give you security, except this: union, identification with the Supreme. That's what I told you: as long as Sri Aurobindo was here in his body, I had a sense of perfect Security – extraordinary, extraordinary! Nothing, nothing could make a dent in it – nothing. So his departure was like ... like a smashing of that experience.[40] In truth, from the supreme point of view, that may have been the cause of his departure.... Though it seems to me a very small cause for a very big event.... But since in the experience that Security was taking root more and more, more and more firmly, and was spreading ...[41] Probably the time had not come. I don't know. As I said, from a universal and everlasting (I can't say "eternal"), everlasting point of view, it's a small cause for a big effect.... We could say it was probably ONE of the causes that made his departure necessary.

Consequently, according to the experience of these last few days, the quest for Security is but a first step towards Perfection. He came to announce (I put "promise" deliberately), to PROMISE Perfection, but between that promise and its realization, there are many steps; and in my experience, this is the first step: the quest for Security. And it corresponds fairly well to the global state of mind.

(silence)

The nations of the world legitimize that destructive madness of the arms race by saying it's a way to prevent destruction through fear – that's futile. As an argument, it's futile, but that's the way they think. It's part of that same thirst or need for Security: nothing can be achieved except in peace, nothing can be arrived at except in peace, nothing can be realized except in peace – we need peace, individually, collectively, globally. So let's make horrifying weapons of destruction so that men will be so frightened that nothing will happen – how childish! But that's the current state of mind. It is still one of those ... in English they say device, a ploy (it's not a "ploy," it's a means – between ploy and means) to urge the human race on towards its evolutionary goal. And for that, we must catch hold of the Divine: it's a means of catching hold of the Divine. For there is nothing – nothing, nothing exists from the point of view of Security, except the Supreme. If we ARE the Supreme, that is to say, the supreme Consciousness, supreme Power, supreme Existence, then there is Security – outside of that, there is none. Because everything is in perpetual motion. What exists at "one moment in time," as Sri Aurobindo says (time is an unbroken succession of "moments"), what exists at a given moment no longer exists the next, so there's no security. It's the same experience, seen from another angle, as that of Buddha, who said there was no "permanence." And basically, the Rishis saw only from the angle of human existence, that's why they were after Immortality. It all boils down to the same thing.

(Mother remains in contemplation)

***

Soon afterwards

I am inundated by a horde of mental questions ... flat, superficial – everybody asks me questions in order to publish my answers! So I refuse. K.G. sent me five or six questions for his journal, each one more stupidly mental than the other, in connection with the supermind. I am asked to say whether it's "this way" or whether it's "that way" – the kind of questions you ask a good pupil to see if he has learned his lesson well!

It turns out that he had already sent me his questions, at the same time last year, and that I had already sent them back. But they put it all down to my so-called illness, so he sends the same questions again, now that I am "in a fit state to answer"! So again I return them with the same answer: not possible. We were joking the other day: Nolini was reading me the questions, and to every question I answered (tone of a pupil at fault), "Don't know, don't know...!"

(Mother laughs)

March 30, 1963

Last time, you said, "As that Security was taking root more and more, more and more firmly, and was spreading ..." Do you mean that Sri Aurobindo's very presence ...

Yes. Yes.

Yet, the world was in quite a turmoil?

That's just what I mean: the world wasn't ready, and there was ... (what shall I say?) the paradox of a center of Security in total contradiction with the general world condition.

He himself said it: "The world is not ready." So ...

That's what I meant, his physical presence was the sign of Security taking root, but the world wasn't ready. So, as the effect of his presence kept increasing, it brought about an increasing contradiction – an increasing OPPOSITION.

***

Soon afterwards

We're really going through such a dull period! Dull, dull.

(silence)

There is a sort of review going on of all the elements of the body consciousness, with a sample of the circumstances of their various manifestations or expressions. All this is passed before me as if to show me all the points in the body's cells that were contrary to or unprepared for the reception of the divine Forces. All that comes up in the form of lived memories – things I had more than forgotten (I could have sworn they no longer existed), but which come back. Un-be-liev-able. And it's not an ego's or a person's memory, but the memory of a force in motion in the general vibrations. So I see ... fantastic things!

But it's erased immediately; as soon as I wake up, my first movement (gesture of offering) is to present it all to the Lord: the cause, the effect, the image, the sensation – everything. When it's all seen, I tell Him, "Now it's Yours." And then I forget – fortunately, thank God!

It goes on every night. It takes the form of all sorts of scenes, of symbols, of memories, from words to images. It comes in groups and categories of tendencies, it represents the various human tendencies in detail – it's infinitesimal. It's only because they are multiplied millions of times that they can have some importance – but they're nothing! Mere nothings. Yet that's just what blocks the way.

It really isn't of interest.

(silence)

After YEARS of it, there may be a tangible result, who knows? ... Even then, I am not sure it won't be limited. If it were a terrestrial result, it would be worthwhile, but it may also be very limited.

It gives me the impression of a miniature painting done with a magnifying glass and tiny dots – miniatures are painted with a very fine brush, very pointed, and you make tiny dots with a big magnifying glass. It gives me the impression of that work. And it takes many, many, many tiny dots to paint just a bit of cheek.

(silence)

Tiny dots, tiny dots.

But it's so dull! So dull, so lackluster, so unchanging, so – uninteresting, really dull – that the slightest light shines like a bright star! The smallest, slightest, tiniest progress seems like an extraordinary thing. Like, for example, the attitude in certain cells towards a physical disorder which, naturally, like all physical disorders, tends to recur. The attitude in the cells changes – not the disorder (!), the disorder changes only because of the cells' reaction, that's what makes it change; but it recurs with clockwork regularity – that's its job. It is the way it's received by the cells, their reaction to it, that brings about the change. And there is now a difference in the cells' reaction. The result of my observation (an impersonal, general observation) is that there are two types of change (I can't call it "progress"), two types of change in the reaction: a change that goes on improving, in the sense that the reaction grows less sharp, the cells are less affected and become not only more conscious but more IN COMMAND of the reaction (something people are not generally conscious of, but which is what brings about the cure). And, on the other hand, deterioration: under the unrelenting attack, the cells panic, become more and more affected and afraid, and it eventually results in a terrible mess and a catastrophe. Well, the whole thing is observed, studied, experienced; but ... (laughing) in ordinary medicine it's explained away in two words! You see, what I see now is the process – they don't know the process, only the result. And, well, I notice that as the consciousness grows, the cells panic less and less and a sort of mastery develops. Of course, it's a pleasing observation, if I may say so, but it doesn't even make me happy! It seems rather obvious.... Also the proportion is such that to get a really telling result, it would take years and years and years! Oh, how many years! How slow things are....

So I don't feel impelled to talk about it. I'd rather concern myself with something else – I do the work, but that's all.

@

April

April 6, 1963

There is progress in the impersonalization of the physical, bodily consciousness, with consequences that are probably interesting, but impossible to explain to people who don't understand. For instance ...

(silence)

I am conscious of the body, but it isn't the consciousness of this body (Mother touches her body): it's the consciousness of THE Body – it may be anyone's body. I am conscious, for instance, of vibrations of disorder (most often they come in the form of suggestions of disorder) in order to see whether they are accepted and have an effect. Let's take the example of a suggestion of hemorrhage, or some such suggestion (I mention hemorrhage because it will soon come into the picture). Under the higher Influence, the body consciousness rejects it. Then begins the battle (all this takes place all the way down in the cells, in the material consciousness) between what we could call the "will for hemorrhage," for example, and the reaction of the body's cells. But it's very like a real battle, a real confrontation. And all of a sudden, there's something like a general issuing a command and saying, "What's this!"... You understand, that general is conscious of the higher forces, the higher realities and the divine intervention in Matter; and after trying to use the will, this reaction, that feeling of peace and so on, suddenly he is SEIZED by a very strong determination and issues a command – in no time the effect begins to make itself felt, and little by little everything returns to order.

All this takes place in the material consciousness. Physically, the body has all the sensations – but not the hemorrhage, you understand. But it does have the sensations, that is, the effects: all the sensory effects. It goes on for a while and then follows a whole curve. All right. Once the battle is over, I take a look and wonder (I observe the whole thing, I see my body, which has been fairly shaken, mind you), I say to myself, "What in the world is all this?" But just for a second, then I forget about it.

A few days afterwards, I receive a letter from someone very close, who has an ardent faith and really holds on to me with almost perfect faith, exceptional. In the letter: the whole story, the attack, the hemorrhage, how suddenly the being is SEIZED, the consciousness is SEIZED with an irresistible will, and hears words – the very words that were uttered HERE. The result: saved (he was dying), saved, cured.

Just enough time for the letter to reach me.

I remembered my episode ... and began to understand that my body is everywhere!!

You see, it's not a question of just these cells here: it's a question of cells in, well, quite a lot of people, hundreds, maybe thousands – all that clings anywhere and in any way to the higher Consciousness. And since my mind is silent (I deliberately keep the mind absolutely still, trying not to react to all that constantly comes to it from "outside," or trying to react almost subconsciously), nothing is there to think, "Oh, it's this one's body, it's that one's body" – it's THE Body! That's what is so difficult for people to understand. It is THE body – this (Mother touches her body) is not my body any more than other bodies (a bit more, in the sense that it is more directly the object of the concentration of the Force). So everything, all the sensations, the movements of consciousness, the battles, all of it is everywhere. And suddenly, with this little affair, oh, I understood a fantastic number of things – and also the difficulty, mon petit!... The difficulty ... because really, after this experience, the body was not ill but very tired. But then it is seized with such things all the time! All the time, all the time, all the time, you know, they spring up, brrm! pounce on it, brrm! from this side, that side, every which way. So I have to keep still (gesture of stopping, silent, in the midst of other activities), and then I start waging the battle.

(silence)

Which means the body has got its own difficulties (no aggregate of cells is free from difficulties in the present conditions of life), and I think that its capacity to keep still (to an extent) is its only safeguard ... but that doesn't reduce the difficulties at all, since the contact doesn't even depend on the physical presence![42] But then what tremendous, prodigious power has to be EMBODIED in the physical cells to withstand all that! ...

But there too, a shift is taking place (what I told you once: those abrupt experiences that do not settle in but are first contacts[43]). After the lesson was drawn from this story, suddenly something arose in the body consciousness – which isn't ONE body's consciousness but a general body consciousness – an aspiration, something so pure, so sweet ... so sweet ... something like an entreaty that Truth and Light may at last be manifested here, in this. Not "here in this" (Mother touches her own body): it was everywhere.

Then there was a contact[44] – there was a contact – and a pale blue Light, very sweet, very bright, and an Assurance.

It lasted only a second, but it was like a new chapter suddenly opening up.

Mon petit, you are the only person to whom I can say all this – there is not one, not one! Not one able to simply understand. Which makes things more difficult, because I am constantly weighed down by the stupidity of people's thoughts (stupidity in the sense of incomprehension), the thoughts of all those around me, who think I am ("I," what they call "I," you know, "me"), who think I am ill and ... I can't tell them a thing! If I hadn't spoken to you today, it would be gone. I would never have said anything. Well, that's the way it is.

So looking at it from an ordinary viewpoint, it's so ... fantastic, it means such a ... colossal work. Of course, it's the Lord who does it, but will this hold out? (Mother touches her body) I can't say.

If He wants, certainly He will find a way for it to hold out. But the thing is rather new....

(silence)

My only method is a kind of shield of mental silence (in the ordinary mind), so that all the people's thoughts do not come and pester me all the time, without letup. But they creep underneath! With some people, the moment they enter the room, I feel exhausted, because of their attitude. It doesn't work through thought at all: it's a special vibration in my body.

With others, on the contrary, it's fine.

And I don't try to observe or study or understand – God knows! There is no need to understand: it's self-evident.

Only one thing is always present: to keep intact and POWERFULLY conscious the sense of the divine Presence – that's all. That's the single concern of the cells.

From time to time (Mother laughs), they hold ... a kind of little conference among themselves, they seem to tell each other, "No one can interfere with That!"[45] It makes them happy: "All their thoughts are powerless in front of That!"

That's all, mon petit. More work for you.

It's stupendous. Stupendous.

Yes, yes. I had a strong feeling of something ... well, something rather new.

@

April 16, 1963

(Satprem did not keep note of the beginning of this conversation or of the "personal" questions and the circumstances that led to the situation. It seems that X had invited Satprem to his place, in spite of their break, and wanted to continue with him the Tantric sadhana.)

From a deeper standpoint, what connection should I have with X? If I go there, there will be some interchange despite everything, won't there?

He may influence you, because you were under his influence in the beginning. He does have the power to influence you – to enclose you in his own atmosphere. But he cannot keep you imprisoned! That's not possible, you are beyond his grasp! So, if ... (how can I put it?) if you can learn to receive his force without being enclosed in his thought, that's very good. Or rather to receive his force without being impressed or influenced by his thought – the thought is very narrow, but the force is very strong.

He does put you in contact with a peace, it's a fact – a boxed-in peace, but a peace all the same, a real peace, a concrete, concrete stillness. So the thing to be done (because that peace is perceptible I've had the experience of it so many times) is to remain very objective within that peace; then you can benefit from the peace without accepting its limits. You should, for instance, be able to keep that peace in the cells (the brain cells if you feel tired) without allowing yourself to be enclosed like that. There is no need to struggle, just remain turned upward.... It's very hard to explain. But maybe you will experience it, then you'll understand what I mean.

There is always a vibration subtler than his vibration of peace, and that one must remain free, without getting enclosed in the other. For example, if something pulls and causes a mental tension in the head, just keep in contact with that peace (oh, he does have a capacity of mental immobility), and let it penetrate you, but without concentrating all your being on it: allow the rest of your activity to unfold as usual in an infinity. It's only the vibrations of the physical mind that you should keep in that stability.

It's difficult to put it into words. But if you are able to do that, it could do you good, it could be restful.

My experience, you see, is that his mental silence is rigid – rigid, closed – but the mental substance, the brain's physical substance really rests, his silence can rid you of a headache, for instance.

It's a very, very material vibration, he has some mastery there.

(What follows was unfortunately not kept.) @

April 20, 1963

D. was telling me just now that he is advised to meditate with his eyes open (I know, it keeps you active somewhere), and he said that if by mischance he closes his eyes, he can't move any more! He is conscious but completely paralyzed: he can't get up, can't move, can't even turn his head!

It's dangerous.

So I advised him to be sure to keep his eyes open: it maintains a certain activity. When you close your eyes, you plunge into trance (you are perfectly conscious, but you go into trance and the body is absolutely stilled). That's what Théon had taught me: you free the body consciousness and train it in such a way that it can act on its own, so that while you are deep in trance, you can get up, write, speak, do anything – you are outside the body, there's just a link left. But it's a whole training. It's not too easy, but still it can be done.

I did it to the point that even if the link is cut (I had the experience), the body can go on speaking. Very useful.

I told D. that I will teach him later, because it's not good to be paralyzed like that: if someone came in abruptly, anything could happen.

But it requires some work.

In my case I never went into trance in my life, I never even lost the contact with the outside.

Didn't you ever see your body?

Never.[46]

Well, it's safer that way than the other way!

I've known several people, especially I., who worked with Dilip (she used to have visions, she danced also): when she went into meditation, it was all over; even when she tried to come back and move, she couldn't. Dilip had to come and pull her hands, disengage her fingers and move her body, till she began coming around. But you understand, that sort of thing won't do at all.

Better be more on this side than on that side.

But it's an incapacity, all the same, isn't it?

It's a lack of connection! She doesn't have any control over her body, that's all. Something that has never, never happened to me.

I mean that being unable, like me, to go into trance is an incapacity, isn't it?

No, I am certain that you went into trance, because I saw you, but you didn't know it.

In meditation?

No, not in meditation: at night.

In my case, I found out I had that capacity because it made me prone to fainting – not too often, but off and on it happened. When I was a child and didn't know a thing, I fainted a couple of times; the fainting, as it happened, wasn't unconscious – it was conscious – and after a bit of practice (not the practice of fainting!), of occult practice, when I fainted I would see myself. Even before that, I had seen myself but without knowing what it all meant, I couldn't make head or tail of it. But I would see myself. And afterwards, whenever I would faint, the first thing I did was to see my body lying down in a ridiculous position. So I would rush back into it vigorously, and it would be all over.

Of course, I was probably born with some abilities! (laughter)

But are my meditations ...

Oh, mon petit, they're excellent, don't speak ill of your meditations, they're perfect! I have rarely seen such peace. Because I have seen many meditations with some peace, but generally a very tamasic, heavy peace. But this kind of peace that rises and turns into a white bliss, that's very rare. Very rare. And it's the same every time: regular, automatic, effortless; it's your natural state. I don't know if you had it before coming here, I can't say....

No, with you it becomes very concrete. When I'm alone, the perception is more vague; with you, I almost seem to see.

But that's because when you're alone, it lacks some shakti! (laughter)

Yes, that's true.

But generally, the best I've seen here with people who have practiced a lot is a blank – a blank silence, you know. It's empty, still, quiet, silent, but blank – so after a while, you've had enough of it! That can't last very long. That's what people in India generally have ... and they come out of it in a daze.

But with you, it's like a surging up into whiteness – something luminous but white – in other words, it has a CONTENT. Very luminous, very white, and wonderfully still. It's blissful too, one can stay in it for a very long time – most pleasant.

The only thing I've done since I started meditating with you is a broadening, because at the beginning, it was a bit limited.[47] It's extremely difficult to have this white peace together with breadth. Sri Aurobindo said to me (when I told him about all those experiences), he always said to me that to have this FULL silence – concrete, white, pure, absolutely pure – TOGETHER WITH IMMENSITY ... there are not many who can have it. But I must say that I have broadened your silence a lot, quite a lot. Now I no longer feel hemmed in – I don't like to feel hemmed in! I no longer feel like that: it's a spreading out.

It's good. kilo, don't complain of what you have, some people work many LIVES to get that.

The other extreme is an innate ability to go out of one's body, a spontaneous ability to go out of one's body. To have a trance as you understand it, concrete, absolutely material, one must be able to go out, come back in, go out, come back in [at will]. But as people generally take great pains to go out, they don't know how to get back in any more! So they find themselves in ridiculous situations.

I had two experiences of that kind. The first was at Tlemcen[48] and the second in Japan.... There was an epidemic of influenza, an influenza that came from the war (the 1914 war), and was generally fatal. People would get pneumonia after three days, and plop! finished. In Japan they never have epidemics (it's a country where epidemics are unknown), so they were caught unawares; it was an ideal breeding ground, absolutely unprepared – incredible: people died by the thousands every day, it was incredible! Everybody lived in terror, they didn't dare to go out without masks over their mouths. Then somebody whom I won't name asked me (in a brusque tone), "What Is this?" I answered him, "Better not think about it." "Why not?" he said, "It's very interesting! We must find out, at least you are able to find out whatever this is." Silly me, I was just about to go out; I had to visit a girl who lived at the other end of Tokyo (Tokyo is the largest city in the world, it takes a long time to go from one end to the other), and I wasn't so well-off I could go about in a car: I took the tram.... What an atmosphere! An atmosphere of panic in the city! You see, we lived in a house surrounded by a big park, secluded, but the atmosphere in the city was horrible. And the question, "What Is this?" naturally came to put me in contact – I came back home with the illness. I was sure to catch it, it had to happen! (laughing) I came home with it.

Like a bang on the head – I was completely dazed. They called a doctor. There were no medicines left in the city – there weren't enough medicines for people, but as we were considered important people (!) the doctor brought two tablets. I told him (laughing), "Doctor, I never take any medicines." "What!" he said. "It's so hard to get them!" "That's just the point," I replied, "they're very good for others!" Then, then ... suddenly (I was in bed, of course, with a first-rate fever), suddenly I felt seized by trance – the real trance, the kind that pushes you out of your body – and I knew. I knew: "It's the end; if I can't resist it, it's the end." So I looked. I looked and I saw it was a being whose head had been half blown off by a bomb and who didn't know he was dead, so he was hooking on to anybody he could to suck life. And each of those beings (I saw one over me, doing his "business"!) was one of the countless dead. Each had a sort of atmosphere – a very widespread atmosphere – of human decomposition, utterly pestilential, and that's what gave the illness. If it was merely that, you recovered, but if it was one of those beings with half a head or half a body, a being who had been killed so brutally that he didn't know he was dead and was trying to get hold of a body in order to continue his life (the atmosphere made thousands of people catch the illness every day, it was swarming, an infection), well, with such beings, you died. Within three days it was over – even before, within a day, sometimes. So once I saw and knew, I collected all the occult energy, all the occult power, and ... (Mother bangs down her fist, as if to force her way into her body) I found myself back in my bed, awake, and it was over. Not only was it over, but I stayed very quiet and began to work in the atmosphere.... From that moment on, mon petit, there were no new cases! It was so extraordinary that it appeared in the Japanese papers. They didn't know how it happened, but from that day on, from that night on, not a single fresh case. And people recovered little by little.

I told the story to our Japanese friend in whose house we were living, I told him, "Well, that's what this illness is – a remnant of the war; and here's the way it happens.... And that being was repaid for his attempt!" Naturally, the fact that I repelled his influence by turning around and fighting ... [dissolved the formation]. But what power it takes to do that! Extraordinary.

He told the story to some friends, who in turn told it to some friends, so in the end the story became known. There was even a sort of collective thanks from the city for my intervention.... But the whole thing stemmed from that: "What Is this illness? You're able to find out, aren't you?" (Laughter) Go and catch it!

But that feeling of being absolutely paralyzed, a prey to something – absolutely paralyzed, you can't ... You are no longer in your body, you understand, you can't act on it any more. And a sense of liberation when you are able to turn around.

I had a tremendous fever, which naturally dropped little by little – after a few days I was completely cured; even immediately, I was almost cured.

There, petit.

So you're going there ... [to X's place].

(silence)

As for me, I am debating with Death.

It's exactly the universal state of mind: a state of disbelief, oh, terrible! If we didn't know that something will come to replace it, it would be terrible.

This Savitri is wonderful, he foresaw everything, saw everything, everything, absolutely everything, there isn't one point he left unexplored!

@

April 22, 1963

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameshwaram, Monday, 22 April

Sweet Mother,

I arrived here yesterday. So far I have spent most of my time struggling against a horrible impression in my heart, my thought and my body, so strong that if I could, I would catch the first train home today. I have never had such an impression here. I almost wired you to call for your help. I shall try to "hold out" here as long as is decently possible, then will leave as soon as I can.

On the material level, the conditions are as wretched as possible – in a word, complete barrenness in complete squalor. My body isn't too brilliant, but I hope it will get better. On the mental and affective level = NIL. That leaves the one Thing without which all would collapse.

I need you terribly.

With love,

Signed: Satprem

(Mother's reply)

April 23, 1963

Satprem, mon cher petit,

Your letter has just come. It only confirmed what I had seen and FELT. The last two nights were downright bad; and it is hardly better during the day.

Of course, you should come back as soon as you find it possible.

Wire me as soon as you have made a decision. I am doing my best to make you feel that I am with you.

Tenderly

Signed: Mother

(Excerpt from a letter to Sujata)

Monday morning, 22 April '63

............

I have just written a word to Mother to tell her that if I could, I would catch the first train home. When I arrived here, I got a horrible impression as never before, almost a panic. Everything was so terribly void and far away. Probably I have grown hypersensitive. If I were not afraid of yielding to that impression and if it weren't rude to X, I would take noon train today. The new "guest house" is beyond description[49]: cement walls enclosed within cement walls; the plan is so wonderful that not a whiff of air can blow in here, nor can one see a single blade of grass. There are magnificent wrought-iron railings and openwork cement designs, but not even the most basic amenities. I absolutely refused to enter that sarcophagus, so they put me up in an adjoining house purchased by X and used as a garage. It's unspeakably filthy. It didn't even occur to them to offer me a mat. Finally they brought a bench for me to sleep on, which I refused.... So much for the material conditions. I hope the body will get better. As soon as I can decently leave, I shall weigh anchor.

Signed: Satprem

@

April 25, 1963

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameshwaram, 25 April '63

Sweet Mother,

I received your card of the 23rd yesterday, and it coincided with an improvement in the "atmosphere" and even a physical improvement. I have rarely felt your Force and your Presence so concretely, continuously and powerfully as since I arrived here. To say that it is the only reality is almost superfluous – That alone really LIVES. All the rest is a false show. I am anxious to leave this place, but X said he wants to make certain changes in my japa, so I have to wait for the right moment. It is difficult to hurry X, as you know. I will wire you as soon as the time comes. Otherwise, I am experiencing X's power of mental stillness, which is quite remarkable. All the rest I find rather poor.

............

More and more I feel, live and see that That alone is real. It is a very engrossing experience.

Ma, with gratitude

I am at your feet

Signed: Satprem

(Excerpt from a letter to Sujata)

April 25, 1963

............

I am waiting for X to make certain changes in my japa, as he said he would, and will then come back without further delay. These last two days my health has been better. I am no longer constantly tired as I was before. In the evening I take a walk alone in the vast dunes near Rameshwaram, it feels like Arabia, and no loudspeakers! You rest in a sort of tranquil infinity.

............

The monkeys stole my mirror while I was taking my bath, and after marveling at themselves in it at length, they broke it. Then they threw my toothpaste into the well. They were kind enough, however, to leave me my razor, for fear I would end up looking like them, probably!

............

Signed: Satprem

April 29, 1963

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameshwaram, Monday, 29 April

Sweet Mother,

On Friday X gave me a new mantra, then the next day he told me that during his puja he received an "order" to the effect that this mantra was not suitable and he should give me another one. I am supposed to receive the new mantra tomorrow, Tuesday. X said this mantra would be final and with effect. I do hope so, for I would really like to be through with all these changes and preparations and delays, to have the Word, as the Rishis said, and fix myself on it. I would like not to return to Rameshwaram any more and to be through with these dillydallyings. Anyway, I'll have to wait for another three days after receiving the new mantra, so that X can see whether it has the desired "effect." So I cannot leave until Thursday.

I hope this time it will be final and everything will settle into the true Rhythm.

I feel your help very strongly.

With love,

Signed: Satprem

@  

May

May 3, 1963

Did X tell you something about world events, about war?

He said what he always says, that there is going to be war. That war is certain.

War is always there, it seems!

Do you see new things on that level?

You know, I live from day to day. With only the feeling of "that" moving on very fast. By "that," I mean a large number of things.

It's very hard to say, really.

It's the perception of a terrestrial movement more than anything else. So the details are unimportant in themselves, but they are symptomatic of the whole. I mean that difficulties, obstacles, battles, victories, advances are in themselves nothing but indications of a general movement: at times, the resistance and opposition are formidable; at other times there are fantastic advances or progress, seemingly miraculous. If you see everything together, you feel, you feel a sort of thrust – an overall thrust – in which a small cellular concentration seems really unimportant in itself; its importance diminishes with its lack of resistance, in the sense that the more it allows the Work to be done without hindering or distorting the movement – without hindering it or making it more complicated – the more the sense of its importance diminishes. In other words, it appears important only insofar as it hinders.

There is evidently a twofold movement: on one hand, something that tries to draw less and less the attention and concentration of others, that is, to lessen the sense of intermediary necessary for forces and thoughts to spread (more and more there is an attempt to undo that[50]), and on the other hand, an increase – at times prodigious, staggering – of power. Now and then (seldom, and I must say I don't at all try to make it happen more often), now and then, for a minute – not even a minute: a few seconds – comes a sense of absolute Power; but immediately it is covered over, veiled. The effect at a distance is becoming greater and greater, but that is not the result of a conscious will – I mean there is no attempt to have more power, none at all. Now and then, there's the observation (a very amusing observation, sometimes) that for a moment (but it's a matter of seconds), the Power is absolute, and then the usual hodgepodge takes over again.

The effect on others is increasing considerably, though it too isn't the result of an attempt in that direction, not at all: those things are automatic. Yet, as I said, at certain seconds, there rises ... something that wills. "Wills," but not in the ordinary way: something that ... it's between knowing, seeing and willing. A little something that has something of all three and is ... as hard as diamond ... (oh, how can I explain it? I don't know, there are no words for it), it has something of the emotive vibration, but that's not it; it has nothing to do with anything intellectual, nothing at all; it's neither intellectual vision nor supramental knowledge, that's not it, it's something else. It is ... a diamondlike, live force – live, living. And that's all-powerful. But extremely fleeting – it immediately gets covered over by a heap of things, like visions, supramental vision, understanding, discernment – all this has become a constant mass, you understand.

From the standpoint of sensitivity or sensation (I don't know what to call it), when the body rests and enters the static state of pure Existence ... Before, it was (or gave) a sense of total immobility – not something motionless: a "non-movement," I don't know; not the opposition between something motionless and something in motion, not that – the absence of any possibility of movement. But now, as it happens, the body has the sense not only of a terrestrial movement, but of a universal movement so fantastically rapid that it is imperceptible, beyond perception. As if beyond Being and Non-Being, there were a "something" that's both ... I mean, that doesn't move WITHIN a space but is both beyond immobility and beyond movement, in the sense that it's so rapid as to be absolutely imperceptible to ALL the senses (I don't mean merely the physical senses), all the senses in all the worlds.

This is something new.

When I lie down, I go from one state to the other with extraordinary speed. And I've noticed (the thing is just at its beginning, so I can't really say), I've noticed that in that state, the Movement[51] exceeds the force or power that concentrates the cells into an individual form. And that state seems to be all-powerful, although devoid of conscious will or vision (for the moment). It's a state ... (how can I explain this?) whose characteristics exceed the power that concentrates the cells into an individual body. The effect is automatic (not willed): as soon as something takes the form of a physical pain, it disappears INSTANTLY. But then, and this is most interesting, the second the body reverts to a certain state – its ordinary state, which isn't the ordinary human state, of course, but its ordinary, habitual state – it recaptures the MEMORY of its pain, and along with the memory comes the possibility of reverting to it if a certain number of conditions are not automatically fulfilled. I don't know if what I am saying makes any sense, but that's how the experience is.... It is probably the passage from the true thing to the thing no longer true – not what is meant by Falsehood here on earth (that's something else altogether), but a first alteration compared to the pure Vibration. It gives the impression of a wrong habit, what remains is merely a question of a wrong habit. It's not the principle of distortion that works here, but the wrong habit due to the effect of ANOTHER principle. And something is to be found to check – check, eliminate, prevent – that effect from recurring automatically.

Because it happens CONSTANTLY. It's a constant phenomenon: passing from this to that, this to that, this to that, to such a point – it's so strong – that a second comes, or a minute, or anyway a certain interval of time (I don't know), when you are neither this nor that; then you have a feeling of nothingness. It lasts just an instant; if it lasted longer, it would probably result in fainting or something, I can't say what. But it happens all the time: this, that (oscillating gesture). And between this and that, there is a passage.

Life on the surface (what people see of it, what they are in contact with) is certainly a sort of mixture of the two, with something going on behind the screen, but what you see on the screen is a sort of combination of the two – they don't really combine, but the visual effect is odd [for Mother]. By "visual," I don't mean just for the eyes but for the outer consciousness. It's a bizarre life, neither this nor that, nor a mixture of the two, nor a juxtaposition, but as though both were operating through each other. It must be intercellular: something that goes this way (Mother intertwines the fingers of one hand with the fingers of the other in a continuous movement of interpenetration), so that the mixture must be very microscopic, on the surface.

(Mother remains engrossed,
"looking" at the experience)

But from a much more external viewpoint, the night that followed your arrival there[52] was dreadful, in the sense that the consciousness was put in contact with all the most negative and destructive things: like an entire world, yes, of denial, of refusal too, of opposition, of battle, of ill will – the visual appearance was chalk-white, you know, the soulless white of chalk, everything was like that, even black was chalk-white (!). Something absolutely stripped of all soul life. Horrible. I don't know, I would have to go back years and years and years to find anything like it in my memory. And I was right in it, it was forced on me; it was as if I were made to stay there and watch it all.

I forgot: immediately afterwards I swept everything clean. Except for what I've just said, I don't remember what it was – I don't remember what it was because I did NOT want it to exist. But it was horrible. And in the morning, there was such a painful impression! So I thought something was wrong over there, and when I received your letter, I understood. But it isn't limited to one person or another, one place or another: it seems to evoke a universal way of being, that's what troubles me. As if an entire way of being which I've been resisting for ... for, well, more than seventy years at any rate, which I've been keeping at arm's length so it may no longer exist in a real way, as if it were all forced on me. Like a thing from a past that no longer has the right to exist.

Afterwards, it got better. That night was the worst.

But during the morning meditation, I was at a loss.... Is it the symbol of a clinging to the past? Possible. But then there are plenty of people like that in the world, who cling to the past, plenty....

(silence)

The next morning, for an hour, I had an experience.... Everything always happens as if it were in the body (but this body has become a kind of representative and symbolic object), it always takes place that way, whether it's a sense of imminent death or a sense of perfect immortality. All that always takes place in the body – it is the battlefield, it is the field of victory, it is the Defeat, it is the Triumph, it is everything. So I noted the experience down.

(Mother hands a slip of paper to Satprem):

"The Lord is peaceful resignation, but the Lord is also the struggle and the Victory.

"He is the joyous acceptance of all that is; but also the constant effort towards a more total and perfect harmony.

"Perpetual movement in absolute immobility."

This isn't an intellectual reflection, it's the notation of the experience: the constant, twofold movement of total acceptance of all that is, as an absolute condition to participate in all that will be, and at the same time, the perpetual effort towards a greater perfection. And this was the experience of all the cells.

The experience lasted more than an hour: the two conditions.

That's exactly what made a sharp division in the whole spiritual thought or spiritual will of mankind. The point doesn't seem to have been understood. Some, like Buddha and that whole line, have declared that the world is incorrigible, that the only thing to do is to get out of it, and that it can never be otherwise – it changes, but really remains the same. The result is a certain attitude of perfect acceptance. So, for them, the goal is to get out – that is, you escape: you leave the world as it is and escape. Then there are the others, who sense a perfection towards which men strive indefinitely and which is realized progressively. And I see more and more that the two movements complement each other, and not only complement each other but are almost indispensable to each other.

In other words, the change that arises from a refusal to accept the world as it is has no force, no power: what is needed is an acceptance not only total but comprehensive, joyous – to find supreme joy in things in order to have (it's not a question of right or power) ... in order to make it possible for things to change.

Putting it differently, you must become the Supreme in order to help in His action, in the changing of the world; you must have the supreme Vibration in order to participate in that Movement, which I am now beginning to feel in the body's cells – a Movement which is a sort of eternal Vibration, without beginning or end. It has no beginning (the earth has a beginning, so that makes it easy; with the earth's beginning, we have the beginning of the earth's history, but that's not the case here), it has no beginning, it is ... something existing from all eternity, for all eternity, and without any division of time: it's only when it is projected onto a screen that it begins to assume the division of time. But you can't say a "second," or an "instant".... It's hard to explain.... No sooner do you begin to feel it than it's gone: something boundless, without beginning or end, a Movement so total – total and constant, constant – that it is perceived as total immobility.

Absolutely indescribable. Yet it is the Origin and Support of the whole terrestrial evolution.

When you speak of terrestrial things, it's very easy, very easy.

These words (Mother shows the notation of her experience) come long after the experience is over. There is a sort of silence, of immobility, and it's like something that settles slowly, slowly; and once it has settled, here is the residue (Mother shows her note, laughing).

@

May 11, 1963

(The beginning of this conversation was noted from memory.)

... If I could only have the "Word," as the Rishis said, the true mantra, I would keep at it, I'd do hours of japa if necessary, but I would go right to the end. It's as if I were told, "See this plot of land, there are ten million cubic feet of earth to dig, and at the end of it is freedom." Well, I'd set to it, whatever the time needed, because I'd know there is an end. But for that you need a pickax.

Nobody can give you the true mantra. It's not something that is given: it's something that wells up from within. It must spring from within all of a sudden, spontaneously, like a profound, intense need of your being – then it has power, because it's not something that comes from outside, it's your very own cry.

I saw, in my case, that my mantra has the power of immortality; whatever happens, if it is uttered, it's the Supreme that has the upper hand, it's no longer the lower law. And the words are irrelevant, they may not have any meaning – to someone else, my mantra is meaningless, but to me it's full, packed with meaning. And effective, because it's my cry, the intense aspiration of my whole being.

A mantra given by a guru is only the power to realize the experience of the discoverer of the mantra. The power is automatically there, because the sound contains the experience. I saw that once in Paris, at a time when I knew nothing of India, absolutely nothing, only the usual nonsense. I didn't even know what a mantra was. I had gone to a lecture given by some fellow who was supposed to have practiced "yoga" for a year in the Himalayas and recounted his experience (none too interesting, either). All at once, in the course of his lecture, he uttered the sound OM. And I saw the entire room suddenly fill with light, a golden, vibrating light.... I was probably the only one to notice it. I said to myself, "Well!" Then I didn't give it any more thought, I forgot about the story. But as it happened, the experience recurred in two or three different countries, with different people, and every time there was the sound OM, I would suddenly see the place fill with that same light. So I understood. That sound contains the vibration of thousands and thousands of years of spiritual aspiration – there is in it the entire aspiration of men towards the Supreme. And the power is automatically there, because the experience is there.

It's the same with my mantra. When I wanted to translate the end of my mantra, "Glory to You, O Lord," into Sanskrit, I asked for Nolini's help. He brought his Sanskrit translation, and when he read it to me, I immediately saw that the power was there – not because Nolini put his power into it (!), God knows he had no intention of "giving" me a mantra! But the power was there because my experience was there. We made a few adjustments and modifications, and that's the japa I do now – I do it all the time, while sleeping, while walking, while eating, while working, all the time.[53]

And that's how a mantra has life: when it wells up all the time, spontaneously, like the cry of your being – there is no need of effort or concentration: it's your natural cry. Then it has full power, it is alive. It must well up from within.... No guru can give you that.

Well up.... Well, it's a long way to go! I will need a great deal of paper for all those "diagrams" [Tantric diagrams given by X]: seventy-two every day.

Do you want some paper?

Yes, quite a lot of it!

But how big?

About this big [approximately four inches]. And the paper should be very smooth. You understand, it should be written with "chandanam" [sandal paste] and a stick! And assuming each diagram takes me three or four minutes ... for seventy-two that means ... it'll be a good four hours! So the paper should be smooth enough – and a good amount: seventy-two sheets every day.

Seventy-two sheets.... Where can we find that?

I'll have to go to the Press.

They've no paper left, mon petit, with that state of war. But I have some paper.

But you need it.

Not all of it. One ream of paper.... Will you look down there and see if there's a box or something? Let's see.

(Satprem pulls out a box)

It's turned completely yellow.... Does it matter?

The water would soak into it! Because I have to write with chandanam mixed in water, you understand, and with a twig of "Divine Love"! [pomegranate]

Without a piece of cotton or anything?

No, nothing. A twig which I cut into a nib.

Are the drawings small?

It's a rectangle divided into three compartments, with figures and letters – a Sanskrit letter. Quite a job, I can tell you!

Seventy-two every day! ... Mon petit! (Mother laughs)

I've got to find something....

When I come out of it, I feel stunned.

But that's just what they want!

I tell you, I know it, they want to stupefy you. And of course, when you're stupefied enough, they'll put a good dose of force and then it seems like a miracle!

You understand, I am supposed to keep squatting for two hours over those blessed scribblings.

But tell me, couldn't you be allowed to do that sitting on a chair, at a table?

I don't know.

Why not? It doesn't occur to him [X] because he's used to sitting and writing on the ground. It's the same as if I thought it impossible to meditate unless I sat cross-legged and bolt upright! ... Fortunately, I lived with Sri Aurobindo, who never used to sit cross-legged. He told me right away that it was all a question of habits – subconscious habits. It has no importance whatsoever. And how well he explained: if a posture is necessary for you, it will come by itself. And it's perfectly true, for instance, that when necessary, the body will suddenly sit up straight – it comes spontaneously. As he said, the important thing is not the external frame but the inner experience, and if there is a physical necessity and your inner experience is entirely sincere, that physical necessity will come ALL BY ITSELF.[54] This is something I am absolutely sure of. And he gave me his own example (I had mine, too) of certain things considered dangerous or bad, which we both did independently and spontaneously, and which were a great help to us! Consequently, all those stories of posture and so on are the petty mechanical bounds of the human mind.

It came to me while I was walking [for the japa]. I had a kind of vision of you squatting askew and writing. And I thought, "But that's awful! He'll ruin his health!"

What is needed is to have the inner attitude.

Well, precisely, the inner attitude ... I kind this new work empty and mechanical.

Don't you feel the words you write?

They're figures. Figures and one Sanskrit letter. But you can't say there's much soul in figures, can you?

Will you show it to me? I'd like to see.

I'll write it for you.

(Satprem draws the Tantric diagram he has been instructed to do 72 times a day for three times 72 days. It is a square divided into 9 smaller squares which contain figures and one Sanskrit letter. The first thing Mother does is to add up all the figures.)

Did you add them up? No? Whatever way you do it, it adds up to 72.... 9 is the figure of birth.

It should be done 72 times for 72 days, and three times over.

And 72, that means 7 + 2, or 9.

And this [the Sanskrit letter] is HRIM.

It's one of the three essential sounds. I don't remember now, but each of them represents one aspect of the Mother.

Sujata told me it's Mahalakshmi.

I was hesitating between Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati.

(Mother remains concentrated)

It is clearly taken as a symbol of the gestation of the new birth, the second birth, the divine birth. That's certain.

He said 72 days?

Three times 72 days.... A little more than eight months, that is.

That's it.

It's ... ([laughing! I've just asked him!) it's the work of gestation for the birth of the divine consciousness.

And 7 (7 and 2) is interesting. 7 is the realization; 2 is dual: a dual realization. If you put both together, you get the figure of gestation.

You see, Mahalakshmi is the Divine Mother's aspect of love, the perfection of manifested love, which must come before this supreme Love (which is beyond the Manifestation and the Nonmanifestation) can be expressed – the supreme Love referred to in Savitri when the Supreme sends Savitri to the earth:

For ever love, O beautiful slave of God!

(XI702)

It's to prepare the earth to receive the Supreme's manifestation, the manifestation of His Victory.

Seen in that way, it becomes clear – comprehensible, and comprehensive, too: it has a content.

(Mother suddenly points to a piece of paper on the table beside her, on which the figure 8 is written)

Did you notice this figure?... There's a line in Savitri (I can't quote exactly): "Wherever Nature is, He (the Supreme) too is there, for, in truth, He and She are one."[55] I was asked to find an illustration for this line,[56] and I found the 8.

The drawing starts here (Mother draws the first half of the 8): it's the Supreme leaning forward. Then, Nature in its base, Nature in sleep (the base of the 8). And here (the top of the 8), I put two little drawings (as if to symbolize an eye, a nose and a mouth) to evoke the summit of consciousness. So the Supreme is leaning forward like this and Nature rises like this (Mother draws the second half of the 8). All this (the top of the 8) is golden, then it becomes prismatic (the middle of the 8), and deep blue here (the base of the 8), in the most material part of the creation, and the blue becomes lighter and lighter (going upward again), and finally golden. Perpetually.

Eight is the symbol of infinity for mathematicians (oo).

Exactly. It's very interesting.

(Then Mother considers one by one the various figures of the Tantric diagram:)

4 is the figure of the Manifestation (the square is the figure of the Manifestation). So here you have the manifestation of the Infinite: 4 + 8 = 12.

6 is the figure of the creation.

12 is the perfection of the creation: perfect creation.

30 is ... The 3 is Sachchidananda and the 30 its external expression (because 10 means something expressed). So 30 is the manifestation of Sachchidananda.

Thus we have first 6, then 12 (a perfection of manifestation), then 30, the manifestation of Sachchidananda, and 48, the manifestation of the Infinite. You see, it's beginning to come alive!

Afterwards comes 42: it's the dual manifestation, that is to say, the Supreme and Nature.

Then 18 ... The 10 (unless it's 12 ... 12 is two times 6; also 10 plus 2, but that has another meaning), but the 10 in itself is something established (the 11 is something beginning, while the 10 is something established). So if you have 18, it means that the Infinite is established.

Then 36, which is 3 times 12: it's the union of 30 (Sachchidananda) and 6, the creation.

The 12 is the figure of the Mahashakti. It's the essential creation, the creation in its essence – the creative Power. And perfection, too: the perfection in the execution. The 12 is a very important figure (24 is two times 12, and 36, three times).

48 is four times 12. It's an extremely important figure. Extremely important.

And finally, we have 9 here: gestation. Gestation in Matter – not on the heights: here, physically.

(Mother begins drawing herself the diagram
with the figures and the Sanskrit mantra.)

Let's see if I remember my Sanskrit....

My eyes are no good, I've lost all my power of expression because of that (Mother takes her magnifying glass to draw). Before, I used to do these letters so easily, and now I can't see any more....

Here.

Now, it has life, you understand. It has life. And it's the correct drawing, I mean it should be a square (not a rectangle as you did), a square divided into nine smaller squares. It is the image of the realization (not realization – gestation), the birth of Mahalakshmi's consciousness in Matter, that is to say, the form of divine love in Matter.

(Mother pores over the diagram for a long time.
It should be noted that the figures of the diagram must be read
and written in a particular order to have their full power.)

Oh, there's a music!

(Mother starts humming the music or the vibration which has come to her and corresponds to the diagram and the birth of Mahalakshmi's consciousness in Matter.)

Another point is unclear: after 30, do you go here or there?

After 30 it's 48, then 42....

(Mother starts humming again)

There, mon petit. Now I would advise you to take a comfortable chair, a table on which you can write comfortably, put it before you and get on with it!

It's a pity we can't note the music down.

(Mother hums again)

There.

But it's full of meaning, it vibrates with meaning!

I am not positive, but when he gave you this diagram, had he had in himself the conscious meaning, he would have passed it on to you.... I have a feeling he is more like a scholar. He has perhaps more of an impression than an understanding.

But where does the significance of figures come from?

The deeper significance of figures ... There are countless traditions, countless scriptures ... which I took great care not to follow. But the deeper significance of figures came to me in Tlemcen, when I was in the Overmind. I don't remember the names Théon used to give to those various worlds, but it was a world that corresponded to the highest and most luminous regions of Sri Aurobindo's Overmind. It was above, just above the gods' region. And it was something in accord with the Overmind creation – the earth under the gods' influence. That was where figures took on a living meaning for me – not a mental speculation: a living meaning. That was where Madame Théon recognized me, because of the formation of twelve pearls she saw above my head; and she told me, "You are that because you have this. Only that can have this!" (Mother laughs) It hadn't even remotely occurred to me, thank God!

But figures are alive for me. They have a concrete reality.

And this (the diagram) is meant to prepare for the "second birth" mentioned in the Vedas, the spiritual birth. Through it one becomes a complete being, consciously complete.

Of course, it's the beginning of realization. But for many people it's the ultimate term.

I hope it won't tire you out any more.

(as Satprem is about to leave)

Do you think your machine [the tape recorder at the other end of the room] has picked up the music?[57]

I hope so!

I know someone who could note it down: Sunil could note it down, he knows how to write music. I no longer do ... I've forgotten all that. I have spent all my time forgetting everything.

I used to write my Sanskrit as I write French – all gone.

One must learn to lose everything in order to gain everything. Always, every minute.

There we are.

I asked Sujata to prepare some orange juice for you – it should be prepared by someone who puts his heart into it.

Good-bye, petit.

@

May 15, 1963

88 – This world was built by Death that he might live. Wilt thou abolish death? Then life too will perish. Thou canst not abolish death, but thou mayst transform it into a greater living.

89-This world was built by Cruelty that she might love. Wilt thou abolish cruelty? Then love too will perish. Thou canst not abolish cruelty, but thou mayst transfigure it into its opposite, into a fierce Love and Delightfulness.

90-This world was built by Ignorance and Error that they might know. Wilt thou abolish ignorance and error?

Then knowledge too will perish. Thou canst not abolish ignorance and error, but thou mayst transmute them into the utter and effulgent exceeding of reason.

91-If life alone were and not death, there could be no immortality; if love were alone and not cruelty, joy would be only a tepid and ephemeral rapture; if reason were alone and not ignorance, our highest attainment would not exceed a limited rationality and worldly wisdom.

92-Death transformed becomes Life that is Immortality; Cruelty transfigured becomes Love that is intolerable ecstasy; Ignorance transmuted becomes Light that leaps beyond wisdom and knowledge.

It's the same idea, that opposition and opposites stimulate progress. Because to say that without Cruelty, Love would be tepid ... The principle of Love, as it is beyond the Manifest and the Nonmanifest, has nothing to do with either tepidness or cruelty. But Sri Aurobindo's idea, it seems, is that opposites are the most effective and rapid way to knead Matter so that it may intensify its manifestation.

As an experience, it's absolutely certain: when you come in touch with eternal Love, supreme Love, the first, immediate ... (what should I say?) perception or sensation (it's not an understanding, it is much more concrete) is that even the most enlightened, kneaded, prepared material consciousness is INCAPABLE of manifesting That! The first impression is that sort of incapacity. Then comes the experience of something manifesting a type of ... not exactly "cruelty," because it's not cruelty as we conceive it; but in the totality of circumstances, there is a vibration which is felt as a certain intensity of refusal of love as it is manifested here – that's exactly the thing: something in the material world refuses the manifestation of love as it exists at present (I don't refer to the ordinary world but to the consciousness at its present highest). It's an experience, I am speaking of something that has taken place. Then the part of the consciousness that has been touched by that opposition calls out directly to Love's origin WITH AN INTENSITY IT COULD NOT HAVE HAD WITHOUT THE EXPERIENCE OF THE REFUSAL. Limits are broken, a flood descends which could NOT manifest before, and something is expressed which was not expressed before.

That happened not very long ago.

Seeing that, there is obviously a similar experience in connection with what is called life and death. It's a sort of "overhanging" (it comes to me in English, that's why I have difficulty) of that constant presence of Death or possibility of death. As he says in Savitri, we have a constant companion all the way from the cradle to the grave, we are constantly shadowed by the threat or presence of Death. Well, this gives the cells an intensity in their call for a Power of Eternity which would not be there without that constant threat. Then we understand – we begin to understand very concretely – that all those things are only goads to make the Manifestation progress and grow more intense, more perfect. If the goads are crude, it is because the Manifestation is very crude. As it grows more and more perfect and apt to manifest something ETERNALLY PROGRESSIVE, those very crude methods will give way to more refined ones, and the world will progress without the need for such brutal oppositions. It is only because the world is in infancy and the human consciousness in its very early infancy.

It's a very concrete experience.

So, when the earth no longer needs to die in order to progress, there will be no more death. When the earth no longer needs to suffer in order to progress, there will be no more suffering. And when the earth no longer needs to hate in order to love, there will be no more hatred.

(silence)

It is the quickest and most effective method of pulling the creation out of its inertia and leading it on to its blossoming.

(long silence)

There is a particular aspect of the creation (a very modern aspect, maybe): a need to get out of disorder and confusion – of disharmony and confusion. A confusion, a disorder which assumes all forms, turns into struggles, pointless efforts and wasted energy. It depends on which level you stand on, but materially, in action, it means unnecessary complications, wasted energy and materials, waste of time, incomprehension, misunderstanding, confusion, disorder – what in ancient days they called deformation, crookedness in the Vedas (I don't know the French word for it, it's something crooked which, instead of shooting straight to the goal, weaves its way in sharp and unnecessary zigzags). It's one of the things farthest from the harmony of a purely divine action – which is something so simple.... It looks like child's play ... and direct – direct, without those absurd and completely useless twists and turns. Well, it is clearly the same phenomenon: that disorder is a way to stimulate the need for pure and divine simplicity.

The body feels strongly, very strongly that everything could be so simple, so simple!

And for the being – that sort of individual aggregate – to be transformed, it needs in effect to grow simpler and simpler. All those complexities of Nature which man is now beginning to understand and study, which for the smallest thing are so complex (the smallest of our physical workings is the result of such a complex system that it's almost unthinkable ... certainly it would be impossible for the human mind to think up and contrive all those things), are now being discovered by science. And it's quite plain to see that for the functioning to become divine, that is, to escape Disorder and Confusion, it must grow simpler and simpler.

(long silence)

In other words, Nature, or rather Nature in its effort towards expression, was compelled to have recourse to an unbelievable, almost endless complexity in order to reproduce the original Simplicity.

It brings us back to the same thing: it is that excess of complexity which makes possible a simplicity that isn't empty – a rich simplicity. An all-embracing simplicity, whereas without those complexities, simplicity is empty.

This has been my experience these last few days.

They are making discoveries like that. In anatomy, for instance, they are making discoveries for surgical treatments that are unbelievably intricate! It's the same for their division of Matter's constituents – a frightful intricacy! And all that is with the view and endeavor to express Oneness, the ONE Simplicity – the divine state.

(silence)

Maybe it will go fast.... But the question boils down to a SUFFICIENT aspiration, sufficiently intense and effective to attract That which can transform all this: complication into Simplicity, cruelty into Love ... and so forth.

It's no use complaining and saying it's a pity things are that way. They are the way they are. Why?... When things are no longer that way, we'll probably know why. Or to put it differently: if we knew why, they would no longer be that way.

So speculations such as, "It would have been better if it had not existed," and so on, are all impractical – irrelevant, absolutely useless.

We should hasten to do what we have to do to put an end to it, that's all, that's the only practical thing.

For the body, it's very interesting. But it's a mountain, you see! A mountain of apparently tiny experiences, but in such large numbers that they become sizable.[58]

@

May 18, 1963

(Mother asks for a box of paints to demonstrate practically the gradation of colors of the levels of consciousness, from the most material Nature to the Supreme. The point is to illustrate the symbol of Infinity, the figure 8, which Mother explained in the conversation of May 11: the infinite play of the Supreme reaching down to Nature and Nature rising toward the Supreme. Mother speaks in English in the presence of a disciple, who is a painter, so that he may convey her explanations to H., the disciple who is preparing illustrations for "Savitri.")

Of course, all these things are lights, so you can't reproduce them. But still, it must be a violet that is not dull and not dark (Mother starts from the most material Nature). What she has put is too red, but if it's too blue, it won't be good either – you understand the difficulty? Then after violet there is blue, which must be truly blue, not too light, but it must be a bright blue. Not too light because there are three consecutive blues: there is the blue of the Mind, and then comes the Higher Mind, which is paler, and then the Illumined Mind, which is the color of the flag [Mother's flag], a silver blue, but naturally paler than that. And after this comes yellow, a yellow that is the yellow of the Intuitive Mind; it must not be golden, it must be the color of cadmium. Then after this yellow, which is pale, we have the Overmind with all the colors – they must all be bright colors, not dark: blue, red, green, violet, purple, yellow, all of them, all the colors. And after that, we then have all the golds of the Supermind, with its three layers. And then, after that, there is one layer of golden white – it is white, but a golden white. After this golden white, there is silver white – silver white: how can I explain that? (H. has sent me some ridiculous pictures of a sun shining on water – it has nothing to do with that.) If you put silver, silver gray (Mother shows a silver box nearby shining brilliantly in the sun), silver gray together with white ... that is, it is white, but if you put the four whites together you see the difference. There is a white white, then there is a white with a touch of pink, then a silvery white and a golden white. It makes four worlds.

I have explained this [to H.] as I am explaining it to you, but H. has not seen it so she can't understand. I want to show her on paper. It is twelve different things [or twelve worlds], one after another.[59]

***

(Then Satprem reads out an aphorism:)

93 – Pain is the touch of our Mother teaching us to bear and grow in rapture. She has three stages of her schooling, endurance first, next equality of soul, last ecstasy.

... I am still in a period of conflict.

There are all the time periods of conflict between outside ideas and the inner experience.

The problem is this: you can take the attitude of endurance and endure everything, to the point where you are able to turn pain into ecstasy, as he says – it's an experiment that can always be made, at any given moment. But materialist-minded people will tell you, "That's all very well, but you're ruining your body." And that's where ... (laughing) we would have to carry out all kinds of experiments, as they do with guinea pigs, to find out whether ecstasy has the power to restore order in the body.

You suffer from, say, a physical trouble, purely physical (morally speaking, it goes without saying, the thing is quite clear; I mean something purely material). Something is disorganized in the working or the structure of the organs. The result is pain. At first you endure, then out of endurance comes perfect equality, and out of perfect equality comes ecstasy – it's perfectly possible; it's not only possible, it has been proved. But the experiment should be carried through TO THE END to know whether ecstasy has the power to restore the body's order, or whether it ends in dissolution: you are in ecstasy and die in ecstasy. That is, you leave your body while in ecstasy. Is that so?... It's not only possible, it's perfectly obvious. But that's not what we want! We want to restore order, to eliminate disorder IN MATTER – does ecstasy have the power to restore order in the physical working and triumph over the forces of dissolution?

The only way to find out is to make the experiment!

But there is always something which says that the risk is great for ... We are too – still too cautious. Or is it a lack of faith? But it's a lack of knowledge more than a lack of faith, because if we say, "Whatever happens is the Lord's Will, and if the experiment dissolves the body, well, it only shows He willed it," then there is no need to worry. And it's true, you live in this idea, you feel this way, you sense this way; but there is something on the outside or from the outside that says, "That's all very well, but is this need or inclination to experiment legitimate? Couldn't the same knowledge be obtained without running so great a risk? ..."

That's the kind of problem you have to face.

So personally, my attitude (all this has nothing to do with the Bulletin, by the way), my attitude is to watch it all: this opinion, that opinion, this attitude, that attitude, and I stay like this (gesture of a Witness completely outside and passive). I refrain from deciding or acting, I become exclusively a witness – a non-interfering witness. I say to the Lord, "It's for You to decide; it isn't my business, You will decide. Whatever happens is Your concern." So far, this has always resulted in an intervention that restored order, but ... but with no positive proof that the order was restored in this way or that, because of this or that. There is no certainty.[60]

In this field, we know nothing. Oh, as soon as we get into the field ... even the field of sensation, the vital, all problems are solved. Nothing could be easier, there's nothing to discuss; in the field of feelings, the work was done long ago. That's not what I mean: I mean when we get to the bottom of the problem. There, everything, everything is in a sort of incomprehension, of total ignorance, along with all the ideas that result from the intellectual and scientific development and are so sure of themselves, so full of impregnable certainty! The certainty of the material experience, of the thing you touch.

To use that without being governed by it, to base yourself on that without being influenced by it, is very difficult.

Maybe someone much more intelligent, much smarter than me would find the work easier; but he would probably have more difficulties inside – no such difficulties here! But outside ... For example, the chemical discovery of the structure of Matter would seem to be sufficient to serve as a base for true knowledge to act on Matter.[61] And maybe those scientists, those who have discovered and experimented with the structure of Matter, would have no difficulty.... But the field of the greatest difficulty is the medical field, the therapeutic field: their science is still ABSOLUTELY contrary to the true knowledge. And when it comes to the body's equilibrium ... They know anatomy, they even know a little (not very, very much) a little about the body's chemistry, they know all kinds of things that the common man doesn't, on the strength of which they make dogmatic assertions and send you packing like an ignorant fool. All this business about the body's workings – how much do they know? Naturally, when you ask them, "But why is it like that?" they reply, "Oh, why? I have no idea."

And their way of telling you, "That's how things are and they cannot be otherwise"! But if you tell them, "Your experience is ultimately based on statistics, but your statistics are useless, they cover such a limited field of experience that they are worthless – there is also all that you don't know," then they feel sorry for you.

They are still in infancy, with the kind of dogmatic certainties characteristic of infancy.

On the other hand, the others, those who know the inside of things, don't have the experience – no one has transformed his body so far! No one can tell you, "Well, it's done this way and it happened that way; this is what I did and that's what happened" – no one. That's why it is so difficult.

Very difficult.

And also, oh, there are all those great waves of thought, of convictions (Mother draws great cosmic waves coming from the outside to assail her), that whole habit of Matter of decomposing and recomposing itself, being unbuilt and rebuilt.... It comes again and again, very regularly, like waves beating against a dike.

Very difficult.

(silence)

Probably it's necessary because at times, when everything is in utter confusion, at times I ask for an Assurance – and I see very well, very well that if my body's cells, the body consciousness were told, "You are immortal; all those difficulties are experiences; the pain you feel has no importance; this apparent decomposition has no importance; all those things are necessary experiences, and you will go on to the end of the experience, that is, to transformation," if it were told that, obviously it would be mere child's play, just enduring the difficulties – that's nothing. So I wonder.... But never have I been told that, never, never have I been given the Assurance – now and then the body is in a sort of STATE, a state of immortality, but it isn't constant, it's dependent on other things; so the minute it's "dependent," it is no longer a supreme Assurance. There is at the same time a sort of discernment: very likely there would be a general slackening of the cells' effort if they were told, "Never mind, none of this is important, because you will last till the work is done." Maybe they would flag. The concentration of will in the battle would disappear. Which means one of the necessary conditions would be missing.

Then again something else comes and says, "Oh, you always have very favorable explanations to comfort yourself! ..." You see, I am like a spectator (Mother does the same gesture of great cosmic waves assailing her) at a sort of contest of all the different reactions. (I put it into words to make myself understood, but there are no words – only SENSATIONS; the verbal translation is just for explaining, but they are like sensations, or rather states of consciousness. They are all states of consciousness.) And they all run into each other ... (gesture of waves).

Ah, none of this is for the Bulletin!

***

(Just before leaving, Satprem rests his forehead on Mother's feet. The previous time, when Satprem had made the same gesture, Mother, who was standing then, had lost her balance and almost fallen.)

You saw last time how I lost my balance. When you touched my foot, there came down a ... not a column, it was a tornado! Of a light so white, so white! Not transparent – sparkling white, white like milk. But such a powerful mass! It came so violently that I lost my balance. That's all, I only lost my balance. And it remained there, it was there – you saw how I stood a moment without raising my head, it was because I was looking at it. It was ... it was MUCH MORE SOLID THAN MATTER. Something very peculiar, it was solid! More solid, MORE MATERIAL THAN MATTER. And a power, a weight, a density – extraordinary! Like a great column, and everything became pure white. Absolutely white. Nothing but white, everywhere. It stayed on a few seconds. And the power of it threw me off balance.

I was in no condition to tell you all this at the time!

Didn't you feel anything?

Oh, yes, I felt the Force!

Oh, it was ... (laughing) it was compelling enough!

(silence)

I don't recall ever having felt the Force in such a way. It's something (how can I put it? ...) more material than Matter. That's it. It didn't come as a descent of light, no: it was like a mass – an AVALANCHE.

White! White, white, sparkling, dazzling. You couldn't look at it. That's why I looked down, I couldn't look at it.

And there was nothing but that – there was no more you or my feet or my body or anything, nothing but that.

(silence)

At night, sometimes I wake up (not "wake up," rather I come to), I come to enveloped in something like that, very, very, very dense – dense. Which has weight. Perhaps a chemist could explain that! I see it as a new thing.

@

May 22, 1963

(This conversation took place a few days after Satprem had a violent attack of an infectious "illness.")

The other evening, around 6:30, I was in a lot of pain; my head seemed about to burst, I really suffered: a racking pain. Then I lay down, and suddenly I felt a sort of relaxation – a sudden reversal followed by an easing. And, the next day, I came to know that it happened at the precise time when V. told you I was ill.

Not only that, but there was a rather peculiar experience: a Will came into me.... I don't know, a Will: "Decide." Something that wanted me to decide: "It's for you to decide." So I immediately cast that Power on you, saying, "He must be cured." It's a new experience. It came very strongly, as though the final decision were referred to me – to the PHYSICAL consciousness. So I said, "Very well, then! Let him be cured, that's my decision."

What struck me was the suddenness of it: all at once I felt an easing.

Yes, it isn't gradual, it's all at once. Then the next day I asked for news of you (because I was interested, the experience was completely new), I asked, "Any difference?" And I was told you were much better.

(Mother gives a rose to Satprem)

And this one for Sujata: open like her heart.

May 25, 1963

(Regarding a letter from a personal friend of Satprem at the Editions du Seuil, who hints that the second manuscript on Sri Aurobindo ["The Adventure of Consciousness"] will also be refused: "I do not know whether P.A.L. has read it yet, he hasn't told me, but as soon as I read the first pages, I felt that this manuscript would never be published by Le Seuil. It has some defects and clumsy passages – but that will not be the reason for its refusal....")

Very well! (laughter) Let us wait and see what they say. Of course, I never thought even for a minute that those people would publish it – but others will.

Once WE have published it, I am certain – certain – that there will be people who will want to publish it. Besides, it's not the kind of book to have a success for a while and then fall away. It will have a lasting action.

What does he mean by "clumsy passages"? Whatever he couldn't understand!

He understands. Maybe he means some passages that are a bit lengthy from a literary standpoint. Anyway, I don't know, he'll write to me. He will tell me.... I'd be curious to know what he understood. But the man is open-minded.

My own impression is rather that in order to appreciate the book fully, you must already know a lot – a lot more than those people know.

I have a strong impression – and that's why Sri Aurobindo was so interested in the book and took such a part in it – that it is the way of explaining things which those with a European education can best understand. Or those with a modern education, at any rate, with a modern turn of mind, because it's very appropriate for America, too. And for the whole part of India that's under the influence of British education, it will put them in touch in a way they can understand.

Not for a second did I think they would publish it – in fact, to tell you the truth, it wouldn't make me too happy either! It's not a book for their "Collection." Their Collection is much too trite, too superficial.

Anyhow it wouldn't have been in their "Collection" because it has more than 300 pages and the books in their Collection have only 150. But it could have been outside the Collection – well, it doesn't seem it's going to happen.... I'd be curious to see their criticisms.

Oh, they won't understand anything anyway.

Show me his handwriting.

(Mother studies the letter)

Oh, the man is intuitive! Oh, oh!

Oh, he's very fine! Much better than what he writes.

I'd like to ask you a little question. In this book on Sri Aurobindo, I say in passing that the three aspects – Transcendent, Immanent, Cosmic – probably correspond to the Catholic Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Could you tell me the exact correspondence? The Father is clearly the Transcendent, but the Son?

The Son is the Immanent.

But then, what about the Holy Spirit and its descent?

Yes, I've often wondered.

I used to know. Once I had a discussion on this with the friend of a cardinal, and he gave me the explanation, adding that the cardinals were taught this interpretation esoterically, under a vow of secrecy. They were also taught that the Virgin was Nature, the universal Mother.

But what does the Holy Spirit descending with "tongues of fire" on Pentecost represent? Those "tongues of fire" don't look like a cosmic symbol, do they?

But I don't see how the Christ could be cosmic? He is very clearly the god within man.

Why? Does the Holy Spirit descend everywhere, or in a limited way?

Tradition has it that it descends on Pentecost.

What's the meaning of Pentecost?

I believe it's forty days after Easter.

Forty days after the resurrection, that is.

At that time, the twelve Apostles were gathered and the Holy Spirit "descended" upon them, in the form of tongues of fire.

But the Immanent doesn't "descend," mon petit!

Well, of course! But how can the Cosmic (assuming the Holy Spirit to be a cosmic symbol) "descend" too? And in the form of tongues of fire?

Maybe we're trying to stretch the parallel too far, maybe it's something else.

(silence)

It might rather be part of the announcement (not the Annunciation!), the heralding of the new world – of a new world. The Holy Spirit would then be the world that will descend after the human world.

I say this because Théon always announced the coming of the "new world." He didn't speak of "Supermind," he said: "There shall be new heavens and a new earth." That was his explanation. So it may be that, originally, in the origin of the Catholic religion, they too had the idea that after forty days (it could also mean forty centuries, maybe forty eons or forty ages), there would come the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of flames that would enter those who are ready. I find this explanation more logical.

Of course, the bird, the "white dove" they speak of, could be the Universal. Maybe it would manifest openly as a result of that descent?

Basically we always try to cut things into small pieces. It evidently means the manifestation, a new manifestation of the Divine, which takes place some time after the Divine in man is resuscitated. The Divine in man is resuscitated, that's very clear: it has become conscious. And after a time (4 is the manifestation, 10 is the perfection of the manifestation), the perfection of the manifestation of God resuscitated in man allows that universal or cosmic thing to manifest. If you take it like that, it makes sense.

That "universal thing" might be a collective transformation. A transformation that's no longer exclusively individual – the descent of the Holy Spirit into the collectivity?

I had been told that even in the College of Cardinals, things were only suggested, and each one was left to understand more or less deeply, according to his capacity. It's quite likely. But who has kept the tradition intact? ... We can't say.

Anyway, put like this, it makes sense.

@

May 29, 1963

I would like a clarification on a passage from a previous conversation [of May 3], in which you said: "Something tries to draw less and less the attention and concentration of others...." And you added: "That is, to lessen the SENSE OF INTERMEDIARY necessary for forces and thoughts to spread...." What is this "sense of intermediary"? Do you mean your "role of intermediary" in the diffusion of forces? Do you want to lessen that role – to withdraw?

It isn't "role"! The role is a fact, a sort of ineluctable fact, absolutely independent of the individual will and consciousness – I am more and more convinced of it, fantastically so. The Work is done through a certain number of elements – whether they are aware of it or not, whether they collaborate or not makes little difference. It has been decided that way, it has been chosen that way and it is done that way. Whether you like it or not, whether you are aware of it or not, whether you collaborate or not – very little difference. It's more a question of personal satisfaction!

And inasmuch as the very cells of the body no longer feel their separateness (that is almost entirely gone, even in the sensation), then something is done (or takes place), but without any self-observation. Somewhere (gesture above), something knows, wills and acts; somewhere else, there is a certain number of things in a state of happy receptivity, and absolutely, extraordinarily passive, not interfering. And the less it observes, the better. It remains in an inner contemplation, or rather turned to the Heights (a Height that is everywhere, of course, not just above), a Height perfectly luminous, perfectly conscious, perfectly effective. And that's all that is needed.

The less the consciousness is turned to the outside, the less it perceives obstacles, resistances – all that appears more and more unreal, transient, extremely relative.

In the necessary and unavoidable everyday contact with people, there is a growing perception that whatever the circumstance (which in itself is so simple, simpler than a child, you know – a perfect simplicity), as soon as it comes into contact with the terrestrial human atmosphere, it becomes ever so complicated! And quite unnecessarily. It seems as if the normal human occupation is to complicate all that could be extremely simple. I see this day after day, for all the small events of every day, of each and every minute. With certain consciousnesses – as soon as it touches certain consciousnesses – it is twisted, sometimes into terrible knots. Then it takes a fantastic labor to undo it – the whole thing PERFECTLY unnecessary!

These last few days, in fact, I have been observing it all and wondering, "Why are things this way? ..." It must have been the means – probably the most effective means, I don't know – to emerge from inertia, from tamas. If everything worked in that Simplicity, that perfect Quietness, well, human consciousness would be in such a state that it would have simply fallen asleep. It would have reached the state ... not even of an animal, perhaps of a slumbering plant!

That must be the reason.

But when you see it from the other side, it's so absurd – fantastically absurd! To such a point that the meaning of every single word you utter is immediately twisted – automatically, you can't say why. With something clear and obvious, which should have gone smoothly, without hurdles, you are immediately caught in a swirl of complications.

All, all, all activities, all of life is like that.

And then there are little nuances, little differences, which naturally assume considerable proportions in those distorted consciousnesses: they say, "Oh, now everything is fine," and then, "Oh, now everything is going wrong," but that's not true! It's always the SAME thing, only with little nuances.

But the true everything is fine, THE TRUE THING as it is, is so simple! So simple, so quiet, so immediate, so direct that it's almost unthinkable for human thought, much less for human sensation. Voilà.

@

June

June 3, 1963

(Mother prepares to read a letter of Sri Aurobindo in the original English.)

Do you understand when I read?

Certainly I do! But it will tire you....

No, it doesn't tire me.

(Mother reads)

The body-mind

And there is too an obscure mind of the body, of the very cells, molecules, corpuscles. Haeckel, the German materialist, spoke somewhere of the will in the atom, and recent science, dealing with the incalculable individual variation in the activity of the electrons, comes near to perceiving that this is not a figure but the shadow thrown by a secret reality. This body-mind is a very tangible truth; owing to its obscurity and mechanical clinging to past movements and facile oblivion and rejection of the new, we find in it one of the chief obstacles to permeation by the supermind Force and the transformation of the functioning of the body. On the other hand, once effectively converted, it will be one of the most precious instruments for the stabilisation of the supramental Light and Force in material Nature.

(XXII.340)

It corresponds exactly to my own experience.

It is this mind of the cells which seizes upon a mantra or a japa and eventually repeats it automatically, and with what persistence! That is to say, CONTINUALLY. That's what Sri Aurobindo means when he says it can be a help: it keeps at things indefinitely (Mother clenches her fist in an unwavering gesture).

A few days ago, at the end of an activity or a situation which demanded an effort, almost a struggle, I heard (it's odd), I heard the cells repeat my mantra! It was like a choir in which each cell was repeating the mantra, automatically.... "Well, this is odd!" I thought. And it was just after that, the next day and the day after, that someone showed me this letter.

It is astonishingly true.

I heard it – I heard THE CELLS repeating the mantra. Automatically, in the difficulty (there was a difficulty), they were repeating the mantra. Like a choir, an immense choir in a church, it was very odd. As if there were lots of little voices, innumerable little voices repeating and repeating the same sound. It gave me the impression of a church choir, but with lots and lots and lots of choirboys – tiny little voices. Yet the sound was very clear, I was dumbfounded: very clear. The sound of the mantra.

But is this the mind the Tantrics use? For instance, when you speak of the "deep blue light" in the physical mind, is it the same cellular mind?

I don't think so.

Because it's also through japa, mantras, the awakening of the physical consciousness, that the Tantric power operates.

I think their power comes from a higher layer [higher than the cellular mind]. Because their action is very cerebral: its effect is always here (gesture at the forehead and temples), it takes you here (same gesture) – it's even painful!

It's cerebral.

But how does that power act in Matter? Because they do have a power over Matter.

Because it's very material – the brain is material! It's just a little less mechanical than the cellular mind. But it Is material; it isn't the higher mind, certainly: it's a mind confined to the body (same gesture to the temples). But the mind I was speaking of, the body-mind, is EVERYWHERE, in every cell: every cell has it within it; whereas that power is specifically situated at the brain level. It's a very cerebral action, enveloping the forehead and the lower part of the face, not even down to the throat.

***

How is your "writing" coming on? All right?

Yes, I am no longer tired as I was before, but ... It's a domain that seems so mechanical to me!

Yet I put the Force in it.

I put the Force in it, because I can SEE your yantram like this

(Mother closes her eyes and says aloud): 6, 12, 30

I see it, it exists.

It has a reality now.

And there's a rhythm – a very nice rhythm: 6, 12, 30, 48

Can you see when I say it?

It has become real, I can assure you.

***

Shortly afterwards

Yesterday I saw a seven-month-old baby ... who is a sage.

He looks at you with his soul. When I looked at him, his eyes lit up.

Doesn't cry, doesn't speak, but he made a sort of noise – he stretched out his arms to me and seemed to say, "Aaah!" Then I took him in my arms, and he laid his head there, on my heart – he didn't close his eyes, he became ecstatic.

Extraordinary! I have never seen that before, it's the first time ever.

Then Champaklal (who had brought the baby) didn't want him to go without having touched my feet (I thought it was going to cause a disaster): Champaklal put him on the floor, bent his head forward – as soon as the baby saw my feet, he caught them with his two hands, one hand on each foot!

Seven months old!

And not a noise: only that "Aaah!"

He had never seen Champaklal before; Champaklal took him, he didn't say anything, didn't protest: he was upright, sitting upright on Champaklal's arm.

His eyes! Eyes that look within already. When I looked into his eyes, there was an immediate response – a response I have rarely seen in people's eyes here.

He didn't ask for anything, he was happy. And all of a sudden, that "Aaah!" I took him in my arms – he immediately put his head here, on my heart. Didn't move any more.

I don't know who it is.

I thought I would know afterwards, but I don't. I don't know. I have only a kind of knowledge in the background that it's not a complete person, it's an emanation of someone who has come and established himself there consciously. But someone ... I wouldn't be surprised if I were told it's Sri Aurobindo. As if Sri Aurobindo had made an emanation and put it there (I don't say so, I don't know). But it's not just anyone or anything.[62]

Either it's one of the unincarnate beings, or else it's Sri Aurobindo, who has allowed himself that indulgence!

He is very small, very small, but not with a big head and a small body: well-proportioned. Very small, no bigger than this. Seven months old.

But well-formed: lovely hands, lovely arms, lovely feet. Very well-formed.

It's a new thing, I have never seen such a baby, never.

He came to earth in America (that's already a sign), but his parents are Indians. Entirely conceived and formed, all nine months, in America. And born in America. He spent the first four or five months of his life in America.

His mother, before marrying, told me, "I will have a child only when I want it and, I hope, in the way I want it." It was no accident.

Ah, we'd better get to work!

@

June 8, 1963

It was yesterday, I think, in the night (not last night, the night before, the 6th of June, that is), for more than three hours without stop, there was no consciousness of anything any more – not a thought, not a will, not an action, not an observation, nothing. Everything was at a standstill. For instance, all that happens when you have experiences and you work in the subconscient – all that, everything, everything was at a standstill. It was like the action of a Force. Without any thought or idea, only the sensation and a sort of perception (awareness is the right word) of a Force, but a stupendous Force, you know, like the Force of the earth – all the combinations of the forces along with an action that came from above and worked on them. It was going through me (especially around the head down to the chest, but it was going on in the whole body, and it was spherical), it went through me and out, and out, and out in this direction, that direction, another direction, innumerable directions, and nothing but movements of Force (there was something like a perception of colors, but not in the ordinary way: like a knowledge that certain vibrations corresponded to a particular color), but it was an incalculable MASS, almost ... indefinite, at any rate, and simultaneous. At first I said to myself (laughing), "What's going on?" Then I thought, "All right, it doesn't matter, I'll just let it happen." And it went on and on and on – three hours without letup.

I didn't know ... I didn't know anything any more, didn't understand anything any more, had no bearings any more; there was only a Force on the move, and what Force! ... It was a Force that came from beyond and acted upon all the forces of the earth: on big things, on small things, on small, precise points, on enormous things, and it was going on and on and on, on this point, that point, all points together and everywhere.... I suppose that if the mind had been associated with the experience, it would have gone a bit mad! It gave that impression, you see, because it was so overwhelming that ... And all the time, all the time in the physical center (the physical center, that is, in the corporeal base), with something in an ecstatic state; it was very interesting how that ecstasy – an ecstasy that sparkled like a diamond – was there, so sweet, so sweet, so peaceful, as though it were there all the while, telling the body, "Don't be afraid, (laughing) don't worry, don't be afraid, all is well." As though the supreme Power were saying all the while, "Don't worry, don't worry, leave it to me, leave it to me...." It lasted more than three hours.

I wondered, "What will my condition be like when I get up? Completely dazed, or what?" – Very quiet, nothing different, with only a sort of ... something that was smiling and saying, "Oh, so things CAN be that way."

The mind was absolutely silent, absolutely: all the connections with all that people keep sending from everywhere were cut – all of it was completely gone. There were only the universal forces in action, with something that came from above and impregnated them all, sent them all out. And with it, a point – it was like a point in that immensity – a sparkling point, absolutely ecstatic, in such a peace! An extraordinary ecstasy, which was deliberately saying, "Don't worry; you can see what's going on, can't you, so don't worry, don't worry," because certainly the thing had gone beyond all possible individual proportions.

It's the first time. I've had currents of force, I've had actions on the earth, I've had forces coming to me, all sorts of things; but this was different: it was all of that together. It was everywhere at the same time, everything at the same time, with that Inrush, and it was ... There was certainly something that wanted me to be very quiet and not to worry. It was necessary that I should keep very quiet.

I had a feeling that I was given the awareness of something that's taking place right now. Because at night, generally, I disconnect myself from everything and universalize myself – no, "universalize" isn't the word: I identify myself with the Lord. That's my way of resting. I do it every night, it is the time when I have my deep rest. But now I've been made aware of this Force at work. Often experiences come (there have been a number of them lately), but it's the first time this one has come, because ... It was certainly something happening FOR the earth; but it didn't come from the center of forces that generally acts on the earth. It wasn't the usual working of forces on the earth. It was "something happening." And it gave the sense that the earth was very small – the movement was towards the earth, it was for the earth, but the earth was very small.

Very small.

(silence)

There were no psychological perceptions (what I call "psychological perceptions" are, for instance, vibrations of love, vibrations of peace, vibrations of light, vibrations of knowledge, of power), they weren't there in that form, it wasn't that. Still, all that must have been there, because there were many things, many things that were all one thing, but one thing which assumed different forms; but I didn't see the forms, I didn't see the colors. It was only a question of pure sensation. A pure vibratory sensation: only vibrations, vibrations, vibrations, on a ... colossal scale.

It is a new experience.

(silence)

Obviously, there was ... there must have been a cause for alarm, because as soon as I became conscious of the experience (it started before I became conscious of it; when I did, it seemed to me it had already been going on for a long time; so when I say three hours, it means three hours during which I was conscious, but it had started long before; it was around eleven at night and lasted till three in the morning), so the second I was made conscious of the "thing," obviously there was a cause for alarm, because immediately I was told, "You see, this is what is going on," and it was thanks to that ecstasy in the body that there was no alarm: "Oh, things are fine, everything is fine." And when the experience was over, it didn't end like an experience exhausting itself; it ended as if, very slowly, the thing were, not exactly veiled to my consciousness, but as if my consciousness were turned away from it, with the feeling, "Don't worry." At the start and at the end. All the same, when I woke up, I thought (because my head felt strange, there was a bizarre sensation as if I had become quite swollen! Swollen, inordinately swollen), I thought, "Maybe when I get up tomorrow morning (I get up at 4:30), I'll find myself in a complete daze!" That's why I observed – but everything was fine, there only remained that sort of feeling of being swollen. I feel (yet it was two nights ago, not last night), I feel as if my head were swollen! But the clear-headedness is the same as ever!! (laughing) Nothing's been disturbed!

On the contrary, there is a sort of ... like an acuteness, something more acute in the perception, a little bit ironic – I don't know why. A magnified impression that all the things in the world are much ado about nothing, a lot of fuss about nothing – I've had that feeling for ... for centuries, I could say, but there is in addition something ever so slightly acute and ironic.

But otherwise, crystal clear!

(silence)

If someone could tell me ...

But I am not supposed to know, evidently. Probably I am too much of a chatterbox (!), I always tell you all my stories, which probably isn't necessary, so I am not told. But, you know, people are so fond of putting labels on things: "This is what it is, that is what it is...." We don't want that! It sounds so "smart," you know, like newspapers headlines: "The latest development." (Mother sketches big, sensational headlines) We don't want that.

You may have an experience for an hour, two hours sometimes, but here there was an impression that ... all of a sudden I was made aware. And that I participated: this (the body) was allowed to participate, because for some reason that I don't know (maybe because of the work going on in the body, I don't know, that must be why), it seemed necessary that I should participate. But the impression is that something stupendous is happening right now. You see, when I had that experience of the pulsations of Love in April last year, I had the perception of the color, the "psychological" perception of the state I was in (how can I explain?), for instance, the quality of the vibration of Love (something that has absolutely nothing to do with earthly things). At the time, I was That, I was those vibrations, but I was fully aware of the quality of those vibrations, and remained so for months – this is completely different! It was nothing but an action. NOTHING but an action. And an action, you know, in which the human body is less than an ant. Much less than an ant: an imperceptible point. Yet there seemed to be ONLY this body! As if this body alone were there and it were going through that. This body was a body ... it was THE body! And that point – that comforting point of ecstasy – was very small. Very small. But it was there, quite insistent, very conscious, telling me, "Don't interfere; leave it to me entirely, all is well – see, all is well." Very small, very small.... Yet it was my body: I tell you, my head still seems swollen!

Strange.(silence)

But are they new forces, or is it something going on habitually? Is it a new work on the earth, or is it that you have seen something that goes on habitually but of which you were unaware previously?

I wondered.... But the question isn't put correctly. It is something eternal which, because of what happened at that time (not at that minute, because, as I said, it must have been going on long before and long afterwards) ... it has become something new, for that reason, BECAUSE of what happened.[63] Coming back to all the things we know, we could say (but that's the usual idle talk) that it is something newly manifested.

But my impression was ... an impression of Eternity. An Eternity BEYOND TIME (not something that lasts forever: something timeless), yes, the word would be: "manifesting," "making itself perceptible," or "becoming active" – that's not it, because ... Yes, acting, becoming perceptible because it acts.

That was my impression.

I could also say: something universal which becomes individual; not individual in the sense of a small person, but conscious of itself.

But the remarkable thing is that it had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with all the intellectual activity, high or low – nothing. Nothing. Nothing to do with knowledge, or observation, discernment, intellectual perception, understanding, judgment and whatever.... Nothing, nothing, nothing to do with all that. It was ... a Force in motion.

"Force" means nothing! Force is something very small. It's ... the impression of "something" stupendous!

It had nothing to do with either Knowledge or Light or understanding (the whole angle of light and intellectual knowledge); nothing to do with Love (which I had felt last time and which has its own particular vibration). The best definition we could give is Power. It was Power in its most formidable aspect – crushing. With REAL All-Powerfulness; Power in its all-powerfulness, with that something unshakable, immutable, untouchable.[64] Yes, really Power, that's right.

But Power, you understand ... For example, a hurricane's power is nothing in comparison. All the powers a human being can withstand, even probably imagine, are nothing – nothing ... it's (Mother blows in the air) like soap bubbles.

The feeling of something that can be neither withstood nor felt, because of its formidable state.

And it was quite clear that a solicitude, the supreme Solicitude, took great care to reassure me: "All is well." Without that, obviously, the feeling was that everything, everything was going to be dissolved.

So if we use our little wits, maybe we can say it's the supramental Power which has manifested, I don't know.

(silence)

But there was no perception of light, nothing that might give a hint; there was no perception of feelings or love to give a hint. There was nothing of the kind, nothing – only something that makes you puff out your cheeks in disbelief (!), so formidable that it's indescribable. Indescribable.

Evidently it's Power.

We always conceive of power acting ON something, ON an object, with an object, WITH A VIEW to realizing something; we cannot separate the two – but it was none of that, it was ... Power in action. But not an action ON something.

I had the feeling it was a decisive turning point which far exceeded my little understanding.

(silence)

We will know, one day.

But the explanation comes afterwards: it's brought down to our small scale ... (laughing) to make us happy!

@

June 12, 1963

There was something happening.... I was brushing it away when something said to me, "If you don't tell this to Satprem, it will be lost forever." But I was already erasing it, so now I don't remember what it was....

It was last night, in the middle of the night.

(silence
Mother tries to remember, the clock strikes)

It was a rather acute sensation that when the world, the earth, goes from one state to another, there is a sort of transition; it is always like a ridge between two mountains (gesture of a precarious balance), and there is a very perilous moment when the slightest thing can cause a catastrophe – which means a lot of things would have to be built anew. The same phenomenon exists too on a very small scale, for individuals, in the sense that when they go from one state of consciousness – a collection of states which constitutes their individuality – to a higher state, or when they introduce into their state an element that will yield a higher synthesis, there is always a dangerous period when a catastrophe is possible. And the sensation I had last night was that the earth is now going through one such period of transition, and there is – there was or there is – a possibility of catastrophe.

(silence)

So if one can keep one's balance (it's almost a question of balance) and not fall on this side or that, if one can keep one's balance and get through that moment, then there could be a whole period of normal development which would be very harmonious.

(long silence)

It is a law of progress: whether the progress of the worlds, of the spheres, or individual progress, it's the same thing, though on different scales. I have a feeling that we are in one of those periods.

One must be very careful to keep one's balance.

@

June 15, 1963

I've received a letter from a friend in France who speaks at length of someone who has written three volumes entitled "Gnosis."

Ohh!

That person lives in Switzerland, he's a Russian named B.M. He has a center with disciples. I asked for his photograph and I'd like you to help me understand what type of man he is.

(Mother studies the photo) He is an intellectual, at any rate – clearly not a spiritual man. He may have some vital powers (that's generally what gets hold of people). Yes, an intellectual, an idealist.

Do you have his handwriting?

No.

He's terribly well-mannered, that's what bothers me! (laughing) A well-mannered gentleman!

I had the same feeling: a feeling of someone extraordinarily bourgeois.

A very "respectable" gentleman.

He must have some wit, a rather sharp wit. An ironist: he must be very clever at answering, really what we call esprit in French.

There is no sign of powers in the photo, but if he has any over people, it must be a vital power.

He is not a great mind; he doesn't go beyond the idealistic intellect. But that's more than enough for people, because true spiritual power is completely above their heads – of course, they are very sensitive to a little bit of vital power, mental-vital.

He's a man who could have practiced some Tantrism in the way Woodroffe did; I can't say. There are also many people of that kind who were converted to Sufism – they are very easily converted to Sufism. But true spiritual life, there aren't many....

He has written three volumes entitled "Gnosis."

Quite an ambition.

But he's an intellectual, he may have received some inspiration on the intellectual level.

Is your letter from France?

Yes, from a friend, and as this B.M. seems to be spreading, for my own guidance I wanted to know if he is in good hands or dubious hands.

The ceiling isn't very high, but that doesn't necessarily mean "bad hands."

An aristocrat 'your gentleman. Maybe a former aristocrat from Russia?

My friend is an aristocrat, a marquis "of something." But he's no ordinary marquis: he's an adventurer.

Well, yes! It's part of the character. It's the Kshatrya[65] element, it's part of the character: being an adventurer.

But this one is terribly well-mannered! (Laughing) Excellent manners, a refined man perhaps. An intellectual.

But is he humanitarian, does he work for the good of mankind? ... Or for the good of his own glory?!

He says he has received a Message. He has a Message.

Ah, he has something to reveal to the world – Lord, poor world! How many revelations! ...

Anyway, let's wait for the book, we'll see.

Because do you know the story of that Romanian who was tortured by the Communists and had visions of Sri Aurobindo[66] (he didn't see him as he is, in fact, he saw him according to his own conception: thin and ascetic), and finally the apparition told him, "I am your soul," and so on? But he had never read Sri Aurobindo's name, he only heard it, and he wrote it in a very odd way ["Aurobin Dogos"].... It SEEMS to be something of Sri Aurobindo. Anyhow it gave him the strength to go through all those tortures – appalling tortures, unimaginable. And he was able to escape, somebody helped him escape (now he is safe in England). But before that, he suffered so much that he thought of letting himself die, and that "voice," that apparition which came and spoke to him for hours, was what gave him courage and told him that "the soul NEVER gets discouraged, it has something to do, and you must endure." He endured thanks to that voice.

Well, similar things may have happened elsewhere and some people may have received inspirations – we cannot say.

It's clear that wherever there is a receptivity, the Force acts, there's no doubt.

***

(Mother returns to the previous conversation, in which she spoke of perilous periods of transition for the earth and for individuals, when everything hangs in a precarious balance.)

It keeps happening fairly often.

This morning again, for a stretch of several hours (it started at the end of the night, between 3 and 4 o'clock, and went on till 6:30 or 7 in the morning), there was a sensation of hanging in balance on a kind of ridge (gesture): you must be very careful, keep very quiet – not immobile but quiet.

It must be (on a much lower level) at such moments that you fall ill; when people fall ill, it must be (on their scale, of course, probably a very, very small scale), it must be due to that (gesture of precarious balance): they must be going from one moment to another, from one balance to another, and if they are not careful, they topple over. Then it's IN the illness that they find a new harmony – (laughing) either here or in another world!

***

(Then Mother comments on the visit Pandit Nehru paid to her two days earlier, on June 13:)

With the visit, which we could call presidential, naturally there was a lot of hullabaloo here: everybody was excited (most people were, at any rate). The visit was, so to speak, forced upon me, in the sense that I didn't want to see him – I didn't feel I was in such a state that the visit could have a paramount importance. Some people had high hopes in this visit (here and there, even in Switzerland, even in America), they thought I would be able to do something.... But practically speaking, it was an illusion, naturally.

And all at once, it came so clearly, as though the Lord Himself were arranging something, and it was translated into, "Give him a bath of the Lord." You understand, to make an atmosphere (no need to speak, no need for words), an atmosphere that is a bath of the Lord. So that all those who enter the atmosphere automatically enter the bath of the Lord. It was so lovely! And so simple, so smiling, nothing showy, no big words: something very simple and natural. So, early in the morning, I went to the room over there; I had many people to see beforehand, a host of people who came to see me in the morning, but nevertheless early in the morning I had already started preparing my bath of the Lord! I was finished seeing people about an hour before Nehru's arrival, so I stayed in the room, preparing the "bath".... It was very charming.

He may have felt something – they are very thick-skinned, you know, necessarily so: overworked, full of self-conceit, naturally, and convinced that they know everything and can do everything (and unfortunately they can do a lot), so the whole of life is organized so as to BLOCK all inner receptivity.

But he did have the bath!

He was supposed to stay two or three minutes – he stayed fifteen minutes.

I didn't say anything. Somebody who was there spoke. And towards the end, I could see (I had given him a comfortable armchair), I could see he wanted to get out of his armchair, as if to say, Now I must go. So I simply told him, You need a little rest – you should have seen the man's face: immediately everything relaxed. All the while, his fingers were fidgety like this (Mother drums her fingers on the chair's armrests), two fingers of his hand moving nonstop, even though I kept putting Peace and Quietness on him, but still his fingers were moving, because he was always active inside. And when I told him that, something relaxed in his face and the fingers stopped. But it was very late and everybody was waiting, so after a little while I let him go. It was very interesting: I simply told him, You need a little rest – everything stopped.

But mentally, you know ... (Mother makes a gesture: completely obtuse). There is a prince of Kashmir who came here once, a young man[67]; he went to England, and there he wrote a thesis on Sri Aurobindo's political life, Sri Aurobindo, Prophet of Indian Nationalism, with a preface by Jawaharlal Nehru. I read the preface, but afterwards, the day after I saw Nehru – it's awful! Understands nothing, he understands nothing, nothing, nothing, absolutely obtuse. It's very kind, but written by someone who understands nothing.... I will tell you the thing: between my first and second visits here, while I was away in Japan and Gandhi was starting his campaign,[68] he sent a telegram, then a messenger, to Sri Aurobindo here, asking him to be president of the Congress – to which Sri Aurobindo answered "No."

Those people never forgave him.

Yes, he never understood why Sri Aurobindo did not resume his political life.

No. And then, you see, he takes Gandhi's asceticism for spiritual life – always the same mistake! There's no way to pull them out of it. Unfortunately, the entire world has caught the same idea.

Then when there was that Cripps proposal,[69] I believe it was Nehru (or Gandhi, I don't remember which of the two) who said, "He has withdrawn from political life, why is he meddling! It's none of his business." They never forgave him. That is to say, completely obtuse, unable to understand that one can have a knowledge higher than practical knowledge.

There you are.

Do you see new threats hanging over India?

The Chinese? ... I don't know. There's a lot of talk about them.

Anyhow, X had announced it would be April – nothing happened!

It came a few days ago, I started to think again of "up there." So I looked, and I thought, "But April is behind us, isn't it?" It was just a few days ago – they may be preparing something, I don't know.

But the Chinese are fairly receptive, in spite of their Communism. They are receptive to an idea of human goodwill, in the sense that they think their political organization is the best from a human point of view, and therefore would like the whole world to adopt it – there is a sincerity in their conviction, they believe it's the best way of life. They are not entirely ill-willed. And they are very intelligent.

At any rate, they had the power to do whatever they liked [last October, at the defenseless northern borders of India], yet they did nothing.

Yes, that was extraordinary!

(Mother smiles) Not so extraordinary. But at any rate, it's proof of a certain receptivity.

They'd rather have a mental and political domination than wage war. They aren't bent on slaughtering people, you understand.

It seems (it's what I heard, I don't know) that all the prisoners (they had plenty of them – many of the Indians, unfortunately – and most of them were released), they all said they had been admirably treated. I heard that from all quarters.

And Nehru, you see (that's what Pavitra told me yesterday, he went to the town hall to listen to Nehru's speech), Nehru is an out-and-out social democrat who believes that the ideal organization for mankind, instead of only an "elite" being able to progress, is that the entire masses should progress (as if they wanted to! ... but anyway). It's an idea – everyone has his own ideas. But then it seems that when the Chinese attacked, it was a violent blow to his conviction: he thought it impossible that the Chinese would do such a thing (!) He was very deeply shattered.

Naturally, they see no farther than the tips of their noses, and then they are surprised when circumstances (laughing) don't agree!

But OUTWARDLY, there is nothing that can be done [to act on Nehru and the politicians]. It's only if you are sitting in your armchair, very quiet, that you can do something – provided not too many people are aware that you're doing something (!)

So there you are.

The other day, I had asked S.M. to come while Nehru was here (he is a friend of Nehru's and has his confidence), and S.M. did all the talking. But I saw that if he had been silent, if Nehru had been sitting in his armchair with me saying nothing and no one to listen to, he couldn't have stayed! He would have left. It would have been too strong, he couldn't have stayed. Whereas listening to S.M., he didn't pay attention, and slowly, slowly, I was able to do my work. Which means it can be done only in a COMPLETELY roundabout way, completely.

After he left, there was almost an invasion ... a totally unexpected invasion [of Nehru's retinue]. When I saw that, I thought, "Well, well! That's how I am protected!" If anyone of those people had had some mischief in mind, he could have just walked in! An invasion of the whole Pondicherry government: the councilors. Like a crush of ... I don't know, if I say "a rough sea," I give them a compliment! I hesitated, I was about to say "a herd," but a herd doesn't have the vulgar skepticism of those people; a herd is harmlessly unconscious, while these are unconscious but harmful.

I didn't know them (I know them, but I don't know them!), but I understood who the person was just from the way his face reacted to the atmosphere of the place! It was very funny. Two of them, in particular, when they came in, I thought, "Oh, it must be so and so," and the other, "Oh, this is certainly so and so," merely from the reaction on their faces – the contortion of their features on entering the bath! But in all that crowd there was one man, a sturdy fellow, in a military uniform – only one – whose face ... (what's the word in French?) became dignified. A sense of dignity suddenly came over his face. He was the chief of the Madras police (!)

Only one.

I wonder why they allowed that mob to come up, they shouldn't have left you ...

I tell you, I am at the mercy of anything! Unless people give prior notice that they're up to some mischief, nobody will stop them from coming upstairs!

But people like G. are notorious bandits!

Yes, it was G. I recognized. G. and D. are the two I recognized. I thought, "Oh, this is G.," and the other, "Oh, this must be D.," just from what came over their faces!

Oh, you can't imagine the crush! Twenty people at the same time. I thought, "Indeed, I am not protected physically." Unless a murderer comes and says, "I've come to murder," (laughing) they wouldn't stop him from coming up!

Nolini felt a bit embarrassed; he told me, "I tried to stop someone from passing but he pushed me aside, saying, 'I too am a Minister'"!! (laughter)

Oh, they're so ridiculous!... What a farce!

***

(Before leaving)

Is there nothing particular you'd like to eat?

No, Mother, I really have everything I need.

Are you sure?

Everything, but everything.

Except a bit of padding! ... Though it's true that it's too hot to eat. Do you feel hot?

Oh, yes, but one gets used to it.

With me, it's a wonderful thing (I give thanks to the Lord): I feel neither hot nor cold nor anything any more. But I can see that people suffer from heat.

I suffer when I write. When I write, I burn. I burn, my body literally burns! When I wrote the book on Sri Aurobindo, I was exhausted – it burns me, you see, I am ablaze! And then I get covered all over with salt: I don't sweat but I get covered with salt!

Oh, you're really a man of the West.

Hem....

It's true, people are generally built for the place where they are to live, but in my case, I felt comfortable only here. Up to the age of thirty, my whole childhood and youth, I always felt cold – always cold. And in winter ... Yet I went skating, did exercises, I led a very active life – but cold, terribly cold! I felt as if I lacked the sun. But when I came here: "Ah, at last! (Mother takes a breath) Now I am comfortable." The first year when I came here, bringing all that accumulated cold in my body, at the height of summer, in this season, I was going about in a woolen suit! A skirt, a blouse and a cloak. People would stare at me.... I didn't even notice it – it was my natural dress.

When I left again, I went by boat (people didn't travel by plane at the time), and when I came to the middle of the Mediterranean, I fell sick – sick from the cold, in the Mediterranean! So you see, I was built for the work here, (laughing) it was foreseen!

But couldn't we do something about that burning sensation?

Oh, as long as I don't write, it doesn't matter – I don't suppose I'm going to write books all the time?!

Next time, I'll give you a bottle of lotion. Before writing, rub yourself with it! (laughter) It keeps you cool.

@

June 19, 1963

This is a really difficult period right now.

All last night ...

There are activities that take place in a semidarkness, which the people of the place – people who are here at the Ashram – regard as light ... and where everyone attends to his affairs with his own ideas and what he considers to be his "knowledge." Everything takes place in a semidarkness, a great confusion and a ... you know, a most oppressive sense of powerlessness. It went on for hours. Finally, I absolutely wanted – I wanted to get out of that place at all costs and return to the Light (the real one) and the open. But it was literally impossible: whatever path I took to get out suddenly collapsed, or disappeared as if swallowed up in a wall or a complexity of incoherent things, or else it came to an abrupt end, plunging straight down very deep.... I remember one of those places, I absolutely wanted to find a way out, and when I got there, there was a sheer gulf, and I said to myself, "What am I going to do?" Just then I saw a man, I don't know who he was, but he was dressed (it was symbolic) as a mountain climber, with all the equipment needed to climb down a sheer cliff, and with the help of his ice ax he fastened himself to the cliff and climbed down. Then I said, "This is PRETENDING to find the way, but it's not finding the way." I was there concentrating, and as I concentrated, suddenly I was able to find a path which led me up to a terrace.

I was accompanied by three or four people (but they are symbolic people). Everything was taking place in a half-night, and outside it was complete night. But when I reached the terrace, there was one of those big electric street lights, which turned on and gave a white light (like the half-light of an electric lamp in the night – which is nothing). The terrace was a very long one, but with a drop on every side: there was no way to get out; at one end, the way was blocked by a sort of house, and on both sides it plunged straight down into a black hole. And then that sense of powerlessness, of knowing nothing – you don't know where to go, you don't know what to do. It was ... And it is THE ORDINARY STATE OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS – the consciousness of human activity. But in my consciousness (I was shut in there, you understand), it was truly ... it was almost a torture, last night; it was frightful.

I was saying to myself, "But what's the way to get out of here?" I concentrated, became conscious again of the divine Presence, but there was something telling me, "Nothing is responding, it's not working." It was horrible. "Nothing is responding, it's not working; it's not working, it can't change, nothing is responding; nothing is responding, it's not working." I was there like that, with two or three people. I sat down (some rooms were higher than others and it made a difference in level between the terraces), I sat down on a ledge, questioning intensely within, "What can I do? What can I do? What's the way? What can I do? Where's the lever?" I was trying to find the lever for changing it all. But I was unable to find it. Suddenly, from the room at the end a little old man came out, very old, who gave the impression of an attachment to old things; just the same (he was all blue), just the same when he arrived (it must be the symbol of an old method or an old discipline), I told him, "Ah, now that you are here, can you tell me the way out of this place? What's the way to get free, the way out?" That started him laughing: "No, no! There's no way, no way out, you must be content with what you have." Then he looked at that poor light above, which really didn't give much light at all, and he said (in a high-sounding tone): "But in the first place, I came to tell you that you must put out that sun! I don't want that dazzling sun here." Ah!... I thought, "That's what he calls a sun!" I was so disgusted that finally I woke up. Something pulled me out abruptly. But with such a strong impression – so strong – that I was gripped by anguish: "What can be done to change that?" The WAY, you see, the way was inadequate – inadequate. That was the anguish: "My own experience is inadequate, it has no effect THERE, so what's to be done? What's to be done? What can be done?" So that's how I was for hours this morning: "What's the way? What's the way? What's the way to change that darkness into light?"

It wasn't very cheering.

I'm not giving you all the details, but all sorts of people were there, with all their plans, all their ideas; one would come (what I've just said was only at the end, but before that plenty of people had come) and say, "Oh, look how cleverly I've organized this!" Then another one would come with another plan, then they would confer among themselves, then ... It was just life, you see! A whole mental domain of life.

And my experience did not REACH there; there was no contact, I was powerless. What little light that turned on because of my presence and was considered as a dazzling sun was to me a mere street lamp.... It was painful.

I thought, "Why? Why am I not happy and quiet here, too?" And something answered, "Because I want to change that." If I accepted it, I wouldn't even notice it; it's because I want to change that darkness. So then ... then there will be joy only when we have FOUND the way – and how to find it?... All the methods I use for the yoga and for transformation, all were useless, useless, useless, no action, no action, no effect, no effect.... I've never seen a place so unreceptive! No effect, none at all. And everybody VERY content with what he knew!

It is evidently a mental domain. A mental subconscient. But it's horrible. Horrible.

Then in the morning, I asked myself, "What? Is there still a lot like that?" A world! A whole world, a mass of things. And that powerlessness in which you find yourself; which means that unless I am given the key, there is no way. That funny little old man, oh, he almost made me angry (I cannot get angry, but I was almost angry and that's what woke me up), I was indignant. "Aah, aah (Mother takes the old man's rasping tone), so you want to get out of here?! But no one gets out of this place! And why do you want to get out? ... There's no way to get out, can't you see that there's no getting out of here – and why do you want to get out?! ... Anyway, I came to tell you, I only came to tell you to put out that sun! That dazzling sun, you know!"

Well ....

Those are my nights.

So you get the feeling it will take centuries – centuries to change! Or else a catastrophe.

Though even a catastrophe ... (Mother shakes her head negatively) it shakes it all up, then everything sinks back to the bottom.

(silence)

And I kept trying to go down.

It must be to reach subconscient and inconscient depths. That's always what gives difficulties – an abyss.

I haven't yet tried to take the plunge. So far, nothing ever pushed me to plunge down – several times I did find an unexpected way, but there was never the impulsion: "Too bad, I'll throw myself off."

I don't know why.

(long silence)

It is becoming increasingly positive – positive. And as if the problem were drawing closer and closer, growing more and more tight and stifling.

(silence)

It's perfectly obvious that people can live, that men can exist and live BECAUSE they are unconscious. If they were conscious, really conscious of the state they live in, it would be intolerable. And I can see that there is a very difficult period when you go from that unconsciousness (unconsciousness of the habit of living in that state) to a conscious vision of the state you live in. When you become totally conscious of things as they are – of what you are, of your condition – and when you do not yet have the power to get out, like last night, it's almost intolerable. And there was a very clear awareness, very precise, that it isn't a question of life or death: it doesn't depend on that sort of thing, which ultimately changes nothing but a wholly superficial appearance – that's not it! You know, people who are unhappy think, "Ah, a day will come when I'll die, and all my difficulties will be over" – they're simpletons! It won't be over at all, it will go on. It will go on until the time when they get out for good, that is, when they emerge from Ignorance into Knowledge. It's the only way out: to emerge from Ignorance into Knowledge. And you can die a thousand times, it won't get you out, it's perfectly useless – it just goes on. Sometimes, on the contrary, it drags you even further down.

That's the thing.

But if you know this too soon, there's something ... intolerable, intolerable. For a minute, it's really intolerable. If there weren't the inner faith to answer that there WILL be an end, that you WILL emerge ...

It must require a tremendously powerful lever.

I suppose people without solid heads become unhinged. Although truly, there is a remarkable Grace, because people are given a dose of experiences exactly according to their capacity. But this morning there was an hour ... an hour when I was absolutely conscious, absolutely conscious, and conscious of one single thing: the powerlessness – the powerlessness to get out of Ignorance. The will to get out of Ignorance and the powerlessness to do so. It gave me a whole hour of tension.

When I woke up, the tension was such that my head was like a boiling kettle; so immediately, I said, "Lord, it's Your concern, not mine; it's not my business." And naturally, everything calmed down instantly.

But those who do not have that experience (it's not a question of words, it's a question of experience), those who do not have that experience, were they to have that half-knowledge, the knowledge that we live in Ignorance, that we live in Ignorance with a sort of incapacity to get out – "There is no way out, no way to get out" – and that human wisdom is like that little old man who comes and tells you, "But why should you want to get out? Why should you – that's the way things are, just the way things are."... It's appalling. I felt, you know, like when you concentrate forces to the bursting point, as they do with their bombs; it was exactly like that: so concentrated, so overwhelming that I felt as if everything were about to burst. So much so that it would be utterly impossible for humanity to live with the awareness of the state it is in, if, at the same time, there weren't the key to get out (the key hasn't been found yet), or the assurance that we will get out.

I'm not speaking of things of the higher mind, because there the key to the way out was found long ago, a long time ago: I mean down below, in the material world – the material world. That's why all those people, like the old man last night, go somewhere else – it's all the same to them, why should they bother! "Why do you want to change that? ... And don't try to give light here, it's no use and in addition it's a nuisance. Leave this Ignorance in peace."

It is very clearly symbolic. But it's a frightful anguish, hard to bear.

That's why they all said, "Flee, flee, flee – leave it all, stop bothering about that, there's no getting out."

(silence)

It is the work in the physical mind we spoke of the other day – the material mind.

(silence)

It was very strange because I was in that state all the time, saying to myself, "I must find something, I must find something, there's something to find...." And I tried to call down the experiences of the higher beings,[70] but it couldn't reach down – it couldn't reach down, couldn't make contact. So when I saw that old man come (I knew perfectly well that he could do nothing whatsoever, but I thought, "I must ask him, I must ask him just the same, I must ask him"), I asked him – although I knew perfectly well that he couldn't give me the key. There was that double thing: the knowledge that all that goes on there[71] is useless, useless, that that's not where the solution lies; and yet you should neglect nothing, overlook nothing, leave no stone unturned. Give everything a try.

(silence)

And I came out like this (gesture as if Mother suddenly emerged from the experience with a movement backward and upward). How can I explain?... I was trying to find my way by going down, to find a way out down below, but I couldn't find it. So when that old man came, someone who was with me ... very obligingly went to turn out the light [on the old man's orders]! Then I felt within myself, "I can't bear it, I can't stand here and watch this light being turned out – this light which turned on when I came – I can't bear that!" And I left abruptly like this (same gesture of stepping backward and upward), and found myself instantly back in my bed.

Yet the way I seek is ever descending, descending, descending – never to the heights. It's always descending, descending, descending.

Oh! ... When will it be over?... I don't know.

(silence)

All the details are clear – it would take a book to write them. Everybody now has his place and meaning.[72] And they're all so content, so content! So BLISSFULLY ignorant of the condition they live in. And I'm not speaking of people who know nothing: all those who were there last night were people full of philosophy, of knowledge, of "spiritual experiences" and all that – the cream.

The elite of mankind....

@

June 22, 1963

I had a rather amusing experience while walking [during japa]. I was looking at people's attitude (I mean those who think they lead a spiritual life, who think they have made a surrender), and how they are utterly vexed when things don't happen the way they want! (They don't always admit it, they don't always say it to themselves, but it's a fact.) Then all at once, I saw a huge robot – huge, magnificent, resplendent, covered with gold and jewels – a huge being ... but a robot. And all-powerful – all-powerful, capable of doing anything, anything at all; anything you could imagine, he could do it: you had only to press a button and he did it. And it was ... (laughing) as if the Lord were telling me, "See, here is what I am to them!"

I couldn't have recounted the experience just like that, but I made a note of it. He said, "See, this is what I am to them." So I wrote it down.

(Mother first reads out the French version of her note)

Then I wrote it in English (if there's a "gap" in the Bulletin, I'll put it in!):

"The Lord is not an all-powerful automaton that the human beings can move by ... (laughing) the push-button of their will ...

It's very funny!

... the push-button of their will – and yet most of those who surrender to God expect that from Him."

I read it to Pavitra; he said, "But still, that's rather like the way things work!" He didn't quite understand (Mother laughs).

***

(Mother comments on the previous conversation, in which she was looking for a way out "down below" but abruptly came out of the experience "above":)

In order to be complete, we should add that we are aware (not aware: we know it, it's a certainty) that all the upward paths are open, traveled, you can go there as you like and when you like. That's it, and that's why, when I wanted to come out of the experience, it meant going upward, quite naturally. Not that the passage above is closed, on the contrary, it's traveled, explored – but inadequate. We must find the corresponding passage down below.

(silence)

All the means of getting out have been found and practiced. But only for getting out individually, or above – nobody has ever found the key to the change, the way to make that "thing" cease to exist.

Because it can cease only in order to become SOMETHING ELSE.

And to become something else, there must be that leaven of transformation.

There is a period (a period which from the human point of view may seem long, but which can certainly ...), a transitional period which must begin with the perception of what has to come, followed by the aspiration, the will to become it, and then the work of transformation.

How far have we gone in that work of transformation?

(silence)

Sri Aurobindo came with the notion, or the Command, or the conviction that it was in the present. But to what extent is the transformation present? And what does "present" mean? What span of time does it cover?...

There is such a certitude – such a certitude that the thing is ALREADY there, but that's when you see it from the other end. Seen from this end here ... When you see it on the scale of human beings and world events, how much time will it take? I don't know. And how far have we traveled, where are we on the road? I don't know.

And quite clearly, certainties as WE conceive of them, I mean someone who knows (and someone who knows can only be the Supreme) and tells you clearly, "Here is where you stand," and with YOUR way of seeing things, well (Mother laughs), such certainties aren't to be expected, it seems! Probably it's quite stupid to ask the question.

You do feel it's a bit stupid, but you often feel the need to know! (laughter) It's stupid, but....

It's not much, not a large part of the being that would like to know. It happens when the body feels quite ... bizarre, not at all, AT ALL as it was before, but also not at all as it thinks it should be. A transitional period which is truly unsatisfactory, in the sense that you no longer feel the strength you had, the capacities you had, but you don't feel at all the Power and capacities you expect either – you are halfway between, neither like this nor like that. With, now and then, some absolutely bewildering things, things that make you stare wide-eyed, "Oh, that's how it is!" But at the same time, such tiresome limitations, tiresome....

That is the part (a completely childish part) which needs a little encouragement: "Come on, don't worry, you're on the right track." But that's childish. The only way is to keep quiet and go on without worrying.

There is somewhere a sort of capacity for acute discernment, which can very easily turn into a censor (it's still there; probably it serves a purpose), and that's what demands certainties. The major part of the being says, "It's not my concern. I am here because You want me to be here. If You didn't want me to be here, I wouldn't be here." There is nothing like an attachment or a desire. (That went away quite a while ago! But now it has become an almost cellular condition.) "And since You keep me here, it means I am doing something here, and if I am doing something here, that's all I need, that's why You keep me here...." It comes full circle, of course.

How long will it last? That's not my concern. Maybe something would be a bit ... frightened if it were told the time it will take (we can't say, we can't foresee the reaction). So it's best to keep quiet. But there's nothing of interest. Nothing to make interesting literature – nothing, nothing at all ... absolutely nothing.

Patience.

@

June 26, 1963

(Regarding Satprem's Tantric yantram)

I made an experiment: writing the letter OM. When you have written it four, five, six times, it becomes excellent!

I wanted to know why you were asked to do that work and what you could draw from it. So I sat down to write your yantram, and it became very living, I could see it in front of me – I kept seeing it all the while. "But then," I thought, "the VERY FACT of writing must have an effect." Then I started writing the letter OM carefully.... Well, when I came to the fourth, the fifth, it became excellent – excellent, as though it were creating a vibration. That's the power it has, an external power. But then it was very amusing (the body is like a child – really a child), suddenly it said, "Oh, what a lovely game! To be sitting like this and writing, oh, how amusing! If I had the time, it would be great fun to write and write, lots and lots and lots of times." I saw that in the body – in the body's cells. Then I understood.

Basically, these are almost methods for children (children from the spiritual viewpoint), young souls – child-souls. They are methods for child-souls.

I used to write my whole japa fluently like that, in Sanskrit,[73] now I have forgotten everything again.

(Then Mother starts writing from memory Satprem's yantram with its nine figures, in the prescribed order. A few days earlier, Mother had done it without a single mistake; today she stops in the middle:)

Impossible to remember anything in the ordinary way (not that I try, either). The things I have to remember come spontaneously: they become living and present, they have a reality.

Just now, as I tried to remember, suddenly I started "thinking" – thought that you were here and that ... All gone, I forgot everything!

June 26, 1963

(Letter to Mother from Sujata)

Wednesday

Little Mother,

I had a dream this afternoon. I told it to Satprem, who said I should write to you about it.

I was on a staircase that looked like the one leading to the meditation room. Two Ashram girls, about sixteen or seventeen years old, were there, waiting to go upstairs to see "mother." When I heard that, I was seized by a sense of great danger. Because I KNEW that You weren't there. So I began to give instructions to the two girls, whom I knew, in fact, one especially. I don't remember what I told them but it was a matter of will – of life and death. The girl who knew me well promised she would do as I said, the other didn't seem to understand, and time was running out. In fact, the first girl had hardly had time to understand when the door opened and the "mother" was there to receive us. I had a glimpse of her. She was shorter than You in size, but her face resembled yours, though not the look. Also she had all over her round black spots (not jet black, rather brownish black). But for that, she was white.

After that glimpse, I turned and went back, because, Little Mother, I felt that if that false Mother could lay her hands on me once, I would never come out alive. Whereas if I could go out of that place, I might find a way to save the life of at least one of the girls. So before my absence was noticed, I started downstairs. The staircase has become narrow. The door is shut and a dark-looking guard is there. He is surprised to see me and does not want to let me out. I insist that he must open the door. He asks whether I saw "the Mother." I answer yes. He doesn't seem convinced. I add that she is covered with black spots. He is obliged to let me out but thinks that the second guard farther on may stop me. I go downstairs; I see the second guard but go another way; then there are closed doors everywhere, and I open some doors which, according to them, I should not have been able to open. Finally I come to a courtyard, with the last door closed behind me. I still had to cross the courtyard unseen and climb over the high walls that surrounded the house. At that point, I was awakened by servants before I knew whether or not I was able to get out.

With my pranams at your feet.

Your child who loves you,

Signed: Sujata

@

June 29, 1963

(Mother glances through a collection of Playground Talks and chances on the following question, which she answers immediately:) "Why isn't the universe a place of perfect bliss?"[74]

Because it's progressive. There is no other reason.

***

(Then Mother speaks of the new Pope, Paul VI, who was elected a few days earlier:)

Sri Aurobindo seems to have taken interest in the Pope's successor ... because two nights ago (not in the night, at four in the morning), I was with him – I spent a half hour with him (a half hour of OUR time, which is very long), he had just returned from a "tour," in Italy especially. We didn't directly talk about it, but some people were there (there were all kinds of things, many things), and from his comments to this or that person, or on this or that, I knew he was returning from Italy, where he had gone for the nomination of the new Pope. And he said something like: "It's the best that could be done under the present circumstances." That is, he appeared satisfied on the whole.

I told you, didn't I, that I saw the death of Pope [John XXIII] without even knowing he was ill? ... One night, I suddenly saw in the mental atmosphere of the EARTH quite an awesome movement, that is to say, quite global: there were great mental waves (nothing but mental), great waves of anxiety, as though all human thought were very upset; but it wasn't the anxiety of the believers, it was a very global movement – the earth's mental atmosphere was stirring with great movements of upheaval and anxiety (Mother draws waves in the air). I thought, "What's happening?... What's happening that can so upset men?" (as would happen, for instance, with a world war or events of that kind), "What's happening that can draw the attention of the whole earth's atmosphere, its mental atmosphere?" And the next day, I was told that just at that time, the Pope died. So I thought, "Indeed! ..."

Afterwards (because I am not concerned with all those things), I learned what he was doing: his "Ecumenical Council" and all his reforms, his attempt, in short, to bring everyone together as much as he could (all the Christians, at least), and the fact that he had become a friend of the Russians, etc. So then, I concentrated, because according to natural logic (the logic of Nature's actions), the next Pope should be a horrible reactionary – in a word, it didn't bode well. I concentrated and tried to make things work out for the best. And I see that Sri Aurobindo did find the thing important, since he concentrated over there.

According to the little popular wisdom, it seems his successor is a man with still more progressive ideas. I saw his photo ... (but it's a newspaper photo, they're generally very bad: you can't have any contact, you only see this much [gesture on the surface]). The thing that struck me most is a sort of insincerity. A benevolent and ecclesiastical insincerity – if you know what I mean?

Very well.

There was also the photo of the cardinal of India (the first and only cardinal in India), a straightforward man and a wholehearted believer – he must be a fanatical Catholic, but with a sincerity, a fervor. The other fellow is very intelligent – oh, he has a mouth I cannot look at, dreadful.

Anyway, we'll see what happens.

It seems Kennedy is Catholic. That is a serious matter.

They say he was the first person the Pope saw after his ... what's the word for Popes?

Investiture?

I don't know. When he first appears in public: "Here is the Pope!"

Anyhow, after the ceremony of investiture, he saw Mr. Kennedy: the first person.

(silence)

Catholicism has two things that Protestantism lacks: the occult sense (not only the sense but even a certain occult knowledge), and the Mother – the Virgin. The Protestants have something the Catholics lack: the inner divine presence.

It's only through those two things that you can catch them. But ...

Well, we'll see.

I don't know, when I saw the photo of the new Pope, I got a strong impression of a very shrewd man, a politician.

(Mother nods approvingly)

Someone very, very shrewd. I didn't feel anything spiritual.

Oh, but the last one didn't have anything spiritual either!

But he seemed good.

He was a good man.

This one gave me an impression of someone very shrewd and dangerous. A politician.

(Mother nods her head) Sri Aurobindo used something like these words: It is all that can be done in the present circumstances.

Which means it seemed to be the man of his choice, because he certainly went to the conclave and saw the situation, that's how he worked – he influenced the vote. Among all those people ([laughing] there are eighty of them, mon petit!), among all those people, this one was probably the one the most likely to do what we want him to.

He may do it for unavowed reasons, but anyway ... It generally happens that way in the present state of the earth: people's motives for doing things should not be taken too seriously – what's important is what they do. And if you look at things from a certain height (where everything is DECIDED, you understand), people and things are COMPELLED to act in a certain way, but the conscious human motives that determine their actions are irrelevant – "irrelevant" in the sense that they're not always ... to put it more clearly: you VERY rarely do things from the TRUE motive.

At any rate, Sri Aurobindo is interested in world events, which means he considers the Pope's election has a certain importance.

(silence)

But in reality, Catholicism finds its equilibrium because of Communism; so that the rapprochement between the two was a masterstroke. And I don't think the new man (who is a sly fox, I find) will want to lose the advantage the other had gained. The friendship with Russia is very clever. They are today's two platforms of influence in the earth's atmosphere.

We shall see.

I think the foremost idea of the one who left was to prevent war. Consciously, he wanted all Christians to love each other! (Mother laughs) A childish hope. To love each other in Jesus – whom they leave on the cross.

As Sri Aurobindo says, men ... men LOVE grief, that's why Jesus is still nailed on the cross.[75]

It's magnificent, that thing.

(silence)

With the others, the Communists, it's the opposite: they want everyone to be happy; but they have succeeded in making everyone unhappy! Everyone: before, a few were happy and many unhappy; now they're all unhappy!

That's what they call "serious matters."

(Later on, regarding Sujata's dream of the "false Mother":)

Apart from that, how are you?

Quite well, Mother.... Did you see anything particular regarding Sujata's dream?

Oh, I forgot to tell you.

It's an excursion in the vital.

You can tell her she got off lightly.

From the occult standpoint, if, for instance, she had said to the people who guarded the doors, "In the name of the Mother, let me out," probably doors and people and everything would have vanished.

It's difficult to remember those things in dream. But anyway, she has an inner trust, and thanks to it she got off lightly.

It was not chance that she was woken up – it wasn't chance: she was HELPED.

Quite likely, someone other than she wouldn't have seen the spots.

Ohh!

It was her sincerity that made her see the spots. And it was because she disclosed what she had seen that the guard was unable to stop her, because it was the sign of a power of inner sincerity.

It left me a bit pensive ... in the sense that I don't find it quite admissible that some persons [the false "Mother"] play that kind of game – though I know it does happen, I know there are such persons.

But I think it has helped to cleanse the atmosphere a little.

Yes, I told her to write to you because, besides her, there were also two Ashram girls who seemed to be in danger.

Yes. Oh, but there are many who are in danger – because they're not sincere, anyone can deceive them. You know, in such cases, for occult danger, the ONE THING that's absolutely indispensable is sincerity. It's the safeguard and security. Sincerity is security. For example, in the presence of that being, insincere people would have said, Oh, it's the Mother. They WOULD NOT HAVE SEEN, you understand. But she saw – it's her sincerity that saw.

The only thing ... (but it doesn't matter, it will come) is that if instead of trying to escape she had taken a determined attitude and said, "In the name of the Mother, open the door," brrrt! she would have seen everything vanish. But that ... I don't think it will happen again, but if it does, she will know what to do next time. It's a kind of sense of the battle.

You did well to ask her to write, it was important enough that I should know, because I have to cleanse the area a little. But I tell you, there are too many, too many insincerities, that's what opens the doors – insincerity is just like a sentry who opens the door, it's nothing but that. And unfortunately, there are lots and lots of insincerities ....

But anyway she got off lightly.

Here, let me give you a rose for her. A big one, a very big one, there!

***

(Just before Satprem leaves Mother speaks suddenly:)

There is a boat being built (the symbol of the yoga, obviously), it's made entirely of pink clay, and what a pink! ... A boat of pink clay. I was there with Sri Aurobindo – a very agile Sri Aurobindo who was going about supervising the construction; I too was going up and down with extreme ease.

Clay.

There were some workmen, in particular a young man who was extraordinary – I don't think they are purely human beings. But it's a long story....

But clay, that was something really new – and lovely! Pink. Pink, a warm, golden pink. They were cutting out [of the clay] rooms, stairways, ship decks and funnels, captains' cabins.... Sri Aurobindo himself is as he was, but more ... with a harmony of form: very, very broad here (in the chest), broad and solid. And very agile: he comes and goes, sits down, gets up, always with great majesty. His color is a sort of golden bronze, a color like the coagulation of his supramental gold, of his golden supramental being; as if it were very concentrated and coagulated to fashion his appearance; and it doesn't reflect light: it seems as if lit from within (but it doesn't radiate), and it doesn't cast any shadows. But perfectly natural, it doesn't surprise you, the most natural thing in the world: that's the way he is. Ageless; his hair has the same color as his body: he has hair, but you can't say if it's hair, it's the same color; the eyes too: a golden look. Yet it's perfectly natural, nothing surprising. He sits down just as he used to, with his leg as he used to put it [the right leg in front], and at the same time, when he gets up, he is agile: he comes and goes. Then when he went out of the house (he had told me he would have to go, he had an appointment with someone: he had promised to see two people, he had to go), he went out into a big garden, and down to the boat – which wasn't exactly a boat, it was a flat boat – and he had to go to the captain's cabin (he had to see the captain about some work), but it was with that boat that he was returning to his room "elsewhere" – he has a room elsewhere. Then after a while I thought, "I'll follow him so I can see." So I followed him; as long as I saw him in front of me I followed him. And when I came to the boat, I saw it was entirely built out of pink clay! Some workmen were working there – admirable workmen. So Sri Aurobindo went down quite naturally, down into the ship under construction, without ... (I don't think there were any stairs), and I followed him down. Then I saw him enter the captain's room; as he had told me he had some work to do, I thought (laughing), "I don't want to meddle in others' business! I'll go back home" (and I did well, I was already late in waking up!), "I'll go back home." And I saw one of the workmen leaving (as Sri Aurobindo had come back to the ship, they stopped the work). He was leaving. I called him, but he didn't know my language or any of the languages I know; so I called him in thought and asked him to pull me up, as I was below and there was a sheer wall of slippery clay. Then he smiled and with his head he said, "I certainly don't mind helping you, but it isn't necessary! You can climb up all by yourself." And indeed he held out his hand, I took it (I only touched him slightly), and climbed up all by myself without the slightest difficulty – I was weightless! I didn't have to pull at his hand, he didn't pull me up. And as soon as I was up, I went back home – I woke up and found myself in my bed ... five minutes later than my usual time.

But what struck me was the clay – it means something very material, doesn't it? And pink! A pink, oh, lovely! A golden pink.

They are building something.

It must be.... We aren't told anything, but our work "is being done" for us.

There you are.

It left a very strong sense of Power – concentrated.

That was yesterday.

July

July 3, 1963

(This conversation took place a few days after the new Pope, Paul VI, was enthroned. Mother had asked Satprem to erase the recording, except for a few fragments, but he thought it fit to retain at least its integral transcription.)

Here, your flowers [roses]. A magnificent color....

Then I have another photo of the Pope (Mother shows "Time" magazine).

It seems it's the photo he chose himself for the press, to announce his election.

It's better than the last one.

(Mother hands the photo to Satprem) So, what do you have to say?

You should be the one to say!

I have to say.

I have to say that I know this man. I have met him several times. I don't know whether he is conscious, I mean I don't think he remembers when he returns to his body. But for a long time (not recently, certainly at least for a year, maybe two), the man has been involving himself in world affairs, which means he takes interest in global movements.[76] I met him in this connection. I cannot say we've had interesting "conversations" or anything of that sort, but he is part of the organizations.

I hadn't seen that at all in the other photo [published by the daily newspapers] ... it's his eyes. The mouth is bad as in the other photo, but bad in another way: he looks almost malicious. But the man has power – real power; not a Pope's power, I mean: real power, inside him.

Vital power, you mean, or spiritual?

Not spiritual! Not spiritual: power. Power – which means a somewhat higher mental capacity along with a vital realization. He's a man who, were he not the Pope, would have no scruples.

But he happens (laughing) to be obliged at least to appear good!

I get a sense of hardness.

Very hard. Just the opposite of the other one [John XXIII].

But he has publicly pledged to continue what the other one had begun. Only, the other one had no power whatsoever: he was simply a good man on earth. This one isn't a "good man"! He's an effective power in the terrestrial organizations.

And now he has a position.

It's a bit outdated [the papacy]. But not so much as one may think. I saw that when the other one died, oh, how it stirred the earth's mental atmosphere, it was considerable. Which means that many, many human beings are still governed by that.

But I never concerned myself with that domain. Even when I saw the Pope, the one before the last one [Pius XII], who came to offer me the Keys (I told you the story, didn't I?), even with him, who had a SPIRITUAL rapport with the universal Mother, I never concerned myself. I never did anything for him, I never concerned myself with him. This time, for whatever reason, there is something that keeps pulling and pulling me in that direction.

I don't know, maybe something decisive is going to be achieved? I don't know....

But is his power of organization a power for the "good," if I may say so, or what?

I tell you, it's a power of domination. But now he is the Pope, so his domination will have to be at the service of his position, you understand.

But maybe ... The very fact that I met him (he may have been already thinking of becoming Pope, I don't know), but anyway, long before anyone except him thought of it, the fact that I met him while seeing to certain terrestrial arrangements shows that, probably unconsciously (I told you right away: I don't think he is conscious in his body), he is nevertheless under the influence, if not the control, of the higher forces.

Why is my attention drawn all of a sudden in that direction? Generally, I am not interested in all those things. For the action, I am concerned only with the little field of experience I have been given, and my terrestrial action is of quite another nature; it's on a higher plane, very independent of individuals.

I find there are three noteworthy points: First, this man was already concerning himself with terrestrial affairs when he was a mere cardinal in Milan (in Milan he was very involved in labor problems – there are many workers in Milan – and that interested him, he liked to solve workers" problems). Then there is the continuation of the other one's work: the rapprochement, so to say, with Russia, which is truly interesting. Last, there is the fact that Kennedy is Catholic. And also, that all this is happening just now, I mean when AT LEAST (I don't say at best, I say at least) the foundation of the new world is being prepared....

The foundations are being prepared.

We shall see.

(Mother looks at the "Time" magazine photo again:) With these photos it's very interesting, I have intriguing experiences: all at once I'll see crystal clear (much clearer than I see physically), I'll see the individual very clearly – he comes alive, the eyes speak to me – and I'll say, "Oh, he's like this and like that...." Everybody brings me photos, because I am used to reading people's characters in their photos, that's very easy for me, elementary; but sometimes when I am given a photo, suddenly I see somebody and I say, "Oh, but it's such and such person, he's like this and like that...." But if I am shown the SAME photo a few days afterwards, it's just a photo and I see nothing. It's a method that's used to "let me know" certain things, and once I know them, it's finished. For instance, the first time I saw this photo of the Pope, when they brought it to me, I saw the man (I know him, you see) JUST AS I see him over there. But if I look at it now – it doesn't evoke anything in me any more, only the kind of things you see in a photo: a mouth that's not good, far from it.... Certainly, that he chose this photo means he LIKES authority – he wants to be seen in his aspect of authority.

The odd thing is that he is seated [in the photo], while all the time I see him standing. He is seated with his hand on the armrest, but I keep seeing him standing – holding his head high, facing life, standing. He must be fairly tall: the man I know is fairly tall, he looks very much like this one. It's unmistakable, I mean, when I saw the photo I saw the man I knew.

But I think ... not "think," I see that his belief is, first, simply a question of habit, because he was born in that religion, and then a question of political necessity – I don't think he has the conviction that it is the pure Truth. Whereas the previous Pope really believed in it. This one knows too much in his supraconscient to believe that Christianity is the pure and exclusive Truth. Only, you see, when you're lucky enough to be the Pope, you've got to believe that the Pope is the Pope! Try to imagine, look at the global situation from a distance: of course the whole world isn't Catholic, but there are Catholics all over the world.

What seems ... bizarre to those who have gone beyond the petty, purely terrestrial limits – human terrestrial limits – is that belief in a SINGLE divine manifestation on the earth; all the religions are based on that, everyone says, "Christ was the only one," or "Buddha was the only one," or elsewhere "Mohammed was the only one," and so forth. Well, that "only one" is something IMPOSSIBLE as soon as you rise a little above the ordinary earth atmosphere – it appears childish. You can understand the thing and accept it only as a sort of recurrent movement of the divine Consciousness on the earth.

Of course, officially there is only Christ; maybe for this man [Paul VI], he is still the greatest, but I would be surprised if he thought Christ was the only one. Only, Christ "has to" be the only one – you'd cut out your own tongue rather than say he's not!

I don't think the question bothers him much (!) His concern is how to exert his power and keep people in it, so as, maybe, to prove his superiority.

This much conviction they still have, you see, that their religion IS superior to all others, their power is superior to all others, and therefore they have to be more powerful than the others. That's the main idea: "To be the most powerful." And what's the way, now, for them to gain that all-powerfulness? Already for two or three generations, they have understood the necessity of a broadening: the narrowness of their dogma gave them too many weak points.... But he [Paul VI] understands maybe even better. We'll see what happens.

Look what I've received (Mother hands a garland of jasmine), you'll give it to Sujata – it smells nice!

(silence)

But he seems to me by far the most interesting Pope in a very long time.

It's strange, I got a sense of repulsion.

Repulsion?

The only danger with these people is a spirit of Inquisition, but is that possible nowadays? I don't think so.

No, but under the cover of a "synthesis" or a broadening of the doctrine, they may very well be trying to expand further the power of Catholicism over the world.

Of course. Oh, but it's obvious. That's their intention.

Only, there is always an irony in things: if they grow too vast, they'll be engulfed in their own magnitude! It cannot be otherwise.

If, out of the need to enlarge, the Pope accepts, for instance, all the different sects (they've already started to accept the Protestants), if he accepts all those sects, (laughing) little by little they will either break apart or be drowned! You follow, if we look at it from above ... Let's even assume it's an Asuric power – it isn't ... (Mother hesitates) it isn't clearly and distinctly an Asuric power, because by his very position, the Pope is OBLIGED to recognize a god higher than himself; that god may, of course, be an Asura, but ... I have a sort of memory – the memory of a very ancient story no one ever told me ... in which the first Asura challenged the supreme Lord and told him, "I am as great as You!" And the answer was, "I wish you would become greater than I, because then there will be no more Asura."

This memory is very living, somewhere.... If you become the Whole, it's finished – you see, the Asura's ambition is to be greater than the supreme Lord: "Become greater than I, then there will be no more Asura."

On a very small scale, it's the same thing on the earth.

(silence)

In a certain state of consciousness, it becomes absolutely impossible to worry about what may happen[77]; everything becomes visibly, obviously, the work of one and the same Force, one and the same Consciousness, one and the same Power. So that sense and will and ambition to be "more" – more powerful, greater – is again the SAME Force which pushes you to expand to the Limitless. As soon as you cross the limit, it's finished.

Those are old ideas – the old ideas of two powers opposing each other: the power of Good and the power of Evil, the battle between the two, which of the two will have the last word.... There was a time when children were entertained with such stories. They're just children's stories.

Some people (or if you like, some beings, or forces, or consciousnesses) in order to progress need to give themselves, to merge, and in total self-annihilation, they attain Realization; for others the path is diametrically opposite: it's a growth, a domination, an expansion which assumes fantastic proportions ... until the separation disappears – it can no longer exist.

Some prefer this path, others prefer that one – but when we reach the end, it will all meet.

(silence)

Ultimately, the one thing necessary is to abolish limits.... There are many ways to abolish limits.

And maybe they are all equally difficult.

(silence)

That religion is perhaps the one I have fought the most. For a very simple reason: its power, its means of action (the power it uses as a means of action) is fear. And of all things, fear is the most degrading.

I saw two examples of this, one physically and the other intellectually (I am referring to things I was in contact with materially). Intellectually, it was a studio friend; for years we had done painting together, she was a very gentle girl, older than I, very serious, and a very good painter. During the last years of my life in Paris, I saw her often and I spoke to her, first of occult matters and the "Cosmic philosophy," then of what I knew of Sri Aurobindo (I had a "group" there and I used to explain certain things), and she would listen with great understanding – she understood, she approved. Now, one day, I went to her house and she told me she was in a great torment. When she was awake, she had no doubts, she understood well, she felt the limitations and obscurities of religion (she came from a family with several archbishops and a cardinal – well, one of those "old French families"). "But at night," she told me, "I suddenly wake up with an anguish and something – from my subconscient, obviously – tells me, 'But after all this, what if you go to hell?'" And she repeated, "When I am awake it doesn't have any force, but at night, when it comes up from the subconscient, it chokes me."

Then I looked, and I saw a kind of huge octopus over the earth: that formation of the Church – of hell – with which they hold people in their grip. The fear of hell. Even when all your reason, all your intelligence, all your feeling is against it, there is, at night, that octopus of the fear of hell which comes and grips you.

That brought home to me ... the magnitude of the problem – it's terrestrial. There are Catholics everywhere: in China, in Africa among the Negroes; people who don't give a thought to these things yet are under the sway and caught by the octopus.

Another time, when I was younger, I was in Italy, in Venice, painting in a corner of St. Mark's Cathedral (a marvelous place of great beauty), and I happened to be sitting right next to a confessional. One day, as I sat there painting, I saw the priest arrive and enter the confessional – that man ... completely black, tall, thin, the very face of wickedness and hardness: a pitiless wickedness. He closeted himself in there. After a short while there came a rather young woman, perhaps thirty years old, gentle, very sweet – not intelligent but very sweet – entirely dressed in black. She entered the box (he was already shut in and could no longer be seen), and they spoke through a grille. I should add that it's far more medieval than in France, it was really ... it was almost theatrical. She knelt down there, I saw her long gown flowing out, and she was speaking. (I couldn't hear, she was whispering; besides, both of them spoke in Italian, although I understand Italian.) The voices were barely audible, there was no sound. Then all at once, I heard the woman sobbing (she was sobbing in spasms), and it went on till suddenly – a collapse: she crumpled in a heap on the floor. Then that man opened the door, shoving aside her body with the door – and he strode away without a backward glance. I was young, you know, and if I could have, I would have killed him. What he had just done was monstrous. And he was going away ... it was a chunk of steel that walked out.

Incidents of that sort have left me with a peculiar impression. The stories of the Inquisition had already given me a sufficient ... Now, of course, you've heard what I told you [the story of the Asura], and that's really my way of seeing the thing. But there was a time when I might have said, "No religion has done more evil in the world than this one."

But I am not so sure now. It's one ASPECT of that religion.

It's yet too human a vision of things. I prefer – I prefer the vision of the Lord telling the Asura, "Go ahead, keep on growing and growing and growing ... and there will be no more Asura!" (laughing) That's better.

(silence)

This man [Paul VI] may have been like that priest in Venice. He was a tall young man, couldn't have been more than thirty, very thin, with a face like a knife blade, oh! ...

Fear is not a negative thing: it's a very positive thing, it's a special form of power that has always been used by the Asuric forces – it's their greatest strength. Their greatest strength is fear.

I can see: whenever people are defeated, it's ALWAYS through fear, always.

So if you (Mother turns to the photo) intend to make use of it, you'd better beware!

(Mother stares at the photo)

What comes to me is a magnificence....

Well, we'll see.

***

(Later, the subject is the English translation of Satprem's recent book on Sri Aurobindo:)

I think E. will be able to find a public over there, in America especially – more than in France.

(silence)

In France, all those who have an awakening, a spiritual need, rush back to the Catholic religion. Which means the octopus still has a great deal of power there – a very great deal.

Some time ago, I don't remember on what occasion, I recalled the time when you couldn't say that the earth rotates, or even that it's round – they killed you! Can you imagine that....

All the same, we've covered a good bit of ground.

When I realized that I knew this man [Paul VI], a thought came to me as if in jest: what if someone showed him my photo (because I know some people who can do it), and if he himself said, "But I know this woman!" Then I saw that old instinct, that habit not to allow anyone even to say or express opinions contrary to theirs. And I saw the curve – the curve we have traveled just the same towards freedom.... He would be almost obliged to tolerate me. His predecessor's predecessor [Pius XII] forbade the archbishop here to excommunicate people who came to the Ashram. (The archbishop wanted to do that, but he couldn't without the Pope's permission, and the Pope answered him, "Keep quiet.") The next archbishop renewed the excommunication here from his pulpit, but it didn't go beyond that. So I wondered, "What will be the Pope's attitude?" Because naturally, that kind of individual is quite capable of ordering the excommunication of something he considers and KNOWS to be true – that's just what you're seeing in this photo [Satprem's sense of repulsion]. Naturally, in them the political spirit overrides everything else.

Don't record all I've said. I don't want to have it here, I don't want it kept. Because the time hasn't come for me to meddle in these affairs.

Voilà.

There's a whole part in me that very often sees itself as a warrior when I come into contact with that Christian octopus. Something in me immediately feels an urge to fight against those people.

But isn't it chiefly mental? You feel the battle of ideas.

Yes, but almost in the way of those monks of old who went about preaching – I don't see myself preaching (!), but I see myself fighting them through speech.

Yes, through speech, that's what I mean.

Because you have a great combative power in the mind, very great, and that's immensely useful, but on the vital level I've never seen anything in you like a warrior.

Oh, yes! To go about the world preaching, to go about fighting with ideas, like, for instance, the great sages here who fought through speech – that, of course. But not as the general-in-chief of an army!

No!

Not a Napoleon, I mean.

But the urge to fight! Because I feel so strongly the Evil hidden there....

Oh!

And a vicious evil – a vicious evil hidden there.

Under the cloak of charity and total benevolence: a hypocrisy. Yes, those are the things that always made me get up in arms.

And in a way, it pains me to see that what little I can do, this book on Sri Aurobindo, for instance, isn't understood. There is a wall in France – a refusal, I can't get in there, it's blocked. It pains me. With the people I know there it's the same thing; everywhere I meet with a wall of incomprehension – it's absolutely and completely closed.[78]

(Long silence) With France's intellectual quality, the quality of her mind, the day she is truly touched spiritually (she never has been), the day she is touched spiritually, it will be something exceptional.

Sri Aurobindo had a great liking for France. I was born there – certainly for a reason. In my case, I know it very well: it was the need of culture, of a clear and precise mind, of refined thought, taste and clarity of mind – there is no other country in the world for that. None. And Sri Aurobindo had a liking for France for that same reason, a great liking. He used to say that throughout his life in England, he had a much greater liking for France than for England!

There is a reason. We'll see.

Things are perhaps going to move a little – I have a sort of feeling they're on the move. Only, there may be casualties – whenever things move fast, there is a possibility of casualties. Periods of stability when things settle down and take their place are more peaceful. But at the moment, it's more dangerous.

More dangerous.

(Mother takes back the Pope's photograph)

Leave me my Pope! (laughter)

@

July 6, 1963

Then?

There are some texts from the Agenda.

Again! But I didn't say a word! I said you should cut out everything.

But some things should be kept.

All right then.

There is also the previous conversation: your experience of the pink clay boat....[79]

Ah!

You know, the next day, I saw Sri Aurobindo again – it was Sri Aurobindo, he was with me, but a bit taller than the previous time, a bit slimmer, with his skin almost white, almost like mine (not the white of northern people but a kind of golden white). So I looked at him and smiled (because it had changed, you see!), I didn't say anything, but (laughing) he told me: Yes, to meet all tastes! I found that admirable!

That day, he was very busy with the external organization; he asked me for some information and made remarks about everything. Then there was an incident (I don't yet know what it means), and he said, Oh, there (but I can't remember which country that was – we were dealing with countries and governments), oh, there, all is all right, isn't it? And I answered him, "Yes, certainly, all is all right since all the people in the government are our people." And he seemed to be showing me ... (at night, Europe is always to my left, and America is always to my right, as if I were always facing north), he was showing me the left side and I too was pointing to the left, and it was there, all the people were ours: Everything is quite smooth. But I can't remember (probably on purpose); the name of the country or place or whatever has been wiped out – I could not remember it.

But I can still see Sri Aurobindo, a little taller than me, and myself bent forward and smiling, pointing to the left, and he said, "Yes." And I could see – I saw lots of people. Because it's a strange thing, the eyesight is absolutely different (it's in the subtle physical), the sight is absolutely different from physical sight: you see thousands of miles away and very near at the same time, and distance is implied only by a given place in the atmosphere (I don't know how to explain this), but what's far away is as near from the standpoint of action as what's very close by. You see, the action is just as concrete and close, but it is as though differently placed (Mother shows different levels in the atmosphere).... I never gave it a thought, but probably in that activity of the subtle physical we are physically much taller, I think; yet the proportions remain the same; but things are smaller [than Mother or Sri Aurobindo]. It's the same for going up or down, it doesn't have the meaning it has here. And that country I was pointing to was to the left, a little ... not backward, a little forward and lower down, like this (gesture).

Sri Aurobindo was very tall there. But I, too, was tall.

It was just the day after that first experience, at the same hour, but instead of looking after one kind of thing he was looking after another: all the material organizations, down to the smallest details, all the administrative details.... I remember very well looking at him like this (Mother raises her head, as if Sri Aurobindo were a little taller than she was) and telling him, Oh there, it is quite all right, it is all our people, you know. It is all our people, so everything goes smoothly.

?

(Laughing) There's no such place on earth!

None that I see!

Maybe it will come.

Maybe it was a premonition!

But the impression was very pleasant. Then he asked me a question on some detail of organization (but not a small thing, it was a big thing), and I answered, "Oh, I don't know, I don't see to that. I let them do as they think best. I only give the general orientation, and for details I let them do as they think best." Then he nodded his head approvingly.

I didn't see him the next day – I was expecting to see him, but I didn't see anything. I saw something quite different.

***

Shortly afterwards

For some time (I mean a year or maybe a year and a half), I have quite often been seeing some very ugly faces pass before me, and also all kinds of queer objects – things I didn't use to see formerly. I had seen ugly beings only once, when I was with Sri Aurobindo: during the day I caught a sort of influenza (it was more vital than physical), because I had attended and, so to say, presided over the "festival of arms"[80] of the workers here. And they threw all their woes on me, asking to be protected, relieved and so on – there is a sort of spontaneous sincerity in those people, and I answered straightforwardly, without protecting myself. I didn't even think for a minute of protecting myself: I answered all of them (inwardly, of course). I came back inside.... In the night, I had a frightful fever. But in the midst of that fever I was entirely conscious; I had the fever people call delirium, and I saw what delirium is: there were hordes of beings from the most material vital rushing at me with such violence! It was a real battle against an army of beings from the lowest, most material and also most violent vital – they came in waves and I kept throwing them back (which probably people are unable to do): one wave and I threw them back, another wave and I threw them back, and so on the whole night long. I had a fantastic fever. Sri Aurobindo was there, sitting beside my bed, and I told him, "Well, that's what gives what people call delirium." It attacks the cerebral region, it's really a frightful battle. The next morning, I had an influenza that looked like typhoid fever – I knew where it was coming from, I had seen it, I saw the whole thing, you understand.

It happened once and then it was over: quite naturally the atmosphere gave protection. This time it had the same character, in the sense that twisted faces, very base instincts, very ugly things come and ENTER, which means there must be some work going on on that level, and for it to be done some contact is necessary (naturally when I have my white atmosphere around me, try as they may, they cannot touch it), but this time they entered.

Well, I peered at the thing (laughing), not without some curiosity. (The first times, I was surprised, I thought, "Why am I starting to see such ugly things!" But then I soon understood it was because a work had to be done.) I peer at the thing with some curiosity, and I see I just have to do this (gesture like the flick of a feather duster), simply a little effortless movement and ... prrt! off it runs with fantastic speed.

But some of the faces I saw had come with the intention of making certain suggestions – I saw that (I don't know what their suggestions were, it didn't interest me and I kept sweeping it all away, so it went away). I didn't attach any importance to it, except that I kept answering in the same way (the feather duster), and I thought, "This must be putting order somewhere!" But today, N. read me a letter and told me the story of a boy who was here – a very nice boy who worked well – and who suddenly was overcome by disquiet and fear and got so ill at ease that finally he said, "My family is calling me, they want me, I must go." Then (I don't know when it happened, it was a while ago), he wrote that some time after he came back home (I don't recall the details), he came to know that a magician was regularly doing black magic against him (he was seeing ugly faces, incense burning, all kinds of odd little gestures – he tells the whole story in his letter – and it affected him very much), and that the magician (who I believe was more or less connected with the family!) was doing that regularly to make him leave the Ashram. Then he went to see the magician, or rather someone went to see the magician and told him, "The boy is back now, you need not continue, he is here, so there is no more reason to ..." And from that moment on, everything immediately disappeared: his feeling of disquiet and all his visions. Anyway, it was clear proof that the magician's work had put him in that state, and that as soon as the magician stopped his work, everything ceased.

Well, I have lived many years, and we know those things to exist, but I didn't attach any importance to them because to me they seemed powerless.... Indeed, they have never affected me (a few Tantrics did do some magic and succeeded in making me ill, but that had quite another character; this boy's story is in the lowest, most material vital domain, you see), and only lately did I notice those little games. They didn't affect me in the least – it was like images shown on a cinema screen, unsightly images, and I just thought, "What's the point?" Still, I did my cleanup, out of habit. But then, when I heard that story, I thought, "Well, I must be teaching a good lesson or two to all those people who do dirty magic!"

In other words, one domain after another, one difficulty after another, one kind of obstacle after another (obstacles that are either subconscious or in the most material consciousness or the lower vital), it all comes for an ACTION. An action which is very sustained and varied; even when some other thing (some other difficulty or problem) is in the foreground, predominant in the consciousness, everything is there [in the surrounding atmosphere], and all the time there is that Light (Mother makes a gesture of cleaning in the atmosphere) which has always been with me – of which I became totally conscious with Madame Théon, who told me what it was – a Light I have always kept with me, a white Light, absolutely pure, so dazzlingly white that eyes cannot look at it, a Light which is ...

(long silence
Mother goes off into that Light, her eyes closed)

I will say what it is later.

But at any rate, that is the force Durga wields. And that force is INVINCIBLE for Asuras – it's a fact. What it is ... we will know later.

(silence)

But it isn't total Victory, no. It isn't the power of transformation. The other day, I told you, I think, that one of my present activities consisted of a sort of conscious concentration on one person or another, one thing or another, to obtain the desired result. For years on end, the Will and Force acted from above, and the outer conscious being [of Mother] wasn't concerned with anything further, knowing that it would only make things more complicated instead of helping them, and that the Force left to itself, directly under the supreme Impulsion, worked things out far better and far more accurately. But over these last months, there have come a will and a tendency to make the material being [of Mother] participate consciously in the details of execution. It has a kind of passive obedience, and so, once that was willed [the need for Mother's material intervention], it began to happen. There was a case recently, with a very good friend of the Ashram, a man with an important position who has been very, very useful. He had to be operated on (I won't tell the whole story, it would be too long); we received two or three wires a day, I followed the thing step by step. There was a very powerful force of destruction – it was a very grim battle – and there was a will to keep him, because in this body he had been very useful, he was still very useful and could still be very useful. He had a great faith, a great trust, and he was conscious (his consciousness was very sufficiently developed: I saw him constantly and constantly he came to me). He fell into a butcher's hands; anyway, it was a wretched thing. Still, even though everyone expected him to leave his body, he held on and was constantly saying (we were kept informed by his son) and feeling that it was I who was keeping him alive. I could even see what they should have done and constantly I sent the formation, the thought, "But THIS is what should be done," insistently. Finally they caught my thought, but I think (I can't say, I don't know the details, the small material details), I think probably they didn't do exactly what they should have – that's why I say they must have been butchers. Thus they performed three operations in a row, and after undergoing all that, he came to me (before also he used to come very often – they said he was drowsy all the time, in a semi-coma, but that's not it: he was living inwardly), he came to me, totally conscious as usual, but he said, "I am afraid my body is irretrievably ruined, and if I survive now, instead of this body being a help and a tool of work, it will be a hindrance, an impediment, a source of difficulty, so I have come to ask to be freed – I prefer to enter a new body." I answered immediately, "But as you are, you are useful, very useful; the position you occupy makes you very useful; you are totally conscious; it would be good if you could recover." He listened, again insisted a little, I too insisted, and then he left.

The next morning, he was much better. I was hoping he had decided to stay, but we were without news for about twenty-four hours, till suddenly we were told he had stopped breathing and was being given oxygen. And then he left.

And I saw it so clearly: had he consented ... (naturally, every being's soul is free, it is free to decide), had he consented to stay on, I would have had enough power to keep him, to maintain his body in a condition good enough to keep him alive, BUT I DIDN'T HAVE THE POWER TO UNDO THE DAMAGE DONE – that isn't there yet.

That showed me the exact extent. That isn't there yet. The transformation isn't there yet.

I mean it's not something I have at my COMMAND and can pass on to someone. Many other powers are at my command and can be passed on to one or another, but this ...

Now I'll try (I always say "try" because ... there are always ill-intentioned ears listening in!), anyway, the next step is to give him a new dwelling. This belongs to the domain of things that are not only feasible but done all the time.

He was very conscious, with a lovely faith. He was an active man, very energetic (a short man). How active! And very energetic, with great authority, oh! ... The idea of being dependent on people who would have to nurse him ... he preferred to leave. He was conscious enough to know that the essence of his being, of his experience, is not lost – but still there is all that materially one has built painstakingly, and especially in his case, his position is the result of a whole life. I don't know....

Begin again in a little baby? ... (Mother shakes her head negatively) There's the rub, you see. When Sri Aurobindo left, he said, "I will return in a being formed supramentally – entirely conscious, with full capacities."

@

July 10, 1963

(Regarding the English translation of "The Adventure of Consciousness":)

... What's impossible to translate is the musical rhythm of the sentence – that's impossible. Because the English rhythm and the French rhythm are very different in character, and if you translate literally something that has a poetic rhythm in English, it may not come out poetic at all in French. So a translation is a translation, we have to settle for it.... But there will still be quite enough ideas left to do people some good!

Yes, but sometimes it becomes quite jerky. The French has a staccato, powerful rhythm, so in English it gives an impression of small bits cut and pasted together. But anyway, I think she is doing as well as can be done.

But Sri Aurobindo always told me that French once translated makes good English, while English once translated makes poor French. Because there is a precision in the language that comes from the translation, but that doesn't exist in natural English. Anyhow, I know it will do.

***

(Then Mother reads out a passage from "Savitri":)

There's something here....

A slow reversal's movement then took place:

A gas belched out from some invisible Fire,

Of its dense rings were formed these million stars;

Upon earth's new-born soil God's tread was heard.

(II.10;.101)

It's magnificent ... magnificent.

In French it would be poor.

I don't seek to translate poetically, I only try to render the meaning. I read the English sentence until I SEE the meaning clearly, and once I see it, I put it into French, but very awkwardly – I don't claim to be a poet! Only, the meaning is correct.

This translation will not serve any purpose – it serves a purpose only for me. But I don't even have the time, I can hardly spare half an hour a day for this work – I hope I can offer myself half an hour a day!

***

(Satprem reads Mother a previous conversation, of May 11, in which Mother said that the true mantra is not the one given you by a guru but the mantra that wells up from within spontaneously, like the cry of your soul.)

But how is it, if the mantra automatically contains the power of the experience, that it is always said that unless you have been "given" the mantra by your guru, it has no power?

That's when you have no power of your own, naturally! If, for example, just anybody comes to me and asks me for a mantra, I won't tell him he should find his own mantra inside....

What I said there applies to those who are in contact with their soul. But those who have no conscious contact with their soul cannot find their mantra – their head will search for words, but that's nothing. I said the mantra must well up from within – but for them, nothing will well up! They won't find it. They won't find it, not a chance! So in that case, the guru passes on his own power.

Yes, but when you read a mantra in a book, for instance, it is said there's no force in it – how is that, since the vibration is there?

But if you have the power within yourself and read the book, you will get the force! (Mother laughs) What's required is the capacity to feel and make contact.

Ultimately, what does the guru do? He connects (gesture of junction), he is nothing but a link. It's not "his" power he gives you (that's what he thinks, but it's not true): he is the link. He brings you into contact with the Power – a contact you don't have without him. But those who don't need a guru will make contact WITHOUT a guru.

It's not at all like something he pulls out of his pocket and offers you! That's not it at all: it's the power to make contact.

(silence)

Ultimately, it's simply a question of consciousness: people (ordinary people) have a consciousness that reaches up to a certain point (a point not very far away generally), and what's beyond it, to them, is the "unconscious" (although it's full of consciousness!), but it's unconscious to them because they can't make contact. It's the same as when at night you wake up in another state of being, become conscious and have a "dream" (what people call a dream, meaning an experience), then you return to your ordinary consciousness, and as there is no contact between the two consciousnesses, you don't even remember your dream. But you can, through methodical development, extend your consciousness and make a connection between the two; and the minute the connection is made, it takes very little to remember everything. But what's difficult is to extend your consciousness.

Basically, the guru's real power is to fill up the gaps! To bring you into contact: when you are in the higher planes, to bring you into contact with the Highest. Or to bring you into contact with your soul, your psychic being within, or to bring you into contact with the Supreme – but that not many can do.

(silence)

That's what I saw when I spoke to you the other day about what I called a "bath of the Lord." The atmosphere was full, really chockfull of a Presence (you can't even call it a "vibration," it's much more than a vibration: it's a Presence), but when people enter it, they don't feel anything! Or if they do, they don't even understand, it doesn't correspond to anything in their consciousness. But if I concentrate a particular vibration on their consciousness, I bring them into contact with it. And all of a sudden they feel something, with the impression that it's a new thing – it's nothing new! What's new is their capacity to perceive the thing.

In a general way, that's how it works: the Lord is everywhere, His vibration is everywhere, but what's new is the capacity to feel Him or be conscious of Him. From all eternity He has been there, for all eternity He shall be there.

And the experience I have constantly – constantly – isn't that I go in search of something that's not there and bring it where it wasn't! When I tell the Lord, "Manifest Yourself," I don't mean He hasn't manifested! I mean: "Give us the power to feel Your manifestation." We should say: "Become manifest.... Grant that we may grow conscious of Your Presence."

And that gives a clear sense of Unreality and Unconsciousness – and of all the consequent disorder. Because there is a CONSTANT Reality, a CONSTANT divine Order, and it's only the incapacity to perceive it that makes the present Disorder and Falsehood.

The experiences go on multiplying. But then, outwardly, everyone seems to start squabbling and quarreling with each other (laughing) much more than before, even (!), over the most futile things in the world and most unnecessarily, without any ground, just like that. And then, to me the two sides become visible at once: the true thing and its deformation; the event as it should occur and its deformation. Yet the event REMAINS THE SAME – the deformation is merely a sort of excrescence added on to it, which is absolutely unnecessary and complicates things atrociously, for no reason. And also which gives a strong impression of Falsehood (in the English sense of falsehood, not lie[81]): something without meaning or purpose, absolutely unnecessary and perfectly idiotic – then why is it there?? ... Seized and twisted – everything is seized and twisted. Where does that habit of twisting things come from? I don't know.

Ultimately one wonders who finds it amusing?! People complain, they say they're wretched – but it's their own fault! They're the first to twist things! If they didn't have that habit, everything would be perfectly simple.

And events would NOT be changed.

(silence)

Voilà.

Nothing else?

Or do you want to ask something?

No.... I was contemplating what you said.... It's true, we see things from the wrong end.

Exactly! That's exactly it!

These days I am EXPERIENCING that every minute, for everything, everything – everyone and everything around me, at EVERY minute. It's extremely interesting.

I'll give you the example of what Pavitra told me yesterday: he always used to go out of his body in his aspiration and to rise very high – I told him a hundred times that he shouldn't do it, it wasn't good (for HIM; to another I would have said to do it). He never understood, and every time he meditated, brrt! he would go out of his body. Then the other day he told me, "Ah, now I've understood! I was always seeking Mother up above, till suddenly I couldn't find anything any more. So I concentrated here [in the body], and I found Mother immediately." And he added, "It's because now Mother is here!" (Mother laughs) I didn't explain anything, but that was exactly the point!

I didn't tell him anything, but I smiled as though he had made a discovery!

People try to come into contact with something that's HERE!

(silence)

And the Power ... I would have to tell a mountain of experiences. For years and years and years, the Power was like this (gesture above the head): the Consciousness is there and the Power acts from there (same gesture). But it takes a long time to materialize (it depends on the person, but anyway, it always takes some time to materialize), and it gets distorted on the way, so that what's left is a rather ineffective residue. And I was wondering within me, "But for all that to change, a DIRECT power is needed! A power that would make itself felt directly, in other words, that would pass from cell to cell: vibrations of the same quality...." It's beginning to come. But I was also wondering why it didn't come faster.... Although I know very well: it's because we distort everything; we are so accustomed to living in a MENTALIZED consciousness that we distort everything, and naturally the Power cannot come just to get distorted. So now, the lesson is this: the Power comes for a specific action, for instance, to act on someone – the Power is here, it acts – and at the same time, I am given the opportunity to observe, really to VISUALIZE the ... (how should I put it?) ... Sri Aurobindo uses the word accretion ("outgrowth" isn't the word, it gives the feeling of something growing from within out – that's not it, it's something that comes from outside and is added on). I visualize how deformation sets in and is automatically added on to the Power – which spoils everything. So the Power stops short, everything reverts to its place ... and it starts all over again.

It takes a very sharp, attentive, and above all impersonal observation (impersonal in the sense of objective, without any reaction) to see those things.

Only little by little, little by little do you learn the true functioning; because those things that are added on and spoil everything aren't deliberate additions arising from a desire or impatience or overenthusiasm – it's none of that, it's due to ... a habit. It's quite simply a habit. That is, the psychological element is purified and doesn't interfere: it's just a habit. The SUBSTANCE has the habit of doing things that way, and so it does them that way. So it must be taught not to stir, to keep quiet, so that when the Vibration comes, the something that always rushes forward doesn't do so.

It's very interesting.

As though you were standing on the threshold of a stu-pen-dous realization that depends on a VERY SMALL thing.

(silence)

Sri Aurobindo said somewhere that miraculous realizations do not last (they do occur, but they don't last), and that transformation alone will effect a lasting change – now I understand! Because some people happen, for some reason or other (a moment or a flash, or for a particular purpose), to receive the Force: all at once the Force comes, goes through them and acts, producing a fantastic result, but ... it doesn't recur. It cannot recur, because it's like a combination of circumstances, nothing else. It's only when a modest work of this kind, a work of "local" transformation, so to speak, is completed and when there is the FULL consciousness with the FULL mastery of how to use the Force without anything interfering, that ... it will be like a chemistry experiment you have learned to perform correctly: you can repeat it at will every time it's necessary.

That's the period of work under way. Very interesting. But there's no glory in it!

@

July 13, 1963

I receive letters from everywhere, from Argentina, Canada and so on, from people I don't know but who are really sweet. Listen to this one (Mother takes a letter from beside her), it's from the mother of Z, who is here: If I were within walking distance of you, I would pick a rose, not yet full bloomed, laden and fragrant, to lay at your feet. This sounds like a love letter – well, it is! My son has been trying to teach me through you that all letters should be love letters.... It's lovely. So I replied like this: Indeed, all life is love if we know how to live it.

And then Nolini told me ...

(Mother relates some Ashram affairs)

... The Force seems to act more strongly at a distance than near at hand – it's odd. That is to say, it catches hold of people and won't let go of them. Naturally, near at hand, there is always in me the constant will not to influence: to act without influencing, allowing a total freedom. And that ... to tell the truth, people aren't ready for it. Yet that's how I understand things! I have the feeling that the world cannot be true unless it's absolutely free.

And the more power you have, the less you should influence.

But it [the will not to influence] is probably in my very material consciousness, so at a distance it doesn't count: people are caught, seized, held tight, and the Force won't let go of them. Very interesting.

***

(Then Mother tells about X's visit)

I gave him his "bath of the Lord"!

It was very interesting. I had to see someone before him, and I wanted enough time to prepare the atmosphere, but it didn't last too long. Then "it" condensed and accumulated. It made an absolutely still atmosphere, with only the internal vibration – I don't know how to explain.... I've said this a few times already: there is a Force which doesn't move and consequently can be said to be absolutely still, yet has an INNER intensity of vibration far more considerable than the vibration of motion. And it's a PALE golden light: it isn't white at all, it's golden. But not an intense gold: a pale color. It filled everything (there were no more walls in the room), and it was condensed, so condensed, as if ... tight as if ... under pressure, you know. There was nothing left but the inner vibration.

He came in, and there was only the ripple of his coming in. It took him maybe a minute or two to adapt. I don't know what his first impression was, but he looked visibly somewhat embarrassed – not ill at ease, but almost surprised, as if wondering, "What's going on?" Then after not even two minutes, he made his usual movement and stayed exactly twenty-two minutes without ANYTHING stirring. Nothing stirred. The atmosphere was absolutely still, without a thought, a movement, a reaction or anything.

Afterwards there came from outside the thought that the time was up (I had asked C. to open the door, and it hadn't opened yet), it made a slight disturbance, and it came precisely from where C. must have been. Then I saw that the door was open: it was twenty-two minutes later. So I looked at X once or twice and he opened his eyes.

I must say it's exceptional.

For five minutes, ten minutes (with one or two people I even went to a little over ten minutes), it happened that everything stayed like that, absolutely motionless: not a thought, you understand, nothing. The atmosphere was well prepared, but generally it doesn't last with people, even the best disposed in the world: after a while, they can't hold on – they can't bear it any more.

And the remarkable thing with him was the silence. The mental silence.

The other times, I told you, I more or less followed him to see what happened. The first time I saw him here [in the upper room], his aspiration rose in a cone, but a cone that was a little rigid and with a spiritual silver light that gave a feeling of ... (what shall I say?) a commonplace light, I don't know how to explain ... something very common, nothing exceptional. It was like a cone, tapering to a pointed tip, a very pointed tip ending in a nonexistent point – a nonexistence. It wasn't very satisfying. But this time ... As a matter of fact, that was why I wanted to prepare the atmosphere, I wanted to see. It was good.

***

A little later

So what do you bring me?

A letter from the publisher.

Ah!

Here's what he says: "I must now bring myself to write to you. With regret and sadness, I confess, since it is to inform you that we do not think it possible to publish your book 'Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness.' I confess that what prevented me from writing to you earlier is not so much the fear of causing you pain, for you are able to rise above the shock such news cannot but cause, as the fact that I knew it would be impossible to explain our reasons to you. Frankly, we cannot really understand this book. And how to explain the reasons for not understanding something? As for me, I often had the feeling of passing from one plane to another, from the level of fact to that of conjecture, from the level of logic (with defined terms as a starting point) to that of presupposition (within a coherence unconnected with the knowledge you offer). I know that all this is disputable. I also know or guess that behind those pages lies an entire lived experience, but one doesn't feel the reader can participate in it. For what reason? Once again, I cannot say. The reader's blindness, quite possibly. The mind's limitation, too. But a book must build a bridge, pierce the screen, and there are doubtless cases in which doing so no longer depends on the author. I must therefore return this manuscript to you." (signed: P.A.L.)

He's all at sea. It's very funny! It doesn't matter at all.

??

Yes, it means the book is really very good.

!?

I had a feeling Sri Aurobindo put a lot of his force into it to make it a revelation – a lot. And I became convinced that my impression was correct when Pavitra told me it had opened some doors to him that had never opened before. But that means it has to be read by people who already know a lot. This book is perhaps a step forward, not merely an explanation.

We'll see in America; I think it will be a great success there.

There are fewer barriers there.

They're younger, that is. They're young and still feel they WANT to learn – they blunder, they make a mess of many things, but there remains that need to learn.

The French are a little stale.

They're caught in refined but terrible constructions.

Yes. And also they are too aware of being intelligent. They're imprisoned in intellectual castles!

I almost felt like sending my blessings to your publisher.... If he began to understand, it would be fun!

I'm not all that hopeful!

Do you think the cells aren't over there!

No, but there's their whole formation.

That's on another level.

It will come one day.

No, but I've had a contact.

?

Just now, as I spoke to you. That's why I told you I felt like sending him my blessings. "With my blessings THAT YOU MAY UNDERSTAND!"

Yes, suddenly a contact.

We'll witness some strange things – you can be sure of that.

The Force works in extraordinary ways.... I will tell you about that another time, not today.

@

July 17, 1963

Nolini told me that every day since the Force has been on the increase, there's a shower of letters from people who cry out their misery, whether moral or material. It's a general cry for help, and, he told me, "The remarkable thing is that no one asks for material help," they all ask for my blessings and say (because they have faith) it brings them relief. He said, "It's the identical note in almost all the letters." Contacts with the outside have increased considerably; formerly, it was only with people who knew me, but now it's with scores of absolutely unknown people.

During the part of the night reserved for the work (generally between 2 and 4:30 in the morning ... it varies a little), daily now I see people whom I don't know physically – all the time, all the time, and with lots of work. The work I used to do with the people around me now seems to be spreading: I go to some places that I don't know at all. And always, always something under construction – always under construction, always. Sometimes I am even testing some new constructions, I mean I try to go this way, that way, do something, try this, try that.[82] And at the same time, I am working with people who, on the other hand, aren't part of those constructions – they're on the sidelines. To such a point that when I woke up this morning I said to myself, "But isn't this going to stop? Won't I get some rest!" But it was always an answer (an answer not in words but in FACTS), an instantaneous answer – taking no time, not gradual: instantaneous.[83]

And along with this, there's a vast, "dead-calm" rest (if you know what I mean?) in that Light – probably the Light as it will manifest. It's a golden Light, not very intense or very pale either; a little less pale than the one that I said comes when I concentrate[84]; a little more intense than that, though not dark – a golden Light, absolutely immobile, with such an inner intensity of vibration that it's beyond all perception. And then it's perfect rest – instantly. So as soon as I complain, the same ironic remark always comes: "Oh, when one can have that in the midst of work, one ought not to complain!" The two states are ... I can't say simultaneous (naturally it's not one after the other, both are there together), but it's not like two things next to each other, it's ... two ways of looking, I could say, two points – not points of view ... a horizontal look, and a look that's ... or rather, a specific look and an overall look. A specific look, that of the immediate activity, and an overall and constant look, that of the whole; and as soon as you look at the whole, it's ... (dead-calm gesture) immutable peace, unvarying rest. And then things seem to become swollen – swollen with an infinite content.

It requires no preparation, it isn't something you have to attain: it's ALWAYS there. Only, it also stems from the fact that I am not here (that's so clear, so clear, it needs no reflection or observation, it's such a well-established fact) ... I am not here for anything, anything whatsoever, any satisfaction of any sort, on any level, any point – none of that exists any more, that has no more reality, no more existence. The only thing I still FEEL is a sort of ... not an aspiration, not a will, not an adherence or enthusiasm, but something that is ... maybe it's more like a power: to do the Lord's Work. At the same time, I feel the Lord ... you understand, He isn't in front of me or outside of me! That's not it, He is everywhere and ... He is everywhere and I am everywhere with Him. But what holds these cells together in a permanent form is that something which is at once the will and power (and something more than both) to do the Lord's work. It contains something which probably is translated in people's consciousnesses as Bliss, Ananda (I must say it's an aspect of the problem I am not concerned with). Something like the intensity of a superlove as yet unmanifest – it's impossible to say.

Some time ago I made a discovery of that kind: someone asked me if there was any difference between Ananda and Love; I said, "No." Then he said to me, "But then how is it that some people feel Ananda while others feel Love?..." I answered him, "Yes! Those who feel Ananda are those who like to receive, who have the capacity to receive, and those who feel Love are those who have the capacity to give." But it's the same thing: you receive it as Ananda, you give it as Love.

So, probably, someone more on the "receiving" side would call that Vibration Ananda – maybe that's what people call the "joy of life," I don't know.... It has absolutely nothing to do with what human beings call joy. It's really the feeling of something full rather than empty – life as people live it, as I see them live it, is something hollow, empty, dry. Hollow. Hard and hollow together. And empty. So when I do that work, as I told you, all that's around me, all the work and everything is ... yes, it gives an impression of being dry and hollow; while when the other thing is there, you instantly get an impression of full-full-full-full – full! Overflowing, you know, no more bounds. So full that all, but all bounds are swept away, erased, gone – and there remains only That, that Something. That's why the cells remain held together – it's because of That, for That, by That. For no other reason.

It's growing increasingly constant and evident – natural, spontaneous. And the growing feeling that You – you know, the You, the You of adoration – You ... is only for the fun of it! I don't know how to explain. It's almost like a burst of laughter ... so obvious is it that there is no difference. Yes, there's only this: "Oh, it's so much fun to say 'You'!" That's how it is.

All this goes on here, in the body.

@

July 20, 1963

So what would you like to tell me? Tell me a story!

I don't have anything interesting to tell. I have quite a stagnant feeling.

Anyway, this time I've observed, carefully observed X's arrival, stay and departure. Because there were different opinions: some very unfavorable, that he always brought difficulties; others, that he always brought something positive. Well, to tell you the truth, there is nothing to it, ONLY what people think.

Yes.

Simply what they think. Otherwise, his arrival, his stay, his meditations, his departure: absolutely neutral. In other words, I noticed neither increased difficulties nor improved conditions. Things carry on in their own sweet way without any difference. The two atmospheres mingle without anything changing.

I had decided I would study the thing very carefully, absolutely objectively, in order to be sure – because I had around me all the waves of all the impressions, well-disposed as well as ill-disposed, and I found all that whirl ridiculous. I conducted my observation in a most scientific and objective way: the whole, entire effect is purely mental. The whole whirl – mental.

There you have it.

That's all.

And for you, did he tell you anything? For your yantram? Didn't you ask him?

I've lost the habit of asking him!

He doesn't answer.

So I stopped asking long ago.

But, no! It's because he doesn't know what to answer.

Maybe!

No, no, now I am sure! At the beginning I thought: maybe it's because ... But, no. I am sure.

All right.

How long do you still have to do it [the yantram]?

Till the end of December.

The end of December.... The Force, the Power may act, mind you – only, X as an instrument is ... barely conscious. It may pass through him – I don't say it won't. Because the remarkable point in the meditations (I took a good look this time) is that at the moment of his best, most complete receptivity, I had to come down to X's most material form to find a form – all the rest, there was no more form. Which means the inner being isn't individualized: it's identified, merged. And that's precisely what Sri Aurobindo explains so well: the difference between one who identifies with the Supreme through self-annihilation and one who can express the Supreme (gesture of pulling downward) in a perfected being and everywhere. That's what makes the whole difference. Of X there remained only the outer husk, so to say (a coarse enough husk, besides, thick and heavy, with very heavy vibrations), it was there, sitting in front of me and empty: the consciousness was gone (gesture showing the consciousness spread out or dissolved in the Infinite). So his power acts in an almost mediumistic manner, which means that when it is X who speaks, it's something quite ordinary, but the Force can come through him.

But curiously enough, that "yantram" seems to exasperate the physical mind.

Doesn't it set something at rest in your mind?

Generally, it makes the most material mind extremely active.

Extremely active...?

I have great difficulty keeping a hold on it. A domestic detail, for instance, some utterly material things invade my consciousness. The rest is always quiet, but utterly material things become very active.

Probably it pulls the Force down into a very material domain....

All right. It will calm down as it develops.

Yes, I think so. In fact I can see that it's good, it's useful.

Oh, yes! Certainly.

But apart from that, I've had a great sense of inner stagnation for a few months: there's no progress. Up there, there's always something: if I climb up there and meditate, if I connect myself up there, everything is fine, but ... it seems to me it can go on for centuries!

Yes.

... Without anything changing. I have no sense of progress.

It's because the action, the power of progress now acts in the thick of Matter. And down there, there's a long, long way to go – a long way, oh! ...

We can only arm ourselves with patience, that's all. That's the only thing we can do. Be patient.

But materially, is your body better or...?

Because that's where the progress is taking place.(silence)

All the habitual rhythms of the material world have changed.... The body had based its sort of sense of good health on a certain number of vibrations, and whenever those vibrations were present, it felt in good health; when something came and disturbed them, it felt that it was about to fall ill or that it was ill, depending on the intensity. All that has changed now: those basic vibrations have simply been removed, they no longer exist; the vibrations on which the body based its sense of good or ill health – removed. They are replaced by something else, and something else of such a nature that "good health" and "illness" have lost all meaning! Now, there is the sense of an established harmony among the cells, increasingly established among the cells, which represents the right functioning, whatever that may be: it's no longer a question of a stomach or a heart or this or that. And the slightest thing that comes and disturbs that harmony is VERY painful, but at the same time there is the knowledge of what to do to reestablish the harmony instantly; and if the harmony is reestablished, the functioning isn't affected. But if out of curiosity, for instance (it's a mental illness in humans), you start asking yourself, "What's that? What effect will it have? What's going to happen?" (what the body calls "the desire to learn"), if you are unlucky enough to be that way, you can be sure (laughing) that you'll have something very unpleasant which, according to the doctor (according to ignoramuses), becomes an illness or disrupts the body's functioning. While if you don't have that unhealthy curiosity and, on the contrary, will the harmony not to be disrupted, you only have to, we could say poetically, bring one drop of the Lord on the troubled spot for everything to be fine again.

The body is unable to know things in the way it did formerly.

So there is a period when you are in suspense: no longer this, not yet that, just in between. It's a difficult period when you have to be very quiet, very patient, and above all – above all – never become afraid or irritated or impatient, because that's catastrophic. And the difficulty is that from all quarters and without letup come all the idiotic suggestions of ordinary thinking: age, deterioration, the possibility of death, the constant threat of illness, of the slightest thing – illness, dotage ... decay. It comes all the time, all the time, all the time; and all the time this poor harried body has to remain very quiet and not to listen, preoccupied only with maintaining its vibrations in a harmonious state.

Sometimes I catch it (that must be something quite common among human beings) in a sort of haste – a haste, a kind of impatience, and also, I can't say fear or anxiety, but a sense of uncertainty. The two together: impatience to get out of the present moment to the immediately next, and at the same time uncertainty as to what that immediately next moment is going to bring. The whole thing makes a vibration of restlessness – what's the word in French?

Febrility, agitation?

That's too much – "agitation" is too much, it's rather a lack of rest. Not agitation really, but something that lacks the rest of certainty. I constantly catch my cells being like that. Naturally I react, but for them it's a very normal state: always straining after the next moment, never the quietude of the present moment. The result (the words I use give a very concrete character to something rather fluid), the result is the feeling that you have to bear or endure, and the haste to get out of that enduring, along with the hope (a very faint and flimsy hope) that the next moment will be better. That's how it is from moment to moment, from moment to moment, from moment to moment. As soon as the Consciousness comes (gesture of descent) and concentrates, as soon as I bring the Consciousness into the present moment, everything becomes quiet, immobile, eternal. But if I am not CONSTANTLY attentive, the other condition [of restlessness] comes almost as a subconsciousness: it's always there. And VERY tiring – it must be one of the most important sources of fatigue in mankind. Especially here (Mother touches her forehead and temples), it's very tiring. Only when you can live in the eternity of the present minute does it all stop – everything becomes white, immobile, calm, everything is fine.

But it means constant vigilance – constant. It's infinitely more difficult than when one worked even in the vital; in the vital, it's nothing, it's child's play in comparison. But here, phew! ... Because, you see, in the mind or the vital, it's all movements of organization, of action, of choice, of decision – it's very easy to decide, to rule! But that cellular tension is there EVERY SECOND: it's the activity inherent in material existence. It's only when you go into samadhi that it stops. That is, when outwardly you are in trance. Then it stops.

From time to time – two, three times a day – I am given a few minutes of it. It's a marvelous relaxation. But I always come out of it (I mean the BODY comes out of it) with an anxiety, in the sense that it says, "Oh, I've forgotten to live!" Very odd. Only one second, but a second of anxiety: "Oh, I've forgotten to live!" – and the drama starts all over again.

No, it's no fun. It's interesting only for someone who finds interest in EVERYTHING, to whom EVERYTHING is interesting, that is to say, who has the sort of will for perfection that neglects no detail – otherwise, it isn't ... As soon as you enter the mental realm, of course, the mind says, "Ah, no! No, it's a waste of time." It isn't, but the mind regards all that as twaddle.

(silence)

I said just now that when I come out of those moments of trance, the body feels, "Oh, I've forgotten to live...." It isn't "live," it's the feeling: I've forgotten to act or concentrate, or to do the thing needed; the feeling of a servant who for a minute has stopped his work – that's it. It's just a flash, then at once comes the sense of the divine Presence, and it's all over.

It's not the word "live," no, it's "To do what one is supposed to do."

It happens especially during daytime (between 12:30 and 1 o'clock – not for long, a few minutes, I can't say; and between 5:30 and 6). At night it's not the same, because (I think I've told you already) as soon as I stretch out, the whole body is like a prayer. It's more than an aspiration, it's an intense need: "Lord, take hold of me ENTIRELY! So there may be nothing but You," and that always brings about a result [the trance] – which may last more or less long, until (how can I put it?) ... the moment "agreed upon" comes! Then when I wake up, or rather when the body emerges from that state, it knows it's agreed upon, it doesn't have that anxiety. I don't know how to explain.... In terms of consciousness it's almost like a child: very simple, very simple. No complications, no complications whatever, very simple: to do what is to be done in the proper way while expressing the supreme Will.... That is, to bring as little mixture as possible to the supreme Will (it's not a question of Will: the Movement, the Vibration), as little mixture or distortion or deterioration as possible to the Vibration – we always translate into words that are too intellectual.

But the body is docile, full of goodwill. Only I find it's a little bit of a whiner (that must be particular to this one, I am sure other bodies are different), it isn't spontaneously joyful. Not that it complains, not at all, but ... Perhaps it's due to that sort of concentration of Force of progress – it's not a blissful satisfaction, far from it. It's a long time since it stopped enjoying ordinary satisfactions, like the sense of taste, of smell: it doesn't enjoy any of that – it is conscious, very conscious, it can discern things very clearly, but in an entirely objective way, without deriving any pleasure from them.

Yet it has a spontaneous tendency to find itself incapable; and it receives the same answer all the time: "That's still the ego." That happens so often, it says to the Lord, "Look how incapable I am of doing what You want," and pat comes the answer, direct, in a flash: "Don't bother about that, it's not your business!" Naturally, I put it into words to express myself, but it isn't words, it's only sensations – not even "sensations": vibrations.

Voilà.

So all that must be having repercussions on the others, like Pavitra, when he told me the other day he was seeking me "up above" and could no longer find me! This very down-to-earth state (we can really call it down-to-earth), this very down-to-earth state of things may also create ... not an increased heaviness (because God knows it isn't heavy! It's so luminous, vibrant, luminous, so vibrant, vibrant), that's not it, but it's really at ground level. At ground level. It has none of the flights and enthusiasms of mental things, visions and all that. So it appears a little monotonous and very much at ground level.

Yes, but we don't have the sense of participating in something. You are conscious, while we're not.

Exactly, there's nothing to satisfy you one way or the other!

Yes, but if we were conscious, at least we would see that something is happening, but as we are unconscious, we aren't aware of anything.

But how can you say that something is "happening," mon petit!

We would see a work is being done.... As it is, we don't see anything.

But, no, you can't "see"! How can you?

(silence)

I have a kind of certitude (not quite formulated in words: a certitude in sensation, in feeling) that once this work is completed, the result will be ... almost like a thunderbolt. Because the Power's action through the mind gets diluted, qualified, adapted, altered, and so on, and how much reaches down here? (gesture as of water disappearing into sand) While the day it acts through this matter (Mother touches her body), obviously it will be overwhelming. There isn't a shadow of doubt. But when will that be? After how long? I can't say. When you see the thing in detail, you know, it appears interminable.

I console myself with the thought that the ways of the Lord are unknown to us, and that the day it pleases Him to declare, "Here, now it's all changed," (Mother laughs) all we'll have to do is contemplate!

But when? I don't know. Voilà.

We must have endurance, patience, and trust too – to last and last and last. Because ultimately, whatever way you look at it, that's the only solution. All the roundabout routes people follow (zigzag gesture as if to show the spiritual disciplines and all the usual human quests) are simply to give you the illusion that you are doing something. That's quite clear.

(silence)

All the same, I have some hope that in February next year[85] something will be tangible. But ... (laughing) Sri Aurobindo says that man lives on hope from the cradle to the grave! Anyhow, mine isn't the same kind of hope: it's a sort of sensation. Something may happen next February – we'll see.

@

July 24, 1963

(Mother first reads in English an unpublished letter of Sri Aurobindo's:)

"About the present civilisation, it is not this which has to be saved; it is the world that has to be saved and that will surely be done, though it may not be so easily or so soon as some wish or imagine or in the way that they imagine. The present must surely change, but whether by a destruction or a new construction on the basis of a greater Truth, is the issue. The Mother has left ... (Mother laughs) this question hanging and I can only do the same."

(September 1945)

It's marvelous! (Mother laughs) Marvelous. And it was written in '45, that is to say during the war – the war hadn't ended yet.

It was the end.[86]

 

I intend to distribute this for August 15.

(Satprem, in English:) Is it still hanging?

(Mother laughs and does not reply)

There are two other letters:

"To bring the Divine Love and Beauty and Ananda into the world is, indeed, the whole crown and essence of our yoga. But it has always seemed to me impossible unless there comes as its support and foundation and guard the Divine Truth – what I call the supramental – and its Divine Power...."

(XXIII.753)

Here it's clear: he says that what he calls the "Supramental" is the Divine Truth, and that it must come first, and the rest comes afterwards.

And yet, for some time now and increasingly, there has been an extremely concrete Response to a kind of aspiration (a call or prayer) in which I say to the Lord, "Supreme Lord, manifest Your Love." (It comes at the end of a long invocation in which I ask Him to manifest all His aspects one after another, one after another, and it ends like that.) But then, remarkably enough, at that moment there comes a Response which is growing clearer and clearer, stronger and stronger.... But Sri Aurobindo says that Truth should be established first, and that what he calls the Supramental is the supreme Truth, the Divine Truth. It corresponds to what I noticed while translating that last chapter on "the perfection of the being" in the "Yoga of Self-Perfection": I kept thinking, "But that's only the aspect of Truth; all that he expresses is the aspect of Truth; always and everywhere, it's the angle of Truth; and his supramental action is an action of Truth."

I didn't know he had said it, but it's written clearly here:

"... But it has always seemed to me impossible unless there comes as its support and foundation and guard the Divine Truth – what I call the supramental – and its Divine Power. Otherwise Love itself blinded by the confusions of this present consciousness may stumble in its human receptacles and, even otherwise, may find itself unrecognised, rejected or rapidly degenerating and lost in the frailty of man's inferior nature. But when it comes in the divine truth and power, Divine Love descends first as something transcendent and universal and out of that transcendence and universality it applies itself to persons according to the Divine Truth and Will, creating a vaster, greater, purer personal love than any the human mind or heart can now imagine. It is when one has felt this descent that one can be really an instrument for the birth and action of the Divine Love in the world."

(XXIII.753)

They don't give the date, but I find it most interesting. And the last one:

"The importance of the body is obvious; it is because he has developed or been given a body and brain capable of receiving and serving a progressive mental illumination that man has risen above the animal. Equally, it can only be by developing a body or at least a functioning of the physical instrument capable of receiving and serving a still higher illumination that he will rise above himself and realise, not merely in thought and in his internal being but in life, a perfectly divine manhood. Otherwise either the promise of Life is cancelled, its meaning annulled and earthly being can only realise Sachchidananda by abolishing itself, by shedding from it mind, life and body and returning to the pure Infinite, or else man is not the divine instrument, there is a destined limit to the consciously progressive power which distinguishes him from all other terrestrial existences and as he has replaced them in the front of things, so another must eventually replace him and assume his heritage."

(The Life Divine, XVIII.231)

It's amusing.

(silence)

Aren't you replying to my question?

No! (laughter)

No, barely two or three days ago, someone asked me a similar question: "Will there be another great destruction or not?" Those are things one ought not to talk about.[87]

(silence)

You know that X ceaselessly repeats, "There will be war, there will be war, there will be war ... even if I don't want it, there will be war"!! He had said war would come by April – it's now July.

For the time being, the Chinese are quite clearly those who represent in the world the aggressive attitude; they've even quarreled with the Russians because of that – a serious quarrel. You know the story, I suppose.

(silence)

Those are things it's better not to talk about.

***

Then Mother comments again on Sri Aurobindo's second letter:

And were Love to manifest before Truth, there would be catastrophes.

It's curious, for a-very long time, for months and almost years, something always stopped me when I asked for Love's manifestation, a sort of very clear impression: "No, it isn't time yet, it isn't time yet...." Until suddenly one day it started off and there came an overwhelming Response. That was several months ago, and ever since then there has been a Response – an ever-increasing Response.

Yet I can't say in all sincerity that the Truth has manifested'

Perhaps the preparation is sufficient?

Perhaps it's an individual question – yet my action isn't individual, there's a constant perception of the earth's atmosphere.

Never mind, to say so gives some comfort!

(silence)

Your health – all right?

All right, Mother.

Good. That's the one thing needed – important, very important: to keep the body in good health, in a sort of balance. We must keep our balance. Very important. The rest doesn't matter!

(Mother laughs and so does Satprem)

@

July 27, 1963

(Mother first comments on the death of a disciple, M.)

How they treat those poor dead! ...

Naturally, they rushed to cremate him; they asked me candidly (because his nephew was coming but not before the next morning, that is, a little less than twenty-four hours after Ml's death – nearly twenty hours), they asked me, "Should we keep him or not?" I answered, "It depends. If you ask me as far as HE is concerned, certainly the longer you keep him the better." Then I see eyes open wide, a mouth open wide – don't understand anything! I told them, "It takes QUITE A WHILE for the consciousness to come out slowly! Otherwise, when you burn him, it's pushed out violently, it gives a terrible shock."

To tell the truth, people burn the dead in that way to destroy the vital, I am sure of it. The idea is not to have any ghosts.

A little before his death he had asked me for a new name. He had nearly died twice, but he was saved (the doctors were sure he would die), he was saved by his faith; he had such faith, such an irresistible faith that twice it pulled him through: he was paralyzed, couldn't see any more, it was terrible. And twice all his faculties came back (his eyes weren't too good, but anyway he could talk and move around). The third time, he wanted to get completely cured, because he was a businessman and had made a resolve to earn ten lakhs[88] of rupees for me (he had already given me four lakhs in the past, but he wanted to give me ten). So he absolutely wanted to live, but as he found himself not too well (he was quite deteriorated!), he called for one of those kaviraj (you know, those self-styled doctors), who finished him off: he couldn't eat or sleep any more. And the "doctor" went on telling him, "You're much better"! While the poor man was sitting up all night in a chair.... Finally, he was rushed to the hospital and died there. And the day of his death, about an hour later, I was informed that his son (he's not a child, he's a man) absolutely HAD to see me immediately. It was the time when I don't see people, but I said "all right" (I felt there was something to it), I said "all right" and went to receive him. It was 11:00 A.M. (I think he died at 9:30 A.M.). I go there (I don't remember if it was in the morning or early in the afternoon, anyhow it was very soon after his death), I sit down, the son is ushered in, and along with him comes a small boy, no taller than this (gesture), all golden, joyous, alive, happy! ... And he rushed to me. He stayed like that, leaning against me, quite still. And how he laughed! How happy he was!

It was M., his psychic being.

Ever so lovely! All luminous – luminous with a golden light – and so happy, so glad! Like a baby, no bigger than this (gesture). Waving his arms and legs about, so happy! He stayed there – stayed put. So naturally, I received him and did the needful.

I've seen thousands of cases, you know, but it's the first time I've seen that! And he had a remarkable knowledge, because in order not to risk any hitch, he clung to his son and urged him to come to me so as to make sure of reaching me without mishap, without any interference from the adverse forces, from currents and all sorts of things. He clung to his son, who was quite unaware of it, except that something in him WANTED him to come to me. And the poor son was crying; I told him, "Don't worry, he is very happy"! (Mother laughs)

And lovely! A lovely thing. The sight of it filled me with joy – so happy, so happy, he seemed to be saying, "At last I am with you! I won't budge now, no one can take me away." This small.

I told you the story of the other one who came to be operated on and died[89] (that makes two in a row, among our best workers). The other one had an important government position and did us some incredible services (he was a very intelligent man and had been chief justice for a very long time), he was very helpful and full of faith and devotion. This one [M.] had even promised to lend some money, but he died just before – a few days before he was due to give it![90] But the first one was a conscious, highly mentalized being, with a very well-formed mental being; he knew a lot and he told me, "I am very conscious and now I know that I am fully alive and fully conscious, so I don't want an impotent body that constantly requires someone to nurse it or move it around. I prefer to change." He asked me to find him a good one (!) This one didn't ask to take a new body, but the last thing he said (afterwards, he was paralyzed) was: I must live, because I want to give ten lakhs of rupees to the Mother. And he left with that – so an appropriate body has to be found.

But this one [M.] knew very little, he wasn't an intellectual, he was a man of action, very psychic – very much so! Lovely, oh, lovely! He was like a little child, naked, of course, a baby this big, with small arms, small legs – dancing about, he was glad, laughing and laughing, he was happy. And all luminous. I immediately told his son (he did a "pranam" and rose with his eyes full of tears), I told him, Don't weep, he is now where he wants to be and perfectly at rest. I didn't tell him the story – he wouldn't have understood a thing!

***

(Then Mother reads two letters by Sri Aurobindo which will appear in a future "Bulletin":)

This I find very, very good:

"What the supramental will do the mind cannot foresee or lay down. The mind is ignorance seeking for the Truth, the supramental by its very definition is the Truth-Consciousness, Truth in possession of itself and fulfilling itself by its own power. In a supramental world imperfection and disharmony are bound to disappear. But what we propose just now is not to make the earth a supramental world but to bring down the supramental as a power and established consciousness in the midst of the rest – to let it work there and fulfill itself as Mind descended into Life and Matter and has worked as a Power there to fulfill itself in the midst of the rest. This will be enough to change the world and to change Nature by breaking down her present limits. But what, how, by what degrees it will do it, is a thing that ought not to be said now – when the Light is there, the Light will itself do its work – when the supramental Will stands on earth, that Will will decide. It will establish a perfection, a harmony, a Truth-creation – for the rest, well, it will be the rest – that is all."

(XXII.13)

It's very useful to say to people – they're such a nuisance! Always wanting to put the cart before the horse. This other letter goes with it:

"It is not advisable to discuss too much what it [the supermind] will do and how it will do it, because these are things the supermind itself will fix, acting out of the Divine Truth in it, and the mind must not try to fix for it grooves in which it will run. Naturally, the release from subconscient ignorance and from disease, duration of life at will, and a change in the functionings of the body must be among the ULTIMATE (Mother repeats) elements of a supramental change; but the details of these things must be left for the supramental Energy to work out according to the Truth of its own nature."

(XXII.8)

(Mother makes the gesture of hammering) I am all the time driving that into people's heads. I spend my time telling them, "First of all, make yourself ready for its coming; afterwards, we'll see what it does!"

Once the French translation is ready Satprem reads it back to Mother:

Always a slight tinge of humor!

(Satprem reads the French text up to:)

"... to let it work there and fulfill itself as Mind descended into Life and Matter and has worked as a Power there to fulfill itself in the midst of the rest...."

If we follow that (Mother draws a great curve towards the future), he foresaw that one day the earth would be a supramental creation – the entire earth ... entirely changed. That means a long, long way ahead. In other words, later, among the supramental race, they will say, "That's all very well, but it's only the beginning. Now, the entire earth has to become a supramental manifestation." Just as from mental man the supramental being was born, so also from the supramental being will be born the powers that will transform the earth....

Do you see it?! It's interesting.

(silence)

It's something I've already been shown, I have already been shown it; when I go like this (gesture) and enfold the earth, I was shown a glorious earth, lit with an inner light. So instead of a burning sun, it was a Light that allowed Life to exist – you understand, it was the Physical itself that had become luminous. I saw that, I remember VERY DISTINCTLY seeing it.

But that's a long way ahead! (Mother laughs) Is that all?

(Satprem reads the end of the French text)

Apart from that, is everything all right?

(Satprem answers with silence)

(Laughing) We'll let the supramental descend and do its work!

(silence)

The greatest difficulty is that the body's texture is made of Ignorance, so that every time the Force, the Light, the Power try to penetrate somewhere, that Ignorance has to be dislodged. Every time the experience is similar, renewed in detail (but not in essence; I mean, every time it's a particular point, but the essence of the problem is always the same): it's a sort of Negation out of ignorant stupidity – not out of ill will, there is no ill will: it's an inert and ignorant stupidity which, by the very fact of what it is, DENIES the possibility of the divine Power. And that's what has to be dissolved every time. At every step, in every detail, it's always the same thing that has to be dissolved.

It's repeated again and again.... It's not as in the realm of ideas, where once you have seen the problem clearly and have the knowledge, it's over; some doubts or absurdities may come back to you from outside, but the thing is established, the Light is there, and automatically things are either repelled or transformed. But this here isn't the same thing! Every single aggregate of cells.... Not that it comes from outside: it's BUILT that way! Built by an inert and stupid Ignorance. An inert and stupid automatism. And so, automatically, it denies – not "denies," there's no will to deny: it is an opposite, I mean it CANNOT understand, it's an opposite – an ESTABLISHED opposite – of the divine Power. And every time, there is a kind of action which really in every detail is almost miraculous: suddenly that negation is compelled ... compelled to recognize that the divine Force is all-powerful. Seen from another angle, it's a sort of perpetual little miracle.

I'll give you an example: last time you were with me, I got (while you were present) a pain here (gesture to the right side), a frightful pain of the kind that makes people howl (they think they're very sick, of course!), it came here like that. You didn't see anything, did you, I didn't show anything.

As long as you were here, I didn't bother about it.... I simply thought of something else. But when you left, I thought, "There's no reason to leave that here." So I concentrated – I called the Lord and put Him here (gesture to the side), and I saw it all, what I've just told you, that state of stupid negation, and how if you allow the thing to follow what they call its "normal" course, it becomes a good illness (Mother laughs), a serious illness. I call the Lord. (He is always here! But the fact that I concentrate and keep quiet....) And then it's almost instantaneous: the first thing is a reaction – almost a STATE rather than a reaction – which DENIES the possibility of divine Action. It isn't a will, it's an automatic negation. Then there is always a Smile that answers (that's what is interesting, there's never any anger or any force that imposes itself, only a Smile), and almost instantly the pain disappears – "That" settles in, luminous, tranquil.

It isn't final, mind you, only a first contact: the experience recurs on another occasion and for another reason (they aren't mental reasons, they are occasions), it recurs, but there is already a beginning of collaboration: the cells have LEARNED that with That, the state changed (very interestingly, they remember), so they begin to collaborate, and the Action is even more rapid. Then a third time, a few hours away, it recurs once again; but then THE CELLS THEMSELVES call and ask for the divine Action, because they remember. And then That comes in, gloriously, like something established.

Now I've got it – I've got the knack! It's for training the cells, you understand! It's not just like a sick person who has to be cured once and for all: no, it's a training of the cells, to teach them ... to live.

It's wonderful.

That's why with all the consciousness and force, I tell people, "You make yourselves sick with your idiotic fear!" (A subconscious fear – sometimes mental, but then it's utterly stupid – at any rate a fear in the cells, a subconscious fear.) "You make yourselves sick. Stop being afraid and you won't get sick." And I can say that with absolute assurance.

It's interesting.

But constantly (I make the problem more precise for the sake of clarity), there are constantly in the atmosphere, as I have always said, all the suggestions, all that atmosphere of the physical mind which is full of every possible stupidity. You have to be permanently on your guard and sweep it all away: "Go away, don't interfere." The doctors' opinions, the example of other people, that whole ... really, that whole terrible muddle of Ignorance all around, which you have to drive back: "Don't meddle, mind your own business."

(silence)

So, regularly, as soon as there comes a pain somewhere or a discomfort or anything, immediately, instantly, the first reaction: "Ah! Lord, what do You want me to learn?" And I become attentive.

If everybody does the same thing, if all those who can do it (sincerely, of course, without pretense) do it sincerely: "Ah! Lord, what do You want me to learn?" and then observe, wait, then things are easier, you put yourself at least in better conditions.

@

July 31, 1963

Mother seems quite shaken and tired, though smiling as always

I've made a discovery – not positively a discovery, but a confirmation. A rather interesting observation.

There was a sort of periodicity in the attacks – can I call them "physical "? ... They're not physical, although they're on the body. They didn't recur at exactly regular intervals, because the periods of time in between weren't always the same, but there was a sort of analogy, of similarity in the circumstances. And now I have come to a kind of certainty.

The work consists, I could say, in ... either removing or transforming (I am not sure which of the two) all the body's cells that are or have been under the influence of Falsehood (not "lie" but falsehood), of the state contrary to the Divine. But since probably a radical purge or transformation would have resulted in nothing but the body's dissolution, the work goes on in stages, progressively (I am going very far back in time, to my first attacks). So the sequence is the following: first, a series of activities or visions (but those visions are always activities at the same time: both activities and visions) in the subconscious domain, showing in a very living and objective way the Falsehood that has to be removed (transformed or removed). At first, I took them as adverse attacks, but now I see they are "states of falsehood" to which certain elements in the physical being are linked (at the time, I thought, "I am brought into contact with that because of the correspondence in me," and I worked on that level – but it's another way of seeing the same thing). And it produces ... certainly there is a dissolution – there is a transformation, but a dissolution too – and that dissolution naturally brings about an extreme fatigue or a sort of exhaustion in the body; so between two of those stages of transformation, the body is given time to recover strength and energy.[91] And I had noticed that those "attacks" always come after the observation (an observation I made these last few days) of a great increase in power, energy and force; when the body grows more and more solid, there always follows the next day or the day after, first, a series of nights I could call unpleasant (they are not, for they're instructive), and then a terrible battle in the body. This time I was conscious – naturally, I am conscious every time, but (smiling) more so every time.

I had observed lately that the body was getting much stronger, much more solid, that it was even putting on weight (!), which is almost abnormal. Then, I had a first vision (not vision: an activity, but very clear), then another, and then a third. Last night, I was fed a subtle food, as if to tell me that I would need it because I wouldn't take any physical food[92] (not that I thought about it, I simply noticed I had been fed, given certain foods). And with the visions I had the two preceding nights, I knew that at issue were certain elements forming part of the body's construction (psychological construction), and that they had to be eliminated. So I worked hard for their elimination. And today, the battle was waged.

But then, as I had worked hard for the elimination, the battle was quite formidable – when it exceeds a certain measure, the heart has trouble, and then I need to rest. That's how it happened. But it was so clear, so obvious! And the entire process was SEEN from the beginning, every single step of it, it's ... a marvel! A marvel of consciousness, of measure, of dosage, to allow the purification and transformation to take place without disrupting the balance, so that dissolution does not occur. It's based on the capacity to endure and withstand (naturally, if the body were unable to endure, that work couldn't be done).

And now the body KNOWS (in the beginning it didn't, it thought it was "attacks" from the outside, "adverse" forces; and it can always be explained like that, it was true in a certain way, but it wasn't the true truth, the deepest truth), now the body KNOWS where it all comes from, and it's so marvelous! A marvel of wisdom.... It puts everything in its place, it makes you REALIZE that all that play of the adverse forces is a way of seeing things (a necessary way at a given time, maybe – by "necessary," I mean practical), but it's still an illusion; illnesses are a necessary way of seeing things to enable you to resist properly, to fight properly, but it's still an illusion. And now, the BODY itself knows all this – as long as it was only the mind that knew it, it was a remote notion in the realm of ideas, but now the body itself knows it. And it is full not only of goodwill but also of an infinite gratitude – it always wonders (that's its first movement), "Do I have the capacity?" And it always gets the same answer, "It isn't YOUR capacity." "Will I have the strength?" – "It isn't YOUR strength." Even that sense of infirmity disappears in the joy of infinite gratitude – the thing is done with such goodness, such insight, such thoughtfulness, such care to maintain, as far as possible, a progressive balance.

It came with a certitude, an OBVIOUSNESS: this is the process of transformation.

But this time, there was a voluntary collaboration, so maybe it will go faster.

I was unable to do my work[93]: the jolt was too strong. But I said I would see you because I wanted to tell you about it.

(silence)

It's odd, when I am in that state, I feel as if to make myself heard I have to lift a staggering weight. I feel (for a few days now) as if I have to speak very, very loudly to be heard; it's almost like a mass ... yes, as though I were buried underground and had to shout very loudly in order to be heard.

Am I speaking very loudly?

No.

Because, with everybody, I feel as if I had to shout in order to be heard – and it's an effort, a considerable effort. There is a sort of mass, the color of brownish earth, weighing down on me, as though I were buried and had to shout. All the while I was speaking to you just now, I felt as if I were making an enormous effort to be heard.

Am I shouting or ...?

No.

 

Not at all?

No, it must be the thickness of consciousnesses that you're feeling?

Yes! Yes. Yes, it's the air – it's in the air.

(long silence)

And I was told something this morning (I think it was this morning, or in the night, I don't remember); it was said to the body, not to me. The body was told that it would go on till complete purification, and that AT THAT POINT it will have the choice between continuing its work or ... You see, once it has attained complete purification from the cellular point of view (not what people call physical "purity," that's not it), from the point of view of the divine Influence, which means that each cell will be under the exclusive influence of the Supreme (that's the work under way now), the body was told that that work would be done, and once it was completed, the body ITSELF, entirely under the Supreme's influence, would decide whether it wants to continue or be dissolved. It was very interesting, because ... dissolution means a scattering, but to scatter (that's easy to understand) is a way to SPREAD the consciousness over a very large area. So the cells will be given the choice either to act in that way (gesture of diffusion) or to act in agglomeration (Mother makes a fist).

(silence)

It's the first time the problem has been envisaged from that angle, that is to say, from the standpoint of a general work.

But I don't see how the scattering ... If it is scattered, if it is dissolved, the whole work is dissolved, isn't it?

No, each cell is perfectly conscious.

Then they would go into other bodies?

(Mother remains thoughtful a moment) What happens from the material point of view?... Do they know if it reverts to inert Matter, or what? Does it become dust – what does it become?

Dust, yes.

Dust .... They're not cells any more?

No, I don't think so.

Then that's not it, because according to what I was told, they were cells – they remained cells. It must be something new. They remained cells, it was the cell that was given the choice either of staying in its present agglomeration or of spreading.

I don't know, but it seems to me they could persist only in agglomeration with other living beings.

Are the cells in the human body different from the cells in other bodies, in animals, for instance? Or are they the same?

Except for certain specialized cells, the other cells aren't different, I believe.

But the specialized cells must be the ones in question, because those in question are fully conscious cells – they are specialized cells.

So I don't see that they could go into animals, I don't think they're the same kind.

They could only go into other human organisms.

Human, yes.

Maybe it's the difference between ONE being and many beings? ...[94]

It must be something in preparation. We'll see.

So mon petit, I'll let you go now, because ...

***

A few days afterwards, Mother added this reflection:

It is clearly (according to external logic) a new way of dying that must be possible – no longer death as we regard it. But that ... for the moment, all we could say would be speculative, not a concrete experience. We'll see.

@

 

August

August 3, 1963

Physical Matter, physical substance – the very elementary consciousness that's in physical substance – has been so ill-treated (since man's presence on earth, I suppose, because before man, there probably wasn't enough self-consciousness to be aware of being ill-treated; the substance wasn't conscious enough, I suppose, to make a distinction between a normal peaceful state and unfavorable conditions; but anyway, that goes back quite long time), so ill-treated that it finds it very hard to believe things can be different. That consciousness has an aspiration – an aspiration especially for a LUMINOUS peace, something that isn't the dark peace of Unconsciousness, which it doesn't like (I don't know if it ever liked it, but it no longer does). It aspires to a luminous peace; not to a consciousness full of various things, not that: simply to a peaceful consciousness, very peaceful, very quiet, very luminous – that's what it wants. Yet at the same time, it has some difficulty believing that it's possible. I am experiencing it: the concrete and absolutely tangible intervention of the supreme Power, supreme Light and supreme Goodness – it [the consciousness in physical substance] has the experience of that, and every time it has a new sense of wonder, but in that sense of wonder I can see something like: "Is it really possible?"

It gives me the impression, you know, of a dog that has been beaten so much that it expects nothing but blows.

It's sad.

Yet the proofs are accumulating. If faith and trust could settle permanently, the difficulty would probably be over.

(silence)

That consciousness feels a sort of anxiety towards mental force; the moment a mental force manifests, it goes like this (gesture of recoil): "Oh, no! Enough of that, enough, enough!" As though mental force were the cause of all its torment. It feels mental force as something so hard, dry, rigid, ruthless, above all dry – dry, empty – empty of the true Vibration.

That's becoming quite clear. For example, whenever there is no need to do anything outwardly and all activity stops, then there's rest, and there comes that thirst and aspiration for a luminous Peace. It comes, and not only does it come, it seems to be firmly established. But if in that rest something suddenly flags and the old mental activity starts up (an activity of the mind of the cells, the most material mind), immediately that consciousness comes out of its rest with a jerk: "Ah, no! Not that, not that, not that!" Instantly the mental activity is stopped, and there is an aspiration for the Presence – "Not that, not that!"

This morning, I had the experience twice; a very slight mental activity, and almost instantly: "Ah, no, no! Not that." That consciousness prefers to act or move or do anything rather than fall into that condition – which it seems to regard as the Enemy.

(silence)

This morning there was a kind of vision or sensation of the curve from the animal to man – a spiral curve – then of the return to the state above the animal, in which life, action, movement aren't the result of Mind but of a Force, which is felt as a Force of SHADOWLESS light, that is, self-luminous, casting no shadows, and absolutely peaceful. And in that peace, so harmonious and soft ... oh, it's supreme rest. That disharmony and hardness are the cause of fatigue in life.

I am speaking of the cells' consciousness.

Oh, to get out of that chaos of ideas, wills, conceptions – it's all so petty, so dry, so hollow, and at the same time so irritating in its instability.

And it seems to be reflected in circumstances: everyone seems to be, if not at the peak of his difficulties, at least a good way up (!) Disharmony, conflict, chaos appear to have reached their highest (I hope they won't rise any higher, because as it is it's hardly bearable). From morning till night, without letup, quarrels, discontent, demands ... oh, dissatisfaction, "rumblings, all the time, all the time, with a sort of simmering – a simmering of disorder and dissatisfaction. (Mother points to a stack of letters): see all that – which I am supposed to answer, naturally.

***

(Shortly afterwards, Mother goes into meditation and Satprem follows her:)

Do you still have a sensation of "descent"? A descent of force?

Me, I no longer feel that it descends: it's there (gesture around and everywhere). That is to say, I don't feel "something descending," it's there all the time – what about you?

I rarely feel a descent, except at times when the Force rushes downward, from below the shoulders downward.

Yes, in the body.

Then I feel a descent.

It [the meditation] was very good, very still and luminous, without any disturbance. Very good.

But the consciousness doesn't seem to be progressing – the consciousness, you understand.

Because it doesn't want to be mentalized! You shouldn't worry.

Oh, I remember, one day (it impressed me much), the Swami told me, "But you should imagine this, imagine that...."

Oh!

I said, 'No, I don't want to! I want THE THING TO COME. Then he replied (he said it with great force), "That was your error throughout all your lives."

Not wanting to imagine?

Yes, imagine, make use of the mental element.

But that's quite ... On the contrary, I've had to struggle against that, not in myself but everywhere, against that mania for imagining. That's what gives me such a ... (how can I put it?) both restful and pleasant impression [with you], everything stays still. If one wants to receive the Truth, all that must come to a stop.

I do understand.... My complaint is rather that the silence doesn't result in a clearer consciousness, for example.

It will come.

No, that habit of imagining is very, very ... I consider it very baneful.

I had that tendency very strongly in the past; that's what I called "storytelling" – everything, everything became stories: all the work, all that had to be done. But I stopped it completely, completely, as a dangerous thing – it gives a great material power (that's probably why the Swami asked you to do it), what it gives is a material power, but it's VERY bad, it falsifies all that comes from above.

@

August 7, 1963

You look tired....

The difficulties are continuing.

There's a keen struggle against the constant Negation of all inner life – higher life, rather. That is to say, the general Disbelief [in the body].

It's giving me the same kind of nights again. But it's odd, I don't know what it means, last night there were buildings made of a kind of red granite, and many Japanese. Japanese women sewing and making ladies' dresses and fabrics; Japanese youths climbing up and down the buildings with great agility; and everybody was very nice. But it was always the same thing (gesture of a collapse or a fall into a hole): you know, a path opens up, you walk on it, and after a while, plop! it all collapses. And there was a young Japanese man who was climbing up and down the place absolutely like a monkey, with extraordinary ease: "Oh," I thought, "but that's what I should do!" But when I approached the spot, the things he used to climb up and down vanished! Finally, after a while, I made a decision: "I will go just the same," and found myself downstairs. There I met some people and all sorts of things took place. But what I found interesting was that all the buildings (there were a great many of them, countless buildings!) were made of a kind of red porphyry. It was very beautiful, Granite or porphyry, there were both. Wide stairs, big halls, large gardens – even in the gardens there were constructions.

But outwardly, difficulties are coming back, in the sense that the Chinese seem to be seized again with a zeal to conquer – they are massing troops at the border.

Yet it seems quite unlikely they will attack.

Then why are they massing troops?

Blackmail.

Obviously, but ... The result is that the Americans said they would come to help if they attacked. Even the Russians said they would help.

Well, we don't know. I SEE those great currents: they're like currents of madness that catch hold of people and things.... At bottom, it may be really a rather acute conflict between the Yes and the No, that is to say, between all that struggles to hasten the coming of new things and all that refuses – refuses with increasing violence.

(silence)

Constantly, constantly, this poor body is assailed by all the old ideas and old convictions that keep telling it that it's mistaken, it lives in illusion, it thinks it's being transformed but it's all humbug. So the body ... is a little tired, it wonders, "Won't I get a little rest?" Night and day, it spends its time in the battle, nonstop. It's beginning to wonder if it's not some kind of inferiority of its own, an incapacity to deal with things quietly?

And then, it has never been very fond of food (that's something it has never been interested in), but in those cases, food becomes almost ... not positively disgusting, but ... It has always considered eating as tiring.

Yes.

Someone who understands!

(As if "by chance," Satprem reads Mother an old conversation, of January 24, 1961, on the influenza epidemic in Japan during World War I.)

And the best part of the story is that they've never had that type of influenza since.

The Japanese are receptive people.

They've learned so much from the Americans – it has warped their taste, but now it's beginning to come back. Also, all that they've learned helps them. And they've converted America to the sense of Beauty!

It's odd, last night, it was all Japanese....

(Then Satprem reads the conversation of May 22, 1963, in which he tells Mother how she cured him suddenly of an infectious disease, as though something suddenly "tipped over.")

I've noticed that phenomenon: always, when great difficulties crop up – a violent attack, a disorganization – the change isn't progressive: it's abrupt, like a reversal.

Just this morning, it was the same thing for me. You see, when the difficulty comes, there is a kind of general disorganization in the body, with intense pains, and ... (I observe, I want to follow the thing) it's not at all a progressive abatement followed by recovery, that's not how it works: it's absolutely like the reversal of a prism – everything vanishes at one stroke. There remains only that stupid habit the body has of remembering. And in remembering ... the remembrance makes you feel tired and out of sorts – but the thing is over.

The body's remembrance is yet another thing that will have to be worked upon.

There is a state in which you don't feel anything – a state – and a positive one, because it's a state of peace; a kind of very tranquil and very happy peace; a peace which makes you feel like staying that way forever: "Oh, if I could be that way forever! ..." Or else there's a chaos in which everything clashes and denies and quarrels – as though everything were in an uproar. It reminds me of the very first experience I had when I was – I really lived – that Pulsation of Love and when it was decided I was to take my body again, to reenter my body; well, I had contact with my body, I knew I was in contact with my body, only through a pain. Contact with the body meant suffering.

I said that, in fact.

It seems to me (I've been feeling that for a long time now, more than a year, almost a year and a half), it seems to me that all the work was done only to teach every single element of the body to have a physical, material consciousness, but at the same time to maintain that state of peace – a positive, full, thoroughly comfortable peace: something that can last indefinitely. That is to say, I progressively teach the body what I could call all the divine states; I teach it to feel and live in the divine states. Well, the closest things (two things are close enough, but one is more comfortable, if I may say so – it's the word ease in English – than the other; the other is more tense [Mother makes a fist], there is a will in it) the closest things are the sense of eternity and the sense of silence. Because behind the whole creation (I mean the material creation), there is a perfect Silence, not the opposite of noise but a positive silence, which is at the same time a complete immobility – that's very good as an antidote to disorder. But the sense of eternity is still better, and it has a sweetness the other hasn't; the sense of eternity includes the sense of sweetness (but not "sweetness" as we understand it). It's extremely comfortable. That is, there is no reason why it should change – or cease or start anew. It is selfexistent, perfect in itself. And these are the best antidotes to the other state [of disorder]: peace, simple peace, isn't always sufficient.

After all, the body is an utterly wretched thing.... Yesterday, I think, it was complaining, really complaining (I said it was a "whiner," but yesterday it was complaining), really asking, "Why, why was such a wretched thing ever made?" – Incapacity, incomprehension, oh!... Nothing but limitations and impossibilities. A sterile goodwill, a complete lack of power, and as soon as some little vital power comes, it's turned into violence – disgusting.

(silence)

Whenever I complain like that, I can be sure I'll have a night of tension, and the next morning a "jolt."

It would be better to remain quiet, take things as they are and let the Lord do His work without ... without pushing Him all the time like that. I always feel that all our misfortunes are attracted by our impatience or discontent. If we were blissfully content and let things follow their course, "When You will it, it will be, that's all. I am an idiot, I remain an idiot, and when You will it to change ..."

But can we afford to let things follow their course? If we do, everything goes haywire.

No.

We can tell ourselves, "Oh, everything will be fine," and let things sort themselves out, but then they just happen haphazardly.

They happen haphazardly, but probably there comes a point when they get better.... (Laughing) We don't dare carry out the experiment to the very end!

That belief in us is obviously what makes us struggle. But I am not so sure it is true Wisdom.

I don't know.

Let's take a practical example [Mother smiles ironically at the ''practical''! on another level than the corporeal level: say you have a garden invaded by crows and sparrows that are eating everything, insects, negligent gardeners.... So you have a choice: either you wear yourself out and get worked up about it but you keep the garden, or you react against your reaction and you say, "All right, I won't say anything, let things go as they like," and then everything gets spoiled.

Yes, yes....

But if you stick your nose into it, you get worked up, because it's chaos.

No, you should be able to stick your nose into it without getting worked up! And it's quite possible. It's something the body has achieved, here, this body: it can intervene without getting worked up. But that's not the question! The question is something BEHIND that. That's not it. The question is: if we leave disorder alone (if, to be precise, we let it reach its maximum), will the progress (what we call progress, that is, the change) not be greater?

Will the garden not be eaten up by the insects? That's the question.

We don't make the experiment!

I saw in France a patch of garden: it was surrounded by walls, and the land had belonged to someone who took great care of it and had planted flowers in it. It was fairly large, but completely enclosed. That person died. It was in southern France. He died and no one (there were no heirs), no one looked after the garden: it was closed and stayed that way. I saw that garden ... I don't remember now, but certainly more than five years afterwards. It probably happened that the lock broke little by little and came loose; I pushed the door open and entered.... I've never seen anything more beautiful! There weren't any paths any more, there was no order any more, nothing but confusion – but what confusion! I've never seen anything more beautiful. I stood there in a sort of ecstasy.... There is a book (I think it's Le Paradou by Zola) in which there is a description of a fairy place – it was just like that: all the flowers and plants entangled, in an absolutely disorderly growth, but with a harmony of another type, a much vaster, much stronger harmony.

It was extraordinarily beautiful.

We have the mental habit of wanting to order, classify and regulate everything: we always want to have order – a mental order. But that's ... For example, in those places untouched by men, such as virgin forests, there is a beauty you don't find in life, and it's a vital, unruly beauty which doesn't satisfy mental reason, yet contains a far greater wealth than anything the mind conceives and organizes.

But in the meantime, life is beleaguered by thousands of insects – millions of insects...

Yes.

... that constantly try to eat it up.

You know, a naturalist once said that if man didn't destroy the ant, the ant would drive man off the earth.

Well, that's the point!

It's possible! (Mother laughs)

It's hard to find ...

What's hard is to find the TRUE THING.

 (silence)

But in fact, it must be quite a difficult problem, since it's the very problem that confronts the future of the earth.

The side of reason (of a gradual and harmonious progress as conceived by the mind) wants peace and quiet, order and harmony among nations. The "mortar and pestle" method, which mixes everything together to bring out something more potent, a richer combination of the elements, demands destruction. Both are there in the atmosphere, like this (Mother looks). And it would seem – it would seem – that the decision hasn't been made yet, as Sri Aurobindo says ["it is still hanging"].

Yet ... at present, it would seem that my work is more a work of pacification (I mean the universal work).

But I am not sure.

(silence)

There was a time when I struggled very strongly against wastage: waste of force, waste of material, waste of time, and also, of course, waste of lives. A terrible waste of lives. But isn't this attitude still one of blinkered sentimentality?? I can't say.

(silence)

For a very long time – a very long time – I preferred one path to the other, and all the while when I lived with Sri Aurobindo physically, I quite certainly preferred the path of harmonious growth to that of ... the general "throwing back into the melting pot"!

(silence)

That habit of throwing everything back, mixing it all together to start anew ... Even if it takes less and less time to learn one's lesson anew, still it takes some time, and that seems so useless!

All that the body knows, all that it has learned, it has learned it as an "aggregate," so if all that goes into another body, everything has to be learned again – which is a pain in the neck. You waste a lot of time.

(silence)

So your garden is in trouble!?

No, no! I was taking it as an example.

Yes, but you said it was a "practical" example!

No, sometimes the sensation of how life is beleaguered comes to me in waves – you are beleaguered. It's a perception I have, sometimes very strongly; you can't do anything without being beleaguered by something – for everything, everywhere, in every detail. For a year or two I've had that sensation. Sometimes it's revolting ... or else distressing. I've never felt it so strongly as during these last years – that sensation of being beleaguered, assailed.

All sorts of things come that way; at one period one thing, at another period another thing – those are periods of inner transformation. For instance, the sense of a universal duplicity (what in the Vedas they call crookedness): the impression that nothing goes straight. I have extraordinary examples of writing a sentence with a clear, precise will, and it was understood (by someone with perfect goodwill) in quite another way, according to his own vision of things. It happened a few days ago. But it happens all the time! I say something, which to me is as clear as can be, and it's understood absolutely differently, sometimes the very opposite! So there's the feeling, the sensation that EVERYTHING is that way, all life is that way, all consciousnesses are that way, all vibrations are that way – instead of going straight, everything is crooked. It's so strong that, as you say, it almost makes you feel sort of ill-at-ease. You are disgusted, it makes you feel sick.

And at another time, it's something else that comes.

It's precisely in response to those things that there is a call (gesture of the Force descending into the body) for purification: so the thing may be set right, so there may be at least one drop of Truth somewhere. So then it gives a "jolt."

The extent of that deformation is so considerable, so generalized that usually you don't notice it, either in yourself or in others – you notice it only when it assumes glaring proportions, but then ... hypocrisy, for example.

But I am speaking of a phenomenon that's constant.

There is the whole gamut, you see, right from the most material. In the most material, it's really like that: elements that are perpetually clashing and clashing and clashing ... everything is clashing, as though it were the only way to exist. In the vital realm, it's violence. And in the mental realm, it's mainly that crookedness. That's why I said to myself, "Truly, we are poor things!"

There is clearly in us the Remembrance that gives birth to the aspiration for something divine – if that weren't there, latent, we could never ... we could not even imagine! That aspiration couldn't exist, it would be meaningless. But still, what a long path this is....

It seems (it's quite certain) that the closer you come to the other side, the more it appears ... the more you see the difference.

As long as you wallow in your Ignorance, you don't notice it.

Well ...

August 10, 1963

93-Pain is the touch of our Mother teaching us how to bear and grow in rapture. She has three stages of her schooling, endurance first, next equality of soul, last ecstasy.

As long as we are dealing with moral things, this is absolutely obvious and indisputable: all moral pain, when you know how to take it, shapes your character and leads you straight to ecstasy. But when it comes to the body ...

It's true that the doctor himself said ([laughing], the doctor[95] symbolizes Doubt with a capital D) that if you teach your body to bear pain, it grows more and more enduring and doesn't get disrupted so fast – that's a concrete result. People who know how not to be thoroughly upset as soon as they have a pain here or there, who are able to bear quietly and keep their balance, it seems that in their case the body's capacity to bear disorder without breaking down increases. That's very important. You remember, in a previous Agenda I asked myself the question from a purely practical and physical point of view, and it does seem to be true. Inwardly, I have been told many a time – told and shown with all sorts of little experiences – that the body can bear far more than people think, provided they don't add fear or anxiety to the pain; if you can get rid of that mental factor, the body, left to itself, without either fear or fright or anxiety for what will happen – without anguish – can bear a great deal.

The second step is that once the body has decided to bear pain (it really takes the decision to do so), instantly the acuteness, the acute sensation in the pain vanishes. I am speaking on an absolutely material level.

And if you have calm (it requires an inner calm, which is another factor), if you have inner calm, then the pain turns into an almost pleasant sensation – not "pleasant" in the ordinary sense of the word, but there comes an almost comfortable impression. Once again, I am speaking on a purely physical, material level.

The last stage: when the cells have faith in the divine Presence and the divine sovereign Will and trust that all is for the good, then ecstasy comes – the cells open up, become luminous and ecstatic.

That makes four stages (this aphorism refers to only three).

The last one is probably not within everybody's reach (!) but the first three are quite obvious – I know it works like that. The only point that bothered me (I told you once) is that it isn't a purely psychological experience and that enduring pain causes wear and tear in the body. But I inquired with the doctor (I casually made him talk), and he told me that if the body is taught very young to bear pain, its capacity to bear increases so much that it can effectively withstand illnesses, which means that the illness doesn't follow its course, it aborts. That's precious.

The last experience (which I've had these last few days), in which apparently there was a hitch (it wasn't really one) was a sort of demonstration. I told you what it was, you remember: it's like a purge of all the vibrations that are false vibrations, that aren't the pure and simple response to the supreme Influence (all that in the cells still responds to the vibrations of falsehood, either from habit or from the people around or the food taken – fifty thousand things). Then, with an aspiration or a decision, almost a prayer for purification coming from the body, something happens which, naturally, upsets the balance; the imbalance in turn brings about a general discomfort. The form discomfort takes is habitually the same: first, pains and all kinds of sensations I need not describe; if that state goes on developing, if it is allowed to assume its full proportions, it results ... in the past it resulted in a faint. But this time, I followed the process for about two hours from the moment I got up: the struggle between the new balance, the new Influence that was getting established, and the resistance of all the existing elements forced to go away. That created a sort of conflict. The consciousness remained very clear – the consciousness of the BODY remained very clear, very quiet, perfectly trusting. So for two hours I was able to follow the process (while going on with all my usual activities, without changing anything), until I felt, or rather was told sufficiently clearly that the Lord wanted my body to be completely immobile for a while so that He might complete His work. But I am not all alone: there are other people here to help me and watch over everything (but I don't say or explain anything to them, those are things I don't talk about – I don't say what goes on, I don't say anything), so I sat there wondering, "Is it really and truly indispensable?" (Mother laughs) Then I felt the Lord exert a little more pressure, which heightened the intensity of the conflict, so that I had all the signs of fainting – I understood (!) ... I stood up, let my body moan a little to make it plain it didn't feel too well (!) and I stretched out. Then I was immobile, and in that immobility, I saw the work that was being done – a work that cannot be done if you go on moving about. I saw the work. It took nearly half an hour; in half an hour it was over. Which means there is really ... there is a fact I cannot doubt, even if all the surrounding thoughts and forces contradict it: I cannot doubt that the consciousness is increasing more and more – the consciousness in the body. It is growing more and more precise, luminous, exact – QUIET – very peaceful. Yet very conscious of a TREMENDOUS battle against millennial habits. Do you follow?

When it was over, I saw that even physically, bodily, there is a strength: the result is an increased strength. A very clearly increased strength.

But it's still going on. Now, there's a great battle against all the ideas, the habits, the sensations, the possibilities, everything, concerning death – "death" (laughing), not "death" in the sense of the consciousness departing (that, of course, people talk about, but ... those things no longer exist), no: WHAT THE CELLS MUST FEEL.[96] And all the possibilities are presented to me ... With that consciousness (the consciousness accumulated, compressed in all those cells), when the heart stops beating and it's understood that, according to human ignorance, you are "dead," how does the force that groups all those cells together abdicate its will to hold them all together?... Naturally, I was told right away (because the problem – all the problems – come from everywhere, and it's purposely that I am shown the problem and made to struggle with it; it's not just as an "idea"), I was told right away that that force, that consciousness which holds everything together in really superconscious cells (they don't have at all the ordinary type of consciousness; ordinarily, it's the inner, vital being [Mother touches the heart center] that's conscious of oneness, that is, conscious of being a being), that this aggregate of cells is now an aggregate OF ITS OWN WILL, with an organized consciousness which is a sort of collective gathering of that cellular consciousness; well ... Obviously this is an exceptional condition, but even in the past, in those beings who were very developed outwardly, there was a beginning of willed, conscious cellular gathering, and that's certainly why in ancient Egypt, where occultism was very developed. exceptional beings such as the pharaohs, the high priests, etc., were mummified, so as to preserve the form as long as possible. Even here in India, generally they were petrified (in the Himalayas there were petrifactive springs). There was a reason.[97]

And I saw for Sri Aurobindo (although he hadn't yet started this systematic transformation; but still, he was constantly pulling the supramental force down into his body), even in his case, it took five days to show the first slight sign of decomposition. I would have kept his body longer, but the government always meddles in other people's business, naturally, and they pestered me awfully, saying it was forbidden to keep a body so long and that we should ... So when the body began to (what's the word?) shrink – it was shrinking and contracting, that is, dehydrating – then we had to do it. He had had enough time to come out, since almost everything came into my body – almost everything that was material came into my body.

But the question arose for this body [Mother's], "just to see," you know. And I saw all kinds of things, and finally the answer was always the same (you see, the problem was presented to me to enable me to understand the situation in all its aspects and see the necessities), that naturally everything would be for the best! (Laughing) Without a doubt. But I mean it was presented very concretely and, I could say, very "personally" to make me understand the problem. And there was that old thing I was told the other day (old, that is, a few days old! i: I was told that THE CELLS THEMSELVES would be given a free choice. So the conclusion of all that meditation was that there must be a new element in the consciousness of the cellular aggregates – a new element ... a new experience that must be in progress. The result: last night, I had a series of fantastic cellular experiences, which I cannot even explain and which must be the beginning of a new revelation.

When the experience began, there was something looking on (you know, there is always in me something looking on somewhat ironically, always amused) which said, "Very well! If that happened to someone else, he would think he was quite sick! (laughing) Or half mad." So I stayed very quiet and thought, "All right, let it be, I'll watch, I'll see – I'll see soon enough! It has started, so it will have to end! ..." Indescribable! Indescribable (the experience will have to recur several times before I can understand), fantastic! It started at 8:30 and went on till 2:30 in the morning; that is to say, not for a second did I lose consciousness, I was there watching the most extraordinary things – for six hours.

I don't know where this is going....

Indescribable; you know, you become a forest, a river, a mountain, a house – and it's the sensation (an absolutely concrete sensation) OF THE BODY, of this (gesture to the body). Many other things too. Indescribable. It lasted a long time, with a whole variety of things.

So at 2:30 in the morning, I said to the Lord, "That will do, won't it?!" (Mother laughs) And He gave me a blissful rest till 4:30.

Good.

All that on the aphorism! ... Anyway, you can use the beginning. But you should ask me a question. Ask me a question.

I asked myself if for everybody the supramental process will always automatically involve a lot of physical suffering.

No.

No, because I have a growing proof that those things I have mastered now, in the body, I have the power (I keep receiving letters and notes from here or there, from people here or there who have an illness) ... it is beginning; so far it's only a beginning, a very small beginning: the power to eliminate pain.

You know, on a smaller scale, what happened with your illness.

Yes, but I didn't mean sick people. I mean people who today or in the future will seek to effect the transformation in themselves.

No, they ...

Will they have to go through all that suffering?

No! That Sri Aurobindo wrote very clearly: for all those who have faith and open themselves in surrender and faith, the work will be done automatically.[98] As long as he was here, mon petit, all the thirty years I spent with him working, NOT ONCE did I have to make an effort for a transformation. Simply, whenever there was a difficulty, I repeated, My Lord, my Lord, my Lord ... I just thought of him – hop! it went away. Physical pain: he annulled it. You know, some things that were hampering the body, some old habits that had come back, I only had to tell him: off they would go. And through me, he did the same for others. He always said that he and I did the Work (in fact, when he was here, it was he who did it; I only did the external work), that he and I did the Work, and that all that was asked from the others was faith and surrender, nothing more.

If they had trust and gave themselves in perfect trust, the Work was done automatically.

In your body's cells, it is therefore a universal progress that is being made, it's the earth that progresses.

Yes.

(silence)

This body was built for that purpose, because I remember very well that when the war – the First World War – started and I offered my body up in sacrifice to the Lord so that the war would not be in vain, every part of my body, one after another (Mother touches her legs, her arms etc.), or sometimes the same part several times over, represented a battlefield: I could see it, I could feel it, I LIVED it. Every time it was ... it was very strange, I had only to sit quietly and watch: I would see here, there, there, the whole thing in my body, all that was going on. And while it went on, I would put the concentration of the divine Force there, so that all – all that pain, all that suffering, everything – would hasten the preparation of the earth and the Descent of the Force. And that went on consciously throughout the war.

The body was built for that purpose.

At the time, there was still a lot of mental activity, and those experiences took all the forms the mind gives to things – very nice, very literary! Now, all that is over – happily, thank God! A complete silence – I don't make speeches on the thing. But the experience of last night! ... And to think that when an experience lasts half an hour, three quarters of an hour, one hour, it's considered extraordinary – it lasted from 8:30 till 2:15, nonstop.

A sort of ubiquity in the cells?

Yes, yes.

A oneness – the sense of Oneness.

(silence)

It is clear that if this experience becomes natural, spontaneous and constant, death can no longer exist: even for this, I mean (Mother touches her body).

There's something I SENSE there, without being able to express or understand it mentally. There must be some difference, even in the behavior of the cells, when you leave your body.

It must be another phenomenon that takes place.

During all that period of concentration and meditation on what happens in a body after death (I am speaking of the body's experience after what is now called "death"), well, several times the same kind of vision came to me.... I had been told (shown and told) of certain saints whose bodies did not decompose (there's one here, there was one in Goa – fantastic stories). Naturally, people always romanticize those things, but there remains the material fact of a saint who died in Goa, left his body in Goa, but whose body didn't decompose.[99] I don't know the story in all its details, but the body was removed from India, taken away to China and remained buried there, in Hong-Kong, I believe (or somewhere in that region) for a time; then it was taken out, brought back here, buried again. For ten or twelve years it stayed buried in those two places: it didn't decompose. It dried out, became mummified (dried out, that is, dehydrated), but it remained preserved. Well, this fact was presented to me several times as ONE of the possibilities.

Which means, to tell the truth, that everything is possible.

But what I was shown clearly and what I saw was ... (I have difficulty talking because it all came to me in English: Sri Aurobindo was there and it was in English), it was the stupidity and carelessness, really, the ignorance – the stupid ignorance and I-couldn't-care-less attitude the living have towards the dead. That's something frightful. Frightful.... Frightful. I've heard stories from everywhere, all sorts of appalling things.... For instance, one of the stories (it took place while Sri Aurobindo was here): there was a disciple whose son died (or at least they thought him dead), and as they weren't Hindus, they didn't burn him: they buried him. Then at night, his son came to him and told him ... you see, he saw his son at the window, knocking at the window and telling him, "But why did you bury me alive?" (I don't know in what language, but anyway ...) And that idiot of a father thought, "I'm dreaming"!! Then the next day, long afterwards, he had second thoughts and asked himself, "What if we took a look?" And they found him turned over in his coffin.

When the man told me the story and how he found it quite natural to think, "I am dreaming," I can't find words to tell my indignation at that moment, when I saw that ... you know, it's such a crass, such an inert stupidity! It didn't even occur to him how he would have felt if the thing had happened to HIM. It didn't even occur to him!

There was another case of a man who had been brought to the cremation ground, but a torrential rain started – no question of burning him. They left him there and said, "We'll burn him tomorrow." But the next morning when they came, he wasn't there any more! (Laughing) He was gone. But that's not all: thirty years later, he returned (he was a Raja): he had been picked up by sannyasins, taken into solitude, and had become a sannyasin, until, thirty years later, for God knows what reason, he thought it best to go and claim his possessions, so he returned with proofs that he was indeed the same man....[100]

I have heard countless stories of that kind, which show the point to which men ... They want to get rid of the dead, don't they! And the faster the better.

I remember someone who told me (someone who claimed to be a sage), he told me, "But if it's untrue that the same beings reincarnate many times, then the dead increase more and more in number, and the atmosphere is going to be terribly crowded with all those dead! ... They'll become a plague. What will we do with all that? They will be far more numerous than the living and will crowd everything – what will we do with all that?" There, you see the type of reflection.

(silence)

The attitude of the living towards the dead is one of the most loathsome expressions of mankind's selfish ignorance.

It's either a complete I-couldn't-care-less attitude, or else, "Ohh, anything to get rid of that!" I have some children here (they're no longer children), who live here with their fathers and mothers (who aren't very old), and some of those children told me "dreams" in which they saw their fathers or mothers dead and coming to them ... and they sent them back violently, saying, "You're dead, you've got no right to come and bother us"! ...

You're dead, you've got no right to come and bother us. There you are.

That's ... few will be frank enough to say so, but it's very widespread.

Many things must change before a little bit of truth can manifest – that's all I can say.[101]

@

August 13, 1963

(Regarding an old "Playground Talk" of 1950 and noted from memory by a disciple, which Mother asks Satprem to scrap. The subject was Nirvana, which one was to reach – or so the notation said – by withdrawing all one's energies into the psychic being or soul.)

None of that is true! In the first place, we should say that each realm has an energy of its own. But what people generally feel as energy is vital energy; and vital energy ... (hem!) is vital! Therefore to say that those who withdraw withdraw all their energies and consciousness into the psychic to attain Nirvana is nonsense!

There is a nirvana behind the vital, a nirvana behind the psychic, a nirvana behind the mind; there is a nirvana on every level, even behind the physical – it's death. And those who withdraw, who try to attain Nirvana, NEVER go into the psychic – the psychic is something essentially linked to divine manifestation, not to divine nonintervention, not to Nirvana.

All that is fit for the wastepaper basket![102]

@

August 13, 1963

(Note from Mother to Satprem)

(This note came apropos of an old "Playground Talk," of December 21, 1950, which Satprem read Mother during the preceding conversation. Mother spoke in it of the "clear, precise and constant vision of the Truth," and she added: "Some call it the Voice of God or the Will of God. The real sense of these terms has been perverted, that's why I prefer to say 'the Truth,' although it is but one very limited aspect of That which we cannot name but is the Source and Goal of all existence.")

Satprem,

Here is what came to me for the Questions and Answers after you left, you will see if you can use it and insert it in the text:

I do not readily use the word "God" because religions have made it the name of an almighty being, foreign to his creation, outside of it. Which is incorrect.

Yet, on the physical plane, the difference is obvious. For we are still all that we no longer want to be, while He is all that we want to become.

Signed: Mother

@

August 17, 1963

(Mother prepares another aphorism for the next "Bulletin.")

What aphorism do we have?

It's about "renunciation."

There is that thing I said: acceptance and struggle – both together. What did he say about renunciation?

94 – All renunciation is for a greater joy yet ungrasped. Some renounce for the joy of duty done, some for the joy of peace, some for the joy of God and some for the joy of self-torture, but renounce rather as a passage to the freedom and untroubled rapture beyond.

And your question?

I always hesitate to ask you questions, because it sets you on a certain line which isn't necessarily what would come to you....

(silence)

I never had much that experience of "enunciation.... To renounce something, you must be attached to it, while I always had the thirst, the need to go farther, to go higher, to progress, to do better, to know better and ... instead of having a sense of renunciation, you have rather a sense of good riddance! Something you get rid of that hampers you, weighs you down, hinders your advance.

In that light, it's very interesting.

That's what I wrote to you the other day ["We are still all that we no longer want to be, while He is all that we want to become"]. What we call "we" in our egoistic stupidity, a stupidity of the ego, is precisely all that we no longer want to be; and it would be such a joy to throw all that away, get rid of it in order to be ready to become what we want to be.

That's a very living experience.

August 21, 1963

(Regarding an old "Playground Talk," of January 4, 1951, in which Mother said that one of the essential conditions for transformation is an awareness of the inner dimensions: "It's a total reversal of consciousness, which can be compared to what happens to light when it goes through a prism. Or else it's as if you turned a ball inside out, which can be done only in the fourth dimension. You emerge from the ordinary consciousness of the third dimension to enter the higher consciousness of the fourth dimension, and then an infinite number of dimensions. This is the indispensable starting point.")

That's what I had told you already: the whole basis of the yogic effort is changed now. Formerly, the work was based precisely on that knowledge of inner dimensions – I can't recapture that any more, I see it as completely outside me.[103]

So I can't add anything to those "Talks": their source is different. Even now for the aphorisms, it's a little bit difficult. I feel I have to come down, to revert to an old frame of mind in order to say something.

You need not bother about people. Just speak according to your present mode, without bothering whether they understand or not.

They understand nothing.

It doesn't matter.

Then it's no use publishing what I say!

Some do understand.

Anyway, what I say nowadays is good for the [Agenda] box.

***

(Then Mother returns to the aphorism on "renunciation."
She remains silent. She still appears to be shaken.)

It's difficult because ...

These days, I don't know whether it has come to the last battle, but it has descended very deep into the cells' worst-lit realm: what still belongs most to the world of Unconsciousness and Inertia and is most foreign to the divine Presence. It is, so to say, the primal substance that was first used by Life, and it has a sort of inability to feel, to experience a reason for that life.

In fact, it's something I had never experienced [that absence of meaning]; even in my earliest childhood, when there was no development, I always had a perception (not a mentalized but a vibrant perception) of a Power behind all things which is the raison d'être of all things – a Power, a Force, a kind of warmth.

It isn't the experience of THIS body's cells: it's an identification with the world in general, with the Earth as a whole. It's an absolutely frightful and hopeless condition: something meaningless, aimless, without raison d'être, without any joy in itself or ... and worse than disagreeable – meaningless, insensate. Something that has no raison d'être and yet is. It was ... it is a frightful situation.

I have an impression of being quite close to the bottom of the pit.

Yesterday, it was like that almost the whole day long. But all at once something came (I don't know from where or how ... neither from above nor from within nor from ... I don't know): there is only ONE raison d'être, only ONE Reality, only ONE Life, and there is nothing other than ... THAT. It was THAT (not in the least mentally, there was no intellectual formulation, nothing), it was Something that was Light (far more than Light), Power (far more than power), Omnipotence (far more than Omnipotence), and also an intensity of sweetness, of warmth, of plenitude – all that together – along with that Something, which naturally words cannot describe. And That came all at once, like that, when there was such a frightful state of anguish, because it was nothing – a nothing you couldn't get out of. There was no way of getting out of that nothing, because it was nothing.

You know, all those who seek Nirvana, all their disgust of life, all that is almost enjoyable in comparison! That's not it. That's not it, it was a thousand times, a million times worse. It was nothing, and because it was nothing it was impossible to get out of it – there was no ... no solution.

At one point, the tension was so great that ... you wonder, "Am I going to burst?"

Then everything relaxed and opened up (gesture as if the cells opened out) ... OM.

(silence)

I don't know if there's a yet deeper pit but ...

And that relief, that blossoming, that peace ... Everything disappears, except That.

(silence)

It's really the first time I had that experience – never, never did I experience that before. And it wasn't in the least, in the least personal to my body, it[104] isn't my body's cells – it's something else....

And that is the basis and foundation of all materialism.

It lasted the whole day long! ...

(silence)

The experience came at the time when the condition was most acute in its nothingness.... I don't know how to explain it, it's inexpressible, but it was COMPLETE: there was nothing but that, that sort of meaningless and aimless "nothing," without raison d'être or origin – and, therefore, without remedy. Then it reached the point when ... you know, when everything is about to burst and there is such a tension. (Is it tension? I don't know how to explain.) And all at once, a change as total as you can imagine.

So you understand, those old "Talks," all that's ... a lot of talk!

(long silence)

Every time an experience of that kind occurs, the entire vision of things and of the relationship between things is changed (gesture of reversal). Even from a quite practical viewpoint. You see, Life is a sort of chessboard on which all the pawns are arranged according to certain inner laws, and every time it all changes: everything changes, the chessboard changes, the pawns change, the types of organization change. Also the inner quality of the pawns – very much so.

For instance, these last few days I had a whole vision of X, of what he represents, the people around him, his relationship with the Ashram – all that entirely changed. Every element took a new place in relation to all the others. And I have nothing to do with it, I don't "try" to understand, I don't "try" to see, nothing: the thing is simply shown to me. Like pictures that are shown to me. Each thing has its own special flavor, its own special color, its own special quality and its own special relationship with the rest – all the relationships are different.

It's growing very PRECISE, very minute, very sharp, not floating: very accurate to the last detail. And with a great simplicity.

As though the entanglement of forces, of consciousnesses and movements grew clearer and clearer, more and more complete, very, very precise. And very simple too.

Very simple.

All problems, all problems are beginning to be seen in that way.

And always an impression of emerging (what I previously called "clarity" or comprehension is to me now incomprehension and confusion), of emerging from that towards a greater clarity, a more total comprehension. With all sorts of complications that disappear, even though everything is far more complete than before.

Before, there were always hazy spots, some hazy, imprecise, uncertain things; and as that disappears, it all becomes much clearer, much simpler, and MUCH MORE EXACT. And the haziness disappears. There is, you know, a whole world of impressions, of guessing (things you imagine, they are imaginations rather than impressions) that fills the gaps; and there were some reference points, things that are known and linked together by a whole hazy mass of impressions and imaginations (it works automatically); and every time, oh, you emerge from it all towards something so light (gesture above), and all those clouds evaporate. And it looks so simple! You say to yourself, "But it's so obvious, so clear! There weren't any complications."

Every time, it's like that (gesture of ascent from stage to stage): you see farther, you see more things at a glance.

It would seem that a time will come when all the movements of the earth will be like that, very clear and very simple.

And it corresponds to that descent into the pit.

August 24, 1963

(Mother asks Satprem if he has prepared a question on the aphorism on "renunciation," which is to appear in the next "Bulletin." Then she adds:)

I delivered great speeches to you on the subject, but I don't remember! (Laughing) It was in the night, I delivered a whole speech to you, and I even thought, in the middle of the night, "Well, that's just what I should tell Satprem tomorrow!"

I told you that the only process I've known, and which recurred several times in my life, is to renounce an error. Something you believe to be true – which probably was true for a time – on which you partly base your action, but which, in actuality, was only one opinion. You thought it was a truthful finding with all its logical consequences, and your action (part of your action) was based on it, so that everything proceeded from it automatically. Till suddenly an experience, a circumstance or an intuition warns you that your finding isn't so true as it appeared to be (!) Then there is a whole period of observation and study (sometimes too it comes as a revelation, a massive proof), and then it's not just your idea or false knowledge that needs to be changed, but also all its consequences, perhaps an entire way of acting on a particular point. At that moment, you get a sort of sensation, something that feels like a sensation of renunciation; that is to say, you have to undo a whole collection of things you had built. Sometimes it's quite considerable, sometimes a very small thing, but the experience is the same: the movement of a force, a dissolving power, and the resistance of all that must be dissolved, all the past habit. It is the contact of the movement of dissolution with the corresponding resistance that probably translates in the ordinary human consciousness as the sense of renunciation.

I saw that very recently; it's something insignificant, the circumstances are completely unimportant in themselves (it's only the study of the whole that makes it interesting). It's the only phenomenon that has recurred several times in my life and which for that reason I know well. And as the being progresses, the power of dissolution increases, becomes more and more immediate, and the resistance lessens. But I remember the time when the resistances were at their highest (more than half a century ago), and it never worked in any other way: it was always something outside me – not outside my consciousness but outside my will – something that resists the will. I never had the feeling I had to renounce things but I felt as if I had to exert a pressure on them to dissolve them. Whereas now, the farther I go, the more imperceptible the pressure becomes, it's immediate: as soon as the Force that comes to dissolve a collection of things manifests, there's no resistance, everything gets dissolved; on the contrary, there's hardly any sense of liberation – there's something that is amused every time and says, "Ah, again! How many times you limit yourself...." How many times you think you're constantly moving on, smoothly, without stopping, and how many times you set a little limit to your action (it isn't a big limit because it's a very little thing within an immense whole, but it's a limit nonetheless). And then when the Force acts to dissolve the limit, at first you feel liberated, you feel a joy; but now it's not even like that any more: there is a smile. Because it's not a sense of liberation – you very simply remove a stone that stands in your way.

That's more or less what I told you last night, but I told it to you complete with illustrations! It would take pages, you understand! (Laughing) That's why the illustrations are gone, otherwise it would fill a volume. There were all the explanations, all the details.

That idea of renunciation can occur only in an egocentric consciousness. Naturally, people (those whom I call quite unevolved) are attached to things – when they have something, they don't want to let go of it! That seems so childish to me! ... For them, if they are obliged to give it up, it hurts! Because they identify with the things they hold on to. But that's childish. The real process behind is ... the amount of resistance in the things that developed on a certain basis of knowledge – a knowledge at a given time, no longer a knowledge at another time – a partial knowledge, not fleeting but impermanent. There is a whole collection of things built on that knowledge, and they resist the Force that says, "No! It's not true, (laughing) your basis is no longer true, away with it!" But then, "Oh, it hurts!" – that's what people feel as renunciation.

The difficult thing is perhaps not so much to renounce as to accept ... [Mother smiles] when you see life as it is now. But then if you accept, how can you live in the midst of all that while having that "untroubled rapture" – the untroubled rapture not up there but here?[105]

This has been my problem for weeks.

I have reached this conclusion: in principle, what gives rapture is the awareness of and union with the Divine (that's the principle), therefore the awareness of and union with the Divine, whether in the world as it is or in the building of a future world, must be the same – in principle. That's what I keep saying to myself all the time: "How is it that you don't have that rapture?" I do have it: at the time when the whole consciousness is centered in the union, whenever that is, in the midst of any activity, along with that movement of concentration of the consciousness on the union comes rapture. But I must admit it disappears when I am in that ... it's a world of work, but a very chaotic world, in which I act on everything around me – and necessarily I have to receive what's around me in order to act on it. I have reached a state in which all that I receive, even the things considered the most painful, leave me absolutely still and indifferent – "indifferent," not an inactive indifference: no painful reaction of any kind, absolutely neutral (gesture turned to the Eternal), a perfect equanimity. But within that equanimity, there is a precise knowledge of the thing to be done, the words to be said or written, the decision to be made, anyway all that action involves. All that takes place in a state of perfect neutrality, with a sense of the Power at the same time: the Power goes through me, the Power acts, and neutrality stays – but there's no rapture. I don't have the enthusiasm, the joy and plenitude of action, not at all.

And I must say that the state of consciousness that rapture gives would be dangerous in the present state of the world.... Because it has almost absolute reactions – I can see that that state of rapture has an OVERWHELMING power. But I insist on the word "overwhelming," in the sense that it's intolerant of, or intolerable to (yes, intolerable to) all that's unlike it! It's the same thing, or almost (not quite the same but almost), as supreme divine Love: the vibration of that ecstasy or rapture is a first hint of the vibration of divine Love, and that's absolutely ... yes, there is no other word, intolerant, in the sense that it doesn't brook the presence of anything contrary to it.

So that would have frightening results for the ordinary consciousness. I can see that very well, because at times that Power comes – the Power comes ... and you feel as if everything is about to explode. Because it can tolerate only union, it can tolerate only an accepting response – receiving and accepting. And not from any arbitrary will: from the VERY FACT of its existence, an all-powerful existence – "all-powerful" not in the way man understands allpowerfullness: really an all-powerfulness. That is, entirely, totally and exclusively existing. It contains everything, but what is contrary to its vibration is forced to change, you see, since nothing can disappear; but then that immediate, brutal, so to say, and absolute change is, in the world as it is, a catastrophe.

This is the answer I received to my problem.

Because that was my question, I wondered, "But why? I who am ..." Any second I just have to do this (gesture upward) and it's ... there's only the Lord, all is THAT – but in such an absolute way that all that is not It vanishes! So the proportion at present .. (laughing) is that too many things would have to disappear!

That I understood.

(silence)

At times ... For the body it's a constant work – a constant labor – very tiny, of every instant, an unceasing effort, with, so to say, an imperceptible result (externally at any rate, quite nonexistent), so for someone who doesn't have my consciousness, it's perfectly obvious that the body appears to wear out and age, to be slowly heading for decomposition: that's in everyone's atmosphere and consciousness (Mother laughs), it's the kind of appreciation and vibration that's being thrown all the time on this poor body, which besides is quite conscious of its infirmity – it doesn't entertain any illusions! But that quiet, peaceful, but UNCEASING endurance in the effort of transformation makes it sometimes yearn for a little ecstasy – not as an abolition or annihilation, not at all, but it seems to be saying, "Oh, Lord, I beg you, let me be You m all tranquillity." In fact, that's its prayer every evening when people are supposed to leave it in peace (unfortunately they leave it in peace physically, but mentally they don't). But that ... I could cut off, I learned to cut off long, long ago, I could cut off, but ... something, I mean somewhere, "someone" doesn't approve! (Mother laughs) Obviously what the Someone – the great Someone – wants to see realized is perfect peace, perfect rest, and joy, a passive joy (not too active; a passive joy is enough), a passive, constant joy, WITHOUT forsaking the work. In other words, the individual experience isn't regarded as all-important – very far from it: the help given to the whole, the leaven which makes the whole rise, is AT LEAST equally important. Ultimately, that's probably the major reason for persisting in this body.

Nothing inside asks any questions, there are no problems there; all the problems I am talking about are posed by the body, for the body; otherwise, inside, everything is perfect, everything is exactly as it should be. And totally so: what people call "good," what they call "evil," the "beautiful," the "ugly," the ... all that is a small immensity (not a big immensity), a small immensity that is moving more and more towards a progressive realization – that's the correct phrase – within an integral Consciousness which integrally (how should I put it?) enjoys, or I could say, feels the plenitude of what He does – does, is and so forth (it's all the same thing). But this poor body ...

And probably ... It's certain too that one can't go too fast: if the body had that Joy in it, if it had that ecstasy in it, that rapture continually, surely that would bring too rapid a transformation – there are still a lot of things to be changed, a lot, a whole lot of things....

What people see [when they look at Mother's body] is only the appearance, but this appearance is a reflection of something else.... (silence) There's a sort of knowledge (is it a knowledge?) or foreknowledge given to the body of how this appearance will be changed. And it sounds so simple, so easy, it can be done in a flash, because it's not AT ALL – it won't AT ALL be done in the way people think or expect.... It's rather like the vision of the TRUE internal movement that would IMPOSE itself in such a way that it would veil the false vision which sees things like that [on the surface]. It's very hard to explain, but it's ... I've felt it several times for a few seconds (I have a sort of sensation of the thing): there is something true, the true Physical, which, although it's not perceptible to our eyes as they see, could make itself perceptible through an INTENSIFICATION. And that intensification would be what would effect the transformation outwardly – that would replace the false appearance with the real form.

But I have no idea whether the false appearance wouldn't still exist for those not ready to see the true thing.... At any rate, it would be an intermediary period: those whose eyes were open would be able to see (what is called "open eyes" in the Scriptures), they would be able to see; and they would be able to see not through effort or seeking, but the thing would impose itself on them. While those whose eyes were not open ... for a time, at least, it would be that way, they wouldn't see – they would still see the old appearance. The two may be simultaneous.

I SAW myself the way I am, and quite obviously ... (Mother laughs) my body seems to have been shrunk to enable me to dominate it and exceed it on all sides without difficulty! That's my impression, something that's shrunk! The English word is very expressive (Mother laughs).

Now, of course, when I say that, people imagine it's a psychic or mental vision – that's not it, I don't mean that! I mean a PHYSICAL vision, with these very eyes (Mother touches her eyes). But a TRUE physical vision, instead of the distorted vision we have now.

This means, basically, that the true reality is far more marvelous than we can imagine, because all that we can imagine is always a transformation or glorification of what we see – but that's not it. That's not it!

I am not quite sure that I do not already exist physically with a true body[106] – I say "not quite sure" because the outer senses have no proof of it! But in fact-... I don't try, I have never attempted to see or know, but from time to time, it somehow imposes itself: for a minute, I see myself, feel myself, objectify myself as I am. But it just lasts a few seconds, and pfft! gone – it's replaced by the old habit.

You know, we can only conceive of things changing from one to another: you grow young again, all the signs of aging disappear and so on – that's old hat, that's not how it works. That's not it!

Once, I remember, my body was feeling sorry for itself like a child, it was bemoaning its condition, when it heard a voice – an awesome voice – that said to it, "Why don't you feel yourself AS YOU ARE?" And that experience followed – but it lasted a second. A second, a flash.

And then comes that wonderful reason we reek of (I don't say we're "steeped in," I say we "reek of"), which starts asking: How can that be? And how can I remain efficient? And how can I keep a contact with the rest of the world? And how ... how, how? So I stopped, stopped it all. And what's going to happen to this body? And what will be its mode of existence? ...

We can very well conceive (it's something easy to conceive) that beings may be born in another manner, through a power of concentration, and that those beings may materialize without any of the miseries that beset us – that's all very well, but it's for later. We are in between, that's where the difficulty is.

August 28, 1963

I've received a letter from a publisher friend of mine. He tells me the real reasons for their refusal of my manuscript "Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness."

Oh, really!

It's interesting. If you want me to read it to you ...

(Satprem reads)

... "I had already told you about my misgivings.[107] As to the motives for the decision, it always boils down to the same point: a sincere (though ambiguous) will of ecumenism, a broad rather than deep intellectual curiosity, permit mentalities such as those that give our firm its orientation and public image to pay some attention to academic essays regarded (wrongly so in the present instance) as dealing with the famous "Eastern spirituality." But as soon as the essays are lived from within, the goodwill withdraws into its shell. The reaction is even worse if the author is a "renegade," a Westerner who has gone over to the enemy side. (I can vouch for that![108]) I must emphasize that this whole process is not only unintentional but, more than that, unconscious (which is not an excuse but an aggravating circumstance). The opposition put up against your first manuscript[109] rather hardened with the second, a much more personal book, I mean less "detached," still less "objective" than the first – and more ample. Through the medium of literature, you were able to convey whatever you liked. Through a direct essay, you will reach – and so much the worse, or so much the better – only those who seek. Our firm and its public do not belong, for that matter, to the category of those who seek."

He's conscious! It's obvious, I told you so all along: your book isn't meant for them. There aren't many who seek. Those who seek ... really, there aren't many. I see the letters we receive from those who are convinced not only that they seek but also that they've found. Letters from would-be disciples of Sri Aurobindo coming from over there, from France, Germany, England – don't understand, they don't understand! Anyhow, that doesn't matter, it will be for later.

Above all, they think they've understood everything.

Ah, the less you know, the more you think you know.

Yes, they know everything, they can't learn anything from us.

They will have to return both your manuscripts to you. No need for them to rot there.

But I don't see what can touch that?

 

No, no! It's not worth trying.

But still it's worth it from the point of view of the Work – how will there be a breach there one day?

Oh! ... You remember that aphorism of Sri Aurobindo's? ... I understand VERY WELL what he means.

That will be the day of the great overturn.

A little child ...

[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 didn't want to comment on it.... But it's true.

Because they're impregnable. Those people are impregnable.

Mentally.

It's not mentally that you can make them yield.

Then how?... It's either by force – violent force – or else by a miracle (what they call a "miracle") that will leave them ... dumbfounded.

Those people are entirely vulnerable (by vulnerable, I mean defenseless) to spiritual force. The day when it manifests physically, there will be a debacle.

Even here, with these people who through their tradition are so accustomed to the Power, the true spiritual Power, when it just manifests a little, they ... they tremble all over. But there they deny it ... which means they are completely defenseless.

I don't know when it will come – I don't know, it may not be soon – but one thing I know: when it comes, there will be panic – you know, THE Panic.

And in a panic, you can do something.

(silence)

In any case, your book will be published here, which means it will reach the few who are ready – but not over there.

The Americans are more open, because they have remained more childlike – they think they know everything on a material level, but they also know that there are things they don't know. While the others ... they are "beyond childish religious beliefs," of course!

It's not even true, for as soon as a little something stirs within (gesture at the heart center), they plunge back into their Catholicism.

Anyway ...

***

(There follows a discussion between Mother and Satprem to decide whether Mother's comment on the last aphorism, on renunciation, should be published in the "Bulletin" in full or only in excerpts. At first Mother finds it too "personal." This raises the problem of the publication of Mother's words.)

... It should have been said objectively, not as "my experience." But if I start saying "my experience," I have to go right to the end of my experience, I can't stop halfway.

But that's just the point: it's really striking only when it's YOUR experience.

Yes, but then I would have to tell everything. It's exactly as your friend wrote in that letter: if you present an "objective" theory, then it's fine – people can take it or leave it, it doesn't matter; but when you introduce that personal element ... Not that I am afraid people may not appreciate (I am perfectly indifferent to that), it's that I fear it may harm some.

Harm, how?

When you read something you are not ready for, it does you no

good.

If I at least had put it in a didactic way ...

Yes, but in a didactic way it won't have that richness, that force.

Of course, but that's what people consider "intellectual."

Well, I think we should just ignore them.

Either I should give lessons, or else ... But I must say that nowadays I don't enjoy it. I find it so childish to say, "Things happen in this way" – I know perfectly well they don't happen "in this way"! They happen in this way and they happen in another way, and everything is possible. You can't keep telling people, "Everything is possible, you know." To keep repeating, "Everything is possible, you know," is absurd.

So either I should keep quiet, or else ...

Let me give you another example: when I answer people's letters, I never write about myself, I write about them, yet it's very personal: it's FOR THEM. And in fact, I am coming to see (in not a very pleasant way) that out of a personal answer they want to make a general teaching – it's absurd! Absurd. I say something to this man or that woman, and I'll say the opposite to someone else! But they publish it.... So we should stop publishing anything.

Either stop publishing anything or else, well, too bad....

If we must always take this and that into account, there's nothing we can do or say any more.

I could very well stop publishing anything and declare, "Now, I won't speak any more, it's finished." But then we would have to stop the Bulletin.

I think you should present your experience, and that's all. Because otherwise, if we cut these texts to leave only the "objective" things, it becomes dry.

Yes, dry and hollow.

And incomplete, terribly incomplete. Then people will understand very dogmatically – that's bad.

I think it's better to put everything in.

To tell the truth (laughing), I don't care! Even if they get the impression that I have "a screw loose"....

Those who get wrong impressions will get them anyhow.

And, truly, sincerely, it's absolutely all the same to me. It's the same when people write to me, "How wonderful": I smile and I think, "What can they understand?!" I receive letters ... priceless letters! Positively exuberant, full of bombastic words, and then there are others who tell me very frankly that they are full of doubt, that I quite simply use "tricks" to run the whole "business" (!) like any ordinary human intelligence, and that they can't feel anything divine at all behind all that – both make the same impression on me, the one and the other! (Mother laughs) To me it's all the same thing. It's their opinions – they have the right to have any opinions they like. To tell the truth, all that we could reply to them is, "Have the opinions that make you progress," whether in this way or that, it doesn't matter in the least!

That's not the point.... Maybe it's the fear (there is a fear somewhere, I don't know), the fear of opening the intimacy a little too much, a fear from the standpoint of the vibrations.

But (laughing) I don't think there's much danger!

I saw that, in fact: I showed A. some passages from the Agenda that I had selected; obviously A. likes me, also he makes an effort to understand spiritually – well, I clearly saw while he was reading that he doesn't understand. There was a whole part that was absolutely beyond his understanding, he didn't understand, and what little he could catch was just a husk.

So, to tell the truth, it doesn't matter.

Of course, there's the rule that it's not good to speak of yourself – that goes without saying. But what can I talk about now, if not about my experience? Because nothing exists any more – all the so-called "objective" knowledge is to me a useless mental activity.

So let's just leave it at that.

Otherwise, truncated publications ... I find that very bad; better nothing at all, because they are, as it were, drained.

Yes, drained of all power.

Let's just leave it as it is.

August 31, 1963

(Mother looks at Satprem for a long time)

I saw a new thing in front of you.

You were in a sort of golden light, rather solid, and then from here (the throat) down to here (the solar plexus), there were all the Tantric colors, you know, all the shades. I don't know if you have ever seen them: the Tantrics have an atmosphere with all the colors, not mixed together but side by side. It's a kind of "chart of powers," and according to the color they select and pick out, or use, it serves one purpose or another: one is for health, another for progress, another for understanding, and so forth. That chart was with you, and I saw your hand moving as if you were writing.

I see those colors, I always see them in association with those who have practiced Tantrism. X always has them with him, and with his guru,[110] it's even much more, very strong and very intense.

It was there in front of you, from there (the throat), that is to say the center of relationship with the world, down to here (the solar plexus).

***

Soon afterwards

These last few days, I had an opportunity to work on the proportion between the expression and the fact. Let me explain: for example, you have an experience (there are two cases where it's very clear) ... first you have the experience, then comes the expression of that experience; and the proportion between the divine simplicity of the experience and the realizing power of the expression is what gives the measure of perfect sincerity – the ratio between the two must be perfectly true.

I saw in that almost a key to assess sincerity.

The same goes for a teaching, in the sense that you have a certain power, which acts with a view to a result on those who, naturally, are receptive – a certain power intended to produce a certain result or effect – and owing to the world's condition, which is almost exclusively mental, there is a need to add words (what people call a "teaching") to that power. And that's where there should be an exact proportion between the sentence and the power: the sentence shouldn't express more or less than the power, it should be an exact expression of the power – say neither too much nor too little but say exactly the appropriate words that will clothe the power (in a mentally receivable way), that will be a vehicle of the power. And the proportion between the two gives the exact measure of the sincerity.

I don't know if I can make myself understood, but for two days I was engrossed in that work of establishing an absolutely true ratio – which in fact can be true only in a complete simplicity and complete sincerity. I saw the power that acts in the words and the power that acts without words, and the proportion between the two powers must be exact, entirely correct, to have a complete sincerity. You follow?

It was a very interesting work – not intellectual at all, a completely material work, down here, very, very practical. For example, what you write to someone should exactly correspond to the quality and quantity of the Power – which acts DIRECTLY, not through the mind. It was very interesting, a very painstaking work. And it was the key – one of the keys to perfect sincerity.

That was my preoccupation these last few days.

(silence)

And once more, I had that experience when the body was again moaning – I say "moaning," but it's not that, it's a kind of aspiration so strong that it becomes like an anguish; and also that sense of incapacity. And the same Response: all at once the body is seized by a formidable power, so great that the body itself feels it could break anything! It comes like a mass. And I recalled a sentence of Sri Aurobindo in which he said, "Before you can be the Lord's lion, you should first be the Lord's lamb,''[111] and it was as though I were told, "Enough of being the lamb! (laughing) Now become the lion." But it doesn't last.

And I can easily see why it doesn't last! Oh, it's ... You feel as if you're going to tear everything down!

(silence)

But the body does profit from the experience, in the sense that it feels stronger afterwards – not much stronger physically, we don't care about that strength! It's a very odd phenomenon: the sense of the "concrete" fades away – it fades farther and farther away. "Concrete" vision, "concrete" sense of smell, "concrete" taste, "concrete" hearing, it all seems far away – far behind in a ... an unreal past. And that kind of dry and lifeless "concrete" is replaced by something that's very supple (round, global gesture), very complete in that all the senses function together, and VERY INTIMATE WITH EVERYTHING.

For a while I was shown the two functionings to enable me to perceive the difference: how the senses function now, and how they did formerly: and it gives a fuzzy impression, but it's an impression of something both very intimate and very complete (same round gesture), whereas, before, each thing was separate, divided (choppy, hard gesture), unconnected with the other, it was very superficial – very precise but very superficial, like a pinpoint. It's not at all that way any more.

And I see very well that if we let ourselves be carried along instead of having that absurd resistance of habit, if we let ourselves be carried along, there would come a sort of very ... (same round, global gesture) very soft thing, in the sense of smooth, very soft, very complete, very living, and with a very intimate perception of things. Along with a knowledge that becomes ... if there weren't that mixture of the old habit, it would be really extraordinary: the perception of things not as if they were outside, but an INTIMATE perception. When someone enters the room, for instance, or when the clock is about to strike, you know it just (I can't say a second, it's a thousandth of a second), just before it takes place materially; which gives you the feeling of a foreknowledge, but it's not that! It's not a foreknowledge, it's ... It belongs to the realm of sensation, but it's other senses. The FOREMOST feeling you get is one of intimacy, that is to say, there is no more distance, no more difference, no more seer and thing seen; yet, there is in it what corresponds to vision, hearing, sensation, all the perceptions, taste, smell and all of that.

There is here a very concrete change from before, very perceptible.

I understand very well: what prevents the functioning from being perfect is all the old habits. If we could let ourselves be carried along without resisting – without any will to "see well," to "hear well" and so on – we would have the other perception, which is much TRUER. And that intimacy with things ... things are no longer foreign. But there is no thought in it; they speak of "knowledge through identity," you know, but that's all intellectual notions, it's not that! It's ...

And always that feeling of something smooth (same round gesture), smooth, without any clashes, any complications, as though you could no longer bump into things, no longer ... It's quite interesting.

It takes time simply because of the resistance of the old habits. If we could always let ourselves be carried along, things would go much faster – much faster. All the time, a hundred times a day (more than that!), I tell myself, "Why are you thinking of this? Why are you thinking of that?" For example, if I have to answer someone (not always in writing, it can be an [occult] work, to organize something), the Force acts quite naturally, smoothly, without any resistance; then suddenly thought comes into the picture and tries to interfere (I catch it every time and I stop it every time; but it's too often!), and all the old habit returns. That need to translate things into thoughts, to give them "clear" expression .

And then you hinder the entire process.

Oh, to let oneself live simply, simply, without complications....

September

September 4, 1963

An avalanche of letters!

Someone disappears, people ask me where he is, whether he's dead or alive. Someone else has worries: he wants to see me. Someone ... People I don't know at all! A stack of letters! They ask me for success in their business, for good health, for a child (a boy!), a good job.... Anyway everything that people are capable of wanting, they write and ask me. Oh, there are also those who ask me to tell their fortune! Many ask me, but I answer them bluntly, "I am not a fortuneteller, I don't read tea leaves"!

(Mother scribbles a note)

Here is an answer I'll have sent to all those people whom I don't know and who ask me for things: What have you given to the Lord, or done for Him, that you ask me to do something for you? – I do only the Lord's work! (Mother laughs)

You know, it's clearly millions and millions of miles away from their thought, so ...

It's funny, no? Even Nolini would be shocked! (Mother laughs heartily) But I find it funny.

Basically, their idea of the divine is something that's at their service – that knows a little more than you do (!) and is at your service to give you whatever you desire.

***

After a meditation with Satprem

I again saw a square shape, like last time, in front of you, but this time it was different: there was a bright golden light, and that square shape was here (gesture between the throat and the solar plexus), in front of you, then it rose and rose and rose like that, slowly, very slowly, above your head, and there it spread out into a great light ... a very quiet light.

I think it's the symbol of your meditation. A square – a perfect square, I mean, about this size, from there to there (from the top of the head to the solar plexus): that's you when you meditate. It's quite established, like something firmly established, and then slowly, very slowly, it rose and rose and rose above your head, and there ... not violently, of course, it didn't burst out, but it spread out into an Immensity of light.

The symbol of your consciousness.

It's always a square shape.

Last time, I told you there were those Tantric lights; this time, there was a pale gold, very luminous, very tranquil, and the shape [of the square] was like a somewhat more golden vibration, a little darker (but not "dark"), and it stayed still a very long time, till suddenly I felt in your consciousness as if something were opening out, relaxing and opening out, like a sort of well-being in your consciousness. And no sooner did that happen than the square began to rise and rise and rise above your head, and there ...

Is it the symbol of your meditation or the symbol of your consciousness? ... – The symbol of your consciousness.

Did you feel, towards the middle of your meditation, a kind of sudden relaxing, an inner well-being?

Yes, I felt it.

Then that's it.

As soon as you felt it, it started rising until ... as though it merged into an infinite.

But it's good.

Very good.

Do you have anything to tell me? We still have a quarter of an hour.

What?

Some things have been very present in my consciousness lately – death.

Death?

Very present.

It's because ... yes.

And you're wondering what it means?

I sense a threat, something lying in wait; like a Fate lying in wait, very close, and as the end of the year draws near, it becomes heavier and heavier.

(silence)

Sujata also felt it these last few months – but I've been feeling it for a long time. I sense something lying in wait, something hanging over her and over me – I don't know which of the two. In the past I didn't often think of death, but now it comes to my mind constantly.

But what do you call death?!

I mean, leaving this body.

As a thing personal to you?

It expresses itself personally, though it may be something more general, I don't know.

(Mother remains silent) Two years ago I used to see it over you very much – much more than now. It seems to have moved away, so that's strange.[112]

Two years ago, when I was still going downstairs, when I used to see you in Pavitra's office.

There was a time when I intervened (it was the time of the Swami's activities and all that). It was over you at that time. But lately ... I haven't seen anything special – attacks do come periodically along with the suggestion of all kinds of catastrophic possibilities: nothing more particular to you than to others. It's part of the work, I don't pay any attention to it.

But as for a quite personal threat to you, things seem much better now than they were two years ago.

Only, it may be that because of the work I am doing, you are brought into contact with a certain layer of possibilities and so you become more conscious of that.... As for Sujata, she must be unknowingly under your influence, so what you feel she feels too – that's my impression.

I'll look, but I haven't seen anything lately. On the contrary, that thing I used to see over you at that time and drive away deliberately, since the beginning of this year in particular I haven't seen it – I'll look.

I rather feel that a work is going on in the field of your consciousness, something which is awakening, which was less conscious before – it's more that than an impending danger.

How does your body feel? Still tired?

Not too brilliant. Oh, you know, I've always thought that '63 would be a very important date for me. Why, I don't know.

Yes, because we WANT it very important!

One thing has been coming back to me almost obstinately lately, it's the memory (that's what's odd, it comes as a MEMORY, as though it were something I had lived), the memory of your concentration camp. Very odd. It came back to me perhaps two or three weeks ago, I don't know, very strongly. I even looked – studied, rather – what the consequences were for your body. Studied and ... well, did what was needed.

I don't know, I can't say, because for all these experiences I try to drive all thoughts as far away as possible, because they don't help to get the correct perception. So that I can't say whether or not there was a reason for that "memory" – to tell the truth, the mind always finds reasons for everything, so ... You know, I am not occupied with those things, I don't try to know, and therefore they don't come – they come of their own accord. There was obviously a necessity: all that comes is necessary, I know that, otherwise it wouldn't come. But that memory didn't bring with it any sense or perception of a danger to your physical life, not in the least. I don't have that perception, while I did have it two years ago. Now I don't have it.

But I remember that for a few days I was occupied with that memory, as part of a vast work on certain physical vibrations, in all the physical domains with which I deal. And it came (strangely, it's always LOCATED, located somewhere ...), and the perception I have is very acute, absolutely like the perception of something that happened to me personally (but all that comes to me now comes in this way). Only, there was the knowledge that it was your own body that had gone through that experience. And then ... yes, I remember, there was a certain quality of vibration ... (Mother "looks" silently), and it was connected with a study on the experience the cells gain in the process of death. I remember, I was studying the cellular experiences (which the cells have more often than not semiconsciously and often unconsciously), those semiconscious experiences that stay in the subconscient and help to make some cells more and more receptive and prepared for the new Force. And as I was studying that, your experience of the camps came, and I saw in fact that a certain number of your cells, a rather considerable number (cells that are partly in the brain, partly in the throat center and partly here [gesture to the upper part of the chest]) have had the preliminary experience of death.

And that gives them a very special capacity of consciousness.

Could this be what gave you that sense of death? ... But you say it has been there for a long time. While, for me, it's recent (it was perhaps ten days ago), my study is recent. It was very interesting.... I can still see them now, they were as if located in certain parts of your body.

But that's a favorable observation, not a dangerous one!

Favorable, how?

Favorable, oh, yes! Favorable in the sense that those cells are far more conscious than cells are ordinarily.

Because they had that experience?

Yes, because they had that experience and survived – because the form survived that experience.

From the standpoint of a higher receptivity, it has a very, very considerable importance – I mean receptivity to the new forces, a preparation to receive the new forces.

(silence)

But things are rather complex.... For the body in its ordinary consciousness, its absolutely normal state is when it doesn't feel itself living. When the body doesn't feel itself living, that means it's functioning normally; as soon as it feels itself living in some part of itself, it means that something isn't quite normal, and instinctively (I don't mean the vital or mental consciousness), but its primal consciousness is alarmed, because it's not normal (not what it calls "normal"); and then that sort of alarm (an alarm that's not formulated in thoughts) brings it into contact with a whole world of adverse and defeatist suggestions – oh, there is an INTENSE atmosphere of pessimistic, defeatist, adverse suggestions in which human lives are bathed, as it were. It's even very strong here, very strong – I mean in the Ashram – very strong. People who are very sensitive and whose consciousness isn't firmly rooted in faith are very ... (what shall I say?) very deeply ... not deeply but intimately attacked by that atmosphere.

And it makes bodies very ill-at-ease.

(silence)

I will look again,[113] but for the moment, it seems to me, it's a period or a stage in the integral development that brings you into contact with death. It's an impersonal thing and I don't see anything ominous about it, I mean I don't consider your feeling as premonitory – except that Death is everywhere in the world, of course! Well, that's all, it boils down to that.

There, mon petit.

That may be it, because there is an interesting work going on within you.

My impression ... If you ask me, my impression is to the contrary: it's that for the moment, I am preparing a new life for you. Voilà.

You should ... I don't even feel the need to tell you, but what's necessary is to fasten one's consciousness imperturbably to something which, in fact, isn't personal – to the New Realization.

And if you feel those defeatist vibrations, know that things are now a battlefield, a field of action, very active. You see, the battle is being waged in the body every minute – all the time, all the time.... I don't expect others to wage it along with me; only, if on their part they hold on to what MUST BE, that's all that is needed.

@

September 7, 1963

(The beginning of this conversation was to disappear, but Satprem chanced on it on a second track of the tape-recording. He found it charming and inserted it back here. Quite often he deleted these beginnings of conversations.... Here the subject was his health, Sujata having written to Mother that it was deteriorating" and proposed that a supplementary diet be given him.)

So, let me contemplate you! (laughter) How are you, mon petit?

There is some improvement.

A little better.... And that food, is it all right?

Yes, it seems to be helping.

Here ... (Mother gives a white hibiscus): it's the "will one with the Divine Will" – when they're merged like that and you can no longer tell one from the other. Petit...

***

(Mother comments on an "old" experience of June 29:
the "boat of pink clay.")

Things are moving much faster than I thought because this experience seems to me far, far, far behind [it dates back two months], so many things have happened since – there are so many things I don't mention.

***

Soon afterwards

The other day, for some question of work, I was led to explain my position from the standpoint of the materialist conviction (I don't know what their position is today, because that's something I am not concerned with generally), but anyway I was led to do it because of a certain work.[114]

For them, all the experiences men have are the result of a mental phenomenon: we have reached a progressive mental development (they are at a loss to explain why or how!), anyhow it was Matter that developed Life, Life that developed Mind, and all of men's so-called spiritual experiences are mental constructions (they use other words, but I believe that's their idea). It is, at any rate, a denial of all spiritual existence in itself and of a Being or Force or Something superior which governs everything.

As I said, I don't know what their position is today, what point they have reached, but I was in the presence of a conviction of that type.

Then I said, "But it's very simple! I accept your point of view, there is nothing other than what we see, than mankind as it is; all the so-called inner phenomena are due to a mental, cerebral action; and when you die, you die – in other words, the phenomenon of agglomeration comes to the end of its existence, and it dissolves, everything dissolves. That's all very well."

(Quite likely, had things been that way, I would have found life so disgusting that I would have left it long ago. But I must add right away that it's not for any moral or even spiritual reason that I disapprove of suicide, it's because to me it's an act of cowardice and something in me doesn't like cowardice, so I did not ... I would never have fled from the problem.)

That's one point.

"But then, once you are here on this earth and you have to go to the end, even if the end is nothingness, you go to the end and it's just as well to do so as best you can, that is to say, to your fullest satisfaction.... I happened to have some philosophical curiosity and to study all kinds of problems, and I came upon Sri Aurobindo's teaching, and what he taught" (I would say "revealed," but not to a materialist) "is by far, among the systems men have formulated, the most satisfying FOR ME, the most complete, and what answers the most satisfactorily all the questions that can be asked; it is the one that helps me the most in life to have the feeling that 'life is worth living.' Consequently, I try to conform entirely to his teaching and to live it integrally in order to live as best I can – for me. I don't mind at all if others don't believe in it – whether they believe in it or not is all the same to me; I don't need the support of others' conviction, it's enough if I am myself satisfied."

Well, there's no reply to that.

The experience lasted a long time – for all details, to all problems, that's what I answered. And when I came to the end, I said to myself, "But that's a wonderful argument!" Because all the elements of doubt, ignorance, incomprehension, bad will, negation, with that argument they were all muzzled – annulled, they had no effect.

That work, I think, must have had worldwide repercussions. I was in it, in that state (with the sense of a very great power and a wonderful freedom) for certainly at least six or eight hours. (The work had started long before, but it became rather acutely present these last few days.)

And afterwards, everything was held in a solid grip – what do you have to say?

(silence)

It's much easier to answer out-and-out materialists who are convinced and sincere ("sincere" within the limit of their consciousness, that is) than to answer people who have a religion! Much easier.

With Indians, it's very easy – they're heaven-blessed, these people, because it takes very little for them to be oriented in the right way.[115] But there are two types of difficult religion, the Christian religion (especially in the form of Protestantism), and the Jewish religion.

The Jews are also out-and-out materialists: you die, well, you die, it's over. Though I haven't quite understood how they reconcile that with their God, who moreover is Unthinkable and must not be named ... but who, seen from the standpoint of a vaster truth, seems (I am not sure), seems to be an Asura. Because it's an almighty and UNIQUE God, foreign to the world – the world (as far as I know) and he are two completely different things.

It's the same with Catholicism. Yet, if I remember correctly, their God created the world with a part of himself, no?

No, no!

No? Is it only man that he pulled out of his rib?

No! It's out of Adam's rib that he pulled man, not out of his own rib!

Aah!

It's out of Adam's rib ...

... that he pulled woman. Aah! ...

No, no, he "created" the world.

Out of nothingness he made the world?

That's right.

Then it's the same problem, the same difficulty. It's quite simply an incomprehension.

And in fact he sent his son to "save the world."

Then his son doesn't belong to the creation?

He is the son of God – not so the others.

He is the ONLY son of God?

Yes, of course!

They've twisted everything. But Adam belonged to the creation, didn't he?

Yes, while Christ isn't human, he is the son.

But he took on a human body.

Yes, but he's the son of God. He isn't a human being become divine, he is a divine being – "the son of God" – who took on a human body.

But that's understood! All Avatars are like that.

Yes, but he's the only one.

It's all twisted.

But the Virgin, in that affair? What happened to her? Because

she was a woman, wasn't she?

She was human.

Yes ... because in the story, there's even a moment when Christ says, "What do I have to do with that woman"! But then, the Assumption? ...

(silence)

Of course, those who know understand very well – it's all symbolic.

But for instance, I told you I spoke with the Pope for quite a long time the day of his election, and the conversation was abruptly interrupted by a reaction he had. (It was really a mental conversation we were having: I spoke, he replied, I heard his reply – I don't know whether he was conscious of something ... probably not, but anyway; it wasn't at all a formation of my own mind because I received quite unexpected replies.) But the conversation was interrupted abruptly by a reaction he had when I told him that God is everywhere and in all things; that everything is He; and then a great Force came down into me and I added, "Even when you descend into Hell, He is there too."

Then everything stopped dead.

Since then I've learned that it's part of their teaching: that what is terrible in Hell isn't so much the suffering, but that there is no God there; that it's the only part of the creation in which there is no God – there is no God in Hell. And I asserted that He is there too.

But naturally, from an intellectual point of view, all those things are explained and find their place – man has never thought anything that wasn't the distortion of a truth. That's not the difficulty, it's that for religious people there are certain things they have a DUTY to believe, and to allow the mind to discuss them is a "sin" – so naturally they close themselves and will never be able to make any progress. Whereas the materialists, on the other hand, are on the contrary supposed to know and explain everything – they explain everything rationally. So (Mother laughs), precisely because they explain everything, you can lead them where you want to.

There.

There's nothing to be done with religious people.

No. And it's not good to try either. If they cling to a religion, it means that that religion has helped them somehow or other, has helped something in them which in fact wanted to have a certitude without having to seek for it – to lean on something solid without being responsible for its solidity (someone else is responsible! [Mother laughs]), and to leave their bodies in that way. So to want to pull them out of it shows a lack of compassion – they should just be left where they are. Never do I argue with someone who has a faith – let him keep his faith! And I take great care not to say anything that might shake his faith because it's not good – such people are unable to have another faith.

But with a materialist ... "I don't argue, I accept your point of view; only, you have nothing to say – I've taken my position, take yours. If you are satisfied with what you know, keep it. If it helps you to live, very good.

"But you have no right to blame or criticize me, because I am taking my position on your own basis. Even if all that I imagine is mere imagination, I prefer that imagination to yours." That's all.

September 18, 1963

I had an interesting experience the day before yesterday.

In a very concrete way, there was the consciousness that everything is the Lord and that everything is His will, His action, His consciousness and so forth; at the same time, the perception of the world as it is ("as it is," anyway ... as we feel it). And as there was no longer any notion of good and evil and all that, there was a sort of almost candid surprise, a very spontaneous surprise, not thought out, at reprobation, anger, disapproval, scorn for all the people who are called "bad," who do evil and have bad will. It seemed so strange that one could lose one's temper because of that! Then there arose a profound Pity – but a Pity that has nothing of the sense of superiority or inferiority, nothing like that – like a sort of sorrow that there can be people who are so small and so weak in that Immensity that they are COMPELLED to be nasty and malicious, to hate, to reject, to wish evil.

The words diminish the experience very, very much. It was so ... a super-compassion, you know, full of a deep Love and Understanding: "How can one reproach them for being the way the Lord wants them to be?"

Then, when it all settled down, several hours afterwards, I wrote something – I wrote it in French (even with the will that it should not be translated into English). And as a matter of fact it's untranslatable. Here is what I wrote:

Ce monde est plein de misères pitoyables, mais les êtres que je plains le plus sont ceux qui ne sont pas assez grands et assez forts pour être bons.[116]

But then the word bon [good] no longer had that sense of opposition to "evil": it contained all the divine splendor. It was the radiance of divine Love.

(silence)

Any translation of the word bon [good] into English is very small and all the way down. I didn't want to put it into English. But today, all at once it came to me in English and I wrote it down:

This world is full of pitiable miseries, but of all beings those I pity most are those who are so small and so weak that they are compelled to be nasty.

It's seen from the opposite side, but there is as much in it as in the first.

***

Soon afterwards

What have you brought me?

There's some work....

The active work, you know ... I am not good for much!

When I have an experience, I don't even try to formulate it – I never try: I live it as intensely as I can and keep it alive as long as I can. Then suddenly there's a kind of rivulet: a rivulet of words that come, and they come all together, then they arrange themselves – I have nothing to do with it all! I don't know whether it's listening or seeing: it's something in between. For a very long time, all my contacts with the invisible were visual contacts, but now there is sound too. So this is how it works: I simply have to be attentive, that is to say, not actively busy with something else. If I stay still, it comes: it's exactly like a rivulet, a tiny rivulet flowing out of a mountain; it's very clear and pure like pure water, very transparent, and very white and luminous at the same time. It comes (gesture as of pearls of water drop            ping) and it arranges itself here, just above the head, in the form of words. It arranges itself, and someone, I don't know who (probably Sri Aurobindo! because it's someone with a poetic power), looks after the sound and the placement of the words, and puts them in the proper order. Finally, after a little while, it's complete. And then I write it down – it's very amusing.         That's what happened with the English translation: I had said with authority, "It will not be translated." Then this morning, when I wasn't thinking of anything at all, it came all on its own. That is to say, to be precise, I was telling the fact to someone who knows English better than French, so I said it in English, and once it was said I noticed, "Well, well! Ah, that's it, that's right!" It was the experience that had expressed itself in English. But thank God, all this (gesture to the head) has nothing to do with it – quiet ... oh, so peaceful. (silence) There is almost a paroxysm of disorder and confusion in all the affairs of the earth (at the Ashram too – maybe even worse than elsewhere! No, not worse but just as bad!), and it seems to be reaching new heights: almost hour by hour I discover confusion ... confusion, disorder (before I would have called it mischief, but now ...). And what confusion! ... People who are convinced that they know how to deal with things (they know far better than the Lord, far better – the Lord is completely ignorant of the things of this world, but THEY know better), and then the blunders they commit! And when they've committed a blunder, after a while they realize it's a blunder, so to make it good they commit another blunder! Everything is like that here, absolutely everything, with all sorts of blunders. And once they have thoroughly bungled, piled up blunder upon blunder and landed themselves in a complete 312

mess, they think of asking me! (laughing) They ask me, "What should we do?" So I answer, "It's about time!"

But what's marvelous is that nothing stirs here (gesture to the head), nothing stirs. And the Lord smiles.

***

I had several hours of concentration regarding that decrease of energy in your body; not an illness: a decrease of energy in your body[117] (you add mental things to it, but that's your affair, mon petit, you will correct that). I had several hours of concentration, and I even reproached the Lord, telling Him that really if that's the effect I have on people, (laughing) it's not worth mentioning, I'd better leave! (There was a conjunction of a good number of things.) I don't believe a word of my complaint! But anyway ... (laughing) I make it "just like that."

Immediately, there came a massive descent, and everything was blissful – I said to myself, "Lord, it's up to You. It's up to You to have me here, it's up to You to have me act; I don't act, You are the one who acts. The result is up to You, but ... as far as I can see, if I am allowed to see, I don't find that logical!"

Then I was told (but not with words), very clearly and very strongly, that it was a transition necessary for your integral development – INTEGRAL. And that I shouldn't worry.

Though I do....

He has absolutely convinced me that you will come out of it grown in stature, enlightened (not in the sense of deranged!), illuminated, and much stronger. Voilà.

I even added something which I am not supposed to tell you, but anyway ... (usually it's left unsaid), I added that I needed you. And that consequently nothing should happen to you.

The answer was a smile.

Afterwards it came to me that it was a transition. So I hope it won't last too long.[118]

A little change in your mental attitude is necessary; what in fact we could call a little cure of a pessimism – or a big cure of a little pessimism! Voilà ... somewhere: it's for you to know where.

But it's a transition, nothing other than a transition.

The body is very ignorant (that we know, it goes without saying!), so the minute something is wrong with it, I can't say it gets afraid, but it feels it's VERY serious (laughing) – always! (I know this from experience, for myself.) Until you have CAREFULLY explained to it that it should be a good boy, keep very quiet, not be afraid and ... let itself be carried along.

It always answers, "But look at all those people who die, all those who are sick, all those ..." But now, I answer my body, "There are enough sick people as it is, no need to imitate them!"

(silence)

Above all, there is a kind of coexistence, of juxtaposition of two things that are really opposite states yet always seem to be together: a Peace in which everything is harmonious (I am speaking of the body's cells), everything is harmonious to the point that no disorder can occur, no illness, no suffering, no disorganization or decomposition can occur – impossible; it's a Peace that's eternal, absolutely beyond time (though it is felt in the body's cells); and at the same time, a tremor – an ignorant and bustling and dark tremor, dark in the sense that it's unaware of its ignorance, not knowing what to do and doing useless things all the time. And in that state you find disorder, decomposition, disorganization, suffering and ... at times it becomes acute, acute, all the nerves are tense and it aches all over – and both states are together.[119]

"Are together," I mean to the point that you don't even feel you make a movement of reversal, you don't even know how you go from one state to the other, you ... the reversal is imperceptible.

And they are exactly opposite.

You can, in much less time than a flash, eliminate any pain, any disorder, any illness from your body; and in a flash, it can all come back. And then you can switch from one to the other, from one to the other ... (back-and-forth gesture).

The point not yet grasped or understood is how to stabilize that Peace.

When It's there, you feel as if nothing can alter It: all the attacks in the world fall away, powerless; nothing can alter It. And It disappears the same way It came, there's no knowing how.

If I observe very carefully, I have the impression that the mind of Matter Sri Aurobindo refers to,[120] you know, the thought of Matter, isn't yet pure, it's still mixed; so it only takes one wrong movement for everything to come undone. And in people, that material mind lives in its wrong movement constantly – except a flash once in a while: a reversal. But here [in Mother], there still remains a habit; a habit (almost like a mere memory) of the wrong movement. And it only has to recur even as tiny as a pinpoint for ... brrt! everything to fall back into the old rut.

But when I see the care I've taken for so many years to purify that fellow, I am a little (what should I say?) ... I can't say frightened or anxious, but ... (I can't even say pessimistic), but the condition of people who haven't done all the yoga I've done for years, how difficult it must be! Because the body's cells obey that material mind, which, in its natural state, is a mass of stupid ignorance that thinks it's so smart, oh! ... An almost foul mass of stupidity, and it thinks it's so smart! It thinks it knows everything.

(silence)

Because NOTHING in the consciousness budged during those changeovers [back and forth from the true to the false movement]; the consciousness is like that, turned ... not upward, not inward, turned ... simply turned to the Lord, living in His Light, which, in the physical world, becomes a golden splendor. The consciousness is turned to That. There is nothing but That, it's the sole reality, the sole truth. And It vibrates like this (Mother touches her hands, her arms), It vibrates in all the cells, everywhere. I go like this (Mother makes a gesture of collecting "it" in the air around), as if I picked it up. It isn't ethereal, it's very material; it feels like an air that is thick – but vibrant, very vibrant.... The consciousness is like that. And all this goes on in the body. But with the presence of that old idiot ... which is immediately pessimistic, catastrophic, defeatist – how defeatist, oh ... it sees everything as a calamity. And then that wonderful character, after imagining the worse (in the space of a second, of course), it submits it all to the Lord and tells Him, "Here, Lord, here is Your work, it's all Yours, do what You will with it"! The silly idiot, why did it have to prepare its catastrophes! A catastrophe, invariably a catastrophe, everything is catastrophic – but it offers its catastrophe to the Lord!

And the answer is invariably a smile full of such patience, oh! ... That patience gives me a sense of wonder every second.

Now and then, a great power comes (the body is deliberately given the experience to make it feel and grow aware that "that" exists), a great power comes, and along with it the impression that you would only have to do this (Mother brings down her two arms in a sovereign gesture) for everything to change. But ...

It's still much, much too limited and ignorant for that Power to be allowed to act. It [Mother's individuality] sees many sides of the question, but not all. It isn't ... in spite of everything, it has its own angle – as long as there remains an angle, the Power isn't allowed to act.

Though, yes, there was that experience the other day, when all was the Lord, all, with all things as they are, as we see them; when all was That in SUCH a perfect whole, perfect because it was so complete, and so harmonious because it was so conscious, and in a perpetual Movement of progression towards a greater perfection. (That's something odd, things can't stay still for a quarter of a second: they are constantly, constantly, constantly progressing towards a more perfect Totality.) Then, at that moment, if the Power acts (probably it does act), if the Power acts, it acts as it should. But it isn't always there – it isn't always there, there is still a sense of the things that are to fade away and of those that are to come – of the passage; a progression which ... which isn't all-containing.

But in that state, it seems that what you see MUST be – and inevitably (I should say necessarily), it is. And probably instantly so. But you have to see the whole at once for your vision to be all-powerful. If you see only one point (as, for example, when you feel that the action on earth is limited to a certain field that depends on you), as long as you see that way, you can't be all-powerful, it's not possible – not possible. It's inevitably conditioned.

(long silence)

There is a growing feeling that all that is, all that happens, outwardly and inwardly (inwardly too) is absolutely necessary for the totality of the whole.

I am thinking, for instance, of that sort of reaction I had the other day.... Naturally there is a part of the being that looks on, that smiles and says, "Oh, aren't you beyond that yet!" And at the same time, I saw, "No, it's necessary – everything is necessary." A special vibration was necessary ... necessary to trigger something else. And everything works like that.

Everything works like that.

(silence)

It's a transitional period – but isn't the transitional period constant?! It must be constant. Only, a point comes nevertheless when it becomes absolutely conscious and willed, and then it no longer has the same character.

Basically, once we have emerged from Stupidity, there is ... there should be a rather considerable change.

Oh, there would be a world of things to say!

(silence)

It is impossible for any change, any change towards perfection (I don't mean a regression, because that's another phenomenon), it's impossible for any change, even in one element or one point of the earth consciousness, not to make the whole earth participate in that change. Necessarily.

Everything is closely knit together. And a vibration somewhere has TERRESTRIAL consequences – I don't say universal, I say terrestrial – necessarily.

Which means there isn't one aspiration, not one effort that isn't useful seen from the terrestrial standpoint (from the individual standpoint, this has been obvious for a very long time), but seen from the terrestrial standpoint, there isn't one effort – not one effort towards the Better, not one aspiration to the True – that does not have terrestrial repercussions, terrestrial consequences.

@

September 21, 1963

(During the conversation, Mother envisages the possibility of reading out a message, if any comes to her, on the occasion of the second anniversary of the Supramental Manifestation, on February 29, 1964. Then she adds:)

... Provided I can speak.

Yes, I was kindly informed that I won't be able to speak any more.

What do you mean?

Oh, the adverse forces always make all sorts of suggestions. I was told that I will lose the use of speech – (laughing) that'll be all the better for everyone!

(Satprem does not seem too appreciative)

This is how it happened: the other day, the doctor brought some canaries, a cage of canaries to show me. All over the world, canaries whistle, they come and go and are very active ... but here, nothing at all! The doctor put the cage on the window sill and I came near to see them – they were absolutely dumb, huddled at the bottom of their cage as though paralyzed. I tried to whistle (I could whistle very well in the past): not a sound! Then I was kindly told, "You can't whistle any more, you can't sing any more, and soon you won't be able to speak any more." Voilà.

I must have a funny effect on animals, because the other day, little M. came to see me with a tiny squirrel in a padded box (it was a very tiny thing). He took it out of its box and showed it to me; I stroked it – gone! Asleep in trance!

Oh, they don't feel unhappy, they're very happy (!) but it's too strong for them. So they fall asleep or are immobilized like those canaries. At the end, the doctor began to worry about his birds and asked me, "But what's happening? At home, they whistle all day long!" I answered (laughing), "Yes, here it's something else!"

He took his cage, and just as he was going, the canaries shook themselves, whistled a few little notes and off they went! Anyhow we'll see. I hear all manner of things.

@

September 25, 1963

(Mother first reads her notation of a recent experience)

It came in English. (I want to put it in the Bulletin to fill a gap!) We should put it in French, too.

Love is ... (no need to say that it's the condensation of an experience – an experience I leave unsaid).

Love is not sexual intercourse. Love is not vital attraction and interchange. Love is not the heart's hunger for affection. Love is a mighty vibration coming straight from the One. And only the very pure and very strong are capable of receiving and manifesting it.

Then an explanation on what I mean by "pure," the very pure and very strong:

To be pure is to be open only to the Supreme's influence, and to no other.

Far more difficult than what people consider purity to be! Which is something quite artificial and false.

The last sentence I wrote in French, too (the two came together):

Être pur, c'est être ouvert seulement à l'influence du Suprême et à nulle autre.

It's simple and definite.

Now we should translate the rest into French – I have so many papers that I am lost! (Mother rummages among a heap of scraps of paper) I am snowed under with papers!

At first I put, L'Amour n'a rien à voir avec ... [Love has nothing to do with ... ], and so on, but that's not true. So we'll put, L'Amour n'est pas ... [Love is not ...].

L'Amour n'est pas les relations sexuelles. L'Amour n'est pas les attractions et les echanges vitaux. L'Amour n'est pas le besoin d'affection du cœur ...

It's from Savitri, in "The Debate of Love and Death," when Death tells Savitri, "What you call love is the hunger of your heart."

Could we translate: "L'Amour n'est pas le cœur et son besoin d'affection" [Love is not the heart and its hunger for affection]?

But the heart can manifest Love! No: L'Amour n'est pas le besoin d'affection du cœur [Love is not the heart's hunger for affection]. And then, the positive side:

L'Amour est une vibration toute-puissante emanée directement de l'Un. Et seul, le très pur et le très fort est capable de la recevoir et de la manifester.

I have a whole stack of notes! (Mother shows her successive drafts of the translation)

The thing is new to me. That's what I told you the other day: first an experience, but an experience ... something that takes HOLD of the entire being, the entire body, everything, everything, like this (grasping gesture) and keeps you in its hold. And it works. It works everywhere in the cells: absolutely everywhere, in the consciousness, in the sensation, in the cells. Then it settles, as if passing through a very fine sieve, and it falls back to the other side – as words. But not always arranged in sentences (it's very odd): two words here, three words there (Mother seems to show patches of color here and there). Then I keep very still, I don't stir – above all I don't think, don't stir – silence. Then, little by little, the words start a dance, and when they form a reasonably coherent sentence, I write it down. But generally it isn't final. If I wait a little longer (even while doing something else), after a time it comes: a sentence that has a far more logical and striking existence. And if I wait still longer, it becomes more precise, until finally it comes with a feeling, "Now this is it." That's what happened with the English note: "Now this is it." Good, so I write it down.

I never had that before. Everything had to fall silent (I mean even the most active and material outer mind), I had to get into the habit, when my experience comes, of not stirring – not stirring, nothing stirring, everything like this (gesture in suspense), waiting.

Even visually, it almost looks like a fine rain of white light, and after a time, that fine rain seems to make the words grow, as if it were watering the words! And the words come. Then they start a sort of dance, a quadrille, and when the quadrille has taken a clear shape, then the sentence becomes clear.

Very amusing.

It's already the third time that's happened – brand new.

So when I note it all down, the result is all sorts of papers! (Mother shows the stack of drafts)

And now, with that new process, the papers will go on multiplying! Because it comes the way I told you [in successive bits]. But it has an advantage: the mind stays absolutely silent – the mind need not do anything, it's as if someone came to look for the words in a storehouse and made all the arrangements. And that someone is impersonal: an impersonal consciousness. Almost "the consciousness of what wants to be expressed," the consciousness of a revelation or an instruction, or the consciousness of a will, but not of a person. That someone collects the words and puts them together, then there is a dance ... like a dance of electrons!

(silence)

The other day, the process was less complete, but it was something similar, a first hint: K. had sent me an article he wanted to publish somewhere with quotations from Sri Aurobindo and myself, and he wanted to make sure it was correct and he hadn't muddled it (!) In one place, I saw a comment by him (you know how people delight in wordplays when they are fully in the mind: the mind loves to play with words and contrast one sentence with another), it was in English, I am not quoting word for word, but he said that "the age of religions was the age of the gods"; and, naturally, as our Mr. Mind loves to play with words, it made him say that, now, the age of the gods is over and it is "the age of God" – which means he was deplorably falling back into the Christian religion ... without noticing it! And just as I saw his written sentence, I saw that tendency of the mind which loves it and finds it very ... oh, charming, such a nice turn of phrase (!) I didn't say anything, I went on to the end of his article. Then where that sentence was I saw a little light shining: it was like a little spark (I saw that with my eyes open). I looked at my spark, and in the place of God, there was The One. So I took my pen and made the correction.

But my first translation was The All-Containing One, because it was an experience, not a thought. What I saw was The One containing all. And innocently, I wrote it down on a paper (Mother shows a little scrap of paper): The All-Containing One. But just then, I saw what looked like someone giving me a slap and telling me, "Not that: you should put The One, that's all." So I wrote The One.

That's how it works!

It's really thought seen from above, from a height, and it's very amusing. Very amusing, it all plays, it's like little will-o'-the-wisps coming out from here and there, doing a dance, arranging themselves – very amusing.

It's beginning to be amusing. It has been very strong lately – it's been coming at night, in daytime, all the time.

But the night before, I was with Sri Aurobindo, who gave me a revelation. I was with him, he was reclining (not stretched out but on a sort of chaise longue) and I was supposed to bring him something to eat (not at all like physical food, it's something else ... I don't know what it is ... it's rather different in that world – the subtle physical), and it was expressed to me ... (there were no words in my consciousness; I don't know why, no words), he told me something which I understood perfectly, not only understood but it made me very happy, a joy came into me, and I answered, "Yes, exactly! It corresponds to the experience I had today and which is ...???" (Mother leaves her sentence hanging) You see, I was conscious while I was having all the activity, but it was expressed in words [there] that aren't words [here], so I don't know what to do! And he told me in the tone you take when expressing a definitive and overwhelming experience (his tone was one of absolute power) something that was translated like this: Now, the nourishment (it wasn't nourishment but food) comes from the whole of Nature at once. (Mother utters those words like a riddle or an open sesame that has not yet opened the door) And he told me to bring it to him (that too was a translation): Yes, you will bring it (the it was that food coming from the whole Nature at once – it's a seemingly silly transcription, but anyway ...), you will bring it in this translucent bowl. And I replied, Yes, I knew, I knew that I had to use this translucent bowl to bring you the food.... But what on earth does that correspond to??... Yet it was so evident! There was such a joy! (Because as I was conscious, I thought, "Well, all the same, I am still following him closely in his development, it's going on as when he was here: when he wins a victory, it is materialized in me.") Thus I was perfectly conscious and I told him, Ah, I am glad!... (I am faltering, of course, it wasn't that at all – it was admirable.) Oh, I am glad, I knew that I had to bring you the food in this translucent bowl.... And the translucent bowl was a marvel! I had it, you see, it was beautiful! It was like opaline, living glass, all luminous but with all the lights alive and moving, and what colors! ... Pink, mauve, silver and gold, oh, it was so very beautiful. And I brought it to him.

It impressed me very strongly. Very strongly: I was under a spell, probably because the experience was still too strong and powerful for the material brain. And I saw it immediately; at the very moment of the experience, I saw it was a transcription, and an extraordinarily poor transcription, but nothing better could be done.

And such details!... There was a whole story (which lasted even more than an hour and a half) ... with all the details. Because where I was with him was an upper floor and when I came down I met people, did some things and so on. It was the upper floor. And it all went on in a dazzling light, dazzling, dazzling; everything was as though in a blazing sun ... much brighter than the sun – the sun is dark in such a case.

And when I came downstairs (it wasn't like here: everyone had his own house and garden, it was a huge estate), I went straight to my bathroom. I open the door ... and whom do I find there but someone (I recognized him, but I won't name him) who was using it – "Well," I thought, "that's a fine thing!" And I closed the door again. All kinds of details, it lasted more than an hour. And you know, the number of things that can happen in an hour and a half at night....

Once again I was tall – I am always tall. But I hadn't dressed as I do usually: I wore a short dress. There were lots of people there; I recognized everyone, I could hear everyone's voice, it was very, very distinct. And there were two girls (not girls, they're women now, but to me they were like girls), two girls talking to each other and saying, "How strong her legs are!" (It's symbolic.) And at the same time, I saw my legs as if there were a mirror to show them to me! I had a short dress and I saw my legs and my two feet with shoes on – my feet had shoes on. And a short dress. Very active.

Voilà.

(silence)

Last night was less pleasant.... There were again those things collapsing. I was below, you see, trying to go back up to my room, and every time I tried to go back up, all the means to do so disappeared or were done away with. Now I've chased it all away because it was tiring. But one thing I do remember: I was climbing up a sort of ... not stairs or a ladder, it was a very queer thing, like blocks of dark red stone, and they were all crumbling – and coming apart. It ended up annoying me, and I had a movement not of anger, but of self-assertive will – and everything vanished.... You feel it's adverse formations trying to harass you, until I can't say I lose patience, but something gets angry (is it "angry"? Asserts itself, rather: "Ah, no! Enough!") and instantly, pfft! it all goes away. But then I found myself on a road I knew very well, but there was such a crowd! A crowd, a crowd: all the schools of the world were coming there for their holidays. There were troops of kids led by matrons and teachers, myriads and myriads of them! ... And also children who stopped and played on the ground; but all those children knew me very well, and when I arrived, they would take their things out of the way to let me through – weeny little kids this high. Then I met a symbolic person (not a human person) whom I know very well, she was pale blue (that is to say, a being of the higher mind, a force of Nature in the higher mind), I know her very well, she is very often with me. She explained to me her difficulties and I explained to her what she should do; I told her, "I've already told you several times, it's like this and like that...." She stayed beside me a very long time, and she asked me, "Why do I always have to leave you?" I answered her, "Don't worry; everything is fine now." It went on for a long time. But it was interesting, a very pleasant, very refined contact: a beautiful girl – that is, a beautiful thought or a beautiful idea. A beautiful girl. And she had in her charge an innumerable amount of kids (Mother laughs), so she was somewhat worried at times, and I explained to her what she should do.

I feel a sort of tenderness towards that person.

And all those children! Even the tiny little ones who could hardly walk, when they saw me arrive they would push their toys aside and make way for me.

It wasn't on the ground, it wasn't in the physical world.

But a swarm, you know! ... It's certainly some mental world or other.

(silence)

But that experience [of the crumbling stairs], I know what it corresponds to, because I know the experience I had when I went to sleep: it's always when I am confronted with the Problem.... I could put it this way (but that diminishes it a lot), "Why is the world the way it is?" Then there comes to me that sort of ... it's an INTENSE state of compassion – intense, almost painful – for the condition of the world and humanity. When that comes, I have those difficulties at night. And then I ask, I want to know the REAL secret – not all the things people have told (which all seem to me just like a story to ... to comfort children), but the REAL thing. When I go into deep rest with that tension, it's always translated by those things collapsing: I try to climb and crunch! crunch! crunch! all the time, all the time everything crumbles under the weight of my ascent. Until I see that ill will trying to stop me from finding what I want to find, so I get angry and it stops instantly – is "angry" the word? I don't know: I refuse, I refuse the situation. Then it stops short.

And I awake saying to myself, "You see, it's all your fault: as long as you accept, you cannot know, you are in the dark; when you really refuse, you will know."

So I answer, "When the Lord wants me to know, I will know; when it's necessary for me to know, I will know."

Probably for the time being ...

It's like Sri Aurobindo's "translucent bowl".... There's nothing that corresponds to it.

To tell the truth, we always want to go too fast. But that's because the notion of time is in everyone's mind – they're wearisome.

***

(Before Satprem leaves, Mother gives him the latest issue of "World-Union," a magazine launched by some Ashram disciples.)

It makes me uneasy.

I know what you mean! It even makes some people here furious. Because it's published from here (most of those people are here), but there's never any mention of the Ashram, any mention of Sri Aurobindo, nothing.

What's worse is that when they do speak of Sri Aurobindo, they put him on a level with everybody else.

Exactly! Exactly!

You know, Sri Aurobindo, Teilhard de Chardin, Schweitzer and so on and so forth.

Yes, a mishmash.

As for me, I would have rejected it [World-Union] altogether, but there are in it those who started the whole affair: there are three persons through whom I do something – not this! (the issue of "World-Union") Something else, of which they themselves are very little aware. (They are very interested in this [the "World-Union" brochure!, not me!) So I didn't quite declare, "I don't want to have anything to do with that," but when people ask me, I say it has nothing to do with the Ashram, absolutely nothing.

@

September 28, 1963

Do you remember Savitri's debate with Death ["The Debate of Love and Death"]? ... According to it, Sri Aurobindo seems to be saying that Disorder arose when Life entered Matter.

(Mother leafs through her thick translation notebook[121])

 

Although God made the world for his delight,

An ignorant Power took charge and seemed his Will

In other words, that Power assumed the appearance of God's Will.

And Death's deep falsity has mastered Life.

All grew a play of Chance simulating Fate.

(X.III.629)

And before, Sri Aurobindo writes:

O Death, this is the mystery of thy reign.

He seems to imply it's only on earth:

In earth's anomalous and tragic field

Carried in its aimless journey by the sun

Mid the forced marches of the great dumb stars,

A darkness occupied the fields of God,

(Mother repeats)

A darkness occupied the fields of God,

And Matter's world was governed by thy shape.

The shape of Death.

Thy mask has covered the Eternal's face,

It's marvelous!

The Bliss that made the world has fallen asleep.

Abandoned in the Vast she slumbered on: An evil transmutation overtook Her members till she knew herself no more.

(X.III.627)

And so on, a whole passage. And he seems to imply that it's when Life entered inert Matter that an ignorant Power ... what I read at the beginning:

An ignorant Power took charge and seemed his Will

And Death's deep falsity has mastered Life.

Consequently, according to this, Death would exist only on the earth.

(silence)

That's where I am in my translation. (Mother closes her notebook)

What are your conclusions?

I'll have to go to the end to understand what he wants to demonstrate.

You see, I was always under the impression that the earth was a symbolic representation of the universe in order to concentrate the Work on one point so that it could be done more consciously and deliberately. And I was always under the impression that Sri Aurobindo too thought that way. But here ... I had read Savitri without noticing this. But now that I read it and I am so immersed in that problem ... In other words, it's as if it were THE question given me to resolve.

I noticed it while reading.

(long silence)

It would seem to legitimize or justify those who want to escape entirely from the earth's atmosphere. The idea would be that the earth is a special experiment of the Supreme in His universe; and those who are not too keen on that experiment (!) prefer to get out of it (to say things somewhat offhandedly).

The difference is this: In one case, the purpose of the earth is a concentration of the Work (which means it can be done more rapidly, consciously and perfectly here), and so there is a serious reason to stay on and do it. In the other case, it's just one experiment amidst thousands or millions of others; and if that experiment doesn't particularly appeal to you, to want to get out of it is legitimate.

I don't see how it would be possible for one point of the Supreme not to be the whole Supreme. If there is a difficulty here, it's a difficulty for the WHOLE, isn't it?

Not necessarily.

Why should there be something apart from the rest?

It all depends, in fact, (laughing) on what He is driving at!

We can very well conceive that He may be carrying on some very different experiments. And so you could go from one experiment to another, you see.

It would be as Buddha said: it's attachment or desire that keeps you here, otherwise there's no reason for you to stay here.

(Satprem protests wordlessly)

Everything is possible to me, you know, absolutely everything, even the seemingly most contradictory things – really, I am totally unable to raise a mental or logical or reasonable objection either to this or to that. But the question ... (Mother leaves her sentence unfinished). That is to say, the Lord's Will is very clear to Him, and (laughing) the whole thing is to unite with that Will and know it.

It had always seemed to me that way [the earth as a symbolic point of concentration], but I am so convinced that Sri Aurobindo saw things more truly and totally than anyone did that, naturally, when he says something, you tend to consider the problem!

I don't know, I haven't reached the end of Savitri yet. Because I notice (rereading it after the space of a few months, barely two years) that it's altogether something else than the first time I read it. Altogether something else: there is in it infinitely more than what I had experienced; my experience was limited, and now it's far more complete (maybe if I reread it in a year or two, it would be still more complete, I don't know), but there are plenty of things that I hadn't seen the first time.

Perhaps that passage I've just read is only one aspect? ... I will see when I reach the end.

What he announces, and what I am sure of, is that the Victory will be won on the earth and that the earth will become a progressive being (eternally progressive) in the Lord – that's understood. But it doesn't preclude the other possibility. The future of the earth he has announced clearly, and it's understood that such is the future of the earth; only, if that possibility [of death as an exclusively earthly phenomenon] is what we could term "historically" correct, it would sort of legitimize the attitude of those who get away from it. How is it that Buddha, who undeniably was an Avatar, laid so much stress on Deliverance as the conclusion of things? He who stayed behind only to help others ... to get away faster. Then that means he saw only one side of the problem? ...

Oh, yes!

But if there is a whole universe, thousands of universes with altogether different modes, and if to be here is merely a matter of CHOICE ... then the choice is free, of course – there are those who like conquest and victory, and those others who like doing nothing.

But Buddha represented only one stage of consciousness. AT THAT TIME it was good to follow that path, therefore ...

We can conceive it was a particular necessity within the whole, of course. But these are all conceptions, it's still something mental – I recently had in my hands a quotation from Sri Aurobindo in which he said that there is "no problem the human mind cannot solve if it wants to." (Laughing) There is no problem that the mind cannot solve if it applies itself to it! But I don't care, I have no need of mental logic – no need. And it would have no effect on my action – that's not what I want, not at all! It's only because there is that increasingly acute contradiction between the Truth and what is. It's becoming painfully acute. You know, that suffering, that general misery is becoming almost unbearable.

There was a time when I looked at all that with a smile – a long time. For years and years it was a smile, the way you smile at a childish question. Now, I don't know why it has come ... it has been THRUST on me like a sort of acute anguish – which certainly is necessary to get out of the problem.

To get out, I mean, to cure, to change – not to flee. I don't like flight.

That was my major objection to the Buddhists: all that you are advised to do is merely to give you an opportunity to flee – that's not pretty.

But change, yes.

(silence)

There are some lines [in Savitri] that all of a sudden are so magnificent! They come with such power, but once written down, that's not it any more.

For example, you SEE that image of the mask of Death covering the Supreme's face.

It's marvelous. So intense. And then that ignorant Power that took charge of the earth and made it ... that "seemed," SEEMED the Supreme's Will. It's so pregnant with meaning.

@

October

October 3, 1963

(On Mother's table are two double white hibiscus flowers called "Grace." Mother takes one and gives it to Satprem:)

N. had a dream last night in which Sri Aurobindo gave her many things, then I came and gave her two "Grace" flowers. And in the morning, she wakes up, goes to her garden ... on the tree were two Grace flowers. It's amusing. So, what have you brought?

I have a letter from X.

Well! ... What does he say?

I asked him what I should do: today I finished the second "round" of my Tantric writings. So he says, "Once more start the thing and continue."

Naturally he said you should go to the end.

So I need more paper!

Ayo!

If we can do like last time, Ill take scraps of paper from the Press. I need ... 5,200 sheets!

Two thousand?

Five thousand two hundred! ...

***

(Then Mother translates Sri Aurobindo's letter on the descent of Love, on which she has already commented on July 24, and she adds this comment:)

If divine Love were to descend first, before divine Truth, certain beings with a special power or receptivity might draw it into themselves, personally, and then all those wrong impulses might occur.[122] But if this divine Love descends only in the Truth, in the Truth-Consciousness, it will enter someone only if that person is ready to receive it. Without a preparation of Truth, there might occur a very powerful attraction of elements unable to keep that Love in its purity; whereas if the preparation of Truth has been done, with that preparation, It will CHOOSE, in order to manifest, the persons, the individualities, who are ready.

***

Later

Are you still in "The Debate of Love and Death"?

I haven't finished, I have no time left to work, that's the nuisance! I have so much work in the afternoon – I don't call it "work," it's being busy with people to see, letters ... hosts of letters! And the entire organization: everything is in a terrible confusion. I should finish seeing people at four and take up my translation till five – they leave at ten to five! So I have no time left for anything. One day out of four I get some translation done, so it's going very slowly.

I'll have to change something in the organization again – it goes wrong very quickly.

In the beginning [when Mother withdrew], I used to receive one or two letters daily, not even that many; now it's ten or twelve daily, and when I don't reply immediately, two days later I receive another letter: "I wrote to you but I haven't had a reply." So immediately I scribble on their letter two or three very curt words (Mother laughs) ... to show them it isn't worthwhile to be too impatient.

Anyway ...

(Mother goes into a long contemplation)

I saw a square again.

It was fringed with red, like little red sparks. The same white square. Afterwards, it was as though absorbed and replaced by a square of blue and green light – the blue and green of the Tantrics: it's like vividly colored emerald and sapphire, a powerful color. Translucent, luminous. And the two squares became superposed – the blue first, the green on top.

But before that, when the white square fringed with red entered (it took form first, you see; it seemed to take form between us), it took form and then something eased in you – did you feel a relaxation?

(Satprem nods his head ... silence)

The last two days, Sri Aurobindo was here all the time, all the time. Constantly, constantly mingled with things. And many people saw him and spoke to him – he was very, very present. The last two days.

At times he seemed to go into a kind of ... (I can't say) of inner stillness, then at other times he was very active.

And once (two or three days ago) he told me, "You are with me as much as you like, you speak with me as much as you like," as if it weren't he who was directing but I (!) I said it wasn't true! (Mother laughs) But anyway....

Since that experience of the translucent bowl, he has been very, very close. This morning, he seemed to be mingled with everything.

There are also some rather amusing things: yesterday I saw some people who aren't from here; usually I don't speak to people, but I spoke to them. I started saying something, then Sri Aurobindo interrupted me: "Don't tell them that, they'll be convinced that you always harp on the same thing!" And it was true – I took a look and stopped instantly. He is always letting me know, "This one feels this way, that one thinks that way, that one ..." He is very, very much mingled with everything, all the time, all the time.

Then at other times, it's as if he were no longer here at all – "no longer here," only up there ... in the Supermind! (Mother laughs)

October 5, 1963

Yesterday I had a very curious experience which left me with a bizarre feeling....

It was a construction – a huge construction. It resembled one of those huge hotels they build nowadays, with inner courtyards and all sorts of things. And I had my room right at the top. (It called to my mind an old experience I had had.... Do you remember that "big hotel"?[123] It was somewhat like that.) And everyone there was APPARENTLY full of respect, of obedience, of thoughtfulness ... but everyone was going his own sweet way – that's nothing new. At first, I was downstairs (my room was way upstairs, I don't know how many floors there were), and there I met some people, people whom I know. But each and every detail was so revealing, it was marvelous! And it was time for me to have my bath (I don't know what time it was!), so I wanted to go back upstairs to do so, but I needed someone to prepare the bath (it's symbolic; I don't know yet, I haven't yet understood the symbol of that "bath," because it occurs very often; but there may be some meaning hidden in that symbol). But then one person was too old (someone who had offered to prepare the bath, but he was too old), another wasn't strong enough, another ... – to be able to prepare the bath required VERY special qualities. It isn't the first time; it has happened two or three times before: to be able to prepare that bath took absolutely exceptional qualities of courage, strength, physical power, endurance. And the people downstairs ... (gesture expressing incapacity). So I said to myself, "All right, I'll go upstairs and see what happens."

On the way, the same thing happened again: I went the usual way – plop! cut off, nothing left, I can't get through; I come back, start another way – plop! cut off, I can't get through. Yet I kept going up (how, I don't know). Then I reached a sort of square terrace-balcony, perfectly square, and ALL its doors were closed. There was no way of going farther: all the doors were closed. Then I see water rising, rising, rising in the ENTIRE building, except the places where the doors were closed. Downstairs ... (I don't know, I was very high up, maybe on the fourth or fifth floor) the doors were closed, so naturally water could not get in. All the courtyards (large, immense courtyards) were turned into swimming pools. What water! ... I kept watching it, admiring it; I said to myself, "What wonderful water!" So clear, so clear, clearer than any I ever saw. Water that was ... I can't say, it was transparent like ... like purity itself, it was marvelous. It was rising and rising and rising.... I saw in one of the courtyards on my left (a very large courtyard: it had become an immense swimming pool!), I saw a person in a bathing suit come out of the water, as if he had taken his bath in it, and wrap himself up (a very tall person, very tall, who was neither a man nor a woman), he wrapped himself up in a bathrobe, then walked away on the water (!) I was watching this till suddenly I realized that the water was beginning to reach my feet. Then I KNEW: "Ah, yes! They've decided to do this." I was a little upset: "They really could have told me they were going to do this!" I thought. "It's something they must do regularly.... Did they inform some people?" (All this in my head, of course.)

And I kept admiring that water, thinking, "But it's purity itself!" It was reaching my feet, yet I wasn't getting wet. Then I remarked, "If I stay here ..." (Because I was standing with my back against closed doors and the building extended beyond them, but in front of me there was nothing, so normally the water should have flowed out that way – how is it then that it didn't? I don't know – the whole thing was quite "marvelous"!) And it was rising and rising and rising, until it reached my ankles and suddenly triggered something within me – I woke up.

I was at least ten minutes later than my usual time.

I didn't have any sense of danger – not at all. Only that slight feeling of being upset: "They ought to inform people before doing things of that sort!" And "they" were the supreme heads of the organization (there was nothing religious or spiritual about it: it was very concrete, in Matter). But that water ... I kept admiring it, thinking, "Oh, they have control over that water!" It was like liquid diamond. It was a marvel, as if everything it touched were purified. And that being who came out of the huge swimming pool (it wasn't a human being: it looked like a vital being who was neither a man nor a woman) came out in a kind of bathing suit, wrapped himself up and disappeared. But otherwise ALL the doors were closed, there wasn't a soul – only me on my square, with the square around me and my back against a closed door, watching the whole scene from a great height. And everything was filling up with that substance – it looked like water, but it wasn't water.

The impression lingered, as if there were something I had to understand.

And I just felt a slight disappointment: "They really could have told me." And together with it, a smile that understood it was better that way.

"They really ought to inform people...."

I thought it was something in the vital, because all my relationships with the people downstairs, before going back upstairs, were with their character, their vital – not with material matter but with the character, vital nature. And it was...! You could write books: an irony, a sharp perception, fine, delicate – priceless! It's charming, you know: each one with his own little flaw – they were all people I know!

But there are some beings that have been in two or three persons: for example, a vital being that went from one person to another (a being I know very well, so I know it happened that way), and what I saw was the BEING, not the different persons. A vital, female-looking being (they take on a sexual appearance when they have been in human beings: they retain the female or male appearance), a female-looking being, and just when the question of preparing my bath arose (always that "bath" ... I'll have to find out what it means), she had something very urgent to do, went into her room, then (laughing) came out again a minute later with a dress ... a sort of green dress – grass green but bright – with an immense train! And she walked past so proudly: "Yes, I wanted to show them who I am." What an admirable comedy! If I had the time to write, it could make utterly charming stories.

But I'll have to find out what that bath is which comes repeatedly.

One person was so anxious (I know who it is, I know him very well), so anxious to prepare the bath, but he didn't have the strength, he couldn't do it: "Oh, how I would like to prepare the bath!" So I looked at him, I didn't want to say no; but I thought, "It's not possible, he can't, he doesn't have the strength."

(silence)

I kept going up, but all the ways I knew stopped short. First I had started up a very large staircase, a magnificent staircase of pink marble, that was the way I had to go upstairs, but just as I turned on the landing – plop! impossible to get through. (But how is it...? Impossible to get through, yet I went up just the same?..) And I find myself on another landing, I try again to go up from there – plop! stopped, impossible to get through. I try again and find myself on the third landing (but in fact I was on a higher floor, because I had already climbed two flights before I was stopped), I reach the third landing and find myself on a square – a perfect square – edged with a parapet of pink marble, but with reddish veins, very beautiful: very beautiful, it was chiseled – magnificent. Then a door, a sort of bronze door behind me, which was closed. So I watched and saw the water rising and rising (it wasn't water, but it was liquid like water). And in front of me: an immensity. No limits. I seemed to be above all the other houses; there were no trees, no mountains, nothing – an immensity, like a perfectly cloudless sky; and it wasn't white, but there was light in it. I was looking down and I saw the water rising and rising and rising – like the Flood. But it wasn't water.

It will come back until I understand.

It didn't appear catastrophic?

No.

But in that consciousness, there aren't any "catastrophes," so I can't be sure.

There was only that: "Why? ... They could have informed people just the same!" But it was "they" in the plural: "They should have." They were the "all-powerful masters" or the "supreme masters." But there was nothing religious in the feeling, nothing spiritual either.

It wasn't in the vital – the supreme beings of the vital?

No, no!

It was what corresponds to the "owners" – they were the owners, in the sense that they had built everything and everything belonged to them – built and organized everything. Maybe they are gods?

I had no consideration for them (I don't know how to explain this), not only no respect, but no consideration: they were just owners. Only, I lived at the very top of the house. And in that house, everyone obeyed me ("obeyed," well, in appearance). They were the owners or the management. But they weren't responsible to me, they didn't take orders from me; they didn't need to ask me before doing something – nor was I responsible to them. But I didn't have the feeling of being any more at home there than anywhere else; yet I had undeniably my room there, at the very top of the house.

Maybe they were gods?

The world's construction as they built it?

But then, that water rising and rising and rising??...

And everything was very well organized, because all the doors were closed and the water didn't enter where it wasn't supposed to – I saw no one drowned, no one in danger. There was no danger for anyone. And there was only one being, a vital being (he wasn't like the others I had seen downstairs). He had had great fun in that water! And he was leaving.

I remember that when the water touched my feet, it was ... (how can I explain?) it wasn't a sensation, I had no sensations, but around my feet it was like sparkling diamonds. Obviously I didn't intend to be fully immersed in it. And when I felt the water around my feet, I had an odd sensation (a perception, not a sensation), not the sensation of being wet, but clearly like: "I shouldn't stay here." And I woke up very abruptly.

(silence)

Before the water reached my feet, while I was watching it rising and rising, I thought, "Still, they really could have told me" (no, it wasn't "me," it was "they really could have ANNOUNCED the thing"). And at the same time I felt: "Why, but it's something they do regularly (recurring gesture), they do it regularly, but they should really inform people." But not strongly, simply like something passing [in Mother's thought].

Not for a second the sense of a danger, not at all. Not for a second.

I don't know ...(silence)

It has a meaning. Something will come back to give me the explanation.

In the old traditions they often mention "waters of immortality"; could there not be a connection? Waters that had the power to give immortality.

Maybe.

That made you invulnerable.

Invulnerable ... maybe that's it.

I always have to take my bath: I have to take a bath and no one is able to prepare it for me.

I have a bathroom.

I always go to take my bath, but someone has to prepare it. And either they aren't strong enough, or they think of other things, or they don't care about it, or ... And once (I told you this), I opened the door and found someone trying to take a bath, but I arrived just in time.[124]

We'll see.

@

October 16, 1963

(Mother first reads two lines from "The Debate of Love and Death" in "Savitri." She would like to put them as epigraph to the conversation of September 7, the dialogue with a materialist.)

Listen to this:

O Death, thou speakest Truth but Truth that slays,

I answer to thee with the Truth that saves.