Mother's Agenda

 

Vol. 7

 

Institut de Recherches Evolutives

142 blvd du Montparnasse

F-75014 Paris

 

January 8, 1966

(Mother reads aloud a letter by Sri Aurobindo which she intends to publish in the February issue of the "Bulletin":)

"The only creation for which there is any place here is the supramental, the bringing of the divine Truth down on the earth, not only into the mind and vital but into the body and into Matter. Our object is not to remove all ‘limitations’ on the expansion of the ego or to give a free field and make unlimited room for the fulfillment of the ideas of the human mind or the desires of the ego-centred life-force. None of us are here to ‘do as we like’, or to create a world in which we shall at last be able to do as we like; we are here to do what the Divine wills and to create a world in which the Divine Will can manifest its truth no longer deformed by human ignorance or perverted and mistranslated by vital desire. The work which the sadhak of the supramental yoga has to do is not his own work for which he can lay down his own conditions, but the work of the Divine which he has to do according to the conditions laid down by the Divine. Our yoga is not for our own sake but for the sake of the Divine. It is not our personal manifestation that we are to seek, the manifestation of the individual ego freed from all bounds and from all bonds, but the manifestation of the Divine. Of that manifestation our own spiritual liberation, perfection, fullness is to be a result and a part, but not in any egoistic sense or for any ego-centred or self-seeking purpose. This liberation, perfection, fullness too must not be pursued for our own sake, but for the sake of the Divine."

Sri Aurobindo

I find this admirable! And it should be repeated over and over and over again – to oneself and to others, every minute.

It’s the perfect answer to the present condition.

That’s the point, isn’t it: it touches on the very crux of the difficulty (Mother pinches something tiny and very hard between her fingers). Despite everything, even though you may give everything, surrender everything, there is something (same gesture), and that something always remains there, behind.

Yesterday evening I was so glad to read this. I said, "There! This is what we need."

We must publish it and repeat it to each and every one.

***

(Soon afterwards, Satprem, seeing the heap of papers on Mother’s table, proposes to take some with him to reduce the pile.)

No, my difficulty isn’t that, my difficulty is that there are too many people handling my papers. Curiously enough, it’s almost material: I’ll put something away, and if nobody touches it, I’ll find it again; I don’t have to search for it: I’ll find the thing immediately. But even if someone takes it without disturbing it, the atmosphere is gone and I no longer know how I arranged it. And here, there are four, five, six people handling my papers – seven. So (Mother points to the stacks in every corner): chaos.

January 14, 1966

(Following a "tourist" trip Satprem had to make in India for certain reasons.)

Did you feel any difference?

What difference?

Between being here and being in Bangalore?

Oh, to me it was all infernal. All that is hell.

Oh, that’s the effect it had on you?

Oh, yes!

Then it’s all right.

Tourism and all that is hell. I did my job – not very well, but I did it.

Then it’s all right.

To tell you the whole truth, that’s what you said to me,[1] but I wanted to know if you had felt it outwardly. I knew it almost right away. And then there was between us a different contact from the one we have here, and it expressed ... what shall I call it? (laughing) A lack of adaptation.

Is it a weakness?

It was very pronounced, very pronounced. And there was in you an intensity (gesture of clenched fists), a need for things to change.

Ah, yes! It’s pure hell. It’s Falsehood in every detail.

Yes, that’s right.

It’s false.

False, false.

(silence)

There was this sudden death of Shastri.[2] To me it was obvious. Strangely enough, I was told (long ago) that they were to meet in Russia, and when I was told that, I spontaneously answered, "If he goes there, he will die." (I never knew why, but that’s how it was.) Then it went out of my mind, and this time, I was told that the conference would take place, but I didn’t hear or they didn’t tell me (I don’t know which of the two) that it would be in Russia, and so ... In between, someone met Shastri about my message[3] and he answered that for him it was the expression of the truth, but ... "What can I do about that? I am a small man."[4] That’s what he said. After that I kept quiet, and when I was told about the conference, I thought, "We should at least get the ‘best’ out of it" – I "charged" him to the full. But I "charged" him as if he were a powerful man.... That’s dangerous![5]

But I knew the time at which they were in conference, and all of a sudden, in the middle of the night, I was woken up with a start by someone calling for help – it was him.

The next day, early morning, I was told he was dead. It didn’t strike me as "news"! I said, "But of course! It goes without saying, that’s how it is." And it seems (I heard all the details afterwards – long afterwards, in the course of the day), it seems the going was very tough and when the talks ended in what he considered to be a success (it was obviously the "best" (!) that could happen there), he was exultant and quite happy[6]; then he went into his room and after a few minutes, opened the door and called for a doctor, and in no time it was over. That’s probably when he called. But it was decided a very long time ago.

There was nothing to be "exultant" about! They lost what little advantage they had gained during the war.

Yes (Mother shakes her head). It seems that was the best they could conceive.

I find it sad.

No, it’s the continuation of the same story.[7]

Yes, the continuation of the same story.... You know the impression I had when I heard of Shastri’s death?... I had the impression it was a symbol, and that it was the death of the Gnome.[8] The death of the Dwarfs. That it was the bottom of the pit and the end of the Age of Gnomes. And that maybe we were now going to climb up again.

Let’s hope so.... For the moment, everything is in suspense.

But it [Shastri’s death] was necessary. If something was to change, it was necessary.

Certainly.

Because he wasn’t a wicked man, of course.

Oh, no!

He was very small.

But none of those people are wicked – they are nothing.

Oh, some are perverted. But they are very small.

Yes, nothing.

Did this business make any difference to your trip?

Oh, small details, all the shops were closed.... But don’t you think it’s really the sign of a change of direction?

How can I put it?... One hopes so.[9]

Yes, one hopes so.

The resistance of the forces of Falsehood has reached a climax, they are in a state of acute violence – acute.

Yes, it’s glaring.

February and March are very critical months. In April (Mother makes a gesture of reversal), maybe things will take the true direction.

There. Well, I am glad that you were conscious of what you told me (!)

Oh, I was conscious of that hell every minute.

It’s good, very good. You were much closer than usual. Much closer, like something physically close.

The closeness was always up above (gesture above the head), in the broad lines, but here, it was a physical closeness and the sense that ... well, that a certain type of resistance was going to end, was going to fall away. So I said to myself, "That’s very good, very necessary." If the "touring" hasn’t tired you too much, it’s all right; that was the only drawback ... (how can I put it?) that I can’t say I "feared," because I don’t fear anything, but that I saw as being possible.

No, no! In a day or two, I’ll be fine.

That’s exactly what I wanted.

@

January 19, 1966

(Mother copies out in her thick white notebook a few lines from her translation of "Savitri.")

... Near my pen, there is a small disk of Sri Aurobindo’s light, which sparkles and sparkles.... I see it more than my handwriting. It’s no bigger than this (two inches) and it shines, it shines brightly – blue light, of the silvery blue that was Sri Aurobindo’s blue. It shines and shines, and it moves along with my fingers.[10]

And when I speak, when I say things that "come," there are two disks (I don’t know why). Not one, but two, and they are bigger (about four inches), one above the other. When I tell of an experience, for instance, or answer a question, there are two of them, slightly bigger.

And when I concentrate on someone while calling the Lord, then, generally, near the shoulder (gesture between the person’s head and shoulder), there is a great golden light, like that, which sparkles and sparkles, shines and shines, very brightly, all the while. And when the light goes, the concentration goes.

But just now, it was amusing, it was quite small like this, moving along with my pen. Now it’s finished, gone! (Mother laughs)

@

January 22, 1966

I saw Purani last night. It’s the first time I have seen him since he went out of his body.[11] There were other people too. I saw him in a subtle physical world and he was all light blue and pink, and everything around him was pink and luminous (Mother makes a dancing gesture). He was pleased, oh, so pleased, he said, "Now I am happy!"

(silence)

Lots of preoccupations?

No! This morning I lived for two hours in a sort of blissful state in which there was, oh, such a clear awareness that all forms of life, in all the worlds and at all times, are the expression of a choice: you choose to be that way.

It’s very hard to put it into words.... The sort of compulsion in which we think we have to live and to which we think we are subjected had com-plete-ly vanished, and there was a perfectly spontaneous and natural perception that life on earth, life in the other worlds, and all the types of life on earth, and all the types of life in the other worlds, are simply a question of choice: you chose to be that way, and you constantly choose to be this way or that, or choose that this or that is going to happen; and you also choose to think you are subjected to a Fate or a Necessity or a Law that compels you – everything is a question of choice. And there was a sense of lightness, of freedom (same dancing gesture), and then one of those smiles at everything. And at the same time, it gives you a tremendous power. All sense of compulsion, of necessity (and even more of fate) had com-plete-ly vanished. All the illnesses, all the events, all the dramas, all of it – vanished. And this concrete and so stark a reality of physical life – completely gone.

The interesting point is that the experience arose from my encounter with Purani last night. I met Purani in a certain world and he was in a certain state, like the one I have just described, but then the difference between Purani as he was here and Purani as he is now ... suddenly, it was like a key. I spoke to him, he spoke to me, saying, "Oh, now I am so happy, so happy!" And it was in that state that I lived this morning for more than an hour and a half. Afterwards, I am obliged to come back ... to a state I find artificial, but which can’t be helped because of others, the contact with others and things and the innumerable amount of things to be done. But still, the experience remains in the background. And you are left with a sort of amused smile at all the complications of life – the state in which people are is the result of a choice, and individually the freedom of choice is there, but they have FORGOTTEN it. That’s what is so interesting!

At the same time, I saw the whole picture of human knowledge (because when those states are present, all human realizations, all human knowledge come like a panorama in front of the new state and are put back in their proper place – when an experience comes, it’s always, always as though retrospective), and I saw all the theories, all the beliefs, all the philosophical ideas, how they were connected to the new state.... Oh, it was such fun!

And it doesn’t require rest; these experiences are so concrete and spontaneous and real (they aren’t the result of a will, still less of an effort) that they don’t require rest: I was busy washing. I took my whole breakfast in that state, it was charming. It was only when those people came (and I even did the "egg distribution" – I don’t know if you are aware of it, but I am the one who puts your egg in your box every day – I did my egg distribution in that state, I gave the flowers in that state), it was only afterwards, when letters came that I had to listen to and answer and all manner of things (gesture of a truckload being dumped) – then it fades away, it gets erased. It still leaves me in a half-dream, but the experience is gone: it’s no longer that.

But those who got hold of this experience for some reason or other without having all the philosophical and mental preparation I had (the "saints," or at any rate all the people who led a spiritual life) had instead a very acute impression of the unreality of life and the illusion of life. But that’s only a narrow way of looking at it. That’s not it – that’s not it, EVERYTHING is a choice! Everything, everything. The Lord’s choice, but IN US; not there (gesture above): here. And we are unaware of it, it’s deep down in ourselves. But when we are aware of it, we can choose – we can choose our choice, that’s wonderful!

For instance, when that state was there, I told my body, "But see, you clumsy fool, why do you choose to be dramatic? To have pain, to be this and that?..." And that sort of fate and bond and hardness of existence – all that had vanished. All vanished. It was light blue, light pink, all luminous and clear and ... (same dancing gesture) ... buoyant.

I very well imagine that it’s not something absolute; it was only ONE way of being, but a charming way of being! ... Usually, when those who don’t have a sufficient intellectual preparation have an experience like this one, they think they have caught the "only" truth. And then, from it, they dogmatize. But I clearly saw it wasn’t that: it’s ONE way of being, but a wonderful way of being, of course! Infinitely superior to the one we have here. And we CAN have it here: I had it. I had it quite concretely. And there is always something going wrong (a pain here or a pain there, or this or that, and then circumstances going wrong too, always difficulties) ... the color of it all changes. And it becomes buoyant, you know, light – light, supple. All the hardness and rigidity – gone.

And the feeling that if you choose to be that way, you can go on being that way. And it’s true. It’s all the bad habits – habits that have been on earth for thousands of years, obviously – it’s all the bad habits that stop you; but there is no reason why it couldn’t be a permanent state. Because it changes everything! Everything changes! ... You know, I was brushing my teeth, washing my eyes, doing the most material things: their nature changed! And there was a vibration, a conscious vibration in the eye that was being washed, in the toothbrush, in ... All that, all of it was different. And it is clear that if you become the master of that state, you can change all circumstances around you.

Recently (for some time), there was that same difficulty of the body, which isn’t limited and shut inside a shell as is generally the case, and which freely receives ... not even with the feeling of "receiving" – which HAS the vibrations of everything around it; and then, when everything around it is, mentally or morally, closed, unwilling to understand, it’s a bit difficult, which means that the elements that come have to be transformed. It’s a sort of totality –  a very manifold and unsteady totality – representing your field of consciousness and action and on which you must work constantly to reestablish a harmony (a minimum of harmony), and when something around you "goes wrong" according to the ordinary idea, it makes the work a bit difficult. It’s subtle, persistent, and obstinate at the same time. I remember, last night when I stretched out on my bed, there was in the body an aspiration for Harmony, for Light, for a sort of smiling peace; the body aspired above all for harmony because of all those things that grate and scrape. And the experience was probably the result of that aspiration: I went there and met a pink and light-blue Purani (!) – what a blue! The pretty, very pretty light blue of Sri Aurobindo.

Only, I have noticed that in this body’s life, I’ve never had the same experience twice – I may have the same type of experience to a higher degree or to a much vaster degree, but never identically the same. And I don’t retain the experience: I am constantly, constantly (gesture forward), constantly forging ahead; you know, the work of transformation of the consciousness is so rapid, it must be done so fast that you don’t have time to enjoy or dwell upon an experience or draw long-lasting satisfaction from it, it’s impossible. It comes powerfully, very powerfully, it changes everything, then something else comes. It’s the same thing with the transformation of the cells: all kinds of little disorders come, but to the consciousness they are clearly disorders related to the transformation, so you see to that particular point, you want order to be restored; at the same time, something knows full well that the disorder came to make the transition from the ordinary automatic functioning to the conscious functioning under the direct Direction and the direct Influence of the Supreme. And the body itself knows this (still, it’s no fun to have a pain here or a pain there, or this or that being disorganized, but it KNOWS). And when that point has reached a certain stage of transformation, you move on to another point, then on to another, and on to another again. So nothing is done, no work is definitively done until... everything is ready. So you have to do the same work again, but on a higher or a vaster level, or with more intensity or in greater detail (it depends on the case), until EVERYTHING has been brought to a homogeneous point and is ready in the same way.

According to what I see, it’s going as fast as it can go. But it takes a great deal of time. And everything is a question of changing the habit. The whole automatic habit of millennia must be changed into a conscious action, directly guided by the supreme Consciousness.

The tendency is to say that it takes much more time and is more difficult because you are surrounded with people and you act in the world, but if you weren’t in those conditions, a lot of things would be overlooked, a lot. A lot of things would remain undone. There are all kinds of vibrations that aren’t in affinity with this aggregate [Mother’s cellular aggregate] and that would never have had an opportunity to touch the transforming Force if I weren’t in contact with all the people.

It is perfectly obvious – perfectly obvious – that one is put in the best conditions and with the maximum of possibilities for action ... when one wants it sincerely.

***

Then Mother takes up the translation of "Savitri":

Each in its hour eternal claimed went by

Ideals, systems, sciences, poems, crafts

Tireless there perished and again recurred,

Sought restlessly by some creative Power.

But all were dreams crossing an empty vast.

(X.IV.642)

All this is the same thing! It’s amusing.

He certainly had similar experiences [to Mother’s] when he wrote those lines.

@

January 26, 1966

(Regarding the previous conversation: the blue and pink Purani)

(Ironically) It’s a pity we can’t make pictures of those things, because Purani had lots of admirers and disciples, plenty in America, and so if I could send them a picture of Purani as I saw him, blue and pink (laughing), that would be charming!

(long silence)

There is at the moment a systematic demolition of all preconceived ideas, prejudices, habits, all the viewpoints – the social, moral, hygienic, health viewpoints – "it" takes hold of everything, one thing after the other, and it demolishes it with such irony!

Last night it was about "hygienic" measures concerning food, and there was such a comical demonstration of how ignorant the precautions we take are and of all sorts of prejudices we have ... with scenes and pictures that would make priceless comedies on the stage, oh! ...

It was about shrimps to be eaten (!) and it called to my mind how people are in Europe; they aren’t at all like here, hounded by the thought of the possible contamination of the food they eat: in Europe, if you see a fruit, you take it and eat it. Shrimps, I remember having bought some on display in a big grocery, but it was on the pavement, outside, anyway – you never gave it a thought. And nothing happens to you! ... It was very early this morning, and so comical! Like the funniest farce – whoever wrote those farces? (Mother vainly tries to recall the name) I don’t remember now.... You know, names come on a tangent, and then all the similar sounds come on the other side. I tried to recall the name, something came by on a tangent, and on the other side, there came like a joke, "cartilage"! (Mother laughs) Whatever is the name of that "modern" who wrote farces, but wrote them very well?

Courteline.

(Mother laughs) Cartilage!

It was about those big shrimps that are called "jumbo prawns" here: they are as big as crayfish. Someone (a disciple here), who died rather a long time ago, came and brought me prawns; that is to say, I met him in the rooms downstairs ... There are rooms that are reproduced somewhere, in a sort of subconscient, in fact the subconscient that has to be transformed, organized and so on, and there exists a sort of reproduction of the rooms downstairs [below Mother’s room], but not exactly the same (yet with the same layout), and a certain category of activities takes place there. That’s where we were together once, I told you: you were trying to clarify people’s ideas (!) It’s the same place. It’s not physical here, it’s in the subconscient. So then, there was that tall fellow who watched over the Samadhi for a long time, Haradhan; he was there. And when he saw me arrive, he told me, "I have brought something for you." And in a sort of dark-blue cloth, he had wrapped two big prawns, which he gave me! There were already cooked, ready to be eaten. The cloth wasn’t very much to my liking! So I thought, "How can I make them a little cleaner before eating them?" (Laughing) You know, it’s a farce – a farce to make you understand ... your stupidity. I began by removing the ... (what is it called?), it’s not "skin" ... Oh, here too the word hasn’t come, but on a tangent came "cuirass"! (Laughing) Cuirass and cartilage! ... Anyway ... I removed that, and as soon as I had removed it, I said to myself, "You fool! Now it’s even more exposed than before!" I looked for a way, and I ran to a corner (in the place of Pavitra’s laboratory), found a water tap and put my prawn under the tap. Immediately someone told me (not "someone," the inner voice told me [laughing]), "Your water is even dirtier than the cloth!" So the consciousness came along with the light, and I was shown with such a clear vision the relativity of the measures we take, which are all preconceived ideas, based on no true knowledge. And finally he told me, "Come on, eat, that’s the best you can do!" So I ate my prawn, and it was very good!

You know, we could write a farce. And scenes of such buffoonery! ...

There are lots of them. And each with an intention ... (laughing) an "educational" intention, to show the childishness in which we live.

***

Then Mother takes up her translation of "Savitri":

Ascetic voices called of lonely seers

On mountain summits or on river banks

Or from the desolate heart of forest glades

Seeking heaven’s rest or the spirit’s worldless peace,

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)

(Laughing) He’s terrible! He has a knack for demolishing everything.

But it’s wonderfully true. It immediately puts you in the atmosphere of the relativity of all those human conceptions.

The trouble is that the outer being finds it hard to forget its habit of regarding material things as true, real, concrete: "This is concrete, you touch it, see it, feel it...."

It’s beginning to come.

I tell you, every night it’s like that, something is demolished through the comical or the ridiculous. It’s very interesting. Oh, when it comes to morality, there are some marvelous things, marvelous! But ... (Mother puts a finger on her lips) that’s for later.

@

January 31, 1966

(Satprem’s letters to Mother having disappeared, he does not remember what caused the "sadness" Mother refers to here, probably certain ways of being in life that he found hard to accept, or perhaps his own incapacity to tolerate life in the world as is it and his tendency to dart off to the heights – unless it was the abyss. Satprem then asked Mother if he should not start writing a new book, "The Sannyasin," in which he would attempt to exorcize a certain refusal of life as it is.)

Tell me, why do you feel sad?

Because ... if you have realized that there is a progress to be made, there’s no need to feel sad anymore. It’s when one has a progress to make and doesn’t realize it that one should feel sad!

I took a good look, and it is indeed possible that by writing this book you will get rid of something that’s lingering on – it’s possible. My hope was that it could go away simply through the inner movement; but when I received your note yesterday, I took a good look and thought, "Yes, it’s probably necessary."

It has a drawback, but it will have that advantage.... I am not referring to external drawbacks, that can’t be helped, we’ll have to manage.[12] I mean for yourself: it concentrates you in an almost hypnotic way on that part of your being which is ... almost imprisoned in the form, in the form of expression, that is to say, the "author," the "writer." Yet I know, and it’s very clear, that your external being was formed in large part for that, but from a higher standpoint: more as a means than as an end.

You see, your book on Sri Aurobindo is exceptional in all respects and it was a sort of summit in expression. There was also the fact that Sri Aurobindo was always there while you were writing it. When it came, I had the sense of a summit that cannot be exceeded.... That’s why I no longer thought about other books: my consciousness used this book on Sri Aurobindo as a starting point towards something else, something more complete. But when I read your letter yesterday, I thought, "Maybe, after all, there is indeed something that has to be expressed; maybe it will be the right way to get rid of a past that’s lingering on."

That’s what I wanted to tell you.

If you must do it, it’s better to do it, and to do it with this idea, with this aspiration for a whole state of consciousness to be expressed in order to go away into the past, not to keep clinging to your present consciousness.

Can’t it be also a means to make a truth descend, a truth-force, as the book on Sri Aurobindo was, but in another way?

That’s possible. It’s possible, but ... (laughing) I’ll tell you afterwards!

Just two days ago, I wrote to someone (someone who is a bit under the influence of ascetic ideas), and I told that person, "Those thoughts – those thoughts and that type of action – belong, from the spiritual standpoint, to the ascetic belief, but it-is-no-longer-true." And I said it with terrible force: IT-IS-NO-LONGER-TRUE. And I saw that at one point in the history of the earth it was necessary to obtain a certain result, but now IT’S NO LONGER TRUE. Voilà. It has given way to a higher and more complete truth. From that point of view, your book can obviously be the expression of this new force.

It’s possible, it’s by no means impossible.

It’s a whole world of spiritual thought and existence to which I’d like to give its most perfect expression, while demolishing it at the same time – not "demolishing" but showing that it’s only one side, one part.

Yes, that’s right.

(silence)

I also felt that something else had to be written, going over your whole Agenda as I did for Sri Aurobindo (that has come to me several times very clearly), going over your whole Agenda from the beginning, and then ... You know that before I wrote the book on Sri Aurobindo, I took all his works to read them again, and while I read them I seemed to be told, "This passage ... that passage ... this passage ..."1 noted down all kinds of passages. And when afterwards I wrote the book, all those selected passages automatically came to mingle with what was coming to me. And I’ve had the same impression with all these Agenda conversations: one day I should read them all again in that same consciousness and pick out a number of passages, which, afterwards, would crystallize into a book.

Yes, but not yet – not yet.[13]

Not yet, no, I clearly feel it’s not for now.

It’s not for now. Not for now, it’s for later.

No, to me, if you write this book, we’ll see, because it depends if

... If that Truth descends, well, it will descend and then you will

automatically express it. Of course, we can aspire for it to be that

way. But we can’t tell before it is so.

At any rate, what’s quite certain is that this book can serve you

as a rung to rise above the past and overcome certain difficulties

in your nature. And then of course, from that point of view I

immediately approve.

So there’s no problem left at all, it only has to get done.

There seems to remain a doubt in your consciousness?

Even with this doubt, there was no hesitation; I wanted to tell you, "Do it."

The question is more of a subtle order: it’s to know whether the "thing" is really there, in the inner or higher worlds, and I have to do it, or whether it’s a decision of my "writer’s ego" that wants to write.

The thing is there ... (how can I explain?).

The thing is there in its old form.[14] That you have things to say is beyond doubt, and that you will say them is beyond doubt; but it has remained in that form because of ... precisely because of a certain difficulty you complained about in your letter, and which persists. So it’s to get rid at the same time of a certain state of consciousness and, yes, of a certain difficulty. Your true consciousness, you know, the consciousness of your true being, is in a very rapid ascent; something in you isn’t aware of that and lags behind, and that’s what causes an unease in you. So it’s clear that writing is a good means (probably the best means) of getting rid of it: you throw it outside yourself by expressing it, and then it’s finished, you’ve got rid of it. It’s the FORM, you understand, only the form; it’s always the same thing: the essence and spirit, and on the other hand the form. You are rising like an arrow, and you don’t know it because something remains like that, hard, tight, and it’s only a form. Well, it’s better to get rid of it; it’s the most natural way for you to exteriorize the form, the state of consciousness and the difficulty, all of it together, at the same time as you write the book.

I am sure of it because I spent a large part of the night looking at it.

Yes, it’s fine, do it. It will certainly be a very interesting and excellent book, which will be helpful to many people, but anyway it’s not ... From our point of view, it’s secondary.

And now, of course, you are labeled, at least in France, in Germany, in the U.S.A. and here, as "the author of the book on Sri Aurobindo": it will be a new book by "the author of the book on Sri Aurobindo." So you will have a readership. All those things are secondary to me, but they are nonetheless true.

But what I am interested in ... The only thing I have to say in defense of the writer’s job is that, to me, writing is like a mantra: it’s embodying a vibration of truth.

Yes.

That’s the true purpose.

Yes, yes.

If "that" isn’t there, I’m not interested.

That’s certainly right.

But there is one thing ... Even as a writer (you in your present form and as a writer) you can, AS A WRITER, give many different expressions to that thing which you want to attract upon earth and express: you can express it in many different forms. We are now concerned with one particular form that you had conceived; well, what makes this form useful is that, to me (what I am going to tell you may be a bit commonplace), it can be used as a pickaxe, you understand, to root out the things you want to reject from your consciousness: a certain way of being of your consciousness that’s receding into the past. And then, afterwards, you will rise to expressions of a higher order.

And, mind you, if we look at the problem from the terrestrial and human standpoint, it’s fully part of the things that can be very useful to mankind; if you were "humanitarian," I would tell you: Without a shadow of doubt, it can be very useful.

So, I tell you, I saw that carefully last night, and I have reached this conclusion: it must be done. There, that’s all.

But without sadness – without sadness.

To discover the obstacles, the failings, the resistances in one’s own being, in one’s own consciousness, isn’t a defeat, it’s a great victory. And one shouldn’t lament, one should rejoice.

But it’s full of failings!

Yes! (Mother laughs) Yes, I know that quite well, we are all full of failings.

I don’t even know how to live!

That’s true indeed! (Mother laughs) That’s just why your difficulty is persisting, otherwise it should have been gone long ago. It should have been gone. It will go, but ... it has got a certain right to linger, a right given by ... yes, a certain attitude of your consciousness towards life. That’s in fact one of the things I saw.

Ah, let a whole past be dissolved, rejected outside – expressed and rejected: "It’s over, now it’s over, I no longer have anything to do with you: I have given you birth."

Mind you, it’s very good, very useful to lots of people who lack that consciousness.[15] Nothing in the world is useless, but things must be in their place. When one lingers on in a consciousness that must be exceeded, it becomes a failing – one just has not to linger! One just has to reject it and use it as a springboard to jump higher, that’s all. That’s how I see it. That’s how I see all the incapacities, all the failings, all the failures, I see them like that: "All right, it’s a springboard – hop! let’s jump, now let’s go beyond

When one does the work I am doing and is in contact with all the petty reactions of the physical body, of the most material consciousness ... mon petit, it would be absolutely disheartening and sickening to anyone having an ideal. But that ... that’s how it is, so that’s how it is: it must change – we are here so that it will become different. And as long as we aren’t conscious of it, it will never change. Therefore one must rejoice when one is conscious, that’s all.

All discoveries are always graces – wonderful graces. When you discover that you can’t do anything, when you discover that you are a fool, when you discover that you have no capacity, when you discover that you are so petty and mean and stupid, well ... "Oh, Lord, I thank You so much, how good You are to show me all this!" And then, it’s over. Because the minute you discover it, you say, "Now this is up to You. You will do what has to be done for all this to change." And the best part of it is that it does change! It does change. When you do like this (gesture of offering to the Heights), sincerely: "Oh, take it, take it, take it, rid me of it, let me be ... only You" ...

It’s wonderful.

There.

February

February 11, 1966

(Mother carries on with her translation of "Savitri": the vision of the plane where all the formations of the human mind are found.)

All things the past has made and slain were there[16]

Quite interestingly, I am following all these experiences of Savitri. The experience of those different joys, I was surprised to have it a few days ago; I said to myself, "Strange, why am I made to see the joy in all those things: the joy of destroying, the joy of creating, the joy of laboring and conquering, and all of it?" I was very surprised, and then ...

Just last night, I must have been going about for some time among all human constructions, but those of a higher quality, not the ordinary constructions (those Sri Aurobindo refers to here: the philosophical, religious, spiritual constructions ...). And they were symbolized by huge buildings – huge – that were so high ... as if men were as tall as the edge of this stool, quite tiny, in comparison with those huge things – huge, huge. I was going about, and each person came (I saw now one come, now another), each person came saying, "Mine is the true path." So I would go with him to an open door through which an immense landscape could be seen, and just when we came to the door, it would close!

It was really very interesting. With all sorts of diverse details, each one with his own habits. I have forgotten the details now, but when I came out of that place last night, in the middle of the night, I was quite amused, I said to myself, "It’s quite amusing!" You know, when they spoke you could see through a door vast expanses before you, in full light, it was superb; then I would go with that person towards the door and ... the door was closed. It was really interesting.

And so large, so large, so high – we were very small.

There was no end to them.... And there were people, always new people: now men, now women, now young people, now old people, and from every possible country. It lasted a very long time.

I remember that I said to one of them, "Yes, all this is very fine, but it isn’t true food, it leaves you famished." Then there was one who was ... I don’t know which country he was from: he wore a dark robe, he had black hair, a somewhat round face (he may have been a Chinese, I can’t say, I don’t remember). He said to me, "Oh, not with me! Taste this and see." And he gave me something to eat – it was absolutely first-rate, oh, it was excellent! So I looked at him, and I said, "Oh, you are clever ... show me, show me your path." He told me, "I have no path."

Anyway, details ... If I noted all that down in the middle of the night, it would be very amusing. It was really amusing. And it corresponds to what we’ve just read in Savitri.

Yes, he was comfortably seated in front of a pillar (a pillar whose end couldn’t be seen; it rose so high that its end couldn’t be seen), and he said to me, "Oh, I have no path." (Mother laughs) But what he gave to eat was very good! I remember I crunched it, I bit into it, and it had a marvelous taste.

Who could it be?... I don’t know. They must have been known people.

And it was rather strange: I was always a bit taller than all of them, and when I moved about, I did so with much greater speed than they, and I would reach the doors, just about to go through ... when they would come along and the door would close!

Very amusing. I could write volumes with all that!

But last night I didn’t understand, I wondered, "Why do I go strolling in such places?" Now I understand!

@

February 16, 1966

About Satprem’s mother:

... It’s not a miracle that you are your mother’s son: it’s natural (!) It means many things.... It means a good atavism. It means that the journey here did not multiply difficulties, on the contrary. As for me, I chose my parents ([laughing] don’t go about repeating what I am saying!), I chose my parents in order to have a solid physical base, because I knew that the work I had to do was "very very difficult" and a solid base was needed. From that point of view I succeeded. But then, there were difficulties ... It doesn’t matter, because from the physical point of view, it was good. But with you, it’s not just that: it’s psychically, you understand – she is your mother psychically, too. So it’s very good.

@

February 19, 1966

(Regarding a Playground Talk of April 9, 1951, in which Mother spoke of the degeneration of taste, of the war and what a new war would mean:)

"Now, to tell you the truth, we are on the upward curve again. I think we have really reached the bottom of incoherence, absurdity and ugliness – the taste for the ugly and the unsightly, the dirty, the offensive. We have, I think, reached rock bottom.... If it’s taken in the right way (and I think there are people who have taken it in the right way), it can lead you straight to the Yoga, straight. That is, you feel a sort of very deep detachment from all the things of this world, a very intense need to find something else, an imperious need to find something truly beautiful, truly fresh, truly good ... so, quite naturally, it leads you to a spiritual aspiration. And those horrors seem to have divided people: a minority who were ready have risen very high; a majority who weren’t ready have gone down very low. Those are now wallowing in mud, and that’s why we can’t get out of it for the moment; and if it goes on, we will be moving towards a new war, and this time it will really be the end of this civilization – I am not saying the end of the world, because nothing can be the end of the world, but the end of this civilization, which means we will have to build another. You may tell me that it will be very good, for this civilization is on the decline, it’s rotting away; but still, there were in it some beautiful things that deserved to be preserved, and it would be a great pity if all that disappeared. But if there is a new war, I can tell you that it will all disappear. For men are very clever creatures, and they have found the way to destroy everything. And they will use it, because what’s the use of spending billions to make certain bombs if they aren’t to be used? What’s the use of discovering that a city can be destroyed in a few minutes if not to destroy it! One wants to see the fruit of one’s efforts! If there is a war, that’s what will happen."

... Quite appropriate. We’ll publish it in the next Bulletin.

***

(Then Mother goes on to "Savitri," the beginning of the new dialogue
between Savitri and Death:)

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)

The ignorant march of dolorous Time.... That’s quite it, we’re poor devils.

That’s exactly the state of mind I have been in for two days, but more particularly this morning.... Oh, as an experience it’s very interesting.

The spontaneous activity of Matter is defeatist ["the all-defeating might"]. It has to surrender, it has to annul itself so that a creative power – truly creative and victorious – can manifest. That’s quite interesting.

Théon used to say that this defeatist state (the result of which is death), this destructive power, was born with the Vital’s infusion into Matter. The rock, the stone, that is, the most exclusively material, isn’t defeatist. The beginning of destruction came with the beginning of the entry of the vital force: with water – water, air, all that moves. All that begins to move brings along the power of destruction.

And in human matter, this destructive power is associated with movement.

(silence)

In other words, on earth (let’s limit ourselves to the earth), it’s only with Life that Death came in.

(silence)

And certainly, the first manifestations of Life were water and air, the wind, weren’t they?

Fire ... But fire, there’s no fire without air – fire is the symbol of the supreme Power.

(long silence
Mother scribbles a few words)

Here’s the answer:

Truth does not depend on any external form and shall manifest in spite of all bad will or opposition.

I’ve written this in answer to this gentleman [Death]. It came with a power: "Ah, you shall see."

But I’d like to know what Savitri says. What does Savitri say?...

There’s no time left, we’ll see that next time.

What does she say to him? I think she always says the same thing: the omnipotence of Love.

There you feel the Force. Otherwise it wouldn’t be worth living – it really isn’t worth it, it’s no fun.

@

February 23, 1966

(Regarding the Talk of April 14, 1951, in which Mother tells the story of two young men who met with accidents and used a cat as a vital support to inform Mother of their death.)

Charles de F.! That’s it, I remember, he was the son of an ambassador of France (to Austria, I think). He was sublieutenant.

With his company he went out to attack a trench, and they all died. It was a massacre.

But there is a sequel to the story.... He came afterwards. Once he was formed again, he came; he stayed near me and told me, "I have come because it was my desire and intention to go to India with you, and I want to accomplish it." And he came with me; when I left for India (the second time), he came with me. And long after my return – long after, when Pavitra came here – one night, I suddenly saw F. and Pavitra embracing each other! Just like that. Then F. entered him. And the interesting thing is that Pavitra had no liking for poetry and very little interest in art, and after that boy united with him, he began having a very special understanding of poetry and showing interest in art! He really felt a change in him (I hadn’t told him what had happened).

I have seen several such cases, but that one was so clear! So clear, so precise. And without the collaboration of active thought  – I wasn’t thinking about it at all: one night I saw them like that, Pavitra having come out of his body, and the other leaving ... (he was always in repose in my aura), he left my aura, they embraced, and then one entered the other.[17]

He was quite young, he was twenty-one. It was the first war, the war of the trenches.

The other[18] also was a poet, but he was the son of some very good folks (I think they were from the lower middle class, or maybe even peasants, people from the country), very good folks who had made considerable effort to send their son for studies in Paris. He was a very good student. A boy of the same age: about twenty or twenty-one. A fairly good poet, intelligent, and he was especially interested in occultism. But as for him, he wasn’t inwardly formed; it was only his vital consciousness that took over the cat.

But strangely, the look of the cat’s eyes changed completely.

@

February 26, 1966

(After the translation of "Savitri" – the dialogue with Death)

Behold the figures of this symbol realm....

Here thou canst trace the outcome Nature gives

To the sin of being and the error in things

And the desire that compels to live

And man’s incurable malady of hope.

(X.IV.64 3)

But she will answer you!... I’d like to know what she will answer him.

(silence)

If we follow to its end the idea with which Sri Aurobindo wrote this, Death would be the principle that created Falsehood in the world.... It’s obviously either Falsehood that created Death, or Death that created Falsehood.

It’s rather Falsehood that created Death!

Logically, yes.

According to the story (if it can be called a story) that Théon told, it was Falsehood that created Death. But according to what we’ve just read, Death would be what created Falsehood.... Obviously it must be neither this way nor that! It must be something else, which we should find.

(silence)

Theon’s idea (which also fits with the teaching here in India in which they say it was the sense of separation that created the whole Disorder – Death, Falsehood and all the rest), Theon’s idea was that those first four Emanations, that is, Consciousness, Love, Life, and Truth (Love was the last, I think, but I no longer remember what he said), those four individual emanated Beings, according to him, in full consciousness of their power and existence, cut themselves off from their Origin. In other words, they wanted to depend only on themselves, they didn’t even feel the need to keep the connection with their Origin (I am putting it very materially). So then, that cut is what instantly caused Consciousness to become Unconsciousness, Love to become Suffering (it wasn’t Love – it was actually Ananda which became Suffering), Life to become Death and Truth to become Falsehood. And they hurled themselves into the creation like that. Then, there was a second creation, which was the creation of the gods, to mend the mischief caused by those four (the story is told in almost a childlike way in order not to be abstract, in order to become concrete). The gods are the second emanation and they came to mend. In India and everywhere, they were given various names and functions, and they are found in the Overmind region, that is to say, above the physical quaternary, the material quaternary. And the function of those gods is to mend the damage wrought by the others. And the region in which the others (the first Emanations) concentrated is the vital region.

All this can be translated philosophically, intellectually and so on. It is told as a story so that the most physical intellectuality may understand. But in principle, it’s the separation from the Origin that created the whole Disorder. And, as far as I know, in India too the Upanishads say the same thing; Sri Aurobindo, at any rate, says that Disorder came with the sense of Separation. So those are different ways of saying the same thing. In one case, seen in a certain way, it’s a willed separation; in the other case, it’s an inevitable consequence – inevitable consequence of ... of what? I don’t know.

Because, according to theogonies, the gods have remained in contact with their Origin and they feel themselves to be the representation of the Origin, as in the Indian theogony in which they say that Shiva is the representative of the Supreme – Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the preserver, Shiva, the transformer – and all three are conscious representatives of the Supreme, but partial ones.

It’s perfectly obvious that those are only manners of speaking. There are indeed entities, they do exist, but ... it’s only a way of telling the story; in one way or another, it’s the same thing. Metaphysics is also one way of telling the story. And one isn’t truer than the other.

(silence)

But to me, the problem is to find ... You know, I am after the process that will lead to the power to undo what was done.

When people asked Théon, "How did things come to happen that way?" (he used to say that the first Emanation and the next three separated themselves), "Why did they separate themselves?", he would reply very simply (laughing), "Why is the world as it is, in this state of disorder? Why is it like that?... That’s not the interesting point: the interesting point is to make it what it must be." But after all those years, there is something in me that would like to have the power or the key: the process. And is it not necessary to feel or live or see (but "see," I mean, see actively) how it went this way (Mother bends her wrist in one direction) in order to be able to go that way (she bends it in the opposite direction)? That’s the question.

(silence)

What’s interesting is that now that this mind of the cells has been organized, it appears to be going with dizzying speed through the process of human mental development all over again, in order to reach ... the key, precisely. There is of course the sense that the state we are in is a false unreality, but there is a sort of need or aspiration to find, not a mental or moral "why," nothing of the sort, but a HOW – how it got twisted this way (Mother bends her wrist in one direction), in order to straighten it out (gesture in the opposite direction).

The pure sensation has the experience of the two vibrations [the false and the true, the twisted and the straight vibrations], but the transition from one to the other is still a mystery. It’s a mystery, because it cannot be explained: neither when it goes this way (gesture to the false direction) nor when it goes that way (gesture to the true direction).

So there is something that says like Théon, "Learn to BE that way [on the true side] and stay that way." But there is an impression that the "stay that way" must depend on knowing why one is that way or how one is that way?

I don’t know if I make myself understood! ...

@

March

March 2, 1966

... Things are getting tighter and tighter. I work till 9:30 at night to prepare the birthday cards for the next day.

I saw an "amusing" little occurrence last night.... I wanted to see you (or was trying to see you) and you were in a room just next door – there was infernal noise! A noise of people talking and talking. Ashram people. It’s strange, it’s the first time that noise has disturbed me in a dream – what a din they were making in there! I felt like telling them, "Do shut up!"

That’s how it is, exactly how it is. But I saw you last night, so you did come. That’s how it is.

(Then Mother stops abruptly, goes and leans on her elbows at the window)

Wait, I am not seeing clearly anymore ... (Mother takes her head in her hands and stays motionless for a moment) ... You know, in a very precise, material and detailed way I am developing the power to heal. I don’t do it deliberately, that’s just how it is. And then (laughing), I am given opportunities to test, to experiment on my own body – there’s always something the matter. Suddenly something goes wrong and I apply my hand, or simply do a concentration, some movement or other, and everything disappears – but materially: the power to heal. You know, I apply my hand and then the Force goes through. It’s very interesting. Only (laughing), I am the laboratory! That’s not so funny.

***

(Regarding an incident of little importance, but significant nevertheless. Mother shows Satprem an envelope containing money and asks him whether she already gave him one.[19] Mother did in fact give Satprem a blue envelope eight days ago.)

I am in such a hurry when I do things.... For instance, when I have finished my morning work, everyday before lunch I see to the money – the doctor comes, P. comes, it’s past lunch time, everybody stands waiting, the cashier too stands waiting there for his money. Everyone clinging. So then, instead of being able to do the work with my consciousness, the consciousness is taken up by all those people who ... "It’s time, it’s time ... it’s late, it’s late ..." So I do things automatically, and I don’t remember what I do – I never remember anything I do automatically. And with you, I didn’t remember whether I had given you the envelope or not, because I did it in that condition. But suddenly, just when I was preparing this new envelope (this time I did it consciously), I saw my gesture of giving you a small blue envelope, this big, and I remembered the smile with which you took it. Those two things were very clear in my consciousness. So I thought, "I must have given it!"

That’s how it is, I remember my hand holding out the envelope, and then your smile.

***

(Satprem then reads Mother an old Talk of April 17, 1951, and comes to a passage concerning the perfection of the physical instrument: "Physical perfection in no way and by no means proves that a single step has been made towards spirituality. Physical perfection means that the instrument that will be used by the force – any force – will be sufficiently perfect to be remarkably expressive. But the important point, the essential point, is the force that will use the instrument, and that’s where a choice will have to be made...." Mother remarks:)

I remember the exact moment when I said that – the place, the time, the sound, everything – because at that moment, I suddenly felt a divine Will manifest. I remember having thought at that moment, "Ah, it should be like this every time." And now it has come back. What was the date?

April 17, 1951.

***

Towards the end, Mother remains long in contemplation, then takes Satprem’s hands.

... Everything, Sri Aurobindo’s blue light. He is so close, so close, so very close, he fills you completely. So vast ... so still, and at the same time extraordinarily vibrant  – such a powerful vibration, and perfect stillness.

@

March 4, 1966

(Mother resumes her comments on Sri Aurobindo’s aphorisms.)

115 – The world is a long recurring decimal with Brahman for its integer. The period seems to begin and end, but the fraction is eternal; it will never have an end and never had any real beginning.

116 – The beginning and end of things is a conventional term of our experience; in their true existence these terms have no reality, there is no end and no beginning.

This past week again, there has been a whole development of that experience.

Ultimately, with worlds it’s the same as with individuals, and with universes the same as with worlds. It’s only the duration that differs: an individual is very small, a world is a little bigger, and a universe still bigger! But what begins ends.

Yet Sri Aurobindo says there is "no beginning and no end," that creation and destruction are simply an illusion of the external consciousness?

We are forced to use words, but the thing eludes us. What for us is translated as the "eternal Principle," the "Supreme," "God," has neither beginning nor end: we are forced to say, "It is," but it’s not like that, because it’s beyond the Nonmanifestation and the Manifestation; it is something that we, in the Manifestation, are incapable of understanding and perceiving – and That is what has neither beginning nor end. But constantly and eternally, That manifests as something that begins and ends. Only, there are two ways to "end," one that is seen as a destruction, an annihilation, and the other that is a transformation; and it would seem that as the Manifestation grows more perfect, the necessity of destruction decreases, to the point when it will disappear and will be replaced by the process of progressive transformation.

But that’s quite a human and external way of putting it.

I am absolutely conscious of the inadequacy of words, but through the words, we must catch hold of the Thing.... The difficulty for human thought, and still more for expression, is that words always have a sense of beginning.

(silence)

I had the perception of this manifestation – a "pulsatory" manifestation, I might say – which opens out, shrivels up, opens out, shrivels up again ... and there comes a point when the opening out is such, the fluidity, the plasticity, the capacity for change are such that there is no need anymore to reabsorb in order to shape anew, and there will be a progressive transformation. Théon used to say (I think I’ve already told you about it) that this is the seventh universal creation, that there have been six pralayas[20] before and this is the seventh creation, but that it will be possible for this one to be transformed without being reabsorbed – which obviously is perfectly unimportant because, the moment you have the eternal consciousness, whether things go this way or that way doesn’t matter in the least. It’s for the limited human consciousness that there is a sort of ambition or need for something that doesn’t end, because, within, there is what we might call "the memory of eternity" and that memory of eternity aspires for the manifestation to partake of that eternity. But if the sense of eternity is active and present, you don’t lament – you don’t lament if you discard a worn-out garment, do you? (You may be attached, but anyway you don’t lament.) It’s the same thing: if a universe disappears, it means it has wholly fulfilled its function, it has reached the limit of its possibilities, and another must replace it.

I followed the curve. When you are very small in your consciousness and development, you feel a great need for the earth not to disappear, for it to be perpetuated (while being transformed as much as one likes, but always with the earth being perpetuated).

A little further on, when you are a little more ... mature, you attach much less importance to it. And when you are in constant communion with the sense of eternity, it becomes a mere question of choice; it’s not a need anymore, because it’s something that doesn’t affect the active consciousness. A few days ago (I don’t remember when, but quite lately), for a whole morning I lived in that Consciousness and I saw that, in the curve of the being’s development, that sort of need, a seemingly intimate need, for the prolongation of the earth’s life – the indefinite prolongation of the earth’s life – I saw that that need is objectified, so to say, it’s not so intimate anymore; it’s like watching a performance and judging whether it should be like this or like that. It’s interesting as a change of standpoint.

It’s like an artist, but an artist shaping himself, and who makes one attempt, two attempts, three attempts, as many attempts as necessary, then ends up with something complete enough in itself and receptive enough to be able to adapt to new manifestations, to the needs of new manifestations, so that it wouldn’t be necessary to draw everything back in order to mix it all together again and put it all out again. But now it’s now more than that, and, as I said, a question of choice. In other words, the manifestation was made for the delight of objectification (the delight or interest, or ... anyway), and once what has been shaped has become plastic enough, receptive enough, supple enough and vast enough to be constantly molded by the new forces that manifest, there’s no longer any need to undo everything in order to redo everything.

The curve showed itself along with an adage: "What begins must end...." That seems to be one of those human mental constructions that aren’t necessarily true.

But the interesting point subjectively is that the problem loses its acuteness as you look at it from a higher and higher standpoint (or a more central point, to tell the truth).

The principle – not "principle," it’s not a principle – the law seems to be the same for the individual, worlds, and universes.

(long silence)

The minute you try to express (Mother makes a gesture of reversal), everything is warped.... I was looking at that experience of the relationship between the Consciousness and the Whole: the relationship of the human being with the Whole, of the earth (the earth consciousness) with the Whole, of the consciousness of the manifested universe with the Whole, and of the consciousness ruling over the universe – all universes – with the Whole; and this inexplicable phenomenon that each point of consciousness (a point that doesn’t take up any space), each point of consciousness is capable of having ALL experiences.... It’s very hard to express.

We could say it’s only limits that make differences: differences of time, differences of space, differences of scale, differences of power. They are only limits. And the minute the consciousness emerges from limits, on any point of the manifestation and whatever the size of that manifestation (yes, the size of that manifestation is absolutely irrelevant), on any point of the manifestation, if you emerge from limits, there is THE Consciousness.

Looking at it from that angle, we could say that the acceptance of limits is what permitted the manifestation. The possibility of the manifestation came with the acceptance of the sense of limit.... It’s impossible to express. As soon as you start speaking, you always get a sense of something that goes like this (same gesture of reversal), a sort of tipping over, and then it’s finished, the essence is gone. Then metaphysical sense comes along and says, "We might put it this way, we might put it that way...." To make sentences: each point contains the Consciousness of the Infinite and of Eternity (these are words, nothing but words). But the possibility of the experience is there. It’s a sort of stepping back outside space.... We could say for fun that even the stone, even ...  – oh, certainly water, certainly fire – has the power of Consciousness: the original (all the words that come are idiotic!), essential, primordial (all this is meaningless), eternal, infinite Consciousness.... It’s meaningless, to me it’s like dust thrown on a pane of glass to prevent it from being transparent! ... Anyway, conclusion: after having lived that experience (I had it repeatedly over the last few days, it remained there sovereignly despite everything –  work, activities – and it ruled over everything), all attachment to any formula whatever, even those that have stirred peoples for ages, seems childishness to me. And then it becomes just a choice: you choose things to be like this or like that or like this; you say this or that or this – enjoy yourselves, my children ... if you find it enjoyable.

But it is certain (this is an observation for common use), it is certain that the human mind, in order to have an impulse to act, needs to build a dwelling for itself – a more or less vast one, more or less complete, more or less supple, but it needs a dwelling. (Laughing) But that’s not it! That warps everything!

And the strange thing – the strange thing – is that outwardly you go on living automatically according to certain ways of life, which no longer even have the virtue of appearing necessary, which no longer even have the force of being that habits have, but which are accepted and lived almost automatically with the sense (a kind of feeling, of sensation, but it’s neither feeling nor sensation, it’s a sort of very subtle perception) that Something, so immense that it’s undefinable, wants it so. I say "wants it so" or I say "chooses it so," but it’s "wants it so"; it’s a Will that doesn’t function like the human will, but that wants it so – wants it or sees it or decides it so. And in each thing, there is that luminous, golden, imperative Vibration ... which is necessarily all-powerful. And it results in a background of perfect well-being of Certitude, which, a little lower down in the consciousness, is expressed as a benevolent and amused smile.

I feel like asking you a question. A little further on, Sri Aurobindo speaks of the worlds having neither beginning nor end, and he says that their creation and destruction is "a play of hide and seek with our outward consciousness...."[21]

That’s certainly a very elegant way of saying the same thing as I’ve just said!

What I wanted to ask was whether, seen from the other side, the material world is still perceived clearly, or whether it all evaporates ... as much as, seen from this side, the other world seems to evaporate?

(silence)

The play is interesting if one is conscious on both sides.

That’s another experience of the last few days. It came to me in a certain and absolute way (although it’s very hard to express) that this so-called "error" of the material world as it is, was indispensable for what you’ve just said; that is, the material mode or the material way of perceiving, of becoming conscious of things, that mode was gained through the "error" of this creation and would not have existed without it, and it’s not something that will vanish into nonexistence when we have the true consciousness – it’s something that’s an ADDITION in a special way (and it was perceived and lived at that time in the essential Consciousness).

It was like a justification of the creation, which made possible a certain mode of perception (which we could describe with the words "precision," "exactness" in the objectification), which couldn’t have existed without that. Because when that Consciousness – the perfect Consciousness, the true Consciousness, THE Consciousness – was there, present and lived to the exclusion of any other, there was a "something," like a vibratory mode, if I may say so, a vibratory mode of objective precision and exactness, which couldn’t have existed without this material form of creation.... You know, there was always that great "Why?" – the great "Why like this?", "Why all this?" which resulted in what is expressed in the human consciousness by suffering and misery and helplessness and all, all the horrors of the ordinary consciousness – why? Why this? And then, the answer was like this: In the true Consciousness, there is a vibratory mode of precision, exactness, clearness in the objectification, which couldn’t have existed without that, which wouldn’t have had an opportunity to manifest. That’s certain. It is the answer – the all-powerful answer to the "Why?"

It is clear – very clear – that what for us is translated as progress, as progressive manifestation, is not only a law of the material manifestation as we know it, but is the very principle of the eternal Manifestation. If we want to climb down again to the level of terrestrial thought, we may say that there is no manifestation without progress. But what WE call progress, what’s "progress" to our consciousness, up above, is ... it may be anything: a necessity, anything we like. There is a sort of absolute that we don’t understand, an absolute of being: that’s how it is because that’s how it is, that’s all. But to our consciousness, it’s "more and more," "better and better" (and these words are stupid), more and more perfect, better and better perceived. It’s the very principle of the manifestation.

And there is an experience, which came very fleetingly but precisely enough to be able to say (very clumsily) that – I was about to say, the "flavor" of the Nonmanifested – that the Nonmanifested has a special flavor because of the manifested.

All this is just words, but that’s all we have. One day, perhaps, we will have words and a language capable of saying these things properly; that’s possible, but it will still be a translation.

There is here a level (gesture at breast level) where something plays with words, images, sentences, like that (shimmering, undulating gesture): it makes pretty images; and it has a power to put you in contact with "the thing," maybe a greater power (at least as great, but maybe greater) than here (gesture at the top of the forehead), than the metaphysical expression ("metaphysical" is a way of putting it). Images. That is, poetry. There is in it an almost more direct access to that inexpressible Vibration. I see Sri Aurobindo’s expression in its poetic form, it has a charm and a simplicity – a simplicity and a softness and a penetrating charm – that puts you in direct contact much more intimately than all those things of the head.

There. So in fact, we haven’t done a thing (laughing), we’ve wasted our time!

(silence)

The way all those experiences occur is truly interesting. I was wondering a few days ago, "Why do they come like this? What’s the law that governs the order in which these experiences come?" (They come abruptly – I can see that they come from outside: they don’t come from within, they come like a wave.) And there is always that golden, smiling Force behind everything. Even when the experience is expressed by something not very pleasant physically, It always smiles, and It says, "Come on, don’t make a fuss." But it’s contagious, and you smile.... You know, for the body, as soon as something comes, a vibration it isn’t used to, the first contact is discomfort, and it has to be told, "Stay still, don’t be afraid, all will be well...." Strange, we are very small things – very small poor things. But we must laugh.

There, mon petit. And you are very closely associated with those experiences, even in your physical body, and several times these last few days, I have had the opportunity to tell you, "See, don’t worry."[22] Those things are really appearances, which human thought crystallizes and hardens, but if they are seen with the fluidity of the true consciousness, they come and go and pass – and they may not leave any trace, if we are supple enough to adapt ourselves. That’s how it is. We must be supple and plastic enough to adapt to all those vibrations that come in and disrupt the so-called "natural" functioning. When something changes, that thought (a habitual, subconscious thought[23]) is so stupid that it spoils everything.

@

March 9, 1966

There’s a question I’d like to ask you. It’s in fact the question I wanted to ask you last time.... When one is in that eternal Consciousness, to be with or without a body makes little difference, but when one is "dead," as it is called, I’d like to know if the perception of the material world remains clear and precise, or if it becomes as vague and imprecise as might be the consciousness one has of the other worlds when one is on this side, in this world? Sri Aurobindo speaks of a play of hide and seek, but the play of hide and seek is interesting if one state of being doesn’t deprive of the consciousness of the other states?

Yesterday or the day before, the whole day from morning to evening, something was saying, "I am ... I am or have the consciousness of a dead person on earth." I am putting it into words, but it seemed to say, "This is how the consciousness of a dead person is in relation to the earth and physical things.... I am a dead person living on earth." According to the stand of the consciousness (because the consciousness changes its stand constantly), according to the stand of the consciousness, it was, "This is how the dead are in relation to the earth," then, "I am absolutely like a dead person in relation to the earth," then, "I am the way a dead person lives without any consciousness of the earth," then, "I am quite like a dead person living on earth ..." and so on. And I went on speaking, acting, doing as usual.

But it has been like that for a long time.

For a very long time, more than two years, I saw the world like this (ascending gesture, from one level to a higher level), and now I see it like this (descending gesture). I don’t know how to explain it because there’s nothing mentalized about it, and non-mentalized sensations have a certain haziness that’s hard to define. But words and thought were a certain distance away (gesture around the head), like something that watches and appreciates, in other words, that tells what it sees – something around. And today, it has been extremely strong two or three times (I mean that that state dominated the whole consciousness): a sort of impression (or sensation or perception, but it’s nothing like all that) of, "I am a dead person living on earth."

How can I explain that?

And then, with vision, for instance, the objective precision is missing (Mother makes a gesture of not seeing through her eyes). I see through and with the consciousness. With hearing, I hear in a totally different way; there is a sort of "discrimination" (it isn’t "discernment"), something that chooses in the perception, something that decides (that decides, but not arbitrarily – automatically) what is heard and what isn’t heard, what is perceived and what isn’t perceived. It’s already there in vision, but it’s still stronger with hearing: with certain things, all that’s heard is a continuous drone; others are heard very clearly, as clear as crystal; still others are blurred, half heard. With sight, it’s the same thing: everything is behind a sort of luminous fog (very luminous, but it’s a fog, which means there is no precision), then all at once, a particular thing will be absolutely precise and clear, seen with a most precise vision of detail. The vision is generally the expression of the consciousness in things. That is, everything seems to become more and more subjective, less and less objective.... And they aren’t visions that impose themselves on the sight, or noises that impose themselves on the hearing: it’s a sort of movement of consciousness that makes certain things perceptible and keeps others as if in a very imprecise background.

The consciousness chooses what it wants to see.

There’s nothing personal – nothing personal. There is obviously the sense of a choice and a decision, but there is no sense of a personal choice and decision – moreover, the "personal" is reduced to the necessity of making this (Mother pinches the skin of her hand) intervene. With eating, for example, it’s very odd – very odd.... It’s like someone who is watching over a body (which isn’t even a very precise and defined thing, but a sort of conglomerate holding

together), a spectator of ... something happening! No, it’s really an odd state. Today, since I got up and till now, it has been very strong, dominating the whole consciousness. And there are even times when you feel that a mere nothing could make you lose contact (gesture of disconnection, as if the link with the body were severed), and that only if you remain very still and very indifferent – indifferent – can it continue.

In the consciousness of the people, the whole morning, it was translated by (all this is perceived very clearly), by the thought, "Oh, Mother is VERY tired." But there is that sort of state of indifference, unreceptive to the vibration around, which enables you to go on, otherwise you feel that ... (same gesture of disconnection) something would be seriously disrupted. Once or twice I had to draw within and become still. And it’s going on. And in fact, while it was like that something came and told me (but all this wordlessly), "When Satprem is here, you will understand." Then there was tranquillity, because the moment was ... (what shall I say?) very uncertain. And there was a sort of relaxing: "You will understand when he is here, you will have the explanation."

Those experiences are always preceded by the Supreme Presence drawing near in a very intimate and inner way, with a sort of suggestion, "Are you ready for anything?" (that was two nights ago). Naturally I answered, "Anything." And the Presence takes on such a wonderful intensity that there is a sort of thirst in the whole being for it to be constantly like that. Nothing but That exists anymore, nothing but That has a raison d’être anymore. And in the middle of it comes this suggestion: "Are you ready for anything?"

I am talking about the body. It’s not the inner beings, it’s the body.

And the body always says yes, it does like this (gesture of surrender). No choice, no preference, no aspiration, even: a total, complete surrender. So then, things of that sort come to me; yesterday, all day long, it was: "A dead person living on earth." With the perception (not a very pronounced perception yet, but clear enough) of a vast difference between the way of life [of this body] and that of other people, of all the others, the people who talk to me, the people with whom I live. It isn’t clear-cut yet, or sharp or very precise, but it’s very clear – very clear, very perceptible. It’s another way of life.

One would tend to say that it’s not a gain from the standpoint of consciousness, since things become blurred. I don’t know, is that way of being a gain?

It can only be a transition. It’s a transitory mode.

From the standpoint of consciousness, it’s a tremendous gain! Because all slavery, all bonds with external things, all that is finished, it has completely fallen off – completely fallen off: there’s absolute freedom. In other words, That alone remains, the Supreme Master is the master. From that point of view, it can only be a gain. It’s such a radical realization.... It seems to be an absolute of freedom, something that’s considered impossible to realize while living the ordinary life on earth.

It corresponds to the experience of absolute freedom one has in the higher parts of the being when one has become completely independent of the body. But the remarkable point (I lay great stress on this) is that it’s the consciousness OF THE BODY that has those experiences ... and it’s a body that’s still visibly here (!)

Of course, there is nothing left of what gives human beings "trust of life." There doesn’t seem to be any support from the outward world left; there is only ... the supreme Will. To put it into ordinary words, well, the body feels it lives only because the supreme Lord wants it to live, otherwise it wouldn’t be able to live.

Yes, but it seems to me that a state of perfection should embrace everything, so that one can be in the supreme state without its abolishing the material state.

But it doesn’t abolish it.

No, but still you say it’s "far away," "behind a veil," that it no longer has its exactness and precision.

That’s a purely human and superficial perception. I don’t at all feel that I have lost anything, on the contrary! I have the sense of a state much superior to the one I had.

Even from the material standpoint?

What the Lord wants is done – that’s all; it begins there and ends there.

If He told me ... Whatever He wants the body to do, it can do; it no longer depends on physical laws.

What He wants to see it can see; what He wants to hear it can hear.

Undeniably.

And when He wants to see or wants to hear materially, it sees perfectly and hears perfectly.

Oh, perfectly! At times the sight is more precise than it ever was. But it’s fleeting: it comes and goes; probably because it’s only as an assurance of what will be. But, for instance, the perception of people’s inner reality (not what they think they are or what they pretend to be or what they appear to be – all that disappears), the perception of their inner reality is infinitely more precise than formerly. If I see a photograph, for example, there’s no question anymore of seeing "through" something: I almost exclusively see what the person IS. The "through" decreases to such a point that at times it no longer exists at all.

Naturally, if a human will wanted to exert itself on this body, if a human will said, "Mother must do this" or "Mother must do that," or "she must be able to do this, she must be able to do that ... ," it would be totally disappointed, it would say, "She has become useless," because this body wouldn’t obey it anymore. And human beings constantly exert their will on each other, or they themselves receive suggestions and manifest them as their own will, without realizing that it’s all the external Falsehood.

(silence)

There is a sort of certitude in the body that if, for the space of just a few seconds, I lost contact ("I," meaning the body), if the body lost contact with the Supreme, it would die that very moment. It’s only the Supreme that keeps it alive. That’s how it is. So naturally, to the ignorant and stupid consciousness of human beings, that’s a pitiable condition – and to me, it’s the true condition! Because for them, instinctively, spontaneously and in a so to say absolute way, the sign of perfection is the power of life, of ordinary life.... Well, that no longer exists at all – it’s completely gone.

Yes, quite a few times, several times, the body did ask the question, "Why don’t I feel Your Power and Your Force in me?" And the answer was always a smiling answer (I am putting it into words, but it’s wordless), the answer is always: "Patience, patience, you must be READY for that to be."

@

March 19, 1966

We spent part of the night together.

There was something I thought yesterday I should tell you, but now I don’t remember.... In fact, I think we did it last night!

What happened last night?

Oh, all sorts of things always happen.

It’s always on a plane of intellectual organization.... "Intellectual," meaning that it doesn’t go lower than the intellectual: it’s something coming from above which we spread and organize in the terrestrial mind – that’s where we always meet. "Meet" isn’t exactly the word: it’s a habit of work. I must be going there very regularly, but when the night is full of lots and lots of things, I don’t always remember. But last night, it so happens that I became conscious at that moment; it seems to be a very habitual activity.

It’s a place (I have already told you about it[24]), a place which is very, very vast, very open and luminous, and VERY PEACEFUL. And very pleasant, it’s a place where one works very well. And there is nothing, no limits – it’s not a sky, not an earth at all; I can’t say there are buildings, there are no buildings, yet one feels one is protected; and yet there are no walls. Now and then one sees a sort of very small shining steel bar (Mother draws a sort of frame that seems to delimit the place), like silver, now and then; and now and then, one feels there are kinds of cupboards that one opens, shelves, but transparent, it’s all transparent. There are tables, but transparent; they’re solid since one can write on them, but they’re transparent. No object is in the way. But everything is organized for the work. And you are there, you often write; you often come in and we talk, we organize. There are people, too, and we tell them to do this or that.

But I meet you there very regularly. Only, I must say that before going to bed I thought I would see you today and I wondered if I would have something to tell you, an experience or something else, and then, in the middle of the night (between half past midnight and one), I woke up, if I may say so, I awoke there, materially, and I remembered everything. I thought, "Well, well!"

What we tell each other, what we talk about with words, I don’t know. I don’t have a sense of uttering words, but we communicate very well: we each know what the other thinks; we speak, answer one another; and then we organize. And there were people from different countries – we were arranging things. It seems to be the place of intellectual directives for the work in different countries.

You must probably lack what Théon called the "substance" of certain planes in the consciousness of your being, so when you wake up you don’t remember, it doesn’t come through. But maybe you are left with an impression, no?

Yes ... It’s very insubstantial.

But it isn’t "substantial." It’s VERY conscious, but not substantial. It’s very conscious, far more conscious than the consciousness here. It’s a clear, precise, powerful consciousness (sovereign gesture), with the sense of a great mastery over things. But it isn’t substantial. It’s probably my translation – translation in the physical consciousness – that gives the impression of ... of what?... They are like huge, huge "halls," and so high! There’s no ceiling, you don’t see any ceiling; you don’t see any floor, yet you walk – you walk, but without the feeling of walking: you move about. And then, if you want something somewhere, you seem to open a drawer or a cupboard and you find it, but there are no keys, no knobs, you don’t even see any objects.

It’s very conscious, but not at all material.

But it’s a state of being in which, in thought, you very often are. It’s the intelligence that stands above circumstances, events, and which ... there, one doesn’t even feel the need to "foresee" – there’s nothing for one to try to know, of course! The knowledge is there, it’s a PLACE of knowledge. One has the knowledge of things as they are and a clear will for what they must be. But absolutely no sense of struggle or effort, nothing of all that.

It’s not at all an "emotive" place. It’s clear, precise, luminous, very vast, without struggle – a remarkable infallibility.

But it is certain that some part of me is there all the time: I don’t feel I have to change places in order to go there, it’s ... (how can I explain?) as if my center of observation shifted: I observe my activity here or there, or there, or here. It’s not "me," there isn’t a "me-center" changing places, not at all. I must be there permanently, working there permanently.

And there are kinds of messengers that are sent into the earth atmosphere to convey orders or inspiration or a particular knowledge.

For some time now, whenever I think of terrestrial or Indian circumstances, I have a sort of repeated impression of the calm before the storm.

(Silence) But that place is above the storm – the storm is all the way down.

I feel something is being prepared.

All over the world, things aren’t going too well.

It’s not the world that bothers me, it’s India.

Yes, I mean it’s in India that things don’t look good.

That’s where the nerve center is. It’s very sad, it’s not pretty.

It doesn’t look good.

And that poor woman [Indira Gandhi] truly does the best she can with goodwill, a goodwill that tries to understand all sides at the same time.[25] She really does the best she can. Inwardly I support her as much as I can, because ...

The astrologers have predicted that the next few months, March and April, and perhaps May, are going to be months of horrible confusion, battle, rebellion; and so, in their mind (a sort of subconscious mind), people feel the need to be in agreement with the astrologers! That’s how it is, it’s as silly as that. A spirit of imitation: "Oh, the astrologers said so, therefore it has to be so." There you are.

And it’s ugly everywhere.

It is true that up till now, the government has multiplied blunders of such stupidity!... It seems a child with common sense wouldn’t have committed such blunders. And naturally, even in those who have no bad will or vengeful feelings, it creates an unpleasant tension: you can’t do anything anymore, you’re bound on all sides! Whatever you do, there are oppositions and prohibitions everywhere. So people no longer know what to do, nobody can do anything anymore.

They have ruined the country, starved it.

But then, even on that (I don’t know who is responsible for it), they have launched a campaign abroad, a campaign for "the poor devil starving and crying famine," in such a mean, oh, such a mean way! ... We get letters from everywhere, from every country (lots of letters from France), and especially from schools, centers of education, people who write, "We hear that you are starving, we are so appalled, what can we do to help?" We are obliged to answer them, "No, we’re not starving at all!"

It’s pitiable.

(silence)

But up above, "one" really isn’t in favor of havoc.

One isn’t in favor of havoc?

(Mother makes a gesture of vigorous denial) It’s a waste of time. All the more so as men have perfected such means of destruction that it could mean centuries lost, not just a few years. Entire civilizations to rebuild.

No, "one" isn’t in favor of that.

It’s a seething of something very dark, very dark.

It reminds me of the words of the "Lord of Nations," the great Asura, when he told me, "I know that my power is drawing to its close, but you may be sure that before disappearing I will destroy everything I can."

That’s it, that’s exactly it.

And unfortunately, people give him the opportunity to do so: it’s stupidity, ignorance, a sort of blindness.

What’s lamentable above all is the way men confuse power with violence. That sort of ignorant feeling that thinks power must manifest as violence.[26] Violence is an asuric deformation. True power acts in peace – a peace like this (gesture of massive descent), which nothing can disturb.

@

March 26, 1966

(Mother first reads out a message for the opening of the Ashram’s sport season:)

"It may be good to remind you that we are here for a special work, a work not done anywhere else: we want to come into contact with the supreme consciousness, the universal consciousness, we want to receive it and manifest it. For that, we need a very solid base, and our base is our physical being, our body. We therefore need to prepare a solid, healthy, enduring body, skillful, agile and strong, so it may be ready for anything. There is no better way to prepare the body than physical exercises: sports, athletics, gymnastics and all other games are the best means to develop and strengthen the body.

"Therefore I invite you to participate in the competitions beginning today wholeheartedly, with all your energy and will."

***

Some curious things are happening.... For instance, I take a paper like the one I have just read [the message], and I see very clearly; then comes the old habit (or the idea or memory) that I need a magnifying glass to see – and I can’t see anymore! Then I forget about seeing or not seeing, and I can do my work very well, I don’t notice that I see or don’t see! And it’s like that with everything.

With everything, everything. Sometimes for an hour I follow what goes on: there is a minute work of subtle observation of what goes on here [in Mother] and of what goes on in the thought or consciousness of one or two other persons, with a whole detailed observation showing the difference between the fact as it should normally be (which is simply something direct, a movement taking place), and the complication brought in by thought – not higher thought: the physical thought, that is, the observation and all sorts of deductions, along with the memories of similar events and things heard or seen and all sorts of instances of similar occurrences, of possible hazards – a mishmash, mon petit! Something frightening ... which spoils everything and complicates everything: the slightest thing becomes complicated.

These last few days I have had examples of all the possible complications of the physical world, including practices of hypnotism and so-called black magic and all the phenomena that take place in the invisible realm, but just adjoining the physical – like certain materializations, certain disappearances (incidents I saw and was obliged to note; I was obliged to note that they weren’t imaginings but things that really took place), but then, with the secret revealed: how they can take place. It’s very, very interesting. How it can happen, how the contact with certain distorting vibrations makes certain things possible.

Yesterday evening, after I had written that message (I wrote it in the evening, not in comfort but that was the only time I had; the light wasn’t good, but anyway I did it), after I had written, I felt a strong pain here, in my temples. "Ah," I said, "now I know!" Now and then, after having listened to lots of people and especially after having written lots of birthday cards, answers to letters there is a sort of strange heaviness in my temples (and I’ve never had headaches in my life, that’s not like me!), and I say to myself, "What’s this new decrepitude?!" Then I noticed it wasn’t that: it’s my eyes. It’s because I haven’t yet found the secret of how to use my eyes. As I said just before, at times I see with extraordinary precision: things seem to come towards me to show themselves it’s so clear that the minutes" detail is perceived. That’s one extreme. The other extreme is what I have already told several times: a sort of veil. I know things, they are in my consciousness, but I see just clearly enough not to bump against them or knock them over; everything, everything seems to be behind a veil; only I know where things are, so I find them, or I don’t bump against them or break them, but that’s not because I see – I see a picture behind a veil, as it were. That’s the other extreme. In between the two, there are all sorts of gradations. And I am convinced it’s to show me that my eyes are still capable of seeing accurately – the instrument is still very good, but I don’t know how to use it. I don’t know how to use it, because previously I used it as everyone uses his eyes, his hands, his feet, out of a sort of habit, more or less consciously – I was very proud of my consciousness! ([Laughing] We are always very proud!) Very proud to have such conscious hands; in the past, for instance, I would sometimes say, "I want twelve sheets of paper," then I would stop bothering about it – my hand would go and take, and there were twelve of them. That had been happening for a long, a very long time, but it would happen AT CERTAIN TIMES: when I was in the required state, that is, when there wasn’t the intrusion of an arbitrary will. So all this is a field of experiment and study in very small details, absolutely insignificant in themselves, but very instructive. And it goes on all the time, twenty-four hours a day, night and day (at night it’s on other planes), but all this takes place in the physical, a more or less subtle physical.

This morning, there was a very amusing story. I was rinsing my eyes and mouth; I do it before daybreak, that is, with electric light. And in my bathroom there is an emergency light. It’s one of the latest inventions: it’s connected to the power and as long as there is power, the light remains off and a battery inside gets charged; as soon as the power fails, the light turns on and the battery is discharged to keep the light on. It’s very well made, they invented it for hospitals and other places where any power failure must be avoided: as soon as the power goes, the light turns on instantaneously, and when the power returns, it goes off and gets recharged for the next time. They installed it for me in the bathroom. And this morning while I was washing my teeth, poff! the light went off. I continued, naturally, since I had that emergency light. But then, I did a study. The lights in C.’s room (and everywhere) were on, it was only here, in this group of rooms. That was an odd phenomenon to begin with. Then I "looked," and while I looked I noticed something I hadn’t taken note of all these last few days: a will to disorganize all my personal life. And causing power failures is one of the known occult methods (I don’t know how it’s done, in fact, but that man who wrote books and came here a very long time ago, Brunton, said it was one of the tricks known to those who practice occultism: a sudden failure of the lights). There are lots of other such tricks designed to disorganize people’s lives with the idea of frightening them or announcing catastrophes to them (I have always found this very childish). But then, I saw that there was (I think I know where, here, it comes from) a will for disorganization, and I saw the path it followed (winding gesture as if Mother were going back to the source). It had begun last night, in the middle of the night: when I got up around midnight, I saw a will wanting to preoccupy me with thoughts of money! And it was insisting: the thought that everything was going wrong, and so on. I saw that in the middle of the night. I was busy with other things, but I saw that will: formations; and naturally I dealt with them as they deserved. But I saw that it went on, trying to disturb people, to make them uncomprehending, and then to turn the power off, all sorts of silly things. It’s not the first time it has happened – it’s not always the same people because generally, when they have tried and got a good knock in return, they don’t try a second time, they’ve had enough! But there are others who think they are very clever and want to prove to me ... (laughing) that they are right and I am wrong – because ultimately it always comes to that! So I spent half an hour this morning, before they restored the power and I resumed my usual activities, half an hour having huge fun following the thread (same winding gesture going back to the source) wherever there was mischief, and then I very kindly "answered."

In reality, people who live in the ordinary consciousness know very, very little of what goes on physically – very little. They think they know, but all they know is a very superficial appearance, just like ... like a sheet of paper wrapping a package; there is the whole package underneath with all that it contains, but all they see is an appearance (gesture of something as thin as cigarette paper). And they are so used to it that they always give an explanation. I asked, "How is it that just this power connection here gave way?" (Lights were on everywhere, only the connection here, which supplies my room, was off.) I asked "to see." They told me, "Oh, we don’t know, maybe the wire was old and it broke"! (Mother laughs) I said, "Very well."

That’s how it is. And it’s very funny. Why do people who are in the habit of being relatively punctual suddenly and at the same time meet with something unexpected and are terribly late? And there is constantly something that comes and prevents things from happening quietly, harmoniously, easily. Then you look inside yourself at the type of vibration present in all that, and you notice that little "quiver" ... because it is a quiver (Mother gestures to show a microscopic tremor) caused by the ordinary vibration of the ordinary consciousness. The ordinary consciousness lives in a constant quiver, when you notice it it’s frightful! As long as you don’t notice it, it’s perfectly natural, but when you notice it, you wonder how people don’t go insane, it’s a grace. It’s a sort of tiny tremor (same microscopic and very rapid gesture), oh, how horrible!

So, if for some reason or other there is a disorganization (but I think the reason is one of teaching), one must have the capacity to go like this (Mother brings her two hands down in a gesture that immobilizes everything) and to stop all that instantly. But the capacity has been there for a long time, a long time (it hasn’t always been used, but it has been there): the Power. And it’s the same with EVERYTHING: world events or natural or human upheavals, earthquakes and tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, floods, or else wars, revolutions, people killing each other without even knowing why – as they are doing at the moment: everywhere something pushes them on. Behind this "quiver," there is a will for disorder that tries to prevent Harmony from being established. It’s there in the individual, in the collectivity, and in Nature. And then, it’s such a painstaking, persistent teaching, which forgets nothing and is repeated every time something isn’t totally understood, and is repeated in greater detail for you to better understand ... the working: the working in the hands, in the activity, in the Force going through [Mother] like this, in the use of vibrations –  and which teaches the great Lesson: learning how to manifest the divine Force.

It’s absolutely wonderful.

And if you look at it from the wrong side, it[27] is a tension, it’s like something that doesn’t leave you a second’s respite. And it’s true, it doesn’t allow you to fall asleep one minute; because in the ordinary consciousness, in the general ordinary life, rest means tamas. Rest means falling back into Inertia. So then, instead of a rest that benefits you, it’s a rest that stupefies you and then you have to make effort once more to recapture the consciousness you have lost. That’s how the vast majority of people sleep. But now, the lesson is different: when I lie down to rest my body and work without moving (work with an activity that doesn’t force the body to move), as soon as there is the slightest ... not exactly "fall," but the slightest descent towards the Inconscient, something in the body immediately gives a start – instantly. It has been like that for a long time, two years, but now it’s instantaneous, and it very rarely happens – there is true rest, which is an expansion and immensity of the being in full Light. It’s magnificent.

But during the day, there are perpetual lessons, all the time, all the time, for everything, all the time. The lesson is least pronounced when I have to write something or see people; but there, too, the exact quality of people’s vibration (not their permanent vibration but the vibration in them at that minute), the quality of their consciousness is immediately made known to me through certain reactions in my body (gesture on different levels of the body). The nerves began only a few months ago their work of "transfer of power." (What I call "transfer of power" is that instead of the nerves being moved by and obeying complex and organized forces of Nature, of the character, of the material consciousness in the body, they attune themselves to and directly obey the divine Will.) It’s the transfer from one to the other that’s difficult: there is the entire old habit, and then the new habit to be formed. It was a rather difficult moment. But now there remain enough old vibrations to be able to gauge exactly (and this has nothing to do with thought, it isn’t expressed in words or thoughts or anything like all that: just vibrations), to know exactly the state people near me are in. From that point of view the lesson is going on, it’s very interesting. And what’s wonderful is that more often than not the most receptive vibration, conforming the most to what it should be, is in children, but the very small ones, the tiny tots.... I see lots of people, but now I understand why: I learn enormously that way, through that contact (with people whom I don’t know, sometimes whom I see for the first time, or whom I haven’t seen for years). It’s very interesting.

But when nobody is there or I am alone, or when I don’t speak or I am not busy with other people, it’s the inner lesson: the whole change in the vibration and how the world is organized. This morning, it was really extraordinarily amusing to see the mass of things that lie behind this appearance, an appearance that seems complicated enough as it is, but it’s nothing! It’s thin, flimsy, without complexity in comparison with the MASS of things behind, which ... (drilling gesture) which bore their way through to reach the surface. It’s amusing. But certainly ninety-nine people in a hundred would be seized with panic if they knew, if they saw. I had always been told (I read it, Sri Aurobindo often said it to me, Théon too often said it to me, so did Madame Théon) that it’s the Grace that keeps people from knowing. Because if they knew, they would be terrified! All, but all the things that are constantly there, moving behind – behind the appearances – all the complexities that are the true causes of or the instruments for all those small events, which to us are absolutely unimportant, but because of which one day you feel everything is harmonious, and another day you feel it takes a labor to do anything at all. And that’s how it is. And naturally, when you know, you have the key. But if you know before you have the key, it’s ... a little frightening. I think that when people take leave of their senses, it’s because they are put in contact with the vibrations before having the knowledge, the sufficient knowledge, the sufficient state of consciousness.

There, we’ve wasted all our time!

But how is the transition made? The transition that materializes? What is the secret of the passage from that very subtle physical to the physical proper? How is the passage made from one side to the other?

Mon petit, I don’t know what comparison I should use, but I am certain there are some things that are invisible this way (Mother rotates her wrist in one direction), and visible that way (gesture in the other direction). My impression is that what we see as a considerable difference between the tangible, the material, and the invisible or the fluid, is only a change of position. Perhaps an internal change of position because it isn’t a physical, material change of position, but it is a change of position. Because I have experienced this I don’t know how many times, hundreds of times: like this (gesture in one direction), everything is what we call "natural," as we are used to seeing it, then all of a sudden, like that (gesture in the other direction), the nature of things changes. And nothing has happened, except something within, something in the consciousness: a change of position. Do you remember that aphorism in which Sri Aurobindo says that everything depends on a change in the relation of the sun-consciousness and the earth-consciousness?[28] When I read it the first time, I didn’t understand, I thought it was something in the very subtle realms; and then, very recently, in one of those experiences, I suddenly understood, I said, "But that’s it!" It isn’t a shift since nothing moves, yet it is a shift, it is a change of relation. A change of position. It’s no more tangible than that, that’s what is so wonderful! Oh, the other day, I found another sentence of Sri Aurobindo’s: "Now everything is different, yet everything has remained the same." (It was on one of my birthday cards.) I read that and said to myself, "Oh, that’s what it means!" It’s true, now everything is different, yet everything has remained the same. We understand it psychologically, but it’s not psychological: it’s HERE (Mother touches matter). But until one has a solid base ... From the standpoint of concrete, physical, material things, I don’t think there’s anyone more materialistic than I was, with all the practical common sense and positivism; and now I understand why it was like that: it gave my body a marvelous base of equilibrium. It prevented me from having the very sort of madness we were talking about earlier.[29] The explanations I asked for were always material, I always sought the material explanation, and it seemed obvious to me there’s no need of any mystery, nothing of the sort – you just explain things materially. Therefore I am certain this isn’t a tendency to mystic dreaming in me, not at all, not at all, this body had nothing mystic! Nothing ... Thank God!

I saw that (not in my head, because for me there are no such limits), in this sort of conglomerate, here: the nearest explanation is a "shift" – a shift, the angle of perception becoming different. And it’s not really that, words are incorrect, because it’s far more subtle and at the same time far more complete than that. I have watched the change several times; well, this change gives you, to the outward consciousness, the sense of a shift. A motionless shift, meaning that you don’t change places. And it’s not, as we might be tempted to think, a drawing within and a drawing without, it’s not that at all, not at all – it’s an angle of perception that changes. You are in a certain angle, then you are in another.... I have seen small objects of that sort for the amusement of children: when those objects are in a certain position, they look compact and hard and black, and when you turn them another way, they are clear, luminous, transparent. It’s something like that, but it’s not that, that’s an approximation.

But if we know the way in which the change is effected, we can ...

Ah!

... we can stop the entry of bad vibrations?

As for me, I have only one method (but I can conceive that this is simply because that’s the way my nature is), I have only one method, it’s self-abolition, the idea (not an "idea") that the Supreme alone exists.

That’s another interesting point, because I was an outright atheist: till the age of twenty, the very idea of God made me furious. Therefore I had the most solid base – no imaginings, no mystic atavism; my mother was very much an unbeliever and so was my father. So from the point of view of atavism it was very good: positivism, materialism. Only one thing: since I was very small, a will for perfection in any field whatever; a will for perfection and the sense of a limitless consciousness – no limits to one’s progress or to one’s power or to one’s scope. And that, since I was very small. But mentally, an absolute refusal to believe in a "God": I believed only in what I could touch and see. And the whole faculty for experiences was already there (they didn’t manifest because the time hadn’t come). Only, the sense of a Light here (gesture above the head), which began when I was very small, I was five, along with a will for perfection. A will for perfection: oh, whatever I did always had to be the best I could do. And then, a limitless consciousness. These two things. And my return to the Divine came about through Theon’s teaching, when I was told for the first time, "The Divine is within, there" (Mother strikes her breast). Then I felt at once, "Yes, this is it." Then I did all the work that’s taught to find Him again; and through here (gesture to the heart center) I went there (gesture of junction above with the Supreme). But outwardly, mentally, no religion – a horror of religions.

And I see now that it was the most solid base possible for this experience: there was no danger of imaginings.

I have tried many things, a great many, I have looked a great deal, and I see only one that’s absolute – only one that’s absolute and can bring the absolute result, it’s this (gesture turned Upward): the complete annulment of all that, leaving it all, "To You, Lord – You, You, to You." And it isn’t a being with a form, that’s not it; it isn’t a formless force, it’s ... It has nothing to do with thought, only with this: the contact. And the contact, an unmistakable contact, which nothing can imitate – nothing, nothing at all has the power to imitate it. And for every difficulty, every time, whatever it is, simply this: "Everything to You, Lord. Everything for You, to You. You alone can do it, You, You alone, You alone. You alone are the Truth; You alone are the Power." And those words are nothing, they are only the very clumsy expression of something ... a stupendous Power.

It’s only the incapacity, the clumsiness, the lack of faith we mix into it that takes away His power. The minute we are truly pure, that is, under His influence alone, there are no limits, no limits – nothing, nothing, there is nothing, no law of Nature that can resist, nothing, nothing.

Only, the whole thing is that the time must have come, there must be only That left – all the rest spoils, whatever it is, even the highest, purest, noblest, most beautiful and marvelous things: all that spoils. Only That.

(Mother opens "Savitri":)

There! Don’t you think it’s marvelous!

But when the hour of the Divine draws near[30]

But when the hour of the Divine draws near ...

@

March 30, 1966

(The following conversation, in which Mother speaks entirely in English, took place while she listened to the English translation of the conversation of March 4, in which she said in particular: "It becomes just a choice: you choose things to be like this or like that....")

I had the same experience in the cell-consciousness. It lasted for one hour and there it was truly almost miraculous.

The same Consciousness as this consciousness I had in what we can call the "material mental" (that is, the collective consciousness of the cells), but this morning it was in the cells themselves, this Consciousness [the eternal Consciousness Mother speaks of in the conversation of March 4], the same Consciousness. And it was truly miraculous. With the impression that with THAT there [in the cells], there is nothing impossible.

It comes, it stays in spite of everything, whatever I do, even if I speak, and it goes. And when it’s gone it’s gone, I can make an effort, it doesn’t come back. But so long as it is there, it is all-powerful, it dominates everything and ... yes, the whole world seems to change. And yet everything is the same. You remember this sentence of Sri Aurobindo: "All was changed and yet everything was the same"? That is exactly that.

"And then, it becomes just a choice: you choose things to be like this or like that ..."

Yes, this same thing, this same experience in the cell-consciousness. What the human beings call "life" and "death," the continuation of this present organization or its cessation, it was absolutely a question of choice (something like a choice – there are some who say "the Divine’s Will" or "the Supreme’s Will"; it is a way of saying, but it is ... it is something that chooses). And there was at the same time the exact ... it was more than a feeling, it was a lived knowledge of what is the individual and why the individual and in what way the Supreme becomes the individual and how He can continue to be the individual or stop to be the individual.... Now that the experience is gone, naturally what I say has no meaning, but at that time it was the exact perception: the individual is that (gesture), that position taken by the Supreme, and if He chooses to continue it continues.

It becomes quite material, you see, no more mental at all (it is very difficult to express because of that). It becomes a living experience of just what makes the individual and how this individual can remain individual although it is united perfectly, united in perfect consciousness with the Supreme.

It lasted about fifteen to twenty minutes in complete stability and I continued doing my normal activities (it was during the time of my toilet – I wash my mouth and gargle), purposely it comes at that time to show that it is absolutely independent from the activity. And it comes more often at that time than when I sit in meditation. When I sit in meditation generally begins a kind of all-around-the-earth activity or even universal activity, it becomes conscious of that, but this body’s experiences are not there – to have the body experience you must live in your body! It is why the ancient sages or saints didn’t know what to do with the body, because they went out of it and sat, and then the body is no more concerned. But when you remain active, then it’s the body that has the experience.

That is the secret.

April

April

April 6, 1966

After having listened to the letters and reports read by the "secretaries":

What about keeping quiet a little [in meditation]?... It will do me good.

These people, I can’t exactly say they tire me, but the cells feel a sort of pressure of confusion that hurts them. It’s like being caught in a stranglehold of confusion, and it hurts. And every day it’s the same thing. I tell them – they don’t believe me. They think it’s blackmail! So then ... I go through a very difficult little moment, very difficult. Afterwards, it gets better again.

(meditation)

***

(Later, Mother copies out a few lines from "Savitri" which she has just translated, and her hand scratches out a word.)

Constantly, the whole time, thoroughly amusing little things happen. It was a small hand – a tiny hand – that took my hand for fun and wrote. Just for fun! So I have to be on my guard all the time!... It was someone who was laughing and laughing and laughing! It’s so living – so living, so teeming with things – and we don’t see anything. But I see. Previously I didn’t see, but now I see it all (Mother laughs). Oh, there would be so many things to tell if we had time, very funny things.

@

April 9, 1966

(About the book Satprem is writing, "The Sannyasin")

I still see that vision I had.[31] Strangely, it was one of the most unexpected visions, in the sense that I had no mental preparation: all of a sudden I saw that Sannyasin, with his back to a wall and a sort of hurricane approaching. It was a hurricane of noise, of clamor.... Nothing could be seen; nothing could be seen but the force of the vibrations coming up like a storm: he had his back to the wall, there was a sort of gale, and a chasm in front.

And that vision of mine struck such a deep chord that every time I hear "Sannyasin," I see it. It’s strange.... With his back to a wall: here, the sky; here, a chasm; and here, the clamor and the wind and the storm – like whirlwinds gathered over the earth by a storm. That and the wind blowing the robe and ... he throws himself into the void.

His back to the wall, on top of a hill. Not a high mountain: a hill. On top of a hill: I can see the ground rising in a slope like that, and the wall of the monastery.

This vision is still living and clear, clear.... I could almost make an illustration for the cover of your book!

It’s quite symbolic, besides: the storm of revolt, of course, the revolt OF THE EARTH against the principle of the Sannyasin. Quite symbolic. And it’s a magnificent image in the sense that there is great majesty in the appearance.

@

April 13, 1966

(About Satprem’s new book, "The Sannyasin.")

This morning again I got up more than half an hour late because of you!

Why is it so difficult?

(Laughing) That’s what I don’t understand! It shouldn’t be. Don’t you have an "idea" that it’s going to be difficult? Didn’t you start with the idea it was going to be difficult?

Yes.

There you are, then.

And also I have great difficulty getting rid of the old form.

Yes, yes.

It hampers me a lot.

Yes, all the old habits.

I am constantly doing and undoing, because I realize it’s the old form of the book, what I had seen formerly.[32]

And also the old way of working, that’s the difficulty.

I realize it immediately, because right away I feel it’s "literature."

Yes, that’s right.

But for this book, we meet in quite a new place, mon petit, quite new, and then so wonderful! It’s a wonderful place that has nothing of the necessities and compulsions of this earth here. It is so luminous, so new, and so precise at the same time, so exact. Last night, it was in shades from a certain silver blue to pearl gray, and it had such precise forms, but at the same time with nothing of the hardness and commonplace quality of earthly things. And we were working so simply, effortlessly.... I get up every day at the same time, half past four; well, for the second time (I told you the other day), instead of half past four it was ten to five. And I came from exactly the same place. And since that is the time when you are sleeping, it seems to me it must necessarily be getting in, no? When one is awake, it may not touch, but here ... And then, there is a thoroughly conscious part of you there. So what prevents you from being influenced by that must be a whole layer of old things.

Yes, the whole old form of the book is there.

That’s it.

It will get in – "get in," it has to get in since you are there, in that world, and when you wake up that part enters you; only, the ordinary activity prevents its influence from being felt. But it’s slowly taking place; the difference is that instead of your having a revelation, it takes place slowly like a progressive influence.

It will act.

There is another thing, it’s that in the transition between the two consciousnesses, there is a moment when you feel you are quite stupid – you feel you can’t think anymore, you can’t do anything anymore, you have become useless, you have no contact with things. There is always a difficult transition then. Even now for the body, each part, when it changes (what I used to call the "change of master"), there is a transition when it becomes absolutely useless, you feel it’s finished. The first few times, you are worried; afterwards, you become used to it and keep still; then the light suddenly shines.

***

(Sujata gives Mother a recently named flower: "Material power of healing."[33])

I would like that to be permanently established. When someone tells me, "I have a pain here," I pass my hand like that and it’s over.

The hands feel, they feel it’s possible. They are so conscious of the Vibration – they feel that anything is possible. The other day, E. fell down, I don’t know how, and she injured her knee, she was covered with bruises and scratches. And she wore a dress that only reached down to here (!), so I saw. I said, "What happened?" She answered, "I fell down." Then this hand (Mother’s right hand) quite spontaneously went and passed over her knee, like that, and I felt all the vibrations at my fingertips: it’s like needles – needles of light – and it vibrates and vibrates and vibrates. So I put my hand like that, and suddenly she said, "Oh! ..." She was flabbergasted: all the pain had gone.

But there were marks, bruises – they should go, but it takes time. On me the effect is almost immediate, especially the right hand.

But I would like it to have a sort of absoluteness. Because the decision to intervene isn’t mental at all: suddenly the hand is simply compelled to do it, so it does it. Well, in that case, it should be absolute.... There is still the influence of the others’ thought and all that, what a useless jumble!

***

(Soon afterwards, Mother files an answer she has just sent to a disciple.)

She is a girl who has written to me several times (there are several like her), who has a well-built body, who should be quite solid and healthy, but she has an emotive and sentimental vital, and ... (somewhat ironically) they aren’t "loved" as they would like to be loved. Result: one has a pain in her stomach, another has a pain elsewhere. Finally they write to ask me, "What’s going on?" And the other day, I said to myself, "Why don’t I tell them?" So I wrote:

"You feel lonely because you want to be loved. Learn the joy of loving without demand, just for the JOY OF LOVING – the most wonderful joy in the world – and you will never more feel lonely."

That, mon petit, for me is the key. The key that solves all problems – for me. I am not saying it will eternally be like that; it isn’t the supreme truth, but for my present experience of the present time, it’s the key.

@

April 16, 1966

(Mother shows Satprem a note she has entitled "The rungs of Love")

The last "rung" is the absolutely pure Thing. And the power ... the creative and transforming power of that Vibration is unimaginable! While you are living it, nothing is impossible. It’s unimaginable.

"At first one loves only when one is loved....

That’s the usual state of human beings. Someone’s vibration of love has to come to awaken love, otherwise they are inert.

"Next one loves spontaneously ...

That’s already a slightly more evolved humanity. One feels love all of a sudden; one meets someone or something – ah! – and it comes. Only ...

"... but one wants to be loved in return.

One very much wants to be loved in return!

"Further on, one loves even if one is not loved ...

Those are generally people who have reached a fairly advanced yogic state.

"... but one still wants one’s love to be accepted.

Yes, that’s an experience I personally had. There is a time when one is quite capable of loving without response, one is above the need to be loved, but one still has ... not positively a need, but, at least, a wish that one’s love may be felt and be effective.

Afterwards, it makes one smile.

"And finally one loves purely and simply without any other need or joy than that of loving."

That, to me, according to my personal experience, is really omnipotence.

It’s a power than can achieve anything – anything at all. Nothing is impossible to it.

But I have also carefully observed that if "that" manifested indiscriminately, as it were, if it came as something that imposed itself in the earth atmosphere without control or discernment, it would be ... All that denies that Power (denies it wittingly or unwittingly) would be as though annulled. So the outward, apparent consequences would be ... too awesome. That’s what Sri Aurobindo wrote; he said Knowledge must come first. Truth must reign before Love can manifest massively – a wholesale manifestation.

Now it’s filtered, as it were. It is still filtered.

But the vibratory quality of "that" is truly something beyond all imagination. Diseases, difficulties ... none of it has any reality.

The body constantly used to ask (not a sign or an assurance or a proof: it’s all of that together), it used to ask for a sort of sensation (sensation, if it can be called that) that "it is the Lord that rules" (I am putting it in childlike words because they are the truest), that it is the Lord that rules. It asked for "that" all the time, the way a child could ask: "that" in all the innumerable nothings one does all the time, which are the very fabric of the body’s existence. It became so intense.... Anything perceived as separate from "that" becomes inert: ashes. Inert without even the power of inertia: the inertia of dust. I mean that a rock has a power in its existence, a power of cohesion, of duration – it’s not even that: it’s dust. So then, there was constantly, constantly that prayer in the body. And that’s what led me to the experience.

When "that" is there, everything seems to swell with a golden, luminous, radiating Power: it’s so intense as to have volume! ... If that isn’t there, everything is dust.

So, naturally, there is constantly in all the cells the aspiration, the intense will for there to remain nothing but That.

And all that denies That or counters It, weakens It or dims It, becomes painful. Yes, painful – not painful with a moral or psychological or material suffering ... it’s a strange thing, it’s not a physical pain: it’s a pain which is more material than physical, it is ... a sort of suffocation.

The body now really has an impression (it’s an impression, not a knowledge – it’s not a thought, not a knowledge: it’s an impression, but a strong one) that this is what kills, this is what makes you die: this sort of refusal of the Vibration – not always even a willed refusal, because it’s not even conscious the way will is (that happens, but then it means battle), but it’s in Matter. One wonders if there isn’t a residue – a residue of dust – that’s incapable of any receptivity? I don’t know.

I don’t know.

But at any rate, there is a certain state, which seems to me to be the ordinary state human beings live in ... it’s suffocating.

(silence)

So I wrote this note just like that, without any intention. Then, as soon as it was written, the Command came that it had to be published. I said to myself, "Very well, it will be for August."  – "No, NOW." So I had a page added in the next Bulletin.

Why? I don’t know. Maybe to prepare the atmosphere.

***

(Mother translates a line of "Savitri" without hesitation, then comments:)

You read here [in the physical book], then you keep still, open a door, and it comes.

It’s amusing, I’ve just done that as if I had been made to do it. Usually it’s always blank and still here (gesture to the forehead), and that’s what it gets inscribed on; but just now it wasn’t like that: I read, it came here, then I made a movement backwards: a door opened, and then it was clearly written!

@

April 20, 1966

Early this morning, that is, around four, I was called "somewhere," and for a long time they had been trying to establish very important communications to connect certain things, but they had never succeeded, it was always a confusion. So, last night, they called me. I arrived there and there were roads – it was so lovely!  – roads (Mother draws miniature strips) with small borders of grass and plants all along, it was so lovely, so neat, there was nothing, no disorder anywhere. Three roads converged and went farther on. "Ah!" I said, "Here’s some neat work." And they answered me, "Yes, but it was made easier by the government’s consent."

I found the reflection charming.

All that is symbolic, naturally. And I woke up with the feeling, "At last! Something is going to move somewhat straight."

It was impeccable: a work done impeccably and with intelligence and understanding. I haven’t seen such a thing in ages!

"Oh, it was made easier by the government’s consent"! (Mother laughs)

That’s a bit of a novelty!

Isn’t it? But I don’t think it has to do with the government of India, I don’t think so. I think it was symbolic.

It has to do with the government of the world?

That’s how I took it.

***

(The conversation is cut short at that point by a disciple who comes in to announce his friend Anousuya’s death.)

At what time?

Just now, we just had a call from the hospital.

I am asking this because V. told me she would be going there, she said Anousuya wasn’t feeling well. So I looked, and ... (V. wanted me to send a line to Anousuya), I took a paper and wrote ... I don’t remember the exact words, but it was: "The unshakable faith that God’s Will alone is realized." I don’t exactly remember, I wrote what was dictated. And at the time of writing it, I knew it was over.

I didn’t say anything, but I knew.

Because ... It was very simple, I had put my whole consciousness in her and I knew that if she was to be cured, she would know it: she would suddenly have the certitude that she was going to be cured. And when V. told me what she had said, "They think I am better, but I don’t feel well," I looked and I saw that she couldn’t be wrong. Because I had put my consciousness in her, so she couldn’t be wrong. Her saying, "I am not well," meant it was the end.

But one must be sure of one thing (because, needless to say, I loved her very much, I was very happy to have her near me, she was very useful and I consider that from the material standpoint her departure is a great loss), but when I learned it was serious, immediately (as always, every moment of my life), my will was for the best possible thing from the divine point of view to be realized. And the divine point of view is also always the personal point of view: the divine point of view is the best that can happen to the person in question. I saw in an absolute way that it was the best for her.

Humanly we may try to find the reasons for this or that, but that’s not the point, it’s that it was – for her soul, for her true being  – the best possible for her.

Take her in you.

Oh, you needn’t worry about that.

The last words she told me yesterday evening were, "Ask Mother to make me sleep."

She wanted rest.

You know, I would like all those who are with me to feel, just as I know it, that it’s a reversal of appearances – she is alive, she is conscious, she has all her faculties, all her possibilities, it’s all there. She hasn’t lost anything! It’s only human ignorance that believes there is a loss. She hasn’t lost ANYTHING.

Some go in a glory – not many, but some do. And those who go like that don’t even have a difficult passage. I was writing that line for her, and I felt (it was half an hour, three quarters of an hour ago) a liberation.

No, I do feel other people’s grief, I understand her mother, it’s going to be dreadful, it’s not that I don’t feel, but I would so much like those who have trust to know how that can be a glory.

(silence)

If you can be quite peaceful, with a very peaceful faith, she will be with you too, she won’t leave you.

She is there.

She must find peace near you, and a clear-sighted consciousness: she will have some difficulty with her family’s grief, they are going to be very troubled indeed, and she must at least have the possibility of taking refuge in an atmosphere of total peace and trust.

And she is the one who is saying this to you.

The waves from outside are difficult: they come with great agitation and turmoil. One must remember. There must be like a bath of rest near you.

@

April 23, 1966

Mother hands Satprem a brochure on Auroville

The photos are very pretty. One is quite like a nebula.

Practically, is it moving?

It seems to be going quite well. A very widespread collective response, and from the two opposite sides: the whole Communist side is moving, and the whole financial, American side is moving. There is an effervescence.

It’s sure to work, I KNOW it exists – the city is already there (it has been for many, many years). Interestingly, my creation was with Sri Aurobindo in the center, then when Sri Aurobindo left, I let it all rest, I didn’t budge anymore. Then it suddenly started coming again, as if to say, "Now is the time, it must be done." Very well. The Muslims would say, "It’s fated." It’s fated, it’s sure to exist. I don’t know how much time it will take, but it seems to be going fast.

The city already exists.

And the remarkable thing is that I simply told R. [the architect] the broad outlines, asking him if he was interested. Then he went back to France and he received my formation (my old formation, which I myself had left asleep); he received it there. I found that very interesting. He received it, he said to me, "It came all at once, I seemed to be possessed by something, and in one night the whole thing was done." And the interesting point is that an architect friend of his came and worked with him and participated in the creation; he is now quite enthusiastic, and he is a man who has very extensive contacts with all Communist Europe, including Russia. And he is thrilled to pieces. So, on that side, it’s working well. And in America, too, it seems to be working.

And that’s precisely what I want – that these two countries clashing with each other should come here, and each of them have a pavilion of their culture and ideal, and that they should be here, face to face, and shake hands.

@

April 24, 1966

(Message given by Mother for April 24)

"I have already spoken about the bad conditions of the world; the usual idea of the occultists about it is that the worse they are the more is probable the coming of an intervention or a new revelation from above. The ordinary mind cannot know – it has either to believe or disbelieve or wait and see.

"As to whether the Divine seriously means something to happen, I believe it is intended. I know with absolute certitude that the Supramental is a truth and its advent is in the very nature of things inevitable. The question is as to the when and the how. That also is decided and predestined from somewhere above; but it is here being fought out amid a rather grim clash of conflicting forces. For in the terrestrial world the predetermined result is hidden and what we see is a whirl of possibilities and forces attempting to achieve some thing with the destiny of it all concealed from human eyes. This is, however, certain that a number of souls have been sent to see that it shall be now. That is the situation. My faith and will are for the now. I am speaking of course on the level of the human intelligence – mystically-rationally, as one might put it. To say more would be going beyond that line. You don’t want me to start prophesying, I suppose? As a rationalist, you can’t."

Sri Aurobindo

December 28, 1934

@

April 27, 1966

(About the "Sannyasin")

We have some time for Savitri ... unless you have something to ask?

I wonder why I don’t see clearer in what I do?

Because there are two ideas in conflict. That’s why. So there is hesitation between the two standpoints.

Two standpoints: the need for renunciation and the futility of fleeing. Those are the two ideas that cause the hesitation. But in the chronological order of things, it should first be the need for renunciation, then the discovery of the futility of fleeing, and then instead of a fleeing, there should be a return, free, without attachment. A return to life without attachment.

Apart from that, I understand: in order to write a book, one generally cannot describe more than one cycle, because there’s a beginning, a development, and a culmination, a realization. Then another book, which starts from that realization and has the full experience of its futility. And then, the crowning realization: the return to life, free.

One may have the three together, but it makes a very compact book.

No, it has to be put together. But I don’t know where to start. I started in one way and I realize that’s not "it."

How did you start?

There’s a poem, a very short one – not a poem, a sort of voice. Then in the first chapter, my character has to take the boat and go away (as usual). Then he comes upon a Sannyasin. He goes to take his boat, but a young woman or girl is there with him, and he leaves her.

Where does the boat go?

A little farther away, as always. He just has to go.

And where does he meet that Sannyasin? Before leaving or after?

He meets him a first time, then a second time just when he is about to leave, so he changes all his plans and goes with the Sannyasin.... But it’s what comes before that departure, there is something hazy, I don’t know what I should do. First I thought of making that young woman the symbol of beauty, wealth, love, anyway, of all that’s truly beautiful and all the best life can bring – which he rejects, and he leaves for anywhere, and then he meets that Sannyasin. So I was in the description of that place, of that boy with that girl, of that very beautiful place, and then I found it so futile to write all this that I couldn’t go on.

(Mother laughs)

It was so futile, all that beauty and everything, to me it seemed like nothing at all.

It pulled you backward.

But I had a time like that in my life: I was in South America, on a wonderful island, very beautiful, with a woman who was also beautiful, wealth was offered to me, I had the possibility of having a lot of money; anyway, it was truly the best that could be found in terms of natural beauty and feminine beauty and everything – and then I ran away from it all. I left everything and went off.

And is that the story you tell in the book?

That’s what I started telling.

But it’s not bad!

But I find it so futile to evoke again all that so-called beauty that I just can’t do it! I find it all hollow, my words are false.

But if you take that attitude, you can’t write a book!

Once again, these past few days, the memory of things I had written came back to me – what I had imagined at some time and written ... at the beginning of the century (before you were born!), in Paris. I wondered, "Strange, why am I thinking of this?" And there was, in that thing I wrote, this: "The love of beauty had saved her." It was the story of a woman who had had a heartbreak of so-called love, as human beings conceive it, but who had felt a need to manifest love, a marvelously beautiful love; and with that force and that ideal she had overcome her personal sorrow. I wrote a little book like that – I don’t know where it is, by the way, but that doesn’t matter. But the memory of it suddenly came back and I wondered, "Strange, why am I remembering this?..." And then I remembered the whole curve of the consciousness. At that time, I clearly understood that personal things had to be overcome by the will to realize something more essential and universal. And I followed the curve of my own consciousness, how it began like that, and how from there I went on ... to other things. I was eighteen. That was my first attempt to emerge from the exclusively personal viewpoint and pass on to a broader viewpoint, and to show that the broader, more universal viewpoint makes you overcome the personal things. But I wondered, "Why am I remembering this?" Now I understand! It’s there in what you have written, it’s the same thing. Well, of course, now I wouldn’t be able to write what I wrote, it would make me laugh!

I can write, I can always ...

Well, write it.

But I find it so ...

Yes, hollow.

... without power. Really as if my pen were lying.

(Mother laughs)

So I wonder if that isn’t because I should leave it all and enter straight into another world, a completely different world?

Begin where you are now?

That’s right.

You may save time, in fact.

You can do an experiment: note what you would write now, and then you’ll see.

But then, how should I situate it? I don’t know.... There are two things....

Maybe it’s going to come now!

From a personal point of view, you would save a lot of time if you started where you are now.

You will see....

You could begin your book with the end, and then you will see if a beginning is needed (!) or if, instead of a beginning, there is a sequel. That would be interesting!

Start with a bang: brrm! What you feel and see now. Situate it according to your broad outline, begin with that. Then, when it’s written, you will see if it needs the support of what precedes it or if you can move on to what follows.

It’s an interesting experiment.

***

(Then Mother reads two lines from "Savitri," the Debate of Love and Death.)

Ah, it’s still this gentleman

I had this whole experience a few days ago. It was so amusing!

In vain his heart lifts up its yearning prayer,

Peopling with brilliant Gods the formless Void

(X.IV.644)

Why? Were you in the formless Void?

I saw that, it was so amusing! I saw it all. Oh, it was an extraordinary experience. All of a sudden I was outside and, I can’t say "above" (but it was above), but outside the whole human creation, outside everything, everything man has created in all the worlds, even in the most ethereal worlds. And seen from there, it was ... I saw that play of all the possible conceptions men have had of God and of the way to approach God (what they call "God"), and also of the invisible worlds and the gods, all that: one thing came upon another, one upon another, it all went by (as it’s written in Savitri), one thing upon another went by (gesture as if on a screen), one upon another ... with its artificiality, its inadequacy to express the Truth. And with such precision! A precision so accurate that you felt in anguish, because the impression was of being in a world of nothing but imagination, of imaginative creation, but in nothing real, there wasn’t a feeling of ... of touching the Thing. To such a point that it became ... yes, a terrible anguish: "But then, what? What? What’s truly TRUE and outside all that we can conceive?"

And it came. It was like this: (gesture of self-abandon) the total, complete self-annulment, annulment of that which can know, of that which tries to know – even "surrender" isn’t an adequate word: a sort of annulment. And suddenly it ended with a slight movement as a child could have who doesn’t know anything, doesn’t try to know anything, doesn’t understand anything, doesn’t try to understand – but who abandons himself. A slight movement of such simplicity, such ingenuousness, such extraordinary sweetness (words can’t express it): nothing, just this (gesture of self-abandon), and instantaneously, THE Certitude (not expressed, lived), the lived Certitude.

I wasn’t able to keep it very long. But "it" is wonderful.

But the anguish had reached its peak: the sense of the futility of human efforts to understand – to embrace and understand – what isn’t human, what’s beyond. And I am talking about humanity in its supreme realizations, of course, when man feels himself to be a god.... That was still down below.

The experience lasted, oh, I don’t know, perhaps a few minutes, but it was ... something.

Only, with a certainty that as soon as you come back, as soon as you just try to speak one word (or even if you don’t speak), as soon as you try to formulate in one way or another: finished.

Yet there OBSTINATELY remains a certitude that the creation is NOT a transitory way to recapture the true Consciousness: it’s something that has its own reality and that will have its own existence IN THE TRUTH.

That’s the next step.

That’s why that realization [the Void] isn’t the goal, that’s exactly why. A conviction that it isn’t the goal. It’s an absolute necessity, but not the goal. The goal is something ... the capacity to keep That here.

When will that come? I don’t know.

But when it comes, everything will be changed.

Until then, let’s prepare ourselves.

There is only one thing I have noted (that I am forced to note): there is a power of action on others which infinitely exceeds what it was before. Oh, it makes waves everywhere, everywhere, even in those people who were the most settled in their lives and basically fairly satisfied, as much as one can be – even those are touched.

We’ll see, we’ll see.

Anyhow, things are moving along.

(Reverting to the "Sannyasin":) Try it my way, I think it will work!

@

April 30, 1966

(Regarding very generous disciples who send soup packets to Mother, who in turn gives them to Satprem:)

They are two old ladies, of German origin, but Jewish. In Germany, they still aren’t kind at all; Hitler’s influence has been disastrous, the Jews are still treated with contempt – it’s disgusting, utterly disgusting. So these ladies went to Israel. They are very generous. But some people still have prejudices, you know!

In France, with Pétain, there was that grotesque affair of the "yellow star"; I think it has also left a very bad imprint.

There are people to whom I wouldn’t give these packets, because they’d immediately think it’s very bad!

No!

Men are still worse than children – worse. So small, so petty, with stupid biases.

Just this simple thing of being impartial, neutral and perfectly sincere, without bias towards experiences, towards life, towards things – just that they can’t have! There is always a sort of petty bias, of preference in the background.

And all that is accumulated in the subconscient, and it comes back in the form of "dreams." And naturally (that’s quite a common experience, which is known to all those who are even slightly familiar with the play of occult forces), when someone in your dream comes and gives you blows and attacks you, it’s absolutely sure that you’ve had bad thoughts for him – bad thoughts or bad feelings. That’s what comes back to you in that form. But they will say on the contrary: "See, I was right to have bad thoughts for him: he comes and attacks me"!

Just like children, completely ignorant.

Anyway ...

***

Mother takes up "Savitri"

Then disappointed to the Void he turns

And in its happy nothingness asks release

(X.IV.644)

That’s the Nihilists: Shankaracharya and so on, the worshipers of Nothingness.

The worshipers of Nothingness ... I don’t know, the farther I go, the more I have a sense of a ... very, very sweet, very full Nothingness, but still a Nothingness. It’s absolutely void, yet it’s full, and very sweet, but there’s nothing.

You are playing on words.

No, no!

Ultimately, this taste for Nothingness is the most harmonious way to put an end to the ego. It’s the ego coming to an end. It’s, yes, the most harmonious way, the higher way to put an end to the ego. It’s the ego coming to an end. It is tired of being. Instead of feeling killed and crushed (Mother makes a gesture of self-abandon), phew!... A "phew" of relief: "Enough, enough of this battle to exist." We could say: Falsehood, tired of being, gives up.

Instead of a disappearance through crushing and trampling (same gesture of self-abandon): cease to be.

It’s the divine way to annul the ego.

The ego is no longer necessary, it has finished its job, the consciousness is ready; then ... (same gesture) phew! "I am tired of being, I no longer want to be."

@

May

May 7, 1966

(Regarding a flower which Mother has called "Power of material healing":)

Oh, how I would like it to be true: when I put my hands here, like this (Mother lays her hands on Satprem’s shoulders), it would heal!

Because I feel such force in these hands! Such CONSCIOUS force  – conscious, you understand: it’s vibrant with consciousness, light and force. It should heal.

It heals me. If I have a pain or something wrong, I put my hand here or there, and it goes away in the space of a minute or two. So why shouldn’t it heal others!

Maybe because nobody would be ill anymore! (Mother laughs)

In fact, that’s right. We speak of the supramental world, but it’s simply a world in which truth would be true. That’s all, it’s simple.

Quite so.

***

(Soon afterwards, Satprem sorts old conversations:)

Are they old ones?

From 1964.

Centuries ago.

But it’s very full and living.

Ah?

Yes, the day when we can link it all together, it will really mark out the whole path of the supramental yoga; it’s very clear when one looks at it from a distance. And one understands. There are lots of things that I now understand better.... My idea is to go over it all again one day and to condense it or extract the essence in order to mark out your path.

It would be better to wait till we’ve reached the end, wouldn’t it?

I’m not going to do that now, but it will have to be done.... No, no, it’s full of meaning, it’s not "old"!

Some things are growing clearer and clearer, so when they are clear, we’ll be able to ...

Yes, but many things you said, which were as if sketchy or stammering, as if shapeless, now that I see them from a distance and along with what you said afterwards, they suddenly take on a meaning, they are full of meaning.

I know that.

That’s why even when it’s in an "incomplete" stage, it’s good.

For instance, there are passages I wrote in those Prayers and Meditations, some of which have been published – passages I wrote in Japan, and when I wrote them, I didn’t at all know what they meant. For a very long time I didn’t know. And very recently, one of those things that had always remained mysterious cleared up, I said, "There! It’s crystal clear, that’s what it means."

In other words, a prophetic little spirit without knowing it!

Oh, it’s better not to have any pretension, you know. There’s nothing more silly than ... I see people who pontificate and prophesy, oh! No, no, no. It’s better to BE the thing without knowing it than to pretend to be it.

That’s why I heartily detest publicity.

Let’s see Savitri (Mother takes her notebook). Savitri is full of wonders, oh, how true!

What is it about?

It’s still Death speaking.

Oh, he’s going on – "he" is going on: I don’t want it to be a "she"! (Mother laughs) In French it’s a mistake (laughing): it’s a "he."[34]

@

May 14, 1966

I have queer eyes.... They have become peculiar.

This eye [the left] sees extremely clearly – extremely clearly – almost more clearly than before, but in the entire corner here, in the very corner, there is a sort of little fog, very, very small like a needle point – no, a pinhead. So that I can’t read with it. With this one [the right] I can read, there’s nothing, but it’s dimmed: there isn’t half the clarity of the other. But the left is fantastically clear! Very well. So I am accustomed to reading with a magnifying glass [with the right eye], and it has become that way; but when I look at a photograph with a magnifying glass, the photo starts having three dimensions (gesture as if the photo were surging forward), so that I see the person not in colors but alive, the picture is alive. It has three dimensions and the person moves. So I look at the photo with my magnifying glass – and I see the person moving!

With the left eye, oh, it has extraordinary precision, but I can’t read because ... (and still I could read, it’s an idea, just an impression), there is a sort of very, very small cloud in the corner, here. There’s nothing (laughing), I have no cataract! There was a time when it was fairly widespread in that corner, and I showed it (long ago, two years ago), I showed it to the doctor, who told me it was inside: it’s not on the surface of the eye, it’s inside. He told me, "It won’t go." I told him, "Ah, won’t it!" – in six months it was gone, completely gone. It came back just a little – it has come back, but it will go!

But these are queer things, as if someone were having fun doing experiments with my eyes.

I see in a strange way – very strange.

And the magnifying glass is beginning to be useless.

(silence)

But everything, absolutely everything is becoming strange. As if there were two, three, four realities (superimposed gesture) or appearances, I don’t know (but they are rather realities), one behind another or one within another, like that, and in the space of a few minutes it changes (gesture as if one reality were surging forward to overtake and replace another), as though one world were just there, inside, and emerged all of a sudden. When I have peace and quiet, there is a slight ... not a movement, I don’t know what it is: it might rather feel like pulsations, and depending on the case, there are different experiences. For instance, customary things take a usual amount of time when nothing abnormal happens, and then you have an exact sense of the time they take. So then, I am "given" the following experience, of the same thing done in the same way, accomplished a first time in its normal duration, and another time, when I am in another state, that is, when the consciousness seems to be placed elsewhere, the thing seems to be done in a second! – Exactly the same thing: habitual gestures, things you do absolutely every day, quite ordinary things. Then, another time (and it’s not that I try to have it, I don’t try at all: I am PUT in that state), another time I am put in another state (to me, it doesn’t make much difference, they are like very small differences in the concentration), and in that state, the same thing, oh, takes a long, long time, an endless time to get done! Just to fold a towel, for instance (I am not the one who does it), someone folds a towel or someone puts a bottle away, wholly material and absolutely simple things devoid of any psychological value; someone folds a towel that’s on the floor (I am giving that example): there is a normal time, which I perceive internally after a study; it’s the normal time, when everything is normal, that is, usual; then, I am in a certain concentration and ... without my even having the time to notice it, it’s done! I am in another state of concentration, with absolutely minimal differences as far as the concentration is concerned, and it’s endless! You feel it takes half an hour to get done.

If it occurred just once, you’d say, "Never mind," but it takes place with persistence and regularity, as when someone is trying to teach you something. A sort of insistence and regular repetition as if someone wanted to teach me something.

Also, I spend a part of my nights in a certain state of consciousness (generally, more often than not, almost every night it’s with Sri Aurobindo). But it’s not "just like that," it’s not by chance or as if out of habit, that’s not it: it’s a teaching, and things are presented in one way or another as if to make me understand something.

But (laughing) I am extremely stupid! Because the mind doesn’t work, so I don’t understand anything – I just note the fact. I note and note and note, but I don’t draw any conclusions, so I am shown the thing yet again. And it follows, yes, it follows a sort of curve of experience. In fact, I might say it’s a repeated demonstration given to someone stupid like me to show me the difference in consciousness between being in this body and being without a body.

It seems to me to be that.

But then, down to the last details and with persistence – you know, like when you have to teach something to an animal or to a very small child (!), that’s how it is, by repetition.

The other day, for example, the day before yesterday (not last night, but the night before), I was with Sri Aurobindo, and Sri Aurobindo had taken on the appearance of the photograph of him in which he is young, with long hair: that full-face photograph in which he has a fair complexion and very dark hair. He was like that – he WAS like that, it wasn’t a picture: he WAS like that. And we were looking at certain things, talking about certain things (we don’t talk much, but anyway), looking at some things – when I suddenly see his face all tormented like this (gesture as if the face had shrunk). He usually always has a very calm and very smiling, quiet face; but all of a sudden, it was quite tormented, and then he abruptly sat back on that sort of seat, a sort of couch. So I looked at him, and he told me, "Oh, how they are distorting things. Look at this fellow, how they are distorting things." Almost immediately afterwards, it was time and I woke up, I got up. And I said to myself, "I thought one wasn’t tormented in that state!" Then I heard today that A., who was here and left to be a political activist there [in Bengal], is speaking in Sri Aurobindo’s name, mon petit! And he issues political declarations. That’s what I had seen. It wasn’t that Sri Aurobindo was annoyed: the image of his face was the image of what the others were doing![35] (Mother laughs) ... How can I explain it? It’s very strange, you know. It was the image of what those people did with his teaching, it wasn’t the expression of his own feeling. You know, what goes on here, what we describe, is so blunt, devoid of fineness, crude, like a rough-hewn statue: it’s rough, crude, exaggerated; and it’s distorted by the sense of separation given by the ego. While there, I don’t know how to explain, there, all is one, there is one single thing taking on all sorts of forms like that (Mother turns her two hands together, one wrapped inside the other) in order to express something, but not with one center that feels and another center that sees and another center that understands; it’s not like that, it’s ... (same gesture), it’s all ONE substance with inexpressible suppleness, which adapts itself to all the movements of all that happens, which expresses all that happens, without separation. So then, it leaves me in a state that goes on for hours in the morning, in which I am in this world [here], yet without being in it. Because ... I don’t feel things the way the world feels them. It’s a very strange phenomenon.

Yesterday, I remained like that the whole morning, in a very strange state, and the state seemed to want me to remember, to have the memory, and it left me only when I said (I "said," I don’t know, I didn’t say it to anyone, I just said) that I would tell you about it today. Then I was allowed to resume contact with everyday life.

There is something like the influence of a mentor, someone who knows, or a consciousness that knows and teaches me things; yet I don’t see anyone, I don’t feel anyone, but that’s how it is. It’s very, very strange.

Ah, let’s take up Savitri.

Do you want to tell me something? (Laughing) I seem to have put you in a complete daze!

No, you say you don’t draw conclusions, but I try to!

Oh, conclusions, I don’t know.

In short, it’s the consciousness of Eternity learning to enter into Time, into Matter?

Yes, that’s an idea, maybe that’s it!

Surely we’ll see one day, we’ll understand.

***

(Mother reads a few lines in which Death derides all human beliefs, concepts, philosophies, inventions....)

And sciences omnipotent in vain

By which men learn of what the suns are made,

Transform all forms to serve their outward needs,

Ride through the sky and sail beneath the sea,

But learn not what they are or why they came....

(X.IV.644)

It’s really charming!

I like this:

Ride through the sky and sail beneath the sea,

But learn not what they are or why they came

He’s a monument of pessimism.

But it’s true, that’s the trouble, it’s true! Only, something is missing: what she is going to say. Or does she say nothing?

Certainly, she is going to answer.

But she doesn’t shut him up.... It’s difficult.

But that’s because it’s "He"![36]

The other day I had an extraordinary experience, in which all the pessimistic arguments, all the negations and denials came from all sides, represented by everybody. And then, those who believed in the presence of a God or something – something more powerful than they and ruling the world – were in a fury, a dreadful revolt: "But I want none of him! But he spoils all our life, he ..." It was a dreadful revolt, from every side, a truckload of abuse for the Divine with such force of asuric reaction from every side. So I sat there (as if Mother sat in the middle of the mêlée), watching: "What can be done?..." You know, it was impossible to answer, impossible, there wasn’t one argument, not one idea, not one theory, not one belief, nothing, nothing whatsoever that could answer it. For the space of a second, the impression was: it’s hopeless. Then, all of a sudden ... all of a sudden ... It’s indescribable (gesture of absolute abandon). There was that violence of revolt against things as they are, and, mixed with it, there was: "Let this world disappear, let nothing remain, let it not exist!" All that, which at bottom is a revolt, all that nihilist revolt: let nothing remain, let everything cease to exist. It reached a height of tension, and just at the height of tension, when you felt there was no solution, suddenly ... surrender. But something stronger than surrender  – it wasn’t abdication, it wasn’t self-giving, it wasn’t acceptance, it was ... something much more radical, and at the same time much sweeter. I can’t say what it was. It had the joy and flavor of giving, but with such a sense of plenitude! ... Like a dazzling flash, you know, suddenly like that: the very essence of surrender, the True Thing.

It was ... it was so powerful and marvelous, such sublime joy that the body started quivering for a second. Afterwards it was gone.

And after that, after that experience, all of it, all the revolt, all the negation, all of it was as if swept away.

If one could keep that, that experience, keep it constantly – it’s there, it’s always there; it’s there, of course, but I have to stop in order to feel it. I have to stop – stop speaking, moving, acting – in order to feel it in its plenitude. But if it were here, ACTIVE ... it would be All-Powerfulness. It means becoming "That" instantaneously.

There were two days recently (since I saw you last time), two days ... especially Thursday, the day the peacock[37] was there.... The peacock crowed victory the whole day (I saw it in the evening, it came and saw me on the terrace, it was so sweet!).... Two very, very difficult days. After that, a sort of solidly established feeling that nothing is impossible – nothing is impossible (Mother points to Matter). What thought has long known, what the heart has long known, what the whole inner being has long known, now the body too knows: nothing, nothing whatever is impossible, everything is possible. Here inside, here inside, in this (Mother strikes her body), everything is possible.

All the impossibilities created by material life have disappeared.

One must have the strength – the strength to carry it in oneself always.

@

May 18, 1966

(After Satprem has read to Mother a first few fragments from the "Sannyasin")

I like your way of writing.

It’s restful.

But when you write a novel, you must build it up; in other words, there are all those unnecessary things you have to put in to reach certain points, and that’s what’s troublesome! All those futile things you have to present just in order to demolish them.

I find it very restful to enter the region of elegant form, harmonious form, it’s very restful.

This material mind – which is organizing itself, which has learned to fall silent, learned to pray – has a sort of spontaneous need or spontaneous thirst for beauty, for a beautiful form. I see this at night, because its need expresses itself in a setting and with events – encounters and events – and the setting is always extremely vast and very beautiful, very harmonious. And the people who move about do so harmoniously, too. And in the morning when I come out of that, I see the progress, the direction of the development; well, it has a sort of spontaneous need for a beautiful form.

Just now, while listening to you, it relaxed all at once, it rested in a satisfaction: "Ah, at last...." And it isn’t at all mental: it’s ... (how can I explain?) the harmony of form.

Music does it an enormous lot of good – but not classical music, not a music that follows mental rules. Something that expresses an inner rhythm, the harmony of an inner rhythm.... One rarely comes across a music like that.

And it’s the same thing with words. The sound of words is immediately restful.

Will you read it again for me? Read it again.

(Satprem shakes his head, he is ashamed)

***

Soon afterwards

Have you heard of the drugs?...[38] Have you seen pictures?... I saw pictures.... People are hurled utterly defenseless into the lowest vital, and, according to their nature, either it’s horrifying or they find it marvelous. For instance, the fabric covering a cushion or a seat is suddenly filled with marvelous beauty. So it lasts for two hours, three hours like that. Naturally, they are quite mad while it lasts. And the trouble is that people call it "spiritual experiences," and there’s nobody to tell them that it has nothing to do with spiritual experiences.

There is an Italian here, whom I saw the other day with his wife (his wife is nice; he has long hair and a mystic air ... "mystic" is a way of speaking: mysticism for a theater stage). I didn’t find them very interesting, but they intend to stay here for three or four months. And today, he has written me a letter in French. And in that letter there are many things; first he says he had an experience here – and those people are terrible, mon petit, as soon as they have the slightest experience, they’re scared! So naturally, everything stops. But that’s beside the point. Then, in that connection, he says he took that drug and he describes the effect (Mother shows Satprem a passage of the letter):

"The second time, with a normal dose of LSD (lysergic acid), as I rose in that luminous situation, I had terrible visions, the walls of my room came alive with thousands of malignant and desperate faces that persecuted me till night...."

There.

And it goes on. Then he says he had an experience here, and he’s scared.

But anyway, it has given me one more proof.... I saw pictures in Life (there were photos): you feel you’ve stepped into an insane asylum. But he had the experience, which proves that his vital ... Of course, it’s the images recorded in the subconscient (images of thoughts, images of sensations, images of feelings recorded in the subconscient), which become objective: they rise to the surface and become objective. So it gives the exact picture of what’s inside you!

If, for instance, you have a sensation or thought that someone is nasty or ridiculous or doesn’t love you, anyway, opinions of that sort, it generally surfaces in dreams; but there [with drugs], you aren’t asleep, yet you have the dream! They come and play the game of what you thought of them: what you thought of them comes upon you in their form. So it’s an indication: for those who see smiling, pleasant, beautiful things, it means that the inner, vital condition is good enough, but with those who see terrifying or malicious things, or things like that, it means the vital isn’t pretty.

Yes, but isn’t there an objective vital in which those visions have nothing to do with your own subconscient?

Yes, there is, but it doesn’t have the same character.

Not the same character?

You can know it only if you go into the vital FULLY CONSCIOUS: conscious of your own vital and conscious in the vital world as you are conscious in the physical world. You go there consciously. Then it isn’t a dream, it doesn’t have the character of a dream: it has the character of an activity, an experience, and that’s very different.

Because there are indeed those worlds of the vital where you are persecuted ... terrible worlds, worlds of torture and persecution, aren’t there?

Ninety percent subjective.

Ninety percent subjective. Regularly, for more than a year, every night at the same time and in the same way, I entered the vital to do a special work there. It wasn’t the result of my own will: I was destined to do it. It was something I had to do. So then, the entry into the vital, for instance, is often described: there are passages where beings are stationed to stop you from entering (all those things are much talked about in all books of occultism). Well, I know from experience (not a passing one: an experience I learned repeatedly) that that opposition or ill will is ninety percent psychological, in the sense that if you don’t anticipate it or don’t fear it, or if there is nothing in you that’s afraid of the unknown and none of those movements of apprehension and so on, it’s like a shadow in a picture, or a projected image: it has no concrete reality.

I did have one or two real battles in the vital, yes, while going to rescue someone who had gone astray. And both times I got blows, and in the morning when I woke up, there was a mark (Mother points to her right eye). Well, I know that in both cases, there was in me, not a fear (I never had any fear there), but ... it was because I expected it. The idea that "it may well happen" and my expecting it caused the blow to come. I knew that in a definite way. And if I had been in what I might call my "normal state" of inner certitude, it couldn’t have touched me, it couldn’t. And I had that apprehension because Madame Théon had lost an eye in a battle in the vital and had told me so; so (laughing) it gave me the idea that it was possible, since it had happened to her! ... But when I am in my state (I can’t even say that, it’s not "personal": it’s a way of being), when you have the true way of being, when you are a little conscious and have the true way of being, it CANNOT touch you.

It’s like the experience of coming across an enemy and trying to hit him, and then none of the blows hit and whatever you do has no effect – it’s always subjective. I’ve had all the proof, absolutely all the proof.

But what is objective, then?

There ARE worlds, there ARE beings, there ARE powers, they have their own existence, but what I mean is that the form their relationships with the human consciousness take depends on that human consciousness.

It’s the same with the gods, mon petit, the same thing! The relationship with all those beings of the Overmind, with all those gods, the form those relationships take depends on the human consciousness. You can be ... The scriptures say, "Man is cattle for the gods" – but that’s if man ACCEPTS the role of cattle. There is in the essence of human nature a sovereignty over all those things which is spontaneous and natural, when it’s not warped by a certain number of ideas and a certain amount of so-called knowledge.

We could say that man is the all-powerful master of all the states of being of his nature, but that he has forgotten to be so.

His natural state is to be all-powerful – he has forgotten to be so.

In that state of oblivion, everything becomes "concrete," yes, in the sense that you may have a mark on the eye (it can be expressed by that), but that’s because ... because you allowed it to happen.

It’s the same thing with gods: they can rule your life and torment you quite a lot (they can also help you a lot), but their power IN RELATION TO YOU, in relation to the human being, is the power you give them.

That’s something I have learned little by little for several years. But now, I am sure of it.

Naturally, in the evolutionary curve, it was necessary for man to forget his all-powerfulness, because it had quite simply puffed him up with conceit and vanity, and so it was completely distorted and he had to be given the sense that lots of things were stronger and more powerful than he. But essentially, it’s not true. It’s a necessity in the curve of progress, that’s all.

Man is a potential god. He thought he was a realized god. He needed to learn that he was nothing but a puny little worm crawling on the earth, and so life planed and filed him down in every way till he ... "understood" isn’t the word, but anyway, felt to some extent. But as soon as he assumes the true position, he knows he is a potential god. Only, he must become it, that is, he must overcome all that isn’t it.

This relationship with the gods is extremely interesting. As long as man is dazzled, in admiration before the power, beauty, realizations of those divine beings, he is their slave. But when they are, to him, ways of being of the Supreme and nothing more, and when he himself is another way of being of the Supreme, which he must become, then the relationship is different and he is no longer their slave – he is NOT their slave.

Ultimately, the only objectivity is the Supreme.

There, you’ve said it, mon petit. That’s the point. Exactly the point.

If we take the word "objectivity" in the sense of "real, independent existence" – real, independent self-existence – there is only the Supreme.

***

As Satprem prepares to leave:

So do I have to wait till the book is finished before I can hear it?...

(Satprem makes a face)

You know, when I listen to you, I seem to be lying down, stretched out on something that moves forward very gently and regularly, with the vision of a very luminous and harmonious atmosphere.

That’s the immediate effect it has on me.

The education of the new mind. It would be fine if it became an instrument of beauty!

Yes, but inspiration is hard to pull down!

(Mother laughs)

@

May 22, 1966

(Satprem chances on notes of Mother’s in a pile of files.)

(Laughing) They are everywhere! Here, there, everywhere.... Once, Sri Aurobindo (I think it was in 1920) said to me one day, "Oh, they have put my room in order, I can’t find anything anymore!" For their part, they said he had his papers everywhere: on his bed, on the chairs, on the table, in the drawers, on the shelves; there were papers everywhere, notes and so on. But he knew exactly where everything was. Then they "put things in order," they "tidied up" – and he couldn’t find anything anymore! It was very funny. I asked him, "Would you like me to do your room and clean it? I won’t touch anything." – "Ah, if you don’t touch anything ..." (Mother laughs) So I left the papers on the bed, on the chair, on the table, on the shelves! I cleaned a shelf, then in a book I found some money. I told him (thinking it had been forgotten), I told him, "I found ... a hundred, two hundred rupees" (I don’t remember now) "in a book." (One banknote was in one place, another note was in another place.) He replied, "Yes, I am forced to hide it, otherwise they take it from me!" (Mother laughs)

But I am no good at hiding places!

You see, I instinctively go and take the book, I open it and find the money. So I asked him, "Would you like to entrust your money to me? I will keep it for you." He replied, "That would make things simpler." But after a year, I had three thousand rupees of his money, coming from books, from here and there! I told him (laughing), "See, it has borne fruit!"

***

(Then Satprem reads to Mother a fairly long text, and ends up completely exhausted.)

Are you tired?

It’s as if all the vital force were going away.

(long, refreshing concentration)

You must go rest.

Now I am fine! But I don’t know why, the force goes away very quickly.

But do you get rest at night?

Oh, yes, I’m quite all right. But strangely, as soon as I exert myself in any way, I seem to ...

You can’t do it.

I can’t. But why?

Because we are in a very acute phase of transformation, very acute, mon petit. So when you have one foot on the ground and another foot in midair, it’s not the time to ... There are phases like that. It doesn’t last a very, very long time, but it may last a month or two, or three. Afterwards, it’s finished. Then, after that, there comes another period like that. One should remain very calm in such cases.

But I’ve noticed that when I do material things – small things – there seems to be a tremendous vital force flowing into the work, and in the end I find myself exhausted through having done nothing at all! How come all that vital energy goes away?

It’s because all the vital force is used to keep the body’s balance in the phase of transformation. That’s what I have called "the change of government," it’s the phase of transformation. And during that change, well, all the vital force is there just to keep your balance so you don’t topple over. Because it’s difficult.

One must remain very calm and do what is indispensable, nothing more.

In ordinary life, when one doesn’t know, with people who don’t know, there is a tremendous wastage of vital forces, for no reason. Well, we no longer have the right to do that because all that vital force is there, as I said, concentrated to keep the body’s balance.

It’s a very, very widespread state in all those who ... not who do the yoga, but for whom the yoga is done. And it’s done ... (how can I put it?) almost without their knowledge – all that puts them in a fit state to do it is, first, aspiration, and then, trust. Those are the two things: the faith, the trust that the divine Consciousness is at work, and then the aspiration for transformation. That’s all that’s needed. And the work is done. But that work implies, in fact, not a loss of equilibrium but a change of equilibrium. A change of balance. And in order to go from one equilibrium to the other, well, one must stay very calm.

But the difficulty you are referring to is something I have every minute.

People who don’t know (there are many of them, almost all of them don’t know) feel they are ill. But it’s not an illness: it’s a change of balance, which takes on all kinds of forms depending on each one’s character and nature. So when you don’t pay attention and there is a loss of balance, something happens which results in what doctors call "an illness," but if I had the time to have fun and ask them questions, they would be forced to tell me that each case is different – each case: there aren’t two identical cases. They say, "Yes, it looks like this or it looks like that or it looks like this." And it’s nothing but the transition from the old millennial equilibrium to a new equilibrium which isn’t yet established, and in the transition between the two, well ... one must be careful, that’s all. And cling very, very firmly to the higher Harmony.

@

May 25, 1966

(Regarding the conversation of May 18 in which Mother said that ninety percent of the visions and dreams in the vital, or even on the other, higher planes, are subjective.)

All the same, there is something disturbing about that almost total subjectivity.

Ah, why?

You wonder what’s true, what you really encounter. Isn’t it all a figment of your imagination?... It’s a bit disquieting.

But when you have the positive experience of the sole and exclusive existence of the Supreme and that everything is just the play of the Supreme with Himself, instead of its being something disquieting or unpleasant or unsettling, it’s on the contrary a sort of total security.

The only reality is the Supreme. And all this is a game He plays with Himself. I find this much more comforting than the other way around.

And to begin with, this is the only certitude that it can become something marvelous, otherwise ...

That, too, depends on the stand one takes. A complete identification with the play as play, as a self-existent and independent thing, is probably necessary, first in order to play the game as one should play it. But at one point one does in fact reach that detachment, such a complete disgust for the whole falsehood of existence that it becomes intolerable unless one sees it as the inner play of the Lord in Himself, for Himself.

And then, one feels that absolute and perfect freedom thanks to which the most marvelous possibilities become realizable, all the most sublime things that can be imagined are realizable.

(Mother goes into contemplation, then opens "Savitri":)

And earth [shall] grow unexpectedly divine (I.IV.55)

It’s a consolation....

(silence)

You’ll see, there comes a point when you can tolerate yourself and life only if you take the attitude that the Lord is everything. See, that Lord, how many things He possesses: He plays with all that – He plays, He plays at ... changing the positions. And then, when you see it, that whole, you feel the limitless marvel, and that whatever the object of the most marvelous aspiration, it’s all quite possible and will even be surpassed. Then you are consoled. Otherwise, this existence ... is inconsolable. But that way, it becomes charming. One day, I will tell you.

When you have the sense of the unreality of life – the unreality of life – compared with a reality that’s certainly found beyond, but at the same time WITHIN life, then ... ah, yes, THAT is true at last – THAT is true at last and deserves to be true. That is the realization of all possible splendors, all possible marvels, all, yes, all possible felicities, all possible beauties – that, yes, otherwise ...

Do you understand?

That’s the point I have reached.

So then, I feel as if I still have one foot here, one foot there, which isn’t a very pleasant situation because ... because you would like there to remain nothing but That.

The present way of being is a past that really should no longer exist. While the other way, ah, at last! At last!... That’s why there is a world.

And everything remains just as concrete and just as real – it doesn’t become misty. It’s just as concrete, just as real, but ... it becomes divine, because ... because it IS the Divine. It’s the Divine playing.

There, mon petit.

@

May 28, 1966

(Mother takes her face in her hands and looks exhausted.)

Are you all right?

Are YOU tired?

No, it’s worse than tired, it’s worse....

A whole work of adjustment is going on, which has become very, very difficult, very difficult (Mother makes a gesture of churning).

I am practically unable to eat any longer, I force myself, otherwise all I would do is drink. And it’s not caused by the stomach, it’s not that, it’s ... (same gesture of churning).

I don’t feel tired, but I’ve had for a long time and increasingly (the last few days it has become very acute) the impression of walking forward, moving on (gesture in a precarious balance), and that the slightest false step would hurl me into the chasm. I seem to be on a ridge between two chasms.

And that’s something going on in the body’s cells. There’s nothing moral to it, nothing even to do with sensation.

One is compelled to constant vigilance. The slightest slackening, you know, is ... catastrophic.

(long contemplation)

So I’ll see you on Thursday? Well, I hope it’ll be over and I’ll be out of it!

The consolation is that the Supreme’s action is growing increasingly clear and evident. You know, I am like a speck of ... ([Mother makes a gesture in the hollow of a Hand] how can I explain it?...) of dust, but a dust that suffers, that’s the trouble. Very sensitive. But the play of forces is growing increasingly clear and powerful, and over an increasingly extensive field. And directly HERE [in matter], with extraordinary precision and force. It’s a consolation.

Let’s just not bother about it.

@

June

June 2, 1966

Is the difficulty of the other day over?

Oh, I’ve had an experience, a new experience. I mean, it’s the cells of the body that have had a new experience.

When I lie down on my bed at night, there is an offering of all the cells, which regularly surrender as completely as they can, with an aspiration not only for union but for fusion: let there remain nothing but the Divine. It’s regular, every day, every single day. And for some time, these cells or this body consciousness (but it isn’t organized as a consciousness: it’s like a collective consciousness of the cells), it seemed to be complaining a little, to be saying, "But we don’t feel much. We do feel" (they can’t say they don’t feel: they feel protected, supported), "but still ..." They are like children, they were complaining that it wasn’t spectacular: "It HAS to be marvelous." (Mother laughs) Ah, very well, then! So two nights ago, they were in that state when I went to bed. I didn’t move from the bed till about two in the morning. At two in the morning I got up, and I suddenly noticed that all the cells, the whole body (but it really is a cellular consciousness, not a body consciousness; it isn’t the consciousness of this or that person: there’s no person, it’s the consciousness of a cellular aggregate), that consciousness felt bathed in and at the same time shot through by a MATERIAL power of a fan-tas-tic velocity bearing no relation to the velocity of light, none at all: the velocity of light is something slow and unhurried in comparison. Fantastic, fantastic! Something that must be like the movement of the centers out there ... (Mother gestures towards faraway galactic space). It was so awesome! I remained quite peaceful, still, I sat quite peaceful; but still, peaceful as I could be, it was so awesome, as when you are carried away by a movement and are going so fast that you can’t breathe. A sort of discomfort. Not that I couldn’t breathe, that wasn’t the point, but the cells felt suffocated, it was so ... awesome. And at the same time with a sensation of power, a power that nothing, nothing whatsoever can resist in any way. So I had been pulled out of my bed (I noticed it) so that the BODY consciousness (mark the difference: it wasn’t the cells’ consciousness, it was the body’s consciousness) would teach the cells how to surrender and tell them, "There is only one way: a total surrender, then you will no longer have that sensation of suffocation." And there was a slight concentration, like a little lesson. It was very interesting: a little lesson, how it should be done, what should be done, how to abandon oneself entirely. And when I saw it had been understood, I went back to bed. And then, from that time (it was two, two: twenty) till quarter to five, I was in that Movement without a single break! And the peculiar thing was that when I got up, there was in that consciousness (which is both cellular and a bit corporeal) the sense of Ananda [divine joy] in everything the body did: getting up, walking, washing its eyes, brushing its teeth.... For the first time in my life I felt the Ananda (a quite impersonal Ananda), an Ananda in those movements. And with the feeling, "Ah, that’s how the Lord enjoys Himself."

It’s no longer in the foreground (it was in the foreground for an hour or two to make me understand), now it’s a bit further in the background. But, you understand, previously the body used to feel that its whole existence was based on the Will, the surrender to the supreme Will, and endurance. If it was asked, "Do you find life pleasant?", it didn’t dare to say no, because ... but it didn’t find it pleasant. Life wasn’t for its own pleasure and it didn’t understand how it could give pleasure. There was a concentration of will in a surrender striving to be as perfect – painstakingly perfect – as possible, and a sense of endurance: holding on and holding out. That was the basis of its existence. Then, when there were transitional periods ... which are always difficult, like, for instance, switching from one habit to another, not in the sense of changing habits but of switching from one support to another, from one impulsion to another (what I call the "transfer of power"), it’s always difficult, it occurs periodically (not regularly but periodically) and always when the body has gathered enough energy for its endurance to be more complete; then the new transition comes, and it’s difficult. There was that will and that endurance, and also, "Let Your Will be done," and "Let me serve You as You want me to, as I should serve You, let me belong to You as You want me to," and also, "Let there remain nothing but You, let the sense of the person disappear" (it had indeed disappeared to a considerable extent). And there was this sudden revelation: instead of that base of endurance – holding on at any cost – instead of that, a sort of joy, a very peaceful but very smiling joy, very smiling, very sweet, very smiling, very charming – charming! So innocent, something so pure and so lovely: the joy which is in all things, in everything we do, everything, absolutely everything. I was shown last night: everything, but everything, there isn’t one vibration that isn’t a vibration of joy.

That’s the first time.

So then, the result ... (laughing) is that the body is a little better! It no longer feels that tension so much. But it has been advised to be very peaceful, very peaceful, above all no excitement, no "joy" as one usually has it (the vital joy that is aware of itself and expresses itself), not that, nothing of all that: very peaceful, very peaceful. It’s something so pure, oh! ... So translucent, transparent, light....

It’s the first time I have felt this physically. Meaning it’s the first time these cells have had this experience.

You see, previously, they always felt the Lord’s support in the power and the force, they felt they existed because of Him, they existed through Him, they existed in Him; they used to feel all that. But to be capable of feeling it, they had to have endurance – absolute endurance – to endure everything. Now it’s not that; it’s not that, there is something that smiles, but smiles so sweetly, so sweetly, and is, oh, extraordinarily amused, behind it all, and it’s light, light, so light – all the weight of that tension has disappeared.

And it’s the result of that awesome "flow": a flow that carried the cells along; it wasn’t that the cells were immobile and it was flowing through them: they were IN the movement, they were moving with that same velocity – a fantastic velocity with a dazzling luminosity and unimaginable speed, felt materially, like that. It was beyond all possibility of ordinary sensation. It lasted for hours.

***

Soon afterwards

Have you heard of dolphins’ speech?... Haven’t you seen those articles?... They have discovered that dolphins speak an articulate speech, but with a much more extensive range than ours: it rises much higher and goes much lower. And it’s far more varied. And they frequently talk (it seems it can be recorded), they talk but people don’t understand what they say. And then, they were given our speech to listen to – they imitate it and make fun of it! They laugh! (Mother looks very amused)

I saw some photos, they look nice, but the photos aren’t enough. They have, as porpoises do, rows of small teeth (it seems they aren’t ferocious at all, they never fly into a fury). They talk and talk!

And they know how to listen. And then, they imitate and laugh, as if they found us extremely ridiculous.

It’s amusing.

It seems they have made kinds of large swimming pools somewhere in North America in which they are kept, and that they appear quite happy. So they are doing studies on them: there’s an American scientist looking after all that, and someone told him (I read this yesterday), "You say they may be as intelligent as we are, but if they were they would have tried to make themselves understood and to understand us." The other fellow replied (Mother laughs) that perhaps it was wisdom, because they would have discovered that we are very silly!

It’s amusing.

I have also heard that other scientists have discovered "immediate transmission," which doesn’t follow the slow curve of wave transmissions or even of more ethereal transmissions, through what they call (I think) a sort of "pendulum" or counterweight, so that what is done here is automatically reproduced there; if it goes down here, it goes up there, and if it goes down there, it goes up here, automatically. It’s imitation (because they can’t understand what it is), but it’s intuitive communication, of course. It seems they have an instrument to measure it – it’s fantastic!

They’ll end up having everything except the key.

Yes, that’s right! Yes, but it’s good to have everything, because as soon as the key is there, the whole thing will be done.

Maybe it’s the necessary preparation for the new creation. So only the key, as you said, will be missing. Then comes the key: pfft! now the whole thing is done.

But at any rate, it seems (I had already been told this), it seems it has somewhat deflated their mental arrogance ... (laughing) they no longer think they are the superior beings of the creation!

Ah, let’s work on Savitri a little ... (Mother reads the first line):

A few shall see what none yet understands (I.IV.55)

There, you see!

***

(A little later, Mother looks at her appointment notebook cluttered with endless lists.)

... But anyway, there is good reason to believe that the Lord is enjoying Himself. He must be enjoying Himself a lot, otherwise He wouldn’t make me see all those people. He must find it greatly amusing – but I think everything amuses Him, even what we don’t find amusing because we are too small.

Fatigue is a great sign of weakness; when something tires you or bores you, it’s really a sign of weakness. It doesn’t happen to me very often anymore; I don’t even think it happens at all: there’s just, somewhere in the mental consciousness (and it doesn’t come from me, it comes from others, rather), a suggestion that "it’s really a bit too much." Otherwise ...

What about your book? How is it going?

Last night again – very often, almost every night, I spend a while in the night in the state of consciousness of your book: the manner of seeing, feeling and saying (Mother draws a strip in midair representing the book’s "region"), like that. So now and then, I make a suggestion, but not with words: I seem to introduce into it another way of seeing and feeling: "Why not this way?" It has happened several times. But when I wake up I don’t remember the details because there are too many things. But it’s a place where the book is taking shape, so I enter that place and seem to bring currents of air into it! (Mother laughs) I make proposals. It happens very often. I think it regularly happens every night, but I remember only when I think it necessary.

@

June 4, 1966

How are things? – They should be better.

Why?

Because I think ("I think" is a manner of speaking) ... I told you the other day about that awesome force; well, I think it’s having some effect all the same.

It has changed something in the atmosphere, it’s not so oppressive, is it? I told you the difference in the position; well, it’s as if something had really been reversed. So it should have effect on everybody (?)

And I keep on writing endless pages! Yes, of your book. It’s quite new. (Besides, once I am awake I no longer concern myself with it at all.) I spend part of my night like that, not writing with my own hand but dictating. While I do it I find it enjoyable, but not enjoyable enough for me to remember what I wrote. Stories! ... I appear to have much imagination. But when I read it, it gives me the impression of something I saw or lived.

@

June 8, 1966

(Regarding an old Talk of 19 April 1951 in which Mother said: "You seem to be on an inner hunt, you go hunting for the dark little corners.... You offer the difficulty, whether it is in yourself or in others, whatever the seat of its manifestation, to the Divine Consciousness, asking It to transform it.")

That’s precisely what I have been doing for two days! For the last two days I have spent all my time seeing all that ... oh, an accumulation of heaps of sordid little things we constantly live in, sordid tiny little things. And then, there is only one way – only one way, always the same: to offer it.

This Supreme Consciousness almost seems to put you in contact with quite forgotten things that belong to the past – that are even, or that were or seemed, completely erased, with which you no longer had any contact: all kinds of little circumstances, but seen now in the new consciousness, in their true place, and because of which all life, all human life is such a pathetic, miserable, mean whole. And then, there’s a luminous joy in offering all that for it to be transformed, transfigured.

Now it has become the movement of even the cellular consciousness. All the weaknesses, all the response to adverse suggestions (I mean the tiny little things of every minute, in the cells), it sometimes comes in waves, to such a point that the body feels it’s going to buckle under the onslaught, and then ... there’s such a warm, deep, sweet light, so powerful, which restores order everywhere, puts everything in its place and opens the road towards transformation.

These phases are very difficult times for the body’s life; you feel as if there only remains one thing that decides: the supreme Will. There’s no support left – no support; from the support of habit to the support of knowledge and the support of will, all the supports have disappeared: there is only the Supreme.

(silence)

The aspiration in the cellular consciousness to the perfect sincerity of the consecration.

And the lived experience – intensely lived – that only that absolute sincerity of the consecration allows existence.

The slightest pretense is an alliance with the forces of dissolution and death.

So it’s like a chant in the cells – but they mustn’t even have the insincerity to watch themselves – the chant of the cells: "Your Will, Lord, Your Will ..."

And the immense habit of depending on the will of others, the consciousness of others, the reactions of others (of others and of all things), that sort of universal playacting everyone does for everyone and everything does for everything must be replaced by a spontaneous, absolute sincerity of consecration.

It is obvious that that perfection in sincerity is possible only in the most material part of the consciousness.

That’s where you can be, exist, act without watching yourself be, without watching yourself exist, without watching yourself act, with perfect sincerity.

***

Soon afterwards

This Talk [of April 19, 1951] interests me immensely. It’s exactly the same focus as the present effort.

This constant correlation between the inner and the outer work is very interesting, like the preparation of this Bulletin,[39] for instance.

I can clearly see that the initial cause always comes from outside ("outside" with regard to this body), in the sense that the focus of the effort depends on the state of health of the people around me, on a certain set of circumstances, and also on an intellectual work (like this Bulletin); those are the causes. Because here (gesture to the forehead), there’s really a tranquil and silent stillness. So there’s only what comes from outside.

And the body is increasingly conscious: it has a very acute perception of the vibrations coming from the old habits, from the old ways of being and from the opposition, and of the presence of the True Vibration. So it’s a question of dose and proportion, and when the amount, the sum total of the old vibrations, the old habits, the old responses, is too great, that creates a disorder which takes stillness and concentration in order to be overcome, and which gives such a clear and intense perception of how precarious the equilibrium and existence are. And then, behind: a Glory. The Glory of the divine Light, the divine Will, the divine Consciousness, the eternal Motive.

@

June 11, 1966

(The conversation begins with the book Satprem is writing, which Mother "dictates" at night, but which Satprem has difficulty receiving.)

Mon petit, I keep on writing! It’s incredible! It has never happened to me. Fantastic things ... But is it coming along?

Not much, not fast at all.

Do you write in sequence or did you begin with the end?

No, no, I always write in sequence.... It’s not coming easily, it’s not coming smoothly at all. I wonder where the blockage is.

It’s because when one starts writing, one enters the mental atmosphere, the human mental atmosphere. And the passage is almost imperceptible, there’s such a habit of thinking, of expressing oneself, of feeling within a human mental atmosphere ... which is nevertheless, in comparison with the human individual, something very vast, very complex, very supple (and those who move about in it already have the sense of a higher intelligence, an exceptional understanding and so on), but from the standpoint of the Truth, it’s so artificial and CONVENTIONAL! It’s a very durable convention, which undergoes slight changes, alterations according to the times, the ages, but which has some sort of permanence. I feel it as ... (Mother makes a circular gesture around her head) a globe one is inside, luminous but so artificial!

This morning, I had, for instance, a whole series of experiences regarding the notion of selfishness. I remember that the first time someone said to Sri Aurobindo in my presence (many years ago) about someone else, "Oh, he is selfish," Sri Aurobindo smiled and answered, "Selfish? But the most selfish of all is the Divine, since everything belongs to Him and He sees everything in relation to Himself!" I found it rather daring! And this morning (strangely, just this morning; it’s not the first time, either), I suddenly felt how false that notion of selfishness is and that sort of reprobation of the selfish, with, at the same time, all the shades of leniency, understanding, how false all that is, that whole world, how rigid and outside the Truth. "Outside the Truth," not that its opposite would be true, no, that’s not the point! It’s that sort of "moral-mental" notion, which is such a self-evident affair that nobody questions it – how far, far away it is from the Truth.

But this morning’s experience was luminous because I LIVED in the Truth. And I experienced both the true atmosphere and the conventional atmosphere. But a convention that’s not local or of a particular period, of a time or a place, that’s not it: they are kinds of conventions CREATED by the human consciousness, which take on nuances – they are quite supple – which take on nuances and transform themselves according to the need, but they really are conventions. It seemed to me like a balloon – immense, as large as the earth, much larger than the earth.

And at the same time I also had the experience (an experience I’ve had very, very often) that when you live in the Light, there is perfect comprehension, and it isn’t something reflected or seen, that’s not it, it is ... something that IS, that exists: a living Light. And as soon as you want to express it, it gets into the balloon, and then it becomes conventional (even without uttering words: just saying it to yourself). When you are like this (immobile gesture turned Upward), then it’s The Thing. And as soon as you try to formulate it to yourself, and, even more so, to write it, it seems to get into the balloon and it becomes conventional. To such a point that these days it’s very difficult for me, when I am active, to write anything, I find it so flat and dry and distorted.

But at night ... (laughing) as if by reaction, I dictate all kinds of things! But I don’t remember what I write, it’s absolutely elsewhere.

But I feel that artificiality constantly.

Yes.

Constantly. But I don’t know, I am waiting for, hoping for something that will be pure or true. But I constantly feel that artificiality.

That’s right.

We’re probably on the verge of the solution. It’s always like that. We’ll see.

(silence)

The marvelous thing is that as soon as you get out of it, there’s ... phew! You seem to burst into a limitless immensity of light, and of such living light! So living, so powerful, so active! It’s marvelous. Then all the rest becomes so paltry, ugh!

Yes!

So ... (laughing) we’re perhaps in search of the solution.

(Soon afterwards, the question comes up of the publication of the previous conversation, of June 8, 1966, in the appendix to the Playground Talk of April 19, 1951... fifteen years earlier. Satprem voices certain doubts, emphasizing the vast difference between the two texts.)

... We must put it in [the conversation of June 8], it’s very important. Very useful. People must know it.

I felt there was such a gulf between the two....

That doesn’t matter.

In fact it gives some little sense of the yoga – the yoga of Matter – of what it means.

You know, the ultimate outcome is something so wonderful that everything people have known, even those who have had the most unique, exceptional, marvelous experiences, all of it is insipid in comparison! It’s like that.

And in fact the body is beginning to be aware of it, and because it’s beginning to be aware of it, it also begins to feel that whatever the ordeal (as they call it in English), it’s not too high a price to pay for that.

It’s ready, it is ready to bear anything to have That ... which is beyond all comprehension. There is a fullness of experience that cannot be known anywhere but here [in the body]. It’s something that comes (massive gesture taking hold of the entire body). As I said, an absoluteness of sincerity – you simply ARE, that’s all.

Naturally, there is a long way to go, and the way ... I don’t know, maybe some people are able to strew flowers on themselves on the road, but ... at any rate that doesn’t seem to me to be the most direct road!

@

June 15, 1966

... He is mentally very limp.

But I too feel mentally in a limp state! I get the feeling of a complete numbness.

Then that’s perfect.

Yes, but then I can’t write!

Listen, Sri Aurobindo wrote the whole Arya for I don’t know how much time, five years, I think, without a single thought in his head.

I don’t think, but I do have the thoughts of the physical, material world, the material mind. Yes, that’s there.

Oh, it keeps running?

Yes, it keeps running. But all the rest has stopped running. There’s a sort of numbness. I wouldn’t complain if I didn’t have to write!

With me, it’s the other way around; it’s here [materially] that it has become numb – not numb, not at all a feeling of sleeping or ... it’s being in what people call a dream, but it’s not a dream. It’s an inner perception, something, but without thought, like that, in the realm of ... of what? ... Of perception, yes, of consciousness, but a consciousness that’s not intellectually formulated. And there’s a sort of rhythm like this (Mother gestures to show the very supple and harmonious motion of a pendulum), materially. What was forever working and harping on things (it’s unbearable), now, oh, it’s very, very pleasant, very pleasant. But up there (gesture above the head), "That" is there; it’s becoming awesome, you know, from the standpoint of action, of perception.

It’s not exactly a numbness, but ...

You must have gone through the wrong door.

The wrong door?

Yes (smiling), you have opened the wrong door.

Maybe what you want to write is very human? I mean, very much in the human consciousness: the human reactions, human perceptions. Because if that’s the case ... I find it so useless, futile, uninteresting, absurd, and, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, untrue, false. So then, maybe I am responsible! I find it sickening, you know, now that there is that sort of sweetness ... a sweetness ... It’s not drowsy, it has nothing to do with inertia; it’s a sort of ... (same gesture of a pendulum), it’s like letting oneself flow along, but on a luminous stream. So, ever since this has been there, all human stories, all their stories in all fields, from politics to artistic creation and all that, oh, I find it terribly futile – and so ridiculously agitated.

My idea (if I have one), and what makes me persist in writing, is that all that I have said in an intellectual way, which appeals to people’s intellectual consciousness, I’d like to say it in a deeper way, which is a rhythm (people call it "poetry," but as for me I don’t understand a thing about poetry). What I’d like is to express an inner rhythm, to touch another layer of the being, deeper than those things of the intellect. "The Adventure of Consciousness" appeals to people’s intellectual consciousness, it’s to make them understand. But what I’d like is to touch something else. To say the same thing with an inner rhythm ... images.

Maybe that’s why, maybe I am also responsible?

That’s right: I’m not in it, I’m not there.

You’re not there, no, but that’s because you are with me! (Mother laughs)

@

June 18, 1966

Why have men created such fixed things as languages? ... It’s so deliberately narrow and limited. And I think that’s what abolished in man the possibility of intuition, because ...

He is forced to become so narrow in order to make himself understood. You feel you could be sitting in front of a genius and have no means to communicate, except like this (gesture above the head of a communication on a higher plane).

They are wondering how to communicate with other solar systems.... But our very way of thinking stems from our form, it’s because we count one-two-three-four-five with our fingers, so we say one-two-three-four-five. Others use other words, but if five objects are put together they understand. But can dolphins count, for instance? They have no hands, no feet – (laughing) they only have one-two-three-four-five dolphins!

It would be interesting to know.

And nothing allows us to postulate that out there in those other systems, billions of light-years away from us, they will have the same form as we do or an analogous form. They may be balls, they may be all kinds of things!

There is only one thing, ONE vibration that seems to be really universal: the Vibration of Love. I am not saying its manifestation, no, nothing of the sort! But the something which is pure Love. That seems to me to be universal.

But as soon as you try to express it, it’s over.

The vibrations of the beings out there must be rather identical to ours?

I don’t know ... I don’t know.

Why should the Lord repeat Himself?

The forms are different, of course, but the vibrations?

But I tell you, only that Vibration seems essential and primordial enough to be really universal.

That Vibration which is both the need and the joy to unite.

And deep within it, there is an identity of vibration – the RECOGNITION of an identity of vibration.

@

June 25, 1966

This morning towards five, you came and told me lots of things. Oh, really!

Were you sleeping?

Yes, certainly.

I was awake, taking my walk – my japa-walk. You came and spoke to me, you even asked me (laughing), "Did you see Sri Aurobindo this night?" So I told you all kinds of things, but I also told you, "No, I won’t have anything left to tell you this morning!" And here I am, telling you everything. Nothing sensational last night. It was a night of great rest. So that’s what I can tell you, that’s all. But it was amusing, and I said, "Oh, you are so conscious you come and talk to me!" But then you weren’t conscious! Which means that this [Satprem’s outer being] isn’t conscious, but the other was: you came and talked to me.

I’m not conscious at all.

That’s strange.

Sometimes, depending on the activities one has had, the kind of life one has lived, there are intermediary parts (Mother draws a narrow strip) that remain undeveloped, so they act as a sort of padding: the consciousness doesn’t go through. I also had one like that; but as soon as I met Théon, he told me. He told me, "Your ... (Mother tries to remember) nervous subdegree" (I think), "between the vital and the physical, isn’t developed." There’s a padding, the consciousness doesn’t go through. So for six or ten months I worked carefully to develop it – no result. Then I left (perhaps I’ve already told you the story), I left for the countryside. One day, I stretched out on the grass, and all of a sudden, prrt! it came from everywhere, the consciousness had awakened. And indeed the way was blocked: there were lots of things that I never received because of that. But it’s a long work.

What could I do for that?

At that time I could have answered you in detail; now I don’t exactly remember. But the best thing is, when you go to bed, a slight concentration with the will to remain conscious. Just that. A sort of aspiration to remain conscious.

Yet I never go to sleep just anyhow, I always go to sleep after a meditation.

Yes, that’s why you come to me and I see you and all that. But then that is missing: a small connection.

At that time, when I was deep in occultism, I could have told you in detail, now I don’t remember. But I know (that’s one thing I still know): an aspiration. An aspiration for the thing ... You know, when you want to wake up at a precise time and you say to yourself, "I want to wake up at such and such a time," it works very well; well, it’s the same principle. Instead of asking for a precise time, you ask to remember, to remain conscious – to remember what has happened. It can act. And also, as I have always said, not to wake up abruptly, that is, not to leap from one’s bed, to stay quite still for a while. It happens to me even now: if I wake up and get up abruptly, it’s after a time, when I enter my concentration again, that the memory comes back.

These two things are enough, they should do.

***

(Soon afterwards, regarding a European disciple who asks to help the Ashram’s "cottage industry." This fragment of conversation, though rather prosaic, was preserved, as it is quite illustrative.)

This cottage industry produces things that aren’t very pretty.... So she would like to know if you want her to go and work there or to do something on her own. I feel she has a capacity for handicraft that could be used.

Pavitra read me her letter. I spontaneously answered him, "Oh, this woman is too perfect for me." You know, "I can do this, I can do that, I do this so well, I do that so perfectly...." There were pages of it, mon petit! So in the end I said, "She is too perfect for me."

She is probably skillful.

Yes, and this cottage industry has lots of resources that aren’t put to full use....

I have never got involved in it – it’s been functioning for a long time and they’ve been producing their hideous things for a long time....

Yes.

And I have never said anything because ... we don’t speak the same language. But perhaps G. [the head of the cottage industry] would be glad to have her?

But that needs your approval. How should she go and see G.? She would need a note from you or...

Oh, no! I can’t say anything. G. must be the one to ask. She should express to G. her wish to help, and he should spontaneously accept; otherwise it won’t work, mon petit! I’ll receive a polite letter for an answer.

That’s strange!

No, no, that’s how it is, humanity is like that.

If she goes there, if she shows interest and a great goodwill, then it may work. Naturally, if G. asks if I agree, I’ll certainly tell him – but he must be the one to ask! (Mother laughs)

She could bring some fresh air there....

There was some repair work to be done in their house – she showed the workers how they should do it! – The workers preferred to go and work elsewhere.

They all have that, all of them: the arrogance of the European, oh! ... Because the European is indeed used to dealing with Matter, so he has a certain authority over Matter. That’s true. For instance they are much more orderly (I am talking in a general way, there are exceptions everywhere), they have a certain mastery over Matter that doesn’t exist here, and because of that they feel so superior that it’s disgusting.

I find this in all those who come and I must admit I get ... I let them flounder about for some years, until they suddenly realize that with all their superiority they are inferior. Then – then we can start getting along with each other!

You understand?

That’s true.

***

Then Mother takes up the translation of "Savitri"

It’s always the sound that guides me....

Do you know that Sunil has done some music for Savitri, and he is going to play it for me in early July. I don’t think he wants to have an audience, it’s quite private, because it must be played only in 1968 – in February ‘68 – and he will show me just a small piece to see if it’s all right. But I thought you would be interested. I’ll leave my windows wide open.

I like what he does very much.

Oh, not just once but very often, while listening to his music, a door is immediately opened onto the region of universal harmony, where you hear the origin of sounds, and with an extraordinary emotion and intensity, something that pulls you out of yourself (gesture of abrupt wrenching). It’s the first time I’ve had this while listening to music – I myself have it when I am all alone. But I never had it while listening to music, it’s always something much closer to the earth. Here, it’s something very high, but very universal, and with a tremendous power: a creative power. Well, his music opens the door.

Now, some people have heard his music, and in Russia, France and the U.S.A. as well, they have asked for permission to copy it and spread it around. And the strange thing is that those people don’t know one another, but they have all had the same impression: tomorrow’s music. So to those who have asked I’ve answered, "Have some patience, in two years we’ll give you a musical monument." It’s much better to begin with a major work, because it immediately gives the position, otherwise you might think it’s passing little inspirations – not that: something that strikes you on the head and makes you bow before it.

I read out the lines (in English, naturally), and with that he does the music. And the words are probably mixed in with the music, as he always does. But then, my reading is simply the clearest possible pronunciation, with the full understanding of what’s being said, and WITHOUT A SINGLE INTONATION. I think I have succeeded, because at a week’s interval (I don’t read every day), the timbre of the voice is always the same.

But all the music I used to adore seems pallid to me.

Doesn’t it! It sounds dull.

Yes, it seems shallow.

Superficial, very shallow. All those things I found admirable in the past, that’s finished.

@

June 29, 1966

This morning I got a letter from a little girl who asks me, "What is consciousness? I asked my teachers, they answered me it was very hard to explain"! (Mother laughs) So she’s asking me. And since she asked me, I’ve been looking at it. How can we express it? Do YOU know how it can be explained? Because the words we use are meaningless.

Spontaneously, I’d say it’s the fire or the breath that carries the whole world. It’s the fire that makes everything live – that makes the chest breathe, that makes the sea heave ...

That’s not bad!

What would YOU say?

Here is what I found: it’s the cause of existence – the cause and the effect at the same time. But that’s not it.

Your explanation is more poetic, it’s more literary, but still I am not sure that’s it.

It’s the substance of the world, what constitutes the world.

Yes. If we say, "Without consciousness there is no world," it’s much truer, but it doesn’t explain. That was my first answer: without consciousness, no world, no existence.

It’s the breath or the force that carries the world – that makes it be.

That’s not bad, let’s note it down!

Oh no! You are the one who must find it.

I have to answer this child.

Because otherwise, we are lost in abstractions.

Yes, and with abstractions, you use words that mean something else, that’s all.

But how do YOU perceive consciousness?

Without consciousness, you can’t feel anything. Consciousness is indeed the basis of all things.

(Mother looks at the child’s letter and hands it to Satprem)

"Sweet Mother, I’d like to know: What is consciousness? I asked a teacher, but they said, ‘It’s very hard to explain.’ I want your blessing so I do my exams well. You take my Pranams.[40] Your little daughter."

Without consciousness, no existence, that’s perfectly true, but it doesn’t explain what consciousness is. But your explanation is poetic enough, at any rate! In Indian philosophy, they put Existence before Consciousness. They say Sat-Chit-Ananda.[41] So if we say, Chit-Sat-Ananda...! And it’s not true.

It’s not true, the Rishis always spoke of Fire, "Agni," which is the primordial substance.

But is "fire" consciousness?

Yes, it becomes consciousness – it is consciousness. It’s consciousness-force. The Rishis said, "Even in the stone he is there, even in the waters he is there."

Yes, when I had that experience of the pulsations of Love creating the world, the pulsation came first, and afterwards the consciousness – the consciousness of the pulsation.

So we could define it like this: when the ... the ... (I never know which name to use!) became conscious of Himself, that created the world.

In the Upanishads, they say "tapas"[42] created the world.

Yes, tapas is Power.

It’s fire, too.

No, tapas is Power.

Chit-Tapas is heat.

They say, Sat, Chit-Tapas, Ananda. They put Chit-Tapas together. And it’s Chit first, then Tapas. It’s the creative power of consciousness.

But Sri Aurobindo always said "Consciousness-Force," indissolubly. We can’t separate one from the other. There is no consciousness without force and no force without consciousness – it’s Consciousness-Force. That’s what the world is!

At any rate, it’s not a very philosophical way to put it at all, it’s very childlike, but it’s much truer than metaphysical sentences: When the Lord became conscious of Himself, that created the world.

So, let’s note down your definition for the child.

No, your definition first, that’s the first stage! Then the second stage, the human.

(Mother laughs and writes:)

"When the Lord became conscious of Himself, that created the world."

Now your turn to say!

It’s for you to say.

No, no! Let me hear it.

I don’t know.... Consciousness is the breath or the fire that carries everything.

But if I say "fire," they’ll immediately say, "Ah, consciousness is fire, then!"

The breath that carries everything, that makes everything breathe?

(Mother writes:)

"Consciousness is the breath that is the life of everything."

No ...

"that makes everything live."

You understand, it’s going to go all around the School from one class to another! (Laughing) I know what’s going to happen!

"Consciousness is the breath that makes everything live."

There. She is lucky, that little one. Children are amusing!

***

(Soon afterwards, Mother looks at a stack of English texts that have to be translated into French.)

It would be far easier if those things were written in large characters.... It’s a pity about my eyes. I waste a lot of time, quite a lot. I am forced to ask, or else to take a magnifying glass. What I used to do in three minutes takes me half an hour. That’s how it is. But to recover my sight (that would be possible, nothing is damaged, it’s only worn), I would have to spend a lot of time on it; it would take me a lot of time in exercises, concentrations.... I don’t have the time.

But the promptness of the consciousness when I used to see! ... I don’t find it with other eyes. That was so convenient.

Anyway ...

We must have patience. It’s no use groaning, I must either do something about it or not bother about it! And I don’t have the time to do anything – I am waiting for my sight to be given back to me.

@

July

July 6, 1966

118 – The love of solitude is a sign of the disposition towards knowledge; but knowledge itself is only achieved when we have a settled perception of solitude in the crowd, in the battle and in the mart.

119 – If when thou art doing great actions and moving giant results, thou canst perceive that thou art doing nothing, then know that God has removed His seal from thy eyelids.

120 – If when thou sittest alone, still and voiceless on the mountain-top, thou canst perceive the revolutions thou art conducting, then hast thou the divine vision and art freed from appearances.

121 – The love of inaction is folly and the scorn of inaction is folly; there is no inaction. The stone lying inert upon the sands which is kicked away in an idle moment, has been producing its effect upon the hemispheres.

That’s interesting! It’s precisely the experience I’ve had these last few days, yesterday and the day before. The sense of an irresistible Power directing everything: the world, things, people, everything, but everything ... without one having to move materially. And the sense that that material overactivity is just like the foam formed by fast-running water – the foam on the surface – but underneath, the Force flows in an all-powerful stream.

There’s nothing else to say.

We always come back to this: to know is all right; to say is good; to do is fine; but to be is the only thing that has power.

(silence)

That experience came in relation to Auroville. You know, people get restless because "things aren’t moving fast"; then I had that vision of the divine formation, the divine creation taking place underneath, all-powerful, irresistible, regardless of that whole external hubbub.

@

July 9, 1966

V. asked me a question about the Americans and Vietnam, so I answered him (Mother looks very amused and hands the text of her answer to Satprem):

Question

Are the Americans’ presence and intervention in Vietnam justifiable?

Mother’s answer

From what point of view do you ask the question?

If it is from the political point of view – politics is in complete falsehood and I am not concerned with it.

If it is from the moral point of view – morality is the shield ordinary men brandish to protect themselves from the Truth.

If it is from the spiritual point of view – the Divine Will alone is justifiable and It is what men travesty and distort in all their actions.

***

A little later

There’s a question I’d like to ask you in connection with the last aphorism.... You started saying that regardless of all the unnecessary overactivity of people, there was underneath that great current of irresistible Power DOING things despite everything, despite people....

So, what’s your question?

But that great current of Power needs instruments in order to express itself, doesn’t it?

A brain.

But not just a brain, precisely. That Power can express itself, as in the past, in a mental or overmental way; it can express itself vitally through force; it can express itself through muscles; but how can it express itself physically (because you often speak of a "material power"), purely, directly? What’s the difference between the Action up above and true Action here?

Every time I have been conscious of the Power, the experience has been similar. The Will from above is expressed by a vibration, which certainly gets clothed in vital power but acts in a subtle physical. There is a perception of a certain quality of vibration, which is difficult to describe but gives a sense of something coagulated (not broken up), something that feels denser than air, extremely homogeneous, with a golden luminosity, an AWESOME power of propulsion, and which expresses a certain will – it doesn’t have the nature of human will but more the nature of vision than that of thought: it’s like a vision imposing itself in order to be realized, in a domain very close to material Matter, but invisible except to the inner vision. And That, that Vibration, exerts a pressure on people, on things, on circumstances, in order to fashion them according to its vision. And it’s irresistible. Even people who think the opposite, who want the opposite, do what is willed without wanting it; even things that are opposed in their very nature are turned around.

For national events, relations between nations, terrestrial circumstances, that’s how it acts, constantly, constantly, like an AWESOME Power. So then, if you are yourself in a state of union with the divine Will, without the thought and all the conceptions and ideas interfering, you follow, see, and know.

The resistance of inertia in consciousnesses and in Matter are the reason why that Action, instead of being direct and perfectly harmonious, becomes confused, full of contradictions, shocks and conflicts. Instead of everything working out "normally," I might say, smoothly (as it should), all that resisting, opposing inertia causes things to start clashing together in a tangled movement, with disorder and destruction, which are made necessary only by the resistance but were NOT indispensable: they might not have been – they should not have been, to tell the truth. Because that Will, that Power, is a Power of perfect harmony in which each thing is in its place, and It organizes everything wonderfully: It comes as an absolutely luminous and perfect organization, which you can see when you have the vision. But when It descends and presses down on Matter, everything starts seething and resisting.

So to want to ascribe to the divine Action and the divine Power the disorder and confusion and destruction is yet more human nonsense. It’s inertia (not to speak of ill will), it’s inertia that CAUSES the catastrophe. It isn’t that the catastrophe is willed, or even that it’s foreseen: it is CAUSED by the resistance.

Then, added to this is the vision of the action of the Grace that comes and mitigates the results wherever possible, that is to say, wherever it’s accepted. And that’s what explains that the aspiration, the faith, the complete trust of the human, terrestrial element, have a power of harmonization, because they allow the Grace to come and mend the consequences of blind resistance.

It’s a clear, very clear vision, clear even in the details.

If one wanted to, one could prophesy by telling what one sees. But there is a sort of supercompassion preventing that prophecy, because the Word of Truth has a power of manifestation, and to express the result of resistance would make that state more concrete and would lessen the action of the Grace. That’s why even when one sees, one cannot speak, one MUST NOT speak.

But Sri Aurobindo certainly meant that this Power or this Force is what does everything – everything. When you see It or are one with It, at the same time you know, and you know that That is the only thing that really acts and creates; the rest is the result of the field or the world or the matter or the substance in which It acts –  it’s the result of resistance, but it’s not the Action. And to unite with That means that you unite with the Action; to unite with what’s below means that you unite with the resistance.

So then, because they fidget, stir, bustle, want to do this and that, think, make plans ... they imagine they’re doing something (!) – they just resist.

Later, a little later, I’ll be able to give examples for very small things, showing how the Force acts, and what interferes and mixes in, or what is driven by that Force but distorts its movement, and the result, that is to say, the physical appearance as we see it. Even an example for a very small thing without any world importance gives a clear notion of the way in which everything occurs and is distorted here.

For everything, everything, all the time, all the time, that’s how it is. And when you do the yoga of the cells, you realize it’s the same thing: there is the action of the Force acting, and then ... (Mother laughs) what the body does with that Action!

(silence)

There immediately comes the why and the how. But that belongs to the realm of mental curiosity, because the important fact is to put a stop to the resistance. That’s the important thing, putting a stop to the resistance so the universe may become what it must be: the expression of a harmonious, luminous, marvelous power, incomparably beautiful. Afterwards, once the resistance has ceased, if out of curiosity we want to know why it occurred ... it will no longer matter. But right now, it’s not by looking for the why that we will be able to bring about the remedy: it’s by taking the true position. That’s the only thing that matters.

Putting a stop to the resistance through complete surrender, complete self-giving, in all the cells if one can do it.

They are beginning to have that intense joy of being only through the Lord, for the Lord, in the Lord....

When that is established everywhere, it will be fine.

@

July 23, 1966

... We’re still receiving a number of letters because of the article in Planète, or from people who have read your book. And there are lots of them who want to come here! That’s more serious! ... But anyway, we send them literature. We tell most of them that they have to prepare themselves. And I direct a large number towards Auroville; maybe that’s the essential raison d’être of Auroville....

@

July 27, 1966

Today is the birthday of Jyotin, the gardener. He brought me this, look! ... (Mother gives a double pink lotus) It’s beautiful.

The day man will be like this ...

There, exactly! Exactly what I was thinking. When you see this, you feel your infirmity. (Mother looks at the flower again) It’s wonderful, isn’t it?

Man really isn’t an improvement! ... He is full of miseries and ugly things, while this is so simple, so spontaneous.

Yes, a few days ago the consciousness was under attack. All that is petty, sordid, ugly, oh ... poor, helpless, all that – it was such an avalanche! ... This poor body, it cried over its incapacity to express anything superior. And then, the answer was very simple – it was very clear, very strong – and the experience came: the only solution – the only way out of the difficulty is to BECOME divine Love. And the experience was there at the same time for a few moments (it lasted long enough, maybe more than half an hour). Then you understand that everything you have to go through, all these ordeals, all this suffering, all these miseries, is nothing in comparison with the experience of what will be (and what is). But we are still incapable, meaning that the cells haven’t the strength yet. They are beginning to have the capacity to be, but not the strength to keep That – "That" cannot stay yet.

And That has such an extraordinary power to transform what is! All our notions (and this had become visible), our notions of miracle, of marvelous change, all the stories of miracles that have been told, all of it becomes a child’s prattle – it’s nothing! Nothing. All that we try to have, all that we aspire to have, all that ... is childishness.

Only, it was clear that this isn’t ready yet.

And it was so extraordinary that the cells felt they couldn’t live on without ... without That. That was the impression: That, or else dissolution. And when That had gone away ... It didn’t go by accident but deliberately, and with the clear notion: "Now no fuss, you must prepare yourself for That to stay." And it was so categorical (gesture like a Command from above), that there was no arguing. When That had left, there was a sort of suffocation. Then the Command came, with the rigidity of a wall: "No fuss, you must prepare yourself."

Then you return to your senses, and it all seems so ... oh!

There is the certitude – the certitude based on experience –  that when That is here, it will be ... Or rather, while That is here (since It was here for a while), all the splendors you experience by rising, going out, leaving the body, are nothing. It’s nothing, it doesn’t have that concrete reality. When you have the experiences up above, you live up above and everything appears lackluster and useless in comparison, but even that appears vague in comparison with HERE. This is truly why the world was created: it’s to add to that essential Consciousness something so concrete and so solid, so real, and with such tremendous power!

Only, to the body consciousness it seems long. Up above, of course, there is a smile, but for the body ... And strangely enough, there isn’t in the body that joy of the memory of the experience. You have the joy of the memory of the experiences up above, but here, it’s not like that! It’s not that. The body might say, "It’s no use for me to remember: I want to have the thing." Because wherever the mind comes in, the memory is charming, but here, it’s not like that. It’s not like that: on the contrary, it intensifies the need to be, the aspiration, the need. And life looks like something so stupid, false, artificial, meaningless, without ... "What’s all this nonsense we constantly live in!" And yet, when That was there, nothing was destroyed, everything remained, but it was something else altogether.

Later ... (Mother seems about to say something, then stops her self) ... later.

No, it has made me understand something, but it’s something very (how can I put it?), very intimate.... When Sri Aurobindo left, I knew I had to cut the link with the psychic being, otherwise I would have gone with him; and as I had promised him I would stay on and do the work, I had to do that: I literally closed the door on the psychic and said, "For the moment this doesn’t exist anymore." It remained like that for ten years. After ten years, it slowly, slowly began to open again – it was frightening. But I was ready. It began to open again. But then, that experience surprised me when I had it; I wondered why it had been like that, why I had received that command and had to do it. And when there was in the body that identification with divine Love [a few days ago], after that had left, the cells were ordered to undergo a similar phenomenon [to what happened after Sri Aurobindo’s departure]. And I understood why the whole material world is closed: it’s to allow it to exist WITHOUT the experience [of divine Love]. Naturally, I had understood why I was made to close off my psychic, because ... because it was truly impossible, I couldn’t go on existing outwardly without Sri Aurobindo’s presence. Well then, the cells have understood that they must go on existing and living their life without the presence of divine Love. And that’s how it took place in the world: it was a necessary phenomenon for the formation and development of the material world.

But we’re perhaps nearing ... We are nearing the time when it will be allowed to open again.

(silence)

You remember, I don’t know if it was in a letter or an article, Sri Aurobindo spoke of the manifestation of divine Love; he said, "Truth will have to be established first, otherwise there will be catastrophes...." I understand that very well.

But it’s a long time in coming! (Mother laughs)

Up above, nothing is long. But anyway, it’s here that we are ordered to exist and to achieve.

It’s on this occasion, too, that I had an answer regarding death. I was told, "But they all want to die! Because they don’t have the courage to be before That is manifested." And I saw – I clearly saw it was like that.

The power of Death is that they all want to die! Not like that in their active thought, but in the body’s deep feeling, because it doesn’t have the courage to be without That – it takes great courage.

So they began with a complete ignorance and general stupidity, participating in all that this life is outwardly (as if it were something wonderful!). But as soon as they begin to grow a little wiser, it stops being wonderful. It’s like what I said about this flower [the lotus]: when you know how to look at a flower, at the so spontaneous and, oh, uncomplicated expression of this marvelous Love, then you understand how long the way is – all these attachments, all this importance we give to useless things, whereas there should be a spontaneous and natural beauty.

If the world understood too soon, nobody would want to stay on, basically! That’s the point.

Yes, exactly! That’s the point.

If they knew too soon, if they were able to see the opposition between what is and what must be, they wouldn’t have the courage. One must ... one must truly be heroic – heroic. I assure you, I see these cells, they are heroic – heroic. As for them, they don’t "know" in that mental way: it’s only their adoration that saves them. That is, "What You will, Lord, what You will, what You will ... ," with the simplicity of a child’s ingenuous heart: "What You will, what You will, what You will ... only what You will and nothing but what You will exists." Then it’s all right. But without that, it’s not possible. It’s not possible to know what they know and to continue to be if That isn’t there. You know, the feeling is, "At Your service, what You will, what You will ... whatever You will ... ," without discussion, without anything, without even a sensation, nothing: "What You will, what You will...."

This is the only strength, there is no other.

Well, some have to do it, don’t they! Otherwise it would never get done.

And at that moment[43] (it was a rather difficult moment), there was even in the consciousness ... it was like a sword of white light that nothing can shake and which gave the cells the sensation, "What! But you should be in an ecstasy of joy, now that you know what will be" – what there IS, in principle.

But it has caused a sort of detachment from the gestures, the outside, as if life weren’t quite real – yet real at the same time, but the Reality isn’t there.... There is the sense of the Presence; that’s constant. And that’s a good thing to begin with, it strongly counterbalances the sense and perception of all the Distortion. There is even an insistence from this Presence for That alone to exist and to increasingly reduce the reality of the perception of what must not be. There will be a great strength in the being when the perception of what must not be is dimmed, erased as something far away and nonexistent.

That’s what is being prepared.

What makes the work a little more complicated is that it isn’t limited to this (Mother’s body), it’s everything, everything around ... and to a rather considerable distance. Because the contact in thought is almost perfectly established: it’s impossible for someone to think [of Mother] without there being a response in the consciousness – a response, a perception. So, imagine what it is ... It’s rather vast and rather complicated.

And there are kinds of rungs or stages – stages in the response of the consciousness; rungs and stages according to the degree of development and consciousness. It makes for, oh, not an immensity, but still a rather extensive world. In this perception, the earth isn’t very large.

And there is a precision in details for tiny things, like what goes on in an individual’s consciousness, for instance, or the response to certain events. It’s very, very precise. But there is always a ban on saying things so as not to give them a power of concretization. But the work is being done like that, on all the planes; on all the planes (there are even planes beneath the feet), constantly, constantly, without stop, night and day.

***

A little later

We’re still receiving heaps of letters. Lots of people want to come and are asking questions. There’s going to be a crush of people – some are arranging planes! So yesterday I said, "We’ll have a direct yearly flight: Paris-Auroville!" And they’re going to prepare an airfield. We are already in negotiations with the government for the land: it’s huge, we could make four or five airfields! There will be a landing field in Auroville: Paris-Auroville! (Mother looks very amused.)

It seems that in 1972, there will be a new plane that will fly from Paris to India (Paris-Auroville!) in four hours. Which means that if they leave Paris in the evening, they’ll reach here at daybreak (you know that some time is lost while coming here). And if they leave here at noon, they’ll reach Paris at 10 in the morning – two hours before they left.

They’ll end up going so fast that they’ll reach the day before they left!

Four hours is fast.

A lot of use that’ll be!... I am regressive, you know. What’s the use of going so fast!

It’s interesting.

Do you really think it’s any use?

(Mother laughs ... silence) Some rather queer things are going on. But I’ll talk about them when I have completed my observations.

Another year or two, and there will be something to say.

@

July 30, 1966

I think there is an attempt going on to teach me (that is, to make me learn) why one dies.

There are lots of ways of dying, depending on the various planes of consciousness, and there are lots of causes (gesture in a gradation), but in each domain there is, as it were, an essential cause that makes death at the same time necessary, indispensable and unavoidable. And then, physically, that is, materially in the body’s cells, you seem to be ... (Mother makes a gesture at a tangent), you are just on the borderline, on the verge of finding the secret of why there is cessation, why dissolution is made necessary by the incapacity to follow the movement of transformation.

It came in the wake of a sort of purely physical attack or fit extremely painful, during which I had almost the revelation of why the cells cease to be organized. It’s fairly recent since it was yesterday, and it needs to sink in before it can be expressed. But I had a strong impression that I was on the verge of a supreme secret of physical dissolution.

When it becomes (I don’t know how many experiences it will take to be quite clear), but when it becomes quite clear, then ...

I think I am being made to learn this.

It’s a dangerous game!

Yes ... Only what must happen can happen, of course. It’s for me to hold out, that’s all!

And if I don’t hold out, it means I am not able to do the work; if I am not able to do it, that puts an end to the whole affair.

Only what must happen happens, without a doubt.

No, no, the conviction becomes absolute that you can die only if you must die. One never dies by accident.

Never?

Never (Mother takes on a categorical tone of voice), NEVER.

No accident ever happens.

What man calls "accident," never. It may have the appearance of an accident, but it’s only an appearance.

@

August

August

August 3, 1966

Is there anything new?

There was something that might interest you (Mother looks for a piece of paper).

What interests me is what you are doing.

What I ...?

What you are doing.

I am making discoveries, mon petit.

When the mind is active, or rather, as long as the mind is active, when you have dedicated your life and are fully convinced that it’s your only raison d’être, you tend to imagine that if you work for the Divine, the whole being participates, and if you aspire to progress, the whole being participates. You are satisfied once all contradiction has disappeared either in the vital or in the mind, and once everything is in agreement and harmonious. You think you have won a victory. But then, now ... now that it’s the cells of the body that want and aspire, they have been forced to note that suffering, difficulty, opposition, complication, all that is only to make them be wholly, completely, totally and CONSTANTLY in their aspiration.

It’s extremely interesting, really very interesting.

I told you last time about those moments I had, which really were moments of realization [of divine Love]; then I clearly saw that it went away because "it" couldn’t stay, and I immediately wanted to know why it couldn’t stay. To just say, "Things aren’t ready ... things aren’t ready," is quite meaningless. Then the cells themselves observed a sort of ... it’s something between torpor, drowsiness, numbness and indifference; and that state is mistaken for peace, quietude and acceptance, but it really is ... it really is a form of tamas.[44] And that’s the reason why it may last for what, to our consciousness, is almost an eternity. And there was, as I told you, an experience [a painful attack]; it recurred in another form (it never recurs in the same form), in another form, and then the cells noticed that that sort of intensity, of ardor of will taking hold of them, that something concrete in the self-giving, in the surrender, does not exist when everything is fine (what people are in the habit of calling "everything is fine," which means that you don’t feel your body, there is no difficulty and things are just getting along).

It was almost a disappointment for these cells, which thought they were very ardent (!) and have had to realize that that semi-drowsiness was entirely responsible for all that’s habitually called "illnesses" – but I don’t believe in "illnesses" anymore. I believe in them less and less. Everything that comes is a particular form of disorder, resistance, incomprehension or incapacity – it all belongs to the domain of resistance. And there isn’t really a deliberate resistance [in Mother’s cells], I mean, what’s conventionally called bad will (I hope this is true! If there is any, they haven’t become aware of it yet), but those things come as keen indications of the different points [of work or resistance in Mother’s body], so it results in what’s called pains, or a sense of disorder, or a discomfort. (A discomfort, that is to say, a sense of disorder or disharmony, is much harder to bear than a sharp pain, much harder; it’s like something that starts grating and gets stuck and can’t get back into place.) All that, in the ordinary consciousness or the ordinary human view, is what people call "illnesses."

There only remains the phenomenon of contagion (contagion of viruses or germs), but there, experience shows that phenomena of psychological disorder – all psychological disorders – appear to be, according to experience, of the same nature as the contagion of a contagious disease and of all viruses and germs (such as the plague, cholera and so on). There are psychological contagions of psychological states: states of revolt or violence, of anger AND DEPRESSION, are contagious in the same manner, it’s a similar phenomenon. Therefore, since it’s a similar phenomenon, it can be mastered. It’s simply a question of words: we call them "illnesses" (but these [psychological contagions] can also be called illnesses) or we can call them any name we like, it’s a question of words, that’s all. But it’s similar, it’s the same thing: it’s an opening to disorder or an opening to revolt. We can call it what we like. Only, it’s in a different field of vibrations. But the character is identical.

And then, what discoveries I make! Extraordinary discoveries: how every experience always has an obverse and a reverse. For instance, the calm of a vision that’s vast enough not to be disturbed by tiny infinitesimal points and is (I was about to say "seems to be," but it doesn’t seem to be: it IS) the result of a growth of consciousness and of an identification with the higher regions, and at the same time that apparent insensitiveness that looks like the negation of divine compassion; there comes a point when you see both as having become true and being able to exist not simultaneously but as ONE thing. As recently as the day before yesterday, I had the perfectly concrete experience of an extremely intense wave of divine Compassion [in the face of one of those "psychological contagions"], and I had the opportunity to observe how, if this Compassion is allowed to manifest on a certain plane, it becomes an emotion that may disturb or trouble the imperturbable calm; but if it manifests (they aren’t the same "planes": there are imperceptible nuances), if it manifests in its essential truth, it retains all its power of action, of effective help, and it in no way changes the imperturbable calm of the eternal vision.

All those are experiences of nuances (or nuances of experiences, I don’t know how to put it) that become necessary and concrete only in the physical consciousness. And then, it results in a perfection of realization – a perfection in the minutes" detail – which none of those realizations have in the higher realms. I am learning what the physical realization contributes in terms of concreteness, accuracy and perfection in the Realization; and how all those experiences interpenetrate, combine with each other, complement each other – it’s wonderful.

At the same time, I am little by little learning from demonstration the true use that must be made of mental activity. Its purpose is easy to understand: it has been used to educate, awaken and so on; but it’s not something that after having done its duty and fulfilled its purpose will disappear. It will be used in its own manner, but in its true manner and true place. And it becomes wonderfully interesting.... For instance, the idea that you are what you think, that your knowledge is your power, well, it seems to be a necessity of the transition, of the passage from one state of consciousness to another, but it’s not, as I said, something that will disappear when something else is reached: it will be used, but in its own place. Because when you experience union, the mind appears unnecessary: the direct contact, the direct action, do without it. But in its true place, acting in the true way, sticking to its place (a place not of necessity or even usefulness, but of refinement in action), it becomes quite interesting. When you see the Whole as a growing self-awareness, the mind enriches – it enriches the Whole. And when each thing is in its own place, it all becomes so harmonious and simple, but with such full and complete and perfect simplicity that everything is used.

And with all this, there is (it almost seems to be the key to the problem, to the understanding), there is a special concentration on the why, the how of death.... Years and years ago, when Sri Aurobindo was still here, there came one day a sort of dazzling, imperious revelation: "One dies only when one chooses to die." I told Sri Aurobindo, "This is what I saw and KNEW." He said to me, "It is true." Then I asked him, "Always, in every case?" He said, "Always." Only, one isn’t conscious, human beings aren’t conscious, but that’s how it is. But now I am beginning to understand! Some experiences, some examples are given in the details of the body’s inner vibrations, and I see that there is a choice, a choice generally unconscious, but which, in some individuals, can be conscious. I am not talking about sentimental cases, I am talking about the body, the cells accepting disintegration. There is a will like this (Mother raises a finger upward) or a will like that (Mother lowers her finger). The origin of that will lies in the truth of the being, but it seems (and that is something marvelous), it seems that the final decision is left to the choice of the cells themselves.

I am not at all referring to the physical, vital, psychic consciousnesses, not to any of that: I am referring to the consciousness of the cells.

That’s how the present moment is: the will may be like this (Mother raises a finger upward), or it may be like that (finger downward). Like that, it means dissolution; like this, it means continuation and progress – continuation with the necessity of progress. There is something which is the consciousness of the cells (a consciousness that observes, and which, when it is awakened, is a wonderful witness), and that consciousness is the one which goes like this (same gesture) or like that. This is expressed by a will to endure or to last, or by a need for the annihilation of rest. And then, when these cells are full of that light – that golden light, that splendor of divine Love – there is a sort of thirst, a need to participate in That, which takes away all that is or can be difficult in the endurance: that disappears, it becomes a glory. Then ...

That’s what is being learned.

(silence)

But to be able to observe (this is something being worked out on a parallel line), to observe exactly what goes on in this cellular realm, one must be perfectly free from and independent of other human beings’ influence. And this is extremely difficult because of that habit of mixture.... It’s the sensitiveness of the cells which has difficulty. So constant care must be taken to fasten all that sensitiveness on to the aspiration for the Supreme alone; that’s the only way, the solution. You have to do that constantly, every time you feel the influence of others’ contact. In ordinary life, of course, to get rid of influences you cut off the contact; well, that movement of withdrawal, recoil, isolation, all those psychological movements (through material isolation in the physical; in the vital, in the psychic, in the mind, everywhere, it always consists in cutting oneself off, in separating oneself), all that is false; it’s contrary to the truth. The truth is to ... (outspread gesture) to feel the union. And yet, for the cellular work of cellular transformation, an isolation must be reached that isn’t a contradiction of the essential unity. And that’s a little difficult; it makes for a very delicate, very painstaking, very microscopic work which somewhat complicates matters. But it’s possible, for instance, to touch someone, to take someone’s hand, and for union to be achieved only in the deeper truth, while outwardly there is just a bringing together of cells.

The work is very intensive, very intensive indeed.

August 6, 1966

V. is going to Calcutta "to learn mechanics."[45]

Have you agreed?

My first reaction was to find it stupid. But he wrote to me again to tell me that people at the workshop were very enthusiastic and that he had been much encouraged to do it and that he was quite happy and that it would be an opportunity for him to learn all that he didn’t know, and so forth. It was pages long. So I wrote to him, "You will go to Calcutta."

You know, they all need a lesson in order to learn; they cannot learn without a lesson from life. I, for one, try, I try to spare them the lesson – if there were an inner opening, they would understand. But it’s no use. They need the lesson, let them have it! It doesn’t matter.

He will learn his lesson, he will see.

They have been here ever since they were quite small and they have been helped as much as possible. The week before, he had written to me to say, "How come we don’t know how to benefit from the unique opportunity given us?" And then ... (Mother laughs) three or four days later, he sends me this! It’s hopeless. They are quite buried in Matter.

When people who know what life is come here, they are struck by the difference. But for those who have been here since they were quite small, it’s perfectly natural, the state is perfectly natural, they only see the drawbacks of it. And they don’t know what life is, they see it as a marvelous thing – let them go and see what it is!

It’s too easy, so they fall asleep.

Yes, that’s right, it’s too easy.

But I have seen several of those boys who told me, "Ah, but you can see: people are becoming automatons, they do things mechanically, they lose their aspiration."

Which means they are still too tamasic not to need the pressure of life and of life’s difficulties. We want to give them a possibility  – I know, that was the idea I had: to give those who have an aspiration the possibility to be concerned only with "that" – and they fall asleep.

But you noted the same fact for the body, too! You said that if there weren’t illnesses, difficulties ...

(Mother laughs) Yes, probably it’s the same thing!

(Mother goes into a contemplation, oblivious of the time)

@

August 10, 1966

They’ve asked me for a "message to the stars." Then, "Do you have a message for the Christmas issue[46] on the new man?"

They asked me, "What message can we send? It will take two hundred years to reach its destination": the message sent from here reaches the star two hundred years later. But, of course, there’s nothing to say that they’ll understand French or English on the star! It’s actually clear that they won’t understand it.... They want to send signals such as "= 1," and they say they will understand – they’ll understand that we are intelligent beings! (Mother laughs ironically)

I don’t remember the message I gave them.

But a message for the new man ... What am I going to tell them?... Whatever is the new man? Do YOU know what the new man is? ... Man is always new!

It won’t be an intelligent man.

Well, so much the better!

So much the better.

We could say: the return to instinct and impulses, but they will be divine impulses.

Then another progress (which would be a true progress) would be the silent communication of consciousnesses, wordless. That would be lovely: a little silence.

(silence)

Last time[47] I realized that I hadn’t had such a silent contemplation for months, maybe, I am so overwhelmed with work – work which consists in writing birthday cards, signing, seeing people.... On Monday, in the afternoon, I saw thirteen "birthdays"; yesterday there were twelve of them; tomorrow, there will be another twelve.... You understand, the number of people is increasing, and they come from everywhere; some even come from Africa for their birthdays.... That makes about two thousand a year, which is how many a day?

A Polytechnician[48] came here with R. [the architect of the future Auroville]. There were nine who came with R.; among them is a Polytechnician who sent me a note asking, "Are you God?"

I had seen the man two days earlier: he is very fine. If I hadn’t seen him I wouldn’t have answered, but as I saw him and he happens to be fine, I suspected from the way he asked the question that he must be a-gentleman-born-in-a-Catholic-family. So I answered, "This question may be asked of EVERY human being, and the answer is, yes, potentially." And out of consideration for his goodwill, I added (I don’t remember the exact words): "This is the task everyone must accomplish."

Since then, he has been quite silent.

Another one is Communist. He is a Russian who lives in Paris. He asked me if all the Auroville workers shouldn’t meet and "talk over" (Mother laughs) the necessity of a "moral conduct"! (I have heard he keeps them all talking away till 3 in the morning.) So I answered him (laughing) that morality has only a very relative value from the standpoint of the Truth; that it changes with countries, climates and ages! I also told him that discussions were generally sterile and nonproductive. And so as not to be only critical, I answered him that if everyone made an effort to be perfectly sincere, straightforward and goodwilled, that would be enough to create quite a sufficient base to work on.... The poor fellow! ...

How about you, how are you?... What do we do?... Like last time [= meditation]? But that’s dangerous! I no longer knew what the time was or anything at all.

What did you feel, last time?

I always feel a great, quiet immensity – it’s the country of origin.

Yes, it was ... Nothing existed anymore, except a luminous, limitless immensity; but peculiarly it was glittering: there was a diamondlike twinkling, like millions of bright, very bright little diamonds, oh, sparkling! They were in an immensity of dazzling light, and yet they were sparkling. And then a peace, a rest ... a sort of peaceful bliss, and the feeling that that way, you can live.

No time: the notion of time had disappeared.

I hadn’t had that in a long time.

(Mother goes into contemplation)

It’s very amusing: you have here (gesture to chest level), like this, a big lotus bud bowing down (gesture turned downward), and surrounded by a sparkle of golden light, then by another row of light; there are three, four, five rows of light of different colors. It’s here (same gesture), like this, bowing down.

(Mother resumes her contemplation)

Plenty of people (I think it’s those who are usually called intellectuals) cannot distinguish thought from consciousness: if they don’t think, they are unconscious! (That’s the sequel to what I told you just before about the new man.) To them, consciousness always means words. That’s odd....

It’s still a long, long way to the new man.[49]

@

August 13, 1966

You know that scores of people have come for Auroville.... Instead of working, they spend their time talking and chatting! And they send me letters. Their whole mental ego is bubbling with excitement, all of them. Have you seen them?

No. I am afraid they may "summon" me!

They’ve already begun discussing what the city’s political situation will be – even before the first stone has been laid! And one of them, the one with a Communist creed (he is the one who has the greatest energy and power of realization), is scandalized: he wrote to me yesterday, saying he couldn’t take part in something that wasn’t "purely democratic"! ... So I answered him this (Mother hands Satprem her note):

"Auroville must be at the service of the Truth, beyond all social, political and religious convictions."

I told him many things (Mother makes a gesture of mental communication), but above all, I insisted a lot on the fact that it would be better to build the city first! And that we would see afterwards. Because he told me it was important for him that we should remain in the democratic system "until something better has been found." I felt like answering him, "How do you know that something better hasn’t been found?" But I didn’t say anything.

Then I also wrote something for J. He had asked me for a "message" for his school (Mother hands another note):

"He who lives to serve the Truth is unaffected by any external circumstance."

(Mother looks weary....)

August 15, 1966

(Message for Sri Aurobindo’s birthday:)

"Not the blind round of the material existence alone and not a retreat from the difficulty of life in the world into the silence of the Ineffable, but the bringing down of the peace and light and power of a greater divine Truth and consciousness to transform Life is the endeavour today of the greatest spiritual seekers in India. Here in the heart of such an endeavour pursued through many years with a single-hearted purpose, living constantly in that all-founding peace and feeling the near and greatening descent of that light and power, the way becomes increasingly clear. One sees the soul of India ready to enter into the fullness of her heritage and the hour of an unparalleled greatness approaching when from her soil shall go forth the call and the leading to the highest destinies of the race."

Sri Aurobindo

@

August 17, 1966

... As for me, I can’t see anymore.

The way in which I see is something very interesting – I can’t say that I can’t see anymore. It’s very interesting. Something suddenly comes alive (an object or a face or a letter or ...), clear, precise, almost luminous. The next minute, everything is blurred. I seem to be told, "This is worth seeing." So I look at it. "And (laughing) don’t bother about that"!

On the 15th, that boy, the Communist architect who was here left, because he found that "moral laws aren’t sufficiently respected’! ... His very words. He left. But then, his thought keeps coming all the time – not "thought": something from here (the heart), it keeps coming and coming. He must be quite unhappy at having left! And he asked me ... It was on the afternoon of the 15th, it kept coming and it was tormented and it asked: "How can one know the Truth? What is the Truth? How can one know? ..." Sri Aurobindo was there, and he said to me IN FRENCH (!):

La Vérité ne peut se formuler en mots, mais elle peut être vécue, si l’on est assez pur et plastique.[50]

It’s fine, isn’t it! And the perception was so present: to let oneself be guided by the Truth all the time, like that.

"Pure" means pure of ego, pure of all desire, all preference, all idea: all that must be gone – one must be supple, like that, and let oneself be driven along.

And he gave me the experience at the same time.

I translated it into English – so Sri Aurobindo speaks to me in French and I translate into English! It’s amusing.

***

After a meditation

How is the book coming along?[51]

For my part, I go on dictating or hearing passages! It’s very interesting. But there’s no continuity: one sentence, one scene, two or three words.... Strange. It’s as if on a screen. And when you read last time, I recognized (how can I put it?) impressions – impressions of images and words – in what you read. But for me, it has no continuity; it’s something passing by, as if behind a screen, and at some point, toc! ... contact is made: I hear or say words, I see an image. And I can see that it goes on behind the screen; then another word, another image comes through the screen. And it’s always in that sort of immense, immense place, endless, very quiet, very luminous. It’s a very pure, very quiet, very peaceful atmosphere. And something seems to fall from there as if in drops.

It’s very interesting.

It happens especially at night. Sometimes in daytime, but not for long. But at night, for a fairly long time.

Just now again, while we were meditating, the same phenomenon took place. When it came, I stopped the meditation. I was in a perfectly silent contemplation, and then it started all of a sudden (Mother laughs), so I stopped.

@

August 19, 1966

(Mother resumes her translation of the debate with Death.)

Think not to plant on earth the living Truth

That’s just what I am doing, Sir.

(turning to Satprem with a smile)

Do you think he hears me?

Think not to plant on earth the living Truth

Or make of Matter’s world the home of God;

Truth comes not there but only the thought of Truth,

God is not there but only the name of God.

(X.IV.646)

(Mother remains pensive)

Basically, according to Sri Aurobindo, materialistic thought is the gospel of death. No?

It’s very interesting.

(silence)

That’s basically the point. We say Savitri is an "epic"; so Savitri is the epic of the victory over death.

(silence)

Very interesting. Because once again, all these last few days I have lived almost minute after minute all those things [we’ve just read], but on a large scale: not on a personal but on a terrestrial scale.

This last line, this argument, it was so concrete: "No, it’s not God, it’s only his name" – that was yesterday or the day before, not earlier. And then ... (Mother recalls her experience) ... Strangely, the victories over these arguments have the same character of bursts as did those bursts of Love I lived up above – the same character – and they shatter the resistance. And the something that bursts forth is Love – true Love.

It’s very interesting.

And from everywhere, but everywhere, the opposition, the resistance is rising up; and the more it rises up, the more imperative That is.

But at such times one feels how precarious the equilibrium of material life is.... Oh, it’s very, very interesting. When I am able to say all this, it will be worthwhile.

@

August 24, 1966

(Satprem normally meets Mother at 10 A.M., but this has progressively been put back to 10:30 A.M., and this morning, the secretaries left at 10:45 A.M. Over the past year Satprem’s "conversations" with Mother have been growing more and more sparse, as this Agenda is witness to, the entire time being taken up by "very urgent" or "very important" communications. This situation will keep worsening till the end, when Mother, overwhelmed, will only be able to see Satprem a few moments, after twelve. Then the door will be closed.)

It’s totally absurd! If I hadn’t cried out, they would have kept me for another half-hour.... It’s a stupid life. I begin a thing at the time I should end it. In the afternoon, it’s the same thing.... I have to squeeze in forty-five, fifty people every day. The other day, I saw seventy-five people in a single day, let alone the ones I see every day in addition. So, to console myself, I remembered the time when I used to see two thousand of them at the Playground ... but it took only an hour.

As soon as a child is ill, they bring him to me. If he is deaf and dumb, they bring him to me; if he is a bit idiotic, they bring him to me; if he has epileptic fits, they bring him to me, and he literally throws them on me like that (laughing), with the idea that I am going to cure him!

One compensation ... (Mother laughingly points to a bundle of new umbrellas in a corner of the room): I’ve been given umbrellas – would you like an umbrella?

For protection against avalanches! No, I already have one.

(Mother laughs heartily, then goes on) While I take my food, they bring me birthday cards to sign along with the food. At breakfast, I eat a little, then sign cards, then eat a little more, then they ask me for appointments ... That’s how it is.

You should have someone to do some policing.

I think they’d chuck him out!

It’s a very clear indication that they are more under people’s influence than under the influence of the Divine. Because, all in all, it makes the work a little difficult; I always feel as if, instead of the Will from above expressing itself, I am obliged to yield to the outside wills that impose themselves, and nothing in the world makes me more tired than that. I can work without stop if it comes from above; but those things that come and contradict the Rhythm are very tiring, very tiring. I have nervous fatigue – not "nervous" in the usual sense, because that’s perfectly under control, but the nerves themselves are tired. If I can have a minute or two of real rest, it restores order, but with this whole avalanche of lower wills imposing themselves, the nerves start vibrating and hurting. They’re quite stupid!

***

(The beginning and end of the following conversation could not be tape-recorded because of mechanical trouble, and only the middle remains. The conversation was about an experience of Mother’s; she described the place in which Satprem usually "rests" at night and from which he draws the atmosphere of his present book: a place very harmonious in color and substance. Then Sujata tells Mother a dream she had a few days ago.)

When you went to this place of harmony, did you play music? Because I saw you play music for him.

That’s something else. Possibly, I can’t say.... But last night or the night before, I suddenly felt as if someone were telling me, "The best way to help him isn’t meditation but music." And then I seemed to create harmonies and send them to you for your book.

(To Sujata:) When was your dream?

The day before yesterday.

It was about two days ago, two or three days ago. You see, I was thinking of the uncertainty and insufficiency of our meetings [because of the avalanche from the secretaries], and I wondered what to do. Because we have work to do and it must be done, but apart from that, there’s no time for anything; then I was "told" that music could help you. But I am completely off musical practice, and so, since I can no longer play materially, I thought, "I can put him in contact with musical waves." Because they are there all the time, all the time – marvels. So then, maybe that’s what made me go to that place [where Satprem rests] and that’s what (turning to Sujata) gave you your dream. And that’s certainly what made me have that experience.... I didn’t particularly notice music, but it’s an extremely harmonious place: the atmosphere was harmonious, the colors were harmonious, the sounds were harmonious; so there must be music there.

But I remember that when I woke up, I recalled it was on your birthday that I last played.

Sunil asked me to play for him; I told him I had stopped playing: "I can’t play anymore, my hands have lost the habit." The power to transcribe what comes is no longer there (I do hear the music, but I can’t transcribe it anymore). It’s like something that has been forgotten. Then he told me it didn’t matter, that even if I played a few notes – three or four notes – it would be enough. But I have noticed that the first time I play after a long time without playing, I play much better than afterwards. You understand, I always try not to be the one to play, because I no longer know how to (how long has it been? At least sixty years since I truly played, except occasionally, so the whole knowledge of the hands has gone: they are clumsy, they can’t play anymore). The only thing I try to do is to have someone (either a musical spirit or a musical entity) use these hands, to have something come and use these hands; and generally, it works fairly well the first time, then the hands start again wanting to "try to know," so it’s all over. They must be absolutely plastic, without personal will.

I’ve never been quite able to use this electric organ; I used to make much better use of my grand organ, the one I had before; it was far easier for me. This one is very complicated, very mechanical, very mechanical. It’s a bit too mechanically modern and it doesn’t respond to vital influence as well as my old organ did. My feet used to make it work, and they put such force into it! There was a force of vibration in the way the swells were worked.... This one, I would have had to get accustomed to it, to impregnate the instrument; but to me it’s like an empty shell, with no soul behind it: it’s an empty shell. You see, a sounding board responds a lot; in a piano, the sounding board, the keys, the strings, it all responds; it responds to the force. You can even make them vibrate without touching them. While this electric device is an empty shell....

@

August 27, 1966

(Mother shows the text of a note she has written for the disciples:)

"Every time you act under the impulse of

Falsehood, it acts as a blow on my body."

***

Do you have anything to say?

No, you are the one who must say.

No. I always make a resolve not to speak.

Why?

Because it waters down the experience. This is also words (Mother shows the stack of "Questions and Answers" for the next Bulletin).

Yes, but...

We live in words.

Well, yes, it can’t be helped!

It’s unfortunate.

Until the world is made differently...

No, one can’t think without words, but one can know without words. The phenomena of consciousness that aren’t expressed in words are ALWAYS of a much higher quality, much higher.

Yes, but to convey them to others, you have to use words.

Yes, that’s the trouble! If only I could make them receive my answer without writing words, it would be really precious, it would save a lot of time. But not one in a thousand receives like that. Some do receive, but very few.

***

(Mother picks up a letter on her table)

What does he write?

[Satprem reads an endless letter:] He asks, "Should I sell my car for less than 35,000 rupees? Can I consult ‘I Ching’ and go deeper into its study?..."

Consult what?

"I Ching." I don’t know, it’s a Chinese name.

Ah, yes, they’re all hooked on that. It’s a book in which you find an answer to any question. But naturally, you bend all the words you read to your thought.

But can you see that! I have a stack of letters like this one, there isn’t even one or two truly asking something that I alone can answer. In fact, that’s the point, they should only ask me things I alone can answer. Otherwise, what’s the use?... And what they want is this: they want to hide behind my answer and be able to say, "Ah, but you told me that ..." "Should I go and see the doctor?

Should I have an operation? Should I accept this job I am offered? Should I start a new business? Should I marry this person?..." And behind it all, if anything goes wrong, there is, "But you told me that ..."

He can consult the Chinese – but the Chinese will only tell him what’s in his own head! They’ll arrange the sentences so as to read what’s in their heads!

Listen, mon petit, maybe we should try to find some way.... What can we do? I have work that we can do together, a lot of it. I have been thinking of it these last few days, there are lots of things to do. But we don’t have the time – as it is, it’s no use, we just have time to chat a little, that’s all, nothing more.

Anyway ...

@

August 31, 1966

I gave you a very long speech quite early this morning: you were sleeping. Didn’t you hear?

What did you tell me!

Oh, it was very long....

It wasn’t personal. I told you how the true movement gets distorted, and I gave you examples. Very interesting examples because they don’t look like much, but it’s something fundamental, in the sense that that’s how Truth is turned into falsehood. And it’s so subtle that unless one has experienced it, mentally one cannot understand. What I explained to you was the experience, and there were two examples, which I told you in a very precise way ... now I don’t remember the words.

You don’t remember?

The words were of the kind that come ready-made, like that; so if now I try to remember, that’s not it anymore. When it comes, I’ll tell you.

I’ve often had the experience (on another plane, I suppose) that the current inexplicably seemed to be reversed: things stop being harmonious, and there’s no knowing why.

The why is very simple: it’s always separation – the individual separating himself, always. So, according to everyone’s nature, there is more or less egoism, but there is separation. Now I see the false movement: it’s when the consciousness falls back into an old habit. And as it’s an old habit – very old habit – you don’t feel it as a fall: it’s a tiny little movement like this (Mother twists something between her thumb and index finger).

I know – this morning, it was very clear.

You see, everything is the Supreme’s action to hasten the return of the individual consciousness to the Consciousness – the supreme Consciousness; so then, through the individual (I don’t know if you’ll be able to follow), the pressure of the Force to be accepted is turned into a will to make itself understood. That’s the distortion. And you see, it’s extremely subtle. But by "will," I mean a will in the human way, you understand. The pressure of the Force (Mother lays her right hand flat on top of her left hand) to make itself understood by the consciousness (the left hand below), the pressure of the Force on the consciousness to transform it is turned in the intermediary individual into a will to make itself understood.

Another thing. There is instinctively, that is to say, almost subconsciously, almost involuntarily, not a will or an anxiety, or even a curiosity, but a sort of habit of observation: the habit of observing the effect produced on others (it’s not bluntly what they think or feel, their opinion; it’s not as blunt as that because as soon as it assumes that proportion it makes one smile). It’s a sort of habit, a habit of looking at every circumstance not only as you see it, but, at the same time, as, let’s say, others see it. It’s not an "anxiety" but you take it into account; you take it into account not for its result, but you automatically take it into account in the reaction of the consciousness: what others feel, think, their reactions; not exactly their opinion, but the feeling of their reaction. It’s a sort of habit. And that is the fallacious distortion of the sense of Oneness. Of course, we are all ONE, and in the distorted consciousness this oneness is translated as a noticing, an observation (I am not referring to those who are concerned with themselves and for whom it’s important, that’s not what I mean: it’s in the functioning of the consciousness). And that movement of observation has a place, but in this form, it’s not a true place. So then, it’s so subtle.... There is the sense of Oneness, that every movement of the consciousness has repercussions everywhere, in all consciousnesses because there is only one consciousness, and the distortions are different; it’s the distortions that make for diversity.

(silence)

Yet another thing. There is an intense and constant aspiration for Union. It always begins with self-giving – the spontaneous self-giving to the Supreme. But then, there is, mixed into it ... (how can I express it?) the expectation (is it an expectation? It’s almost just a noticing) ... it’s not an anxiety for, but rather an expectation, yes, of the result. In other words, in that great will and aspiration for the manifestation of Harmony, of Love in the Truth, in that thirst of the whole, entire being for That which is the source of that Harmony, to the movement of aspiration is added the perception (it’s more than the perception: it’s the expectation), the expectation of the result, and then, it gets warped (same twisting gesture).

And what I am saying now isn’t at all something I see, it’s something I lived during my morning walk at 4:30. There were different successive experiences [which Mother has just described], and then, a very clear, very keen perception of the point at which the true experience (same twisting gesture) gets falsified. And it’s not something violent, there’s nothing dramatic to it, nothing at all, but ... it’s clearly the difference between the Infinite and Eternal, the All-Powerful [being turned] into the individuality – the individual limitation. And for the ordinary consciousness, the usual consciousness – that is to say, the limited, individual consciousness –  that experience itself is marvelous, but you are the "recipient," you are "the one who experiences." That’s the point, it’s the difference between the [pure] experience and, all of a sudden, "the one who experiences." And then, with that "the one who experiences," it’s over, everything is distorted. Everything is distorted, but not dramatically, you understand, not like that, no. It’s the difference between Truth and falsehood. It’s a falsehood (how can I explain?) ... it’s the difference between life and death; it’s the difference between Reality and illusion. And the one IS, while the other ... remembers having been, or is a witness.

It’s very subtle, really very subtle. But it’s immense – immense and total.

This body lived the Truth this morning several times for a few seconds (which might have been eternities). But it’s obvious that if everything were ready for "that" to be established, it would mean omnipotence.

There was so clear an explanation – obvious, tangible – showing how it happens all the time – all the time, all the time, everywhere. And unless one experiences it, there’s no way one can even understand the difference; all words are approximations. But just when it is true ... (Mother smiles blissfully) ... And then, one doesn’t know if it lasted or if it doesn’t last: all that has disappeared. And it doesn’t abolish anything, that’s the most wonderful part! Everything is there, nothing is abolished. It’s only a phenomenon of consciousness. Because at such a time, everything that is becomes true, so ... I mean it abolishes nothing of the Manifestation; you don’t even feel that Falsehood is abolished: it doesn’t exist, it isn’t. Everything can remain exactly as it is; it becomes only a question of choice. Everything becomes a question of choice: you choose this way, choose that way.... And in a splendor of joy, of beauty, of harmony, a plenitude of luminous consciousness in which there is no darkness anymore: it no longer exists. And it truly is, so to say, the choice between life and death, consciousness and unconsciousness ("unconsciousness" isn’t what we call unconsciousness, the unconsciousness of the stone, it’s not that). One doesn’t know what consciousness is until one has experienced "that."

If it could be translated into words, it would be so pretty (that’s when I understand poets!). That ineffable Presence seems to be saying, "You see, I was always there, and you didn’t know it." And it’s lived at the very heart of the cells: "You see, you know that I was always there, but you didn’t know it." And then ... (Mother smiles on in a contemplation) ... It’s a tiny nothing – which changes everything.

That’s how a dead man can come back to life. That’s how: through that change.

The mind dramatizes, and that’s why it cannot understand. Of course, it has been useful to refine Matter, to make it more supple, to prepare things – to make Life more supple and refine Matter. But it has a taste for drama, and that’s why it doesn’t understand. Violent emotions, complications are its game, its amusement. Probably because it needed them. But one must really leave that aside when the time comes, when one is ready for the experience.

(silence)

And immediately after that, the certitude – so peaceful – that everything was necessary – everything, but everything: from the most marvelous for the human consciousness to the most horrible, the most repulsive – everything was necessary. But strangely, all those things, all those experiences, all that life is what becomes unreal – unreal, worse than an act you put on for yourself: unreal. And it is in its unreality that it was necessary for the consciousness. All appreciations are purely human – purely human because they alter the measure, the proportion. Even physical suffering, material suffering, which is one of the things most difficult to feel as illusory: a lamentable act you put on for yourself, for the cells. And I am speaking from experience, with convincing examples. It’s very interesting.

@

September

September 3, 1966

Sujata would need to be protected a little. She has been getting knocks continually for the past six months.

(Turning to Sujata) Who’s been hitting you?

She has got at least four on her hands and she can’t type anymore.

Who from?

She knocks herself, or else at basketball.

You knock yourself or you get knocked?

Both.

We’ll protect that ... (Mother draws a circle around Sujata’s hands three times), like this. That too is a habit. It’s nothing but habits: forces playing in Nature. So it takes an inner movement (Mother makes a tiny gesture of disjunction) to break the habit.

At times you feel as if a small force is following you.

Yes, that’s right.

***

(Soon afterwards, about an old Playground Talk of April 28, 1951, in which Mother speaks of awakening the body not through coercion by the vital, but through collaboration from the body itself, and of the need for physical plasticity so as to be able to undergo all kinds of change.)

I’ve had several hours of this very experience: how the body is automatically attached to its precise way of doing things, and how it must receive the light in order to be ready for anything. It must be able to say spontaneously and sincerely, "Your Will, Lord, nothing but Your Will...." But it accepts this from no one else or nowhere else than the Lord. Otherwise, nothing doing.

To me it’s very interesting. Once again I note that I always experience what I am going to hear or to be read.

It’s curious. Like an inner preparation.

***

A little later

There was, yesterday afternoon and this morning, a long demonstration of how the Mind brought about and permitted a certain change in the evolution of Matter for the Divine’s play, how rejection of the Mind is useful ONLY as a means of progress and evolution, and how it will be fully used when the new being –  the complete, divine being – manifests. It was very interesting. A demonstration.

It’s the continuation of the demonstration [of August 31] which showed that ALL that has happened is necessary.

But this can be really understood only when you have got rid of the Mind. As long as you are bound to it, you don’t understand anything.

It takes place little by little....

What takes time is to prepare Matter, this cellular matter as it is now organized [since the awakening of the mind of the cells in Mother], to make it supple enough and strong enough to be able to bear and manifest the divine Force. That takes a lot of time.... It explains everything, everything – everything is explained. The day we can describe that in detail, it will be really interesting.

And there is a small beginning of how that being which Sri Aurobindo calls "supramental" will be – the next creation. A small beginning. And it is, as Sri Aurobindo said, an explanation from within outward – the "outward," the surface, has only a quite secondary importance and it will come at the very end, when it’s ready. But it begins from within outward, and it begins in a rather precise and interesting way.

A great deal of time ...

@

September 7, 1966

I’ve lost all hope of being on time.... It’s hopeless, every day it’s the same thing.

And they [the secretaries] make me drudge and slave; it’s not that I am just sitting peacefully, listening to them....

And it’s not bad will – oh, if they had bad will, it would be very simple, I’d just shove them out!

I thought of sending them a letter, I even wrote them one, which I didn’t send.[52] I regret I didn’t, it would have had some effect.

I don’t think so! I don’t think so, because for my part I told them everything I could; I even told them it made me ill.... They don’t have the strength to resist: it’s the current of the outer world and they don’t have the strength to resist it.

And I go as fast as I can, it’s not that I fall asleep! ... With the transformation, might we have the power to do all this work in less time?

We might have the power to make people understand that they mustn’t waste your time!

It’s the notion of usefulness that isn’t the same [in Mother and in the secretaries].

***

(Then Mother sorts out flowers and keeps one aside for the Ashram’s cashier.)

I don’t have any money either. I owe him 15,000 rupees and the poor man has to pay all the rents.... I have debts everywhere! (Mother laughs)

That’s how it is, it doesn’t matter!

In the past, when I had money problems, I always had money from here or there, it was easy: I would take it, and as soon as money came, I’d put it back. But now it no longer works! I owe Amrita 20,000 rupees; I owe H. 13,000 rupees; I owe the cashier 15,000 rupees. That’s how it is. It doesn’t matter, I don’t attach any importance to it.

We have an awesome budget; we have the budget of a small village  – no, a small town. It’s a budget of twenty-six lakhs of rupees[53] a year, you understand. And then, all those who used to give me money (people who had businesses and so on), have been ruined by the government’s wonderful actions. So they can’t give me any more. They give what they can, they are very nice, they make great efforts, but ...

The only ones who could give me money are the scoundrels! (Mother laughs) They have plenty of money, stolen from everywhere, but they don’t want to give it!

It doesn’t matter, it’ll only last for a time.

There is a sort of wind blowing, like a gust of great confusion; a very dark confusion totally deprived of intelligence. Discernment, clear-sightedness, even enlightened common sense, seem to have disappeared everywhere. It’s a phase to go through.

Wealth doesn’t depend on the amount of money you have: it depends on the proportion between that money and what you have to spend. To poor fellows without responsibilities except themselves and their family, I would appear extremely rich. I receive a thousand rupees a day easily – but I need seven thousand! I spend seven thousand and receive a thousand, that’s the proportion.

You must do something about the scoundrels!

(Mother laughs) You know, there are lots of people who put money in their walls (they hide it with curtains or papers). There’s a fortune, several crores[54] of rupees: millions hidden away in walls! And then they worry themselves sick, they constantly fear a police raid; while if they gave it away, they would become quite respectable people! They wouldn’t be scared anymore, they would have a peaceful life.... I have the possibility of saying that they are anonymous gifts, as in temples; so that’s a way for them to turn honest, it would be all to their advantage, but they are more attached to their money than to their life! I said several times (I know some people who have money hidden in their walls), I let it be known through intermediaries that they only had to put it in a suitcase and come and leave it at my door. And I’ll say it’s an anonymous gift, that’s all. And they will be free – not only free, but (smiling) with a blessing, because it’s for the divine work.... No, they are prisoners, prisoners of their money.

And the rather interesting thing is that (without any exception so far) all those who had an opportunity to give me money and didn’t want to – who didn’t want to because of their attachment to their money – lost it. It was taken from them, either by the government or a financial catastrophe or an industrial catastrophe, or simply stolen – lost.

A very long time ago (Sri Aurobindo was still here), an old Tamil financier came here with his wife. He lived to be very old; his wife died and he stayed on. And he gave money: he paid for his expenses, made little gifts now and then, but he was very rich. And when his wife died, he thought, "Ah, what if I gave all that I have?" Then he had second thoughts: "One never knows, the Ashram might come to an end...." And he left all his money with relatives of his who were bankers or whatever, and ... pfft! all gone. So he himself said, "There’s my folly! I don’t have it, anyway I don’t have that money; if I had given it I would have had the credit of giving it; now I have neither the money nor the credit!" (Mother laughs)

Ah! What have you brought? "Questions and Answers" for the Bulletin? What is it about?

A talk about money!

Oh, see!

(Satprem reads the Talk, then Mother comments)

That’s why I spoke to you about money – see how it is.

Yes, that’s odd!

It’s amusing.

I say it’s amusing, but I know, it’s like that all the time – all the time, all the time, for everything. I am in a state of ... (what should I call it?) of contemplative stillness, with that sort of constant aspiration for ... for the Perfection we want to have: That which we want to bring down into this world. That’s all. And then, from every side, from just everywhere, all kinds of things come (gesture of communication): I am suddenly thinking of that, or I suddenly have an answer to this, or I suddenly ... And when the work is over, I immediately see: this (gesture to the forehead) has remained quiet, still, not even interested. It’s like a transmitter – a receiver-transmitter – in a telephone set. And I simply transmit. But I don’t even have the curiosity to know why this or that came. That’s how it is: it goes out and comes; the answer goes out, the transmission, then the answer. And everything remains quiet (gesture to the forehead). So I know how things happen, but as I don’t say to myself, "Oh, this or that or this is the reason," when the outward proof comes [such as this Talk about money], it’s amusing!

It’s a strange thing.... The state of consciousness of the body’s cells is a sort of keen, constant thirst for ... what must be: the vibration of Harmony, of Consciousness, of Light, Beauty, Purity. It isn’t even expressed in words, but it’s ... an aspiration, and nothing but that. Nothing but that, nothing else. And then, [in that silent aspiration] things come like that, from every side. And the rather peculiar thing is that there are also pains, discomforts, appearances of illness – and it all comes from outside. And with always the same answer (gesture of Descent): put the divine Consciousness – put the divine Consciousness, on everything. The Consciousness that contains the Peace, the Light, the Force....

@

September 14, 1966

122 – If thou wouldst not be the fool of Opinion, first see wherein thy thought is true, then study wherein its opposite and contradiction is true; last, discover the cause of these differences and the key of God’s harmony.

123 – An opinion is neither true nor false, but only serviceable for life or unserviceable ...

(Mother laughs heartily)

... for it is a creation of Time and with time it loses its effect and value. Rise thou above opinion and seek wisdom everlasting.

124 – use opinion for life, but let her not bind thy soul in her fetters.

125 – Every law, however embracing or tyrannous, meets somewhere a contrary law by which its operation can be checked, modified, annulled or eluded.

(after a silence)

I was trying to find out in what way opinions are serviceable.... Sri Aurobindo says they are "serviceable or unserviceable" – in what way can an opinion be serviceable?

They momentarily help in action.

No, that’s just what I deplore; people act according to their opinions, and that’s worthless.

Maybe that’s all they have at their disposal!

(Laughing) Then we may say it’s a stopgap.

I am always getting letters from people who want or don’t want to do something and who tell me, "My opinion is that this is true and that isn’t...." And always, more than ninety-nine times in a hundred, it’s false, silly.

One very clearly feels – it’s visible, anyway – that the opposite opinion has as much value and it’s simply a question of attitude, that’s all. And naturally, the ego’s preferences get always mixed up in it: you prefer things to be that way, so your opinion is that they are that way.

But as long as you don’t have the higher light, in order to act you need to use opinions.

It would be better to have wisdom than an opinion. That is to say, to consider all the possibilities, all the aspects of the question, and then to try and be as unegoistic as possible, and for an action, for instance, to see which one may be useful to the largest number of people or may demolish the fewest things, which one is the most constructive. Anyway, even looking at it from a nonspiritual viewpoint, from a merely utilitarian and nonegoistic viewpoint, it’s better to act according to wisdom than according to one’s opinion.

Yes, but what would be the right way to go about it when you aren’t in the light, without getting your opinion or ego mixed up in it?

I think it’s to consider all the aspects of the problem, to lay them before your consciousness in as disinterested a way as possible, and to see which is the best (if that’s possible), or, if the consequences are unfortunate, which is the least bad.

I meant, what’s the best attitude? Is it an attitude of intervention or an attitude of laissez-faire? Which is the best?... One wonders.

Ah, that’s the whole question: in order to intervene you must be sure you are right; you must be sure that your view of things is superior, preferable to or truer than that of others or of the other. Of course, it’s always wiser not to intervene – people intervene without rhyme or reason, simply because they are in the habit of giving their opinion to others.

But even when you have the vision of the true thing, it’s RARELY wise to intervene. It becomes indispensable only if someone wants to do something that will necessarily end in a catastrophe. And even then (smiling), the intervention isn’t always very effective.

Ultimately, it’s only when you are absolutely sure you have the vision of the truth that it’s legitimate to intervene. Not only that, but also the clear vision of consequences. In order to intervene in another’s actions, you must be a prophet – a prophet. And a prophet with total benevolence and compassion. You must even have the vision of the consequence the intervention will have in the other’s destiny. People are constantly giving each other advice: "Do this, don’t do that." I see that, they don’t realize the extent to which they create confusion, they add to the confusion and disorder. And sometimes they harm the individual’s normal development.

I consider opinions to be always dangerous things, and most of the time without any value whatever.

You should interfere in another’s affairs only if, first, you are infinitely wiser than the other (of course, you always think you are wiser!), but I mean, objectively and not according to your own opinion: if you see more, better, and if you are yourself beyond passions, desires, blind reactions. You must yourself be above all those things in order to have the right to intervene in another’s life  – even when they ask you to. And when they don’t ask you to, it’s simply interfering in other people’s business.

(Mother goes into a long contemplation, then suddenly opens her eyes)

I’ve just seen in your atmosphere – something above – a funny picture! It was like a very steep mountainside, and someone, who was like the symbol of man, was climbing up. A being ... It’s strange, I have seen that several times: beings without clothes, yet they aren’t naked! And I can’t understand why – what happens? They don’t wear any clothes, yet aren’t naked.... There is a shape, you see a shape, the shape of a man; you see it and it isn’t naked. It’s already the third time this has happened to me. But it happened with people who had gone out of their bodies; Purani, for instance, I saw him like that: he wasn’t naked, yet he didn’t wear any clothes, and you could see the shape of a body, it was blue and pink (I told you, I think). Well, just now, I saw a man, the shape of a man (who resembled you, by the way), climbing up a hill, and he wasn’t naked, yet he didn’t wear any clothes.... Which means they have a sort of clothing of light. But it doesn’t give the impression of a radiating light or anything of that kind. It’s like an atmosphere. It might rather be the aura: the aura that has become visible; so the transparency doesn’t hide the shape, and at the same time the shape isn’t naked. That must be it, it must be the aura: the aura that has become visible.

It was like that. And then, from the sky – there was a vast sky going all the way up from below (it was like a painting), a very clear, very luminous, very pure sky – from the sky there came innumerable ... hundreds of things that looked like birds flying towards him, and he drew them to him with a gesture. They generally were pale blue or white; now and then, something like the tip of a wing or the top of a crest was somewhat dark, but that was accidental. They came and came ... in their hundreds, and he gathered them with a gesture, then sent them towards the earth: he was standing on a steep slope, and he sent them into the valley below. And there, they turned into ... (Mother laughs) opinions! They became opinions! Some were dark, others light-colored, brown, blue....

They were like kinds of birds flying towards the earth, like that. But it was a picture – it wasn’t a picture: it moved. It was very amusing!

They came from up above, luminous, in their hundreds. Then he said, "This is how opinions are formed."

He looked like you. It wasn’t "you," but he looked like you.

They came from the sky, a vast, vast sky, and luminous, clear, neither blue nor white nor pink nor ... it was luminous, simply luminous; and from that sky they came in their ... I say "hundreds," but it was in their thousands that they came. He stood there, receiving them, and then with a movement of his hands he sent them towards the earth, where ... they became opinions! I think I started laughing, it amused me.

It’s strange.

And they all flew down and down – the bottom couldn’t be seen – they flew down.

Very well. So perhaps opinions come from a sky of light! (Mother laughs)

In reality, it’s much more expressive through pictures than through words!

You remember that sketch I did, the "Ascent to the Truth"? It was like that, there was that sheer rock, and he was climbing (without difficulty, besides), he was climbing like that, and then, not quite at the top but far enough from the earth (the earth could no longer be seen), he received all that and sent it down again. I can still see the picture, it was pretty.

And that particular detail, which I now understand, of the auras becoming visible and acting as clothing; in other words, the auras are the clothing.

It must be in a subtle physical, maybe a true physical. Sri Aurobindo said that the subtle physical was a much truer physical than ours. Things are like that there, with a very clear symbol.

And those birds (they were birds that weren’t birds, but they looked like birds), they came all luminous, luminous, with sometimes tiny darker traces here or there, but generally all luminous; their shape was very fluid. And the colors weren’t as we know them: it wasn’t white, it wasn’t pale blue, but as if the essence of white and blue, the essence of colors. I don’t know how to explain it. And they came like that, then he sent them down, and when they went through his hands and flew down towards the earth (laughing) ... they became brown, blue, gray ... all possible colors! But those were opinions. It’s amusing.

@

September 17, 1966

How is your book coming along?

Do you find it’s going too slow? Would you like it to go faster?

No, I am asking you because I was busy with it yesterday again, early in the night. That’s why I am asking you. At night I see, then hear sentences, see scenes, and then ... So I say to myself that it must be getting along!

(silence)

There is a new activity.... At times I find myself (I catch myself doing something, to be precise) talking with people whom most of the time I don’t know, then describing a scene: they can get such and such a thing done, they can be advised to do this or that thing, and it will end with such and such a thing. They are kinds of scenes from a book or scenes from a movie. Then, the same day or the next, someone suddenly tells me, "I received a message from you and you told me to write to so-and-so and tell him such and such a thing"! ... And I am not doing it mentally, it’s not that I think, "A letter must be sent to so-and-so and such and such a thing must be done," not at all: I live – I live a scene or narrate a scene, and it’s received by someone else (and I am not at all thinking of that someone else), it’s received by "someone," this or that or this person, as a message in which I tell him to do this or that thing. And it’s happening here, in France, in America, everywhere. It’s becoming amusing!

Someone writes to me, "You told me this," and it’s one of my "scenes"! One of the scenes I lived – not "lived," lived and created at the same time! I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like a work of ... (Mother seems to feet an invisible substance between her fingers, as if fashioning it).

And it’s not me, of course! Here (Mother touches her forehead), Lord, thank God, I hope it will go on forever: quiet, calm, so calm, so tranquil, so peaceful. But it comes from every side! (gesture of innumerable communications pouring into this silence)

There are stories of countries, stories of governments; I don’t know the result there – maybe we’ll see after some time.

And in this type of activity, I have all kinds of knowledge that I don’t have! Sometimes even medical knowledge or technical knowledge that I don’t at all have – yet that I have, of course, since I say, "This is how it is, that is how it is...." It’s rather amusing.

And it’s not me! "Me," where is the me? ... It’s not this, in any case (Mother pinches the skin of her hand), poor this – poor this! It keeps on with its aspiration, and it has the sense all at once of its incapacity, its misery, its powerlessness to express what it should express, and its unworthiness to be an instrument of the Divine. At the same time, it has, first, a sort of increasing certitude of ... (how can I put it?) the magnanimity of the divine Presence, which is so marvelous in its effects in spite of the almost total imbecility of all this (Mother points to her own body); all this is really cast in, outwardly cast in stupidity, but with the ardor of such an intense and constant aspiration, with something touching in its humility and trust, and with the sense of its powerlessness and at the same time of this marvelous Presence there, ready and willing to act – if It is allowed to. All that is translated as a sort of film review of all of the body’s difficulties, all its powerlessness, all its incapacities, all its darknesses, it’s all shown as if on a screen, in order to be dissolved. And then one is a spectator of the dissolution by the Light. It’s fantastic.

And the feeling of hanging from such a slender thread, the thread ... not of faith, it’s not faith: it’s a certitude, but at the same time an aspiration, and it feels – it feels there is something so new, so young, in an absolutely rotten atmosphere of disbelief, stupidity, bad will. So that’s how it is, a slender thread, and it’s a miracle if ...

(silence)

Even those who think they have faith want everything to be done for them; they want the supreme Power, the Supreme, to do everything for them DESPITE their disbelief, their stupidity, their incapacity. And that’s what they call omnipotence. They don’t even understand that if this Vibration of Truth imposed itself, there would be the destruction of all that, which means the destruction of themselves! Of what they think to be themselves.

The wonder – the wonder – is this infinite Compassion thanks to which nothing is destroyed: it waits. It’s there, waiting with its full power, its full force, and ... it simply asserts its presence without imposing it, so as to reduce ... the damage to the minimum.

It’s a marvelous, marvelous Compassion!

And all those fools call it impotence!

(Soon afterwards, Satprem suggests the publication in the Ashram’s Bulletin of Mother’s recent comments on the Aphorisms, including the vision of the birds turning into human "opinions," omitting only a few personal passages.)

People will say I am lapsing into second childhood!

But not at all!... It’s very expressive.

(Laughing) The image was pretty (I have just seen it again), the image was very pretty.

Very well.

Aren’t there too many repetitions? The same thing recurs four or five times.

No, no, every time you add an element. It flows along quite well.

So you don’t have anything that can be used for "Notes on the Way"?

Maybe. I’ll have to look again. But I don’t think so.

You see, it sounds like a child’s prattling, because ... The expression of these present experiences isn’t an intellectual expression at all, and to those who don’t understand that it’s the experience of the physical substance, of the cells, the most material form, it quite simply sounds like a child’s prattling. It’s an experience as a child might have, without the complications and explanations supplied by intellectual development.

And this simplicity, this lack of complication and sophistication, is what gives these things great value, in the sense that it gives them perfect sincerity and simplicity. In anything expressed mentally, vitally, intellectually, there is always MORE in the form, in the word, in the expression, MORE than in the experience – it gets enlarged and rounded out (!) What is said is more than what is meant to be said. While here, it’s the perfectly pure experience, which feels the words as a sort of shrinking, a diminishing, and at the same time as bringing in a complication that doesn’t exist in the experience – the experience is very simple, very simple: it is truly pure. And anything one says is like adding something that lessens its purity and simplicity.

So, saying these things is good for oneself, it’s good for someone who is in the same "state of heart," but for the public ... (Mother shakes her head) it’s doomed to incomprehension.

There.

@

September 21, 1966

(This conversation came about following a personal question of Satprem’s, who asked Mother if he should not refuse an amount of money offered to him by the French government: a war pension. Satprem’s intention was to refuse that pension, not wanting to feel tied to any government and any country for any amount of money. Mother advised him to accept that money for the divine Work.)

I had a revelation, in the sense that it was more on the order of a

vision.

For external reasons, I was looking at the sorry state in which

all countries find themselves, the truly painful and dangerous conditions of the earth, and there was a sort of all-embracing vision showing how nations (men taken as nations) have acted and are increasingly acting in a growing Falsehood, and how they have used all their creative power to create such formidable means of destruction, with, at the back of their minds, the really childish notion that the destruction would be so terrible that no one would want to use them. But they don’t know (they ought to know, but they don’t) that things have a consciousness and a force of manifestation, and that all those means of destruction are pressing to be used; and even though men may not want to use them, a force stronger than they will be pushing them to do so.

Then, seeing all this, the imminence of the catastrophe, there was a sort of call or aspiration to bring down something that could at least neutralize that error. And it came, an answer ... I can’t say I heard it with my ears, but it was so clear, so strong and precise that it was indisputable. I am obliged to translate it into words; if I translate it into words, I may say something like this: "That’s why you have created Auroville."

And with the clear vision that Auroville was a center of force and creation, with ... (how can I explain?) a seed of truth, and that if it could sprout and develop, the very movement of its growth would be a reaction against the catastrophic consequences of the error of armament.

I found this very interesting because this birth of Auroville wasn’t preceded by any thought; as always, it was simply a Force acting, like a sort of absolute manifesting, and it was so strong [when the idea of Auroville presented itself to Mother] that I could have told people, "Even if you don’t believe in it, even if all circumstances appear to be quite unfavorable, I KNOW THAT AUROVILLE WILL BE. It may be in a hundred years, it may be in a thousand years, I don’t know, but Auroville will be, because it has been decreed." So it was decreed – and done quite simply, like that, in obedience to a Command, without any thought. And when I was told that (I say, "I was told," but you understand what I mean), when I was told that, it was to tell me, "Here is why you have made Auroville; you are unaware of it, but that’s why...." Because it was the LAST HOPE to react against the imminent catastrophe. If some interest is awakened in all countries for this creation, little by little it will have the power to react against the error they have committed.

I found this very interesting, because I had never thought about it.

And naturally, when I was shown that, I understood; I perceived how the creation of Auroville has an action in the invisible, and what action. It’s not a material, outward action: it’s an action in the invisible. And since then, I have been trying to make countries understand it, of course not outwardly because they all think they’re much too clever to be taught anything, but inwardly, in the invisible.

It’s fairly recent, it dates from two or three days ago. I had never been told this. It was said very clearly – "said," I mean seen, shown like this (gesture of a scene offered to the sight). So my interest in Auroville has considerably increased since then. Because I have understood that it isn’t just a creation of idealism, but quite a practical phenomenon, in the hope ... in the will, rather, to thwart and counterbalance the effects – the frightful effects – of the psychological error of believing that fear can save you from a danger! Fear attracts the danger much more than it saves you from it. And all these countries, all these governments commit blunder upon blunder because of that fear of the catastrophe.

All this is simply to tell you that if nations collaborate in the work of Auroville, even to a very modest extent [such as this offer of money from the French government], it will do them good – it can do them a lot of good, a good that can be out of proportion to the appearance of their actions.

You speak of the imminence of a catastrophe, but still Auroville will take some time to be realized?

No! I am speaking of the countries’ collaboration in CREATING something. It’s not when Auroville has been completed: it’s the nations’ collaboration in creating something – but creating something founded on the Truth instead of a rivalry in Falsehood’s creation. It’s not when Auroville is ready – when Auroville is ready, it will be one town among all other towns and it’s only its own capacity of truth that will have power, but that ... remains to be seen.

No, the point is a combined interest in building something founded on the Truth. They have had a combined interest (combined without any mutual liking, of course) in creating a power of destruction built on Falsehood; well, Auroville means diverting a little of that force (the quantity is minor, but the quality is superior). It’s truly a hope – it’s founded on a hope – of doing something that can be the beginning of a harmony.

No, it’s RIGHT NOW, right now. The force of propagation is far greater, it’s out of proportion to the transmitting center [Mother], which, on a world scale, is so to say unknown and almost nonexistent. But the center, the power of radiation and propagation is out of proportion, it’s rather remarkable: the response [to Auroville] is everywhere, everywhere; a response from new Africa, a response in France, a response in Russia, a response in America, a response in Canada, and a response in numerous countries, in Italy ... everywhere, everywhere. And not just individuals: groups, tendencies, movements, even in governments.

What’s proving to be the most refractory (and the irony of it is wonderful) is ... the United Nations! Those people are outdated, oh! ... They haven’t yet gone beyond the "materialistic, antireligious movement," and they made a derogatory remark about the Auroville brochure, saying it was "mystic," with "religious" tendency. The irony is lovely!

Besides, even quite outwardly, that fight between India and Pakistan[55] was clearly ... (how can I put it? ... The words that come to me are English) initiated and driven, that is to say, set in motion by and under the impulsion of the forces of Truth that wanted to create a great "Asian Federation" with the power to counterbalance Red China and its movement. It was a federation that, as a matter of fact, needed the return of Pakistan and all those regions, and which includes Nepal, Tibet, also Burma, and in the south, Ceylon. A great federation with each country having its autonomous development, perfectly free, but which would be united in a common single aspiration for peace and fight against the invasion of forces of dissolution. That was very clear, it was willed – and it’s the intervention of this United Nations that stopped everything.[56]

I am not saying anything officially; because I have said and always repeat that politics is in complete Falsehood, based on Falsehood, and I am not dealing with it, meaning that I am not in politics, I don’t want to be – but that doesn’t stop me from seeing clearly! ... People have come and asked me (from every side, by the way) for my opinion, view or advice; I said, "No, I don’t deal in politics." You see, all diplomacy is absolutely based on a DELIBERATE Falsehood. As long as it is like that, there’s no hope: the inspirations will always come from the wrong side; inspirations, impulsions, ideas, everything will always come from the wrong side – which means the inescapable blunder, for everyone. A few rare individuals feel that and are aware of it, and they are half desperate because nobody listens to them.

Unfortunately, following the present tendencies, for Auroville they are trying to get UNESCO’S support (!) I, of course, knew beforehand that those [UNESCO] people couldn’t understand, but ... they are trying. Because everywhere people (it’s a sort of superstition), everywhere people say, "No, I’ll open my purse strings only with UNESCO’s approval and encouragement" – I am talking about those whose contribution matters, lots of people, so ...

Only, to me, all this is the crust, the quite superficial experience – the crust; and things have to happen underneath, beneath that crust. It’s just an appearance.

I said that to those who look after Auroville, I told them, "Those people [of UNESCO] are two hundred years behind the earth’s march, so there’s little hope they’ll understand." But anyway, I didn’t tell them not to deal with them – I don’t give any advice.

But tiny details such as the one we spoke of just before [the French government’s offer of a pension] are an indication: it’s countries collaborating in the Truth without knowing it. And it’s very good, it will do them good. It’s good for them. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t aware of it (smiling): they won’t have the pleasure of having done it, that’s all!

(silence)

But I was the first to be very interested, because it came like that (gesture of irresistible descent), with all-powerful authority: "That’s why Auroville has been created."

(Mother goes into a contemplation, then resumes)

I see all kinds of very amusing things pass by; just now, this reflection: "Ah, it’s a Tower of Babel in reverse." (Mother laughs) That’s interesting! They united and divided in the construction, so now, they come together to unite in the construction. That’s it: a Tower of Babel ... in reverse!

(Mother stops for an instant, as if she saw something)

One suddenly sees ... It’s a certain region, there, a region in the earth atmosphere, vast and imperishable, where things take on a new importance, which sometimes belies appearances, and one sees a sort of great, immense current carrying circumstances and events along towards a goal ... always the same goal, and through very unexpected paths. It becomes very vast, and despite the horror of details, as a whole it takes on a very smiling Rhythm....

Now I know, I remember, this whole experience came after I saw a book that was published quite recently in India, in English, which they entitled The Roll of Honour, and in which there is a photo and a short biography of all those who died in the fight against the British, for India’s freedom. There were photos everywhere, lots of them (some were only photos the police took after they had just been killed and were lying on the ground). And it all brought a certain atmosphere: the atmosphere of those disinterested goodwilled people who meet with a tragic fate. It had the same impression on me as the horrors of the Germans during the war over there. These things are obviously under the direct influence of certain adverse forces, but we know that the adverse forces are, so to say, permitted to work – through the sense of horror, in fact – in order to hasten the awakening of consciousness. So then, that experience, which was very strong and was very like the one I had when I saw the photographs of German atrocities in France, put me in contact with the vision of the human, terrestrial, modern error (it’s modern: it began these last one thousand years and has become more and more acute in the last hundred years), with the aspiration to counterbalance that: How to do it?... What is to be done?... And the answer: "That’s why you have created Auroville."

There is a perception of forces – the forces that act directly in events, material events, which are ... illusory and deceptive. For instance, the man who fought for his country’s freedom, who has just been assassinated because he is a rebel, and who looks defeated, lying there on the edge of the road – he is the real victor. That’s how it is, it clearly shows the kind of relationship between the truth and the expression. Then, if you enter the consciousness in which you perceive the play of forces and see the world in that light, it’s very interesting. And that’s how, when I was in that state, I was told, clearly shown (it’s inexpressible because it isn’t with words, but these are facts): "That’s why you have created Auroville...." It’s the same thing as with that photo.[57]

There, you’ll keep this.

***

A note on Auroville by Mother:

"Humanity is not the last rung of terrestrial creation. Evolution continues and man will be surpassed. It is for each one to know whether he wants to participate in the advent of the new species. For those who are satisfied with the world as it is, Auroville obviously has no raison d’être."

September 24, 1966

Is the earth responding? Is there really a response, or do you feel you are working all alone?

You don’t mean people? You mean the earth as the mineral, vegetal, animal world?

No, I was referring to humans, to the whole earth.

Oh, humans, yes, certainly – certainly, without any doubt, a very pronounced answer, strangely pronounced, from everywhere, just everywhere. A need for something, a dissatisfaction with what is, and the need for something higher. It’s very, very pronounced, everywhere. I can’t say the number is very large, I don’t think it is, but it’s everywhere.

So there is progress?

Oh, a lot, quite a lot. There are signs, there are even from time to time strange signs of something awakening.

I even feel an awakening among animals.

And where is the obstacle? Is there an obstacle?

It’s everywhere. It’s like a coalition of Falsehood trying to resist.

September 28, 1966

(The secretaries have left Mother an hour late, so that the conversation begins at the time it should have ended.)

That beats all the records! And I started early – yet the work isn’t done.

It’s insoluble. Because I try everything in my power: I start earlier, I hurry in the morning, I do the work with as much order as possible – nothing doing. And I let them know a quarter of an hour in advance: "Time is up" – nothing doing.

But little by little everything is eaten up, there’s no time left!

No, there isn’t.

But at night, I sometimes work till 10:30 now, and it was agreed that I was supposed to retire before nine.... There’s no time left. And in my case, it’s not sleeping, it’s my real work that I do at night  – and I can’t. In the afternoon too, I haven’t any time left: I am supposed to have lunch at 11:30; I have it at 12:30, so I haven’t any time left because I have to wash and resume work at 3. And I have never finished by 5. I tried to keep 5: 30 to 6:30 to myself – it’s not possible. It eats into all my hours of peace and quiet. Yet the work isn’t done! If it were, I wouldn’t mind, but it’s not done, there is still at least twice as much to be done – everyone protests, everyone complains.

There’s no use grumbling!

No, but anyway time vanishes.

And on top of it all, I am broke! Amrita will be coming this afternoon: I can’t give him his money, I don’t have it. I have to pay a certain amount every day: well, as it happens, I am broke. This afternoon, as every Wednesday, I should give 5,000 rupees to this poor Amrita in debt: I haven’t a penny. That’s how it is, it makes things still worse. If at least I could more or less meet the requirements, it would be all right, but that’s not the problem: there are complications arising all over the place! I owe the cashier astronomical amounts, and I can’t pay him.... I am beset by debts on every side – it weighs lightly on me, I don’t lose any sleep over it! But the fact is there.

(Mother holds out a rose to Satprem) This is peace, my child. It’s peace. (Laughing) Oh, if you knew how peaceful it is here! (gesture to the forehead and above) I say things, but ultimately ... they are the way the Lord wants them to be. Maybe He enjoys seeing the faces people pull!

(silence)

I have received a letter from a correspondent, who asks a question about suffering.

Very well, let’s see.

She writes this: "... We must stop encouraging torturers, whether of men or of animals. I am writing to beg you to teach me how to obtain the powers to lessen sufferings in others through concentration of fluid, and how to act by inwardly returning blow for blow to the aggressors, without hatred but implacably.... I beg you to help me. Which inner giving, which renunciation is necessary? Who will teach me the force and justice that will enable me to act and not to always let evil triumph? It is too easy to forget, deny, minimize other’s suffering. I can no longer put up with it. I no longer want to shut my eyes and comfort myself till the next time.... What should I undertake?..."

When did you get this letter?

Two or three days ago.

But did you decide to read it to me yesterday? Because the whole day I was in that frame of mind (not with these words, but in that frame of mind).

For a long time lately, that is, for days and days, there has been a very sharp perception, very intense and clear, that the action of the Force outwardly results in what we call "suffering" because it’s the only kind of vibration capable of pulling Matter out of inertia.

Supreme Peace and Calm were distorted and disfigured into inertia and tamas, and precisely because it was the distortion of true Peace and Calm, there was no reason for it to change! A certain vibration of awakening – of reawakening – was necessary to emerge from that tamas, which was incapable of directly changing from tamas into Peace; something was needed to shake the tamas, and outwardly it resulted in suffering.

I am referring here to physical suffering, because all the other kinds of suffering – vital, mental, emotive suffering – arise from a wrong functioning of the mind, and those ... we can easily rank them in the Falsehood, that’s all. But physical suffering is to me like a child being beaten, because here in Matter, Falsehood turned into ignorance, which means there is no bad will – there is no bad will in Matter, everything is inertia and ignorance: total ignorance of the Truth, ignorance of the Origin, ignorance of the Possibility, even ignorance of what needs to be done so as not to suffer materially. This ignorance is everywhere in the cells, and only the experience – and the experience of what, in this rudimentary consciousness, is translated as suffering – can awaken, arouse the need to know and be cured, and the aspiration to be transformed.

This has become a certitude because the aspiration has been born in all these cells, and it’s growing more and more intense and is surprised at the resistance. But they have observed that when something is upset in the functioning (which means that instead of being supple, spontaneous, natural, the functioning becomes a painful effort, a struggle with something that takes on the appearance of a bad will but is only a reluctance devoid of understanding), at such times the intensity of the aspiration, of the call, grows tenfold: it becomes constant. The difficulty is to keep up this state of intensity; generally it all falls back into, I can’t say "drowsiness," but it’s a sort of slackening: you take things easy. And it’s only when the inner disorder becomes hard to bear that the intensity grows and becomes permanent. For hours – hours – without flagging, the call, the aspiration, the will to unite with the Divine, to become the Divine, is kept up at its peak – why? Because there was what’s outwardly called a physical disorder, a suffering.

Otherwise, when there isn’t any suffering, there is now and then an upsurge, then it flags and falls back; then at some other time, another upsurge ... It never ends! It lasts for eternities. If we want things to go fast (fast relatively to the rhythm of our lives), the whiplash is necessary. I am convinced of this, because as soon as you are in your inner being, you treat this with contempt (for yourself).

But then, when that true Compassion of divine Love comes and you see all those things that look so horrible, so abnormal, so absurd, that great pain over all beings and even over things ... Then there was born in this physical being the aspiration to relieve, to cure, to make all that disappear. There is something in Love in its Origin that is constantly expressed by the intervention of the Grace; a force, a sweetness, something like a vibration of solace, spread everywhere, but which an enlightened consciousness can direct, concentrate on certain points. And that’s just where I saw the true use one could make of thought: thought is used as a channel to carry the vibration from place to place, wherever it’s necessary. This force, this vibration of sweetness is there over the world in a static way, pressing to be received, but it’s an impersonal action, and thought – enlightened thought, surrendered thought, the thought that is nothing more than an instrument, that no longer tries to set things in motion, that is satisfied with being moved by the higher Consciousness – thought is used as an intermediary to make contact, to build a connection and allow this impersonal Force to act wherever it’s necessary, on precise points.

(silence)

We may say in an absolute way that the remedy always goes together with the trouble. We could say that the cure for every suffering coexists with the suffering. Then, instead of seeing an "unnecessary" and "stupid" trouble, as people generally think, you see that the progress, the evolution which made the suffering necessary – which is the cause and the goal of the suffering – achieves the desired result, and at the same time the suffering is cured, for those who can open up and receive. The three things – the suffering as a means of progress, the progress, and the cure of the suffering – are coexistent, simultaneous, meaning that they don’t follow one another, they take place at the same time.

If, when the transformative action creates a suffering, there is in what suffers the necessary aspiration and opening, the remedy is absorbed at the same time, and the effect is total, complete: the transformation, along with the action necessary to obtain it, and at the same time the cure of the false sensation caused by the resistance. And the suffering is replaced by ... something unknown on this earth, but which has to do with joy, ease, trust, and security. It’s a supersensation, in perfect peace, and clearly the only thing that can be eternal.

This analysis expresses very imperfectly what we could call the "content" of the Ananda.

I think it’s something that has been felt, experienced (partially and very fleetingly) through all ages, but which is beginning to be concentrated and almost concretized on earth. But physical Matter in its cellular form has, we can’t say a fear or an anxiety, but a sort of apprehension of new vibrations, and that apprehension naturally takes away from the cells their receptivity and takes on the appearance of a discomfort (it’s not a suffering but a discomfort). But when that apprehension is counterbalanced and cured by aspiration and the will for total surrender and the act of total surrender, then that sort of apprehension having disappeared, there comes supreme ease.

All this is like microscopic studies of the phenomena of consciousness independent of mental intervention. The need to use words to express ourselves brings in that mental intervention, but in the experience it doesn’t exist. And it’s very interesting because the pure experience holds a content of truth, of reality, which disappears as soon as the mind intervenes. There is a flavor of true reality which totally eludes expression for that reason. It’s the same difference as between an individual and his portrait, between a fact and the story told about it. That’s how it is. But it’s far more subtle.

So then, to return to the letter, when you are conscious of this Force – this Force, this Compassion in its essential reality – and see how it can be exerted through a conscious individual, you have the key to the problem.

I’ve had experiences ...[58]

***

(A few days later, in Nolini’s presence, Mother took up the conversation again, adding:)

One should also be given the means to open up.

(Nolini:) This lady was suffering from that cancer (the whole lungs were almost gone), but she began to miraculously recover. Really it is almost a miracle. Her husband, who is here, says, "I am a surgeon and I have dealt with so many cases of this kind, I know what it is – gradually it has almost disappeared. Miraculous it is." Now she is walking about.[59]

Ah, if one could catch hold of "that," everything could be cured.

She is overwhelmed, she says, "I don’t understand." And the doctor knows what it is, he has tried operations on this so many times.1

There are several cases of this kind. Very well.

@

September 30, 1966

After reading a hitherto unpublished letter of Sri Aurobindo’s

"... Although St. Paul had remarkable mystic experiences and, certainly, much profound spiritual knowledge (profound rather than wide, I think) – I would not swear to it that he is referring[60] to the supramentalised body (physical body). Perhaps to the supramental body or to some other luminous body in its own space and substance, which he found sometimes as if enveloping him and abolishing this body of death which he felt the material envelope to be. This verse like many others is capable of several interpretations and might refer to a quite supraphysical experience. The idea of a transformation of the body occurs in different traditions, but I have never been quite sure that it meant the change in this very matter. There was a yogi some time ago in this region who taught it, but he hoped when the change was complete, to disappear in light. The Vaishnavas speak of a divine body which will replace this one when there is the complete siddhi. But, again, is this a divine physical or supraphysical body? At the same time there is no obstacle in the way of supposing that all these ideas, intuitions, experiences point to, if they do not exactly denote, the physical transformation."[61]

Sri Aurobindo
December 24, 1930

Oddly, these last few days again, this has been the subject of my meditations (not willed ones: they are imposed from above). Because in all the transition from plant to animal and from animal to man (especially from animal to man), the differences of form are, ultimately, minor: the true transformation is the intervention of another agent of consciousness. All the differences between the life of the animal and the life of man stem from the intervention of the Mind; but the substance is essentially the same and it obeys the same laws of formation and construction. There isn’t much difference, for instance, between the calf being formed in a cow’s womb and the child being formed in its mother’s womb. There is one difference: that of the Mind’s intervention. But if we envisage a PHYSICAL being, that is, as visible as the physical now is and with the same density, for instance a body that wouldn’t need blood circulation and bones (especially these two things: the skeleton and blood circulation) ... it’s very hard to imagine. And as long as it is like this, with this blood circulation, this functioning of the heart, we could imagine – we can imagine – the renewal of strength, of energy through a power of the Spirit, through other means than food. It’s conceivable. But the rigidity, the solidity of the body, how is it possible without a skeleton?... So it would be an infinitely greater transformation than that from animal to man; it would be a transition from man to a being that would no longer be built in the same way, that would no longer function in the same way, that would be like a densification or concretization of ... "something." Up till now, it doesn’t correspond to anything we have seen physically, unless the scientists have found something I am not aware of.

We may conceive of a new light or force giving the cells a sort of spontaneous life, a spontaneous strength.

Yes, that’s what I said: food can disappear. That’s conceivable.

But the whole body could be driven by that force. The body could remain supple, for instance. While still having its bone structure, it could remain supple, with the suppleness of a child.

But that’s just why a child can’t stand! He can’t exert himself. What would replace the bone structure, for example?

The same elements could be there, but endowed with suppleness. Elements whose firmness doesn’t stem from hardness but from the force of light, no?

Yes, that’s possible.... Only, what I mean is that it may again take place through a large number of new creations. Will the transition from man to this being, for instance, perhaps take place through all kinds of other intermediaries? You understand, what I find formidable is the switch from one to the other.

I can very well conceive of a being who could, through spiritual power, the power of his inner being, absorb the necessary forces, renew himself and remain ever young; that’s quite easily conceivable; even providing for a certain suppleness so as to be able to change the form if necessary. But the complete disappearance of this system of construction right away – from one to the other right away, that seems ... It appears to require stages.

Obviously, unless something happens (which we are forced to call a "miracle" because we can’t understand how it could happen), how can a body like ours become a body entirely built and driven by a higher force, and without a material support? ... How can this (Mother pinches the skin of her hands), how can this change into that other thing?... It appears impossible.

It seems miraculous, but ...

Yes, in all my experiences, I understand quite well the possibility of not having to eat anymore, of that whole process being done away with (changing the method of absorption, for instance, is possible), but how do you change the structure?

It doesn’t seem impossible to me.

It doesn’t?

No, maybe it’s imagination, but I can readily imagine a spiritual power entering the body and producing a sort of luminous inflation, and everything suddenly blossoms out like a flower. This body, which is crumpled in on itself, blossoms out, becomes radiant, supple, luminous.

Supple and plastic, we can also conceive it could be plastic, that is, the form wouldn’t be fixed as it is now. All that is conceivable, but ...

But I can very well see it as a sort of luminous blossoming: the Light must have that force. And it doesn’t destroy anything in the present structure.

But visible, that can be touched?

Yes. It’s simply like a blossoming. What’s closed up blossoms out like a flower, that’s all; but it’s still the flower’s structure, only it’s in full bloom and radiant. No?

Yes, but ... (Mother shakes her head and remains silent for a while). I lack experience, I don’t know.

I am absolutely convinced (because I’ve had experiences that proved it to me) that the life of this body – its life, what makes it move and change – can be replaced by a force; that is to say, a sort of immortality can be created, and the wear and tear can disappear. These two things are possible: the power of life can come, and the wear and tear can disappear. And it can come about psychologically, through total obedience to the divine Impulsion, so that every moment you have the force you need, you do the thing that must be done – all these things, all of them are certitudes. Certitudes. They’re not a hope, not an imagining: they are certitudes. Of course, you must educate the body and slowly transform and change the habits. It can be done, all that can be done. But the question is, how much time would it take to do away with the necessity (to take just this problem) of the skeleton? This is still very far ahead, it seems to me. Which means many intermediary stages will be needed. Sri Aurobindo said that life can be prolonged indefinitely. Yes, that’s clear. But we aren’t yet built with something that completely escapes dissolution, the necessity of dissolution. Bones are very durable, they can even last a thousand years if conditions are favorable, that’s agreed, but it doesn’t mean immortality IN PRINCIPLE. Do you understand what I mean?

No. Do you think it would have to be a nonphysical substance?

I don’t know if it’s nonphysical, but it’s a physical I am unaware of! And it’s not substance as we now know it, and especially not the construction we now know.

I don’t know, but if it has to be a PHYSICAL body (as Sri Aurobindo said it would), it seemed to me (but that may be a daydream) that it could be like a lotus bud, for example: our present body is like a small, closed, hard lotus bud, and ... it blossoms out, it becomes a flower.

Yes, but that, mon petit, it’s ...

Is there anything this Light can’t do with the elements it has?? The materials remain the same, the elements remain the same, but transfigured.

But vegetal things aren’t immortal.

No, it’s only a comparison.

Well, that’s just the point!

There’s only this question: I can conceive of a perpetual change; I could even conceive of a flower that doesn’t wither; but it’s this principle of immortality.... Which means, basically, a life that escapes the necessity of renewal: the eternal Force would manifest directly and eternally, and this would still be a physical body (Mother touches the skin of her hands).

I quite understand a progressive change and that this substance could be made into something capable of renewing itself eternally from within outward. That would be immortality. But it seems to me that between what is now, what we are, and that other mode of life, a lot of stages might be necessary. You see, if for instance you ask these cells, with all the consciousness and experience they now have, "Is there something you cannot do?", in their sincerity they will answer, "No, what the Lord wills, I can do." That’s their state of consciousness. But the appearance is otherwise. The personal experience is like this: all that I do with the Lord’s Presence, I do effortlessly, without difficulty, without fatigue, without wear and tear, like that (Mother spreads out her arms in a great, harmonious Rhythm), but it’s still open to the whole influence from outside and the body is forced to do things that aren’t directly the expression of the supreme Impulsion, hence the fatigue, the friction.... So a supramental body suspended in a world that’s not the earth is not the thing!

No.

Something is needed that has the power to resist the contagion. Man cannot resist the contagion from the animal, he can’t, he has constant relationships. Well, how will that being manage? ... It would seem that for a long time – a long time – he will still be subject to the laws of contagion.

I don’t know, it doesn’t seem impossible to me.

No?

It seems to me that that Power of Light being here, what can affect it?

But the whole world would disappear! That’s the problem, you understand.

When That comes, when the Lord is there, there isn’t one in a thousand for whom it’s not terrifying. And not to the reason, not to the thought: to the flesh, like that. So assume – assume it happens and a being is the condensation and expression, an embodiment of the supreme Power, of the supreme Light – what would happen?!

Well, that’s the whole problem.

Yes.

Because I don’t see the difficulty of the transformation in itself. It rather seems to be the difficulty of the world.

If everything could be transformed at the same time, it would be all right, but it’s clearly not like that. If one being were transformed all alone ...

Yes, perhaps it would be unbearable.

Indeed!

Maybe that’s the whole problem.

Multiply a thousand times what very small children feel. (I am talking about those who are exclusively physical, human beings, not those who are reincarnations.) When they are purely physical beings, they can’t approach me, mon petit! They start crying and trembling! Yet I love them and welcome them with all my tenderness and as much calm as possible – they start trembling and then get frightened, it’s too strong. With those who carry something else in themselves, the reincarnations, it’s different: they open out, they are happy; but when there’s nothing but this, that is, the external substance ... I’ve seen adults come (I did the experiment: I charge the atmosphere, the Lord is present), well, I’ve seen forty-year-old men enter that and ... brrt! literally run away, disregarding all social courtesy, and after having ASKED to come, you understand! Anyway everything was there to allow them to behave decently – impossible, they couldn’t.

But even in my case, having the experience of you, knowing you well, at times it’s fearsome.

Ah, you see.

It’s not frightening, but ... it’s really ... fearsome.

I am not putting words into your mouth!

Of course one knows – inside one knows there’s nothing to fear, but still ...

Yes.

Still it’s too strong.

No, it’s the substance that fears.

There.

So take the consciousness of a very small child, when you

yourself ...

In your eyes, there is at times ... there is something ...

(Mother laughs)

@

October

October 5, 1966

About the financial situation, I have a little story to tell you, which took place on Sunday or Monday. I told you that the situation was quite ... to ordinary consciousnesses, it was critical. And there was a payment to be made. I don’t remember the material details, but something had to be paid very urgently (I think it was to the workers: they were hungry and hadn’t been given their money). And I needed a certain amount – which I didn’t have: I had nothing. Then a sort of compassion came into me for those people who didn’t have any money. I saw it wasn’t right, and I couldn’t do anything because there was none. So, in the evening while I was walking (I have an hour of meditation and quiet, of concentration), I presented it all like this (gesture upward), and with an almost childlike attitude I said to the Lord (He was there, of course, I was with Him) something that can be translated (I don’t know, I don’t speak but it could be translated into words) roughly like this: "I know You are with me and behind everything I do and everywhere, but I’d like to know whether what I do, the work I do, interests You or not! (Mother laughs) And if it does interest You, well, I must have this money."

It came like that, in a quite childlike form, but very, very pure. And two days later, when it was necessary for the money to come, for me to have money, just as everything seemed quite impossible, Amrita suddenly came in, telling me, "Here, so-and-so has sent a cheque for such-and-such an amount." – Exactly the amount needed. And I think it was the first time that person had sent money. It was quite unexpected, absolutely a miracle – a miracle for children. The required amount, just at the required time, and absolutely unexpected. Then I had a good laugh. And I said to myself, "How silly we can be! We don’t know that everything happens exactly as it has to."

I can’t say that I worry (I never do), but I was wondering ... sometimes I wonder, "Is it going to go on, or ..." I am not quite sure of what’s going to happen, because ... I never try to know nor do I desire to know, but I don’t feel I am "told." (I think this is another mental stupidity and when nothing is formulated, it means things are all right and as they should be.) But, of course, there is a childishness that would like to be "told," "Do this this way and that that way, and this ..." But it doesn’t work! It’s not like that!

I don’t receive any command: when I have something to say, I receive the exact word or sentence, in an absolute way; but for action, I don’t receive any command, because ... I don’t think I have any hesitation, I never wonder, "Should I do this or should I do that?" Never. My whole effort is to live from minute to minute. I mean, to do every minute exactly what should be done, without making plans, without thinking, without ... because it all becomes mental; as soon as you start thinking something out, that’s no longer it. But quite instinctively and spontaneously, I do what needs to be done: this, that, this.... When something needs a response, it comes. As for money, it’s the same thing; the only thing I am led to do is to say, "So-and-so has asked for so much, such-and-such Service needs so much," like that (not a long time in advance, but when it becomes imperative). And that’s all. It’s like that. So I don’t know what will happen tomorrow; I don’t at all seek to know what’s going to happen. But on that day, I seemed to be asking, "Well, give me proof that You are interested." – Poff! it came just at the right time. So I laughed, I said to myself, "What a baby I must still be!"

And for two days, just when I needed to give some money, it came. So I said, "All right, that’s fine." But now it’s no longer so amusing! It was really amusing.

There is now a kind of trust there, behind: well, it will come when it has to, that’s all.

The spirit of organization, maybe not quite on an ordinary level but on a human one (maybe not just human, but anyway), the spirit of organization likes to have everything in front of it like a picture, and then to make plans, to organize, see: this comes here, that comes there.... All that is useless. We must learn to live from minute to minute, like that. It’s much more comfortable. And what prevents things from being so is (I think) that it’s exactly contrary to the reasonable human mind, and that everyone around me expects me to make plans and decisions and ... So there is a pressure; I think that’s it. Otherwise, it would naturally and spontaneously be like that: the miracle every minute. My tendency is always to say, "Oh, don’t worry! The more you worry, the more difficult you make things – don’t bother, don’t bother." But they stare at me with a kind of horror (Mother laughs): I don’t "plan ahead," you see.

That’s my little "story" – my little miracle. It was as though to tell me, "Oh, you’d like to see a miracle? – Here it is, ready-made!" (Mother laughs) It’s a good lesson.

@

October 8, 1966

(The conversation is about Satprem’s forthcoming birthday. We publish it despite its personal character, for the "rhythmic" significance of birthdays is of general interest and there is always, as Mother says, a curve from the past that doesn’t readily connect with the curve of the future.)

It will soon be your birthday....

I can see that what we call "birthday" is an opportunity to take stock. That’s why people consult astrologers on certain dates.

The individual has a certain relationship or set of relationships with the Universal, and there must be a rhythm, things recur automatically at the same point in time. So every year, it should be possible to take stock with regard to what’s below and what’s above, or to what’s behind and what’s ahead.

It must be like that, because for you, the stocktaking began at the beginning of this month. And then it results in those birthday "cards" and in what I am going to tell you on your birthday. (None of this is thought out: it comes just like that, it’s very amusing, I witness a continuous spectacle.) And I saw something very interesting, maybe that’s what I wanted to tell you for your book.[62]

It’s like the meeting of two curves: one curve coming from the past and another curve going towards the future, and that day is the meeting point of these two curves. So then, I saw your book as a sort of culmination of the curve coming from the past.... And there is a point that isn’t yet clear in your thought or your conception there (gesture above the head): it’s something that belongs to the ascending curve of the future. That point is where the difficulty is: the movement that belongs to the curve of the past has difficulty connecting with the movement of the future. I see it as a graph. It’s not a thought: it’s a graph. There is a point where the two curves haven’t connected.

I chose two "cards." They are here. I am not showing them to you: you will have them on the 29th. I don’t yet know what I will write or whether I will write anything.

But this year seems to me to be a very decisive year in your individual life – your LIFE, you understand (how can I explain?), the eternal life in you. The eternal life in your individuality. The difficulty seems to be in connecting the two movements.... They aren’t connected yet. It’s very interesting. I saw the curves, they are quite pretty.

All this is going on up above. And then, what’s very amusing is that when I see, I don’t see like that (gesture from below upward), I see like this (gesture from above downward), and I see up above. It’s a little higher than this (gesture above the head), and I see from above.

But I saw those curves, I began seeing them. I know them, I have seen them since the beginning of the month and they are growing more precise. And they are quite pretty – very pretty, very elegant. And this one [the new one] is like a magnificent spout of water –  much lovelier than that! And it keeps rising, it doesn’t fall back, but it sprays a golden rain on the earth.

It’s good.

If someone drew a picture like that for me, I’d give it to you!

***

(Soon afterwards, the conversation turns to a question asked by a young disciple about the description of Sri Aurobindo’s life in "The Adventure of Consciousness," when Sri Aurobindo was agnostic and began yoga "for the liberation of his country.")

It’s a chapter entitled "The End of the Intellect," in which I wrote that in the beginning Sri Aurobindo was an agnostic and had mainly cultivated the intellect. So V. has made a summary of this chapter, and in the end he asks: How can one practice yogic disciplines without believing in God or in the Divine?

How? – Very simple. Because these are mere words. When you practice without believing in God or in the Divine, you practice to reach a perfection, to make progress, for all sorts of reasons.

Are there many people ... (I am not referring to those who have a religion: they learn a catechism when they are quite small, so it doesn’t have much meaning), but taking people as they come, are there many of them who believe in the Divine?... Not in Europe, at any rate. But even here, there are quite a few who, by tradition, have a "family deity," and yet when they are displeased they think nothing of taking the deity and throwing it into the Ganges! They do it, I know people who did it; they had a family Kali in their home, they took her and threw her into the Ganges because they were displeased with her – if you believe in the Divine, you can’t do such things, can you?

I don’t know.... Belief in the Divine?... You thirst for a certain perfection, perhaps even to surpass yourself, to reach something higher than what is; when you are a philanthropist, you have an aspiration for mankind to be better, less unhappy and miserable, all kinds of things like that – you can practice a yoga for that, but that’s not believing. To believe is to have the faith that there cannot be a world without the Divine, that’s what it is; the faith that the very existence of the world is proof of the Divine. And precisely not a "belief," not something you thought over or were taught, none of all that: a faith. The faith which is a lived knowledge (not a learned knowledge) that the existence of the world is sufficient proof of the Divine – without the Divine, no world. And it’s so obvious, of course, that you feel one has to be a bit stupid to think otherwise! And the "Divine," not in the sense of "raison d’être," "goal," "culmination," not all that: the world as it is is proof of the Divine. Because it IS the Divine in a certain aspect (a distorted enough aspect, but still).

To me it’s even stronger than that: when I look at a rose like the one I gave you, this thing which holds such a concentration of spontaneous beauty (not fabricated: a spontaneous beauty, a blossoming), you only have to see that and you’re sure the Divine exists, it’s a certitude. You can’t disbelieve, it’s impossible. It’s like those people  – it’s fantastic! – those people who have studied Nature, studied really in depth how everything works and occurs and exists: how can they study sincerely, carefully and painstakingly without being absolutely convinced that the Divine is there? We call it the "Divine" – the Divine is quite tiny! (Mother laughs) To me, the existence is undeniable proof that there is ... nothing but THAT – something we cannot name, cannot define, cannot describe, but which we can feel and BECOME more and more. A "something" which is more perfect than all perfections, more beautiful than all beauties, more wonderful than all wonders, which even a totality of all that is cannot express – and only THAT exists. And it’s not a "something" floating in nothingness: there is nothing but That.

@

October 12, 1966

(After a meditation with Mother)

Even now, as soon as I remain quiet with you when you are here, there is always a sort of limitless immensity, with such a pure, tranquil light.... And it’s white, but a white that might have some blue in it, but so pale that it’s white. Théon gave a name to this region (he had special names for all those regions), I don’t remember, but above it, there were only the regions he called "pathetism" (quite a barbarous name), which were regions belonging to the unmanifested divine Love. I myself experienced the passage through all these regions, and this one [the region of white light in which the meditation took place] was the very last belonging to the light ... I don’t recall, he used to put together all the regions of light, and then, beyond them, the regions ... basically, they were regions of divine Love, but unmanifested, that is to say, not manifested as it is on earth. Those were the last regions before reaching the Supreme. And this one [in the meditation] was the last one belonging to the essence of light, that is, Knowledge. And it is ... oh, there’s such peace, such tranquillity and such LIMPIDITY in it – especially that sense of limpidity and transparency. A tranquillity that’s more than peace, but it isn’t inert immobility, I don’t know how to express it. It absolutely gives the sense of a vibration of extreme intensity, but ab-so-lute-ly tranquil, tranquil, luminous, without ... almost with a sense of motionlessness. And so limpid, so transparent!

Whenever I remain outside action like that and you are here, that’s always what comes, always. Last time also, when I saw those two curves of your being – the curve of the past and the curve of the future meeting on your birthday – well, it was again in this light.

But today ... And limitless, you know, outside time, outside space – magnificent! The great, great repose. And when you are here, it’s always like that. That must be where you draw your inspiration from. It must be from there. It’s good! (Mother laughs) And very pleasant, I don’t know how to explain. Very pleasant. And absolutely silent, but conscious, very conscious, and in perfect tranquillity – light, light, light, nothing but that: the essence of light.

The ascending curve went beyond that, into those regions Théon had given that barbarous name of "pathetism." When one went beyond and entered those regions, then there was ... it was the Supreme outside the creation, beyond the creation. That’s where I saw the representative form of the new creation (and that was before I ever heard anything about Sri Aurobindo and the Supermind), that’s where I saw the form that must succeed the human form, like the symbolic representation of the new creation. That was two or three years before I heard of Sri Aurobindo and met him. So when he told me about the supramental creation, I said to him (laughing), "But of course, I know, I saw it up there!"

No one had told me anything. It’s only when I went to Tlemcen that Madame Théon told me what it was. She knew how to go through all the states of being, from one to the next, and on to the next ... leaving the body corresponding to each state of being in its region and moving beyond. So then, quite spontaneously and naturally, I learned to do it. And I did it there, that’s how I saw this prototype, all the way up, all the way up.

Theon’s teaching wasn’t at all metaphysical and intellectual: everything was expressed in a sort of pictorial objectification; and as I said the other day about that vision [of the "birds"], it’s a richer expression, less limited than the purely intellectual and metaphysical expression. It’s more alive.

And that’s pleasant – I like meditating with you. It’s not "meditating," it’s a silent and very pleasant contemplation-concentration. That’s why, when you are here, I sit without uttering a word!

But you lose the sense of time altogether.

@

October 15, 1966

The conversation begins an hour and a half late.

All right. It’s 11:30. I am not starting anything – neither talking nor keeping quiet (because that lasts a long time!)

I’ll try to play some music on October 30, if I can. I don’t know what will come.... One day, as I was sitting quietly, I wondered whether it would come, and suddenly I grew very tall, very tall, with large hands, and I was sitting before an instrument that wasn’t this one: it was a much bigger instrument, and I started playing such a fugue! It was fantastic. I looked and saw myself with large hands, large arms, and a big instrument.... And it was very good (laughing), the MUSIC was very good!

It’s the first time I have seen myself like that.

But there’s nothing left of the music, nothing at all in the memory, not a single note.

***

(Then Mother looks at her appointment notebook and the stack of letters from people asking to see her.)

All this (pointing to the stack of letters) is for appointments! And it’s something quite simple, it’s not tiring – nothing is tiring if you aren’t in a hurry. But if you are forever thinking of the next thing you have to do, it’s horrible. If you do the thing as it comes, without thinking of anything else, it’s very good.... That nasty habit of thinking, always thinking – very bad. But I am beginning to ... (with a mischievous smile) Do you think fish think?! Because I felt like saying, "I am beginning to live like a fish in water!" (Laughing) Fish probably don’t think. But dolphins think, don’t they? They talk, so they must think ... their brain is heavier than man’s.

Ah, no chattering!

@

October 19, 1966

I am even later than usual: these are the puja days.[63] Lots of people come here for their puja.

Did I tell you the story of Durga?

Recently?

It didn’t happen recently; I can’t recall if it was last year or the year before, at the time of the puja.

You once told me that Durga had "surrendered."

That’s it.

She surrendered. That is to say, she was perfectly independent in her movements and didn’t feel the need to depend on anyone, and that year ... I don’t remember if it was last year or the year before – she used to come every year when I went downstairs for the puja darshan: I would go downstairs and she would come and stay there throughout all the pujas; since I came upstairs, we haven’t been doing it anymore. But once, she came, and I told you what followed.

But it has made an enormous difference. People naturally didn’t notice anything, no one, but it has made an ENORMOUS difference in the atmosphere.

I was still feeling it very strongly these last few days.

A difference, in what sense?

All those who do the puja sincerely (sincerely, of course, not mechanically but with devotion) always attract an emanation or a representation, a representative form, which is present at the puja and responds: it responds to the puja. Every family that worships Kali, for instance, has its own Kali. And it’s true, they are little entities that aren’t quite independent, but have their own lives. And in Durga’s case, it was very clear. So when I say it makes a big difference, it’s because now, in a general way, all those representations of Durga are themselves also in a movement of collaboration.

Naturally, all those entities were more or less spontaneously doing the Supreme’s work, but ... (how can I explain it?) without their having a conscious will: they did it simply and spontaneously, because they were beings of harmony, working harmoniously. But now, in Durga’s case it’s very clear – very clear: she is like this (gesture turned upward, awaiting the Supreme’s Command). In her relationship with the hostile beings, in her legendary yearly battle (which is of course symbolic), she is like this (same gesture), eager to know the direction, the indication, the gesture to be made.

When Sri Aurobindo was here, every year at the time of Durga’s battle, I used to receive from him the very clear indication of the aspect of the adverse forces that had to be vanquished and subdued. (It was very interesting, and I generally noted it down, but I don’t know where all that has gone.) It went on like that for thirty years. And after his departure ... there only remained the Supreme.

She would come, she was absolutely present during the six days of pranam downstairs. But now, since ... I don’t know (I don’t remember because for me time isn’t quite clear anymore, it no longer has the same value), but I remember it happened while I was walking for my japa. I told her there was something more important than that semireligious recollection people have, that what was more important was the deeper nature of the Work and the choice of the adverse aspect (represented by a universal difficulty, or, at any rate, if we only consider the earth, a human difficulty), the aspect that had to be vanquished, dominated in order to lead it to the transformation. And it’s in this connection that I told her that receiving the indication from the Supreme was the true thing; that He saw better than we did what had to be done and the order in which it had to be done. And I felt ... (she was very concrete [Mother makes a gesture as if Durga was in her]), I felt she was immensely interested. Then I told her, "Well, you see, hasn’t the time come" (I am putting it into words, but there weren’t any words), "hasn’t the time come to receive from Him the direct impulsion for your action?" And she responded joyfully and spontaneously.

The difference is that, now, wherever she manifests, I feel the call to the supreme Truth, to manifest it, is truly there.

Which is the aspect of the difficulty this year?

I don’t know. I haven’t concerned myself with it recently, it begins only tomorrow.

I don’t know, I am not actively concerned with it, I’ll see....

Oh, I know it very well, but ... (Mother lays her fingers on her lips).

(meditation)

@

October 22, 1966

(Sujata:) P. is ill.

Ill again! But what’s wrong with that girl?

What should she do inwardly?

Not be afraid of falling ill! That’s what.

You see, they say, "But I AM ill." They put it the other way around: they say they’re ill, and so they are afraid. It’s not true! They are afraid first, and then they fall ill. They constantly live with a sort of apprehension: "Oh, what’s going to happen?" So something happens! (Mother laughs) The poor body feels that’s what is expected of it, and it obeys!

Yes, ninety-nine people out of a hundred are like that. And it’s more or less subconscious, meaning it’s not a thought they have quite clearly, so they tell you, "No, that’s not true!" – they aren’t aware of it, they aren’t aware of what goes on inside them.

(Then Mother gives Satprem flowers. She looks weary.)

We have half an hour of peace and quiet, unless there is something you’d like to say?

Maybe you are the one who’d like to say something?

Me, I have nothing to say, nothing – absolutely in a daze, I am dazed.

(Mother suddenly suggests that Satprem enter her room directly at 10:15
on the days he comes, even if the secretaries are still there.)

(Satprem, in disbelief:) I come in around 10:15?

You could come straight upstairs, we’ll see what happens!

But I don’t want to put you in a difficult situation too....

Oh, if you knew to what point ... There aren’t any reactions, you understand. I look at it all with a very clear vision, a very clear knowledge of the consequences, but there aren’t any reactions: I simply become a kind of machine that signs this, does this and that.... And then, when I need to write something, I turn into an automaton: I remain absolutely blank, silent, like this (gesture of immobility, turned upward), and then I leave it (it depends on the case), either Sri Aurobindo or else something from up above comes and dictates. I am like this (same gesture), and more and more so – I am increasingly like this: nonexistent, a machine.

I have told them several times that they might as well replace this with a nicely designed robot, because this (laughing) doesn’t need to be here! A well-designed robot, with a sophisticated mechanism: you press one button for one thing, another button for another thing, and it works!

You know the situation: I am not alone for ONE MINUTE, not in the twenty-four hours of the day.[64] And in addition to the outer crowd there is the inner crowd: from everywhere, constantly, it keeps coming and coming – oh, constantly and increasingly. Increasingly. So I am like this (gesture showing a consciousness spread afar), a sort of consciousness that responds, that’s all, without any participation. A consciousness that responds like a machine.

Otherwise I think it would be impossible.

Yes, humanly your life is infernal.

If I didn’t know how to do that, I would either go insane or fall ill: it’s impossible. Fortunately, it’s within the realm of possibility! Which means that the work gets done automatically, I don’t have to make an effort.

And the number of things keeps increasing (Mother looks around her). When I first came into this room, it was empty; when they made the music room, it was empty. Now (Mother makes an amused gesture pointing towards the heaps of things on the windowsills, the furniture, everywhere), there’s no room left for anything! It’s crammed to overflowing. So I wonder at people – those who feel deprived and those who are bored: to me, those two categories are unthinkable! How can one have time to be bored and how can one lack anything?!

The work keeps increasing (for everyone); the mail is something unbelievable! It’s pouring in from everywhere. I got ... (Mother laughs) a letter from America, from someone I don’t know at all, who listened to phonograph records of my voice. And, I don’t know, it’s people who seem to have "occult experiences" or perhaps practice "spiritualism," and he writes to tell me that he hears my voice and I am giving him "revelations" about himself. But then ... (laughing) fantastic revelations! He says it’s my voice, he doesn’t doubt it (he accepts even the seemingly most fanciful things), but still, for safety’s sake he’d like to ask me (!) if I am indeed the one who has told him those things. And among the things I am supposed to have told him, I seem to have declared that he is a combined reincarnation of Buddha, Christ, Archangel Gabriel, Napoleon and Charlemagne!... I am going to answer him that those five characters belong to different "lines of manifestation" and therefore they are rather unlikely to be combined in a single being (a single human being)!

It’s obviously little vital entities having fun. They have fun, and the more fanciful, the greater the fun, of course!

But judging by the letters – all the mail – there is a kind of occult activity spreading over the earth in a very strange way.... In Korea, there is a man who declares himself to be the "New Avatar".... There are scores and scores of them, everywhere. With the result that from a material point of view, people appear to have rather lost their balance. You feel as if the whole earth has gone half crazy. And with their new inventions, it can result in odd phenomena.

But since the beginning of this century and up till now, the change that has taken place on the earth – in the realms of thought, activities, products, inventions – is fantastic! It’s so fantastic that things dating from the beginning of the century appear antiquated, as if they were almost two hundred years old. It’s strange.

Things are clearly moving fast.

People seem to be rushing towards ... As if they were rushing ahead without knowing why, and at the end is a great big hole! ... I don’t know what’s going to happen.

(silence)

If you don’t mind ... (with a mischievous smile) that is, if you don’t have sensitive nerves, come in at 10:15 next time and make yourself comfortable! At least it will be a lesson. We’ll see what happens.

At what time?

Quarter past ten. You’ll quietly open the door and come in. I at least will have great fun!

Because personally I have tried everything, without any result. When I tell them, "Time is up" with all the authority at my command, they tell me, "Yes." That’s all it means to them!

Ah, mon petit (turning to Sujata), tomorrow I have forty-two of them to see before you – forty-two people! [65]

@

October 26, 1966

Do you know that I played yesterday? I tried the organ. It was very entertaining: as soon as I sat down, something came into my hands, but something that LOVED music, and it came in so easily, so gently and intensely. And suddenly my hands found their past skill again – the whole half of my arm was seized by a little being. It was really lovely, it sounded very childlike and was quite charming, quite charming.

It’s the first time it has been so complete: it was no longer at all my hands that were playing, no longer at all. It’s the first time. I don’t know if it will be like that for the 30th [Satprem’s birthday].

***

Soon afterwards

There’s something I’d like to show you. You know that I went to the balcony the other day,[66] in full sun, and it completely altered my appearance (Mother looks for a series of photos). I must say that I felt very different from what I am when I go there. I was very, very different. I am not saying anything, you’ll see....

(Mother hands the photos to Satprem)

I look like someone else.

Oh, yes! It’s odd, it doesn’t look like you at all.

Some say it looks like me.

But I look like a man, don’t I?

Yes, there is something masculine, especially in this one.

Yes, I look like a man.

It was someone else who was there – but there are always others, that’s what people don’t know! Others come all the time, all the time (Mother draws a circle above her head to suggest a circular dance): old ones, new ones, future ones, there is constantly something. It’s very strange. And then the photograph catches it.

Yes, it’s very striking on this one; it’s less pronounced on the others.

And it’s someone I know, but I can’t put a name to him. I look like an old scientist there, no? It’s strange (Mother looks at the photo again). There’s something strange: a sort of very keen knowledge [in the person in the photo] that stems from observation, but I can’t find out the country and time it’s from.

They are particular states of consciousness that grew precise and were expressed particularly well in certain individuals at certain moments – it’s not during the whole life of a whole individual, it’s not that: it’s states of consciousness that reached the height of their formation and intensity at certain moments. And then, it all comes back like a big merry-go-round (Mother draws a circular dance above her head and around her), all the time, through all times and all countries. The photo catches it, and when it comes to me, when I see it, I seem to be looking not at all at this person [Mother], but at someone I have known quite a lot, someone I have known quite well: "But of course, it’s you, no doubt!" But I can’t put a name.

Yes, it’s like a merry-go-round of all the moments when the Consciousness manifested in people. It’s very interesting. The body is now growing very impersonal.

But once, I had a curious experience with you.... I’ve never had visions with open eyes, but once (it struck me), many years ago, downstairs, you were telling me a story about cats and talking about the "king of the cats" you had met, the genius of the species – and your face (it was extraordinary) was that of a cat! But a supercat, who was there in front of me! Yet I have no visions, absolutely none, but it was plainly visible. I found it very striking. It was quite extraordinary.

The body’s appearance had changed.

Yes, your whole face had changed its appearance. And I am sure a photograph would have shown it, because it wasn’t a vision.

Yes, those are things photographs catch. They’re very sensitive.

It’s strange.

Once at the balcony, I was Buddha, absolutely! It lasted a minute or two. And quite a few people told me, "Oh, you were Buddha." If a photo had been taken, it would have been visible.

But it comes constantly like that, like a sort of merry-go-round of people coming by (same gesture of a round dance), and hup! they manifest and go away, hup! they manifest and go away.... And in those photos, I have several times recognized someone, but without being able to put a name.

But this (Mother looks at the photo again) is a man, I am sure it’s a man, and I have a feeling that if he wasn’t an "official" scientist, he was a man who had a science, a very intimate and keen observation of things. And it was a moment when that consciousness of observation was at its highest. They caught it with the photo; the next minute it would no longer have been there. He is almost saying something, expressing something (Mother shows Satprem the photo): see the mouth. It’s very curious.

It’s amusing.

But from that point of view, the body is growing very impersonal. It’s like with my hands: it has never been as spontaneous and complete as it was yesterday – I can’t say I no longer had hands because there was no "I" anymore. That’s how it is, something comes (something from someone: an idea, a force, a movement, an expression), poff! and it becomes this [Mother’s body, or her hands in this instance]. And it was very joyful and very sweet: there was a sort of joyful charm, very young. Half an hour before,

I didn’t know I was going to play: it came just like that. And it wasn’t "to play," there was nothing serious or important, none of that existed: there only was something very young, very lively.

It’s a phenomenon that’s growing concrete. There are all sorts of ... they aren’t people: they are states of consciousness that expressed themselves or maybe even took a precise shape in the lives of all kinds of people; some of them are quite known to me: I have seen them often, they come back often and I know them very well – I can put names to them. But these states of consciousness weren’t exclusively in this or that person: they were in many people and in many ages.

And it’s more and more often like that. I think it’s to make the [cellular] aggregate more supple, to give it suppleness.

(silence)

Sri Aurobindo wrote somewhere, I don’t remember in what connection, that in a certain state of consciousness one had the power to CHANGE THE PAST. I found that very striking.

Because it’s an experience I’ve had several times, and with all this work I am doing now, I understand better. You see, what seems to be perpetuated or preserved isn’t individuals: it’s states of consciousness – states of consciousness. Those states of consciousness manifest through many individuals and many different lives, and those states of consciousness are what progress towards a more and more luminous perfection. There are now, at present, all kinds of "categories" of states of consciousness that come one upon another in order to be put in contact with the Truth, the Light, the perfect Consciousness, and at the same time they have retained a sort of imprint (like a memory) of the moments when they manifested.

There is a big work of transformation of the material states of consciousness going on: the states of consciousness nearest to the Inconscient, the most material states of consciousness. They come like that [to present themselves to Mother], with one or two examples of their previous manifestation (perhaps even their first emergence from the Inconscient), and then I see the transition (along with what has transformed them, changed them or even simply altered them through successive manifestations), the transition up to the point when they are now presented before the supreme Consciousness for the final transformation. This is a perpetual work, so to speak, because, interestingly, it’s a work I can go on doing while seeing people. Generally my work was interrupted when I saw people, because I was busy with them and that diminished and limited the work: they represented a small aggregate of difficulties that enormously shrank the Action [of Mother]. But now it’s no longer like that. And the interesting point is that it places people in this or that "curve of transformation" of the consciousness. For some time I have been seeing a considerable number of people I had never seen before (with all the old or familiar people there was no difficulty, but with the new ones it generally caused a shrinking of the work), and now with this "study" of states of consciousness, people are placed: here, there, here (Mother draws different levels in space). And if they are receptive, they must go away [after seeing Mother] with a new impulse to transform themselves. Those who aren’t receptive just miss it; but they are no longer a disturbance: they come in and go out. And from that I know what state they are in – I can even do it with photos, but when I see people it’s much more complete. Photos are no more than one moment of their being, while here, even what isn’t being manifested is there, hidden behind, and can be seen, so I see the person more completely. It’s very interesting. It transforms this whole burden of visitors into something interesting.

@

October 29, 1966

So, what would you like to tell me for your birthday?

I’d like to do more for you, and better.

Better is difficult. As for more, we’d have to have more time! We could do a lot, I know that, but we would need time.

But I’d like to serve you more.

There are lots of things, lots of things.... Last night again, we were together for a long time. But we are together to WORK together; you understand, it’s not as if you are looking after me and I am looking after you, it’s not that: we meet because we work together. And there are vast movements of consciousness.

To tell the truth, I don’t like mental activity – I have never liked it. I worked a lot in the mind for a time: it was a phase, the phase of mental development when I did philosophy – all philosophies, comparative philosophies – in order to make the intellect more supple. But to tell the truth, it doesn’t interest me. While states of consciousness – movements of consciousness, states of consciousness – that’s tremendously interesting! And going on at the moment there is a very keen, that is, very painstaking study of the relationship between states of consciousness and the phenomenon of death.

Ultimately, all beliefs people have about what happens after death ... Human beings have long tried to know, of course, and some religions thought they had found an explanation.... I’ve had personal experiences. And now the problem is put in a new way, as if (I say "as if" because I haven’t come to the end and I don’t know), as if what is perpetuated from life to life weren’t personalities but STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS, which are immortal and in constant transformation at the same time, and what’s transformed through one’s lives is the state of consciousness.... Some have only one state of consciousness, others have many (there are even certain people who have two nearly opposite states of consciousness, which results in that "double personality" and those contradictions in life). Some are very simple and have only one, and that results in almost primitive individuals; but they sometimes have a wonderful development in their state of consciousness.... That explains many contradictions. That’s what I am clearly shown at the moment: states of consciousness passing through numerous aggregates. And then, there is, there too, a secret to be found for the prolongation of an aggregate, that is, what gives the character not of immortality (which is something very different), but of the indefinite duration of life – of the FORM, rather (life never stops), of the form. So then, once this study has been done in depth, another secret will have been found.

It’s very interesting.

(silence)

Not last night but the night before, I spent a long time, almost two hours of our time here, with Sri Aurobindo. I have told you he has something that translates as an "abode" (it’s magnificent, magnificent!) in the subtle physical. It’s always immense, so clear, well-defined, yet fully open. And I get a sense of ... (Mother takes a deep breath) phew! open, luminous – always, in every case. He is there ... maybe not quite as he was here (but it makes no difference to me because the change has been very progressive: I have followed Sri Aurobindo almost from day to day, step by step), and he is perhaps rather taller, with perhaps a form that has greater perfection, I don’t know, but to me, his expression ... (Mother smiles with her eyes closed) ... his expression is inexpressible. I spent a very, very long time with him. In those huge rooms (they are limitless, you know, you feel you could go indefinitely from one room to another, from one place to another), he was directing ... It was in a part of the place with a certain number of rooms (four, five or six, I don’t know), large rooms where he was directing a pottery, just imagine! But it wasn’t like here. There were objects made of clay. There wasn’t any process of firing, painting or any like that (it wasn’t like here), but there were shapes which looked like pottery shapes, and they had a power (Mother gestures downward) to manifest. And then, there was everything: animals, plants, people, things, everything, with all possible colors. I went from one to another, looking, explaining. I had spent a long time with him, and I knew exactly why and how it was done, and afterwards I went and studied the work and observed. Then the rooms were arranged, the things were put in their place: that was as if to show the result. And things ... charming in their simplicity, yet they contained an extraordinary power of manifestation! But they had a deep meaning. I took an object made of a very dark reddish brown earth, and it was badly put together, that is, the shape wasn’t right and I showed it to the "pottery foreman" (there was a pottery foreman in each room, looking after the work). I showed it to him, and told him (it was fairly big at the bottom, with a small piece at the top [Mother draws a sort of vase with a neck], anyway it wasn’t well done), I explained it to him, saying, "You understand, it’s not properly balanced." And while I was holding it in my fingers – it broke. Then he said to me, "Oh, I am going to mend it." I answered, "If you like, but it’s not as it should be...." Of course, we say it with our words, but there, it had a very precise MEANING. Then, there were kinds of big openings between one room and another (they weren’t "rooms," they were huge halls), and one went on to the place where they made "fish"! But the fish weren’t fish (!), they had another meaning. And there were fish this big, made of clay, colored and gleaming, magnificent: one was blue-green, another yellowish white, but pretty, so pretty! And they were kept on the floor as if it were water: the fish were kept on the floor, right in the way. So I thought, "That’s not very convenient!" (Mother laughs) And said like this, it all looks like childishness, but there it had a very deep meaning, very deep.

It was very interesting.

I spent at least two hours like that. It must have been between one and three in the night. And the sense of something so very peaceful, so comfortable and full of light and consciousness –  especially consciousness – oh, it was wonderful. The consciousness here seems very, very restricted. Very restricted. And because it expresses itself through thought it’s weighed down: that weighs it down, restricts it ... fossilizes it. While there, the consciousness moves about freely in full light, oh, such a clear, clear atmosphere, so limpid ... shadowless ... yet everything has a shape. There are even streets (there are other places), but everything is like that, in full light.

The feeling remained for hours afterwards.

And it seems to be developing and completed fantastically fast: from one visit to the next (with at times an interval of eight days, perhaps), there is an extraordinary change, tremendous. Sri Aurobindo himself changes. I find him ... Previously (two years ago, for instance) I found him very like what he was physically; of course, I saw him almost right in the beginning in his supramental reality, but that’s very different: I am speaking of the Sri Aurobindo who is in constant, constant contact with us – it’s like an emanation of the other [the supramental Sri Aurobindo] and like the continuation of the Sri Aurobindo who lived with us. That’s how it is. Well, for a time, he looked like himself much more than he does now; now it’s as though he looked more like the other. But still, remaining very close to us, very close.

And the work is proceeding fast, fast....

(silence)

There are some people over there who lived on earth, but not many. That’s where I met several times (very often during the first year after her death) the woman who used to cook for Sri Aurobindo. What was her name?

Mridu.

Mridu! She has also changed a lot, quite a lot, but ... (Mother smiles, amused) in a way she is still the same!

But I felt (it was yesterday, I think) that things are much simpler  – much simpler – and much less dramatic than human thought imagines. It’s very strange, I have a growing feeling of something ... without mystery, and that it’s our way of thinking and feeling that adds the whole mystery and the whole drama – while in fact there isn’t any.

Oh, how men dramatize everything!

It’s like their relationship with the Divine.... Yesterday, while I was working here in the morning (distributing the eggs!), they made me listen to music by Sahana,[67] a hymn by their group which is in the line of "religious music." There are sounds, certain sounds that may be called "religious sounds"; they are certain "associations of sounds," which are universal, that is, they don’t belong to a particular time or a particular country. In all times and all countries, those who have had this religious emotion have spontaneously given out this sound. While the music was playing, that perception came to me very clearly (it’s an association of two or three sounds), it came with the very state of consciousness that produces these sounds, and which is always the same: the sounds reproduce the state of consciousness. The whole [instrumental] accompaniment is different, and naturally that always, always spoils it. But these two – two or three – sounds are wonderfully expressive, in a precise, exact way, of the religious feeling, the Contact (gesture to the Heights), the adoration: the contact of adoration.

It was very interesting.

And in her piece, this sound recurs two or three times. All the rest is padding. But that ... And I’ve heard it in churches, I’ve heard it in temples, I’ve heard it in mystic gatherings, I’ve heard it ... Always mixed with all kinds of other things, but that’s ... And these sounds are absolutely evocative of the effect – in fact it’s the other way around: it’s the state of consciousness that produces these sounds, but when you hear the sounds it puts you in contact with the state of consciousness. So then, I understood why people like to listen to this music: it’s because it suddenly gives them ... ah! they feel something unknown to them.

How interesting it was!

How different everything becomes! You live in the state of consciousness, and then everything becomes different. You see things ... yes, I think that’s what Sri Aurobindo calls seeing things from within outward. One causes the other.

Very interesting.

In Sunil’s music there are two or three of those associations of sounds that are evocative associations, and in his music it’s the splendor of the future creation, oh, it comes like a dazzling sun.

But even in very old music, or disjointed music, there is that association now and then: two sounds, a relationship between two sounds (two, sometimes three). And I don’t think people are aware of it, but that’s what puts them in contact with the state of consciousness.

In reality, it’s one way of looking at the problem, but it makes things simpler in a truly interesting way.... In other words, great transformations are merely the result of a change of state of consciousness.

(silence)

So, I wish you a good year.

Yes, Mother.

It’s going to be a good year. A very clear year – very clear, very vast – vast and clear.... I don’t know what’s going to happen here. Circumstances appear to be increasingly difficult, but I must say that leaves me very calm. They are difficult. In the country, in the world, it’s difficult, things grate. But it seems to be a mere appearance: it’s the great pressure of the Light – a warm, golden, powerful, supramental light – and it goes on increasing and increasing and increasing....

Also, since the day I saw those two curves for you, they have been asserting themselves, establishing themselves, and the soaring towards the future is magnificent – very strong, very powerful, and at the same time very luminous ("luminous," it has always been so: luminous, even crystalline on the intellectual level), but now it has great force. A great force.

I felt like drawing the curve, but it should be pretty, well done, and I don’t have the time – but they are there (how can I put it?...) in the invisible. The one that climbs, climbs magnificently, like a jet of light.

Voilà.

(Mother picks up a small object beside her:)

Would you like a little donkey to help you!

@

 

November

November 3, 1966

Would you like to win 200,000 dollars?

What does one have to do for that?

One has to prove the existence of the soul after death.

Oh, yes, yes, I know – that article....

"A $ 200,000 reward has been offered to anyone on this earth who can give some scientific proof of a soul of a human body which leaves at death. This was found in the will of James Kidd, an Arizona miner who died in 1951. Lawyers executing the will claim that if no real scientific proof is submitted the money will go to any research institute aimed at proving the existence of the human soul." ["The Hindu," October 26, 1966]

Some people already have their argument ready, I’ve heard.

A proof ... what they want is a scientifically demonstrated proof. But in the first place, are they really referring to the soul? You understand, they are all in a terrible confusion: for them, the soul is just anything. Do they want to prove the existence of the soul, which is eternal, immortal, or the existence of an afterlife? The two things are different. Afterlife has been scientifically proved by cases: there have been quite a few cases of people who in their present life carried on with their previous life. There was the story of that father who died, and the child of a neighboring family gave extraordinary details, things that the dead father alone knew. He alone knew them, and as soon as the child was able to move independently, that is, at the age of five or six, he started trying to lead his former life again; he would say, "My children are waiting for me in that house, I must go and look after them"! He was a child, yet he said, "My children are waiting for me over there." And that house was where he had died. There were quite precise details that the dead father alone knew: he would say, "But I put that here, why did it go?" All kinds of things like that. This is a fairly recent case. There have been at least four or five recorded cases, therefore there is an afterlife. But what is it that lives after? Of course, in the case of that child, it’s not the soul, it has nothing to do with the soul: it’s beings of the Vital[68] (the mentalized vital) that remained intact and, because of some special circumstance, reincarnated immediately. So their previous life was still "quite fresh." The case of that child seems to me scientifically indisputable because they can’t say, "He is mad," or "It’s a hallucination" – he is a child and he speaks of "his children." There have been other cases as convincing as this one (I don’t remember them). But is this what they want to know? Or do they want to know whether there is a soul and whether it is immortal and ... In reality, they don’t know anything. It’s a question put by ignorant people. They should be told in the first place, "Excuse me! Before asking questions, you should study the problem."

There was the story of Ford, who had sent word to Sri Aurobindo and me that he was coming here to ask us the question that tormented him: "What happens after death?" And he said he was ready to give his fortune to whoever could answer him. Someone had told him, "Yes, Sri Aurobindo can answer you." So Ford had sent word that he was preparing to come and ask us his question. And then he died!

No, those are questions asked by ignorant people. They should first learn the matter and know what they’re talking about.

There is the soul. There is the soul, which is quite simply an emanation of ... we can call it the supreme Consciousness, supreme Reality, supreme Truth, anything, whatever they like, it’s all the same to me – any words they like. But anyway, the soul is an emanation of That, a direct emanation. In the body, That becomes clothed in the psychic being. The psychic being is a being which is progressively formed throughout all the existences. So are you talking about the soul, are you talking about the psychic being (which is first an embryo and eventually becomes a conscious, perfectly independent being), or are you simply talking of the life of an individual consciousness after death? Because that’s yet another thing. There are proofs of that; but in that case, it’s a quite vital consciousness of an inferior order, and it may happen to immediately come back into another body through some combination of circumstances (it was into the same family that the father had come back), and to come back with the memory. Otherwise, according to the experiences of those who have studied the question, it’s only the psychic being in the process of being formed that retains the memory of its former existences. But it retains the memory of the material, purely physical existence ONLY FOR THOSE MOMENTS WHEN IT PARTICIPATED. So, instead of all those stories that are told (and are made up), you only have memories like that (Mother draws a series of "points" in space with her fingertips), which may be more or less detailed, more or less complete, but which are only fragmentary memories of the MOMENT when the psychic physically manifested. Lots of people do have this sort of memory, but they don’t know what it is. Most of the time they regard it as "dreams" or "imaginings." Those who know (that is to say, who are conscious of what goes on in their physical consciousness) can see that it’s memories.

The number of memories of this kind I’ve had is almost incalculable. But it doesn’t have the same character as the memories of the higher consciousness (then it’s not a "memory": it’s a sort of vision the higher beings[69] have of life; but that’s something else). The memories I speak of are memories of the psychic being, they have a different character: a rather personal character, I mean there is the sense of a PERSON remembering something. While the others, the visions from above, are memories of an "acting consciousness." But the memories of the psychic being aren’t mentalized, that is, if for instance at the time of the recollection you weren’t paying attention to the way you were dressed or the surroundings, you don’t remember them. You only remember what took place and especially what took place from the point of view of the consciousness and the feelings and the inner movements.

It’s generally fragments – fragments of life – that were individualized, and when in the present life you follow a normal development with the [various beings] gathering around the central consciousness, all those elements come back to gather together. They come back, each with its own memories. For instance, I had a memory like that (I tell you, I’ve had hundreds of them) when I was very young (I must have been twenty or so). It wasn’t at night, but I was lying down, resting: suddenly I felt myself riding a horse, with tremendous warlike power and the sense ... a will for victory and the POWER of victory. And I felt as if I was riding a horse: I saw a white horse, I saw my legs, with riding breeches, you understand, and a red velvet costume. And there I was, at a gallop. I couldn’t tell what the head was like or anything, naturally! And also, the crowd, the armies, and the rising sun. It was so strong, the sense that ... it was the sense of the will for victory and the POWER of victory. It came just like that. Then, sometime later, I read somewhere the story of Murat (I forget ... I think his victory was Magenta[70] ... I no longer remember all that), and I immediately understood that my vision was at the moment of launching the battle: he had an inner call to a Power, so there was an identification [with Mother’s power], and that’s what I remembered and what came back. If I said (as the Theosophists tell you), "I was Murat," it would be stupid. But it was a consciousness coming back. It was so strong! The impression lasted long enough, with the sense of the battle but above all the sense of that POWER making you invincible. It was interesting, because at the time (it was just in the beginning, I was beginning to take interest in these things and I had just come across the "Cosmic" teaching), I was convinced that a woman’s psychic being was always reincarnated in a woman and a man’s psychic being was always reincarnated in a man (many schools teach that; Théon too believed so, he insisted on it). So it came as a surprise, because it wasn’t in conformity with what I thought (!). Afterwards (long afterwards), I realized that naturally all those dogmas were nonsense, but ...

It fits with what I told you last time: the STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS are what reincarnate, evolving, developing, growing more perfect. That’s rather how it was, that’s how that memory came. It’s like that with many memories. And I know that to say "states of consciousness are what reincarnate," to adopt that as the "sole" explanation would be incorrect – it’s absolutely incorrect – but it’s one way of looking at the question beyond the sense of the little personality. It broadens the consciousness: one has in oneself things far more universal and far less limited than personal experiences. Just as in life some people have an exceptional life, in the same way they also have exceptional moments in their life, when they no longer are one single little person: they are a force in action. That’s how it is.

Ultimately, this question (I read the question, it has been published somewhere and it was read to me) is a question asked by ignorant people. They ask you something, but they are ignorant. They should begin by studying the subject in the first place and learn something about it, then they would be able to understand the proof we can give them. Otherwise they won’t understand it.

I was asked the question (by someone who sent me the article in the hope I would answer), I said, "No! They aren’t ready for the answer; let them do their homework first, then we’ll answer them."

They are ignorant people who want to be taught things – the ready-cooked dinner! (Laughing) That won’t do.

@

November 9, 1966

(Satprem reads Mother a few excerpts from "The Sannyasin," in particular the scene in which the Sannyasin is standing with his back to the temple door, having lost both his "spiritual heaven" and the earth in the form of the one he loved.)

This image [of the Sannyasin with his back to the bronze door] was so strong, you know! ... Every time you mention it, I see my vision again.[71] It was so strong! There was the temple – only the door and the wall could be seen – and the top of a mountain with the abrupt slope downward. Then there was a narrow path between the temple and the precipice, and a roaring crowd surging up, coming up the path, and then ...

And I always, always see the same thing.

It MUST have existed, because it has the intensity of something that was physical.

In fact, in my first idea of the book, it was this child who was to die, and that’s precisely what caused the people to riot and pursue this Sannyasin. Then I tried to present things without her dying.

Yes, that’s better. It’s better without the mob’s pursuit, otherwise it may suggest that fear is what drives him to the wall, and then it doesn’t have the same force anymore.

The vision was a memory, that is, something which exists in the "earth memory." But that’s no reason to make a story out of it. It’s better for your book to have a deeper basis.

So then, is that when he has the reaction against asceticism?

Yes, because he has lost her. Not physically, but he loses her since she refuses. She says, "But now you are a Sannyasin, so it’s over." He has fallen from his heaven to go to the other extreme and lead an ordinary life with her. And she says no. She says, "That’s not what a new life is."

But won’t it look like hankering after sexual enjoyment? Because that would bring the whole thing down to a very low level. Ill-disposed people would say, "Ah, of course, sexual desire is stronger than spiritual life."

It depends on the way it’s put. This woman ... she isn’t a woman, she is almost a girl. There has never been a love relationship between them; she is a twelve- to thirteen-year-old child and there is an ancient relationship. Even the word "love" hasn’t been uttered between them. There is only a need to be together, a need for union. She feels a oneness between this Sannyasin and her, it’s a being together, and she feels that being together doesn’t mean to "marry." But she feels the union, the oneness with him.

Ah, it would be such a good thing from the general point of view if people could be made to understand that true love has nothing to do with sexual relationship, with vital attraction, even with sentimental relationships, that none of this has anything to do with true love.[72] But people don’t understand. Even when they use the word "love," they immediately think of sexual union, and that’s disastrous, it completely warps the idea.

I don’t know, I haven’t read Pavitra’s book On Love. Have you? Is the point clear in his book?

(Satprem makes a face)

It’s not clear?

I find there’s something false in his book – something false or falsely expressed.

False?

According to him, there are two paths: the "outward path" and the "return path." The outward path is people going away from the Lord, living the life of the world, being husband, wife, etc. Then the return path is the "true path," the path of the return to the Lord, in which all those things are a hindrance.... So, to me, that’s a falsehood.

Naturally!

Because what’s this "outward path" going far away from the Lord and this "return path" in which human relationships are merely a hindrance?... The return is, on the contrary, when one has gone all the way up ...

Yes, and one brings the Divine back down.

Exactly.

Yes, that’s the return.

But for him the return is climbing back to the Lord – and then?...

Then it’s the end of life!

I was very shocked when I read it. I felt like telling him, then I kept silent ... [Mother approves]. As for me, I had always seen the return as the descending path.

It’s the Lord coming down.

It’s the Truth coming down. The return isn’t climbing up, it’s not that; that’s the outward path, on the contrary.

But of course, that’s the outward path. It began with the stone – the stone – and one sees very clearly the difference between the stone and plants, plants and animals, animals and men. One sees quite clearly all Matter striving and striving and striving towards the Lord – that’s the outward journey. It has been like that since the beginning. It climbs up with all its errors, all its confusion, all its falsehoods, all its distortions – but it’s EVERYTHING that climbs up. And the return is what is described in the "message" I am going to give on 4.5.67 [May 4, 1967]: "the prison changed into a divine mansion."[73]

As a matter of fact, in the book I am writing I show that when one has touched that Light, it’s the turning point before coming back down; that the truth isn’t the end up above – up above, it’s one half.

Yes, (laughing) it’s the beginning of the end!

My whole book is based on that.

That’s very important. Because all those who begin by being disgusted with life, their first movement is to get away – all of them. I receive truckloads of letters: as soon as they are disgusted with life, as soon as it stops being something marvelous, "Oh, enough! I want to get away, I want to get away." That’s indeed the first movement: you climb up above, but it will be to come back down and change things HERE – it’s not to abolish them, but to change them.

Buddha represented the height of abolition. He led to abolition and represented the height of abolition. Very well, but ... That’s when the summit was reached, when the summit was seen. But we must come back down.

They don’t understand, they are still up above, all of them.

Yes, that’s what I am saying. His entire book is like that: the outward path leads away from the Lord, and on the return path, you climb back to the Lord. [Turning to Sujata:] It’s put like that in his book, isn’t it?

(Sujata:) That book ... I don’t know, I found it a little odd.

Going back to the Divine, yes, that’s Nirvana.

Only, as soon as you are there and in contact with the Divine, he tells you, "Go down! Don’t stay here, it’s not your place!"

But, you know, I am desperately struggling against all those who conceive of spiritual life as ... brrt! you go off. That’s just the beginning. As for me, I always answer with the story of Buddha: as he was about to enter Nirvana, he suddenly realized that the earth had to be changed ... and stayed on.

I remember, once, it was with Madame David-Neel. It’s very interesting. She came to give a lecture (I wasn’t acquainted with her, that’s where I met her for the first time), I think it was at the Theosophical Society (I forget). I went to the lecture, and while she was speaking, I saw Buddha – I saw him clearly: not above her head, a little to the side. He was present. So after the lecture, I was introduced to her (I didn’t know the kind of woman she was!), and I said to her, "Oh, Madam, during your speech I saw Buddha present." She answered me (in a furious tone), "Impossible! Buddha is in Nirvana!" (Mother laughs) Oho!... "Better keep quiet!" I thought.

But he really was there, whatever she thought!

That’s what it is: going away.

I didn’t understand why Pavitra, who is here, wrote like that.

No, I understand his thought quite well: he see things too closely, mon petit! He sees that all the effort of the earth must be towards the Divine, towards union with the Divine; he sees ... (how should I put it?) what precedes, and sees it too closely, not from a sufficient distance. So then, for him, the return is the return towards the Divine.

But if he were told, "Abolition, Nirvana," he would say, "No, no! not at all." Only, he doesn’t see that.

In reality, it’s a threefold movement: the creation, which was the "flight from the Divine" (according, of course, to the ordinary conception which says that the creation "fell," it "wandered away" from the Divine and men "wandered away" from the Divine); that was the first movement. But that’s because he sees it too closely; he doesn’t see that the Divine plunged to the very bottom of the Inconscient. (And that’s the question: Why did He plunge to the very bottom of the Inconscient?... That’s to be "investigated" [Mother laughs], one doesn’t yet know how to explain it: everyone explains it differently.) He plunged to the very bottom (as for me, I think I know why, but that will be for later). He plunged to the very bottom of the Inconscient: beneath the stone (Mother makes a gesture of immutability, at the very bottom), beneath the mineral; the mineral is already a first awakening of the consciousness.... But you have to see it as a whole to understand that it’s an ascent. If you see human life as it is, the impression is that men become lost in the "fall," but that’s the result of the Mind; the Mind needed to go through the whole experience, to go down to the very bottom in order to understand everything and bring everything back towards the ascent. For plants, it’s really an ascent. Thus, according to this vision, there are three movements. But if you see the whole simultaneously, there are only two movements: the first movement is the descent of the Lord into the Inconscient (we can’t say anything about that for the moment; once we have emerged from it, we’ll be able to say); the second (the first we can conceive of) is, very, very slowly, through all possible experiences, even the most complete mental denials of the Divine, the ascent towards the Divine. And then, once we have climbed up ... (Mother makes a gesture of descent), "Come, come here: change this prison into the mansion of the Divine."

That will be very good, a very good "message" for 4.5.67.

Four is manifestation. Five is power. Six is creation, and seven is realization. Four figures in a wonderful sequence. Here is realization (you want realization?), here it is: the prison turned into the Divine’s mansion. People say, "The earth is hopeless, it’s done for...." See! It will be fine.

***

If man hadn’t thought it was a "fall," he would never have had the will to climb up again. He needed to think it was a "fall" – but it’s not a fall, it’s ... something else, which I am now discovering.

***

(Soon afterwards, white translating into French the "message" for 4.5.67 (May 4, 1967), Mother stops at a word, the French for which doesn’t come to her.)

... I never think of anything – oh, that’s a blessing, you know, mon petit! I never think of anything without good reason! I am like this (gesture of immobile contemplation, turned upward). The only thing that’s formulated with words is: "Lord, You ... what You will, what You know, what You do, there is only You. You." Like that (same gesture of immobility). And all of a sudden, without thinking about it, without looking for it, plop! a drop of light – ah! It’s convenient.

@

November 12, 1966

Yesterday was Kali puja,[74] and in English I would say, She has been outspoken. In the afternoon, she expressed ... (laughing) her "view of things."

She was displeased?

(Mother nods her head) And it was amusing, because it wasn’t just here, it wasn’t just the earth, but it was a displeasure even at the way of acting of Nature’s forces.... See this irony: yesterday morning I got a telegram – an S.O.S. from Bihar, telling me that they have no drinking water, they are in a dreadful condition of drought and deprivation, and calling for help. At the same time, here the waters are rising again and there is a threat of flood! The irony of it is ridiculous. Thereupon she began saying her "view of things." She said rather amusing things (it was in the afternoon).

Then, when she had left, I started laughing and I said, "Don’t worry! I, for one, am laughing." (Mother laughs) So hearts were comforted.

What did she say?

She got angry, she told me, "Disorder, incoherence, lack of organization," and so on.

What will have to happen in the world to get some order in things?

That’s just the question.... No, she put it the other way around: "What will have to happen to YOU people so you start wanting to be conscious? How much (gesture of hammering) will you need to ..."

Anyway ...

But I found it particularly ironic: in the morning they had just told me, "The flood is starting up again, the stream is rising"; then a telegram: "We’re dying of thirst, everything has dried up"!

Quite symbolic.

Yes, disorder – lack of equilibrium.

@

November 15, 1966

... I am nonexistent.

Tired?

No, absolutely gone (gesture above). I realize it’s absolutely useless to want anything and that nothing gets done.... Nonexistent. See the time, it’s 10:45. I have given up. I am just a robot good for signing papers, that’s all. Whether I want or don’t want ... Of course, "I" stopped wanting long ago, but anyway, for me to express a necessity is absolutely useless. Absolutely.

I am truly gone.

Don’t go away!

Oh, it doesn’t matter. This (Mother points to her body) is still here!

You know, one thing upon another, one upon another, in every field: I see what must be and what is true, and everything, but everything, combines for it to be otherwise, so ... (same gesture of withdrawal above). I am not going to worry myself sick!  – I withdraw. I become the Witness again.

One really doesn’t understand the Grace.

I think no one can understand it!

Listen, just this morning I received a note asking me, "Why doesn’t the Truth act?" I am going to read you my answer.... It’s always the same (it’s the continuation of a whole exchange of letters):

"... It is obvious that the solution lies in the Truth."

So why the delay?

"Because the Truth is supremely destructive of Falsehood and ill will; were It to act at once on the world as it is, little of it would remain.... It is patiently preparing its advent."

It’s true, I feel this: the resistance is so TOTAL that were "That" to go like this (gesture of descent on the earth), nothing would be left!

But for those who are on the right side, of course it’s actively with them.

(Mother gives Satprem flowers)

You don’t understand the Grace?... You’ll see, one day you will understand it.

It’s not that I understand it, but I mean that "one" doesn’t understand it.

"One"!... (Mother laughs) Mon petit, I am going to be very crude: "one" doesn’t care a hoot!

I mean the grace of your presence here.

Oho! (Mother laughs) Oh, if that’s what you mean, "one" doesn’t care two hoots!

(silence)

There is very strongly – very strongly – the sensation of a Power ... the sensation that the descending Power is so awesome in comparison with ... Oh, in comparison how small, flimsy, without force, without generosity, without breadth everything seems! You know, I see a considerable number of people: now and then something like a very thin ray or a drop of That falls, and the person who’s there starts trembling! Without knowing why, he starts trembling. So?...

And it happens constantly.

Only the children don’t. They are so innocent. There’s this little Asha who comes every morning. (She is the one who decided, I wasn’t supposed to say no! She said, "I am coming.") She comes every morning. In the beginning she used to do a "pranam," but a serious one: she would remain there, rolling her head on my feet! But now she has found something else: she comes, doesn’t say a word to anyone, looks at the people in the room, and when she sees everybody very busy, she slips under my table, catches hold of my hand, and then begins to play with it – kissing it, turning it, pulling it. Then when she has finished this side, she comes to the other side! And with such lovely joy and trust, so lovely, so trusting: "Oh, how a-mus-ing this is!"

That’s nice.

Children are like that.

Others, when they come in, instantly start howling. They come in and can’t stand it: they can’t, they refuse, it’s a sort of rage that comes into them (they are very few).

But they are very spontaneous. Those who are here come and cling tight to my knees, they turn and roll and don’t want to leave again!

It called to mind certain experiences of long ago (right at the beginning, at least two years before coming here for the first time). I didn’t know Sri Aurobindo, but I knew the "Cosmic" and was studying, working earnestly at occultism (I didn’t yet know Théon, either). I was deep in my own experiences. That was in Paris. I used to go about by bus or by the metro, and there were people (it didn’t happen just once but quite a few times), for instance a woman with her child: the child would abruptly leave his mother (three- or four-year-old children, very young, just beginning to run) and come to me. It happened several times. As for me, I was simply in my meditation, unaware of anything or anyone. All of a sudden a child would tear himself away from his mother and come, poff! and cling to me like that, clutching my knees. Then the mother would beg my pardon, thinking (Mother laughs) it was quite ill-mannered! But I would say, "No, that’s quite all right!"

I remember, it happened several times. And my impression was that when I was tranquil, something (which wasn’t human at all) was there, quietly acting through me (I wasn’t even occupied with it) and doing it. That was my very clear impression. I even did some experiments at that time. For instance, once, in a bus, there was a man who was tense and weeping; you could see he was utterly wretched. Then without stirring, unnoticed, I saw that "Force" going out towards that man, and little by little, his face relaxed, everything calmed down, he grew quiet. This also happened several times. And that’s how I knew ... Because at the time I wasn’t very well informed yet; I always felt the Power up above, but didn’t know what it was – there was a "Force" that would come like that and act quietly. It’s the same thing now, but fully conscious. It’s the same thing: something that takes hold of the body. The body participates (meaning that it doesn’t at all feel it’s "acting," it almost doesn’t feel itself), it’s only aware of a ... oh, so warm, so sweet a vibration, and at the same time so ter-ri-bly powerful! It comes like that, and the body doesn’t need to want or try or anything: it doesn’t think, doesn’t strive, doesn’t stir (Mother makes a gesture of bathing wholly in the Lord): it’s spontaneous and natural.

Sometimes, when it’s tired or something isn’t quite all right or ... (that always comes from a contact with outside; afterwards I see, I know what the cause was, but while it’s happening there is simply a discomfort or a disorganization), then, oh, it’s exactly like a child’s trusting abandon in ... something ... which is everywhere, around it, inside it, there, like this (enveloping gesture). And the body’s aspiration is just, "May That alone exist." All the rest ... oof! it’s nothing at all, a nuisance. "May That alone exist.... If That alone existed, what a marvelous world this would be!"

That’s how it feels. All the rest is either a bother or deeply ridiculous. Oh, often it’s so ridiculous! At any rate, so flimsy, so dry, like a bad performance. And what becomes quite comical, truly amusing and comical is ... (Mother puffs up her cheeks) when the ego swells up! Oh, then...! The egos that assert themselves, that come and tell you, "I want this, I don’t want that, I have decided that ..." Oh, mon petit, that’s the big fun! And they don’t in the least see that they are puppets.

***

Not last night but the night before, I again spent the whole night with Sri Aurobindo, at least four hours in that subtle physical world. He has quite a beautiful abode there! It’s magnificent – magnificent. And it’s not fluid: it’s very concrete, yet at the same time not fixed! It has a suppleness that adapts to all necessities. It’s really interesting.

But it’s still a phase of preparation and adaptation: it’s not final. It’s not final: there are experiments, trials. It’s extremely supple, it’s in a phase of formation, as though it were preparing for a manifestation, or rather, "learning" to be what it must be. It’s very interesting.

@

November 19, 1966

(Mother holds out a small rose to Satprem:)

I have a lovely rose for you. Do you know what it is?

No, Mother.

I thought as much!

What is it?

It’s true tenderness: that of the Divine. People don’t know, they always think of something very human. But it’s not human ... (Mother closes her eyes and remains standing in concentration) It’s extremely luminous, rose-colored, slightly golden ... always smiling.... It’s a very particular sensation. (After a long silence) Everything is like a beautiful pink rose – a beautiful rose. It’s better than that, much better ... (how can I put it?). No difficulties can exist – they don’t exist [when one is in that Tenderness]. It’s the side of life ("of life," I mean of the manifestation) which is all beauty, smile, peace and light – spontaneously, effortlessly, with an impossibility for anything else to exist. It’s very particular. And it’s very high up, very high up.... Yet, now and then I see a drop of it here. The first time I saw it ... (Mother wobbles on her feet). I must sit down because I’m going away!

(Mother sits down and resumes) It can only be realized in a world devoid of egoism. Which means that when the whole action of individualization is over and there is no more need for the element of egoism, then it will be possible for "that" to be fully manifested.

We could call it the "sweetness of Love," but the word "sweet" is a little wishy-washy. It’s much better than sweet. It’s something without difficulties: no difficulties happen, it doesn’t know difficulties, it ignores them entirely – there are no difficulties, they don’t exist. So, when it manifests, there are no difficulties. Then, naturally, it can’t stay here because ... because there are still difficulties!

Anyway ...

***

Soon afterwards

Has one of the new pieces of Ashram gossip reached you two?... I am supposed to have said that Maheshwari[75] has manifested in a golden light, that Sri Aurobindo has come (where from, I don’t know!) and said that the world wasn’t ready and that was why there are catastrophes and cyclones – haven’t you heard the story? Anyway, I denied it. First, I said, "Where could Sri Aurobindo come from? He is always here, so he doesn’t need to come!"

The story is unimportant, except that some people were distraught: they were expecting the end of the world! Sri Aurobindo saying "the world isn’t ready" means it’s coming to an end!

Anyway, yesterday (I think it’s in answer to this story of Maheshwari and Sri Aurobindo saying the world isn’t ready), I wrote something in French, but it was under the pressure of Sri Aurobindo’s consciousness. He said (Mother takes a note and reads):

"According to the law of men, the guilty must be punished. But there is a more imperative law than the human law: it is the law of the Divine, the law of compassion and mercy. It is thanks to this law that the world can last and progress ...

The vision was so clear. It was such a clear vision.... If you follow this law of the guilty who must be punished, then little by little, with the unfolding of things, everything should be punished! (Mother laughs) Nothing would remain! So Sri Aurobindo said:

"It is thanks to this law that the world can last and progress towards Truth and Love."

The guilty must be punished! ... It’s always the same idea; men always have that idea: the guilty must be punished – but where does that lead to??

(silence)

I also wrote another thing. I told you that on the day of Kali puja she came and was displeased. So I wrote (Mother takes another note and reads):

"They know what should not be done They know what should be done They know how to do it They know everything! ... Yet, of all factors, mental arrogance is the most unfavorable to the action of the divine Grace."

This notation, you know, was purely and simply a question of vibration; it was the vibration of mental arrogance (which is perceptible, clear, absolutely clear). It came and took up the whole space ... (Mother makes a gesture of puffing up), it took up a lot of space! ... It took up the whole space, and then, this very tranquil, very calm Action, so ... noiseless, without ado, unassuming; it goes like this (gesture of imperturbable descent), with perfect simplicity  – and it was absolutely blocked, it couldn’t get through! So I wrote this note.

"They know what should not be done

They know what should be done

They know everything! ..."

It was the result of Kali. And it was a very strong experience (a material one, here; not far away: here). Something has been clarified since it was said. There was a sort of absolute need to say it. And something has been clarified.[76]

I should also say that ever since financial affairs started being none too bright, all manner of things have been reaching my ears.... There are big difficulties. I am obliged to tell people that I can’t pay and they shouldn’t spend needlessly, and on the other hand, I am looking, trying to find where the obstacle is.... Because the power to attract money remains as it has always been (and it’s considerable), so there should be no difficulties. So I wrote this note because I see clearly in people’s thought, they all keep saying, "Oh, we should do this, oh, we shouldn’t do that, oh, if Mother did this, oh, if Mother didn’t do that...." Some are bold enough to say it, others aren’t but think that way – there are very few who don’t think that way. And still fewer say to themselves, "I’d better not be concerned with it because I don’t understand the first thing about it." So I was as if compelled to take the pen and write that down: "They know what should be done, they know ..." (Mother makes a gesture of hammering the disciples’ heads). And it has done a lot of good.

Did I tell you last time that in Bihar, the rain started that very evening?... I found out how it occurred. It’s P. who flew over Bihar, and he saw a desert, devastation: dry, dry, dry, nothing growing, cracked earth. Then he remembered certain experiences here.[77] When he reached the airport, he was received officially and said, "I would like to see the Chief Minister in private, without anyone else." He saw him and told him an experience he had had and had witnessed here [at Pondicherry]. And he said, "Why don’t you ask Mother?" The other answered quite spontaneously, "It would be better if you asked for us!" Then he sent his telegram. The same evening it started raining. He wrote, saying, "This first rain has been like divine nectar to me." He said that people there were entirely trusting and as well-disposed as could be. And he saw a relation between those droughts, those natural catastrophes, and the forces that stop money from coming; he saw they were affected by that experience of unexpected rain. For example, at the same time (a day or two later), he met some people who aren’t rich (the husband has a good position, but they aren’t rich: they have a family, children). For some reason or other the husband had been given a compensation of 10,000 rupees by the government, and quite spontaneously and naturally they went and saw P. and said to him, "You must give this to Mother." He asked the lady, "But why do you give all this?" She spontaneously answered, "But what would I do with this money? I don’t need it." In other words, the true attitude. So it immediately made P. think that something is on the move.

And I saw this note of yesterday as indicative of the key (I mean "inwardly," in the universal attitudes). It was all clearly seen: men always believe that the guilty must be punished, that it’s the way out of the difficulty, but the true way is compassion and mercy. It’s not that you are ignorant of the true movement and the false one, but you have SPONTANEOUS mercy, effortlessly – and at all times. The vision was very clear that this is how progress is possible  – if the fault were always punished, there wouldn’t be anyone left to progress!

That’s the conclusion.

Do you know that I am going to be given some money!

Oh, you’re a rich man!

But how come? You’ve already told me this.... When did you get the news?

Five or six days ago.

You "told" me before you came last time.

I didn’t tell you because I was waiting for it to come.

No, but you don’t need to tell me! (Mother laughs) That’s how it is now. It’s very interesting. I saw it: everything comes in that way. How can I explain?... It’s not words, not thoughts, it’s something absolutely concrete which comes as if on a screen. And it’s a screen inside my consciousness: it’s not outside, the screen is inside my consciousness and things come like that. It’s not words, not thoughts, not feelings, it’s ... "something." And I know. And it doesn’t at all come in an objective way, I mean, it’s not as if someone were telling me, "Satprem is going to receive his pension," not at all: it’s a "movement of life" in which Satprem, pension, government, all mingle (Mother turns one hand inside the other in a sort of fluid intermingling). It lives, it takes shape, and afterwards I say to myself, "Oh, that’s what it was!"

If I were in a superficial consciousness I would ask myself, "Why am I thinking of this?" But I don’t "think" of it and it’s not a thought ... (same fluid gesture) ... it’s a life being organized.

It’s very interesting. I must learn to receive things accurately. I don’t objectify them, of course (meaning that I don’t put them on another screen where they would become objective knowledge), I don’t do that at all, so I can’t play the prophet – otherwise, what a prophet I’d be!... From the smallest things to the biggest: cyclones, earthquakes, revolutions, all that, and then very small things, very small, even much smaller than a "pension," a tiny little circumstance of life, or something that’s going to come, like a gift someone has sent me or ... very small things, very small, totally unimportant in appearance – everything is shown with the same value! There is no "big," no "small," no "important," no "unimportant." And it’s constantly like that!

Yesterday, lots and lots of things kept coming in that way while I was walking in the afternoon. Then I stayed quiet, still, for five or ten minutes after the walk as usual, and more kept coming and coming. So I said to the Lord, "Can’t I have five minutes of peace and quiet with You!" (Mother laughs) If you knew this atmosphere, this light of laughter, and such a wonderful laughter – so wonderfully ... merciful, in fact, and understanding and tender, oh! ... So I said to myself, "Really, what an imbecile I am!"

It’s becoming a really interesting life.

And the habit of constantly complaining about difficulties, oh, how futile, useless all that seemed – a waste of time. We waste our time protesting against what mustn’t be – we just shouldn’t think about it! We shouldn’t be conscious of it, that’s all! It should be outside the consciousness; when we are able to have a purely luminous consciousness, this perfectly harmonious, luminous, benevolent consciousness ... free, ultimately, from all that we drag along from a difficult past.

That’s it: the power to free oneself from the past, not to drag that behind forever – to surge into the light ... and stay there.

***

(Soon afterwards, Mother again looks at her notes before filing them, and reads aloud a passage from one of them:)

"... The most unfavorable to the action of the divine Grace."[78]

Some words express a vibration perfectly. That’s yet another experience: there is the word translating the vibration perfectly, and the others giving a hazy and uncertain effect. Some words fit perfectly together: "Unfavorable to the action of the divine Grace ..."

***

(Then Mother takes up the translation of a passage from "Savitri." Curiously enough, this very morning, before going to see Mother, Satprem looked at this passage and thought of two possible ways to translate a particular word.)

When darkness deepens strangling the earth’s breast

And man’s corporeal mind is the only lamp,

As a thief’s in the night shall be the covert tread

Of one who steps unseen into his house.

(I.IV.55)

Yet another example: Quelqu’un entrera INAPERÇU dans sa maison ["One who steps UNSEEN into his house"]. It came on the "screen" this morning (so much comes that it’s impossible to remember, but it’s so interesting), and when inaperçu [unseen] came, I told you, "Yes, that’s better."[79]

It’s strange. It’s almost ... (if there were time to remember precisely), it’s almost like a memory in advance.

Strange.

***

A few lines below, Mother hesitates between two translations:

And earth [shall] grow unexpectedly divine.

It’s again the quality of the vibration: sans s’y attendre ["without expecting it"] is fuller – it’s fuller, more golden. The other, d’une façon inattendue ["in an unexpected way"] is a bit cold and dry.

"Et sans s’y attendre, la Terre deviendra divine ..."

@

November 23, 1966

After reading an excerpt from the debate with Death:

If God there is he cares not for the world;

All things he sees with calm indifferent gaze,

He has doomed all hearts to sorrow and desire,

He has bound all life with his implacable laws;

He answers not the ignorant voice of prayer.

Eternal while the ages toil beneath,

Unmoved, untouched by aught that he has made,

He sees as minute details mid the stars

The animals’s agony and the fate of man:

Immeasurably wise, he exceeds thy thought;

His solitary joy needs not thy love.

(X.IV.646)

Yes, but we need his joy.

All this was said to me this morning. Absolutely the same thing (with different words, but the very same thing), and not "said": lived, as if I were shown the thing so as to feel it. And I said, "Why? Why this test? What’s the use?" It was my body that said, "What’s the use?" Then it stopped.

I said, "Why? What does it all mean?" I didn’t contradict, didn’t argue, just this "What’s the use?" (Mother gestures as if to sweep away a speck of dust)

You know, what the consciousness of this body is made to live is a sort of intensive discipline, at a gallop – every minute counts.

But it copes well, I can’t deny it.[80]

We’ll see how it stands the shock (that’s quite the point!).

So this other Gentleman [Death] would say, "See! See there, the kind of pity people have for you!" But I answer, "I don’t need pity.... (laughing) That’s not what I want: I want the victory."

It’s interesting.

Oh, if you knew what a crowd there is! ... And at the last minute, people come and tell me, "I’ve just arrived, I want to see you." Very well, I say, "All right." We’ll extend the day! (Mother laughs)

Ah, good-bye, my children, stay very quietly at home. Very quietly. It’s enough if there is one who "toils"! I’d really like it to be that way, I regret it’s necessary for some to be ill,[81] why? ... Oh, I know why, but ... It’s a pity.

It’s the Grace learning its lesson. It learns that It isn’t yet as It should be.... You understand, there are always two ways of looking at things; we can say, "The world isn’t ready" and look at it with a smile (it’s a ... what can we call it?... We could call it a selfish way), and the other way, which is to say, "I am not capable yet. If I were really capable, all this [illnesses, catastrophes, etc.] wouldn’t be necessary, everything would be done in a harmonious rhythm."

We could very well say, "The Divine is learning his lesson." (Laughing) He has everything to learn! When He knows it well, the world will be as it should be, that’s all.

Why not? We could just as well say that: the one is as true as the other.

@

November 26, 1966

(Mother looks very tired. This morning she did not eat anything nor did she receive anyone. When Satprem comes in, she gives him flowers and soup packets received from Israel:)

But you are the one who doesn’t eat!

I didn’t feel like it. Yet these soups are about the only thing I take.... But you understand, I don’t do any exercise, the whole day long I stay without moving, so I really shouldn’t overeat!

But the body still needs to be nourished, doesn’t it?

I don’t know.... Because attacks multiply tremendously, and today, for instance, I found only one solution, which was to stay lying down: while it was going on, not to eat anything, not to say anything, not to move. Then it’s all right. As soon as I stop moving, eating, acting, it’s all right.

It’s been a long time since these attacks last came. I told you several times that I was able to resist the attack, but this time, this morning, it was formidable. Formidable. It was exactly like this Gentleman [Death] trying to uproot everything. So I resisted and resisted, then suddenly ... it could no longer walk, I had to lie down and stay still. And also not eat – I didn’t feel like eating. I can eat only when everything is fine.

As soon as there is stillness and contemplation, it’s fine.

(silence)

No, there is an insistence (the same insistence as this Gentleman’s, at any rate) on the impossibility of the thing, and it gives such obvious proof.... Naturally, the inside doesn’t budge, it smiles  – it doesn’t budge – but the body ... that gives it terrible tension. Because it’s very conscious of its infirmity (it can’t boast of being transformed), very conscious that it’s millions of miles away from transformation. So ... so it doesn’t take much to convince it. What’s more difficult is to give it the certitude that things will be different. It doesn’t even understand very well how they can be different. Then there come all other beliefs, all other so-called revelations, the heavens and so on. The whole of Christianity and Islam have very easily solved the problem: "Oh, no, things here will never be fine, but over there they can be perfect." That goes without saying. Then there is the whole of Nirvanism and Buddhism: "The world is an error that must disappear." So it all comes in waves, and the body feels very ... you understand, it would like to have a certitude of its possibility. That doesn’t often happen to it. But the attack was too strong; it was from everything and everywhere at the same time, so strong: "This Matter CANNOT be transformed." So it fought and fought and fought, and suddenly it was obliged to lie down. But as soon as it lies down and abandons itself completely, there is Peace, and such a strong Peace – so strong, so powerful. Then it’s fine.

It came with hosts of suggestions (they aren’t suggestions: they are formations), adverse formations of disorganization; like, for instance the one C. [one of Mother’s attendants, who has just fallen ill] received. I was warned two days beforehand and tried my best: I couldn’t – I couldn’t, he gave way. So now it’s dragging on and on (the doctor himself says there’s no reason for it to last so long), it’s dragging on because he gave way. So all that must be slowly won back. And it comes to everyone, to every circumstance  – not to me, never to me because it has no effect on me: if the suggestion comes, I say, "So what! I don’t care." So it doesn’t try, it’s useless. But it comes to everyone, to disorganize everything and everyone, one after another. This morning, it was everybody at the same time, a complete disorganization of everything. I resisted and resisted and resisted, then suddenly something ... (Mother makes a gesture). So the body said, "All right."

If I stay still, it’s over. I skipped a meal. The doctor is unhappy, but (laughing) it makes ME happy! Meals are work (a lot of work).

It’s the first time this year it has happened to me. Previously, it used to happen fairly often, but it’s the first time this year. It shows that, all the same, things are improving.... Oh, but it was terrible, people can’t imagine what it is! It takes hold of everyone and everybody, every circumstance and everything, and it gives shape to disintegration – quite like this Gentleman (I think he’s the one!), quite like him. But it doesn’t have the poetic form [of Savitri], of course, it’s not a poet: it has all the meanness of life. And it insists on that a great deal. These last few days it insisted on it a great deal. I said to myself, "See, all that is written and said is always in a realm of beauty and harmony and greatness, and, anyway, the problem is put with dignity; but as soon as it becomes quite practical and material, it’s so petty, so mean, so narrow, so ugly! ..." That’s the proof. When you get out of it, it’s all right, you can face all problems, but when you come down here, it’s so ugly, so petty, so miserable.... We are such slaves to our needs, oh! ... For one hour, two hours, you hold on, and after ... And it’s true, physical life is ugly – not everywhere, but anyway ... I always think of plants and flowers: that’s really lovely, it’s free from that; but human life is so sordid, with such crude and imperious needs – it’s so sordid.... It’s only when you begin to live in a slightly superior vision that you become free from that; in all the Scriptures, very few people accept the sordidness of life. And of course, that’s what this Gentleman insists on. I said, "Very well." This body’s answer is very simple: "We certainly aren’t anxious that life should continue as it is." It doesn’t find it very pretty. But we conceive of a life – a life as objective as our material life –  which wouldn’t have all these sordid needs, which would be more harmonious and spontaneous. That’s what we want. But he says it’s impossible – we have been "told" it’s not only possible but certain. So there’s the battle.

Then comes the great argument: "Yes, yes, one day it will be, but when?... For the time being you are still swamped in all this and you plainly see it can’t change. It will go on and on. In millennia, yes, it will be." That’s the ultimate argument. He no longer denies the possibility, he says, "All right, because you have caught hold of something, you’re hoping to realize it now, but that’s childishness."

So the body itself says, "But of course, I certainly accept that, I perfectly understand! That’s not what I want; I don’t want this thing or that: I simply want what the Lord wants, nothing else –  what He has decided will be. When He says it’s over, it will be over; if He says it is to go on, it will go on." But then, as this Gentleman can’t have his way like this, it comes from every side: this or that individual, this or that thing, that circumstance, all of it, all of it is going to be disorganized. Then I start working [to thwart the attack].

Today it was really very clever – very clever. He is very clever.

He is a big joker.

There.

So I haven’t done my work, haven’t done a thing. But I decided I would see you – not to work but to see you.

(silence)

To protect others, it’s very effective, because I start working and struggling. The only argument for this body is: "You plainly see it goes on deteriorating, so what are you hoping for?... It will go on deteriorating until it stops."

But if one looks at it without prejudice, quite objectively, it’s only an appearance of deterioration: it’s not true. On the contrary, on certain points it’s much more solid than it used to be.

The most important point is what we could call the "unreality of deterioration," in other words, everything that isn’t harmonious or is disorganized increasingly gives the sense of an illusion –  it’s increasingly an illusion – and the sense that a certain inner movement of consciousness would be enough for that not to be.

There, the problem comes up again. Because there are various detailed experiences (in tiny details), detailed experiences of different attitudes of consciousness to find out which of them is effective. It’s a whole field of study. It’s microscopic, of course, but extremely interesting. And then, the answer is always the same; it’s so lovely: "When you forget that you are, when there only remains the Lord, all difficulties instantly disappear." Instantly: the previous second, the difficulty was there; the next second, gone. But it’s not something that can be done artificially; it’s not some mental or personal will to take this attitude: it must be spontaneous. And when it’s spontaneous, then all difficulties INSTANTLY disappear.

Stop existing – the Lord alone exists.

And it’s the only remedy.

But how to do this?... You understand, surrender, self-giving, acceptance, all that is really being done more and more, better and better, but it’s not enough – it’s not enough. That’s the point. Even the attempt of the consciousness to center on the Lord’s existence and to try and forget, even that isn’t enough. It has some effect, but a mixed one: that’s not "it." But when you succeed in ... ceasing to exist – the Lord alone – instantly there’s a glory, that’s what is marvelous!

But it’s difficult. There is a very old habit that makes it be otherwise.

Yet it’s the only remedy, there is no other. It’s not even a surrender (the word "surrender" isn’t the true one because there is still "something surrendering," and that’s not it), it’s not even an annihilation because nothing is annihilated.... I can’t explain: only the Lord exists, nothing else. And then, what a marvel! Instantly a marvel.

And in microscopic details, you know; it’s not a question of "important" or "interesting" things, nothing of the sort: it applies to a cellular action. And it’s the only remedy.

When will Matter be ready for "that"? That’s the question.

Inwardly it’s easy, but outwardly ... There is all of a sudden, especially in the brain’s matter, here (gesture to the temples), that movement of descent, of the Lord taking possession, and then outwardly you feel as if you’re fainting. That’s why you can’t remain standing and have to lie down; but when you lie down, it’s almost instantaneous, everything disappears: the sense of time, of difficulty, absolutely everything – there only remains a luminous immensity, peaceful and so strong! That’s the day’s lesson. (Mother laughs) Good, we have taken one more step – a big step.

@

November 30, 1966

Are things better than last time?

Oh, it’s all right.

These are decisive moments ... they come now and then. From an occult point of view it’s a well-known phenomenon: Théon told me about it, so did Madame Théon. But when you have gone through it, afterwards things are immediately better, there is quite a considerable improvement.

But there are lots of people doing a kind of black magic.

Again?

Yes, a great many. I have been told this several times, but naturally ... There are a great many of those so-called swamis and sadhus who are quite simply tricksters, but they have a rudimentary occult knowledge in a field where, unfortunately, it takes very little knowledge to be able to do a lot of mischief. There are lots of them – not one or two, but lots. And I know people who went and saw them, who begged them and tried to make them intervene [against Mother]. They have turned either against people around me or against myself. Not many against myself, but one or two of them think they are the "lords of the world," and therefore completely immune, so they have tried, but ... It can cause a little friction, that’s all, it’s nothing. But when it’s directed towards people around me, it’s more difficult to counter because there is always ... there’s always a slight response. They aren’t pure enough. Then it gives me a lot of trouble. That’s what happened last time, it was towards all those around me: it gave me a lot of work.

With C. [Mother’s attendant, who had fallen sick] I did think it was something of the sort, because two days beforehand I was warned about a formation: a formation which came with a grimacing face and told me, "It’s over and done with all C.’s fine work." You know, they are very small consciousnesses with a big spitefulness, and also some rage or other – why? Towards something they don’t understand. And then, they use a rather rudimentary occult knowledge. I did what had to be done, but in the beginning I didn’t think it was exactly magic: there were lots of reasons. Then, yesterday, C. himself had a dream in which someone was chasing after him (someone or something, he didn’t know exactly what), and he ran and ran to escape. He ran till he woke up, and he woke up completely out of breath, as exhausted as if he had really run. Then I said to myself that what I had thought was correct.

Last night I was attacked: I saw two huge black beasts, like bulls, or bison, rather, huge, with gigantic breasts – "forces," really, all black. One of them paid no attention to me, but the other came charging at me, to attack me, so I ran, and then I woke up.

Oh, there too ...

And strangely, I saw the other beast that didn’t attack me: someone came up to it, laid his hand on it, and it lay down quite gently. It’s strange – that sort of huge power lying down like a docile animal. But the other one came attacking me.

(Mother concentrates for a moment) Well, that’s it. That’s it. But there are lots of them, you know! I could say at least a hundred, constantly, at all times.

Men are really imbeciles: what they don’t understand they hate. Instead of saying, "I don’t understand this, so I won’t bother about it, that’s all," no, they hate it! They want to destroy it.

***

Soon afterwards

An American wrote to say how sad it was to see all this disorder in India (a very nice letter), and at the end he said, "If all of India could be a large Sri Aurobindo Ashram, then she would go on and on progressing." It was very nice.

There is clearly a great movement.... Yesterday again I saw a man who was governor of Madras for a while. He came here (he was passing through Pondicherry but wanted to stop here), and the man asked me, "Is there a solution?" And he added, "We are all praying that you may give it." I answered ... (Mother smiles) that I had nothing to do with politics. But he represents a whole category of people in India who now think that there is indeed only one solution, which is precisely an attempt to realize a higher life.

There is a great movement.

Yesterday there came a letter from S.M.[82] in which he said that Indira Gandhi is really relying on him in the hope of finding a way out and that things will improve a little. And he said that he hoped he would make the true spirit and knowledge triumph.... Only, his health isn’t good, otherwise he would have there a wonderful opportunity to do something, because she calls him every day to ask him his advice on what should be done, and he is present at all the ministers’ meetings. Which means that the two things are really going together: the new movement and the apparent disorder.

***

Mother takes up the translation of "Savitri":

It’s still this Gentleman....

Immortal bliss lives not in human air

(Laughing) Unfortunately the fact is easy enough to note! Immortal bliss lives not in human air. But she could answer him, "That’s because of you, so you don’t need to boast about it!"

***

(Soon afterwards, regarding the difficulties of a blind disciple. The following fragment was noted from memory, the tape recorder having failed.)

... In my case, strangely, I seem to see through a thick veil, that is to say, everything is blurred. Then suddenly, for no apparent reason, I see an object, some thing or other, clearly, so clearly, precisely, with a detailed accuracy, as if it were shown to me. Or else when reading a letter, for instance, if I read it without paying attention to anything else, I see perfectly well, but if I start thinking of an answer or concentrate, if the consciousness starts working, everything disappears and I can’t see anything anymore  – the next minute, the words become clear again. Which means it doesn’t depend on a defect of the sight or the material organ: it’s something else – something else that one wants me to learn. Because it constantly comes back as if to show me something. But there’s so much work and so many people that I don’t always have the time to stop and concentrate to see what it is. I would have to catch the exact point when the sight comes and when it goes, and follow the conditions of the consciousness at that moment. I don’t have the time.

It’s really like an attempt to demonstrate to me that sight doesn’t depend on the eyes.

The organ is in good condition, it doesn’t have any lesion. But the sight isn’t the same with this eye as with that one. With this one (the right), it’s only an overall, slightly blurred vision. With that one (the left), it’s a precise, clear vision, but there’s a tiny spot in the corner, like a black spot, because of which I see everything clearly but with a patch in the corner. Then if I concentrate, I see that patch grow bright and luminous, like a dark blue star, and that star moves in front of me (it doesn’t depend on the eye), it moves about, and if I fix my eyes on someone, for instance, I see that dark blue star go and rest here or there (gesture at different levels of the person), at the exact spot where some work has to be done. So it means it doesn’t depend on the eye, it’s independent of the eye. And also if I look at a photo, with a certain position between the right eye and the left, I suddenly see the photo come alive, in three dimensions, with the person’s head sticking out. That’s how I can see the character. It’s really strange, like an attempt to teach me to see in a different way.

We are learning our lesson.

@

December

December 7, 1966

(Mother hands Satprem a flower called "Grace," then a second "Grace.")

Would you like a second Grace?... There’s never too much of it!

Oh, the other day someone asked me a question on the message for November 24,[83] and Sri Aurobindo replied. It was so interesting! I saw something all of a sudden. While he was speaking it was absolutely marvelous. I saw the Compassion and the Grace, the "law" and the Compassion, and how the Compassion acts on everyone – on everyone and everything, without distinction and without condition – and how the Compassion consists in bringing them to a state in which they can receive the Grace.

I found that wonderful.

That was the experience: I saw and felt this Compassion working through the meshes of the net, and how the Grace is all-powerful, meaning that the "Law" isn’t an obstacle any longer. I saw this Compassion touching everyone and giving everyone their chance; I understood what he really meant when he said that it "gives everyone their chance" – equally, without the slightest distinction of importance or condition or anything, or of state: exactly the same chance to all. So then, the result of this Compassion was to awaken them to the existence of the Grace, to make them feel that there is in the universe something like the Grace. And with those who aspire and have trust, the Grace acts immediately – it always acts, but with those who have trust it becomes fully effective.

All this was so clear, so precise! It really was like a new experience, a revelation. And how Sri Aurobindo was the expression of this Compassion.... It could be seen in his eyes, of course, his eyes were full of Compassion. But I have understood what this Compassion really is (that was Sunday afternoon).

He also wrote somewhere: "It is quite rare that the Grace turns away from someone, but many turn away from the Grace – but men turn away from the Grace." I don’t remember the exact words, but I think he used the word crooked. That also was so living: it wasn’t the Grace withdrawing its action, not at all (the Grace went on acting), but men were, yes, crooked, twisted ...

Warped?

"Warped"?... One is warped once and for all, that’s not it. It’s that instead of their force and action going straight and direct, it’s turned in on itself and has all kinds of windings and convolutions that distort all vibrations; it’s their own way of being that distorts (the word distort keeps coming to me). It’s twisted instead of being straight. So the Grace no longer has any effect; It cannot have effect.

At the time, it was a very vivid image.

***

Soon afterwards

Have you finished your book?

(Satprem, in a glum tone:) Yes.

Oho! That’s not a very forceful "yes"! Is it Saturday you’re going to read it to me?

(Satprem makes a face)

Oh, that too!

I don’t think it’s all that great.

That doesn’t matter – you never think it’s all that great! It doesn’t matter.

Mother ...

Is there something you’d like to tell me?

Yes, there’s a problem that has often tormented me, I often wonder about it. When you write, is inspiration simply a global thing, like a form of light, and you "pull" a certain general vibration down, or does everything already exist and it simply comes – does everything exist exactly word for word?

I don’t think so.

I don’t think so, because up there, there’s no language. There’s no language.

Yes, but isn’t there something that exactly corresponds to the words?

"Exactly" ... You know how there always is a vagueness. I say this because every day, and quite often several times a day, I receive something "direct" (gesture from above). Well, if I write it down just when I receive it, it has a certain form, and then if I remain very, very silent, very still, a word or a form often gets changed; then it becomes more precise, more exact, sometimes more harmonious. Therefore it’s something that comes from above and takes on a clothing in the mental region.

I don’t hear words. I receive something, which is always direct and imperative (and I clearly feel it’s from there [gesture above], somewhere around there). But it may, for instance, be expressed almost simultaneously, almost at the same time, in English and in French. And I am convinced that if I knew other languages, if I were familiar with other languages, it could be expressed in several languages. It’s the same thing as what in the past used to be called the "gift of tongues." There were prophets who spoke, and everyone heard in his native tongue – he spoke in any particular language, but each of those present heard in his native tongue. I had that experience a very long time ago (I didn’t do it purposely, I knew nothing about it): I spoke at a "Bahai" gathering, and people from different countries came and congratulated me because I knew their language (which I didn’t know at all!): they had heard in their language.

You understand, what comes is something that arouses – it arouses words or gets clothed in words. Then it depends: it may arouse different words. And it’s in a universal storehouse, not necessarily an individual one; it’s not necessarily individual since it can be clothed in words. Languages are such narrow things, while that is universal.... What could I call it?... It’s not the "soul" but the spirit of the thing (though it’s more concrete than that): it’s the POWER of the thing. And because of the quality of the power, the best quality of words is attracted. It’s inspiration that arouses the words; the inspired person isn’t the one who finds or adapts them, not at all: it’s inspiration that AROUSES the words.

But I understand what you mean. You want to know if it’s something ready-made, ready-prepared, which you pull down as it is.... (Mother remains silent). That exists in a realm far higher than words. For example, I have often received something like that (gesture from above), direct, then I translate it; I don’t try to find it (the more silent I am, the more powerful and concrete it grows – powerfully concrete), but I often see, as coming from Sri Aurobindo, something that adds a correction, a precision (rarely an addition, it’s not that: it’s only in the form, especially in the line of precision); the first expression is a little hazy, then it becomes more precise. And I don’t try to find it, I don’t strive, there isn’t any mental activity: it’s always like this (even, still gesture to the forehead), and it’s always in this [stillness] that it comes: suddenly it comes – plop! plop! I say, "Oh!" and note it down.

This is my experience.

I don’t know, there may exist somewhere in the mental region something ready-made, but I think it would then be like some of those things Sri Aurobindo wrote,[84] which came ready-made, as they were; there were even things that didn’t conform to his own view: it came imperatively. But now I don’t have that experience at all. Or else, it would be like what happened the other day: for two or three minutes, as I told you, there was "someone" playing. It must have been the same phenomenon. But then, the feeling is quite different: you no longer exist, you are hardly conscious of what goes on. And that would be "incorrigible," I may say, in the sense that it would come ready-made and you couldn’t change anything in it, or else it would no longer be the same thing, it would be something you did actively. As soon as the mind becomes active, it’s finished. Finished. It may come from your supraconscient, but it becomes a quite personal thing.

But that inspiration comes from the highest region, the region beyond all individualizations. That’s why it’s something we find difficult to formulate and explain. It’s complete, perfect in itself, but it doesn’t have anything of the character of our mental formulation, not at all; it doesn’t even have the character of a formulated idea. And it’s absolutely imperative, absolutely. But then, as soon as it touches the mental zone, it seems to attract words. My impression is that the more silent I am, the more precise it is; in other words, the more inactive the mind is, the more precise the expression. So that’s what it is, it’s that force coming down and attracting words. It’s not even ideas (it doesn’t come through the region of ideas): it’s an experience, it’s something living which comes and which, to take expression, catches hold of words. What came on Sunday was like that: I was asked that question on the Grace, then I was seized by a concentrated, extremely strong silence for maybe a minute (not even that long), and it came. Then I spoke. I heard myself speaking. But then it clearly came through Sri Aurobindo.

If it were already written, fully ready somewhere, you couldn’t change anything in it; when it was there you would feel it’s perfect in itself and you can’t change anything in it.

That would be fine!... When I write, what I constantly despair of is being true to something that should be expressed OUTSIDE ME.

But that’s what I’ve told you, it’s that direct inspiration. Because if you knew how imperative what comes from above is! All thoughts appear neutral, powerless ...

Yes.

... partial, flimsy. That’s the feeling they give.

When the words come quite spontaneously, it’s good, but ... It’s an odd phenomenon: sometimes the pure experience alone is there  – what is it? You can’t formulate it; in order to formulate it, you are immediately forced to use words, and words diminish. But I remember, at the time of the experience, I spoke, hardly hearing what I said, but I had the experience. (The experience was wonderfully clear, powerful, immense – universal, you know.) Then I listened to myself speaking, and I saw that first shrinkage. Then I began sensing the other mind making a tremendous effort to try and understand (!), and so I let the expression shrink a little more: I was obliged to let it shrink so as to make myself understood. And I followed all those phases of successive shrinkages. But at the time, the speech was very powerful: it was exactly Sri Aurobindo’s style and way of speaking, and very powerful. Now it’s only a vague impression, like a memory. But one always has – always, in every case, even in the best conditions, even in a case like this one in which the formulation is given by Sri Aurobindo – the sense of a shrinkage. A shrinkage in the sense that much escapes; it’s slightly hardened, weakened, diminished, and there are also certain subtleties that escape – they escape, they evaporate, they are too subtle to be concretized in words. And if one had a will for a perfect expression, it would certainly be very disappointing. I quite understand; if you want your book to reach the peak of its perfection, it’s impossible. It’s impossible to be realized, one feels the difference with what’s up above and that’s very disappointing.

I am constantly disappointed.

(Mother laughs) Yes, that doesn’t surprise me!

I don’t have one second of satisfaction.

Even when you feel "the thing" coming?

Oh, then it’s very fine, I only have to remain up above, above I am happy.

(Mother laughs) Oh, I see! oh, that’s why!

I could stay up above forever.

But in what I’ve read of yours (I set apart the book on Sri Aurobindo because that was a very special case: all sensitive people have instantly been brought into contact with Sri Aurobindo; that was a very special case), but in your first book [The Goldwasher] which I read, I felt it came from above. I feel that. Only, of course, it would be unreadable: it has to be concretized, materialized. But if one has oneself a relationship with this plane above, one must feel it in what is written: many people feel a "something" that suffuses the whole thing. That’s why I want you to read me your new book, it’s to see if "that" is there.... You know, I am like this (gesture to the forehead showing a vast stillness), it has become a constant state: a screen. A screen – for absolutely everything. And really nothing comes from within: it’s either this way (horizontal gesture around Mother) or this way (gesture from above); horizontally from outside, or the response from above. Here (gesture to the level of the emotive heart), it’s something so neutral as to be nonexistent; and here (gesture to the forehead), it’s vast, even, still. So if I stop (gesture turned upward), right away, instantly, it comes in waves: a continuous light which comes down and through, comes down and through, comes down ... (gesture of a circulation through Mother as through a transmitter-receiver device). When something is read out to me or people ask me questions or they tell me about some matter or other, it’s always like that (a screen). And what’s very interesting is that when it’s a question that deserves no answer or a matter that doesn’t require my intervention, or anyway anything that can be expressed by "It’s no concern of mine, it’s none of my business," then there’s an absolute blank: absolutely empty, neutral, without answer. I am obliged to say that there is no answer (if I were to tell the truth I should say, "I can’t hear anything, I don’t understand"). So it’s absolutely still and neutral, and if it remains like that, it means there’s nothing, I have nothing to do with it. Otherwise, when there is an answer ... no time even elapses, there’s hardly any lapse of time: the answer seems to come even as I am spoken to. Then I take the paper or letter right away and answer. It’s automatic. The whole work is done like that. There’s nothing here (gesture to the forehead).

Obviously we have to reconcile ourselves to it. The world is in a state of considerable imperfection, so everything that manifests in the world partakes of that imperfection – what can we do about it?... The only thing we can do is to slowly try and transform –  but that’s slow, so slow, unceasing – transform this body.

And as Sri Aurobindo very well put it (I understand quite well what he means), miracles do occur, but they are momentary; that is, for the space of a few minutes, sometimes a few hours (but that’s rare), things are wholly different. But they don’t remain that way – they don’t, they go back to the old movement. Because EVERYTHING must have reached a certain degree (I suppose), a certain degree of receptivity, of preparation in the receptivity, so "that" may be established; otherwise, the old movement and the old law continue.

I can see that with the body’s cells: at times, for a few seconds or a few minutes (at the most a few hours, but not with physical things; with physical things, it’s always seconds and minutes), all of a sudden a sort of perfection manifests – and then it disappears. And you see very clearly that it cannot stay on because of a ceaseless invasion of everything around, which is imperfect. So then, it’s engulfed. Like the first day when the supramental forces descended [in 1956]: I saw them descend, you know, and I saw those great billows of earth forces going brrf! brrf! (gesture of rising and engulfing), and then it was all swallowed up. It was descending in awesome masses, but those billows were still more awesome, rising, brrf! and swallowing – and That disappeared.

It still remains like that.

It’s still there. It’s there and working, but ... the opposing vibrations are still too powerful and too considerable in quantity for That not to disappear in the mass. But from within It works and works....

That’s how it is with the body: for a few seconds, at most a few minutes, the body suddenly feels in a state of irresistible power, inexpressible joy, undarkened luminousness – a wonder, you know. You say to yourself, "Ah, there we are!" And then it vanishes. It’s there just long enough for you to notice it. Which means it comes to show you, "That’s how it is, that’s how it will be."

Yes, but when it is like that, we’ll notice it!

But how is this fixity going to be changed into a plasticity sufficient to express what’s within?... Sri Aurobindo said three hundred years – that seems to me very much on the short side. There are millennia of habits! It’s fixed, hard, dry, thin.

And naturally, it’s the same thing in the Mind, but to a much lesser degree. Fortunately, it’s a little more fluid there.... But you know, when I receive and note down those things from above, at the time of receiving and noting them down, they have an intense luminosity and an extraordinary power of conviction. I note them down, then pass them on to people (and to people who are supposedly able to understand), and then they say it back to me [their inner reaction comes back to Mother]. Mon petit! It becomes ... (laughing) like the bark of an old, half-dead tree!

That’s how it is.

So you really wonder: Has the time come to tell things? What’s the use? ... They think they’ve understood; not only do they think they’ve understood, but they are enthusiastic, which means it has made them make some progress – so where were they before!? And it’s nothing, what they’ve understood is nothing, it has become a caricature of the thing.

I realize that words in themselves are nothing; there, there was a power ... a power that words are incapable of holding! So unless one receives directly, one receives nothing. One does receive, yes, but it’s something like an onion skin.

(silence)

Basically, when we have reached the end (the "end" which is the beginning of something else), the end of this work of transformation, when it really is the transformation and we are settled in it, maybe we’ll remember and derive a special pleasure from remembering having gone through this?... In the "higher spheres" it has always been said that those who have the courage to come for the preparation will have, when it’s done, superior assets and of a more intimate and deeper quality than those who will have quietly waited for others to do the work for them.

It may be so.

At any rate, because of the immensity of the work to be done, from an outward standpoint it looks like a quite thankless task. But that’s only a purely superficial vision. Waves come to me like that from the world, from a whole class of the manifestation, saying, "Ah, no! I don’t want to bother about that, I just want to live peacefully, as well as I can. We’ll see once the world has been transformed, then we can start bothering about it." And that’s among the most developed classes, the most intellectual, they are like that: "Oh, very well, we’ll see when it’s done." Which means they don’t have the spirit of sacrifice. That’s what Sri Aurobindo says (I keep coming across quotations from Sri Aurobindo all the time), he says that to do the Work one must have the spirit of sacrifice.

But it’s true that, for instance, those few seconds (which come to me now and then and with increasing frequency), if you look at those few seconds calmly, well, they’re worth a great deal of effort. Having that is worth quite a few years of struggle and effort, because that ... is beyond anything perceptible, comprehensible, even beyond anything possible for life as it is now. It’s ... it’s unimaginable.

And there is a real grace there, it’s that it keeps you in a certain state as a result of which life as it is, things as they are, do not appear worse after those few seconds. There isn’t, after them, that sort of horror of falling back into an abyss: there isn’t that, you don’t have that feeling. The memory is only a sort of dazzling burst of light.

@

December 14, 1966

... On the 16th, Friday, I have eighty-five people to see! ... It’s a miracle if I am not in a complete daze.

Yes, you lead an impossible life.

Oh, day and night.

I couldn’t put up with your life for a minute.

(Mother laughs) Starting from 8 in the morning, this place is frightful. And they’re not content! They want more.

Even humanly it’s not possible.

Oh, I can guarantee it’s humanly impossible. I know what it is, I have constantly to ... to disappear into the Supreme. Otherwise, it’s not possible. The physical personality constantly, constantly goes away like this (gesture upward) so He alone may be there. Otherwise I couldn’t hold out.

Fortunately, they [the people Mother will see tomorrow] come to receive, so that somewhat lessens the ... (smiling) the kind gift of all their difficulties (but they leave enough of them behind!). They come with the idea of receiving the force, so I am naturally active (gesture of a link between above and below), and that’s better, much better. With those who really come with the idea that they are going to receive and be strengthened, it makes the work easier.

December 17, 1966

A child from the School asked me, "How can mathematics, history or sciences help me to find you?"

I found that quite amusing!

I answered:

"They can help in several ways:

1. To be able to receive and bear the light of Truth, the mind must be strengthened, broadened and made supple. These studies are an excellent way to achieve this.

2. Sciences, if you study them deeply enough, will teach you the unreality of appearances and will thus lead you to the spiritual reality.

3. The study of all aspects and movements of physical Nature will bring you into contact with the universal Mother, and you will thus be nearer to me."

I still remember my impression when I was quite small and was told that everything is "atoms" (that was the term they used in those days). They said to me, "You see this table? You think it’s a table, that it’s solid and it’s wood – well, it’s only atoms moving about." I remember, the first time I was told that, it caused a kind of revolution in my head, bringing such a sense of the complete unreality of all appearances. All at once I said, "But if it’s like that, then nothing is true!" I couldn’t have been more than fourteen or fifteen.

His question called this to mind. I said to myself, "It opens a door onto another reality."

***

(Soon afterwards, about a child from the School who drowned during a picnic organized by the School group of his age.)

I’ve got V.’s notebook.[85] He writes to me (rather bluntly, as they say in English), "When I learned that B. had drowned, it neither troubled nor affected me; I simply thought it wasn’t true." And why? "Because you knew" (that’s what he writes me), "you knew we had all gone out for a picnic, and therefore nothing could happen." (Mother laughs) I found this delightful – delightfully impertinent![86]

But it’s nice, too!

Yes, but the accident did happen.

So I told him ... Because I looked, I immediately looked at it from THAT angle.... For my part, I see things very differently, never in that way. I am always surprised at the way people see things. To me, it’s completely different, it’s ... the Lord’s Vibration crystallizing. That’s all. And always, always – at all times. So there’s no "why," no "how" – it’s very simple, elementary in its simplicity. But I couldn’t tell him that, he wouldn’t have understood. So I looked at it from his standpoint, and all of a sudden I saw; I said, "Yes indeed, how did this come about?" (Mother laughs) So I answered him (I don’t remember the words I used, but in substance): The protection acts on the entire group when it works in a coordinated and disciplined way, but if individuals in it have an action INDEPENDENT of the group, then they fall back into their own determinism, which means that the protection acts according to their personal faith, not at all as something collective: according to their personal state and faith, the action of the protection is greater or lesser.

I saw it was clearly that. I saw how it had happened (because his question made me look at it, so I saw). There is an interesting point, it’s that the mental initiative in swimming across that pond was P.’s and another’s – so, humanly speaking, they are the ones who are "responsible" (but that’s not true, it’s not like that!). But anyway, they were outside the group, it was an action that had nothing to do with the group, and they did it because they were to rejoin the group at a precise time and they were late. So it was clearly an individual outgrowth. Walking round the pond would have taken three hours while there were hardly two hours left before nightfall, and they were in a jungle, without any light or anything. That was another impossibility. So with his reason and human common sense, he said, "The best is to swim across." But he hadn’t foreseen (that was the reckless part) that the water would be icy.

(Sujata:) But P. had already swum across the water once, because he wasn’t part of the group that had the accident: they called him from the camp, he came and swam through that water, and the accident took place on the way back. The others were on the other side.

He swam across twice, are you sure?

Yes, they called him; he had already swum across the water to come and meet them.

It was the second time.... Then it was still more reckless than I thought! He nearly met his end. Because as for me, I saw him, I knew before I got the news: I suddenly felt a great danger. But P. had faith and so he escaped, while the other one met his end.

It was quite reckless because here, the body isn’t accustomed to cold water, and when you are in water that’s too cold, you get cramps.

But P. was sufficiently protected to escape and be saved, while the other one met his end.

(Sujata:) It seems the three boys were calling you (there were four, you know), the three were calling you and the one who drowned was only calling P. to his aid. But the other three were strongly remembering you.

I know that very well! I always know it! I don’t need to be told, I know it very well. And I knew that that boy hadn’t called: he didn’t feel it could help him.

It’s not even a mental question: one should FEEL here (gesture to the heart), be convinced that "it" [Mother’s presence] is really active, that it’s something real, that it really does protect. Not a thought "just like that," a metaphysical thought: a feeling. He didn’t have that.

If he had remained in the group, he would have shared in the protection over the group. Once he had a separate individual action, everything depended on his inner state – this is something they should all understand.

***

(Soon afterwards, regarding the floods in Florence.
This conversation was noted down from memory.)

I’ve seen photographs of the floods in Florence.... It seems the water was rushing at forty-five miles an hour! Cars were washed away and dashed against houses. They say it was a tidal wave ... yet the water was flowing towards the sea (or was it flowing back?). It’s very mysterious, at any rate.

The water was at head level. All the palaces and museums were flooded and they say they were full of grime. So the students are now working to scrape everything clean. They’re trying to dry the manuscripts. But lots of things have been definitively lost.

That was one of the prophecies of the beginning of the century – that Italy and England would go underwater.

A prophecy by whom?

By me.

But the strange thing is that Florence and Naples were affected, not Rome, which is in between....

But why Italy? If it were England alone, I wouldn’t mind at all, but Italy?

That was because of Mussolini.

But he’s dead.

Mussolini’s death might have mitigated things. But it’s not out of "punishment": there’s never any punishment, never any "fault" – never the shadow of a "fault" anywhere! It’s purely a question of vibrations.

Why not Rome, then?

Oh, they won’t have the last laugh!

Naturally, they are puffing themselves up with conceit: "God" protected them....

@

December 20, 1966

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Mother,

I am writing to ask you for a grace. You know, you see. I would like you to tell me the truth about this book: is it part of the things that must be? Or is it the effort of the writer’s little persona? I read the long first chapter again this morning, and it’s unreadable – it would need to be completely redone. I am wondering if it’s not the same thing with the other chapters? Would you out of grace tell me precisely what must be, whether I must strive on, do my best and rewrite what has to be rewritten, or give up everything.

I am a little sad, naturally, because I tried to write with the best of my soul, but I am not attached and am ready to make the offering of this failure at your feet, with the certainty that all is well, even if I do not yet see the Lord’s design. I would only like you to tell me the deeper truth about the book – if it must be, I am ready to make an effort and patiently correct or redo what has to be redone. But must it be?

Mother, That alone exists. That consoles me for everything. I am your child with love –  yes, you exist, so all the rest is secondary.

Signed: Satprem

(Mother’s answer)

I am sure the book MUST be written.

But to be perfectly frank, from the beginning and even after, I have felt that writing it was for you a sort of "sadhana" to get rid definitively of a whole way of being, thinking and writing that belongs to the past and no longer fits with your present state of consciousness.

In the few pages you read to me (except perhaps for the description of the dream), I clearly saw this struggle between the past and the present states.

Correcting the book will still be the continuation of this "sadhana," but seen from that angle the labor will be less painful and much more interesting.

I thought I would answer you tomorrow morning, but I am sending you this right away so that you may look at the problem and ask me other questions tomorrow morning if you still have any.

With love and blessings,

Signed: Mother

December 21, 1966

(Mother first reads her "message" for the year 1967:)

Men, countries, continents! The choice is imperative: Truth or the abyss.

***

Have you anything to tell me?

I wondered how a false expression (because it’s false, I feel all this expression is false), how it could be worthwhile salvaging this false expression? Is it worth correcting and doing all this work when I feel this expression not to be the true one? Can it still be useful?

The problem isn’t like that.

Certainly you must have observed two things: first the differences of condition while you wrote, and also a difference of "pressure" among the things that wanted you to write them. You must have noted these differences while writing?

Yes, certainly.

That’s how it is. So then, once it’s objectified on paper, you can become aware of the relationship between the pressure you received and the things you wrote, which have varying qualities. When, for instance, you read me those few pages, with certain things I saw the Light behind; with others, it was like a horizontal origin or will (horizontal gesture at forehead level), and it was very pretty, very fine (you understand, I am not looking at it from the literary standpoint at all, or even the standpoint of the beauty of the form, that’s not it). It’s the quality of the vibration in what’s written. And while you were reading to me, I felt the two origins, and I felt a sort of conflict between what came like this (gesture from above) and what came out of habit, like that (horizontal gesture to the forehead): it was especially an old habit, something that came from the past and belonged to a mental, artistic, literary region (all that likes the form, likes certain emotions, certain expressions, all that). And it all constituted a horizontal world that exerted a pressure to be expressed, mostly out of habit, but also with a sort of will to be, a will to last. The other way was a Light falling and expressing itself quite naturally – spontaneously, effortlessly, and UNCONCERNED WITH THE EXTERNAL FORM. And that was much more direct in its expression. But of course, the distinction isn’t clear-cut, it’s not easy to say, "Oh, this comes from here (gesture to a particular level), oh, that comes from there (gesture to another level)." But there is a movement above and another below.

So I think the "sadhana" would consist in sifting it out, or rather in developing a sensitivity such that the difference would become clear, quite perceptible, so it would no longer be the mind that chose and said, "This is all right, that isn’t." There would be a spontaneous adherence to what is clothed in this light from above and a rejection of what isn’t. The sadhana would consist in developing this sensitivity by separating yourself from the old movement, by taking the old movement outside you.

I understand quite well, your letter was a grace for me in the sense that I saw clearly. The only thing is, it’s the whole book that I find ... inadequate.

Yes, I think the whole book is like that. I don’t know, you haven’t read everything to me, but in what you read, in that dream notation, for instance, even there, now and then I felt the intrusion of the old habit.

But then, is it worth salvaging all that? I would have to re-create the book.

You mean it would be better to write another book?

Yes.

I told you: "The book MUST be written," but it’s not necessarily the one that has been written: it’s the one that must be written! (Mother laughs). To me, you understand, there is a difference. "Somewhere" there is something that MUST be said, and that something is very useful: I see that the people, for example, who have come to place trust in you because of the book on Sri Aurobindo, will read you with an opening of mind, and if at that time you give them a sort of sensation of the experience, it will help them a lot. It’s in that sense I say this book is useful. But for you personally, if you’d rather rewrite it completely than correct it, it doesn’t matter.... Only, for you to be capable of rewriting it without falling back into the old state, you must have a decisive awareness of the difference in condition. Suppose you said, "I’ll rewrite the book," and once you started writing the same conflict recurred, that would be useless.... Something must take place there, in the mind, that’s where you must become totally conscious of the vibrations.

I see fairly clearly all that must be cut out.... But there’s a lot to cut out!

You see clearly.

Yes, but I feel almost everything should be cut out. It’s a whole way of saying things ...

Ah, it’s especially a way – a way of feeling, a way of thinking.

But from the standpoint of external form, the question remains of which method is easier: using the already written text, or writing everything anew. Writing everything anew ... You understand, unless you are the master of your activity ...

Yes, I am going to fall back into the same conflict.

It’s no use.

Well, I’m going to correct it.

Yes, I think it’s better to correct it. It may not be very enjoyable, but from the point of view of mental discipline it’s very useful.

I really feel your letter as a grace, because as for me I’d toss everything out.

No!

You’ve made me see how false it was.

What’s necessary isn’t to destroy, it’s to become the master of the expression of your inspiration. You must be the master, that is to say, you mustn’t receive the thing "as it comes" and write it "as it comes." You must receive the inspiration and be conscious of the phenomenon of expression. Then it will be perfect.

I was in the habit of being motionless and letting things flow down.

Yes, but your mind is active – the mind is active. You see, Sri Aurobindo could do it because his mind no longer existed; it was perfectly, perfectly still and inspiration went through it as through pure air. But your mind ... In fact, that’s the discipline you have to do, because your mind is in the habit of becoming active again. It’s good if what comes from above goes through like that, but on condition that the mind be perfectly still. If you like, to put things differently, it’s to learn to keep your mind still, while writing at the same time.

@

December 24, 1966

(Regarding the School’s pupils:)

From every side they ask the question (they are all like that), "What IS the Truth? What do you mean when you speak of the Truth?"

They want a mental definition of the Truth....

Truth cannot be expressed in the mind’s terms. That’s the point. And all the questions they ask are mental ones.

Truth cannot be formulated, it cannot be defined, but it can be LIVED.

And one who has completely dedicated himself to the Truth, who wants to live the Truth and serve the Truth, will know EVERY MINUTE what he has to do: it will be a sort of intuition or revelation (more often than not wordless, but sometimes also expressed in words), which will every minute let him know the truth of that minute. And that’s what is so interesting.... They want to know "the Truth," but as something well defined, well sorted out, well established; and then you are nice and quiet, you no longer need to seek! You adopt it and say, "This is the Truth," and then it’s rigidly set – that’s what all religions did, they set up their truth as a dogma. But that’s not the Truth anymore.

Truth is a living, changing thing, which expresses itself every second and is ONE way of approaching the Supreme. Everyone has his own way of approaching the Supreme. There may be some who can approach Him from every side at the same time, but there are those who approach through Love, those who approach through Power, those who approach through Consciousness, and those who approach through Truth. And each of these aspects is as absolute, imperative and indefinable as the supreme Lord himself is. The supreme Lord is absolute, imperative and indefinable, ungraspable in his entirety, and his attributes have that same quality.

Once he knows this, one who puts himself at the service of one of these aspects will know (it’s translated in life, in Time, in the movement of time), he will know every moment what the Truth is  – that’s very interesting – or he will know every minute what Consciousness is, or he will know every minute what Power is, or he will know every minute what Love is. And it’s a multiform Power, Love, Consciousness, Truth, which express themselves innumerably in the manifestation, just as the Lord expresses himself innumerably in the manifestation.

@

December 28, 1966

Regarding a sick disciple:

She’s leaving for Hong Kong for three months.

 Three months!

"The doctor’s orders."

But Hong Kong isn’t going to set her back on her feet!

The doctor said something much worse than that, he said, "If she returns to Pondicherry before spending at least two months in a cool climate" (and Hong Kong isn’t cool!), "she will be incurably ill, her liver will never be cured." So faced with such a suggestion, I said, "I am not taking any responsibility: go and get your suggestion cured in Hong Kong!"

They are terrible.

And they said she was dying and they "saved" her, but that she would start dying again if she came back here.... They wrote all this to me (it’s the husband who wrote; as for her, she was preparing to come back here). I said, "I don’t want to take the responsibility, the suggestion is too strong, let her go and get the suggestion cured in Hong Kong."

It’s the suggestion that has to be cured!

Yes, that’s right! (Mother laughs)

@

December 31, 1966

Mother gives Satprem a red rose:

The red rose is the order of the "knights of the Truth." Don’t you know this?... I began placing it when Colonel Répiton came here, the one who made the Africa march during the war. Every morning I would give him a red rose, and with him I instituted it. Since then, when I give any man a rose (I give them a red rose), it’s so he becomes a knight of the Truth.

But I don’t tell him.

***

(Soon afterwards, Satprem proposes he might himself translate a certain text in order to save Mother’s time. Mother smilingly refuses and wants to do it herself:)

If I listen, Sri Aurobindo will say it to me, so it will be better! All of a sudden he tells me what I should write – it’s so clear! So clear, so evident. Sometimes there’s even a word I don’t hear well; I say, "What?", like that, and he repeats it!

I think that’s why I am becoming deaf! It’s because I am constantly listening there (gesture turned upward), all the time. So I am not listening enough here.

It’s the same thing with my eyes.... I have started seeing things with my eyes open, and, oh! ... People’s state, their thoughts, and especially the state of their vital (because it’s a vision of the physical, a very subtle, very vitalized physical, and it’s a representation of things in pictures). And their state shows itself as ... if you knew (Mother laughs) the things one can see!... A myriad of forms, faces, expressions. You’d think it’s an album by the sharpest humorist imaginable. It’s extraordinarily humorous and sharp in the perception and the sense of how ridiculous people are. Then, in the middle of all that, suddenly a beautiful form, a beautiful picture, a beautiful expression appears; something so beautiful, so pure, so wonderfully noble! And it all turns round and round, constantly. It’s very amusing, really.

I had always complained it was a realm in which I didn’t see. I mostly saw (in the past), I mostly saw mentally – mental visions – and also, naturally, I saw all the way up (but that was organized), and to some extent in the vital, especially at night, but anyway ... The vision was highly developed, very clear and precise, but physically ("physically," I mean in the subtle physical and physically), I had never seen with open eyes: I always saw the stark reality as it is, never anything else, and I had always complained about it. Until suddenly it came: one day I started seeing, and then...! (Mother laughs) Now I am obliged to calm it down, because (laughing) it’s too much. But it’s unbelievable – unbelievable how full of forms the air is, and such expressive forms! It’s as if, yes, a humorist, a caricaturist, even, were constantly making the subtle representation of what goes on materially.

And I think that’s what people see when they have what medical science calls "hallucinations," when they have a fever, for instance. But I already knew this because I once had such a high fever that I was in the state in which, according to doctors, you "go off your head." Then I saw (with the material vision), I had the vision

of all the hostile beings rushing to attack me from every side – it was frightful! You understand, it’s the support of the material consciousness that’s no longer there, you are wholly in that vision, and that’s why you generally get frightened, while others believe it’s a "hallucination." I remember (Sri Aurobindo was there), at the time I told him, "Ah, now I know what hallucinations caused by fever are." – It has nothing to do with hallucinations! But it’s not pleasant, it’s the vision of a world that’s not pretty.

But now, it’s not the result of fever, it’s simply the vision I have. But then...! As I said, there’s anything and everything there, all possibilities; and probably because of the quality of the aura [of Mother], I haven’t seen anything really unclean or ugly. But it must exist – it must exist, but it doesn’t get in.

But what one sees is the work of a priceless humorist! Things ... like men’s great ambitions, for example, also their self-satisfaction, the opinion they have of themselves, oh, it’s all so comical! Those lives are shown in relation to (and, so to speak, in contact with) the Truth-Light, and then the difference between people’s movement (or thought or attitude or action, or state of consciousness) and the Truth, the state of Truth, becomes plain to see, oh, if you knew! ... But it’s not seen by someone severe or harsh, no, no! It’s seen by someone very sharp – very sharp – with a wonderful sense of humor and a charming irony.

It swarms and swarms....

Then, the other day (yesterday or the day before), I said to Him, "All right, that will do! Now I’d like to go into silence and peace and a luminous immensity" (you remember, like during that meditation we once had here; that’s far more pleasant!). Then it calmed down.

***

(After Satprem has read to Mother the conversation of September 30, in which she envisaged the transition from man to the new being.)

My feeling (it’s a sort of feeling-sensation) is that intermediary stages are necessary.

And then, when you see how man has had to fight against all of Nature in order to exist, you get the feeling that those who will understand and love those beings will have with them a relationship of devotion, attachment, service, as animals have with man; but those who won’t love them ... will be dangerous beings. I remember, I once had a very clear vision of the precarious situation of those new beings, and I said (this was before 1956, before the descent of the supramental power), I said, "The Supramental will first manifest in its aspect of Power, because that will be indispensable for the safety of the beings." And it was indeed Power that descended first – Power and Light. The Light that gives Knowledge and Power.

That’s something I feel more and more clearly: the necessity of intermediary phases.... It’s perfectly obvious that something is going on, but it’s not the "something" that was seen and foreseen and will be the ultimate outcome: what’s going to take place is ONE of the stages, not the ultimate outcome.

Sri Aurobindo also said, "There will first come the power to prolong life at will" (it’s far more subtle and marvelous than that). But that’s a state of consciousness which is now being established: it’s a sort of constant and settled relationship and contact with the supreme Lord, which abolishes the sense of wear and tear; it replaces it with a sort of extraordinary flexibility, an extraordinary plasticity. But the SPONTANEOUS state of immortality isn’t possible – at least not for the time being. This structure must be changed into something else, and judging from the way things are going on, it will take a long time before it’s changed into something else. It may go much faster than in the past, but even assuming that the movement is speeding up, it still takes time (according to our notion of time). And the rather remarkable thing is that to be in the state of consciousness in which wear and tear no longer exists, you must change your sense of time: you enter a state in which time no longer has the same reality. It’s something else. It’s very peculiar ... it’s an innumerable present. I don’t know.... Even that habit we have of thinking ahead of time or foreseeing what’s going to happen or ... it hinders, it reconnects you with the old way of being.

So many, so many habits that have to be changed.

Voilà.

So I wish you a happy new year.

***

(In the afternoon, Mother sent the following note to Satprem, like a continuation of the morning’s conversation, meaning that the integral realization, that of the new being, will only be possible when ...)

Oh, to be spontaneously divine without watching oneself be, having gone beyond the stage where one wants to be divine.

@

 



[1]In the inner consciousness.

[2]India’s prime minister, during talks in Tashkent with Ayub Khan for the settlement of the Indo-Pakistani conflict.

[3]"India must fight until India and Pakistan have once more become ONE."

[4]Italics indicate words or sentences spoken by Mother in English.

[5]Shastri died of a heart attack.

[6]India agreed to withdraw from a few strategic posts it had occupied in Kashmir during the recent hostilities, and Pakistan proclaimed that it would not use force to settle its disagreement with India.

[7]Mother means, "The same story or the same attitude since Gandhi and Nehru."

[8]Shastri was very short.

[9]Throughout this conversation, Mother appeared rather skeptical or, to say the least, reticent.

[10]Mother had already made a similar remark last year. See Agenda VI, conversation of November 6, 1965, p. 287.

[11]Purani, a charming old disciple, who passed away on December 11, 1965. See Agenda VI, conversation of December 28, 1965, p. 341.

[12]Mother means the time that will have to be taken to write the book.

[13]That will be eight years later, when Satprem will write his "trilogy" on Mother.

[14]The first form of The Sannyasin, which was to be a sort of Greek tragedy, with chorus.

[15]Rejecting the world as it is and climbing to the heights.

[16]As if lost remnants of forgotten light,

Before her mind there fled with trailing wings

Dimmed revelations and delivering words

Emptied of their mission and their strength to save

The messages of the evangelist gods,

Voices of prophets, scripts of vanishing creeds. (X.IV.642)

[17]The extremely interesting fact is that a little later Mother will see the same phenomenon (of this "dead person" uniting with Pavitra) anew, with the consciousness of the cells, and that new vision of the body will bring out details that had escaped Mother’s occult vision, as if the body alone could see accurately what is "on the other side."

[18]That one did not die in the war but was murdered in Paris. He used to take part in gatherings of the small group of occultism that Mother looked after in Paris.

[19]Mother used to give Satprem twenty rupees every month ... to buy his cigarettes.

[20]Pralaya: the end of a world.

[21]Aphorism 117 - "Neither is it that I was not before nor thou nor these kings nor that all we shall not be hereafter." Not only Brahman, but beings and things in Brahman are eternal; their creation and destruction is a play of hide and seek with our outward consciousness.

[22]Certain troubles had indeed recurred, which Satprem had not even mentioned to Mother.

[23]The physical mind.

[24]See Agenda V, August 14, 1964.

[25]Indira Gandhi had been nominated prime minister of India two months earlier, on January 19.

[26]Let us recall Mao Tse-tung: "Power comes from the barrel of a gun."

[27]"It" = the physical mind.

[28]Aphorism 102: "To the senses it is always true that the sun moves round the earth; this is false to the reason. To the reason it is always true that the earth moves round the sun; this is false to the supreme vision. Neither earth moves nor sun; there is only a change in the relation of sun-consciousness and earth-consciousness."

[29]At the beginning of the conversation, Mother had remarked about a sick disciple: "She is extremely nervous and excited. I told her to take sedatives, I told her her whole trouble was physical – she says she is the victim of terrible Asuras! It’s ridiculous! It’s a physical disturbance and she need not go and trouble the Asuras!"

[30]But when the hour of the Divine draws near,

The Mighty Mother shall take birth in Time

and God be born into the human clay ... (X1.1.705)

[31]The vision of the Sannyasin with his back to a bronze door. See Agenda 1, November 20 and 22, 1958.

[32]This book should normally have been written four or five years earlier, and at the time Satprem saw it in the form of a Greek tragedy.

[33]Petrea volubilis, crimson morning glory.

[34] The French word for death, mort, is feminine.

[35]Let us recall that vision of Mother’s in which she saw Sri Aurobindo with a truss (!), and the truss was all the cuts the Ashram’s editors were making in his works.

[36]Satprem means that Death is a mask of "Him," of the Supreme.

[37]A disciple’s peacock had escaped and spent the whole day in the tree above the Samadhi and on the Ashram’s terraces. (The peacock is the symbol of victory.)

[38]Mother is referring to LSD, a derivation of lysergic acid.

[39]It was for the next Bulletin that Satprem read this Talk to Mother.

[40]Pranam: salutation, prostration.

[41]Sat-Chit- Ananda: existence-consciousness-bliss.

[42]Tapas: energy or heat, or also the concentration of the power of consciousness.

[43]When the experience of divine Love left the body.

[44]Tamas: inertia.

[45]V. is a young disciple who came to the Ashram as a child and never left it.

[46]Of the magazine called "= 1."

[47]During the last conversation, Mother went into a deep trance, quite oblivious of the time.

[48]An engineer from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris.

[49]After Satprem had left, Mother remained silent for a long time, then turned to Sujata and told her, "Strange, very strange, I’ve never seen a lotus bud bowing down." Then, as Sujata looked at her without understanding, Mother added, "The heart lotus is always turned upward; it’s the aspiration. Here, it bows down towards the earth."

[50]"Truth cannot be formulated in words, but it can be lived, provided one is pure and plastic enough."

[51]During the previous conversation, Satprem read out to Mother a few pages from The Sannyasin.

[52]In that letter which he never sent, Satprem ingenuously tried to make the secretaries understand that these conversations with Mother might have import for the whole world, and that if Mother was an hour late for her conversations with Satprem and tired by a heap of trifles and petty personal matters, the atmosphere was not conducive for her to recapture the thread of her experience. But Satprem clearly saw the uselessness of stressing these obvious facts and saw that he would have quite simply been assumed to be indulging in "self-promotion." So be it. (This footnote was written in 1966.)

[53]One lakh= 100,000 rupees (about 6,000 U.S. dollars in 1990).

[54]One crore = ten millions.

[55]Mother is referring to last year’s conflict of September 1965, on the occasion of which Mother had publicly encouraged India to fight to the end.

[56] Under United Nations’ pressure, India gave up its advantage over Pakistan and "surrendered" at Tashkent.

[57]Mother gestures to show the man shot lying victorious on the roadside, implying that Auroville’s modest appearances are quite out of proportion to its true role in the invisible.

[58]The conversation is cut short by the doctor’s arrival.

[59]Original English.

[60]"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (I Corinthians 15:53-54)

[61]Cent. Ed., 24.1237.

[62]By the Body of the Earth or the Sannyasin. Satprem complained of difficulty in writing the end of his book.

[63]Puja: ritual, ceremony. In this case, the yearly ceremonies to Durga, the divine Mother.

[64]Even at night a "bodyguard" stays in Mother’s room.

[65]Satprem does not remember the effect of his sudden intrusion at 10:15 – probably none, or else not a pleasant one, because the experiment was not repeated.

[66]On October 21.

[67]A Bengali disciple who is a musician.

[68]Mother does not mean "beings" in the sense of entities, but levels of being.

[69]Mother does not refer to a category of so-called higher "beings," but to higher levels of being or states of being.

[70] If it is the battle of Magenta, it is not Murat but MacMahon. It seems more likely to be Murat and another battle.

[71]See Agenda 1, November 20 and 22, 1958.

[72]Satprem found the following note among Mother’s papers: "When people speak of sexual desire, instead of giving it the noble name of ‘love,’ they should simply call it ‘vital cannibalism.’"

[73]"Earth-life is the self-chosen habitation of a great Divinity and his aeonic will is to change it from a blind prison into his splendid mansion and high heaven-reaching temple." (Sri Aurobindo)

[74] Kali represents the warrior aspect of the universal Mother. Ceremonies in honor of her take place every year around this time.

[75]Maheshwari: the supreme Mother.

[76]Let us recall that Mother’s written notations often act as occult instruments: she keeps them near her and "recharges" them from time to time.

[77]Of "unexpected" rainfalls or "unexpected" endings of rain.

[78]"... Of all factors, mental arrogance is the most unfavorable to the action of the divine Grace."

[79]Satprem thought of en cachette for "unseen" (literally, "on the sly" or "stealthily").

[80]It must be recalled that the next day is Darshan and therefore Mother is overburdened with visitors and letters.

[81]Several disciples close to Mother are ill, in particular her close attendant.

[82]A disciple of Sri Aurobindo’s and Mother’s who is close to the Government.

[83]"There are these three powers [governing life on earth]: (1) The Cosmic Law, of Karma or what else; (2) the Divine Compassion acting on as many as it can reach through the nets of the Law and giving them their chance; (3) the Divine Grace which acts more incalculably but also more irresistibly than the others." (Sri Aurobindo)

[84]Yogic Sadhana, a book written in automatic writing by Sri Aurobindo.

[85]V. is a young disciple who puts questions to Mother in his "notebook."

[86] The disciple’s question was formulated thus: "When I heard in Gingy that B. had drowned in a pond, I was incapable of believing or being shocked by the news. The only question I asked in myself was, ‘How could this have happened! Mother knew we were in Gingy, therefore Her protection was with each of us. So how could this have happened?’"