Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry
COLLECTED WORKS OF THE MOTHER
Second Edition ISBN 81-7058-670-4
Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 1980, 2002 Published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department
Pondicherry - 605 002
Printed at Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press, Pondicherry PRINTED IN INDIA
During the years 1961 to 1973 the Mother had frequent conver- sations with one of her disciples about the experiences she was having at the time. She called these conversations, which were in French, l’Agenda.
Selected transcripts of the tape-recorded conversations were seen, approved and occasionally revised by the Mother for pub- lication in the Bulletin of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education; they appeared regularly from February 1965 to April 1973 under the titles “Notes on the Way” and “A Propos”. The English translations that accompanied the French text in the Bulletin were sometimes read out to the Mother for approval; the same translations, with minor revisions, are published in this volume, number eleven of the Collected Works of the Mother.
The following introductory note preceded the ﬁrst of the “Notes on the Way” conversations:
“We begin under this title to publish some fragments of conversations with the Mother. These reﬂections or experiences, these observations, which are very recent, are like landmarks on the way of Transformation: they were chosen not only because they illumine the work under way — a yoga of the body of which all the processes have to be established — but because they can be a sort of indication of the endeavour that has to be made.”
27 November Pulling at the Supramental 22
The vital and the Truth 23
Vision of humanity and the new creation 24
Effort of transformation reduced to small number 25
Humanity under the supramental inﬂuence 26
Period of transition painful 26
Impatience to “prepare” humanity has disappeared 27
Battle fought in the body 74
Material contagion 74
26 August The “good” and the True, the Truth 75
Realisation of the supreme vision in the mixed material world 75
Man’s vision is incomplete 76
Progressive manifestation 76
Suffering: progress in the presence of Inconscience 76
Progress in joy and harmony 77
30 August Experience in a place where material life gets
Translation and memory of subtle experiences 80
Madness and insincerity 81
Changing matter 82
The condition for transformation 83
15 November Matter as it is and divine existence 84
Inconscient must become conscious in divine way 85
Too rapid manifestation would dissolve earth 85
This instrument made to realise, not reveal 86
No stopping to tell the story 87
New Christs, Kalkis, Supermen 87
Aspiration in central consciousness of body 88
Cells feeling of living in eternity 88
The obscure work 89
22 November Prayer of the cells of the body 91
Now the body wants to participate 92
What is done in a single body can be done in all bodies 92
Awakening consciousness in the cells 93
A bodily consciousness independent of the vital
and mental 93
Physical (material) mind converted 93
Mind and vital withdrawn 94
Body to become base for divine life 95
Change in consciousness of body far from
manifesting externally 95
Material cells must receive and manifest
hours that one can have on earth
Body experiences all states of consciousness 126
25 September Self-deception in good faith 128
Psychic cannot deceive, but lacks mental precision 129
Each acts according to his own limited consciousness 129
Problem of identiﬁcation with the Supreme 129
Supramental being essentially different 130
Direct contact of psychic being with substance
of the body 130
Valuation of vibrations 130
Mental precision, vital intensity and the
23 November Everything pervaded by divine presence 132
No new religions 133
17 May Individuality and separation 165
Body experiences all states of consciousness 165
Next step of creation: return to the True Consciousness 166
State of being automatically one with Supreme
“My mind has been sent away” 191
Body’s passivity needed to receive the force 191
Conscious immobility 192
Inertia and creation 192
Immobility with an intense aspiration 193
The supramental vibration 193
Understanding the why and how of creation 194
Consciousness of immortality in the body 195
19 November The why and how of creation 197
Unity and opposites 198
Separation and evolution 199
A clear vision: everything has its place 199
Time and equilibrium 200
Unity = power and rest combined 201
The individual centre of perception 203
The supramental consciousness 203
Supramental consciousness: must change
appearances gradually 204
Grace acts so all may go as quickly as possible 204
Supramental consciousness: perception of
perfection at each instant 205
Supramental consciousness: Truth imposes itself
Notes on the Way
7 October 1964
Things have clearly taken a turn for the better, not from the ordinary point of view but from the higher. Yet the material consequences are still there — all the difﬁculties are as though aggravated. Only, the power of the consciousness is greater — clearer, more precise, and also the action upon those who are of good will; they make quite considerable progress. But the material difﬁculties are as though aggravated, that is to say, it is... to see if we can stand the test!
It is like that.
It isn’t long (since yesterday), something has cleared in the atmosphere. But the way is still long — long, long. I feel it is very long. One must last — hold on, above all, that is the impression
— one must have endurance. These are the two absolutely indis- pensable things: endurance, and a faith that nothing can shake, even an apparently complete negation, even if you suffer, even if you are miserable (I mean to say, in the body), even if you are tired — to last. To hold on and to last — to endure. That is it.
But according to what I have been told, I mean by people who listen to the radio, read newspapers (all the things that I do not do), the whole world seems to be undergoing an action... which for the moment is upsetting. It seems that the number of the “apparently mad” is increasing considerably. In America, for example, the entire youth seems to have taken up with a sort of curious brain-wave which would be disquieting for reasonable people, but which is certainly an indication that an unusual force is at work. It is the breaking up of all habits and all rules — it is good. For the moment, it is rather “strange”, but it is necessary.
The true attitude, at present, is it not to try to be as transparent as possible?
Notes on the Way
Transparent, receptive to the new force.
I put the question to myself because the impression is that this transparence is transparent, but it is somewhat like nothingness, a nothingness that is full; all the same it is nothingness, one does not know. One does not know if it is a kind of higher tamas, or...
Above all, to be conﬁdent. The big difﬁculty in Matter is that the material consciousness (that is to say, the mind in Matter) has been formed under the pressure of difﬁculties — difﬁculties, obstacles, sufferings, struggles. It has been, so to say, “worked out” by these things and that has left upon it a stamp, al- most of pessimism, defeatism, which is certainly the greatest obstacle.
It is of this that I am conscious in my own work. The most material consciousness, the most material mind is accustomed to act, to make an effort, to advance through whippings; otherwise, it is tamas. And then, so far as it imagines, it imagines always difﬁculty, always the obstacle or always the opposition, and that slows down the movement terribly. Very concrete, very tangible and often repeated experiences are needed to convince it that behind all its difﬁculties there is a Grace, behind all its failures there is the Victory, behind all its pains, its sufferings, its contra- dictions, there is Ananda. Of all efforts it is this one which has to be repeated most often; all the while you are obliged to stop or to remove, to convert a pessimism, a doubt or an imagination altogether defeatist.
I am speaking exclusively of the material consciousness.
Naturally, when something comes down from above, that makes, well... a crash, like that (Mother makes a gesture of ﬂat- tening), then all is silent, all stops and waits. But... I understand well why the Truth, the Truth-Consciousness does not express itself more constantly, because the difference between its Power and the power of Matter is so great that the power of Matter
7 October 1964
is, as it were, annulled — but then that does not mean trans- formation, that means crushing. That is what they used to do in ancient times — they crushed all this material consciousness under the weight of a Power against which nothing can struggle, which nothing can oppose. And then one had the impression: “There you are! It has been done.” But it has not been done, not at all!—for the rest, down below, remained as before, without changing.
Now it is being given the full possibility to change; well, for that you must allow it full play and not interpose a Power that crushes it — this I understand very well. But this consciousness has the obstinacy of the imbecile. How many times during a suffering, for example, when a suffering is there, acute, and one has the impression that it is going to become unbearable, there is the little inner movement (within the cells) of Call — the cells send their S.O.S. — everything stops, the suffering disappears, and often (now more and more) it is replaced by a feeling of blissful well-being; but the very ﬁrst reaction of this imbecile material consciousness is: “Ah! We shall see how long that is going to last”, and naturally, by this movement it demolishes everything — one must begin all over again.
I believe that for the effect to be lasting — not a miraculous effect that comes, dazzles and goes away — it must really be the effect of a transformation. One must be very, very patient — we have to deal with a consciousness very slow, very heavy, very obstinate, which is not able to advance rapidly, which clings to what it has, to what has appeared to it as truth; even if it is quite a tiny truth, it clings to that and does not want to move. Then to cure that, one must have very much patience — much patience.
The whole thing is to hold on, to endure, to endure.
Sri Aurobindo has said this many times in many forms: Endure and you’ll conquer... bear — bear and you’ll vanquish.
Triumph comes to the most enduring.
So then, that seems to be the lesson for these conglomerates
Notes on the Way
here (Mother points to her body) — bodies appear to me sim- ply as conglomerates and so long as there is a will behind to keep them together for some reason or other, they remain together.... In the last few days, yesterday or the day before, there was this experience: a kind of consciousness wholly decen- tralised (I am speaking always of the physical consciousness, not of the higher consciousness at all), a decentralised consciousness which happened to be here, there, there, in this body, in that body (in what people call “this person” and “that person”, but this notion does not exist very much any more), then there was a kind of intervention of a universal consciousness with regard to the cells, as though it asked those cells for what reason they wanted to keep this combination, if one can call it so, or that conglomerate. Indeed, they were made to understand or feel the difﬁculties coming from the number of years, the wear and tear, the external difﬁculties, in sum, all the deterioration caused by friction and usage — but that seemed to them quite unimportant. The answer was rather interesting in the sense that they did not seem to attach importance to anything other than the capacity to remain in conscious contact with the higher Force. It was like an aspiration (not formulated in words, naturally), what is called in English “a yearning”, “a longing” for this contact with the divine Force, the Force of Harmony, the Force of Truth, the Force of Love. And it is because of that that they appreciate the present combination.
It is altogether another point of view.
I express it with the words of the mind, for there is no other way, but it was in the domain of sensation rather than any other thing. And it was very clear — it was very clear and very continuous, there were no ﬂuctuations. At that moment, this universal consciousness intervened, saying, “There! — the obstacles”, and these obstacles were clearly seen (this kind of pessimism of the mind — a formless mind which is about to be born and organise itself in the cells), but the cells them- selves cared nothing for it; it appeared to them as a kind of
7 October 1964
disease (the word deforms, but they had the impression as of an accident or an inevitable disease or something which did not form a normal part of their development and which was imposed upon them). Then, at that moment, there was born a kind of lower power to act upon these things (this physical mind); that has given a material power to separate itself from that and reject it. And it is after that that there was this turning of which I spoke just now, the turning in the circumstances as a whole, as if truly something decisive had happened. There was as though a conﬁdent joy: “Ah! We are free from this nightmare.”
And at the same time, a relief — a physical relief, as though the air was easier to breathe — yes, a little as though one was closed in a shell — a suffocating shell — and that... in any case an opening has been made within. And you breathe. I do not know if it is more than that, but it is as though a ﬁssure was made, an opening, and you breathe.
And it was an altogether material, cellular action.
But as you descend into that domain, the domain of the cells, even of the very constitution of the cells, how it seems less heavy! This sort of heaviness of Matter disappears — it begins again to be ﬂuid, vibrant. This would tend to prove that the heaviness, thickness, inertia, immobility, is something added, it is not a quality essential to... it is the false Matter, that which we think and feel, but not Matter itself, as it is. This was clearly felt.
The best one can do is not to take sides, not to have preconceived ideas or principles. Oh! The moral principles, the set rules of conduct, what one must do and what one must not and the preconceived ideas from the moral point of view, from the point of view of progress, and all the social and mental conventions... no worse obstacle than that. There are people, I know people who have lost decades in surmounting one such
Notes on the Way
mental construction!... If one can be like that, open — truly open in a simplicity, well, the simplicity that knows that it is ignorant — like that (gesture upward, of self-abandon), ready to receive whatever comes. Then something can happen.
And naturally, the thirst for progress, the thirst for knowl- edge, the thirst for transformation and, above all, the thirst for Love and Truth — if one keeps that, one goes quicker. Truly a thirst, a need, a need.
All the rest has no importance; it is that one has need of.
To cling to something one believes that one knows, to cling to something that one feels, to cling to something that one loves, to cling to one’s habits, to cling to one’s so-called needs, to cling to the world as it is, it is that which binds you. You must undo all that, one thing after another. Undo all the ties. And it has been said thousands of times and people continue to do the same thing. Even they who are most eloquent and preach that
to others, do c-l-i-n-g — they cling to their way of seeing, their way of feeling, their habit of progress, which seems for them the only one.
No more bonds — free, free. Always ready to change every- thing, except one thing: to aspire, this thirst.
I understand well, there are people who do not like the idea of a “Divine”, because immediately it gets mixed up with all those European or Occidental conceptions (which are horrible) and then that complicates their life somewhat — but you are not in need of that! — the “Something” one is in need of, the Love one is in need of, the Truth one is in need of, the supreme Perfection one is in need of — and that is all. The formulas. the
fewer formulas there are the better. But that: a need, which the Thing alone can satisfy — nothing else, no half-measure, only that. And then, you go!. Your way will be your way, that has
no importance — whatever the way, it does not matter, it does not matter; even the extravagances of the modern American youth can be a way; that has no importance.
As Sri Aurobindo says: “If you cannot make God love you,
7 October 1964
make Him ﬁght you. If He will not give you the embrace of the lover, compel Him to give you the embrace of the wrestler.”1 For He is sure to conquer you.
1 Thoughts and Aphorisms, Cent. Vol. 17, p. 130.
12 January 1965
The whole thing is to hold on. And to hold on, I have found only one way; it is this Calm, the inner calm — a calm that has to become all the more... (how to say it?) complete, as the struggle is more material.
There has been for some time past (particularly since the ﬁrst of January) a kind of bombardment of adverse forces — a fury, you know. Then you must remain like this (Mother becomes immobile like a statue), that is all. And when physically you have been shaken, you must not ask too much of the body, you must give it a good deal of tranquillity, a good deal of rest.
The difﬁculty is that I am very much absorbed by the condition of this body, it takes away much of my con- sciousness — the physical mind, for example, invades me completely.
Yes, I know it very well. But that is always the difﬁculty, the difﬁculty of everyone. That is why in the past they used to tell you, “Get away! Leave it alone to ﬂounder about — you get away.” But we have no right to do that, it is contrary to our work. And you know, you can arrive very well at an almost absolute freedom with regard to your body, so much so that you can feel nothing, nothing at all. But I no longer have even the right to exteriorise myself, just imagine! Even when I am quite unwell or things are quite difﬁcult or even when I am left a little quiet, that is to say, at night, and I say to myself, “Oh, to go into my blissfulness” — it is not permitted. I am bound there (Mother touches her body). It is there, there that it is to be realised.
It is for that.
Only from time to time, for a precise action (sometimes it comes like a ﬂash of lightning, sometimes for a few minutes
12 January 1965
only), the great Power that was there before, that used to be constantly felt, comes rushing, does its work, then goes away. But never on this body. It never does anything for this body — it is not a higher intervention that will change it, it is... from within.
The same thing is happening to you, it happens to everybody who does the work, and that is the difﬁculty. That is why I tell you: “It does not matter, do not worry if you are occupied with your body; only try to proﬁt by that — proﬁt by this preoccu- pation — to bring into it the Peace, the Peace.” Always it is as though I was enveloping you within a cocoon of Peace. And then, if you could put, precisely into this mind that vibrates, stirs all the while, truly like a monkey, if you could put there... it is a Peace which acts directly in this material vibration — a Peace in which everything relaxes.
Do not think, do not think of trying to transform this phys- ical mind or to silence it or abolish it; all that is still activity. Simply let it go on, but... put the Peace, feel the Peace, live the Peace, know the Peace — the Peace, the Peace.
That is the only thing.
24 March 1965
S had a rather bad dream. She came to a house over which one had to keep watch, and none had done it; en- emies had entered. S went into this house, found a room and Sri Aurobindo was there with a wound in his foot; he was groaning. He had been wounded by the enemies who had been allowed to enter into the house. Seeing Sri Aurobindo wounded, she ran, ran looking for you.
It is perhaps simply an image of what happened on February 11.1
The foot means something physical.
I believe it is that, it is only a symbolic image of what happened.
It is not something that is going to happen?
The foot means his physical action through some people or through the Ashram or through me.
I do not think it is serious. It is the image of what happened and it was recorded somewhere.
It is quite a curious development. For some time past, but in a more and more precise manner, when I hear something or some- thing is read to me, or when I hear music or someone narrates a fact, I feel immediately: the origin of the activity or the plane on which it is happening or the origin of the inspiration is rendered
1 The Ashram was attacked by rioters. Some houses were looted and burnt.
24 March 1965
automatically by a vibration in one of the centres. And then, according to the quality of the vibration, it is either constructive or negative, and when that touches, however little it may be, at a given moment, a domain of Truth, there is... (how to say it?) a spark, as it were, of a vibration of Ananda. And the thought is absolutely silent, immobile, nothing — nothing (Mother opens her hands upward in a gesture of total self-offering). But this perception is becoming more and more precise. And I know in this way — I know where the inspiration comes from or where the action is situated and the quality of the thing.
And it has a precision! oh! inﬁnitesimal in detail. The ﬁrst time I felt it clearly was when I heard the music composed for “The Hour of God”; it was the ﬁrst occasion and at that time I did not know that it was a well-organised thing, a kind of organisation of experience. But now, after all these months, that has been regularised and for me it is an absolutely sure indication, which does not correspond to any active thought, any active will — I am simply an inﬁnitely delicate machine for receiving vibrations. That is how I know where things come from. There is no thought. That is how the vibration of this dream came to me (Mother makes a gesture downward, under the feet); it was in the domain of the subconscient. So I knew that it was a matter of recording.
The other day when Z read to me his article, it was neutral (vague gesture at mid-height), all the while neutral, then all of a sudden, a spark of Ananda; it was this which made me appreciate it. And just now, when you read this text of Y, there was a small ray of light (gesture at the height of the throat), then I knew. A pleasant ray of light — not of Ananda, but a pleasant light, so I knew that there was something in it.
And there are degrees, to be sure, almost an inﬁnity of qualities.
That is the way given to me for ﬁnding out the position of things.
And it is quite, quite outside the thought. Only afterwards,
Notes on the Way
when you asked me, for example, about the dream, I said, “Log- ically, since the vibration is there (downward gesture), it must be a memory.” And with a kind of certitude, because... because the perception is altogether impersonal.
It is an extraordinarily delicate mechanism and its ﬁeld of receptivity (gesture of gradation) almost inﬁnite.
My way of knowing people is also like that now. But since a long time past, when I see a photograph, for example, it does not at all pass through the thought; these are not deductions or intuitions — that creates a vibration somewhere. And then amusing things also happen. The other day I was given the photograph of someone, then I clearly felt it; by the place which was touched, by the answering vibration, I knew that this man had the habit of handling ideas and possessed the assurance of someone who teaches. I ask, in order to see, “What does this man do?” I am told, “He does business.” Then I say, “But he is not made for business, he understands nothing of it.” And three minutes after I am told, “Ah, excuse me, please; he is a professor!” (Mother laughs) It is like that.
And it is so constantly, constantly: the evaluation of the world, the vibrations of the world.
That is why I asked you to give me your hands just now. Why? It was just to have the vibration. Well, I felt what is called in English “a sort of dullness”. I said to myself: “He is not all right.”
And no thinking, nothing, simply like this (Mother remains still in a gesture of self-offering upward).
Then what is it that is not all right? (Mother laughs) Yes, it is that, it is a kind of dullness.
Yes, I am very much sunk in Matter.
It is that.
It is not funny.
24 March 1965
No, but can’t you get out of it?
I am harassed. And my body does not help me much either.
Ah, no, the body never helps; now I am convinced of it. You can to a certain extent help your body — not very much, but still to an extent you can help your body. But the body does not help you. Always its vibration is on the ground.
Yes, it is heavy.
Without exception. Without exception it is a lowering and, above all that, it is something that makes you dull, dull — it does not vibrate.
It is heavy.
But with this sadhana that I am following, there are some leading strings which one can pursue. I have some phrases of Sri Auro- bindo.... For the other sadhanas I had the method: whatever he said was clear; that showed the way, one had not to search. But here he has not done it; only he has said or made some remarks from time to time and these remarks are useful to me (also there is the night when I meet him, but I do not want to count too much upon that, for... you become too anxious to have this contact and that spoils everything). There are a few remarks that have been so retained by me and they are, yes, like leading strings; for example, “Endure... endure.”
Suppose you have a pain somewhere; the instinct (the in- stinct of the body, the instinct of the cells) is to shrink and to seek to reject — that is the worst thing, that increases it invari- ably. Therefore, the ﬁrst thing to teach the body is to remain immobile, to have no reaction; above all, no shrinking, not even
Notes on the Way
a movement of rejection — a perfect immobility. That is bodily equality.
A perfect immobility.
After the perfect immobility comes the movement of in- ner aspiration (I always speak of the aspiration of the cells — I use words for what has no word, but there is no other way of expressing it), the surrender, that is to say, the spontaneous and total acceptance of the supreme Will (which one does not know). Does the All-Will want things to go this way or that way, that is to say, towards the disintegration of some elements or towards...? And there also, there are inﬁnite shades: there is the passage between two heights (I speak of cellular realisations, do not forget that); I mean one has a certain inner poise, a poise of movement, of life, and it is understood that while passing from one movement to a higher movement, almost always there occurs a descent and then an ascent — it is a transition. Then, does the shock you receive push you downward to make you rise again or does it push you downward to abandon the old movements? — for there are cellular ways of being that should disappear in order to give place to other ways. There are others that tend to rise upward again with a higher harmony and or- ganisation. This is the second point. And one must wait and see, without postulating in advance what should be. Above all, there is the desire — the desire to be at ease, the desire to be in peace, all that — which must absolutely cease, disappear. One must be absolutely without reaction, like this (gesture with palms open, of motionless offering upward). And then, when one is like that (“one” means the cells), after a time comes the perception of the category to which the movement belongs, and one has only to follow in order to see whether it is something that has to disappear and be replaced by another thing (which is not known for the moment) or it is something that has to be transformed.
And so on. All the while it is like that.
All this is to tell you that the thought is absolutely immobile; everything happens directly: a matter of vibration. Well, it is only
24 March 1965
in this way that one can know what one should do. If the thing passes through the mind, especially this physical thinking which is absolutely imbecile, absolutely, you cannot know; so long as it is working you are always led to do what you should not do, to have particularly the bad reaction — the reaction that helps the forces of disorder and obscurity instead of counteracting them. And I am not speaking of anxiety, because for a very long time now there has been no anxiety in my body — a long time, many years — but anxiety is like swallowing a cup of poison.
This is what is called physical yoga.
One must overcome all that. And the only way to do it: at every second all the cells must be (gesture of motionless offering upward) in an adoration, in an aspiration — an adoration, an aspiration, an adoration... and nothing else. Then after a time there is also delight, then that ends in blissful trust. When this trust is established all will be well. But... it is easy to say, it is much more difﬁcult to do. Only, for the moment I am convinced that this is the only means, there is no other.
21 August 1965
Since the 15th there has been a whole work of preparation for the transformation. What could one call it?... a transfer of power. The cells, the whole material consciousness obeyed the inner individual consciousness — most often the psychic or the mental (but the mind has been silent since long). But now this material mind is busy organising itself like the other or rather like all the
others, like the mind in all the states of being.
It is, as it were, a displacement of the directing will. And there, materially, physically, it is something like a surprise; and a need for identiﬁcation with the new direction — that is a lit- tle difﬁcult. It is difﬁcult also to explain.... It is no more the same thing which makes you act — “to act” means everything, to move, to walk, anything. It is no more the same centre. And then, if through habit you try to cling to the old centre, oh! it makes a great disorder and you must be very careful not to let the habit, the old habit, express itself, manifest it- self.
It is difﬁcult to say. It is still too much only an action. Thought here, in this brain, ﬁnds it difﬁcult to adapt itself.
Because for two days (two days continuously, I mean) there was all the while an aspiration: “How will this new world be when it becomes material here? How will this new world be?” And then that put me so much “within” that I was... I was not distant, but there was a kind of a thick blanket of haze between me and the world as it is. It was there even today.
This morning, for example, several times, for some time (I do not know how long, but not very short, a quarter of an hour, half an hour, I do not know), the cells of the body, that is to
21 August 1965
say, the form of the body, had the experience that to remain together or to be dissolved depends on a certain attitude — an attitude or a will, something of both will and attitude. And with the perception (sometimes almost double at the same time, one being rather a memory and the other a thing lived) of what makes you move, act, know: the old way as a memory, and the new in which evidently there is no reason to be dissolved unless one chooses it — that has no meaning, it is a meaningless thing: why be dissolved?
And if, at the time when one falls back — it is not exactly that — when the old consciousness comes back to the surface, if one is not very careful, that produces naturally a swoon.
During — oh! it was long — the whole time between ﬁve o’clock and quarter to six, it was like that.
That gives, at the same time, the feeling of the unreality of life and of a reality which one might call eternal: the feeling of death does not exist, it means nothing, it is merely a choice. And the dislocation, which has no meaning, which has no reason to be there, is a fantasy.
And then all the old way of seeing, feeling, perceiving, is there behind, like a kind of blanket — a blanket of haze, which renders the contact woolly, imprecise.
Now that I have regained the ordinary consciousness, I can express the thing; otherwise it would be difﬁcult to express. And the contrast or the opposition is painful, a suffering; both complain: the old has the feeling that it swoons, and the new that it is not left quiet. When you are in one or the other, it is all right, but when the two are together, it is not very pleasant. And there is a kind of feeling of uncertainty; you do not know very well where you are, whether you are here or you are there; you do not know exactly.
But this change of initiating power, if one may say, this trans- fer of power, has had upon me the effect of a unique experience, of something that had never taken place before. Unhappily, that did not last long. But the experience has left a kind of certitude
Notes on the Way
in the body — it is less uncertain of the future. It came to it, as if to tell it: “It will be like that.”
If that remains, it is evident immortality.
How do you deﬁne this physical mind which was made the object of the transfer of power?
It is not the physical mind. It is long since the physical mind has changed. It is the material mind — not even the material mind:
it is the mind of Matter. It is the mental substance which belongs to Matter itself, to the cells. That is what was once called the “spirit of the form”, when it was said that mummies kept their body intact as long as the spirit of the form persisted.1 It is that mind, this wholly material mind. The other, the physical mind, was organised long ago.
Then what is the difference between this material mind and the physical mind?
The physical mind is the mind of the physical personality formed by the body. It grows with the body, but it is not the mind of Matter: it is the mind of the physical being. For example, it is this physical mind which gives the character — the bodily character, the physical character — and which is in a large measure formed by atavism and by education. All this is called the “physical mind”. Yes, it is the result of atavism, of education and of the formation of the body; it is what forms the physical character. For example, there are people who are patient, people who are strong, etc. — physically I mean, not for vital or mental reasons,
1 In her talk of 10 March 1951, Mother said in connection with the violation of tombs in Egypt: “In the physical form is found the ‘spirit of the form’ and this spirit of the form persists for a certain time even when outwardly the person is pronounced dead. And as long as the spirit of the form persists, the body is not destroyed. In ancient Egypt they had this knowledge; they knew that if they prepared the body in a certain way, the spirit of the form would not leave it and the body would not disintegrate.”
21 August 1965
but purely physically; you have a character. It is the physical mind. And this is part of all integral yoga; you go through the discipline of this physical mind. More than sixty years ago I did it.
But then, for example, this mind which is spontaneously defeatist, having all sorts of fears, apprehensions, always seeing the worst, repeating always the same things, is it the physical mind or the material mind?
That is the most unconscious part of the physical mind and that is the link joining the physical mind and this material substance. But it is already an organised mind, you must understand. It is the most material part touching the mind. How can one call
this “mind”? You cannot even call it the bodily mind — it is the mind of the cells, it is a cellular mind.
This cellular mind exists in animals, and even a little (very little, as a promise) beginning in the plants — they respond to a mental action. They do respond. As soon as Life manifests, there is already a promise of mind, of mental movement. And in animals it is clear. Whereas this physical mind truly begins to exist only in man. It is this which very little children already have; they already have a physical mind; that is to say, two babies are not the same, their reactions are not the same, there is already a difference. And it is this, above all, which is given to you with the special form of your body, by atavism, and then fully developed by education.
No, the physical mind, as soon as you take up an integral yoga, must be dealt with; but this material mind, the cellular one, I assure you, is altogether new, yes, altogether new.
It is the mind which was like an unco-ordinated substance, which was constantly active, but not organised (Mother makes a gesture of continuous trepidation). It is this which is now being organised. It is that which is important — for Sri Aurobindo had said that it was unorganisable and it had only to be thrown
Notes on the Way
out of existence. And I too had the same impression. But when the action for transformation upon the cells is constant, this material mind begins to be organised. It is this that is wonderful
— it begins to be organised. And as it is being organised, it learns to keep silent — that is most remarkable! It learns to keep quiet, keep silent and allow the supreme Force to act without interfering.
The greatest difﬁculty is in the nerves, because they are so accustomed to the ordinary conscious will that when it stops and the direct Action from the highest is asked for, they go mad, as it were. The other day I had this experience, which lasted more than an hour, and it was difﬁcult; but this taught me many things — many. And all this is what can be called the “transfer of power”; the former power withdraws; and then before the body adapts itself to the new power, there is a period which is critical. As all the cells are in a state of constant aspiration, it goes relatively quickly, but all the same... the minutes are long. But more and more there is a kind of certitude in the cells that whatever happens is in view of this transformation and this transfer of directing power. And even at the time when it is materially painful (not even physically: materially painful), the cells keep this certitude. And then they resist, they bear the suffering without depression, without being affected in any way, with this certitude that it is to prepare for the transformation, the process of transformation and of the transfer of directing power. As I said, it is in the nerves that the experience is the most painful — naturally, because they are the most sensitive cells, those that have the most acute sensation. But they have a very considerable, very spontaneous, spontaneously strong receptiv- ity — without any effort — to the harmonious physical vibration (which is very rare, but still it exists in some individuals). And this physical vibration, what might be called a physical force, a harmonious physical vibration (spontaneously harmonious, without the necessity of a mental vibration, like the vibrations of a ﬂower, for example; there are physical vibrations like that,
21 August 1965
which carry in themselves a harmonious force) — the nerves are extremely sensitive and receptive to this vibration, which puts them right immediately.
It is very interesting, it explains much, explains many things. A day will come when all this will be explained and put in its place. It is not yet the time to reveal, but it is very interesting.
I have truly the impression that it is being organised, the work has begun to be organised.
Naturally, one must carefully avoid allowing a mental or- ganisation to intervene; that is why I do not try to explain too much; the mind would come in and then it is no more that.
27 November 1965
This talk begins with Mother’s comments on the message distributed on the Darshan day of November 24th.
“It is certainly a mistake to bring down the light by force
— to pull it down. The Supramental cannot be taken by storm. When the time is ready it will open of itself — but ﬁrst there is a great deal to be done and that must be done patiently and without haste.”
It is good for reasonable people. They will say, “There, he does not promise miracles.”
Why? Do many people have the tendency to “pull down”?
People are in a hurry, they want to see the results immediately. And then, they believe they are pulling down the Supramen-
tal — they pull down some small vital individuality who mocks at them and in the end makes them play the shabby fool. This is what happens most often — ninety-nine times out of a hundred. A small individuality, a vital entity who plays the big play and makes a great show, plays of light. Then the poor fel- low who has “pulled” is bedazzled; he says, “There, it is the
Supramental”, and he falls into a pit.
It is only when you have touched, seen in some way and had a contact with the true Light, that you can distinguish the vital, and you perceive that it is altogether like the plays of light on a stage, an artiﬁcial light. But otherwise, others are dazzled — it is dazzling, it is “wonderful”, and then they are deceived. It is only when you have seen and when you have had the contact with the Truth, ah! then you smile.
27 November 1965
It is quackery, but you must know the truth in order to recognise quackery.
At bottom, it is the same for everything. The vital is like a superstage that gives shows — very attractive, dazzling, decep- tive; it is only when you know the True Thing that you recognise immediately, instinctively, without reasoning, and you say, “No, I do not want that.”
And for everything it is so. Where it has taken a capital importance in human life is with regard to love. Vital passions, vital attractions have almost everywhere taken the place of true feeling, which is quiet, whereas the other puts you in ferment, gives you the feeling of something “living”. It is very deceptive. And you do not know it, you do not feel it, you do not perceive it clearly unless you know the True Thing. If you have touched true love through the psychic and the divine union, then the other thing appears hollow, thin, empty — an appearance and a comedy, more often tragic than comic.
Whatever one may say about it, however one may explain it, is of no use at all, because he or she who is caught says imme- diately, “Oh, this is not what it is for others” — what happens to yourself is never like what happens to others! One must have the true experience, then the whole vital appears like a masquerade
— not attractive.
And when you “pull”, well, it is much more than ninety- nine times out of one hundred... out of a million there is found only one case where one happens to pull the True Thing — this proves one was ready. Otherwise it is always the vital which you pull, the appearance, the theatrical show of the Thing, not the Thing itself.
To pull is always an egoistic movement. It is a deformation of aspiration. True aspiration consists in a giving, a self-giving, whereas to pull means to want for oneself. Even if in the mind you have a vaster ambition — the earth, the universe — that means nothing, these are mental activities.
Notes on the Way
You felt nothing special on the Darshan day?
Sri Aurobindo was there from the morning till the evening.
For, yes, for more than an hour he made me live, as in a concrete and living vision of the condition of humanity and of the different strata of humanity in relation to the new or supramental creation. And it was wonderfully clear and concrete and living.... There was all the humanity which is no longer altogether animal, which has beneﬁted by mental development and created a kind of harmony in its life — a harmony vital and artistic, literary — in which the large majority are content to live. They have caught a kind of harmony, and within it they live life as it exists in a civilised surrounding, that is to say, somewhat cultured, with reﬁned tastes and reﬁned habits. And all this life has a certain beauty where they are at ease, and unless something catastrophic happens to them, they live happy and contented, satisﬁed with life. These people can be drawn (because they have a taste, they are intellectually developed), they can be attracted by the new forces, the new things, the future life; for example, they can become disciples of Sri Aurobindo mentally, intellectu- ally. But they do not feel at all the need to change materially; and if they were compelled to do so, it would be ﬁrst of all premature, unjust, and would simply create a great disorder and disturb their life altogether uselessly.
This was very clear.
Then there were some — rare individuals — who were ready to make the necessary effort to prepare for the transformation and to draw the new forces, to try to adapt Matter, to seek means of expression, etc. These are ready for the yoga of Sri Aurobindo. They are very few in number. There are even those who have the sense of sacriﬁce and are ready for a hard, painful life, if
27 November 1965
that would lead or help towards this future transformation. But they should not, they should not in any way try to inﬂuence the others and make them share in their own effort; it would be altogether unfair — not only unfair, but extremely maladroit, for it would change the universal rhythm and movement, or at least the terrestrial movement, and instead of helping, it would create conﬂicts and end in a chaos.
But it was so living, so real that my whole attitude (how to say it? — a passive attitude which is not the result of an active will), the whole position taken in the work has changed. And that has brought a peace — a peace and a calmness and a conﬁdence altogether decisive. A decisive change. And even what seemed in the earlier position to be obstinacy, clumsiness, incon- science, all kinds of deplorable things, all that has disappeared. It was like the vision of a great universal Rhythm in which each thing takes its place and... everything is all right. And the effort for transformation, reduced to a small number, becomes a thing much more precious and much more powerful for the realisation. It is as though a choice has been made for those who will be the pioneers of the new creation. And all these ideas of “spreading”, of “preparing”, or of “churning Matter”... are a childishness. It is human restlessness.
The vision was of a beauty so majestic, so calm, so smiling. Oh! It was full, truly full of the divine Love. And not a divine Love that “pardons” — it is not at all that, not at all! Each thing in its place, realising its inner rhythm as perfectly as it can.
It was a very beautiful gift.
Well, all these things people know in some part, intellectu- ally, like that, in idea; they know all that, but it is quite useless. In everyday practice you live in another way, with a truer under- standing. And there, it is as though you touched the things — you saw them, you touched them — in their higher disposition.
It came after a vision of plants and the spontaneous beauty of plants (it is something so wonderful), then of the animal with so harmonious a life (so long as men do not intervene), and all
Notes on the Way
that was in its right place; then of the true humanity as humanity, that is to say, the maximum of what a mental poise could create of beauty, harmony, charm, elegance of life, taste of living — a taste of living in beauty, and, naturally, suppressing all that is ugly and low and vulgar. It was a ﬁne humanity — humanity at its maximum, but nice. And perfectly satisﬁed with its being humanity, because it lives harmoniously. And it is perhaps also like a promise of what almost the whole of humanity will be- come under the inﬂuence of the new creation. It appeared to me that it was what the supramental consciousness could make of humanity. There was even a comparison with what humanity has made of the animal species. It is extremely mixed, naturally, but things have been perfected, bettered, utilised more completely. Animality, under the mind’s inﬂuence, has become another thing, which is, naturally, something mixed because the mind was in- complete. In the same way there are examples of a harmonious humanity among well-balanced people, and this seemed to be what humanity could become under the supramental inﬂuence.
Only, it is very far ahead. You must not expect that it will be immediately — it is very far ahead.
It is clearly, even now, a period of transition which may last quite long and which is rather painful. Only, the effort, some- times painful (often painful) is compensated by a clear vision of the goal to attain, of the goal that will be attained: an assurance, yes, a certainty. But it would be something that would have the power to eliminate all error, all deformation, all the ugliness of the mental life — and then a humanity very happy, very satisﬁed with being human, not at all feeling the need of being anything other than human, but with a human beauty, a human harmony. It was very charming, it was as though I lived in it. The contradictions had disappeared. It was as though I lived in this perfection. And it was almost like the ideal conceived by the supramental consciousness, of a humanity become as perfect as
it can be. And it was very good.
And this brings a great repose. The tension, the friction, all
27 November 1965
that disappeared, and the impatience. All that had completely disappeared.
That is to say, you concentrate the work instead of diffusing it a little everywhere?
No, it may be diffused materially, because the individuals are not necessarily collected together. But they are few in number.
This idea of a pressing need to “prepare” humanity for the new creation, this impatience has disappeared.
It must ﬁrst of all be realised in some.
I was seeing, I saw that in such a concrete way. Apart from those who are ﬁt to prepare the transformation and the supramental realisation, and whose number is necessarily very restricted, there must develop more and more, in the midst of the ordinary human mass, a superior humanity which has to- wards the supramental being of the future or in the making the same attitude as animality, for example, has towards man. There must be, besides those who work for the transformation and who are ready for it, a superior humanity, intermediary, which has found in itself or in life this harmony with Life — this harmony human — and which has the same feeling of adoration, devotion, faithful consecration to “something” which seems to it so high that it does not even try to realise it, but worships it and feels the need of its inﬂuence, its protection, and the need to live under this inﬂuence, to have the delight of being under this protection. It was so clear. But not this anguish, these torments of wanting something that escapes you because — because it is not your destiny yet to have it, and because the amount of transformation needed is premature for your life and it is that then which creates a disorder and suffering.
For example, one of the very concrete things that brings out
Notes on the Way
the problem well: humanity has the sexual impulse in a way altogether natural, spontaneous and, I would say, legitimate. This impulse will naturally and spontaneously disappear with animality. Many other things will disappear, as for example the need to eat and perhaps also the need to sleep in the way we sleep now. But the most conscious impulse in a superior humanity, which has continued as a source of... bliss is a big word, but joy, delight — is certainly the sexual activity, and that will have absolutely no reason for existence in the functions of Nature when the need to create in that way will no longer exist. Therefore, the capacity of entering into relation with the joy of life will rise by one step or will be oriented differently. But what the ancient spiritual aspirants had sought on principle
— sexual negation — is an absurd thing, because this must be only for those who have gone beyond this stage and no longer have animality in them. And it must drop off naturally, without effort and without struggle. To make of it a centre of conﬂict and struggle is ridiculous. It is only when the consciousness ceases to be human that it drops off quite naturally. Here also there is a transition which may be somewhat difﬁcult, because the beings of transition are always in an unstable equilibrium; but within oneself there is a kind of ﬂame and a need which makes it not painful — it is not painful effort, it is something that one can do with a smile. But to seek to impose it upon those who are not ready for this transition is absurd.
It is common sense. They are human, but they must not pretend that they are not.
It is only when spontaneously the impulse becomes impos- sible for you, when you feel that it is something painful and contrary to your deeper need that it becomes easy; then, well, externally you cut these bonds and it is ﬁnished.
It is one of the most convincing examples.
It is the same with regard to food. It will be the same thing. When animality will drop off, the absolute necessity of food also will drop off. And there will probably be a transition where one
27 November 1965
will have less and less purely material food. For example, when you smell ﬂowers it is nourishing. I have seen it, you nourish yourself in a more subtle way.
Only, the body is not ready. The body is not ready and it deteriorates, that is to say, it eats itself. This proves that the time has not come, that it is only an experience — an experience that teaches you something, teaches you that it will not be a brutal refusal to come into contact with the corresponding Matter and an isolation (one cannot isolate oneself, it is impossible), but a communion on a higher or deeper plane.
Those who have reached the higher regions of intelligence, but have not dominated the mental faculties in them, have an inno- cent need that everybody should think like them and be able to understand as they understand. And when they see that others do not, cannot understand, their ﬁrst reﬂex is to be horribly shocked; they exclaim, “What an idiot!” But they are not at all idiots — they are different, they are in another domain. You do not go and say to an animal, “You are an idiot”; you say, “It is an animal.” Well, you say, “It is a man.” It is a man; only, there are those who are no longer men and are not yet gods, and they are in a situation... rather awkward.
But it was so soothing, so sweet, so wonderful, this vision
— each thing expressing its kind quite naturally.
And it is quite evident that with the amplitude and totality of the vision, there comes something which is a compassion that understands — not that pity of the superior for the inferior: the true divine Compassion, which is the total comprehension that each one is what he must be.
22 January 1966
I experienced this morning, for two hours, a kind of blissful state in which there was such a clear consciousness that all the forms of life, in all the worlds and at all moments, are the expression of a choice — one chooses to be like that.
It is very difﬁcult to say with words. The kind of obligation
in which one believes oneself to be living, to which one believes oneself to be submitted, had completely disappeared, and it was quite a spontaneous and natural perception that the life upon earth, and the life in other worlds, and all kinds of life upon earth and all kinds of life in other worlds are simply a question of choice: you have chosen to be like that and you choose con- stantly to be like this or to be like that, or whether it happens like this or it happens like that; and you choose also to believe that you are submitted to a fatality or to a necessity or to a law which compels you — everything is a question of choice. And there was a feeling of lightness, of freedom, and then a smile for everything. At the same time it gives you a tremendous power. All feeling of compulsion, of necessity — of fatality still more — had disappeared completely. All the illnesses, all the happenings, all the dramas, all that: disappeared. And this concrete and so brutal reality of the physical life: gone completely.
I lived this state for more than an hour and a half this morning. Afterwards, I was obliged to return. to a state which
appears to me artiﬁcial, but which is compulsory because of others, by contact with others and with things, and the innu- merable quantity of things to be done. But all the same, in the background the experience remains. And there remains a kind of amused smile for all the complications of life — the state in which one ﬁnds oneself has been the fact of a choice, and for the individual the freedom of choice is there, and people have forgotten it. It is this that is so interesting.
22 January 1966
I saw at the same time the whole tableau of human knowl- edge (because when those states are there, all human realisations, all human knowledge, come like a panorama before the new state and are put each in its place — always, always when an experience comes, it is as though retrospective) and I saw all the theories, the beliefs, the philosophies, the way they link themselves with the new state; it was amusing.
And that does not call for a rest. These experiences are so concrete, so spontaneous and real (they are not the result of a will, still less of an effort) that they do not call for a rest.
But those who managed to have this experience for whatever reason, and who had not a thorough philosophical and mental preparation (the saints or in fact all those who led a spiritual life) had then a very acute impression of the unreality of life and the illusion of life. But it is only a narrow view. It is not that, it is not that. Everything is a choice! Everything, everything. The Lord’s choice, but in us, not there (gesture upward): here. And we do not know it, it is quite within the heart of ourselves. And when we know it, we can choose — we can choose our choice, it is wonderful.
And this sort of fatality and bondage and hardness of exis- tence, all have disappeared. All disappeared. It was light blue, light rose, all luminous and limpid and light.
I conceive very well that this is not an absolute thing; it was only a way of being, but a very charming way of being. Usu-
ally those who have not a sufﬁcient intellectual preparation, when they have an experience of this kind, they believe they have caught the sole truth. And then with that, they dogmatise. But I saw quite well that it is not that, it is one way of being, although it is a ﬁne way of being, well, inﬁnitely superior to what we have here. And we can have it here: I have had it. I have had it in an altogether concrete way. And there is always something that is not all right, wrong here or wrong there, or this or that, and then circumstances also that are not all right; always there are difﬁculties — all that... that changes colour.
Notes on the Way
And it becomes light, light — light, supple. All the hardness and stiffness: gone.
And the feeling also that if you choose to be like that, you can continue to be like that. And it is true. It is all the wrong habits — evidently millennial habits upon earth — all the wrong habits that prevent you. But there is no reason why this should not be a permanent state. Because this changes every- thing! Everything changes!... It is evident that if one becomes master of that state, one can change all the circumstances around oneself.
In recent times (for a rather long time), there was this same difﬁculty with the body, which is not limited and shut up in a shell as is generally the case, and which receives spontaneously, not even with the feeling of “receiving”, which has the vibrations of all that surrounds it. And then, when all that surrounds it is, from the mental and moral point of view, closed, uncompre- hending, it is a little difﬁcult; that is to say, they are elements that come and must be transformed. It is a kind of totality, a very multiple and very unstable totality, representing your ﬁeld of consciousness and action, and upon which you must work all the time to re-establish a harmony, a minimum of harmony. And when around you something goes “wrong” according to the ordinary idea, it makes the work a little difﬁcult. It is at the same time tenuous and persistent and obstinate. I remember, just before the experience, there was in the body an aspiration for harmony, for light, for a kind of smiling peace. The body aspired above all for a harmony, because of all these things that grind and scrape. And probably the experience has been the result of this aspiration.
Only, I have noted that in the life of this body I have never had the same experience twice — I may have the same kind of experience in a higher degree or in a much vaster degree, but never identically the same. And I do not retain the experience; I am all the while, all the while (gesture forward), all the while on the march. Yes, the work of transformation of the consciousness
22 January 1966
is so rapid, must be done so quickly that there is no time to enjoy or dwell upon an experience or get some satisfaction in it for any length of time — it is impossible. It comes forcefully, very force- fully; that is to say, it changes everything. And then something else comes. It is the same with regard to the transformation of the cells. All kinds of small disorders come, but they are visibly, for the consciousness, disorders of transformation; and then one is busy with that point, one wants to re-establish the order. And at the same time there is something that knows per- tinently that the disorder has come to make the transition from ordinary automatic functioning to conscious functioning under the direct guidance and the direct inﬂuence of the Supreme. And the body itself knows it; all the same it is not amusing to have pain here or pain there, or to have this or that get out of order, but it knows. And when that point has arrived at a certain degree of transformation, one passes on to another point, then another, then yet another; so nothing is done, no work is done deﬁnitively until... everything is ready. Then the same work has to be begun again on a higher or vaster level or with greater intensity or more in detail (that depends upon the case), until the whole is brought to a point homogeneous and ready in a similar way.
As I see it, it is moving as fast as it can, but it takes a long time. And everything is a question of changing the habit. The entire automatic habit of thousands of years has to be changed into a conscious action directly guided by the supreme Consciousness.
One is inclined to say that it is much longer and much more difﬁcult because one is surrounded by people and one acts in the world, but if one were not in such conditions, many things would be forgotten, many. Many things would not be done. There are all kinds of vibrations that have no afﬁnity with this aggregate1 and which would never have the occasion
1 Mother is referring to her body.
Notes on the Way
to touch the transforming Force if I were not in contact with everyone.
It is very evident — it is very evident — that one is placed in the best of conditions and has the maximum possibilities for action... when one wants it sincerely.
18 May 1966
You have heard about those drugs?1 Have you seen any pic- tures?... I have. People are thrust without the least defence into the lowest vital, and according to their nature they ﬁnd it either frightful or marvellous. For example, the cloth covering a cush- ion or a chair suddenly takes on a wondrous beauty. This lasts for about two or three hours. Naturally, they are completely out of their senses the whole time. And the pity of it is that people call these “spiritual experiences”, and there is nobody to tell them that this has nothing to do with spiritual experience.
Some time ago I received a letter from someone who told me he had taken these drugs, and he said he had had terrible visions, that the walls of his room were alive with thousands of evil and desperate faces which persecuted him till nightfall. There you are!
And so this gave me yet another proof. I saw pictures in
Life — there were some photographs — it was as though you had entered a madhouse. For these are images registered in the subconscient — images of thoughts, images of sensations, im- ages of feelings, registered in the subconscient — which become objective, which come up to the surface and become objective. Thus they give the exact picture of what is within.
For instance, if you have the feeling or thought that someone is wicked or ridiculous or does not like you, in short, ideas of this kind — generally all this comes up in dream, but here you are not asleep and you have the dream! — they come to play the game you have thought of; what you have thought of them comes back upon you in their form. So this is an indication: for those who see happy, amiable, beautiful images, this means that within, everything is going on quite well (vitally), but for those
1 Mother is referring to the hallucinogenic drug called LSD, a derivative of lysergic acid.
Notes on the Way
who see terrifying or evil things, or things of that sort, it means that the vital is not pretty.
Yes, but isn’t there an objective vital, where these visions have no relation with our own subconscient?
Yes, there is, but it hasn’t the same character.
Not the same character?
One cannot know it unless one goes into the vital fully conscious
— conscious of his own vital and conscious in the vital world as one is conscious in the physical world. One goes there con- sciously. It is not a dream, it hasn’t the nature of a dream; it is like an activity, an experience, and it is quite different.
But there do exist also these vital worlds where one is persecuted, terrible worlds, worlds of torture and perse- cution, isn’t it so?
Ninety per cent subjective.
Ninety per cent subjective. For more than a year, regularly, every night, at the same hour and in the same way, I used to enter the vital to do some special work there. This was not due to my own will: I was destined to do it. It was something I had to do. Now, for instance, this entry into the vital has been often described: there is a passage where beings are posted to keep you from entering (much has been said about these things in books of occultism). Well, I know by an experience, not ca- sual, but repeated and understood, that this opposition or this malevolence is ninety per cent psychological, in the sense that if you do not anticipate it or fear it, or that there isn’t something in you that fears the unknown nor has all these movements of apprehension and so forth, then it is like a shadow across a picture or the projection of an image: it has no concrete reality.
18 May 1966
I have had, it is true, one or two real vital battles in going to the rescue of someone who had gone astray. And twice I have received blows, and the next morning when I woke up there was the mark (Mother touches her right eye). Well, in these two cases, I know it was something in me — not any fear, I have never been afraid there, but because I anticipated it. The idea that “this could very well happen” and the fact that I was expecting it, made the blow come. I knew it for certain. And if I had been in what may be called my “normal state”, of inner certitude, this could not have touched me, it could not. And I had had this apprehension because an occultist whom I knew, had lost an eye in a vital ﬁght and she had told me about it; and so (Mother laughs), that gave me the idea that this was possible, because it had happened to her! But when I am in my own state — I cannot even say that, it is not “personal”, it is a way of being — when one is in the true state, when one is a conscious being and has the true way of being, this cannot touch one.
It is like the experience of meeting an enemy and wanting to strike him, and then the blows do not go home and all that you do has no effect — it is always subjective. I have had every proof, every proof.
But then, what is objective?
There are worlds, there are beings, there are powers, they have their own existence; but what I mean is that their relation with the human consciousness depends upon this human conscious- ness for the form they take.
It is as with the gods, my child, it is the same thing. All these beings of the Overmind, all these gods, the relation with them, the form of these relations, depend upon the human conscious- ness. You may be... It has been said, “Men are cattle for the gods”, but if men accept to be cattle. There is in the essence of human nature a sovereignty over all things which is spontaneous
Notes on the Way
and natural, when it is not falsiﬁed by a certain number of ideas and so-called knowledge.
One could say that man is the all-powerful master of all the states of being of his nature, but that he has forgotten to be this.
His natural state is to be all-powerful — he has forgotten to be this.
In this state of forgetfulness, everything becomes concrete, yes, in the sense that one may have a mark left on the eye; it may translate itself like this, but it is because... because one has allowed it to happen.
It is the same thing with the gods. They can govern your life and torment you a lot (they can help you a lot also), but their power, in relation to you, to the human being, is the power you give them.
This is something I learnt gradually over several years. But now I am sure of it.
Naturally, in the evolutionary curve, it was necessary for man to forget his omnipotence, because it had simply puffed him up with pride and vanity, and so had become completely distorted; and he had to be made to feel that many things were stronger and more powerful than he. But essentially this is not true. It is a necessity of the curve of progress, that’s all.
Man is potentially a god. He believed himself an actual god. He needed to learn that he was nothing better than a poor little worm crawling on the earth, and so life scraped, scraped, scraped him in every way until he had... not understood, but at least felt a bit. But as soon as he takes the right stand, he knows that he is potentially a god. Only, he must become this, that is, overcome all that is not this.
This relationship with the gods is extremely interesting. As
long as man stands dazzled, lost in admiration of the power, beauty, accomplishments of these divine beings, he is their slave. But when these become for him different ways of being of the Supreme and nothing more, and himself yet another way of being of the Supreme, which he must become, then the relation
18 May 1966
changes and he is no longer their slave — he is not their slave.
Then the only objectivity is the Supreme.
There, you have said it, my child. It is this. It is exactly this.
If the word “objectivity” is taken to mean “real indepen- dent existence” — self-existence, independent and real — there is only the Supreme.
Nevertheless, there is something disquieting about this almost total subjectivity.
One wonders what is real, what one really comes across? Isn’t everything a tissue of imagination? This is rather disquieting.
But when one has the positive experience of the one and only existence of the Supreme and that all is only the Supreme playing to Himself, instead of being something disquieting or unpleasant or troubling, it is on the contrary a sort of total security.
The one reality is the Supreme. And all this is a game He plays to Himself. I ﬁnd this much more comforting than the opposite view.
And after all, this is the only certitude that all this may become something marvellous; otherwise...
And this too depends altogether on the stand one takes. A complete identiﬁcation with the game as a game, as something self-existent and independent, is probably necessary in the begin- ning, in order to play the game properly. But there’s a moment when one reaches precisely this detachment and so complete a disgust for all the falsehood of existence, that it is no longer tolerable unless one sees it as the inner play of the Lord in Himself, for Himself.
Notes on the Way
And then one feels this absolute and perfect freedom which makes the most marvellous possibilities become real, and all the most sublime things imaginable are realisable.
(Mother enters into contemplation.)
You will see, there is a moment when one cannot bear oneself or life unless one takes the attitude that it is the Lord who is everything. You see, this Lord, how many things He possesses, He plays with all this — He plays, He plays at changing the positions. And so, when one sees this, this whole, one feels the illimitable marvel, and that all our most wonderful aspirations, all these are quite possible and will even be surpassed. Then one is comforted. Otherwise, existence... it is inconsolable. But like this, it becomes charming. I shall tell you about this one day.
When one feels the unreality of life, the unreality of life when compared with a reality which is certainly beyond, above, but at the same time within life, then, at that moment... “Ah, yes, at last this, it is true — at last this, it is true and deserves to be true. This is the realisation of all possible splendours, all possible marvels, yes, of all possible felicities, all possible beauties, yes, this; otherwise...”
I have come to that!
And then, I feel as though I still have one foot here, one foot there, which is not a very comfortable position, because... be- cause one would wish that there be nothing but That.
The present way of being is a past which truly should no longer be there. While the other: “Ah! At last! At last! It is for this that there is a world.”
And everything else remains quite as concrete and real — it does not become hazy! It is just as concrete, just as real, but... but it becomes divine, because... because it is the Divine. It is the Divine who plays.
28 September 1966
Why is there suffering? How to cure suffering?
For a long time quite recently, that is to say, for days together, there was a very acute, very intense, very clear perception that the action of the Force translated itself externally by what we call “suffering” because that is the only kind of vibration which can pull Matter out of its inertia.
The supreme Peace, the supreme Calm are deformed and disﬁgured into inertia and into tamas, and precisely because this was the deformation of true Peace and Calm, there was no reason why it should change! A certain vibration of awakening
— of reawakening — was necessary to come out of this tamas, that could not pass directly from tamas to Peace; something was needed to shake the tamas, and that is translated externally by suffering.
I am speaking here of physical suffering, because all the other sufferings — vital, mental, emotional sufferings — are due to a wrong working of the mind, and these... may simply be classed together as Falsehood, that’s all. But physical suffering gives me the impression of a child being beaten, because here, in Matter, Falsehood has become ignorance; that is to say, there is no bad will — no bad will is there in Matter, all is inertia and ignorance: complete ignorance of the Truth, ignorance of the Origin, ignorance of the Possibility and ignorance even of what is to be done in order not to suffer physically. This ignorance is everywhere in the cells, and it is only the experience, the experi- ence of what is translated in this rudimentary consciousness as suffering, which can awaken, bring forth the need to know and to cure, and the aspiration to transform oneself.
It has become a certainty, because in all the cells there is born the aspiration, which is becoming more and more intense and
Notes on the Way
which wonders at the resistance; but they have observed that whenever something goes wrong in the working (that is to say, instead of being supple, spontaneous, natural, the working be- comes a painful effort, a struggle against something which takes the appearance of a bad will, but is only a reticence that does not understand), at that moment, the intensity of the aspiration, of the call, is tenfold, becomes constant. The difﬁculty is to remain at that state of intensity. Generally everything falls back, I cannot say into a somnolence, but a kind of relaxation: you take things easy; and it is only when the inner disorder becomes painful that the intensity grows and remains permanent. For hours — hours together — without slackening, the call, the aspiration, the will to be united with the Divine, to become the Divine, is maintained at its maximum. Why? Because there was externally what is called a physical disorder, a suffering. Otherwise, when there is no suffering, from time to time one soars up, then one falls back into a slackening; again another time one soars up once more... there is no end to it. That lasts eternally. If we want things to go fast (relatively fast according to the rhythm of our life), this smack of the whip is necessary. I am convinced of it, because as soon as you are within your inner being you look upon that with contempt (as regards oneself).
But then, all of a sudden, when there comes this true Com- passion of the Divine Love, and when one sees all these things that appear so horrible, so abnormal, so absurd, this great pain which is upon all beings and even upon all things... then there takes birth in this physical being the aspiration to soothe, to cure, to remove that. There is in Love, at its Origin, something which is translated constantly as the intervention of Grace: a force, a sweetness, something like a vibration of solace spread everywhere, but which an illumined consciousness can direct, concentrate on some points. And it is there, there itself that I saw the true use one can make of thought: thought serves as a kind of channel to carry this vibration from place to place, wherever it is necessary. This force, this vibration of sweetness is there in a
28 September 1966
static way upon the world, pressing in order to be received, but it is an impersonal action. And thought — illumined thought, surrendered thought, thought which is no longer anything but an instrument, which tries no longer to initiate things, which is satisﬁed with being moved by the higher Consciousness — thought serves as an intermediary to establish a contact, a rela- tion, and to enable this impersonal Force to act wherever it is necessary, upon deﬁnite points.
It may be said in an absolute way that an evil always carries its own remedy. One might say that the cure of any suffering coexists with the suffering. So, instead of seeing an evil “useless” and “stupid” as it is generally thought to be, you see that the progress, the evolution which has made the suffering necessary
— which is the cause of the suffering and the very reason for its existence — attains the intended result; and at the same time the suffering is cured, for those who are able to open themselves and receive. The three things — suffering as a means of progress, progress, and the cure of suffering — are coexistent, simultane- ous; that is to say, they do not follow each other, they are there at the same time.
If, at the moment when the transforming action creates a suffering, there is in that which suffers the necessary aspiration and opening, the remedy also is taken in at the same time, and the effect is total, complete: transformation, with the action necessary to obtain it, and, at the same time, cure of the false sensation produced by the resistance. And the suffering is re- placed by... something which is not known upon this earth, but which is akin to joy, well-being, trust and security. It is a supersensation, in a perfect peace, and which is obviously the only thing that can be eternal.
This analysis expresses very imperfectly what one would call the “content” of Ananda.
I believe it is something that has been felt, experienced, partially and in a very ﬂeeting manner, through all the ages, but which has just begun to concentrate and almost concretise itself
Notes on the Way
upon earth. But physical Matter, in its cellular form, has, one cannot say fear or anxiety, but a kind of apprehension of new vibrations, and this apprehension naturally takes away from the cells their receptivity and assumes the appearance of uneasiness
— it is not suffering, but an uneasiness. When, however, this apprehension is counterbalanced and cured by aspiration and the will for total surrender and by the act of total surrender, then this sort of apprehension, having disappeared, becomes a supreme well-being.
All this, they are as though microscopic studies of the phe- nomena of consciousness, free from mental intervention. The necessity of using words to express oneself brings this mental intervention, but in the experience it does not exist. And it is very interesting, because the pure experience has a content of truth, of reality, which disappears as soon as the mind intervenes. There is a savour of true reality which altogether escapes expression because of that. It is the same difference as between an individual and his portrait, a fact and the story told. It is like that. But it is much more subtle.
And then, to come back to what we were saying just now, when one is conscious of this Force — this Force, this Com- passion in its essential reality — and when one sees how it can act through the conscious individual, one has the key to the problem.
30 September 1966
This talk begins with Mother’s comments on the following letter of Sri Aurobindo.
“... although St. Paul had remarkable mystic experiences and, certainly, much profound spiritual knowledge (pro- found rather than wide, I think) — I would not swear to it that he is referring to the supramentalised body (physical body). Perhaps to the supramental body or to some other luminous body in its own space and substance, which he found sometimes as if enveloping him and abolishing this body of death which he felt the material envelope to be. This verse1 like many others is capable of several interpretations and might refer to a quite supraphysical experience. The idea of a transfor- mation of the body occurs in different traditions, but I have never been quite sure that it meant the change in this very matter. There was a yogi sometime ago in this region who taught it, but he hoped when the change was complete, to disappear in light. The Vaishnavas speak of a divine body which will replace this one when there is the complete siddhi. But, again, is this a divine physical or supraphysical body? At the same time there is no obstacle in the way of supposing that all these ideas, intuitions, experiences point to, if they do not exactly denote, the physical transformation.”2
1 “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immor- tality.
“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” I Corinthians, 16. 53, 54.
2 Letter dated 24 December 1930. Letters on Yoga, Cent. Vol. 24, p. 1237.
Notes on the Way
It is strange, this was the very subject of my meditations these days — not deliberate, they are imposed from above. Because through the entire passage from the plant to the animal and from the animal to man (especially from the animal to man), essentially the differences in form are minimal; the true transfor- mation lies in the intervention of another agent of consciousness. All the differences between the life of the animal and the life of man come from the intervention of the Mind; but the substance is essentially the same and it obeys the same laws of formation and construction. For example, there is not much difference between a calf that is formed in the womb of the cow and the child that is formed in the womb of the mother. There is a difference, that of the intervention of the Mind; but if we look at a physical being, that is to say, visible as the physical is visible now and having the same density (for example, a body having no need of circulation, or of bones — particularly these two: the skeletons and blood circulation), it is difﬁcult to conceive. And as long as it is like that, with this circulation of the blood, this action of the heart, one could imagine — one can imagine
— by a power of the Spirit, the renewal of force, of energy, through means other than food; this is conceivable; but the rigidity, the solidity of the body — how is that possible without the skeleton?... In that case, this would be a transformation inﬁnitely greater than that from the animal to man; this would be a passage from man to a being who would not be built in the same manner, who would no longer function in the same man- ner, who would be like the condensation and concretisation of “something”. Up to now, that corresponds to nothing we have
yet seen physically, unless the scientists have found something I do not know about.
One can conceive of a light or a new force giving to the cells a kind of spontaneous life and spontaneous force.
Yes, that is what I say, food can disappear; that one can conceive.
30 September 1966
But the whole body could be animated by this force. The body could remain supple, for instance. Even re- taining its bone-structure, it could remain supple, have the suppleness of a child.
But the child because of that cannot remain standing! He cannot exert himself. What will replace the bone-structure, for instance?
It could be the same elements, but having suppleness — elements whose ﬁrmness would not come from hardness but from the force of light, no?
Yes, that is possible. Only, what I mean to say is that perhaps
the thing will be done through a large number of new creations. For instance, the passage from man to this being will perhaps be accomplished through all kinds of other intermediaries. It is the leap, you understand, that seems to me tremendous.
I conceive very well a being who could, by spiritual power, the power of his inner being, absorb the necessary forces, renew himself and remain always young; that one conceives very well, even for giving a certain suppleness so as to be able to change the form, if need be. But the total disappearance of this system of construction immediately — immediately from the one to the other — that seems to be. that seems to require stages.
Evidently, unless something happens (which we are obliged to call a “miracle”, because one cannot understand how) how can a body like ours become a body wholly built and moved by a higher force and without a material support? This (Mother holds the skin of her hand between her ﬁngers), how can this change into this other thing?. That appears impossible.
That appears miraculous, but...
Yes, in all my experiences I understand very well the possibility of no longer having the need for food, the disappearance of all
Notes on the Way
this process (for example, changing the method of absorption, that is possible), but how to change the structure?
But that does not seem to me impossible.
That does not seem to you impossible?
No, perhaps it is imagination, but I imagine very well a spiritual power entering into it and producing a kind of luminous inﬂation, and all this suddenly blooming like a ﬂower. This body, shrivelled up towards itself, opens out, becomes radiant, supple, luminous.
Supple, plastic, yes, that one can conceive, it can become plastic; that is to say, the form will not be ﬁxed as now. All that one can conceive, but...
But I see it very well like a kind of luminous blooming: the Light must have this force. And it destroys in no way the present structure.
But visible? Which one would be able to touch?
Yes, only, it is like an opening out. What was closed opens like a ﬂower, that’s all. But it is always the structure of the ﬂower, only it is wholly opened and it is luminous, no?
(Mother shakes her head and remains silent for a moment.) I have not had the experience, I do not know.
I am absolutely convinced, because I have had experiences which proved it to me, that the life of this body — the life which makes it move and change — can be replaced by a force; that is to say, one can create a kind of immortality, and the wear and tear can also disappear. These two things are possible: the