Institut de Recherches Evolutives
142 blvd du Montparnasse
The World is preparing for a big change.
Will you help?
(Later, Mother commented on this message thus:)
That big change is the emergence upon earth of a new race which will be to man what man is to the animal.
The consciousness of that new race is already at work on the earth to enlighten all those who are capable of receiving and listening to it.
January 3, 1970
(Continuation of the conversation of 31 December 1969 about Auroville and the Matrimandir.)
Mother, I told Paolo [the Italian architect] to come, he is waiting outside.
Yes.... There is an interesting thing.
For a long time I had been feeling something, then we spoke about it the other day, and I SAW … I told R. [Auroville’s architect] about it, I asked him to see Paolo, and I also told him that I had seen what should be done. Naturally, he didn’t say no, he said yes to everything, but I felt he wasn’t too keen.... But here is what happened. I clearly saw – very, very distinctly saw, which means it was like that, and it still IS like that, it’s there (gesture showing an eternal plane) – the inside of that place [the Matrimandir].
Maybe you should tell Paolo about it?
Tell him right now?... All right.... I’ll speak more easily if I am alone with you.
Fine, then, Mother.
I could describe it. It came like this. It will be a kind of hall which will be like the inside of a column. No windows. Ventilation will be artificial, with this kind of machinery (Mother points to an air conditioner), and just a roof. And sunlight striking the center; or, when there is no sunlight (at night or on overcast days), an electric spotlight. The idea is to build right now an example or a “model” for a hundred people or so. Once the city is built and the experiment is made, we will make a big thing of it – but then it will be very big, for one or two thousand people. And the second one will be built around the first, which means that the first will go only when the second is built.
There’s the idea.
Only, in order to tell Paolo about it (and if possible, if I see it’s possible, to tell R. about it), I wanted to have a plan. I’ll have it made – not myself, I can’t do it anymore; I could have done it in the past, but now I don’t see clearly enough. This afternoon, I’ll have it made in front of me, and with that plan, I’ll be able to explain really well. But to you I simply wanted to say what I have seen....
It will be a tower with twelve facets – each facet representing one month of the year – and the top, the roof of the tower will be like this (Mother makes a gesture showing something like this:)
Then, inside, there will be twelve columns – the walls and twelve columns – and right at the center, on the floor, my symbol, with, above it, four symbols of Sri Aurobindo joining in a square, and above … a globe. A globe possibly made of a transparent substance, with or without a light inside, but the sun will have to strike this globe; so, depending on the particular month or hour, it will be from here or there or there … (gesture showing the sun’s course). Do you understand? There will always be an opening with a sunbeam. Not a diffused light, but a beam that will have to come and strike the globe. That requires technical knowledge for its execution, and that’s why I want to make a drawing with an engineer.
But inside, there will be neither windows nor lights, it will always be in a sort of clear half-light, night and day: during the day with sunlight, at night with artificial light. And on the ground, nothing, except for a floor like this one [in Mother’s room], that is, first a wooden floor (wooden or something else), then a sort of thick rubber foam, very soft, and then a carpet. A carpet covering everything, except for the center. And people will be able to sit anywhere. The twelve columns are for those who need a backrest!
But then, people will not come for “regular meditations” or anything of the kind (the internal organization will be taken care of later): it will be a place for concentration. Not everyone will be allowed in; there will be a time of the week or the day (I don’t know) when visitors will be allowed, but anyway without mixture. There will be a fixed hour or day to show the visitors, and the rest of the time only for those who are … serious – serious, sincere, who truly want to learn to concentrate.
So I think that’s good.
It was there (gesture of vision above), I still see it when I talk about it – I SEE. As I see it, it’s very beautiful, really very beautiful. … A sort of half-light: you can see, but it’s very peaceful, and with very clear and strong beams of light on that globe (the projected, artificial light will have to be slightly golden, it shouldn’t be cold – it will depend on the spotlights). A globe that will be made of plastic or … I don’t know.
If possible, yes. For the smaller temple, the globe won’t need to be very big: if it were this big (about one foot), it would be enough. But for the bigger temple, it will have to be big.
But how will the bigger temple be built? Over the small one?
No, no, the small one will go.
Oh, it will go, another one will be built.
But the big temple will be built afterwards, and then on a huge scale.... The smaller one will go only once the bigger one is built. But of course, for the city to be completed, we must allow some twenty years (for everything to be in order, in its place). It’s the same with the gardens: all the gardens that are being prepared are for now, but in twenty years, all that will have to be on another scale; then it will have to be something really … really beautiful. And I wonder what substance that globe should be made of, the big one?... The small one could be made of crystal: for a globe this size (gesture about one foot) I think it will do. The globe will have to be visible from every corner of the room.
It shouldn’t be too high above the floor either, should it?
No, Sri Aurobindo’s symbol doesn’t have to be very big, it has to be this size....
Ten to twelve inches?
At the most, at the very most.
So it would be more or less at eye level.
At eye level, yes, that’s right.
And a VERY peaceful atmosphere. And NOTHING, nothing but big columns.... There remains to see whether the columns’ style … whether they will be round, or themselves with twelve facets …? But twelve columns.
And a roof with two sides?
Yes, a roof with two sides so as to get sunlight. It will have to be so arranged that rainwater can’t get in. Something that needs to be opened and closed every time it rains won’t do, it’s not possible; it will have to be in such a way that rainwater can’t get in. But sunlight must get in AS A BEAM, not diffused. So the opening will have to be limited.... It requires a clever engineer, who knows his job really well.
When would they start?
I’d like them to start immediately, as soon as we have the plans. But there are two questions: first the plans (workers can be found), and then money.... I think it can be done with this idea of building a small specimen (“small,” well, it’s a manner of speaking, because to hold a hundred people easily it will still have to be big enough), a small specimen to begin with. While building the small specimen we’ll learn, and we’ll build the big one when the city is finished – that won’t be right now.
I told R. about it, and the next day he told me, “Yes, but it will take time to prepare.” (I said nothing of all I’ve just told you, I just spoke of doing something.) Afterwards I had a vision of that room, so I no longer need anyone to see how it should be – I know. What’s needed is an engineer more than an architect, because an architect … It has to be as simple as possible.
I told Paolo what you had seen, that large room, empty, without anything. It touched him a lot, he in fact could see that large empty room. He understands quite well. So “empty” simply means a shape.
But a shape … like a tower, but … (that’s why I wanted to have a sketch to show) twelve regular facets, and then we need a wall that’s not straight, a wall slightly like this (gesture of a slight slope), I don’t know if that’s possible. And inside, twelve columns. So we’ll have to find a way to capture sunlight, so that at any time of the year sunlight can get in.... We need someone who knows his job well.
As for the outside … I didn’t see the outside; I didn’t see it at all, I only saw the inside.
I wanted to explain to Paolo once I would have the papers, it would be easier, but since you called him …
(Sujata goes out and comes back with Paolo, who comes in with a garland of pink “Harmony.” Mother gives him an orange hibiscus – Auroville’s flower – looks at him, and starts speaking:)
Since we decided to build that temple, I have seen – I have seen the inside. I have just tried to describe it to Satprem. But in a few days I will have plans and drawings, so I’ll be able to explain more clearly. Because I don’t know at all how the outside is, but the inside I know.
(Paolo:) The outside comes out of the inside.
It’s a kind of tower with twelve regular facets representing the twelve months of the year, and absolutely empty.... Only, it will have to hold one to two hundred people. So, to support the roof, there would be inside (not outside, inside) twelve columns; and right at the center, the object of concentration.... And with the sun’s concentration, all year round it will have to get in AS A beam (not diffused: it will have to be so arranged that it can get in as beams); then, according to the hour of the day and the month of the year, the beam will revolve (there will be some device at the top) and it will be directed onto the center. At the center, there will be the symbol [of Mother], then Sri Aurobindo’s symbol supporting a globe. A globe which we’ll try to have made of a transparent substance such as crystal or … A large globe. Then people will be let in in order to concentrate – (laughing) to learn to concentrate! No fixed meditations, nothing of the sort, but they will have to stay there in silence – silence and concentration.
(P.:) It’s very beautiful.
But the place should be absolutely … as simple as possible. And the floor in such a way that people may be comfortable, without having to think that it hurts here or there!
(P.:) It’s very beautiful.
And in the middle, on the floor, my symbol. At the center of my symbol, we’ll have four parts (like a square), four symbols of Sri Aurobindo, upright, supporting a transparent globe.
That was seen.
So I’ll have small plans prepared by an engineer, simple ones to show, and then I’ll show you when they are ready. There. And we’ll see.
As far as the walls are concerned, they will probably have to be in concrete.
(P.:) The whole structure can be in reinforced concrete.
The roof will probably have to be sloping, and at the center there will have to be a special device for the sun.
(Satprem:) You said that you saw the walls with a slight slope.
Either the walls or the roof will have to have a slope – whatever will be easier. The walls can be straight with the roof sloping. And the higher part of the roof resting on the twelve columns. And on top, the device for the sun.
Inside, nothing. Nothing but the columns. The columns … I don’t know, we’ll have to see if they will be with facets (like the whole thing), twelve facets, or simply round.
Or simply square – that has to be seen.
Then, on the floor, we’ll have something thick and soft. Here … (are you comfortable when you are sealed?... Yes?), there is first a wooden floor, then that sort of rubber, and above, a woolen carpet.
(Satprem:) With your symbol?
Not on the carpet. The symbol, I first thought it should be done out of some solid material.
(P.:) It has to be in stone.
The symbol … everything will be around it, of course. The symbol will not cover everything, it will only be at the center of the space – (laughing) people shouldn’t sit on the symbol!... It will be at the center.
The proportion between the symbol and the whole has to be seen carefully, in comparison with the height.
(P.:) The room will be rather large?
Oh, yes, it should be. There should be a sort of half-light with those sunbeams – the sunbeam should be SEEN.
So, depending on the hour of the day (the hour of the day and the month of the year), the sun will go round. Then, at night, as soon as sunlight has vanished, we’ll switch on spotlights which will have the same effect and the same color. Night and day the light will remain there. But no windows or lamps or things of the sort – nothing. Ventilation through air conditioners (they’re set inside the walls, that’s very easy).
And silence. No talking inside!
It will be fine.
So as soon as my papers are ready, I’ll call you to show them to you.
(P.:) Very good.
(To Sujata:) Give me a rose for him.
(Mother gives two red roses, Paolo withdraws)
I didn’t ask him if he had seen R. because … R. is quite in nowadays’ “practical” atmosphere.
Good, it has to start off!
That’s what I have learned, in fact: the bankruptcy of religions was because they were divided – they wanted you to follow one religion to the exclusion of all others. And all human knowledge has gone bankrupt because it was exclusive. And man has gone bankrupt because he was exclusive. What the New Consciousness wants (it insists on this) is: no more divisions. To be capable of understanding the extreme spiritual, the extreme material, and to find … to find the meeting point where … it becomes a true force. And it’s trying to teach that to the body too, through the most
The trouble ([laughing] I say “trouble”!) is that in people it expresses itself as disorders. People close to me for the work fall “ill.” One of them is at the nursing home, the other is in difficulty. And depending on their receptivity, I must find a way to make them understand that they shouldn’t worry, that it’s not an “illness,” but … the body’s resistance. The body [Mother’s body] has learned that at its own expense!...Its constantly like that: if you are in the true position, everything is fine – provided you don’t observe yourself, don’t keep observing, “Oh, the body is like this, or like that, it feels this way or …” As soon as you pay attention to it, as soon as the consciousness is turned to it, something goes wrong. It goes wrong. One has to be … like this (gesture turned upward). And then, there is something that KNOWS all the same, something that knows, but without observing (I don’t know how to explain). And you can see that as soon as the consciousness of the cells takes the true attitude, the thing that manifested as a disorder no longer manifests as such: the nature of the manifestation changes – how?
Not only that, the “may Your Will be done” (without worrying in the least about what it is, what that Will may be, in other words an acceptance of anything in advance) is replaced in a strange way – a strange way – by something that has nothing to do with thought and less and less to do with vision, something superior which is a kind of perception – a new kind of perception: you know. But that has already come for a few seconds. Now and then it comes, and then … the old habits start up again. It’s above, far, far above thought, and above vision. It’s a kind of perception: there is no more differentiation of the organs (Mother touches her eyes, her ears). And it’s a perception … yes, which is total: it’s at the same time (if you want to explain it), at the same time vision, hearing, and knowledge. A perception … something that is a new type of perception. So then, you KNOW. It replaces learning. But the moment you want to bring it to the plane of learning, it’s over, you lose contact.
All that is certainly the consciousness of what Sri Aurobindo called the supramental: the being to come after man. How will he be? I haven’t yet seen … I haven’t yet seen that. I did see, I did have perceptions of the superman, the intermediary being, but you clearly feel it’s only an intermediary being. What will that being be like who will come after the superman? I don’t know.... Because we are still much too human; when we visualize the Supreme Consciousness in a form, the Supreme Being and so on – the Supreme – we tend to give it a form similar to the human one, but that’s our old habit.... I saw that future being (I saw it many years ago): it was clearly a far more harmonious and expressive form than the human one, but there was a likeness, it was still a human form, that is to say, with a head and arms and legs and … Will it be that? I don’t know. There will necessarily be that as an intermediary – necessarily. There were all those kinds of apes which acted as intermediaries between the animal and man.... But lightness, invulnerability, moving about at will, luminosity at will – all that goes without saying, it’s part of supramental qualities, but … Oh, yes, also clothing at will: it’s not something foreign added on, it’s the substance that takes on certain forms.... All that I had seen, and I told Sri Aurobindo about it, and Sri Aurobindo himself gave me certain demonstrations (I see him sometimes and he shows me). He simply said what the intermediary step will be. But all descriptions are worthless. And when I see him at night (sometimes I spend hours with him), it’s so natural and spontaneous that I am not even observing, “This is like this, that is like that...” – no. In the morning, with a concentration, the impression remains very strong, but as for the details as we here understand them, you can’t say.
Similarly, that sort of thing (Sri Aurobindo too calls it “perception”), that perception which replaces vision and all the rest is very strong at night. It’s hard to say.... You have an impression of it when you wake up, but not the capacity; the full capacity is not there.
On a practical level, I’ll try to make R. understand. But I saw, it seems to me that we should do … When R. is here, he looks after “Auromodel,” the practical side, all that (its quite necessary, it’s very good), but for this construction of the center, I’d like Paolo to do it, and so I’d like Paolo to stay here when R. is gone: let Paolo be here when R. is away, and with Paolo we could do that. Only, I don’t want either of them to feel that it’s one against the other (!). They must understand that it’s to complement each other.
I think Paolo will understand.
But R. will take it as an encroachment on his responsibilities?
Maybe not, I’ll try. I’ll try.
No, when I told him we had to build the center – that I had seen it and it had to be built – he didn’t object. Only he told me, “But it will take time.” I said, “No, it has to be done right now.” That’s why I am getting those kinds of sketches made by an engineer, so as to show him, because it’s not the job of an architect: it’s the job of an engineer, with precise calculations for the sunlight, very precise. It has to be someone really skilled. The architect will have to see that the columns are beautiful, the walls are beautiful, the proportions are correct – all that is quite all right – and also that symbol at the center. The aspect of beauty is for the architect to see, naturally but the whole aspect of calculations … And the important thing is the play of the sun on the center. Because it becomes a symbol – the symbol of the future realization.
(Mother remains concentrated)
The step forward humanity must take immediately is a definitive cure of exclusivism. That’s what is, in action, not only the symbol but also the effect of division and separation. They all say, “This and not that” – no, this AND that, and this too and that too, and everything at the same time. To be supple enough and wide enough for everything to be together. That’s what I keep knocking myself against at present, in every field – every field.... In the body too. The body is used to, “This and not that; this OR that, this or that …” – No, no, no: this AND that.
And of course, the great Division: life and death – there you are. Everything is the effect of that. Well (words are stupid but …), overlife is life and death together.
Why call it “overlife”?! We are always tempted to lean to one side: light and darkness (“darkness,” well …).
Ah, we’re quite small. One feels so small.
(Soon afterwards, regarding Mother’s comments on Sri Aurobindo’s “Aphorisms,” Satprem suggests a different word.)
There’s a word that doesn’t seem right to me....
Oh, you’ll find lots of them, mon petit! That’s what I told you once.
Yesterday again, I wrote something in a letter to D., and as soon as the letter was sent, I said to myself, “No, that’s not the way you should have put it, it’s this way....” Because I do it hurriedly and with a mental activity next to me [in those around Mother]: it doesn’t express itself with noises but it’s there, and that makes it difficult for me to catch “the thing.” Then it comes afterwards [when people have left].
That’s why I said I would have to see those comments again.
We could see them together.
Another aphorism yesterday … But when I read those Aphorisms with my present experiences, I see that Sri Aurobindo knew all that. He had caught it there, he was there, and words that appear odd or not quite comprehensible to intellectual understanding, even the highest, have a meaning. Yesterday all of a sudden, “Oh, that was it!” [what Sri Aurobindo had seen]. For instance, in one of the aphorisms I readjust yesterday, there was the word “perception,” and I remember that when I translated it [many years ago], I thought, “Perception, what does he mean?...” Now, I understand wonderfully! It’s something that has nothing to do with our senses: neither sight nor hearing nor … – perception. He put “perception.” And “perception” is an excellent word.
Moreover, for the time being, I only read the translation; if I saw the original again, it might be even more striking.
You know, now, when I am put in contact with all the things I said in the past (yet I did my best) … I so much feel it’s like words of ignorance – all of them based on choice and opposition: this and not that, this and not that, you approve and disapprove.... That’s it. And now it looks so stupid! And so narrow – so narrow. What’s admired in people who have been regarded as saints (saints, especially saints) is refusal: refusal of almost everything, except of God (Mother holds a single finger erect heavenward). And everything, from the highest thing – one’s approach to the Divine – from that down to the most material – the body’s functions – everything from top to bottom is just the same stupidity: this but not that; this but not that; this in contradiction to that; this in opposition to that.... All morality, all social rules, the whole material organization of the world is based on division. And it seems more and more evident that that will be the first thing – the first – which the higher being (which Sri Aurobindo called the “supramental being”), the first thing that being will want to abolish.
Now I understand why he said “supramental”; instead of saying “superman” he said “supramental” because superman is … Whereas for that being, the very basis of his existence is different; instead of being based on division, it’s based on union. Man talks a lot about union, but he doesn’t have the least idea what it is.
Its very interesting.
And this body feels so clearly that it... it no longer belongs here, but it’s not yet there, so … (Mother makes a gesture in suspense) in appearance it’s something completely absurd, with apparent weaknesses that human beings scorn, and … (laughing) awesome forces that human beings cannot bear.
But then, it’s not realized, not concretized, not expressed: it’s like this (same gesture in suspense). So it has become something wholly absurd.
What men used to call “difficult,” “complicated,” now the body, when it’s in presence of “that,” of that unknown pressing to be expressed, several times it says, “Ah, it was easy before, when one thought one knew!”
Now it knows it knows nothing.
January 7, 1970
I found some old papers....
(Mother points to a few notes)
But first, yesterday I received Aphorisms, two of them, and suddenly … (gesture of descent) Sri Aurobindo came and wrote – in French. Afterwards, I didn’t even remember what he had written. I only said (since it was he who had written) that I would like to have the text right away. They brought it to me yesterday evening so I could show you.
(Mother holds out a sheet of paper)
271 – He who would win high spiritual degrees, must pass endless tests and examinations. But most are anxious only to bribe the examiner.
272 – Fight, while thy hands are free, with thy hands and thy voice and thy brain and all manner of weapons. Art thou chained in the enemy’s dungeons and have his gags silenced thee? Fight with thy silent all-besieging soul and thy wide-ranging will-power and when thou art dead, fight still with the world-encompassing force that went out from God within thee.
“Truth is a difficult and arduous conquest. One needs to be a true warrior, a warrior who fears nothing, neither enemies nor death, for, despite all opposition, with or without a body, the fight goes on and shall end in Victory.”
If you knew how compact with golden light it was when it came! And I did not remember at all what was written.
But that’s almost triumphant!
Isn’t it? Oh, there was an atmosphere of triumph. The atmosphere was so … dense, you know. I only had the impression … yes, that impression of victory, of absolute certitude: all possible doubts were gone, all weaknesses were gone, it was all like that. Afterwards, I said to myself, “But what did I write?...” I had forgotten. Then I read it again (they brought it to me yesterday evening), and when I read it again, I said, “Oh, that’s it!...” I had forgotten.
It was so much the true consciousness, in which death does not exist: What is it? – Nothing. That was the impression while I was writing, as if he had suddenly made me enter a world of truth in which this whole world of illusion and falsehood no longer had any force.
I felt that very strongly, very strongly, and afterwards I said to myself, “What did I write?” When I read it again in the evening, I thought, “Oh, that’s it!”
Yes, that’s how it is, there’s nothing to be said. Do we keep it for August 15 [Sri Aurobindo’s birthday]?
Why not give it on February 21 [Mother’s birthday]?
But then, without signature?... I can’t sign “Sri Aurobindo” – it would look like a forgery! So without signature.
But why not sign yourself?
Myself … it’s just this (Mother pinches the skin of her hands).
That’s an idea: I’ll give it as a message.
Then, while sorting out papers (this is much less interesting), I found a few things....
(Mother holds out a first note)
Why do men want to worship? It is much better to become than to worship.
(Mother laughs) I remember that, I wrote it long ago....
In April ‘69 [on the 26th].
Some people wrote to me letters and did all kinds of things to express their adoration and so on, and I felt so clearly that it’s out of a laziness to change that they worship! (Mother laughs)
If you want to find your soul, to know and obey it, stay here at any cost.
If that is not the goal of your life and you are ready to live the life of the great majority of people, you can certainly go back to your family.
That’s good, too. There are so many who ask, “Why stay here?...” I thought it could be useful. And the last:
To people of ill-will
The harm you have caused willfully always comes back to you in one form or another.
Below there is a note: “Dictated by the S. M. [superman] consciousness.”
Yes, it’s that Consciousness which, one day … I remember, I was thinking, “Why be attached to things like that?” Then it answered this and insisted until I had written it.
The harm you have caused willfully (that is, the will to harm, the will to destroy) always comes back to you, always.... And let me add that this Consciousness DOES it – its doing it: I SEE it. Quite unexpected things.
Many people have had a movement of anger, a movement of … willfully causing harm – it comes back to them.
Do we put it in the February Bulletin?
As you like. For the Bulletin, you’re the judge! (Laughing) No, really and quite sincerely, nothing in me has an opinion anymore – nothing anywhere. Because I see that everything can be presented (Mother turns her hand to all sides as if to show countless facets) this way, that way, or that other way.... So …
Moreover, strangely, once something has been decided, a force immediately comes to support it.... But I am not saying that, because people would take advantage of it! I am saying it for us. I entrusted the Bulletin to you, and I see: once its decided, the Force comes and gives its support – I’m not saying that so you become negligent! But that’s how it is. It’s very interesting.
It’s very interesting, things become … I don’t know … concrete. Things that were like this (ethereal gesture), what’s called the “realm of the spirit,” are becoming concrete, material.
And when there’s just a movement of ill will (people who are dissatisfied with what the Divine has done for them, even about a very small matter), when they are in front of me, they don’t even have to say anything: suddenly all my nerves start hurting horribly – then I know. It’s happened three times already. And they are people who apparently have goodwill. Yet it’s enough: the presence of that force, even in just one detail, is enough for all the nerves to start hurting.
T.F. has prepared a big scenario for a film (it’s remarkable). She has read me half of it (really remarkable), and she’s just read a description of the vital world, of life.... Mon petit, it’s certainly beyond the human consciousness: it’s the consciousness of a vital being that can write that – it gave me a fever. It’s gone; now it’s completely gone, but it gave me a fever. And I didn’t feel any discomfort, nothing: I just admired, saying to myself, “Goodness, it takes some skill to describe that” (it was unbelievably accurate, you understand, certainly beyond the human). And she herself told me, “Oh, but I gave you a fever!” And its true, I had a fever. Now it’s gone, its all over.
Things are like that, you understand, they become … real.
(About a disciple)
... You are too good for him.
For me, to every sin mercy.
But is there mercy for total egoism?
Yes, oh, yes! That’s just it!...
January 10, 1970
(Despite its minor character, we publish the beginning of this conversation, as it reveals some of the difficulties Mother had to struggle with.)
... And this is a translation: someone who was here (he’s gone now) translated it. Its probably not worth much, I don’t know. I don’t know whom I should give it to. When you have nothing to do …
Mother, the problem is that we can’t get the translations published at the Press, things aren’t moving. I have five books by Sri Aurobindo ready, and nothing is moving.
They can’t manage to do their work.
But then, they make promises and never manage to keep them.
Oh, that’s troublesome. When A. was here, he worked out a program with them, and he saw it was …
It’s gone. I have, fully ready at the Press, The Bases of Yoga, Lights on Yoga, The Human Cycle, The Ideal of Human Unity, and your Questions and Answers of 1958 [all in French]. I have those five volumes ready and waiting.
Put that down on a piece of paper for me. The next time I see Z [the manager], I’ll tell him.
But then, Mother, if you have a chance, tell him that when I ask him for something – and ask him in writing again and again – he ought to understand that it’s because I feel it needs to be done and he should answer my question, shouldn’t he?
It’s because they don’t know what to say....
No, Mother, it’s a very simple matter: three times I wrote to him, “Send me the proofs for the cover of The Synthesis of Yoga,” and he didn’t do it.
I think this poor boy has no authority there. That’s my impression.
Yes, but then, if the thing is printed with any mistakes, what am I to say? It’s my responsibility!
Yes, and it would be better to … We can try to tell him … In the past, I used to see him once a week, so I had a little more control. Now I only see him once a month; maybe I should resume seeing him more often....
As for him, he was very happy when I stopped seeing him …
(Satprem opens his eyes wide)
… because I was putting a pressure!
I can’t understand why after writing someone three times, “Send me those proofs,” he doesn’t do it! And not only he doesn’t do it, but he answers me with a lie: “It has been approved by you”! I don’t hold it against him, Mother, he’s very nice …
(Mother laughs) … but incapable! What I can do is to ask him to send me the proofs, and I’ll pass them on to you! Then he’ll find that he’s obliged to do it!
I found the Cosmic Review [of Theon] again, it’s quite amusing!... I’ve kept it to show you. They made some “rules and regulations” for the members of the Society, it’s very funny! People must be very nice to each other!... And among the rules there is one saying that one must not recognize personal gods.
(Mother holds out the file to Satprem)
“Cosmic philosophy admits no personal god....”
Whether it admits or not, they exist anyhow!... (laughter) It’s amusing. I don’t know where to keep this, you can keep it.
I think we should keep it.
Can you keep it?
Yes, Mother, we should keep it, and one day, for the sake of history, all this might be worth publishing.
Yes, that’s right: from the historical point of view, it’s amusing.
We must keep it very carefully and publish it one day as a document.
Yes, that’s right.
Then I have a letter from Paolo....
I’ll see him this afternoon.
I told you that I saw the central construction of Auroville.... I have a plan. Would you like to see it?... There are three scrolls there (Mother unrolls the plan while explaining): There will be twelve facets. Its a circle. And, at the same distance from the center, twelve columns. At the center, on the floor, my symbol, and at the center of my symbol, there are four symbols of Sri Aurobindo, upright, forming a square. And atop the square, a translucent globe (we don’t yet know what substance it will be made of). Then, from the top of the roof, when the sun shines, a ray of sunlight will fall on the globe (only there, nowhere else); when there is no sunlight, electric spotlights will shine a beam (ONE beam again, not a diffuse light) just there, on the globe.
Then, no doors, but … after going deep down one comes back up into the temple; one goes under the wall and comes back up inside – it’s again a symbol. Everything is symbolic.
And then, no furniture, but first a wooden floor, probably (like here), then over the wooden floor, a thick foam rubber, and over it, a carpet, like here. We have to choose the color. The whole thing will be white. I am not sure if Sri Aurobindos symbols will be white … I don’t think so. I didn’t see them white, I saw them with an undefinable color, between gold and orange. A color of that sort. They will stand upright, carved in stone. And a globe not transparent but translucent. Then, at the bottom [of the globe], a light will be projected upward and will enter the globe diffusely. And from outside, rays of light will fall onto the center. No other lights: no windows, an electric ventilation. And no furniture, nothing. A place … to try and find one’s consciousness.
Outside, it will be something like this (Mother unrolls another plan).... We don’t know if the roof will have a pointed shape or … Very simple, very simple. It will hold about two hundred people. So then, Paolo’s letter?
Very sweet Mother,
I saw R. on Sunday, he came to my room and. we had lunch together. With love I arranged beautiful flowers for You and R. You were with us. We spoke a lot. I felt R. like a brother.
I told him that Auroville cannot be born like any other city (urban, social, economic problems, all of them to be seen later). The starting point must be “something else.” That is why we must start with the Center. That Center must be our lever, our fixed point, the thing we can lean on to try and leap to the other side – because it’s only from the other side that we can begin to understand what Auroville should be. And that Center must be a form manifesting in Matter the content that You can transmit to us on every plane (occult included). As for us, we should only be the open and sincere means through which you can concretise that.
Then I told him how I felt the need for all of us to approach all this while living the experience inwardly and unitedly – people from the East and the West – in a vast movement of love, because it is the only “concrete” possible for building “something else”....
What he says is fine.
... And that Center can give us that love right now, because it’s the love of You!
I told him that, on the practical level, we could begin with a moment of silence, gathered together, try to make a complete blank, and in that blank, with everyone’s aspiration, bring down the signs for the beginning. But all of us united and together, especially the more spiritually advanced – the Indians.
R. agreed entirely. He said we should really do that.
(Mother nods her head)
I’ll see Paolo this afternoon to give him this plan. Because that’s just what I saw.
We’ll do it in white marble. L. said he would go and get the marble, he knows the place.
The whole structure in white marble?
But Paolo told me one tiling which I felt to be correct. He said, We’ll build this Center, we’ll put all our heart and aspiration into it, into this Center …
And over the years, it will get more and more “charged”....
So this Center should be definitive, we shouldn’t remove this temple to build a larger one later on.
I said that to calm people who think we need something huge. I said, “We’ll begin with this, and then we’ll see,” you understand. I said this Center should be there until the city is completely built, and afterwards we would see – afterwards we won’t feel like removing
Because a lot of people thought of something “huge.”
But Paolo says that from an architectural standpoint, it’s quite possible to extend the thing from outside without touching what’s already built.
Oh, yes, it’s quite possible.
You see, R. asked me, “And then, what are we going to do afterwards?” I said, “Well, we’ll think about it afterwards!...” – That’s the trouble, they don’t know … they don’t know that one must not think. As for me, I wasn’t thinking about it at all, not at all – one day, I saw it like that, as I see you. Even now, it’s still so living that I only have to look and I see it. And what I saw was the Center and the light falling on it, and then, QUITE naturally, while observing, I remarked, I said, “So that’s how it is.” But it wasn’t “thought,” I didn’t think, “Twelve columns and twelve facets and …” I didn’t think any of that: I saw.
It’s like those symbols of Sri Aurobindo.... When I speak of the Center, I still see those four symbols of Sri Aurobindo joined at their angles, like this, and that color … strange color … I don’t know where we’ll be able to find that. It’s an orange gold, very warm. And it’s the only color in the place: all the rest is white.
Paolo said he would inquire right now in Italy, at Murano where they make large crystals, whether they can make a one-foot globe, say, in crystal.
The exact size must be on the plan, it should be written there.
They have big glassworks there.
Oh, they do marvelous things there. Isn’t the size of the globe written there?
Two feet four inches.
It could be hollow. It need not be solid, so as not to be too heavy.
He’s fine, Paolo.
That underground passageway into the room … People will enter some thirty feet away from the wall, at the foot of the urn. The urn will mark the starting point of the descent. I’ll have to choose the exact direction.... Then, later on, the urn might very well be inside rather than outside the enclosure. So perhaps we could simply have a big wall all around, and then gardens. Between the surrounding wall and the building to be constructed, we can have gardens and the urn. And that wall will have an entrance (one or several ordinary gates), so that people will be able to move around in the garden.
Then there will be certain conditions to be met before one is allowed to descend into the underground passage and emerge into the temple.... It will have to be a bit initiatory: not quite “like that,” not just anyhow.
To R. I said, “We’ll see that in twenty years!” So that kept him quiet.
But the first idea was to surround that with water, to have an island so that people would cross the water to reach the temple. It’s quite possible to have an island...
Is that all? Do you have anything else?
Is your mother well?... I wanted to give her flowers. Here I have flowers for you, and also for Sujata – where is she?
Sujata?... She’s here!
Here, behind my back? (laughter)
No, right next to you!
(To Sujata:) But we need roses for his mother.
It was to you that Baron [Pondicherry’s last French governor] said he wanted to be buried in my woolen blankets! (laughter) Yes, it seems he was cold. S. looks after him, and she wrote me that he would wake up shivering; she asked me, “Could you send him a blanket or two?” It seems there was in the meditation hall one of those big wooden trunks full of magnificent woolen blankets! So I sent him two. I only said, “Provided he doesn’t carry them away with him … because he’s quite capable of taking them!” (laughter) Then he told F. he was, oh, so happy: “I’ll ask to be buried in these blankets”! (laughter)
January 14, 1970
I have a question to ask you for the Bulletin. It’s about this note in which you said: “Why do men want to worship? It would be much better to become than to worship.”
Could we add to this the comment you made last time? You added, “It is out of laziness to change that people worship.”
It’s true. But it’s harsh! (Mother laughs) Do you think we should?
But then we should add: “One may not worship only on condition that one changes.” – Many want neither to change nor to worship!
January 17, 1970
What did you want to tell me?
I had a visit from Paolo and N.... There are two things. But first, there is the plan for this Center – to be precise, of the outside of the Center.
The outside, I didn’t see anything. There is a sketch by L. I didn’t see anything at all, I am open to all proposals. So then?
He explained something I found very beautiful and would like to submit to you.... As a matter of fact, when you spoke of that Center, you said, “I don’t know whether the walls will have a slope or the roof.” You seemed, to hesitate. Then Paolo said he received a kind of inspiration and saw something very simple, like a big shell with one part emerging above the ground and another part buried underground. He drew a sort of sketch which I’d like to show you.
Did he see R. also? Because R. had two ideas, he came to see me with two ideas, and I told him which of the two I liked better. But nothing is decided yet. R. has to draw a sketch of his ideas. So I’ll see what Paolo says and then I’ll tell you R.’s ideas.
(Satprem unrolls a plan) So you see, this is the outside, which would simply be like a shell. The inside is exactly as you saw it: that big bare carpet, and the ball at the center. What determined Paolo’s inspiration is that you said one would have to go underground and then to reemerge inside. So he had the idea of going deep down through a spiral staircase here, which would climb back up, and once here, there would be a series of staircases fanning out in every direction (in the lower part of the shell) and ending inside the temple itself. Then, the whole lower part would be in black marble while the higher part would be in simple white marble. The whole thing is like a big bud, you see, as if growing out of the earth.
Are you sure he hasn’t seen R.? Because R. told me, “I want to have a big circle; the inside is exactly a semicircle, and the other semicircle would be underground.” He told me almost the same words.
Because Paolo told him his own idea.
Oh, Paolo told him! Oh, that’s why …
It’s like a bud emerging from the earth.
Yes, yes, that’s the first idea R. told me, almost identically with the same words. And his second idea was a pyramid: leave the temple as we said and have a pyramid. But I also thought of a pyramid, and I told him, “I thought of a pyramid....” He said he would make the two plans and we would see. But if it agrees with Paolo’s idea, it’s very good.
But R.’s idea, in fact, is Paolo’s idea.
Yes, that’s right.
So when one reaches the top of the “stem,” there are a number of staircases in every direction, so that one can emerge into the temple on any side. The center is absolutely bare, and all around is a sort of footbridge where one emerges from the depths: that’s where all those staircases end. And everything bare. There will just be that big carpet bordered from corner to corner by kinds of footbridges. It will appear to be hanging. All white and smooth. Then there was the question of the twelve columns: Paolo said he felt the twelve columns were still an ancient symbol that wouldn’t go very well with the shell, and instead, he suggested to have symbolically twelve supports, twelve bases of columns that would act as backrests.
Oh, but the columns serve a purpose, because atop the columns we will have spotlights to light up the Center: there will be light day and night; during the day we’ll manage the opening, but once the sun is gone, we’ll turn the spotlights on, and from atop the twelve columns their rays will converge onto the Center.
But Mother, if the purpose of the columns is only for the spotlights, those could also be fixed on the walls?
The columns aren’t near the wall, they are here, just halfway between the Center and the wall.
Because he saw that space in the center all bare, with just the symbol at the Center and that big, smooth carpet, without, any break caused by the columns. But instead, big blocks – twelve big blocks – signaling the place of the columns and also acting as supports. Twelve big blocks about two feet high.
It makes no sense.
A symbolic sense? Because you did mention those pillars acting also as backrests for people who would want to sit.
Oh, for their backs.
So he said that each of those twelve blocks could, for instance, be in a different matter, as a symbol: twelve different materials.
As for me, I saw columns.
On the outer walls, we’ll organize the general ventilation, which will be electrical (without windows), and atop the columns, there was light – I saw the columns, I can’t say. I clearly saw the columns.
Well, then, I’ll tell him.
As for the gallery all around, I don’t know that I like it a lot.... I didn’t see it: I saw the walls bare, without windows, also the columns, and then the Center. I am sure of that because I saw it, and saw it for a long time.
Does the shape of a shell suit you?
In the sense that its a perfect circle: half above, half below.... That’s all right.
Only, we’ll need to arrange something for the sun.
Yes, N. is familiar with the problem of lighting through prisms, because to catch a sunbeam we’ll need prisms. He said he would solve the problem quite easily, he’s looking into it. A few prisms will simply be put at a number of places, and they’ll catch just one sunbeam.
There must be ONE beam. I SAW the beam.
That’s right, with a prism, the beam will be seen. Then there will be a number of geometrical openings to follow the motion of the sun.... But inside, on the wall, the twelve facets will be reproduced.
And this [Satprem points to the circular gallery] was in principle the entrance points where one emerges from underground.
I don’t know if it’s good to multiply the entrance points like that.... There will be a practical problem to be solved: if there is a single entrance with a very severe watch there, it’s all right, but if there are several entrance points and not enough light, there will be catastrophes.
No, no, Mother, outside there will be a single entrance, but when one reaches the base of the shell and climbs up again, there would be that multiplicity of entrance points. Outside, there is only one way down, which ends here, at the foot of this spiral staircase.
He thought of this footbridge all around because he said the all-white carpet at the center would stand out better, as if-floating separated, instead of being stuck to the wall.
I didn’t think it would be “stuck to the wall,” there was always a space to circulate around the wall.
So that’s the space, with a number of footbridges on which people would emerge. And that idea of bareness was also what made him remove the columns.
What I don’t like is the idea of footbridges, because the walls were straight from top to bottom, in while marble.
Oh, but the footbridges aren’t high, they’re about one foot above ground.
Then it’s all right.
Besides, he said the carpet could come up at an angle, cover at an angle those footbridges, or rather this space for circulation around.
That’s quite all right.
All right, then. So they have to agree. But it must be half done already, since R. told me about the idea. If I had known it was Paolo’s idea, I would have said yes straight away. But it will be worked out. It’s all right.
So I’ll tell him to work on that basis.... The only question that remains is the outside: should a void be left around the shell to make the descent of the shell clearly visible? Otherwise, if the gap is filled, it will simply look like an hemisphere placed on the ground. For the shell’s descent underground to be clearly understood, he thought there should be an opening all around.
I don’t know. I told you, I haven’t seen anything for the outside, so I don’t know.
But that will be dangerous. People might fall.
Or else, we could have a sort of moat with water all around, transparent water that would make the descent of the shell clear, for instance?
Yes. Yes, that could be fine.
also a question of measurement. According to the plan, you gave
asks whether these proportions could vary: keep
Where would the walls be, then?
The walls would be here [Satprem points to the outer side of the circular passage].
It’s the walls that should be
says that if those passages are to be there,
The height, too, is in question.
The question was in fact that it should be a perfect circle.
If it’s a perfect circle, then the height should be half the distance between the walls.
What would really please me is if they could agree with each other and present me with a project of the two together. That way, it would be easy to execute.... I mean, if R. has adopted Paolo’s idea, why couldn’t they see together how to execute it?
Yes, that would make things simpler.
Oh, much, much simpler!
What will happen under there?... (Mother points to the underground part of the shell) All that is mental. When you have a big dark underground, what’s going to happen in there?... What’s going to happen? – Lots of unspeakable things. Humanity isn’t transformed, we shouldn’t forget that! And all kinds of people will come.... Even if there is a control at the entrance, you can’t stop people from going to see, and what will happen under there?... That was my first objection when R. told me, “We could build magnificent underground passages!” I asked him, “That’s very fine, but who will control what will take place under there?”
I thought the descent was your idea?
My idea was a rather short descent emerging here (Mother points to the only opening of the original plan). A rather short descent: not a big underground passage like this.... But it’s possible, it’s a question of control, that’s all. Only, between an underground passage with room enough for two lines of people (one going up and the other going down) and emerging here, and a huge underground passage like this one, there is a big difference! And now he wants it all black on top of it!
In black marble, yes.
Yes, so then? It means one won’t see very clearly. So what will take place in there?
The underground passages aren’t in the shape of narrow passageways: there is a spiral stairway, and when you reach the top of the spiral, it branches out into a series of open staircases, hanging like footbridges. It’s not closed, it’s all suspended.
Won’t there be accidents?... Oh, there’s no lack of hallucinated people who might break their heads on the ground.... You see, it’s a little too mental to my taste, I mean that from a mental point of view it’s very attractive, but in vision …
The idea is primarily the collective construction of this underground passage as a symbol....
We’ll see! (Mother laughs)
At any rate, they should get together. Then I will see. I’d like to have the two of them together with their paper. That would be very good.
Because the one doesn’t tell me it’s the others idea – he presents it as his own (!), and the other doesn’t tell me he spoke with the first!...
But he didn’t have an opportunity to tell you.
No, but you mentioned it because I said it to you.... But I know. So, you understand, we work for “human unity,” and the workers don’t get along!
And I clearly see, I clearly see in each one what’s like this (twisted gesture). It’s not that I am surprised, but … My logic is this: “Yes, it’s very good, you are all very nice, you work for human unity – at least be united!...” Do you understand?
But I am sure that Paolo would be only too happy to get along with R.
But you surely understand that if R. has adopted Paolo’s idea, it means he admires Paolo’s intelligence, otherwise he wouldn’t have. So why one side like this and the other side …? We don’t want any more of those petty things.
But when Paolo showed me this plan, I felt something very beautiful. … I’ll tell you what I felt: I felt I was witnessing the birth of Auroville.
No, that’s not true.
The material birth, I mean.
Yes, yes, I understand, but that’s not true.
(Mother goes into a long concentration)
We’ll let the dust settle. Because, you understand, to accept those changes I must be sure that the origin of the inspiration is of the same quality as mine.... For the execution, I know very well that we need people who know the job and do the work, but for the inspiration, I must be sure that the origin of the inspiration is AT least as high as mine.... And I am not sure, because I saw so clearly. With Paolo’s ideas, I saw the mixture straight away. His ideas are all mental ideas, I can assure you because for me that’s very easy to see. Well, all of them bring along the same mixture as with anything that’s done in the world. And so … what’s the use of doing that over and over and over again?...
Something bothers me. Entering underground is very good, but that huge underground?... (Mother pulls a face)
We’ll see. Let it settle down, and we’ll see.
And for the upper part, do we keep this idea of a shell, or should it be studied further?
Shell … The idea was a sphere. Why a shell?
A “shell,” anyhow a round, spherical shape.
An eggshell is oblong, not spherical. The egg is really somewhat like a spinning top; so the upper part would be broader and the lower part narrower, with only the staircases.... That’s quite possible.
Give me a piece of paper … (Mother draws an egg while explaining). So here, all the way down, there would only be the staircases.
Like this, yes.
His idea was to reproduce Brahman’s egg – you know, the primeval egg – so that the temple would represent the primeval egg.
But then how is it. Brahman’s egg?!…
I don’t know.... Like an egg, I suppose!
An egg always has its base narrower than the top. So if we conceive of an egg like this (Mother draws) and the base to be the staircase, a spiral staircase climbing up to the temple … For instance, seven stairways.
Seven instead of twelve.
And here (Mother draws a
horizontal line across the “egg”), its
No, the walls must be straight, they cannot be curved. I saw them straight.
Straight, and higher up, rounded.
From what I had seen, the columns were higher than the walls, and that’s why the roof was sloping. And it was on top of the columns that the electric lighting was placed.
And the widest point of the egg would be here (Mother draws a line at the level of the carpet).
At ground level.
And you spoke of seven openings?
And then, an underground passageway leading to the base of the egg, from where the seven stairways begin. That’s possible.
In other words, the inner walls of the temple should be straight.
That is, for the outside, to the eye the shape can be rounded, but inside, the wall has to be straight.
A straight wall, and over it a dome.
Yes, a dome over the straight wall. But the dome can be the egg’s dome, and I thought that the point at which the dome meets the walls would be over the columns.
And here, for the outside, they can prolong the wall in a rounded shape, like this (Mother draws).
There would even be the possibility of having a space between the outermost and the innermost walls. Keeping a space here. It’s to be decided.
mean, in addition to the
Yes, that’s settled: the
And the openings for the seven stairways?
I’d rather have them outside the wall.
Yes, it would be better because that would leave more space for the Center.
Oh, yes, and the inside would be much clearer. The sight of all those staircases didn’t appeal to me. Even one I didn’t like, but seven … While outside, it’s fine.
So, a passage outside.
The passage outside.
Yes, as in India when you go around the temple.
Yes. So that’s all right.
And the seven stairways start directly from the base of the shell without that “stem” coming up from the bottom?
That’s up to them. Below, its the same to me. Whether they want a stairway like this or a stairway … As long as it’s not too steep.
(To understand which Auroville – and above all which Aurovilians – Mother is referring to here, it must be said that almost all the first newcomers, with a few remarkable exceptions, made up a rather heterogeneous group seeking holidays of sorts on an exotic Riviera and dragging behind themselves a number of unsatisfactory habits. That is what Auroville’s enemies later based themselves on to spread all kinds of mischief. It took a few years for the situation to settle and change completely, and for most of the undesirable elements to go away on their own, while fresh newcomers brought a truer aspiration.)
What else do you have?
There is the second part of the problem.
Oh, what is it?
N. and Paolo realized that if Auroville or the construction of this Center is left to Auroville’s people as separate from the Ashram, it will never work: the true force will never be there, those who are there aren’t receptive enough to do the work. If there is that break between the Ashram and Auroville, it will never work, it will be one more “construction” but not something new. According to them, the only hope is for that Center to be built not by Aurovilians but by all the Ashram people, without distinction between Aurovilians and non-Aurovilians; for the whole force to be united in the construction of this Center, rather than abandon the Aurovilians to an outer break. Just as the disciples built “Golconde” [a guest-house at the Ashram], in the same way all the disciples should build Auroville’s Center, without outside manpower.
At Golconde there was outside manpower.
Anyhow with as little as possible of the outside element, so it may be a work of consecration. Otherwise, they told me (N. especially), Auroville’s people are all full of arrogance and incomprehension, they see the outside of things. The force of the people here should be mixed into it. If the Ashram people do not mix with them, do not breathe the force into it, it will never work.... Right now, Paolo told me, Auroville as it appears from outside looks like a necropolis.
It is the “living” fruit of egoism. The only saving thing would be for the Ashram people to come in and do the work, and for the others to be absorbed in that, otherwise …
(after a long silence)
But at the Ashram, we have three centers doing building work: there is P. who looks after the maintenance of houses, A.S., and L. … A. S. isn’t equipped for that, and moreover he is too busy, because he doesn’t have just building, he has all the cars and all those lands; now I consider he is fully occupied and he does his work well, so if we tried to give him too much, he couldn’t do it well anymore. As for L., he is very interested and even said he would take care of bringing the white marble; he would himself go and choose it. He is very interested and if I told him to do it … But that wouldn’t be better.
But that’s not what he meant, he didn’t mean at all a problem of construction: he meant the problem of having the disciples work with the Aurovilians.... N., as an engineer, would look after the construction with the money collected, but the whole manpower would have to be provided by all the Ashram people mingling with the Aurovilians. That’s the idea.
That’s not possible. All the Ashram people young enough to work are working, they all have their occupation.
He saw a sort of rotation, each giving, for example, an hour a day, or a day a week. Because otherwise …
They’d be only too happy! For them it would be an extraordinary amusement! I have more difficulty preventing them from dissipating their energies than I would have trying to get them to do some work! For them it would be an amusement.
Because he says that if there isn’t the inner force of the Ashram people mingling with the Aurovilians, the Aurovilians will remain what they are. There is a break between Auroville and the Ashram.
As for me, I don’t find it sufficient.
Well, then …!
I don’t find it sufficient. It’s not at all on the same level. The people here …
You just have to imagine I were gone.
Just imagine that and you’ll see, you’ll soon see what will happen.
Well, it’s the only hope.
If they come and tell me, “you have to take the responsibility,” ah, then I would say, “They are quite right.” That’s quite different. They have been beside the point. It’s not that.
But, Mother, I think that’s what they mean, isn’t it? (Mother laughs)
They don’t think clearly! It’s a muddled thought.
When they say that all the disciples here should take part in Auroville s construction, as was done for Golconde, they mean that you are the one who gives the disciples the impulse to come and participate in the work. That was the idea. But you say there should be a separation on the contrary – no mixture.
(Laughing) If you knew things as they are!... Auroville people bring drugs here, they bring … all kinds of things.
Yes, yes, I know – I know, Mother. That’s why he says the only hope is …
Is for them to go and catch all those things there!
He says, “Otherwise, there is no hope.”
Oh no, he doesn’t know! It’s all in the mentality, all in the mind. They don’t know. who knows? It’s only when one sees. There isn’t one who sees.
It’s all thoughts and thoughts and thoughts – you can’t build with thoughts.
Can the elements in Auroville do the work?
I am working and working (gesture of kneading) to gather the energies that can do the work. And there has to be some sifting there.
But you understand, they speak of physical work, and for physical work there are only the young ones at the School – all the ashramites have become old, mon petit! They are all old. There are only the young ones at the School, and those are not here to become ashramites, they’re here to be educated – it’s for them to choose.... Many of them, many want to go to Auroville. So that would mean the Ashram’s education going to Auroville – there are many of them. But … give me names: who can go and work with his hands?
But, Mother, the only possibility is for you to SAY; and then, tomorrow I’ll go and spend two hours in Auroville picking up baskets [of rubble]!
(Mother laughs) Mon petit, you’re one of the youngest!... Can you picture me telling Nolini, “Go and work”!
Oh, but that would pull all the others along.... Anyway, that’s N.’s and Paolo’s idea.
(Mother laughs) Poor Nolini!
If you knew how many letters I receive from so-called Aurovilians, saying, “Oh, I want to be in peace at last, I want to come to the Ashram, I no longer want to be an Aurovilian.” So there. It’s just the opposite: “I want to be in peace.” There you are.
As for me, you know, I don’t believe in external decisions. Simply, I believe in only one thing: the force of Consciousness exerting a pressure like this (crushing gesture). And the Pressure keeps increasing.... Which means it’s going to sift people.
Otherwise, there would be no solution, because, you see, in the past (just some ten years ago) I used to go about and see things.... But that’s over. It wasn’t a decision I made, I didn’t at all think it was over, it’s not that at all: it was something that compelled me. You understand? So I said all right. It’s not incapacity: this body is extremely docile, it does everything it’s asked to do; if it were asked to go out, it would manage to go out. It’s extremely docile. But that’s how it is, there is a Command: NO. And I know why....
So, you know, I only believe in this: the pressure of the Consciousness. All the rest is all the things people do; they do them well or not so well, it all lives and dies and changes and gets distorted and … – all the things they’ve done. It’s not worth it. The power of execution has to come from above, like this, imperative (gesture of descent). And for that, this (Mother points to her forehead) has to keep still. It shouldn’t say, “Oh, we don’t want this, oh, we want that, oh, we must do this …” – Peace, peace, peace, He knows better than you what needs to be done. There.
And as not many can understand, I don’t say anything: I look and wait.
I LOOK.... For instance, I am given a piece of paper as you just did when you gave me that drawing, I look like that, and I very clearly see the part in the paper that’s the result from above, the part that has got mixed, the part... Like that. But you don’t go and say all that! – Moreover they wouldn’t believe me.
I understand very well – very well – why Sri Aurobindo didn’t say “superman,” why he said “supramental.” He didn’t say “superman” because he didn’t want it to be “an improved man,” that’s not it. He said supramental because … He said, leave all this.
Supramental – supra, you understand?
These last few days, I saw the photos of those who went to the moon.... Have you seen them? Did you see how decked out they were?
Yes, I saw.
Ah … so they’ve become machines.
That’s right – robots.
Yes, and then (laughing), the Russians said, Why not send robots, it’s not worth sending men!... That’s the point.
You see, N. has spent his time speaking ill of R. as much as he could, saying all his plans are bad and his work couldn’t succeed. R. has spent his time saying, “N. has ruined all my work!” And another says, “This fellow …” and this fellow says, “That fellow …” and they are all like that! So I see in a definite way that IF the work is to be done, FIRST they have to overcome all this mean, petty humanity. They “see,” they have “ideas” (they have lots of ideas), they have ideas and they see; others see other things and have other ideas, and then, “Oh, that’s worthless, my idea is the right one....” They’re all like that! And my whole action is like this: a PRESSURE on them to make them abdicate their little person. Until it abdicates, the work CANNOT be done.
As a matter of fact, they seek all kinds of reasons so as not to see the true one.
We need … phew, a little air!
The body – this body – is undergoing a discipline, you know, oh, terrible.... But it doesn’t complain, it’s happy, it asks for it. And it sees how we are full of very small things that are ceaselessly hindering the action of the Force. Well, the first thing is to get rid of all that. We must be like this (gesture of surrender, open) and receive the Force. Then all inspirations will come, and not only inspirations but the means of execution, and the true thing. Otherwise …
And since not all of them are quite ready, I do what the Consciousness does: I apply the Pressure and say nothing – I wait (Mother laughs).
If you knew all that takes place, you’d find it very funny.... The whole side of agriculture, same thing; the whole side of education, same thing; everywhere the same thing.... The international side, same thing: everywhere, everywhere, Man (Mother inflates her cheeks), Man puffing himself up....
first they must understand: abdicate. Then we will see.
Do I convey your message to them?
Oh, no, mon petit! Poor things, they will be terrified!
Do you think so? It would do them good.
Oh, no, no, they’ll be in a tizzy. The Pressure is the best thing. Because they don’t understand what you think, they don’t understand what you say: they understand what they have inside their heads. They change the meaning of the words.... Like what happened with A.R., remember how he took it as a personal attack.
Yes, that’s true! That’s true, I noticed it: they take it as a personal attack.
Exactly. But everywhere that’s the difficulty: the person first. So that spoils everything.
You speak the truth objectively as you see it, and it’s as if you were attacking them!
Attacking them, yes. So we must wait and wait till they are ripe – a lot of time is wasted, you understand. It’s better not to say anything: apply the Pressure. Oh, I am pitiless! (Mother laughs a lot)
So what do I do in the middle of all these people?
You can tell them that... In fact, R. spoke to me (it was the same thing with other words) and I didn’t say either yes or no, I was waiting because I wanted to know how others saw the thing. So now I have seen, I see that they agree. If they can agree, the work will go faster! So there. Objections of detail don’t matter because you start with one idea and end with another – you progress a lot in between. So it doesn’t need discussion, it’s only … Only, try to put your energies together so as to start sooner, that’s all! (Mother laughs)
What’s the time?
Oh, it’s very late, Mother, half past eleven.
January 21, 1970
(Mother listens to the English translation of the conversation of 13
Is it the end?
(To Nolini, in English:) You think it’s all right? It won’t create a great confusion?... I am not sure.
They’re going to feel quite lost.
(Satprem:) You go to the heart of the problem – to the heart of all problems.
Yes, but … (Mother laughs)
People have a thousand and one difficulties, but there is only ONE difficulty; there are a thousand and one facets but there’s only ONE problem. It’s clearly put here.
They’re going to be terrified!
What should be said is that in this Consciousness where the two contraries, the two opposites are united, the nature of both changes. They don’t remain as they are. It’s not that they unite and remain the same: the nature of both changes. And that’s quite important. Their nature, their action, their vibration are completely different the minute they unite. It’s separation that made them what they are.
Separation must be done away with, then their very nature changes: it’s no longer “good” and “evil” but something else, which is complete. It’s complete.
It’s on the borderline … all that is on the borderline.... When will the Thing come?... I don’t know.
January 28, 1970
(Satprem first reads out to Mother his preface to the second edition of Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness. We publish it here to give the temperature of the times.)
“The age of adventures is over. Even if we go to the seventh galaxy, we will go there helmeted and mechanised, and we will find ourselves exactly as we are: children in the face of death, living beings who are not too sure how they live or why, nor where they are going. On the earth, as we know, the times of Cortez and Pizarro are gone: a single Machine hems us in, the trap is closing. But, as always, it turns out that our darkest adversities are our best opportunities, and the obscure transition is only a transition leading to a greater light. That is why we are pushed to the wall and faced with the last exploration left to us, the ultimate adventure: ourselves.
“The signs abound, they are simple and obvious. The most important event of the sixties is not the trip to the moon, but the ‘trips’ on drugs, the great hippie migration, and the student unrest throughout the world – but where will they go? There is no more room on the teeming beaches, no more room on the bustling roads, no more room in the ever-growing anthills of our cities. The way out is elsewhere.
“But there are many kinds of ‘elsewheres.’ Those of drugs are uncertain and fraught with danger, and above all dependent on outer means – an experience ought to be obtainable at will and anywhere, in the marketplace as in the solitude of our room, or else it is not an experience but an anomaly or slavery. Those of psychoanalysis are limited, for the moment, to a few dimly lit caves, and above all lack that lever of consciousness which enables us to move about at will, as our own masters and not as helpless witnesses or sickly victims. Those of religion are more illumined, but they too depend on a god or a dogma, and above all confine us within one type of experience, for one can be a prisoner of other worlds as much as of this one – even more so....
“... In the end, the value of an experience is measured by its power to transform life; otherwise, we are before an empty dream or a hallucination.
“Sri Aurobindo leads us to a twofold discovery which we urgently need if we want not only to find a way out of our suffocating chaos, but also to transform our world. By following him step by step in his prodigious exploration – his technique of inner spaces, if we may say so – we are led to the most important discovery of all times, to the threshold of the Great Secret which is to change the face of this world, namely, that consciousness is power. Hypnotized as we are by the present ‘inescapable’ scientific conditions in which we were born, we seem to find hope only in an ever more enormous proliferation of machines, which will see better than we do, hear better than we do, calculate better than we do, heal better than we do – and finally perhaps live better than we do....
“... We need to know that we can do better than they, and that this huge Machine which is stifling us can collapse as quickly as it came into being, if only we are willing to seize the lever of the true power and descend into our own hearts as methodical, rigorous and clearheaded explorers.
“Then we may discover that our splendid twentieth century was still the Stone Age of psychology, that with all our science we had not yet entered the true science of living, the mastery of the world and of ourselves, and that there open up before us horizons of perfection and harmony and beauty compared to which our superb discoveries are like the roughcasts of an apprentice.”
It’s very good, very good … it’s magnificent. That really has a dynamic force.
Not last night but the night before, for the first time I saw – it was the first time – Sri Aurobindo drive the car. He was driving the car, I was there right behind him, and then the whole world seemed to be there. But between me and Sri Aurobindo, that is to say, between the world and Sri Aurobindo, there was what looked like one of those screens at the front [a windshield], but it was a mat so that one couldn’t see through. I myself could see, but the others couldn’t, and I saw Sri Aurobindo at the wheel, and he was the one who was driving. He was … ageless, with an extraordinary power, and a mastery in the driving, extraordinary! And it was as if … he were beginning to drive the world.
I said to myself, “How come …?” It’s the first time. I see him almost every night, but always busy, going here and there, doing this or staying still or seeing people, or apparently doing nothing. But here, he was driving the car – it was the car of the world – and there was a screen so people wouldn’t see it was him.... The whole, entire world was at the back, and people didn’t know, but it was driven with extraordinary sureness and speed.
When I woke up, I had the impression that something had really changed.
It’s obviously the coming of the centenary [in 1972].... Still, there was a screen, but he was the one who was driving.
Now I understand my vision.
It was that force, that power in him … it was tremendous.
It was a rather peculiar night.... An old friend of Amrita’s died in the night: Ganeshan. I didn’t know. And it was …
How can I really explain?... The body, the body consciousness was the consciousness of a dying body, and at the same time with the perfect knowledge that it wasn’t dying. But it was the consciousness of a dying body, with all the anguish, all the suffering, all those things, but there was the knowledge that it wasn’t this (Mother points to her own body) that was dying. And it lasted a long time: it lasted all night – he died very early this morning. Afterwards, I knew (only a few hours afterwards, when I was told that he had left), then I understood.... That man was very ardent in his devotion and he had long known that he was going to die; his sons had proposed to take him away for treatment – he said, “No, I want to die at the Ashram, I don’t want to leave the atmosphere....” And I understand why, because … you see, the consciousness was there helping him all along, he instantly had the reaction this body [Mother’s] would have, you understand? Which means he died in particularly favorable conditions. My body was like this (gesture of surrender) and saying, “All right. Lord, it’s as You will, I am quite ready.” At the same time, it perfectly had the knowledge: “But you aren’t dying!...” Like that.
But that’s how it was, it said, “Very well, if You have decided. You have decided....” And it knew. I can’t say it spent a good night, no! But the consciousness was very, very, very conscious, oh!...
So then, when it [the body] was told in the morning that that man had left (laughing), it laughed, it said, “Oh, so that’s what it was!...”
But it was interesting. And it’s after this (I forget at what time, but probably when it felt it was over or was going to be over – at any rate the intensity of the “operation” was past) that I immediately had that vision: the body entered its usual rest, and the next thing, I was in that car – that world car driven by Sri Aurobindo... And so, so TRULY clear, living, real – extraordinary!
January 31, 1970
Someone wrote to me from France that he had tried everything, that everything had failed, that he is quite desperate and … So I answered this:
It is when all appears to be lost that all can be saved.
When one has lost trust in one’s personal power, one must have faith in the Divine Grace.
It’s useful for many.
It has been said I don’t know how many times, but it always seems necessary to repeat it.
So the old system of personal property is collapsing in the world. Only, as usual, it collapses in a disgusting manner.... Here, they’ve set up a spying system all over the country, a repugnant espionage, for people who send money from one place to another so as to make more money. Me, I don’t care, because I don’t do anything, but I know that some people here do it. And I wouldn’t want us to get into trouble.
S. was denounced because she has money (I don’t know what precisely, I don’t even understand this business), anyhow that money went to a friend in America, who sent it to her so she could have it. Then some people came to ask her for explanations. But everything look place quite decently.... Anyway, I mean that even the Ashram is under suspicion.
So if someone ever confides something in you, tell him to be careful.
The people who came to see S. told her they were from the [All India] Radio, can you imagine! (Despicable little fibs of the sort, full of lies.) They came and told her they were from the Radio; naturally, she received them, answered them, and then they asked some questions: “Did you receive money? From whom? How?…” So of course, she answered the truth. Then she wrote to me. I gave her letter over to C. and told him, “What on earth is all this about?” He said that a few people here have been troubled like that.... And they have a spying system everywhere so as to catch people who do that.
I just can’t understand it, besides. What harm there can be in receiving money from here rather than from there, I don’t know! What can be wrong in that I just don’t understand.
But in India’s constitution there was an article stating that personal property could in no way be taken away, in other words affirming the right to personal property. Now they’ll remove it, they will say that “in certain cases” it can be taken away. So you understand …
It’s obvious, I know it: it’s past, it will go – personal property is the past. Only … You see, the Russians said it was the State that replaced the person, and then (laughing) what happened with the State? – It’s the State that has grown rich at the expense of everybody else. Now they are back-pedaling. But the other countries, without having the common sense of benefiting from the experience, want to follow the same blunder....
But no one has yet dared to say: money is a force and belongs to nobody, but it must be used by the most disinterested and clearsighted person (or persons) in the country.
We haven’t come to that point yet.
Far from it! It will lake a few hundred years – maybe not so much.
It’s very simple, they dare not tell you, “You have no money anymore, it’s not yours,” but they prevent you from spending it as you wish, where you wish – you no longer have that right. You no longer have the right to use it as you like; it’s not taken away from you, but you can’t use it. So what use is it?
But there is an extraordinary satisfaction, really a tremendous satisfaction in being able to say, “Me, I have nothing – nothing.” (Mother laughs).... Once someone (Sri Aurobindo was still here) complained about the “luxury” I lived in, and Sri Aurobindo replied: “The Mother does not regard the dresses she wears to be her personal property, but they are lent to her so we may have a pleasant-looking Mother (!) and if she were to leave her post, she would leave her dresses too!” (Mother laughs a lot)
Life is fun, let me assure you!
Do you have news of your book?
That person who was supposed to look after it hasn’t sent any news?
No, no news. …I don’t quite know what attitude I should have with regard to this book. Not that I worry, but …I think about it. I wonder whether it’s guided?
You know, mon petit, more and more and in an absolute way, I SEE – I see, I feel that everything is decided.
Everything is decided.
And each thing has a raison d’être – which eludes us because our vision isn’t wide enough.
You understand, if it were otherwise, life, existence, anyway the world, would have no meaning.
It’s … it’s a sort of absolute conviction. And I see it, you know, it’s something I see. How could I put it?... That conviction, I am now paying for it! The body, in its transfer of authority (what I call the transfer) goes through difficult moments, really difficult, and then, seen with the ordinary vision, it would make no sense because difficulties appear to increase with what we might call the “conversion,” but … to the true vision (when you are IN the true vision) it’s what is left of Falsehood that is the cause of all unpleasantness (what’s still mixed). Even quite materially (morally, it’s been conquered for a long time: with the disappearance of desire, ALL torments disappear and are replaced by a perpetual smile, absolutely sincere – not willed, but effortless, natural and spontaneous), but what I mean is PHYSICALLY, materially: discomforts and difficulties and all that. It’s the same thing. It’s the same thing, but … one is less ready, you understand; matter is slower to be transformed, so there is more resistance.
The only solution, every minute and in every case, is … (gesture of surrender): “What You will.” In other words, the abolition of preference and desire. Even the preference not to suffer.
But what’s hard to understand is that this Consciousness …I can understand that it guides everything in the immensity and eternity, but does it guide everything down to the smallest detail? That’s the …
In the microscopic.
In the microscopic.
That’s just what I was seeing, I understand why. This morning the problem was there: the individual consciousness, even very vast, cannot realize, that is to say, cannot concretely understand the possibility of being conscious of everything at the same time. Because that’s not the way it is. So it finds it difficult to understand that the Consciousness is conscious of EVERYTHING at the same time: in the whole, in the totality as well as in the smallest detail. That …
Yes, it’s difficult.... But it’s comforting!
Ah, that makes you very peaceful, very peaceful.... The other day I told you that the body had had the experience of dying without dying, and it was useful in that the body said, “Well... it’s all right.”
Accept without... (what’s the word?) without effort – ADHERE. Then it’s over. The entire old illusion of disappearing with the body’s dissolution, it’s a long time since it went away, of course, and now the body itself is quite convinced that even if it were scattered like that [in “death”], that would widen its field of consciousness.... I don’t even know how to explain because for the consciousness, this sense of the personal and the need of the personal has vanished.
I clearly see, the body clearly realizes that it’s only its own resistance – its resistance to the Truth – that makes it possible for it to suffer. Wherever there is complete adherence, suffering disappears instantly.
But it’s the same thing for countries and nations: it’s the same change of authority. Instead of personal authorities, there will be a divine authority, and the same change of authority causes the unspeakable chaos we live in – because of the resistance.
The nearer a part of the being (any part) draws to the moment of the transition, that is, the more ready it is for that transition, the more sensitive it becomes. And then, when you reach the point where you can go beyond the stage of problems and see with the universal vision, problems take on, to the personal sensitiveness, a most intense acuteness. I had noticed it before, and now it’s recurring for the body. It’s acquiring a … terrifying sensitiveness, you understand. People who don’t know why things are like that really get terrified.... The possibility of discomfort, of … It’s the same thing with problems. Only, for those who KNOW and who have understood, it’s the opportunity of making the last progress, of doing this (Mother opens her hands upward).
Basically, what still has the illusion of being something separate must dissolve. It must say to itself, “Its not my business, I don’t exist.” That’s the best attitude it can take. Then … it goes into the great Universal Rhythm.
February 4, 1970
(Mother looks tired.)
Do you have something to say?... Neither do I.... I have nothing at all.
Are you tired?
Not that. Its difficult.
(Mother goes into a long meditation which lasts the whole time)
More and more, the sense of the uselessness of all one says, especially that.
All words are an approximation – an approximation.
February 7, 1970
(We will never know how or why, but a perceptible change in Mother’s condition can almost be dated from that day.)
Someone has given me a fantastic cold, I cough and cough and cough. The whole day yesterday, I was unwell.
I feel as if we are going through a storm.
Oh!... Oh, it’s worse than a storm.
Ill wills, denunciations, the government is alarmed. I have been told to beware of someone you know … a marquis.
Oh, yes, I know.
Yes, they’ve been pursuing this man. For ten years, they prevented him from entering India. He is blacklisted, suspected of …
No, no, smuggling.
Oh, all right. I find spying disgusting, but I don’t care about smuggling!
But the best part is that there’s no smuggling! The thing is that ten years ago, he bought from the Nizam of Hyderabad a magnificent palace which was used by the Begum, a very beautiful palace. It aroused jealousies and they harassed him out of it, anyway a loathsome affair. So they heaped all kinds of accusations on him, and for ten years they prevented him from returning to India.
Oh!... They told me to beware, as if they were doing me a “great favor”!
What a nerve!
I answered, “I saw this man, I found him fine!” (Mother laughs)
I know him very well, they’ve suffered a lot, especially his Indian wife, whom for ten years they prevented from returning to India.
So they’ve been blacklisted and they can’t extricate themselves from this affair. Wherever they go, they are followed, spied upon, undressed and searched at airports – it’s infernal.
I’m glad I told you about it, because one thing I don’t like is spying, I don’t care about the rest. And that’s precisely what you can’t find out, because even while denouncing they take great care not to say anything. I simply answered, “I saw this man, he is very fine.”
But he’s a true marquis, a knight.
He is a gentleman.
What I’d like is for him to be freed from this thing weighing down on him.
But governments are the slaves of their red tape.
This morning I was much better, and then it fell back on me (gesture like a truckload being dumped).... It will pass.
Yes, one does feel a tension, the atmosphere is a little difficult.
There is a rage somewhere.
Exactly like something raging.
The trouble is all those people who bring me this.... I’ll manage to put things more or less back in order, and then brrf! they’ll dump another truckload on me, and it all comes back.
Materially, the people of the [French] Consulate are set against us, and they’ve succeeded in getting into the Ashram an old lady who does “charitable works” and wants to take S. away to keep her company I told S., “If you can convert her, go and come back with her” (she was to come back in six months), “come back in six months after converting her....” Very rich, a very rich lady … who’s wasting all her money in “charitable works.” It seems they have kinds of homes where they distribute clothes and food, while putting on airs … – horrible, horrible.
Yes, charity is a horrible thing.
Oh, for me it’s a horrible thing. It’s a way of puffing oneself up. So I told S., “If you can convert her …” She is very rich (laughing), it would be quite useful!
But you said that the Consulate is against us?
Yes, she is a friend of the Consulate.
I think the Consul’s wife never forgave me for what I told her.
Oh, but they’re ACTIVELY against us.... They’ve accused us of hospitalizing or anyway receiving those hooligans who came recently, who take drugs and all that – there’s a whole band of them putting up at Parc a Charbon, and they say we had them come.
But, Mother, I find those “hooligans” much better than all those consuls!
At least, something there has become emancipated (in a certain way).
Yes, but … not all are really fine.
Of course, there’s a bit of everything. But there’s nothing worse than people shut up in their righteous certainty.
But it has touched from here to here (Mother points the top of the chest, throat and nose): all that’s in relationship with people. It was as if full of knots, there were difficulties; so the time has come when it had to be clarified. That was quite all right, I felt the Work, but then it has been made worse with all kinds of things which didn’t exactly “fall” on me, but which were brought to me. It has become a bit difficult.
It was from here to here (same gesture), what’s in relationship with the world. It was still here this morning.
So it began with the nose, the throat, and then it came here (chest), coughing and coughing and coughing....
Anyway, I am happy with your marquis. That business was getting on my nerves.
It’s the same thing: now they are hypnotized with this business of “exchange.” It comes from the collective imbecility which has accepted all those rules of exchange – it should never have been subjected to rules, because, naturally, the minute there is a rule, it’s meant to be broken. And then, everyone does it on the sly, oh!... I got a letter from a man (I didn’t get it directly, it came through someone), a man who offered, if I gave him the dollars I receive (I receive a good deal of them – not a huge lot, but still, regularly enough), if I gave him the dollars, he offered to give me eleven rupees a dollar, sometimes twelve.... I didn’t answer. But then, they’re all there, watching whether there’s anything to … It’s disgusting.
The man said, “I don’t do it for everyone, I give the regular ten for one, but FOR YOU I’ll do it” (!) You know, it didn’t have a pleasant smell. I said, “Yes, so people can say, ‘The Mother does it’ – thank you very much!”
Basically, its the pleasure of cheating more than anything else – one or two rupees more, what does it matter? It’s nothing. You excite people – when you tell them it’s “prohibited,” they’re instantly eager to do it.
Oh, please (pointing to the tape recorder), you must erase that because … it’s dangerous!
Still, I felt there was something.... What?... Ah, the Aphorisms.... Have you read yesterday’s?
On the anarchic state?
Yes! It’s fine, isn’t it?
320 – The anarchic is the true divine state of man in the end as in the beginning; but in between it would lead us straight to the devil and his kingdom.
And what do I answer to the previous aphorism?
319 – Governments, societies, kings, police, judges, institutions, churches …
Yes, he put everything into it: religions and police together!
Yes, it goes together!
I was delighted.
... laws, customs, armies are temporary necessities imposed on us for a few groups of centuries because God has concealed His face from us. When it appears to us again in its truth and beauty, then in that light they will vanish.
And what did I answer?
“The anarchic state is the government of everyone by himself. “And it will be the perfect government when everyone is conscious of the inner Divine and obeys Him and Him alone.”
I’ll write, then a sequel will come, but I don’t have the time to note it down.
Someone from Auroville wrote to me that he thought he had come here to obey no one but himself (or words to that effect), but he noticed there are rules and laws. And he said, “I am not going to do any of this; I am a free man and refuse to do this.” This was reported to me, naturally, so I wrote to him (I don’t remember): “One is free only when one is conscious of the Divine and conscious that it is the Divine who makes decisions in everyone, otherwise one is the slave of one’s desires, one’s habits, of all conventions....” I sent him that, and he kept quiet.
That’s what I wanted to add here [to this aphorism]. We should say: One is free only when it is the Divine who makes decisions in each of us, otherwise men are the slaves of their desires, their habits, of all conventions, all laws, all rules.... And the more they think themselves free, the more bound they are!
What do you have to say?
Have you been told that recently in France, some six or seven students have set themselves on fire?
Set themselves …
... on fire, and they died.
Seventeen- or eighteen-year-old boys.
It’s the latest fad – here also they wanted to do the same thing.... What’s that?
A protest against this suffocating society.
How horrible.... In France?
Do we know what was in their minds?... Because I said this to myself: if … what I know, for instance, the fact that death really does not exist, that it’s … a very small difference (people think it’s a huge difference – it’s a very small difference), but if people were to know that too soon, A LOT OF THEM would go away....
So I’d really like to know what was in the minds of those boys who went away? Whether they knew, whether they were boys with a spiritual life or …? Because, of course, the first stage once one knows that... if one knew that death really isn’t such a total difference as people think, if they knew what it really is without having the inner realization of self-giving, all those who felt hurt would say, “I’m going!…”
All at once I understood that, and I said to myself it’s an infinite Wisdom again, an infinite Grace that man does not know – does not know what death is, he thinks it’s the end.
That would be interesting to know.
As far as we’ve been told, the students who have reacted are from a very average milieu. One of them said it was in protest against the slaughter in Biafra....
In Africa. One entire African tribe (the Ibos) has been half annihilated with the complicity of the English, the Russians, these and those others and so on.
Because they wanted to secede.
That’s incredible!... No, I am not aware of what’s going on.
Those territories used to belong to the British, they were unified under the thumb of the British, and when the British left one whole tribe wanted to secede and the other side tried to prevent secession with weapons from Britain, weapons from Russia, weapons … So little by little they have been crushed. The only country which did protest is France.
Anyway, there’s a whole political affair which isn’t very pretty. But in the mind of one of those students, it was to “atone for the slaughter in Biafra.”
In fact, it is a protest against this society … this false society without future.
Yes, what’s going on on the earth is really ugly.
Yes, it’s ugly.
A few days ago, I had the visit of a woman from Vietnam (I think she is from Vietnam), whom I had already seen many years ago. So she came back and saw me. She sat down in front of me (a small woman, short and plump, very sweet), and she said, “I have come because we have been at war for twenty-five years....” And there was such sorrow in her atmosphere, it was … oh, so pitiful! “For twenty-five YEARS we have been at war,” she told me, “so I have come: can we hope for peace?...” And I felt … (Mother closes her eyes).
That’s it: they are so proud because they go to the moon, and they’re slaughtering each other on the earth.
There are many things I understand now.... When I am in the terrestrial consciousness, there are GREAT waves of something so miserable, so … such a pitiful sorrow.... It comes in waves. Then, if I am perfectly quiet, still, doing nothing, in response to that the Force descends like this and enters, penetrates into it. And it does a lot of work.
That atmosphere is full of an anguish that so much calls for a response, and so it comes, and after … (sometimes it takes a long time, hours) but it penetrates, it spreads. But I don’t always have the time. In the morning especially, I always see lots of people (Wednesdays and Saturdays are the two days when I’ve done away with it, but even then I’ll see some twenty people before you!), and that causes a dissipation of forces. So that’s the form it takes (Mother points to her throat): increased disorder. Otherwise, when I am alone, that is at night (it’s only at night), when I am like that, lying on my bed, then … then its all right. But it’s the anguish of the world! Now I understand (I am not aware of what goes on), but it was so dreadful! I felt, I said to myself, “What is it? What’s going on that can cause this?...” People themselves are so unconscious. Did I tell you the story of those poor little seals?…
Such unconsciousness! If they could only feel a little the suffering they inflict on others, it might make them stop (?)
So it’s this part (Mother points to her throat, coughing), it’s in relationship with the world.
This traveling from Inconscience to Consciousness has been going on for a long time – but how much longer will it have to last?... It’s … at bottom it’s a horrible thing.
But I understand one thing, it’s that there should be EITHER the Supreme Consciousness OR inconscience; it’s the transition between the two that’s horrible: a half consciousness is still worse.
The sort of artificial harmony the body lives in is due almost entirely to the unconsciousness it lives in, and as soon as a little consciousness comes in, it throws everything off balance; if too much comes in, the body can’t bear it anymore. I see that now.... So, on a tremendous scale …? I remember, I had two or three nights … (Mother shakes her head inexpressibly).
A few people here fell ill suddenly and unexpectedly, and some of them were conscious: they wrote to me that they suddenly became conscious of “something else” – something they didn’t know – and it was in the imbalance caused by their illness that they suddenly caught that.
There’s a VERY STRONG action. But, of course, people expect everything to go smoothly according to their conception, and then they are surprised: how come this divine Consciousness is at work and there are so many difficult or painful or unexpected things?... – They don’t understand. But this body understands very well! Not for one minute has it complained. It hasn’t even … not for a second has it put the blame on others. It only said to itself, “Poor thing, you still have quite a lot of this old Disorder.”
Oh, a lot remains to be done.
And then, I get letters (from children) asking me, “Why? Why has the Supreme Lord allowed things to be like this?...” That’s what I receive most often.
But as soon as there is a TRUE contact … it’s over.
Then there are those who said (I forget who, in what religion), “But God does not suffer!...” (Mother laughs) So that made people still more furious: “Yes, HE doesn’t suffer; he makes us all suffer while HE doesn’t!” (Mother laughs) Maybe he finds it amusing!
I remember that poor Bharatidi (she was a rebel), once, long ago, we prepared together a play to be staged, and one day she told me (we were with all those who were going to play), “To think that God sees all this and tolerates it!” (Mother laughs) I told her, “Maybe he doesn’t see it as we do!”
I found it amusing because she was a very intelligent woman. But that … (Mother laughs).
(silence, Mother coughs)
What time is it?
Twenty past eleven.
Already … I was going to propose a meditation, but it’s too late.
(Mother takes roses) Here, today I’ll do this way....
(Mother gives the yellow rose for Sujata together with the red rose for Satprem)
(Taking Satprem’s hands:) My hands have no cold!
February 11, 1970
(Mother coughs, her voice is quite hoarse.)
I’m not well. Impossible to speak. Have you received the Aphorisms?
324 – “Freedom, equality, brotherhood,” cried the French revolutionists, but in truth freedom only has been practised with a dose of equality; as for brotherhood, only a brotherhood of Cain was founded – and of Barabbas. Sometimes it calls itself a Trust or Combine and sometimes the Concert of Europe.
325 – “Since liberty has failed,” cries the advanced thought of Europe, “let us try liberty cum equality or, since the two are a little hard to pair, equality instead of liberty. For brotherhood, it is impossible; therefore we will replace it by industrial association.” But this time also, I think. God will not be deceived.
(Satprem reads out Mother’s answer)
“For the moment still, liberty, equality, fraternity are nothing but words loudly proclaimed but never put into practice yet. They cannot be, so long as men remain as they are, governed by their ego and all its desires instead of being governed solely by the One Supreme and supremely Divine.”
And I added:
“Liberty cannot be manifested until all men know the freedom of the Supreme Lord. “Equality cannot be manifested until all men are conscious of the Supreme Lord. “Fraternity cannot be manifested until all men feel equally issued from the Supreme Lord and ‘one’ in His Unity”
It appears impossible to humanity, but it will probably be possible for the new species.
Another thing … (Mother holds out another note). I can’t see clearly.... It was a young girl who was terribly troubled by other’s opinions, so I answered her:
“The Supreme Lord’s opinion
alone matters. “The Supreme Lord alone
deserves all our love
and gives it back a hundredfold.”
I’m not well (Mother holds her head in her hands). My head, never in my life has it been like this. I hear noise inside and …
It began this morning, it was full of something which … I don’t know what it is. And people are pressing and pressing and pressing – how many! I’ve never seen so many.... Yesterday morning I was almost cured, I thought it was over, and then I saw people till half past twelve. So after that …
Do you have anything?... Then I won’t speak.
I’ll see you on Saturday, I hope it will be over.
My head has never been in such a state.... The consciousness is very clear, very clear.... Strange.... My head feels as if it’s this big (gesture), as if it had become huge.
One [French] embassy attaché came, dined at the Consulate with R. and F. and Baron [former governor of Pondicherry]; it was his daughter who came at Auroville’s inauguration to put soil from France. So he asked all sorts of questions and was very interested. … A new ambassador is coming, he is hoped to be better.... The previous one was quite anti-Ashram. But the new one is hoped to be better, this attaché came for the new ambassador.
February 18, 1970
(Since early February Mother has been coughing a lot. On the 14th, Mother was unwell and could not see Satprem. The following conversation is very important as it marks the visible beginning of a conflict that might be called “medical” and was going to assume acute proportions with every passing year.)
I’ve never had such a cold in my whole life! Last night I had a kind of physical nightmare!... Never in my life have I had such things.... I can’t say I was quite asleep, but … How can I explain? It’s a mixture between something that tries to find its true inner remedy, and the Doctor who says that if I don’t take medicines it’ll go on “for months”!
Yes, they always say that.
Oh, but it would take hours to tell it all. It’s certainly in the material world. So then (laughing), last night, suddenly I saw two tall figures with human shapes, but all gray and you couldn’t make out eyes or nose and so on. They had a human shape and all gray; they were the two “doctors” (what doctors I don’t know), and they were discussing. My body was on the bed (though I think I wasn’t sitting, yet I wasn’t standing!), and they were discussing together but without words. It looked like kinds of beings in a lower vital world, huge, tall beings – tall, strong, formidable. Then one of them, in his demonstration, pointed to my heart with his finger, and his finger touched – I let out a scream! A physical scream!
I wasn’t happy.
Never, never, never touched, never. Once, I had a very high fever, 108°, it was tremendous (it didn’t last long, a few hours); I had caught that when I went to a gathering of workers doing a puja or something. I had caught a fever. But Sri Aurobindo was there. And I saw, I saw all the beings of the most material vital charging (gesture of onslaught on the body). I remember that, it was in Sri Aurobindo’s time (quite a long time ago). I saw them, and I said to Sri Aurobindo, “So that’s what gives people dreadful nightmares.” They would draw near (they would try to), and on touching Sri Aurobindo’s presence around me they would draw back, then they would come back again and would be repulsed – it lasted the whole night. But last night, it wasn’t that.... Naturally, Sri Aurobindo wasn’t there physically, and … I saw those beings. The main thing is that when that being in his demonstration touched me with his finger, it made me scream – I screamed materially.
Yes, he touched you.
Ah, yes – he was able to touch me.
All that because of the “doctors.”
Yes, they pretended to be doctors.
Ah, materially one isn’t well protected, otherwise things wouldn’t be like that.... Materially I am protected only when I am not asleep, wholly concentrated and absolutely still, without speaking to anyone, in contact with nothing around and only wrapped, as it were, in the divine Presence. Then it’s fine. But things are far from being like that! (Mother coughs)
You can put it in the Agenda, but we shouldn’t speak about it. In the Agenda, yes, but not otherwise.
But you know, Mother, several times I had that sort of “medical dream” in winch a kind of doctor comes under the pretext of curing you and hurts you terribly, or else tries to operate on you, wants to torture the body in order to operate on you. So in the beginning you are quite submissive, you say, “All right, I have to be operated on,” and then finally the consciousness returns and you reject that so-called doctor. It’s happened often to me. A being who claims he comes to cure you: a “doctor.”
I think that’s it, I think there are beings from the vital who use … who use what’s left of unconsciousness in doctors.
But once it happened to Sri Aurobindo: at night – once at night – he screamed. And afterwards he said it was in the material world: beings from the most material vital, but which are in the earth atmosphere, not in the vital atmosphere.
It may be vital entities that are the residues of dead people – it’s possible. But it may also be kinds of half materializations of beings from the vital itself: beings from the vital.
But my whole life I’ve had that sort of white light – not transparent white, white like … like whiteness, you understand. That light, which is extremely intense. Never, never did they come near – they couldn’t come near that. There was only that night when I had a fever (it was … I think it was in 1918, something like that … no, in 1920), but then, I had caught the fever with people. Otherwise, never, never could they come near.
February 21, 1970
(Mother is ninety-two. She receives Satprem after the collective meditation. Before she speaks, Mother looks at him for a long time with an indescribable expression.)
The body has received a gift this morning.... This morning, truly the Supreme Lord has taught it to be entirely His, and it was so wonderful!... The whole night – the whole night and morning – there seemed to be an absolutely concrete demonstration of how to be perfectly His.... Never, never had the body felt like that. Naturally, it’s perfectly aware of what “grates” still – which is in fact why there are traces (they are just traces) of that famous attack, but...
The absolutely concrete experience for the body, it had it the whole morning, and the conclusion came during the meditation.
It’s a bit difficult to define – words diminish a lot. It resembles what we call “peace,” but it’s luminous, with such an impression of … (what’s the word?) ease, well-being … something … It’s not turned this way (gesture to oneself), it’s turned that way (gesture outward), and that’s what makes it so hard to explain. It’s not in the body, in itself, that it finds its well-being, it’s a well-being … (gesture in every direction), a sort of radiating well-being, and so … yes, something resembling a certitude – there’s no more … “anxiety” is quite out of the question (“question” is quite out of the question!...), but it is … it’s more what we call positively well-being and certitude. Something inexpressible. It’s so vast (in the body, that’s the point), so vast … Really it was like an offering for today.
The whole day yesterday, the attack was very strong, as if to see whether the body would bear up. But it kept its trust and calm certitude (that it had the whole day long), and then it became something … that was it, but … It’s hard to explain.
Did you feel anything? No?
Yes, I did!
It was the tail of the meditation, as it were.
Yesterday, it was really like a test to see if the body would bear up, if it was capable of going out of itself – it has behaved very well (especially during the night, that was good).
It’s so … All words are very small.
Extraordinary!... (Laughing) It’s really been given a gift!
(On that day, Mother gave the following answer to a question asked by one of the Ashram’s associations:)
What is the change the world is preparing for? How can one help it?
A change of consciousness. When our consciousness changes, we will know what the change is.
The change does not need our help in order to come, but we need to open up to the consciousness so that it may not come in vain for us.
February 25, 1970
It has become very interesting, but one can’t speak … (Mother coughs) and it’s better not to speak.
I spent the whole of last night with Sri Aurobindo, but with a WORLD of explanations. He made me understand lots of things, but quite … well, extraordinary. And practical: on the present state of things.... Shouldn’t speak, that’s why I am coughing, it’s on purpose (!)
It’s extraordinarily interesting.
A demonstration in detail of the difference between the two consciousnesses.
Among other things and in a quite practical and positive way, he explained to me that the cause of all illnesses, all disorders, all conflicts, here in the material world, is that the two simultaneous movements (one is the movement of duration – what we could call Stability – and the other, the movement of transformation), the two movements in the original Consciousness are only one and not in contradiction; and I was shown how (not with the thought: with the consciousness), here, they are separate, and that’s what is the cause of death. It’s because they can’t be in harmony – they don’t KNOW how to be in harmony: they can, but they don’t know. One is the movement of transformation, the other the movement of stability. When they are not in harmony, or not in harmony where they should be, it causes a break in equilibrium and the being dies – things die, everything dies because of that. But put that way, it makes no sense. It’s the experience of the thing which is given.... And this also, the cough and all that – all of it, everything – it’s so simple! So obvious once you have the experience.
We could say (almost) that if the two find their equilibrium of simultaneous existence, it re-creates the Divine.... He is in us, but not in harmony.
At least four hours with Sri Aurobindo last night.... Oh, extraordinary, extraordinary – showed everything, explained everything.
Have you received yesterday’s aphorism, the latest one?... I’ll read, and then Sri Aurobindo will make me write. So I started writing on a prophetic tone! Have you seen it? I seem to be speaking to someone....
No, I have the one of the 23rd, the day before yesterday.
What is it?
Sri Aurobindo says that “the soul is naked and unashamed,” and you are asked, “Isn’t the soul always pure?” So you reply:
“The soul wears no disguise, it shows itself as it is and cares nothing for people’s judgement, because it is the faithful servant of the Divine whose home it is.”
No, that’s not the one. I wrote like this, “You are …” (Mother tries to remember), anyway I don’t know whom I speak to (“you” is singular), to humanity or the human being, I don’t know.
But this one is fine: “The soul wears no disguise....” That’s fine. It was so concrete how the human (especially mental) consciousness always wears a disguise: you have to appear like this, you have to appear like that, you have to give this impression, you have to have that appearance – a disguise.
February 28, 1970
(Mother is still coughing.)
The work in the body is going on at a quickened pace, but it’s not easy... But very precise, very accurate. I told you that I spent a whole night with Sri Aurobindo, and he explained to me all that’s going on for the body, in detail....
The state one used to find natural now so much feels like a state of perfect imbecility, so … and everything one used to lean on now feels like nothing at all. So it’s … difficult.
Things … it’s so interesting! We always think that certain things are dangerous (certain illnesses, for example, or certain disorders) and others are insignificant, and then it’s shown in an absolutely irrefutable manner that it doesn’t at all depend on this, that … all absolutely depends (to put it intelligibly) on what has been decided, on what the Supreme Lord has decided. With the slightest thing, an absolutely insignificant trouble. He can stop the body’s functioning, while something regarded as incurably serious passes off without importance. And it’s demonstrated in practice.
There are troublesome moments. Because mental convictions, mental constructions help the body a lot, and now it no longer has any, so it no longer has that facility. For instance, when you have a mental faith – what’s called faith – it helps you a lot, because it remains without budging through all difficulties … but that’s not there anymore! It’s only the Consciousness, but then the Consciousness … (smiling) the Consciousness makes no fuss. The Consciousness doesn’t talk nonsense, it doesn’t tell you stories at the desired moment in order to help you – it’s like this, as it is (gesture like an immutable presence), in its absolute simplicity and sincerity. So you see very well, you know very well, but …
The body sees very well, it also sees that its sensations are evidently … almost made up, which means that they don’t really correspond to the truth – but … (laughing) that doesn’t help it much!... At times it really feels ill at ease.
It has become so conscious of its own imbecility that... the first effect was to say, “It’s hopeless; it has to dissolve for something else to take the place.” And then there’s always that Smile looking on here, making no fuss.... So … so it tries to be still.
You see, it has gone beyond the stage of imbecility where you say, “Why are these things like this?” – It sees clearly, sees very well why they are like this. But things are so vast, so general that … It’s difficult for the body consciousness to remain in that state of universality all the time.
To make a sentence (because all this looks like sentences), it’s knowing that one lives in a falsehood, knowing what that falsehood is, knowing, in flashes, what the Truth is, and yet being unable to
. adjust the two. And seeing why. Because there’s a whole path to travel so this falsehood can abdicate before the Truth, can be transformed into Truth, and in a true way – not arbitrarily but truly. So that requires all kinds of experiences, adjustments, and for us here, it means time, it needs time. It can’t be done instantly. And when the body sees, when it becomes conscious of its imbecility, it would like, it aspires for that to disappear instantly, so things grate.
Ah, it’s not easy.
The body isn’t told anything positively – clearly, I mean precisely – neither that the transformation is possible nor that it’s impossible. So it’s like that, it sees what a tremendous work this is, what difference there is between what it is and what it ought to be, and at the same time, without knowing whether it will be capable of doing the work or not. What’s expected of it? It is told what’s expected of it from one minute to the next; that it’s told very clearly, so it does it, and so at times it can let itself go (Mother stretches her arms in the Great Rhythm), and then things are fine, but... But there is life and all the necessities of life, and each thing is a problem.
In its state of ignorance (a general ignorance), when the body wants to persist, it … (what shall I say?) passively accepts to persist as it is; but in its present state, it cannot accept to remain as it is, it has too much prescience of what must be, so there’s a sort of need to remain – a need to remain but without remaining, you understand? Things become … in a constant and almost total transformation.
Oh, last night, I think, or the night before (I forget which), I gave you a demonstration of the condition you are in. Now I don’t remember a single word.
It’s a pity. Oh, and it was so clear, I told you, “But see …” It was so precise, seen in this new Consciousness. I told you, “So there …” But it was good. I told you, “See, you have no reason to be worried, things are fine!” (Sujata laughs) That I remember. And I explained to you why you aren’t conscious when you’re awake.
It’s a curious thing. When I am in that state, I am not asleep yet I am not awake; it’s neither one nor the other. It’s a sort of new state I have; whether I am in my bed or sitting in my armchair makes no difference. It’s a certain state I go into, in which I know things in such a clear way, and then (as I did with you) I explain them. Then when I go out of that state, pfft! finished.... It’s curious. Nights are very short – very short – yet when I go to bed, its hardly nine, I think, and I get up at 4:30, which is a long time. Yet it’s very short. You understand, I don’t sleep the way people do (but not at all), and I am not awake. It’s something else. And then, things are evident, very easy to understand, I can explain them (as I explain them to you), and it’s a perfectly natural phenomenon – there was no surprise at meeting you (it wasn’t “meeting,” you were there), and I told you things. And then, pfft! finished. Suddenly I’ll cough or have a pain here, there, and then … you fall back into this ordinary imbecility.
Sometimes it’s like that when I am simply sitting there, in my armchair.
But then, the funny thing is that I hear very clearly, see very clearly, but it’s evidently not with these senses because, for instance, right now I don’t hear well and don’t see clearly. But at such times … And I remember that I do things; for example, when I am with Sri Aurobindo at night, it’s with that consciousness; now, materially, my body is stooped – at night it was perfectly normal! Yet I don’t sleep! What is it? I don’t know. There’s something there.... Is it possible?
And I don’t go out of my body.... Or is this body replaced by another? – I don’t know.
And everything is different.
March 4, 1970
(After reading the following aphorism)
135 – All disease is a means towards some new joy of health, all evil and pain a tuning of Nature for some more intense bliss and good, all death an opening on widest immortality. Why and how this should be so, is God’s secret which only the soul purified of egoism can penetrate.
Yes, yes (Mother nods approvingly), that’s what I am doing right now. And one has be really persevering.
It’s not to compliment myself, but I think it’s not easy! Because as long as it’s vital or mental, it’s nothing – nothing at all! But when it becomes physical … it’s more difficult! (Mother laughs)
This aphorism remains wholly, entirely true.
(Mother goes into a contemplation then gives Satprem a red rose)
This is “all human passions turned to the Divine,” and this (Mother gives a pink rose) is the Response.
March 7, 1970
I wanted to tell you first that Nolini had a very interesting experience. That was yesterday. He hadn’t been well for the past day or two: he had spells of dizziness, could hardly walk, anyway rather miserable. Then, suddenly (he had to go to the bathroom and had to walk, but his steps weren’t even steady), suddenly there came into him, “All this is because your physical consciousness doesn’t have trust: it doesn’t believe, doesn’t have trust.” Then, all AT ONCE, he felt something as if seizing him, and everything went away! He was perfectly fine, and it remained like that. He knew very well that in his physical consciousness there was doubt and all the old ideas – he swept it all aside and found himself perfectly fine. It happened in the morning; I saw him in the evening, and he was perfectly fine. That’s interesting.
There, that’s all I wanted to say.
Things have become very … acute, I mean over great things, over small things (all that, that sense of the important and the unimportant, has faded a lot). And for the physical, the work has become very acute, but then things have been made worse here by the fact that the pressure of the Consciousness arouses in people a whole quarreling spirit. So everyone is now quarreling! And I very clearly see that it’s the pressure of this Consciousness – what resists in them rises up. And what disorder here....
I am looking, I’ll see what will happen.
I would need (because I myself can’t take an active part, it’s not possible), I would need a very energetic man, very, very open to the Consciousness, and at the same time VERY calm, capable of resisting this current – a kind of current of storm.
But anyway, things are moving, you understand, they feel as if everything is aroused, they’re no longer asleep and half inert, and that’s …
Health too is like that. The body will feel quite fine, and suddenly, as soon as some old movement comes back, ah … things will grate and cry, oh!... But the consciousness (in the body, I mean) is growing clearer and clearer, more and more precise.
The consciousness isn’t an idea, it’s a sort of … yes, a state of consciousness, an awareness of the Divines sole existence, of the sole Reality, and when it’s there, everything becomes wonderful (physically, materially). There are moments full of an intensity of harmony … quite exceptional. But then, when things grate, mon petit, they grate horribly!
And I get letters by the dozen: entreaties from people in all possible difficulties, physical difficulties (the most incredible physical difficulties), and then moral, material, external difficulties, inner difficulties – everything seems raging.
I had an odd dream, which may be related to that.... I don’t know, I was with you, and Sri Aurobindo was there (though I didn’t see him).
No, I didn’t see him, but he was there. Then, suddenly, you fell ill, or anyway you were lying down, and Sri Aurobindo told me (I didn’t see him, but he told me), “Mother must take cold meat and cold vegetables!...” And it was as if he sent me on an errand to the person who needed to be told.... So I left, went this way and that, and I came to R.’s place, Auroville’s people, in a very dark and crowded room....
(Mother nods her head)
And R. shouted there, “Silence!” He had a very dark face, you know, almost blackened, and he shouted “Silence” in this room. Apparently, it was those people whom I had come to tell that Mother had to take cold meat and cold vegetables!
(Mother laughs) Whatever can it mean?... Haven’t you had a sensation of what it means?
I had an impression that those people were terribly heated and were making you sick, and so they had to give you some cold food!
But then, a very dark world.
Oh, what a confusion.... But I don’t know why, at night I am very often connected with Auroville’s people, and it’s as tiring as can be, you know.
Oh, that’s strange.
But it shows you have something to do there.
Yes, but to tell the truth, it doesn’t interest me!
(Mother laughs) It’s because they all read your book.
Yes, they came to ask me if I would speak on the radio – I said no!
Oh, (Mother laughs) I wasn’t told that, otherwise I would have replied!
But more and more, quite a few come from there [Auroville] to see me.
Yes, lots and lots of people read the book; it’s having an enormous action.... I constantly get letters from people who say, “I have read The Adventure of Consciousness, it’s been a revelation” – constantly, constantly. And the book is beginning to have a lot of effect in the U.S.A. and in Canada. So naturally, it gives you … tiring nights!
But my impression is that this Consciousness has swept away all social conventions of good manners, good upbringing, so of course, all those who don’t have very deep roots behave like ill-mannered children (!)
In the body (in the cells, the body consciousness), there is constantly a great battle between all the materialistic ideas and the true consciousness, and the result … (grating gesture). In the space of a quarter of an hour, everything starts grating – you have some pain, you’re ill at ease, everything seems about to be torn apart, with dreadful contradictions – and then, with the pressure of the true consciousness, suddenly pfft! everything vanishes in a minute, and it becomes … a marvel. But then, it’s not a stable thing: the struggle goes on.
But it’s really interesting.
We just have to bear up, that’s all! (Mother laughs)
March 13, 1970
(Satprem had written Mother a rather cross letter because she had been told some malicious gossip about him, just as she had been told – to what end we do not know – that his friend, the Marquis B., was a “spy.” Satprem understood nothing of those jealousies and was surprised that Mother could even listen to such tattle. In fact, Mother did not actually “listen” but worked on all the elements that came to her. That was her “sordid battlefield,” as she called it. Those sad incidents are only the sign that the atmosphere around Mother was becoming … strange.)
Satprem, my dear child,
I do not believe what Udar tells me, nor what anyone whosoever tells me. The Lord has given me the power to see things as they are; and I do not judge.
Our relationship is of such a nature that it cannot be altered by such childishness.
So till tomorrow, in peace and joy, so that the last clouds may disperse.
With all my tenderness and my blessings.
March 14, 1970
(Regarding the latest Aphorisms commented on by Mother.)
382 – Machinery is necessary to modern humanity because of our incurable barbarism. If we must encase ourselves in a bewildering multitude of comforts and trappings, we must needs do without Art and its methods; for to dispense with simplicity and freedom is to dispense with beauty. The luxury of our ancestors was rich and even gorgeous, but never encumbered.
383 – I cannot give to the barbarous comfort and ‘encumbered ostentation of European life the name of civilisation. Men who are not free in their souls and nobly rhythmical in their appointments are not civilised.
384 – Art in modern times and under European influence has become an excrescence upon life or an unnecessary menial; it should have been its chief steward and indispensable arranger.
As long as the mind rules life with its overweening certainly that it knows, how can the reign of the Divine be established?
385 – Disease is needlessly prolonged and ends in death oftener than is inevitable, because the mind of the patient supports and dwells upon the disease of his body.
This is an absolute truth!
386 – Medical Science has been more a curse to mankind than a blessing. It has broken the force of epidemics and unveiled a marvellous surgery; but, also, it has weakened the natural health of man and multiplied individual diseases; it has implanted fear and dependence in the mind and body; it has taught our health to repose not on natural soundness but a rickety and distasteful crutch compact from the mineral and vegetable kingdoms.
387 – The doctor aims a drug at a disease; sometimes it hits, sometimes misses. The misses are left out of account, the hits treasured up, reckoned and systematised into a science.
388 – We laugh at the savage for his faith in the medicine man; but how are the civilised less superstitious who have faith in the doctors? The savage finds that when a certain incantation is repeated, he often recovers from a certain disease; he believes. The civilised patient finds that when he doses himself according to a certain prescription, he often recovers from a certain disease; he believes. Where is the difference?
To conclude, we might say that the patient’s faith is what gives medicines the power to cure.
If people had an absolute faith in the healing power of the Grace, perhaps they would spare themselves quite a few diseases.
(Mother’s voice is quite altered. She sounds more and more out of breath, as if her voice had to cut across great distances.)
(To Sujata:) … We’ll do that tomorrow – tomorrow morning?
(Sujata:) But tomorrow morning, Mother, you have lots of engagements.
But it’s every day like that, mon petit! It’s … it’s absolutely
frightful. There are only these two days, Wednesdays and Saturdays, otherwise
I’ve cut out everything; even birthdays
I see them in the afternoon. On other days, it starts at
So come tomorrow … at 9:30 is it all right?
(To Satprem:) Have you seen the latest Aphorisms’?
Yes, on diseases and doctors.... But here in one aphorism, Sri Aurobindo has one little sentence which I find admirable; he says, “Machinery is necessary to modern humanity because of our incurable barbarism....”
(Mother nods and remains long silent)
Today I got the news that L.D. had left. She had undergone a very grave operation (there was a cancer), she had recovered, returned home, she wrote me a letter in which she said, “I am better and better …” and then, gone. I got the news this very day. Like that.
It’s like R., the same thing: a relapse. And it looks so much like … It’s this effort against, yes, what Sri Aurobindo calls barbarism (Mother makes a gesture covering the whole earth atmosphere). It seems to be … I don’t know if it’s a refusal or an incapacity to emerge from the mental construction. And the action of this Consciousness … (how shall I put it?), it almost pitilessly shows the extent to which the entire mental construction is false – everything, even apparently spontaneous reactions, all of it is the result of an extremely complex mental construction.
But this Consciousness is pitiless.
We are born in that, and we find it so natural to feel according to that, react according to that, organize everything according to that, and the result is … that the Truth passes you by.
Its in the very organization of the body.
So then, the Action seems to impose itself with an extraordinary power, and in a manner that appears (appears to us) pitiless (Mother strikes her fist into Matter), so we may learn our lesson.
I remembered the time when Sri Aurobindo was here.... You see, the inner part of the being used to enter into a consciousness that felt and saw things according to the higher consciousness – they were quite different; then, when Sri Aurobindo fell ill, in fact, when there were all those things, first that accident (he broke his leg) … then the body, the body used to say constantly, “Those are dreams, those are dreams, it’s not for us; for us bodies, this is how it is....” (gesture underground) It was frightful.... Then all that left. It left completely after so many years – all those years of effort – it left: the body itself would feel the divine Presence, and its impression was that … everything necessarily had to change. So then, these last few days, that formation which had left (a terrestrial formation, of all mankind, which means that those who have the vision or perception of, or even just the aspiration to, that higher Truth, when they come back into the [material] Fact, they are in front of this dreadfully painful thing, this perpetual negation by all circumstances), that formation, from which the body had completely freed itself, came back. It came back, but … when it came back, when the body saw it, it saw it as one sees a falsehood. And I understood how much it had changed, because when it saw the formation, its impression … it looked at it with a smile and the impression: ah, an old formation now devoid of truth. It was an extraordinary experience: that thing, its time is over. Its time is over. And this Pressure of the Consciousness is a pressure for things as they were – so miserable and so petty and so obscure and so … apparently inescapable at the same time – all of it was … (Mother gestures above her shoulder) behind, like an antiquated past. So then, I really saw – saw, understood – that the work of this Consciousness (which is pitiless, it’s not concerned whether it’s difficult or not, probably not even much concerned about apparent damage) is for the normal state to cease to be this thing which is so heavy, so obscure, so ugly – so low – and for the dawn to come … you know, something dawning on the horizon: a new Consciousness. That something truer and more luminous.
What Sri Aurobindo says here about diseases is just the point: the power of habit, of all constructions, of what appears “inescapable” and “irrevocable” in diseases. With all that, experiences seem to multiply in order to show … in order for one to learn that it’s simply a question of attitude – the attitude of going beyond … beyond this mental prison humanity has locked itself in, and of … breathing up above.
It’s the body’s experience. Before, those who had inner experiences would say, “Yes, up above, that’s the way it is, but here …” Now the “but here” will soon cease to be. This tremendous change is what’s being conquered, so physical life may be ruled by the higher consciousness and not by the mental world. It’s the change of authority.... It’s difficult. It’s hard. It’s painful. There is some damage done, naturally, but... But truly, one can see – one can see. And that’s the real CHANGE, that’s what will enable the new Consciousness to express itself. And the body is learning, it’s learning its lesson – all bodies, all bodies.
That was the old division made by the mind: “Above, things are very fine, you may have all experiences and everything is luminous and marvelous; here, nothing doing.” And the impression that when one is born, one is born again into the “hopeless world.” That explains, by the way, why all those who did not foresee the possibility of things being otherwise had said, “Better get out of here, and then …” All that has become so clear! But this change, the fact that it’s NO LONGER inescapable, that is the great Victory: it’s NO LONGER inescapable. You feel – feel and see, and the body itself has experienced – the possibility that soon, here too, things will be truer.
There is … there is really something changed in the world.
Naturally, for things to be truly established, it’s going to take time. That’s the battle going on. From every side, on every plane, there’s an onslaught of things coming to say outwardly, “Nothing has changed” – but it’s not true. It’s not true, the body knows it’s not true. And now it knows, it knows in what sense.
What Sri Aurobindo wrote, in fact in those Aphorisms I see right now, is so prophetic! It was so much the vision of the True Thing! So prophetic!
Now I see, I see how his departure and his work so … so immense, you know, and constant in this subtle physical, how much, how much it has helped! How much he has (Mother gestures as if kneading Matter) … how much he has helped prepare things, change the structure of the physical.
All the experiences others had had of making contact with the higher worlds, used to leave the physical here as it is. (How should I put it?...) From the very beginning of existence up to Sri Aurobindo’s departure, I lived in the awareness that one may rise, one may know, one may have all experiences (and one did have them), but when one came back into this body … it was those for-mid-able old laws of the mind that ruled everything. So then, all these years have been years spent preparing and preparing – freeing oneself and preparing – and these last few days, it was … ah! the body physically noting that things had changed.
It has to be worked out, as they say, realized in every detail, but the change IS done – the change is done.
Which means that the material conditions, which were elaborated by the mind, fixed by it (Mother clenches her fist tight), and which appeared so inescapable, to such a point that those who had a living experience of the higher worlds thought one had to flee this world, abandon this material world if one really wanted to live in the Truth (that’s the cause of all those theories and beliefs), now things are no longer like that. Now things are no longer like that. The physical is capable of receiving the higher Light, the Truth, the true Consciousness, and of man-i-fest-ing it.
It’s not easy, it calls for endurance and will, but a day will come when it will be quite natural. It’s only just the open door – that’s all, now we have to go on.
Naturally, what was established hangs on tight and defends itself desperately. That’s the cause of this whole trouble (swarming gesture in the earth atmosphere) – but it has lost the battle. It’s over. It’s over.
It has taken this Consciousness … a little more than a year to win this Victory. Naturally, as yet it’s visible only to those who have the inner vision, but … its done.
That was the work Sri Aurobindo had given me, that was it. Now I understand.
But it’s as if from every side – every side – those mental forces, mental powers were rising in protest, violent in their protest, so as to impose their old laws: “But things have always been this way!...” But it’s over. They won’t always be this way, that’s all.
Something of this battle was going on in this body these last few days.... It’s really very interesting.... From outside, coming from outside, there was an effort to give the body experiences so as to force it to note for itself, “No, what has always been always will be; you may try, but it’s an illusion.” Then something would come, a nice little disorganization in the body, and it would respond with its attitude: a peace like (immutable gesture): “As You will, Lord, as You will....” – Everything disappeared as in a flash! And it happened several times (at least a dozen times in a day). Then – then the body begins to feel, “There you are!...” It has that joy, that joy of … the lived Marvel.
Things are not as they were, NO LONGER as they were – things are no longer as they were.
We have to struggle on, we need patience, courage, will, trust – but things are no longer “just the way they are.” It’s the old thing trying to hang on tight – hideous! Hideous. But … it’s not like that anymore. It’s not like that anymore.
This too: how far, how far will the body be able to go? There too, it’s … perfectly peaceful and happy: it will be as You will.
All the rest looks so old, so old, like something … that belongs to a dead past – which is trying to come back to life, but it can’t anymore.
And all, all circumstances are as catastrophic as they can be: troubles, complications, difficulties, everything, just everything goes at it relentlessly like that, like wild beasts, but … it’s over. The body knows that it’s over. It may take centuries, but it’s over. To disappear, it may take centuries, but it’s over now.
This wholly concrete and absolute realization that one could have only when going out of Matter (Mother brings a finger down), it’s sure, sure and certain that we will have it right HERE.
(Mother looks at Satprem for a long time, then takes his hands)
It’s the fourteenth month since the Consciousness came – fourteenth month: twice seven.
Is today the 14th?
Yes, the 14th.
So it’s interesting.
How he has worked since he left, oh!... All the time, all the time....
It looks … it looks like a miracle in the body. The disappearance of this formation really looks miraculous. And everything becomes clear. We’ll see.
Things have moved relatively fast.
Does it mean that all the human consciousnesses that have a little faith now have the possibility of emerging from this mental hypnosis?
Yes, yes, exactly. Exactly. Exactly.
March 18, 1970
(Regarding the latest Aphorisms and the English translation of Mother’s comments.)
393 – We ought to use the divine health in us to cure and prevent diseases; but Galen and Hippocrates and their tribe have given us instead an armoury of drugs and a barbarous Latin hocus-pocus as our physical gospel.
399 – Man was once naturally healthy and could revert to that primal condition if he were suffered; but Medical Science pursues our body with an innumerable pack of drugs and assails the imagination with ravening hordes of microbes.
400 – I would rather die and have done with it than spend life in defending myself against a phantasmal siege of microbes. If that is to be barbarous and unenlightened, I embrace gladly my Cimmerian darkness.
401 – Surgeons save and cure by cutting and maiming. Why not rather seek to discover Nature’s direct all-powerful remedies?
402 – It should take long for self-cure to replace medicine, because of the fear, self-distrust and unnatural physical reliance on drugs which Medical Science has taught to our minds and bodies and made our second nature.
In fact, very often the answer comes to me in English because it comes to me from Sri Aurobindo. When I read, I listen, and then he speaks. And then I am the one who translates while writing! I translate into French. But I could write it in English at the same time.
Yesterday again … Have you read yesterdays aphorism?... But yesterday, he was going at the doctors with a will! So I said, “For people spontaneously not to need medicines, nature must change.” It’s too old a habit.
What did I say?
“No external measure can enable us to react against the harm caused by mental faith in the necessity of drugs. It is only by emerging from the mind’s prison and consciously soaring into the light of the spirit that, through a conscious union with the Divine, we will be able to let Him give us back the balance and health which we have lost.
“Supramental transformation is the only true remedy.”
I’ve had this experience for several months now (especially since the start of the year) that the “shift” of the consciousness – instead of the consciousness being in the ordinary state, if you shift it (I am referring to the body’s consciousness), if it’s directly tuned to the Divine, in a few … sometimes seconds, sometimes minutes, but in a few minutes, the disease absolutely disappears. And if you just do this (Mother slightly tilts one finger to the left), if you go back even a little, it instantly comes back. But if you keep your consciousness at the right place, it’s gone.
That’s an experiment I’ve made more than a hundred times, even with something like toothache (which is hard to cure), even sharp pains at one spot or another. That’s the experiment made by the body. The body knows.
It’s very interesting because it’s an experiment it has made in every detail and at every stage.... The first thing it found was not to think of the disease, not to be concerned with it. That’s the first stage. Afterwards, it found that when it was occupied with something else, the pain was greatly lessened. Later on, it had the experience that if someone comes near it, someone who knows you are in pain, it comes back! All that is very, very interesting: lots of small observations of every minute. And finally, it had this repeated and absolutely convincing proof that as soon as it concentrates on the Divine, as soon as it makes contact (because it FEELS, it has the sensation in the cells), as soon as it concentrates (without being concerned with the diseased point: it’s better not to be concerned with it), the pain totally disappears, to such a point that... At such times (those are things that cause pain, so the first effect is not to feel the pain), at times, in the beginning, the body would ask for the Intervention and there would be an effect, but there was the sense of a struggle, a resistance (something of the sort): it would take a little time. But when the body succeeded in concentrating without demand, you understand (simply giving itself), on the Divine, then it would stop thinking about the pain, the body itself stops thinking about the pain, and after a certain time, it realizes it’s completely vanished! – It stopped thinking about it and it was gone.
That experience has been repeated HUNDREDS of times, for all kinds of different things.
There must be a condition in which the possibility of accident disappears. But that … that I don’t know.
Those would be the natural conditions of supramental life.
So, necessarily, since it’s taking place in the body, the very constitution of the body must change – it will have to change. How? That I don’t know yet.
It’s in the direction of Matter’s perfect obedience to the Consciousness (the higher Consciousness); to the present experience, it’s the divine consciousness, but it’s very probably what Sri Aurobindo called the supramental consciousness. Because there must be … (gesture in gradations) an indefinite ascent.
It’s a consciousness in which the sense of ego completely disappears, it does not exist. There isn’t “a person” in front of others, you understand, receiving and sending influences – it’s no longer like that at all. It’s a general play of forces (Mother makes a vast, fluid gesture) in which everyone spontaneously plays his part.
Several times the body has had that experience. It remains in that for a long time. Now it’s almost... that relationship with things and beings (the old relationship) is on the verge of becoming a memory. It’s no longer … no longer natural.
I don’t know how to explain.... There’s something radically changed not only in the body’s consciousness, but in its functioning. For the moment it’s still hard to explain.... You see, the image of being at the center with things coming towards you and everything being in relationship with this [the egocentric center] is an old thing that went away long ago. But there were still …
It’s not quite that, but somewhat: all the cells seem to be attuned – attuned to something higher than they, even in space, but which they feel as being their center. But a center … not like this (Mother gestures onto herself) and not … (what’s the word?) localized; it’s … neither here [the body] nor above, nor … It’s not localized. Yet the cells’ impression is that the Force – the impelling force or will-force – emanating from “that” spreads out (gesture fanning out downward) to enter into the body And … (this is interesting) the body feels it’s more directly in relationship with “that” and, through it, that acts on others, on those around – but it’s not “others,” it’s … The body has sometimes even had the impression that some of those things [“others,” those around] are closer to it than others.... It’s very hard to explain.... But it’s spontaneous. You see, the difficulty is that in order to express it, I have to start thinking it, while it’s spontaneous: it’s a sensation, not a thought.
For instance, at night when I am alone, at times there’s the impression of a disorder or an anguish somewhere [in “those around”], and then, the body’s remedy (it clearly feels it comes from outside towards it – but “outside” isn’t the word, it’s a distance … I don’t know how to explain), its sole movement of remedy is to rush into this luminous center – it’s not to “attract” something to it, it’s … to rush into that.
(Mother goes into a long contemplation, then smiles)
There was here beside you, and very … (how can I put it?) very visible and clear, what you were in a previous life. A head – I could have drawn it.... A shaven head, very large, with a longish chin and a thin nose. Yet, strangely, it’s absolutely you.
But a color … the very fair Indian color (the Indian color, that is, without any pink at all in it), large eyes like this, about twenty-five to thirty years. A head slightly bigger than yours (slightly, not much). But very CLOSE to you, I mean closely united.... A large forehead – large, a very large forehead. And the head like … it makes a pear-shaped head.
He was meditating, then at a certain point he looked at me: the gaze was wholly luminous.... He looked so close, so close – you understand, I didn’t go far or deep: it was there. It’s odd.
Didn’t you feel something?
But my impression was that it wasn’t a new fact – as if he were there very constantly.
It’s amusing. I almost seemed to see with these [physical] eyes!
The head is a little bigger than yours – not much, a little.
And it looks like you! (Mother laughs) This (gesture to the forehead): large.
He looked settled there, not on a visit: settled.
What kind of help is he bringing?
It’s a being who has done a very intensive yoga. It’s a relationship with the higher consciousnesses. But very … he must have been very highly ascetic.... This [matter] wasn’t what preoccupied him: he was wholly in the relationship with the Consciousness – very, very concentrated.
My difficulty in distinguishing forces or influences is that it’s always translated as an intensity of force in me, so I don’t know how to untangle: it’s always “force,” you understand, intensity.
Yes, and his must be very intense!
And he was smiling. Smiling as if in a very happy experience. But all WITHIN. Probably not very interested in the outside.
He must have been a sannyasin. Besides, he had … he was naked, there was just a small piece of cloth visible, but an orange cloth.... He was the color of very fair-skinned Indians.
And at one point he looked: his eyes were very beautiful, the gaze was very beautiful.
A very intense aspiration.
March 21, 1970
(The beginning of this conversation took place in Nolini’s presence.)
Have you received yesterday’s Aphorisms?... Nolini might have something to say....
407 – I am not a Bhakta [lover of the Divine], for I have not renounced the world for God. How can I renounce what He took from me by force and gave back to me against my will? These things are too hard for me.
(Mother laughs) So T. asks me what he means. Then, there is another.
411 – After I knew that God was a woman [laughter], I learned something from far-off about love; but it was only when I became a woman and served my Master and Paramour that I knew love utterly.
What exactly does he mean? Do you know when he wrote that?... I replied to T.:
“I cannot answer because as long as he was in a body, he never told me anything on this subject.
“If someone knows the exact date when he wrote it, that may give some indication.
“Nolini may be able to tell you when it was written or whether Sri Aurobindo told him anything about it.”
(To Nolini:) Do you know?
(Nolini:) At the beginning, when he came to Pondicherry [in 1910].
At the very beginning.... But then, what does he mean when he says, “When I knew that God was a woman”!
(Nolini:) He always used to say that Krishna and Kali were one and the same being. Ramakrishna, too, once became a woman: God was Krishna and he became a woman; for a long time he had that impression.
Naturally, for me, the answer is this sense of humor! (Mother laughs)
(Satprem:) Yes, you write to T., “Sri Aurobindo had the genius of humor and one only has to admire and be silent.”
That was my first reply, but after that, T. asked me, “Why exactly did Sri Aurobindo put it that way?...” It depends on the date when it was written.
(Satprem:) It looks like the same experience as Ramakrishna’s.
(Nolini:) At the time he used to sign letters not “Sri Aurobindo” but “Kali.”
(Nolini:) Yes, always.... All the letters he wrote to Motilal were signed that way.
But the way he puts it!... (general laughter)
This morning, for HOURS I had (the BODY – the body) this experience that nothing exists except the Divine. And then, the two are like this (Mother slips the fingers of her right hand through those of the left). But for hours … The discomfort about very small things is much greater than in ordinary life, and the well-being is wonderful, and the two are like this! (same gesture indicating a close fusion) One needs to be very, very, very still. It’s bearable only in an inner peace.
For the body it’s bearable only when the time has come for it to be convinced that the Divine is the only Truth; then it’s fine.
Because it knows that the discomfort, however intense it may be, is sure to pass. So its at peace.... That’s what I have learned.... It began yesterday evening and lasted the whole morning – in fact, until you came, but it’s still there.
Yes, this Consciousness seems to be intensifying all things so as to make them more perceptible: all the circumstances of life. Fantastic affairs, fantastic!... Unbelievable. Diseases, misunderstandings, quarrels, everything but everything has become acute, so acute, as if to really force people to see them.
One funny thing: a woman who was here (she left) wrote a letter which came in an envelope (an envelope that came in the mail with stamps and postmark from Geneva): a letter abusing the Ashram for the way she was treated here. At the same time (that letter came yesterday), this morning, a wire from Bombay thanking me for her stay! I mean, a telegram full of gratitude, saying, “I am leaving on Saturday for Geneva” (that is, today). And the letter from Geneva came earlier – yesterday – while the telegram reached today!... (Mother laughs) Impossible to understand. And there was the date on the telegram, of course. And the same names. The one full of abuse, the other full of thanks!... It’s not the only example – this one is more recent, which is why I mention it.
There is clearly a will to upset all our so-called habitual knowledge.
Ah, it will have to take a long time yet.... But things are going as fast as possible. Only, there is a lot of work.
March 25, 1970
Things continue to be very difficult. They’re getting more and more complicated and difficult, and at the same time, the power is growing greater and greater, it’s even surprising.
But, for people who like peace and quiet (laughing), it’s troublesome!
Do you have something? Have you brought something? Nothing to say?
There’s a letter from the marquis, that friend of mine. He is asking for your help....
To change his life and get rid of all his material and financial problems there.
I thought he was very rich?
But he wants to get rid of everything.
Oh!... Let him give it to the Ashram! (Mother laughs)
He has a lot of money sunk in lands, castles and so on, and lie says, “I could leave all this in the hands of a financial organization and see what happens, or should I look after it myself, sell it all off, and then come to the Ashram?”
(after a silence)
If he comes, he must come with money, because the situation here is critical. We spend three times more than what we have, so … It’s a sort of constant miracle. And the expenses keep increasing. This morning, D. told me he cannot go on. That’s how it is. And then, the government is raising taxes in a proportion of one to ten – ten times more. So everything is like that. And we are faced with … a hole. So I can’t take new people anymore, except those who can not only meet their own needs but also help the Ashram a little.
Things are very, very, very difficult.
What we may call the “reign of money” is drawing to its close.
But the; transitional period between the arrangement that has existed in the world till now and the one to come (in a hundred years, for instance), that period is going to be very difficult – it IS very difficult.
Industries were the great means of earning money – now that’s quite finished. All profits are taken by the government. Or else, we had here small industries which had been freed from taxes on condition that they give 75% of their profits to the Ashram – now they have changed their laws and it’s no longer 75%, it’s all of it.
“To the Ashram,” you mean to the State?
No, no! To the State they give everything; but earlier we had obtained that those at the Ashram would be freed from taxes on condition that they give 75% to the Ashram; now the 75% has been changed into all of it. Which means that all the industries here must give all their profits to the Ashram, or else they are taxed.
Well, that’s not so bad!
(Mother laughs) Yes, but it’s a sign of the times! For them it’s not so bad, because with me (laughing) there are always ways and means! But there are other organizations.... Most people start an industry to earn their livelihood – now they can’t. They can’t because personal expenses aren’t allowed.
But this fact of personal expenses “not allowed” has been there since the beginning. I remember, long ago, my mother had started … I forget if it was a henhouse or something of the sort, because she wanted to increase her income a bit, so … (that must have been some fifty or sixty years ago). She was very simple, not complicated; she opened her business and would sell her hens, her eggs and so on: she would spend the money personally and look after all her affairs.... Until one fine day (laughing) when she was asked to give accounts! She narrowly escaped a severe punishment because she had used that money for her personal expenses – she didn’t understand!... I found it very amusing. That was at least fifty years ago.
You understand, I find it an odd frame of mind. You work – what for? Normally, you work to earn your livelihood – it’s not legal. You must work, but the business isn’t personal at all! You have no right to draw your own expenses on the industry you yourself started!
The stupidity of the world is unrivaled. So naturally, this has to end, it cannot last.
How? What will it become? I don’t know. Naturally, their calculation (the government’s calculation) is completely wrong: they are ruining the country more and more! So they really are in a critical situation. But it’s a long time since people started discovering that all those taxes are simply the ruin of the country, nothing else.... Almost all the industries in the North [of India] are about to close, almost all of them. So …
They do many totally useless things. All that will disappear, but...
I am in contact with a bit of everything: people come and see me; everyone comes and complains, tells me about the miserable state of things: those in power, ordinary people, everyone. And I see, things are becoming … impossible. How are people to live? They don’t know. Because money was chosen to be the basis – money – so naturally, the attempt was to earn it. Now that doesn’t work any longer. You can no longer earn money, and you can’t have money constantly without earning it, so what do you do? – Everything needs to be changed.
In Russia they tried to make the government responsible, but that... (laughing) what happened was that those in the government filled their pockets and misery spread everywhere. So, as they don’t have much imagination, they want to go back to the old way of doing things. But that’s not it: they must go a little farther.
Either divide the earth into lots of small bits, each bit up against the other, or else … We need a world organization. But by whom? It should be by people who have at least a world consciousness! (Mother laughs) Otherwise it can’t work. So … there are going to be a hundred very difficult years, very difficult. Afterwards, maybe we’ll emerge towards something....
What this man [the marquis] writes you here, lots of people are like that! Lots of them have written it, people from every country. They’re exasperated by the way things are. They say, “No more personal property!”, but as they don’t have much imagination, they haven’t found the way yet.
A system of “coupons for hours of work,” and a scale of the quality or degree of the work done.
Where is that practiced?
I don’t know, in my imagination!
Oh, that’s you. Yes, of course, that’s very good!
Something based on the work.
Coupons for hours of work. Then if a coolie’s coupon is worth one, an engineer’s may be said to be worth five, for instance. That’s all.
That would be a whole organization to be worked out. We’ll need … we’ll need something like that in Auroville.
Based on the work.
Yes, an activity That work could be defined as an activity with a collective usefulness, not a selfish one.
The difficulty is the appreciation of the value of things. You understand, that requires a very wide vision. Moneys convenience was that it became mechanical.... But this new system cannot become quite mechanical, so … For instance, the idea is that those who will live in Auroville will have no money – there is no circulation of money – but to eat, for instance, everyone has the right to eat, naturally, but … On quite a practical level, we had conceived the possibility of all types of food according to everyone’s tastes or needs (for example, vegetarian cooking, non-vegetarian cooking, diet cooking, etc.), and those who want to get food from there must do something in exchange – work, or … It’s hard to organize in practice, on a quite practical level.... You see, we had planned a lot of lands around the city for large-scale agriculture for the city’s consumption. But to cultivate those lands, for the moment we need money, or else materials. So … Now I have to face the whole problem in every detail, and it’s not easy!
There are some who understand.
You see, the idea is that there will be no customs in Auroville and no taxes, and Aurovilians will have no personal property. Like that on paper, it’s very fine, but when it comes to doing it in practice …
The problem is always the same: those given the responsibility should be people with a … universal consciousness, of course, otherwise … Wherever there is a personal consciousness, it means someone incapable of governing – we can see how governments are, it’s frightful!
There’s something very interesting on a psychological level: it’s that material needs decrease in proportion to the spiritual growth. Not (as Sri Aurobindo said), not through asceticism, but because the focus of attention and concentration of the being moves to a different domain.... The purely material being, quite conceivably, finds only material things pleasing; with all those who live in the emotive being and the outer mind, the interest of the being is turned to … for instance, things of beauty, as with those who want to live surrounded by beautiful things, who want to use nice things. Now that appears to be the human summit, but it’s quite … what we might call a “central region” (gesture hardly above ground level), it’s not at all a higher region. But the way the world is organized, people without aesthetic needs go back to a very primitive life – which is wrong. We need a place where life … where the very setting of life would be, not an individual thing, but a beauty that would be like the surroundings natural to a certain degree of development.
Now, as things are organized, to be surrounded by beautiful things you need to be rich, and that’s a source of imbalance, because wealth usually goes with quite an average degree of consciousness, even mediocre at times. So there’s everywhere an imbalance and a disorder. We would need … a place of beauty – a place of beauty in which people can live only if they have reached a certain degree of consciousness. And let it not be decided by other people, but quite spontaneously and naturally. So how to do that?...
Problems of that sort are beginning to come up at Auroville, and that makes the thing very interesting. Of course, the means are very limited, but that also is part of the problem to be solved.
The conditions to organize – to be an organizer (it’s not “to govern,” it’s to organize) – the conditions to be an organizer should be these: no more desires, no more preferences, no more attractions, no more repulsions – a perfect equality for all things. Sincerity, of course, but that goes without saying: wherever insincerity enters, poison enters at the same time. And then, only those who are themselves in that condition can discern whether another is in it or not.
At present, all human organizations are based on: the visible fact (which is a falsehood), public opinion (another falsehood), and moral sense, which is a third falsehood! (Mother laughs) So …
Ah! Have you read the latest answer to the Aphorisms?
Your experience of “God”?
Yes, I am not sure I was very clear.... I’m not yet convinced it can be published!
She asks, “What does Sri Aurobindo mean by ‘the joy of being God’s enemy’?” So you reply:
“Here too, I am obliged to say that I do not exactly know because he never told me.
“But I can tell you about my own experience. Until the age of about twenty-five, I only knew the God of religions, God as men made him, and I did not want him at any cost. I denied his existence with the certitude that if such a God existed, I detested him.
“Around twenty-five, I found the inner God, and at the same time I learned that the God described by most Western religions was none other than the Great Adversary.
“When I came to India …
Oh, here we should say how long afterwards.... I was twenty-five, and I was born in 18 … 78.
It was in 1903.
And I came to India in 1914. We should specify that. It’s around 1903 that I had the experience of the inner Divine.
“When I came to India in 1914 and I knew Sri Aurobindos teaching, everything became very clear.”
I don’t like to speak of myself. Only … (that’s something I don’t know: whether my body will be preserved or not – I have no idea and it doesn’t interest me), it seems to me that it could be useful only if this body is gone.
Not gone – changed.
Oh, changed … is it possible?
Well, if it’s not possible in your body, how will it be possible in other bodies?
No … I don’t know. For man, it seems established that his progress is made from birth to birth, with very fleeting intermediary births, forms that aren’t perpetuated. So it may be that some people, with a body somewhat... (what shall I say?) developed or advanced, could now have children who would themselves have … like this (snowballing gesture), and then those intermediary stages would disappear.
I don’t know.
You see, there is this fact that existence itself needs to depend on something material, which naturally brings back every time an old recurring difficulty. That question of food … All that is under observation at the moment (a very minute observation, which I might almost call “scientific”), and, well, the cells are conscious of the divine Force and of the power that Force gives, but they are also conscious that in order to last as they are, even in a state of transformation, they still need this complement of something coming from outside – with that, every time you swallow a new difficulty.... All that I said on the [change of] functioning is increasingly proven, but there is this thing [food] that remains, and that means stomach and blood and all the rest … With that, can we conceive (I don’t know), can we conceive something that works in this way yet without deteriorating? Something capable of constant progression? (One can last only if the progression is constant.) Is this capable of progress?... For the moment, it’s like this … (gesture hanging in balance).
All that was automatic has almost disappeared – which has caused a great reduction from the standpoint of capacities; it’s replaced by a consciousness with a certain power, which didn’t exist previously: that’s an improvement. But all things considered, well, if I take the ordinary stand, I can no longer do what I used to do when I was twenty, quite obviously. Perhaps I know a hundred thousand times more than I knew, but... This body, the body itself knows: it feels, it’s capable of knowing all that it didn’t know then. But from a purely material standpoint... (Mother shakes her head, pointing to her body’s incapacity). Could it come back? I don’t know. There’s a question mark there. I don’t know.... And it could last only if the capacities came back; as Sri Aurobindo very wisely put it, who would want to go on in a body that keeps losing all its capacities?... You know, sight isn’t clear anymore, you don’t hear clearly anymore, can’t speak clearly anymore … anyway you can’t walk freely, you can no longer carry a weight – all kinds of things.
Would this, as it is, THIS (Mother pinches the skin of her hands), would it be capable of being transformed by the Force? Can it be done? – We’ll know when it’s done and not before!
As for me, I find it quite possible.
Obviously, logically you are right, because the healing capacity is there; so if one has the healing capacity, there is the capacity to remedy wear and tear. Obviously.
But all possibilities are there! It’s only the question of Matter having to adapt to the infiltration of another force.
But the day it’s really adapted...
Well, yes, that’s the whole point!...
What’s the obstacle?
can Matter do it?
But of course, surely it can! Surely it can.
That’s the question.
If the Spirit wants, it can. If the Spirit sees the time has come, it can. There’s no reason why not.
That would be interesting to see! (Mother laughs)
(Mother goes into a contemplation)
For the body consciousness that remains conscious when the body is asleep, the world as it is is dark and muddy – always. That is, it’s always a half-darkness – you can hardly see – and mud. And that isn’t an opinion or a thought: it’s a material fact. Consequently, this [body] consciousness is already conscious of a world … that would no longer be subject to the same laws.
The cells are quite, absolutely convinced that... (I’ll put it in the simplest way) the Lord is all-powerful, you understand? Only, what they’re not convinced of is whether He wants (laughing) it to be this way or that, that is to say, whether He wants the transformation to be done in an already existing body, or in stages.
But then, in stages means centuries and centuries....
But it seems that the time has come, doesn’t it?
There’s an absolute refusal to answer.
Oh, I very well know why! Because (how shall I put it?... I must put it in a quite childlike way) physical matter is lazy so … (laughing) if it were sure, it would let itself go!
But the one thing the body has conquered (almost totally I may say) is, no more desires, no more preferences (immutable gesture). It’s replaced by … “Only what You will.” Doesn’t choose, doesn’t say “This is better than that” – what You will.
That’s the natural and spontaneous state.
Very well (laughing), we’ll see!
No, I don’t think so.
I don’t think so. Because, otherwise, it would really need centuries and centuries and centuries.
Yes. But centuries, that’s nothing for the Supreme.
Yes, of course.
For him, it’s …
But still, the world has reached such an acute state of suffering and pain that …
The time has come for ONE body to change itself sufficiently to give a concrete hope to humanity.
Yes, yes … Even if only, perhaps, as an example.
Yes, perhaps, but not only that, because the day that Power would have entered your matter so totally, you would have the possibility of passing it on to other bodies that were ready.
Ah, but the possibility already exists. I have constant proof of that – extraordinary proof.... You know, little miracles take place all the time, all the time.
Its clear that there will be ONE moment when the thing will occur.
March 28, 1970
(Mother holds a note out to Satprem)
This is what I sent for the conferences of the New Age Association.
They asked, “Is the aim of life to be happy?...”
So I replied:
“That is just putting things topsy-turvy. “The aim of human life is to discover the Divine and to manifest it. Naturally, this discovery leads to happiness, but this happiness is a consequence, not an aim in itself. And it is this mistake of taking a mere consequence for the aim of life that has been the cause of most of the miseries afflicting humanity.”
What do they mean by “happiness”!
Yes! Everyone thinks it’s his or her personal little happiness, and that’s the cause of the whole misery.
They did put “to be happy”: “Is the aim of life to be happy?”... That’s AMAZING! And that’s just what has distorted things, it’s the source of everything. “Me, I am happy if I kill someone – so let me kill someone”! (Mother laughs)
Yes, they always put the little person at the center.
Yes, always, always!
What have you brought? Nothing?... There are the latest things from Sri Aurobindo, do you have them?
On the four stages of pain?
421 – There are four stages in the pain God gives to us; when it is only pain; when it is pain that causes pleasure; when it is pain that is pleasure; and when it is purely a fiercer form of delight.
“If Sri Aurobindo refers to moral pain, whatever it may be, I can say from experience that the four stages he speaks of correspond to four states of consciousness that stem from the inner development and the degree of union with the divine consciousness obtained by the individual consciousness. When the union is perfect, there only remains the ‘fiercer form of delight.’
“If he refers to physical pain endured by the body, the experience does not follow so clearly defined an order, all the more so as union with the Divine most often causes the pain to disappear.”
Yes, that’s my experience, that’s what I told you. I don’t know whether he was actually referring to physical pain?... How does he put it?
“... A fiercer form of delight.”
That experience I had it in 1912 (1912 or ‘13, I don’t remember), in Paris. I was in Paris. Once, I had an anxiety about someone who was to travel to Paris and arrive at a certain time; time was passing and passing, and the person didn’t arrive. Then, at one point, I had a sort of anguish, I wondered what had happened. And that anguish suddenly … You see, I was already conscious of my psychic being (I had been for a long time), and that anguish suddenly became extraordinarily intense, and it made (bursting gesture) like fireworks – a marvel! So I understand what he means by “a fierce form of delight.” But it was purely psychological, it wasn’t physical.... 1912 or ‘13.
But physically, the body’s whole experience now is that it only has to … to give itself unreservedly, to abandon itself totally to the divine Presence, and the pain, any pain at all, disappears.
That I said the other day.
It’s not at all that it turns into something else: it disappears. And on a physical level, it’s more important because, along with the pain, the CAUSE disappears too. Which means that the disorder that had occurred is dissolved, it no longer exists. That’s why I don’t think Sri Aurobindo is referring to physical things, because in the physical, experiences are different.
Psychological or inner things, even sensations (sensations about events, not about the body), have a fluidity, they’re quite different in character. Things of the body have a sort of … (what shall I call it?) maybe a concrete stability or fixity, I don’t know. For example, if you have a pain somewhere (say in the heart or lungs or … some pain), it corresponds to something within, something that happened, a disorder, and the pain (when you are in a tranquil state) corresponds to what we might call the “situation” of the cells, so when the pain disappears it means the cells are back in place – it doesn’t mean that the disorder is continuing but you no longer feel it, that’s not it. So it’s not the sensation you have that changes, it’s the material FACT that has changed. And that I find much more marvelous: the contact with the true Force puts things back in order.
Yet, usually with physical things, one feels it takes a little time to …
But that’s because the cells are not used to surrendering, to giving themselves. Once the cells are conscious and give themselves, I have noticed that things can go really very fast. But it may depend on the kind of disorder; I suppose, for instance, that a broken bone may need some time to be repaired.
I once broke this little bone (Mother points to the little finger of her left hand). Sri Aurobindo was there and I told no one except him (especially no doctor). I didn’t bandage it, didn’t do anything, I just kept it straight. There was even a time when I could feel the knitting of the bone (it made a slight lump, as it always does), but that too disappeared. But it took … I don’t remember exactly (that was long ago, he was there), but I simply took care not to move my finger (it was the left hand), and it knitted together without bandage or anything, like that, relatively fast, and without leaving ANY trace. It was broken.
It was broken, but the bones hadn’t moved apart. I could feel the fracture – a month later it was over (I forget exactly how many days). And broken obviously means something very concrete!
But I don’t know if, for instance, in the body’s present state, it wouldn’t happen much faster. I don’t know. But now, it’s a thoroughly conscious and almost “methodical” work, I might say, which is inflicted on the body so that one part after another, and all the parts and all the groups of cells may learn … true life.
But there is one thing.... In what he wrote, in what he told me, Sri Aurobindo seemed to take as a sign of the transformation the constant presence of Ananda [bliss].... And that was one of the things I told him about: the being manifesting in this body, and consequently the body (because even from a very young age, the body had tried to surrender to the inner being, not to remain independent), in the body itself, there had never been either the feeling or the need, or even the intent of living in Ananda. Since it was very small, the body was built with … I might put it like this: “the will to do what had to be done” – to be what it had to be and to do it. When it was very small, the object of the surrender was not known, but the minute it knew it, for it that was very definitive.... You understand, the first contact (as I said) was the divine Presence in the psychic being, and so, the minute it became a fact – a patent fact, there was no arguing, the experience was perfectly conclusive – from that minute, the body had only one idea left (not even one idea, one will), to be what that wanted it to be.... Now, for it, it’s beyond any possible discussion: it’s like this (gesture hands open), simply attentive and anxious to do what the Divine wants it to do, and it tries more and more not to feel any difference. That’s beginning – it’s not yet there everywhere. In many parts of the body, there is only ONE thing left: there is not the Thing that wants and the thing that obeys, it’s no longer like that – only ONE Vibration. It’s beginning. But it doesn’t expect it to result in a sense of delight or Ananda or … In fact, it’s quite indifferent to that. It was born and formed quite indifferent.
I said that to Sri Aurobindo. (Laughing) He looked at me and said, “There aren’t two people like you on earth!” (Mother laughs) Because, he says, people may overcome the need to be happy (not “be happy,” that doesn’t mean anything), anyway the need of satisfaction, of Ananda, but for it to be spontaneous …! Like that, effortless.
No merit! It was quite natural.
That’s why that famous question [“Is the aim of life to be happy?”], for the body itself, it’s such an obvious thing! If it were told, “You were born to be happy …” (Mother stares in surprise), it doesn’t understand!
(Soon afterwards, for a message for April 24, Mother asks Satprem to look for a quotation from Sri Aurobindo. Satprem proposes this:)
“There is nothing that can be set down as impossible in the chances of the future, and the urge in Nature always creates its own means.”
It’s interesting.... That’s precisely the change of consciousness that has taken place in the body’s cells: if they are told, “Nature will find the means,” it leaves them absolutely indifferent – their impression is that it’s the Divine that directly … kneads Matter. That’s the object of what I call the “change of power”: to substitute the divine, direct Power for the power of Nature. And the cells no longer have that … (I can’t find the word in French) that reliance at all.
It’s not quite trust, it’s “relying on.” They no longer rely on Nature to do things: they have a conviction and a faith, and even an experience (a fragmentary one) of the direct Influence of the Divine.
It’s when Nature does things that it takes time, it’s Nature that needs time.
Is there something else?
“Whatever the way may be, you must accept it wholly and put your will into it; with a divided and wavering will you cannot hope for success in anything, neither in life nor in yoga.”
That’s very useful, yes, very useful! Most people are like this (vacillating gesture). Do you have others?
“To know the highest Truth and to be in harmony with it is the condition of right being; to express it in all that we are, experience and do is the condition of right living.”
Oh, but this is very good! We’ll take this. It’s good for everyone.
(Then Mother takes up the French translation of the above quotation and spends a long time looking for a word for “right.” Satprem reads out several unsatisfactory translations from a dictionary.)
The French language is very literary and mental, isn’t it?
Yes, it’s very rigid.
They’re beginning to wonder what Auroville’s language will be.
I think it will be a language that will … (Laughing) The children are setting the example: they know several languages and make sentences with words from every language, and … it’s quite colorful! Little A.F. knows Tamil, Italian, French and English; he is three years old, and (laughing), it makes a fine muddle!
Something like that.
It’s like the Americans. Their language … the English say that have totally spoilt the language, but the Americans say that the way they speak has more life. That’s how it is.
This little A.F. is sweet.... And very amusing. The day before yesterday, it was his mother’s birthday, so I received her. He was quite upset because he didn’t come, and he had said, “I will see Mother – tomorrow I will see Mother.” So yesterday, the whole morning long, he told everyone, “I’m going to see Mother, I’m going to see Mother....” He came here – Z told me he was here, I said, “Go and fetch him.” (Laughing) She went, and he said, “Oh, I don’t need to see Mother anymore!” (laughter) … Probably he had felt the Force in the atmosphere.
So they gave him a flower and he left.
I think these children have a much greater inner sensitiveness – much greater. There are little ones like that... (about that age, two, three, four). One came with his parents, they brought him; I didn’t particularly pay attention to him (I found the little one sweet, that’s all). Afterwards, when he left, he said, “I’m not leaving this place. I want to see Mother, I’m not leaving here.” And he asked, he said, “I want to see Mother every day”!... He came back and sat down (all the family members came, received flowers, left and so on), but he remained quietly seated at my feet. He didn’t move, he was quite satisfied. And strangely, it’s not because I pay special attention to them, not at all. Not at all.
One child, the other day, brought me flowers. I gave him a rose, and then he went to the other family members: he wanted to take their bouquets to give them to me.... He came back, sat down, looked at his rose for a long time, and then he came and gave it to me as if it were … it was so clearly, “This is the best I have, so I’m giving it to you!” (Mother laughs)
I gave it back to him.
They have something more, already.
People who speak Esperanto wrote me an official letter to say how many they are (a considerable number), and that they would like their Esperanto to be Auroville’s language.... There are lots of people who speak that language, lots. Everywhere, I think. I got that letter two or three days ago.
But Auroville’s language, let it just be born spontaneously!
Yes, spontaneously, naturally! Ah, we shouldn’t intervene. For the time being, I write birth certificates in French.... And when there is a central organization (which will be like a town hall or a municipality, I don’t know – anything), if passports are given, they will be citizens of the world.... So everywhere people will start saying, “They’re a bit mad,” and then in a hundred years … it will be natural. I remember the beginning of the century (of this century, before you were born), and now … there has been a tremendous change!
(Satprem prepares to leave, lays his forehead on Mother’s knees, she takes his hands)
This morning for two or three hours, I had a curious experience (the body). Once it had the experience that each … (what could I call it? It wasn’t a person, it was like an individualized aggregate), each aggregate had its own essential way (not as it is now, as it IS or ought to be), its own way of understanding and manifesting the Supreme, the Divine, and that was what made its own individuality, its particular way of being. And all those ways put together were roughly a reproduction of the total Divine – but each way has to understand that it’s only ONE way and that all other ways are just as true as itself. But it was the body which understood that! It felt it very clearly, for several hours. one way … And then, it was so amusing, because (laughing) it said, “Yes, yes, as for me, I am the way that wants everything to be harmonious!” It said that, repeated it again and again: “I am the way that wants everything to be harmonious....” It understood, it understood that; it didn’t bother it in the least that there should be millions and billions of other ways – that was ITS way.
Everything, but everything should be harmonious – harmony, harmony, harmony. Something … (words are very, very dry, very hollow) something – a vibration it knows well, a vibration which, for it, is … the expressed combination of Love and Harmony. But “love” is small and “harmony” is small. The two together (along with something else) make up its way of being in the universe.
That was very amusing. Really very amusing.
It understands very, very well – very well – that all have the same right to existence and must … Everything is hardly capable of expressing That which must be expressed.
It was the body, not the mind – strangely, it has a sense of reality that isn’t mental or vital or emotive or anything of the sort. It’s something else. Very, very concrete.
The body was happy, very happy! It says, “Yes, this is it, this is it!” As if the Lord had told it its secret. It said, “Now I know, now I know this is it.” And everyone – everyone and everything – everyone, each of these billions … all of it. But they don’t know! (Mother laughs)
The body is amusing, you know! As an experience, it was amusing.
Harmony, love. But... what people put into these words isn’t the thing – it’s not the thing.
It’s after reading all these Aphorisms: that makes it work a lot.
What should be my way of being?
Ah, it’s for you to find it! Oh, that’s the only way it’s amusing. I think I know, but there it’s no longer the body that knows (Mother makes a gesture above). No.... You have to find it. (Mother laughs)
April 1, 1970
T. has asked me questions regarding the death of her brother, N.J. It seems that a few months before his death, he knew he was going to die, and he said, “But I will come back in the Ashram.” And his sister used to see him. I told her, “When he died, I know I led him to the place of rest – he may have come out of it.” And when she told me about it, I concentrated a little, and one night, I saw; I saw him come back: he was in the body of a two- or three-year-old child. But I haven’t seen him here – I don’t know where he is.
There’s a very curious Aphorism I saw yesterday. I don’t know when he wrote that … I simply wrote at the bottom: “Nothing to say.”
I don’t know, it’s strange.... An aphorism in which he speaks of “enjoying Nature as one enjoys a woman’s body”! (Mother laughs)
428 – What is the use of admiring Nature or worshipping her as a Power, a Presence and a goddess? What is the use, either, of appreciating her aesthetically or artistically? The secret is to enjoy her with the soul as one enjoys a woman with the body.
Have you seen my answer?
Yes: “Nothing to say.”
Nothing to say, yes.
There is another one in which he says, “I did not know whom I loved more. Kali or Krishna …” (I am commenting, not quoting exactly), “... till I realized that to love Kali was to love myself, while to love Krishna was to love myself and someone else too....”
427 – I did not know for some time whether I loved Krishna best or Kali; when I loved Kali, it was loving myself, but when I loved Krishna, I loved another, and still it was myself with whom I was in love. Therefore I came to love Krishna better even than Kali.
What exactly does he mean? I don’t understand.... He writes as if he felt identified with Kali more than with Krishna. Yet (and he told me so) there was something of Krishna in him.
So I would have liked to know if all those things were written at the same time, or years apart?
Nolini seems to say it was at the beginning.
Yes, it was at the beginning.
At a time when he used to sign his letters “Kali” [around 1912].
Oh, there was a time when he used to sign “Kali”....
He always signed his letters “Kali”: the letters to Motilal, for instance.
Oh, I never saw that, I didn’t know. So it was at that time.
It was certainly long before I came [in 1914].
Did I tell you the vision I had here?... I’ve had many, but there is one … It was after the War was declared: between the time when the War (the first War) was declared and my departure. There was a rather long period: the War was declared in August  and I left next February. Well, between the two, one day while in meditation, I saw Kali enter through the door – Kali of the vital, naked, with a garland of heads – she danced into the room. And she told me (she stayed like that, a little distance away), she told me … I don’t remember the exact words, but: “Paris is captured” or “Paris is about to be captured” or “Paris is destroyed” – something of the sort, anyway the Germans were advancing on Paris. And then, I saw the Mother – the Mother, that is to say … how does he call her? Maha …
Huge!... You see, Kali had a human size, but she was huge, up to the ceiling. She came in behind Kali and stood there, and she said, “NO” – simply, just like that (in a quiet categorical tone). So I (laughing) … In those days, there was no radio, we would get the news by wire; so we got the news that the Germans were advancing on Paris, and at the same moment (that is, the day I had my vision), at the corresponding moment, without reason they were struck with panic, they turned back and went away.... It was just the same moment.... They were advancing on Paris; so Kali came in, saying, “Paris is captured.” And then She came (Mother brings her hand down sovereignly): NO.... Like that. It really was remarkable, because I was simply sitting there, looking. And it happened in front of me.
I told Sri Aurobindo about it, he didn’t say anything. It was he who would get the news. And later on, in the afternoon, he told me, “Here’s the news....” It seems they were suddenly seized with panic; they thought, “It can’t be” – there was no one to oppose them, the way was open, all clear, they didn’t encounter anyone or anything, so they said to themselves, “It’s a trap.” And … (laughing) they ran away. They turned around and left.... That was really interesting.
I never heard Sri Aurobindo tell me about those things [Kali and Krishna]. I know there was something of Krishna – he told me so and I saw it; it was what I saw, and he confirmed it, he told me. There was even a day when he felt Krishna IN him, and then … (he hadn’t withdrawn yet at the time, he would see everyone: he saw people, that was when he would see Pavitra and the others), and then he called everyone, sat in the verandah of that house [above the Ashram’s entrance], sat there, had me sit beside him, and called everyone. Then he said, “I have resolved to withdraw from activity; she will be your Mother and will …” He named me officially. Then he withdrew to his room. As for me, I worked in what is now “Prosperity”.... But at the time, he felt Krishna in him – that’s why he withdrew.
Couldn’t he have continued in activity with Krishna’s presence?
I don’t know.
I don’t know.... I never asked him questions, to tell the truth; I would never ask anything: I listened to what he said.
That was the time when I remained without eating for ten days, just to see.
(Mother goes into a long contemplation)
I spend my nights – almost the whole night like that: I don’t sleep, and … time goes by so fast!... Sometimes I have visions.
(Mother plunges back)
April 4, 1970
It’s sixty years since Sri Aurobindo arrived at Pondicherry....
Do you still get the Aphorisms?... I don’t remember having read those things.... Clearly, he wanted to break rules and conventions at all costs.
I strongly felt that was what resulted in the European attitude: that mixing of sex and yoga and all that.... That [sort of aphorism] must have been indispensable at the time, but now I feel we have gone beyond, or at any rate that we are going beyond.
Do you have anything?... No questions, nothing to say?
There is a note from G., if you’d like me to read it.... He says:
“My health problem [serious heart attacks] has led me to reveal many hidden elements in the body, like Mother’s love, grace, and Mother herself with me.... My body seems no more at the mercy of old beliefs. Thus, my confidence in the body is increasing more and more day by day, and I feel and see clearly that the body can throw away any kind of difficulty in it by coming in the contact with Mother’s love and grace. One day, I asked Mother from within not to allow more such attacks which bring me almost to a condition of collapse every now and then and, Mother, it never came afterwards since about ten days!...”
(Mother remains silent)
Yes, he told me he was very struck to discover practically that “laws” don’t hold up, so-called laws disappear.
For quite some time lately, for weeks, night and day there has been a sort of demonstration of all that remains mixed in the body: old influences, old vibrations, old … and in the new way. So then, when the new way is pure, without mixture, there is still in the body consciousness … (Mother shows surprise) a sense of marvel at something that still appears impossible.
It gives the distance between what is and what must be.... But at times, all, all consequences of the old way of being suddenly seem erased – only, it doesn’t last.
Once you told me that you had seen Sri Aurobindo supramental on his bed....
Was there an “extra” element there, or something that isn’t there now, or not yet there?
There was a luminosity. The substance was … not radiant but... I can’t say “luminescent” because it was a golden color, but like luminescent bodies: it was a kind of golden mist coming out of his body.
What I meant was: is it an element (I who don’t see anything), an element not present now, or not yet present, or what?
My impression was … yes, I might say that the proportions in the combination of matter weren’t the same.
That’s something I very often wondered about as far as bones are concerned – how will it be?
There is obviously a suppleness, a flexibility and a plasticity that are impossible for our bodies as they are. So … as long as there is inside this sort of rigid framework, how can it be plastic?
But it was in Sri Aurobindo?
I SAW him like that – I didn’t touch him. He was luminous and the impression was one of plasticity Only, he isn’t physical, so in the subtle physical that’s the way it is; but in the subtle physical there are no bones.
The transition between this and that is what’s difficult.
Basically, it’s having a permanence without fixity. Until a new species was conceived of, it was thought that along with fixity there was death and dissolution, and there was no notion of something that would be permanent on earth BUT without being fixed.... We can’t say it’s impossible, because everything is possible, but … it means something very different in the combination of matter. Once you said, you told me that one would become visible or invisible at will – but that means a very great plasticity.
(Mother shakes her head and plunges in)
(Mother shakes her head again and plunges back for a long time)
We have a long way to go.
(very long silence)
Do you have any indication?... But it’s mental, no? The body is quite incapable of saying anything.
The impression I have is that this subtle body, which is already supramental or supramentalized, could materialize by using …
But how? That’s the question – how?
By using the material body as a support.
(Mother remains silent for a long time)
When there is no more “mixture” anywhere, as you say, then the fusion will be possible.
The body (when I go into contemplation like that), there is a moment when … the word “anguish” is too strong, much too strong, but the impression is of being on the verge of … the unknown – the unknown, the … something. A very, very odd sensation.
Almost constantly, it really has a very … at least a very odd sensation of being … of no longer being this and not yet being That. There.
But it’s quite strange; there’s absolutely no fear, there’s no acute sensation (no acute sensation), and there is something … Well, the most precise I might say is: it’s a sort of new vibration. It’s so new that... you can’t call it anguish, but it’s … the unknown. A mystery of the unknown. But there’s nothing mental about it, of course, it’s just in the sensation of the vibration.
And that’s becoming constant. So there is the awareness that there’s only one solution for the body, it’s … total surrender – total. And in that total surrender it realizes that that vibration (how can I explain?), that vibration is not one of dissolution, but something … what?... The unknown, completely unknown – new, unknown.
Sometimes it’s struck with panic. And it can’t say it’s in pain much, I can’t call that suffering; it’s something … quite extraordinary. So, for it, the only solution is … to disappear in the divine Consciousness. Then everything is fine.
But the body knows it’s not that [i.e., dissolution]. You understand, it’s something it doesn’t know. For a time, it thought there were certain influences or certain actions or certain … and now it realizes it’s not that at all. The thing doesn’t depend on influences, doesn’t depend on events, doesn’t depend on action, doesn’t depend on … its … something.
So the body’s sole remedy is, so to speak, to snuggle up in the Divine: what will happen will happen.
Yes, the “other thing” must be so much “other” that for the body it must be like death!
It’s the equivalent, at any rate. That’s right. It’s the equivalent. But (smiling) … it doesn’t confuse the two. It doesn’t confuse the two, it KNOWS this is not what people call death.
It’s a funny life, at any rate.
Yes, it’s a funny-adventure!
Oh, yes! (Mother laughs) Oh, yes.... And all things other than the purely material, all psychological, moral things, all that seems so childish!... “Oh, what fuss you make about nothing! Wait till you know how it is THERE” (Mother points to the body). That’s all.
Yes (laughing), I think that’s the great adventure!
The body spends hours repeating … not with words, but with all its will (Mother clenches her fist), “To be nothing but You, to be nothing but You, to cease existing, to be nothing but You....” Like that, it’s so intensely like that … oh!
And it very well knows that this “You” isn’t the Supreme, but to it, it’s the Supreme for the time being.
We’ll see! (Mother laughs)
Everything is becoming like that, everything. The change of sleep is what took place the most easily, but the whole work, all, all that I do – speaking has become a very difficult thing, very difficult … my voice doesn’t come out anymore, it’s as if someone else speaks, you understand?
What time is it?
Quarter past eleven.
After some time, I will be able to say certain things, but … Do you hear when I speak?
Yes, yes, Mother, very clearly!
Later … Later.
(Mother takes Satprem’s hands)
I will soon have a dangerous contagion, you know! (Mother laughs)
April 8, 1970
(Regrettably, Satprem did not preserve the recording of the following conversation, perhaps feeling too acutely the negative appearance of Mother’s difficulties, although that very negativity was the condition of the experience. At the beginning of the conversation, Mother makes a fair copy of a text to be reproduced.)
My eyesight has gone down a lot these last two days.
There’s a difficulty.... I am beginning to be unable to eat, so … Things are becoming difficult.
Is it the consciousness or the body?
It’s … I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on.
The body seems to be straddling … (gesture between two worlds). Naturally, it still has all the old habits, so that makes for … it makes for a queer thing. It’s only the consciousness that’s clearer than it has ever been. Consciousness of what goes on in people … But speaking is a difficult thing, very difficult, and the sight is … (Mother shakes her head).
It really is a very strange condition. Very strange. You know, this whole base, from automatism to all the things one does out of habit, is … (yes, there’s an enormous quantity of things one does automatically) … it’s gone. So that’s … difficult.
It’s especially, especially the question of eating, because for an extremely long time (many years) there has been no interest in food, none at all. Its taken only … its taken with a certain knowledge of what is needed, but that’s all. Well, now, it’s … almost difficult to swallow. Especially that: very difficult to swallow.
(Mother goes into a long contemplation)
There is also a difficulty breathing. Breath is … is short.
What’s going to happen? I don’t know. (Mother laughs)
But the Power is more and more massive, I feel.
Yes, yes. Oh, and at times … Listen, yesterday I saw a boy who’d taken a wrong turn (he is in Auroville). He’d taken a wrong turn, had rebelled and didn’t want to do anything anymore. Anyway … So I wrote him to come. Every Tuesday, they come from Auroville, four of them. He came with them. He came in … closed, blocked. I said absolutely nothing, I looked at him, simply looked … (gesture). After a few minutes, brrt! everything melted. And then he expressed it.
Without saying anything, not a word, simply … Such things take place all the time, all the time. It’s odd, the body acts as an intermediary (gesture radiating through the body), like that, simply like that.
But I am constantly out of breath.... I don’t think there’s any disease, I don’t get that impression. On the contrary, I get the impression that certain things are rather getting better (oh, nothing very spectacular, but some things do get better). But there are two difficulties: one is breathing – short, very short – and the other is eating.... Drinking, I can still drink.
And I would really like not to reach a condition where I’ll be asked to see a doctor, because they can’t understand....
Did I give you flowers?
April 11, 1970
(Regarding a text of Sri Aurobindo about the difference between occult powers and the supramental realization.)
“The physical Nature does not mean the body alone but the phrase includes the transformation of the whole physical mind, vital, material nature – not by imposing Siddhis [occult powers] on them, but by creating a new physical nature which is to be the habitation of the supramental being in a new evolution. I am not aware that this has been done by any Hathayogic or other process. Mental or vital occult power can only bring Siddhis of the higher plane into the individual life – like the Sannyasi who could take any poison without harm, but he died of a poison after all when he forgot to observe the conditions of the Siddhi. The working of the supramental power envisaged is not an influence on the physical giving it abnormal faculties but an entrance and permeation changing it wholly into a supramentalised physical. I did not learn the idea from Veda or Upanishad, and I do not know if there is anything of the kind there. What I received about the Supermind was a direct, not a derived knowledge given to me; it was only afterwards that I found certain confirmatory revelations in the Upanishad and Veda.”
Exactly what does he say will take place?
“... The working of the supramental power …is not an influence on the physical giving it abnormal faculties …
No, it’s not that at all!
“... but an entrance and permeation …
“... changing it wholly into a supramentalised physical.”
At any rate, in my case (I don’t know whether all cases are similar), the trouble is that... In life’s ordinary condition, the body has a sort of stable base as a result of which it isn’t uncomfortable, it can be quite busy with other things while remaining neutral: its existence goes unnoticed, and … it doesn’t require a continuous attention in order to be in a … favorable state, let’s say. In ordinary life, normally you live while being as little concerned with your body as possible; it’s an automatically functioning instrument. But in this present condition [of Mother’s], the minute the body’s attention stops being wholly turned to the Divine, relying on the Divine, it becomes very miserable. That’s the … So then, when it does nothing, it’s concentrated; when I see people, it’s also concentrated – all that’s quite fine. But the whole rest of the time, if it’s not actively concentrated, it’s enough to make it feel quite miserable.
Then it becomes terrible.
Almost all night long, there is a concentrated rest in the Divine and that’s very fine, but at times the body still slips into something resembling sleep, and then it becomes so miserable!... Dreadful.
I don’t know if this is special to it, but the atmosphere (Mother feels the air around her) is full of the most absurd suggestions.... All that disappears only when it’s ACTIVELY concentrated. That’s the way it is most of the time, but still there are moments … For instance, at mealtimes it’s very difficult, as if each mouthful had to be consciously taken as an offering, fully conscious of the Divine. Otherwise, it won’t do at all – I can’t eat, can’t swallow.
I don’t know if that’s special to this body or if it will be the same thing for all bodies.... Naturally, it’s fully aware that this is a transitional period, but … it’s very difficult.
Now and then, for a few seconds, there is … perhaps a “specimen” of what is to be, what will be – when, I don’t know – it lasts a few seconds. That’s wonderful, but …
Speaking has become very, very, very difficult … (I mean the material fact of speaking).
How are your nights?... The same?
Yes … I don’t know. It’s quite unconscious.
But do you sleep?
I feel it’s very light: the least noise instantly wakes me up.
(Mother goes into a contemplation)
It’s very hard to explain. It’s a very strange impression, as if one were … on the edge – but on the edge of what? I don’t know. Something … (Mother shakes her head).
(Mother goes back into a contemplation till the end)
It could last all the time, you understand, there’s no reason for it to change. It’s all the time like that. What time is it?
Twenty past eleven.
If you want to make me talk, you must come with questions, otherwise it’s not possible.
You think I should come with questions?
If you like!
My feeling, when one is in front of you, is that... [Mother laughs] … it all melts.
Yes. If it’s enough for you …
It’s a curious situation. The being isn’t at all turned in on itself: there’s nothing, it’s like this (Mother stretches her arms into the infinite). It’s like this. Maybe that’s why: it receives forces but doesn’t keep them, they hardly enter at all [into Mother], it’s like this (gesture of a continuous flow through Mother and spreading outward), all the time. All the time like that. So if I am told about something, it makes a point (Mother pinches a point in space between her two fingers), a point of concentration for a moment; otherwise it’s all the time like that (same gesture of continuous flow), all the time. It goes like this, like this (same gesture of “outward” flow). It feels – the body feels forces coming, but... it doesn’t even feel them going through, doesn’t feel it’s giving them, not at all, it’s like that (same gesture of spreading). It all goes through without … through what, one doesn’t know … Very nonexistent. Very nonexistent. And then, if the body starts being conscious of itself or of something, it’s MOST unpleasant, a discomfort....
I have noticed that with receptive people (I see people, lots of them), with receptive people, it starts flowing and flowing and flowing … like that. And nothing else: no thought, no … not even sensation. But the strange thing is that if the body becomes conscious of itself... it doesn’t suffer, that’s not suffering, but something which is … an inexpressible discomfort.
(Mother holds Satprem’s hands for a long time, looking at him)
Tell me one thing.... Did you feel you were receiving or giving?
I felt filled!
Ah, good.... Then that’s it. That’s my ideal condition. At such times it’s perfectly fine. That way, it’s fine. Do you understand?
Yes, I think that’s it: I don’t feel I [exist] … it’s limitless, you understand, that’s the strange thing. This (Mother points to her body) is quite artificial.
Then it’s good, no … Mon petit …
Yes, it’s …
... it’s the Divine which is there!
(Mother laughs a lot)
... And the curious thing is that I don’t at all feel it comes from one place. On the contrary, it’s a concentration: a concentration here, as if … (laughing) as if an expanse of something were pushed through a hole! (Mother draws a small circle between two fingers). You understand, that’s how it is!... Yet, it’s not limited, but it’s … it’s a movement like this (gesture of a flow through Mother). So it’s pointed [at a person or the word]. It’s pointed.
But that’s the ideal state! (Mother laughs)
April 15, 1970
There seems to be a more and more powerful Pressure, and all difficulties are arising (gesture of rising from below). People quarrel and … oh!
And it’s not just here, it’s all over the country. And I am told it’s all over the world.
You know, it’s like a Pressure … (gesture of implacable descent), so everything rises.
(Mother’s voice is husky)
A dozen letters everyday, from people imploring for help.... Everything is becoming difficult.
Things will probably have to become still more difficult.
It looks like that.... Only, it’s … just at breaking point.
Russia and America have reached, they say, the “balance of terror.”
(Mother plunges in)
I am unable to speak. I can maybe just answer a question, but I can’t speak.
What can one do?
What can one do?...
(Mother goes back into a contemplation till the end)
It can go on indefinitely!
Every time I try to ask myself a question, or to ask you, I feel it’s futile – it melts away.
Yes, that’s how it is.
The only thing is to be like this [gesture with hands open].
Then it’s fine, very fine....
But the impression is that there’s nothing else to do.
(Mother smiles and goes elsewhere)
I think it will be better if you bring questions.... I have difficulty speaking, but I can speak.
April 18, 1970
(Mother’s voice sounds increasingly frail. This conversation perhaps contains the key of everything.)
So, have you brought any questions today?
Yes, Mother; there are also a few from her [pointing to Sujata].
Start with yours, then she will speak.
I don’t know if it’s a “question,” but …I don’t very well understand the working of the subtle physical, or the relationship between the subtle physical and the material physical. For instance, you say that Sri Aurobindo is in the subtle physical, working to prepare the new world …
... and that we too, at night, through a part of our being, often work there to prepare … what is to come. How?...
Listen, your question comes at the right moment. Last night, for the first time – really the first time – it wasn’t a dream, I wasn’t asleep, yet there was a whole story (which I am going to tell you), and I was absolutely convinced at the time that it was something going on here (maybe not in that form, but in a similar form). Then I realized that nothing had taken place here (outwardly at least, there was no sign of it).... Giving the names bothers me; I won’t tell the names, it doesn’t matter. But the names were there, the people, all of it PRECISE, as it is here.
I forget how it started, but I was very ill, seriously ill, and my body wasn’t asleep, yet wasn’t awake (that’s a fairly normal state now: I’ll be absorbed in a consciousness, which I think is the consciousness of the subtle physical; at least I was there last night). So then, I was very ill, but I knew it wasn’t this body (but it was this body’s consciousness), it was a family at the Ashram, and the father was seeking help, looking for a doctor (all the details with such precision!...). And while that was going on, the body said to itself, “So I am identified with this person, since he is treating this person (me, that is); and since I am identified, I must do in this person what needs to be done.” Then I concentrated and called the forces of the Lord, and treated the person. All that down to the last detail. It lasted for two hours. At the same time, I saw people who were extraordinarily interested in the event, looking on; for instance, among them, not to name him, there was Nolini, bent over like that and looking (Mother opens her eyes wide) to try and understand what was going on. Which means it was taking place in a world that had the full appearance – full appearance – of the material world, but in which people were conscious.
I’m not recounting all the details, but my body FELT the battle of the illness. And at the same time it knew it wasn’t its own body, you understand? It was like that, a very complex, very precise consciousness, with a great force. And all of it going on at the same time – I wasn’t asleep.
This morning I expected to be told that something very serious had taken place in that family (there are three sick people in it, three women), that something had happened to one of them. And nothing has happened!... But that was a fact, I mean it was lived in every detail, with an absolutely clear consciousness, and it was in the subtle physical. But... but I tell you, I felt, the body felt very, very ill. Yet at the same time, it knew it was someone else’s illness. And it took the attitude, it said, “This is taking place so I take the necessary attitude for this person.” And all of it fully conscious. It took the attitude and kept it like that for two hours.
There’s only one possibility: it happened during the night, when those people were asleep, and they didn’t realize.... You understand, this body’s impression is that it has saved someone’s life.
Yes, you haven’t been told about any mishap because you prevented the accident from taking place.
I don’t know about the end. I “woke up,” came back to the ordinary consciousness. At one point I had to get up, and … it rather was a relief for the body, because it was suffering. Afterwards, it didn’t suffer anymore. But that was because the work was over.
Yes, nothing took place in the physical because you stopped the thing in the subtle physical.
Quite possible. But it’s … Never, never have I lived so totally in the subtle physical, fully conscious, without SLEEPING (I was lying on my bed), and it lasted for two hours. Things were as real, as precise as they are here.... And the same will: it’s not another will, it’s the same; it’s the divine Will through the psychic working in this body. So it acts there or here without difference. In other words, whether I am in this subtle physical or in the material physical, it’s the same will, the same psychic will that acts – the SAME, exactly in the same way. Which means that … I don’t know what the difference is. There’s a difference … it’s thin, you don’t feel it’s something thick or heavy: it’s thin. That union between the two, between the subtle physical and the material physical, is taking place all the time – day and night and day and night. The work is … You might almost say that there is an attempt to substitute one for the other.
And, you know, the faces, expressions, gestures, movements, words – as precise, as precise as they are here. It seems to be a response … because I asked (it was yesterday, I think, sometime yesterday; in fact when I sit like that, as I was with you the other day, the two worlds are fused [Mother holds the fingers of her right hand between those of her left hand], you can’t feel the difference), I asked Sri Aurobindo whether things are as precise and exact; so he told me yes, he answered yes, but said I had to experience it. And I had that experience last night, quite unexpectedly. It was around three in the morning (between two and three).
So then, I saw this morning one person from the family in question, who could have been one of those seriously ill – she didn’t mention anything, didn’t say anything.... So maybe it began in sleep for her and the action [of Mother] was enough to cure her without her realizing it. It’s possible.
You understand, it’s the kind of consciousness that says, “My body is suffering,” but it wasn’t my body, it was someone else’s body. It said, “I am suffering, but I know it’s not me, it’s the suffering of one member of this family” (I didn’t try to find out which), “and that’s why – it’s because I must do what I would do in my own case.” And I did it, it lasted for two hours.
It’s the first time. It’s like that every night, but fleeting, it comes for one detail, for a moment; the rest of the time I am in perfect Peace. It’s the first time I’ve had an action of this sort. And I was so ill (!) that I wondered (while it lasted), I wondered if I wouldn’t be left with something physically. That’s why, when I felt I had to get up, I thought it was also deliberate; I got up and I realized – nothing!
But it gives indications (more and more often, day after day, experience after experience), indications of the extent to which the intervention of this Will (which we call divine Will) through the psychic (or even direct, it depends on the case), to what extent it’s … all-powerful. And it exclusively depends on … This Will is always active for perfect Harmony – yes, perfect Harmony as we can conceive it. There also, in this conception, there is the knowledge that that too will progress, that once that harmony is manifested, then the work will begin for another perfection, which for the moment eludes us. That, too, knows.
More and more, there’s a sort of … not exactly fusion [between the subtle physical and the material physical], but … how should I put it?... For everything to hold together, this way of being of the material consciousness continues (the material, physical consciousness), but in it a permeation takes place (it really is a permeation), which doesn’t drive away the other, but... at length, it will probably transform it. It doesn’t drive it [the material consciousness] away, but it’s there and it dominates – at times it doesn’t dominate, it’s the other one that does; and so, depending on the case … it changes external circumstances (its hard to explain).
It changes external circumstances?
External. That permeation certainly intends (but this is probably a long way off) to effect a substitution, you understand? This subtle physical is working … (Mother gestures as if wearing away a dividing wall) to take the place of the other one, but not through elimination – through transformation. But I can see (as I perceive the two at the same time, I can see very clearly) that it’s a tremendous work.
And it takes away some of the fixity: our physical is not only fixed, it’s crumbly, and the subtle physical takes away that crumbly character: wherever it would break, now it bends, you understand? Wherever it would crumble, it’s fluid, it becomes … (Mother makes a fluid gesture). It’s very strange. It’s hard to explain.
I asked myself that question, I wondered, “But how? How is it going to …?” So, with these experiences, I see. But, of course, it’s a colossal work....
The body [Mother’s] has certainly been chosen as a field of experiment for some reason, which must be a reason of plasticity of the substance (I don’t know). There may be a reason, but in any case it’s a fact that it has been chosen to make the experiment. Because the experiment is under way: it starts with the more subtle, and you can see that it goes … (Mother makes a gesture of progressive descent into Matter). For months and months it has started with the more subtle, and then, VERY slowly and progressively, it has descended into a more material field. Last night, it was really remarkable.... One would have been unable to say, “This is the subtle physical, and that is the material physical.” It was … (Mother holds the fingers of her right hand tightly in those of her left hand), it was surprisingly one within the other. You don’t get the impression of TWO things, yet it’s very different – it seems to be a modality rather than a difference (I don’t know how to express it), a modality that comes exclusively from the consciousness. It’s a phenomenon of consciousness.
In last nights experience, it was everything at the same time: the body felt, acted, it was conscious, it observed, decided – everything, just everything at the same time. There even was … I don’t know, I didn’t have a vision of Sri Aurobindo, but I had the sensation of his presence (that often happens: at times I’ll see him and he won’t speak; at other times I won’t see him but I’ll hear him, he’ll speak to me – the laws are no longer the same), and he made me notice, or rather I noted that although the body was suffering a lot (the situation was critical, you know), there wasn’t the shadow of a fear in the body. Then he told me, “Yes, it’s because it is able not to be afraid that you can do the work.”
The absence of fear is really the result of the yoga for so many years – for half a century.
It was like this (gesture, hands open), offering its suffering, all the time like this.
After last night, I have every reason to think that the work is very, very active – very active.
But on the level of the earth, how do things take place? For instance, you say that Sri Aurobindo, yourself and a number of us are working in this subtle physical to prepare the new world: how is the permeation of this subtle physical made?
But in that way.
In the same way?
In that way. that is the work – the permeation.
But is it taking place terrestrially?
Yes, oh, I get letters from people who have astounding experiences, quite out of proportion with their degree of intelligence or development – astounding experiences. They themselves are astounded. Experiences very different from one another, but I know them all. I know them to be experiences of the subtle physical. People whom I know or not write to me (they come here, or they have read your book, or they have heard of Sri Aurobindo or …), and they describe it as I might describe it myself, that is to say, with the full knowledge. And they know nothing! It’s quite astounding, oh!...
Yes. And then, when you are in that subtle physical consciousness, the laws change – you can change the material law if you are in that consciousness.
Yes, it doesn’t at all work in the same way.
I mean that …
Mon petit, great care has been taken not to mentalize this thing. And that’s probably very useful.
The consciousness is VERY active – a consciousness wide awake to the smallest thing – but the mental description … (Mother shakes her head). Now and then, out of the old habit, I ask a question like that, a mental question, and I always receive the same answer: you mustn’t mentalize.
It instantly brings back the old way.
I mean, once or twice I had such an intense perception that it’s almost an experience, even if it’s merely mental, that in a certain state of consciousness, all physical laws collapsed....
Truly they had no power.
Yes, that’s quite true. They have no meaning.
No meaning, that’s right.
They have no meaning, to such a point that … I remember one thing last night: suddenly I saw a functioning, and I said to myself, “Oh, if we knew this, how many things – how many fears, how many combinations, how many … would crumble away, would lose all meaning!” It was … what we see as “laws of Nature,” “ineluctable” things, it all was absurd, an absurdity!
Yes, and I felt it as something flimsy, like a thin film, something without … Those awesome laws were something very flimsy.
You could almost have blown them away.
Yes, that’s right. Yes. With the true consciousness, it crumbles away.
Several times like that, when people tell me they feel as if in front of an ineluctable law, “There is this and this, and therefore that is inevitable,” the answer is always the same: IF YOU want IT SO!
You are the ones who decide it’s ineluctable!
This morning, when I realized there was no trace (after that, the body was rather better than usual), nevertheless it was a bit surprised, and it said to itself …
(Mother is abruptly cut short)
Ah, this is not supposed to be said.... That was an extraordinary experience.
It amounted to this: “Yes, to you the world is still this way because you want it this way; when you no longer want it this way, it will be the true way.” Then … But the “you want it” isn’t with the idea of the small ego’s will, of course, it has nothing to do with that. It’s probably a … there’s a position to be changed, a position of the consciousness to be changed.
But I had the clear knowledge that what I was conscious of last night is something taking place all the time, but I am not aware of it because … so as not to increase the burden of consciousness. Right now, from an ordinary standpoint, for an ordinary human being, the number of things that are conscious at the same time [in Mother] is something tremendous!... And it’s without fatigue, effort, difficulty, it’s natural, but many more get done consciously and without being relayed to the center of consciousness so … so it doesn’t get too much!
There is also this well-known thing: according to the concentration of the consciousness, the value of time changes. That’s perpetual and constant. The same circumstances, the same everyday little events I am made to feel with the ordinary consciousness, and then three or four different consciousnesses – and their value changes. It goes from a long, interminable time to … a second. Which means a demonstration of the unreality of time as we perceive it here – that’s every day, all the time.
There is a Force acting … At least I think, I feel it’s the Force, because it acts through the will (but it’s deeper or truer or higher or whatever than the will). For instance, if I am not “supposed” to say something, instead of its going through the thought, “Mustn’t speak, you mustn’t speak” – I just can’t speak anymore!... All sorts of things like that. The functioning is direct.
And the body is taught to learn … how it should be. The way it eats has completely changed. For speaking too, it’s the same, completely changed.
At times, the body feels such a great strength that it gets the feeling it could do … (it feels, it clearly sees, the hands are strong), a strength of a different quality, but much greater than before. And at other times, it can’t even hold itself upright, and for a reason which isn’t … It no longer obeys the same laws as those that keep us upright. So … And all that takes place in a single day!...
Ah! (Turning to Sujata) Ask your question.
Mother, is there a “Mother of Ignorance”?
What do you call a Mother of Ignorance?
I had a dream in which I seemed to meet someone who was the Mother of Ignorance.
Possibly.... It’s possible, oh yes. Mon petit, EVERYTHING is possible, and not only possible: everything is. But everything isn’t on earth, of course. You understand, there are many worlds, many regions – there is nothing that is impossible and that isn’t: if a thing is possible, it means it exists somewhere.
Logically, there has to be a Mother of Ignorance.
(Satprem to Sujata:) What did the Mother of Ignorance do?
(Sujata:) In my dream?... I had a long dream, and towards the end, I met her. I had to go through a place, and I told her, “I must go to the Light, to the Mother of Light.”
(Satprem:) And then?
(Sujata:) Then the dream vanished.
(Mother did not hear) You met her, she spoke to you?
Yes, Mother, she spoke to me.
So what did you tell her?
(Satprem:) She told her she wanted to go to the Mother of Light.
Oh, (laughing) and then she left!
(Sujata:) But she was there as if …
She were governing.
Yes, Mother, as if she were governing.
What are those regions?... There are any number of regions. There are unimaginable things. But where is that? I don’t know.
(Satprem to Sujata:) Tell your dream.
It must be a region intermediary between the most material physical, vital and mind. There’s everything imaginable, you can see the most extraordinary things. And that’s how it is. Strangely, even, you have a power there: one drop of truth has a tre-men-dous power in those worlds. With a single movement you can change lots of things. Only, of course, you also create them in the same way: the contrary movement, the movement of ignorance (all the movements of ignorance in the world) create things all the time. That is to say, it means shaping things, or making them active, or having them act.... Only, it’s a reality which … which is impermanent, to begin with. Ultimately, very few forms – forms or thoughts – have an eternal reality: all that (Mother makes a gesture of perpetual recasting) is constantly moving and changing.
I remember the first time (that was very long ago, more than … sixty years ago), the first time I asked, “But why do we die? Why do we live to die? – That’s idiotic!” Then I was made to understand that all that we see as “forms” is … (same gesture in perpetual movement). It’s our … clenched little consciousness; a clenched consciousness which makes it all appear a “momentous” phenomenon: we are small, we grow big, and in the end, we dissolve. But everything is like that (same gesture), everything is like that! There are very few things – very few – that are eternal. They have a different quality. It’s the first experience you get when you contact that which is eternal: it has a different vibratory quality... And then, that will to make this last (Mother points to her body), this which is made, entirely made of wrong movements – wrong movements and constantly in movement, constantly changing, constantly (same gesture).... As Sri Aurobindo said, “You want to make your body and everything around it last as it is?” – No, thank you! (Mother laughs) To last is, in fact, to become conscious, fully conscious in the eternal world.
He knew all that, Sri Aurobindo.... Have you seen the latest Aphorisms?
478 – A God who cannot smile could not have created this humorous universe.
476 – When will the world change into the model of heaven? When all mankind becomes boys and girls together with God revealed as Krishna and Kali, the happiest boy and strongest girl of the crowd, playing together in the gardens of Paradise. The Semitic Eden was well enough, but Adam and Eve were too grown up and its God himself too old and stern and solemn
Oh!... (Mother laughs)
... for the offer of the Serpent to be resisted.
(Turning to Sujata) So next time, if you see her, just tell her, “Your time will soon be past.”
(Sujata:) I simply told her, “O Mother of Ignorance, it is to the Mother of Light that I want to go.”
And it was enough! (Mother laughs)
April 22, 1970
So, have you brought questions?
Outwardly, sick people, difficulties, complications.... Very difficult … very difficult... It has almost come to look like a relentless fury.
The only thing is Sri Aurobindos Aphorisms, which are more and more amusing. Have you received them?
483 – Sin is a trick and a disguise of Krishna to conceal Himself from the gaze of the virtuous. Behold, O Pharisee, God in the sinner, sin in thyself purifying thy heart; clasp thy brother.
“Sin in thy heart,” it looks like … Isn’t it a joke? Is the word “sinning” or “fishing”?! 
In French, it’s hard to distinguish!
But this one is wonderful:
482 – My lover took away my robe of sin …
Oh, yes, it’s wonderful! And when he takes away the robe of virtue!...
... and I let it fall, rejoicing; then he plucked at my robe of virtue, but I was ashamed and alarmed and prevented him. It was not till he wrested it from me by force that I saw how my soul had been hidden from me.
Ah, that’s admirable. Admirable.
But T. [a disciple who asks “questions” on the Aphorisms] sends me four or five of them at one go, without space to answer each … so I only answer the last one!
It would be good to say, “Let our robe of virtue fall so we may be ready for the Truth.”
That’s one of the things being constantly done – oh, it’s been like that for a long time, it’s a long time since the body has been free from this illusion of sin and virtue, a long time. It finds it quite … quite ridiculous!
And then, in the contact with people … I hardly know who the people I see are (just about), so I see them without a thought, you understand, as they are, and afterwards I ask, or I am told about them, and … (laughing) I realize that most of the time, if a contact is made (when I see them, a contact is made, a receptivity), it’s with the people most scorned by others, people who outwardly behave like real boors! Just recently again I had an experience like that.
One of the things hardest to bear is obviously self-righteous indignation. You know, people tell me what’s going on (everyone tells me some story), and the vibrations hardest to bear, those that cause a … (gesture of unpleasant friction) are those of self-righteous indignation.
Now, I have to say one thing: when people come to see me (people whom I don’t know, not those I see all the time), all those visitors, it’s the best part of them that comes out. Several times I had contacts with people and the impression that something can be done, that they have a receptivity – and afterwards, those people misbehave, they cause disorder or trouble for others! But when they are in front of me, they’re not the same. They feel it, they feel it’s something else becoming active. But it’s the Presence that … compels; then they go away, and they behave very badly, they quarrel, they … It’s very difficult!
I see people from Auroville in rotation (once a week), in fact to try and work on this material, and it’s really interesting (people I don’t know: every time I am brought one or two or three new ones; some stay on, and others come in rotation). I said, “Those who want a bath of silence can come in turn,” and not a word is spoken. It’s really interesting. Well, there are people there who behave like … and despite everything, they feel that what they are here is superior to what they are there. But the others would need to have a lot of patience!...
What do you have to ask, or to say?... There is no need to “ask” – tell me something.
How can one make conscious contact with this subtle physical?
That, mon petit, I have no idea, because I never did it deliberately! (Mother laughs) It came on its own.
Now, very strangely, there are times when both are there, and then … A good thing I keep quiet (it’s only to you that I speak), otherwise people would surely say, “Mother is taking leave of her senses!” (laughter)
For instance, there is a region (I went there exclusively for a time, a few months – I don’t remember, maybe a little more, maybe a year), a region where there are many scenes from Nature, like fields, gardens … but all behind nets! There is a net of one color, another color … And it has a meaning. Absolutely everything is behind a net, you are … as if you moved about with nets. But it’s not a single net, it depends: for its form and color the net depends on what’s behind. And it is … the means of communication. You understand, it’s lucky I don’t speak because they’d say I have taken leave of my senses! And I see that with my eyes open, during the day, can you imagine! So I’ll see my room, for example – I’ll be here, seeing people – and at the same time I’ll see one landscape or another, and it all changes and moves about... with a net between me and the landscapes, like that.... The net seems to be … (how can I explain?) what separates this subtle physical from the ordinary physical. But what does this net represent? I don’t know... You see, there is no mentalization, there are no explanations, there’s no thought, no reasoning, all that is clearly done away with. So, in fact, I see …
The sensation isn’t the same either. Our way of feeling on the physical level isn’t there, it doesn’t work that way.... It’s more like a sense of proximity or non-communication, or indifference; but things belonging to the indifferent world do not show themselves when the dual vision is there.
Nights are very peculiar. And precisely because all that isn’t mentalized, it’s hardly possible to describe or explain.... But this subtle physical very concretely has the sense or feeling or perception (I don’t know) of the divine Presence – the divine Presence in all things, everywhere. So then, this body is … one might say, partly this way and partly that way (gesture of oscillation between two worlds).... That was one thing I asked this morning: how (the body asked itself), why, how, how is it that, having this divine perception almost constantly (because, as I told you, that consciousness is in the process of being established), how is it that the body feels this anguish? – It lives in a sort of constant anguish. So what’s that anguish?... And there are no explanations or … But just when it asked that, there was something like Sri Aurobindo’s manner, so full of humor, as if it were he (but not visible), telling me, “Look carefully: in this anguish, there is Bliss.” And this morning, I was sitting on my bed about to get up, and there was this kind of … I can’t call it suffering, but … it would be more like a discomfort, I don’t know, as if at the thought of the whole day ahead (but “thought,” it’s not a thought: it’s as if the day were weighing down), and while I was feeling that discomfort (I had to make an effort to get up and resume activity), at the same time, there was something laughing deep down, all the way down, and saying, “But!...” And it was in bliss. But then, the body has been (that was part of its formation) very careful to maintain commonsense – not to go off its rocker.... You feel you are … just on the borderline, you know: one very small movement like that, and … (gesture of dissolution).
The body was used to commonsense, practical sense – and that, prrrt!... seems to be crumbling away So there is a sort of … What saves the situation is that I say to myself (I SEE – I don’t know how to explain – I see it’s people’s reaction: in front of this, people quite naturally feel you’re taking leave of your senses), so I say to myself, “What do I care! What do I care what they think of me – whoever it may be, I couldn’t care less.” The body couldn’t care less (it’s been a long time since the rest stopped caring, but the body). Then I see in my memory certain expressions of Sri Aurobindo’s, certain smiles in front of perfectly reasonable attitudes … and the ridiculousness of those reasonable attitudes becomes patent. I live in that all the time.
It’s … (I don’t know how to put it), it’s like this (tight gesture, one hand pressed against the other): in one attitude (but not a willed, devised attitude, not that: its spontaneous), in one attitude, you are per-fect-ly at ease – everything is peaceful, normal; then, things remaining the same, there is beside that (not even beside, not inside or … I don’t know how to explain, it’s simultaneous), there is … a slight anguish. And that anguish is constant – maybe it’s the anguish of a dying way of being, I don’t know, but it makes for a strange situation.
But then, everything becomes simple when someone is there, receptive, that is, comes without thought, without … simply like a sponge that absorbs. Then the Presence becomes concretely perceptible, quite so. Things are exactly the same, but the Presence is concrete and quite … not only perceptible: it imposes itself. Then things come to a halt, there is a stabilization – and everything becomes perfect.
But it depends a lot – I mean, it still depends – on peoples receptivity... And these last few days, I’ve had the impression, or something like a perception, an impression of an awesome Power! The Power that would seem capable of bringing a dead man back to life, you know. An awesome Power that uses this [the body] without conscious identification, but quite, quite naturally, without … as if there were no resistance. It’s a natural state, and it’s neither this nor that nor that, it’s … it’s everything (gesture showing an immense movement) which … which acts according to circumstances.
Usually I don’t say anything (it’s the first time I’ve said that), because there is still a sort of memory of what was [in the past], something remaining conscious that if those things are said quite simply as they are, then … the impression people would get … I don’t know. The body doesn’t care, but something is watchful – I see that “something” as a person (whom I don’t know, besides) watching over my body and over circumstances, and stopping me from doing certain things … so there may be no catastrophes.
It’s an impersonal person, I don’t know; there’s no personal relationship with it, but it’s someone whose responsibility is to see to this body’s well-being, and especially to its relations with others, because the body has reached the point where … it really couldn’t care less.
Some curious things. Some people are quite well-disposed and even, I might say, full of affection, of care, and … I don’t know, I can’t explain, but certain things have to remain as they are and there should be nothing to disturb those people – but the body is quite unconcerned about that. The conscious, active being is turned only to the supreme Consciousness and exclusively concerned with doing what this Consciousness wants it to do, and so there are, as it were, people (or someone) whose responsibility is to see that things can be understood in the transitory state we are in. There.
But with people, when I am told about a circumstance, when someone (directly or through someone else) tells me some difficulty, some circumstance … there comes the clear, precise vision of what needs to be done, and it doesn’t correspond to any thought, nothing at all (once I have said it, generally I don’t even remember what I have said). And downright practical: this must be done, that must not be done.
Ordinary life, the ordinary way is as if projected onto a screen (it’s not at all within, it’s …), and constantly the disorder of ordinary life is as if shown – insubstantial, but perceptible. And if there were something [in Mother] still open to that, or even (let’s put it very simply), if there is something still open, the result is a fact: a discomfort, or quite unpleasant things – more and more it’s beginning to be unreal and unable to touch [Mother] … but you can’t be sure.
It’s a life which, described in detail, would be absolutely the life of … [a madman]. Luckily, I still appear to have some common-sense! (laughter)
But I don’t talk about all that.
(At that precise moment, Satprem strongly had the following thought, which he almost told Mother: “If a caterpillar’s vision were suddenly changed into a man’s vision, it would clearly mean a bursting of its whole logic.”)
And you (to Sujata), do you have something to say?
Very often, afterwards when I am in front of you, I feel...
I can’t hear.
After Satprem leaves, I come and do my pranam. Then, in front of your gaze, my true inner being seems to come to the front.
And curiously, I have the sensation of a force of... Do you know the Ganges, the goddess Ganga? I feel an affinity with her.
With the river?
With that goddess.
Well, that’s strange!
This identification [with the Ganges] is the power of vital plasticity. … Probably there are in that way families of beings.
(Mother plunges in)
Do you get a special sensation when you have that? Do you feel something special?
(Sujata:) Right now, it’s as if very interiorized, and at the same time with the inner being in front: both at the same time, like that.
(Mother plunges in again)
April 29, 1970
(Mother has had several heart attacks since the April 24 darshan. Satprem could not see her on the preceding Saturday.)
The darshan day was chosen for the transfer of the heart. I thought I would be unable to go to the balcony. But I went just the same. So then, the day after … (Mother looks quite shaken). And it’s not over.
Nothing pleasant to tell.
What about you, do you have questions?
I wonder, when those transfers take place in one part of the being or another, it’s not just the consciousness that changes, something in the substance changes too, doesn’t it?
It’s almost in the functioning.
(Then Mother sorts out old papers, and finds Satprem’s letters from Ceylon, as he was about to become a Sannyasin. Those same letters disappeared again after Mother’s departure.)
I had some papers which have disappeared too since I came upstairs: a birth certificate … I don’t know whether the papers were burned in France (some town halls burned their records during the War). It was in the 9th [district of Paris].
I think the house no longer exists. It was 60 or 61 boulevard Haussmann, and it was in the 9th.
We’re going to have to give Auroville people some identity object. Yes, it has happened that some people came and settled on Auroville s lands without asking for anyone’s permission, and suddenly we find ourselves faced with a man or a family.... So it’s beginning to be troublesome. Because it’s very scattered.
(silence, Mother asks for a glass of water)
I am so thirsty! Terribly thirsty all the time … There is something in the throat.... I told you it’s the difficult spot – it remains so. It’s given me quite a bit of trouble.
There are things … really interesting things.
Strangely, you might say there are numbers of miracles, that is, things that contradict all habits, but they hide, they veil themselves – but as for me, I see them.
You know that in the night that followed the darshan, they found
almost a year he had asked me to leave. So, when he asked me to leave (he asked
quite in earnest: he was suffering a lot, quite miserable), I did what I always
do: I presented his request to the Supreme Lord and said to Him … And then, he
didn’t leave. He recovered. He recovered and for some time he was much better.
But his will to go remained. So then, on the day of darshan (I think he saw me,
I don’t know), he disappeared from his room, and they found his body partly on
the shore, partly in the water. As it was a public place, the police asked for
an autopsy, and it was done: there wasn’t a drop of water in his stomach, which
means he didn’t drown. And it does seem, according to what people say, that he
didn’t drown (but I didn’t see the body, so I am not absolutely sure), but one
thing is sure, it’s that he left his body, and another thing is sure, it’s that
he did not kill himself.... He went out before
There was a kind of hole. He must have fallen down and hit a rock.
But were there rocks there?
Yes, Mother, in front of the Distillery they are piling up tons of rocks.
Oh, it was in front of the Distillery!
It’s not clear, because he was found on the sand, a little farther. But the face had been hit.
But he didn’t drown, I am sure of that. It’s a so-called “accident,” which means he left … You understand, he was really imploring to go, and he went out – he must have been guided where he had to go.
But then, I should tell you that some people are telling very stupid stories on Rishabhchand’s departure.
Oh, what do they say?
Well, they say he committed suicide.
But that’s not true!
And then people like C., for instance, in their ignorant goodwill, say, ‘“Well, some yogis do have a fall like that, at the end of their lives....” It’s stupid!
Yes. But they told me too, that’s how they broke the news to me! They told me that Rishabhchand had “committed suicide.” There was in me a categorical NO.... I didn’t say it. I didn’t say, I waited; because if I had said something, they would have … I didn’t say anything, I waited. Then they told me that the police had demanded the body, and later on they said, “Well, the police found there wasn’t a drop of water in his stomach.” So he didn’t throw himself into the water. And it was the only thing he could have done.
But Mother, they went to the extent of going to find little Astha in her sports group, and they told her, “Aren’t you ashamed, your grandfather committed suicide, aren’t you ashamed!”
And then, in the Ashram, people say … They’re stupid. And C. in the lead, Mother!... All that is ignorant.
I comforted the little one (because they came), and Munnu [the elder granddaughter] asked me … no, she didn’t ask me anything, but there was a question in her eyes, so I told her, “He’s all right, my child, don’t worry.” Then she questioned me, and I said, “He’s quite all right, he didn’t kill himself” – I’m sure of that.
But I found it was … it was all guided so wonderfully! It was … (how can I put it?), to make myself understood, I prayed: I prayed that if it were really possible, well, let him be helped to leave. And that’s what was done (but I had done it the previous time).
It came just at the right time.
He had completed his work; you see, the first time when he asked to leave, he hadn’t completed his Life of Sri Aurobindo, while this time he had completed it – he had nothing more to say.
And also he had seen you.
He had seen me on the darshan day. He didn’t choose any other day.
(Sujata:) Has he come to you [after his departure]?
Not in a form. I had an impression … Just when he left, I had … (I didn’t know anything about it, I was in my bed – I don’t sleep, of course), but I had a strange vision. I was someone (and afterwards I thought it was he, I was with him – I say “I” because that’s how it presented itself in the night, but I knew it wasn’t me: I knew it was someone else). The Lord had asked me to come and meet Him atop a mountain; so I went there, but I didn’t want others to know … (let me add one thing: it was in the night, just when the thing was taking place, which means that even physically, materially I didn’t know anything). I went to the meeting place, but I didn’t want others to see me, so I went to the top of the mountain and … I couldn’t see the Lord. I said, “How? He is there and I don’t see Him, how? He is hiding well.” And finally: “Now it’s time, I can no longer see Him....” And I went back down – I went back down, I met people and didn’t want them to stop me; then I had some difficulties, I saw people, and then I felt as if those people, the mountain and everything … were fading away, fading away more and more. And then, when the thing had faded away, it was time for me to get up, which means it was 4:30.
I was very preoccupied by that vision. Preoccupied, I wondered, “What can it be? What can it be, someone whom the Lord had asked to come and meet Him but who could not see Him?...” Then a few hours later, they told me (told me with the usual brutality), “Rishabhchand killed himself last night.”
Then they explained: “His servant came, entered his room, and found Rishabhchand wasn’t there. No one had seen him go out, and the servant found him drowned on the seaside....”
I didn’t say anything, I strongly felt, IT’S NOT true. Then afterwards – long afterwards – they told me about the police and how, finally, he was half in the water, half on the shore, and with a blow to the head. Then I understood. I understood that the Lord had asked him to come and meet Him … (Mother gestures as if taking Rishabhchand by the hand), had him leave his house. But in his consciousness (my “dream” must have stopped at the point where he physically lost consciousness), in his physical consciousness, he could not see Him. Then it became clear!
You know, I found that so marvelous! Because the experiences I have now … I never had such precise and concrete experiences, because these are experiences of the body. I had that experience, and when I got up in the morning, I wondered, “What on earth can this mean?...” I knew it wasn’t me, but I couldn’t know who it was. I knew it wasn’t me. “The Lord asked me to come and meet Him, I went to meet Him, and I could not see Him …” – his body left, and he saw Him.
Very interesting! I haven’t told anyone, I am only telling you.
I found it... You know, when I had the material proof that it was true, that he didn’t drown himself but died of an accident … but an accident that wasn’t an accident: he was led by the hand, “one” led him to the place where he banged his head.
It’s a magnificent thing.
The Lord asked him to come and meet Him, and he got up – he got up, feeling it was the Lord calling him; he left his room and went to bang his head on the rocks – the Lord led him.... It’s pretty, no?
And as I was identified with his physical consciousness, I felt the anguish he must have felt: “The Lord asked me to come and meet Him, but I cannot see Him....” And he didn’t want to be seen: “People must not see me, people must not see me....”
And then (this is something I haven’t said to anyone), on the darshan day, at ten o’clock, I gave the meditation lying on my bed. I did the meditation, but lying down, because … the doctor had come and (laughing) he looked rather frightened, he said, “Oh, the heart is weak, the heart is very weak” and fanciful! So it was he who told me, “You must lie down and keep still.” So I lay down and gave the meditation. But after meditation … brrr! there were a few very, very difficult hours. Only, I asked, I wondered, “Why just today, when I have to go to the balcony [for darshan]?” And it was like this: “But you’ll go! You’ll go.” Just when I was to go, it was … the thing [the attack] was so strong that the sight too was blurred and I no longer knew whether I was standing or where I was (it wasn’t too great). Then I went to the balcony: I stayed for ten minutes – I didn’t even know it! I didn’t even know I had stayed for ten minutes, I thought I had just gone and come back. So there.
That too is miraculous.
But I know that this body’s life … (what can I say?) yes, this body’s life is a miracle. Which means that if it weren’t what it is and the way it is, and arranged as it is, anyone else would be dead.... But then, if you knew (smiling) how it becomes … The body is conscious (and things aren’t hidden from it: it’s not led up the garden path, it’s allowed to see things as they are), so then this is the way it is, it says, “After all, it would make a difference mainly for others! For me …” Only, you understand, they are still in this kind of illusion of death because this [the body] disappears; and even this [Mother’s body] no longer quite knows which of the two is [true]!... For it, the truth should be Matter – well, even about that, it isn’t quite sure (laughing) what that is! There is the other, the other way of seeing and feeling and being – another way of being. And this [the body] is beginning to wonder … It knows that the old way is no longer that, but it’s beginning to wonder what it [the new way] will be like, that is to say, the way of perceiving, the relationship with things: “How will the new consciousness relate with the old consciousness of those who will still be humans?...” All these things will remain what they are, but there will be a way of perceiving them, a relationship … It comes … it’s strange, it comes like a breath of air – a breath of air – and then it disappears again. Like a breath of another way of seeing, another way of feeling, another way of listening. And that’s something drawing near, as it were, and then getting veiled. But then in the appearance [of Mother’s body], in the appearance it’s … (Mother makes a chaotic gesture). Yet, quite visibly, I am not ill, but at times it’s … very difficult. Very difficult. And then, several times I’ve had both [ways of being] at the same time.... So (laughing) the body says to itself, “Well, if people knew the way you are, they’d say you’re quite insane!” (Mother laughs) And it laughs.
It’s not afraid. It’s not afraid....
It suffers; sometimes it suffers with a very … a strange kind of suffering! A very strange kind of suffering. But then, how everything is wonderfully arranged! In the Aphorisms, there are all those things of Sri Aurobindo about the unreality of suffering, and it has come just at the right time! I said to myself, “But how wonderfully arranged it is!” It just came to tell my body, “Don’t worry!...” The duality [suffering and bliss] is so, so concrete that my body is … it groans, literally groans as if it were suffering terribly, and at the same time it says to itself, “Ah, this is bliss!” And it groans! You understand, the two are like this … (fused gesture).
It depends on a little something that looks like an act of will – but that’s not it. That’s not it. I really don’t know … it’s something new.
The body groans, and it says, it says to itself it’s suffering, then a little something occurs (but I don’t exactly know what it is; it looks more like an act of will, but that’s not it), and there’s no more suffering, yet it’s not at all what we call “bliss” – we don’t know what it is … it’s something else. It’s something else. But extraordinary. New, completely new – completely new. So all this is blurred, as it were, imprecise, it’s like … something taking place in a nebula, which is not this and not yet that.
It’s no longer, no longer … visibly no longer the body consciousness as it was. No longer: the relationships are no longer the same, the way of hearing, of speaking … (speaking is very difficult, it takes a considerable effort). And it isn’t yet … oh, it’s on the way to something, but it’s not there yet.
But the presence of the Grace is an absolutely marvelous thing! Because as I see things, the experience as it is … if I were not given at the same time the true meaning of what’s taking place, it would be endless agony – it’s the old way of being which is dying.
Naturally, there is the whole yogic preparation, but the body is … you know, it’s a constant miracle! People couldn’t bear it for more than a few minutes, and it goes on and on and on....
It began exactly on the day of darshan.
Once or twice, the body was offered to go back to the previous condition – it refused. It said, “No, it’s either this, or else leaving.”
That’s why it’s going on.... How many days is it since the darshan? 24, 25, 26 … today is?
The 29th: six days.
It didn’t seem so long! That’s another miracle: I thought it was three days.
(long silence; then Mother looks at something with a smile and shakes her head several times)
It’s … it’s FAR MORE marvelous than we can imagine – everything, everything …
It’s difficult … difficult to say precisely. We think that this, this appearance (Mother points to her body) is … to the ordinary consciousness it seems to be the most important thing – it’s obviously the last thing that will change. And to the ordinary consciousness, it seems to be the last thing that will change because its the most important: that will be the surest sign. But it’s not that at all!... It’s not that at all.
The important thing is this change in the CONSCIOUSNESS – which has taken place. All the rest is a consequence. And here, in this material world, it appears the most important to us because it’s … everything is upside down. I don’t know how to explain.
For us, when this [the body] is able to visibly be something different from what it is, we’ll say, “Ah, now the thing is done.” – That’s not true: the thing IS DONE. This [the body] is a secondary consequence.
What time is it?
Eleven thirty-five, Mother.
Oh!... Is the doctor here?
May 2, 1970
I have something for you … (Mother points to a written note).
It was two or three days ago, it came imperatively like that, in connection with some business. They have gatherings in Auroville, at “Aspiration”; I think it’s meditations, or something of the sort, I don’t know. One of them came and put my photo; so another rushed to his room and came back with a cross!... And he said, “Well, if you put a photo of Mother, I’ll put my cross.” They told me that story. They told me, because the one who put the cross had come to see me with the others (they come once a week, a few of them, four or five), but I didn’t know. He came and sat in front of me.... I found him a rather inquisitorial air (I didn’t know anything, you understand), and after they left I asked who he was. Then they told me he is a Catholic, and they told me the story.
Afterwards there came a whole series of things. But I must say there’s literally an invasion there (at different places in Auroville) because it’s not watched over, some plots of land are free, and at the center especially, some people have settled there, and there are constantly people who come and settle without asking for permission. So there was a thought to have a “badge” for those who are really Aurovilians (Mother shows a specimen of badge). For a few days already they’ve been thinking of organizing that: during the first year they will have a sort of identity card, and afterwards, if things are fine at the end of the year, you’re given the badge.
But what came to me is this (Mother points to her notes). It’s not over …
(Sujata prepares to bring a lamp for Mother to read)
I don’t need light, I don’t see clearly anymore.
“Auroville is for those who want to live a life essentially [religious] but who renounce all forms of religions whether they be ancient, modern, new or future.…
Mother, excuse me, but why didn’t you put “spiritual” instead of “religious”?
I am not sure yet.
It struck me as strange!
Yes, I saw that!... Maybe it’s better to put “spiritual.” I’ll see.
“... It is only in experience that there can be knowledge of the Truth. “No one ought to speak of the Divine unless he has had experience of the Divine....
That’s the important point.
“... Get the experience of the Divine, then alone will you have the right to speak of it....
You understand, we could put “spiritual,” but …
“... The objective study of religions will be a part of the historical study of the development of human consciousness....
I place religions below, in the mental realm.
Well yes, exactly!
In the mental realm, and it was a “subject of study.”
Strangely, two days ago it came to me almost like an experience: religion is the mental world.
Yes, yes! It’s a mentalization, an attempt to mentalize … what far exceeds the mind.
“... Religions make up part of the history of mankind and it is in this guise that they will be studied at Auroville – not as beliefs to which one ought or ought not to fasten, but as part of a process in the development of human consciousness which should lead man towards his superior realisation.”
So then, “Programme” … [Mother laughs]:
Research through experience of the Supreme Truth.
A life divine but NO RELIGIONS.
Oh, very fine!… It’s only the word “religious” there, it bothers me.
Then we’ll take it out!
Because you do say, “No religions.”
No, I took “religious” in the other sense, but it will always create a confusion.
It has taken on such a false meaning.
Yes. I’ll explain: I did not want to put “spiritual,” first because in French, the word spirituel has a different meaning [i.e., witty], and then because people living a “spiritual” life reject Matter, while we do not want to reject Matter. So that would be false.
I admit that “religious” isn’t a good word, because it immediately … I used “religious” in the sense of “a life essentially occupied with the discovery or the search of the Divine.” There are no words in French, and it’s not “spiritual.”
We have to find a word – we could put this:
“Auroville is for those who want to live a life divine …”
Yes, “a life essentially divine,” yes. “Divine,” that’s vast, Mother.
Is that all?... There was so much, I didn’t note everything.... It was day before yesterday, I think, the whole day was taken up like that in the experience, and I felt it was the revelation of Auroville’s true goal, and that this was what had to be told, and this is what … will select the people, the Aurovilians. The true Aurovilians are those who want to make the search and discovery of the divine. But, as I said, not through mystic means: it’s in life.
That too should be said.
“Our research will not be a search effected by mystic means. It is in life that we wish to find the divine.”
writing her note,
It’s a very strange thing: as the … Lets see, there are two ways of putting it. One is: as the natural sight and hearing decrease, the others grow. But I think its much truer to put it the other way round: as the … what shall we call that hearing and sight?
“True”? Or “superior,” in any case.
Superior. Let’s say “superior,” because “true,” they may not be the supreme truth.... As the superior hearing and sight develop, the material sight and hearing fade away.
All manners of speaking seem to me … not quite true.
With certain people or a certain kind of occupation, for instance, my experience is that the … let’s call it the “next way,” dominates: the next way of seeing, the next way of hearing. And then, any intrusion of the old way instantly decreases the perception. Which means that the ordinary sight is as if behind a veil, and then the veil grows thicker. But if the circumstances, the people or the work allow me to go more completely into the new consciousness, the perception grows clearer and clearer.
The body has understood that, it has been led to understand: it isn’t worried about the decreasing sight or hearing, and it notices, it realizes that the more this way, the ordinary way, fades away, recedes, the more the other one increases – provided I make no effort to retain the ordinary way. If I naturally let go, then that’s how it is.
Any effort to retain the old way has become … it brings about a discomfort, an almost intolerable discomfort. Whereas a trusting acceptance of the conditions gives a sort of … yes, I don’t know, it can’t be called “well-being,” it’s … a trusting peace.
But now, it’s no longer just sight and hearing: it’s everything. Speaking becomes increasingly difficult.... Eating is very difficult: it’s a mixture of something going on quite easily, without your noticing it, or else a struggle against a great difficulty. It’s only now, because I want to say it, that I observe it and try to express it, otherwise there is no mental activity.
Those things have imposed themselves.
(Mother plunges in)
Shall we put a title to these notes on Auroville?... For instance, “Auroville’s Stand on Religions”?
What about “We Want the Truth”?... I use the word because no one in the world would dare to say, “We don’t want the truth”! (laughter)
For most people, that’s how it is: “What WE want is the truth”! (laughter)
I showed R. the “Programme” (laughing), and his hair stood on end: “But … but people can’t tolerate this now!” – Ah …
So then, Aurovilians must want the Truth whatever IT may BE.... They call “Truth” what they want, while they must want the truth whatever it may be.
(Mother writes her last note on Auroville)
We want the Truth.
For most men, it is what they want that they label truth.
Aurovilians must want the Truth whatever it may be.
I put “Truth” with a capital “T.” (Mother laughs) Because, to tell the truth, that’s not the word. It is: “We want THE DIVINE.” But then they instantly start arguing! So it’s better to put “Truth.”
May 6, 1970
(Mother is unwell again. She has difficulty speaking and is very short of breath.)
I’m not well. I can’t eat anymore, and …
When I stay lying down, it won’t do, but when I stay in concentration like that, it can do. So if you want to remain like that …
May 9, 1970
(These last few days, Mother’s physical condition was serious.)
Did you get yesterday’s aphorism?
No, they didn’t give it to me.
Oh?... It was like this … (Mother tries to remember): “The strangest experience of the soul …” I don’t remember.
Yes, it’s this one:
507 – The strangest of the soul’s experiences is this, that it finds, when it ceases to care for the image and threat of troubles, then the troubles themselves are nowhere to be found in one’s neighbourhood. It is then that we hear from behind those unreal clouds God laughing at us.
So then, yesterday I wrote (I forget the words), “But when You want to transform the IMAGE into Your likeness, what happens?”
Something like that. And I got the answer last night!... Two activities of the subtle physical. Oh, I’ll tell the first (laughing): I killed someone point-blank!...
The second vision was more personal. Then I understood: it’s because the very body, the very consciousness (physical consciousness) is full of all those falsehoods and all those illusions and all those preconceived ideas, and when that is gone, then the Lord can manifest in there.
It was … it was LIVED, and it was a stunning realization, mon petit!
This [the body] isn’t quite well yet – there’s a lot to be done, but … I felt I had tipped over to the right side.
It was simply wonderful!... Wonderful.
And you know, it’s simply a movement like this (gesture of slight reversal or tipping over) and … I was really miserable, you might say (I mean on the purely physical level: nausea and everything imaginable, constant, constant), and then it went like this (same gesture of slight reversal): a bliss … For the body.
That experience which one has, or used to have in the consciousness (vitally, mentally, all that), when you have that experience once, it’s over, you are free … but there remained the body: miserable, you know, it suffered frightfully (it wasn’t violent but worse than that, constant), and then, just this (same gesture): bliss.
I have difficulty keeping that, because … all contacts bring back the old consciousness – I don’t know anyone in this condition. When I am very quiet …
But it wasn’t like last night, it wasn’t so complete, so total. There is still the memory, and then the impression … that the body has tipped over to the right side. You understand, it was … it was doing what they all do – disintegrating and getting disorganized. The impression that that seems to be over.’ But it’s not THAT yet, it’s only … But it was wonderful.
You know, ordinary sight – gone; ordinary hearing – gone; capacity to work (Mother makes a gesture of writing) – gone. And it can only come back in the true way, when … But I’ve had the proof that everything can come back WONDERFULLY. The question is …
I have understood, the body has understood – it has understood, it has had the experience. What will come next? We’ll see.
I wanted to tell you that.
That’s the thing, you understand, that’s the thing, and the body is capable. Yesterday when I read that aphorism, I said to Sri Aurobindo, “But you said that the body, too, would change; here [in the aphorism] its the ‘image’ that one sheds when one goes back towards the Truth, but you said the true Truth is that things would change here. …” – I challenged [him], yes! And I had that answer. Two … what we might call two “dreams,” but I don’t dream anymore. Those were two activities of the subtle physical (laughing), extraordinary!
But whom did you kill?
I don’t know, it was … it was someone I liked very much! I liked him very much (Mother laughs)! I don’t even know whether I knew who he was. And there was no reason! There was no reason, it was … I think I shot him with a pistol (it didn’t matter at all, the man didn’t look unhappy!), what mattered was the GESTURE, the ACT, it was the ACT that mattered.... I was full of affection and tenderness for him, and then I killed him. I didn’t know that man, but he was young – maybe he was a symbolic type, I don’t know. I don’t know. And the impression on the old consciousness was … You see, I knew it was night, I knew it was an activity of the night (all of it FULLY conscious), and I even said to myself (laughing), “Still, that’s something I wouldn’t do awake (!)” Then I very clearly heard Sri Aurobindo’s voice answering, “It’s not necessary!” (Mother laughs) The whole thing could have been quite comical.
(a disciple comes in to repair the tape recorder which is malfunctioning)
They’re repairing the machine, we’ve had some trouble with it.
Oh … (laughing) maybe it didn’t want it to be recorded!... It doesn’t matter, it’s just the same to me! Just the same.
How can I explain it to you?... I had the same objectivity we have when awake: I was fully awake, I didn’t sleep, it wasn’t a dream. Objectivity: I saw the fact and then I reasoned over it – a completely, completely new consciousness.
Now I know what this new consciousness is, and I say so positively (I mean it’s the body that speaks, and it knows it positively – yesterday it was asking). So its attitude is like this: “Now I know, and it’s for You to decide whether … whether I am capable of having it, or if it’s only to show me.” We’ll see....
One thing must change materially, that is this body’s consciousness. Something must change … (can it change? I don’t know), something must change in the constitution – can it be done? I don’t know.
For the ordinary consciousness, it looks like another vibratory mode – it’s not that.... Obviously it’s the consciousness, but... So it’s something that must change in the vibration for the Consciousness to manifest without distortion.
And then, distortion is what creates … a misery, you know, which now the body finds frightful. When that disappears, it gets transformed: it’s a bliss.... All that in this, here [the body]: nothing, not a thought, not even a … I might say no sensation on the vital level – it’s only the kind of sensation in this [the body].
What has the Lord decided will be? I don’t know.... The body doesn’t know.... It will be as He wants.
(Mother goes into a contemplation)
There were two activities. The first I can’t recount, because, naturally, it can’t be used. But the second vision was like this: I was walking around naked, but deliberately naked from here to there (gesture from the top of the chest to the thighs); here (above), there may have been clothes. I was deliberately showing myself to certain people, and I had near me someone, always the same person: the physical Mother. She is the physical Mother, the image or the symbol of the physical Mother. She was with me, and I was wearing, except on the exposed part... (Mother breaks off) Ah, and that part I was showing was sexless, that is to say, neither man nor woman: there was nothing; and its color was … a little like Auroville’s color [orange], like that, but vibrant, that is, as if … not luminous, but with a sort of luminosity. So then, the Mother wore a large cloak, like a large veil over her whole being, with that same color, and she told me, “See, I have put it on because I’ve accepted it – to tell you that I’ve accepted it.”
That was the second “dream.”
The rest of my body also wore a fabric … not a fabric: it was something like that [like the cloak]. But that [nakedness] was deliberate; you understand, it was an act of GREAT importance. So those two persons [to whom Mother was showing her body], I don’t know who they are, but they seemed to be men. I don’t know who they are (at night I knew them very well, but awake I don’t know who they are). And it was as if to tell them, “Here, this is how it is; look, THIS IS HOW IT IS.” They were taking it very scientifically, besides.
But the main thing was this Nature.... A little taller than my body.... For years, every time I have seen Nature, it’s this person I’ve seen; to me, for years she has been Nature. And it’s not a “relationship,” but like my mother who might be my sister, or my sister who might be my mother, like that (things aren’t quite clear-cut, words are worthless). She is tall, a beautiful woman, and she is very, very simple, very simple, and quite awesome. But with me, like a little child. She went around with me, and she said, “See, I’ve put on your dress, I’ve put it on to tell you that it’s accepted – I’ve put on your dress.” And its color was the same as that of the skin [of Mothers exposed part], it was something like skin, and the dress was exactly the same color. It also had a slight luminosity like that, something as if “efflorescent.” The skin too was “efflorescent.” And that was the point: no sex, neither man nor woman – no sex. It was a form like this (Mother draws a svelte figure in space), a form resembling our body, but sexless: the two legs joined together.
It was pretty.
Those two “dreams” were evidently the representation of the two big difficulties of the human consciousness – but completely overcome, they no longer existed. So then, all those human feelings (the feeling of horror, of fear …), all that was absolutely nonexistent, it was all bliss.... In the first “dream,” as I said, there was an intense love, and in the second a dignity, you know, a superior dignity.
Death was the first, and the other was the second.
That was the true consciousness.
And it was my body that had it, not the psychic being or the higher beings (there, those things have been quite familiar for a long time), but the BODY, the very body, THIS, this, this.
That gave it such a peace!...
Those are the two things that must be mastered. What we call death, which is … – it doesn’t exist. Yes, I must add to the first dream that I killed him, but he was still moving! I had killed him point-blank, but he kept on stirring.... I think I shot him with a pistol (though it made no noise and there was no …), but he kept on stirring very well. And he didn’t in the least hold it against me!... You understand, it was the image of the unreality of the falsehood of all those things.
But the second thing, I had always asked, “How is it, the supra-mental body? I’d like to see it.” Well, I saw it, I saw my body, how it will be. It’s fine! (Laughing) It’s fine!... It’s a body … not very different, but so refined! So … such a refined thing! None of all those movements – those crude movements – none of those simply ordinary human movements can exist there: the two can’t be together; when there is the one, there can’t be the other. That’s the whole point, it has to be … done, clarified – nothing should remain, except … except the divine bliss.
I see her, I still see Nature.... Her hair is … I don’t know, its color isn’t the same as that of our hair: it’s like all colors together. And she has her hair as I do, always (Mother shows the bun at the back of her head); always, she has always had her hair as I do, and always hair with no … I don’t know, it has all colors together. And she has a long, tranquil face.... Ageless, neither young nor old; I don’t know, ageless. And an extraordinary power in the face.
It’s the material Nature, the physical Nature, the material physical Nature, and she said, “I’ve put on the dress, I’ve put on YOUR dress – I’ve put on your dress to tell you that I’ve adopted it.”
It means that material Nature has adopted the new creation.
May 13, 1970
R. asked me to say what we mean by religion....
(Mother holds out a letter)
Sweet Mother, the notion of religion is most often connected to that of the quest for God. Should we understand it in that perspective alone? Aren’t there today, as a matter of fact, other forms of religion?
I had written something before I received this question. It came in English:
(Mother holds out a note)
We call religion any concept of the world or the universe which is presented as the exclusive Truth in which one must have an absolute faith, generally because this Truth is declared to be the result of a revelation. Most of the religions affirm the existence of a God and the rules to follow to obey Him, but there are also Godless religions, such as socio-political organisations which, in the name of an Ideal or the State, claim the same right to be obeyed.
Man’s right is a free pursuit of the Truth with the liberty to approach it in his own way. But each one must know that his discovery is good for him alone and it is not to be enforced upon others.
And also this:
In Auroville, nothing belongs to anyone in particular. All is a collective property.
I have difficulty speaking....
Didn’t you have something to ask?
Yes, I would have a few things.... There are two things. First, on the mental or vital planes, there are means of correspondence: you have a mental or a vital body, and you can develop those bodies. But this subtle physical, how do you develop it, how do you consciously make contact with it?
(after a long silence)
As for me, I didn’t do it on purpose, so I don’t know! In fact, I rather FOLLOWED Sri Aurobindo there, because before he left his body, I don’t remember having had much contact with this subtle physical – I may have had some, but it didn’t strike me. But it was since he started being there and I met him daily …
But we have a body corresponding to that world, don’t we?... I mean we, for instance, we human beings, do we have a body corresponding to that world?
Some have a body in the subtle physical, oh yes!... Oh, yes.
But not everyone?
For some it’s … fluid, that is, uncertain, but some do have a body.... I think people develop their subtle physical in the course of life.
Yes, and I’d like to know how it can be done, in fact.
How its done? That’s what I don’t know, because, I tell you, it came spontaneously.
But it’s very similar [to the material world].... Only, there doesn’t seem to be the same laws of … (how do they call it?), what they said is the result of attraction to the center of the earth?
Yes, there doesn’t seem to be the same laws of gravitation, because you can move about like this (Mother gestures with a finger, as if bounding from one point to another), through the will. You don’t have to walk or … (same gesture). The consciousness and the will have a far greater power than in the material physical.
There’s a greater fluidity, but still you find things again [from one visit to the next]: you find things again and with changes, you understand? They are things that exist independently of our will.
(long silence a peacock lands on Mother’s terrace)
I’m not much use! (Mother laughs) You understand, I myself have everything to learn there.
It clearly can’t depend on the mind or the vital....
(Mother shakes her head)
But does it depend on the psychic or on an aspiration in the body?
My own impression (it’s an impression more than a certainty) is that there is a more subtle part (that’s where Sri Aurobindo is [Mother raises her right hand slightly]), a part that depends on the above, that is to say, the higher consciousness and the psychic; then there is a part that tries to take form in the body (gesture of connection between the two or of descent of the one into the other), that is, a way of being of the cells that would be the beginning of a new body, but that’s … when it happens, it’s a bizarre sensation. A bizarre sensation. The very body feels as if … it’s dying – something, it doesn’t know what it is. And it’s rather hard to bear. It’s only a state of intense faith that enables you to bear it. As if the one were being changed into the other.... As if what is were trying to change into something else. But that’s … it’s hard to bear. You really have to be in a state of intense faith to go through the thing; it expresses itself as something resembling … something wholly new, so it resembles a discomfort.
It’s almost a constant state now for my body. Only at very rare moments does it suddenly … “Aah!...” (gesture filled with wonder). When those moments come, it’s wonderful. But they’re very rare.... Sometimes a day goes by without even one. That state [of “discomfort”] used to be more frequent during the day, but now it’s beginning to happen at night. Last night, a good part of the night I spent like that, and then I was able to be in peace only because my whole body was … (gesture of surrender) saying to the Lord, “Your Will, Lord, Your Will, Your Will....” Like that.
So then, with hearing and sight, at times it’s as if on the verge of fading completely; and at other times it becomes very, very clear – very clear. And with no apparent reason. Sometimes I’ll see things quite distinctly, and other times everything will be through a veil.
With hearing it’s the same thing: sometimes I’ll hear very distinctly, while at other times I can no longer hear.
It must depend on the truth in what you see or hear?
Maybe, but it especially depends on … Yes, it may be that. But it also depends on the body’s own state.
Did you have something else?
Yes, as a matter of fact, the other question was to know what this “next way” of seeing and hearing is like?
(after a silence)
It depends (that I know), it exclusively depends on the consciousness, that it to say, the extent to which the consciousness is awake.
Generally, it comes like that, that discomfort I mentioned; so, immediately, the body surrenders – surrenders as if saying (it doesn’t say, but anyway it’s as if): “If it’s death, well, may Your Will be done.” You understand, total surrender. So then, when the surrender is … (if it’s more or less effective, I don’t know), sometimes a clarity comes, an understanding, a self-evidence of everything – a truly remarkable state. But it doesn’t last. The least thing disrupts it.
I know.... The body feels that if it could surrender TOTALLY – have no independent existence, no personal effort, no personal will … insofar as that’s possible, everything is fine. But this is a tension and a fatigue that are becoming absolutely unbearable, so … Generally, that’s what brings about death, it’s the fatigue of the tension of life. Last night again, it was like that.... It’s becoming so, so strong that I … I was like this (gesture of surrender) and the body gave itself in order to … (how can I put it?), we can’t say to “disappear,” but like this (gesture of fusion and surrender). So I was lying on my bed as if … I might say … I can’t say “ready to die” because there was no will either to die or not to die, but it was like this: without resistance, absolutely without resistance. So then, what happened? I don’t know, hours went by, and then I woke up – it isn’t “sleep,” yet it was something like sleep.
In the morning, it wasn’t more difficult than usual – it wasn’t much easier, but not more difficult than usual.
Whenever the body manages not to think about itself (I don’t know how to explain this, because it’s not a “thought”), not to be conscious of itself, then things are better.
I feel that a work is taking place there, below (Mother touches her body), and a work is taking place in this way (gesture a little higher with the right hand, and below with the left hand, both hands parallel with a space between them), and then between the two, it’s … it’s not yet. So then, what’s going to happen between the two?... This (the right hand, above) is the subtle physical, and this (the left hand, below) is the material physical, and then, between the two, there is a confusion … or something that’s not ready or …
Did you have anything else?... And you (to Sujata), do you have anything?
Mother, on Friday morning I saw you, you called me, you showed me the wall and you told me, “Look, those two pictures will become real.”
Then I started wiping so it could take place without difficulty.
(Satprem:) She started wiping and cleaning the wall so the picture would come out without difficulty.
And did something come out?
(Sujata:) There were two pictures.
(Satprem to Mother:) Later on, you spoke of those two visions you had: the image of death (when you shot someone point-blank), and the vision of your supramental body.
Was it the same day?
The previous morning.
(Mother goes into a contemplation)
There was around you, like that, one of those … like a Hindu temple, but a small one.... Hindu temples, you know? Simply like that....
May 16, 1970
(Mother’s voice is quite husky.)
No voice.... But it doesn’t matter.... Can you hear me?... If you have questions, you can ask them.
Things feel as if they’re grating and difficult.
I can remain like this twenty-four hours a day. Eating has become a problem....
Sometimes one catches a glimpse of the heroism it takes to do the work you’re doing....
(Mother laughs) The body is enduring enough, I can’t complain. If there were a certitude, if, for instance, Sri Aurobindo said, “This and this and this is like this,” then it would be very easy! But what’s difficult is … You see, you are surrounded by people who think you’re ill and treat you as such, while you know you’re not ill. But everything, everything is shattered … disrupted.
Now and then, rarely – rarely – now and then there is bliss all of a sudden. It lasts a few seconds. Maybe that’s actually the way to tell me, “This is how the end will be”? But you are surrounded by a certainty that you’re fast moving towards the end, so this poor body is like this (wobbly gesture). It isn’t concerned with it, but it doesn’t have a certitude of how it will end. So all it can do is to be tranquil, trusting, and … endure.
I had a bizarre dream the other day.
Two nights ago, shortly before dawn, I was with you and you were “outside.” We seemed to be walking together, I was walking with you in a street. It was outdoors. Then you told me, “But why don’t you ask me questions about the outside world?” Then you started talking about China, and you said, if I understood well, that China was going to … sweep over the world.
I don’t know what that means. But it was outdoors. And one detail, for example: I tape-recorded what you said, and I realized there was in the distance the old machine we used when you were downstairs. I don’t know if this detail means anything.... We were in a street, walking together; I walked by your side.
Then you spoke about Africa, Madagascar.... In any case, you said to me (if I understood correctly, if it’s clear): China is going to sweep over the world.
Bah-bah-bah.... That’s not amusing!
They’re very scared of China here, to the point that many people want to make atom bombs; so in desperation, they asked me (the government asked me), “What should we do?...” – I was the last person they should have asked!
It’s a means of intimidation, but … China has it, Russia has it, France has it (Mother covers her eyes with her hand when mentioning France), horrible!...
I don’t know if it’s China or America, they have one bomb that’s enough to destroy the whole of Paris.
(Mother sweeps her hand across her forehead long silence)
Do you have anything else?
(Sujata slips a note into Satprem’s hand)
Sujata asks a question. She says: “If India called the Divine, would it not be a more effective way of stopping China?”
Un-de-ni-a-bly! (Mother laughs) Undeniably. They don’t have faith!
(Mother goes into a contemplation)
May 20, 1970
(Those last few days, Mother had her left eye slightly infected, then an abscess in a tooth – Satprem too.)
After the eye, it was the teeth.... One thing after another. Anyway …
It’s just going on.
Did you see the brochure [on Auroville and Religions]? It’s nice.... I had it distributed in Auroville. People from “Auromodèle” come in turn every Tuesday afternoon (five or six of them), so yesterday I gave them that.
But I too see some of them: one after another they come to see me.
Yes, one feels they’re beginning to wake up a little.
Yes, yes, it’s beginning to stir.
A few are nice....
What do they tell you? It would amuse me to know.
Most of them have problems of action – or rather of lack of action.
Also problems of relationship among themselves, and so on. So I try … I tell them what comes to me at the time. I try to make them understand the great thing behind.
Yes, it does them good. They need to be guided.
But one of them even asked me if I could go there!...
So I told them, listen!... No, giving speeches is quite useless. All those who want to come like that, individually I can say something for them, but not collectively.
That, you know, is a prayer I often have: to know what I should say to people.
There’s a new ambassador of France in Delhi (the previous one was … oh, he was awful, awfully stupid), they sent a new one, and Maurice Schumann wrote him a letter and told him he was particularly interested in the Ashram and wanted some information – that man didn’t even come! But then (laughing) he wrote back (I knew it because Schumann wrote to Baron, who sent the letter to A.), the ambassador wrote he didn’t have time to come, but had asked D. for information! (Mother laughs) So D. wrote … you understand what it will be like!
They [the D.s] stressed a lot the frictions with villagers. They even wrote that villagers had thrown stones at our people in Auroville. … Naturally, they were bound to make a mess, while things seem quite smooth on the contrary.
R. [Auroville’s architect] has asked to see me tonight.
Oh, really? Why?
Just like that. I don’t know. Simply to make contact.
R., something’s stirring inside! (Mother laughs a lot) He is torn between the old man full of ties there and the new life, the new consciousness which is beginning to be interesting.
There were interesting things again by Sri Aurobindo, did you get them?
(Satprem reads the latest aphorisms)
517 – Until thou canst learn to grapple with God …
(Mother laughs heartily)
... as a wrestler with his comrade, thy soul’s strength shall always be hid from thee.
516 – O fool of thy weakness, cover not God’s face from thyself by a veil of awe, approach Him not with a suppliant weakness. Look! thou wilt see on His face not the solemnity of the King and Judge, but the smile of the Lover.
I don’t remember.... There was something after, wasn’t there?...
Not after, but one before:
515 – He who has done even a little good to human beings, though he be the worst of sinners, is accepted by God in the ranks of His lovers and servants. He shall look upon the face of the Eternal.
And you answer:
“Sri Aurobindo’s effort has always been to free his disciples, or even his readers, from all prejudice, all conventional morality.”
It’s wonderful to what point it isn’t this active consciousness that writes: it sounds quite foreign to me!... But the day before yesterday, I wrote something, and while writing, I said to myself, “Oh, this will interest Satprem.” And I no longer remember either!
It’s very strange.
I am like this (gesture at the forehead, still) and suddenly I’ll take my pencil and write. And I know what I write at the time of writing it, afterwards it’s over.
(Mother looks for S.S.’s notebook by her side)
In this notebook I write every other day. Only, he removes everything, so I don’t know. This is the last one. You will tell me if it makes sense.
He asks, “Does the sense of physical pain disappear in the cosmic consciousness?” So you reply:
“Certainly it exists in the cosmic consciousness....
The cosmic consciousness is the universal consciousness, the material consciousness; there it exists. I know it, in fact, because it’s a consciousness I constantly have, so I know that pain exists.
But it’s what follows:
“It is in the Supreme, Divine Consciousness that pain does not exist. That is to say, the nature of the sensation changes and opposites disappear in order to be replaced by something indefinable in our language.”
Is it clear?
Yes, yes, it’s clear!
There are many things of the sort [in S. S.’s notebook], but I don’t know what he does with them.... You could ask him....
Oh! (Mother rubs her left eye), it was better; has it become red again now?
No, Mother, I can’t see.
Oh, but you know, within it’s like this (gesture of battle). Quite, quite the impression (and a very concrete impression) of Falsehood locked in a struggle with the Truth.
From time to time, a little experience of … three, a few seconds: absolutely unimaginable, marvelous, and then hup! everything vanishes.... It’s a veritable battlefield.
Do we follow your experience a little?... Or what should we do to be in the movement better?
(after a silence)
But with regard to you, I had (that was the last time I saw you), I had the impression that you were following well. I have the impression that she (pointing to Sujata) follows well, too. Some are beginning to have experiences. Some have experiences, but without knowing it! (Mother laughs) There is an effect. I can’t deny it, there is an effect.
The biggest difficulty, as always, is the mind, BECAUSE IT TRIES TO understand IN ITS OWN WAY. That’s the difficulty.... Some people would go much faster if they didn’t have that. They feel that if they don’t understand mentally, they haven’t understood.
Yes, I understand that very well!
Yes, oh yes! But I think you’re going fast, I feel you’re going fast.
But the substance, that’s the question: how to … [change it]?
Ah!... That even the body doesn’t... [know]. I tell you, that’s how it is: now and then, once, twice, three times a day at the most, or once at night: a few seconds … (Mother opens her eyes in wonder), and then, poff! it’s gone.
The body isn’t worried, but there’s the outside pressure [from the people]: “Will it change, or will all this be … quite simply preparatory work for another life?...” It doesn’t ask: the others ask themselves. And then, there is also the pressure of all the ordinary, idiotic thoughts....
But I don’t care, it doesn’t bother me much. I am used to it. It doesn’t bother the consciousness, but sometimes it makes for some difficulties.
You see, the body doesn’t have a very pleasant time, but anyway it doesn’t complain; but sometimes, all of a sudden it marvels at how … how things are miraculously arranged for it. Then, the next minute, it no longer feels that. That’s it, that’s the whole thing!
These troubles (Mother touches her cheek) still seem very real, yet for a few seconds they stop being so – but they don’t disappear (because that doesn’t last long enough, I suppose).
If we could know precisely what causes the tilt to one side or the other....
Yes, yes, exactly.
There is clearly an attempt to let the body know, and it suddenly finds itself … outside all habits, outside all actions and reactions, consequences and so on; then it’s like this (Mother opens eyes in wonder), and then it disappears.
It’s so new for the material consciousness that each time you feel as if … on the verge of mental derangement. (Derangement of consciousness – it’s not mental derangement, the mind has nothing to do with that, thank God! That’s a wonderful help I was given.) But the consciousness, there’s a minute of panic in the consciousness.
Because from the beginning and constantly, there’s a sort of commonsense firmly rooted in the being, which refuses to imagine things; it says, “I don’t want to imagine this, I don’t want to imagine that....” So then, the consciousness takes up things only when they are totally concrete – it’s too easy to start spinning tales and … None of that. Totally practical, concrete.
But that practical sense, is it an obstacle?
Oh, it’s not an obstacle! For me, it’s a safeguard. No, I see too clearly, too many people who have a scrap of experience, with that experience (gesture of winding a huge ball of yarn) they make a whole mental construction, and then … You know, when the mind meddles …
But I have often said to myself that if, all of a sudden, by means of accelerated evolution, a caterpillar were given human eyes …
It would be frightening.
Yes, that’s right.
Well, relatively speaking, it must be something a bit similar.
Yes, that’s it!... In fact, the body has enough commonsense to … It KNOWS it’s not ill – it knows very well it’s not an illness, that it’s in fact an attempt at transformation, it knows that very well.... And from a psychological standpoint, that’s important and it’s a great help, but … there are all those centuries of habit.
(Mother goes into a meditation)
The atmosphere is very good.... I was precisely like this (gesture inwardly turned to Satprem, to know whether he “follows the movement”), it was magnificent. Your atmosphere is very good. It’s very good. And mentally very peaceful, almost completely silent.
Very pleasant! (Mother laughs)
Yes, you could ask S. S. [in whose notebook Mother writes] to give you all that’s not absolutely personal. Some things are quite indifferent, but now and then there will be an interesting answer.
I’ll ask him.
(Satprem lays his head on Mother’s knees)
The body, the body consciousness is changing very rapidly. And its attitude is completely different, it’s universalizing very well; it no longer has … (Mother touches her hands to point to the body’s separation). That’s becoming more and more flimsy and … unreal.
May 23, 1970
(Satprem hands over his pension to Mother. She goes on:)
This is the time of discoveries … everywhere!... Something seems to have exerted a pressure until things can no longer put on a pretense – all has to show itself as it is. So then (laughing), what discoveries!
And naturally, if you hear both sides, it’s an almost contradictory story, so … you don’t know where reality is.
But it’s not only here [at the Ashram]: it’s in the whole country. And then, they tell me all the miseries and ask me to intervene (not outwardly, of course).
It’s such a mess....
Have you seen the latest Aphorisms of Sri Aurobindo?... He tells us to lose all our moral sense!
520 – Our parents fell, in the deep Semitic apologue, because they tasted the fruit of the tree of good and evil. Had they taken at once of the tree of eternal life, they would have escaped the immediate consequence; but God’s purpose in humanity would have been defeated. His wrath is our eternal advantage.
And you say:
“Sri Aurobindo is trying to make us understand how the limitations of our vision prevent us from perceiving the Divine Wisdom.”
(Mother laughs) This I wrote yesterday.
Some people are seriously trying to locate the Garden of Eden! Some have found it. They told me, but I forget where. As for Theon, he used to say that the serpent is evolution.
Do you have any questions?
As a matter of fact, I saw R. [Auroville’s architect]. I saw him twice.
Oh! What did he tell you?
It’s interesting. First, I found him considerably changed.
(Mother nods approvingly)
He is a changed man. I found him close, not far away. I felt he was very close.
And he was prodigiously interested in this new consciousness. He said, “I’d like to experience this new consciousness, so what should I do?...” He told me, “All spiritual stories tell us that you mustn’t do this, mustn’t do that, then you must do this, must meditate and...”
So I tried to explain that, in fact, this new consciousness is not like that.
Yes. But he didn’t tell me about it.
It torments him a lot: “What’s to be done to experience the new consciousness?”
He needs to be helped.
You get the feeling he’s just on the edge of something.
“How to experience the new consciousness?”
Well, you’ll be able to help him.
I tried to tell him something; I don’t know if I …
With me, he doesn’t ask anything.
Yet he told me, “Ah, every morning I go and see Mother, it’s my oxygen.”
Yes, we talk about what goes on there [in Auroville] and I tell him (very frankly, I must say) what I see and understand. That’s true, but I mean that he doesn’t tell me about himself at all.
He certainly feels the pull of France, of his ties. But I tell you, I feel lie’s on the edge of something.
Yes, oh yes!
He has to hold on for some more time.
You can help him a lot.
What I tried to tell him is that this new consciousness doesn’t demand spiritual athleticism, great concentrations and meditations and tapasya [austerities], or special virtues....
It simply demands trust in something else, a sort of childlike trust, and a need of something else.
Yes, that’s right.
Above all, he was afraid it was again a question of “spiritual discipline.”
No, no, no! There’s no question of that.
But people always fall for that! Even in Auroville: they want “meditation”! And I can’t decently tell them, “It’s useless”! (Mother laughs)
He was touched by what I said, and reassured. Only, he doesn’t know how to go about it.
But you can tell him things that will help him. It’s a very good sign that he asked to see you.
Do you have anything to ask?
It would be interesting if you could tell them practically how one can experience the new consciousness?
But that’s the really extraordinary thing! For all other realizations I worked, I followed disciplines.... But that came like this (gesture of sudden descent), without my saying or seeking anything, without effort, without …
The only thing is that afterwards, I was attentive. That’s all.
What can I tell them?
Does it result in a more precise direction in action, in what one has to do, or …?
No … What I have noticed is that the vision, the reaction (that is, the way of looking at things, and especially the way of understanding) was completely different. Even now, day after day, all the old things in my body, all that is over. But then I see, for instance, when I read things by Sri Aurobindo, I understand them in a completely different way. So then I say to myself that, after all, Sri Aurobindo too was in contact with this consciousness (!) … But the difference is that it’s very practical. For instance, when the government (either Indira or N. S.) sends me a question, “This is the situation, what should we do?”, previously I would have replied, “I don’t know.”
But now I see clearly, I tell them, “Do like this and like that, there.” And I don’t give it any prior thought: it’s this Consciousness that sees.
Only, I can’t give it as an indication, because I don’t think it’s the same thing with everybody.
One has to be clarified first, obviously.
Otherwise there’s a risk one might take one’s …
It’s very dangerous, I never tell people. They might take all their impulses for revelations.
Trust is probably a great key, isn’t it?
But in my case, the whole work is done in the body, and the body is … From morning to evening, from evening to morning, it’s a constant call.... Everything, everything is referred to the Divine all the time, all the time, constantly … everything, even the most microscopic.
And that I can’t tell or ask anyone, because … all these people, like R., for example, if I tell them “the Divine,” for them it’s a zero, it doesn’t correspond to anything!
As for me, I tell them, “something else.”
That’s much better. That’s why, I tell you, you can help him much more than I can (!)
Oh! [laughter].... Well, you’ve certainly transformed him, in any case....
And me too!
Mother, I feel I should soon enough start work on another book...
... which would be …
Yes, the continuation, the “next step,” the next stage.
(Mother nods approvingly)
A completely different approach.
The country seems to be falling apart, so there [in Delhi] they asked me what should be done. I told them that this Centenary [of Sri Aurobindo, in 1972] has come on purpose. It’s certainly something that’s coming now because the only salvation for the country, the ONLY thing that can unify it, is for it to adopt Sri Aurobindo’s ideal for the country – he had a plan, he very clearly saw how the country should be organized, he said it to me. It’s there, if one reads his books seriously, one can see it. So I said that things should be so organized that THROUGHOUT India there should be study groups, libraries, lectures, anything whatever, so the whole country should know Sri Aurobindo’s thought and will. And the Centenary is an excellent opportunity. They asked me, “What’s the way out of this chaos?...” On my advice, Indira has been trying to surround herself with people of value. (She had me told that she had forgotten questions of party and wants to surround herself with capable people....) The difficulty is to find upright people. So they need to be educated – they don’t even have a NOTION of how they can be! So I said, “This Centenary should be organized right now, at once, like something covering the whole country on the occasion of the Centenary....” And in what Sri Aurobindo wrote, they will find all they need to organize the country, and much better, I tell them, infinitely better than what I may say, because he knew the country infinitely better than I do, and the mental formation and everything.
People need occasions to do things. But this seems to have been wonderfully prepared ON purpose.
Is that all?
To write this new book, shouldn’t I read your whole Agenda again?
What’s in there?!
[Laughter] … The whole process.
(Mother laughs) You can read it again if you like!
Day after day, almost hour after hour, the body realizes its ignorance, its imbecility, its … all the time. And it’s seen very differently, outside all moral sense and, naturally, all preconceived ideas – all that has been nicely swept away, oh, you can’t imagine how grateful my body is that the mind was taken away from it, oh!... And it has formed a mind of its own, which doesn’t function in the ordinary way at all, but which is a sort of vision, a vision with … with eyes from above. And … (laughing) it might be frightful, but it’s so comical! (Mother laughs a lot)
The only thing is that everything, every second … (Mother opens her hands in a gesture of offering, with a blissful smile) what still feels separate, oh, rushes with … an aspiration to be a little more plastic.
Here, the body is learning that … You see, all life is organized on the basis of this old habit of opposition between what’s good and what’s evil, what does good and what does harm, and that has been completely swept away, so it’s now learning … For instance, a little sensation comes (it’s constant, of course, to express it I have to take one thing among hundreds), but like this: how can the sensation become true? That’s really interesting.
Only, it’s inexpressible; the minute you put it into words, it takes on enormous proportions.
The body’s nature isn’t literary, it doesn’t like wordiness, and as soon as something tries to express itself, oh, to the body it’s just... words.
Can you tell me the time?
Five to eleven.
We have time. Would you like us to stay silent?
It can go on indefinitely!
May 27, 1970
I think it’s the pressure of this Consciousness, but lots of people are quarreling in the Services, and particularly at the Press. So I wrote something:
(Mother holds out a note)
“You seem to forget that, by the very fact that you live in the Ashram, you work neither for yourselves nor for an employer, but for the Divine. Your life must be a consecration to the divine Work and cannot be governed by petty human considerations.”
Would you like to publish it, or have it posted up?
Maybe it’s a bit too public....
What we could do … It’s especially at the Press that things are like that, so it would be amusing to give it to them (laughing) and tell them to print it on a little card!
Apart from that I have nothing.... Some “dreams” – not dreams: the night activities have become very clear, very interesting, but sometimes it’s a symbolic dream. And it’s so concrete and real.... I’ve never had such dreams before. Very instructive.
But then, there’s a phenomenon. It’s a world (this symbolic world) without distinction between the living and the dead. I mean there’s not even any perceptible distinction: last night, for instance, I had an activity; well, Amrita was there and several other people, who are alive, and Amrita was like the others … except that he was a bit … (tired or apathetic gesture), but that must have been in his nature: no inclination to intervene.
It was a symbolic translation of an activity concerning money, but then, instead of money it was food, but it was clearly an activity about money: people’s various attitudes and the reception, utilization and so on, with quite interesting details (but interesting from the standpoint of action, you understand, of what is done, how it is done).
Is it in the subtle physical, that place where the living and the dead are together?
But are things to go in the direction of a materialisation of the subtle physical?
No. That can’t be materialized, it would be impossible!... I think it’s a means of action, that is to say, it responds more clearly and strongly to the will. It seems more receptive. It’s more supple, more expressive too. But materialized, it would appear like pure chaos.
It seems to me to be the symbolic place of physical life. For example, within a small space, you can have a very wide action, which reaches very far.... In that way there were, as though in adjacent rooms, people who live very far, in North India or in another country or … They were just in different rooms, but I was able to move from one room to another; so it looks like … (Mother gestures showing a concentration or a restricted field). It doesn’t have the same concrete reality, it’s symbolic.
For instance, money was symbolized as a certain food (asparagus, in fact! But not asparagus as we have here: it was big like this [gesture about a foot and a half]), and one could organize it, receive and arrange it, as you would arrange food, but it wasn’t put into the mouth (that’s symbolic).
But then, what would materialise isn’t this world but the consciousness specific to this world, the state of consciousness?
Maybe, yes.... What’s trying to take place is a stronger and more direct influence on purely material circumstances.... Yes, this is it: action on this subtle physical has an effect according to the laws of the material world in the material world.
You see, amidst many other things (it lasted a long time and was a very complex thing), but as one example amidst other things, it had to do with the consequences, even current ones, of certain things Amrita did when he was here and handled money. But I spoke to him and arranged things with him as if he were present, not as if he had left.
Do you have anything to ask?
I was wondering about something. The other day, I asked you how to gain access to this subtle physical. But from what you’ve now said, do we gain access to this world through work activities, as it were?... Is it a world for work, as it were?
this ONE, yes.... I’d have to see several different things to make a rule, and I don’t know. Last night, that’s how it was, that’s all I can say.
I may be able to tell after some time, but I’ll have to be able to make connections between different things.
You understand, those are very small things, but they’re amusing as a symbolism. For instance, this food that looked like asparagus, but without being asparagus, it came in large quantity, and I distributed it, but I never ate anything; I never ate, I gave to others. They ate: those who spent, who used the money and regarded it as belonging to them, ate.... And then, some things weren’t too pleasant, but others were … looked delicious! (Mother laughs)
Nothing? What do you have?
There’s a practical point. In an Agenda some time ago [January 3], you spoke of the Overmind and the Supermind, and once or twice I feel you used one word for the other. But I’d like to be sure.... [Satprem takes out the text]. At first, you speak of a new kind of perception that combines all organs together: a sort of total perception that combines hearing, sight, and so on. Then you say:
“All that is certainly the consciousness of what Sri Aurobindo called … [here you say ‘the Overmind,’ but I think it’s the Supermind] the supramental: the being to come after man....
Yes, its “supramental.”
“... How will he be? I haven’t yet seen.... I haven’t yet seen that. I did see, I did have perceptions of the superman, the intermediary being, but you clearly feel it’s only an intermediary being. What will that being be like who will come after the superman? I don’t know....”
Since then, I’ve had a vision in which I saw my own body.
Your own body, but was it your supramental or superhuman body?
Ah, no, it wasn’t superhuman.
It was supramental?
Yes, it wasn’t superhuman at all.... And I don’t see in what way this (Mother pinches the skin of her hands) can change into That. There has to be something between the two. I mean that materially, I don’t see how this (Mother points to her body) can become what I saw.
But I saw two things that same night, didn’t I?
Yes, you killed someone.
Oh, yes … who didn’t die, by the way! (Mother laughs)
It was to show the Falsehood of the illusion of death. And it was also beyond all questions of sex.
Then you go on [Satprem takes up the text again], and there’s another ambiguity:
“What will that being be like who will come after the superman? I don’t know.... Because we are still much too human; when we visualize the Supreme Consciousness in a form, the Supreme Being and so on – the Supreme – we tend to give it a form similar to the human one, but that’s our old habit.... I saw that being …
So here, are you referring to the supramental being, or to the being intermediary between man and the supramental? You say:
“I saw that being (I saw it many years ago): it was clearly a far more harmonious and expressive form than the human one....
Ah, that I don’t know what it was, because it was earlier: before I knew Sri Aurobindo. I saw it … I think it was at Tlemcen that I saw it. Then I had no notion of the superman, the supramental and all that, I didn’t use those words. So I don’t know.... Better use something vague.
The intermediary being?
I don’t know.
The next or future being?
Yes: “the future being.”
“I saw that future being (I saw it many years ago): it was clearly a far more harmonious and expressive form than the human one, but there was a likeness, it was still a human form, that is to say, with a head and arms and legs and … Will it be that? I don’t know. There will necessarily be that as an intermediary – necessarily. There were all those kinds of apes which acted as intermediaries between the animal and man.... But lightness, invulnerability, moving about at will, luminosity at will – all that goes without saying....
You mean that it’s part of the supramental?
“Also clothing at will: its not something foreign added on, it’s the substance that takes on certain forms.”
Ah, yes, that’s very important, because I POSITIVELY saw that. It’s the substance itself that takes on now the form of a cloth, now … (wavy gesture)
Probably the difference between man and superman will be more a difference of consciousness than a material difference?
(after a silence)
From the standpoint of form, it seems to be like that, but is it because of our powerlessness? That remains to be known.
There is obviously the precedent of the ape and man, but if there is the same difference between that being and man as between man and the ape …
It would be something already!
It’s a lot! It’s a lot.
But one may conceive that a higher consciousness would “aestheticize,” harmonize this material substance....
But the step beyond that is what’s more incomprehensible.
You understand, it’s the functioning of the organs and the need for organs, that’s what would make a big difference. A being that wouldn’t need lungs, wouldn’t need a heart … that would make a tremendous difference!
Yes, that seems possible only through a materialization rather than an evolution.
(Mother nods her head)
I don’t know anything at all.
The only thing conceivable almost immediately is for a human being to feed on pure air, just as there are beings that feed on water (they live in water and feed on it). Its conceivable that human beings could feed on pure air. Some yogis used to do it.
Are there beings that feed on water alone?
I mean creatures that live in water.
Yes, they live in water, but they eat.
Simply plankton: tiny particles that live in water. …It is said that there are yogis who can feed on pure air. Ancient texts refer to that.
That would be really convenient! But their appearance cannot be the same.
At any rate, that would eliminate a lot of problems to start with.... And it’s quite conceivable.
Then what would form this (Mother points to the body’s substance), the first formation?... We can picture the elimination of wear and tear and an indefinite prolongation with a renewal of vitality, that’s quite conceivable, but the first formation?
Yes, matter, substance.
From a purely scientific point of view, I don’t know how the child is formed in the mother’s womb.... In our system, food is almost dematerialized in order to be used, so for the child’s formation, is it the same thing?
Yes, it’s the same food that’s used for the child.
Yes, but in the same dematerialized form?
In the same form.
Is it the blood that transmits it?
It’s through the blood, the child is nourished through the mother’s blood. In fact, the umbilical cord is the link of transfusion for food.
Oh, yes, certainly!... So this process of “becoming material” and of “ceasing to be material” is unnecessary.... If one could directly receive what nourishes …?
But what is it? From a purely scientific point of view, a chemical point of view?
It’s molecules and atoms. Various arrangements of molecules and atoms.
But they don’t seem material to us, do they?
They’re material in the sense that they’re observable.
Yes, they’ve been counted up.
(after a silence)
Which means that for the time being, the production of those atoms must go through a process of materialization, then of dematerialization, and then … [of materialization again]. You understand, dense matter is an appearance. So? That’s what I don’t understand, there’s something I don’t understand from a purely scientific point of view.
Yes, if you absorb, say, a carrot or a potato, there’s a large part of useless waste, and there’s the essence of the thing.
Yes, and therefore if we could directly absorb the essence, there would be no more waste and no need to dematerialize and rematerialize.... I mean, even now they’ve found vitamins, which are an almost... (what can I call it?) …
A concentrated form?
Concentrated – but what we call “concentrated” is something more and more material, whereas that’s not material.... You see, we are told: You have to eat solid food because of the way you’re built. Now turn the problem around: If you don’t eat solid food, this construction would be unnecessary! (laughter) There would be no need anymore of a stomach, of this and that.... What could replace that?
We would have to be able to absorb vital energies directly.
Not material energies, vital ones.
But that’s something they’re beginning to find, because you can feed on vitamins and things like that.
Yes, but vitamins are still a material process, Mother. It’s quite limited, but it still rests on something material.
Yes, but it could be the intermediary.
True, it could be the intermediary. But the other thing would really mean a different degree of energy – the absorption of a different degree of energy. As you used to do in the past when you breathed the smell of flowers, for instance, or as Madame Theon used to do when she put a fruit (I forget which) on her chest.
A grapefruit!... Oh, I saw that, it was extraordinary! She would put the fruit on her chest and … it would dry out! She would simply put it there and … she would keep it for a few hours, and when she removed it, it was all flabby, there was nothing left!
But I often thought it should be possible for you to feed on air.
Ah no, the air is disgusting! It’s full of everybody’s breathing. That’s the problem, it’s disgusting. Something else is needed.
Because I experienced the fact that if I go in the mountains, I hardly need to eat at all. I feel air nourishes me – but THERE, not here. Here, it’s disgusting.
So that complicates matters.
We might conceive having “balloons of food”! (laughter)
Bowlfuls of fresh air!
Or else, as an intermediary, a system to purify air: instead of lungs, something that purifies air, as you purify food. Ah, what time is it?
May 30, 1970
(Mother looks absorbed)
I didn’t remember this book [Thoughts and Aphorisms] at all. Have you seen the latest ones?
529 – Indiscriminate compassion is the noblest gift of temperament, not to do even the least hurt to one living thing is the highest of all human virtues; but God practises neither. Is man therefore nobler and better than the All-loving?
528 – Human pity is born of ignorance and weakness; it is the slave of emotional impressions. Divine compassion understands, discerns and saves.
“To understand the divine intention and to work towards its accomplishment, is that not the surest way to help humanity?”
I always wonder when he wrote that....
It seems it was at the beginning.
He was still … (gesture between two worlds). He said to Pavitra somewhere that he had changed his conception of the universe four times.
Have you also changed since?
Yes, and he has changed.
You mean that “up there,” he has changed too?
(Mother laughs long silence)
Did you see this? (Mother gives the printed text of her note on quarrels at the Ashram.) It was specially for people at the Press; so I gave it for them to print, I found that amusing!... But naturally, everyone took it to apply to his neighbor, not to himself!
Do you have something?
To understand the “divine intention” you speak of, when one connects all the way up, to try and understand, one feels one almost always meets a sort immutable neutrality?
(Mother goes into a contemplation)
her head Mother asks Satprem if he has anything.
(Mother plunges in again)
Nothing to say? Nothing to ask? Nothing to read?...
Are we moving ahead?
(Mother plunges in again, then speaks in English)
It can go on indefinitely.... It is like that, the feeling of being in a current of force that goes and spreads, goes and spreads … [continuous gesture of descent onto Mother and radiation from her head] … indefinitely.
(Mother plunges in again)
What time is it?
Five to eleven, Mother.
If you don’t mind being like that …
Oh, listen!... It does a lot of good!
Very well, then …
(Mother plunges in again)
June 3, 1970
Yesterday we started a work for Auroville, that is to say, we’re basically trying to give people from “Aspiration” an idea, simply, of what Aurovilians want: why they are here and what they want. Because it appears that... in fact they’ve no idea about it. Each one of them came expecting something, but all that isn’t coordinated, it’s not clear. So R. asked me to clearly express important points. I thought it would be better to do it with the people so as to know what they themselves want, and to have them make an effort to find out. Otherwise … So we started yesterday (Mother takes out a piece of paper).
Yesterday I asked C. [a resident of Aspiration], “But why does one live in Auroville? So he gave me the first paragraph:
To be a True Aurovilian
1. The will to consecrate oneself entirely to the Divine.
That’s what HE said. I found it fine. After listening inwardly, I added this:
2. The Aurovilian must not be a slave to his desires.
The idea is this: “We come to Auroville to escape social and moral rules that are artificially practiced everywhere, but it is not to live in the licentiousness of the satisfaction of every desire: it is to rise above desires in a truer consciousness.” Something like that.... It appears they quite need this! (Mother laughs) So we should add it.
We could draw up a whole program, that would be interesting enough.
Yes, but in the practical order, until people go a little behind appearances and stop living on the surface of themselves, nothing will mean anything!
But all that is precisely what they need to be told!
So the first necessity is to go deep down into themselves, a little. Because even if you tell them “the Divine,” what does it mean to their surface consciousness?
Yes.... For him, this boy, it has a meaning, but for most others …
Yes. it doesn’t mean anything.
So we should put: “The first condition is the inner discovery....”
In the ideal order, the first condition is to need something other than the present world and human conditions.
That goes without saying.
Then, to reach there, the first condition is to descend deep down in oneself to find out what one IS behind all these hereditary, social, cultural appearances – what one truly is. Then, at that stage, things take on a meaning, but before that they don’t mean anything. Before that, they have the meaning given in morality, religion, philosophy – they mean nothing.
So we’ll put (Mother writes): First essential condition …
It’s more than a condition, it’s a necessity.
1. The first necessity is the inner discovery so as to find out what one truly is behind all social, moral, cultural …
... racial, hereditary appearances.
But then, we should tell them that there IS a discovery to be made, because many don’t know it at all! (Mother laughs)
In the center, there is a free being, vast and knowing, which awaits our discovery and must become the acting center of our being and our life in Auroville.
Then, after that, shall we put this (Mother points to the former first point on the consecration to the Divine), or something else?... It seems to me that this is more an accomplishment, something that comes at the end.
We should teach them to free themselves from the idea of personal possession.... You see, everything belongs to the Divine, and the Divine gives you not only a center (the center of your individuality), but also the possibility of the personal use of a number of things; but you must take them all like that, as things lent to you by the Divine. The Divine is eternal, of course, he is everlasting, as they say in English, and at the same time as he creates this individual center, a number of things are there to be used for his work, so those things are lent. That’s exactly the point: you hold them in your possession for a time.
It’s to uproot the sense of personal possession.
That would be interesting: “The description of the citizen of tomorrow’s city.”
There’s the second paragraph on desires, and the third would be on personal possession.
The only true way to cure desires is to give oneself to the Divine and accept what He gives you as the only things you need. But that’s already very advanced.
At the beginning, you said that Aurovilians have come “to escape moral conventions, etc., but not to give free rein to licentiousness. …”
Yes, that’s right (Mother writes):
2. One lives in Auroville to be free from moral and social conventions; but that freedom must not be a new slavery to the ego, its desires and ambitions.
Is that all? It’s enough for today!
If you want to connect this to the other paragraph, might we say something like, “Desire is the most powerful distorter of the inner discovery”?
Ah, yes. (Mother writes)
The fulfillment of desire bars the road to the inner discovery, which can only take place in the peace of perfect disinterestedness.
One word comes to me, Mother: not only peace, but transparency.
Yes (Mother writes):
... in the peace and transparency of perfect disinterestedness.
It’ll become something interesting!
That’s the basis. Then there’s the third paragraph. You said, “The Aurovilian must free himself from the idea of personal possession. “
But it’s not the “idea,” it’s the “sense”! (Mother writes)
3. The Aurovilian must free himself from the sense of personal possession. For our transition in the material world, what is indispensable to our life and action is put at our disposal....
You don’t say by whom?
(Mother laughs) No!... By the All-Possessing!
... according to the place we are to occupy.
Mother, I’d like to add: The more we are in contact with our inner being, the more the exact means are given to us.
Oh, that’s fine (Mother writes):
The more we are consciously in contact with our inner being, the more the exact means are given to us.
It’ll become interesting!
It gives them the basis.
Oh, but we’ll be able to do something interesting!
(Soon afterwards, Mother starts looking for her old Savitri notebooks in the middle of an incredible heap of boxes, pieces of paper, objects....)
When I was a child (about twelve years old) I knew nothing of spiritual things, my family lived in a completely materialistic atmosphere; but once, I saw something in a dream: a being came to me, a woman, and she told me, “What you need you will always have in abundance.” That was Nature, material Nature, the same being I always saw later on. And it’s true, absolutely true! (Mother, laughing, shows the jumble around her) Later, when I saw Theon, he explained to me; but at that time, I knew nothing at all, it wasn’t made up by my thought, it came without my knowing anything: “What you need you will always have in abundance.” (Mother laughs) It’s true!
June 6, 1970
(Satprem reads out to Mother a letter he has received from E, a disciple who tried hard to intrude into the conversations between Mother and Satprem, notably under the pretext of translating Savitri into French. Maneuvering was beginning to make itself felt.)
It would alter the whole character of our meetings, don’t you think?...
I wasn’t keen on it. (Mother looks relieved) I think it’s better she doesn’t come.
Wouldn’t it be good to do the rest of the “Program for Auroville” with Aurovilians, since you started it?...
I had them speak to see what they would tell me.... Almost all of them are terribly lazy, so I’d like to tell them that manual work …
4. Work, even manual work, is indispensable to the inner discovery. If one does not work, if one does not put one’s consciousness into matter, it will never develop. To let consciousness organize some matter through ones body is very good. To put things in order around oneself helps to put things in order in oneself.
One should organize one’s life not according to external and artificial rules, but according to an organized inner consciousness, because if one leaves life alone without imposing on it the control of a higher consciousness, it becomes hazy and inexpressive. It means wasting one’s time, in the sense that matter remains without conscious utilization.
Have you seen the aphorism?
534 – The rejection of falsehood by the mind seeking after truth is one of the chief causes why mind cannot attain to the settled, rounded and perfect truth; not to escape falsehood is the effort of divine mind, but to seize the truth which lies masked behind even the most grotesque or far-wandering error.
(Mother comments:) Sri Aurobindo calls “divine mind” the prototype of the mental function that is totally and perfectly surrendered to the Divine and functions under the divine inspiration alone.
If a human being lives only by and for the Divine, his mind necessarily becomes a divine mind.
(Then Mother takes up the reading of Savitri: the end of the Debate of Love and Death.)
Is it a speech by this gentleman?
Yes [laughing], yes, it’s the end.
The end of his speech?
One of us should write.... If it’s more convenient for me to write, I’ll write.
It’s always better to have your handwriting! But if it tires you, it’s quite easy for me to note it down.
“Tires,” oh no! It’s just that it [Mothers handwriting] is no longer good. It’s no longer as it should be – but it doesn’t tire me. So we’ll put:
(Mother writes her French translation of the following verses:)
If thou art Spirit and Nature is thy robe,
Cast off thy garb and be thy naked self
Immutable in its undying truth,
Alone for ever in the mute Alone.
Turn then to God, for him leave all behind;
Forgetting Love, forgetting Satyavan,
Annul thyself in his immobile peace.
O soul, drown in his still beatitude.
For thou must die to thyself …
That’s for sure! Thou must die to thyself to reach … à la suprématie divine [divine supremacy]?...
“To reach the divine heights”?
No, we must put “God” in Death’s mouth.
For thou must die to thyself to reach God’s height:
I, Death, am …
I, Death, am the gate of immortality.
Every time you read it again, it’s new.
But that’s a very interesting phenomenon. Every time I read Savitri, I feel as if I am reading it for the first time, really. It’s not that I understand differently, it’s that its completely new: I never read it before! It’s odd. Its at least the fourth time I read it.
And truly there’s everything in it. All the things I’ve discovered lately were there. And I hadn’t seen it. It’s odd.
The first time I read it was a revelation; it hung together perfectly well from beginning to end, and I felt I had understood (I did understand something). The second time I read it, I said to myself, “But this isn’t the same thing as what I read!...” It hung together, it made up a whole – and I understood something else. Then, recently when I read, at every passage I said to myself, “How new this is! And how the things I have found since are there!” Today again, that’s how it is, as if I read it for the first time! And it puts me into contact with the things I have just discovered.
It’s a miraculous book! (Mother laughs)
We’ll continue in the same way.
June 10, 1970
All the nerves are disorganized.... I’m not good for much, but if you like, we can translate Savitri.
We can be quiet. …It will do you good. I am very happy to remain like that.
Have you received the latest Aphorisms?
Yes, it’s the end of the Aphorisms, and it ends well!
540 – Canst thou see God in thy torturer and slayer even in thy moment of death or thy hours of torture? Canst thou see Him in that which thou art slaying, see and love even while thou slayest? Thou hast thy hand on the supreme knowledge. How shall he attain to Krishna who has never worshipped Kali?
“All is the Divine and the Divine alone exists.”
(Mother goes into a contemplation)
June 13, 1970
We have to complete our “program” for Auroville.... Auroville has come to prepare the coming of the new species.
5. The whole earth must prepare for the advent of the new species, and Auroville wants to consciously work to hasten that advent.
6. What this new species is to be will be progressively revealed to us. In the meanwhile, the best way is to consecrate oneself entirely to the Divine.
Enough!... To be continued!...
(Mother has Vasudha, her attendant, called, and with Sujata’s help starts sorting out old papers. She comes across a 1967 file containing her “Instructions in the event of a cataleptic trance”: “This body must be left in peace …” etc. Mother gives Vasudha a copy of it.)
Oh, Paolo wants to build a room for me, and there will be cupboards, we’ll be able to put away a lot of papers there. All the Auroville things I’ll give you.
Mother, there’s an important problem I’d like to sort out with you, if you have time.... It’s about my book, The Sannyasin. Something has taken place, and I don’t know if it’s a sign of the Grace, or a sign of the opposition!
You remember that we gave the book to P. L. [the disciple at the Vatican] so he would give it to a publisher he knows in Paris, Robert Laffont, because I wasn’t too keen it should go into the hands of my usual publisher, with whom I’ve had a good deal of trouble.... But it so happens that before he went to Robert Laffont, P. L. had to go and see my usual publisher to sign the agreement for the Spanish translation of The Adventure of Consciousness. And here’s what happened: P. L. writes to me, “At first he raised, lots of difficulties. I told him I want no favors and am ready to pay him royalties straight away and sign the agreement. At one point, he asked me, “But why are you interested in the problems and doctrines of India?” I replied, “Churches are in a crisis; and when the ship is sinking, there’s no point discussing whether one should jump on the left or on the right!” The spark of friendship flew at once; he told me he is Protestant and his father-in-law is a very important pastor in Paris, who was invited to the Vatican to hold a meeting between Catholics and Protestants. Then we signed the agreement. I told him I attach a great importance to this book in the whole of Latin America. He told me that in France, too, Satprem’s Sri Aurobindo is selling very well, but that there is a certain misunderstanding with you. Then I told him that after I leave, I proposed to go and see Laffont, another publisher, for I had with me your latest book, The Sannyasin. And I showed it to him. No sooner did he see it than he implored me not to deprive him of its publication, not to go to Laffont, and to leave the book with him, for he desired to read it immediately! I told him I would think it over....”
It’s yes? [Satprem makes a wry face.]
He’s converted! That’s interesting. It’s interesting, oh … it’s something.
P. L. is a good channel for the Force, oh!... I knew that. Already two or three times (this isn’t the first time: two or three times before) I had that sensation with him.... How can I explain it?... The Power at work is spread out everywhere, like this (universal gesture), and two or three times already (maybe even more) I saw P. L. as … I FEEL him as an instrument gathering the Rays – the rays of the Force – and directing them with an extraordinary power to obtain the result. He is like a …. I don’t know, my impression is that of a machine gun! My impression is quite that of a machine gun gathering the Force (gesture showing the machine gun’s “barrel”) and vrrrm! hurling it forth. But it’s MATERIAL. He has an extraordinary power!... Yes, it’s like an artillery shot, I don’t know, something that overcomes resistances in an extraordinary manner. They must feel it there [at the Vatican], those people are very sensitive. They must have found he has an extraordinary power of action – they don’t want to lose him, that’s why they’re not answering him.
Its like a capacity of directing (gesture of concentrating the Force through a channel), and something that has the power to sweep away resistances.
That’s why they didn’t let him go with the Pope, they would have done something together.
In the past, when a man was like that, he was called “God’s instrument.” That’s exactly the impression he gives me: God’s instrument. A power that connects the Force, concentrates it, then it becomes tremendous.
I am happy, very happy, tell him!
June 17, 1970
(Mother listens to a few extracts from Sri Aurobindo for the August issue of the Bulletin.)
“Certainly, when the Supramental does touch earth with a sufficient force to dig itself into the earth consciousness, there will be no more chance of any success or survival for the Asuric Maya.”
18 October 1934 On Himself, 26.472
This is very good.... It’s magnificent!
The “Asuric Maya,” is it the whole present Falsehood?
Yes. Right now you feel … (gesture of struggling). It’s a truly extraordinary moment … but not exactly very pleasant! Things resist as they can.
(Satprem reads another text)
“All these good people lament and wonder that unaccountably they and other good people are visited with such meaningless sufferings and misfortunes. But are they really visited with them by an outside Power or by a mechanical Law of Karma? Is it not possible that the soul itself – not the outward mind, but the spirit within – has accepted and chosen these things as part of its development in order to get through the necessary experience at a rapid rate, …
Its wonderful, just what’s going on!
“... to hew through, durchhauen, even at the risk or the cost of much damage to the outward life and the body? To the growing soul, to the spirit within us, may not difficulties, obstacles, attacks be a means of growth, added strength, enlarged experience, training for spiritual victory? The arrangement of things may be that and not a mere question of the pounds, shillings and pence of a distribution of rewards and retributory misfortunes!”
Letters on Yoga, 22.449-450
The previous one and this one (I don’t know if there are any others), we could entitle them “Sri Aurobindo’s prophecies,” or “Sri Aurobindo said prophetically.”
It’s extraordinary, extraordinary!
It’s admirable, exactly as if he were speaking now (Mother takes on Sri Aurobindo’s tone): “All these good people …” (Mother laughs).
“The ways of the Divine are not like those of the human mind or according to our patterns and it is impossible to judge them or to lay down for Him what He shall or shall not do, for the Divine knows better than we can know. If we admit the Divine at all, both true reason and Bhakti seem to me to be at one in demanding implicit faith and surrender.”
Letters on Yoga, 23.596
Oh, but this is admirable.... It’s wonderful! (Mother repeats, in a very humorous tone) “The ways of the Divine are not like those of the human mind or according to our patterns....”
“To be free from all preference and receive joyfully whatever comes from the Divine Will is not possible at first for any human being. What one should have at first is the constant idea that what the Divine wills is always for the best even when the mind does not see how it is so, …
It’s exactly as if he were answering all that people are now saying!
“... to accept with resignation what one cannot yet accept with gladness and so to arrive at a calm equality which is not shaken even when on the surface there may be passing movements of a momentary reaction to outward happenings. If that is once firmly founded, the rest can come.”
Letters on Yoga, 23.597
Really interesting, just, just what’s needed.
You haven’t said anything for a long time....
I live in a constant sense of wonder! Every minute, what comes is what’s necessary: circumstances, reactions … everything, everything, there’s a constant vision of the wonderful way in which things are organized, the world is organized.
And what he says here, the way things are organized to make you advance fast and give you the maximum, the optimum condition of progress – that’s marvelous. And always it comes and presses on the very spot (Mother presses her thumb) where there was a weakness, an incomprehension … always.
(Mother goes into a contemplation)
It has been a long period during which the physical has replaced the absent mind and vital, and they have been replaced by something unlike what was there before. It’s very interesting, but it has to go to the end [before I can talk about it]. The work has to go to the end. And it’s a long-drawn-out work.
June 20, 1970
I’d like to tell you that for some time I’ve had troubles with my body....
A bit disorganized.
What happened to it?
I don’t know. … I feel something threatening me.
About a month.
But where does it hurt?
A functioning is disorganized. I feel there’s an obstruction or something, or … well, I don’t know what’s wrong.
(after a silence)
You see, the Force of transformation is working very, very strongly, and many people are like that: the functions are no longer “normal,” as they are called, that is to say, the functionings are changing, and so the first impression is always that of a disorder. But if one can put in the body this sort of tranquil patience, you know, like that, free of worry, after a time things are fine.... With digestion, for instance, one day you can’t digest anything anymore, so you think that … and then, if you stay very still, like that, without worrying – above all, without worrying – you see that it slowly takes on a different movement, and then it’s all right... but in a different way, a completely new way.
It SHOULD be like that, but I can’t know, of course. It should be like that.
I have to struggle a lot against all kinds of suggestions.
Ah, there we are, that’s what causes the trouble. Suggestions of what sort?
You know, the kind of disease people generally have.
makes a face.
One thing I know is that the Consciousness is working in you very strongly, but … Don’t you feel it?
Oh, I ALWAYS feel this Force.
Yes, but [I mean] very materially, you understand. There’s a difference when it works in the mind, for instance, or even in the vital, and then when it starts working in the body.
But there’s the fact that my last experience in hospital has left a terrible imprint.
It has put on me something that wasn’t there before.
Oh, that’s it … that’s it.
Do you rest during the day?
After lunch, yes.
At what time?
About quarter past one.
We’ll try. But do you have any trouble right now?
No, no, nothing right now. I think the main thing is to sweep away those suggestions.
Yes, that’s right, it’s the main thing.
If you could put in the body – INTO the body – the complete surrender, that is, it should RELY on the Supreme’s intervention alone, you understand; the BODY, the very body must say to Him, “Here (Mother opens her hands), here …” to the Supreme, with the knowledge that He is there; He is there in the atmosphere, in the cells, in everything, and … (gesture, hands open) and that’s all. That’s very effective. Because I know, of course, this body has a lot of troubles, and that’s its only remedy. It knows no other. And it’s the only one that’s really effective (same gesture, hands open and eyes closed).
When one learns to do it, even pains go away in a few minutes.
So you’ll try.
Above all, you know, you mustn’t think or remember things.... That’s very bad, very bad.
(Mother takes up her translation of Savitri: Savitri’s answer to Death.)
But Savitri answered to the sophist God:
“Once more wilt thou call Light to blind Truth’s eyes,
Make knowledge a catch of the snare of Ignorance
And the Word a dart to slay my living Soul?
One can’t slay the soul!
Offer, O king, thy boons to tired spirits …
And hearts that could not bear the wounds of Time,
Let those who were tied to body and to mind,
Tear off those bonds and flee into white calm
Crying for a refuge from the play of God,
Surely thy boons are great since thou art He!”
June 27, 1970
(Mother’s face is swollen by a tooth abscess.)
We’d need some “Notes [on the Way]” for the August Bulletin.
But you have some! (laughter)
There is something indeed, but it’s a long time since you’ve stopped speaking.
Still, once or twice I wondered if your not speaking was due to something in me?
Something in my attitude, or I don’t know what?
No, no, mon petit! No, it’s not that. It’s not that.
It would be that if I could speak to someone else, but with everyone it’s the same thing.
Something is going on – it’s not that it’s not going on, but …
You understand, expressing takes a minimum of mentalization, and that’s what is very difficult, because it’s the body that’s going through all kinds of experiences and is learning, but as soon as there is an attempt to express, it says, “No, it’s not true! It’s not like that....” (Mother draws small squares, like boxes) It’s like doing geometrical drawings with life, that’s its impression.
Even otherwise, it’s inexpressible, because it’s manifold, complex, and if you don’t develop a whole explanation for it … it can’t even be said. As soon as you develop a whole explanation, it’s no longer true.
All these last few days, it has been this experience of the consciousness that a very slight shift (how could I put it?), a very slight change of attitude, which isn’t even expressible, and in one case you are in divine bliss; then, things remaining exactly the same, it almost becomes a torture! That’s something constant. At times, you know, the body would scream in pain, and … a very slight, very slight change, which is almost inexpressible, and it becomes bliss – it becomes … it’s something else, this extraordinary thing of the Divine everywhere. So the body is constantly switching from one to the other, like a sort of gymnastics, a struggle of the consciousness between the two.
It’s becoming extremely acute; sometimes, at certain seconds, just when the body says, “Ah, enough, I’ve had enough …” pffft!... (Mother makes a gesture of reversal).
So it’s impossible to say. Whatever one may say is no longer really true.
And all these suffering vibrations (Mother points to her cheek) are as though supported by the mass of the general human consciousness – that’s right. While the other [state] is supported by … something that doesn’t seem to intervene, that’s like this (immutable gesture) in comparison with this human mass that tends to express itself … So all that is impossible to say.
Constantly, constantly, there is either this immutable Peace – this superlative Peace, you know, which is more than any peace one may feel – and at the same time one knows (I can’t say “one feels,” but one knows) that the movement of transformation is so rapid that it can’t be perceived materially. And the two are concomitant, this body goes from one to the other, and sometimes … sometimes almost the two together! (Mother shakes her head, noting the impossibility of expressing herself.)
So then, to the vision of ordinary things, anyway of life as it is, it gives a perception from the standpoint... not the divine standpoint, but in comparison with the Divine, it gives the perception of a general madness, and no really perceptible difference between what people call “mad” and what they call “reasonable.” That... it’s comical, the difference people make. One would be tempted to say, “But you are ALL like that, to varying degrees!...” So …
All that is a world of simultaneous perceptions, so it’s really impossible to speak.
There’s really nothing there (Mother touches her head), it doesn’t go through there, there’s nothing there. It’s something … something without a precise form, which has an innumerable experience at the same time, with a capacity of expression that has remained as it is, that is to say, incapable.
For instance, with anything happening, there is, at the same time, the explanation (“explanation” isn’t the right word, but anyway …), the explanation of the ordinary human consciousness (“ordinary,” I don’t mean banal, I mean the human consciousness), then the explanation as Sri Aurobindo gives it in an illumined mind, and then … the divine perception. All three simultaneously, for the same thing – how, how do you describe it?!
And it’s constant, it’s all the time like that. So then, this (Mother points to her body) isn’t in a condition to express itself, it’s not the time for expression.
To such a point that when I write it’s also like that. So I try to put what our idiotic formulas can hold – and I put so much, so much that can’t be expressed with words, that when they read back to me what I wrote, I feel like saying, “You must be joking, you took away everything!...”
July 1, 1970
(Satprem reads out the conversation of June 27 – “a very slight shift of consciousness” – which Mother thought could be used for the “Notes on the Way.”)
Is that all? I said only this much?.... I thought I had said something interesting – it’s not very interesting.
Yes, it is! There are lots of things in it!
There’s always so much MORE than what can be read! I really felt I had said something, and now it seems like nothing at all!
When I read it aloud, it’s not so good, but when you read it for yourself and go within a little, you clearly feel...
Yes, in your case. But for one like you who reads like that, there are a thousand who read on the surface.
Anyway … It doesn’t matter.
I had an experience which I found interesting, because it was the first time. It was yesterday or the day before (I forget), R. was here, just in front of me, kneeling, and I saw her psychic being towering above by this much (gesture about eight inches), taller. It’s the first time. Her physical being was short, and the psychic being was tall, like this. And it was a sexless being: neither man nor woman. So I said to myself (it may be always that way, I don’t know, but at that time I noticed it very clearly), I said to myself, “But the psychic being is the one that will materialize and become the supramental being!”
I saw it, it was like that. There were distinctive features, but not very pronounced, and it was clearly a being that was neither male nor female, that had features of both combined. And it was taller than her, it exceeded her on every side by about this much (gesture extending beyond the physical being by about eight inches). She was here, and it was like this (gesture). Its color was … this color that, if it became very material, would be Auroville’s color [orange]. It was softer, as if behind a veil, it wasn’t absolutely precise, but it was this color. And there was hair, but … it was something else.
Another time maybe I’ll see better.
But I found it very interesting, because that being seemed to tell me, “You’re wondering what the supramental being will be – here it is! Here it is, this is it.” And it was there. It was her psychic being.
Then one understands. One understands: the psychic being will materialize … and it gives a continuity to evolution.
This creation gives you a clear impression that nothing is arbitrary, that there is a sort of divine logic behind, which isn’t like our human logic, but highly superior to our logic (but it exists), and that logic was fully satisfied when I saw that.
It’s odd, it was also when R. was here that I had that experience of the supramental light going through within [Mother] without causing any shadow. R. has something like that, I don’t know.... And this time, it’s really interesting. I was quite interested. It was there, tranquil, and saying to me, “But you’re after … well, here it is, this is it!”
So then, I understood why the mind and the vital were sent away from this body, and the psychic being was left (naturally, it was the psychic being that governed all movements earlier, so it was nothing new, but there were no more difficulties: all the complications coming from the vital and the mind, which add their imprints, their tendencies, it was all gone). So I understood: “Ah, that’s it, it’s this psychic being that is to become the supramental being.”
I had never bothered to know what it looked like. But when I saw that, I understood. And I see it, I still see it, I have kept the memory. Its hair almost looked red, strangely (it wasn’t like red hair, but it looked like it). And its expression! Such a fine expression, gently ironical … oh, extraordinary, extraordinary!
You understand, my eyes were open, it was an almost material vision.
Then one understands! All at once, all questions vanished, it became very clear, very simple.
And the psychic is precisely what lives on. So if it materialized, it means doing away with death. But “doing away” … what’s done away with is only what’s not according to the Truth, that’s what goes away – all that’s incapable of being transformed in the image of the psychic, of being part of the psychic.
That’s really interesting.
Do we have time for some Savitri?
Yes, Mother. In the last verses, Savitri said:
Let those who were tied to body and to mind,
Tear off those bonds and flee into white calm
Is it Savitri who says that?
Yes, Death told her one must leave one’s body in order to find God’s height....
(Mother translates the sequel)
But how shall I seek rest in endless peace
Who house the mighty Mother’s violent force,
Her vision turned to read the enigmaed world,
Her will tempered in the blaze of Wisdom’s sun
And the flaming silence of her heart of love?
The world is a spiritual paradox
Invented by a need in the Unseen,
A poor translation to the creatures sense
Of That which for ever exceeds idea and speech,
A symbol of what can never be symbolised,
A language mispronounced, misspelt, yet true....
Is there more?
Yes, there is more.
(those were the last line of the Debate of Love and Death Mother was to translate)
July 4, 1970
I wondered if we couldn’t add to the “Notes” what you said last time about this psychic being that will become the supramental being?
What do you say?
I say it’s important!
I mean about the effect [on people].... I am afraid everyone will suddenly … have a psychic being! (general laughter)
Oh, Mother, you’re priceless!
(Mother laughs) Never mind!... It’s all right.... It’ll cause a stir
(Then Mother listens to a few extracts from Sri Aurobindo for the August Bulletin.)
The conception of the Divine as an external omnipotent Power who has “created” the world and governs it like an absolute and arbitrary monarch – the Christian or Semitic conception – has never been mine; it contradicts too much my seeing and experience during thirty years of sadhana. It is against this conception that the atheistic objection is aimed, – for atheism in Europe has been a shallow and rather childish reaction against a shallow and childish exoteric religionism and its popular inadequate and crudely dogmatic notions. But when I speak of the Divine Will, I mean something different, – something that has descended here into an evolutionary world of Ignorance, standing at the back of things, pressing on the Darkness with its Light, leading things presently towards the best possible in the conditions of a world of Ignorance and leading it eventually towards a descent of a greater power of the Divine, which will be not an omnipotence held back and conditioned by the law of the world as it is, but in full action and therefore bringing the reign of light, peace, harmony, joy, love, beauty and Ananda, for these are the Divine Nature. The Divine Grace is there ready to act at every moment, but it manifests as one grows out of the Law of Ignorance into the Law of Light, and it is meant, not as an arbitrary caprice, however miraculous often its intervention, but as a help in that growth and a Light that leads and eventually delivers. If we take the facts of the world as they are and the facts of spiritual experience as a whole, neither of which can be denied or neglected, then I do not see what other Divine there can be. This Divine may lead us often through darkness, because the darkness is there in us and around us, but it is to the Light he is leading and not to anything else.
Letters on Yoga, 22.174
One cannot say whether the conquest is near or not – one has to go on steadily with the process of the sadhana without thinking of near and far, fixed on the aim, not elated if it seems to come close, not depressed if it still seems to be far.
23 June 1936
In life all sorts of things offer themselves. One cannot take anything that comes with the idea that it is sent by the Divine. There is a choice and a wrong choice produces its consequences.
Letters on Yoga, 22.475
Ah, that’s a good thing to say. (To Sujata:) Type it for me, I want to give it to Nava.
Human life and mind are neither in tune with Nature like the animals nor with Spirit – it is disturbed, incoherent, conflicting with itself, without harmony and balance. We can then regard it as diseased, if not itself a disease.
Letters on Yoga, 22.499
No questions?... And Sujata?...
There’s something I’ve observed for myself.... The other day, for instance, you told me that the Force is very actively working in my body, and you asked me, “But don’t you feel it?” Well, then, one thing I observe, it’s the impression I have of constantly living with a sort of very solid and strong consciousness of the Force which is there, and I feel that’s what veils all perceptions for me: everything is as though absorbed in that. And that prevents me from perceiving all the rest.
With me too! (Mother laughs) It’s like that! I was just observing, its like that.
Just before, you spoke of the psychic, but I can’t speak of the psychic, I can’t speak of material or vital things, because as soon as I stop for a second, that Consciousness is there, solid …
... and all the rest, I just don’t know.
Exactly the condition here [in Mother].
When I had that experience of the psychic [with R.], I said to myself, “But where is my psychic?...” It’s constantly active, mingled with everything, it’s what speaks; when people ask questions, I answer through it.... But I don’t have the “sensation” of its presence.
I think that’s when the identification is made: it’s no longer a separate being, you understand.
Yes, it worried me, I wondered, “Is there something that veils?”
No! I think that’s when the identification with the physical consciousness is made. Because with me it’s always been like that: the minute there was union, it was over, there was no “psychic being and the rest”.... What lived was the psychic.
Yet I don’t feel I’ve reached that point.... Though to tell the truth, I don’t know where I’ve reached.... Because as soon as I stop a little, it’s there, powerful, solid, and...
And then there’s nothing but “that.”
Yes, that’s right, there’s nothing but that.
But, you know, the more the identification with the true being takes place, the less you have the sense of existing, of being someone.
The body has itself reached that point, it finds it very difficult to feel a separate existence for itself, and (laughing) curiously that’s only (Mother touches her cheek), only when it’s in pain. For instance, I constantly have a toothache, here (this area as I told you [Mother points to her mouth and throat]), and that’s it, it’s the only thing that gives me the sense of being “my body” It doesn’t feel separate. So I think that’s the natural condition for the normal development.
You understand, the impression of “feeling” in a certain way, of “thinking” in a certain way, all that has completely vanished: you receive indications – sometimes of the way this person feels or that one reacts – but that’s when a work needs to be done: it’s an indication, and it’s something taking place there, like this (gesture around, some distance away), it’s not within.
No, I looked several times: I’ve always had the impression that things are fine (I mean for you), that the progress is quite fine. You’re on the way. It’s all right. And I find a great change.... There’s only one corner, maybe of the speculative mind, that still has an attitude of its own – high enough in the mind, not an ordinary mind, a mind … (gesture above). But that’s nothing.
But it’s rather strange, I could put it this way: it’s about the only part (gesture from the cheek to the chin) that’s conscious of the way people are and of what comes from them, and which still has reactions we could call “personal.” That is to say, if the atmosphere is troubled, well, there’s disorder [in that part in Mother], it’s subject [to the outside disorder] and that seems to be the only part. Otherwise, all the rest is … as if bathed, constantly bathed in the Divine, and automatically everything goes to the Divine. The divine Will goes through (gesture of descent and diffusion through Mother) and causes it to act – automatically. So then, at certain times, for some reason or other, the body calls (the mantra I told you), and as a result... (gesture of dilation) suddenly the cells go into a bliss – it only lasts a minute (not even a minute, a few seconds), but the simple fact of saying that, and it’s bliss. Afterwards, everything starts up again (gesture indicating the normal rhythm).
It’s very interesting.
I think (the other day you told me something was wrong in your body), I think that on those spots that aren’t yet on the way to transformation, there’s an increase, as though a concentration of the difficulty: one feels more ill at such spots.
The only possible thing is … (Mother opens her hands) the peace of total surrender, like this (absolutely flat gesture, vast, immutable): come what may. There. Then things are fine.
I noticed that if, on the trouble spot, one can establish that peace – a total peace, you know, the peace of perfect surrender: abdicate all preoccupation, all aspiration, all, all like this (same vast, immutable gesture), then it helps restore order.
(Mother takes Satprem’s hands)
It’s fine. It’s fine.
Only, for people who don’t know that, appearances are misleading: they feel more ill, they have attacks, things of that sort. So they don’t understand anymore.
I had, countless times, the experience that when the body can catch hold of that attitude (completely, I mean, even beyond the aspiration to union or to transformation: THIS WAY [same vast gesture]), it’s almost miraculous, instantaneous. But with a wrong movement it comes back. It’s not established permanently – how do you manage to do that? I don’t know.... Probably there should no longer be anywhere the presence of the possibility of a wrong movement. But that’s difficult....
You breathe, you eat, you … and it’s the Divine. If I were to tell in detail what goes on, it’s absolutely wonderful!... For instance, while eating, when the body keeps its true attitude and the perception of the Divine presence in all things, and naturally in what it absorbs, and when it absorbs it automatically with that attitude, without any contradiction, everything takes place without any difficulty. To such a point that if the attitude “deteriorates” (whatever), things can go to … (gesture of choking) swallowing the wrong way, like that, in the space of a few seconds. It’s clearly a transitional period, but how long will it last? I don’t know.... The harmony of the functioning is becoming … miraculous – miraculous. Only, it’s not automatic, it still depends on the attitude. It’s not something that imposes itself, it’s a consequence.
Mother, there’s a curious phenomenon happening with Sujata: all at once she’ll faint.
She’ll fall to the ground.... Without any reason, just like that, the contact is suddenly broken and she falls.
(after a long concentration) Only, it’s troublesome because one can injure oneself in a fall.
It happened twice when I was there, so I caught her. I wonder what it’s due to?
Isn’t she forewarned in any way?
No, she’ll fall all of a sudden. But I noticed it happens before noon, after she s remained standing and working for a long time. That’s also there.
But materially, it’s the blood that doesn’t reach the brain. I am afraid she doesn’t eat enough.
Yes, I also think so. She doesn’t eat properly.
Isn’t there something you’d like to eat?
(Sujata shakes her head)
July 8, 1970
(Mother looks tired. Her face is still swollen.)
Difficult moments …
(long contemplation till the end)
Do you have anything to ask?... (To Sujata:) And you?
You know, Mother, it’s very strange, three nights in a row, I dreamed of you and of food.
Did you feed me?
I fed you, or else I looked for food, or I prepared some.
How did you feed me?... Did you give me things to eat? Or you fed me like a baby?!
No, the first time, you were lying down, thirsty, there were many people and no one did anything....
(Mother nods her head)
And I told someone to go and get some pomegranate juice....
(Mother smiles and plunges in again)
July 11, 1970
Someone sent me a letter on the body’s transformation, if you are interested.
It seems that a Tamil yogi [Swami Ramalingam] of this region, who lived around 1850, had experiences, which he described in a poem and appear rather connected.... Experiences of the transformation of the skeleton, bones, etc. It’s a Tamilian who sent me this letter, asking me to put the question to you.
“The Mother may throw light on the nature and extent of the transformation the Swami had in the last part of his life. The Swami often declared affirming the transformation and deathlessness of his body by the power of what he calls ‘Arut Perum Joti,’ the infinite or vast Grace-Light of the Divine. He also made the forecast and promise around the year 1870, that the supreme Divine would come soon to the earth for establishing his direct rule of Grace-Light (which the Swami also called as the Truth-Light) when a new race of people would arise defying disease, ageing and death....”
Then here is the text of this sage, translated from the Tamil:
Extract from “Joti Agaval” (Swami Ramalingam’s poem, verses 725-740)
“O my unique Love which sprang from my heart and filled it so much that it made my life blossom. O my Lord of unique Love who has given himself to me wholly and by the Grace-Light has transmuted me. My Love that has entered and unified with me in my heart, so as to transform my body into a golden body. The skin has become supple, the influx of the nervous current all over the body is vibrating, with pauses in between; the bones have become pliable and plastic in their nature; the soft muscles have become truly loosened; the blood has become condensed within; the semen has become concentrated into a single drop and confined in the chest; the petals of the brain have blossomed or expanded; amrita [nectar of immortality] is welling up into springs all over the body and filling it up; the luminous forehead perspires; the luminous face brightens up; the breath full of peace becomes cool and refreshing; the inner smile beams up; the hair stands on end; tears of joy flow down towards the feet; the mouth vibrates into the passionate calling [of the Divine]; the ear tubes ring with the sense of musically humming sound; the body has become cool; the soft chest moves; the hands join [as in prayer]; the legs revolve or spin round; the mind melts sweetly, the intelligence becomes full of light; the will becomes full of joy and harmony; the individuality has enlarged itself everywhere; the heart has blossomed into the universality of feeling so as to be felt by the world outwardly; the whole knowledge-body has become blissful; even the spiritual egoism of the senses has gone away; the senses (tattva) have been replaced wholly by the truth (sattva), the truth-principle or truth-substance which alone prevails now uniquely; attachment to objects of the senses and to things of the world has dissolved away, and only the aspiration and will towards the illimitable Grace grows and intensifies.”
And how long did he live like this?
It seems it happened the him towards the end of his life, and I think it must have lasted for a few years. …He said he would “return.”
Yes, he was born in 1823 and died in 1874.
He died two years after Sri Aurobindo’s birth.
What did he say about the legs? I didn’t understand.
He says that the bones have become supple.... “The body has become cool; the soft chest moves; the hands join as in prayer; the legs revolve or spin round....” Which means, I suppose, that the legs can move in every direction, since the bones have become “pliable.”
How many experiences of this kind people had without anyone to note them....
But you often wondered about the skeleton, in fact, you asked how it could change.
In my case too.
Here, he says it becomes plastic, supple.
But then, how can he keep standing?
Through this “condensation” …Is it because of this condensation of the blood he mentions?
What could that be?
I don’t know what that condensation of the blood is.... But there is one thing I haven’t heard you mention and which Sri Aurobindo often refers to (in The Supramental Manifestation, for instance), that’s the transformation of organs through the chakras, through the energy of the centers of consciousness. You very rarely mention the chakras or the role of the chakras.... Couldn’t one conceive that these centers of energy may provide the body with a framework strong enough for it to stand?
(after a long silence)
This “rising of the kundalini,” I had it in … I was still in Paris. It was before I came to India. I had read Vivekananda’s books about it.... And when the Force rose, it emerged from the head through here (gesture at the top of the head); the [classic] experience was never described in that way. The Force came out and the consciousness settled here (gesture about eight inches above the head). So when I came here, I told Sri Aurobindo about it; he told me it had been the same thing with him, and that according to the teaching of [ancient] texts, you “cannot” live when that takes place: you die! So … (laughing) he told me, “Here are two who haven’t died!”
The consciousness has remained there (gesture above), it didn’t come down again; it’s there, its always there.
But I often feel it there. I don’t know if it’s an illusion, but I feel it there much more often than below.
Yes. Oh, but it must be communicable.
Here, slightly above the head (same gesture about eight inches), like this.
Whenever I try to know something, it’s always the same: everything stops and I listen there (gesture above), that’s where I listen.
And then, when I went back from here [to France, in 1915] … I did something deliberately: all the energies of the last center [at the base of the spine] were drawn up here (gesture to the heart).
But I felt centers BELOW the feet.
I felt a center below the feet.... There was one below the feet, one at the knees, one here (gesture at the base of the spine), and all of it (Mother gestures, drawing the energies upward), like this, drawn up, and it came here (gesture to the heart).
Does Sri Aurobindo speak of that transformation of the subconscient and its becoming conscious?
Yes, Mother, he speaks of it.
That’s what took place when the energies were drawn here: it was the result.
The moment I came here, I no longer concerned myself with the body: I concerned myself with the Work; but before coming here, especially between my departure from here and my return, it was … (how much time?... I came back in 1920; I came here in 1914 and left from here in 1915, I think – from ‘16 to ‘20 I was in Japan, but I came in ‘14 and I think I left in 1915), from that time on, there were all those experiences [kundalini, etc.], in France and in Japan.
(Mother goes into a contemplation)
But, Mother, what I’d like to understand, it’s that since you withdrew to this room [in 1962] for the body’s transformation, you’ve never mentioned the role of the chakras, while in The Supramental Manifestation, Sri Aurobindo seems to attach to them a decisive importance in the body’s transformation. He frequently refers to them, as if they were a key element.
(after a silence)
What I am conscious of is the Consciousness there (gesture above); that’s something unchanging. This (gesture to the forehead): blank. If it starts stirring, its very uncomfortable, but generally it doesn’t stir at all – one day it stirred for a few minutes, and it was extremely unpleasant. It’s like this (gesture like a motionless bar), blank: a blank feeling, like blank paper.... This (gesture from the throat to the mouth) is the connection with people, and that’s extremely unpleasant, really extremely unpleasant (I can’t say), and materially it results in the deterioration of teeth and … Very unpleasant. Here (gesture to the heart) … I told you, all energies, from below the feet (Mother gestures as if pulling it all upward), all that was brought up to here. Here (gesture to the heart), it’s like a sun, always. It’s like a radiant sun: that’s where I work; that’s where I work from.... But with the centers there (gesture to the base of the spine), all the energies have been as if brought up to the heart.
And that’s so natural.... This and this (gesture to the heart and above the head), it’s so natural that I don’t even observe it anymore: it’s my way of being.
But the consciousness isn’t centered in the body, and the body is felt … almost like a transmitting pipe!
Mother, one last thing, a question asked by the person who wrote the letter: he. asks whether the “vast Grace-Light” or “Truth-Light” the Swami mentions is the supramental light?
The vast “Grace-Light.”
Grace-Light.... Oh, I liked that very much in his letter. Grace-Light, that’s what is working, you know: the work being done through this [Mothers body] is exactly like that, it’s exactly like a Grace-Light. I liked that a lot. It’s exactly that.
You see, it’s a light with several degrees, and in the most material it’s slightly … it must be the supramental force, because it’s slightly golden, slightly pinkish (you know that light), but very, very pale. One of them (gesture pointing to another, higher layer) is white like milk, opaque – it’s very strong. And there’s another (gesture very high) which is white like … it’s transparent light. With that one, it’s strange: one drop of it on the hostile forces, and they’re dissolved. They melt like this (gesture before one’s very eyes). I said all that to Sri Aurobindo, he completely confirmed it. That’s essentially the Grace in its … (gesture very high) supreme state. It’s a Light … it has no color, you know, it’s transparent, and that Light (I have experienced that, I mention it because I know it), if you put it on a hostile being … it melts like that. It’s extraordinary.... And then, in its “benevolent” form, as we might call it (that is to say, the Grace helping and assisting and healing), it’s white like milk. And if I want a wholly material action (but this is quite recent – it’s since this new Consciousness came), then in its physical action, on the physical, it’s become slightly colored: it’s luminous, golden with some pink in it, but it’s not pink … (Mother takes a hibiscus next to her). It’s like this.
Like Auroville’s flower?
Like Auroville’s flower. But I deliberately chose it as Auroville’s flower, for that reason. And my impression is that this is the supra-mental color: when I see beings from the supramental, they have … not quite this color.... It’s not like a flower, it’s like flesh. But it’s like this (Mother points to the flower’s color).
Yes, he was in contact with that, this man, certainly. I felt it instantly when you read me the letter.
Yes, one feels … It’s likely that, over the ages, there must have been individual experiences.
Yes, oh yes, certainly. Certainly. And there must still be right now, which we aren’t aware of.
But the difference now is that it’s a collective thing.
That’s the difference.
But what’s growing very clear is that all things remaining the same, the position of the consciousness remaining the same, there’s a reversal this way or that way (Mother tips her hand over to one side or another), I don’t know how to explain. In one case, that is, to the ordinary human consciousness (not ordinary but present), the suffering is almost intolerable; and everything remaining identically the same, with this slight reversal (I don’t know how to explain it … maybe we could say “the contact with the Divine,” I don’t know), but everything remaining the same (it’s a phenomenon of consciousness), a wonderful bliss – you understand, physical things remain identical!... I have that all the time. Unfortunately … (laughing) the painful side lasts longer! When I am in peace, still, then naturally it’s the other side.
But this toothache and all that, which to the material consciousness, from an external standpoint, is very real (!), even that is no longer … When the consciousness becomes true, it no longer has the same character – I don’t know how to explain. There must be what in our ordinary consciousness we would call a “cure,” but it’s not a cure: the nature of it changes.
That’s the most constant work, that’s the work I am in (that’s why I have nothing to say).... There are no more ideas, no more feelings, almost no more sensations, it’s … this and that (same gesture of tipping over to one side or to the other), this kind of shift, and a shift SO very different, you know, and in total immobility!
But in this true consciousness, matter … seems to lose something, or else something is transmuted into … I don’t know.... Will it be so permanently, or is it the transition? I don’t know. I mean, will the supramental body have no … Yet, there’s no difference between man’s materiality and the animal’s, or is there?
No, Mother, there isn’t.
When you look, you always reach the same conclusion: you know nothing.
But there is this Consciousness … all of a sudden, when you no longer are, when there’s nothing but That, this Consciousness there (gesture around the head), a slightly golden Consciousness, you REALLY get the impression of omnipotence and … And here you know nothing! Nothing, nothing at all, you can’t explain anything. All that is … what I call mental imaginings.
Now, when I am asked a question, nothing, nothing responds, and then all of a sudden the answer comes (gesture of descent) in words; but if I am not very attentive, prrt! nothing remains, I can’t even recapture the words.... The consciousness of the answer is there (gesture above), it doesn’t budge, it’s always there, this consciousness, but the materialization of it is very fleeting.
July 18, 1970
(Mother begins with the translation of two letters of Sri Aurobindo for the next issue of the Bulletin.)
“It is much easier for the Sadhak [disciple] by faith in the Mother to get free from illness than for the Mother to keep free – because the Mother by the very nature of her work had to identify herself with the Sadhaks, to support all their difficulties, to receive into herself all the poison in their nature …
Very kind of them! (Mother laughs)
“... to take up besides all the difficulties of the universal earth-Nature, including the possibility of death and disease in order to fight them out. If she had not done that, not a single Sadhak would have been able to practise this Yoga....
(Mother nods her head)
“... The Divine has to put on humanity …
“Put on humanity....” This is fine!
“... in order that the human being may rise to the Divine. It is a simple truth …
“... but nobody in the Ashram seems able to understand that the Divine can do that and yet remain different from them – can still remain the Divine.”
8 May 1933 The Mother, 25.317
There’s another text, which starts with a question:
“People in the Ashram believe that their difficulties and illnesses are taken by the Mother on herself and therefore she has sometimes to suffer. But at that rate there would be too much onrush of these things on her from many Sadhaks. An idea comes to me of taking upon myself some of these difficulties and illnesses so that I can also suffer with her pleasantly?”
(Mother laughs a lot) Pleasantly!... With a question mark.
Sri Aurobindo answers:
It would be anything but pleasant either for you or for us.
That’s still true.... With some people, as soon as they come, I’ll suddenly feel a disorder, or I’ll start coughing, or … Then when I look, I see why. When I see why, I can keep the thing at a distance. It’s curious.
“... That was the only danger for her (because inner difficulties are easily surmountable) …
That’s so true! For that, a smile is enough.
“... but matter and the body are the weak point or crucial point of our Yoga, since this province has never been conquered by the spiritual Power, the old Yogas having either left it alone or used on it only a detail mental and vital force, not the general spiritual force. It was the reason why after a serious illness caused by a terribly bad state of the Ashram atmosphere …
“... I had to insist on her partial retirement so as to minimise the most concrete part of the pressure upon her. Naturally, the full conquest of the physical would revolutionise matters, but as yet it is the struggle.”
31 March 1934 The Mother, 25.317
How what he says remains true – that’s first rate!
Is the “revolution” still far away, or close?
Alas! (Mother laughs)
They told me you’re seeing … (Mother tries to recall a name) Someone who sees you often, whom I don’t know.
I see lots of them!
So it seems!... How come?
I wonder what I should do, in fact.
When do you see them?
They’ve found the way: I’ll go out and …
(Mother laughs a lot) That’s right! So you go out of your home …
I go out in the evening around 5:30 for a bit of fresh air. First I go to the Samadhi – they catch me at the Samadhi and go around with me; then they come up to the beach and stay with me until I come home.... So I see all kinds. I see lots of them.
Are some interesting?
Yes. I let them, because I feel it’s useful.
Oh, useful, certainly, but you shouldn’t tire yourself. Because, you know, they will … (Mother makes a gesture of swallowing).
Yes, it’s tiring, that’s true.
They find it quite natural to absorb you completely.
Oh, its tiring.
It’s the same thing for me with people who come and see me.... I had to start putting up a fight because otherwise I used to say yes, yes, yes.… They stay on till 1:00 P.M., and then … That can’t be.
I don’t know what I should do.
If it’s only while you’re outside, it’s all right.
At home, I’m rather fierce and I close my door.
That’s what I meant: don’t let them in.
Oh, a few still manage to slip in.
No, no, don’t let them in. Because then you can’t live anymore – you’re only food for them.
Yes, it’s tiring.
No, outside it’s all right, it doesn’t stop you from breathing the air, but inside, no.
You wanted to know about someone I see? What “someone” did they tell you about?
I don’t remember.
Recently I saw someone I found very interesting. A young man. His name is L.
He quite strikes me as a young man with a past behind him, who’s suddenly had rather surprising experiences. He seems to understand from within, to go very fast.
Yes, that must be him.
I’ll give you one example: he was with Z and asked Z how the syllable OM should be pronounced (he didn’t know). Z told him. Then he repeated just that word, and he says that it suddenly became absolutely awesome, as if there were hundreds of amplifiers and all of Matter everywhere said OM.
Oh, he’s sensitive. Yes, that’s fine.
Yes, he is interesting.... So he asks me lots of questions because suddenly he’s just discovering all this.
Yes, its useful and interesting. …It will be good when you see him. He first had experiences in Paris with drugs.
Then, he told me, “But when I saw I could have experiences like that, without drugs, I said to myself it was much better!”... But he’s fine, not distorted.
(Mother holds out a flower) What is it?
It’s “Power of Truth in the Subconscient”.... Not easy!
(Mother laughs) The flowers are quite bold!
(Mother takes another flower) This is a “Psychological Perfection”.... It’s to find that [the power of truth in the subconscient].
We’re preparing a book about flowers. There will be color photos of flowers, their significance, and a comment by me! They make me write a comment on every flower.... So I’m having fun! It will be interesting.
But in the subconscient, some things have a power of recurrence. …
Not only that, you feel it’s a power IN ITSELF, quite independent of anything, like a self-existent entity.
So what can one do about it?
It will only change when everything changes.
Yes, it’s a daily battle.
July 22, 1970
(The following conversation is a first and highly instructive outline of the phenomenon that gave birth to all the religions of the world, a phenomenon that will try to crystallize once again after Mother’s departure.)
I have something about this Tamil Swami who had that experience of the body’s transformation.... You remember this Swami Ramalingam who had that vision of the “Grace-Light”? You made a few remarks, part of which I passed on to the person who had asked the question.... And I’ve raised a storm.
Not with this good man [Ramalingam’s Tamil disciple], not at all, but with A.
Yes, A. must have seen the answer, and through me he sends you a letter.
You know …it somewhat gives me a feeling of a mental falsehood.
What’s wrong? Does it bother him?
Yes, he’s quite indignant.
At what?! What did I say?
At what I, at least, said. He says, “Mother can’t possibly have said this....”
What’s this business!... But why? What made this gentleman indignant?
First I’ll read you what I wrote to T. [Ramalingam’s Tamil disciple]:
“The translation of Swami Ramalingam’s experiences was read out to Mother, and she does not doubt their authenticity; she particularly liked the manner in which the Swami called that light ‘Grace-Light,’ and she said it corresponds to her own experience. She remarked that over the ages, and even now, it is quite likely that a number of individuals, known or unknown, have had similar experiences. The only difference is that at present, instead of an individual possibility, there is a collective possibility – that is precisely Sri Aurobindo’s and Mothers work: to establish, as a terrestrial fact and a possibility for everyone, the supramental consciousness or ‘Grace-Light’ as Swami Ramalingam called it.”
Ah, what made him indignant is the mixing of the two, “Grace-Light” and “supramental light”.... I didn’t say it was the same thing. Anyway, it doesn’t matter.... It would have been better not to put “supramental consciousness,” because they don’t understand.... It doesn’t matter.
But from what you said, I understood that this “Grace-Light” was the supramental light.
It’s one of the actions of the supramental light. But it doesn’t matter.
So A. says this:
“Dearest Mother, regarding certain translations of poems of Swami Ramalingam by his disciple T., you answered him through Satprem in such a way that he was led to equate Ramalingam’s ‘Grace-Light’ and the supramental Consciousness. …
Yes, I wouldn’t have done that.... So he’s furious!
But you see, to my mind, when I asked you if over the ages there had been experiences of this sort, I had in mind experiences of individuals who had individually made contact with the supra-mental light or the supramental level....
One of the forms of the supramental manifestation.... It doesn’t matter. Read on.
“Did you really mean that Ramalingam was in direct contact with the Supramental?...
Why not!... Read on, then.
“... and that he was in contact with it as you and Sri Aurobindo were?...
No, I didn’t say that!
You didn’t! It’s really a mental falsehood, because nowhere in the letter did I say such things.
“Premonitions and momentary visions are of a different order; it is the whole question of a direct supramental yoga, complete and in its fullness....
Good Lord, how stupid people are! How stupid!
Is that all?
“Through your answer, T. [Ramalingam’s disciple] understood that the only difference between Ramalingam’s supramental yoga and yours or Sri Aurobindo’s is that his was concerned with an individual supramentalization, whereas you and Sri Aurobindo also worked for a collective supramentalization.
“T. is convinced of this and also declares that Ramalingam had attained the complete supramentalization of the body....
We didn’t say that!
“... In his opinion, what you said confirms it. “I tend to regard his whole stand as rather fantastic; it shows me that T. has failed to understand Sri Aurobindo’s vision, work and yoga at their true value. I believe that not only the collective supramentalization , but the individual supramentalization have never been attempted previously, not to speak of realization. Even the full knowledge of the Supramental through an ascent into the Supramental and a sovereign entry into the Supramental has not been done. How then can one speak of a practical realisation of the full dynamics of the supramental descent? “At least that is what I understood from a study of Sri Aurobindo’s and your writings. Am I wrong? A clear indication from you would be very helpful to make us see things in the true light.”
a long concentration,
There’s a refusal to answer.
Was this man alive recently?
No, around 1850. He died two years after Sri Aurobindo’s birth, and he announced the coming of an incarnation of the Divine and a new race that would “defy death, ageing” and so on – one year before Sri Aurobindo’s birth.
(after a long silence, Mother takes the notepad again, hesitates, then writes a letter to A.)
22 July ‘70
It is unfortunate that you make me say what I did not say.
I have therefore nothing to say in answer to your groundless conclusions.
Let us hope that peace will return to your mind, and, along with it, a better understanding.
With my blessings,
When I got his letter, I had the inner feeling of a mental falsehood.
Yes, there’s an excitement.
But what I can do is to correct what you said with Ramalingam s disciple.
No, it’s not “the Supramental,” but one aspect of the Supra-mental, or rather one activity of the Supramental.
Would you like me to send him this correction?
If he chatters about what he’s told, yes.
(Mother looks at her letter to A., hesitating to send it)
Oh, let’s leave it – he’ll be upset.
(silence Mother looks tired)
I’m really sorry!
No! (Mother laughs) It doesn’t matter! It’s not your fault, it’s A.’s fault.
I don’t know why they come to a boil.
Oh, I can see.... All that takes place here (gesture to the forehead).
Really, the mind is something terribly complicated!
Oh, it’s like that, it’s here (same gesture to the forehead). And when I look, I see so clearly!... Human conceptions … it has always been the same thing with all, all the Avatars: if he isn’t one and only – one and only – and shut in like this (gesture as if under a bell jar), it’s no longer the thing! It disturbs them....
Yes, that’s right!
That’s it, they don’t see the Force doing … (immense gesture embracing everything).
But I see so clearly!... This personalization … You understand, a great Force descends to work, then it “coagulates,” so to speak, into a personal point so as to touch Matter. And then, men (laughing) like to take scissors, and they cut (Mother cuts out a little square from this vast flow of Force), make a person out of it, and isolate it (gesture as if under a bell jar). That’s something I see so clearly!
Yes, it’s the door to sectarianism and fanaticism.
Yes, yes, yes.
(Mother holds out to Satprem a garland of “Aspiration”) Would you like?
Yes, Mother, yes!
(Satprem lays his head on Mother’s knees)
I absolutely refuse to let myself be put like this (gesture under a bell jar).... I’d rather – I’d rather dissolve, you understand.
Let it be fluid.
The impression I get is as if people have big scissors, and they always want to cut out pieces of the Lord! (laughter)
July 25, 1970
Years ago, I used to get B.’s notebook, and I would answer him. Then, once, I forgot it. Yesterday he wrote to tell me that he’d like to have his notebook back, and I found it again. And in it, there was a question I had left unanswered.
So I answered.... This morning I “presented” that question [to the Lord], and it was as if it was waiting for the occasion. I received a reply … simple, as always, but explaining the whole, entire functioning. When I saw that, it was such an illumination that... everything became so simple! (I wrote it down, but it’s nothing, it looks like a commonplace.) But it puts an end to all questions. It was absolutely wonderful!
So instead of sending the notebook back to him, I kept it to show it to you, because it looks like nothing at all, but if it gives others the experience it gave me, it’s something!... For several hours I lived in a Peace nothing can disturb.... It’s so simple, so simple!
(Satprem reads the notebook)
Does the Divine punish injustice? Is it possible for Him to ever punish anyone?
(Mother laughs) He always had a very childlike way to ask questions! So I answered:
“After so many years, I find the forgotten notebook again, and I answer:
“The Divine does not see things the way men do …
That’s intended for B.
“... and does not need to punish and reward. All
actions carry in themselves their fruit along with
their consequences. “According to its nature, the action brings you
closer to the Divine or takes you away from the
So … you see in the universe the immense Movement drawing closer to the Divine, and how EVERYTHING, everything in it is like that [advancing towards the Divine].... I’d like to pass on to you my experience, it’s extraordinary!... Simply that.
“... and that is the supreme consequence.”
It’s created in such a way, organized in such a way that EVERYTHING is like that, and every second (so then I understand; I understand movements I have felt in the consciousness, which I couldn’t explain to myself), it’s automatic and CONTINUOUS, every second (we divide it into seconds, but it’s continuous). So it’s going forward towards the Divine, towards the conscious identification with the Divine, or else going backward. The body had felt things it didn’t understand, because the consciousness was in a certain way, and some things were wrong (a very slight discomfort suddenly, you don’t know why) – that’s the reason. It explains everything, EVERYTHING. That way, the working of the universe is FULLY explained.
It instantly does away with all notions of sin, of evil....
But all, all human conceptions fall away. It’s so simple! So simple. And this whole huge mental edifice people have built to try and explain falls to the ground.
It [the working] is automatic.
Automatic and universal. And I noticed it wasn’t something vague or imprecise: it’s exact, as if every element had its own destiny.... One day you may take a big step backward, and the next day a big step forward. It explains the whole apparent confusion of the world.
Oh, suddenly I was lighter. As if a weight, a weight of Ignorance had been taken off from me.
And you see how things are arranged: I didn’t do it deliberately, I found this notebook again only when I was capable of understanding. At that time. God knows what answer I would have written! It came just when I was capable of replying. It’s marvelous!
Yes, all that is really microscopically precise.
Yes, yes, exactly! It’s the precision, the exactness – it’s the Supreme Consciousness everywhere. We even have difficulty conceiving it, but its obvious … blindingly obvious.
Do you have something to say?
No, I only have a question of spelling!
Oh, mon petit, I make as many spelling errors as possible! (Mother laughs)
It’s about those famous “Aurovillians”....
I write it with a single “I.”
Deliberately. (Laughing) Its not French, it’s Aurovilian!
Since this morning, I’ve been in an extraordinary joy, everything has become clear!
And the amusing thing is that we thought we knew – we thought we knew that, it doesn’t look like a revelation … and we didn’t really know it! It’s as if something had been reversed.
If we could explain this difference of understanding, it would explain the difference between the mental functioning (even the higher mind, the highest intellectual functioning) and the functioning of the divine Consciousness.... I feel it, but … (Mother tries to explains, then gives up).
The mental functioning explains – it explains. Things are consequences (even my word “consequence” in the notebook, I’m not sure it’s the right one), it “explains,” whereas this is spontaneous. It’s not the result of a decision, it’s spontaneous. One might almost say it’s automatic. We always feel (“we,” I mean human beings), we think of the divine Action as a supra-human action, that is, which first sees THEN decides – but it’s not that! It’s … yes, an automatism, I don’t know how to put it.
I must say that two days ago, I had an experience (it was with R. again, she was here), an experience of the whole universe, like a general vision of an Immensity, and then, suddenly the consciousness seemed to become a point taking up no room, and that point was the Eternal Consciousness. But then, it was so strong! So strong … how all this, this whole unfolded universe was the result of this Consciousness (Mother shows a point). You understand, the consciousness here became this Eternal Consciousness (for a few seconds perhaps, I don’t think it lasted even a minute, but time had nothing to do with it), it was the Eternal, it was the Consciousness. And that experience already prepared something [in Mother], because the two were simultaneous; one didn’t abolish the other, the two were simultaneous: this Point that was taking up no room but was eternal, was everything, and at the same time, the unfolding [of the universe]. That was a very intense experience. Then there only remained this vagueness that is the “whole,” but it didn’t lose its impression of vagueness, that is to say, of something imprecise. Since that time, there has been something changed [in Mother]. And today, in this consciousness, when the answer came, it wasn’t the knowledge of “that” – it wasn’t the knowledge, it was the working. All of a sudden, I had BECOME the working. So then, I expressed it as best I could in this notebook.... It had such simplicity, you know, a marvelous, all-powerful simplicity!
Words are approximations. I had to use words because I had to write for him, but the experience came like that, the working: the experience of this universal Immensity returning to the Divine Consciousness, how it returns – and innumerably, of course, with all possible experiences, but with a marvelous sim-plic-i-ty.
It gave me at the same time a sort of bodily experience of the universal movement of the return of the consciousness towards the Divine; and that … a perception that wasn’t mental at all, not at all, as if all the cells felt this movement, you understand, this movement of immense return towards the Consciousness.
It must be the movement of the universe towards the Supreme.
I must say that certain things contributed to the experience: in answer to certain questions, yesterday Z told me about the age of the earth, and how they have now managed to measure it (things that are the mental approach to the problem), and suddenly, when he spoke, suddenly there came this sort of union and … (what should I say?) almost a sensation, in the body, of the earth returning to the Divine Consciousness. So the conjunction, combination of all that resulted in this experience.
Previously when I used to have experiences (long ago, years ago), it was the mind that benefited more or less, and then it would spread it, use it; now it’s not like that: it’s directly the body, it’s the body that has the experience, and it’s MUCH TRUER. There’s an intellectual attitude that puts a kind of veil or … I don’t know, something … something unreal on the perception of things – an attitude, it’s an attitude. It’s like seeing through a certain veil or a certain … something … a certain atmosphere, whereas the body feels the thing in itself, it becomes that. It feels in itself. It’s not as if the thing were taken like this (gesture of absorption in oneself), it’s as if the body itself BECAME that (gesture of bursting or expansion). Instead of shrinking the experience down to the individuals scale, the individual widens to the scale of the experience.
(Mother goes into a contemplation) Do you have anything to say?
Once I had a sort of perception which really was an experience, very strong, of this whole universal movement of return, and I had the impression or sensation that everything goes towards That, everything is FOR That, that it’s impossible for anything in all this to be “against,” for anything not to go in THAT direction, even when apparently it is “against” or “twisted” or “dark” or …
I had the impression that everything goes, is for That, there’s nothing against – the impossibility of anything against in all this.
Yes, it’s as if … I don’t know … as if the “against” made it nonexistent, you know, in a way incomprehensible to us. An incomprehension that makes us say “against.”
It came to me in this form: even what we call the “wrong path” is part of the right path.
It looks like a paradox....
Yes, exactly, its a limitation of vision, quite simply.
With the perception of space (which must correspond to something), things move away (in what I saw, my experience), they move away as if to follow a vaster curve in order to … That’s it: the move away is to broaden one’s horizon or field of action.
But the interesting thing (very interesting for me) is that the body was very preoccupied with all the difficulties of the transformation, and this experience has given it … I can’t call it a “joy” (it’s something infinitely superior and greater, stronger – it’s so immense!...), as if all the cells were dancing with joy. That’s the impression.
These last few days too, I wondered why the body is so absorbed in the difficulties of the transformation, and I received no answer, except to be patient and tranquil and not to fret – as always. But now I understand!... It can only be joyful in a certain atmosphere of truth; then … everything seems to broaden, to relax, and then there’s an extraordinary joy with no equivalent in the ordinary perception, none at all.
(Laughing) It’s a bit as if someone had taken my head and turned it around! (Mother turns her head upward). You know, this (gesture above) is where the Consciousness is, so the head was taken and turned the right way! (laughter)
It’s limitations that create the sense of evil, of bad – as soon as you do away with the limitations, it’s gone.
July 29, 1970
Goings-on, complications ….
But couldn’t Nolini do something?
Nolini wants peace. Ah, what about you? What do you have to tell me?
I’ve received a letter from Monsignor R. [P. L. s friend]. Would you like to see it?... You know he was supposed to come at the end of last year, I think, and “as if by chance,” he was prevented from coming.
I am not surprised.
Then, quite recently, he underwent a grave operation. But in February he had written you a letter which he never sent, and he gave it to Z for you.
Oh!... Is he still ill?
No, he’s convalescing. And then, he is involved in a business … I told you that this man has hundreds and hundreds of millions, a considerable wealth, which he has always collected from women – he has a power over women.
Has he received more?
Yes, he has received another hundred million Swiss francs from a banker’s widow.
Is this man old?
I have his photo here.
Oh, show it.
He is in fact with the woman who has just given him a hundred million.
That’s amusing!... (Mother looks at the photo) Oh, they no longer wear their robes, they dress in plain clothes, do they?...
It depends on the occasion!
(Mother looks) Oh, that’s it.... Well, well! Is he fifty or so?
A little more, I think.
(after a silence)
Interesting. So then, what does he write?
27 February 1970
The longer the wait, the keener my desire to see you. It is probably because our meeting must have a considerable influence on my life that obstacles multiply under my steps. I am sorry to see this departure for Pondicherry constantly delayed and postponed.
Tomorrow, on your birthday, I will be in thought and prayer among all your children, so happy to offer you their warmest and most affectionate wishes.
May God keep you many more years in the affection of your countless friends – who all need your advice and presence to purify their being and let it grow to the superhuman stature willed by the Creator.
Permit me, Mother, to express again my admiration, my attachment, and my immense desire to be near you as soon as possible.
(after a silence)
Is P. L. still working for him?
Yes, since that serious illness, R. gave over to him all powers to manage this huge affair – billions.
All of it gifts?
All of it gifts. And it all falls on P.L.’s shoulders.
(after a long silence)
Did Z tell you that she intends to leave?
What made her decide that?
Mother, I have a strange feeling with her.... Two or three times, I was led to tell her, “May the Grace be with you,” because I felt only the Grace would save her.
Something has happened.
Yes, Mother. What happened is that before she left for Europe, she had a complete collapse of all mental constructions....
Yes, that I know.
Then everything widened and she opened at the vital level (the higher vital), and she says, “The Divine is everywhere,” it’s “Love immense” and “Everything flows through me without resistance. …” As a matter of fact, when you’re near her, you feel a considerable vital force, which largely exceeds her, and to her, what expresses itself there, at this level [solar plexus], is the Divine.
(In a sad tone) Ah!...
All is “Love immense” and it’s “the same thing everywhere”.... So I asked her, “But does Sri Aurobindo, for instance, represent something for you?” She told me, “Oh, no more forms, no more forms! Its the same Thing everywhere, there are no forms, I see Mother’s face everywhere – all is the same Thing. It is an illusion to say that in Pondicherry there is more than elsewhere. …”In fact, she wants to send her children [studying at the Ashram School] to Switzerland.
Yes, I know.
So I told her, “But are the children happy about it?” “Oh,” she said, “there it’s all Mother’s ideas, it’s all the same thing.” Then she asked me, “Do you think there is a difference between the Divine here and there?…”So she is completely open at the level of vital forces. When you’re near her, you receive a sort of vital deluge – not ugly or low, but … With a great desire to “help others,” to “act,” to “be the instrument” and so on.
She says, “It flows through me without resistance.”
(after a long silence)
It happened to her before she left [for Europe]. I got an impression (not in thought: something like a super-sensation) that she may have “pulled,” because the force that came through her was too great for her. That I’d seen before – I saw it, felt it before she left. But I saw her when she came back and … it was as if she had gone out of the atmosphere.
Yes, Mother, she has gone out.
I got an impression of something boiling.
Yes, very strong.
Very strong, but... For me, it’s there (gesture at ground level), it’s nothing (gesture crumbling through the fingers).
But it has effect.
Oh, to me …
Her “Love immense” is there [gesture at the solar plexus], she says it constantly beats there, you understand.
Yes, it’s vital.... Because what I perceived was like a terrestrial swarming.
Yes, it’s exactly that.... So when I was with her, I stayed very still to know what I should tell her. And I seemed to be told, “Don’t say anything.”
“Don’t say anything.” The only thing I perceived was that she was on a dangerous road, and twice I told her, “May the Grace be with you.” Because I felt only the Grace could save her.
As for me, as soon as she told me she wanted to send the children to a Swiss school which teaches exactly what I say …
Yes. it’s “the same thing.”
I know this whole muddle of teaching: it takes place there, at ground level. But I said nothing, nothing at all, because … because there was nothing to say.
Me too, I said nothing at all.... Then, in Europe, she made her way into a certain milieu consisting of super-rich people: “super-artists,” “super-bankers,” a very dubious and disillusioned world to which the “spiritual” is just more theatricals: you suddenly discover you have a “spiritual soul.” So she is acting in that milieu, she makes a great effect there, and I suppose she wants to go back and work in that milieu.
But the only thing I am bothered with is: does it have an effect on P. L.? Because P. L. is quite …
Yes, but Mother, P. L. has something that can’t easily be deceived.
Let’s hope so.
He is far above that.
And now you’re read me this letter.... This man is very mental – very mental – but … And what he wants to see isn’t “me”: it’s a mental construction he has made (but that doesn’t matter, one can work through anything).... But there was in this letter something more than I thought. I always thought he was a very mental man with a vital power of attraction – there may be something else....
But they are caught in vital formations. P. L. too, I always got a feeling he had to be protected.
Did Z say when she intends to leave?
End of August. And she’d like to come back next year with Msgr. R., in February I think.
When she told me about her projects, I said absolutely nothing, but I looked, and I was very clearly told, “She needs this experience.”
She needs the experience.
I also felt that. Only, it’s a dangerous experience.
Ah … it may put off realization to another life.
I think I told you that when P. L. caused that scandal there [at the Vatican], I was clearly told that it was “the beginning of the conversion of Christianity.” And naturally, that’s what interests me, much more than personal questions....
But I see that P. L. may only be an intermediary, and R. may be … how should I put it?
Yes, there, to let the Current in.
I had already been told that the Pope is the richest man in the world.
Yes, that’s true.
Material wealth seems to have concentrated there. From that standpoint, a positive standpoint (there’s also a very important negative standpoint), from that positive standpoint this conversion is important.... The wealth of the earth must be used for the transformation of the earth.
goes into a long concentration,
Z is propagandizing people to take them away from here.
Yes, a child who wrote to me. Yesterday or the day before, I got a note in which she tells me (it’s a girl), “Z wants me to go to the Swiss school with her children, and suddenly,” she says, “I am no longer happy here.” It was the exact opposite before....
Mother, I have a certain influence over Z because it was through my book that she came, and every time she comes to see me as if to get an approval or confirmation – she feels there’s something above. When she came to see me, I didn’t budge, said nothing, despite all the danger and falsity I felt. But do you think I should intervene? Because if I do, she will listen to me.
I don’t want her to stay.
You don’t want her to stay.
No, because she needs the experience.... But when I got the child’s letter, I found the case more serious. If she propagandizes people to take them away from here …
When people go away from here, they suddenly become aware of all that they’ve lost. As long as they’re here, they are unaware of it, because our appearance is … The vital makes no fuss, you know, doesn’t put on an act, so they’re easily deceived! But when they go away, they suddenly become aware of all that they’ve lost. So … But I am not looking at it from that angle, it’s the angle of what I might call the “seriousness of Z’s case.” When I saw she could want to pull people from here, that … as a mental aberration, it’s serious.
Her aberration is to have the “realization,” as she says, that it’s “everywhere the same thing,” and that external forms – Mother, Sri Aurobindo – are a sort of illusion, while in reality there’s one great impersonal force, everywhere the same.
(Mother nods her head silence)
I don’t think the time has come to wage battle, you understand.... It’s this whole transformation of Christianity that’s starting, this whole Western world that... We shouldn’t enter into conflict as yet, we should let it be. We’ll see.
But you know, with this Msgr. R., I feel a man with an opening above, who understands VERY well what the superman is – for him the superman means something. That’s how he can be touched.
Possibly.... He’s a very powerful man (I know, you showed me his photo), very powerful.
(long, smiling silence)
Shouldn’t speak.... Shouldn’t speak too soon.
Do you have something to answer this letter?
(after a silence)
There’s this sentence of Sri Aurobindo we should send him, you know it: “In the hour of God all is possible....” I don’t remember. Just yesterday evening I translated it.... “Nothing is impossible in the Hour of God....” One single sentence. It’s the only thing I’d like to tell him. (Satprem looks for the reference in vain)
Mother, we can simply send him the sentence as from you.
“Me,” it’s worthless. It was short: “Nothing is impossible when the Hour of God has come …” or “At the Hour of God …” My memory … I remember a whole lot of impressions I have, but I don’t remember words and sentences.
And then, I see too many people and do too many things.
It’s the only thing I want to tell him.... Because I have just had a fantastic vision … A vision without form … of (how can I express it?) the cradle of a future … not a very distant future. A future … I don’t know.
But it refuses to be told.
Just this: it’s a pro-di-gious mass (gesture) hanging over the earth.
August 1, 1970
(Mother gives Satprem the message for August 15:)
“Even the body shall remember God.”
(Then she translates another quotation from Sri Aurobindo:)
“Whatever sufferings come on the path, are not too high a price for the victory that has to be won and if they are taken in the right spirit, they become even a means towards the victory.”
Letters on Yoga, 24.1636
We’ve made brochures, On India, and then five cards with quotations.
(Mother gives Satprem the texts)
I am told you said that the Chinese threat to India was “inescapable”?
No, I didn’t say that.... Who said that?
It’s attributed to P. B. You know, things get distorted....
Yes, completely distorted. I said it was “serious.” Because they aren’t conscious, the government wasn’t at all conscious of the danger. So I had them warned. But I didn’t say it was “inescapable”; I said it was dangerous – if it were inescapable, I wouldn’t have done anything!
You know that Calcutta’s walls are all covered with slogans: “The Chairman of China is our chairman.” The atmosphere is like that. A gentleman who, I think, headed the University there, or the official in charge of education, came here to ask us to go and do something in Bengal – I saw him. It seems he is scared stiff.... He asked us to go and do something. So it’s almost officially that we’re called there.
The response in Orissa is excellent.
But there is … I think it’s the Chief Minister, or a minister from Madras, who went to France because a Tamil congress was held there, and he met Z, who is our friend. And he told Z that he and the Madras government in general are “very guarded about the Ashram” because we are “Bengalis” … (I forget – absolutely stupid!) and “what we say isn’t true.” Anyway … such stupid things that I can’t even remember them. And that’s the official attitude. He said, “We’d rather have foreigners there than Bengalis, because we will be more secure.” There you are! Absolutely imbecile.
So we are in a … bizarre situation: the whole anti-government movement in India doesn’t want us to be helped by the government; and the government of one province says we are friends with another province and we shouldn’t be friends … So to please them, we would have to become as stupid as they are.
P. B., I don’t know what he says, but he read me something he had written, which was good. He said the danger is serious – and it’s true.... But there have been remarkable things: for instance some young people from that pro-Chinese movement [the “Naxalites”], who want the Chinese, have written to me to ask me if that is right, if they should be like that, and … “We’ll do as you say.” So it shows that in any case the Influence is strong.... There are signs … there is hope. No, it’s not inescapable. It’s dangerous, but not inescapable....
But among themselves they’re worse than hooligans! They quarrel in a very petty manner, and that’s what makes the work difficult.
But I’ve learned things about the Tibetans.... The Tibetans are with us, but a Tibetan boy who came here recounted some frightful things.... They fled from their country and had settled near the border (they lived in huts near the border, with his father, mother and grandfather). A Tibetan came and asked them for shelter. They took him and put him up. But after some time (I don’t know how many days), a group of other Tibetans came to find that man, saying he was an enemy. So those Tibetans (I thought they were all the “victims of the Chinese” – they are the victims of their own division), they came and killed the father, mother and grandfather; they tried to kill the son but missed: he escaped and is now here. Incredible stories! So they’re all like that, arguing and quarreling among themselves – naturally, if they continue … they open the door to everything.
So some tell me, “Don’t be with this man, because …” and others tell me, “Don’t be with those, because they are enemies....” There you are!
So we answer, “We are with everybody.”
One wonders what will have the power to pull India out of all this political pettiness.
They must be pulled out of politics.
Sri Aurobindo said in black and white what they should do.
I said (I saw the governor, he comes and sees me), I told him, “You have an exceptional chance, it’s the Centenary; it’s an opportunity which gives you a sort of right to push it forward – use it, use this opportunity; you have two years to counter the movement.”
But we can’t openly say we are with them, because … that would cut off a whole party – we are with nobody. We are only with Sri Aurobindo – with nobody. Those who come, whoever they are, are welcome.
This (Mother points to the brochures) is part of the literature we distribute, there are very good things in it. I haven’t read it.
It’s a series of questions and answers about all kinds of problems: education, language, and so on.
Are there answers from Sri Aurobindo?
I don’t know, it’s not signed. Yet I see one thing from you.... Nothing is quoted or signed, so one doesn’t know if it’s from Sri Aurobindo, from you or from someone else.
But we are obliged to let the idea stand on its own, because if we present it in the name of someone they don’t like, they’ll chuck it out!
They wanted to involve me in the action but I refused. I said, “No, I don’t want to.” I don’t want to get involved in this: I am not Indian, and I don’t want to be pushed to the fore so that one day they’ll suddenly say there’s a “foreigner meddling in our affairs.” I forbade them to say, “Mother said this … Mother said that....” No thanks!
Yes, but that’s how they are!
It’s comfortable when one is … (gesture in the background). Yet I see some of them, they come, more and more of them. I can’t always refuse.
That’s why, that’s the reason why I didn’t want to write something of my own to this Msgr. R. I don’t want to, I don’t want people to say, “Oh, there’s a woman who … Mother who …” – that doesn’t exist! (Mother laughs)
August 5, 1970
(This conversation was to be the last before a serious ordeal which once again took the form of a month-long “illness.” Let us note that on August 6, as if coincidentally, Mother’s faithful attendant, Vasudha, was to leave for Bombay to be operated on for cancer. She was the last element Mother could rely on among those physically close to her. Henceforth, Mother would be alone with her “bodyguard” and her doctor. On the same August 6, she got a cold and fever.)
Funds have suddenly fallen flat, there’s nothing left! I am expecting money, but it’s not coming (money that should have come a month back). I hadn’t reached this condition in a long time.... (Laughing) I can’t pay the cashier anymore! And when I stop paying him, very soon it becomes astronomical amounts.... We’ll see.
Any new development? I haven’t seen Z again.
Neither have I.
There must have been some tension.
Yes, one can’t be here with impunity.
(Mother takes a flower by her side)
Do you want “Silence”? – Not Satprem, no! (Mother laughs) You wouldn’t do your work anymore! (To Sujata:) Do you want?
Her son met with an accident.
Z’s son? Ohh!
Yes, while riding a cycle he bumped into something, I don’t know what – nothing too serious, but he gashed his leg.
It’s a symbol.
Yes. I found that … troublesome.
But she won’t understand … unless the Grace makes her understand.
This Consciousness which came more than a year ago (a year and a half now), it seems to be working very, very hard, very positively for sincerity. It doesn’t admit pretenses, people pretending to be something they aren’t. It wants it to be the TRUE THING.
Yes, everything is coming out into the open.
And it disrupts arrangements like that, in the appearances. It’s an excellent mentor for the body: it’s perpetually giving it lessons.... I don’t know if all bodies are like this, but this one feels like a very small child, and it WANTS to be “in school,” it wants to be shown where it goes wrong and to learn things. And it’s constantly learning. But what comes from outside … This is very interesting: the Consciousness (the Consciousness there [gesture above]) is influenced by nothing; it’s a witness, it sees, but it doesn’t receive. The body still receives vibrations: with some people, when they sit in front of me, suddenly there are pains, things going wrong; but now it knows (naturally it knows it’s in pain!), but it doesn’t put the blame on others: it puts it on itself, it takes it as an indication of the points that aren’t yet exclusively under the divine Influence. From that point of view, it’s very interesting.... It knows the gap between the consciousness of the being using it and itself; but it doesn’t suffer from it and has perfect humility and modesty. And it’s not surprised or worried, because its “May Your Will be done.” That has become an absolute law: “May Your Will be done; it doesn’t concern me, I am incapable of judging, nor do I try: may Your Will be done.” So then, it’s like this (passive, offered gesture). And when it disappears, when it’s wholly, completely surrendered and no longer exists by itself, then the Force going through becomes … sometimes it’s awesome. Sometimes one can see, the witness-consciousness can see that there would be really no limits to the possibilities. But it’s not “that” yet, far from it.... It comes as an example of what can be done. But … before it can be spontaneous and natural …
What have you brought? Nothing?
I don’t know if this is correct, but I feel a certain difference between a few years ago and now, in your presence with us, if I may say so. For instance, in the past I often had the impression that you were actively looking after us, while now (I don’t know if this is correct), I rather feel it’s left to a force... not impersonal, but...
Ah, a large part of the activity I have left to this Consciousness, that’s true. This Consciousness, I let it work actively, because … I’ve noticed it really knows. Otherwise, the sense of closeness with all of you is much greater than before – much greater. I almost feel I am moving about within you all (I didn’t feel that before). But before, maybe my consciousness was exerting a pressure on yours (gesture of pressing with a thumb), while now it probably no longer does, because … it’s as if I were doing it from within.
Yes, when one is with you, near you, it’s obvious, it can be felt. Yes, one feels you are within.
Absolutely. But it’s rather when one is physically away, then one feels one is more with something impersonal. I don’t know if that’s correct.
It may have become impersonal. My impression is that even the body consciousness is as little personal as possible. At times I no longer feel my body’s limits.... (I don’t know how to put it....) Yes, that’s right, it’s almost as if it had become fluid. And there must be NO MORE personal action. But within, yes (I don’t know how to explain); it’s not even like a person who might have expanded so as to take others within himself, it’s not that: it’s a force, a consciousness spread OUT over things. I don’t get the sense of a limit: I have the sense of something spread out, even physically.... Besides, that’s how, with someone who comes with a very active critical sense, eager to observe and judge, it’s as if he entered within, you understand, it disturbs within.
I don’t think the action gives the sense of a personal action – that stopped long ago (that is, since the beginning of the year at least). When people write to me that they felt “I have done” this or that for them, I am always surprised. If they said, “The Force has done this” or “the Consciousness has done that,” I would find it more natural.
What speaks, what observes is a center of consciousness that’s here (gesture above), but naturally it’s not localized: it’s to communicate with the mouth and senses. It’s here (same gesture above). But it doesn’t have the character of a personality.... You understand, if someone asks me, “How do you see this?”, it takes me a moment to understand the question. I don’t get a sense of “someone seeing.”
Certain experiences make me think that this sense of personal limitation isn’t necessary to physical existence – it’s a thing we have to learn, but it’s not necessary. The impression had always been there that a body defined as making up separate individualities is necessary – it’s not. One can live physically without that, the body can live without that.... Spontaneously, that is to say, left to its old habits and ways of being, it’s very difficult, it results in an internal organization that quite looks like disorder – it’s difficult. You see, problems crop up all the time, for everything – EVERYTHING – there isn’t one activity of the body that’s not called into question by that. The process is no longer the old process, it’s no longer as it was, but “as it is” hasn’t become a habit, a spontaneous habit, which means it’s not natural, it demands that the consciousness should be constantly watchful – for everything, even to swallow lunch, you understand? So that makes life a bit difficult – specially, specially when I see people. I see lots and lots of people (forty or fifty people every day), and everyone brings something, so that this Consciousness that makes it all function has to make do with all that comes from outside.... And, you know, I see that many people fall ill (or they think they’re ill, or seem to have some illness, or really have one), but in the body it becomes concrete through their own way of being, which is the old way. To this new physical consciousness, it could be avoided, but, oh, how difficult! Through a sort of conscious concentration, you have to keep up a state, a way of being that isn’t natural according to the old nature, but which is clearly the new way of being. That way, you can avoid illness. But it’s an almost Herculean labor.
You understand, all impossibilities, all the “this can’t be, that can’t be done …” – all that is swept away; but it’s swept away IN PRINCIPLE, and it’s trying to become a fact, a concrete fact.
That’s quite recent, it’s from the beginning of this new year. But then, there’s the whole old habit – I might say ninety years of habit. But the body knows, it KNOWS it’s only a habit.
(Mother takes up the translation of a few extracts from Savitri.)
The great World-Mother by her sacrifice
Has made her soul the body of our state …
That’s interesting, I hadn’t noticed: “has made her SOUL...”
The divine intention suddenly shall be seen,
The end vindicate intuitions sure technique.
August 12, 1970
Can’t speak … (Mother points to her mouth and throat).
(Meditation till the end)
All this …
(Mother shakes her head)
August 22, 1970
(Since August 6, when Mother’s attendant went away to be operated on for cancer, Mother has been in a very difficult state of health. Several times Satprem could not see her, and when he did, she signaled that she could not speak. So too this time, except for this question:)
Do you have something to say?
I’ve begun writing the new book.
Oh, that’s good! And what is it called?
(Mother nods approvingly and remains long concentrated on Satprem)
September 2, 1970
(Mother’s first words for almost a month. Her left eye is very swollen, her voice husky. It is not over yet.)
Forbidden to speak: it makes me cough terribly.
Do you know a man with slightly red hair, or dark blond, and a beard?
No?... He was here (gesture next to Satprem). You don’t know who it is?... He was sitting like that, on the ground.
(Mother looks again) You have many disciples now, don’t you?
(Mother plunges in again)
It’s better.... Very slowly.
If I remember once it’s over, I’ll have something really interesting to say. But I don’t know whether I’ll remember.... It’s the experience of the body – the body left to itself.
The psychic may have … it may have “attended,” you understand, without intervening, and it may remember, possibly.
Its … anyway. It’s still a … The result isn’t certain, that’s all I can say.
It’s something prodigious … which looks idiotic.
You know, the little body … the little body is like a point, but its impression is of being the expression of an awesome power, and it’s … like this: no capacity, no expression, nothing – and rather … rather miserable. And yet … it’s like a condensation – condensation – like the condensation of an awesome power!... At times, it even has difficulty bearing it, you understand.
All experiences are as if multiplied a hundred times.... Only, it has difficulty learning.
(Satprem lays his forehead on Mother’s knees. Mother gropes for flowers by her side.)
(Sujata:) I don’t know, it’s a new flower, Mother.
(Mother nods) Ah, isn’t it! I feel it’s a flower connected to what’s going on.
(Satprem:) It’s a hibiscus, a “Power.”
Yes, it’s a Power.
I’ll give you one so you try and find out what it is. I’ll keep the other to see if I find out. There, my children.
(Mother takes Satprem’s hands)
The end isn’t … I mean, the result isn’t decided yet in my consciousness. It may be … the Attempt, it may be … (vague gesture spreading out in time and space).
It’s preparing something prodigious, but I don’t know whether this body … whether it’s this body that will do it. That’s all.
(Mother takes Sujata’s hand in her left hand and Satprem’s hand in her right one)
September 5, 1970
The terrible Agenda
(Mother looks exhausted. She speaks with great difficulty, as if out of breath.)
Me, I have nothing to say; if you have something to ask, I can speak a little.
So then, what do you say?
Last time, when you spoke of that long period, you said that what happened was something prodigious and … almost “idiotic,” so simple is it – almost idiotic, you said.
I don’t remember.
Prodigious and at the same time …so simple that it’s almost idiotic.
Only there was … For the first time, the brain was affected, in the sense that I had uncontrolled movements. I can manage to control them, but... it’s very troublesome. And I spend absolutely sleepless nights, because of that. I am obliged to remain awake so that … But something happened – the day you came, which day was it?
Wednesday night, I was like that, lying down, without sleeping, when suddenly I saw a St. Peters in front of me, and from it rays were coming out towards me. So I understood they had done some magic. At the time, I was quite … (what shall I say?), as if … you know, as if desperate – I was tired and … When … (Mother takes her forehead in her hands and remains silent for a long time).
I can’t speak, I am not used to speaking....
So I called him [Sri Aurobindo], I told him; then he told me, “But what does it matter to you! What can they do – they can’t do anything, they have no force!” That was enough. And naturally, the Force came, but then it was a force … unbelievable! And it acted like this (crushing gesture) on the entire world, and I spent my night in a sort of white Power that kept repulsing and dealing blows.... At least six hours – six hours of a Power of domination as I had never felt.... But the body doesn’t profit from it; that’s the trouble, my body is in a state …
That [the experience of the white Power] I had never had in my whole life. For at least six or seven hours, a white Power sending back and as if... crushing things, you know.... Only, the body didn’t seem to profit from it. The movements are almost under control – still one or two a day, like that – but the … That is over, it was like that and then it was over. It didn’t come back.
But the body is so tired – it’s not tired, of course: incapable!... Not that I try to do things and can’t, it’s that there is no will to try.
Yet, from the external standpoint, the doctor said that the best thing is to “do” something, some work; for instance, to signs photos, things like that, a mechanical work.
But it’s … it’s disgusting.
So, you see, it doesn’t get cured (Mother touches her chest). It’s better, but it doesn’t get cured. I still have the same cough. It seems there’s a lung infection (Mother touches the top of her chest on the left side).
You see, I am short of breath. The thing is, I don’t know … Sometimes the body is tired; that means it would like to cease. But that doesn’t last, of course, only there is in the consciousness the fact that... It still has a very great energy – an energy, even force; but it’s in … I don’t know, in the consciousness, like a … It doesn’t know what’s expected of it: whether it’s expected to find the energy to recover and live normally again, or else whether … it is to go like this (crumbling gesture). But then this [general disorganization] is disgusting, it’s … You understand, it’s tired of the battle.
There is around an atmosphere … a mixed and complex atmosphere of those who don’t believe in the possibility of … It believes in the possibility of the prolongation of life, but not in these conditions – not this, it’s absurd, of course, absurd!
One can’t last like this, it’s meaningless.
I clearly see that it depends on the condition, because at certain times I almost can’t see anymore, while at other times I see almost clearly, and naturally … This (Mother points to her swollen left eye) is another accident, it seems it’s emphysema.... There’s a physical disorganization that’s not tolerable. The doctors all say it’s perfectly repairable.... So here’s all I know – that it can recover completely. If it can recover completely, it’s good. But …
The consciousness above (gesture above the head) hasn’t changed, but … (Mother takes her forehead in her hands) the physical transmission isn’t so good anymore. But that too, they say it can recover.
The state is like this: now there is a will, and so a progress obviously, now there is … as if a fatigue at effort.
That’s how it is, all the time out of breath.
And then, earlier I would always take refuge in silence and concentration, but now this thing comes – that has been the biggest difficulty. In silence and concentration I could spend hours and hours and hours, but now those uncontrolled movements come, and … That’s … That’s really what saddened me, you understand?
(Satprem feels tears flow on his cheeks)
Because concentrated silence, I could spend twenty-four hours in it – that joy has been taken away from me.
(Mother takes soup packets near her and gives them to Satprem)
And I have great difficulty eating, a great difficulty.
she goes into a long meditation, now quieter, now panting for breath;
It’s constantly like that.
changes her position and plunges in again, now panting, now quieted.
And then the legs hurt.
(Sujata and Satprem try to massage lightly Mother’s legs)
The legs hurt.
silence, now quieter,
That’s what is tiring.... You see, twenty-four hours a day, no … no possibility of real rest. That’s it.
If I let myself go, I would cry out. But crying out brings no relief, it’s worse.
(silence, Mother plunges in, then she gives a start again)
Terrible!... You know.... So that night, I said to myself, “Yes, this is how hell is.”
Terrible, it’s terrible.
I don’t see why I’ve had to go through this.... Because, you understand, that way, it was death that wasn’t a solution. That was frightful.
(the clock strikes, Satprem lays his forehead on Mother’s knees)
Tempted to say, pray for me.
(Mother has tears in her eyes) You know, it’s like this, it’s so horrible that it … I am tempted to say, pray for me.
(Satprem lays his head on Mother’s knees, then goes to Sri Aurobindo’s room)
September 6, 1970
(Sujata furtively goes and sees Mother.)
You’re sweet.... I am better.
September 9, 1970
(Mother seems very slightly better, though still quite exhausted.)
I had something to tell you, but I don’t remember at all.... Maybe it’ll come back.
(very long silence, then Mother gestures that she remembers and plunges in again)
It’s coming, but not yet precise enough. Do YOU have anything to ask?
Was it related to “that night,” when you were as if in hell?
Yes, it was related to that. It was … I’ll try to explain. You know that OM is said to be the sound of the whole universe turned towards the Supreme, imploring the Supreme – and the result is OM. I had the impression that I was all the pain of the world – all the pain of the world (how can I put it) felt together. I don’t know how to explain.
It must be that – it must be that because, before, I was dominated, you understand: when it came, I was as if crushed by the thing; whereas from the moment I understood that way, I was able to be above pain. And I am much better. But just when I said it, it was very … it even had the character of a revelation. So then, it was very precise – very precise, very concrete. Now … it’s a translation, of course.
I felt, I felt at the same time something like an extraordinary Protection which prevented from going mad.... It was a VERY concrete experience for several hours: the protection of a Consciousness … a higher consciousness, and a sort of power dominating the thing, with the perception that if That weren’t there, there was enough to make lots of people go mad.
But the body is very … the body is very affected (Mother touches her left eye and forehead). You see, there are …
Impossible, almost impossible to eat – especially that.
(very long, moaning silence)
That sense of being crushed hasn’t gone yet. It’s like something preventing me from breathing freely. But the night after the day I saw you, when I told you, you remember, I told you (smiling) to pray for me …
... that night was absolutely wonderful – absolutely peaceful and wonderful. A night as I hadn’t had in a long, long time.... I thanked you, I don’t know if you know!
(Mother laughs, Satprem lays his head on her knees, silence)
But Sri Aurobindo? Sri Aurobindo …
What does he say?
(after a silence)
I had (and that was frightful), I had the consciousness of all that he suffered physically. And that was one of the things most … (Mother’s voice is covered in tears) the hardest to bear. As if … physically … And our physical unconsciousness beside that, and the kind of physical TORTURE he was subjected to. That was one of the most difficult things, most difficult.
The torture he was subjected to, which we treated so lightly, as if... as if he felt nothing. That was one of the most frightful things.
(very long silence Mother plunges in, then gives a start)
You see, it’s like this (Mother gestures as if suffocating): an Anguish weighing down, and that’s terrible. It’s not in the thought, you understand (same suffocated gesture).
But Mother, this pain of the earth, isn’t it to make it call the Supreme Consciousness there too, deep down?
Yes, of course. That’s what I say to myself, what I try to find, but …
There is something to be found.
(very long silence)
It’s like this (same gesture of suffocation), and it’s still there.... There is one spot, like a spot where there is such a dreadful anguish.... Do you feel how I have difficulty breathing? – That’s it. It’s constant.
It’s here (Mother draws a bar across the top of her chest). It’s here. And I am as if forbidden to … (Mother makes the gesture of rising to join the Origin above the head) … As if I absolutely had to find something.
What time is it?
Ten past eleven, Mother.
Do you have anything to say?
But doesn’t the Mantra have an action on this?
My body repeats the Mantra ceaselessly. I think it couldn’t hold out if it didn’t.... Constantly, constantly.
Sometimes I say to myself that OUR darknesses are YOUR obstacle, and that if we could conquer our own darknesses …
Ah, naturally it would be easier for me. But that … (how can I put it?) it’s not my business. I have no right to demand it: I have to do the work.... Naturally, as I told you, your prayer that night had a … you know, the word relief in English. It was, oh, such a relief!
(very long, moaning silence)
It’s strange, it takes hold here (gesture from the waist to the knees), but especially here (gesture at the waist). I can’t say what it is, but it’s a dreadful anguish.... When it comes here (gesture to the chest), I scream.
It’s in the legs down to the knees. Now I can hardly walk.
Its totally physical, material.
I know very well what should be done, of course: this [phenomenon] should be observed rather than felt – it should be known: a knowledge rather than a sensation. Then it would be like other kinds of knowledge, you see.... But what does it depend on? I don’t know.
We shall conquer, Mother.
(silence, Satprem lays his forehead on Mother’s knees)
You understand, that it will be conquered I am absolutely certain of, but … has the time come? That’s the question. And it’s this, this doubt, that’s a torture.
(Mother takes Satprem’s hands)
September 12, 1970
(Mother gives “Transformation” flowers.)
You and Satprem …
I am not allowed to take salt (Mother gives Satprem soup packets), it seems that this difficulty [in the left eye] comes from eating too much salt....
What do you have to say?
Are you better, Mother?
Yes, a little. It’s a little better. It’s not yet … (Mother shakes her head).
But I’d like to drink a few drops of water, because …
(Sujata goes and asks for water)
Only, I can’t eat really yet.
It’s better, and last night, the second part of the night, was relatively better, that is to say, without constant pains.
(Mother drinks, or rather tries to drink a few drops of water)
I realized … Previously, to me, staying for hours silent, still, concentrated, was … it was my great satisfaction; now I can’t anymore: I have uncontrolled movements. I have to be occupied, on the contrary. If I am occupied, I am relatively all right. Either occupied almost mechanically, that is to say, with signing photographs, and so on – that keeps my body peaceful – or else, occupied with answering: I am asked things, questions are put to me.
It’s only the eyes.... Eyes are strange. Of course, this [the swollen left eye] is troublesome, but at times I see almost clearly, and at other times everything is behind a veil. But breathing isn’t normal yet. It seems there was an inflammation in the lungs (Mother touches the top of her chest, on the left side). That’s not quite normal yet.
Is the anguish still there?
That … it was a frightful battle. It’s not fully over yet. You see, things [i.e., the experience under way] have to be transferred from the sensation to the consciousness; but the consciousness can’t manage to … [get hold of it]. In the consciousness, it’s all right; in the sensation, it’s impossible. So then, as I had it in the sensation first... Naturally, the minute I became conscious, it was easier to bear, but that shouldn’t affect the sensation.
(Mother is out of breath)
And then, the breathing isn’t free.... Those two things should go, then it would be fine.
There’s a physical diminution, of course (Mother touches her legs). I walk with difficulty and I have become stooped in a way quite … Its bad for breathing.
Only, I have noticed that it depends on a certain attitude.... The trouble is that circumstances (gesture around) force me to think of this body, you understand? That’s troublesome. When I don’t think of it, I am fine – when I think of the work or look at things, I am relatively fine. But this body has become very … very cumbersome.
I can’t walk alone, you know – I could, but there’s the possibility of losing balance, so they don’t want to let me – they’re quite right. But …
And then this (Mother touches her throat and chest), breathing is short, bad, not free.
But then, there would seem to be a sort of will to force you to remain in your body, since your concentrations are taken away from you, all that is taken away from you....
As if to …
Yes, that’s right! Ah, when I start doing this (gesture of rising above the body), instantly, instantly a terrible discomfort: it’s NO. It’s exactly like that.
For me, this life in the body is almost a torture, in the sense that it has no interest in itself, you understand.... I had stopped enjoying it physically long ago. To such a point that people don’t understand why I suffer: I don’t look ill, except for this short breath which isn’t that serious. I have nothing that may really be called a suffering – nothing. It’s a sort of … At any rate, the least I may say is a complete lack of interest: whether I eat or not... The only thing is that I can’t rest, in fact I can’t... (Mother gestures as if withdrawing from her body) go into a … [higher consciousness]. That’s something … For SO MANY years, so many years, more than twenty years maybe, I would lie down in bed and phew! (gesture of withdrawal) I would go into the Lord. And I am now forbidden to do this – that’s probably what is the greatest suffering.
It’s likely that... it’s likely that I couldn’t have borne this work, I would have left my body; it was too natural to … (gesture of going out above). But … (Mother brings her two fists down as if she were forcibly pushed down or held in Matter). But I didn’t take the precaution of really pulling the Force into the body.... I might say that my body had too much (probably the way of seeing and reacting to the material world), too much … Extremely rarely in my life – extremely rarely did I have Ananda in the physical body. It’s only when I would see beautiful things (Mother lifts her eyes as if to look at the coconut tree near the Samadhi, which she can no longer see), that it, certain moments of contact with Nature – then I had it – but otherwise all my life there was never … (how can I put it?) an occasion for Ananda, you understand.
(Mother stops and tries to breathe)
And then it’s troublesome not to breathe freely. Of course, when you are active, you don’t notice it, but when
you’re there, like this, doing nothing, and you spend your time
panting for breath … it’s unpleasant.
You see, all my life there was a complete indifference for the way things are: whether they are this way or that way didn’t matter. Now, see … I’ll give you an example: I asked for water, didn’t I, and the water I was given was too cold, so I couldn’t take it; otherwise I would have taken it anyhow, but I couldn’t, I have a lump in my throat. Instead of giving me cool water, they gave me almost ice-cold water....
Yes, I saw.
I couldn’t drink it. But then, you become so unbearable, you know! Things have to be exactly like this or like that – it makes others’ lives unbearable.
No, Mother. No, no!
So it works out this way: it has to be the doctor who says, “It MUST be like this.” So … You understand, it’s ridiculous.
That is to say, material life is given an importance infinitely greater than it has ever had, and it’s no fun!... It’s just when it’s full of difficulty, grating …
So naturally, as I look tired, they don’t want to tell me about what’s going on, don’t want to give me work, don’t want to … And it makes for me an atmosphere exactly opposite to the one I would need.
Now I’ve asked to be given work.... And you see, if I speak I get out of breath.
But all this is the sign we’re getting near, Mother....
There must be … in fact, deep down in the body, there must be a spring, there must be something there.
Yes … yes, but what?
The Divine Will there.
(Mother nods her head, and goes into a long and rather peaceful contemplation)
Ah, do you have anything?
What time is it?
Five to eleven.
(Mother plunges in again, then emerges from her contemplation, suffocating)
(Mother plunges in again, then has an abrupt movement in her legs)
See, that’s it, these movements come as soon as I concentrate.
And then, if I persist, it takes on … I start howling. There.
It’s only if it remains in some activity or the other that these movements don’t come.
You understand, if I don’t get into some activity and persist [in going within], I literally start howling as if I were tortured.
Yesterday I asked the doctor – not Sanyal, Dr. Bisht, an intelligent man. He told me that some of the brain’s cells are independent, they aren’t controlled (in normal people), and they are the ones that become prominent when such movements take place.... So would those cells be under the control of the subconscient?...
But how is it that I would remain FOR HOURS concentrated like that, and nothing happened to me – they never had the power to stir.
(Mother is absorbed in a long silence)
There are so many things that one doesn’t know....
And when you ask doctors to tell you what they know, you get a feeling that it’s only a partial, superficial observation, and the true thing is lacking. So when you ask them, they say, “Ah no, that we don’t know.” So there we are, like that... You understand, I feel as if I am plunged in a world I do not know, struggling with laws I do not know … and to work out a change I do not know either – what’s the nature of this change?...
It’s not too pleasant.
When you do that in good health and in movement, in action, it’s quite fine, quite lovely; but like this, as I am here, you know, with a physical helplessness, it’s terrible!
I don’t think that, I don’t think that, but I am there, not knowing, not knowing what’s going on. So then … it’s not particularly pleasant.
Yes, but Mother, I really feel that through this darkness, this ignorance of the “laws, “you are being knowingly carried to the point where the solution will be found – all this is organised, it’s not “adverse” circumstances, you really are carried.
You are right. You’re right. If you like, I might say that I think that way (I don’t think, but …), there is a perception like that. But … there’s everything in between.
Yes … Yes.
Well, then! (Mother laughs and takes Satprem’s hands) Go on thinking that way.
Yes, Mother, I feel that way.
Yes … I hope I am capable – this body. You see, that’s there, that doubt.
But if you have reached this point – if you have reached this point, Mother, it means the time has come, otherwise you wouldn’t be there. If you are in this condition, it just means the time has come.
But of course, I know that very well – I know very well that it’s the time when … It’s the time to make the Attempt, but will it succeed?
I don’t know.... Is it (to put things more clearly, if you like), is it destined to succeed? That’s the doubt. Is it destined to succeed?
To me it CANNOT … it cannot but succeed!
Why can’t it?
Because you are the body of the earth!... Because this is really the Hope.
Oh, isn’t that poetry?
Of course not, Mother! That’s how it IS. One just has to see: the outer world is more and more infernal.
Ah, yes, that’s true.
So that’s what it is in your body.
(Mother takes Satprem’s hands with tears in her eyes)
It makes me feel like crying.
(Satprem kisses Mother’s hand)
September 16, 1970
(Mother looks much better. After giving “Transformation” flowers, she goes into a long peaceful contemplation.)
Peace has returned.... Still now and then, a tension.
Do you have anything to ask?
(Mother goes into a contemplation again)
The impression is that the Power [near Mother] is growing more and more powerful.
(after a silence)
People who had fallen ill have recovered.
But has something begun to move from sensation to knowledge?
Ah, yes. From that point of view, yes.
There has been a distinct separation between sensation and consciousness, which means that … I have seen things.
But I even had, for one or two hours, the Ananda of the creation.... And it appeared so natural! So I wondered, “Whatever was that aberration I was in?” But I couldn’t understand. I couldn’t understand that … you know, that hell. I couldn’t understand how I was in it. And I must say, I didn’t try, because I said to myself, I don’t want to go back into that! So I didn’t try to understand.... With the concrete perception of the divine Presence and the constant action of the Grace, it has totally come back, so I didn’t try to understand how I could be in the other state – I had enough of it!... But it happened all at once: suddenly, one morning, after I had spent a relatively tranquil night. There is still, now and then, a kind of anguish, something that feels … a discomfort – a discomfort and an anguish – so I take great care not to concentrate within.
I’ll know that later.
This morning, I had an indication. An indication of the dream kind. That is to say, this morning, when it was time to wake up, I found myself … (how can I put it?) crawling on a roof, carrying someone, a girl (a “girl,” I mean a young woman), I was carrying her with my two hands and I managed to crawl on the roof to go down on the other side. A roof like this (gesture of a steep ridge), and I was on the rooftop! Which means I was doing some impossible acrobatics, as dangerous and difficult as can be, and I was doing it DELIBERATELY and UNNECESSARILY.
So I said to myself … I “woke up,” anyway I came out of it when I said to myself, “But why am I doing this?” That girl, I found her charming, and she was very fine, she was … like a child, someone helpless: she couldn’t move on her own. She had a face … she was very conscious, very lovely – very conscious. A face and … I don’t know, her hands, her arms were as if helpless or incomplete or … I don’t know. Naturally, all that was symbolic. I was on the top of a VERY HIGH roof, very high, and I carried this person like this (gesture in her arms). And I wondered, “Why am I taking such trouble?” There were people down below, and they asked (laughing), “Is it very necessary to do this?...” Then I resolved to stop. But I loved her very much and she was … she was very sweet, I mean, she had a lovely consciousness. So finally I decided, “I think it’s enough with this acrobatics!” Then I woke up, I returned to my normal waking state.
It was a dream, but it wasn’t a dream – it really was an activity, and in my sleep all my nerves, all my muscles, all my will were tense, terribly tense.
Twice during the night, I’ve had the sense of entering a completely NEW way of seeing and feeling things. As if I were doing extremely difficult things but quite unnecessarily.... This morning I said to myself, “See how you are!...” Virtually impossible things, extremely difficult, and I did them effortlessly – effortlessly, but, so it seemed, quite unnecessarily; there was no reason for me to do them.
So this morning I pondered a lot about that.... Probably – probably a large part of the difficulty in the work comes … from some stupidity on my part, you could say.
Yet, to my conscious consciousness, I constantly keep saying, “What You will, Lord, what You will....” But there must be in my body the habit of an unnecessary effort.
But Mother, about three weeks ago, when you were still fully in that experience, you told me, “I don’t know whether I will remember, but perhaps the psychic will, because it attended.” And you said, “It’s something prodigious and almost idiotic, so simple is it.”
(Mother nods silence)
But this morning it was very clear and imperative, as if to give me a lesson.
It’s still mixed: from time to time, that anguish and that discomfort come back, and I clearly see that’s … it’s especially what, in the being, belongs to the past, you understand, what’s still in the habit of its past functioning.
It was admirable (!), I carried that child with my two arms, and it was only with my legs that I walked on my knees on the ridge of the roof! And the roof of a house that must have had at least four or five stories! It was absolutely insane! And I did it quite naturally, effortlessly, when something suddenly … something like a consciousness looking at me made me ask, “But why am I doing this?...” And I held that little one in my arms, saying to her, “How sweet you are! How sweet you are!” And she was … she was sweet, but “sweet” … she was luminous, conscious – and she was absolutely helpless. Absolutely: she seemed to have neither arms nor legs. Like something totally powerless.... Its very strange.
So then, I saw people who weren’t on the roof (they must have been one floor below) and who were looking at me, almost laughing (amused at any rate), and they said, “But why are you doing this?!...” And I woke up with the impression that I was making life terribly difficult for myself – difficult and dangerous – ab-so-lute-ly unnecessarily.
It struck me for a long time this morning. For a long time I was under the influence of it. I said to myself (laughing), “I must be extremely stupid somewhere!”
But it was lovely, she had, oh, such a lovely consciousness!
Isn’t it the new consciousness?
I don’t think so....
You don’t think so.
I don’t know.
Anyway, in any case she was quite helpless. Quite helpless: it was I who carried her.
But the new consciousness OF THE BODY, perhaps?
But I felt there was no reason whatsoever to do this.... I don’t know.
(Mother remains long silent and gestures to say she does not know)
This person hasn’t disappeared. I don’t know.... She hasn’t gone. It’s the relationship that has changed – I think it’s a question of relationship, because the relationship has changed: I got an impression that she was no longer separate, something of the sort.
Maybe it’s the separation between the two that …
Maybe it’s the sense of separation between the two?
There is evidently a great change. Only, it looks like … it quite looks like the state of consciousness I had before. The state of consciousness doesn’t seem to have changed.
This morning I felt I had emerged from all these last days as if from a bad dream.... I had lost the consciousness I had in my body.
I don’t know.... There will be many things to understand.
I don’t know.
You understand, it may be either of two things; either I was going out of my body and passing on to the other world, and then I came back – it may be that – or it may be that I was in a transitional period for the transformation, and I’ve come out of the dangerous, critical spot. It’s one of the two. Which one? We’ll see. Do you understand what I mean? I don’t know....
You see, I absolutely refuse to imagine anything at all, to do what people always do – draw conclusions and say, “This is how it is.” Absolutely not, I absolutely refuse to do that. So I don’t know. I look, and we’ll see! (Mother laughs)
At any rate, the nightmare is gone.
But the nature remembers the experience and it’s still … (wobbly gesture) not too reassured.
There is also the impression that it needed – before the nature was ready to enter into this new creation, it needed to have known everything of the old creation, completely and that was … the complement. But that really was a dreadful thing (Mother takes her forehead in her hands).... If I could … I saw myself like that, PRAYING so all that may no longer exist in the world. If I could have purged the world of it by having those days of horror, then it doesn’t matter, I don’t mind. Because … (Mother takes her forehead) it’s … it’s horrible. If the world could have been emptied of that …
Besides, that’s the feeling I had, that if, by living that, I could purge the world … then it didn’t matter.
We’ll see.... We’ll see.
(Mother holds Satprem’s hands for a long time)
(After Satprem leaves, Mother tells Sujata again about her experience on the roof, and makes a descriptive drawing, saying in substance:)
She was someone like you, about your height [five foot two], your dimensions, and I said to her, “You’re so sweet, so sweet!...” She was all luminous, but her arms and legs were as if stuck to the body. And no fear – neither I nor the child were afraid.
September 19, 1970
(Mother looked better the previous Wednesday.)
Do you have something?
Now Mother, nothing special.... Have you seen any changes?
(Mother shakes her head negatively)
Do you have any questions?
(Mother shakes her head)
But it’s over now, isn’t it?
Oh yes, completely over.
(meditation again with labored breathing)
Do you have anything to ask?
I saw a text by Sri Aurobindo that I found interesting....
Theresa question in fact. …It’s a letter in which he refers to the first period in the Ashram, when everyone was having “great experiences”; afterwards, there was a descent to the physical level. So he says:
“Working on the physical is like digging the ground; the physical is absolutely inert, dead like stone. When the work began there, all former energies disappeared, experiences stopped; if they came they didn’t last. The progress is exceedingly slow. One rises, falls; rises again and falls again, constantly meeting with the suggestions of the Vedic Asuras, ‘You can’t do anything, you are bound to fail.’
“You have to go on working and working year after year, point after point, till you come to a central point in the subconscient which has to be conquered and it is the crux of the whole problem, hence exceedingly difficult.... This point in the subconscient is the seed and it goes on sprouting and sprouting till you have cut out the seed.”
7 January 1939
(after a silence)
Then doesn’t he say something more … more encouraging? (laughter)
What did he say, “a point”?
“A central point in the subconscient … and it is the crux of the whole problem.”
(after a long silence)
He didn’t say what it was?
(Mother gestures to say she does not know long concentration)
Nothing, nothing comes, nothing.
(long, panting silence)
Nothing, there’s nothing to say. No experiences, nothing. What time is it?
Is there no work?... Working avoids concentrating. You see, it gives me a discomfort all over like this (gesture at the top of the chest).
But what gives you this?
I don’t know, I have it now.
Does it come from me?
No! No … I live in a … (Mother shakes her head).
It’s better to read me something.
(Satprem reads a few Aphorisms of Sri Aurobindo for the next issue of the Bulletin)
159 – He who recognizes no Krishna, the God in man, knows not God entirely; he who knows Krishna only, knows not even Krishna....
That’s good, it’s very good.
Yet is the opposite truth also wholly true that if thou canst see all God in a little pale unsightly and scentless flower, then hast thou hold of His supreme reality.
Then I have hold of my supreme reality, but...! (Mother laughs) All right, it’s good, it’s some consolation! (laughter)
(Satprem goes on reading, then asks) Does it tire you?
Tire? Oh, no.... It comforts me a little! It doesn’t tire me at all.
(silence Satprem lays his forehead on Mother’s knees)
The next time, you’ll read to me. At least it’s … [comforting?].
September 23, 1970
(Mother appears very withdrawn.)
I found some old papers again....
“When you stand in the light of the Supreme Consciousness you must not make a shadow.”
I told you the story.... That’s fine.
What have you brought?
There is the November Bulletin.... Is there anything new?
(Then Satprem proposes to publish some fragments of the conversation of September 9 – the infernal Agenda – in the Bulletin.)
I’ll leave only what I told you: “We shall conquer, Mother,” and your answer, “Yes.” And that’s all.
It’s difficult to put that without... without something comforting.
Do you have something comforting?
(Mother laughs, long silence meditation)
Peace has returned again.
What do we do for this Agenda? Do we publish it like that?
There should be something at the end.... Because now that [the “hell”] is gone, it’s quite gone. We should somehow say that I have come out of it.
There’s this “We shall conquer, Mother” left at the end.
Yes. All right.
I’d like something comforting at the end.... I don’t have it this time.
It will be for February.
February next year?... (Mother seems to find it far away)
September 26, 1970
What’s new? Here there’s nothing (Mother shakes her head). Nothing interesting.
It’s all right (in an unconvinced tone).
(Then Satprem reads
the “Comments on the Aphorisms”
My impression now is that all this is written here (gesture just above the head) and that I have gone to my highest consciousness (gesture far above).... But that can’t be expressed yet. It’s not through words and ideas that it has to express itself. It’s the means of expression that must be found.
Ultimately, the big difference with man is that he invented language – language, and naturally, writing and so on. Well, a means of expression superior to language and writing – that’s what must be found.
A superior means, but a material one?
Yes, it has to be something material. Material, but... At any rate, maybe with the development of new organs? As man developed language. Something like that.
But when I write, I always feel there’s a music behind.
I feel there’s always a music behind things. A music or a rhythm.
A rhythm, yes.
Perhaps it would be that?
(Mother approves keenly) Yes, yes.
(Mother goes into a long contemplation)
There’s a GREAT Peace. Have you felt it?
For instance, I get the sense of a new way of counting time. I don’t know how to put it. And then … (Mother shakes her head, finding it impossible to express herself).
September 30, 1970
(Mother is a little late.)
I don’t know the days of the week, and I am not told the days, so I didn’t know it was your day. That’s why I am late. I don’t know the days at all. So I’ll be seeing people, and suddenly I’ll be told it’s Wednesday, and … I don’t even know whether its Wednesday or Saturday. I live completely outside time, outside the small everyday reality.
(silence) I saw G. yesterday, he isn’t too well.
(after a long silence) I feel he lives outside the atmosphere.
Yet he says he is so constantly turned to you.
There’s something preventing the contact.
(after a silence)
His contact is mental. Physically, it’s as if he lived elsewhere, you understand?
(long concentration on G.)
And then, the Dutch translation of The Adventure of Consciousness is going to be published, and D. asked A. M. to make a cover for the book. A. M. has done something he’d like to show you. Here is what he’s done.... [Satprem shows the painting.]
Bah! it’s really dark.
It’s really dark, his world is dark.
Phew! it’s hopeless.
It does look like that.
I don’t like that.
I think the symbol is good, but the color …
Yes. If he did the blue of the mind – the Consciousness making its way out of the mind – if he did a blue of the mind, then it would be all right. But this black is disgusting.
And with a sun here.
One can’t see the sun.
It’s a moon, I think.... No, there should be the mind’s blue and the sun rising.
Oh, yes! The moon won’t do at all.
That’s what I had felt.
No, not for your book. Instead of this, there should be something blossoming out. This is tight, confined, cramped – something blossoming out in a great light.
It won’t do at all.
The other book, you know, it’s an adventure....
(Laughing) So then?
Nothing, it’s an adventure.
Give me a paper (Mother draws).
First, no need to put so much water. It’s better to have the thing above.
Instead of a stem that writhes (you don’t writhe! [laughter]), you can put seven lines – seven lines. Then a gathering of the seven lines here (just above the surface of the waters). This is symbolic of the book’s formation. And then here (above the waters), rise straight and … (Mother draws seven lines opening up at the top of a stem). You understand: seven ascents (below) and here (above) seven responses. Like this. Seven lines gathering at a point that corresponds to this [the other point where the seven lines from below gather]. Then it has a meaning.
(Then Satprem reads
out an old Playground Talk of 16 September 1953,
“... Whereas, if one were open and simply breathing – that’s all, doing nothing else – one would breathe Consciousness, Light, Comprehension, Force, Love and all the rest. But all that is wasted on the earth, because the earth isn’t ready to take it. There.”
Is the earth a little more ready. Mother?
(Mother goes into a very long contemplation lasting till the end, and does not answer)
October 3, 1970
(Mother gives Satprem a calendar notepad, then a felt pen.)
What color is it?
The violet of power.
(Mother looks in vain for a green pencil for Sujata and finally gives her a blue one)
Do you have something?
(Mother goes into a long contemplation. Her breathing is better, becomes peaceful, but now and then there are involuntary movements of the left leg and the shoulders, especially the right shoulder.)
Do you have anything?
Is there anything new?
(Mother shakes her head and plunges in again)
Do you really have nothing to read me?
If you. like, I could read you my new book. … It will be reassuring because I don’t know where I am going.
That’s good. I’ll be happy to hear it.
(Mother plunges in again)
It’s all right (in an unconvinced tone). What time is it?
Quarter past eleven.
(Mother looks a few times, but goes away straight off)
So the next time, you’ll bring your book.
(After Satprem’s departure, Sujata tells Mother about young women of her generation, who do not have the advantage of being “close to Mother” or in the circle of “important persons,” and who suffer from never seeing Mother. This was in fact – which is why we record it – a very central problem at the Ashram: a sort of dichotomy between the simple elements who washed the dishes, stitched clothes or greased cars, and who were there simply with their love for Mother, and the “leading” elements, who increasingly revealed their ambitious and therefore warped nature. Yet it was with that thick circle that Mother had to work almost daily, and that is what made her difficulty, if not suffocation. With Sujata, Mother agreed to receive in rotation a number of those young and simple elements – unfortunately, that new opening will soon be blocked by circumstances: a new serious turning point in Mother’s yoga, then other “impossibilities.”)
October 7, 1970
I have received quotations from Sri Aurobindo. Read this.
“To persevere in turning towards the Light is what is most demanded. The Light is nearer to us than we think …
This is interesting!
“... and at any time its hour may come.”
On Himself, 26.216
It’s from 1943.
What he called “the Light” is the Consciousness that came in … (Mother tries to remember), it came in 1969.
Oh, the New Consciousness.
And the other one?
The other quotation is a mantra.
OM Sri Aurobindo Mira Open my mind, my heart, my life to your Light, your Love, your Power. In all things may I see the Divine.
16 July 1938 On Himself, 26.512
That’s good. What do we do with all this?
The first could make a message for the November darshan?
For November, yes, that’s very good. (Mother repeats) “The Light is closer to us …”
The other one could make a message for February?
I don’t much like my name in it.
What about putting “Ma” [Mother] instead of “Mira”?
But he put “Mira.”
I think you could put “Ma” instead of “Mira.”
No, I don’t much like to do things of that sort.
(Mother still breathes with difficulty)
The message should be put as it is; if, later, we change it into a mantra, then we can put “Ma.”
Should we put it as it is for February?
Yes. Either not put it, or put it as it is. To quote Sri Aurobindo, we must quote as it is. Then later on, we can make a mantra out of it.
What do you bring?
You look very absorbed, Mother?
Me?... No … I don’t know.
You understand, when he uses this word [“Mira”], he refers to this body (Mother touches her body), that is to say, he identifies everything with the body.... And this process of change is being carried out, so the body doesn’t feel that it’s legitimately holding the … I don’t know how to say.... Or perhaps it’s concerned about its peace? I don’t know.
Maybe it will be ready in February? That’s possible.
It has changed a lot, a lot.
A lot. But it’s not over – far from it. So what should we do? This [the mantra] is for when it [the body] has finished – when the work is finished. If we put the name [“Mira”], it means this body.
It’s not that the body isn’t conscious, but it feels too clearly that it isn’t transformed. But it’s conscious. What you call “absorbed” is that it’s conscious of the work of transformation (Mother makes a gesture of churning).
How much time it will take, it doesn’t know.
We’ll decide that in February.
As a message, at any rate, it should be left as it is.... It’s almost an obligation on me, you understand?
You understand what I mean.
And the earth, do you find it more ready?
The earth? I don’t know. But in humanity, yes, some elements are touched. There are unexpected responses. And then (laughing, but that shouldn’t be said), there’s a sharp increase in the people regarded as mad; and they are certainly those who have received the first waves. I have seen one or two regarded by others as mad – they were touched, but the amount of transformation isn’t sufficient for them to keep their balance.
That’s better left unsaid!
Yes, I know one here like that.
Ah, I know a lot of them. From every side people write to me.
Do you have things to read me?
Last time, we spoke about that book.... Would you like me to read it?
Yes, I am listening.
It’s a first draft.